US Politics in Trump era Public date: 19.09.2019 21:40:40

25 Jul 2019

Coal CEO hosts Trump fundraiser as industry’s hurdles mount and workers are left behind

President Donald Trump will head to West Virginia on Wednesday to deliver remarks at a fundraiser hosted by coal baron Bob Murray, underscoring the close relationship the coal industry has with the White House even as the industry steadily declines. The fundraiser comes in the middle of another turbulent month for coal, with Blackhawk Mining the latest company to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
President Donald Trump will head to West Virginia on Wednesday to deliver remarks at a fundraiser hosted by coal baron...
10 Jul 2019

Barr changes his tune on Mueller’s testimony

Earlier this year, following his bungled roll-out of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in 2016, Attorney General William Barr claimed he had “no objection” to Mueller testifying before Congress. Now, Barr has changed his tune.
Earlier this year, following his bungled roll-out of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference...
4 Jun 2019

Trump pushes up to 20 years in prison for pipeline protesters

The Trump administration is seeking to dramatically escalate federal penalties for pipeline protesters. Under newly proposed changes, pipeline protesters could face up to 20 years in prison for disrupting the construction of oil and gas infrastructure. The move echoes similarly harsh penalties for anti-pipeline activists being adopted in several states.
The Trump administration is seeking to dramatically escalate federal penalties for pipeline protesters. Under newly...
29 Mar 2019

Trump just gave a huge gift to an alleged billion dollar Medicare fraudster

The Trump administration informed a federal appeals court on Monday night that it would no longer defend the Affordable Care Act after a judge in Texas declared that the entire law must be struck down. The judge, Reed O’Connor, is a former Republican Senate staffer with a history of striking down policies opposed by conservatives. O’Connor’s opinion is widely viewed as ridiculous, even by conservative legal scholars and health policy experts.
The Trump administration informed a federal appeals court on Monday night that it would no longer defend the Affordable...
13 Mar 2019

Trump’s 2020 budget proposes $1 trillion cut to Medicare, Medicaid

The White House released its 2020 budget proposal on Monday, proposing more than $1 trillion in cuts to the popular programs Medicare and Medicaid and giving insight into what the executive branch would do if Congress didn’t control the federal government’s pocketbook. The most notable cut comes out of Medicaid, a health program for people who are low-income or have a disability, which Trump proposes cutting by more than $700 billion over 10 years.
The White House released its 2020 budget proposal on Monday, proposing more than $1 trillion in cuts to the popular...

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12 Mar 2019

Trump tells RNC donors he doesn’t understand how any Jewish person could vote for a Democrat

“The Democrats hate Jewish people,” President Donald Trump reportedly told Republican National Committee donors on Friday night at Mar-a-Lago. Phones were sealed away in magnetic bags at the closed-door event, but Axios reported on what members of the audience heard.
“The Democrats hate Jewish people,” President Donald Trump reportedly told Republican National Committee donors on...
14 Feb 2019

2 millionaire senators introduce plan to make sure Congress is only for the rich

Let’s start this column off with a bold assertion. Paying lawmakers good salaries is one of our country’s most important progressive reforms because it means that they don’t have to be wealthy to serve. High congressional pay is a safeguard against corruption, not a sign of it.
Let’s start this column off with a bold assertion. Paying lawmakers good salaries is one of our country’s most...
1 Feb 2019

Newly emerged photo shows Ben Carson with key employee of sanctioned Russian oligarch

In the latest example of Russian officials rubbing elbows with members of the American right, a newly emerged photo shows Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson standing alongside a key employee of sanctioned Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeev.
In the latest example of Russian officials rubbing elbows with members of the American right, a newly emerged photo...
31 Jan 2019

Hacked emails list right-wing fundraiser partying with Russian fascists and oligarchs

Last month, a new leak site called Distributed Denial of Secrets went live, compiling a cache of hacked emails and documents of Russian officials, confidants of sanctioned Russian oligarchs, and those steering Russian interference efforts. Among the revelations: A higher-up at the Bradley Foundation, one of the main financiers of right-wing groups in the U.S. — including the Daily Caller News Foundation and anti-immigrant organizations — apparently attended a notorious “pro-family” conference in Russia in 2014, held shortly after Russia began its invasion of Ukraine.
Last month, a new leak site called Distributed Denial of Secrets went live, compiling a cache of hacked emails...
16 Jan 2019

‘A crisis like we’ve never seen’: Native communities shed light on government shutdown’s impacts

In the first congressional hearing at which Native members of Congress were present, Democratic representatives on Tuesday heard directly from Native American communities that are being devastated by the ongoing partial government shutdown, which this week became the longest in U.S. history.
In the first congressional hearing at which Native members of Congress were present, Democratic representatives on...

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25 Dec 2018

Trump ignores climate change, offers handouts to timber industry in wildfire executive order

Nowhere in an 1,800-word executive order to address forest management and wildfires — quietly issued on Friday — does President Donald Trump draw a connection between climate change and increased wildfire risk. Instead, critics say it looks like a potential handout to the logging industry. The executive order, titled “Promoting Active Management of America’s Forests, Rangelands, and other Federal Lands to Improve Conditions and Reduce Wildfire Risk,” calls on the secretaries of Interior and Agriculture to reduce “regulatory barriers” to getting rid of “hazardous fuels” that contribute to wildfires.
Nowhere in an 1,800-word executive order to address forest management and wildfires — quietly issued on Friday...

