Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Heat on Former and Present “Trump Team Officials” (e.g., Carter Page) Cover-up Looms

Wow — stunning news

From an expert journalist who knows this topic

Logical response from logical source

This report is based on the two slides and Trump response thus far from here - worth watching — good stuff:

Click here and enjoy (about 7 minutes).

A whole lot of shoes still to drop in this really big mess. Stay tuned.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

President is Exempt from Conflict of Interests: So, Let 'er Rip — Ka-ching

Like a giant spider web and just as sticky

Interesting poll to say the least 
(Notice how the Trump voter base stays in line)

While Trump himself has done pretty well through this week’s conflicts of interest (from Salon.com) his children have received unusual attention for their own shady activities. And, this is directly related to this story here from The Atlantic (another interesting analysis of the Trump quagmire – at least in my view). And, speaking of quagmires how about this one re: the Kushner’s (Jared and Ivanka) – with their own ties and conflicts. But, as long as they skate, so what, who cares, right? (Hint: That’s what they count on: Public apathy). So, here we go: Taxpayers flipped the bill for Eric Trump’s business trip to Ireland.
Maybe we could suppose it’s forgivable that Eric Trump needed to spend $11,261 of taxpayer money on Secret Service protection during his trip to the Trump Doonbeg Golf Course in Ireland. After all, although it’s questionable whether he actually needs to do all this globetrotting at this time in his life — and that would all be moot were the president to completely relinquish control of his companies to his blind trust, and not to his kids — it at least makes sense that a presidential child should receive protection when he does so.
But $4,030 on Eric’s personal limousine.
Just as her father’s company began notoriously receiving Chinese trademarks after the president recognized a “One China” policy, so too has Ivanka received recently three new trademarks in China after speaking with Chinese President Xi Jinping during his recent dinner at Mar-a-Lago. Considering that Ivanka Trump is now one of her father’s chief White House advisers, she lacks her brother’s ability to claim that there is nothing improper about mixing business with geopolitics, right?
It now turns out that, on the day when White House counsel Kellyanne Conway made an unethical plug for the first daughter’s business line, sales spiked by 10,700 percent for Ivanka products over what they had been on the same day from the previous year.
Then just as March ending, Ivanka’s sales were still up by 262 percent from where they had been in March of the previous year.
Violating basic ethics rules can pay at least if you’re a Trump.
Also, who says you can’t make money running for president? This is why people make a big deal about Trump not divesting himself from his companies:
In the first three months of 2017, Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign (yes, he’s already started that) has spent almost $500,000 on hotels, golf clubs and restaurants owned by the Trump family. It’s almost as if the same president who allegedly applied political pressure to diplomats from other countries to go to his Washington hotel doesn’t see any separation between his business goals and his political ones.
One supposes that when son Eric admitted last month that he also discussed “the bottom line, profitability reports and stuff like that” with his father, but that it didn’t mean like most people think it means, um?
Check poll chart above one more time … see a pattern here – not that it matters, right?
Just imagine the time this man and his clan still has in office … scary isn’t it?
Stay tuned and remember what Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward said during the whole Watergate mess: “Follow the money.”
That was good advice then and still is today. Where it leads, well, that’s anyone’s guess.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Charles Ponzi, Bernie Madoff, or Donald Trump — 3-Card Monte Gurus

One Example of Modern Day Trump Scheme

Carlo Pietro Giovanni Guglielmo Tebaldo Ponzi
(Namesake of “Ponzi Scheme” – mugshot when booked in 1910)

Trump’s first 100 days … video point of view on CNN via YouTube:

