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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Tue 30 Jan , 2018 2:56 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
Posts: 1322
http://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/371309-trumps-pick-for-ny-prosecutor-scrutinized
Quote:
New scrutiny is being given to the New York lawyer who’s emerging as President Trump’s top choice to be the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, the office that would likely lead any investigation into Trump’s business practices. Attorney General Jeff Sessions earlier this month named Geoffrey Berman, 58, to be the interim U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, replacing Preet Bharara.

At an oversight hearing in October, Sessions told the Senate Judiciary Committee that Trump had personally interviewed candidates for U.S. attorney positions around the country, including New York. Berman, according to a Politico report, was among those interviewed for the job.

...Victoria Bassetti, who heads the U.S. Attorney Project at the American Constitution Society, said it is virtually unprecedented for the president to interview a potential U.S. attorney nominee.

....According to Federal Election Commission records, Berman, who specialized in white collar and financial services litigation, donated $5,400 to Trump’s campaign in July 2016. He also gave $5,200 to Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) bid for reelection via the Sedona PAC in February 2015.

...Former colleagues, however, say Berman’s meeting with Trump was not atypical or indicative of an unscrupulous agenda.




http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/371267-trump-furious-over-doj-guidance-against-releasing-classified-nunes
Quote:
President Trump blew up in anger after learning that a top Department of Justice (DOJ) official had warned against releasing a classified memo by Republican staffers that allegedly proves an anti-Trump bias in the DOJ and FBI, Bloomberg reported Monday.

Trump was furious when he learned that Associate Attorney General Stephen Boyd had said it would be “extraordinarily reckless” to release the classified memo.

The GOP-controlled House Intelligence Committee has now voted to release the memo. Trump now has 5 days to decide whether to make it public. Me, I'd be cautious about doing something the Justice Dept. called "extraordinarily reckless" if I was in charge of the country. But of course we all know what matters to Trump.

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

- Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal


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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Tue 30 Jan , 2018 7:29 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
Posts: 1322
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jan/30/trump-russia-collusion-fbi-cody-shearer-memo
Quote:
The FBI inquiry into alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 US presidential election has been given a second memo that independently set out some of the same allegations made in a dossier by Christopher Steele, the British former spy. The second memo was written by Cody Shearer, a controversial political activist and former journalist who was close to the Clinton White House in the 1990s.


Apparently, experts were initially skeptical about this second memo, but
Quote:
the Guardian has been told the FBI investigation is still assessing details in the ‘Shearer memo’ and is pursuing intriguing leads. ...It raises the possibility that parts of the Steele dossier... may have been corroborated by Shearer’s research, or could still be.



This is also interesting, especially given Nunes' timing on releasing his memo.
https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/01/26/trump-launched-campaign-to-discredit-potential-fbi-witnesses/
Quote:
President Donald Trump pressed senior aides last June to devise and carry out a campaign to discredit senior FBI officials after learning that those specific employees were likely to be witnesses against him as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation

...A person with direct knowledge of the matter said although [Trump's lawyer] Dowd explained the risks of senior FBI officials joining Comey in testifying against Trump, that information was part of a broader presentation to the president about Mueller’s investigation. It is not improper, but in fact is a duty, for an attorney to explain to a client how they are at risk, the source said. What may have been improper, however, were actions Trump took upon learning that information.

Since Dowd gave him that information, Trump — as well as his aides, surrogates, and some Republican members of Congress — has engaged in an unprecedented campaign to discredit specific senior bureau officials and the FBI as an institution.



http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/371453-senate-confirms-trump-nominee-despite-missing-blue-slip
Quote:
The Senate voted on Tuesday to confirm an appellate court pick for President Trump despite one of the nominee's home-state senators not returning a blue slip.

...The “blue-slip” rule — a precedent upheld by Senate tradition — has historically allowed a home-state senator to stop a lower-court nominee by refusing to return a sheet of paper, known as a blue slip, to the Judiciary Committee.... The Alliance for Justice noted that Stras is the first circuit court judge to be confirmed despite a missing blue slip in more than 80 years.

.. Democrats have repeatedly ripped Grassley for moving forward with Trump's judicial picks despite opposition from home-state senators.

Obama was forced to leave many positions open because GOP senators opposed his choices and Democrats respected the blue slip rule. Now Republicans are taking full advantage of their majority to say "screw you" to their Democratic colleagues in this tradition, and appointing conservative judges to left-leaning states.

