US Politics in Trump era Public date: 02.10.2020 20:59:01

Publisher: NYTimes

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14 Apr 2017

U.S. Drops ‘Mother of All Bombs’ on ISIS Caves in Afghanistan

The United States dropped the “mother of all bombs” — the largest conventional bomb in the American arsenal — on an Islamic State cave complex in Afghanistan on Thursday, the Pentagon said, unleashing a munition so massive that it had to be dropped from the rear of a cargo plane.
The United States dropped the “mother of all bombs” — the largest conventional bomb in the American...
14 Apr 2017

“Concrete” evidence of Trump-Russia collusion exists, the Guardian reports.

Buried in the last paragraph of a Guardian story about British intelligence alerting the U.S. to contact between Trump advisers and Russian officials is this sort-of bombshell: One source suggested the official [American] investigation was making progress. “They now have specific concrete and corroborative evidence of collusion,” the source said. “This is between people in the Trump campaign and agents of [Russian] influence relating to the use of hacked material.”
Buried in the last paragraph of a Guardian story about British intelligence alerting the U.S. to contact between Trump...

Publisher: NYTimes

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13 Apr 2017

After Campaign Exit, Manafort Borrowed From Businesses With Trump Ties

A shell company created by Paul Manafort the same day he left the presidential campaign quickly received $13 million in loans from the businesses with ties to Mr. Trump, including one that partners with a Ukrainian-born billionaire and another led by a Trump economic adviser. They were among $20 million in loans secured by properties belonging to Mr. Manafort and his wife.
A shell company created by Paul Manafort the same day he left the presidential campaign quickly received $13 million in...
13 Apr 2017

Foreign intel gives tape to FBI of Donald Trump’s kids engaging in criminal behavior

On a day in which reliable sources are pointing to the Trump-Russia investigation being so far along that arrests could come as soon as next week (link) and that Rudy Giuliani’s offer to flip is no longer even needed (link), another piece of the puzzle is now coming from an insider who has a tendency to be proven right about these things. The upshot: one or more of Donald Trump’s kids is about to go down.
On a day in which reliable sources are pointing to the Trump-Russia investigation being so far along that arrests could...
13 Apr 2017

How to Jam the Trump Brand

Here's a quick-and-easy guide for doing battle with President Trump in the only language he understands — his own brand. Naomi Klein explains 3 methods for fighting Donald Trump, simply imply he is a puppet, and make him less rich by attacking his brands.
Here's a quick-and-easy guide for doing battle with President Trump in the only language he understands — his own...

Publisher: Al Jazeera

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13 Apr 2017

Putin slams Trump ties as top diplomats spar on Syria

The trust between Washington and Moscow has "deteriorated" since Donald Trump was elected US president, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday, as the Kremlin dismissed US calls to abandon Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as "short-sighted" and "absurd".
The trust between Washington and Moscow has "deteriorated" since Donald Trump was elected US president, Russian...

Publisher: NYTimes

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13 Apr 2017

Trump Reversals Hint at Wall Street Wing’s Sway in White House

President Trump made three startling economic policy reversals on Wednesday, stepping away from pledges he made as a candidate and even policies he supported only days ago. The shifts confounded many of Mr. Trump’s supporters and suggested that the moderate financiers he brought from Wall Street are eclipsing the White House populist wing led by Stephen K. Bannon, the political strategist who is increasingly being sidelined by the president.
President Trump made three startling economic policy reversals on Wednesday, stepping away from pledges he...
13 Apr 2017

Trump Says It’s Likely Russia Knew of Syrian Gas Attack in Advance

President Trump said on Wednesday that Russia likely knew of the Syrian government’s plan to gas its own people in advance of a chemical weapons attack last week in northwestern Syria, asserting that United States relations with Moscow were at an “all-time low.”
President Trump said on Wednesday that Russia likely knew of the Syrian government’s plan...

Publisher: LA Times

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13 Apr 2017

Trump’s proposal to eliminate the Social Security payroll tax may be his worst idea yet

President Trump’s tax reform agenda is in trouble. That’s not news, but one proposal that his team has floated as a way, ostensibly, to cut taxes on the middle class is. According to the Associated Press, they’re toying with the idea of eliminating the payroll tax, which funds Social Security and part of Medicare, or cutting it drastically.
President Trump’s tax reform agenda is in trouble. That’s not news, but one proposal that his team has floated as a...

FBI obtained FISA warrant to monitor former Trump adviser Carter Page

The FBI obtained a secret court order last summer to monitor the communications of an adviser to presidential candidate Donald Trump, part of an investigation into possible links between Russia and the campaign, law enforcement and other U.S. officials said.
The FBI obtained a secret court order last summer to monitor the communications of an adviser to...
12 Apr 2017

Putin hardens Moscow’s support of Syria regime before Tillerson visit

Vladimir Putin has deepened his support of the Syrian regime, claiming its opponents planned false-flag chemical weapon attacks to justify further US missile strikes. The Russian president’s predictions on Tuesday of an escalation in the Syrian war involving more use of chemical weapons came as US officials provided further details of what they insist was a sarin attack by Bashar al-Assad’s forces against civilians on 4 April, and accused Moscow of a cover-up and possible complicity.
Vladimir Putin has deepened his support of the Syrian regime, claiming its opponents planned false-flag chemical...
11 Apr 2017

Trump finds his niche: fixing problems that no longer exist

President Trump has finally found an economic issue that's not too  complicated for him to do something about. That's stopping China from manipulating its currency that it hasn't been manipulating for the past two years.
President Trump has finally found an economic issue that's not too  complicated for him to...

