April 8, 2017

Commemorating the president’s 10th consecutive weekend at a Trump-branded property

https://thinkprogress.org/trump-branded-property-consecutive-weekends-d7640e4ef3dd
"During the campaign, Trump promised that he “would rarely leave the White House because there’s so much work to be done” and “would not be a president who took vacations” because “you don’t have time to take time off.” Consider that promise obliterated. And since Trump refused to divest from his company, his frequent visits to properties with his name on them also generates free publicity for his brand and profit off the presidency in an unprecedented manner."

April 7, 2017

Donald Trump Hides Signing Of Unpopular Legislation

White House’s explanation for Kushner’s secret meeting with a Russian banker unravels

https://thinkprogress.org/white-house-explanation-kushner-meeting-russian-banker-7372692a38d7
"In a statement emailed to Reuters and other outlets, the espionage-linked bank says that Gorkov, who was appointed to his position as chair of the bank by Russian President Vladimir Putin, met “with a number of representatives of the largest banks and business establishments of the United States, including Jared Kushner, the head of Kushner Companies.” Shortly after his meeting with Kushner, Gorkov —who graduated from Russia’s Federal Security Service security agency, the successor agency to the Soviet-era KGB — went on a Russian state-owned television station and said he was hopeful the financial constraints placed on Russian banks like his by the American sanctions “would change for the better,” the Times reports. According to the Times, the meeting between Kushner and Gorkov was arranged by Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, who had previously met in Trump Tower with Kushner and Michael Flynn."

Is This The Secret Russian Deal Trump Made?

Trump's New Plan: Govt as Company, Citizens as Customers, Kushner as CEO

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/03/27/trumps-new-plan-govt-company-citizens-customers-kushner-ceo
"The news that Kushner, the real estate heir married to Ivanka Trump, would be leading this enterprise prompted accusations of nepotism and kleptocracy. As many pointed out, Kushner has continued to amass power within the Trump administration, despite the fact that he has never held elected office nor has he been reviewed by the Senate for potential ethics violations."

Finally, a Cure for Government Dysfunction: Nepotism

http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a54149/jared-kushner-white-house-nepotism/
"Citizens are not your customers. Citizens are your employers. And what "great American company" are we using as a model? Your father-in-law's? I don't think it's a great idea to have the United States go bankrupt several times."

UH-OH: Ex-Trump Adviser Met With Russian Spy, Passed Documents

Trump son-in-law sought for Russia questions

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/trump-son-in-law-sought-for-russia-questions-907934275623
"the background of the former Russian spy-turned-bank-official who met with Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, and notes the remarkable number of significant tasks Trump has assigned to Kusher."

A Timeline: Russia and President Trump

http://billmoyers.com/story/the-trump-resistance-plan-a-timeline-russia-and-president-trump/
"Investigative reporters have begun to flesh out the Trump/Russia timeline. To keep everything in one location, here’s an updated summary (so far)."

Trump signs measure making it easier for federal contractors to abuse workers

https://thinkprogress.org/trump-contractors-labor-laws-executive-order-fd2c97b42b46
"The government contracts out hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of business to private entities, who in turn employ a huge share of American workers. But on Monday, President Trump signed a measure that will make it easier for those same firms to get a slice of that business even if they abuse their employees. The measure rolls back an order signed by President Obama, known as the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, that required any company bidding on a contract of $500,00 or more to disclose labor law violations over the last three years. Those disclosures then had to be taken into account during the bidding process."

Guy In Charge Of Oversight: Rich People Can't Be Corrupt!

Jared Kushner To 'Run Government Like A Business' On Sears, Kmart Model | Crooks and Liars

Jared Kushner To 'Run Government Like A Business' On Sears, Kmart Model | Crooks and Liars

"Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner will reform the United States federal government by privatizing and downsizing it. Wielding vast powers and little practical understanding of government, Kushner will set out to ‘run government like a business' in the very fashion that Trump promised. Unfortunately for Americans, this process is more likely to end up making the country worse instead of better."

Repealing prevailing wage laws hurts construction workers

Repealing prevailing wage laws hurts construction workers

"State law changes pushed by business groups and enacted by Republican-dominated legislatures have been a major factor in the decline of construction wages. Since 1979, prevailing wage laws have been a particular target. Without prevailing wage laws—which require contractors to bid and pay at least the average wage in their locality when working on public construction contracts— contractors can cut wages to win bids, rather than competing on the basis of efficiency and management skills, material costs, or the productivity of their workforce."

Scandalized Donald Trump Camp Pushes Distraction

Watch 2016 con artist Trump tell a crowd he'd never play golf, never leave the White House

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/3/27/1647639/-Watch-2016-con-artist-Trump-tell-a-crowd-he-d-never-play-golf-never-leave-the-White-House
"The golf outings to Florida are costing taxpayers an estimated $3 million per trip. Much of it going directly to Trump’s private-owned properties. In fact, the Secret Service has already doled out $16,000 in golf cart rentals alone at Mar-A-Lago. And while it is crystal clear Donald Trump spent most of his weekend playing golf, watching golf and promoting his various properties, how did Fox News cover Trump’s weekend? By telling their own gullible viewers that Trump spent the entire weekend working at the White House."

Four-and-a-half false statements EPA head Scott Pruitt made in just one interview

https://thinkprogress.org/four-and-a-half-false-statements-epa-head-scott-pruitt-made-in-just-one-interview-52be38cad2f2
"President Trump will sign an executive order Tuesday to start the effort to kill Obama’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) standards, which are aimed at cutting carbon pollution from electricity plants, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” Pruitt’s long interview was filled with false and misleading statements about domestic climate action and the Paris climate deal."

Former Donald Trump Adviser Duped By Russian Spies

Kochs Bankroll Movement to Rewrite the Constitution @alternet

Kochs Bankroll Movement to Rewrite the Constitution @alternet:

"Most of the groups pushing the convention idea are being underwritten by one or more institutions tied to billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch."

Donald Trump plans to make Jared Kushner America's unelected, unapproved, uncontrolled CEO

http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/3/27/1647627/-Donald-Trump-plans-to-make-Jared-Kushner-America-s-unelected-unapproved-uncontrolled-CEO
"While Donald Trump is anxious to destroy existing offices and departments, he’s creating a brand new one, to be lead by his 36-year-old son in law, a man who has never held elected office, never stood for Senate review, and who isn’t screened out by nepotism laws because … no one knows why."

White House Meddling Threatens Donald Trump Administration

Jared Kushner met with head of state-controlled Russian bank linked to espionage

https://thinkprogress.org/jared-kushner-russia-meetings-19e843cac256
"Jared Kusher, senior adviser to President Trump and his son-in-law, will be interviewed by the Senate Intelligence Committee about his pre-inauguration contact with Russian officials. Earlier this month, the New York Times reported that Kushner and Michael Flynn — who was ousted from his role as Trump’s national security adviser after it was revealed he had misled Vice President Pence about his pre-inauguration communications with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak — met with Kislyak in December. But the Times now reports that in addition to that meeting, Kushner had a previously undisclosed meeting with the head of a Russian bank that was hit with sanctions by the Obama administration. The meeting between Kushner and Vnesheconombank chief Sergey Gorkov occurred at Kislyak’s behest, according to the White House."

Senate investigators will question Jared Kushner about talks with Russian officials

Senate investigators will question Jared Kushner about talks with Russian officials

"The Senate Intelligence Committee informed the White House Counsel’s Office of their intention to question Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, about his previously unreported meeting with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, reported the New York Times. Kushner’s meeting with Kislyak was revealed in newspaper reports weeks after it took place, and he later met with the head of a Russian bank that had been targeted with sanctions after the annexation of Crimea."

Trump Administration Scandals Risk Normalizing Corruption

REVEALED: Jared Kushner met with head of Russian bank that hosted spy ring busted by Preet Bharara

REVEALED: Jared Kushner met with head of Russian bank that hosted spy ring busted by Preet Bharara

"Senate investigators want to question senior White House adviser Jared Kushner about his previously undisclosed meeting with a Russian bank that hosted a convicted spy."

Trey Gowdy claims Nunes never talked to Trump about Russia — even though he admitted he did

Trey Gowdy claims Nunes never talked to Trump about Russia — even though he admitted he did

"A terse Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) snapped at CBS host John Dickerson on Sunday morning, insisting that House Intelligence Committee head Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) did not speak with President Donald Trump about a Russia investigation despite Nunes telling the press he did."