Introduction: Re: Take for example his so-called “Contract with the American Voter.” 
This was his promise to the American people of everything he planned to accomplish during his first 100 days in office.
One little problem, he and the entire GOP cannot blame DEMS is pretty simple: He did not get one single piece of legislation outlined in this “contract” passed – which shouldn’t surprise anyone that he’s now downplaying the significance of the “first 100 days.” Ironically, and somewhat funny, but classic Trump, he keeps saying the first few weeks of his administration have been some of the most successful in U.S. history – now that a stretch even for him.
The truth is by all measurement standards, Trump's brief time in office has been a near total disaster
(2) Nearly daily barrage of new scandals and controversies and faux pas swirling around his administration, with Conway, Spicer, Flynn, Bannon, his daughter and son-in-law – the list goes on and one. 
Ergo: The only people naïve enough to think his time in office has been some of the most successful in our nation’s history are without doubt those who were dumb enough to vote for him and had the Trump-care healthcare measure passed would have been impacted probably the most – and they still probably don’t even know it … just wait until round two of the AHCA in week or so reemerges – expected to pass and watch the impact across RED America – and again, DEMS cannot be blamed – the GOP owns it all: W/H, Senate, and the House and now, possibly the Supreme Court; so, hang on tight.
Keep in mind he has been woefully ineffective despite the fact of his daily EO signing TV spots. As noted above, he and his party controls both the House and Senate and all they needed to repeal Obama-care and pass Trump-care was a simple majority vote and they couldn’t even muster that. Not even to mention our fleet was heading 180 degrees opposite of North Korea when he implied they were heading for North Korea shores to I guess “prevent WWIII.” That is a whopper for sure.
The sad fact is yes, Trump is Trump: He demands and needs and has to have the spotlight — the limelight just like a game show host or a junkie needing a fix. He always has to be at the center of attention and winning – even when he loses he considers the effort a win even with defeat.
His own words prove and show that practically on a daily basis. Others feel the same as seen here.
Donald J. Trump is a very poor president, a very dangerous CINC who has awesome power, and he has a string of failures to prove it.
He is not even a successful or savvy businessman unless we count his con artist deals and projects that looked good and then failed – a salesman on the same level as another P.T. Barnum, Bernie Madoff, or Charles Ponzi.
Harsh you say, yes, but not as harsh as Trump actions to date and pending or forthcoming — bet on it.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Donald J. Trump the Axe Man Cometh: 100-Day Goal is Driving Him Insanely Over the Edge

You guys ready for round two 

One focus, one goal, one aim, one mission, one issue

They'e bacccccccccck...!!! Trump and his misguided and confused minions are once again rushing through another “repeal and replace” to meet Trump's 100-days-in-office deadline pledge. WTF that is his standard? 
One huge impact lingers:
At the center was the court battle that began under the Obama administration to help lower-income people pay medical bills and insurance deductibles. (Trump and GOPers hate that sort of thing).
Taking the basics away now would prompt the giant insurers to either flee the market or severely hike premiums to cover costs. 
Despite calls from the health care industry, business groups and Democrats to continue the payments, the White House has yet to tip its hand.
According to a draft of the tentative deal obtained by POLITICO, the latest proposal would allow states to apply for “limited waivers that would undermine Obamacare's protections for pre-existing conditions.” What does that mean exactly?
Under those waivers if implemented, states could opt out of Obamacare standards setting minimum benefits that health plans must offer and a requirement — called community rating — forbidding insurers from charging different prices to people based on health status.
Both are provisions that the GOP’s ultraconservatives have pushed to eliminate as part of the repeal effort, contending that these coverage mandates drive up the cost of insurance.
States opting out of the community rating rules would: (1) be forced to set up separate insurance pools (known as high-risk pools), and (2) people would be priced out of the private market where insurance is sold, and (3) they would be not be able to get good affordable coverage that they have right now under Obama-care.
In essence, this governing GOP does not give a crap. 
Now imagine that group included you and your family and loved ones?

Monday, April 17, 2017

Are We Becoming a Police State — Also Look Worldwide — Very Troubling Aspects

Eyes Always Turned On Us (24/7)

Did Worldwide Events Cause This

The Good Old Days
(Now normal new days)

All To Common Across America
(Probably in your hometown, too)

A timely topic for discussion to be sure: Police State U.S. of A.

So, are we becoming or already have become a police state? – This a simple yes or no question. Along the way while you ponder that question, consider these articles that address this subject, then research the issue yourself. It is important.