Publisher: The Verge

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10 Apr 2017

Ajit Pai’s net neutrality plan is nonsense – The Verge

Three stories about FCC chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to roll back net neutrality dropped over the course of last night into this morning, all containing basically the same information. He Met with major telecom lobbying groups on Tuesday. He Thinks net neutrality is bad and wants to roll back the FCC’s Title II classification that made it happen. But also plans to have broadband providers stick net neutrality promises in their terms of service agreements. So that the FTC can enforce those agreements instead of the FCC
Three stories about FCC chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to roll back net neutrality dropped over the course of last night...

Publisher: Independent

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10 Apr 2017

Donald Trump’s administration is not prepared for the next global pandemic

The Trump administration has failed to fill crucial public health positions across the government, leaving the nation ill-prepared to face one of its greatest  potential threats: a pandemic outbreak of a deadly infectious disease, according to experts in health and national security.
The Trump administration has failed to fill crucial public health positions across the...
9 Apr 2017

Continued bombing by Assad shows limits of single U.S. attack

President Trump on Saturday praised the U.S. military for carrying out the missile attack on a Syrian airfield and struck back at mounting questions over whether it would help achieve a momentum shift in Syria’s bloody civil war. In an afternoon tweet, Trump defended the operation against criticism from some members of Congress and military analysts that the nighttime volley of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles two days earlier did not target the runways at the Shayrat air base in eastern Syria.
President Trump on Saturday praised the U.S. military for carrying out the missile attack on a Syrian airfield and...
9 Apr 2017

No peace in Syria until Assad is ousted, says Nikki Haley

Defeating the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, pushing Iranian influence out of Syria, and the removal of Assad are priorities for the US administration, Nikki Haley said in an interview  to CNN, which will air in full on Sunday. "We don't see a peaceful Syria with Assad in there," she said.
Defeating the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, pushing Iranian influence out of Syria,...

Publisher: The Intercept

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8 Apr 2017

Sen. Ron Wyden: Government Must Explain Why It Tried to Expose Twitter User

Only a day after Twitter revealed that it had received a summons from the Department of Homeland Security demanding identifying information about an anonymous anti-Trump user account (and only hours after the government abandoned its attempt), Senator Ron Wyden is telling the agency it needs to explain itself.
Only a day after Twitter revealed that it had received a summons from the Department of Homeland Security...
8 Apr 2017

The cost of Betsy DeVos’s security detail — nearly $8 million over nearly 8 months

Federal marshals are protecting Education Secretary Betsy DeVos at a cost to her agency of nearly $8 million over nearly eight months, according to the U.S. Marshals Service. The Education Department has agreed to reimburse the marshals $7.78 million for their services from mid-February to the end of September, said a marshals spokeswoman — an average of about $1 million per month.
Federal marshals are protecting Education Secretary Betsy DeVos at a cost to her agency of nearly $8 million over nearly...
8 Apr 2017

The Spoils of War: Trump Lavished With Media and Bipartisan Praise For Bombing Syria

An excellent review of Trumps' motives, psychology of war, conflicting stories by various actors in Trumps administration, the history of the Syrian war, crackdown and civil war.
An excellent review of Trumps' motives, psychology of war, conflicting stories by various actors in Trumps...
8 Apr 2017

Trump’s security chief shaped by tough posting near Syria

HR McMaster has shown himself to be an accomplished military strategist and an adept White House infighter. People close to McMaster say that an early priority for the three-star general was to marginalise Bannon and re-empower the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and director of national intelligence, whose places on the principals’ committee of the national security council Bannon had taken. At a stroke, McMaster accomplished that this week, establishing his supremacy over the homeland security and economic councils for good measure, and cementing his alliances with joint chiefs chairman General Joe Dunford and intelligence chief Dan Coats.
HR McMaster has shown himself to be an accomplished military strategist and an adept White House infighter. People close...
8 Apr 2017

‘I’m officially off the Trump Train’: Trump’s online base is furious about the Syria strikes

“I voted for you, my whole family voted for you,” said Angelo John Gage, a Marine veteran who was once the chairman of the white nationalist National Youth Front. “We all busted our a–es to destroy the fake media news, and now you’re falling for it.” His video reaction to rumors of U.S. military action in Syria was a direct address to Trump, and it went viral. Both WikiLeaks and Infowars reposted it.
“I voted for you, my whole family voted for you,” said Angelo John Gage, a Marine veteran who was once...

Publisher: Vox

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8 Apr 2017

“Democrats are acting like a bunch of cowards”: Trump’s Syria strike opens a rift on the left

Progressive activists say they’re dismayed that senior congressional Democrats aren’t more strongly condemning President Donald Trump’s strikes against Syria on Thursday night. Some Democrats in Congress dinged Trump on the process — not seeking congressional approval — but largely supported the action  itself. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called punishing Syria’s Bashar al-Assad “the right thing to do,” and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) labeled the strikes a “proportional response.” Pelosi has also called for the House to end its recess and reconvene to discuss the attacks.
Progressive activists say they’re dismayed that senior congressional Democrats aren’t more strongly...

Bannon wants a war on Washington. Now he’s part of one inside the White House.

Stephen K. Bannon — the combative architect of the nationalistic strategy that delivered President Trump to the White House — now finds himself losing ground in an internecine battle within the West Wing that pits the “Bannonites” against a growing and powerful faction of centrist financiers led by the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
Stephen K. Bannon — the combative architect of the nationalistic strategy that delivered President...

Publisher: NYTimes

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7 Apr 2017

Dozens of U.S. Missiles Hit Air Base in Syria

President Trump said Thursday night that the United States had carried out a missile strike in Syria on Thursday night in response to the Syrian government’s chemical weapons attack this week that killed more than 80 civilians. A senior military official said that 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles had hit Al Shayrat airfield in Syria. The missiles were aimed at Syrian fighter jets and other infrastructure but did not target anything that may have had chemical weapons.
President Trump said Thursday night that the United States had carried out a missile strike in Syria on...

