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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Fri 02 Mar , 2018 1:57 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
Posts: 1496
http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/376359-new-epa-rule-gives-states-power-to-determine-coal-ash-disposal
Quote:
The Trump administration announced a new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule Thursday aimed at giving states the independence to determine how to best dispose of coal ash, the toxic metal left from burning coal.

The EPA said that the deregulations would save utilities nearly $100 million per year in compliance costs and the regulated community between $31 million and $100 million per year.

...EPA said Thursday the rule is one of two it plans to enact to amend coal ash disposal.



http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/business-a-lobbying/376348-trump-administration-hired-more-than-75-lawyers-with
Quote:
More than 75 Trump administration lawyers either represented clients in the industries they regulate or had clients with business before the government, according to a report released Thursday by the liberal watchdog group Public Citizen.




http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/376276-trump-steel-aluminum-tariffs-coming-next-week
Quote:
President Trump said Thursday that he will impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from around the world next week, defying Republican lawmakers who have pushed back against the move.

Trump said he will announce tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum from all countries that send their metals to the United States, a decision sure to lead to retaliation by key trading partners.



http://thehill.com/regulation/international/376336-canada-threatens-retaliation-on-trump-tariffs
Quote:
Two major U.S. allies said Thursday they are concerned about President Trump’s promise to levy steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, with one vowing retaliation if the administration goes through with the plan.

Canada and the United Kingdom both issued statements in response to President Trump's decision to announce next week that he will slap 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent tariffs on aluminum imports.



https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-02/trump-tariffs-needle-allies-more-than-china
Quote:
Donald Trump’s latest trade move, like those before, is hurting his allies more than his rivals.

U.S. partners across the world are crying foul after the president pledged to impose 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum in the name of protecting national security. Australia’s trade minister called it “disappointing.” Japan reminded the U.S. it wasn’t a threat. Norway said national security is no excuse for protectionism. Canada vowed to strike back.

China — whose U.S. trade surplus dwarfs all others — was muted. That’s because the country sells relatively little steel to the U.S. and Bloomberg Economics estimates the impact might be negligible.



http://thehill.com/policy/finance/international-taxes/376381-toyota-warns-new-trump-tariffs-will-cause-price-of-cars-to
Quote:
Toyota Motor Corp. warned that tariffs on steel and aluminum that President Trump will impose next week will cause the price of cars and trucks in the U.S. to rise.


https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-01/asia-braces-for-stock-drop-as-trump-rattles-nerves-markets-wrap
Quote:
U.S. equity futures extended declines and a gauge of volatility rose after Trump declared trade wars are “easy to win” in a tweet on Friday. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index headed for a fourth day of losses, with Germany’s DAX reaching the lowest since August as industrials slumped.

Japan led the retreat in Asia earlier, with the Topix Index tumbling after Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda mentioned for the first time a possible time frame for discussing an exit from its extraordinary easing program. The yen surged to the strongest since 2016 and shares from Hong Kong to Australia declined. German bunds climbed, the dollar weakened and Treasuries fell




http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/376400-trump-defends-new-tariffs-trade-wars-are-good-and-easy-to-win
Quote:
President Trump early Friday defended his plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, saying "trade wars are good."

"When a country (USA) is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good, and easy to win. Example, when we are down $100 billion with a certain country and they get cute, don’t trade anymore-we win big. It’s easy!" Trump tweeted.

Moron



http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/376397-dark-money-group-launches-pro-trump-polling-operation-report
Quote:
A dark money group with close ties to President Trump has hired three polling firms used by the Trump campaign to produce polls and analysis related to the administration in a move that raises questions about coordination between the group and the White House.




http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/376365-fbi-scrutinizing-ivanka-trump-international-business-deal-report
Quote:
FBI counterintelligence officials are scrutinizing one of Ivanka Trump's business deals related to a hotel in Vancouver, Canada, CNN reported Thursday.

Two sources familiar with the matter told CNN that officials are looking into the deal involving the International Hotel and Tower in Vancouver, which contains an Ivanka Trump-branded spa. The probe comes as Ivanka Trump, President Trump's daughter and one of his senior advisers, seeks to obtain a full security clearance.




http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/376377-navy-corrects-fox-news-contributor-seals-did-not-test-trump-border
Quote:
The U.S. Navy corrected a Fox News contributor on Thursday who said that Navy SEALs were unable to breach prototypes for the proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall in test scenarios. No Navy SEALs were involved in the testing of prototypes for the border wall, a spokesperson for the Naval Special Warfare Command told the San Diego Union-Tribune.



And, of course, Trump backs down on another gun control measure:
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/376415-wh-reverses-trump-support-for-universal-gun-background-checks
Quote:
The White House on Friday walked back President Trump’s apparent support for universal background checks for gun purchases.

Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump supports “not necessarily universal background checks, but certainly improving the background check system.”

At this point, I can't see any hope even for establishing universal licensing and training requirements for gun owners, or similar measures that a majority of both gun control advocates and sensible gun owners might support.


Edit:
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/376417-emails-show-oil-was-key-part-of-bears-ears-monument-decision
Quote:
Interior Department emails show that its decision to shrink the Bears Ears National Monument was largely centered on allowing for oil and gas exploration on the protected site, The New York Times reports.

_________________
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


Trump Warns That Democrats Would Drag Nation Back to Days of Tolerance and Decorum


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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Tue 06 Mar , 2018 5:51 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
Posts: 1496
Remember when Zinke was going to allow trophy hunters to import ivory tusks and Trump claimed he'd reverse that? Guess what.... Trump lied.
http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/376839-trump-admin-to-consider-elephant-trophy-imports-on-case-by-case
Quote:
The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced last week that it will now consider all permits for importing elephant trophies from African nations on a “case-by-case basis," breaking from President Trump's earlier promises to maintain an Obama-era ban on the practice.

...In its place, FWS will instead “grant or deny permits to import a sport-hunted trophy on a case-by-case basis.”



Didn't Trump claim he wanted new infrastructure?
http://thehill.com/policy/transportation/railroads/376958-chao-confirms-trump-pushing-ryan-to-withhold-gateway-project
Quote:
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao on Tuesday confirmed that President Trump is pressing Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to withhold funding for the multibillion-dollar rail Gateway tunnel project in the New York metro region.

“Yes,” Chao told Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) when asked if Trump is "personally intervening with the speaker to kill this project."



https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-06/trump-demands-throw-wrench-into-lawmaker-talks-on-spending-bill
Quote:
House and Senate members are struggling to negotiate a $1.2 trillion spending bill needed to keep the government open after March 23, and President Donald Trump isn’t making their job any easier.

The president is causing headaches for negotiators with his demand to strip funding for a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River between New York and New Jersey, as well as his longstanding insistence on money for a U.S.-Mexico border wall and his shifting positions on immigration policy.

Quote:
House Speaker Paul Ryan last week that he wants to make sure no federal money is provided [for the rail tunnel] in part because Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York has held up some administration nominees, according to people with knowledge of the discussion.




http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/376820-epa-aide-cleared-to-do-outside-media-work
Quote:
John Konkus, a political staffer in the EPA’s press office, was cleared by the agency’s ethics office in August to provide “consultative media advice” for at least two clients, as well as others he intended to sign with.

The arrangement was revealed in a letter the EPA sent in January to Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (N.J.), the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. But the agency redacted the names of the clients Konkus was approved to work for.

Konkus has attracted significant attention among environmentalists and Democrats because EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt empowered him to review all of the agency’s grants to determine whether they align with Trump administration priorities.

....“A political appointee cutting millions of dollars in funding to EPA grant recipients on what appears to be a politically motivated basis, while at the same time being authorized to serve as a paid media consultant to unnamed outside clients, raises serious concerns of potential conflicts of interest,” Pallone wrote along with Democratic Reps. Diana DeGette (Colo.), Paul Tonko (N.Y.) and Kathy Castor (Fla.).



http://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/376767-gops-voucher-system-for-medicare-would-lead-to-the-programs-demise
Quote:
A request for public comment from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has caught the eye of a group of Democratic Senators, alarmed about its implications for the future of Medicare.

In February, 15 Senators sent a letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma expressing concern over a Fall, 2017 Request for Information (RFI) regarding a “new direction” for Medicare’s Innovation Center — and the agency’s subsequent failure to make public the more than 1,000 comments it received.

At the heart of the Senator’s concerns is ambiguous language in the RFI that suggests a shift toward converting Medicare into a voucher program, which would, “fundamentally restructure the guaranteed benefit traditional Medicare provides to older adults and people with disabilities.”



https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-03-06/trump-aides-like-nunberg-and-cohen-haunt-his-white-house
Quote:
...the elite club of "Trump advisers" isn't merely populated with examples of the president's poor judgment and bad taste. They're also reminders that some of those bad hires have come back to haunt Trump, and may visit legal nightmares upon him and his White House.

On Monday, Sam Nunberg, a former communications and political adviser whom Trump has sued, hired, fired, rehired and fired again in recent years, made it known that he doesn't plan to comply with a subpoena that the Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller sent his way...

