Category: Politics

July 23rd, 2017 by Staff Writer

Under the leadership of recently elected chairman Tom Perez, the Democratic National Committee is strapped for cash.

According to recent filings with the Federal Election Commission, the DNC is currently $3.3 million in the red. In June, the party raised just $5.5 million while they spent $5.7 million, meaning they added $200,000 in debt.

Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee outpaced the DNC by more than $8 million in June, raising more than $13.5 million.

The DNC ended the month with just $7.4 million with cash on hand, while the RNC has nearly $45 million in cash on hand, according to the filings.

The Republican Party has raised more than $75 million in 2017 alone.

It’s not clear what exactly has led to a poor financial status for the Democratic Party, but so far into 2017, the party is widely seen as being haphazard and without any real leaders or a central message.

Indeed, even during the party’s convention in February to elect a new chairperson, the party’s factions — the establishment versus the more liberal and progressive wing — remained widely divided. Perez, who served as labor secretary under former President Barack Obama, eventually defeated Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), but the party remains in shambles.

It doesn’t help that the Democrats have been defeated in each of the special elections they needed to win in order to build momentum for 2018.

In the 2018 midterms, Democrats will attempt to regain control of Congress, though it doesn’t look too promising. Democrats will need to take more than two dozen seats from Republicans in the House, while they will need to win just a handful of seats in the Senate to regain control there. However, as far as the Senate, only six of the 33 seats up for grabs are currently held by Republicans, which means Democrats will likely be on the defensive in 2018 — not the offense.

Republicans, on the other hand, with control of the White House and Congress, will go on the offensive in 2018. They stand to make more gains as long as President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans make good on promises they’ve made for years, such as repealing Obamacare and lowering taxes.

Posted in Campaign 2018, Democrats, DNC, Politics, Republicans, RNC, Tom Perez

July 23rd, 2017 by Staff Writer

President Donald Trump called out Senate Republicans on Saturday, once again calling on them to repeal and replace the Obama-era Affordable Care Act.

In two social media posts made on Twitter, Trump said the Senate “must step up to the plate” and “Repeal and Replace” Obamacare.

“The Republican Senators must step up to the plate and, after 7 years, vote to Repeal and Replace. Next, Tax Reform and Infrastructure. WIN!” Trump wrote on Saturday.

The Republican Senators must step up to the plate and, after 7 years, vote to Repeal and Replace. Next, Tax Reform and Infrastructure. WIN!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 22, 2017

Trump also criticized Democrats, who he called “obstructionists” with “no ideas or votes.”

“ObamaCare is dead and the Democrats are obstructionists, no ideas or votes, only obstruction,” Trump wrote. “It is solely up to the 52 Republican Senators!”

ObamaCare is dead and the Democrats are obstructionists, no ideas or votes, only obstruction. It is solely up to the 52 Republican Senators!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 22, 2017

Trump’s comments come at the end of a week in which the Republicans’ latest version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act was effectively killed by Republican Sens. Jerry Moran (Kan.) and Mike Lee (Utah) and the Senate leadership’s back-up plan — a repeal of Obamacare without an immediate replacement plan — was shot down by several moderate Republicans.

On Wednesday, Republican senators met with Trump in a meeting in which Trump reportedly heavily criticized the senators for failing to come up with a plan. During the lunch meeting, which included 49 senators, Republicans were told they needed to swiftly develop a proposal that could pass both houses of Congress, reported Reuters on Thursday.

On Wednesday evening, the senators met to resolve their differences, but a resolution failed to materialize during the meeting, which Reuters reported did not include Senate staff.

The Washington Examiner reported on Saturday Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell still plans to hold a vote next week, regardless of what several senators have been saying about voting against the proposed legislation.

Posted in Donald Trump, Health Care, Mike Lee, Mitch McConnell, Obamacare, Politics, Senate Health Care Bill

July 22nd, 2017 by Staff Writer

The co-founder of the firm that paid for the creation of the infamous ‘Trump dossier’ said Friday that he would not be fulfilling a request to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and would be asserting his fifth amendment right to avoid self-incrimination.

Glenn Simpson’s lawyer released a statement Friday saying that the co-founder of Fusion GPS is on vacation and won’t be able to attend the hearing being held next week.

Simpson also protested that “partisan agendas” had resulted in the expansion of the investigation, saying through his lawyer that they were “profoundly disturbed.”

According to Reuters, the letter asked that Simpson be excused from appearing before the committee since, according to Simpson, the charge that he failed to register as a foreign agent was false.

But Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa.) instead slapped him with a subpoena Friday. Simpson responded by saying he would invoke his fifth amendment right against self-incrimination.

“FUSION GPS head Glenn Simpson won’t testify before Senate Judiciary next week, his rep attacks ‘partisan’ hearing and vows to plead Fifth,” reported CNN’s Manu Raju.

FUSION GPS head Glenn Simpson won’t testify before Senate Judiciary next week, his rep attacks “partisan” hearing and vows to plead Fifth

— Manu Raju (@mkraju) July 21, 2017

“This hearing’s purported focus on FARA [the Foreign Agents Registration Act] is pretext for an exploration of Fusion GPS’ reported work, on behalf of other clients, to investigate the ties of Donald J. Trump, his campaign and their associates to Russia,” the letter from Simpson’s lawyer said.

The “Trump dossier” was central to claims made by U.S. intelligence agencies that the Russian government had damaging information on the president that could be used against him. Buzzfeed was later excoriated for their lack of journalistic standards when they published the dossier. U.S. intelligence agencies, however, said that while some aspects of the document were dubious, other claims had been corroborated through their investigation.   

Former Trump campaign official Carter Page has referred to the document as the “dodgy dossier,” in apparent reference to it’s dubious source and questionable claims.

While a Washington opposition research firm was overseeing the unverified dossier about the Trump campaign's ties to Russia, that same firm was apparently involved in a pro-Russian lobbying campaign at the same time. Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley wants answers. In a letter to Acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente, Grassley demanded to know if the Justice Department is looking into the firm, Fusion GPS, for alleged violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, known as FARA. The letter cites earlier reporting by POLITICO connecting Fusion GPS to a mysterious lobbying effort last year that tried to derail a human rights sanctions bill that irked the Kremlin. The lobbying campaign occurred at the same time that Fusion GPS reportedly hired a former British spy to gather intelligence on Russia's efforts to tamper with the 2016 presidential election and develop contacts with then-candidate Donald Trump and his associates.

Posted in Chuck Grassley, Donald Trump, Fusion GPS, Politics, President Donald Trump, Russian interference, Russian investigation, Trump, Trump Dossier

July 22nd, 2017 by Staff Writer

According to a Washington Post report published Friday evening, U.S. officials are in possession of intercepts that included a Russian ambassador saying that he spoke with Jeff Sessions before the election about then-candidate Trump’s campaign policies.

The intercepts were reportedly gained by U.S. intelligence agencies who monitor Russian officials’ interactions communications in the United States and abroad.

One U.S. official said that Sessions — who testified that he has no recollection of an April encounter — has provided “misleading” statements that are “contradicted by other evidence.” A former official said that the intelligence indicates that Sessions and Kislyak had “substantive” discussions on matters including Trump’s positions on Russia-related issues and prospects for U.S.-Russia relations in a Trump administration.

Sessions’ meetings with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak were the cause of his infamous recusal from the investigations into Russian election meddling and alleged campaign collusion. Although he later said he never discussed any campaign policies in the meeting, he neglected to mention it to a confirmation committee.

The intercept of Kislyak’s alleged comments would contradict his statement and seriously damage the reputation of the attorney general at a time when his place in the administration is already being questioned.

On Wednesday President Trump publicly scolded Sessions for his past decision to recuse himself. He appeared to be upset that the recusal, in his mind, led to the naming of Special Counsel Robert Mueller over the Russian investigations.

Sarah Isgur Flores, a spokeswoman for the Department of Justice, said they would decline to comment on the story. “Obviously I cannot comment on the reliability of what anonymous sources describe in a wholly uncorroborated intelligence intercept that the Washington Post has not seen and that has not been provided to me,” she said, adding that Sessions did not discuss election interference in the meeting.

Some Trump critics questioned whether the story was planted by the administration itself in order to provide a reason and cover for forcing Jeff Sessions out. “Sessions story is suspicious,” tweeted former White House Ethics Lawyer Richard Painter. “Trump wants him fired for not recusing on Russia. Sonebody [sic] leaked intel to get him fired.”

“Irresistible question,” asked MSNBC host Joy Reid, “could Trump team have leaked the [K]islyak intercepts to push Sessions out after he failed to resign yesterday?” She referred to a report that White House officials were shocked that Sessions hadn’t resigned after being berated by Trump in public.

Attorney Gen. Jeff Sessions said Thursday he is not planning to resign after President Donald Trump criticized him in an interview with the New York Times. (7/20/17)

Posted in Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions, Politics, Russian interference, Russian investigation, Trump

July 22nd, 2017 by Staff Writer

MSNBC political analyst Nicole Wallace claimed on Friday that President Donald Trump’s appointment of Anthony Scaramucci is more about wanting better-looking men on the White House Communications Team than anything else.

Friday saw former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s resignation, which was alleged to be due to taking issue with Trump’s pick for communications director, Scaramucci.

Shortly after Scaramucci accepted Trump’s offer, Spicer resigned.

The New York Times reported that Trump offered the job of White House communications director to New York financier Anthony Scaramucci, a vehement supporter of the president who often defends Trump on cable news. Trump reportedly requested that Spicer remain on White House staff, but Spicer evidently held onto his alleged belief that Scaramucci was the wrong appointee for the commnications director position.

Wallace, who previously served as former President George W. Bush’s own communications chief, called into MSNBC and blasted the president over the notion that he wanted “better-looking men” to face the media.

“This is about someone who took some skin out of one of Donald Trump’s archenemies and that’s the cable news network CNN,” Wallace said about Scaramucci. “So, I wish this were a story about a really important job inside the White House, a post that speaks for the country and the president around the world, but this is about Donald Trump wanting better looking men spreading his message.”

Spicer was replaced by Sarah Huckabee Sanders as White House Press Secretary.

See Wallace’s segment on MSNBC in the video below.

Posted in Anthony Scaramucci, MSNBC, Nicole Wallace, Politics, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Sean Spicer, Videos

July 21st, 2017 by Staff Writer

Tucker Carlson implored of President Trump that he stop attacking his own attorney general after an interview with the New York Times quoted the president absolutely berating Jeff Sessions for recusing himself. He made the comments on his show on Fox News Thursday.

“Well its been overshadowed by news of war heroes and retired tailbacks, but the president has been in the news today too, as he often is,” Carlson began.

“Last night he went after his own attorney general, Jeff Sessions, saying he was angry that Sessions had recused himself from the Russia investigation,” he added. “If he had to do it over again the president said, he would have hired somebody else to be the AG.”

“Stinging words, but this morning, Sessions seemed to brush them off,” he explained, and played clips of Sessions batting away the criticism from the president.

“We love this job, we love this department,” Sessions said, “and I plan to continue to do so, as long as that is appropriate.”

“I’m totally confident that we can continue to run this office in an effective way,” Sessions told the media.

“Now take a step back and you can kinda see how this all happened,” Carlson said. “The president is a 71-year-old political novice, and all of a sudden he’s the subject of a vague, open-ended investigation, whose goal may be to imprison him or his family.”