Report: Flynn discussed illegal kidnapping of exiled Turkish dissident

https://thinkprogress.org/report-flynn-discussed-illegal-kidnapping-of-exiled-turkish-dissident-deb36c4a3c7a
"As Flynn was then working two jobs — one for the Trump campaign, the other as a paid representative of Turkish interests — the men he discussed the rendition idea with could have expected Flynn to share the idea with Trump. The president’s team has said Trump did not know about Flynn’s half-million-dollar lobbying contract with a major Turkish company until recently. But the New York Times has reported that transition team lawyers discussed the retired general’s status as a foreign agent before he was named National Security Adviser."

Michael Flynn Will Testify For Immunity

The U.S. Senate Just Sold You Out to Advertisers

https://theintercept.com/2017/03/23/the-senate-just-voted-to-sell-you-out-to-advertisers/
"IN A 50-TO-48 VOTE along party lines, the U.S. Senate decided to kill FCC rules blocking your ISP from selling your browsing history to the advertising industry without permission. Should the change pass the House, as is expected, the likes of Comcast and Verizon will be able to make money disclosing what you buy, where you browse, and what you search from your own home, all without asking permission. In an immediate signal that the vote will only benefit monied corporate interests and not the roughly 70 percent of Americans with a home broadband connection, the Internet & Television Association trade group gloated over their congressional victory"

Republican Senator Hails Goldman Sachs As A Champion Of ‘The Little Guy’

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/thom-tillis-goldman-sachs_us_58d42b23e4b02d33b749e1e5?aujsdl6btf08s38fr&
"Tillis was speaking at the confirmation hearing for Jay Clayton, President Donald Trump’s nominee to chair the Securities and Exchange Commission. Clayton is a top Wall Street attorney who helped Goldman Sachs with its 2008 government bailout. Tillis’ outburst appeared to be a response to earlier questioning from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), whom Tillis griped about in a previous hearing for highlighting a conflict of interest involving President Donald Trump and federal affordable housing programs."

Do Authorities Now Have What They Need on Trump? | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann | GQ

Super President Trump Can Make Facts By Believing Them With His Instincts

http://thedailybanter.com/2017/03/super-trump-can-make-facts-by-believing-them-with-his-instincts/
"Donald Trump's recent interview with Time Magazine provides further insight into the man who now runs the most powerful country on earth. And to be blunt, it is terrifying.  If you read the interview in its entirety, you get the distinct impression that Trump is not only not very bright, but quite possibly seriously mentally impaired. His inability to focus on what he is being asked results in a meandering, rambling interview that bears no relationship to what is actually happening in the country. Trump basically appears to view the interview as an opportunity to brag about how great his political instincts are, leading any rational observer to conclude that to the contrary, his political instincts are in fact horse sh*t.  The president genuinely appears to believe that because he believes something it makes it real. Just read this incredible interaction"

Sean Spicer compares ex-campaign chairman Paul Manafort to someone Trump sat next to on a plane

http://www.salon.com/2017/03/23/sean-spicer-compares-ex-campaign-chairman-paul-manafort-to-someone-trump-sat-next-to-on-a-plane/
"Paul Manafort helped Donald Trump secure the Republican presidential nomination but the White House insists he is just some “gentlemen who was employed by someone for five months.” The Trump administration said on Wednesday it was unaware of Manafort’s work for a Russian billionaire when he was hired as campaign chairman."

Political Strains In West Serve Vladimir Putin Goals

Russia's dark dealings a split screen scandal

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/russia-s-dark-dealings-a-split-screen-scandal-905306179638
"the assassination of a critic of Vladimir Putin, the latest in a long chain of such attacks, and also reports on the latest developments in the Russian scandal in the U.S"

We know what Sean Spicer did last summer: Today he barely recognizes Paul Manafort — last June he praised Manafort’s “strong” leadership

http://www.salon.com/2017/03/24/sean-spicers-summer-fling-today-he-barely-recognizes-paul-manafort-last-june-he-lavished-praise-on-manaforts-strong-leadership/
"As the man charged with leading the Trump White House’s communications shop, Spicer is in the unenviable position of having to respond to reports that former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort is both wildly corrupt and financially linked to a Russian billionaire with close ties to Vladimir Putin. There aren’t really any good responses to that particular PR fiasco, but some are worse than others. Spicer has opted to insult the intelligence of everyone within range of his voice by arguing that Manafort, who led the Trump campaign for several months, was barely even involved with the effort to get Trump elected. On Monday Spicer argued that Manafort “played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time” in the campaign. On Thursday Spicer described Manafort as “a gentleman who was employed by someone for five months,” likening the former campaign chief to someone “who sat next to [Trump] on the plane” or “who [Trump] grew up with in grade school.” This is all ridiculous, especially given that Spicer is making this case in front of reporters who covered the Trump campaign and are well aware of the critical role Manafort played."

Donald Trump White House A Poor Source For Facts

Russian connections: An act of treason

http://www.msnbc.com/the-last-word/watch/russian-connections-an-act-of-treason-905291331881
"Richard Painter, who worked in George W. Bush's White House Counsel Office, throws out the "T" word. He tells Lawrence O'Donnell that any American who helped the Russians influence the 2016 elections committed treason."

'There Is No Other Word for It': Former Bush Ethics Czar Says FBI Uncovering Evidence of 'Treason' @alternet

'There Is No Other Word for It': Former Bush Ethics Czar Says FBI Uncovering Evidence of 'Treason' @alternet:

"The former ethics lawyer for George W. Bush believes the FBI investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia has uncovered evidence of treason."

The Life Cycle Of A Donald Trump Lie

https://mediamatters.org/blog/2017/03/24/life-cycle-donald-trump-lie/215798
"This cycle is part of the White House’s effort to delegitimize any source of information that gets in the way of Trump’s propaganda."

Donald Trump is Panicking About Russia | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann | GQ

The Big Lie Behind Trump’s Education Budget

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/03/23/big-lie-behind-trumps-education-budget
"Public school supporters are angry at President Trump’s budget proposal, which plans to cut funding to the Department of Education by 13 percent – taking that department’s outlay down to the level it was ten years ago. But the target for their anger should not be just the extent of the cuts but also how the cuts are being pitched to the public. Trump’s education budget cuts are aimed principally at federal programs that serve poor kids, especially their access to afterschool programs and high-quality teachers."

"Embodiment of Greed": Sanders, Warren Rail Against Trump's SEC Pick

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/03/23/embodiment-greed-sanders-warren-rail-against-trumps-sec-pick
"Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) rallied against President Donald Trump's nominee to head the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Wall Street lawyer Jay Clayton, alongside other progressive leaders late Wednesday. Clayton, a corporate lawyer who helped Wall Street defy regulators and get billions of dollars in government bailout funds during the financial crisis, is "the embodiment of the greed that nearly destroyed the economy," Sanders charged in his fiery speech."

Which of Trump’s Cronies Will Flip on Him First? | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann | GQ

Trump's Draconian Budget Deals a Blow to Appalachia

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/39947-trump-s-draconian-budget-deals-a-blow-to-appalachia
"Rural America Takes Major Cuts The Appalachian Regional Commission was founded in 1965 "to help close the profound socioeconomic gaps between Appalachia and the rest of the nation." According to the Commission, in the past five years the agency has helped to create or retain over 101,000 jobs. Almost 63 percent of ARC investment dollars from fiscal years 2011-2015 supported projects that primarily or substantially benefited economically distressed counties and areas. ARC is a federal-state partnership that also garners private investment, which helps it draw bipartisan support. In 2015, for each $1 in funds invested by ARC in non-highway projects, $8 was leveraged in private-sector funding. ARC members want to be clear that their organization is not looking for charity. "We're not trying to ask the federal government to bail us out," says Jeff Whitehead, the executive director of the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc., which receives ARC funding. "We are coming together to solve some of these problems and we need that federal support and that investment to propel our efforts." The Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program provides workforce and employer services to 23 rural Appalachian counties in Eastern Kentucky. It's one program of many in the region that receives funding from ARC. The need for workforce development in Kentucky is especially pressing. As of October 2016, an estimated 6,254 people were employed at coal mines in the state, the lowest level recorded since 1898. "The ARC, they've been a real instrumental partner in our region's efforts," Whitehead says. In the past two years ARC awarded $707,000 to the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, which used the money to train 670 people who are now employed full-time, the AP reported. "Investments like ARC into our efforts, they're just really poised to pay off great dividends," he says."