...Nunberg kept plowing ahead throughout Monday afternoon and evening...When [MSNBC's Katy] Tur changed gears to ask if Mueller's investigators "have something on the president," Nunberg was helpful. "I think they may," he responded. "I think he may have done something during the election."

..Nunberg capped off his Monday with an unhinged TV appearance in which he found himself denying to a CNN host that he'd been drinking prior to the interview.

...That brings us to Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, who also made a media appearance on Monday. The Wall Street Journal reported that after Cohen wired a $130,000 payment to a porn star, Stormy Daniels, for agreeing not to discuss an alleged sexual encounter with Trump, he complained to friends that he had yet to be properly reimbursed for the expenditure.

...The Journal also reported that Cohen told the paper's sources that he missed two earlier deadlines to pay Daniels "because he couldn't reach Mr. Trump in the hectic final days of the presidential campaign." Reach Trump to talk about what? The Journal didn't specify, but it noted that Cohen's actions suggested "he intended to involve Mr. Trump in the deal" with the porn star.

Don't forget that Cohen has been claiming that he wasn't reimbursed by the Trump campaign or the Trump Organization, though he's been cagey about whether or not Trump personally reimbursed him.

_________________
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


Trump Warns That Democrats Would Drag Nation Back to Days of Tolerance and Decorum


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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Wed 07 Mar , 2018 2:59 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
Posts: 1496
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/377051-cohn-resigns-from-white-house
Quote:
Gary Cohn, President Trump's top economic adviser, is resigning amid growing rifts over the direction of the administration’s economic policy.

...The relationship between Cohn and the president seemed to be coming apart in the past couple of weeks with Trump insisting on steep steel and aluminum tariffs, a move Cohn opposed and had spent the better part of the past year trying to stop.

...Cohn reportedly came close to resigning after the Charlottesville episode, which may also have damaged his standing with the president.

...Trump allies noted that Cohn's overall worldview seemed incongruous with the president's more populist approach, even before the tariffs issue brought matters to a head.



http://thehill.com/opinion/finance/377126-cohns-departure-is-a-watershed-moment-for-us-economic-policy
Quote:
Three individuals will now play a more significant role in driving the trade agenda: U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Peter Navarro, who was recently promoted to assistant to the president.

Navarro's ascendance is particularly noteworthy as he has been a strong advocate against free trade. Navarro, who is a fervent opponent of trade deficits, has argued in favor of the U.S. leaving NAFTA and imposing tariffs on our main trading partners, including China. In this context, Cohn’s departure creates a significant power and influence vacuum that will be filled by more nationalistic and protectionist views.




http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/377036-gao-to-examine-epa-political-appointees-roles-in-picking-advisory
Quote:
Congress’s watchdog agency is looking into the role that political appointees at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) played in picking new scientists and other agency advisory committee members.

...Pruitt refused last year to renew the terms of many advisory committee members. He then barred anyone receiving EPA research grants for being on the committees and filled many of the empty spots with industry-friendly people.

Last month, Carper and Whitehouse published documents that showed that the EPA’s career staff responsible for reviewing potential advisers had flagged some candidates for potential problems in their qualifications or conflicts of interest, but political appointees overrode the recommendations.



http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/377115-hud-removes-promises-of-inclusive-discrimination-free-communities
Quote:
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is removing language from its mission statement that promises to create “inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination,” HuffPost reported Tuesday.

The new mission statement was sent out to HUD political staffers in a March 5 memo by Amy Thompson, the department’s assistant secretary for public affairs. A HUD employee shared the memo with HuffPost.

Thompson wrote that the statement was being changed “in an effort to align HUD’s mission with the Secretary’s priorities and that of the Administration.”



http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/377017-top-housing-official-accuses-carson-of-witch-hunt-against-employees
Quote:
A top official in the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is accusing HUD Secretary Ben Carson of a “witch hunt” against staffers, including the employee who recently revealed Carson’s spending on office furniture.

Marcus Smallwood, the department’s director of records, wrote in an email to Carson and other top housing officials that they were operating the department in a way meant to intimidate other employees, according to multiple reports.

Maybe I've been oblivious, but I've never before heard of an administration that actively works to discourage and undermine its own employees, the way Trump's administration does.


http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/377089-wildlife-groups-fear-what-comes-next-on-elephant-trophies
Quote:
Wildlife conservation and animal rights groups are slamming the Trump administration’s move to permit some imports of African elephant trophies, fearing the new system will allow decisions to be made in secret.

Quote:
“In response to a recent D.C. Circuit Court’s opinion, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is revising its procedure for assessing applications to import certain hunted species. We are withdrawing our countrywide enhancement findings for a range of species across several countries,” a spokesperson for the FWS said in a statement. “In their place, the Service intends to make findings for trophy imports on an application-by-application basis.”

But animal conservation groups are calling the policy change an obvious workaround to the federal court’s ruling, which said the FWS should go through an extensive public notice and comment process when proposing a regulation on the trophy imports.

“The greatest travesty for all of this imperiled wildlife is the fact that we just had a court rule that when FWS is making these decisions they need to involve the public, they need to see the light of day,” said Sanerib. “And then we get a memo from the Trump administration saying, ‘Not only are we going to do this behind closed doors, but we are going to take it to the windowless basement, and you’ll have no idea what we are doing.’ ”



http://thehill.com/homenews/news/377127-ice-releases-asylum-seeking-mother-it-held-across-the-country-from-7-year-old
Quote:
A Congolese woman detained at the California-Mexico border and separated from her 7-year-old daughter was released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Tuesday.

The woman was detained after she and her daughter crossed border seeking asylum. Although she has been released from the detention center in San Diego, she has not been reunited with her daughter who remains in Chicago, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Separating a child from her mother and putting her in a strange place among strangers is just plain ugly and cruel.

_________________
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


Trump Warns That Democrats Would Drag Nation Back to Days of Tolerance and Decorum


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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Thu 08 Mar , 2018 7:55 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
Posts: 1496
Two tariff-related articles:

http://fortune.com/2018/03/03/carl-icahn-steel-shares/
Quote:
Carl Icahn sold about $30 million of shares in crane manufacturer Manitowoc Co. in the weeks before President Trump said he would impose new tariffs on U.S. steel imports.

The billionaire investor sold more than a third of his stake in the Manitowoc, Wisconsin-based company, which has a sizable exposure to U.S. steel imports, from Feb. 12 through Feb. 22, according to a regulatory filing last Friday.

... The investor quit his role as a special regulatory adviser to Trump in August after Democratic lawmakers asked questions about potential conflicts of interest with his business dealings in oil refining and insurance. Icahn at the time denied profiting from his advice-giving role, a possibility raised by critics who had asked administration officials to investigate his work.



http://thehill.com/policy/finance/377426-trump-tariff-could-destroy-45000-auto-jobs-study
Quote:
President Trump’s proposed 25 percent tariff on steel imports could cost the U.S. auto industry 45,000 jobs, equivalent to almost a third of the entire steel industry’s workforce, according to a study by the Council on Foreign Relations.




http://thehill.com/policy/finance/377427-harvard-economists-tax-law-costs-12t-after-accounting-for-economic-growth
Quote:
The tax law President Trump signed in December costs about $1.2 trillion over 10 years after accounting for its economic effects, two Harvard University economists with different opinions of the law estimated in a new paper.




http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/377303-trump-asked-senior-aides-to-describe-interviews-with-mueller-report
Quote:
President Trump asked at least two witnesses interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller for information about what they discussed with Mueller’s team, according to The New York Times.




http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/377304-abstinence-only-education-making-a-comeback-under-trump
Quote:
Abstinence-only education — encouraging adolescents to wait until marriage for sex — is making a comeback under President Trump. In a marked departure from the previous administration, conservatives at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are putting an emphasis on abstinence to reduce teen pregnancy rates.

...In contrast, Obama’s HHS poured resources into comprehensive sex ed, which can include lessons on contraception, disease prevention, healthy relationships and abstinence, and slashed funding for the abstinence-only programs that proliferated under the George W. Bush administration.


I'd like to see a full analysis of any other factors that may go into the decrease in teen pregnancy rates, but the numbers seem to suggest that the Obama era comprehensive sex ed worked. I imagine it helped, as well, that health insurance plans were required to pay for contraceptives.
Quote:
Advocates of comprehensive sex ed worry about the effect a shift toward abstinence-only education could have on plummeting teen pregnancy rates.

In 2015, there were about 23 births per 1,000 girls aged 15 to 19, a record low for the U.S., compared to 41 births per 1,000 girls in 2007.





http://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/377389-clean-coast-economy-worth-far-more-than-dirty-and-dangerous
Quote:
In Oceana’s analysis out this week, our economists used government data to determine the value of ocean-dependent industries to our economy and were able to demonstrate just what’s at risk if we move forward to expand dirty and dangerous offshore drilling.

...In South Carolina, for example, we calculate offshore drilling threatens more than 86,000 jobs and roughly $5.1 billion in state GDP. Along the Atlantic, Pacific and Florida’s Gulf coast, 2.6 million jobs and nearly $180 billion in GDP are at risk by our estimates. These are jobs and dollars that depend on clean water and beaches, healthy ecosystems and the millions of inland residents who head to the ocean every year.



http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/377383-faith-groups-ask-trump-to-stop-off-shore-drilling-plan
Quote:
Hundreds of church leaders are asking President Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to halt plans to expand off-shore drilling in public waters because they are "unacceptable risks to God’s oceans and coastal communities."