Publisher: NYTimes

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7 Apr 2017

In Battle for Trump’s Heart and Mind, It’s Bannon vs. Kushner

The escalating feud between the chief White House strategist and the president’s son-in-law reflects a larger struggle to guide the direction of the Trump presidency. Finally, Mr. Bannon identified why they could not compromise, according to someone with knowledge of the conversation. “Here’s the reason there’s no middle ground,” Mr. Bannon growled. “You’re a Democrat.”
The escalating feud between the chief White House strategist and the president’s son-in-law reflects a larger struggle...
7 Apr 2017

Mother of four to be deported to Mexico in sign of Trump policy shift

Maribel Trujillo has been told that her deportation is set for next Tuesday from the US, where she has lived for the past 15 years. Her  rushed removal is one of the starkest examples yet of Donald Trump’s  push to catch and deport undocumented immigrants who previously were tolerated by the authorities as law-abiding and peaceful members of society.
Maribel Trujillo has been told that her deportation is set for next Tuesday from the US, where she has lived for the...

Publisher: NYTimes

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7 Apr 2017

The Grim Logic Behind Syria’s Chemical Weapons Attack

The diplomatic situation had been looking bright for President Bashar al-Assad of Syria. With the help of Russia, he had consolidated his power, the rebels were on their heels and the United States had just declared that ousting him was not a priority. Dr. Monzer Khalil, the health director for Idlib Province, said such extreme tactics are designed to demonstrate the government’s impunity and to demoralize its opponents.
The diplomatic situation had been looking bright for President Bashar al-Assad of Syria. With the help of...

Publisher: Vox

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7 Apr 2017

“It’s just weird”: a former employee on Rex Tillerson’s empty State Department

Details coming out of Rex Tillerson’s State Department tell a story of staff vacancies, scarce meetings, and general bewilderment from aides who have worked through multiple administrations. The emerging picture is of a secretary of state who has given little direction to his team on how he plans to run the diplomatic wing of the US government. State Department employees are even discouraged from making eye contact with Tillerson while he’s in the office, the Washington Post reported last week.
Details coming out of Rex Tillerson’s State Department tell a story of staff vacancies, scarce meetings, and general...
6 Apr 2017

Devin Nunes to Step Aside From House Investigation on Russia

Representative Devin Nunes, the embattled California Republican who is chairman of the Intelligence Committee, announced on Thursday he would step aside from leading his committee’s investigation into Russia’s efforts to disrupt last year’s presidential election. Mr. Nunes, the Intelligence Committee chairman, said his decision came after “left-wing activist groups” filed accusations against him with the Office of Congressional Ethics.
Representative Devin Nunes, the embattled California Republican who is chairman of the Intelligence Committee, announced...

Publisher: The Intercept

Author:

6 Apr 2017

Koch Brothers’ Operatives Fill Top White House Positions, Ethics Forms Reveal

If the billionaire Koch brothers turn to the White House for favors, they will see many familiar faces. Newly disclosed ethics forms reveal that a significant number of senior Trump staffers were previously employed by the sprawling network of hard-right and libertarian advocacy groups financed and controlled by Charles and David Koch, the conservative duo hyper-focused on entrenching Republican power, eliminating taxes, and slashing environmental and labor regulations.
If the billionaire Koch brothers turn to the White House for favors, they will see many familiar faces. Newly...
6 Apr 2017

Senate Republicans Deploy ‘Nuclear Option’ to Clear Path for Gorsuch

Senate Republicans changed longstanding rules on Thursday to clear the way for the confirmation of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch to serve on the Supreme Court, bypassing a precedent-breaking Democratic filibuster by allowing the nomination to go forward on a simple majority vote.In  deploying the so-called nuclear option, lawmakers are fundamentally  altering the way the Senate operates — a sign of the body’s creeping  rancor in recent years after decades of at least relative bipartisanship on Supreme Court matters.
Senate Republicans changed longstanding rules on Thursday to clear the way for the confirmation of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch...
5 Apr 2017

Trump Can Pull Money From His Businesses Whenever He Wants — Without Ever Telling Us

In an interview with ProPublica, Trump Organization attorney Alan Garten confirmed that President Trump can withdraw profits and underlying assets from his trust at any time.He also said the president has been able to withdraw money since Trump took office on Jan. 20. That language was not included in a Jan. 26 summary of the trust — what’s known as a trust certification — but was included in a Feb. 10 version of the document.
In an interview with ProPublica, Trump Organization attorney Alan Garten confirmed that President Trump can withdraw...
4 Apr 2017

Blackwater founder held secret Seychelles meeting to establish Trump-Putin back channel

Erik Prince met with a Russian close to the Kremlin in a meeting brokered by the United Arab Emirates. The meeting took place around Jan. 11 — nine days before Trump’s inauguration — in the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean, officials said. Though the full agenda remains unclear, the UAE agreed to broker the meeting in part to explore whether Russia could be persuaded to curtail its relationship with Iran, including in Syria, a Trump administration objective that would be likely to require major concessions to Moscow on U.S. sanctions.
Erik Prince met with a Russian close to the Kremlin in a meeting brokered by the United Arab Emirates. The meeting took...

Publisher: NYTimes

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4 Apr 2017

Worst Chemical Attack in Years in Syria; U.S. Blames Assad

The United States blamed the Syrian government and its patrons, Russia and Iran, on Tuesday for one of the deadliest chemical weapons attacks in years in Syria, one that killed dozens of people in Idlib Province,  including children, and sickened scores more.
The United States blamed the Syrian government and its patrons, Russia and Iran, on Tuesday for one of the...