Memo to FBI: If team Trump and Putin colluded, any money trail likely involves oil

https://thinkprogress.org/trump-russia-money-trail-oil-19c3ed417173
"Another key development since the election: Putin pulled off the Rosneft sale in December. When Fortune reported on this deal, they pointed out that it was “confounding expectations that the Kremlin’s standoff with the West would scare off major investors.” But this deal “pointed to a possible reassessment by foreign investors of the risks of dealing with Russia, at a time when the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president has heightened expectations of a thaw between Moscow and Washington.” Significantly, the $11 billion raised by the sale went to the Kremlin, not Rosneft. No wonder “Russian officials were jubilant that Rosneft had pulled off a deal which will deliver a large chunk of the cash they need to fill gaps in the state budget caused by an economic slowdown and sanctions,” as Reuters reported. Kleptocracy — and possibly meddling with a foreign election — looks like it pays very well for team Putin. As for the buyers, Sergey Aleksashenko, a former deputy head of Russia’s central bank, wrote in a blog post earlier this year, “the main question in relation to this transaction, as ever, still sounds like this: Who is the real buyer of a 19.5 percent stake in Rosneft?” Reuters notes that “important facts about the deal either have not been disclosed, cannot be determined solely from public records, or appear to contradict the straightforward official account of the stake being split 50/50” between Swiss oil trading firm Glencore and the Qataris. The funding sources for almost a quarter of the deal “have not been disclosed by any of the parties.” This deal “uses a structure of shell companies owning shell companies, commonly referred to in Russia as a ‘matryoshka,’ after the wooden nesting dolls that open to reveal a smaller doll inside.” For instance, “public records show the ownership structure of the stake ultimately includes a Cayman Islands company whose beneficial owners cannot be traced"."

A Dire Period Of Scandal For Donald Trump In Turmoil

Why Are Republicans So Relentlessly Cruel to the Poor? @alternet

Why Are Republicans So Relentlessly Cruel to the Poor? @alternet:

"Unfortunately, the Republican war on the poor is but one sign of the deep moral rot at the heart of American society. This crisis extends well beyond the election of Donald Trump and the cruelty both promised and so far enacted by his cadre and the Republican Party. If a society is judged by how it treats the most vulnerable and weak, America is a country in decline, a country whose citizens should be ashamed of their leaders — and, in some cases, ashamed of themselves."

Trump defends three of his biggest lies in new interview

https://thinkprogress.org/trump-lies-time-interview-f78e478dd630
"In a new Time magazine cover interview, President Trump defends three of the most notorious lies he’s told since beginning his presidential campaign in June 2015."

Blocked Yates Testimony Looking More Like Cover Up

Here’s a fact check of the blizzard of lies Trump told in his off-the-charts Time magazine interview

Here’s a fact check of the blizzard of lies Trump told in his off-the-charts Time magazine interview

"In his interview with Scherer, Trump also lied about the veracity of his administration’s employment statistics versus Obama’s, how many times he’s made the cover of Time, the state of the economy he inherited from Pres. Obama and other subjects."

5 things to know about Trump’s USDA nominee and the environment

https://thinkprogress.org/sonny-perdue-agriculture-secretary-environment-climate-confirmation-b8ac56014f6d
"Perdue also has deep ties to the chemical industry. He has received around $330,000 in campaign donations from chemical giant Monsanto and other agribusinesses, according to GrubStreet, and was named Governor of the Year in 2009 by the GMO-lobbying group Biotechnology Innovation Organization."

Trump Tells Time Magazine He Must Be Doing Well Because “I’m President And You’re Not”

Conservatives suddenly love big government — when it comes to punishing blue cities for passing progressive local laws

http://www.salon.com/2017/03/23/conservatives-suddenly-love-big-government-when-it-comes-to-punishing-blue-cities-for-passing-progressive-local-laws/
"Conservatives are starting to sour on the concept of local control, so much so that Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas, a leading figure on the Republican far right, recently gave a speech to the Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute in which he suggested that Texas should pass “a broad-based law” that would “pre-empt local regulations.” Wait, what? Conservatives are supposed to be the small government guys. Suddenly you’ve got one of the most right-wing Republican governors in the country denouncing local control and arguing that Big Brother should pass broad legislation stripping basic powers from local leaders to do things like pass smoking ordinances or regulate a city’s minimum wage."

How Many Lies Can Donald Trump Defend in One Interview?

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/03/donald-trump-falsehoods-interview-wiretap
"In the end, he insists his version of events are the real truth because, after all, he's sitting in the Oval Office."

Trump's Policies Show How Racial Division Benefits the Rich

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/trumps-policies-show-how-racial-division-benefits-the-rich-w473404
"Since the introduction of the American Health Care Act and Trump's draconian budget proposal, there's been a rash of reporting and analysis on how Trump's policies will be particularly harmful for Trump voters. The tax credits to purchase health insurance available to Trump's older, rural, low- and middle-income voters would be significantly lower under the GOP health care plan than the subsidies available to them through Obamacare, which are tailored to one's income and the local cost of health insurance – because Trump won counties with low incomes and high insurance costs. Trump's proposed $54 billion budget cuts would also hit hardest the rural areas and small towns he won. The money saved by slashing the budget and rescinding Obamacare benefits would free up hundreds of billions of dollars for tax cuts for the wealthy. Nonetheless, some Trump voters remain strong supporters, like the woman outside a Trump rally who mistakenly credited Trump for the Obamacare subsidy that enables her son to afford insurance. Another woman said she didn't believe reports that Trumpcare would leave 24 million more people uninsured and advised against believing anything that doesn't come straight from Trump. But there have been many other stories featuring Trump supporters who are coming to realize the policies he wants to enact will hurt them."

Taxpayers Have Spent $16k For Secret Service To Rent Golf Carts At Mar-A-Lago

Release of Arctic Methane "May Be Apocalyptic," Study Warns

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/39957-release-of-arctic-methane-may-be-apocalyptic-study-warns
"A scientific study published in the prestigious journal Palaeoworld in December issued a dire -- and possibly prophetic -- warning, though it garnered little attention in the media. "Global warming triggered by the massive release of carbon dioxide may be catastrophic," reads the study's abstract. "But the release of methane from hydrate may be apocalyptic." The study, titled "Methane Hydrate: Killer Cause of Earth's Greatest Mass Extinction," highlights the fact that the most significant variable in the Permian Mass Extinction event, which occurred 250 million years ago and annihilated 90 percent of all the species on the planet, was methane hydrate."

March 25, 2017

Here Are the 50 GOP Senators Who Just Sacrificed Your #BroadbandPrivacy to Corporate Profits

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/03/23/here-are-50-gop-senators-who-just-sacrificed-your-broadbandprivacy-corporate-profits
"Privacy and consumer advocates—and a seemingly endless chorus of Internet users—were expressing outrage on Thursday after the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate passed a bill that will allow powerful media corporations to collect personal data of internet users without their consent and sell that information to the "highest bidder" for profit."

Is a billionaire-funded coup to rewrite the Constitution on the verge of happening?

Is a billionaire-funded coup to rewrite the Constitution on the verge of happening?

"According to Wisconsin.gov, Republican lawmakers will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, March 28, to determine whether Wisconsin will call for a constitutional convention."

Trump’s ‘draconian’ budget devastates rural communities already hanging by a thread

https://thinkprogress.org/trumps-budget-leaves-rural-america-behind-28d24564b8e7#.q1rijze9j
"President Donald Trump’s proposal for the federal budget, released on Thursday, targets a number of agencies and programs for elimination that benefit the rural poor. These 19 independent agencies provide, among other things: job training for low-income seniors, after-school programs for kids in high-poverty areas, and housing assistance to low-income families. These cuts would be particularly harmful if they came along with the end of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, which the House Republican health care reform proposal would eliminate. Health care is often more expensive in rural areas, but Trumpcare does not account for geographical price disparities. Even without Medicaid cuts, however, advocates say that rural communities could be devastated by provisions of the Trump budget proposal. “This budget is draconian when it come to the needs of rural places,” said Robert Mahaffey, executive director of the Rural School and Community Trust."

Trump's proposed State Department budget cuts put US at risk

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/trump-s-proposed-state-department-budget-cuts-put-us-at-risk-900056643933
"Donald Trump's proposal to cut the State Department's budget by a third, and the implications that will have on fighting terrorism and epidemics like Ebola."

Bernie Sanders: President Donald Trump Broke Working People Promise

Trump: Don't Blame Me When I Quote Fox News

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/03/trump-dont-blame-me-when-i-quote-fox-news
"Donald Trump does not like taking responsibility for White House screw-ups. He'll blame anyone else he can think of—even his friends at Fox News."