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

- Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal


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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Wed 31 Jan , 2018 1:37 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
Posts: 1322
http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/371527-trump-signs-order-to-keep-gitmo-open
Quote:
President Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order to keep open the military detention facility at Guantánamo Bay.

The order does not make explicit that the Trump administration will immediately begin sending new detainees to the controversial prison, but preserves the option for the president who on the campaign trail called for it to be loaded “up with some bad dudes.”



http://thehill.com/policy/defense/371512-trump-officials-take-heat-for-declining-russia-sanctions
Quote:
The Trump administration faced blowback on Capitol Hill Tuesday for declining to implement new sanctions against Russia for interfering in the 2016 presidential election.

...Lawmakers last year passed legislation to punish Moscow with a veto-proof majority in both chambers of Congress, forcing President Trump to sign it.




I don't know whether this means we're getting cozier with Russia, or this sort of thing is routine. But is certainly seems to suggest that the Trump administration is completely uninterested in Congress's sanctions:
http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/371570-top-russian-spies-met-with-pompeo-when-they-traveled-to-us-report
Quote:
Top Russian spies reportedly met recently with CIA Director Mike Pompeo. ...Russian media reported that Moscow's sanctioned spy chief, Sergey Naryshkin, may have been one of the people Pompeo met with, CNN noted. Both Russia and the U.S. confirmed that Pompeo met with his intelligence counterparts.

...In 2014, Naryshkin was sanctioned by the Obama administration. He was also among the names included on a Treasury Department list released earlier this week of Russia business and political figures.



We all trust Trump so much that a fact-checking website went down during his State of the Union address. :) I assume it was caused by too much traffic:
http://thehill.com/homenews/media/371557-fact-checking-site-crashes-during-trump-state-of-the-union
Quote:
PolitiFact’s website went down briefly during President Trump’s first State of the Union address. The fact-checking website tweeted at 9:49 p.m., about halfway through Trump’s speech, that the website had crashed.

...PolitiFact fact-checked the president’s speech, writing that “several of his points were factually flawed.” They rated many of his claims about tax cuts as “mostly false” or “false.”


FYI, their ratings of Trump's past statements:
Quote:
True → 4 percent
Mostly True → 12 percent
Half True → 15 percent
Mostly False → 21 percent
False → 33 percent
Pants on Fire → 15 percent



btw, this seems like one of the most disturbing statements Trump made.
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/371532-trump-congress-should-give-agencies-power-to-fire-federal-employees
Quote:
“So tonight, I call on the Congress to empower every Cabinet secretary with the authority to reward good workers and to remove federal employees who undermine the public trust or fail the American people," he said.

In other words, make the entire government subject to political whims, so he, Zinke and Pruitt can remove career employees without due process.
Quote:
Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) introduced legislation in July to make all new federal workers at-will employees. That change would mean they could be “removed or suspended, without notice or right to appeal, from service by the head of the agency at which such employee is employed for good cause, bad cause, or no cause at all,” according to the text of the bill.




http://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/371457-mayors-describe-fraught-relationship-with-trump-white-house
Quote:
Mayors of major American cities — many of them Democrats — say the long-standing bipartisan relationship between urban leaders and the federal government is atrophying one year into the Trump administration. Some mayors say their calls to government agencies or the White House go unreturned. Others said they do not know to whom they are supposed to reach out in an administration still struggling to staff up.

...Partisan squabbling has infected a once-productive relationship between big cities, which increasingly drive the national economy, and the federal government. That schism was on display last week, when the U.S. Conference of Mayors met at a Washington hotel just blocks from the White House. The Trump administration broke decades of bipartisan tradition when it left some mayors off the list of invitees to attend a meeting with President Trump.

...The White House said space constraints in the East Room, where the event was held, were the only reason some mayors were left out.

So the White House has shrunk so much during the Trump administration that they can no longer find a room big enough to meet with everyone. What bullshit this bunch expects us to believe.

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

- Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal


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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Wed 31 Jan , 2018 10:20 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
Posts: 1322
http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/371699-trump-official-tells-coal-group-hes-an-advocate-for-the-coal
Quote:
A senior Trump administration official in the Energy Department told a coal industry gathering Wednesday that he aims to be a strong advocate for coal.... Doug Matheney, a special adviser in the Energy Department’s Office of Fossil Energy, said...“I went to Washington, D.C., for one purpose and that was to help create coal jobs in the United States. That's my total purpose for being there,” he said. “I’m not a researcher, I'm not a scientist, I'm an advocate for the coal industry.”

