November 12, 2017

As evidence mounts that coal jobs aren’t coming back, Trump’s false promises become more cruel
"Despite President Donald Trump’s claim of a rebound in coal jobs, he can’t stop the hemorrhaging of more coal jobs in the coming years. Sadly, he can undermine U.S. leadership in clean energy, one of our greatest engines of high-wage jobs. Bloomberg reported Wednesday that the recent coal “bump” — which began before Trump was even elected — is “over.” Coal plants continue to shutter around the country, American coal production rates are dropping below 2016 levels, and automation continues to penetrate the industry. That makes last week’s Reuters story on how some coal miners, duped by Trump’s false promises, were rejecting retraining even more painful. For instance, the Appalachian Regional Commission, a partnership between states and the federal government to boost the local economy, was able to fill only 20 of 95 slots in a major project to teach laid-off miners in the region computer coding. “I think there is a coal comeback. I have a lot of faith in President Trump.” That’s the explanation one 33-year-old son of a miner gave Reuters for why he ended up taking a coal-mining course at a federally funded career training center in Pennsylvania. “I am optimistic that you can make a good career out of coal for the next 50 years,” said another worker, Sean Moodie. He and his brother, who work in the natural gas industry, are also taking mining courses. The only 50-year careers in energy that are being created at an accelerating rate today are in clean energy. Indeed, the wind and solar industries employ nine times as many people as coal. Tragically, Trump and the GOP are working hard to undermine the clean energy sector with their pro-pollution budget, regulatory policies, and even tax policies."

Jim Hightower: The Corporate Class Doesn't Need or Deserve a Massive Tax Break @alternet

Jim Hightower: The Corporate Class Doesn't Need or Deserve a Massive Tax Break @alternet:

"First, the self-serving corporate class is wallowing in warehouses of wealth, greedily hoarding it in offshore tax shelters and stock-buyback schemes, refusing to invest their unconscionable profits to benefit the vast majority of people they've been knocking down and holding down. Second, you shouldn't give away our public treasury when our nation has a budget deficit and faces a frightening backlog of crying needs for public investment -- from our deteriorating infrastructure to our disappearing middle class. Third, our people's sense of equality and social unity has been severely fractured by 30 years of gross wealth inequality, so intentionally widening the wealth gap is criminally stupid and dangerous. Fourth, why would you think over-paid, over-pampered CEOs deserve more pampering? They've become imperious potentates who feel entitled to gouge, cheat, defraud, lie and otherwise run over us commoners."

Steven Mnuchin, foreclosure king of America
"When he isn’t circling the Sunday shows stooging for the president, he regularly plays the willing fall guy for tax policies guaranteed to stoke further inequality in America and for legislation that will remove just about any consumer protections against Wall Street. Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs partner, arrived in Washington with a distinct reputation. Back in 2009, he had corralled a bundle of rich financiers to take over California’s IndyMac bank, shut down amid the 2008 foreclosure crisis by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Bought for $13.9 billion (but only $1.3 billion in actual cash), Mnuchin turned it into a genuine foreclosure machine, in the process sealing his own fate when it came to his future reputation. At the time, he didn’t appear concerned about public approval. Something far more valuable was at stake: the $200 million that, according to Bloomberg News, he raked in personally, thanks to the deal. No such luck, of course, for the bank’s ordinary borrowers. During Mnuchin’s reign, IndyMac carried out more than 36,000 foreclosures, tossing former homeowners (including active duty military servicemen and women) onto the street without hesitation or pity by any means necessary. According to a memo obtained by investigative reporter David Dayen, OneWest, the new name that Mnuchin and his billionaire posse coined for Indybank, of which Mnuchin was now CEO and chairman, “rushed delinquent homeowners out of their homes by violating notice and waiting period statutes, illegally backdated key documents, and effectively gamed foreclosure auctions.” Now, Mnuchin remains bitter and frustrated that he can’t kick the reputation he got in those days. As he told a House Financial Services Committee Congressional hearing this July, "I take great offense to anybody who calls me the foreclosure king." Such indignation would ring truer if, in May, one of Mnuchin’s banking units, a company called Financial Freedom, hadn’t agreed to pay a more than $89 million settlement to the government"

Trump's Trojan Horse Tax Plan I Robert Reich

Virginia voters sent a loud message about health care
"A post-election survey of Virginia voters conducted Tuesday found that health care was a decisive issue in the closely watched gubernatorial race, with 67 percent of voters saying health care was the most important or a very important issue to them."

Science won on Tuesday: Pro-science candidates from the school board to the governor's mansion
"With the Republican Party cementing itself ever more solidly in the anti-science camp, it may seem axiomatic that a vote for the Democratic candidate is also a nod toward reason, logic, and policy that’s informed by sound science. However, there are some candidates who are not only open to listening to science, but have their own grounding in science and engineering. And those candidates did particularly well on Tuesday night."

Corporate Tax Cuts Don’t Create Jobs—Just Ask Carrier Workers

Big Oil loses big in Washington
"On Tuesday night, however, as Democratic candidates swept races from New Hampshire to Virginia, Big Oil found itself starkly rebuked in Washington state, as two candidates running on pro-environmental platforms proved that the fossil fuel industry, though powerful, is not infallible."

Ignoring LePage, Maine voters easily approve Medicaid expansion
"The number of states that have adopted Medicaid expansion now stands at 32 – the most recent previous state was Louisiana, which embraced the policy nearly two years ago – though Maine is the first state to do so through a ballot initiative."

Mike Pence To Attend “Tax Prom” Funded By Corporate Billionaires Next Week

Dems keep their winning streak going in state special elections
"As of September, Democrats had already flipped eight state legislative seats in 2017 from “red” to “blue” – three in Oklahoma, three in New Hampshire, and one each in New York and Florida – on top of a series of other victories. As Vox noted, the party flipped two more in Georgia yesterday. As part of a larger wave of Democratic wins on Election Day 2017, Democrats picked up two seats in special elections held for Georgia’s House of Delegates. Deborah Gonzales won House District 117 with 53 percent of the vote and Jonathan Wallace won House District 119 with 56 percent of the vote. Both seats are in the Athens area and both were vacant, hence the special elections. But not only were the two seats previously held by Republican incumbents, they were uncontested in the 2016 elections. That last point is of particular interest. These districts weren’t seen as especially competitive, to the point that Democrats didn’t even bother fielding candidates in these state legislative races as recently as last year. And yet, yesterday, Dems won both. This doesn’t dramatically change the makeup of Georgia’s state House – there’s still a sizable GOP majority – but the Democratic victories mean that Republicans no longer enjoy a super-majority in the chamber. And speaking of special elections in which Dems flipped a seat, Manka Dhingra (D) easily won a state Senate race in her Seattle-area district, which means Democrats will take control of the chamber. Just as importantly, Dems will now oversee Washington’s executive and legislative branches – the same power it holds in nearby California and Oregon – becoming only the seventh state in which Democrats currently have this power. According to a tally from the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, which focuses on Democratic state legislative races, Dem candidates also flipped two seats in New Jersey and one in New Hampshire. And then, of course, there’s Virginia, which didn’t hold special elections, but rather, hosted its usual off-year elections."