Publisher: NYTimes

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3 Apr 2017

Trump Aides’ Disclosures Reveal Surge in Lucrative Political Work

As cash has flooded Washington from a variety of groups, even the anti-establishment activists and operatives who sided with President Trump have been enriched. Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, reported earning more than $1 million in income tied to conservative-oriented work, with at least $500,000 of that from entities linked to the conservative megadonor Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah, including the Breitbart News Network and Cambridge Analytica, a data mining firm partly owned by Mr. Mercer that worked for the Trump campaign.
As cash has flooded Washington from a variety of groups, even the anti-establishment activists and operatives who sided...
2 Apr 2017

Michael Flynn Failed to Disclose Income From Russia-Linked Entities

Michael T. Flynn, the national security adviser who was forced out of the job in February, failed to list payments from Russia-linked entities on the first of two financial disclosure forms released Saturday by the Trump administration. The first form, which he signed in February, does not directly mention a paid speech he gave in Moscow, as well as other payments from companies linked to Russia. The second, an amended version, lists the names of the companies that made the payments under a section for any nongovernment compensation that exceeds $5,000 “in a year.” That list appears to include all of the work that Mr. Flynn, a retired three-star Army general, has done since leaving the military in 2014, without providing compensation figures for any of it.
Michael T. Flynn, the national security adviser who was forced out of the job in February, failed to list payments from...
2 Apr 2017

Trump Admin. Won’t Disclose How Many U.S. Troops Are In Iraq And Syria

The Trump administration has ceased disclosing to the public when U.S. troops are deployed on the ground in Iraq and Syria, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Obama administration made a practice of announcing all conventional force deployments, letting the public know when it was sending U.S. service members into harm's way. But Trump, who campaigned on promises to rely on "the element of surprise" in warfare, has in his two months in office already dispatched hundreds of Marines and paratroopers to active war zones in the Middle East without informing the public or Congress.
The Trump administration has ceased disclosing to the public when U.S. troops are deployed on the ground in Iraq and...
1 Apr 2017

Politics, Power, and Preventive Action The (Not-So) Peaceful Transition of Power: Trump’s Drone Strikes Outpace Obama

As a candidate, President Donald Trump was deeply misleading about the sorts of military operations that he would support. He claimed to have  opposed the 2003 Iraq War when he actually backed it, and to have opposed the 2011 Libya intervention when he actually strongly endorsed it, including with U.S. ground troops. Yet, Trump and his loyalists consistently implied that he would be less supportive of costly and bloody foreign wars, especially when compared to President Obama, and by extension, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. 
As a candidate, President Donald Trump was deeply misleading about the sorts of military operations that he...
1 Apr 2017

Ted Lieu is out-tweeting Trump, and it’s making him a political star

The unassuming California congressman is one of the president’s biggest media nemeses. Since the beginning of the year, followers of his personal @tedlieu account have exploded, going from fewer than 10,000 to more than 122,000.His frequent barbs have gotten the far right’s attention. Breitbart News has wondered whether, as a colonel in the Air Force Reserve, he could be court-martialed for persistent criticism of the commander in chief. (He can’t be, and he doesn’t tweet on duty.)
The unassuming California congressman is one of the president’s biggest media nemeses. Since the beginning of the...
31 Mar 2017

Here’s how much Comcast paid members of Congress to sell your browser history

Just over two months into the Trump administration, Republicans in  Congress have undone numerous regulations put in place by former  President Barack Obama. On Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed a bill — along party lines — that would allow Americans’ internet histories to be bought and sold by large telecom companies like Comcast (Xfinity), Verizon and AT&T, without their knowledge or consent. The U.S. Senate did the same thing a week ago.
Just over two months into the Trump administration, Republicans in  Congress have undone...
31 Mar 2017

I worked for Jared Kushner. He’s the wrong businessman to reinvent government.

How the New York Observer could predict the fate of the Office of American Innovation. I worked for Jared Kushner at the New York Observer for 18 months as he tried to infuse a much smaller institution than the U.S. government with cost-cutting impulses from the commercial real estate world. And my experience doesn’t bode well for the Office of American Innovation. Not everything that works in the private sector is transferrable to the public sector — and even if it were, Kushner isn’t the best person to transfer it.
How the New York Observer could predict the fate of the Office of American Innovation. I worked for Jared Kushner at the...
31 Mar 2017

Mike Flynn Offers to Testify in Exchange for Immunity

Mike Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, has told the FBI and congressional committees investigating the Trump campaign’s potential ties to Russia that he is willing to be interviewed in exchange for a grant of immunity from prosecution, according to officials with knowledge of the matter.
Mike Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, has told the FBI and congressional committees...

Publisher: BBC News

Author:

30 Mar 2017

Ivanka Trump to be assistant to US president

The US first daughter bowed to pressure following an outcry from  ethics experts at her initial plans to serve in a more informal capacity. Ms Trump, 35, said she had "heard the concerns some have with my advising the president in my personal capacity".
The US first daughter bowed to pressure following an outcry from  ethics experts at her initial...
30 Mar 2017

Jared Kushner family firm and Chinese company end talks over skyscraper deal

Anbang was discussing buying stake in Fifth Avenue building in New York but critics had suggested China was seeking to curry favor with White House. The talks had drawn criticism from lawmakers and government ethics experts. They saw it as a potential attempt by China to curry favor with the White House. Kushner Companies bought the property in 2007 for a reported $1.8bn when Jared Kushner was running the business. It soon became apparent that Kushner had overpaid.
Anbang was discussing buying stake in Fifth Avenue building in New York but critics had suggested China was seeking to...
30 Mar 2017

Jewish Defense League activists beat Palestinian-American at AIPAC

Wearing shirts and carrying flags bearing insignia of the JDL, once declared a terrorist organization, the violent men and women also attacked left-wing Jewish activists. At least one was arrested. Members of the Jewish Defense League severely beat a 55-year old Palestinian American man and assaulted several American Jewish activists with IfNotNow outside the AIPAC Conference in Washington, D.C. Sunday, new video footage provided to +972 Magazine shows.
Wearing shirts and carrying flags bearing insignia of the JDL, once declared a terrorist organization, the violent men...