...He also said that the Energy Department is working on a new plan to boost coal as a replacement to the failed Federal Energy Regulatory Commission proposal to require higher electricity payments to coal and nuclear power plants.



http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/371692-white-house-to-ask-for-72-percent-cut-in-renewable-energy-programs
Quote:
President Trump’s administration is reportedly seeking a 72 percent cut to the budget of Department of Energy programs related to energy efficiency and renewable energy.

...The office conducts research, development, grants and more aimed at developing and deploying energy efficiency and renewable technology and has played a key role in dramatically reducing the costs of solar power.

The draft documents obtained by the Post also contain sharp reductions in research spending, including an 82 percent cut to research on fuel efficient vehicles, an 82 percent cut on research into bioenergy technologies and a 78 percent cut for solar energy technology research.




http://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/371684-pa-state-senate-leader-refuses-court-order-on-redrawing-district-maps
Quote:
The Pennsylvania state Senate president pro tempore said Wednesday he will not cooperate with the state Supreme Court's request to turn over data after it found that the state's congressional map was unconstitutionally gerrymandered.

Joe Scarnati (R) said he wouldn't turn over the data requested by the court.

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

- Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal


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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Thu 01 Feb , 2018 1:52 pm 
Aspiring to heresy
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Location: Canada
Hey Frelga, are these subtitles accurate?



She talks way too fast for my feeble Russian to keep up.

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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: Thu 01 Feb , 2018 2:19 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
Posts: 1322
http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/371746-utah-officials-prepare-for-mining-claims-in-reopened-wilderness
Quote:
Utah's Bureau of Land Management is preparing for a possible rush of mining claims in the area opened up by President Trump's decision to reduce the size of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments.

Reuters reports that millions of acres of land will soon be open for mining claims governed by an 1872 law describing the process for prospecting and staking claims in the western United States.

“We’re working on getting information and new monument maps ready for people interested in claims,” BLM spokesman Michael Richardson said.



An opinion piece from a former Montana Department of Revenue official, but it does contain concrete information such as the cut in royalty rates:
http://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/370529-trumps-looming-scandal-of-fossil-fuel-subsidies-on-federal-lands
Quote:
Interior, conferring secretlywith fossil fuel companies, repealed rules closing loopholes that have cost American taxpayers tens of billions in lost revenue.
To replace those rules, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke appointed a royalty policy committee beset with conflicts of interest including companies that — having incurred half of Interior’s fines — are among the worst violators of royalty rules.
Zinke cut the royalty rate on offshore oil to 12.5 percent from the 18.75 percent rate set in the George W. Bush administration.
Interior is vastly expanding oil, gas, and coal leasing when energy prices are low — guaranteeing bargain basement prices for public resources and short-changing American taxpayers, states and communities.
Interior has targeted for elimination or reduction virtually every effort to identify and mitigate environmental damage caused by energy development, shifting costs to the public that should be paid by industry.


And this seems prescient, given the news above:
Quote:
Trump, following a blueprint prepared in secret by Zinke, is shrinking several national monuments and seemingly turning these sensitive lands into oil and gas fields, coal and uranium mines to be sold under lax lease and royalty policies.



One lawyer's perspective on Guantanamo Bay detention center, summarizing its history and the court cases to date:
http://thehill.com/opinion/civil-rights/371760-after-guantanamo-bay-promise-trump-should-prepare-for-court-battle
Quote:
In the 16 years since the first detainee arrived, 800 men and boys have arrived at the base and 41 remain there today. President Trump wants to keep the base open for detainees, and add more. He has directed his Secretary of Defense, James Mattis to report back in three months time about what needs to be done to transfer new terrorist suspects to the detention center on the base.

What the new policy fails to recognize is how difficult that policy change will be and why the Trump administration has chosen U.S. courts to try terror suspect instead of transferring them to Guantánamo.

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

- Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal


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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Thu 01 Feb , 2018 7:18 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
Posts: 1322
Lali wrote:
Anyone going to watch the State of the "Uniom" address?


Sorry, Lali I missed this. :) (both your post and the misspelling) I guess the govt doesn't have spell-checkers.


If it was a serious question, I didn't. Never have, no matter who was the president - it always seems to mostly be a puff piece of congratulations on how well the government and the U.S. are doing. And there are transcripts afterward, where you can skim over the self-congratulatory stuff.