8 Election Day Victories That Spell Good News for Democrats and the Progressive Grassroots
"With state and local elections across the United States on Tuesday, the Democratic Party and progressive grassroots organizers were able to claim victories in key battles—including gubernatorial races, state legislatures, ballot initiatives, and local government—a repudiation of both President Donald Trump and the agenda being driven by Republicans."

Trump’s VERY Bad Night: Donald-Loving Politicians Got Hammered In Elections

'You're Not Supposed to Say This Out Loud': GOP Lawmaker Admits Pushing Tax Scam to Please His Rich Donors
"the Trump-GOP tax plan will overwhelmingly benefit the wealthiest Americans, but it is rare for a member of Congress to express with such clarity the fact that the priorities of rich donors are so often placed above those of the majority of Americans."

And then there was one: Syria joins Paris agreement leaving the U.S. behind
"During a round of U.N. climate talks on Tuesday, a Syrian delegate announced that the country would sign the historic Paris climate agreement, leaving the United States as the only country in the world opting out of the landmark deal."

Economic Development: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Steven Mnuchin: Secretary of the Treasury for the .01%
"Like Donald Trump, Mnuchin is a man intent on making the rich richer and to hell with everyone else."

House Republican on tax cuts bill: 'Who cares' about voters, this is all about the donors
"You might remember Collins having another brush with honesty about this tax cuts bill when he was asked by a Vox reporter about just how unpopular this bill is, “even among Republican voters.” “Who cares?” Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) said before I had a chance to say what the polls showed. Thanks for clearing that up, Rep. Collins. Not that it’s news to any of us that donors come first for Republicans, but the reminder is always helpful."

Elizabeth Warren & Bernie Sanders Break Down the GOP Tax Plan

Trump’s tax plan is full of goodies for wealthy real estate investors
"There are a number of provisions in the proposed tax plan that would ensure that the Trumps and Kushners of the country would reap the biggest benefits."

'America Last': US vs. Entire World After Syria Agrees to Join Paris Accord
"At the COP23 United Nations climate summit in Bonn, Germany on Tuesday, war-torn Syria announced that it would sign on to the Paris agreement, leaving the United States—after President Donald withdrew his support earlier this year—as the only nation on planet Earth to oppose the international accord opponent."

Guess Who Celebrated Election Night With Trump | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann | GQ

Interactive Timeline: Everything We Know About Russia and President Trump
"Since first launched in February 2017, the Trump-Russia Timeline has grown to more than 600 entries"

Putin-linked businessman who Trump claims he can’t recognize showed up at his invite-only election party: report

Putin-linked businessman who Trump claims he can’t recognize showed up at his invite-only election party: report

"Felix Sater, a Russian-American businessman with ties to both organized crime and Russian President Vladimir Putin, attended Trump’s November 8, 2016 party. According to GQ’s reporting, he also gave interviews to news crews there, though it’s unclear if those interviews ever aired. In 2015, Sater emailed Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen to propose a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it,” Sater wrote to Cohen. “I will get all of Putin’s team to buy in on this, I will manage this process.” Sater has become a tense figure for Trump, and he once walked out of an interview when someone asked him about the colorful Russian-American businessman."

Trump’s Former Campaign Adviser Appears To Confirm Collusion Claims In House Testimony

Carter Page's testimony provides more bombshells than the Battle of Britain, and more insanity
"The entire 243-page transcript contains slightly fewer Russian names than The Brothers Karamazov. Slightly."

Carter Page transcript sheds new light on Trump-Russia scandal
"And while we’re all still scrutinizing the transcript for additional details of note, Business Insider’s report added that in mid-July 2016, Page also congratulated members of the Trump campaign’s foreign policy team on July 14 for their “excellent work” on the “Ukraine amendment” – referring to the Trump campaign’s quiet decision to alter the Republican Party’s national platform on U.S. policy towards Ukraine in a direction Russia preferred."

Carter Page Shouldn't Have Admitted This...

Multi-bombshells: Carter Page tries hilariously not to sing like a canary but does anyway
"In other words, he basically confirmed the dodgy lying slanderous dossier’s claim that he was key in carrying collusiony messages to and from Moscow."

Don Lemon Humiliates Trump-Supporting Guest Spinning Fake News @alternet

Don Lemon Humiliates Trump-Supporting Guest Spinning Fake News @alternet:

"Right-wing political commentator Mike Shields tried to deflect from President Donald Trump being "frustrated" about his separation from independent investigations by deflecting to the debunked conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton and the Uranium One deal."

Trump is Lying About Russia | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann | GQ

Russian Propaganda on Social Media in 2016 Has Forever Changed How U.S. Candidates Will Campaign @alternet

Russian Propaganda on Social Media in 2016 Has Forever Changed How U.S. Candidates Will Campaign @alternet: The genie is out of the bottle. The trolling of social media platforms by propagandists who preyed on Americans' deep distrust of their political opponents was unprecedented in 2016, and it isn’t going away, according to analysts with deep ties to the political consulting industry.

Russia launched social media support for Trump almost immediately after he announced his campaign

Russia launched social media support for Trump almost immediately after he announced his campaign

"The Wall Street Journal reports that “Russian Twitter accounts posing as Americans began lavishing praise on Mr. Trump and attacking his rivals” in the summer of 2015. In contrast, a U.S. intelligence analysis released earlier this year claimed that Russian Twitter bots began spamming out messages in favor of Trump starting in December 2015. “In the three months after Mr. Trump announced his presidential candidacy on June 16, 2015, tweets from Russian accounts reviewed by the Journal offered far more praise for the real-estate businessman than criticism — by nearly a 10-to-1 margin,” the Journal reports. “At the same time, the accounts generally were hostile to Mrs. Clinton and the early GOP front-runner, Jeb Bush, by equal or greater margins.” The Journal also reports that many of the Russian accounts sent out virtually identical messages within minutes of each other, which suggests a highly coordinated campaign on behalf of Trump’s candidacy."

P*ssy Riot's Warning About President Donald Trump For The U.S. Resistance

Why George Papadopoulos Is Trump’s New Nightmare
"Team Trump lied repeatedly about pre-election contacts between the campaign and Russia."

A Trump Cabinet official has direct business ties to Putin's inner circle
"Ross failed to disclose the extent of his Navigator investment when he submitted paperwork to the government as part of his Senate confirmation process."

Lawrence: Robert Mueller's Playing Tough In Trump-Russia Investigation

Massive Leak Reveals New Ties Between Trump Administration and Russia, Implicating Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Jared Kushner
"The documents show that many of the wealthy individuals Trump brought into his administration have worked to legally store their money in offshore havens where they would be free from taxation in the United States. Trump has promised repeatedly to “drain the swamp,” in condemning the idea that well-connected individuals in Washington, D.C., preserve their own interests at the expense of the rest of the country. Among the Trump administration officials implicated in the leaks is Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who according to the documents concealed his ties to a Russian energy company that is partly owned by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s judo partner Gennady Timchenko and Putin’s son-in-law, Kirill Shamalov. Through offshore investments, Ross held a stake in Navigator Holdings, which had a close business relationship with the Russian firm. Ross did not disclose that connection during his confirmation process on Capitol Hill. “In concealing his interest in these shipping companies—and his ongoing financial relationship with Russian oligarchs—Secretary Ross misled me, the Senate Commerce Committee, and the American people,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said in a statement on Sunday. He characterized Ross’ financial disclosures as a “Russian nesting doll, with blatant conflicts of interest carefully hidden within seemingly innocuous companies.” Ross has been linked to Russian interests before; in 2014, he poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the Bank of Cyprus, an institution regarded by financial watchdogs as a haven for Russian money laundering. Ross' fellow investors included a pair of Russian oligarchs, including Dmitry Rybolovlev, the man who bought a Trump property in Palm Beach for $95 million, even though it was valued at less than $60 million. Ross became a vice chair of the bank, along with a reported former KGB officer. Former Deutsche Bank executive Josef Ackermann was installed as chairman."