In a letter sent to Trump and Zinke Thursday, the religious leaders said the drilling plan should be reconsidered as it brings "unacceptable risks to God’s oceans and coastal communities."




But, hey, according to Secretary Perry, we're expanding fracking and drilling in our own environment partly because it's so altruistic and helps poorer nations (ye gods, this lot thinks Americans are gullible)
http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/377420-perry-calls-global-shift-away-from-fossil-fuels-immortal
Quote:
President Trump’s Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Wednesday called the global shift away from fossil fuels “immoral,” saying that it threatened poorer nations from developing economically.

“Look those people in the eyes that are starving and tell them you can’t have electricity,” Perry said. “Because as a society we decided fossil fuels were bad. I think that is immoral.”

...“America is now on the cusp of energy independence but the president wants to see this go further. He wants to share America's energy bounty with the world," Perry said.

_________________
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


Trump Warns That Democrats Would Drag Nation Back to Days of Tolerance and Decorum


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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Mon 12 Mar , 2018 2:40 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
Posts: 1496
Fascinating piece about South Korea's president, who has apparently been working to calm tensions with North Korea.
https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/03/moon-jae-in-south-korea-north-korea/555338/
Quote:
Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump are the volatile, captivating stars of North Korea’s nuclear drama—including the shocking twist last week in which Trump said he would accept Kim’s reported offer of a summit meeting. Given the outsized personalities at center stage, it’s easy to forget who is actually directing the plot: South Korean President Moon Jae In, who over the past eight months has been quietly pushing events to this point.

I'm sure Trump will take credit for anything good that comes out of this meeting,* so I thought it worth posting this background.

*personally, I'm not holding my breath, considering it's between those two belligerent narcissists Trump and Kim Jong Un



More than a year after his inauguration, Trump still hasn't nominated ambassadors and other officials for many state dept. positions. Including the ambassador for South Korea (they started, but then nixed a qualified candidate who didn't support a limited first strike by the U.S. - the so-called "bloody nose" strategy.)
http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/377918-dem-senator-fires-back-at-trump-over-obstruction-claim-by-listing-ambassadors
Quote:
Of 163 Senate-confirmed positions at @StateDept & @USAID the Trump Administration hasn't bothered to nominate ppl for 65 of those positions. For example,
Where is the nominee for Ambassador to South Korea?
Where is the nominee for Assistant Secretary for African Affairs?
(cont.)
The ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Twitter listed a series of vacant ambassador posts in the Middle East and Africa, including Turkey, Egypt and Somalia.

Menendez tweeted that Trump is “the problem,” a criticism that comes after the president on Sunday said Democrats are obstructing the confirmation process.



btw,this is what the Brookings Institute has to say about Trump's proposed "bloody nose" strike. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2018/02/26/a-bloody-nose-attack-in-korea-would-have-lasting-consequences/
Quote:
This possible strategy is dubious on many grounds. But as others have observed, the central reason is this: Militarily, even if it could slow North Korea’s ability to threaten North America with long-range, nuclear-tipped missiles, it could not eliminate Kim’s existing arsenal of perhaps dozens of nuclear bombs plus a suite of shorter-range missiles that could probably carry them to points throughout the region.

If Kim did decide to retaliate, an action-reaction spiral could ensue that might lead to nuclear attacks against South Korea or Japan, whether or not that was Kim’s initial intent. Wars, once started, tend to escalate. The imperfect missile defenses in place in Korea and Japan might not be enough to intercept all that was incoming. Nuclear detonations over cities could well occur.

Here is the additional important point that has not yet been discussed: Were such a scenario to happen, Trump would have put America first in a way that fundamentally repudiates decades of American foreign policy.



These might also be of interest:
https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2018/03/09/a-u-s-north-korea-summit-what-could-possibly-go-wrong/

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/03/trump-kim-jong-un/555323/
Quote:
A Trump-Kim Summit: 'Why the Hell Not?'




http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/377900-qatar-officials-decline-to-give-kushner-info-to-mueller-probe-report
Quote:
Qatari officials have reportedly chosen not to share information they have gathered regarding White House adviser Jared Kushner to special counsel Robert Mueller. Officials reportedly have information regarding alleged influence by the United Arab Emirates on Trump associates, including Kushner, NBC News reported. The evidence includes information about secret meetings. Three sources familiar with the discussions said the Qatari officials don't want to hand over the evidence to Mueller because they don't want to negatively affect the relationship with the Trump administration.




http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/377905-trump-jr-business-partner-has-had-access-to-government-officials
Quote:
A Texas hedge fund manager with business ties to Donald Trump Jr. was able to meet with top national security officials in the last year to pitch a plan ... to curb sanctions in Venezuela and open up business for U.S. companies there, the AP reported.

...An official told the news outlet that officials didn’t act on the pitch, but were told to take the meeting because of Beach’s ties to Trump Jr.



http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/377720-epa-science-advisers-havent-met-in-6-months
Quote:
The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) scientific advisory board (SAB) hasn’t met in at least six months, Scientific American reported this week.

...one board member said that EPA head Scott Pruitt was slowing down the board until about a dozen members’ terms end in September. "He's running out the clock, because in the end of September, he gets another chunk of them off," the member told Scientific American. "The obvious interpretation is that he's making sure he doesn't use the SAB until he has appointed the overwhelming majority of the people on the SAB."

Peter Thorne, a professor at the University of Iowa College of Public Health and former chairman of the board, said the board would normally have at least one two-day meeting and a couple of teleconferences over the span of six months.

(The EPA claims it hasn't met because of "delayed paperwork."


http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/377715-interior-dept-officials-cite-oil-funded-research-against-climate
Quote:
At least one Interior Department official cited research funded by oil and coal groups to argue against climate change, according to newly released emails from the department and reviewed by HuffPost.

The official also cited a commentary website as evidence of scientific findings.

The internal emails were released after a Freedom of Information Act request by ex-agency scientist Joel Clement.



Trump's excuse for reversing course on his support for raising the age to buy rifles:
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/377916-trump-not-enough-political-support-to-raise-age-for-buying-a-gun
Quote:
"....On 18 to 21 Age Limits, watching court cases and rulings before acting. States are making this decision. Things are moving rapidly on this, but not much political support (to put it mildly)."

_________________
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


Trump Warns That Democrats Would Drag Nation Back to Days of Tolerance and Decorum


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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Mon 12 Mar , 2018 5:48 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
Posts: 1496
http://thehill.com/regulation/administration/377947-usda-withdraws-animal-welfare-rule
Quote:
The Trump administration has decided to withdraw an Obama-era rule that would have set new standards for the way animals should be treated if their meat is going to sold as “certified organic.” The Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Monday that it is officially withdrawing the final rule it delayed for the third time in November.

...Finalized under the Obama administration in April 2016, the rule largely dictated how producers and handlers participating in the National Organic Program are required to treat livestock and poultry to ensure their wellbeing.

The rule stipulated, for example, that poultry must be housed in spaces that are big enough for the birds to move freely, stretch their wings, stand normally and engage in natural behaviors. Livestock, meanwhile, must be provided access to an outdoor space year round.

_________________
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


Trump Warns That Democrats Would Drag Nation Back to Days of Tolerance and Decorum


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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Tue 13 Mar , 2018 1:48 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
Posts: 1496
As I'm sure most people have heard, the GOP members of Nunes' committee (the House investigation) have shut down their mess of an investigation into Russian interference and Trump.
http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/378017-house-gop-ending-russia-probe-says-no-collusion-found
Quote:
The House Intelligence Committee is shutting down its contentious investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, the top Republican leading the probe announced on Monday.... A draft of that roughly 150-page report will be delivered to committee Democrats for review on Tuesday.

The draft document asserts that there is no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians, the most politically charged question examined by the committee. It will also contradict an official U.S. intelligence community assessment that Russian President Vladimir Putin showed a “preference” for Donald Trump during the race — another assertion that Trump has disputed.

...The top Democrat on the panel, Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.), in a blistering statement called the end of the probe a "tragic milestone" and a "capitulation to the executive branch."

They're still arguing about not issuing subpoenas to some witnesses, like Bannon, and letting witnesses "set the parameters of their testimony."


One GOP member's view.
http://thehill.com/homenews/house/378049-florida-republican-says-theres-evidence-russians-tried-to-help
Quote:
Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said on Monday that "there is evidence" showing the Russians attempted to help Trump during the 2016 presidential election, contradicting a draft report from the panel.

“I certainly think there is evidence of that. I don’t know that necessarily there was a full-fledged campaign to do everything that they could to help elect Donald Trump,” Rooney told host Erin Burnett on CNN's "OutFront." “I think that their goal was chaos.”

...Rooney argued that the investigation needed to end because the committee was losing its credibility.“We’ve gone completely off the rails and now we are just basically a political forum for people to leak information to drive the day’s news,” Rooney said. “We’ve lost all credibility and we are going to issue probably two different reports, unfortunately.”