Publisher: The Verge

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30 Mar 2017

The 265 members of Congress who sold you out to ISPs, and how much it cost to buy them

Republicans in Congress just voted to reverse a landmark FCC privacy rule  that opens the door for ISPs to sell customer data. Lawmakers provided  no credible reason for this being in the interest of Americans, except for vague platitudes about “consumer choice” and “free markets,” as if consumers at the mercy of their local internet monopoly are craving to have their web history quietly sold to marketers and any other third party willing to pay.
Republicans in Congress just voted to reverse a landmark FCC privacy rule  that opens the door for ISPs to...
29 Mar 2017

Devin Nunes Says He Will Continue to Lead Russia Inquiry

The Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee rebuffed  calls on Tuesday to recuse himself from the panel’s investigation into  Russian meddling in the presidential election, as Democrats accused him of stalling the inquiry by canceling the committee’s meetings.
The Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee rebuffed  calls on Tuesday to recuse himself from the...
29 Mar 2017

I am an Arctic researcher. Donald Trump is deleting my citations

As an Arctic researcher, I’m used to gaps in data. Just over 1% of US Arctic waters have been surveyed to modern standards. In truth, some of the maps we use today haven’t been updated since the second world war. Navigating uncharted waters can prove difficult, but it comes with the territory of working in such a remote part of the world.
As an Arctic researcher, I’m used to gaps in data. Just over 1% of US Arctic waters have been surveyed to modern...
29 Mar 2017

Nunes: I’ll ‘Never’ Reveal Sources, Even To Other Members Of House Intel Committee

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) is staying mum. On Tuesday, he said he would “never” comply with requests to disclose the source of his allegations that communications involving the Trump transition team were “incidentally” collected by U.S. intelligence agencies. “Will you share your sources?” an ABC reporter who confronted Nunes in a Capitol Hill hallway asked. “We will never reveal sources,” he replied. “Even to the other members of the committee?” “Nope,” he said. “Never.”
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) is staying mum. On Tuesday, he said he would “never” comply...

Publisher: Vox

Author:

29 Mar 2017

The controversy over Sally Yates’s planned testimony before Congress, explained

The House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election is embroiled in yet another controversy. A new report from the Washington Post’s Devlin Barrett and Adam Entous says that Trump administration officials wouldn’t approve former acting  Attorney General Sally Yates’s planned testimony before the committee on certain topics, claiming they were “likely covered by the presidential communications privilege.”
The House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election is embroiled in yet...

Publisher: NYmag

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29 Mar 2017

The White House Asked for Veto Power Over Sally Yates’s Testimony at Russia Hearing

Sally Yates’s tenure as the Trump administration’s acting attorney  general was short-lived but eventful. A holdover from the Obama Justice Department, Yates didn’t make it two weeks before she was dismissed for refusing to defend Trump’s first travel ban. But before she departed, she warned White House counsel Donald McGahn that National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had misled his superiors about his preelection conversation with the Russian ambassador to the United States. Weeks later, word of that warning leaked to the press — and Flynn promptly resigned.
Sally Yates’s tenure as the Trump administration’s acting attorney  general was short-lived but eventful. A...
28 Mar 2017

How the White House and Republicans Blew Up the House Russia Investigation

The evidence is now clear that the White House and Devin Nunes, the  chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, have worked together to  halt what was previously billed as a sweeping investigation of Russian interference in last year’s election. “We’ve been frozen,” Jim Himes, a Democratic representative from Connecticut who is a member of the Committee, said.
The evidence is now clear that the White House and Devin Nunes, the  chairman of the House...
27 Mar 2017

Nearly 1 out of every 3 days he has been president, Trump has visited a Trump property

For the eighth weekend in a row, President Trump has visited a property that bears his name. He has done so on 21 of the 66 days he has been in office, meaning that for the equivalent of three full weeks of his just-over-nine weeks as commander in chief, he has spent all or part of a day at a Trump property — earning that property mentions in the media and the ability to tell potential clients that they might be able to interact with the president.
For the eighth weekend in a row, President Trump has visited a property that bears his name. He has done so on...
27 Mar 2017

Trump blames everyone but himself for failure of GOP healthcare legislation

President’s targets include conservatives, Democrats and a possible veiled jab at Paul Ryan as Republican hand-wringing over repeal-and-replace failure continues. On Twitter on Sunday morning, Trump wrote: “Democrats are smiling in DC that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club for Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parenthood & O[bama]care.”
President’s targets include conservatives, Democrats and a possible veiled jab at Paul Ryan as Republican...
26 Mar 2017

Trump Is Dragging Us Into Another War… And No One Is Talking About It

Quietly, while Americans have been focused on the ongoing drama over repealing the Affordable Care Act and the new revelations about the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, President Trump has been busy dramatically expanding the American troop presence inside Syria. And virtually no one in Washington has noticed. Americans have a right to know what Trump is planning and whether this will lead to an Iraq-style occupation of Syria for years to come.
Quietly, while Americans have been focused on the ongoing drama over repealing the Affordable Care Act and the new...

Publisher: Forbes

Author:

23 Mar 2017

Powerful Russian Partner Boasts Of Ongoing Access To Trump Family

“I have nothing to do with Russia,” Donald Trump bellowed to thousands of frenzied supporters at a Tampa, Florida rally last October. The truth, it seems, is a bit more complicated. In an exclusive interview with FORBES, Emin Agalarov—a Russian pop singer, real estate mogul and son of one of the country’s richest people—described an ongoing relationship with the Trump family, including post-election contact with the president himself. 
“I have nothing to do with Russia,” Donald Trump bellowed to thousands of frenzied supporters at a Tampa, Florida...