7.  Then consider this story, published locally – but has wide application.

Let me be perfectly clear: I totally support law enforcement and respect their loyalty and dedication “To Serve and Protect,” and for the many sacrifices they make.

But to be quite frank: Why do police today have to look like they are ready for a heavily-armed infantry combat patrol?

In some cases, yes, force is needed I understand that, but more and more often we now see them deployed regularly looking like an angry SWAT team or running some CTU operation with “Jack Bauer” up front. That is my point.

Surely the public knows what I mean, but at the same time we need not be scared shitless should we? Just asking.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Democracy Wins Again: Courts Still Rejecting Discriminatory Voter ID Laws

Click Here for Interactive Map - Link Also in the Post Below

Update on the following – posted at various times (those links are at the end of this post).
Introduction: This is a great research site with state-by-state interactive map – do your own search and bookmark it for future reference [click your state or other one for good info] here from Ballotpedia. 
July 29, 2016 - the Washington Post here. 
January 23, 2017 - Reuters here.
April 11, 2017 - The Wall Street Journal here.
Still the “go-to” site for the whole voter fraud issue ginned up mostly by the GOP far right zealots is here from the Brennan Center at NYU.
Voter ID laws in mostly RED states and it’s a weak cover for voter suppression.
FYI: People are 3,615 times more likely to report a UFO sighting than they are to commit in-person voter impersonation, according to national data.
A few facts regarding the GOP argument that voter ID laws prevent fraud:
Wisconsin: The non-partisan Brennan Center for Justice at NYU found only seven cases of voter fraud out of 3 million votes cast in Wisconsin during 2004, which amount to a fraud rate of 0.0002 percent.” Republicans in WI at the time and many since continue to say there was much more. Plus, this: all seven of those cases involved persons with felony convictions who were not eligible to vote after being released from prison and they thought their right to vote still existed.  
Another example came during the Bush years: After an extensive probe from 2002-07, the DOJ found out of 300 million votes cast only 86 were fraudulent, and most of them again, felons, or a few immigrants ignorant of voting law and thought they were eligible to vote.
Some argue that we “Must show an ID to fly, to drive, or to buy beer, so why not to vote.” I say as simple as possible: That is a red herring. Those licenses are not constitutional rights – voting is a constitutional right all things being equal, age, address, residency, etc., no one should be deprived of that right over proving who they are or their right to vote.
In short: This is a GOP solution seeking a false or bogus problem, or as they like to say these days, “a fake” problem.
The striking statistic has surfaced at the same time as the news that a new voter ID law in Pennsylvania could render nearly 10 percent of the state's residents ineligible to vote in the presidential election this fall.
Mother Jones assembled the numbers in order to fact-check claims by many Republican lawmakers that their states are facing rampant voter fraud.
1.  Since 2011, 24 voting restrictions have passed in 17 states. This fall, new laws could affect more than 5 million voters in states representing 179 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency, Mother Jones reports.
2. Studies indicate low-income and minority voters are most often disenfranchised by laws requiring voters to have government-issued photo IDs. For example, 25 percent of voting-age African-Americans don't have valid IDs.
Put the 13 confirmed cases of voter impersonation into perspective this way:
1.  Each year, 15 Americans are crushed to death by their furniture or televisions.
2.  Fourteen are injured by exploding toilets, and 100 are accidentally set on fire by their doctors during surgery.
3.  Americans are 3 million times more likely to have a favorable view of North Korea than to commit voter fraud.
4.  In PA: The fake and phony voter ID / voter fraud issue continues, apparently unchecked.
5.  Assume this classic case of 93-year old grandmother, Viviette Applewhite, who lives in PA. She had voted for over 50 years but for a while could not since she can't meet the new state voter ID requirement. She like millions of Americans of her generation, and many others, do not have a birth certificate, which is the main new requirement to get a new voter ID. Imagine she were your mother, grandmother, or great grandmother.
Below is list of my previous posts related to this critical subject. Some of the links therein may be broken no longer active – if so, I’m sorry in advance):