The Senate's investigation might be winding up in the next few weeks, but, of course, Mueller's investigations continue.


btw, Trump's refusals to condemn Russia are starting to become oddly consistent. He won't even say anything about the assassination attempt against the former double agent, Skripal.
http://thehill.com/homenews/the-memo/378047-the-memo-british-spy-drama-echoes-through-washington
Quote:
British Prime Minister Theresa May told the U.K. parliament on Monday that it was “highly likely” that Russia was responsible for an attack that has left Sergei Skripal and his daughter critically ill.

...Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not endorse the British government’s de facto position that Russia was responsible for the attack during Monday’s White House briefing.Sanders did call the attack “an outrage,” “reckless” and “indiscriminate,” but did not offer clarity on whether Trump shares the British assessment of Russian responsibility.

“That’s par for the course,” said retired FBI special agent Frank Montoya Jr. "In terms of any kind of direct criticism of Putin or the Russian government, we don’t see that from this government. … There is always this deflection.”

Later Monday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was more forceful in his denunciation, saying the U.S. has "full confidence in the U.K.'s investigation and and its assessment that Russia was likely responsible."



This isn't the first time Russia was strongly suspected of an assassination in the U.K. (Alexander Litvinenko, who was poisoned by polonium ). And Obama's response was different than Trump's:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/10/litvinenko-suspects-added-to-us-russia-sanctions-list
Quote:
The two men Britain believes carried out the radioactive poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko are among five new names placed on a US sanctions list, as the Obama administration rushes to censure Russia before it relinquishes power in 10 days’ time.






Oh gods. Mike Pompeo is now running the State Dept. Just before Trump meets with Kim Jong Un. I find this seriously worrying. Tillerson wasn't perfect, but he seemed like a sane stabilizing force.
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/378073-tillerson-ousted-as-secretary-of-state-report
Quote:
President Trump has removed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replaced him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo in a move that stunned Washington with its timing.

...Trump told reporters Tuesday morning that he made the decision “by myself,” signaling he did not speak with Tillerson before firing him.

Quote:
Pompeo, a former Republican congressman, has taken a decidedly more hawkish stance than Tillerson on matters such as North Korea and the Iran nuclear deal.


As usual when he's angry with someone, Trump stabbed someone in the back without even letting him know that he was being fired. This is not the act of a normal president.
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/378083-deputy-tillerson-is-unaware-of-the-reason-for-his-dismissal
Quote:
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is "unaware" of the reason behind his dismissal and found out he was fired after seeing President Trump's tweet announcing his ouster, according to a statement from Tillerson's top deputy.

"The Secretary had every intention of staying because of the critical progress made in national security," Under Secretary of State Steve Goldstein said in a statement reported by multiple news outlets.



https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/tillerson-says-u-k-spy-poisoning-clearly-came-russia-n856056
Quote:
Hours before being ousted as secretary of state, Rex Tillerson called the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy and his daughter with a military-grade nerve agent in the U.K. “a really egregious act” that appears to have “clearly” come from Russia.

...Tillerson also expressed bewilderment that another country would deliberately target people in public, using a dangerous substance in a foreign country. "It's almost beyond comprehension that a state, an organized state, would do something like that,” he said while traveling aboard a U.S. airplane during a trip to Africa “A nonstate actor, I could understand. A state actor — I cannot understand why anyone would take such an action,” he said.

Asked if the poisoning will trigger a mutual defense response with the close NATO ally, Tillerson said that “it certainly will trigger a response. I'll leave it at that.”



Edited to add:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38029336
Quote:
Mike Pompeo was a hardline Republican congressman before President Donald Trump appointed him to direct the CIA and later to lead the US Department of State. The former Tea Party representative from Kansas

... was a vehement critic of the Obama administration's nuclear deal with Iran.

...has previously defended the National Security Agency's bulk data collection programme and opposes shutting the prison at Guantanamo Bay. After visiting the detention facility in 2013, he remarked that some inmates who had declared a hunger strike looked like they had put on weight.

...also defended the CIA after the 2014 release of a Senate report on torture, which detailed such practices as waterboarding.



https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-04/mike-pompeo-is-the-anti-tillerson
Quote:
If you had to pick the Trump appointee who had the best 2017, a good choice would be Mike Pompeo, director of the CIA. In a year when a record number of administration officials left and a handful of others came under fire from President Trump, Pompeo is the rare team member whose fortunes have risen. He’s a key defender of the president’s policies, from Iran to China, and has shown a fierce loyalty, including a proclivity to indulge some of Trump’s views on controversial issues such as Russian meddling in the 2016 election. While that may have improved the standing of an agency Trump attacked repeatedly during his presidential campaign and the transition, it’s raised concerns about Pompeo’s commitment to keep the CIA free of politics.

...In Pompeo, Trump in many ways has found his mirror image, someone who shares his penchant for being combative and opinionated.

Quote:
“Pompeo has a sort of hard-line approach on foreign policy that’s quite black and white, and that’s also how Trump sees the world”

Not exactly the qualities most reasonable people want in the head of the diplomatic corps.

Also, this:
Quote:
Some analysts inside the CIA are dispirited that Pompeo has policy preferences and isn’t valuing their unbiased analysis, according to a former intelligence official, who says officers have described experiencing “deja vu” of the Iraq War, only this time they’re being asked leading questions about Iran and Russia.

...There are also reports of curious meetings Pompeo has held at the CIA, including with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a conservative advocacy group, and William Binney, a former National Security Agency whistleblower who claims someone with access to the Democratic National Committee leaked its data rather than Russian hackers.



Edit: moved info about Trump's weak response to the poisoning to a new post.

_________________
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


Trump Warns That Democrats Would Drag Nation Back to Days of Tolerance and Decorum


Last edited by aninkling on Tue 13 Mar , 2018 5:07 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Tue 13 Mar , 2018 2:17 pm 

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Despite being unhappy with Trump's tariffs, it seems unlike the GOP will go against him:
http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/378044-senate-gop-downplays-chances-of-bills-to-halt-trump-tariffs
Quote:
Senate GOP leadership is downplaying the chances of a showdown with President Trump over tariffs, predicting they’ll be able to work out their differences without legislation.

...Trump announced late last week that he would slap a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum. Mexico and Canada are exempted from the penalties, for now, as they try to negotiate a larger trade agreement with the U.S. The move was a direct rebuke to congressional Republicans who had worked frantically behind the scenes, and through public pleas, for Trump to back down or at least significantly narrow the tariffs.

The penalties are expected to be implemented within 15 days.That gives Congress little time to do what has so far eluded them: win over a president who put protectionist trade policies at the center of his presidential campaign.

...With Congress expected to leave on March 23 for a two-week recess, quick action on tariffs is unlikely. The Senate is currently debating reforms to the Dodd-Frank banking bill.




http://thehill.com/regulation/administration/378054-ice-spokesperson-quit-over-descriptions-of-800-people-evading
Quote:
The San Francisco spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement has reportedly resigned because of what he viewed as false statements from the Trump administration and ICE about recent immigration sweeps in Northern California.

... sources told the San Francisco Chronicle in an article published Monday that he was “frustrated” with the statements officials made arguing that 800 undocumented immigrants were able to avoid arrest because Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf issued a public warning about immigration raids the day before they began.

Schwab thought the 800 figure was too high and reportedly wanted the agency to correct it. He also did not want to avoid questions about the figure from the media, the Chronicle reported.

_________________
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


Trump Warns That Democrats Would Drag Nation Back to Days of Tolerance and Decorum


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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Tue 13 Mar , 2018 3:02 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
Posts: 1496
The Atlantic details what would be a normal U.S response to a Russian attempted assassination in the U.K..
https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/03/us-russia-nato-uk/555407/
Quote:
Here’s what would normally happen ....

The United States would instantly offer Britain any technical assistance it might require: forensic chemical analysis, other kinds of information collection.

Next, the U.S. president would reach out to the British prime minister with some visible demonstration of solidarity: typically, a phone call that would be photographed, with a readout of the call distributed to the media.

...The official statement Prime Minister Theresa May offered in the House of Commons today...would be immediately supported by a carefully coordinated statement by the U.S. government, as well as other important allies in an effort led by the United States.

The U.S. would lead the way to forge some kind of common NATO statement

...Should the British decide to impose sanctions, the United States would actively cooperate.

Except for the very first measure—which happens automatically, and which only affirmative presidential action would prevent—none of those normal actions had occurred as of this writing, more than a week after the poisoning.



A day after his spokesperson Sanders refused to issue any statement from Trump, he has finally given an offhand acknowledgment that the Russians were probably behind the poisoning: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-13/trump-says-russia-likely-to-blame-for-poisoning-ex-spy-in-u-k
Quote:
“Sounds to me like it would be Russia” based on the evidence that has emerged, Trump said about the attack as he left the White House Tuesday morning.





https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/12/tsa-surveillance-laptops-cellphones-domestic-flights
Quote:
There are a growing number of reports of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) searching the electronic devices of passengers on domestic flights in the US, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which has sued the federal agency for records.

...There are no clear patterns in the searches that people have described to the ACLU, though in each case, the TSA has not explained its justification to passengers, who have typically experienced the searches while going through security before boarding flights, Talla said.