DeVos Moves To Give Control Of Education To Koch Brothers And Heritage Foundation | Crooks and Liars

DeVos Moves To Give Control Of Education To Koch Brothers And Heritage Foundation | Crooks and Liars

"Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, is wasting no time when it comes to destroying our children's education on a federal level. During her confirmation hearing, she stressed that she would work in the best interests of students, teachers and education leaders, and that she supported public schools, wanting only the best for them. But for those who know DeVos' history, this was not in tune with her previous statements and actions. She has spent the last twenty plus years destroying the education system in her home state of Michigan."

Oops: Devin Nunes Backpedals Spying Claims

Trump-loving former congressman hauled off in handcuffs for allegedly looting his own charity

Trump-loving former congressman hauled off in handcuffs for allegedly looting his own charity

"Tea Partier and Trump supporter Steve Stockman has been charged with violating federal election law by misusing money from a charity that he created. The former Texas congressman allegedly started the non-profit Life Without Limits, then channelled $350,000 in charity donations back to his own account, Click2Houston reports.  At his Thursday court appearance, the judge assured the former congressman that it’s in his best interest to get good counsel as soon as possible."

Trump’s budget proposal plans a disaster for public investment

Trump’s budget proposal plans a disaster for public investment

"The broader cuts in the budget blueprint foreshadow an even worse fate for overall public investment. NDD is only about 16 percent of all federal spending, but fully half of it is public investment. The Trump budget essentially puts a long-run decline in NDD spending on overdrive. NDD budget authority fell from almost 7 percent of GDP in 1977 to about 3 percent by 1990. It has hovered around 3 percent since then, beginning a slow decline in recent years. The administration’s budget intends to accelerate this decline, reducing NDD spending swiftly and sharply from 2.8 percent of GDP in 2016 to 2.3 percent by 2018."

Trump Stooge Spectacularly Undermines Investigation

Trump budget slashes heat assistance for struggling families, saying it's a 'lower-impact program'

http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/3/16/1644153/-Trump-budget-slashes-heat-assistance-for-struggling-families-saying-it-s-a-lower-impact-program
"Across the country, LIHEAP helps millions of families, 75 percent of which include an elderly or disabled person or a child."

Over 350,000 Back Call for Lawmakers To Give Up Their Subsidized Healthcare

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/03/15/over-350000-back-call-lawmakers-give-their-subsidized-healthcare
"Highlighting the hypocrisy of members of Congress who benefit from large healthcare subsidies at the same time that they work to kick millions of Americans off of their health coverage, a man who lost his father to cancer because he was uninsured has created a petition demanding an end to those subsidies for lawmakers."

Russian Agent Ran Trump's Campaign

Trump’s budget screws over his voters

https://thinkprogress.org/trumps-budget-will-drive-up-on-his-own-voters-power-bills-3a6ea89ed93e#.e0my7e5rb
"President Trump’s new federal budget continues a remarkable pattern of being gratuitously cruel to his own voters. The just-released budget zeroes out the two major programs designed to help low-income and elderly Americans deal with energy costs: the Department of Energy (DOE)’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)."

Trump’s budget blueprint is a war on the future of the American economy

http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/3/16/14940712/trump-budget-science-education-health
"President Donald Trump’s debut budget proposal is a stark declaration of war on the future of the American economy that substitutes a curious mix of ideology and blind nostalgia for any effort to think critically about the actual needs of a 21st-century nation."

Lawrence: President Trump, Paul Ryan, Devin Nunes In Over Their Heads

Senate votes to kill Obama contractor rule

https://www.publicintegrity.org/2017/03/07/20748/senate-votes-kill-obama-contractor-rule
"The rule stemmed from a 2014 executive order issued months after a report by Senate Democrats revealed that almost 30 percent of the worst violators of wage and worker-safety laws from 2007 to 2012 had received government contracts."

We're Witnessing a Dangerous Detachment from Reality

http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a53868/trump-detachment-reality/
"This is the profound emptiness at the heart of conservatism when it gets into government. Even in triumph, it can't turn off the autonomic anti-government nerve system that has animated modern conservatism for the past 50 years. It has relied on so much that is contrary to human nature and human experience that it doesn't know how to relate to the world any other way. This is a movement that believes that, to be free, a 68-year-old Alzheimer's patient should shop for his own health insurance, which will be provided to him at a reasonable price because, if it isn't, some market magic will make the health insurance company go bankrupt for being mean to its customers. This is the movement that produces critters like Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, who, when asked why he voted against the Violence Against Women Act, replied that violence against women was a state issue and not a federal one. When asked, and I'm paraphrasing here, whether or not he realized how very stupid his first answer was, Barton replied, Shut up. This is a movement that believes that government's relationship with industry should be a silk hand in a velvet glove, that corporations like those which mine and sell coal have a vigorous social conscience, and, therefore, when they find that they are endangering their workers, they will spend what it takes to make them safe. There are people who believe this bunk, just as there are people who believed Donald Trump."

Donald Trump Russia Case 'More Than Circumstantial'

Trump's Budget Won't Balance Federal Spending, but It'll Move a Lot of Money to the Rich

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/39876-trump-s-budget-won-t-balance-federal-spending-but-it-ll-move-a-lot-of-money-to-the-rich
"The political theater that passes for serious policy debate is about to run into an unfortunate reality as Donald Trump's budget plan comes face to face with its arch-nemesis: arithmetic. It's impossible to cut taxes, increase spending, and balance the budget. That's not political bluster. That's math. Throughout the campaign and since, Trump promised to invest in infrastructure, pass an enormous tax cut, boost military spending, cut "waste, fraud, and abuse," and protect Social Security and Medicare -- and, of course, balance the budget. This rhetoric has been remarkably effective, the presidential equivalent of offering free ponies for everyone -- but even less practical. Working in Trump's favor, however, is that many Americans believe things about the federal budget that are simply not true. There's a lot of misinformation out there. According to public opinion polls, Americans believe nearly a third of the budget goes to international aid. In reality, it's less than 1 percent. A survey of Fox News viewers from 2013 showed nearly half believed most federal debt could be eliminated by "cutting waste and fraud." It can't. Out of a nearly $4 trillion annual federal budget, about $3.4 trillion is spent on things that either can't be cut or Trump has promised he doesn't want to cut. This includes Social Security, Medicare, military spending, and interest on the national debt. That leaves just over half a trillion dollars to cover all non-military discretionary spending. It's a lot of money, to be sure, but a small proportion of overall spending. This is the part Trump is proposing to cut. What's included in this side of the budget? To name just a few things: The benefits that help veterans get back on their feet after getting wounded. The nutrition assistance that helps babies born to low-income mothers. The science research that will mitigate the next infectious disease outbreak (remember Zika?)."

The Nuclear Danger Posed by Trump Has Only Grown @alternet

The Nuclear Danger Posed by Trump Has Only Grown @alternet:

"Before the 2016 election, Schlosser said the notion of Trump “with the launch codes, capable of devastating cities and countries, is extraordinary. It’s like the plot out of a science-fiction film." Now that film is reality and the opening scenes are already scary."

Russia Seeks Parity With US On Cyber-Power

The butcher’s bill keeps coming due: Donald Trump’s Hannibal Lecter budget cannibalizes his own supporters

http://www.salon.com/2017/03/16/the-butchers-bill-keeps-coming-due-donald-trumps-hannibal-lecter-budget-cannibalizes-his-own-supporters/
"But what happens when Trump and the Republican Party are done feasting on the “white working class” and their other supporters? When the bones are picked clean, to whom will they turn for a meal? People of conscience know the answer even if it terrifies them. If a budget is a kind of moral document and a statement of priorities, Trump has shown that he is an enemy of the American people and the common good — including his most stalwart supporters. If Trump is willing to betray them, all others should quake in fear at what he plans for his enemies in the process of “making America great again"."

Russia’s 5th Column

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/security/reports/2017/03/15/428074/russias-5th-column/
"President Donald Trump is following the same playbook as the Russian-backed far-right European leaders, adopting eerily similar language to theirs and pursuing the same policies that advance Russia’s objectives even when they are inconsistent with previous Republican policy positions."

Russia Payments Intensify Michael Flynn Scandal

Mike Flynn was paid by Russia's top cybersecurity firm while he still had top-secret-level security clearance

http://www.businessinsider.com/mike-flynn-and-russia-2017-3
"Retired Gen. Michael Flynn was paid $11,250 by Russia's top cybersecurity firm, Kaspersky, in 2015, according to new documents obtained and published by the Congressional Oversight Committee on Wednesday. Flynn was also paid $11,250 by the Russian charter cargo airline Volga-Dnepr Airlines, according to the documents. Flynn was paid for his work with both companies while he still had top-secret level security clearance, a year after he was fired as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Wall Street Journal's Shane Harris noted."