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19 Dec 2018

It took about 20 minutes for a judge to destroy the right’s conspiratorial defense of Michael Flynn

For months, Donald Trump and his fellow right-wing extremists have adamantly insisted that Flynn is innocent, the victim of a partisan witch hunt who would ultimately be exonerated and expose the entire Russia investigatory apparatus as a fraud. Flynn’s own lawyers argued as much in their sentencing memo, suggesting that the FBI acted inappropriately in failing to adequately disclose that lying to federal agents was a crime. As recently as Tuesday morning, bloviators on Fox News were convinced that Judge Sullivan would use his judicial discretion and toss out the entire case.
For months, Donald Trump and his fellow right-wing extremists have adamantly insisted that Flynn is innocent, the victim...
18 Dec 2018

Alito cut the legs out of the latest attack on Obamacare — and didn’t even know he did it

Hobby Lobby is the single most significant court victory ever achieved by America’s religious right. Before Hobby Lobby, religious conservatives could not wield their faith to undercut the rights of other people. After Hobby Lobby conservative religious objections may be used to narrow the rights of third-parties. Yet a passage in Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion for the Court in Hobby Lobby could — or at least, should — take on an entirely unexpected significance after Reed O’Connor, a partisan operative turned federal judge, struck down the entire Affordable Care Act on Friday in a case called Texas v. United States.
Hobby Lobby is the single most significant court victory ever achieved by America’s religious right. Before Hobby...

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7 Dec 2018

Republicans nationwide enact back-up plan after losing elections: just reject the results

Republicans across the country are undermining voters, with lame duck legislatures aiming to strip power from incoming Democratic governors, threatening not to seat a state senator-elect in Pennsylvania, and refusing to implement a ballot initiative in Utah.
Republicans across the country are undermining voters, with lame duck legislatures aiming to strip power from incoming...
13 Nov 2018

Trump properties made millions off the midterm election

Trump-owned and branded properties cashed in during the midterm elections, according to a CNN analysis which found that campaigns and outside groups spent at least $3.2 million at the hotels and resorts. The CNN analysis of Federal Election Commission data found that the Republican National Committee was the biggest customer, spending at least $1.2 million at Trump-branded properties since the beginning of 2017.
Trump-owned and branded properties cashed in during the midterm elections, according to a CNN analysis which found that...
16 Oct 2018

‘This is live voter suppression’: Black Voters Matter blocked from taking Georgia seniors to vote

Seniors in rural Georgia were dancing in the street, preparing to board Black Voters Matter‘s bus to cast their ballots on the first day of Georgia’s early voting period. But the 40 or so African American senior citizens were told to get off the bus, an act organizers described as “live voter suppression.”
Seniors in rural Georgia were dancing in the street, preparing to board Black Voters Matter‘s bus to cast their...
10 Oct 2018

Veterans Affairs won’t hand over documents showing suspected shadow influence of Trump associates

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie assured lawmakers at a hearing last month that the “Mar-a-Lago Crowd,” as it’s known within the agency, doesn’t set policy. But emails published by ProPublica tell a different story.
Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie assured lawmakers at a hearing last month that the “Mar-a-Lago Crowd,” as...
4 Oct 2018

These representatives voted to keep Trump’s sketchy tax practices hidden from the public

The New York Times published a lengthy investigative report on Tuesday accusing President Donald Trump of participating in “dubious tax schemes during the 1990s, including instances of outright fraud.” Despite his many 2016 campaign promises to eventually release his tax returns, he refuses to do so, and the public is still in the dark about his personal finances. Now, thanks to a vote last month by the 21 Republican members of the House Ways and Means Committee, those tax returns are unlikely to come to light in the foreseeable future. Those Republicans voted to keep the president’s tax returns hidden.
The New York Times published a lengthy investigative report on Tuesday accusing President Donald Trump of participating...

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6 Sep 2018

Senate Republicans get caught in a major lie about the missing documents on Brett Kavanaugh

It’s objectively unprecedented for the Senate to be provided such a small fraction of the documents related to a Supreme Court nominee’s past work, as in the case of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. During Wednesday’s confirmation hearing, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) caught Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) in an apparent lie about why that is.
It’s objectively unprecedented for the Senate to be provided such a small fraction of the documents related to a...

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4 Sep 2018

Kris Kobach will now have to campaign while under investigation by a grand jury

Last month, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach barely squeaked past Gov. Jeff Colyer in a contentious and scandal-ridden Republican gubernatorial primary. He’ll face Democratic nominee Laura Kelly, a state senator. And while Kansas is as reliably red a state as they come, Kobach will now have to campaign in a general election while under grand jury investigation.
Last month, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach barely squeaked past Gov. Jeff Colyer in a contentious and...

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21 Aug 2018

Zinke caught red-handed trying to sell off public lands

Environmental groups caught the Department of the Interior trying to sell off part of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah, despite a pledge by Secretary Ryan Zinke never to put public lands up for sale After massive backlash from environmental groups and the public, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) late Friday canceled all plans to sell off the land.
Environmental groups caught the Department of the Interior trying to sell off part of the Grand Staircase-Escalante...
16 Aug 2018

Thanks to their NDAs, Trump officials have no credibility. These clips prove it.

On the heels of former Trump campaign and White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman saying she’s heard tape of President Trump using the N-word, Trump’s allies have taken to the cable news networks to defend his reputation. But there’s one big problem — because they’ve signed non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), even if they have heard Trump using a racial slur, they’re legally prohibited from saying so.
On the heels of former Trump campaign and White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman saying she’s heard tape of...
21 Jul 2018

States purged 16 million voters from the rolls before the 2016 election

States purged more than 16 million voters from the rolls between 2014 and 2016. That number, calculated in a new report published Friday by the Brennan Center for Justice, is a significant increase from previous years and an indication that large numbers of eligible voters are likely being disenfranchised by inaccurate and unlawful voter roll maintenance. The report comes just a few weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Ohio’s voter purge system, clearing the way for more states to move forward with the types of purges that disproportionately impact low-income and minority voters.
States purged more than 16 million voters from the rolls between 2014 and 2016. That number, calculated in a new report...