...last year, numerous reports emerged that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) would not let travelers enter the US without granting the agents access to devices.



This is Saccone, who Trump and his son have campaigned heavily for.
http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/378108-pennsylvania-republican-defiant-after-saying-dems-have-hatred-for-us
Quote:
Republican state Rep. Rick Saccone early Tuesday refused to back away from his comments claiming that many Democrats have "hatred for our country" as he prepared to cast his ballot in the state's special House election.

...During a Monday night rally with President Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., Saccone blasted Democrats by questioning their support of the country and God. "I’ve talked to so many of these on the left. And they have a hatred for our president. I tell you, many of them have a hatred for our country,” he said. "My wife and I saw it again, they have a hatred for God.”


...He held up his cell phone to the throng of reporters, exposing a phone case depicting an eagle with a "Trump" sticker slapped on the back, as he joked with his son about the media presence there.

"It's a mob scene. Look at these reporters!" he shouted to his son. "The fake news is here."

Guess I can see why Trump and Trump Jr like him so much. He sounds about as nutty as Roy Moore.





Edit:
And here's who Trump wants to be head of the CIA, filling Pompeo's vacancy. From a Feb 2 news article, written when Trump nominated Gina Haspel to be deputy director of the CIA. Now she could head it, if confirmed by Trump's puppets in the Senate.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/02/us/politics/cia-deputy-director-gina-haspel-torture-thailand.html
Quote:
As a clandestine officer at the Central Intelligence Agency in 2002, Gina Haspel oversaw the torture of two terrorism suspects and later took part in an order to destroy videotapes documenting their brutal interrogations at a secret prison in Thailand.

...She played a direct role in the C.I.A.’s “extraordinary rendition program,” under which captured militants were handed to foreign governments and held at secret facilities, where they were tortured by agency personnel.

The C.I.A.’s first overseas detention site was in Thailand. It was run by Ms. Haspel, who oversaw the brutal interrogations of two detainees, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.

...The sessions were videotaped and the recordings stored in a safe at the C.I.A. station in Thailand until 2005, when they were ordered destroyed. By then, Ms. Haspel was serving at C.I.A. headquarters, and it was her name that was on the cable carrying the destruction orders.

...Within the C.I.A., Ms. Haspel is ....respected, and the agency’s announcement about her promotion came with a long list of testimonials from retired officials.... The praise for Ms. Haspel, despite her role in torturing detainees, reflects the agency’s ambivalent attitude toward those who participated in the interrogation program. The Bush administration declared the methods legal, and the view within the C.I.A. was that those who used the techniques were doing their jobs.




btw, there was also a strange story about another firing on Monday.
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/378078-trumps-personal-assistant-john-mcentee-fired-from-role-report
Quote:
President Trump's personal assistant was fired Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported. John McEntee on Monday was escorted out of the White House,... because of an "unspecified security issue," the Journal reported, citing a third White House official.

...The Trump campaign announced on Tuesday that McEntee is rejoining the campaign as a senior adviser.

...According to the Journal, he was not allowed to gather his belongings before being escorted out of the White House.



And from the AP on Twitter. Refuse to lie for Trump? You're fired:
https://twitter.com/AP/status/973592726787756032
Quote:
BREAKING: Officials: White House fires top Tillerson aide who contradicted account of secretary of state's dismissal.

The Trump administration was trying to claim the decision to fire Tillerson was made Friday, but was contradicted by the State Dept. spokesperson.


And another one (or is this the same as the AP account, with a name)?
https://twitter.com/NBCPolitics/status/973595043360632832
Quote:
JUST IN: Under Secretary of State Steve Goldstein is being fired for contradicting the account of Rex Tillerson’s dismissal, White House official tells @PeterAlexander



Edit: And here's the explanation for Trump's personal assistant being fired.
https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/13/politics/john-mcentee-white-house-security-clearance/index.html
Quote:
President Donald Trump's longtime personal aide John McEntee was fired because he is currently under investigation by the Department of Homeland Security for serious financial crimes, a source familiar with his firing told CNN.
The charges are not related to the President, the source said.

Keep in mind that the Trump campaign immediately hired McEntree.

_________________
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


Trump Warns That Democrats Would Drag Nation Back to Days of Tolerance and Decorum


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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Tue 13 Mar , 2018 9:10 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
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Atlantic article recaps some of Trump's and Tillerson's disagreements:
https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/03/rex-tillerson-firing-timeline/555464/
Quote:
Trump had called [the nuclear deal with Iran] “the worst deal in history” and wanted the U.S. to withdraw from it. Tillerson said the deal was flawed, but that it did what it was supposed to: freeze Iran’s nuclear program. He had been working with U.S. allies who are part of the agreement to find a solution to the impasse caused by Trump’s position.

...Trump dismissed [NATO] as irrelevant while, early in his presidency, appearing to condition U.S. support for its NATO allies on their defense expenditures. Tillerson tried to soothe the fears this caused within the alliance, which were being exacerbated by Russia’s increasingly muscular foreign policy.

...On Qatar, Trump appeared to blame Doha for the impasse with its Gulf neighbors (and for funding terrorism), while Tillerson supported a negotiated settlement among America’s Arab allies—who include Qatar as well as the Saudi and UAE-led coalition pushing to isolate the country.

...Tillerson cautioned the president against moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, which Trump did anyway; and he wanted the U.S. to stay in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement and the Paris climate accord.

Most recently, Trump and Tillerson differed on Russia’s role in the attempted assassination in the U.K. of a former Russian spy and his daughter.

From the sound of it, Tillerson also didn't think diplomatic negotiations/ preparations were sufficient yet for a meeting between Trump and Kim Jong Un.


Quote:
Rex Tillerson cleans up Donald Trump's mess in Australia, Japan and South Korea

https://www.smh.com.au/world/us-stresses-cooperation-with-australia-20170208-gu7vl2.html
Quote:
Tillerson's call to Bishop was one in a series to soothe anxious foreign ministers after comments from Trump that left Japan and South Korea, along with Australia, wondering what had become of their long-standing alliances with the US.

Despite Trump's isolationist rhetoric, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said that Tillerson had pledged to work closely with the three foreign ministers to tackle threats from North Korea's nuclear ambitions and increased tensions in the East and South China seas.



Edited to add:
http://uk.businessinsider.com/trump-tillersonamerican-businesses-bribing-foreign-officials-2017-10?r=US&IR=T
Quote:
President Donald Trump told Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that American businesses were being unfairly penalized by federal laws prohibiting the bribing of foreign officials, according to a profile of Tillerson by The New Yorker's Dexter Filkins.

Tillerson, who had initially called the meeting with Trump to introduce the president to a prospective deputy, was taken aback by Trump's position.

"Tillerson told Trump that America didn't need to pay bribes — that we could bring the world up to our own standards," a source with knowledge of the meeting told The New Yorker.

_________________
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


Trump Warns That Democrats Would Drag Nation Back to Days of Tolerance and Decorum


Last edited by aninkling on Thu 15 Mar , 2018 3:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Wed 14 Mar , 2018 2:35 pm 

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http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/378302-pence-praises-trump-cia-pick
Quote:
Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday praised Gina Haspel, President Trump’s pick to be CIA director, calling her the right person to fill the "vital role."

It looks like Pence's Christianity serves him when expedient, but remains silent when it comes to torture.



http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/378322-cost-of-pruitts-soundproof-booth-close-to-43k-report
Quote:
A soundproof phone booth that EPA chief Scott Pruitt ordered for his office has actually cost the agency close to $43,000, according to a new report.

...He also has been criticized for spending more than $90,000 in taxpayer dollars on travel for just part of the month of June. The expenses included a $1, 641.43 first-class ticket for a trip from Washington, D.C., to New York, and a military jet for travel by he and members of his staff to Rome.

...Pruitt has now missed the deadline to turn over travel documents and explanation to the House Oversight Committee’s GOP Chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.).



http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/378299-emails-show-carson-wife-picked-31k-furniture-set-report
Quote:
Emails show that Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson and his wife chose a $31,000 furniture set for the secretary's office themselves, despite a spokesperson's comments, CNN reported.

An email from sent to Carson's assistant last August reportedly cites "printouts of the furniture the Secretary and Mrs. Carson picked out" and has a subject line that says: "Secretary's dining room set needed."



Not that I'm partial to the oil industry, but Trump's tariffs will damage even them:
http://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/378052-trumps-tariffs-threaten-domestic-natural-gas-industry-and-us
Quote:
President Donald Trump’s 25 percent tariff on imported steel will create an existential shock in material costs for the domestic natural gas industry, potentially causing multibillion-dollar projects to become uncompetitive and threatening the president’s own goal of U.S. energy dominance.




http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/378264-gop-senators-see-tillerson-ouster-as-the-new-normal
Quote:
Republican senators on Tuesday said they were not surprised by President Trump’s abrupt firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, with some acknowledging they’ve grown numb to the president’s unorthodox style of governing.

...“People are getting used to this being what life is like under President Trump,” said a GOP senator, who requested anonymity to discuss private conversations with colleagues. The lawmaker said it would be better if there was more stability within the administration but there was little that could be done to change Trump’s management style.