A Timeline: Russia and President Trump

http://billmoyers.com/story/the-trump-resistance-plan-a-timeline-russia-and-president-trump/
"Investigative reporters have begun to flesh out the Trump/Russia timeline. To keep everything in one location, here’s an updated summary (so far)."

The Most Telling Thing About the FBI’s Probe into Trump | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann | GQ

‘We will not be a nuclear waste dump’: Vulnerable GOP senator slams Trump’s Nevada nuke waste plan

‘We will not be a nuclear waste dump’: Vulnerable GOP senator slams Trump’s Nevada nuke waste plan

"The Las Vegas Review Journal notes that, while Trump would increase funding to revive the Yucca Mountain facility, his budget would also slash the Office of Science’s $5 billion budget by a whopping $900 million, which would dramatically cut the amount of research that it now funds at more than 300 universities and at 10 national labs."

Trump Proposal To Privatize Air Traffic Control Puts Everyone Who Flies At Risk

http://thedailybanter.com/2017/03/trumps-faa-privatization-puts-flying-public-at-risk/
"the fact remains that the U.S. civil aviation system has an excellent safety record and it generally works well for all who use it. Yes, some modernization is needed in some areas, and in a few instances the FAA is already working on that. But giving control of the system over to a private vendor that would likely favor the needs of the big airlines over other users of the system is not the answer, and would clearly jeopardize the safety of all who fly."

Russia! Russia! Russia! | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann | GQ

Defense Secretary Defies Trump, Says Climate Change Is a Real Threat to American Interests

http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/3/15/1643924/-Defense-Secretary-Defies-Trump-Says-Climate-Change-Is-a-Real-Threat-to-American-Interests
"Indeed, the new Pentagon chief is directly disavowing the position of the President. He went on to stress that "this is a real-time issue, not some distant what-if." According to "Mad Dog" Mattis "Climate change is impacting stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today." This is not a particularly new opinion within the walls of the Pentagon. The military has been crystal clear for years about the very real consequences of a world where water and arable land become scarce, and nations erupt into chaos and war."

HHS Secretary Tom Price Lied To A Cancer Survivor's Face | Crooks and Liars

HHS Secretary Tom Price Lied To A Cancer Survivor's Face | Crooks and Liars

"Price's answer was just stunningly evil. After explaining that he was a doctor and had treated many, many cancer patients, he launched his litany of lies."

How the System Got Broken, and Why It Can’t Be Fixed

http://billmoyers.com/story/system-got-broken-cant-fixed/
"The system failed because the Founding Fathers did not anticipate anything like the modern Republican Party. On the contrary, they believed that extremism and overweening self-interest of the sort Republicans routinely display could always be quarantined. Were they wrong! Instead of the Constitution circumscribing reactionary populism, reactionary populism has circumscribed the Constitution. That is where we are now. And there is no way out."

Lawrence: President Donald Trump Is 'Defining Deviancy Down'

The House Republicans’ Corporate Tax Cut

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/reports/2017/03/14/427967/house-republicans-corporate-tax-cut/
"Much of the reduction would benefit the largest and most-profitable businesses, including those that have engaged in shifting profits and jobs out of the United States."

'The Big Short' author on Trump and Wall Street

http://www.msnbc.com/the-last-word/watch/-the-big-short-author-on-trump-and-wall-street-896852035551
"Michael Lewis, author of "The Big Short," "Moneyball," and "The Undoing Project," explains why some of the Trump administration's policy ideas could take the USA back to the same situation before the crash of 2008."

March 24, 2017

Trump Already Bought By Big Pharma

"Making America Great" at Americans' Expense

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/03/14/making-america-great-americans-expense
"Now in the White House, he proceeds to push programs and policies that contradict many of his promises. He is ballooning an already massive, bloated military budget by cutting the health and safety budgets of consumer, environmental and labor regulatory agencies and housing and energy assistance. Reportedly he wants to cut one billion dollars out of the budget of the Centers for Disease Control that works to detect and prevent global epidemics! Just today, the Congressional Budget Office announced that under the proposed Republican Health Plan, 24 million people will lose health care by 2026. Apparently he is oblivious to the perils of Avian Flu, SARS, Ebola and Zika threatening our national security and the health and lives of millions of people. There is more to this emerging betrayal. Trump is supporting Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s “you’re on your own, folks” devastating health insurance plan. Slash and burn Ryan, comfortably fully insured by the taxpayers, publicly admits he doesn’t know how many people will lose their health insurance."

50 days of 'facts'

http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc-news/watch/50-days-of-facts-895419459795
"If there's one thing we've learned in the first 50 days of the Trump administration, it's that nothing can be taken at face value."

Trump’s Mar-A-Lago Trips Are More Expensive Than Meals On Wheels

Attorney with Trump investigations in purview part of mass firing

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/attorney-with-trump-investigations-in-purview-part-of-mass-firing-897203779865
"the questionable dealings by Donald Trump and his inner circle and notes that Preet Bharara, who would have been investigating those questions, was part of the abrupt mass firing of U.S. attorneys by Donald Trump."

Trump’s defense secretary James Mattis says climate change is real — and a national security threat

Trump’s defense secretary James Mattis says climate change is real — and a national security threat

"In unpublished written testimony provided to the Senate Armed Services Committee after his confirmation hearing in January, Mattis said it was incumbent on the U.S. military to consider how changes like open-water routes in the thawing Arctic and drought in global trouble spots can pose challenges for troops and defense planners. He also stressed this is a real-time issue, not some distant what-if."

March 18, 2017

The Lowdown on Net Neutrality in One Minute

Trump's reward to 'coal country'—kill jobs, training, communities, and education—you're welcome

http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/3/16/1644109/-Trump-s-reward-to-coal-country-kill-jobs-training-communities-and-education-you-re-welcome
"The Appalachian region awarded Trump big, fat wins. After all, Trump digs coal! Now it’s time to get their rewards. How does his budget reward them? Well, there’s the Appalachian Regional Commission. Or rather, there was, because Trump’s proposed budget completely eliminates the ARC. The commission supports local communities and regional programs, it also helps jumpstart local entrepreneurs and regional businesses which have created tens of thousands of jobs. It also contributes to local infrastructure, community management, and hundreds of local programs. Sorry, it did all those things. Clearly not needed. There’s also massive cuts to the Labor Department that eliminates job training. On the chopping block are both the Senior Community Service Employment Program that helps workers over 55 find new jobs, and Job Corps that helps young people get work experience and skills.  Both are widely used in Appalachia. Sorry, were. Were. Nobody wants them now. There is one unemployment program Trump is anxious to fund. He’ll expand the Reemployment and Eligibility Assessment program, REAP, which helps companies spot people who shouldn’t get unemployment and ditch them faster. Everyone wants that. And Trump will stop people from having to pay for educational programs, by routing that money to where it’s needed—more bombs. As a special bonus, he’ll save millions of seniors from the indignity of getting warm meals. That’s just what everyone asked for. Most important of all, Trump will make massive cuts to the EPA, instantly recreating thousands of mining jobs even though there are no power plants or steel mills out there that want the coal. Mines will hire more people just because they are so happy about Trump making it possible to dump more waste into water and cutting back on inspections. Or at least, coal country better hope so. Because with no job training, no support for start ups, and absolutely no safety net, it would be kind of awful if it turned out that Trump was just a huge liar."

Pat Waller | Health Care

Trump’s budget screws over his voters

https://thinkprogress.org/trumps-budget-will-drive-up-on-his-own-voters-power-bills-3a6ea89ed93e#.qwnx4g7w8
"Two key programs that help the elderly and rural poor reduce their energy bills will be cut."

Patricia Byrd | Retiree Health Care

The CBO's other bombshell: the Affordable Care Act isn't imploding

http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/3/14/14921594/obamacare-implosion-ahca
"Beyond its eye-popping findings on higher premiums and large-scale coverage loss, the Congressional Budget Office’s official score of the American Health Care Act also quietly demolishes the central publicly stated rationale for repealing the Affordable Care Act."

Patricia’s Story | Health Care

The 78 programs Trump wants to eliminate don’t even pay for his border wall

https://thinkprogress.org/trump-budget-eliminate-78-programs-eef620dd1eb9#.ntly3o2oq
"The sum is also dwarfed by the size of the tax cut that Trump has proposed enacting, which would cost the government $341 billion in the first year and $6.1 trillion over a decade."