This is the most-critical issue of our time ... it speaks directly to the most-cherished right we have: The right to vote for the government we want, and not the kind some choose or want for us.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Political Rapids and Choppy Dangerous Waters Ahead For U.S. & Russia re: Syria

View of a Typical Syrian City Since October 2011 – Their “Civil War”
(Follows the “Arab Spring” across ME that started in December 2010)

Possible Complicit War Criminals
(Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin)

Aleppo is the last major urban stronghold of rebel forces in Syria where tens of thousands of besieged civilians are struggling to survive and escape the fighting, amid talk of a rebel retreat.
One of the oldest continuously inhabited cities on earth, the city of the Silk Road and the Great Mosque is poised to fall to Bashar al-Assad and his benefactors in Moscow and Tehran, after a savage four-year stalemate. Syria’s president, who has overseen a war that has left some 400,000 of his own citizens dead, with millions having fled will inherit the city now robbed of its human potential and reduced to rubble. This is a story of the influence foreign powers can have on civil wars.
Assad would not be winning without the support of Iran and Russia, which launched its military intervention in Syria a year ago. Also, it shows what happens when foreign powers (Russia and Iran), but not the U.S., choose to exercise their influence in civil wars – and make no mistake, Syria is a Civil War.
Highlights to Date:
1.  Former President Obama gradually withdrew military aid to what it considers moderate rebel factions in Syria, some of which are currently losing ground in Aleppo.
2.  Now, President Trump will probably cut off all U.S. assistance to these groups as part of his effort to partner with Russia in the fight against ISIS in Syria and surrounding areas.
3. Others opposed Syrian actions, like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, haven’t come to the rescue of those fighting al-Assad either like Russia and Iran have.
4. The U.S. is concentrated on ISIS elsewhere in Syria, as well as other Gulf countries are distracted by their war in Yemen, just as Turkey is focused on its fight with ISIS and Syrian Kurdish militias.
5.  Aleppo’s anti-Assad rebels are therefore, essentially, on their own, with tens of thousands already killed; mostly civilians and with no places to escape to.
If Assad reclaims Aleppo, he will achieve his most significant victory yet in Syria’s long war — a victory that would also belong to Vladimir Putin and the leaders of Iran. The fall of Aleppo will likely usher in a new phase of the conflict rather than end it with Assad then controlling all of Syria’s major cities: Aleppo, Damascus, Homs, and Hama. This would allow him and his allies to go on the offensive in other parts of the country like Idlib where Russian strategy is simple:
“Get them all in Idlib and then all the rotten eggs are in one basket” therefore making targets easier for Russian warplanes. Even with all that, it would take months for Assad to turn his attention to ISIS, and thus any brokered peace agreement would have to be on Assad’s terms.
And, now here we are today, which follows the recent U.S. Navy 60-Tomahawk (Cruise missiles) attack on a major airbase where planes flew from (some say) that launched the chemical attacks which killed some 70-80 innocent civilians and outraged the U.S. and many other countries with these two key points:
1.  Putin discussed Syria by phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and stressed the “unacceptability” of airing “unfounded accusations” without a thorough and impartial international investigation, according to an emailed Kremlin statement. 
2.  Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova criticized the international reaction to the attack, which she said was based on “fake” information about the involvement of Assad forces, adding: “The goal is to sabotage Russian efforts to promote a peace settlement in Syria – already in difficulty after a cease-fire brokered by Russia and Turkey has started to collapse – as well as revive efforts to oust Assad.”