“Ask anyone who’s had an independent counsel on his case, and there are a lot of them here in Washington, what that’s like – it’s terrifying,” he added. “The pressure is soul-distorting. You can wind up lashing out at the people around you, even maybe especially, the ones trying to help you the most.”

“So that’s probably what’s going on,” he explained. “And yet attacking Jeff Sessions was still a useless, self-destructive act.”

“The first rule in politics, as in war, as in life, don’t shoot the friendlies,” Carlson advised.

“Sessions is the closest ally Trump has in this administration,” he added. “One of the very few who even understands why the president won in the first place.”

.@TuckerCarlson: “The first rule in politics – as in war, as in life – don’t shoot the friendlies. Sessions is the closest ally Trump has.” pic.twitter.com/ONM8ooKsgr

— Fox News (@FoxNews) July 21, 2017

“Unlike most political appointees,” Carlson continued, “Sessions made big sacrifices to work in this administration. A year ago he was one of the most popular people in the state of Alabama.”

“Many on his staff didn’t want him to endorse Donald Trump but he did anyway,” Carlson said, “purely because he felt it was important. Sessions was worried about an unsecured border and what mass immigration would do to America, even though the biggest effects from those wouldn’t be seen until decades after he was long gone from this Earth.”

“He’s likely the most effective member of the Trump cabinet,” Carlson continued. “In return, the president attacked him in the failing New York Times.”

“That’s not just criticism, it’s an insult,” he said. “It’s also a worrisome sign that the president may be forgetting who is on his side. Goldman Sachs did not elect Donald Trump – America’s middle class did.”

“For God’s sakes, lay off Jeff Sessions,” he implored of Trump, “he is your friend, one of the very few you have in Washington.”

Donald Trump criticized Sessions while speaking to the New York Times for recusing himself in the Russian investigations into collusion and meddling in the U.S. election. The president seemed to think that it was the recusal that lead to the naming of Special Counsel Mueller.

In a wide ranging conversation with the New York Times, President Trump criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, discussed his previously undisclosed meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit and questioned what he considers conflicts surrounding special counsel Robert Mueller.

Posted in Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump, Politics, Robert Mueller, Russian interference, Russian investigation, Trump, Tucker Carlson

July 21st, 2017 by Staff Writer

Right-wing firebrand Ann Coulter indicated that she thought President Trump was wrong to blame Attorney General Jeff Sessions for the naming of Special Counsel Mueller in the investigations into Russian election meddling and alleged collusion with the Trump campaign.

“Who’s going to tell Trump?” she tweeted Thursday. “It wasn’t Sessions’ recusal that led to Special Counsel; It was Trump’s own boasting to Lester Holt 2 [months] later.”

Who’s going to tell Trump? It wasn’t Sessions’ recusal that led to Special Counsel; It was Trump’s own boasting to Lester Holt 2 mos later.

— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) July 20, 2017

Coulter was referring to the astounding public criticism that Trump made of his own attorney general in an interview with the New York Times Wednesday.

“Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else,” he said to the New York Times.

“Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself, which frankly I think is very unfair to the president,” he added.

“How do you take a job and then recuse yourself? If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, ‘Thanks, Jeff, but I’m not going to take you.’ It’s extremely unfair,” he continued,” and that’s a mild word — to the president.”

But Coulter points out that the naming of Mueller as special counsel came after Trump himself admitted to Lester Hold in an interview in May that he fired FBI Director James Comey over his handling of the Russian investigation.

“But are you angry with Mr. Comey because of his Russia investigation?” Holt asked the president.

“I just want somebody that’s competent,” Trump replied. “I am a big fan of the FBI. I love the FBI. I love the people of the FBI.”

“But were you a fan of him taking up the investigation?” Holt pressed.

“Look, look, let me tell you,” Trump said, “as far as I’m concerned I want that thing to be absolutely done properly. When I did this now, I said, I probably maybe will confuse people, maybe I’ll expand that, y’know I’ll lengthen the time. Because it should be over with, in my opinion it should have been over a long time ago. Because all it is, is an excuse. But I said to myself, I might even lengthen out the investigation.”

Special Counsel Mueller expanded his investigation into Russian meddling and collusion into the meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and other Trump campaign officials with Russians in the run-up to the 2016 election. Some Trump allies, like Fox News’ Sean Hannity, have called for an investigation into Mueller’s supposed conflicts of interest, which he says includes a friendship with former FBI Director James Comey.

Special counsel Robert Mueller and his team are now investigating President Trumps business transactions. Trump told the New York Times that he thinks thats a violation, even though many of his businesses have involved Russians for years.

Posted in Ann Coulter, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Politics, Robert Mueller, Russian interference, Russian investigation

July 21st, 2017 by Staff Writer

During Thursday night’s airing of “Special Report With Bret Baier,” Charles Krauthammer predicted that it would be only a matter of time before Attorney General Jeff Sessions leaves — or is ousted from — his post as AG.

Explaining that President Donald Trump “undercut” Sessions with harsh criticisms in Trump’s latest New York Times interview, where Trump said had he known that Sessions would recuse himself from the Russian investigation, he would have never appointed Sessions to the Attorney General post.

In the wide-ranging Times interview, about Sessions, Trump said, “Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else.”

Krauthammer, on Thursday night, said, “There’s a reason that … leaders of any kind don’t do that.”

Further, the political commentator and analyst added that Sessions’ reputation has likely been damaged as a result of Trump’s criticisms, because anytime Sessions is brought up in the future, he’ll likely be linked with having “been attacked by his own president.”

“He’s obviously lost the confidence of the president,” Krauthammer said. “That sort of limits his tenure.”

See Krauthammer’s full remarks in the video below.

Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com

Posted in Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Charles Krauthammer, Fox, Jeff Sessions, Politics, President Donald Trump, recusal, Videos

July 20th, 2017 by Staff Writer

President Trump publicly bad-mouthed his Attorney General to the New York Times Wednesday, saying that had he known he was going to recuse himself that the president would have chosen a different person.

Trump appeared angry as he openly discussed the decision of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from the investigations into Russian meddling in the U.S. election, and alleged collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign.

“Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else,” he told the New York Times.

“Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself, which frankly I think is very unfair to the president,” he continued.

“How do you take a job and then recuse yourself? If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, ‘Thanks, Jeff, but I’m not going to take you.’ It’s extremely unfair,” he concluded,” and that’s a mild word — to the president.”

The outburst appeared to corroborate a report in June that the president was still angry over Sessions’ recusal.

Trump/Sessions rift is real. I’m told Sessions even offered to resign. Asked about that, his spokesperson declined to comment

— Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) June 6, 2017

That report from ABC News’ Jon Karl added that Sessions only notified the president that he intended to recuse himself minutes before making the announcement. According to Karl, Trump was subsequently so angry that Sessions’ offered to resign over the matter, as the president was constantly bringing up his actions.

Later when Karl asked White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer if Trump had confidence in the attorney general, he had a vague response.

Wow — @PressSec cannot say whether the president has confidence in his Attorney General.

— Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) June 6, 2017

“I said I have not had a discussion with him on the question. I don’t, if I haven’t had a discussion with him about a subject, I tend not to speak about it,” Spicer eventually answered when pressed.

Sessions recused himself in March from the investigations into Russian election interference and alleged collusion after it was discovered that he neglected to mention a meeting with a Russian ambassador during a confirmation hearing.

Sessions later said that he had not included the meeting because he attended under his office as a U.S. senator, and not as a member of the Trump transition team.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he would not have appointed Jeff Sessions as attorney general if he had known Sessions would recuse himself from the Russia investigation, according to a New York Times interview.

Posted in Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions, Politics, President Donald Trump, Russian interference, Russian investigation, Trump, Vladimir Putin

July 20th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) has been diagnosed with brain cancer, his office revealed Wednesday. The cancerous brain tumor was discovered while he underwent surgery to remove a brain clot.

The Mayo Clinic released a statement at the request of the McCain family.

“On Friday, July 14, Sen. John McCain underwent a procedure to remove a blood clot from above his left eye at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix,” the statement read. “Subsequent tissue pathology revealed that a primary brain tumor known as a glioblastoma was associated with the blood clot.”

“Scanning done since the procedure (a minimally invasive craniotomy with an eyebrow incision) shows that the tissue of concern was completely resected by imaging criteria,” it continued.

“Treatment options may include a combination of chemotherapy and radiation,” it added. “The Senator’s doctors say he is recovering from his surgery ‘amazingly well’ and his underlying health is excellent.”

McCain’s office also released a statement thanking his doctors.

“Senator McCain appreciates the outpouring of support he has received over the last few days,” it read. “He is in good spirits as he continues to recover at home with his family in Arizona. He is grateful to the doctors and staff at Mayo Clinic for their outstanding care, and is confident that any future treatment will be effective. Further consultations with Senator McCain’s Mayo Clinic care team will indicate when he will return to the United States Senate.”

His daughter, Meghan McCain, released a statement from her Twitter account. “The news of my father’s illness has affected every one of us in the McCain family. My grandmother, mother, brothers, sisters and I have all endured the shock of the news,” she wrote.

“My love for my father is boundless, and like any daughter, I cannot and do not wish to be in a world without him,” she added. “I have faith that those days remain far away. Yet even in this moment, my fears for him are overwhelmed by one thing above all: gratitude for our years together, and the years still to come.”

Statement regarding my father @SenJohnMcCain: pic.twitter.com/SMte9Hkwkq

— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) July 20, 2017

“He is a warrior at dusk,” she concluded, “one of the greatest Americans of our age, and the worthy heir to his father’s and grandfather’s name. But to me he is something more. he is my strength, my example, my refuge, my confidante, my teacher, my rock, my hero – my dad.”

McCain’s surgery had postponed the vote on the Senate Republicans’ Obamacare repeal and replace bill, which later failed to garner the necessary votes.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Saturday that the Senate will delay consideration of the Republican health care bill while Sen. John McCain recovers from surgery for a blood clot.
McConnell tweeted that the Senate will work on other legislative issues and nominations next week and

Posted in Brain, Cancer, John McCain, Meghan McCain, Politics

July 20th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Conservative commentator Erick Erickson says that it’s time for the Republican party to chose a new Senate majority leader since Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) isn’t pushing President Trump’s agenda enough. He appeared on Fox News Wednesday to reiterate his editorial demanding the change.

“Well he doesn’t seem to be down with the president’s agenda, I mean where is the wall, where’s tax reform, where’s Obamacare repeal? These are all things that go to the Senate and then they suddenly die.”

“It’s not like there aren’t the votes in the Senate to get them passed.”

“You know we can’t even blame filibuster for this because they way they structured Obamacare repeal, you only needed 50 votes plus the Vice President, they can’t even get that with Mitch McConnell, who’s telling liberals in the Senate one thing, liberal Republicans one thing, telling conservative Republicans something else, and then when they get together in the same room they realize they’ve been told completely different things.”

Erickson was expanding on an editorial he posted at The Resurgent citing reports that McConnell was being deceptive to members of Congress in order to scapegoat conservatives.

“Mitch McConnell, in public, says he wants to pass a health care reform plan that repeals ObamaCare,” Erickson wrote. “But behind the scenes, McConnell has been working over liberal senators to assure them his plan will not actually scrap the Medicaid expansion and that he will undermine Senator Ted Cruz’s amendment to provide individual freedom in health care choices.”

“McConnell, again and again, stacks the deck against conservatives,” he added, “setting them up to be the fall guy for his own failures.”

“It is time for the Senate GOP to replace Mitch McConnell so that President Trump can actually get some of his legislative policies advanced,” he added. “It is not conservatives who are the obstacle, but the Senate leader himself.”