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12 Jul 2018

The real story behind Trump’s pardon of Oregon ranchers

President Trump pardoned two Oregon ranchers Tuesday, firing a new salvo in a complicated culture war previously marked by air-mailed sex toys, nuanced disputes over the management of public lands, and a police shootout that killed a would-be leader of a modern crackpot revolution. But the details of Trump’s move indicate he is less interested in reversing an unjust sentence than he is in giving a thinly-veiled “attaboy” to a small group of heavily armed chaos agents who seek to undermine the federal government’s proper role in managing public lands all across the western U.S.
President Trump pardoned two Oregon ranchers Tuesday, firing a new salvo in a complicated culture war previously marked...
30 Jun 2018

Trump’s top economics adviser lies about ‘rapidly’ falling budget deficit

Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, said that the deficit is “coming down rapidly” in a Friday morning appearance on Fox Business.The problem for President Trump’s top economic adviser is that the deficit is actually rising.
Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, said that the deficit is “coming down rapidly” in a...
27 Jun 2018

Is another ex-Trump staffer selling access to corporations with business before the administration?

Priebus joins a long list of former Trump administration officials and staffers who have found lucrative work providing “strategic advice” to clients looking to make good with the administration. While President Trump promised to “drain the swamp” by prohibiting former administration officials from “lobbying activities,” many have found creative work-arounds.
Priebus joins a long list of former Trump administration officials and staffers who have found lucrative work providing...
26 Jun 2018

Trump administration plan to mine near popular Minnesota wilderness area sparks multiple lawsuits

Environmental groups have filed a lawsuit against Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in an effort to stop plans to allow mining near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northeastern Minnesota. These ares of land were set to be banned to industry activities under the Obama administration.
Environmental groups have filed a lawsuit against Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in an effort to stop plans to allow...
25 Jun 2018

Jared Kushner, who doesn’t like reading history books, says he has a new Middle East peace plan

The whole interview is worth reading in full to understand its striking lack of detail. Kushner makes no mention of Israeli settlements, the Trump administration’s decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, or the 61 Palestinians in Gaza who Israeli forces killed that day for peacefully protesting. Kushner did not say anything about the right of return for Palestinian refugees or returning to the 1967 lines as borders for a future Palestinian state. He did not criticize Israel or Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at all.
The whole interview is worth reading in full to understand its striking lack of detail. Kushner makes no mention of...
7 Jun 2018

Republicans stop Democrats from helping EPA investigate Scott Pruitt’s ever-growing scandals

House Republicans on Wednesday afternoon blocked an effort by Democrats to increase funding for the agency’s watchdog, which is tasked with investigating the many scandals surrounding agency administrator Scott Pruitt. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) has in recent months seen an increased workload due to the more than a dozen investigations launched into Pruitt’s spending and management decisions during his first year as administrator.
House Republicans on Wednesday afternoon blocked an effort by Democrats to increase funding for the agency’s watchdog,...

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24 May 2018

Things are not looking good for Donald Trump Jr.

Lying to Congress is a crime even if you are not under oath. Federal law prohibits making false statements to Congress. Trump Jr, during questioning before the Senate Intelligence Committee was asked about contacts with foreign nationals seeking to assist the campaign — and his testimony may now come back to haunt him.
Lying to Congress is a crime even if you are not under oath. Federal law prohibits making false statements to Congress....
22 May 2018

Neil Gorsuch’s first major opinion is a decision allowing bosses to steal wages from their workers

The Supreme Court held on Monday that employers can force their employees to sign away many of their rights to sue their employers. As a practical matter, Monday’s decision in Epic Systems v. Lewis will enable employers to engage in small-scale wage theft with impunity, so long as they spread the impact of this theft among many employees.
The Supreme Court held on Monday that employers can force their employees to sign away many of their rights to sue their...
28 Apr 2018

EPA announces an end to California’s fuel economy waiver day after Pruitt says the opposite

Just one day after Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt told lawmakers on Capitol Hill that the agency did not have plans “at present” to target California’s special fuel economy waiver, the Trump administration announced that it would be putting a six-year hold on Obama-era standards for fuel efficiency, starting in 2020, while at the same time revoking California’s waiver to set its own standards.
Just one day after Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt told lawmakers on Capitol Hill that...
20 Apr 2018

First-time judge appointed by Trump issues his very first opinion. It’s a doozy.

More than just an ideologically radical opinion, Judge Ho’s dissent from the full United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit’s decision not to rehear Zimmerman v. City of Austin is a monument to conservative political rhetoric and right-wing historical myths. It’s the sort of commentary one would expect to find in an especially strident political magazine — perhaps one of the publications one of Ho’s current law clerks used to write for. It is emphatically not the sort of writing one expects to find in a judicial opinion.
More than just an ideologically radical opinion, Judge Ho’s dissent from the full United States Court of Appeals for...

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10 Apr 2018

Someone is doing Jared Kushner a huge favor. But we don’t know who.

Upon entering the White House, Jared Kushner divested the property only in the most technical sense. He “sold” the assets to his brother and a trust controlled by his mother. A lawyer described the transaction to the New York Times as a “shell game.” Now, with Kushner ensconced as a senior adviser in the White House, someone has emerged to bail him and his family out of this mess. The identity of Kushner’s white knight is a mystery.
Upon entering the White House, Jared Kushner divested the property only in the most technical sense. He “sold” the...
9 Apr 2018

Ivanka Trump’s clothing company will be spared from tariffs, thanks to her dad

The steel and aluminum industries in China will soon be slapped with tariffs up to $50 billion by President Donald Trump. On Thursday, after China announced their intentions to retaliate against the United States with $50 billion in tariffs of their own against U.S. goods, Trump warned that his administration would respond with another set of tariffs, this time targeting $100 billion worth of Chinese goods. Exempt from the proposed tariffs against China, however, is the clothing manufacturing industry.
The steel and aluminum industries in China will soon be slapped with tariffs up to $50 billion by President Donald...
29 Mar 2018

Betsy DeVos is using school shootings to justify draconian new discipline guidelines

One of the biggest concerns is that the commission is considering rolling back Obama administration guidance on school discipline that discouraged officers from disciplining students and pushed for more positive and less punitive responses to student behavior. In other words, the federal government will undo the Obama administration’s work to keep students in school and out of the criminal justice system.
One of the biggest concerns is that the commission is considering rolling back Obama administration guidance on...
15 Mar 2018

Trump’s new economics director is a climate denier who thinks animals can ‘snuggle’ under pipelines

As director of the National Economic Council, Kudlow will have a sizable influence on U.S. economic policy, including issues related to energy as well as domestic and international climate policies. Cohn, in his tenure as director, worked to keep the Trump administration from leaving the Paris climate agreement. Kudlow, with his history of climate denial, is unlikely to be similarly concerned with climate action.
As director of the National Economic Council, Kudlow will have a sizable influence on U.S. economic policy,...