Publisher: ABC News

Author:

21 Mar 2017

Ivanka Trump to receive White House office, security clearance

President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump will receive an office in the West Wing of the White House and a security clearance as she serves, informally, as an adviser to her father, ABC News has confirmed. Ivanka Trump will not be considered a federal employee and will not draw a salary, but will receive a government-issued communications device, in addition to her office, "to protect government records and any information to which she may have access," according to senior White House officials and sources close to her. Her clearance will allow her to receive classified information.
President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump will receive an office in the West Wing of the White House and a security...
21 Mar 2017

Trump Russia Dossier Decoded: Yes, There Really Was A Massive Oil Deal

Circumstantial  evidence strongly indicates that President Donald J. Trump and his  campaign associates brokered a massive oil privatization deal, where his  Organization facilitated a global financial transaction to sell Russian Oil stock to its Syrian War adversary, the Emirate of Qatar. The Trump Russia Dossier describes a massive privatization deal to deliver a chunk of the state-owned Rosneft Oil company to Qatar and also a secret buyer in the Cayman Islands.
Circumstantial  evidence strongly indicates that President Donald J. Trump and his  campaign associates...
20 Mar 2017

Germany rejects Trump claim it owes Nato and US ‘vast sums’ for defence

The German defence minister, Ursula von der Leyen, on Sunday rejected Donald Trump’s claim that Germany owes Nato and the US “vast sums” of money for defence. Ivo Daalder, permanent representative from 2009 to 2013, wrote: “Sorry, Mr President, that’s not how Nato works. The US decides for itself how much it contributes to defending Nato. This is not a financial transaction, where Nato countries pay the US to defend them. It is part of our treaty commitment.
The German defence minister, Ursula von der Leyen, on Sunday rejected Donald Trump’s claim that Germany owes...

Publisher: Independent

Author:

17 Mar 2017

Donald Trump could reverse cuts to arts, poor and elderly if he stopped staying at Mar-a-Lago, figures show

Donald Trump could reverse his recently announced cuts to arts, poor and elderly services if he cut his trips to Mar-a-Lago and lived permanently in White House instead, figures indicate. Calculations show four programmes that face elimination - which tackle homelessness, unemployment among over-55s, participation in the arts and helping the poor access higher education - could be maintained at the cost of the President’s trips to his private Florida resort over the course of four years.
Donald Trump could reverse his recently announced cuts to arts, poor and elderly services if he cut...
17 Mar 2017

Follow The Money, Donald Trump Edition

There's a very good story out today from Bloomberg chronicling the flow of money from the former Soviet Union into real estate ventures built by or licensed with the name of Donald Trump. As we've discussed before, at some point in the earliest years of the  new century Trump properties became a go-to place for people from the former Soviet Union to buy real estate. Some were citizens of those  countries, others were American immigrants. We've already noted how Trump lawyer Michael Cohen first came to Trump's attention because he and his extended family from Ukraine was buying up a lot of units in Trump properties in New York and Florida. What this article makes clear is that there were a lot of Michael Cohen type families  buying Trump properties in bulk. At least for this part of the tale, Cohen's is a microcosm of this larger story.
There's a very good story out today from Bloomberg chronicling the flow of money from the former Soviet Union into real...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

17 Mar 2017

Trump Takes a Gamble in Cutting Programs His Base Relies On

President Trump’s proposal on Thursday for deep cuts to the budgets of a broad part of the federal bureaucracy was billed as a tough-minded and necessary corrective to the growth of the government’s power. But even  members of his own party questioned some of the cuts — and what was not being cut. “While we have a responsibility to reduce our federal deficit, I am disappointed that many of the reductions and eliminations proposed in the president’s skinny budget are draconian, careless and counterproductive,” said Representative Harold Rogers, Republican of Kentucky and a former chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.
President Trump’s proposal on Thursday for deep cuts to the budgets of a broad part of the federal bureaucracy was...

Publisher: Vox

Author:

17 Mar 2017

Trump’s budget has a radical plan for remaking US foreign policy

The budget won’t pass. But what it says about the president is really, really important. Using the Pentagon’s massive budget as a baseline, 55 billion is a relatively small increase. But it’s paid for, in part, by a relatively huge cut to the State Department. State’s $55 billion budget, $19 billion of which is spent on operations related to American wars, is slashed by 29 percent (leaving it with a total of $39 billion). The operative words for State are fewer and less: fewer diplomats, less development aid, and less support for international organizations like the United Nations.
The budget won’t pass. But what it says about the president is really, really important. Using the Pentagon’s...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

17 Mar 2017

Trump’s Budget Cuts Some Agencies to Their Lowest Levels in Decades

The president’s plan would cut spending for many agencies to historically low levels. President Trump’s 2018 budget blueprint released on Thursday proposes cuts in discretionary spending for most government agencies to pay for large increases in military spending.
The president’s plan would cut spending for many agencies to historically low levels. President Trump’s 2018 budget...
15 Mar 2017

Bernie Sanders on Trump and the resistance: ‘Despair is not an option’

The senator talks about his fight to make the Democratic party more attractive to working-class people – and on taking his progressive populism to the heartland in order to topple Trump. Sanders occupies an exalted pedestal in American politics today. In 2016 he won 23 primary and caucus races to Clinton’s 34, notching up 13 million votes. Given the odds stacked against him – Clinton’s establishment firepower; the skewed weighting of the “superdelegates” that tipped the primaries in her direction by reserving 15% of the votes for the party establishment; and the cynical efforts of the party machine through the Democratic national convention to undermine Sanders’ campaign by casting aspersions on his leadership abilities and religious beliefs, as revealed in the Russian-hacked WikiLeaks emails – that was no mean achievement.
The senator talks about his fight to make the Democratic party more attractive to working-class people – and on taking...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

