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Trump Blames Dems For Failure of Health Care Bill

TrumpCare is dead. Republicans, not having enough votes, pulled the bill.

Trump is not "the closer" he thought he was. The Washington Post reports: [More...]

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Trump Threatens GOP on Health Care Bill

Trump issues an ultimatum to Republicans on his health care bill: Take it or I'll move on.

Republicans should tell him to move on.

The move was a high-risk gamble for the president and speaker, who have both invested significant political capital in passing legislation that would rewrite the 2010 Affordable Care Act. For Trump, who campaigned as a skilled dealmaker capable of forging a good deal on behalf of Americans, it could either vindicate or undercut one of his signature claims. If the measure fails, it would mean that Obamacare — something that congressional Republicans have railed against for seven years — would remain in place.

[More...]

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Trump, Russian Connections, Falsehoods and an Empty Gin Bottle

Spicer can try all he wants to distance Trump from Paul Manafort, but until Donald Trump removes his campaign website, his past announcements about Manafort are there for all to see. Spicy yesterday:

Spicer on Monday described the former campaign chairman as someone “who played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time.” He also said Manafort was hired in June, even though he was brought on board in March.
As Foreign Policy reports, ..."White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon led the Trump campaign for 83 days, compared to Manafort’s 144 days"

Factcheck from Trump's campaign website: Trump announces Manafort joining team, 3/29/16 [More...]

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Ivanka Trump to Get West Wing Office Space

Does this family ever tell the truth about anything? Via Politico:

Ivanka Trump, who moved to Washington, D.C., saying she would play no formal role in her father’s administration, is now officially setting up shop in the White House.

The powerful first daughter has secured her own office on the West Wing’s second floor — a space next to senior adviser Dina Powell, who was recently promoted to a position on the National Security Council. She is also in the process of obtaining a security clearance, and is set to receive government-issued communications devices this week.

Ivanka has also lawyered up, with the same lawyer representing her husband on conflict issues (who publicly assured us all there were none): Former Deputy AG Jamie Gorelick. [More...]

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Trump Kids Visit Aspen, 100 Secret Service Agents In Tow

There were anti-Trump protests in Aspen today where the Trump siblings and their children, along with their Secret Service entourage, are visiting for a family holiday.

The Aspen Times reports Donald Trump's adult children are visiting Aspen (with their 8 children) this weekend, along with their Secret Service Agent entourage, which are estimated to include 100 agents.

Props to Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo who says his agency will not be providing security for the Trump kids' vacation:

the U.S. Secret Service has not contacted him about the visit, DiSalvo said. Regardless, he said he would not offer his department’s aid for their visit.

“We’re doing absolutely nothing,” DiSalvo said of assisting the Secret Service. “Our responsibility is to the president and the first lady, not friends or family members.”

The Secret Service signed a contract with the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club (which teaches local young children to ski) for $12, 208.25, but it looks like they fudged on what it was for: The contract says rental ski equipment and clothing, but the club doesn't rent ski equipment. And the Club's director says he doesn't know anything about the contract. And, get this, the contract had a phony phone and fax number. [More...]

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Preet Bharara Fired as SDNY US Attorney

Donald Trump personally summoned U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara to Trump Tower after the election and asked him to stay on as U.S. Attorney. He agreed. Jeff Sessions also asked him to stay on and he said he would.

Today, he's fired. Bharara confirmed the firing on his twitter account.

I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired. Being the US Attorney in SDNY will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life.

Trump now gets another label: Double-crosser.[More...]

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Republican's Unveil Their Inadequate Health Care Bill

I didn't have to read a word of the Republican proposed health care bill to know it would be an as*-backwards approach to medical care. I've now read one article, and need go no further than this to prove the point: It swaps penalties for not buying insurance for penalties for letting it lapse:

People who let their insurance coverage lapse, however, would face a significant penalty. Insurers could increase their premiums by 30 percent, and in that sense, Republicans would replace a penalty for not having insurance with a new penalty for allowing insurance to lapse.

No major health care bill passes without months or years of discussion and amendments. The final version is always a compromise, and looks little like the original proposal. So other than demonstrating once again, what bad ideas Republicans have, I'm not going to be reading too much about it as of now, but for those of you who are worried about it, here's a place to discuss it.