I did hear that some of the GOP chanted USA! USA! USA! afterward, which I find tacky, arrogant and somewhat creepy. Somewhat creepy because it makes me think of the supporters of He-who-must-not-be-named-for-fear-of-invoking-Godwins-law. ;)


And of course, our dear leader is already claiming that the number of people who watched his state of the union address was the biggest ever. :D

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

- Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal


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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Thu 01 Feb , 2018 7:40 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
Posts: 1322
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/white-house-plan-would-reduce-environmental-requirements-for-infrastructure-projects/2018/01/26/b15bd66a-0248-11e8-8acf-ad2991367d9d_story.html
Quote:
The White House has drafted a proposal to scale back environmental requirements in an effort to make it easier to construct roads, bridges and pipelines across the country as part of an infrastructure plan that President Trump could release as soon as next week, according to a document obtained by The Washington Post.

The plan would change things such as how officials decide a pipeline route, how a proposed border wall with Mexico would be built and whether the National Park Service could object to a development that would impair tourists’ views from scenic parks such as the Grand Canyon.


Quote:
The Trump proposal would allow federal agencies to piggyback on other agencies’ decisions about the kinds of projects that should be exempt from deeper environmental study to “reduce duplication and unnecessary environmental analysis.” The proposal would exempt any of these rulings from judicial review under the Administrative Procedure Act, a law outside groups often use to challenge regulatory rollbacks.

Call me cynical, but I suspect Trump and cronies would be perfectly happy if this part passes but infrastructure never gets funded.


An EPA employee warns against this regulatory rollback:
http://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/371813-trump-expects-us-to-trade-clean-air-and-water-for-updated
I'll bet that if Trump were to get his "fire government employees for any reason" request to Congress, this person would lose his job tomorrow.


Very ominous:
https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/31/victor-cha-op-ed-trump-380153
Quote:
The man President Donald Trump had until recently picked to be U.S. ambassador to South Korea warned Tuesday against even a limited preemptive strike against North Korea, predicting that such a move could set-off an uncontrollably escalating conflict.

...The Washington Post reported Tuesday that Cha’s name was removed from consideration for the ambassador job in South Korea after a December meeting in which he raised concerns about a so-called “bloody nose” strike against the North Korean regime of Kim Jong Un, one intended to demonstrate U.S. willingness to use military force. Cha also voiced objections to the president’s threats to pull the U.S. out of a bilateral trade agreement with South Korea.

... Instead of a preemptive nuclear strike, Cha prescribed a U.S. approach that continues to build economic and global political pressures on the Kim regime while increasing U.S. military readiness in the region, as well as that of U.S. allies Japan and South Korea.

Apparently, the Trump administration had already conducted background checks on Cha and notified South Korean officials, who had approved the appointment. Until Cha voiced his concerns over a nuclear strike.

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

- Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal


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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Fri 02 Feb , 2018 2:24 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
Posts: 1322
I've long thought the GOP fussing about surveillance of Trump's cronies was pretty ironic, given that they never seemed to care about surveillance of ordinary Americans. In this article, the Washington Post looks into the surveillance warrants and this particular case
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2018/02/01/nuness-memo-is-a-stunt-but-surveillance-does-need-more-scrutiny/
Quote:
.The overarching narrative that the Nunes memo apparently seeks to build — a story of rabid partisans within the Obama administration cooking up a bogus Russia investigation to use as a weapon against Trump — is almost certainly nonsense. Among many, many other glaring defects, it requires the inexplicable complicity of far too many people, many of them Republicans appointed by Trump, within the FBI and the national security division of the Justice Department, as well as the credulous acquiescence of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court, whose bench is wholly populated by judges placed there by the George W. Bush-appointed chief justice, John G. Roberts Jr.

...Yet for all that, the memo could still have stumbled into something of merit. If FBI agents were less than fully candid with the FISA court, that’s worth criticizing even if candor would not have changed the outcome. If they failed to do due diligence on claims in Steele’s dossier, that’s a problem even if the dossier was a relatively minor piece of the puzzle.

Those are problems not because they reveal a grand conspiracy but because finding slipshod work in this application... should make us wonder what would turn up if the thousands of more-mundane FISA warrants issued each year were subject to a similarly painstaking external review. Which, of course, they never are: No FISA application has ever been made public, and vanishingly few targets of FISA surveillance ever even learn of the spying.