“Mr. President, instead of considering a challenge to Jeff Flake,” he concluded, “it might be time to send McConnell to the pasture.”

Jul.19 -- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to reporters at the White House about a procedural vote on the health-care bill.

Posted in Conservative, Erick Erickson, Mitch McConnell, Politics, trumpcare

July 20th, 2017 by Staff Writer

The Senate Judiciary Committee said Wednesday that Donald Trump Jr. and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort will be testifying for their investigation into Russian meddling and alleged collusion. They indicated that the public testimony would take place the following Wednesday.

The president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who also attended the meeting, is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee Monday, two days before Trump Jr. and Manafort’s testimony.

Trump Jr. has been at the center of a political firestorm around a June 2016 meeting days after his father, then-candidate Trump, clinched the Republican nomination. In a series of stories by the New York Times, it was revealed that Trump Jr. attended the meeting in hopes of obtaining damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

Later he released emails about the meeting showing that he was told the information would be a part of the Russian government’s effort to help Trump win the election.

“This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” wrote a publicist organizing the meeting in an email to Trump.

“If it what’s you say I love it especially later in the summer,” Trump Jr. replied. Conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer said these were the “fatal words” that provided evidence of campaign officials seeking to collude with the Russian government.

Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer that met with Trump Jr., told RT News that she was ready and eager to testify before Congress as well.

“If the Senate wants to hear the real, true story, I, with great readiness, will tell them everything I wanted to tell Mr. Trump (Jr.) and what I wanted to say in Congress last year,” she said.

“Absolutely everything I know about in what ways huge millions of money came into my country, Russia, and returned as billions.” she added, “And there were no taxes paid.”

The president has recently been batting down more accusations about meetings with Russians. It was reported that after a formal dinner at the G20 economic summit, President Trump sought out Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin and had a brief, “nearly hour long” meeting with him. Trump called the reporting of the meeting “sick” and “dishonest.”

US President Donald Trump and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin had another, undisclosed conversation at this month's G20.

Posted in Donald Trump Jr., Politics, Russian interference, Russian investigation, Trump Jr Russia, Trump Jr. emails, Trump Jr. meeting with Russians

July 19th, 2017 by Staff Writer

CNN political commentator David Gergen said a report Tuesday detailing a second previously undisclosed meeting between President Trump and Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin just “arouses more suspicion” about the “obsession” the president has with Russians. He made the comments Tuesday on Anderson Cooper’s show.

“The White House is saying that it is not merely perfectly normal,” said Cooper, “it is part of a president’s duties to interact with world leaders, adding that it was ‘just a brief conversation at the end of a dinner.’ I mean if it was an hour long as it’s being reported, that doesn’t seem like a brief conversation. And there’s no official government record, and they wouldn’t even mention it.”

“It is the president’s duty to circulate and to meet foreign leaders in an informal way,” Gergen said. “But it’s highly inappropriate for a president to sit down in a way Donald Trump did with Putin.

“If the president had brought his own interpreter so that there were two people there,” he continued, “one an American, one a Russian interpreting, you had a record on the American, and if the White House had then disclosed it, I think we would be saluting the president for having yet another hour with Putin.”

“But the way in which he did it, leaving the Russian interpreter,” Gergen added, “I can’t remember a time when a new American president first meeting has allowed the interpreter from the other side, from the Russian side to be the only person in the room.”

“But it just does not happen,” he continued, “it is abnormal, and it is not appropriate for his duty, and then not to disclose it only arouses further suspicions about what the hell is Donald Trump’s obsession with Vladimir Putin and why won’t he be straight forward about it?”

“And David,” Cooper asked, “is it normal not to have a readout of it for the American people?”

“Yes, it’s abnormal,” Gergen responded. “It, well, Anderson, if they want to have a very private conversation with interpreters there with the appropriate people in the room, that’s regularly done, and you don’t have a readout of everything. You know sometimes diplomacy is best conducted behind doors.”

David Gergen: Trump-Putin’s undisclosed meeting “only arouses further suspicions” about Trump’s obsession with Putin https://t.co/UCufvwdYSU

— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) July 19, 2017

“But you protect yourself as president by having other people with you who are from the American side and are looking after our interests and not letting the Russians take advantage of a new president.”

CNN said a White House official told them the meeting lasted “nearly an hour” during a dinner at the G20 economic summit, but later accounts said it was much more brief.

President Trump assailed the reporting from his social media account saying, “Fake News story of secret dinner with Putin is ‘sick.’ All G 20 leaders, and spouses, were invited by the Chancellor of Germany. Press knew!”

Fake News story of secret dinner with Putin is “sick.” All G 20 leaders, and spouses, were invited by the Chancellor of Germany. Press knew!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 19, 2017

David Gergen is a former presidential advisor who served under Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton.

According to a White House official Tuesday, Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a second, undisclosed meeting at the G20 summit in Germany back on July 7. The two leaders originally were thought to have held one two-hour meeting in which Trump said Putin denied allegations that he meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. On Tuesday, the White House official who revealed news of the second meeting, did not say how long it took place or what was discussed.

Posted in Donald Trump, Politics, President Donald Trump, Putin, Trump, Trump Putin G20, Vladimir Putin

July 19th, 2017 by Staff Writer

President Trump took to his Twitter account Tuesday to slam the account being reported by mainstream media that there was a previously undisclosed second meeting between the president and Russian Federation President Vladimir Trump.

“Fake News story of secret dinner with Putin is “sick.” All G 20 leaders, and spouses, were invited by the Chancellor of Germany,” the president tweeted. “Press knew!”

Fake News story of secret dinner with Putin is “sick.” All G 20 leaders, and spouses, were invited by the Chancellor of Germany. Press knew!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 19, 2017

He added in a second tweet, “The Fake News is becoming more and more dishonest! Even a dinner arranged for top 20 leaders in Germany is made to look sinister!”

CNN reported that a White House official confirmed the meeting, saying it was nearly an hour-long meeting and came after a dinner hosted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the G20 economic summit on July 7.

They also indicated that there was only a Russian translator present, a fact which raised eyebrows among critics of the president.

A statement from the White House defended the meeting, saying it was not outside of common practice. “It is not merely perfectly normal, it is part of a president’s duties, to interact with world leaders,” the statement read.

The Fake News is becoming more and more dishonest! Even a dinner arranged for top 20 leaders in Germany is made to look sinister!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 19, 2017

The president’s agenda has faced some stumbling blocks as Democrats and other Trump critics have accused his campaign officials of colluding with the Russian government before the election.

Prior to the New York Times reporting that Donald Trump Jr. and other officials met with Russians while seeking to obtain damaging information on Hillary Clinton, there was no real evidence of a willingness to collude with foreign governments.

According to the Associated Press, President Donald Trump had another, previously undisclosed conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a summit it Germany. White House spokesman Sean Spicer and National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton confirmed that Trump and Putin spoke privately at a dinner for world leaders and their spouses at the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. The conversation came hours after their first official meeting on July 7, which was originally scheduled to last just half an hour, but stretched on for more than two. Anton would not specify the duration of the meeting. But he said the discussion was casual and should not be characterized as a "meeting" or even a less formal, but official, "pull-aside." "A conversation over dessert should not be characterized as a meeting," he said.

Posted in Donald Trump, Politics, President Donald Trump, Russian interference, Russian investigation, Trump, Trump Putin G20, Vladimir Putin, Vladimir Putin Trump G20

July 19th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Betsy Hodges, the mayor of Minneapolis, was interviewed on Good Morning America Tuesday about the controversial police shooting that resulted in the death of a bride-to-be originally from Australia.

“We appreciate you spending some time with us because we don’t have to tell you the grief,” said Robin Roberts, “the outrage. This happened on Saturday, still no explanation as to how, or why this happened. Are you satisfied with how police and investigators are handling this, thus far?”

“Well first I have to agree with you this is just a devastating thing for our community, for the country, for the world, really, it’s just tragic and awful and disturbing,” Hodges responded.

“And we as a city have a policy now that we do not investigate ourselves,” she explained, “and so in critical incidences like this, so the State Bureau of Criminal Apprehensions took over right away. They have been the lead investigator. I encourage them to give as much information as swiftly as possible, but not compromising the investigation.”

“But I have the same questions everybody has – what happened?” she said.

“But you’re the mayor and the family of Justine,” Roberts pressed, “aren’t they deserving of some explanation at this point? Something?”

“Yes,” Hodges agreed. “I mean I’ve spoken to her fiance, you know he has the same questions everyone has, but we need to make sure there’s an investigation so we can answer those questions thoroughly and well whatever happens.”

“But I don’t know what the answers are, that’s the trade off of an independent investigation. We aren’t in charge of it.”

When asked why the police officers had their body cams turned off, she responded, “I don’t know why it wasn’t turned on, I don’t what happened, that’s one of the key questions that we have as this, as the investigation moves forward.” She indicated that she didn’t know if the cameras were ever turned on, even after the shooting.

40-year-old Australian Justine Damond was shot and killed by a policeman in an alley near her home. She had called the police to report a possible sexual assault outside, but when she walked up to the patrol car that responded, Officer Mohamed Noor shot through the driver door, hitting Damond fatally.

Damond, a yoga and meditation teacher, planned to get married next month.

An Australian woman who called 911 to report what she thought was an active sexual assault was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer. The case has left many relatives and neighbors searching for answers. Authorities have released no details about what led to the shooting of Justine Damond. She was a meditation teacher and bride-to-be who was killed late Saturday, by an officer who reportedly fired his weapon from the passenger seat of a squad car. There were no known witnesses besides the two officers in the car.

Posted in Australia, Minnesota, Police shootings, Politics

July 18th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Sebastian Gorka, deputy assistant to President Donald Trump, mocked the response from a former top aide in the Obama administration to his challenge to debate. He made the retort from his social media account Monday.

“PREDICTABLE,” Gorka tweeted, “I guess an MA in Fictional Writing ill equips [Ben Rhodes] to publicly explain what he was doing in the White House for 8 years.”

PREDICTABLE.

I guess an MA in Fictional Writing ill equips @brhodes to publicly explain what he was doing in the White House for 8 years. https://t.co/LtG8Z0hoh2

— Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) July 18, 2017

He was responding to CNN’s Jake Tapper, who passed on a reply from Ben Rhodes, the former Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications for the Obama administration.

According to Tapper, Rhodes said, “I have no idea what Sebastian Gorka’s actual job is and have even less interest in debating him on television.”

Gorka had mocked the foreign policy failures of the Obama administration Thursday on CNN while speaking with Jake Tapper. When Tapper protested Gorka’s comment that no former military members advised the Obama administration, Gorka retorted that Ben Rhodes had more influence despite only having a master’s degree in creative writing to his credit when he was hired.

“Not people as influential as Ben Rhodes who had a master’s degree in fictional writing,” Gorka responded. “That is disastrous.”

“Well, I’m sure he would put his graduate degree against yours any day of the week,” Tapper jabbed. “Sebastian Gorka, I appreciate your time.”

“Anytime, I’d be glad to debate him on your show,” he responded.

Some have cast doubt on the credibility of Gorka’s Ph.D in political science from Corvinus University of Budapest, saying that it was granted under dubious circumstances.

Gorka has been celebrated by supporters of the president for his attacks on the media while defending the administration on cable news shows. CNN anchor Anderson Cooper referred to Gorka as “the Hungarian Don Rickles” for all the insults he’s hurled against CNN.