What Lies Down the Road re: These Five Key Points: 
1.  Russia denounced as “categorically unacceptable” a UN Security Council resolution condemning the attack that was proposed by the U.S, the U.K. and France. Instead, Putin blames that deadly chemical attack on anti-Assad rebels, saying that the Syrian air force hit an ammunition depot where chemical weapons were stored.
2.  Russia accuses President Trump of rushing to judgement after the poison-gas attack further denting hopes of a breakthrough in relations as stated here: “We would welcome a more considered approach. This is a dangerous and heinous crime but it’s hasty to put labels on it,” stated Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov.
3.  The U.S. in turn lames Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the attack in the northwestern province of Idlib at the same time criticizing Russia for backing Assad in pointing the finger at rebels opposed to his rule. Trump said the “heinous actions by the Assad regime had changed my thinking on the civil war and went “beyond red lines.” Thus he ordered the attack by our missiles.
4.  Until recently, Syria had seemed the one area where Putin and Trump were certain to find common ground with Trump saying during his election campaign that he wanted to cooperate with Russia in fighting terrorism.
5.  Now, Trump top officials have made clear that the U.S. no longer seeks regime change in Syria – that too seems to have pleased Putin.

It seems that all bets are off since the U.S. is now reluctant to join forces with Russia in Syria and the latest chemical event puts the U.S. and Russia, a former Cold War rival as far apart as they were during Barack Obama’s presidency, even if Trump is likely to avoid direct conflict.
“Some people believed in a miracle, but it didn’t happen. Unfortunately we have to deal with the U.S. as it is -- with its own interests that it tries to impose on the rest of the world. So we’ll have to be ready to strictly contain them if they try again to go beyond the realm of polite behavior,” thus stated Sergei Karaganov, a former Putin foreign policy adviser and Kremlin-supported, said of the hope for a new page in U.S.-Russia relations under Trump. He further added re: who did it: “We just don’t know. It could be true, there are bandits on all sides.”
Final Note: Russia and Iran are Assad’s main allies and their military support enabled him to reverse the course of the six-year war in his favor – this chemical attack puts a dent in all that and now a likely scenario may be increased confrontation between Russia and the United States with Iran on the sidelines holding Assad’s hand.
The B/L in all this, if truly there is a bottom line: The photo above shows Assad’s Syria – the country he has destroyed due to a lack of compassion for life or limb just to stay in power just as he father did via coups and military strength from 1970 and held power from 1971 until his death in 2000, when son Bashar took the reins and has ruled since pretty much with the same al-Assad iron glove.
As I said over 400,000 of Assad’s own citizens have been killed this is civil war and Russia should never have pitched in to keep him remain in power except that it benefits Putin and Russia by rewarding them with a warm water port of call off the shores of Syria.
What happens now – I suspect Syria, Iran and Russia will push or shall I say, back Trump into a corner … things do not look promising all around.
Keep a close eye on the next few weeks and months.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Incoming Trump NSC Adviser Flynn — Outgoing Obama NSC Adviser Rice

Surrounded by all that golden sunshine plus big smiles
(Michael Flynn served 24 days — Susan Rice served 1,299 days)

Major Update (Posted after the following original post was made which follows):

On April 2, 2017, Alt-right media figure Mike Cernovich reported that former Obama NSC chief adviser Susan Rice had requested the unmasking of Trump officials.

The next day, Bloomberg’s Eli Lake confirmed (Note: This is part of the original post below) that Trump administration lawyers accused Rice of requesting “the identities of U.S. persons in raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions that connect to the Donald Trump transition and campaign.”

Right-wing media figures quickly ran with the report as a “BOMBSHELL,” but according to numerous legal and national security experts, “Rice’s actions are likely legal.” Regardless “Bombshell” took off like a rocket across GOP laa-laa land (no, not the musical, either). It apparently landed squarely here: RNC-GOP “Fake News” HQ:

The rest of this rather long story is here (from Media Matters) … check it out – it is a very good read.

Original Post Starts Here: Related to the following and on-going Trump-Putin/Russian links, sort of:

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on last Sunday’s ABC “This Week” with Martha Raddatz again called for a Special Committee to transparently investigate Trump connections to Russia, saying in part: “The fact is that we know for a fact the Russians tried to change the outcome of our election by attacking the very fundamentals of democracy. We need to know how, we need to know why, and most of all we need to know what to do to prevent this kind of activity, which they continue to carry on in free nations around the world.”

Now, a brand “new bombshell” Susan Rice-Barack Obama unmasking and wiretapping “connection” however, more likely “a flop not flap” that is breaking all over the place (posted above as update).