These people won't even heed former President Bush's warnings.



http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/378257-schumer-says-he-isnt-actively-urging-dems-to-oppose-pompeo-haspel
Quote:
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he is not currently urging his caucus to oppose Mike Pompeo's nomination to be secretary of State or Gina Haspel's nomination to lead the CIA.




http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/378323-new-zealand-diplomat-censured-after-tweeting-dems-need-to-get
Quote:
New Zealand's second-ranking envoy to the United States was censured after she posted ...tweets in response to an opinion piece by columnist Brent Budowsky in The Hill titled "A Sanders-Warren ticket could win big in 2020."

“No it couldn’t. Please get your s--t together or we will all die,” she wrote, according to screenshots posted on the news website Newsroom. In another tweet responding to the same piece, she wrote: "They've learned nothing."

...Beresford said in an email to Newsroom that she "realized very quickly" the tweets were "inappropriate" and deleted them.


I think she's right, and both the GOP and the Democratic leadership are complacent fools trying to treat Trump as a normal president and use him for their goals of winning seats. I used to think that Trump was just an ignorant, narcissistic, proud lout who was perhaps being used by the white nationalists, neocons and others with an agenda. But I'm also seeing another pattern - vindictiveness. He has clearly been working to erase anything former President Obama did - we can all see that. But I think he's also having his revenge on the government workers he sees as the "deep state" - anyone who dislikes Trump and doesn't bow before him. And perhaps also against those who thwarted his ambitions and opposed him - the judicial system that ruled against him in the Trump University case and the investigators who came after his family real estate business in the 1970s for discrimination against minorities. (https://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2017/02/trump-fbi-files-discrimination-case-235067) I don't think his casual cruelty in letting two people (Comey and Tillerson) know they were fired from media reports or tweets is an accident or simple cowardice. I think it's who Trump is and who he has always been. And perhaps it isn't an accident that Tillerson tried to do a good job, even though he clearly didn't have the background or experience for the position, and was kicked aside. DeVos seems fairly clueless and unprepared, and Pruitt is getting far worse press than Tillerson and is destroying the EPA - apparently he's so hated by the public that he can't even travel by coach like almost all government workers do, and requires an 18-person, 24/7 security guard, according to the article above - but Trump says not a word.

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/378303-trump-mocked-tillersons-mannerisms-and-texas-drawl-report
Quote:
President Trump reportedly mocked Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for his "mannerisms and Texas drawl."

Only one in a very long line of people in the government who Trump has mocked and belittled.

_________________
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


Trump Warns That Democrats Would Drag Nation Back to Days of Tolerance and Decorum


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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Thu 15 Mar , 2018 2:20 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
Posts: 1496
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/378532-trump-boasted-to-donors-about-making-up-facts-during-talks-with
Quote:
President Trump said at a fundraising dinner that he made up facts during a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.



http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/378539-us-diplomats-told-not-to-tweet-post-statement-that-contradicted-wh-on
Quote:
U.S. diplomats around the world on Tuesday were told by Washington not to post or retweet a statement by now-former Undersecretary of State Steve Goldstein that apparently contradicted the White House's account of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's firing.

Guidance sent to American diplomatic outposts also instructed officials to "freeze further amplification of content that features" Tillerson until he spoke publicly later that day, CNN reported.



http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/378544-trump-tells-fundraiser-that-japan-tests-car-hoods-with-bowling-balls
Quote:
President Trump on Wednesday said that Japan uses something called a “bowling ball test” to keep American car companies from selling to Japanese consumers.

In remarks on trade policy given at a private GOP fundraising dinner, the president ripped Japan and other U.S. allies for taking advantage of the United States, according to the Washington Post.

“It’s the bowling ball test,” he said. “They take a bowling ball from 20 feet up in the air and drop it on the hood of the car. If the hood dents, the car doesn’t qualify. It’s horrible.”

I suspect this invented "test" from Trump means that he wants more tariffs on U.S. allies.

From an Asian collection of blogs:
http://www.froginawell.net/frog/2018/03/president-trumps-historical-consciousness-bowling-ball-edition
Quote:
President Trump, at a recent event, recycled an old chestnut I haven’t heard in years... [the bowling ball test, which left a Washington Post reporter bewildered]. Apparently the reporter didn’t live through the 1980s, because it’s precisely the kind of urban legend that flourished in the heyday of the trade wars.

It’s true that Japan did invoke standards to limit American market penetration, but more often than not the problem was what are called “informal barriers”: consumer tastes (or biases; there’s a subtle difference between Japanese shopping preferences for uniform and unblemished fruit, say, and Japanese myths about local rice being both superior or about Japanese not buying American meat due to biological differences), closed distributor systems, and incompatibility with local needs.




White House spokesperson is claiming that the Democrat won the Pennsylvania election because he embraced Trump's policies:
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/378449-white-house-says-dems-upset-win-came-from-embracing-trump-policies
Quote:
“Also the Democrat in the race really embraced the president’s policies and his vision whereas he didn’t really embrace Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader,” he said.

Don't these people ever get tired of lying for dear leader? It's true that Lamb didn't embrace Pelosi and was an "old school" Democrat rather than someone from the far left of the spectrum, but he certainly didn't embrace Trump's vision.
Quote:
Lamb, who is Catholic, ran as a moderate Democrat, saying that he personally opposes abortion but supports the right to choose. He also said he supports strengthening the background checks system but did not join Democrats in calling for other new gun restrictions after a deadly mass shooting at a Florida high school last month.

But Lamb otherwise holds traditionally liberal views






http://thehill.com/policy/defense/378498-defense-dept-staffers-spent-nearly-140k-at-trump-properties-report
Quote:
Staffers at the Department of Defense charged more than $138,000 on department-issued cards at President Trump’s properties during the first eight months of the Trump administration, CNN reported Wednesday.

...More than a third of that money was spent on lodging and food at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. Those charges largely line up with the 25 days Trump spent at the club from February to April, according to CNN. And roughly $9,600 was spent at Trump’s Bedminster, New Jersey golf club around the time of the president’s trip there in May.

However, other spending deviates from Trump’s trips.

...The charges raise questions about whether Trump properties are benefitting from Trump’s presidency




Trump wants to cut our current domestic spending programs and social safety nets, but establish a military "space force" on top of the huge increases for defense spending. Even the military isn't thrilled with the idea.
http://thehill.com/policy/defense/378508-trump-gives-jolt-to-push-for-military-space-force


More evidence that the Trump Organization was involved with paying Stormy Daniels to keep her mouth shut during Trump's presidential campaign. Not that this is a surprise.
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/378515-trump-organization-lawyer-worked-on-stormy-daniels-nondisclosure-case
Quote:
A lawyer at the Trump Organization was involved in the legal efforts to try and stop adult film star Stormy Daniels from speaking out about an alleged affair with President Trump.




https://nypost.com/2018/03/14/japans-foreign-minister-regrets-ouster-of-trustworthy-tillerson/
Quote:
Japan’s foreign minister said Wednesday he personally regretted the departure of “frank, trustworthy” US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson ahead of a proposed summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

...“He (Tillerson) was a frank, trustworthy counterpart and I thought we would deal with the North Korea issue together, but personally, I feel that this situation that has developed is unfortunate,” Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono told reporters in Tokyo.

(The NY Post can be very sensationalist, but this story seems to be reported factually)


I stumbled across another Trump/ Tillerson disagreement from a UK source and added it to the post above that details some of their differences. In a nutshell, Trump was unhappy that US laws don't allow US companies to bribe foreign officials and Tillerson disagreed.

_________________
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


Trump Warns That Democrats Would Drag Nation Back to Days of Tolerance and Decorum


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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Thu 15 Mar , 2018 6:45 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
Posts: 1496
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/mar/15/robert-mueller-trump-organization-russia-documents
Quote:
The special counsel, Robert Mueller, has subpoenaed the Trump Organization to turn over documents, including some related to Russia, the New York Times reported on Thursday, in a sign that the investigation is inching closer to the president.

....It is the first known order directly related to Trump’s sprawling business empire.



Edited to add:

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/378636-dems-accuse-trump-officials-of-seeking-to-purge-state-dept
Quote:
Two top House Democrats allege that high-level political appointees in the State Department and senior White House officials have worked with conservative activists to purge from the agency career officials deemed insufficiently loyal to President Trump.

...Among the descriptors used for certain career officials were "a leaker and a troublemaker" and a "Turncoat," the letter from Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) reads, citing documents obtained from a whistleblower.

Those documents also contain communications with high-profile conservative activists, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former adviser to Vice President Cheney, David Wurmser.

In one email forwarded by Gingrich to Trump-appointed officials at the State Department, Wurmser wrote that "a cleaning is in order here," apparently referring to removing career employees believed to be disloyal to Trump. "I hear [Secretary of State Rex] Tillerson actually has been reasonably good on stuff like this and cleaning house, but there are so many that it boggles the mind," Wurmser wrote.



http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/378599-trumps-health-chief-backs-hhs-official-at-the-center-of-abortion-lawsuit
Quote:
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar indicated Thursday he would not fire Scott Lloyd, the HHS official who has tried to block unaccompanied immigrant minors in U.S. custody from getting abortions.