And while all eyes are riveted on the Nunes sideshow, Zinke continues making policy changes that will affect the U.S. not just now, but in the future:
http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/371912-interior-roll-backs-oil-drilling-policies-for-federal-land
Quote:
The Interior Department implemented a new policy Thursday aimed at streamlining the oil and natural gas drilling process on federal land by cutting back on the opportunities for drilling opponents to slow down the process.

A memo signed Wednesday and released Thursday by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) states that it is the agency’s policy to “simplify and streamline the leasing process to alleviate unnecessary impediments and burdens, to expedite the offering of lands for lease,” and to ensure drilling rights sales happen regularly.


It seems to based on this article, which gives more details:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2018/02/01/trump-administration-tears-down-regulations-to-speed-drilling-on-public-land/
Quote:
The new approach requires the Bureau of Land Management to process a proposed lease within 60 days. Once-mandatory public participation in safety reviews is now left to the discretion of the agency’s field representatives. Public protests of finalized leases will be shortened to 10 days, and a sale can move forward even if disputes are unresolved, according to the memo.

Interior also ended “Master Lease Plans” implemented under the Obama administration to give hunters, anglers and groups hoping to protect cultural artifacts a voice in how public land should be managed when parcels are proposed for leasing.

http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/371873-interior-says-dept-restructuring-wont-cut-jobs-or-bureaus
Quote:
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke ... announced plans to overhaul the department's structure earlier this month. The yet-to-be-finalized plans would move tens of thousands of government employees to new locations across the country and reorganize the management of federal lands.



Sessions is also changing things:
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/371895-justice-dept-sidelines-office-dedicated-to-expanding-legal-aid-to
Quote:
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has effectively shuttered an office established under former President Obama to increase the accessibility of legal aid to needy Americans, according to a new report. People familiar with the matter told The New York Times that the Office for Access to Justice has seen its staff leave the office over the past few months and its acting director, Maha Jweied, step down from the department.

...The office, which began in 2010 under former Attorney General Eric Holder, was dedicated to improving the accessibility of legal aid for the poor and needy in civil and criminal courts.

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

- Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal


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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Fri 02 Feb , 2018 5:58 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
Posts: 1322
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/371976-white-house-wants-plan-from-pentagon-on-north-korea-military-attack
Quote:
The White House is growing increasingly impatient with senior military officials at the Pentagon over the lack of a strategy for a preventative military strike against North Korea, The New York Times reported Friday.

National security adviser H.R. McMaster has reportedly pressed military leaders for a strategy due to his desire to keep all options on the table, but Pentagon officials worry that presenting the White House with a strategy will make a preventative strike more likely.


I'm not sure whether I've posted this article before. It's from a few days ago.
https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/01/duckworth-trump-north-korea/551381/
Quote:
When Senator Tammy Duckworth returned from a recent trip to South Korea and Japan, she brought back a sobering message: “Americans simply are not in touch with just how close we are to war on the Korean peninsula.” In a speech at Georgetown University, she laid out the U.S. military maneuvers over the past several months—including a nuclear-powered submarine heading to South Korea, the movement of three aircraft carriers to the Western Pacific, and the Army testing out “mobilization centers” for deploying troops and training soldiers to fight in tunnels like those beneath North Korea—that inform this worry. In an interview with me, she said the U.S. military seems to be operating with the attitude that a conflict “‘will probably happen, and we better be ready to go.’”

...Duckworth and Gallego have requested a more detailed accounting from the White House and the Pentagon, respectively, and warned of the costs of even limited preventive military action. In response to Gallego, the Pentagon admitted that fully securing North Korea’s nuclear weapons would require a U.S. ground invasion. And Duckworth said that disabling North Korean artillery batteries, which are capable of devastating the South Korean capital of Seoul, would probably require a massive influx of U.S. ground troops as well. Kim Jong Un, she added, will be tempted to use his chemical or biological weapons if he fears he’s about to lose power. “We can’t control escalation,” Duckworth said. She noted that the South Korean and Japanese officials she met with wanted the Trump administration to give its international sanctions campaign against North Korea more time to work before resorting to other measures.