(I Note: Rightwing links are going nuts over this story – which is not out of character for them – pick up a rumor of tidbit and run with it like crazy … what can we call that? Oh, yeah, unreal, or more apropos: Like they blame mainstream media for all the time, just like President Tweeter? “Fake News.”)
Reports that Rice’s pattern of requesting unmasking was discovered by Trump’s NSC staffer Ezra Cohen-Watnick, who BTW was the same man named by the NY Times as one of Rep. Devin Nunes sources. Cohen-Watnick informed the White House Counsel’s office about finding the “Rice connection” then he called and rushed it to Rep. Devin Nunes (or so it seems likely). Nunes, it also seems, passed that along to Mr. Trump in the Oval Office. 
Now as Paul Harvey used to say: “The rest of the story” from here in part:
Susan Rice was National Security Adviser to Mr. Obama at the time her “unmasking requests were made.” She has not commented on the report, however, it is very likely and legal for her to have requested the unmasking — which most experts say:  “It is the standard for senior officials to learn the names of U.S. persons incidentally collected in such taps for a number of reasons. It may have some foreign intelligence value, which is the standard that can apply to almost anything and anyone caught by a legal tap or even FBI sting.” That standard is rock-solid for numerous reasons: e.g., She needed to know if anyone on the President’s staff was involved – both incoming and outgoing administrations in FISA wiretaps. Nothing usual since she DID NOT leak names to anyone about anyone on the list. This a key and major point, BTW.

Time will tell on the Rice-connection-gate or whatever else the GOP labels it and let's face it, they are great at labeling things with one exception: Their own scandals.
Thus writes the reporter for this story (Eli Lake at Bloomberg).
As Lake further notes, nothing he — or anyone else — has uncovered lends credence to President Trump’s outlandish and unsupported original claim that Obama ordered surveillance of him at Trump Tower prior to the election.
Also, this “new story” does not suggest any illegal behavior on Rice’s part. As with each step in the story, this one offers only a small sliver of information. 
Many experts also seem to think the Bloomberg story does not imply anything improper or unusual on Rice’s part.
Watch the righties … they are like a dog with a bone; no meat on that bone, just bone to chew on.
Stay tuned.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Trump's the Name — “Divert, Deflect, and Deviate” My 3-D Game

Drop the crazy “Fake News, It's a Scam, Phony Story” Media bashing
then Disable the Twitter
(Start being presidential, even if that's possible, or get out of town — jeez)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) accuses President Donald J. Trump (Sunday, April 2, 2017) of trying to divert Congress from investigations of Russia's role in the 2016 U.S. election and any links between Moscow and the Trump campaign.

Schiff said the president and his aides have instead attempted to throw the focus on the possibility of illegal leaks of classified information, and whether Trump or his associates were caught up in incidental collection by surveillance that was targeting foreigners (confirmed legal wire taps at Trump Tower tracking Russian mafia, etc.).

Two Congressional committees: the House which is now is on shaky ground and in disarray thanks to Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) and his double talking about giving document information directly to Mr. Trump, and the Senate, which just got started, along with the FBI, are all investigating what U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded were attempts by Russia to influence the November 8 presidential election in Trump's favor. Plus, they also are looking at any links between Russia and Trump on other matter (e.g., financial, hacking, and etc.).

Related posts, same subject are here, here, here, here, here, and here.

My View: Trump or anyone else who tries to change the subject and divert attention from the critical elements of the story and the investigations as Trump and many of his team members are doing almost on a daily basis leaves one to conclude they have in fact a lot to hide. So watch and listen to them closely over the next few weeks as the pressure mounts like it has for Michael Flynn, who now seeks immunity to “Tell his important story.”

Okay, Mr. Flynn and others who happen to support him: We can hardly wait.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Speaker Paul “Marathon” Ryan (R-WI): 2-step Plan for AHCA Revival in the House

Think it will pass a second time, Mr. Speaker???