15 Mar 2017

Neil Gorsuch Has Web of Ties to Secretive Billionaire

Mr. Gorsuch, President Trump’s Supreme Court pick, represented the mogul Philip F. Anschutz as an outside counsel and has links to other executives at his companies. In 2006, Mr. Anschutz successfully lobbied Colorado’s lone Republican senator and the Bush administration to nominate Judge Gorsuch to the federal appeals court. And since joining the court, Judge Gorsuch has been a semiregular speaker at the mogul’s annual dove-hunting retreats for the wealthy and politically prominent at his 60-square-mile Eagles Nest Ranch.
Mr. Gorsuch, President Trump’s Supreme Court pick, represented the mogul Philip F. Anschutz as an outside counsel and...
14 Mar 2017

Health Bill Would Add 24 Million Uninsured but Save $337 Billion, Report Says

The judgment by the Congressional Budget Office did not back up the president’s promise of providing health care for everyone but may help bring in rebellious conservatives. The House Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act would increase the number of people without health insurance by 24 million by 2026, while slicing $337 billion off federal budget deficits over that time, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Monday.
The judgment by the Congressional Budget Office did not back up the president’s promise of providing health care for...
14 Mar 2017

Steve King, Hurling Insults at Immigrants, Is Rebuked by His Own Party

Long before Donald J. Trump took aim at immigrants, there was Representative Steve King of Iowa. Against the backdrop of an emboldened white nationalist movement in the United States, his Twitter post over the weekend — “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies” — suggested that Mr. King was sliding from his typical messages to something far darker. It was praised by both the white supremacist David Duke and The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website.
Long before Donald J. Trump took aim at immigrants, there was Representative Steve King of Iowa. Against the...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

12 Mar 2017

Tillerson Leads From State Dept. Shadows as White House Steps In

In the Washington of President Trump, Rex W. Tillerson has taken an understated approach that can be seen as brilliant, mystifying or a prescription for powerlessness. Mr. Tillerson has skipped every opportunity to define his views or give guidance to American diplomats abroad, limiting himself to terse, scripted statements, taking no questions from reporters and offering no public protest when the White House proposed cutting the State Department budget by 37 percent without first consulting him.
In the Washington of President Trump, Rex W. Tillerson has taken an understated approach that can be seen as brilliant,...

Publisher: Al Jazeera

Author:

12 Mar 2017

The Sheriff of Manbij: US makes debut in the Syrian War

Photos of US Humvees and Stryker combat vehicles patrolling the streets of Manbij are surreal, a reminder that we no longer are under Barack Obama's restrained doctrine. US generals are now in full control of US policy in Syria. President Donald Trump is making good on his campaign promise not to tell the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) about his plans to defeat them, yet both allies and foes are puzzled by that new approach. 
Photos of US Humvees and Stryker combat vehicles patrolling the streets of Manbij are surreal, a reminder that we...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

11 Mar 2017

Trump Abruptly Orders 46 Obama-Era Prosecutors to Resign

The Trump administration moved on Friday to sweep away most of the remaining vestiges of Obama administration prosecutors at the Justice Department, ordering 46 holdover United States attorneys to tender their  resignations immediately — including Preet Bharara, the United States  attorney in Manhattan.
The Trump administration moved on Friday to sweep away most of the remaining vestiges of Obama administration...
11 Mar 2017

Ryan On Millions Losing Care: ‘Never Going To Win A Coverage Beauty Contest’

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) admitted Friday that the Congressional Budget Office will likely estimate that millions of people would lose health insurance under the GOP's proposed health care bill. But he said that the the bill wasn’t meant to address the “beauty contest” of increasing coverage.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) admitted Friday that the Congressional Budget Office will likely estimate that millions...

Publisher: BBC News

Author:

10 Mar 2017

IS conflict: US sends Marines to support Raqqa assault

The US has sent 400 additional troops to Syria to support an allied local force aiming to capture the so-called Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa. They include Marines, who arrived in the past few days to set up an outpost from which they will be able to fire artillery at IS positions in the city. Several hundred US special forces soldiers are already deployed, advising Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces.
The US has sent 400 additional troops to Syria to support an allied local force aiming to capture the...

Publisher: BBC News

Author:

10 Mar 2017

EPA chief doubts carbon dioxide’s role in global warming

He told CNBC that measuring human impact on the climate was "very challenging" and there was "tremendous disagreement" about the issue. Mr Pruitt instead insisted that officials needed "to continue the debate" on the issue. His remarks contradict his own agency's findings on greenhouse gas emissions. 
He told CNBC that measuring human impact on the climate was "very challenging" and there was "tremendous...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

10 Mar 2017

Obama Education Rules Are Swept Aside by Congress

Republican lawmakers reined in regulations — including some on testing — that they criticized as heavy-handed.With all the attention paid to President Trump’s lightning-rod secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, and her advocacy for private school vouchers, little public notice has been paid to the action on education in Congress — where lawmakers have broader power than Ms. DeVos to make changes to the nation’s school system.Now, Congress has done exactly that, voting to repeal crucial regulations associated with the Every Student Succeeds Act, one of President Barack Obama’s final legislative achievements.
Republican lawmakers reined in regulations — including some on testing — that they criticized as heavy-handed.With...