Obamacare enrollment for 2018 reaches all time high

Obamacare enrollment for 2018 reaches all time high

"There are three ways in which people can apply for Obamacare. People can either visit the site to self-enroll or pick up the phone and call 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325), which is open 24 hours in a day. If people require further information regarding the process of enrollment or more details about the healthcare offered under the plan, they can call toll free 844-644-5443 with their queries."

House Republican Accidentally Admits That Tax Reform Scam Being Done To Appease His Donors

Kansas ‘Real Live Experiment’ in Trickle-Down Tax Cuts
"This should come as no surprise since Stephen Moore, Larry Kudlow and Arthur Laffer—all of whom consulted with Trump on his campaign tax plan—helped to design the 2012 Kansas tax plan. And when Brownback was in Congress, Paul Ryan—now the speaker of the House—served as his legislative director. In addition to the same fairytale claims of economic and job growth, which are illustrated by the quotes above, the actual tax plan passed by the Kansas Legislature looked similar to what Trump and congressional GOP leaders now propose."

Trump attempted to sabotage ACA open enrollment. 4 days in, sign-ups have soared.
"Additionally, in Virginia, a survey of voters found that health care was top of mind for many people. According to the poll, health care was the most important or a very important issue for 67 percent of voters. Those who said health care was most or very important to them voted for winning Democratic candidate Ralph Northam, who has promised to protect the health care law, by a margin of 62 to 32."

Obamacare Sign Ups Hit Record High

We Are Now One State Closer to Having a Corporate-Dominated Constitutional Convention @alternet

We Are Now One State Closer to Having a Corporate-Dominated Constitutional Convention @alternet:

"Republicans have done many things to rig the rules of elections this decade, from gerrymandering to a deep catalog of voter suppression tactics. While Democrats and Independents were voting Tuesday to reject Trumpism, the GOP in Wisconsin intentionally ignored the public and moved to rewrite the Constitution. Take heed."

Here’s a rundown of the Trump donors keeping their money offshore
"The leaked papers show that a number of Trump’s biggest financial backers were the same billionaire globalists that Trump decried at rallies across the country — and that’s in addition to the tax-dodging globalists currently sitting in his cabinet. The leaks reveal that these men stashed away parts of their fortunes, valued in the tens of billions, to avoid public scrutiny. From there, they could funnel more than $60 million into super PACs supporting Trump’s presidency."

Trump Commerce Secretary Lied About Russian Ties

The Endangered Species Act Is Endangered

The Endangered Species Act Is Endangered:

"When a bill signed into law by Richard Nixon is under assault in the Trump administration, it is clear how radical this administration and many of its supporters in Congress are. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created in December of 1970, during the first Nixon administration. That should give you an idea of just how extreme the current administration has become on environmental matters. Under Trump, the EPA has evolved into the "unprotecting the environment" agency. It is being dismembered by Director Scott Pruitt."

Senate confirms lobbyist with ‘astounding’ number of conflicts of interest to head EPA air office
"William Wehrum, an industry lawyer and lobbyist, has represented companies who regularly filed legal challenges to the Environmental Protection Agency’s clean air regulations. Nonetheless, President Donald Trump nominated him to head the office at the EPA responsible for ensuring Americans have clean air."

Trump’s “Hire American” Lie Exposed As He Hires 70 Foreign Workers For Mar-A-Lago

November 4, 2017

Robert Reich: Trump Is Lying to Middle Class Americans Right to Their Faces @alternet

Robert Reich: Trump Is Lying to Middle Class Americans Right to Their Faces @alternet:

"Using the promise of middle-class tax cuts as a Trojan horse for a tax windfall for the rich and deep spending cuts is a tactic dating back to the Reagan administration."

“I don't believe it”: Republicans are unfazed that corporate tax cuts poll really badly
"Republicans really want to cut the corporate tax rate. It’s the centerpiece of every plan they have released, and they’ve spent weeks floating wildly unpopular ways to pay for it. There’s just one problem: It’s really unpopular — even among Republican voters. Sixty percent of registered voters think corporations pay “too little” in taxes, according to a September poll from Morning Consult and Politico, surveying a little under 2,000 Americans. A more recent Morning Consult and Politico survey from October found only 39 percent of Americans think it should be part of the tax plan — with 59 percent of Republican voters supporting it. Another poll from Pew Research Center showed that 53 percent of Republicans think corporate tax rates should either be raised or stay the same. But confronted with these numbers, House and Senate Republicans seemed unfazed. “Who cares?” Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) said before I had a chance to say what the polls showed."

Children paid for the failed Kansas tax cuts and they’ll pay for the GOP tax cuts, too
"Congressional Republicans unveiled a plan Thursday to cut taxes for large corporations and wealthy individuals, transferring $1.2 trillion in benefits to corporations and estates over the next 10 years. The scheme looks a lot like the disastrous Kansas tax experiment pushed through by Gov. Sam Brownback (R) in 2012. And, like the Kansas plan, it’ll likely be paid for on the backs of children."

Republicans Raising Middle Class Taxes, Slashing Billionaires'

The GOP Is Proposing a 250 Percent Tax Hike on Millions of Americans @alternet

The GOP Is Proposing a 250 Percent Tax Hike on Millions of Americans @alternet:

"No wonder the GOP developed the nearly 500-page tax bill in secret"

House Republicans claim an annual salary of $450,000 is middle class
"That's rich! Republicans suddenly believe that one percenters are barely struggling to be in the middle class, party officials revealed. On Thursday, House Republicans issued a fact sheet about their new tax cut plan that referred to Americans earning $450,000 a year as “low- and middle-income” — even though that income level would put those taxpayers in the top 0.05% of all individual Americans. The median household income in the United States is $59,039, after all."

Can't Defend Your Trickle-Down Economics? Change The Subject!

Ex-federal prosecutor: Funny how a federal investigation suddenly sharpened Jeff Sessions’ memory

Ex-federal prosecutor: Funny how a federal investigation suddenly sharpened Jeff Sessions’ memory

"Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti told MSNBC on Thursday that he’s not entirely surprised that Attorney Gen. Jeff Sessions suddenly was able to recall a forgotten meeting he took with President Donald Trump and arrested Trump 2016 adviser George Papadopoulos."

Trump’s Mar-a-Lago is hiring 70 foreign workers this winter — a 9 percent boost from last year

Trump’s Mar-a-Lago is hiring 70 foreign workers this winter — a 9 percent boost from last year

"The Palm Beach Post reports that Mar-a-Lago will import 70 maids, cooks and servers from overseas this winter, a 9 percent increase from the 64 foreign workers it employed last year."