Putting Trump’s Budget In Perspective

Putting Trump’s Budget In Perspective:

"Trump Budget by the Numbers: Amount the United States currently spends on the Department of Defense: $587 billion Amount the Pentagon characterized, in an internal report, as wasteful spending on bureaucracy that ought to be eliminated: $125 billion Amount Trump proposes to increase spending on the Department of Defense in FY2018: $54 billion Specific cuts to domestic programs to help pay for the Pentagon increase, a border wall, and school vouchers: Cuts to Department of Agriculture (USDA): $4.7B Includes $200 million in cuts to the Women, Infants and Children nutrition assistance program. Cuts to Department of Commerce: $1.4 billion Includes $250 million in cuts to coastal research programs that help prepare communities to deal with storms and rising seas. Also includes $221 million investments to stimulate local economic growth. Cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency: $2.5 billion Cuts to the Department of Education: $9.2 billion Includes $3.7 billion in cuts to grants for teacher training, after-school programs, and aid programs to low-income students. Cuts to Department of Energy: $1.7 billion Includes $900 million in cuts to research at the nation’s universities and national laboratories. Cuts to the Department of Housing and Urban Development: $6.2 billion Includes eliminating the entire $3 billion Community Development Block Grant program. Cuts to State Department: $10.9 billion Includes programs focused on climate change and foreign aid. Cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency: $2.5 billion Includes eliminating funding for international climate-change programs. Includes eliminating funding for international climate-change programs. Eliminates National Endowment for the Arts: $148 million Eliminates National Endowment for the Humanities: $148 million Eliminates the Institute of Museum and Library Services: $230 million Eliminates the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which supports public television and public radio: $445 million"

‘America First’ Budget Is Unworthy of Our Nation

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/03/17/america-first-budget-unworthy-our-nation
"Congressional Republicans will also demand cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Trump promised to defend those programs, but stay tuned: after ritual displays of ‘reluctance,’ followed by ‘negotiations,’ Trump will probably break that promise too. Trump pretends to be a different kind of Republican, but his budget blueprint is ideologically consistent with the modern GOP’s hard-right extremism. It values death over life, and fear over hope. It tramples on the bonds that hold us together as one people. It sells off the environment, our shared inheritance. It rejects the fundamental American idea that a nation should be a community, a group of people who protect and look out for one another."

Trump to spend 7th consecutive weekend at Trump-branded property, at enormous cost to taxpayers

https://thinkprogress.org/trump-mar-a-lago-trump-branded-properties-weekends-41d373bbe97a#.yscl486y3
"President Trump doesn’t want to spend federal dollars on after-school programs, meals for poor people, or heating assistance that helps keep folks alive. But he has no problem wasting more than $3 million a pop to spend weekends at his private Mar-a-Lago club in Florida. Trump has already made four trips there since becoming president on January 20, and on Friday he confirmed he’s headed there this weekend for the fifth time. Despite vowing during his campaign that he “would rarely leave the White House because there’s so much work to be done” and “would not be a president who took vacations” because “you don’t have time to take time off,” Trump has visited Trump-branded properties each of the past six weekends. That streak will hit seven when Trump lands at Mar-a-Lago later Friday."

Trump Rolls Out MONSTROUS New Budget

White House says Meals on Wheels is “not showing any results.” Research says otherwise.

http://www.vox.com/2017/3/17/14951656/meals-on-wheels-research
"a further benefit of these programs is that by allowing seniors to continue living independently in their own homes, they tend to reduce the need for nursing home care, which is very expensive."

Trump’s ‘draconian’ budget devastates rural communities already hanging by a thread

https://thinkprogress.org/trumps-budget-leaves-rural-america-behind-28d24564b8e7#.266dqxcer
"President Donald Trump’s proposal for the federal budget, released on Thursday, targets a number of agencies and programs for elimination that benefit the rural poor. These 19 independent agencies provide, among other things: job training for low-income seniors, after-school programs for kids in high-poverty areas, and housing assistance to low-income families. These cuts would be particularly harmful if they came along with the end of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, which the House Republican health care reform proposal would eliminate. Health care is often more expensive in rural areas, but Trumpcare does not account for geographical price disparities. Even without Medicaid cuts, however, advocates say that rural communities could be devastated by provisions of the Trump budget proposal. “This budget is draconian when it come to the needs of rural places,” said Robert Mahaffey, executive director of the Rural School and Community Trust."

Trump’s budget would cut funding for Appalachia — and his allies in coal country are livid

http://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2017/3/17/14951892/trump-budget-coal-country
"At this point, his main idea for coal country is to make unrealistic promises about jobs — and then cut the few federal programs intended to aid the region when the jobs don’t materialize."

Trump Voters Suddenly Love Their Obamacare (Think It's TrumpCare)

Seth Meyers Dismantles Trump's Barbaric Budget Proposal @alternet

Seth Meyers Dismantles Trump's Barbaric Budget Proposal @alternet:

"There's only one thing "Late Night" host Seth Meyers wants to know after Donald Trump's 10th week in office: "Are you sick of winning yet? Because if you are, you better get to the doctor before Trump takes away your health care."  Republicans' Obamacare replacement would hit much of Trump's base the hardest, a reality even Trump admitted to Fox News' Tucker Carlson.  “For any other president it would be a smoking gun, but for Trump it’s a guy smoking," Meyers joked. "‘Yeah I know. I know. F*ck ’em.'”  Trump's budget proposal spells bad news for rural America as well.  Along with cuts to foreign aid, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Environmental Protection Agency, the proposal would also slash the Meals on Wheels program."

Trumpcare: Paul Ryan's gambit to destroy Medicaid and Medicare

http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/3/16/1644214/-Trumpcare-Paul-Ryan-s-gambit-to-destroy-Medicaid-and-Medicare
"It's never been a secret that Paul Ryan's fondest dream has been to blow up the social safety net, every single part of it, but particularly the big three: Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. In no small part that's because they are a direct refutation of his dystopian, Ayn Rand-inspired philosophy of government as a force for evil. Ironic, yes, given he got to where he is today with the Social Security survivor benefits his family received after his father died when he was still a teen. But a pretty typical Republican response: I got mine, the hell with you. So here we arrive at Trumpcare and his big opportunity to take down both Medicare and Medicaid."

Bannon's Dangerous Domination of National Security @alternet

Bannon's Dangerous Domination of National Security @alternet:

"The neutering of the National Security Council by White House adviser Stephen Bannon continues. Not only has Bannon established a shadow NSC, known as the Strategic Initiatives Group in the White House, but he has also blocked National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster from naming his own staff."

ALEC & For-Profit Health Industry Embrace GOP Bill Despite Opposition from Doctors & Nurses

Paul Ryan says he fantasized about cutting health care for the poor at his college keggers

https://thinkprogress.org/paul-ryan-says-he-fantasized-about-cutting-health-care-for-the-poor-at-his-college-keggers-7aa0accc928b#.3mtsbhroh
"Ryan is 47 years old, which means that, if he started “drinking at a keg” early in his college career, he’s fantasized about all the poor people who could be stripped of health care for nearly three decades."

Here's How Donald Trump's Budget Screws Over the People Who Elected Him

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/03/donald-trumps-budget-sticks-it-people-who-elected-him
"The Upper Midwest: Trump broke the Democratic "blue wall" by racking up huge wins along the Great Lakes in places like Erie, Pennsylvania, and Macomb County, north of Detroit. His budget axes the $300 million in annual funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, an EPA program that aims to boost economic development and improve public health, with 3,455 projects across eight states. The Great Lakes initiative exists to combat the ill-effects of the region's industrial legacy. Among its chief responsibilities: stopping algae blooms that left 400,000 Ohioans without drinking water at one point in 2014. Michigan Republican Rep. Fred Upton already called an earlier version of the proposed cuts "alarming." The Upper Midwest is also known to get cold in the winter. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program helps 5.7 million Americans heat their homes, and those people are disproportionately located in the frigid Midwest. (Michigan, for example, receives more funding than California, which has a far greater population.) The energy assistance saves families money they often need for other things—41 percent of the recipients in 2014 lived with someone with a disability, and 19 percent had children. Rural America: Terry Gross will be fine—the cuts to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting that Mulvaney alluded to will mostly affect small public radio stations in rural America that get by on subsidies rather than tote bags. Mulvaney's hypothetical coal miner most likely lives in Wyoming, Trump's best state, where public radio will face a $320,000 budget hole if Trump gets his way, and Wyoming public television would need $700,000 to fill a 30 percent budget gap. Those are the lucky ones: In 2014, the CPB noted that 26 rural stations—many on Native American reservation—relied on federal funding for at least half of their revenue. In addition to providing news and cultural programming, these stations function as emergency broadcasting platforms in the event of a disaster."