She's a a retired lieutenant colonel, so she seems unlikely to be overreacting.



btw, if anyone wants to read Nunes' "bombshell" memo, it's here.
https://www.axios.com/read-nunes-memo-fbi-doj-fisa-mueller-7fb8bcb7-1f18-4294-aa95-628d2f67bcdf.html
Honestly, I can't see why all the fuss or the triumphant crowing from Trump. To be blunt, it's a total bore, and doesn't seem to invalidate anything. There doesn't even seem to be anything in this much-hyped memo that we haven't already heard from the news. Except the claim that the agent reassigned from Mueller's team and his "mistress" (I thought she was his girlfriend?) leaked information to the press. Which I assume Nunes had better be prepared to prove, if he's going to smear people like that.

Looks like a partisan smear campaign to inflame Trump supporters with righteous indignation. At least, the ones who have no critical thinking skills.

In the meantime...
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/372063-trump-campaign-hired-law-firm-to-set-up-legal-defense-fund-for-russia
Quote:
President Trump's campaign has reportedly hired a law firm to set up a legal defense fund for costs incurred by staffers ensnared by the special counsel investigation or other legal fees.

A document from the Wiley Rein LLP law firm posted on the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) describes the "Patriot Legal Expense Fund," which would provide financial support to any individual who "was an employee, consultant, fundraised or volunteer" of Trump's 2016 campaign.

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

- Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal


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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Sun 04 Feb , 2018 11:47 pm 
A green apple painted red
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Well, this just happened.
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I was searching for an explanation to the "I hate Illinois Nazis" reference, because of this guy, https://ballotpedia.org/Arthur_Jones, the Illinois Republican candidate and a Holocaust denier.

I can't explain the velociraptor.

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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Mon 05 Feb , 2018 12:17 am 
Aspiring to heresy
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Frelga wrote:
I can't explain the velociraptor.

I think this would be a great slogan for a T-shirt.

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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Mon 05 Feb , 2018 1:08 am 
The Grey Amaretto as Supermega-awesome Proud Heretic Girl
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I want a t-shirt with that on it now.

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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Mon 05 Feb , 2018 4:06 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
Posts: 1322
I'm still waiting for a T-shirt with "The Angels have the phone box" :) (Doctor Who reference)


http://thehill.com/policy/finance/372308-mulvaney-puts-brakes-on-equifax-probe-reuters
Quote:
White House Budget Director and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) chief Mick Mulvaney has dialed back the agency’s investigation into a massive data breach at Equifax Inc., Reuters reported Sunday.

Mulvaney has not sought subpoenas or sworn testimony as part of the investigation, Reuters reported, citing three unnamed sources. The bureau has also put on hold plans to test how Equifax protects data
.


This seems to explain the "grave consequences" warnings from the DOJ and FBI about Nunes releasing his memo. Not the content itself, but the precedent it sets.
http://thehill.com/homenews/sunday-talk-shows/372260-bharara-gop-memo-could-have-consequences-on-intelligence-community
Quote:
Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara on Sunday warned that the House Intelligence Committee's decision to release the GOP surveillance memo could have serious "consequences" for the intelligence community.

Bharara told host Fareed Zakaria on CNN that intelligence sources who can provide important information to the U.S. government will now be concerned that their identities will be revealed if one congressional committee decides along party lines to release such information.


There seems to be new scrutiny of Nunes, after his memo turned out to be so full of half-truths and spin.
http://thehill.com/homenews/house/372168-primary-author-of-gop-memo-tried-to-arrange-steele-meeting-outside-official
Quote:
The primary author of the House Intelligence Committee memo released Friday reportedly tried to meet outside official channels with the researcher behind a controversial dossier.Kashyap Patel, a senior staffer for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), sought a meeting in London with Christopher Steele

...The move was unknown to Democrats and the U.S. Embassy in London, and did not go by the standard protocol of arranging the meeting through attorneys.



http://thehill.com/homenews/house/372315-nunes-claims-theres-no-evidence-papadopoulos-ever-met-trump-despite-photo
Quote:
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) in a Monday morning interview said there is no evidence former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos met with President Trump, despite a widely-disseminated photo of the two sitting around the same table for a meeting.




http://thehill.com/homenews/media/372296-reporter-threatened-with-ban-from-press-calls-after-declining-to-alter-story
Quote:
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has been accused of threatening to bar a reporter from Modern Healthcare from its press calls. The threat came after the reporter, Virgil Dickson, claimed he did not agree to alter a story he wrote to take out a part regarding CMS administrator Seema Verma, according to the Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ).