Republican Tax Bill Explained

Nicolle Wallace To Trump Surrogate: 'I Hope They're Paying You A Lot'

Nicolle Wallace To Trump Surrogate: 'I Hope They're Paying You A Lot':

"Her takedown of his lies in defense of Donald Trump was a thing of beauty."

Ex-CIA director asked Republicans to condemn Russian sabotage before election — and they refused

Ex-CIA director asked Republicans to condemn Russian sabotage before election — and they refused

"Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) refused and threatened to turn any White House efforts to publicly challenge Russia into “an act of partisan politics"."

President Donald Trump Frustrated By Notion Of Independent Justice

Paul Manafort's role in the Republicans' notorious 'Southern Strategy'
"before he was advocating for human rights abusers on the world stage, Manafort was helping the Republican Party gain advantage by embracing the politics of racism at home."

New investigation reveals Russia’s worldwide digital hit list — beyond the US election

New investigation reveals Russia’s worldwide digital hit list — beyond the US election

"The hackers who interfered with the U.S. presidential election targeted a variety of targets worldwide, according to a newly revealed digital hit list. The Associated Press obtained the list — which includes U.S. defense contractors, Russian opposition figures and Ukrainian officers — collected by the cybersecurity firm Secureworks. The list shows detailed evidence of how closely the Russian government worked with hackers to further the Kremlin’s interests."

Ex-Watergate Lawyer: Russia Probe Heading 'Right Toward' Donald Trump

Mueller Reveals New Manafort Link to Organized Crime
"The indictment (PDF), unsealed on Monday, includes an extensive look into Paul Manafort’s byzantine financial dealings. In particular, it details how he used a company called Lucicle Consultants Limited to wire millions of dollars into the United States."

Russia revelations reveal new push for California secession
"For the past two months, it appeared that the fake social media accounts run out of Russia only supported breaking off one state from the US: Texas. But that wasn’t true. As we learned yesterday, at least one of these fraudulent accounts pushed for the simultaneous secession of California, known colloquially as #CalExit."

Lawrence: Pay Attention When Donald Trump Says 'Believe Me'

Here Are Some Of The Ads Russia Paid To Promote On Facebook
"Two months after Facebook first acknowledged it was paid to promote 3,000 divisive Russian-backed ads during the 2016 election, we’re finally getting a look at some of the ads themselves."

‘Different level of crazy’: WSJ reporters furious that pro-Trump editorial page is ‘living in some alternate universe’

‘Different level of crazy’: WSJ reporters furious that pro-Trump editorial page is ‘living in some alternate universe’

"Reporters at the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal spoke to Vanity Fair about the newspaper’s declining credibility one day after staff at the Murdoch-owned Fox News spoke to CNN to air similar gripes."

Al Franken Hammers Facebook Lawyer On Russian Interference

Trump conveniently forgets everything about meeting that could implicate him in Russia probe
"I have “one of the greatest memories of all time,” President Trump said just a few days ago. But, according to the White House, he has no recollection of a critical campaign meeting that could implicate him in the Russia probe, despite previously tweeting about it and posting a photo to Instagram."

“You Can’t Go Any Lower”: Inside the West Wing, Trump Is Apoplectic as Allies Fear Impeachment After Monday’s indictments
"Until now, Robert Mueller has haunted Donald Trump’s White House as a hovering, mostly unseen menace. But by securing indictments of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, and a surprise guilty plea from foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, Mueller announced loudly that the Russia investigation poses an existential threat to the president. “Here’s what Manafort’s indictment tells me: Mueller is going to go over every financial dealing of Jared Kushner and the Trump Organization,” said former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg. “Trump is at 33 percent in Gallup. You can’t go any lower. He’s f**ked"."

Ari Melber And Lawrence O'Donnell On Robert Mueller Investigation

Paul Manafort’s Daughter Texted Friends About How Tight Her Dad Was With Trump
"AMS: It’s just weird. Like [my dad] doesn’t seem that smart. Like he is smart. But I know I’m smarter than him. Friend: I don’t doubt that, he’s a master manipulator. Which seems pretty key. AMS: He is very manipulative. I did inherit that ability. But I don’t exploit it like he does. I know all his tactics. They aren’t that brilliant but they do work. Friend: But yes you’re right, you have a moral conscious [sic]. AMS: Like he just tells you the sky is green over and over. And eventually you are like is it? I don’t possess the ability to just lie like he does. Friend: Yea he works his charm. AMS: It’s confidence. When you say something unwaveringly, people start to believe it. Friend: I mean yea that got Trump where he is today. AMS: Yup. Perfect allies. Trump probably has more morals than my dad. Which is really just saying something about my dad. My dad is a psycho!!! At least trump let his wives leave him. Plus, Trump has been a good father. AMS: Trump waited a little too long in my opinion, but I can attest to the fact that he has now hired one of the world’s greatest manipulators. I hope my dad pulls it off. Then I can sell my memoir with all his dirty secrets for a pretty penny."

Don Lemon Humiliates Trump-Supporting Guest Spinning Fake News @alternet

Don Lemon Humiliates Trump-Supporting Guest Spinning Fake News @alternet:

"Right-wing political commentator Mike Shields tried to deflect from President Donald Trump being "frustrated" about his separation from independent investigations by deflecting to the debunked conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton and the Uranium One deal."

Lawrence: Jeff Sessions Hits Perjury Trip Wires With New Revelations

November 1, 2017

Robert Reich: Trump's Gang Is Plotting the Biggest Heist in American History @alternet

Robert Reich: Trump's Gang Is Plotting the Biggest Heist in American History @alternet:

"You know the plot: The bank robbers set off a bomb down the street from the bank, and while everyone’s distracted they get away with the loot. In the reality TV show we’re now suffering through, Donald Trump is the bomb. The robbers are the American oligarchs who bankroll the Republican Party, and who are plotting the biggest heist in American history – a massive tax cut estimated to be up to 5.8 trillion dollars."

Ali Velshi Explains Manafort's Money Laundering In 2 Minutes
"Ali Velshi explains money laundering in two minutes.  The bottom line? It's making money that comes from illegal activities look like it's legal."

Newly Unsealed Court Documents Tie Paul Manafort, Rick Gates To Russia

Judge Napolitano: Paul Manafort Was Still Engaged In Massive Fraud While Working For Trump

Judge Napolitano: Paul Manafort Was Still Engaged In Massive Fraud While Working For Trump:

"When asked by Fox News' Sandra Smith about "what does this tell you overall about the Mueller probe?" Napolitano said, "That this is the first of many dominoes to fall"."

Could Wilbur Ross Be the Next Trump Official Targeted in the Mueller Probe? @alternet

Could Wilbur Ross Be the Next Trump Official Targeted in the Mueller Probe? @alternet:

"Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment against international lobbyist and Trump campaign chief, Paul Manafort, and pleading by Trump campaign foreign policy aide, George Papadopoulos, cast long shadows over other top Trump administration officials—starting with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross—whose previous financial deals involved the European money-laundering hub of Cyprus. The banking sector of that small island nation in the Mediterranean appear to a crossroads where top Trump campaign associates, such as Manafort and Papadopoulos, and senior administration officials like Commerce Secretary Ross, crossed paths and had layered financial and political dealings with Kremlin-tied Russian oligarchs."