After an insult-heavy exchange on CNN, anchor Anderson Cooper called an aide to President Donald Trump

Posted in Ben Rhodes, debate, Donald Trump, Jake Tapper, Politics, President Donald Trump, Sebastian Gorka, Trump

July 18th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) said Monday that he and Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) will be voting against the Senate Republicans’ Obamacare repeal and replace bill. Senator Lee will be joining Glenn Beck on his radio show Tuesday morning to explain his opposition.

He made the announcement from his official Twitter account.

My colleague @JerryMoran and I will not support the MTP to this version of BCRA #HealthcareBill

— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) July 18, 2017

The Senate version of the bill, called the “Better Care Reconciliation Act,” will not pass a critical procedural vote without these two crucial votes, since Republican senators Rand Paul (Ky.) and Susan Collins (Maine) have already announced their intention to oppose the bill. This means that the bill in its current form is likely dead.

“After conferring with trusted experts regarding the latest version of the Consumer Freedom Amendment,” Lee said in a statement, “I have decided I cannot support the current version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act.”

“In addition to not repealing all of the Obamacare taxes, it doesn’t go far enough in lowering premiums for middle class families; nor does it create enough free space from the most costly Obamacare regulations.”

Sen. Moran also posted his opposition to the bill to his Twitter account.

My colleague @SenMikeLee and I will not support the MTP to this version of BCRA. #HealthcareBill

— Jerry Moran (@JerryMoran) July 18, 2017

For the same reasons I could not support the previous version of this bill, I cannot support this one. #HealthcareBill

— Jerry Moran (@JerryMoran) July 18, 2017

“We should not put our stamp of approval on bad policy,” Moran said in a statement. “Furthermore, if we leave the federal government in control of everyday healthcare decisions, it is more likely that our healthcare system will devolve into a single-payer system, which would require a massive federal spending increase.”

The Republicans were able to narrowly pass a version of Obamacare repeal and replace in the House of Representatives, but the Senate GOP decided to start from scratch and draft their own bill.

Posted in Mike Lee, Obamacare repeal, Politics, Repeal and Replace, repeal Obamacare, senate GOP

July 18th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Rapper and singer Kid Rock for Republican senator?

Kid Rock — real name Robert James Ritchie — seems to be making strides into entering the political arena, and after kicking around the idea of running for Senate, has unveiled some of his policies on things such as health care and taxes.

Ritchie on Monday revealed his possible plans for the future, and in a tweet said, “I believe if you work your butt off and pay taxes, you should be able to easily understand the laws, tax codes, health care and anything else the government puts in place that affects us all.”

Last week, Ritchie seemed to announce a tentative bid for Senate in the wake of looming reports that he’d be running — also on Twitter — saying, “I will have a major announcement in the near future.”

See his full announcement in the Twitter update below.

https://t.co/RRVgISDFeq pic.twitter.com/zPDlqeHzJl

— Kid Rock (@KidRock) July 17, 2017

Posted in Celebrities, Entertainment, Kid Rock, Politics, Republicans, Senate, senators

July 17th, 2017 by Staff Writer

In an interview on Sunday with Jonathan Karl on ABC News’ “This Week,” Rep. Adam Schiff acknowledged it wouldn’t be “appropriate” for Democrats to receive any assistance from the Ukrainian government, but he suggested the alleged scandal involving Donald Trump Jr. and people claiming to have damaging information given by the Russian government is much worse.

In January, Politico published an investigative story connecting Ukrainian government officials to a Democrat operative. The operative allegedly used information passed from the Ukrainian government to help Democrats and the Hillary Clinton campaign in their fight against Donald Trump, who the Ukrainians believed to be too friendly with the Russian government.

According to Politico’s report, which Karl read from before asking Schiff a question about the event, “a Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the DNC met with top officials in the Ukrainian embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia. The Ukrainian efforts had an impact in this race, helping force Manafort’s resignation and advancing the narrative that the Trump campaign was deeply connected to Ukraine’s foe to the east, Russia.”

“I understand Hillary Clinton lost,” Karl said to Schiff, “and I understand this effort was not as elaborate as the Russian effort, but was it acceptable, or would it have been acceptable for the Democrats to accept help from the Ukrainian government in this campaign?”

“No, it would be appropriate for the Democrats to get help from the Ukrainian government,” replied Schiff. “But I think if you look at the Politico article, and we’re talking about just a single article here, if you accept all the facts in the article, the scale of what the Russians did is not comparable to anything in that article.”

“If it were, the comparable analogy would be that the Ukrainian president directed the Ukrainian intelligence agencies to steal, to hack, Donald Trump’s campaign, steal e-mails, publish them, directed a social media army to influence the election, and sat down — its representatives sat down with Chelsea Clinton and John Podesta in which they indicated they wanted the dirt op Donald Trump,” Schiff said. “There’s no suggestion anything of that magnitude [inaudible].”

“The scale is different. … But the meeting is problematic? This Ukrainian meeting is problematic, in your eyes?” Karl asked.

“Well, it would be problematic to get any kind of support from a foreign government,” Schiff said. “But, again, I think to compare the two is like a bit like comparing bank robbery with writing a check with insufficient funds. Both appropriate money from the bank improperly, but a very different degree of seriousness and involvement in the case by a foreign government.”

As the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Schiff has been one of the Trump administration’s staunchest critics and most skeptical opponents, especially on the issue of possible Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election.

Schiff’s comments came just days after a new report revealed at least eight people were present at the June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer claiming to have Kremlin-linked damaging knowledge about Hillary Clinton, information Trump Jr. failed to disclose in previous statements about the controversial meeting. NBC News also reported on Friday one of the attendees at the meeting was a former Soviet counterintelligence officer.

President Donald Trump and Trump Jr. have both denied any wrongdoing and dismissed the importance of these reports. On Sunday, Trump wrote on Twitter, “HillaryClinton can illegally get the questions to the Debate & delete 33,000 emails but my son Don is being scorned by the Fake News Media?”

HillaryClinton can illegally get the questions to the Debate & delete 33,000 emails but my son Don is being scorned by the Fake News Media?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 16, 2017

Posted in ABC News, Adam Schiff, Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Politics, Russia, Russia Collusion

July 17th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Transgender activist and former Olympic gold medalist Caitlyn Jenner, formerly Bruce Jenner, told a radio host she is considering running for the U.S. Senate.

In an interview that aired on Sunday on WNYM-AM with John Catsimatidis, Jenner said she would “look for a senatorial run” and that she “like[s] the political side.”

“There’s a rumor you want to run for the United States Senate in California,” Catsimatidis said.

“How did it get back to you? … I have considered it. I like the political side of it,” Jenner said. “If there’s one thing, I work very closely with a group called the American Unity Fund, that their sole purpose, their mission statement is to get the Republican Party to do a better job when it comes to LGBT issues. That’s kind of my issue.”

“The political side of it has also always been very intriguing to me,” Jenner added. “Over the next six months or so, I got to find out where I can do a better job. Can I do a better job from the outside? Kind of working the perimeter of the political scene, being open to talking to anybody? Or, are you better from the inside? And we are in the process of determining that. But yeah, I would look for a senatorial run.”

Jenner’s “six month” timeline suggests if she does choose to run, it would likely be in 2018. Incumbent Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D), who has held the seat since 1992, is very popular in California, but it’s not clear whether Feinstein, who is 84 years old and the oldest member of the Senate, will run for reelection in 2018.

In January, Feinstein told a reporter she had not decided whether she would run in 2018, but she hinted she would like to if her health holds up, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times.

“What I’ve said is, as long as I feel I can get things done, and I can, then I think I benefit the people of my state as opposed to someone new coming in. That, I realize is in anyone’s mind is different, but you asked me what I think. If I can produce, and I can produce, and I can continue to produce, then I will continue to produce. If I believe I can’t, either by health or any other way, I won’t, but as long as I believe I can, I will,” Feinstein said. “Is that pretty clear?”

If Jenner does choose to run for the Senate and Feinstein also goes for reelection, it’s likely Jenner would run as a Republican. She has roots in the Republican Party, identifies as fiscally conservative, and it’s hard to believe anyone, even someone as high-profile as Jenner, could beat the entrenched Feinstein in a Democratic Party primary race.

In Jenner’s interview with Catsimatidis, she was very critical of the Democratic Party on the controversial issue of whether Democrats should align with Islamic groups that, according to Catsimatidis, promote Sharia law.

“Being a part of the [LGBT] community, and the Democrats mostly being the pro-Muslim, pro-Sharia law — how do the Democrats justify liking the LGBT community when they’re also pushing Sharia law?” Catsimatidis asked.

“I totally agree with you,” Jenner replied. “We’re talking about equality for everybody. Actually, this afternoon, I’m going to meet with [U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations] Nikki Haley, and we’re going to discuss the international ramifications of being in the LGBT community … Yes, around the world, it’s very hard to support Saudi Arabia — ”

“When they’d rather cut your head off,” Catsimatidis interjected.

“Yes, they’re not very friendly to our community,” Jenner replied. “And so, yeah, I think the Democrats in a lot of ways — although in the United States, the perception of the Democrats is they’re pro-equality, pro-LGBT and this and that. And the perception of the Republican Party is that they are all about rich white guys trying to make money. I would hope in the next generation — because it’ll take a generation for this to change — that we can change the perception of the Republican Party and make it the party of equality. If you can do that — if you can be socially aware of what’s going on but conservatively economically [sic], I mean, that’s the way to go.”

Jenner also said she believes in “limited government” and conservative economic policies.

“Give the people of this country the freedom to go out into the workforce without tons and tons and tons and tons of regulations, and all the things that go on,” Jenner said. “I believe in the people, not in massive government.”

Posted in Bruce Jenner, Caitlyn Jenner, California, Dianne Feinstein, LGBT, Politics

July 17th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) doesn’t believe the Senate will repeal Obamacare and pass a health care replacement bill anytime soon. Paul offered the sobering update over the weekend during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday.”

When asked if he believes Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has enough votes to pass an Obamacare replacement, Paul said he doesn’t believe McConnell does.

“You know, I don’t think right now he does,” Paul said.

“The real problem we have is that we won four elections on repealing Obamacare but [the Senate GOP’s replacement bill] keeps most of Obamacare taxes, keeps most of the regulations, keeps most of the subsidies and creates something that Republicans have never been for and that’s a giant insurance bailout superfund,” Paul explained. “That’s not a Republican idea to give taxpayer money to a private industry that already makes $15 billion in profit.”

When asked by show host Chris Wallace what course of action Republicans should take should they fail to pass health care reform, Paul suggested they repeal Obamacare and its taxes, regulations and mandates then worry about passing a replacement bill later.

“What I’ve suggested to the president…if this comes to an impasse, I think if the president jumps into the fray and says ‘Look guys, you promised to repeal it, let’s just repeal what we can agree to,’” Paul explained. “And then we can continue to try to fix, replace or whatever has to happen afterwards.”

“But the one thing we should do is try to repeal as many of the taxes, as many of the regulations and as many of the mandates as we possibly can,” Paul emphasized, noting that he’s optimistic for compromise to come to Senate Republicans.

Paul explained that he can’t currently support the Senate’s health care bill because it keeps the heart of Obamacare alive, which Paul called the bill’s “fundamental flaw.”

“Mandates on insurance cause prices to rise and young, healthy people then say ‘Ill wait until I get sick [to buy insurance].’ And then the insurance pool gets sicker and sicker — it’s called adverse selection, we also call it the ‘death spiral,’” Paul said. “The Republican plan admits that it will continue.”