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3 Mar 2018

Trump confidant dumped millions in steel-related stock last week

Billionaire investor and longtime Trump confidant Carl Icahn dumped $31.3 million of stock in a company heavily dependent on steel last week, just days before Trump announced plans to impose steep tariffs on steel imports.
Billionaire investor and longtime Trump confidant Carl Icahn dumped $31.3 million of stock in a company heavily...

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26 Jan 2018

Watch Trump insist he never gave ‘any thought’ to firing Mueller

On Thursday night, the New York Times reported that President Trump tried to fire special counsel Robert Mueller last June. Trump ordered White House counsel Donald F. McGahn to oust Mueller, but backed down when McGahn threatened to resign. Trump, however, has publicly denied even considering firing Mueller.
On Thursday night, the New York Times reported that President Trump tried to fire special counsel Robert Mueller last...
21 Jan 2018

Schumer tried to give Trump funding for border wall in exchange for DACA protections

The fact that Schumer was willing to bend so much on funding for the wall is a sign of how much negotiating Democrats were willing to do, contrary to the insistence by Trump and most Republicans that the blame for the shutdown rests entirely on the shoulders of Schumer and the Democratic party.
The fact that Schumer was willing to bend so much on funding for the wall is a sign of how much negotiating Democrats...

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18 Jan 2018

In epic 9-minute speech, Cory Booker takes on Trump’s racism and white complicity

At a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Trump’s Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, claimed that she couldn’t remember what word Trump used to describe Haiti and African countries in an Oval Office meeting last week. According to Sens. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin, Trump derided those nations as “shithole countries.”
At a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Trump’s Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen...

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14 Jan 2018

After bonus announcement, Walmart fires thousands of co-managers, replaces them with cheaper workers

After Walmart’s flashy announcement of bonuses of up to $1,000 for some of its workers, the real story played out quietly.On Wednesday, as news of the bonus announcement was lauded by Trump and Fox News, Walmart abruptly closed down 63 Sam’s Clubs stores. More than 9,000 people lost their jobs. Some only learned about the decision when they showed up to work and found the doors locked.
After Walmart’s flashy announcement of bonuses of up to $1,000 for some of its workers, the real story played out...
7 Jan 2018

Companies that announced big bonuses after GOP tax cut are now laying off their workers

At least two major companies that publicly announced large bonuses for their employees after the passage of a massive GOP-led tax overhaul — which represented a windfall for wealthy Americans and big corporations — quietly laid off hundreds of workers at the same time. Comcast laid off more than 500 sales employees right before Christmas, AT&T is also in the process of laying off thousands of employees,
At least two major companies that publicly announced large bonuses for their employees after the passage of a massive...

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27 Dec 2017

Trump to slash safety regulations put in place after nation’s worst environmental disaster

During the Obama administration, the federal government took action to prevent another Deepwater Horizon-sized oil spill, widely viewed as the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. After taking office, the Trump administration immediately began making plans to relax certain offshore drilling rules implemented after the 2010 disaster.
During the Obama administration, the federal government took action to prevent another Deepwater Horizon-sized oil...
26 Dec 2017

Sessions revokes dozens of guidance documents that protect marginalized communities

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Thursday that he would rescind 25 Justice Department guidance documents on a variety of topics aimed at protecting marginalized communities. The documents — many of which were released during the Obama administration — include procedures to help eliminate fees against juvenile offenders, standards outlining discrimination protections for disabled individuals and for people seeking U.S. citizenship, and an overview of housing discrimination practices.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Thursday that he would rescind 25 Justice Department guidance documents on a...
19 Dec 2017

These are the obscure Trump staffers who are systematically dismantling the federal government

Trump insisted his assault on government programs would not have any negative ramifications. “We’re going to be doing smart budget cuts, budget cuts that will make it just as good or better than it is right now but for a lot less money,” he vowed. Congress has not yet enacted his massive budget cuts, but that has not stopped the administration from dispatching a team of domestic policy aides to push for cuts, unilateral executive actions, and conservative actions across the federal government.
Trump insisted his assault on government programs would not have any negative ramifications. “We’re going to be...

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19 Dec 2017

‘Corker Kickback’ sends Republicans scrambling in advance of tax vote

Corker, the lone hold out on the Republican Tax policy, changes his vote last minute. Corker made his announcement two hours before the text of the tax bill was made public. In the 503-page text was a new provision that was not in the House or Senate legislation. It would specifically benefit real estate investors who operate “pass-through” businesses. This group includes President Trump — and also Bob Corker, who “has millions of dollars of ownership stakes in real-estate related LLCs that could also benefit” from the new provision.
Corker, the lone hold out on the Republican Tax policy, changes his vote last minute. Corker made his announcement two...