These are the 19 agencies Trump would stop funding entirely

These are the 19 agencies Trump would stop funding entirely

"Trump's proposal also calls for deep cuts in other agencies and departments, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the State Department, and shifts federal resources to defense."

Trump Admin Wants Cuts To After School Meal Programs Because Food Doesn’t Make Kids Smarter?

Right-Wing Billionaires Have a Project to Rewrite Our Constitution, and They Are Shockingly Close to Pulling It Off @alternet

Right-Wing Billionaires Have a Project to Rewrite Our Constitution, and They Are Shockingly Close to Pulling It Off @alternet:

"Imagine if the U.S. Constitution barred the EPA and Department of Education from existing. All union protections are dead, there are no more federal workplace safety standards, and even child-labor laws are struck down, along with a national minimum wage. Imagine that the Constitution makes it illegal for the federal government to protect you from big polluters, big banks and even big food and pharma—all are free to rip you off or poison you all they want, and your only remedy is in state courts and legislatures, because the Constitution prevents Congress from doing anything about any of it. The federal government can't even enforce voting or civil rights laws. To add injury to insult, the federal government has to shut down Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, because all of these programs (along with food stamps, housing supports and any programs that help the middle class, the less fortunate or disabled) are “beyond the reach” of what the federal government can do. A few years ago, it would have been a thought experiment; now it's nearly reality. Billionaires and the groups they fund are working to rewrite our Constitution to provide corprations and the rich with more and more protections and benefits, and chop away at anything smelling of “socialism” like Social Security or child labor laws.  The fact is that they're just a few states away from meeting their goal, and have already held dress rehearsals in Washington D.C.—with representatives from all 50 states—for a Constitional Convention that would change America forever."

Why Appalachia (and the Whole Nation) Needs a Single Payer Healthcare System

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/03/10/why-appalachia-and-whole-nation-needs-single-payer-healthcare-system
"The United States remains the only developed country with a system based on for-profit insurance companies. We are spending the largest amount per capita ($8,000+) on healthcare expenditures of any nation in the world, but without the best outcomes. The leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States is medical bills, and an estimated 45,000 deaths annually can be attributed to lack of health insurance. Over 100 million Americans forgo professionally recommended medical care due to cost each year. Clearly, we have work to do. A single payer system by way of a Medicare for All structure would allow coverage for all Americans and would actually reduce spending."

Exposed: Donald Trump’s Sham Populism

http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/exposed-donald-trumps-sham-populism
"The thing always to remember about Trump—and this week has merely confirmed it—is that he is a sham populist. A sham authoritarian populist, even."

American Health Care Act: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

It Would Be a Lot Easier to Protect Important 'Regulations' from Trump's Onslaught If We Stopped Calling Them That @alternet

It Would Be a Lot Easier to Protect Important 'Regulations' from Trump's Onslaught If We Stopped Calling Them That @alternet:

"The term “regulation” is framed from the viewpoint of corporations and other businesses. From their viewpoint, “regulations” are limitations on their freedom to do whatever they want no matter who it harms. But from the public’s viewpoint, a regulation is a protection against harm done by unscrupulous corporations seeking to maximize profit at the cost of harm to the public."

Republicans to Disabled: Go to Hell

http://progressive.org/dispatches/republicans-to-disabled-go-to-hell/
"The AHCA also contains tax breaks that benefit the wealthiest people to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars. Disabled people who rely on Medicaid will have to pay for these windfalls for the very rich. That’s the way it works with this batch that’s in charge right now."

Horrible Republican Governor Of The Day: Bruce Rauner Of Illinois | Crooks and Liars

Horrible Republican Governor Of The Day: Bruce Rauner Of Illinois | Crooks and Liars

"Rauner, a conservative businessman who ran on a platform of government transparency, has a history of paying employees who work for him from accounts not affiliated with the governor's office — a practice known as "off-shoring." An analysis the AP conducted in August 2015 found that half of the $8 million payroll for 80 people answering to the governor was paid by agencies other than the chief executive's office...."

Tom Price Lies Through His Teeth About People Losing Coverage

Russia: Trump & His Team’s Ties

https://swalwell.house.gov/issues/russia-trump-his-administration-s-ties
"President Trump has also surrounded himself with people who do business with and are sympathetic to Russia. The New York Times reported that members of Trump’s 2016 campaign and other Trump associates had frequent contact with senior Russian intelligence officials throughout the campaign. In addition to these questionable communications, here are a few other associates with ties to Moscow"

Gutting EPA’s Budget and Staff Would Endanger the Health of Millions of Americans

http://billmoyers.com/story/gutting-epas-budget-staff-endanger-health-millions-americans/
"The EPA has made remarkable progress cleaning up air and water pollution since its inception in 1970, but there is still more work to do. In 2015 alone, polluters dumped more than 190 million tons of toxic chemicals into waterways nationwide; at least 5,000 community drinking-water systems violated federal lead regulations; and some 116 million Americans lived in counties with harmful levels of ozone or particle pollution, which have been linked to lung cancer, asthma, cardiovascular damage, reproductive problems and premature death."

Trump fuel economy rollback will kill jobs and cost each car buyer $1,650

https://thinkprogress.org/trump-fuel-economy-rollback-would-kill-jobs-and-cost-each-car-buyer-1-650-aa2da0479b7d#.o20cnu1ex
"Trump’s misguided move to appease the ever-myopic U.S. auto industry would undo efficiency gains that will provide consumers $98 billion in total net benefits, primarily from reduced fuel use. Individual car buyers would lose “a net savings of $1,650” (even after accounting for the higher vehicle cost) as the EPA concluded in its final January “Determination on the Appropriateness” of the standards. The savings from the new standards are so significant that the EPA calculates “consumers who finance their vehicle with a 5-year loan would see payback within the first year.” Rolling back the standards would also boost U.S. oil consumption by 1.2 billion gallons and increase U.S. carbon pollution by 540 billion tons over the lifetime of the model-year 2022–2025 cars."

Trump Rolls Back Fuel Efficiency Standards

Nearly everyone who knows anything about health care hates Trumpcare

https://thinkprogress.org/congress-special-interests-obamacare-ef802a4dac1b#.6m19yedvc
"Pretty much everyone with a stake in America’s health care system hates Trumpcare. The biggest doctors’ group in the country, the American Medical Association (AMA) came out against House Republicans’ health care bill on Wednesday, warning that it “would result in millions of Americans losing coverage and benefits.” The organization is joined in its opposition by the American Hospital Association and the AARP. America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the leading industry group representing health insurers, stopped shy of denouncing the entire bill, but still objected to provisions that could destabilize insurance markets, cut financial assistance to help people afford coverage, and “weaken Medicaid coverage of mental health and opioid addiction.” All of these groups are taking a position stemming from self-interest. Doctors stand to lose patents if millions of Americans lose coverage or wind up on inferior plans. Many hospitals restructured their business models to account for the Affordable Care Act, and would need to make more costly changes if the law were significantly altered. AARP is a membership organization representing older Americans, who are likely to face the greatest financial burdens if the House bill becomes law. AHIP obviously doesn’t want to see its own markets destabilized."

GOP’s health care tax swindle: Tax cuts for the rich financed by taking coverage from everyone else

http://www.salon.com/2017/03/09/gops-health-care-tax-swindle-tax-cuts-for-the-rich-financed-by-taking-coverage-from-everyone-else/
"The first major legislative push by Republicans after taking control of the government is, at its core, a tax cut for millionaires financed by slashing health care benefits for poor and elderly people. The bill would almost certainly leave millions of Americans uninsured or with higher out-of-pocket medical costs, all in the pursuit of reducing the tax burden for people like Donald Trump."

The economic ‘mess’ Trump says he inherited continues to add jobs

https://thinkprogress.org/february-2017-jobs-report-da319c34de04#.8q14utn8q
"While Trump has said he “inherited a mess,” February’s job report marks the 76th straight month of job creation, the longest streak since 1939, with 2.2 million jobs added over the course of last year. Trump retweeted a Drudge report headline touting the number of jobs added in February that said, “GREAT AGAIN.” But the economy added 238,000 jobs in the last report of Obama’s presidency."

Trump Budget Unveiled, Everyone But The Wealthy Will Suffer

Fake News Site Thanks 'Gullible Trump Supporters' After Gaining 1 Million Views | Crooks and Liars

Fake News Site Thanks 'Gullible Trump Supporters' After Gaining 1 Million Views | Crooks and Liars

"One serial sharer of fake news, of course, is Donald Trump."