...O'Donnell reportedly sent an email to Dickson's editor including the warning: “Short of fully correcting the piece we will not be able to include your outlet in further press calls with CMS.”
Dickson said that he was told during a CMS press call last week that he wasn't allowed to take part in it.

But a CMS spokesman denied reporters had been banned from the press call.



http://thehill.com/policy/finance/372235-us-on-track-to-double-borrowing-under-trumps-first-year-report
Quote:
The Treasury Department is on track to borrow nearly $1 trillion this fiscal year, almost double the amount the federal government borrowed last year, The Washington Post reported Saturday.

...The report came the same day that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) moved up its projected deadline for when the Treasury would run out of cash, citing the Republican tax overhaul.




http://thehill.com/policy/international/372248-eu-warns-us-exporters-of-retaliatory-tariffs
Quote:
A top official for the European Union warned Sunday that the 28-member bloc would not hesitate to respond in kind if President Trump implemented tariffs on European exporters.

...Oettinger’s comments come after Trump said last week he would consider responding to the EU's “very unfair” trade policies.

“I’ve had a lot of problems with the European Union, and it may morph into something very big from that standpoint, from a trade standpoint,” Trump told Piers Morgan in an interview for ITV.

Trump has already put a 30% tariff on imported solar panels and washing machines.

This has already had consequences, and not the ones Trump predicted:
[url]thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/370895-solar-company-puts-hold-on-20m-us-investment-following-new-tariff[/url]
Quote:
U.S.-based solar energy company SunPower announced it's putting a hold on a $20 million plan to expand factories and create hundreds of new jobs in the U.S. until it can guarantee an exclusion from the new federal solar technology tariff, according to Reuters.





btw, the White House did put the petition site back up, as promised:
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/372176-white-house-re-launches-petition-site

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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Tue 06 Feb , 2018 3:08 am 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
Posts: 1322
https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/02/04/trump-twitter-russians-release-the-memo-216935
Quote:
How Twitter Bots and Trump Fans Made #ReleaseTheMemo Go Viral

Russian bots and their American allies gamed social media to put a flawed intelligence document atop the political agenda. That should alarm us.

On Tuesday morning—the day after the House Intelligence Committee voted along partisan lines to send Rep. Devin Nunes’ memo, alleging abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, to President Donald Trump for declassification—presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway was confronted with the idea that Russian trolls were promoting the #releasethememo hashtag online. She was offended. Russian trolls, she told a television interviewer, “have nothing to do with releasing the memo—that was a vote of the intelligence committee.” But her assertion is incorrect. The vote marked the culmination of a targeted, 11-day information operation that was amplified by computational propaganda techniques and aimed to change both public perceptions and the behavior of American lawmakers.

...The analysis below, conducted by our team from the social media intelligence group New Media Frontier, shows that the #releasethememo campaign was fueled by, and likely originated from, computational propaganda. It is critical that we understand how this was done and what it means for the future of American democracy.

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

- Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal


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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Tue 06 Feb , 2018 11:32 am 
of Vinyamar
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[quote="aninkling"]I'm still waiting for a T-shirt with "The Angels have the phone box" :) (Doctor Who reference)


My daughter has that one!

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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Tue 06 Feb , 2018 5:01 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
Posts: 1322
:) One of these days, I should get serious about finding one of those. I bought my husband a "timey-wimey" explanation of time travel T-shirt at Powell's Books (I think), but I haven't looked at what they have lately.

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/02/nunes-dossier-deux/552389/
Quote:
Devin Nunes has a new target: Jonathan Winer, the Obama State Department’s special envoy to Libya, and longtime Senate aide to John Kerry. Winer received a memorandum from political activist Cody Shearer and passed it along to Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence official who had compiled his own dossier on Donald Trump.

The release of last week’s House Intelligence Committee memo accusing the FBI of surveillance abuses marked the end of the first phase of Nunes’s investigation into the probe of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election. Now, the committee chair told Fox News on Friday, the probe is moving into “phase two,” which involves the State Department. His focus is on the dossier compiled by Shearer, and passed along by Winer, according to two sources familiar with the matter.



https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/02/nunes-memo-impact/552368/
Quote:
How the Nunes Memo Harms Intelligence Oversight

The document’s lasting effect will be undermining the ability of Congress to prevent political abuses of surveillance powers



btw, it's interesting that the link to Politico article I posted above last night (also the article in the Echo Chamber thread) came from a mainstream online newspaper that focuses heavily on economic news. I don't check them regularly but I was debating about what to do with my retirement account, if anything. I was surprised - it's not the sort of political article I would have expected on a site I assume to be fairly conservative.