Asked by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) when Azar would fire Lloyd, Azar replied: “This is simply not an issue of Mr. Lloyd. This is the statutory obligation of the director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) to coordinate and improve the care of placement of these minors, including providing for serious medical services to them.”

Lloyd has been at the center of a lawsuit the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed against HHS for its policy of denying abortions to unaccompanied immigrants in the care of the ORR.

...Under previous administrations, the ORR director only had to sign off on abortions when federal funds were requested for the procedure, often in cases of rape or incest. The policy under the Trump administration says that all requests require the approval of the ORR director, unless the minor’s life is in danger.

According to depositions, the ORR has denied seven abortion requests from pregnant minors between March 2017 and Dec. 19, 2017, including one that was the result of rape. Lloyd has also said he has never approved an abortion request while at the ORR.




Edit 2, to add:
http://thehill.com/regulation/labor/378663-federal-employee-union-files-complaint-against-education-department
Quote:
The nation’s leading labor union for government employees has filed a complaint against the Department of Education for failing to negotiate and bargain in good faith with the union.

In the complaint filed Tuesday with the Federal Labor Relations Authority, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) said it spent months trying to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the Education Department, but was told Friday that the Education Department management would implement a new agreement with its own terms starting Monday.

The AFGE said in the complaint that the Education Department’s proposed CBA guts employee rights, including those addressing workplace health and safety, telework, and alternative work schedules.



btw, for those who can't read the New York Times article on Gina Haspel, other news outlets have also picked up the story on her background in torture. One from Rolling Stone: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/meet-gina-haspel-trumps-cia-pick-who-oversaw-torture-w517830 Not surprisingly, the details are ugly and IMO evil.

_________________
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


Trump Warns That Democrats Would Drag Nation Back to Days of Tolerance and Decorum


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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Fri 16 Mar , 2018 12:13 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
Posts: 1496
http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/378687-publisher-offers-senate-torture-report-for-free-after-gina
Quote:
[Independent publisher] Melville House made the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Torture available for free download on Wednesday.

“In light of the president’s nomination of Gina Haspel to head the CIA, we’ve made e-books of the Torture Report free through week’s end. Download it, read it, and please spread the word,” they wrote in a statement online.

The summary report of the committee’s investigation, released in 2014, details more than 6 million CIA documents on interrogation and detention programs created following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.


If anyone has the stomach for it. https://www.mhpbooks.com/were-giving-offering-a-free-e-book-of-the-torture-report-now-that-trump-has-nominated-gina-haspel-to-head-the-cia/



https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-16/white-house-denies-report-that-trump-is-about-to-oust-mcmaster
Quote:
President Donald Trump is not about to oust his national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, according to White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, even as speculation intensified that McMaster’s departure had already been decided.

Sanders tweeted on McMaster’s status late Thursday night following a Washington Post report that Trump had decided to replace the Army lieutenant general, who has led the National Security Council for more than a year. The Wall Street Journal later reported that Trump wants to remove McMaster and has conveyed his wishes to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.

Of course, it's impossible to know anything from this. Sanders has lied constantly for Trump.




http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/378741-mattis-on-tillerson-ouster-the-job-goes-on
Quote:
In a press briefing reported by The Washington Post, Mattis said he understood reporters' concerns about how U.S. allies would react to the firing of America's top diplomat, but assured journalists that much of the world views the event as having little importance.


https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-16/iran-deal-hangs-by-a-thread-after-tillerson-purged-from-state
Quote:
President Donald Trump’s decision to fire his top diplomat has put the Iran nuclear agreement at risk and cast new uncertainty on a meeting of the accord’s signatories.

Diplomats from six world powers and Iran convened in Vienna on Friday to review the nuclear deal, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which restricts the Persian Gulf country’s nuclear work in exchange for sanctions relief. It’s the last scheduled meeting of the group before Trump’s May 12 decision on whether the U.S. sticks to the accord.

“The deal now hangs by a thread,” said Ali Vaez, the International Crisis Group’s director of Iran policy. “The Trump administration’s move to the right with Tillerson’s departure and Pompeo’s arrival signals further hardening of Washington’s stance.”

...“It remains to be seen whether the Europeans will want to continue trying to accommodate the Trump administration now that Mr. Tillerson isn’t in charge of the State Department,” said former U.K. diplomat Peter Jenkins. “It was with Tillerson’s State Department that the U.K., Germany and France were negotiating. They may well realize that pursuing an accommodation has become even more pointless than it was a month ago.”


From a German news report:
http://www.dw.com/en/donald-trump-replaces-us-secretary-of-state-rex-tillerson-with-mike-pompeo/a-42956215
Quote:
In Germany, Norbert Röttgen, the chairman of the Bundestag Foreign Relations Committee, told DW that Tillerson's sacking damages the predictability and credibility of the United States.

"It does not contribute to what is essentially and basically needed and expected from the US administration, and this is predictability," he said. "And this decision on the foreign minister, without firing, without mentioning a reason, is just a symbol for the lack of predictability of the foreign policy of the United States."


http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/new-us-secretary-of-state-canada-connection-1.4574291
Quote:
Canada just lost a key ally in the Trump administration in Rex Tillerson


Whether or not you liked Tillerson, his abrupt firing by tweet will certainly make waves and concern US allies. Especially when it's right before Trump meets with Kim. Pretending that the rest of the world hardly noticed is a lie.


http://thehill.com/policy/international/378751-south-korean-minister-to-meet-ivanka-after-tillerson-was-fired
Quote:
Ivanka Trump will meet with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha when she visits the U.S. following the abrupt ousting of secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Noh Kyu-duk confirmed Thursday that Ivanka Trump, a White House adviser, would meet with Kang, KBS World Radio reported.

The purpose and exact date of the meeting are not yet clear.

Kang is also meeting with the deputy Secretary of State and Speaker Paul Ryan, but it looks like Trump's daughter and son-in-law are still playing a significant role in foreign policy.




https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-16/backed-by-kudlow-gop-dares-democrats-with-phase-two-of-tax-cuts
Quote:
Republicans are looking to act a lot faster than originally expected to keep the new individual tax cuts from expiring in 2025, daring Democrats to put up a roadblock during a congressional election year.

Incoming White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow added momentum to the effort by calling this week for a “phase two” of the tax cuts to make breaks for individual taxpayers permanent. The undertaking was first suggested by President Donald Trump during a GOP retreat in West Virginia last month, joking with House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady that he wanted to get rates even lower.

But the GOP’s second attempt at tax cuts faces a formidable hurdle, since it would need support from Democrats, who were cut out of the historic revamp that Trump signed in December.


Don't forget that the reason the GOP didn't make the individual tax cuts permanent in the first place is that they were manipulating the system to make it look like their corporate tax cut's effect on revenue wouldn't be so bad. This let them pass those tax cuts without significant Democratic support.
Quote:
Passing another big tax bill would be unlikely any time soon because GOP leaders can’t rely again on the procedural trick they deployed last year to bypass Democratic opposition. To get the bill through on a simple majority in 2017, Republicans -- who control both chambers -- had to comply with Senate budget rules that prevented the cuts from adding more than $1.5 trillion to the deficit over the next decade.


Bloomberg says it's unlikely to pass, so this is basically an effort to make the Democrats look bad in a year when midterm elections are likely to be very bad for the GOP, thanks to Trump.




http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/378618-trump-opioid-plan-will-include-death-penalty-for-drug-dealers-report
Quote:
A White House plan to combat the opioid crisis calls for the death penalty to be imposed on certain drug dealers, according to a new report.

The report, in Politico, says the Trump plan will call for the death penalty as an option when dealing and trafficking are "directly responsible for death" in cases involving opioids.

...Trump has reportedly been talking privately for weeks about allowing prosecutors to pursue the death penalty in drug cases. At a campaign event last week, Trump praised countries that execute drug lords.



And Donald Trump Jr and his wife are filing for divorce. Which may mean nothing at all. But the timing also seems like it could be a) a move to protect some of his assets as Mueller's investigation gets closer to the Trumps, and/or b) her discomfort in being part of the Trumps' plans and schemes. Trump Jr has been playing a prominent informal role in his father's administration and campaign efforts on behalf of GOP candidates and, of course, also controls the Trump business empire with his brother Eric. Not to mention his infamous meeting with Russians where he hoped to gather dirt on Hillary Clinton (who still refuses to shut up about the damn election, to the point where she's reportedly annoying some Democratic candidates for the 2018 midterms http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/378635-heitkamp-on-when-hillary-clinton-will-go-away-not-soon-enough)

_________________
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


Trump Warns That Democrats Would Drag Nation Back to Days of Tolerance and Decorum


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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Sat 17 Mar , 2018 2:01 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
Posts: 1496
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/378826-sessions-fires-mccabe-from-fbi
Quote:
Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday fired Andrew McCabe, the No. 2 official at the FBI and a longtime target of President Trump.

McCabe's ouster comes just days before he was scheduled to retire on Sunday, after more than 20 years at the bureau. McCabe had already stepped down under pressure in January and has been on a leave of absence since.

In a statement Friday evening, Sessions said that the FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility and Office of Inspector General (OIG) had found McCabe made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and "lacked candor — including under oath — on multiple occasions."