Ex-US Attorney: Donald Trump Team Should Worry As New Aide Testifies

George Papadopoulos’s Plea Deal Is Very, Very Bad News for Attorney General Jeff Sessions
"THE BIGGEST NEWS of Mueller Monday — the rollout of a money-laundering indictment against Donald Trump’s former campaign adviser, Paul Manafort and campaign aide Rick Gates, and the unsealing of a false-statements plea deal by another campaign volunteer, George Papadopoulos — may involve someone not named explicitly in either indictment: Attorney General Jeff Sessions. That’s because Sessions has repeatedly testified to the Senate that he knows nothing about any collusion with the Russians. (Though in his most recent appearance, he categorized that narrowly by saying he did not “conspire with Russia or an agent of the Russian government to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.”) But the Papadopoulos plea shows that Sessions — then acting as Trump’s top foreign policy adviser — was in a March 31, 2016, meeting with Trump, at which Papadopoulos explained “he had connections that could help arrange a meeting between then-candidate Trump and President Putin.” It also shows that Papadopoulos kept a number of campaign officials in the loop on his efforts to set up a meeting between Trump and Putin, though they secretly determined that the meeting “should be someone low level in the campaign so as not to send any signal,” itself a sign the campaign was trying to hide its efforts to make nice with the Russians."

Robert Mueller’s Show of Strength: A Quick and Dirty Analysis
"Mueller’s opening bid is a remarkable show of strength. He has a cooperating witness from inside the campaign’s interactions with the Russians. And he is alleging not mere technical infractions of law but astonishing criminality on the part of Trump’s campaign manager, a man who also attended the Trump Tower meeting."

Lawrence: Trouble For Donald Trump As Ex-Aide Cooperates With Robert Mueller

Facebook Says Russian-Backed Election Content Reached 126 Million Americans
"An estimated 126 million Americans, roughly one-third of the nation’s population, received Russian-backed content on Facebook during the 2016 campaign, according to prepared testimony the company submitted Monday to the Senate Judiciary Committee and obtained by NBC News."

Team Trump’s pre-election Russian contacts draw new scrutiny
"Top members of the president’s team really were in communications with Russian nationals during Russia’s election scheme, and the categorical denials from Trump, Pence, and others were, at a minimum, wrong. To date, there’s been no explanation from Trump or anyone from his team about why they issued bogus denials about pre-election Russian contacts."

Did Trump Spot the Indictment’s Most Damning Phrase? | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann | GQ

This is how Fox News is downplaying and ignoring Mueller’s legal actions
"Fox News has spent most of Monday downplaying the significance of the legal action — or avoiding the topic all together."

Ex-Watergate prosecutor guarantees Papadopoulos has been ‘wearing a wire for months’ and playing ‘dial-a-crook’

Ex-Watergate prosecutor guarantees Papadopoulos has been ‘wearing a wire for months’ and playing ‘dial-a-crook’

"a former Watergate prosecutor explained that a very thorough Special Counsel Robert Mueller has an “ironclad case” against ex-Trump campaign manager, and that the White House should be concerned that former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos has been wearing a wire for months. Speaking with host Ali Velshi, attorney Nick Akerman said he had looked at the indictment against Manafort and said that he had no doubt that Trump associate would be found guilty. “Now this it’s not like a witch hunt where there is nothing,” Akerman began.”Now you have got something that is real.” Following a break to listen to a press conference held by Manafort’s attorney, Akerman picked up on the deal that Papadopoulos made with investigators, saying, if Mueller has done his job properly, the former Trump associate has been wearing a wire for months as part of a deal. “It’s quite obvious that Mueller is playing this out very skillfully,” Akerman explained. “First of all that [Manafort] indictment is a slam-dunk, as I said before, it’s proven by documents. But then you look at the Papadopoulos one that they put under seal all of this time.” “He’s pled guilty, pled guilty to a felony, lying to the FBI,” Akerman continued. “He’s basically, if you looked through his allocution, you have allocute. They don’t name names, it’s against Justice Department policy to do that. But he refers to campaign officials, other officials — it’s very obvious he has information on lots of people and on top of that, he’s been cooperating since July. “If I were the prosecutor, and I guarantee you Robert Mueller has done this, he’s had him out there wearing a body wire, playing dial-a-crook on the phone, trying to get recorded conversations to use as evidence against other people,” he asserted. “If I were the other people, and they know who they are in that information, I’d be extremely nervous right now"."

October 31, 2017

Robert Mueller Flipped Trump Camp Adviser Who Relayed Offers From Russia

Pro Tip: Lying to the FBI Is Never a Good Idea
"Pro Tip: Lying to the FBI is never a good idea. Pro Tip II: It would seem to be a very good bet that Papadopoulous already has flipped. (The plea deal’s sentence recommendation begins at “zero” months, which is a tell.) Releasing the Papadopolous plea deal was a remarkably deft play by Mueller, whose political savvy is mysteriously under-discussed. The initial White House reaction to the news about Paul Manafort was that everything happened years ago, and what the hell is Mueller doing? Now, we have a completed legal proceeding containing the words “Trump campaign,” “Russia,” and “disparaging information on Hillary Clinton.” Alibis are dropping like the autumn leaves."

Former Trump adviser pleads guilty to lying to Mueller’s team
"In March 2016, Donald Trump sat down with the editorial board of the Washington Post, and was asked about the team of foreign policy advisers his campaign had assembled. The then-candidate volunteered a handful of names, including Carter Page, who’s now a key figure in the Russia scandal, and whom Trump later claimed not to know. But after mentioning Page, Trump quickly added to his list of advisers, “George Papadopoulos, he’s an energy and oil consultant, excellent guy.” Even at the time, this seemed odd. Papadopoulos had only graduated from college seven years earlier, and he listed participation with the “Model United Nations” as one of his credentials. And yet, in March 2016, the then-frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination identified Papadopoulos as one of only a handful of people advising him on foreign policy."

George Papadopoulos May Have Worn Wire As Part Of Robert Mueller Deal

Why the lesser-known Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos could be the biggest news of the day
"Remember, Papadopoulos tried multiple times to set up meetings between Team Trump and the Kremlin. His repeated contacts with the Russians is perhaps most notable for the suggestion that Moscow was looking for multiple entry points into Trump's campaign."

George Papadopoulos lied to FBI agents the same day Trump asked Comey for loyalty pledge

George Papadopoulos lied to FBI agents the same day Trump asked Comey for loyalty pledge

"A former Trump campaign advisor lied to FBI agents about his contacts with Russia less than a week after Inauguration Day. George Papadopoulos, a volunteer foreign policy advisor, pleaded guilty Oct. 5 to lying to federal authorities in exchange for his testimony, although the agreement wasn’t announced until after indictments were unsealed against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates."

Trump Adviser George Papadopoulos Pleads Guilty

Fox & Friends barely covers Manafort indictment
"This is hardly the first time Fox News has attempted to downplay or mislead about the Russia probe."

Manafort Is Mueller's Opening Salvo
"Ten months is all it took for the president*’s former campaign manager, a guy who ran the president*’s campaign for almost twice as long as evil genius Steve Bannon did, and his principal aide, who was still hanging around the White House as recently as last June, to get hauled into FBI headquarters early Monday morning to begin what may be several years worth of similar perp walks. Ten months. This is impressive."