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8 Dec 2017

Paul Ryan admits the GOP will gut Medicare and Medicaid to pay for tax cuts

Republicans in Congress are openly admitting they plan to use their tax reform bill to justify slashing funding for essential social programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and food stamps. The bill — which is expected to balloon the national deficit by at least $1 trillion, and which only benefits the country’s wealthiest in the long-term — has not yet been reconciled or signed.
Republicans in Congress are openly admitting they plan to use their tax reform bill to justify slashing funding for...
3 Dec 2017

Trump appears to have just admitted to a serious crime on Twitter

According to Trump’s own tweet, he would have known Flynn had lied to the FBI at the time Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey to drop the investigation into Flynn, assuring him Flynn had done nothing wrong. On Twitter, Matthew Miller, a former Department of Justice official, echoes that Trump’s new version of events indicates an effort to obstruct Comey’s investigation.
According to Trump’s own tweet, he would have known Flynn had lied to the FBI at the time Trump asked former FBI...
23 Nov 2017

It looks like Kellyanne Conway broke a federal law on national TV again

Kellyanne Conway appeared Tuesday morning on Fox & Friends in her capacity as a White House official, but weighed in on the Alabama special election. Doing so appears to violate federal law, according to several legal experts and former ethics officials who served in previous administrations.
Kellyanne Conway appeared Tuesday morning on Fox & Friends in her capacity as a White House official, but weighed in...
21 Nov 2017

Ivanka’s signature real estate deals were disasters linked to drug cartels and money laundering

The project in Azerbaijan has been tied to allegations of money laundering from the Azeri dictatorship and those close to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard; the project in Panama has been tied to allegations of money laundering from South American drug cartels. In both instances, the Trumps apparently ignored clear signs of the corruption and money laundering drenching Ivanka’s pet projects.
The project in Azerbaijan has been tied to allegations of money laundering from the Azeri dictatorship and those close...
3 Nov 2017

With investors under fire for financing white nationalism, Robert Mercer resigns from hedge fund

Robert Mercer, the billionaire that has funded Breitbart and Milo Yiannopoulos, resigned from his role as CEO of the quant hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, according to the New York Times. Mercer’s resignation came just two weeks after ThinkProgress revealed 12 nonprofits, universities, and public retirement funds had invested millions of dollars into the hedge fund, noting that their investments were helping fund white nationalism.
Robert Mercer, the billionaire that has funded Breitbart and Milo Yiannopoulos, resigned from his role as CEO of the...

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1 Nov 2017

Hidden bombshell in Papadopoulos’ plea indicates Trump’s role may soon take center stage

Until Monday, there was no evidence that Trump knew about any campaign contacts with Russians or their intermediaries. But tucked away in the guilty plea of George Papadopoulos is a piece of information that undermines Trump’s February statement and draws him more directly into the scandal. According to Papadopoulos, when he attended a March 31, 2016 campaign national security meeting he told the small group, which included President Trump, that he had ongoing communications with Russians that would allow him to facilitate a meeting between Trump and Vladimir Putin.
Until Monday, there was no evidence that Trump knew about any campaign contacts with Russians or their intermediaries....

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14 Oct 2017

Trump’s pick to run White House environmental office says more CO2 is good for humanity

President Donald Trump nominated Kathleen Hartnett White, a fringe player in the climate debate who promotes the idea that increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is good for humanity, to lead the White House Council on Environmental Quality on Thursday. Hartnett White, a senior fellow and director of the Armstrong Center for Energy and the Environment at the fossil-fuel funded Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF), has questioned the scientific consensus that human activities are the major driver of catastrophic climate change. She has described efforts to combat climate change as primarily an attack on the fossil fuel industry.
President Donald Trump nominated Kathleen Hartnett White, a fringe player in the climate debate who promotes the...

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14 Oct 2017

This is the pro-Trump propaganda being quietly broadcast on local stations across the country

On an otherwise regular morning in mid-August, viewers in Providence, Rhode Island were treated to a segment called Behind the Headlines with Mark Hyman, which immediately followed the local weather report. Hyman’s segment, which runs daily between a minute and a half and two minutes long, is one of several must-run “news” segments that spread misinformation, echo Trump administration talking points, and function as nationalist and right-wing propaganda.
On an otherwise regular morning in mid-August, viewers in Providence, Rhode Island were treated to a segment called...
11 Oct 2017

The radical ideology of this Trump nominee makes even the most conservative SCOTUS justices uneasy

Justice Don Willett is charming. Best known outside legal circles for his Twitter feed, @JusticeWillett, the Texas Supreme Court justice — and now a Trump nominee to a federal appeals court — tweets largely apolitical commentary about Calvin and Hobbes, his children, and Oxford commas. This would all be well and good, if not for one other factor. This charming, intelligent, knowledgeable man also wants to dismantle much of the last 80 years of American law.
Justice Don Willett is charming. Best known outside legal circles for his Twitter feed, @JusticeWillett, the Texas...
7 Oct 2017

These are the Facebook posts Russia used to undermine Hillary Clinton’s campaign

By meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Moscow appears to have initially aimed to plant Donald Trump in the White House. But as signs toward the end of the campaign pointed to Trump’s defeat, actors in Russia were primarily trying to hamstring Hillary Clinton’s perceived ascension to the presidency.
By meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Moscow appears to have initially aimed to plant Donald Trump in the...

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30 Sep 2017

Perry proposes law to force Americans to buy dirtier, costlier power

To make his case, Perry has fabricated an economic threat to U.S. grid reliability from cheap renewables and then proposed a rule to account for the imaginary reliability benefit of other electricity sources — all the while ignoring the actual health and environmental costs of carbon pollution from burning coal that aren’t priced in to the market yet.
To make his case, Perry has fabricated an economic threat to U.S. grid reliability from cheap renewables and then...
29 Sep 2017

White House tries to defend Trump’s claim that he pays more under his tax plan. It’s a train wreck.