....McCabe's dismissal came at the recommendation of an internal FBI office that handles disciplinary matters. ....The exact details of the allegations against McCabe remain unclear.

It is also unclear why the inspector general, Michael Horowitz, chose to act on his findings regarding McCabe before closing the overall investigation into decisions made during the 2016 election. Horowitz has said publicly that he expects to issue his final report this spring.


http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/378910-mccabe-i-did-not-leak-to-the-media
Quote:
Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe says he was within his authority to disclose information to media and did not "leak" any details on ongoing FBI investigations to reporters, despite an internal FBI report that got him fired.

Speaking to ABC News, McCabe said that he made a 2016 decision to supply information to a reporter in order to attempt to shift a narrative that he was slow-walking the Clinton Foundation investigation at the agency.



Trump gloats:
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/378903-trump-takes-victory-lap-on-mccabe-firing-a-great-day-for-democracy
Quote:
Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI - A great day for Democracy. Sanctimonious James Comey was his boss and made McCabe look like a choirboy. He knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 17, 2018



http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/fbi/378906-holder-mccabe-firing-is-dangerous-attempt-to-please-increasingly
Quote:
Former Attorney General Eric Holder (D) blasted the Trump administration over the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, calling the timing of the dismissal “cruel.”

“The timing appears cruel and a cave that compromised DOJ independence to please an increasingly erratic President who should’ve played no role here,” Holder tweeted early Saturday. “This is dangerous.”

"Analyze McCabe firing on two levels: the substance and the timing. We don’t know enough about the substance yet. The timing appears cruel and a cave that compromised DOJ independence to please an increasingly erratic President who should’ve played no role here. This is dangerous"

Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe on Friday, two days ahead of the top FBI official’s scheduled retirement. The dismissal puts McCabe’s pension at risk, which he would have been eligible to receive on Sunday.



Edit: A Washington Post article has more details
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/fbis-andrew-mccabe-is-fired-a-little-more-than-24-hours-before-he-could-retire/2018/03/16/e055a22a-2895-11e8-bc72-077aa4dab9ef_story.html
Including these:
Quote:
Sessions announced the decision in a statement just before 10 p.m.

Quote:
The move will likely cost Mc­Cabe a significant portion of his retirement benefits, though it is possible he could bring a legal challenge.

Quote:
An email notifying McCabe of the move was sent to his work account and his lawyers just minutes before Sessions’s statement was made public, though McCabe learned of the firing from press accounts, his spokeswoman said. McCabe has been fighting vigorously to keep his job, and on Thursday, he spent nearly four hours inside the Justice Department pleading his case.

It seems pretty clear that, at a minimum, Sessions is following Trump's nasty method of dismissing people.



And this:
Quote:
Bromwich, himself a former Justice Department inspector general, suggested that office treated McCabe unfairly, cleaving from a larger investigation its findings on McCabe and not giving McCabe an adequate chance to respond to the allegations he faced. In his statement, Bromwich said McCabe and his lawyers were given limited access to the inspector general’s draft report late last month, saw a final report and evidence a week ago and were “receiving relevant exculpatory evidence as recently as two days ago.”




btw, Kelly told staff on Friday that no one among the White House staff would be dismissed "at this time". http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/378839-kelly-tells-white-house-staff-no-more-personnel-changes-coming
I assume this is Trump's attempt to discredit the Washington Post report, because it seemed solid.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-decides-to-remove-national-security-adviser-and-others-may-follow/2018/03/15/fea2ebae-285c-11e8-bc72-077aa4dab9ef_story.html?tid=pm_politics_pop (though it was probably unwise to predict a Trump action before it happens, no matter how many staffers say it off-the-record). I assume McMaster's dismissal will now come later - or perhaps sooner if Trump gets in a bad mood and tweets in annoyance.


http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/378859-controversial-trump-hunting-group-meets-for-first-time
Quote:
The 16 members of the Interior Department's new Wildlife and Conservation Council met for the first time Friday — many of whom have ties to pro-hunting organizations — and found little cause for disagreement.

Members agreed that hunting is necessary for conserving endangered species and impoverished communities in Africa; that illegal hunting — largely done by organized crime communities — should not to be mistaken with legal paid hunting; and that the council needed to act fast.



http://thehill.com/policy/technology/technology/378892-facebook-suspends-trump-linked-firm-cambridge-analytica
Quote:
Facebook has suspended Cambridge Analytica, the data firm used by the Trump campaign during the 2016 election, citing policy violations.



http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/378884-retired-four-star-army-general-trump-serious-threat-to-us
Quote:
A retired four-star Army general said that he believes that President Trump is a “serious threat to US national security.”

Retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey tweeted Friday that he reached the conclusion about Trump because the president “is refusing to protect vital US interests from active Russian attacks.”

_________________
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


Trump Warns That Democrats Would Drag Nation Back to Days of Tolerance and Decorum


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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Mon 19 Mar , 2018 1:26 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
Posts: 1496
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/379048-trump-unrestrained-in-latest-attacks-on-mueller-probe
Quote:
In a series of tweets on Saturday and Sunday, Trump took aim at Mueller, calling his investigation into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia a "witch hunt" and suggesting bias on the part of Mueller.

The Twitter attacks on Mueller — which came in the wake of former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe's firing — were the first of their kind by Trump... until now Trump had never mentioned Mueller by name in his critical tweets.

....The ramped up criticism from Trump started on Saturday when his personal lawyer John Dowd called on Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to end the investigation on the president's behalf.

Dowd later reversed course, saying he gave the statement in his personal capacity.

...But later the president appeared to echo Dowd's statement, saying Mueller's investigation should have never been started in the first place.

I don't think it's a coincidence that all this started after Mueller subpoenaed the Trump Organization and the House GOP ended its investigation, perhaps signaling to Trump that they are ready to protect him.


https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-19/trump-attacks-mueller-s-probe-as-most-republicans-stay-silent
Quote:
President Donald Trump’s direct assault on Robert Mueller over the weekend renewed fears he’s preparing to fire the special counsel as Republicans mostly remained silent on the threat. Just a few Republicans strongly warned Trump against firing Mueller -- Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said it could lead to the end of Trump’s presidency. Most avoided taking a stand.

The lack of clarity from the majority party in Congress about potential repercussions may embolden Trump, who last week fired his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, and is said to be contemplating a bigger shakeup of his Cabinet and inner circle.



From a few months ago:
https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/12/05/donald-trump-inside-campaign-corey-lewandowski-david-bossie-interview-podcast-216010
Quote:
Trump’s Threat to Take Down the GOP Still Stands

Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie don’t know if Donald Trump will remain a Republican, but they believe Republicans owe him their loyalty.


And last month at the Washington Post:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2018/02/07/no-trump-has-not-been-contained-hes-still-as-big-a-threat-as-ever/
Quote:
generally speaking, it remains unknown just how far Trump will go to evade accountability. And that’s why you should pay attention to the argument under way among center-right writers over just how much damage Trump is doing and just how complicit the GOP is in enabling that damage.

Writing for the Atlantic, Benjamin Wittes and Jonathan Rauch argue that GOP voters now have a moral obligation to vote out the GOP Congress, because its enabling of Trump has become a “danger to the rule of law and the integrity of our democracy.” This morning, Ross Douthat responds to Wittes and Rauch, arguing that Trump’s authoritarianism has not materialized to the degree that many feared; that Republicans have largely made good on their tacit pledge to “contain” him; and that, as long as this endures, the case alleging full-scale GOP complicity is weak.

But Douthat understates the damage that Trump has already wrought and is currently in the process of doing. And a full acknowledgment of those realities both undermines the case that Republicans have contained him and underscores that they are enabling degradation that will continue to be severe — in the best-case scenario.






http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/379002-report-kushner-companies-routinely-filed-false-paperwork-with
Quote:
The Kushner Cos. reportedly filed false paperwork with New York City officials regarding the apartment buildings it owned.

The Associated Press reported that the company in 2015 bought three apartment buildings in Queens.

The company, which was run at the time by White House adviser and presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner, then pushed people out and raised rents in the buildings even though many of the tenants were protected by rules that said developers couldn't raise rents or push them out to create a profit, according to the news service.

_________________
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


Trump Warns That Democrats Would Drag Nation Back to Days of Tolerance and Decorum


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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Mon 19 Mar , 2018 3:53 pm 
Aspiring to heresy
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Is it true that firing Mueller could spell the end of Trump's presidency? How would that play out?

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Melkor and Ungoliant in need of some relationship counselling.


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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Mon 19 Mar , 2018 4:50 pm 
A green apple painted red
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As Voronwe explained on HOF, it will be up to the Attorney General (or Deputy Attorney General now, given that Sessions recused himself due to being balls deep in it himself) to report to Congress that Mueller found that the President engaged in criminal conduct. Then the Congress would start the process of impeachment. Or not.

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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Mon 19 Mar , 2018 5:15 pm 
Aspiring to heresy
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Do you think they would?

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Melkor and Ungoliant in need of some relationship counselling.


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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Mon 19 Mar , 2018 5:18 pm 
A green apple painted red
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I'm an optimist so I'd give about 30% chance to the Congress starting the process if it's still controlled by Republicans at the time.

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