Fox News: What Indictments? Cheeseburger Emojis Are The REAL Story

Manafort could face decades in prison
"Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort surrendered to the FBI Monday morning, and he could face up to 40 years in prison if he is found guilty on all charges. Manafort was charged along with a former business associate, Rick Gates. Last year, Reuters reported that Gates acted as an unpaid, de facto campaign manager for then-candidate Donald Trump for two months and worked for a super PAC supporting Trump during the campaign. The pair was charged with 12 counts, according to the indictment unsealed Monday morning: conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, false statements, and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts."

Papadopoulos is the singing canary. Named Trump. WH can't say it's not related now.
"George Papadopoulos, the foreign policy advisor for the Trump campaign, secretly pleaded guilty to charges listed in a document that’s just been unsealed. Basically, when the FBI came asking questions about Russia and the Trump campaign colluding, he lied through his teeth."

How Paul Manafort Spent His Russia Money

Trump adviser George Papadopolous pleads guilty to lying to the FBI about Trump–Russia contacts
"George Papadopolous, one of Donald Trump’s early foreign policy advisers, has pled guilty to making false statements to the FBI directly related to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election."

WATCH: Joy Reid destroys conservative reporter’s talking points on bogus Uranium One ‘scandal’

WATCH: Joy Reid destroys conservative reporter’s talking points on bogus Uranium One ‘scandal’

"Jen Kerns from the right-wing Washington Times tried pushing the conspiracy theory, but Reid was having none of it."

Lawrence: Robert Mueller Gets His 1st 'Guilty'—And It's About Collusion

Internet hilariously mocks Fox News for covering cheeseburger emoji while Russia scandal blows up on Trump

Internet hilariously mocks Fox News for covering cheeseburger emoji while Russia scandal blows up on Trump

"The news network decided to highlight a number of stories that didn’t revolve around President Donald Trump’s former campaign chief, including a story about a cheeseburger emoji."

Trump’s Nightmare Worsens As His Former Adviser Pleads Guilty To Making False Statements To FBI
"It is all falling apart for Trump as one of his foreign policy advisers has pled guilty to a charge of making false statements to the FBI related to efforts to set up meetings between Russians and Trump."

President Trump 'Fuming' Over Robert Mueller Probe Indictments, Report Says

Abramson: The Impeachable Crime from which the cover-up flows
"Law professor Seth Abramson has been following Trump/Russia closely from the start, and once again he lays it all out for you, showing exactly how Donald J. Trump is personally responsible for each and every element of a crime against the United States of America."

Manafort indictment unsealed: 'Conspiracy Against the U.S.' and money laundering included
"Remember, Manafort was not being paid by the Trump campaign when he was running it. He was being paid by a foreign power linked to Russia. Okay, then. Another note to keep in mind, the indictment charges that Manafort and Gates “together with others knowingly and intentionally conspired to defraud the United States.” So, those “others” are still coming."

What’s Next For The Robert Mueller’s Russia Investigation?

Manafort indictment shows why conservatives have an alternative media bubble
"Co-hosts Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt, and Brian Kilmeade spent the last hour of their broadcast alternatively downplaying the news and looking for potential outs for the president."

Russian-linked Trump campaign aide pleads guilty to making false statements to FBI

Russian-linked Trump campaign aide pleads guilty to making false statements to FBI

"George Papadopoulos, the former Trump campaign aide who repeatedly tried to set up meetings with Russian government officials, has pleaded guilty to making false statements to FBI agents."

Trump adviser pleads guilty to lying about talks with Russian intermediary about stolen emails"George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser for Donald Trump’s during the 2016 presidential campaign, has pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI about his contacts with Russians and Russian intermediaries during the 2016 campaign."

BUSTED: Former Trump Campaign Chair Indicted In Mueller Probe

Trump Looks Awfully 'Compromised' In This July 2016 Interview

Trump Looks Awfully 'Compromised' In This July 2016 Interview:

"If it weren't for the fact that we have a corrupt, party-before-country Republican Congress, this wouldn't be taking so damn long to come to justice."

Olbermann explains how Mueller kept Papadopoulos ‘singing like a bird’ without White House aides knowing

Olbermann explains how Mueller kept Papadopoulos ‘singing like a bird’ without White House aides knowing

"Mueller scooped up Papadopoulos months ago and has been pumping him for information while working out a deal with for a lesser sentence for lying to FBI investigators."

We Have Indictments. What Can We Expect Next? | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann | GQ

October 27, 2017

A Timeline: Everything We Know About Paul Manafort’s Ties to Russia
"A look at the business dealings, influence and federal investigation into Trump's former campaign manager."

Cambridge Analytica was 'instrumental' in Trump's campaign—until yesterday
"Donald Trump believes in a special kind of Peter Principle: The kind that says when someone gets in trouble, Trump denies he ever knew them."

Kushner Adds Charles Harder to Legal Team As Pressure Mounts
"According to sources familiar with the matter, the person in Trump’s orbit who may have the most to be worried about in Priebus’s testimony is Jared Kushner."

Mike Pence Urges Billionaires To Bully Americans Into Supporting Tax Cuts For The Wealthy

On taxes, Americans aren’t buying what Republicans are selling
"if there’s one consistency in recent public-opinion surveys, it’s the fact that the American mainstream doesn’t want Congress to pass massive tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations. This has been bolstered by poll after poll after poll after poll – and yet, it’s precisely what GOP policymakers are eager to do. Indeed, Republicans have convinced themselves that the key to their success – not just as a matter of policy, but in purely electoral terms – is passing massive tax breaks. They’ve come to believe this with absolute certainty, insisting publicly that they believe their party will be politically “dead” unless they pass the still-unwritten tax plan. It’s become “an existential issue” for GOP leaders. This is a bizarre dynamic because Republicans are trying to become popular by doing something unpopular. GOP officials are working from the assumption that if they ignore popular will, they’ll be rewarded by the voters whose wishes they’re ignoring."

American Legion to Trump: Veto the bill making it harder to sue big banks
"The American Legion has joined the opposition to the recent Republican move to make it harder for consumers to sue the banks. The veterans organization is calling on Donald Trump to veto the bill passed by the Senate earlier in the week"

Vice President Pence gives a giant wet kiss to Wall Street

216 GOP House Members Just Voted to Destroy the Safety Net and Deliver a Trillion-Dollar Tax Cut to the Rich
"The GOP-controlled House of Representatives on Thursday narrowly passed a Senate-approved budget resolution that moves Republicans one step closer to their ultimate goal of delivering massive tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans and imposing "grotesque" and "heartless" cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and other life-saving safety net programs. The final vote tally was 216-212, with 20 Republicans defecting from their party. No Democrats backed the measure. Despite insistence from President Donald Trump and the GOP that their budget is pro-working class, analysis after analysis has shown that their proposals would in fact raise taxes on many middle class families while sending an enormous windfall—$1.5 trillion over the next decade—to the top one percent."

These wealthy institutions are quietly financing white nationalism
The Public Schools Employee Retirement System of Missouri, Columbia University, Michigan State University, The Employee Retirement System of the City of Providence, Los Angeles Water & Power Employees Retirement Plan, National Academy of Sciences, Baltimore Fire and Police Employees’ Retirement System, The William Penn Foundation, American Physical Society, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Does Cutting Corporate Taxes Create Jobs?