Publisher: NY Daily News

Author:

10 Mar 2017

The Democratic Party seems to have no earthly idea why it is so damn unpopular

A troubling new poll was just released showing that the Democratic Party is significantly less popular than both Donald Trump and Mike Pence. My gut tells me that Democrats will ignore this poll, or blame it on bad polling, and continue down the same course they are currently on: being funded by lobbyists and the 1%, straddling the fence or outright ignoring many of most inspirational issues of the time, and blaming Bernie Sanders for why they aren’t in power right now.
A troubling new poll was just released showing that the Democratic Party is significantly less popular than both Donald...
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Publisher: Vox

Author:

10 Mar 2017

The staggering, sudden change at the US border

Fear of Donald Trump might have kept tens of thousands of people from coming to the US. It’s extremely unlikely that Trump is the only reason for the drop. It takes several weeks for someone to come to the US from the Northern Triangle - not to mention the time it takes to save up to pay smugglers and coyotes — and smugglers and traffickers often spread misinformation to create fake demand for their services. And part of the reason the drop looks so big is because November and December 2016 were much busier than usual on the US/Mexico border — possibly because people were trying to make it to the US before Trump took office.
Fear of Donald Trump might have kept tens of thousands of people from coming to the US. It’s extremely unlikely that...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

10 Mar 2017

Trump Supporters Have the Most to Lose in the G.O.P. Repeal Bill

The people who stand to lose the most in tax credits under the House Republican health plan tended to support Donald J. Trump over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, according to a new Upshot analysis. Over all, voters who would be eligible for a tax credit that would be at least $1,000 smaller than the subsidy they’re eligible for under Obamacare supported Mr. Trump over Hillary Clinton by a seven-point margin.
The people who stand to lose the most in tax credits under the House Republican health...
9 Mar 2017

China approves Donald Trump-branded spas, escort services, hotels and massage parlours without US Congress permission

Chinese authorities have granted preliminary approval for dozens of  Trump-branded businesses, expanding his commercial empire and raising  further conflicts of interest, say lawyers. The 38 trademarks include new hotels, spas, escort and  concierge services, massage parlors, personal security services and  insurance, according to public documents
Chinese authorities have granted preliminary approval for dozens of  Trump-branded businesses, expanding his...

Meet the Hundreds of Officials Trump Has Quietly Installed Across the Government

We have obtained a list of more than 400 Trump administration hires, including dozens of lobbyists and some from far-right media. While President Trump has not moved to fill many jobs that require Senate confirmation, he has quietly installed hundreds of officials to serve as his eyes and ears at every major federal agency, from the Pentagon to the Department of Interior. Unlike appointees exposed to the scrutiny of the Senate, members of these so-called “beachhead teams” have operated largely in the shadows, with the White House declining to publicly reveal their identities.
We have obtained a list of more than 400 Trump administration hires, including dozens of lobbyists and some from...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

9 Mar 2017

Who Wins and Who Loses Under Republicans’ Health Care Plan

Maps comparing tax credits under the Affordable Care act and those in the plan House Republicans recently released across groups of incomes and ages. The biggest losers under the change would be older Americans with low incomes who live in high-cost areas. Those are the people who benefitedmost from Obamacare.
Maps comparing tax credits under the Affordable Care act and those in the plan House Republicans recently released...
8 Mar 2017

What should we do if the president is a liar?

What should a United States senator, or any citizen, do if the president is a liar? Does ignoring this reality benefit the American people? Do we make a bad situation worse by disrespecting the president of the United States? Or do we have an obligation to say that he is a liar to protect America’s standing in the world and people’s trust in our institutions?
What should a United States senator, or any citizen, do if the president is a liar? Does ignoring this reality benefit...

Ivanka Trump brand says it’s ringing up some of its biggest sales ever

Amid a tug-of-war between consumers who either love or loathe the Ivanka  Trump brand, the company's president said it has rung up near record  sales since Nordstrom dropped the collection from its stores in February.
Amid a tug-of-war between consumers who either love or loathe the Ivanka  Trump brand, the company's...

Publisher: Arab Center

Author:

8 Mar 2017

Trump’s Defense Budget Militarizes US Foreign Policy

The signature blueprint of any US president is the federal budget.  Donald Trump is giving us an insight into how he views the world and what resources he intends to employ in advancing US interests abroad. The FY 2018 defense budget proposal alters the way the United States projects its power while offering no levelness between defense and diplomacy. However, the chances that the current version of the proposal  will pass through the US Congress are slim; a prominent Republican Senator called it “dead on arrival.”
The signature blueprint of any US president is the federal budget.  Donald Trump is...

Publisher: Vox

Author:

7 Mar 2017

ICE isn’t just detaining “bad hombres.” They’re scooping up anyone in their path

President Donald Trump has promised the only immigrants being deported now that he’s in office are “bad hombres”: convicted criminals, threats to American safety and the national interest. News reports from across the country are making clear that’s not true
President Donald Trump has promised the only immigrants being deported now that he’s in office are “bad hombres”:...
7 Mar 2017

Khizr Khan travel privileges reportedly under review

Khan was scheduled to speak “on what we can do about the appalling turn of events in Washington." Khan has been a U.S. citizen for more than 30 years, and his son, Humayun Khan, a University of Virginia graduate and Muslim American Army captain who died in Iraq in 2004, was posthumously awarded a Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
Khan was scheduled to speak “on what we can do about the appalling turn of events in Washington." Khan has been a U.S....
7 Mar 2017

While Trump distracted media, AG Jeff Sessions ensured billions in profit for prison corporations

The private detention facilities holding immigrants, which were not part of the Obama-era phasing out plan, is another overlooked  subject of human rights violations. Most detainees have committed no crimes other than a misdemeanor for crossing the U.S. border without proper documentation. The are segregated and kept in jail indefinitely and many are treated worse than criminals with practically no medical or  legal help available to them. If keeping prisoners locked is more profitable than releasing them,  then there is the crux of private  prisons and the detriment to America. 
The private detention facilities holding immigrants, which were not part of the Obama-era...
7 Mar 2017

House Republicans reveal bill to repeal and replace Obama’s healthcare law

After weeks of promises, Republicans  unveiled a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act with a plan that shrinks the government’s role in healthcare, and could leave more Americans without health insurance. Called the American Health Care Act, the bill would eliminate the individual mandate, which required Americans to have health insurance or pay a fine; cut the number of people insured under Medicaid; and allow insurance companies to charge the elderly up to five times more than the young.
After weeks of promises, Republicans  unveiled a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act with a plan that...
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