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Donald Trump Signs New Travel Ban

Donald Trump has signed a new executive order banning people from six countries from getting visas for 90 days. (Iraq was omitted.) You can read the order here. Trump also issued a Memorandum for the Secretary of State on how it is to be implemented, which you can read here.

Also, according to the Washington Post article linked above:

the nation’s refu­gee program will be suspended for 120 days, and it will not accept more than 50,000 refugees in a year, down from the 110,000 cap set by the Obama administration.

A few other exceptions were included: [More...]

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Trump, Russia, Wiretaps and FISA

Donald Trump today (apparently parroting his favorite right wing website) accused President Obama of wiretapping his phones.

A spokesman for Obama said the accusation was “simply false”.

The unprecedented attack by a president on his predecessor, made in a series of early morning tweets, stoked speculation that Trump’s remarks were prompted by stories circulating in rightwing media, including one that claimed Obama is attempting a “silent coup” against Trump.

Trump's baseless claim shows his ignorance of electronic surveillance laws and procedures, both as to criminal investigations (under Title III) and foreign intelligence/ national security investigations (under FISA.) [More...]

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AG Sessions Most Un-Excellent Day

Like a punching bag, Attorney General Jeff Sessions took hit after hit yesterday, ultimately holding a press conference to announce he would recuse himself from any FBI investigation into Russia's alleged attempts to influence the election. Several Democrats are not satisfied with that. Here's who is calling for AG Jeff Sessions to resign:

The ACLU is calling for a perjury investigation.

Last night, Sessions seemed to change his tune a bit. [More...]

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Trump Panders Some More to the Xenophobic

Not surprisingly, Donald Trump is once again promoting the politics of fear and prejudice.

Now he wants to spend our dollars on a new office to help American victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants. He wants to call it the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement Office.

Once again, Donald Trump works off of false facts. His demagoguery encourages fear, prejudice and bigotry. In his attempt to be viewed as tough on the undocumented, he fosters inaccurate stereotypes.

Immigration does not breed crime. Our prisons are not overflowing because of crimes by the undocumented. They are overflowing because of our failed criminal justice policies and over reliance on incarceration versus treatment and rehabilitation with respect to our nonviolent homegrown offenders.

[More....]

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Trump Issues Two Immigration Implementation Orders

Trump remains intent on pushing everyone's buttons and causing rampant fear in our communities. Yesterday he issued two new implementation orders on immigration to effectuate his prior executive orders, which are already under attack in the courts.

The orders are here and here.

His orders lack teeth and he knows it. The first order, authorizing the hiring of 5,000 more Border agents and 500 Air & Marine Agents/Officers" states such hiring is "subject to the availability of resources." [More...]

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Former CIA Analyst: Trump Is Too Demoralizing

Former CIA analyst and NSC spokesman Edward Price has an op-ed in the Washington Post on why he left the CIA after Donald Trump took the oval office:

Trump’s actions in office have been even more disturbing. His visit to CIA headquarters on his first full day in office, an overture designed to repair relations, was undone by his ego and bluster. Standing in front of a memorial to the CIA’s fallen officers, he seemed to be addressing the cameras and reporters in the room, rather than the agency personnel in front of them, bragging about his inauguration crowd the previous day. Whether delusional or deceitful, these were not the remarks many of my former colleagues and I wanted to hear from our new commander in chief.

The final straw for him was: [More....]

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Report Trump May Use National Guard to Round-Up Undocmented

Donald Trump just keeps coming up with bad ideas. This one's a non-starter unless he wants violence in the streets.

The Trump administration is considering a proposal to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants, including millions living nowhere near the Mexico border, according to a draft memo obtained by The Associated Press.

The 11-page document calls for the unprecedented militarization of immigration enforcement as far north as Portland, Oregon, and as far east as New Orleans, Louisiana.

If this idea originated with his advisers, they are morons. But we knew that already.

I suspect Trump is trying to stay in the news and making sh*t up to draw big headlines. Otherwise, no one would care enough to write or read about him.

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Another One Bites the Dust: Flynn's Resignation Letter

Here is Michael Flynn's resignation letter. The NY Times reports Trump was told weeks ago he lied about his contacts with Russia.

The Trump administration is in turmoil, a rudderless ship facing constant upheavals. Trump is bad for the nation and bad for the world. He should just admit the job is over his head and resign, taking his unimportant, ill-equipped counselors with him.

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