51 GOP Senators Just Voted To Cut $1.5 Trillion from Medicare and Medicaid To Give Super-Rich and Corporations a Tax Cut
"Along strict party lines, the Republican-controlled Senate on Thursday night voted to pass a sweeping budget measure—one criticized as both "despicable" and "horrific" for providing massive giveaways to corporations and the super-rich while eviscerating funding for social programs, healthcare, education, and affordable housing."

Army Vet: Why Trump Disrespects the Military
"there's the Trump who repeatedly claimed on the campaign trail he would be "so good at the military, it will make your head spin," that no one loved the troops more than himself, and that the feeling was mutual. But then there's the Trump who, just this week, engaged in a protracted back and forth over how he told the pregnant widow of a fallen Green Beret her late husband "knew what he signed up for." His administration also banned non-citizen legal permanent residents from joining the Army Reserve, a practice dating back to the Revolutionary War. And thanks to a report in The Washington Post, we learned the president promised a Gold Star father $25,000 from his personal account in June, but hadn't delivered on that promise. (The White House now says that check is in the mail.) Looking back over the past two years, there's more: disrespecting the wartime POW service of John McCain, fantasizing about shooting an Army sergeant held captive by the Taliban for five years, repeated instances of military charities not receiving promised donations, smearing another Gold Star family of color, insulting uniformed leaders and pledging to fire them all, ridiculing combat veterans with PTSD, kicking uniformed personnel off the National Security Council, abdicating responsibility for troop strength in combat theaters, disrespecting the retired four-star general and Gold Star father who runs his White House, shaming the National Security Council on live television, pledging to kick transgender troops out of the armed services, blocking a prominent veterans' group on Twitter, attacking John McCain again, waiting nearly two weeks to remark on the death of four Special Forces soldiers in combat. Going back further still, we could note Trump's Vietnam draft-dodging, how he referred to sleeping with models as his "personal Vietnam" and his attempt to kick homeless veterans off 5th Avenue out of disgust."

Republican Senator Says Trump Is Debasing Nation!

Painful Truth: The Unhealthiest County in America Voted Overwhelmingly for Trump, Who Will Only Make Things Worse @alternet

Painful Truth: The Unhealthiest County in America Voted Overwhelmingly for Trump, Who Will Only Make Things Worse @alternet:

"With its soaring death rates, widespread illness, out-of-control drug abuse, and high rates of unemployment, Union County is in desperate need of a turnaround, including more social services, funding, and development—a longshot with any administration in power. The county is also 74 percent white. And perhaps unsurprisingly, in the 2016 presidential election, its citizens voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump by a staggering 80.2 percent.  To be clear, Trump won every faction of white voters, from the uneducated to the college educated, rich and poor, across gender lines. Those voting patterns say less about Trump than about white receptivity to a sales pitch steeped in racism and xenophobia. Despite Trump’s pan-white socioeconomic appeal, Union County is the kind of place news editors persist in falsely pinpointing as the loci for Trump support. It’s a power move, really; a way of punching down to avoid holding their own class accountable for voting with white supremacy as a primary, though more quietly spoken, motivator. The difference between Trump votes cast by residents of Union County and those from white America’s upper classes is that for the former, the decision will be far more consequential. Nine months in, there is already proof the result is an even greater imbalance of life and death."

'Death Sentence for Local Media': Warnings as FCC Pushes Change to Benefit Right-Wing Media Giant
"In a series of moves this week that have alarmed free speech advocates and critics of media consolidation, the Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) voted to abolish a rule requiring radio and television broadcasters to maintain studios near the communities they serve, and FCC chairman Ajit Pai announced further plans to end certain media ownership rules. The policy shifts are expected to significantly benefit the right-wing Sinclair Broadcast Group—whose reported close ties to Pai have raised concerns as the federal government reviews Sinclair's proposed $3.9 billion merger with Tribune Media, which would expand the broadcaster's reach to 72 percent of the country."

Senate Republicans Just Gave Banks A Free Pass To Break The Law

Georgia election server wiped after voting rights advocates file suit against GOP Secretary of State

Georgia election server wiped after voting rights advocates file suit against GOP Secretary of State

"A computer server that was used to store key elections data in the state of Georgia was completely wiped earlier this year after voting rights advocates filed a suit against Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp. The Associated Press reports that the server’s data was destroyed this past July by unnamed technicians at the Center for Elections Systems at Kennesaw State University, which is responsible for running Georgia’s entire elections system. What’s more, two backup servers were also wiped completely clean in August, which was right around the time when a lawsuit against Kemp moved to federal court. The lawsuit, which the AP says was filed shortly before the data server was wiped, was filed to end the state’s current voting infrastructure, which the plaintiffs claim is far too vulnerable to fraud and tampering. Among other things, the lawsuit notes that the state’s 27,000 AccuVote touchscreen voting machines do not offer paper receipts and are vulnerable to hacking. “The server data could have revealed whether Georgia’s most recent elections were compromised by malicious hackers,” the AP notes. “The plaintiffs contend that the results of both last November’s election and a special June 20 congressional runoff— won by Kemp’s predecessor, Karen Handel — cannot be trusted.” Kemp’s office claims that it had nothing to do with the center’s decision to wipe the server, despite the fact that center answers directly to Kemp."

Scott Pruitt denies he meets with ‘polluters’ as his agency dismantles environmental safeguards
"As Oklahoma attorney general, Pruitt also maintained a close relationship with polluting industries, particularly the oil and gas industry. In 2014, the New York Times broke a story showing that Pruitt had taken a letter written by Devon Energy lawyers and sent it to the EPA on state letterhead, essentially acting as an official voice for one of his state’s biggest polluters. Devon Energy is a major natural gas producer based in Oklahoma City."

October 26, 2017

The People Running President Donald Trump's EPA Used To Work Against It

Cutting corporate taxes will not boost American wages

Cutting corporate taxes will not boost American wages:

"The Trump administration is marketing its plan to give huge tax cuts to the richest U.S. households with a bold but fanciful claim: that these tax cuts will trickle down to help American workers by boosting economy-wide productivity and hence wages."

U.S. Is Officially The Only Country Besides Syria Not To Support Paris Climate Deal
"Nicaragua has officially joined the Paris climate accord, leaving just two countries to not support the deal ― the United States and Syria."

Republican Tax Scam Explained

Senator Corker eviscerates Trump: The debasement of our nation is what he’ll be remembered for

Senator Corker eviscerates Trump: The debasement of our nation is what he’ll be remembered for

"U.S. Senator Bob Corker eviscerated President Donald Trump on Tuesday after the two Republicans exchanged insults on Twitter, saying the president is consistently untruthful and has debased the United States and undermined its relationships around the world."

On climate, the United States and Syria now stand alone
"We’ve isolated ourselves internationally in a way that hardly seemed possible a year ago, and Nicaragua’s announcement yesterday made this dynamic slightly more embarrassing for the United States."