During a White House briefing on Thursday, chief White House economic adviser Gary Cohn tried to defend President Trump’s claim that his tax plan will not benefit him. It did not go well. “Based on what we know, what little we know about [Trump’s] finances, he’d get a big cut on the AMT [Alternative Minimum Tax], I think he’d save something like $31 million. On pass-through income, he’d save $16.5 million, he’d obviously save a lot not paying the estate tax, his heirs would — so how can you say that this is not a plan that would help him?” a reporter asked.
During a White House briefing on Thursday, chief White House economic adviser Gary Cohn tried to defend President...
16 Sep 2017

The House just passed a bill that could politicize churches

The U.S. House of Representatives quietly passed a spending bill on Thursday that could transform churches and other houses of worship into entities more closely resembling SuperPACs.
The U.S. House of Representatives quietly passed a spending bill on Thursday that could transform churches and other...
15 Sep 2017

Sanders destroys norm of DOJ independence, lays out case for political prosecution of Comey

During a news briefing on Wednesday, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made the administration’s case for prosecuting former FBI Director James Comey from the White House podium. In making the comments, Sanders is disregarding what was previously an important ethical standard — that the Justice Department has prosecutorial independence. The idea is that the Justice Department should decide who to prosecute based on a unbiased application of the law, not political pressure from the White House. This is something that neither Sanders or her boss seem to value.
During a news briefing on Wednesday, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made the administration’s case for...

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5 Sep 2017

Trump names climate science denier to run NASA – ThinkProgress

In a Friday night news dump, the White House announced that President Donald Trump Plans to nominate Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), a climate science denier to be administrator of NASA. Bridenstine is a politician without any scientific credentials, unlike previous NASA chiefs, and for that reason his nomination has already been criticized by both Florida’s senators Marco Rubio (R) and Bill Nelson (D), Politico reports. Rubio said, “I just think [his nomination] could be devastating for the space program.”
In a Friday night news dump, the White House announced that President Donald Trump Plans to nominate Rep. Jim...
2 Aug 2017

Explosive lawsuit alleges Trump reviewed and approved bogus Fox News story on Seth Rich

A defamation lawsuit  filed by longtime Fox News contributor Rod Wheeler against the network alleges that President Trump was directly involved in concocting a fake  story intended to undercut the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russian hackers waged cyberattacks against Democratic targets to help him get elected.
A defamation lawsuit  filed by longtime Fox News contributor Rod Wheeler against the network alleges that...

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29 Jul 2017

House slashes funding for clean energy, restores funding for fossil fuel research

The House of Representatives voted Thursday to approve a large spending  bill for fiscal year 2018 that slashes clean energy spending and  approves keeping fossil fuel research at current levels.
The House of Representatives voted Thursday to approve a large spending  bill for fiscal year 2018 that slashes...

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25 Jul 2017

Perry study backfires again: Draft praises efficiency standards he is stalling

A leaked draft study of the electric grid requested by Energy Secretary Rick Perry found that federal energy efficiency policies are in the process of saving U.S. consumers and businesses more than a half trillion dollars. Meanwhile, the new administration is halting energy efficiency policies and gutting funding for energy efficiency improvements for American homes. Perry’s department is currently being sued by 11 states for stalling efficiency mandates for air conditioners and other high-energy products.
A leaked draft study of the electric grid requested by Energy Secretary Rick Perry found that federal energy efficiency...

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21 Jul 2017

Repeal of Obama-era environmental rules dominates Trump’s regulatory agenda

This week, the Trump administration defied its “America  First” rhetoric with a policy change that would make it easier for companies to hire guest workers from foreign countries. The Trump Organization is already poised to benefit from it. On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security raised the cap on H-2B visas for foreign guest workersfrom 66,000 visas per year to 81,000. On Thursday — just three days later — Trump’s properties told the Department of Labor that they wanted approval to hire 76 guest workers using those visas.
This week, the Trump administration defied its “America  First” rhetoric with a policy change that would make...

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19 Jul 2017

Mysterious 8th person at Trump Jr. meeting allegedly ran massive Russian money-laundering scheme

On Tuesday, the 8th person was identified: Irakly Kaveladze. Kaveladze, a U.S. citizen who was born in the former soviet republic of Georgia, currently works for the Agalarovs as a vice president of their family company, Crocus International. But Kaveladze also has a checkered  history. An October 2000 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) accuses Kaveladze of being involved in a massive effort, over nearly 10 years, to launder $1.4 billion of Russian and Easter European money through U.S. banks.
On Tuesday, the 8th person was identified: Irakly Kaveladze. Kaveladze, a U.S. citizen who was born in the former...

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18 Jul 2017

This is how the Kochs’ anti-renewable agenda becomes White House policy

President-elect Donald Trump raised eyebrows late last year when he named  the head of an obscure right-wing think tank, with close ties to petrochemical billionaires Charles and David Koch, to lead his energy transition team. Since then, officials from the Institute for Energy Research (IER) have been appointed to high-level positions at the Department of Energy where they are playing major roles in implementing pro-fossil fuel, anti-renewable energy policies.
President-elect Donald Trump raised eyebrows late last year when he named  the head of an obscure right-wing...
13 Jul 2017

House Republican threatens new Clinton investigations unless Democrats stop talking about Russia

Republicans have gone to extreme lengths to help Trump. Acting on a request from the White House in February, the chairs of the House and Senate intelligence committees — Devin Nunes (CA) and Richard Burr (NC) — “made calls to news organizations... in attempts to challenge stories about alleged contacts between members of President Trump’s campaign team and Russian intelligence operatives,” the Washington Post reported.
Republicans have gone to extreme lengths to help Trump. Acting on a request from the...
8 Jul 2017

Felix Sater is cooperating with a money laundering investigation. That’s bad news for Trump.

The Financial Times  reported Thursday morning that Felix Sater, former business partner of  President Donald Trump with deep ties to the Mafia and Russian  government, is cooperating in an international investigation into an alleged money-laundering network. Sater has a history of channeling money from prominent families in the Eastern bloc into Trump properties. This could pose problems for Trump, given Sater’s history of outing former close associates in exchange for immunity.
The Financial Times  reported Thursday morning that Felix Sater, former business partner of  President...
6 Jul 2017

Ahead of G-20 summit, new trade deal snubs the U.S.