“The Republican plan doesn’t fix the death spiral of Obamacare, it simply subsidizes it,” Paul explained.

McConnell over the weekend announced that any vote on a health care replacement would be postponed until Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) returns to Washington. McCain is recovering at home in Arizona after undergoing surgery on Friday for a blood clot above his left eye.

.@RandPaul: “I don’t think Republicans should put their name on this [bill].” https://t.co/rE5W333VUU pic.twitter.com/OMPNg9e78k

— Fox News (@FoxNews) July 16, 2017

Posted in Fox News, GOP, Health Care, Obamacare, Politics, Rand Paul, Republicans, Senate, watch

July 16th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) have announced they won’t support the Better Care Reconciliation Act, Senate Republicans’ plan to replace Obamacare. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), citing improvements in the latest draft of the bill and the inclusion of a modified version of the Cruz-Lee Consumer Protection Option, has indicated he will vote for the BCRA.

With most of the Senate having already made up its mind on the legislation, conservative Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) remains as one of the few who have yet to weigh in, posting on Twitter on Thursday he’s “withholding judgment” on the newest version of the legislation.

I am withholding judgment and look forward to reading it. 2/2

— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) July 13, 2017

If Lee chooses to join Paul, who has announced he can’t support this version of the legislation because it keeps too much of Obamacare in place, and Collins, who isn’t voting for the BCRA because she believes there are too many cuts to government funding, then the bill will effectively be dead, regardless of whether other Republicans stand.

On Thursday, when the latest draft of the BCRA was released, it appeared to many as though the addition of the modified Cruz-Lee amendment would be enough to sway both Cruz and Lee, but Lee quickly announced that he wasn’t nearly as sold as Cruz.

At issue is the modification made to the amendment, which the Senate leadership added to the bill at the last minute after Cruz reportedly approached them with a compromise. The original version of the amendment supported by Lee would have allowed health insurance companies to sell any policies they want so long as they offered at least one policy that complied with most Obamacare mandates, including the pre-existing conditions clause and community-rating requirement, which now forces insurers to sell people of the same age policies at the same price regardless of health status (with only a few exceptions).

Lee and Cruz believe this amendment would make health insurance significantly more affordable for many people without pre-existing conditions while still ensuring those with pre-existing conditions had at least one option to purchase health insurance.

The newest version of the amendment keeps that basic framework intact, but makes one important revision: Rather than allow insurers to put those purchasing Obamacare-compliant health insurance plans (these people will most likely have pre-existing conditions) and those purchasing every other type of plan, many of which would be cheaper than the Obamacare-compliant plans, in two different risk pools, all plans would have to be placed in the same risk pool.

What this means is that insurance prices across both plan types would have to be increased by the same percentage, if an insurer chooses to increase prices at all. While this might seem like a relatively minor issue; it’s not. If insurers are required to increase prices at the same rate, the cost of insuring people with pre-existing conditions will continue to be heavily subsidized by people in the market who have maintained continuous coverage, one of the key reasons health insurance prices have grown so dramatically in recent years. Health insurers would also be forced to apply two totally different models to the same risk pool, which some say would be incredibly difficult and costly to accomplish.

By forcing rates for newer, cheaper plans to increase at the same percentage as Obamacare-compliant plans, insurance companies’ risk would be spread out more evenly amongst consumers of every plan type, allowing people with pre-existing conditions to have access to more affordable plans. However, this model would also make it more likely insurance companies or their competitors would constantly create newer, cheaper plans to lure healthier patients away from their current plans as they become more expensive, creating instability in the system over the long run.

Lee has offered no hints as to what his future decision on the legislation will be, but one thing seems almost certain: The fate of the Better Care Reconciliation Act rests in his hands.

Posted in ACA, Mike Lee, Obamacare, Politics, Rand Paul, Susan Collins, Ted Cruz

July 16th, 2017 by Staff Writer

A “queer feminist legal analyst” has sued President Donald Trump after she was blocked by the president from viewing his personal Twitter account, @realDonaldTrump.

Rebecca Buckwalter-Poza alleged that her career has suffered irreparable damage in the weeks after she was personally barred via Twitter’s “block” function from replying to or interacting in any way with Trump’s personal tweets or Twitter account.

Writing in Fortune magazine, Buckwalter-Poza said:

Gone now is my ability to participate in the timeliest and most robust conversations around law, policy, and politics on Twitter—those around the president’s tweets. Taking part in these exchanges was an ideal way to stay current on not just facts, but new ideas. These threads make up the marketplace of ideas in which my peers and potential employers, colleagues, and audience are present and participating. I’ve been forced out and have no meaningful way to rejoin them.

I didn’t think being blocked on Twitter was a big deal at first. It’s just a button you can click, a way to mute an ex or tune out trolls’ attacks. But it turns out that when the person who blocks you is the president of the United States, it can matter quite a bit. Every day I’m blocked I lose opportunities to advance my views and engage others’—literally the reason a reader follows a writer’s work, the substance a publication pays a writer for—in these conversations. I can’t fire off a 140-word tweet, create a thread, or share pieces I write to drive discussion within these very conversations. That quick click I thought was so inconsequential is constraining my career in ways I have yet to fully appreciate.

When Buckwalter-Poza boasted about the suit on Twitter, she was widely mocked:

I am dumber for having read this. Be warned, you’ll feel your IQ evaporate off your brain like water on a hot skillet. https://t.co/pdQ1LOXUPq

— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) July 14, 2017

Some people lose jobs because of robots, or because the plant was moved to Mexico; others because a celebrity blocked them on the twitterz

— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) July 14, 2017

of all the arguments in favor of using the courts to micromanage how trump uses his twitter account this hed is by far the least persuasive https://t.co/lmBBwqLjdO

— Sonny Bunch (@SonnyBunch) July 14, 2017

Trump’s tweets are fully visible to anyone not logged into Twitter. Unless your purpose is to tweet him, this literally doesn’t affect you.

— neontaster (@neontaster) July 14, 2017

Snowflakes are so fragile. https://t.co/PjIJ4yQWX9

— David Starsky (@Dogtownz) July 14, 2017

pic.twitter.com/zGvIWROC6F

— DEPLORABLE CHRIS (@DeplorableChri5) July 14, 2017

Being blocked by Trump isn’t hurting you at all. Log out and view.

Or perhaps, create another account like countless banned conservatives

— Aaron Lee Mathis (@aaronlmathis) July 14, 2017

Referring to yourself as a “public intellectual” is both hilarious and insufferably smug. How has the inability to tweet @ potus harmed you?

— Asher Ellsworth (@aeknipe) July 14, 2017

Hahahahahahahahahaha Hahahahahahahahahaha Hahahahahahahahahaha Hahahahahahahahahaha Hahahahahahahahahaha https://t.co/HGoo7azfdv

— Scarborough’s Hair™ (@EF517_V2) July 14, 2017

One person even offered a bit of advice:

Someone help this poor woman, who can’t figure out how to set up a side account and screenshot Trump’s tweets. https://t.co/goI5jSRfXr

— Brooke Rogers (@bkerogers) July 14, 2017

Trump is being sued by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, which advocates for free speech. White House press secretary Sean Spicer and Trump’s director of social media, Dan Scavino, are also named as defendants in the suit. The suit was filed in the Southern district of New York.

The plaintiffs allege that Trump’s personal Twitter account, which boasts nearly 34 million followers, is a public forum, and being blocked for their viewpoints is a violation of their First Amendment rights. Public forums are areas that typically receive the strongest First Amendment protects.

The plaintiffs seek to be unblocked from Trump’s personal Twitter account, in addition to Trump being barred from future banning over opposing viewpoints.

Posted in Donald Trump, Lawsuit, Politics, Twitter

July 15th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Members of the mainstream media reacted with confusion and skepticism when a visitor to the White House posted a photograph of President Trump as faith leaders prayed over him, with a laying on of hands.

“Such an honor to pray within the Oval Office for [the president] & [the vice president],” the tweet read.

Such an honor to pray within the Oval Office for @POTUS & @VP . pic.twitter.com/JrDOSJyFeN

— Johnnie Moore ن (@JohnnieM) July 12, 2017

The post was composed by Johnnie Moore, a former senior vice president at Liberty University.

Anyone who is even remotely familiar with the history and traditions of Christianity recognizes the ritual of “laying on of hands” that is even recorded in the Bible.

Harris Faulkner discussed the reaction from the mainstream media on Fox News’ Outnumbered.

“Well there are actually some new questions on whether the mainstream media are out of touch with much of America, after this reaction to a photograph,” she explained. “Evangelical leaders lay their hands on President Trump as they prayed over him at the White House earlier this week.”

Erin Burnett of CNN was quoted in her reaction, which seemed to be out of ignorance of the existence of the ritual.

“Pretty stunning image, I mean, I’ll give you a quick peek at it,” Burnett said. “The president bowing his head in prayer in the Oval Office and all these people sort of touching him, it’s very strange, we’re gonna tell you what happened there.”

Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com

Faulkner also cited the reporting from the progressive news site Huffington Post, where they question Trump’s faith while covering the story.

“Trump, who identifies as Presbyterian, has demonstrated a basic lack of understanding about the Christian faith,” the Huffpo writer said, “including what constitutes an evangelical. But his Christian supporters aren’t fazed.”

The author cited a report attributing confusion on the part of Trump about the distinction between Presbyterians and evangelicals. Another link went to a Huffpo article citing Biblical verses that were taken to be contradictory to policy items on Trump’s political agenda.

Conservative commentator Mark Steyn described the resistance of the left to “ostentatious” acts of faith on Outnumbered.

“There’s a secular elite that doesn’t like, it’s actually creeped out by ostentatious displays of faith. So a little kind of rump, residual, episcopalianism is like OK, but when you actually got laying on of hands, that’s, ‘Woah! That’s way too much, man!’” he exclaimed, throwing his hands up in mock pantomime.

Evangelicals who support Donald Trump made their peace long ago with his tendency to say absolutely terrible things. The fact that Donald Trump said in 2005 that he could grab women by a vulgar term for their genitalia because he's famous doesn't seem to be changing how social conservative leaders feel about him. Evangelicals who opposed him before still aren't fans. And the ones in his camp aren't fazed by the recording. That's because this isn't about how much they like the brash billionaire; it's about how unflinching they are in their opposition to Hillary Clinton. Robert Jeffress the pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas and a member of Trump's Evangelical Executive Advisory Board. According to The Daily Beast, he said Trump's comments were

Posted in Christian, Christianity, CNN, Donald Trump, Evangelicals, Evangelism, Mainstream Media, Politics, Religion, Trump

July 15th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton had a warm and engaging speaking event Thursday in Dallas, Texas, at a program for the Presidential Leadership Scholars. Clinton’s answer to one question sounded suspiciously to commentators on Fox News like a critique of a recent presidential candidate.

Moderator David Rubenstein asked what the most important quality someone would need who is aspiring to be a president. After Bush’s very brief but insightful answer, Clinton responded.

“I also think you have to begin with the end in mind,” Clinton said. “You have to say, yeah, you gotta win the election. But why in the heck are you running?”

“That’s another thing I noticed about him,” Clinton said, pointing at Bush. “When he ran for governor against Ann Richards, he didn’t say ‘Ann Richards is a klutz.’ He said, ‘I wanna be governor because I wanna do one, two, three things.’ Couple of ’em I didn’t agree with. But he had an agenda.”