Can We All Admit That Donald Trump Has No F*cking Idea What He is Doing?

http://thedailybanter.com/2017/03/donald-trump-has-no-fcking-idea-what-he-is-doing/
"Trump just wanders from one disaster to the next, signing executive orders he hasn't read, ranting in front of the press, angering world leaders with idiotic statements and lying through his teeth at every given opportunity."

On Labor and Beyond, Trump Is Following Scott Walker's Playbook

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/39761-on-labor-and-beyond-trump-is-following-scott-walker-s-playbook
"Shortly after his inauguration, Walker was caught on tape telling a right-wing billionaire funder that he intended to "divide and conquer" the unions by introducing legislation that would destroy collective bargaining."

Sen. Elizabeth Warren Calls GOP Bill 'Punch In The Gut'

Experts in authoritarianism say Trump’s agenda has settled. And it’s scary.

https://thinkprogress.org/experts-in-authoritarianism-say-trumps-agenda-has-settled-and-it-s-scary-b9bb6198925b#.9c4l46n6v
"For people who have devoted their lives to studying anti-democratic movements, recent White House actions are more disturbing than ever."

Congressional Energy and Climate Committees Are Loaded with Ex-Fossil Fuel Lobbyists

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/03/09/congressional-energy-and-climate-committees-are-loaded-ex-fossil-fuel-lobbyists
"many Republican staff members on key committees are former fossil fuel industry lobbyists, which could help fast-track the industry's legislative agenda in the weeks and months ahead. In total, 15 staffers on the eight main energy and environment congressional committees previously worked as industry lobbyists on behalf of oil, gas, mining, coal, petrochemical, and electric utility interests."

These Programs Keep Toxic Algae out of Drinking Water—And Trump Wants to Gut Them

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2017/03/trumps-budget-cuts-foul-efforts-save-lake-erie-farms
"On the chopping block: a lab that helps city water officials figure out when a toxic bloom is headed to the parts of Lake Erie where they draw water."

Gutting Health Care Will Kill Americans | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann | GQ

Trump Plans To Slash Federal Funding That Preserves Our Coasts

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2017/03/-trump-is-gutting-program-that-keeps-our-coasts-safe
"The Trump administration reportedly plans to slash the budget of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association and gut federal funding for NOAA's Sea Grant program. This time, Sea Grant's very existence is at stake."

Paul Ryan Is Living His Misogynist Ayn Randian Dream | Crooks and Liars

Paul Ryan Is Living His Misogynist Ayn Randian Dream | Crooks and Liars

"Just watch him in the video above, celebrating the prospect of stripping poor women of health care and depriving millions of health insurance."

GOP lawmakers are about to pass two laws that would make it nearly impossible to sue corporations

GOP lawmakers are about to pass two laws that would make it nearly impossible to sue corporations

"If you’ve seen the film “Erin Brockovich” you know that she brought together residents of Hinkley, California to sue Pacific Gas and Electric for contaminating groundwater that caused medical problems and in some cases death. This law would have prevented Brockovich, or any American, from coming together to file a lawsuit against any company."

CBO Report Shows 24 Million To Lose Health Insurance Under Republican Plan

The House G.O.P. Health-Care Plan Is Harmful, Regressive, and Wrong

http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/the-house-g-o-p-health-care-plan-is-harmful-regressive-and-wrong
"If enacted, millions more Americans would end up without any health care. For many people who purchase individual policies, especially older people, it promises fewer services for more money. And it also proposes a big tax cut for the rich, which would be financed by slashing Medicaid, the federal program that provides health care to low-income people."

Republicans Block Vote To Protect Seniors’ Health Care From TrumpCare Devastation

http://www.politicususa.com/2017/03/08/republicans-block-vote-protect-seniors-health-care-trumpcare-devastation.html
"Republican House Ways and Means Committee Chair Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) blocked a vote that would have protected seniors' health care from the price increases that are built into TrumpCare."

Some of Steve Bannon's Biggest Intellectual Influences Are Fascists and White Supremacists @alternet

Some of Steve Bannon's Biggest Intellectual Influences Are Fascists and White Supremacists @alternet:

"Before becoming Trump's right-hand man in the Oval Office and CEO of Trump's campaign before that, Bannon was previously chair of the far-right website Breitbart News, and a founding board member. Bannon proudly described Breitbart as "the platform for the alt-right," using the popular euphemism for the white supremacist movement led by neo-fascists like Richard Spencer."

March 15, 2017

TrumpCare Loaded With Tax Cuts For The Rich (NONE For Middle Class)

24 MILLION To Lose Health Insurance Under TrumpCare

Investors, Oligarchs, Mobsters and Capital Flight: Inside the Shadowy World of Trump’s Private Russian Connections @alternet

Investors, Oligarchs, Mobsters and Capital Flight: Inside the Shadowy World of Trump’s Private Russian Connections @alternet: Trump's fondness for Russia is all about grabbing money and ignoring almost everything else. What Americans know about Donald Trump’s network of Russian/Former Soviet Union (FSU) connections keeps growing. A recent New Yorker report on Trump's “worst deal,” in Azerbaijan scratches the surface.

Healthcare or Wealthcare? 24 Million to Lose Insurance Under GOP Plan While Rich Get Big Tax Breaks

CBO: TrumpCare Would Wipe Out Coverage for 24 Million People

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/03/13/cbo-trumpcare-would-wipe-out-coverage-24-million-people
"Additionally, the plan would lead to higher deductibles and other cost-sharing payments."

Bernie Sanders: GOP Health Care Bill 'Is Not Health Care Legislation'

Republicans are about to let telecoms sell your internet browsing history — for your ‘protection’

Republicans are about to let telecoms sell your internet browsing history — for your ‘protection’

"A pair of Republican bills would allow telecommunications companies to sell their customers’ private internet data — but their sponsors claim the legislation would actually protect consumer privacy. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) introduced S.J.Res 34, which would expand the Congressional Review Act to strip away privacy protections established in October by the Federal Communications Commission with broad bipartisan support, reported Privacy News Online. Flake’s bill, which has gained more than 20 Republican co-sponsors, would allow lawmakers to repeal Obama-era privacy rules by a simple majority vote in the House and Senate and would prevent the FCC from establishing similar regulations in the future."

5 Remarkable Moments from Bernie Sanders' Town Hall in the Heart of Coal Country @alternet

5 Remarkable Moments from Bernie Sanders' Town Hall in the Heart of Coal Country @alternet:

"4. Sanders' Senate Record The Vermont senator got a big shout-out from a retired miner in the audience Monday night. "I never dreamt that I'd get to thank you personally for the bill that you are co-sponsoring," he told Sanders of Senate Bill 175. "I'm one of those miners that will lose his health care at the end of April if they don't pass that law. I think it's kind of ironic that a senator from the northeast takes care of my benefits better than someone like Mitch McConnell," he added."

Everyone Hates Trumpcare

Congress has killed an Obama-era rule that gave communities more input on public lands

https://thinkprogress.org/blm-cra-senate-11b9b1288b8c#.geb8901ia
"The Senate voted Tuesday to block a rule that would have given Westerners more say in the use of public lands near their communities."

Republicans are now paying the price for a years-long campaign of Obamacare lies

http://www.vox.com/2017/3/8/14843762/ahca-republican-lies-obamacare
"You can win an election based on a lie. You can even pass a bill based on a lie if you want. But you can’t expect that you’re going to get away with it."

From Lobbyists to Reality Show Stars, Meet the Hundreds of Officials Trump Has Quietly Installed

Amateur Hour: Trump and Team Ignore State Department, Run Government Without Diplomats @alternet

Amateur Hour: Trump and Team Ignore State Department, Run Government Without Diplomats @alternet:

"Trump has no idea what the State Department does, and in any case he’s too busy ranting on Twitter to bother with it."

GOP’s awful health care bill: Republicans serve up atrocious policy paired with horrendous politics

http://www.salon.com/2017/03/07/gops-awful-health-care-bill-republicans-serve-up-atrocious-policy-paired-with-horrendous-politics/
"After more than half a decade of breaking promise after promise to produce some sort of legislation to “replace” the Affordable Care Act, congressional Republicans have finally unveiled an actual health care bill. And boy oh boy, is it terrible. In essence, House Speaker Paul Ryan (with the blessing of President Donald Trump) has served up legislation that sort of replicates Obamacare but is substantially worse in every way that matters: It will result in fewer people being covered, dole out less generous subsidies and screw over a lot of sick and low-income people. On top of that, it cuts taxes for the rich and doles out goodies to health insurance companies. The bill, known as the American Health Care Act, offers up a special combination of unjustifiable policy and horrendous politics."