Ahead  of the G-20 summit, Japan and the European Union are expected to  announce a trade deal on Thursday in yet another sign that President  Donald Trump’s “America First” approach to trade and policy isn’t paying off. Creating a free trade area the size of North America, the deal will greatly expand global trade. Expected to lower barriers to the exportation of cars between Japan and the European bloc, the agreement will also reportedly allow for the import of trains and agricultural products to Japan specifically.
Ahead  of the G-20 summit, Japan and the European Union are expected to  announce a trade deal on Thursday in...

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4 Jul 2017

What everyone should know about Peter W Smith, the potential missing link in the Trump-Russia probe

The Wall Street Journal published twoexplosive  reports detailing the actions of Republican operative Peter W. Smith  during last year’s presidential election. According to the WSJ, Smith  was seeking to acquire stolen Hillary Clinton emails from Russian hackers. Smith told associates that he discussed his activities with a key member of the Trump campaign, Michael Flynn. Smith was a longtime supporter and confidant to Newt Gingrich, a key member of the Trump campaign. Smith died about 10 days after talking to the Wall Street Journal reporter Shane Harris. While there is no evidence of foul play, and Smith was 81 years old, the cause of his death is unknown and not discussed in his obituary.
The Wall Street Journal published twoexplosive  reports detailing the actions of Republican operative Peter W....
2 Jul 2017

U.S. rejects travel visa for Afghan teenage girl robotics team

The  United States denied travel visas for six teenage girls from Afghanistan  looking to attend an international robotics competition in Washington,  D.C this month. The all-girl team from Herat, a city in western Afghanistan, applied for a one-week travel visa to attend the FIRST Global Challenge in mid-July. To interview for their visas, they had to travel about 500 miles to the U.S. embassy in Kabul. They made that trek a second time after their first application was rejected, but they were rejected yet again.
The  United States denied travel visas for six teenage girls from Afghanistan  looking to attend an...
16 Jun 2017

Tillerson calls for regime change in Iran

The new U.S. policy towards Iran includes regime change, according to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Tillerson  was asked on Wednesday whether the United States supports regime change  inside Iran. He replied in the affirmative, saying that U.S. policy is driven by relying on “elements inside of Iran” to bring about “peaceful transition of that government.”
The new U.S. policy towards Iran includes regime change, according to Secretary of State Rex...

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11 Jun 2017

Amid growing controversy, Sessions abruptly cancels public testimony

Attorney  General Jeff Sessions was scheduled to testify publicly next Tuesday  before the House and Senate appropriations committees. On Saturday, he  abruptly canceled. In  letters to the chairmen of the committees, Sessions writes that he will send his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, to the hearing instead. In explaining the cancellation, Sessions writes that he believed that members of the committees were planning on asking him about “issues related to the investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 election.”
Attorney  General Jeff Sessions was scheduled to testify publicly next Tuesday  before the House and Senate...
11 Jun 2017

Republican congressman praises ISIS attack in Iran, says US should consider supporting ISIS

“We have recently seen an attack on Iran, and the Iranian government, the mullahs, believe that Sunni forces have attacked them. This may signal a ratcheting up of certain commitments by the United States of America. As far as I’m concerned, I just want to make this point and see what you think, isn’t it a good thing for us to have the United States finally backing up Sunnis who will attack Hezbollah and the Shiite threat to us? Isn’t that a good thing? And if so, maybe this is a Trump — maybe it’s a Trump strategy of actually supporting one group  against another, considering that you have two terrorist organizations.”
“We have recently seen an attack on Iran, and the Iranian government, the mullahs, believe that Sunni forces...
10 Jun 2017

Federal judge denies Trump administration appeal in youth climate lawsuit

A federal judge has denied the Trump administration’s appeal in a climate change lawsuit, paving the way for the unprecedented suit to go to trial. The case — Juliana v. United States — pits a group of youth climate plaintiffs against the federal government and the fossil fuel industry. The plaintiffs allege that the federal government, through its actions and coordination with the fossil fuel industry, have violated their constitutional right to a livable climate. It is the first climate lawsuit to rely on a version of the public trust doctrine — known as atmospheric trust — to make its case, and adds to a growing number of attempts to force climate action through the judicial branch.
A federal judge has denied the Trump administration’s appeal in a climate change lawsuit, paving the way for the...
9 Jun 2017

Republicans dine at White House, then use Comey hearing to try to exonerate Trump

Less than 48 hours before former FBI Director James Comey’s testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee and detailed a January dinner during which he claims President Trump asked him to pledge personal loyalty, two Republican members of committee dined with Trump at the White House. Those members — Marco Rubio (FL) and Tom Cotton (AL) — then spent Thursday’s hearing trying to exonerate Trump of wrongdoing
Less than 48 hours before former FBI Director James Comey’s testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee and...

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1 Jun 2017

EPA halts Obama-era methane emissions rule for oil and gas industry

The  Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency ordered a halt on  Wednesday to an Obama-era rule created to reduce methane leaks from new  and modified oil and natural gas drilling wells. The action places a 90-day stay on portions of the rule, set in 2016, that requires oil and gas companies to detect and repair leaks of methane and other air pollution at new operations.
The  Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency ordered a halt on  Wednesday to an Obama-era...
1 Jun 2017

The Trump administration is teeing up a devastating blow to birth control access

The  Trump administration could soon give nearly all employers the ability to  request an exemption to the birth control coverage mandate by citing  religious or moral reasons, according to a leaked draft of the new rule obtained by Vox. “The extent that they’ve expanded the exception is pretty shocking,” Mara Gandal-Powers, Senior Counsel for the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), told ThinkProgress. “They’ve really opened the door to countless numbers of women having birth control exempted from their insurance coverage.”
The  Trump administration could soon give nearly all employers the ability to  request an exemption to the...
30 May 2017