“If you want to be president,” he continued, “realize, it’s about the people, not about you.”

Howard Kurtz on Fox News said the former president gave himself enough space to deny the similarities to criticisms of the Hillary Clinton 2016 campaign, but explained why some thought it was a jab at her lack of political skill.

“It’s obvious to the rest of us what he’s talking about,” Kurtz said, “and look, Hillary Clinton had a campaign where she had a whole laundry list of liberal positions but no theme, no emotional connection to voters, and not much more beyond Donald Trump is awful, and that’s what the former president was artfully saying.”

Kurtz continued, explaining that Hillary Clinton failed “to campaign with certain kinds of voters where she didn’t go as well, Martha.”

“So Clinton, the former president, that is,” he added, “argued internally during the 2016 campaign, his wife needed to do more of that. He did some of it himself, he went to places like Lansing, Michigan, the final week of the campaign.”

The quote from the former president continued after the Fox News video, and many saw instead a pointed critique of President Donald Trump.

“And when it’s over,” Clinton said, “and that’s what a lot of these people who are real arrogant in office, they forget, and it passes more quickly than you know. You wanna be able to say people are better off when I quit, kids have a better future, things were coming together, you don’t wanna say, ‘God, look at all the people I beat!’”

Even during the 2016 presidential campaign many supporters of Hillary Clinton would compare her to her husband, saying that she just didn’t have the political skill he had to engage every individual voter. There were reports that her campaign was trying to keep the former president from upstaging her at events.

On Monday former President Bill Clinton sat down with 'CBS This Morning' co-host Charlie Rose to discuss his wife Hillary Clinton's recent struggles in the Presidential race. While Bill made it a point to say Hillary's physical health is on the rise after her public collapsing at a 9/11 memorial, he did emphasize the struggle she has to connect with voters.

Posted in 2016 presidential election, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton, Politics

July 15th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Shepard Smith blew up at the Trump administration during his show when another revelation about the Russian meeting in June 2016 broke into the headlines, apparently contradicting Donald Trump Jr.’s that the whole story was out. He made the comments Friday on Fox News while speaking with Chris Wallace.

“The emails, well in fact, this was supposed to be,” Wallace said, “and what the Trump folks took the meeting to accomplish was the Russian government trying to give information about Hillary Clinton as part of an effort to swing the election to Donald Trump. So, you know you’re exactly right, we’ve been told a variety of stories. We’ve gotten – and who knows if we’ve even gotten to the end of the story, we’ve only got to the end of the story with the emails.”

“I know that we haven’t,” Smith said, “I know that we haven’t because there’s news breaking at this moment, Chris.”

“Fox News can now confirm,” Smith said dramatically turning to the camera. “New, more, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, the lawyer from Russia, the interpreter, this new guy we found about today, and a mystery person. John Roberts confirms there was an eighth person in that meeting.”

“We don’t know there may have been more but there was an eighth,” he added.

“Jared Kushner filled out his form, I think it’s an F-86,” Smith explained, “saying who he had met with and what he’d done. Very important stuff, you can go to prison for messing it up, y’know, intentionally.”

“He went back and added one hundred names and places,” he continued. “None of these people made it. They – we’re still not clean on this, Chris, if there’s nothing there, and that’s what they tell us, they tell us there’s nothing to this, nothing came of it, there’s a nothing-burger, it wasn’t memorable, didn’t write it down, didn’t tell ya about it because it wasn’t anything so I didn’t even remember it!”

“With a Russian interpreter in the room at Trump Tower,” he added sarcastically.

“If all of that, why all these lies?” Smith demanded. “Why is it lie after lie after lie? If you’re clean, come on clean! Y’know?”

“My grandmother used to say, ‘Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive,’” he said, paraphrasing a Shakespeare verse.

“The deception, Chris, is mind-boggling!” He exclaimed. “And there are still people out there who believe we’re making it up. And one day they’re gonna realize we’re not, and look around and go, where are we and why are we getting told all these lies.”

“You know, I don’t know what to say,” Wallace responded, almost speechless. I think there’s a lot of truth to everything that you’ve said.”

On Friday it was discovered that the meeting in June 2016 with Trump Jr. and other Trump associates with a Russian lawyer also included a Russian-born lobbyist who is said to have had counter-intelligence experience in Russia, and two unidentified persons. Critics have taken this to show that Trump Jr. had not being completely upfront about all the details of the controversial meeting.

President Trump said that he was proud of the transparency of his son for divulging the emails about the meeting.

CBS4's John Dickerson Reports

Posted in Chris Wallace, Donald Trump Jr., Fox News, Politics, Russian interference, Russian investigation, Shepard Smith, Trump Jr Russia, Trump Jr. emails

July 15th, 2017 by Staff Writer

In yet another surprise development in the ongoing saga over a meeting with a Russian lawyer in June during the election, it appears as if there at least eight persons present that has not been identified yet.

A report Friday afternoon revealed two more people attended than were known previously.

This is in addition to the revelation Friday morning that in attendance was also a lobbyist, Rinat Akhmetshin, who emigrated to the U.S. from Russia. He previously served as a Soviet counter-intelligence officer served in the Soviet military and was accused of hacking into the files of a Russian mining company in 2015. He denied those allegations in court.

This means that the meeting was attended by at least eight people: Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, publicist Rob Goldstone, lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin, a representative for the Agalarov family, and a translator.

This doesn’t contradict what Donald Trump Jr. said about the meeting, but adds more elements that he seems to have omitted, even as he says he was being completely transparent about the controversial event.

Trump Jr. and his allies say that the meeting was so unimportant that he simply didn’t think it was worth mentioning after it was completed. “It was such a nothing, I literally wouldn’t have remembered it,” he told Sean Hannity on Fox News Tuesday. 

He claimed that that nothing came of the meeting, no information was exchanged, and that the story was completely out.

“This is everything,” Trump Jr. said, “this is everything.”

People in June 6, 2016 Trump Tower meeting. https://t.co/i9s177eYb7 pic.twitter.com/lT0V70Qqzk

— Fox News (@FoxNews) July 14, 2017

Critics of the president have used the previously-undisclosed meeting as evidence of the theory that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government to tilt the election to President Trump and away from Hillary Clinton.

Others like conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer called the meeting unethical and problematic for the Trump administration, even if it was not strictly illegal.

A Russian-American lobbyist says he attended a June 2016 meeting with President Donald Trump's son, marking another shift in the account of a discussion that was billed as part of a Russian government effort to help Trump's campaign. (July 14)

Posted in Donald Trump Jr., Politics, Russian interference, Russian investigation, Sean Hannity Trump Jr, Trump Jr Russia, Trump Jr. emails

July 14th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer dismissed a new conspiracy theory that the Obama administration allowed into the country a Russian lawyer to set up Donald Trump Jr. for collusion. He made the comments on Fox News Thursday.

“Well I’m not impressed by the story about the lawyer,” he said, “I think it’s a red herring the size of a whale. She was a pawn. It doesn’t change the central fact in the scandal.”

“The scandal is that the email received from an intermediary by Donald Trump Jr. said that a Russian government lawyer, the president is wrong it was not a lawyer, a Russian government lawyer, would be coming with dirt on Hillary,” he added, “and that the Kremlin was supporting his campaign, and that the crown prosecutor, that’s a misnomer, the state prosecutor in the Kremlin had a trove of documents that they would offer.”

“That’s the story,” he said emphatically.

“I don’t think it’s illegal,” he continued, “I don’t think anybody’s claiming that it’s illegal, but it does, the one thing it does, it totally undermines a six month story from the White House, to which I was sympathetic, that there wasn’t any collusion.”

“This was a bungled collusion,” he explained. “This was amateurish collusion, this was Keystone Cops collusion, but it doesn’t change the fact that it was attempted collusion.”

“And it undoes the White House story completely,” he concluded.

Krauthammer continued later, “Well there’s one salient fact here. Hillary is a private citizen. She lost the election. All of this could be true – if people want to go after her to put her in jail.”

“Lock her up,” he said, apparently referring to the Trump campaign chant. “OK, I have no objection whatsoever.”

“The fact is that the president is Mr. Trump,” he added. “And this is an accusation that’s been made against him. His own nomination for the FBI [director], has said that what Donald Trump Jr. did, what the campaign did, essentially, the top three officials in the campaign, was something that was wrong and they should instead have called the authorities. That’s the salient fact.”

Baier pressed him on where the crime was, and Krauthammer reiterated that he didn’t think there was a crime, but that there was six months of deception from the Trump campaign.

“I’m willing to concede that it’s not a criminal act, but it’s certainly an unethical act,” he concluded.

Some defenders of the president have latched onto details about Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr., to imply that she was part of an effort by the Obama administration to entrap the president’s son. The New York Times revelations about the meeting has led to Special Counsel Mueller expanding his investigation into Russian collusion to include Trump Jr’s emails.

Watchdogs to DOJ: Trump Jr. meeting broke campaign finance laws

Posted in Charles Krauthammer, Donald Trump Jr., Politics, Trump Jr Russia, Trump Jr. emails

July 14th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Former Vice President Al Gore said that the fight against global warming was just like the great moral causes in history, like abolishing slavery or the civil rights crusade of the 1960s. He made the comments in a speech at the EcoCity World Summit in Melbourne, Australia.

“The climate movement,” Gore said towards the end of his remarks, “is right now in the tradition of all the great moral causes that have improved the circumstances of humanity throughout our history. The abolition of slavery. Women’s suffrage and women’s rights.”

“The civil rights movement and the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa,” he continued. “The late Nelson Mandela said it was always impossible until it was done. The movement to stop the toxic phase of the nuclear arms race and more recently the gay rights movement.”

“Some of you may disagree with that. I don’t,” he said. “I did earlier in my life.”

“But all of these movements have one thing in common,” he explained. “They all have met with ferocious resistance and have generated occasional feelings of despair from those who knew the right direction and wondered whether we could ever get there.”

Gore also obliquely mentioned President Donald Trump during his speech. Trump has been a vehement critic of the global warming narrative, and at one point said it was a conspiracy created by China to undermine the United States.

“We are changing rapidly no matter what the person in the White House says,” Gore charged.

“This is a statement from Goldman Sachs,” he quoted, “The prices for batteries and solar panels will continue to drop. That will drive this transition regardless of who’s in the White House.”

“Can you imagine what I feel (about Trump?),” he added.

President Trump rescinded the United States’ commitment to the Paris Climate Treaty in June despite objections by Democrats and liberals like former Secretary of State John Kerry who called his action shameful.

Gore is promoting a sequel to his 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth about the theory of climate change and the threat it might pose to future generations.

While in Australia promoting his upcoming documentary on climate change, An Inconvenient Sequel: Speaking Truth to Power, a follow-up to his 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth, former vice president Al Gore sat down with Studio 10 and spoke briefly about President Trumps announcement that the United States would be pulling out of the Paris Agreement.

Posted in Al Gore, Climate Change, Donald Trump, Environmentalist, Global Warming, Paris Climate Accord, Politics, Trump

July 14th, 2017 by Staff Writer

A former staffer for a Democratic member of the House of Representatives has been charged with publishing nude photos and videos from her iPhone after he was entrusted to get it fixed for her. The staffer was indicted on the charges by a grand jury Thursday.

WHOA: Feds charge DC man with circulating private, nude images and video of US House Member and spouse

— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) July 13, 2017

The U.S. Attorney’s office said 35-year-old Juan R. McCullum publicly disseminated intimate photos and videos of Stacey Plaskett, the delegate to the House for the U.S. Virgin Islands, and her husband.