Our New Plan
(Only 2 steps – Eazy Peazy)

My personal preference is Step #2
(Refer to the chart above)

WASHINGTON (from the Las Vegas SUN) — Under extreme pressure from conservative activists, House Republican leaders and the White House have restarted negotiations on legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obama-care - for what the 60th something time)? 

But efforts to revive the legislation in the House could take weeks, lawmakers conceded, as Congress moves forward with a full plate of other time-consuming issues. The renewed push did not meet with much enthusiasm from Senate Republicans, who said they had other priorities at the moment.

Nonetheless, House Speaker Paul Ryan vowed to renew efforts to repeal the law, despite last week’s crushing setback when House Republicans tossed aside a repeal bill because they lacked the votes to pass it.

Just days after President Donald Trump said he was moving on to other issues, senior administration officials said they still hoped to score the kind of big legislative victory that has so far eluded the White House. VP Mike Pence was dispatched to Capitol Hill on Tuesday for lunchtime talks.

“We’re not going to retrench into our corners or put up dividing lines,” Ryan said after a meeting of House Republicans was dominated by talk of how to restart health negotiate

My view: Ryan as “Leader” of the all GOP-run House is either between a rock and a hard place, or in a real shït sandwich. Hard to tell which sometimes isn't it? 
Stay tuned.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Tough Luck Bannon: Maybe Putin Will Grant Breitbart Carte Blanche to Kremlin Pressers

Couldn't Have Happened to More-Deserving Guy — Congrats

The story from here (Media Matters): The credentialing committee for Capitol Hill reporters announced today that it will not grant Breitbart.com their request for permanent credentials at this time – citing the website’s failure to demonstrate editorial independence from key supporters of President Trump.
Members of the Standing Committee of the Senate Press Gallery referenced several concerns with Breitbart’s bid for permanent status at a hearing this morning. 
Those concerns included: (1) The lack of evidence proving that former Breitbart CEO and the current White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon had actually separated himself from the website; (2) questions about whether Rebekah Mercer, who owns part of the outlet and was a key funder of Trump’s presidential campaign, also plays an editorial role; (3) the fact that some on the masthead have also received payments from the Government Accountability Institute (GAI), a nonprofit rightwing group funded by Mercer and previously led by Bannon; and (4) issues surrounding Breitbart’s apparent use of office space not zoned for commercial leases.
The committee is requesting more information from Breitbart by April 14 and for Breitbart to receive a permanent congressional press pass, its leaders must follow gallery rules by demonstrating that the website’s principal business is the daily dissemination of original news and opinion of interest to a broad segment of the public and that it is editorially independent of any institution, foundation or interest group that lobbies the federal government.”
Breitbart fails these standards in a number of ways already as Media Matters documented in a December letter urging the members of the standing committee to reject its application. Bannon’s position in particular raises significant concerns, as even if he did actually separate himself from the publication, the possibility that he could return to his position after serving in the Trump administration suggests that Breitbart News cannot be editorially independent. Moreover, Bannon, at-large editor Peter Schweizer, and managing editor Wynton Hall each have received hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary from GAI while simultaneously working for Breitbart.
These ties between Bannon, Mercer, and GAI suggest that Breitbart is and will remain a propaganda arm for President Trump, not an editorially independent news outlet.
The conservative operation’s status as a provider of “original news and opinion” is also in question -- according to a Media Matters review of Breitbart’s October 2016 content, only 17 percent was original; 78 percent of the website’s articles were wire copy, and the remainder were aggregated.
Permanent congressional credentials would represent a substantial step forward for Breitbart. As Buzz Feed reported: “For newer outlets in Washington, winning permanent congressional press passes is a tedious process — but an important one.  The hard passes are seen as the first step towards joining the White House Correspondents’ Association, where member news organizations rotate their reporters to travel with the president at home and abroad. Reporters also use the hard passes to get into other events around Washington.”
Below is the full text of the letter Media Matters president Angelo Carusone sent the standing committee in December:
That letter and the whole story is here – good stuff for sure.
Thanks for stopping by.