When talking to EU leaders, Trump complained about his golf courses

President Trump talked about governing with the language of business and was receptive only to  concrete talking points, getting lost in theoretical discussions,  based on interviews with Belgian officials and sources involved in the  meeting. He seemed to have “no idea” about economic issues facing  Belgium and knew “even less” about the importance of Belgian trade to the United States. And, when he did have an idea about issues facing the European Union — of which Brussels is the de facto capital — those ideas seemed formed entirely on his experience building golf courses, the paper said.
President Trump talked about governing with the language of business and was receptive only to  concrete talking...
25 May 2017

Former FBI agent details how Trump and Russia team up to weaponize fake news

In this post, former FBI agent offers specific examples of when Trump and Paul Manafort, diverted attention from questions posed to them to fake news articles propagated by the Russians.
In this post, former FBI agent offers specific examples of when Trump and Paul Manafort, diverted attention from...
23 May 2017

Saudi Arabia, UAE pledge $100 million to ethically questionable fund proposed by Ivanka Trump

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have pledged $100 million to  the World Bank’s Women Entrepreneurs Fund, an initiative proposed by  first daughter and senior White House adviser Ivanka Trump. The fund, which was first announced in April, has already raised serious legal and ethical questions about how a White House adviser can both shape foreign policy and actively solicit donations from foreign countries for the fund.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have pledged $100 million to  the World Bank’s Women Entrepreneurs...
16 May 2017

Trump expected to name climate-denying conservative talk show host as head USDA scientist

The Trump administration’s attack on basic science  continues apace, with rumors circulating that President Donald Trump  will soon tap former campaign policy adviser and one-time conservative  radio talk show host Sam Clovis to be the lead scientist at the Department of Agriculture. Trump will reportedly name Clovis to lead the USDA’s Research, Education and Economics division despite the fact that Clovis has no background in the hard sciences, as well as no demonstrable policy experience with either food or agriculture.
The Trump administration’s attack on basic science  continues apace, with rumors circulating that President...

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13 May 2017

Trump’s EPA stabs Alaskans in the back with mining reversal

Plans to mine alongside Alaska’s pristine Bristol Bay, where half the world’s salmon are fished, had appeared dead in the water in recent years. Not anymore. The Environmental Protection Agency has dropped a regulatory plan that would have protected Bristol Bay from the planned Pebble Mine, encouraging the project’s backers to seek permits and move forward.
Plans to mine alongside Alaska’s pristine Bristol Bay, where half the world’s salmon are fished, had appeared dead...
9 May 2017

The racist, discredited argument Trump’s DOJ just made in a federal court

Here’s a  pro tip for the lawyers at Jeff Sessions’ Justice Department: If you  want to defend the president’s efforts to lock people out of the nation  because of their religion, you might not want to rely on discredited Supreme Court decisions enabling a racist backlash. Palmer v. Thompsonis one of the great missteps in the Supreme Court’s often unfortunate history on matters of race. This case centered on the city of Jackson, Mississippi’s operation of five racially segregated public swimming pools. After a court ordered the pools integrated, the city closed the pools rather than operating pools where people of all races could swim. And the Supreme Court, in a 5–4 vote, let Jackson get away with this scheme.
Here’s a  pro tip for the lawyers at Jeff Sessions’ Justice Department: If you  want to defend the...
7 May 2017

At event in Beijing, Kushner family uses promises of a U.S visa to raise money

At an  event in Beijing on Saturday, Nicole Kushner, the sister of White House  senior advisor Jared Kushner, made a hard sell to wealthy Chinese  investors to pour funds into the family’s new real estate development in New Jersey, according to The Washington Post. “Invest $500,000 and immigrate to the United States,” a brochure for the event reportedly declared.
At an  event in Beijing on Saturday, Nicole Kushner, the sister of White House  senior advisor Jared Kushner,...
4 May 2017

Woman faces a year in prison after laughing at Jeff Sessions

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a notorious racist. He prosecuted a former aide to Martin Luther King, Jr. after the former aide helped black voters cast ballots. He once claimed that immigrants “create cultural problems.” When Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) claimed at Sessions’ most recent confirmation hearing that Sessions’ record of “treating all Americans equally under the law is clear and well-documented,” Desiree A. Fairooz, a spectator who says she attended the hearing in silent protest, let out a chuckle. For this chuckle, she was arrested, dragged out of the hearing by Capitol police, and eventually convicted of disorderly conduct and “parading or demonstrating on Capitol grounds.” She could receive up to a year in prison.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a notorious racist. He prosecuted a former aide to Martin Luther King, Jr. after the...
30 Apr 2017

Trump echoes extreme militant group in NRA speech

President  Trump echoed the language of an extreme, anti-government group during  his speech to the NRA’s annual meeting on Friday, claiming that the next  revolutionary war is coming if the government tries to regulate guns. He also borrowed heavily from a book about the American Revolution, using nearly identical language. Toward the end of his remarks, Trump shared the story of Paul Revere, a symbol of the American Revolution, and his “famous warning that ‘the British are coming.’” Like Revere, NRA members need to be “vigilant” against those who “would take away our freedoms, restrict our liberties” and “abolish the Second Amendment,” Trump said.
President  Trump echoed the language of an extreme, anti-government group during  his speech to the NRA’s...
22 Apr 2017

House Oversight Committee calls on Trump’s business to prove he’s not violating the Constitution

Days after a lawsuit accusing President Trump of violating the Constitution’s “emoluments clause” added more plaintiffs,  the House Oversight Committee is requesting the Trump Organization turn  over documents detailing what processes Trump’s business has implemented, if any, to make sure the president isn’t profiting from foreign governments who want to curry favor with him.
Days after a lawsuit accusing President Trump of violating the Constitution’s “emoluments clause” added more...
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