It was reported that Plaskett’s sex tape was leaked online year ago. “The theft and distribution of these personal images via the internet marks a new low in Virgin Islands politics,” she said at the time. “I am shocked and deeply saddened that someone would stoop to such a level as to invade my marriage and the love of my family in an attempt to besmirch me politically.”

In 2015, McCullem offered to take Plaskett’s broken iPhone to get it fixed at an Apple store. He was able to obtain “private, nude photos and videos,” from the device after she handed it over.

McCullem left the staff in July of 2016, and to get revenge on Plaskett, he posted the salacious content on the internet from anonymous Hotmail and Facebook accounts. He also encouraged others to spread the content to damage Plaskett.

According to the charging document, McCullem tried to spread the salacious content to Plaskett’s primary opponents in 2016, to get revenge on her.

The grand jury also indicted his 45-year-old co-worker Dorene Browne-Louis on two counts of obstruction of justice for deleting text messages about McCullem’s tawdry actions.

McCullem faces five years in prison for two charges of cyberstalking, while Brown-Louis faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.

Two former staffers have been charged in connection with circulating nude images of a Congresswoman and her husband. The photographs were stolen from the phone of Stacey Plaskett, a non-voting member of Congress from the U.S. Virgin Island. According to BuzzFeed News, the Department of Justice says Juan McCullum got the nude images in March 2016 after offering to take Plaskett's iPhone to an Apple store to get it fixed. Later that July, after McCullum no longer worked for Plaskett, he allegedly used a fake name to create Facebook and Hotmail accounts to distribute the nude images. He then encouraged others on social media to redistribute the images and videos in the member's congressional district. McCullum faces two counts of cyberstalking, and may get five years in prison. Dorene Browne-Louis faces two counts of obstruction of justice and a maximum of 20 years in prison.

Posted in Democrat, Facebook, House of Representatives, Politics, Sex, Social Media, stalking

July 14th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Tamika Mallory, co-founder of the Women’s March Inc., will lead a nationwide protest Friday against the National Rifle Association, citing their recent promotional video featuring TheBlaze’s Dana Loesch as a primary reason for their actions.

The protest will take place outside the NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia, in opposition to a video that they called “dangerous propaganda.”

“You are responsible for an organization that claims to be the ‘oldest civil rights organization in America,’” Mallory wrote in an open letter to the NRA. “However, recent actions by the NRA demonstrate not only a complete disregard for the lives of black and brown people in America – your fellow citizens – but appear to be a direct endorsement of violence against these citizens exercising their constitutional right to protest.,”

As TheBlaze reported last week, Mallory called on the NRA to take several specific actions to show remorse for their video, the first of which was to take down the video, featuring Loesch, who is also a national NRA spokeswoman.

“Immediately remove the recent irresponsible and dangerous propaganda videos narrated by conservative talk radio host Dana Loesch,” Mallory demanded.

Mallory then called for a formal apology from the gun rights organization.

“Issue an apology to the American people for the video you sponsored, which bears your name and logo, as it suggests armed violence against communities of color, progressives and anyone who does not agree with this Administration’s policies,” she added.

Loesch will host a special Women’s March Protest episode of her nationally syndicated radio program “The Dana Show,” to coincide with the Women’s March protest at 1 p.m. ET.

Posted in Dana Loesch, NRA, Politics, Women's March

July 14th, 2017 by Staff Writer

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) deserves credit for his response Thursday to a series of false news stories about the House dress code.

Earlier this month, members of the media decried the “new” and “sexist” dress code in the House Speaker’s Lobby that prohibited women from wearing sleeveless dresses or open-toed shoes.

Some of the stories about the dress code painted a picture that could have been ripped from the pages of “The Handmaid’s Tale” — an oppressive rule implemented by a patriarchal government hell-bent on controlling women, an example of sexism in President Donald Trump’s America rivaling that in the Republic of Gilead.

There was just one problem with the stories — they weren’t true.

My colleague Jon Street detailed last week how multiple media outlets erroneously reported that the dress code was implemented by Ryan. It has, in fact, been in place for many years. Additionally, the same dress code requires men to wear jackets and ties at all times in the Speaker’s Lobby.

While the dress code did hold women to an outdated definition of business attire, it was not Ryan’s doing.

This is simply wrong. The Speakers’ Lobby dress code has been this way for decades. Can be argued it should change — but let’s be factual https://t.co/QDgti2fnGj

— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) July 7, 2017

But during his weekly press conference Thursday, Ryan responded to the controversy, telling reporters that “over the break, it came to my attention that there was an issue about [the] dress code.”

Ryan said that the dress code currently being enforced is “nothing new” and was in place under his predecessors. He pledged to “modernize” the dress code in the House.

“We will be working with the sergeant-at-arms to ensure the enforcement of appropriate attire is updated,” Ryan said.

.@SpeakerRyan statement on dress code: “Look for a change on that soon.” pic.twitter.com/sqz6fOavrX

— CSPAN (@cspan) July 13, 2017

“A dress code in the Chamber and Speaker’s Lobby makes sense,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean that we need to bar otherwise acceptable business attire. So, look for a change in that soon.”

Ryan took the opportunity to “modernize” the current dress code for women, an action his predecessor — the first female speaker of the House — didn’t even undertake.

Glad to see @SpeakerRyan is updating the dress code for the House Floor. These unwritten rules are in desperate need of updates.

— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) July 13, 2017

So the facts: @SpeakerRyan wasn’t responsible for the outdated dress code but he is responsible for updating it.

— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) July 13, 2017

If Ryan were a woman or a Democrat, he would likely receive much more praise for demolishing an outdated definition of women’s business attire in the House. But since he is not, this article will probably have to suffice.

As an aside, the speaker could cement his legacy as a trailblazer for women’s rights by ensuring that men still be required to wear jackets and ties — even in July.

Posted in Commentary, House of Representatives, House Republicans, Jake Tapper, liberal media, Mainstream Media, Media Bias, Nancy Pelosi, Paul Ryan, Politics, Sexism, Women's Rights

July 13th, 2017 by Staff Writer

A Democratic state congressman apologized Wednesday for an obscenity-laden rant against President Trump that appeared to physically threaten him as well. The Daily Caller obtained a screenshot of the lengthy tirade from Portland Rep. Scott Hamann.

“I just can’t deal with you ignorant people anymore,” the post on Facebook read. “Trump was installed by the Russians, because they wanted to undermine American democracy and embarrass our country. Mission accomplished. Trump is a joke, and anyone who doesn’t have their head up their a** understands that.”

“The way he talks about and to women,” he continued, “that alone disqualifies him from leading anything. He’s an admitted rapist. He inserts his fingers into women against their consent. Would you be okay with leaving him alone in a room with your wife?”

Hamaan went on to rant against Trump’s attacks against Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), and calling the president a racist and a liar. He said Obama ran, “quite possibly the classiest 2 term presidency in US history, no scandals, successful commander in chief, zero rape victims.”

“Well then **k you, snowflake. You’re a f**king p***y,” the post continued. “And you people are destroying America. Some of us are educated and actually follow current events. 100% of intelligent Americans agree that Trump is a complete loser. But go back to clinging to your guns because you’re afraid. P***y.”

“See, it’s not only Trump supporters who can talk like complete a**holes,” he concluded. “As long as that’s what’s coming out of that side, then I’ll match you dumb f***s word for word. Trump is a half term president, at most, especially if I ever get within 10 feet of that p***y.”

Hamann later said that he regretted the “aggressively sarcastic and inappropriate” post.

There was a call for a reduction in the heated rhetoric by politicians after the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and other Republicans by a Bernie Sanders supporter who posted vitriolic messages against Republicans on social media.

Recently Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin filed a lawsuit against the New York Times for falsely tying her to the 2011 shooting of Gabby Giffords by a mentally ill man obsessed with the former congresswoman.

Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, sued The New York Times on Tuesday. She alleged that the newspaper defamed her in an editorial, that appeared to link her to political violence after the shooting of House Republican Whip Steve Scalise earlier in June. The Times said it would "vigorously" fight the action. Scalise and three other people were wounded on June 14th by a gunman who fired shots at Republican lawmakers practicing in Alexandria, Virginia, before the annual congressional baseball game.

Posted in Angry Liberals, Democrat, Donald Trump, Facebook, hate speech, Politics, President Donald Trump, Social Media, Trump

July 13th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Natalia Veselnitskaya is at the center of the political firestorm around the meeting in 2016 that Democrats are claiming as proof of collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign. The Russian lawyer was characterized as an agent of the Russian government’s effort to defeat Hillary, though she denies the connection.

Now questions are arising about how she was in the country in the first place to get that meeting.

According to a report from the Daily Beast, Veselnitskaya didn’t appear to have visa authorization to enter the country when she did in 2016.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York said that Veselnitskaya had been granted an “immigration parole” in 2015, but it expired in early 2016 and wasn’t renewed.

The State Department would not confirm or deny whether Veselnitskaya applied again for a visa in 2016, let alone if a visa was granted. A spokesperson told The Daily Beast the State Department could not comment due to privacy considerations. Veselnitskaya also did not respond to requests for comment.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Grassley (R-Iowa) is demanding answers from the State Department on the issue. In a letter sent to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, he wrote, “It is unclear how [Veselnitskaya] was still in the country for that meeting despite being denied a visa beforehand and her parole purportedly expiring on January 7, 2016.”

“This raises serious questions about whether the Obama administration authorized her to remain in the country, and if so, why?” he asked.

Some have speculated that the Obama administration had something to do with allowing her in the country, fueling a conspiracy theory that the entire meeting was orchestrated to set up Donald Trump Jr.

Natalia Veselnitskaya is the Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. in June 2016. Her name has not officially been linked to the Kremlin or any pro-Kremlin party or organization.  Vladimir Putin's spokesperson Dimitry Peskov said the Kremlin has never even heard her name before. Veselnitskaya rose to power when she defended Denis Kastyv, a Russian businesses man who was accused of money laundering in the U.S. The case was resolved in New York in May for $6 million, only days before it was set to go to trial.

Posted in Donald Trump Jr., Politics, Russian interference, Russian investigation, Trump Jr Russia, Trump Jr. emails

July 13th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Fox News’ Shepard Smith registered his astonishment with how some people are defending what appears to be meddling by the Russians in our elections. He made the comments on his show Wednesday.

“The [New York] Times reports that the president’s son was told the paper is going to print these things,” he explained, “we’re going to print the emails. And he tweeted copies of the emails instead of replying to requests for content.”

“This was not being transparent,” Smith claimed, “this was the New York Times is gonna publish this, I’m gonna publish it instead.”

“Then there’s the president’s claim that the Russia investigation is a ‘witch hunt.’ Fox News can confirm it is not,” he said. “Current and former U.S. officials say there is absolutely no doubt that Russia interfered in our election, put its thumbs on the scales of Democracy.”

“And that Vladimir Putin ordered the thumbs!” he exclaimed. “And all the meddling, lots if different kinds of meddling!”

“Attempting to change our Democracy from Moscow!” he continued. “And some people seem to think it’s OK.”

“It’s astounding!” he concluded.

Smith was referring to the recent reports from the New York Times detailing a meeting between Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner with a Russian lawyer just after then-candidate Trump won the Republican nomination. Trump Jr. revealed emails that showed he was receptive to receiving damaging information about Hillary Clinton from the Russian government.