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

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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Wed 07 Feb , 2018 12:55 am 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
Posts: 1322
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/372634-pentagon-planning-grand-military-parade-for-trump-report
Quote:
The Pentagon has reportedly begun planning a military parade at the request of President Trump.

...The Washington Post reported Tuesday that at a recent meeting between Trump and top military officials, Trump’s wishes were “suddenly heard as a presidential directive.” “The marching orders were: I want a parade like the one in France,” one military official told The Washington Post on the condition of anonymity. “This is being worked at the highest levels of the military.”

...Officials told the Post that they do not yet know how they will cover the cost of the parade, which could reach millions of dollars.

...Trump reportedly wanted to include tanks and missile launchers in his Inauguration Day parade. An inauguration team source said at the time that the team was “legit thinking Red Square/North Korea-style parade.”

Unbelievable. Is he sane?




http://thehill.com/homenews/the-memo/372451-the-memo-trump-doubles-down-amid-some-gop-doubts
Quote:
President Trump on Monday doubled down on his contention that a controversial memo released last week exposed deep political bias at the highest reaches of law enforcement — but some Republicans are dissenting.

...Trump’s tweets earlier in the day revealed a president deeply resentful of the way the probe has been conducted — and the degree to which it has overshadowed his time in office. Trump tweeted that Nunes was “a man of tremendous courage and grit [who] may someday be recognized as a Great American Hero for what he has exposed.”

....“Little Adam Schiff, who is desperate to run for higher office, is one of the biggest liars and leakers in Washington, right up there with [James] Comey, [Sen. Mark] Warner [D-Va.], [John] Brennan and [James] Clapper!” Trump said, referring to the former FBI director, the ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, a former CIA chief and a former national intelligence chief, respectively.

I noticed in the article that Florida Rep.Matt Gaetz is still defending Trump. This is the same guy who was being criticized last week for having taken the person who helps fund the Daily Stormer (a neo-Nazi site) to Trump's state of the union address. And even Trey Gowdy (GOP) has been saying that Nunes' memo doesn't invalidate the Mueller investigation.


http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/372556-sen-dems-send-epa-chief-letter-questioning-stark-decline-in-grant-awards
Quote:
The top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee sent a letter to the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tuesday, calling into question a dramatic decrease in grant funding awarded by the agency in the past year....his staff's review of publicly available data on EPA grant awards found that in 2017 the agency awarded $1.1 billion in the first three quarters, only a third of the $3.5 billion awarded in the same time frame the previous year.

In the letter sent to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on Tuesday, Carper questioned the reason behind the agency's decrease in grant awards and asked what the agency was doing with the nearly $4 billion it was allotted through Congress to award to nonprofits and local governments.


And apparently Trump has nominated another loony ambassador like the one we recently inflicted on the Netherlands:
http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/372568-sasse-rips-trump-nominee-who-spread-conspiracy-theories-he-has-a-tin-foil-hat
Quote:
A spokesman for Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) slammed President Trump’s nominee to serve as ambassador to several Caribbean nations, saying the nominee should “put on his tinfoil hat and visit our office with evidence for his salacious conspiracy theories and cuckoo allegations.”

Sasse's spokesman made the comments about Leandro Rizzuto Jr., whom Trump nominated last month to serve as ambassador to Barbados and several other Caribbean countries, one day after CNN reported that Rizzuto had shared conspiracy theories about Trump’s political opponents.



http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/372580-gop-lawmaker-criticizes-trump-to-his-face-for-inviting-shutdown
Quote:
Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) criticized President Trump to his face on Tuesday for saying he would “love to see a shutdown” during a meeting with lawmakers and administration officials.“We don’t need a government shutdown on this,” Comstock said during the White House meeting with Trump, according to a pool report.

But Trump interrupted her and doubled down on his willingness to have another shutdown over the immigration battle

btw, the White House is now trying to pretend Trump didn't say this.

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

- Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal


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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Wed 07 Feb , 2018 3:39 am 
A green apple painted red
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I'm getting flashbacks to the final years of Brezhnev's regime. :help:

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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Wed 07 Feb , 2018 3:41 am 
You are hearing me talk

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Location: Great Lakes
I dunno, "final year" sounds pretty good.


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