Shep Smith: “it’s astounding” that anyone is trying to argue Russian meddling in American elections isn’t a massive deal pic.twitter.com/Cu5ofjEEYZ

— Leanne Naramore (@LeanneNaramore) July 12, 2017

Posted in Donald Trump Jr., Politics, Russian interference, Russian investigation, Shepard Smith, Trump Jr Russia, Trump Jr. emails

July 13th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Fox News’ host Eric Bolling assailed the mainstream media for what he saw as a biased obsession with the Russian investigation. He made the comments Wednesday on his show The Specialists.

“Time to wake up, America,” Bolling began. “Last night we had a special 11pm live show the Fox News Specialists after dark, so to speak. Anyway during some very heated debate regarding Donald Trump Jr’s meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, I said collusion in and of itself is not illegal.

“Well the liberal media went apoplectic,” he explained. “But guess what, collusion isn’t illegal at all, and chatting about adoption policy certainly is not criminal. Politico magazine published a very nicely researched paper today highlighting several constitutional scholars and prosecutors who overwhelmingly agree with that thesis.”

“So, what’s all this hysteria about?” he asked. “I think I figured it out last night as well. This is a liberal media ‘witch hunt.’ A witch hunt not seen since Salem circa 1692.”

“Since the election the media have accused Trump of colluding with the Russians,” he continued, “they are totally invested in that narrative, completely invested in it. The problem is their investment is going belly up. For six months, the liberal media has delivered what they call ‘bombshell after bombshell.’”

“Well, guess what?” he said. “Bombshell after bombshell has fizzled out like a wet bottle rocket.”

“But the liberal media keeps on hunting for those witches,” he added. “They’ve become as pathetic as a Middle School boy with a crush on the cheerleader hoping for just once she agrees to date him.”

“Psst, liberal media?” he said mockingly, “she ain’t that into you.”

“So instead of beating that Russian dead horse,” he continued, “move on to something worth reporting – the economy are off the charts on fire, the borders are tightening, illegal immigration is way down, and ISIS is shaking in their sandals, waiting for another ‘mother of all bombs’ to be dropped on their you-know-whats.”

“Wake up liberal media, Trump is winning,” he concluded, “and I, for one, am totally not sick of winning yet.”

Bolling has been an outspoken defender of Trump on Fox News, first on The Five, and now on his show in the same time slot. Donald Trump Jr. gave the media more reason to obsess over the Russian collusion story when he released emails about his meeting where he hoped to obtain damaging information about Hillary Clinton from the Russian government.

CBS Miami's Mola Lenghi reports from Washington, D.C.

Posted in Donald Trump, Eric Bolling, Mainstream Media, Media Bias, Politics, President Donald Trump, specialists, Trump

July 12th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Sean Hannity interviewed Donald Trump Jr. during the political firestorm over his recently revealed meeting with a Russian lawyer in search of damaging information on Hillary Clinton before the election. Trump Jr. implied that he regretted his actions.

Hannity appeared on Martha MacCallum’s show to preview his exclusive Tuesday.

“In retrospect, I probably would have done things a little differently,” he told Hannity.

“Again, and this is before the Russian mania,” he continued, “this is before they were building it up in the press.”

“For me this was opposition research,” Trump Jr. said, “they had something maybe concrete evidence to all the stories I’d been hearing about but they were probably underreported for years, not just during the campaign.”

“So I think I wanted to hear it out,” he explained, “but really it went no where and it was apparent that wasn’t what the meeting was actually about.”

Hannity blamed the media for exaggerating the scandal, saying that America is in the biggest “informational crisis” in its history.

Hannity told MacCallum that he actually ran out of questions for the son of the president during their meeting as a way of showing how unimportant the story was.

Trump Jr. released the emails he received from a publicist about the controversial meeting before the New York Times could report that he believed he would obtain damaging information on Hillary Clinton from the Russian government. Tuesday it was reported that Special Counsel Mueller would expand his investigation into the meeting and the emails Trump Jr. revealed.

the White House has once again been hit with a fresh controversy over contacts between the president's campaign and Russia. this time the target was Donald Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr. his meeting last year with a Russian lawyer led to claims that the president's son entertained working with Russians to spread negative information about rival Hillary Clinton. Donald Jr.'s meeting with the lawyer was seen as problematic Among Trump's widespread group of outside advisers and former campaign officials. It is considered an example of the son's political naivete, but not illegal.

Posted in Politics, Russian interference, Russian investigation, Sean Hannity, Trump Jr Russia, Trump Jr. emails

July 12th, 2017 by Staff Writer

In a rousing and emotional eulogy for fallen police officer Miosotis Familia Tuesday, NYPD Police Commissioner James O’Neill appeared to shame anti-police groups like Black Lives Matter.

“Let me tell you something,” he said. “Regular people sign up to be cops. They sign up for this job of protecting strangers, knowing there are inherent risks. But not one of us ever agreed to be murdered in an act of indefensible hate. Not one of us signed up to never return to our family or loved ones.”

“So, where are the demonstrations for this single mom, who cared for her elderly mother and her own three children?” he asked pointedly.

The attendees gave the rhetorical question a long standing ovation.

“There is anger and sorrow, but why is there no outrage? Because Miosotis was wearing a uniform? Because it was her job?” he continued.

“I simply DO NOT accept that,” he proclaimed.

“Miosotis was targeted, ambushed, and assassinated. She wasn’t given a chance to defend herself. That should matter to every single person who can hear my voice, in New York City and beyond,” he added.

“We know there’s evil in this world. That’s why we need the police,” O’Neill continued, “But as New Yorkers, we can decide that people like Miosotis’ killer will ultimately fail. He will not drive us apart. We can decide to come together and make our city reflect the good inside all of us, the hopes and simple dreams we share.”

NYPD Police Commissioner is applauded at slain cop’s funeral: “Where are the demonstrations for this single mom…why is there no outrage?” pic.twitter.com/11fTjy38Du

— ABC News (@ABC) July 11, 2017

“I’m asking the public to make a commitment to support your police,” he concluded, “to work with us. Commit to watching the backs of those you call when you’re scared, those you call when you’re in trouble.”

Officer Familia was assassinated while sitting in her patrol car by a man who had posted an anti-police tirade on social media. At her funeral hundreds of police officers also showed their disdain for Mayor De Blasio, who missed her vigil to go protest the G20 economic summit, by turning their backs to him when he spoke.

Law enforcement professionals in New York City are paying last respects to 48-year-old Miosotis Familia on Tuesday, following her tragic assassination last week in the Bronx. Thousands of people, including strangers, have gathered to honor the officer at separate ceremonies in recent days. Familia leaves behind three children.

Posted in anti-police, Bill de Blasio, Black Lives Matter, police officers, Politics

July 12th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said that he was disturbed by the details in the emails disclosed by Donald Trump Jr., and not so much about what actually happened at the meeting. He made the comments to Martha MacCallum on Fox News Tuesday.

“So in terms of this Donald Trump Jr. story that’s out there today, are you troubled by any of it,” asked MacCallum.

“Yeah I’m troubled on three levels,” Gowdy replied. “Number one, the legal level, but I think that’s Bob Mueller’s lane. The political level, Martha, here we are beginning another week, this one in July with a new revelation about Russia.”

“And the third, which is more of a medical issue,” he joked, “is the amnesia of the people that are in the Trump orbit.”

“Someone close to the president needs to get everyone connected with that campaign in a room and say from the time you saw Doctor Zhivago until the moment you drank vodka with a guy named Boris,” he exclaimed, “you list every single one of those and we’re gonna turn them over to the special counsel.”

“Because this drip drip drip is undermining the credibility of this administration,” he concluded.

“Well, you may be right about that,” MacCallum answered. “In terms of the Magnitsky Act, which is basically is a U.S. act that went through Congress, that limits friends of Vladimir Putin, close associates, from things they like to do, like travelling to the United States, travelling throughout other areas in the world, because it’s a slap on the wrist for human rights violations.”

“Selective, in terms of who it impacts,” she explained, “it also, so their punishment, the Russian government’s punishment was to say we’re gonna end all these adoptions that are happening to the United States, and a few other things that they did.”

“Are you concerned that there was an effort to influence this campaign with regard to changing that,” she asked, “or to find a sympathetic ear on that?”

“I’m not nearly as concerned with that,” Gowdy responded, “I’m much more concerned with the purported reason of the meeting as opposed to the real reason. The purported reason was for an agent of a foreign power to try to influence our election. That concerns me more than someone trying to sit down with a member of perhaps an incoming administation to lobby for a policy change.”

“I’m much more concerned with the words of the actual email than the real reason she wanted to meet,” he said.

“Which words in the email disturb you?” MacCallum asked.

“Russian governments’ efforts to help the Trump campaign, official documents,” he answered.

The bombshell stories in the New York Times led to Donald Trump Jr. disclosing emails he had received that indicated he could obtain damaging information about Hillary Clinton from the Russian government before the election.

Donald Jr. released what he calls the full exchange that shows him discussing plans to hear information that could damage Hillary Clinton's reputation.

Posted in Donald Trump Jr., Politics, Russian interference, Trey Gowdy, Trump Jr Russia, Trump Jr. emails

July 12th, 2017 by Staff Writer

For the second time of New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio’s tenure, police officers of the NYPD turned their back to him in a show of contempt Tuesday at a funeral for a police officer.

Many #nypd officers turned their backs as #DeBlasio spoke #funeral #MiosotisFamilia @ChasingNews @fox5ny @FOX29philly pic.twitter.com/7iJ9vW0Pkr

— Sibile Marcellus (@ChasingSibile) July 11, 2017

Police were outraged when De Blasio chose to fly off to protest the G20 economic summit rather than stay home and attend an evening vigil honoring slain NYPD Officer Miosotis ­Familia at the 46th Precinct station house.

Familia was killed in what many described as an “assassination” when 34-year-old Alexander Bonds walked to her patrol car and shot her in the head without warning. He was chased down and killed by police.

Relations between the NYPD and De Blasio had already been strained after he appeared to support Black Lives Matter protests against the police.

The killer, Bonds, had posted anti-police rhetoric on social media prior to the assassination, prompting many to conclude that he had been radicalized by the kind of narratives pushed by Black Lives Matter.

“Mr. Mayor, you didn’t have to travel to Germany for a protest,” said Sergeants Benevolent Association president Ed Mullins. “All you had to do is speak in front of the men and women of the NYPD.”

Video from social media shows the police turning back around after De Blasio finished his address at the funeral.

VIDEO: Mayor de Blasio finishes speaking and cops at #MiosotisFamilia‘s funeral who had turned their backs on him turn back around. pic.twitter.com/38325VTxO0

— Matthew Chayes (@chayesmatthew) July 11, 2017

His actions drew wide condemnation, including that from the New York Post, whose cover declared him a “Deutsch bag,” explaining, “Mayor feeds his ego in Germany after fleeing a city in mourning.”

The New York Daily News reported that hundreds of officers turned away from De Blasio.

On Tuesday morning, a New York City police officer who was shot and killed while sitting inside her police vehicle last week was laid to rest. Officer Miosotis Familia was remembered on Monday at a Bronx church for her smiles and kindness. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Police Department Commissioner James O'Neill joined members of the rank and file as well as neighborhood residents, to pay their respects to the fallen officer. Familia was writing in her memo book early last Wednesday when a man walked up to the police vehicle where she was sitting and fired. The shooter, Alexander Bonds, was shot dead by police soon after the attack.

Posted in Bill de Blasio, Black Lives Matter, New York City, NYPD, police officer, Politics

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