October 25, 2017

Congress Made It Easier For Big Banks To Steal From You

Trump goes to war against his own country’s health care system
"It’s not as if the president can say he wasn’t warned about the adverse consequences of this ridiculous gambit. In fact, it was around this time that Sen. Lamar Alexander, the Republican chairman of the Senate committee that oversees health care policy, added that if the CSR payments end, “Americans will be hurt.” Trump is doing it anyway, indifferent to the real-world consequences. The president is making a conscious decision to undermine his own country’s health care system on purpose. All of this, of course, comes on top of the series of related steps the Republican has already taken to make it more difficult for Americans – which is to say, his ostensible constituents – to get the coverage and health security they’re entitled to under the law. If Trump thinks this will force Democrats to accept a GOP repeal plan, he’s mistaken. If Trump thinks he can blame “Obamacare” for the damage he’s doing to the system, he’s misguided – because he’s taking ownership of American health care right now, forcing consumers to pay more while he sabotages the system as part of a bizarre political vendetta. The president is taking a sledgehammer to our health care system, and he’s making no effort to hide his actions. As conditions deteriorate, there will be no one else to blame."

Obamacare sabotage in Florida: they had the most signups, and now they have the most to lose
"The Trump administration has repeatedly undercut the current health law, and most encapsulating of this was yesterday’s decision to end promised subsidy payments to insurance companies. For Florida, this is especially troublesome because more residents there than any other state depend on the ACA marketplace for insurance.  Florida has had the highest number of ACA signups in the country. Approximately 1.7 million people in the state enrolled in private plans offered on the ACA marketplace last open enrollment period. And the uninsured rate dropped from around 20 percent in 2013 to 12.6 percent in 2016. The ACA has worked in Florida even without much cooperation from the state government. Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), one of the staunchest opponents of the current health law, refused federal funds to establish its own state exchange. Instead, residents enroll for coverage on the federally-facilitated marketplace, Additionally, the state has not expanded Medicaid. Florida outperformed California’s enrollment numbers by about 200,000 last enrollment period, even though Sacramento agreed to operate its own state-run exchange and is widely supported by local officials. Texas, the second-highest enrollment state that operates on, had more than half a million less enrollees than Florida last enrollment period. There are many people who qualify for insurance on the Florida marketplace but are not enrolled. Of the 2,500,000 remaining uninsured, 614,000 qualify for subsidized insurance on the marketplace and 246,000 qualify for Medicaid — insurance largely for low-income people — according to a 2016 estimate by the Kaiser Family Foundation."

Trump's EPA: Radiation Not That Bad, Actually

CNN’s Erin Burnett Shreds ‘Hypocrite-In-Chief’ Trump After He Signs His 50th Executive Order
"President Obama signed 26 executive orders by the 12th of October of his first year in office. Trump’s running a double."

The Atlantic Confirms It: We Are Living In A Kakistocracy
"Kakistocracy is back, and we are experiencing it firsthand in America. The unscrupulous element has come into sharp focus in recent weeks as a string of Trump Cabinet members and White House staffers have been caught spending staggering sums of taxpayer dollars to charter jets, at times to go small distances where cheap commercial transportation was readily available, at times to conveniently visit home areas or have lunch with family members. While Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price was forced to resign after his serial abuse, others—including Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, and Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, remain in place. There's a reason this word has been out of vogue so long. The reason is that a kakistocracy requires two things that until this point in American history have been quite rare. First you need an Executive with a blatant, wholesale disregard for the country, the welfare of its citizens and the importance of its institutions. Second (unless such a person manages to be elected by trickery), you need a constituency willing to elect such a person. To find a bloc of voters with such an abominable disregard and low opinion of themselves and their country that they would knowingly put their futures in the hands of thoroughly venal leader is a real rarity. The primary process usually winnows out such garbage. In this case, however Republican voters were already inured to Trump's personal style because he was a TV personality. So an institutional hurdle that exists for most candidates was immediately mooted. But the fact is that millions of Americans chose—with eyes wide open—to elect someone who clearly from his conduct and speeches during the campaign exemplified the absolute worst America had to offer."

General Barry McCaffrey: President Trump White House Needs To 'Shut Up'

After Day of Feuding, Jeff Flake and Bob Corker Join Trump to Upend a Major Consumer Protection
"With a razor-thin margin, the Senate passed a resolution to nullify a signature regulation from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which banned forced arbitration provisions. Such clauses, tucked into the fine print of contracts that nobody reads, deny consumers the ability to contest claims through a class-action lawsuit, and can allow banks and other financial institutions to rip off their customers with virtual impunity."

“None of this is normal”: read the full transcript of Sen. Jeff Flake’s blistering retirement speech
"On Tuesday, Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, who had just announced his retirement, delivered a stunning indictment of President Trump and blasted members of his own party for failing to speak out against the president."

Steve Schmidt On Team President Trump's Gold Star Flap: End This Obscenity

Evidence contradicts Trump claims on calls to soldiers’ families
"Donald Trump’s timing could’ve been better. When Sgt. La David Johnson’s remains arrived at Dover Air Force Base, the president was golfing. On Saturday, Johnson was laid to rest, and Trump spent part of Saturday morning tweeting not about the fallen hero ahead of his funeral, but taking juvenile shots at Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.), who mentored Johnson and is close with his family. And then the president went golfing again. Complicating matters is Trump’s demonstrable dishonesty on his interactions with the families of American soldiers killed in action. As part of his self-aggrandizing boasts last week, the president told Fox News Radio, “I have called, I believe, everybody – but certainly I’ll use the word virtually everybody.” The Associated Press found soon after that of the 20 families who lost loved ones since Trump took office, half had not heard from the president. Roll Call reported late last week that the White House apparently knew that Trump’s boast wasn’t true. In the hours after President Donald Trump said on an Oct. 17 radio broadcast that he had contacted nearly every family that had lost a military servicemember this year, the White House was hustling to learn from the Pentagon the identities and contact information for those families, according to an internal Defense Department email. The email exchange, which has not been previously reported, shows that senior White House aides were aware on the day the president made the statement that it was not accurate – but that they should try to make it accurate as soon as possible, given the gathering controversy. Not only had the president not contacted virtually all the families of military personnel killed this year, the White House did not even have an up-to-date list of those who had been killed. What’s more, The Atlantic reported over the weekend that, in a mad dash to deal with the president’s false claim, the Trump administration has begun “rush-delivering letters from the president to the families of servicemembers killed months ago"."

Trump signs executive order to draft retired pilots back into military service
"Citing emergency powers, President Donald Trump signed an executive order late in the day on Friday that would allow retired military pilots to be recalled to active duty. But the broad wording of the executive order seemed to imply that the executive branch would have the power to call up retired military officers and force them back into service for any reason, as the “emergency” Trump used to justify the executive order was extremely vague: “the continuing and immediate threat of further attacks on the United States.” This executive order is officially an amendment to Executive Order 13223, signed by George W. Bush in September 2001 in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Trump’s executive order claimed to be “in furtherance of the objectives of Proclamation 7463… which declared a national emergency by reason of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.” Stay with me, because this gets confusing. So Trump basically wrote an amendment to Bush’s 2001 executive order. All Bush’s executive order really said, though, was that an emergency existed and the president had authorization to use a variety of statutes in the federal code. It then listed those statutes, of which there are many; let’s just say they mostly involve the executive abilities to send the military around the world and limit troops’ ability to retire. In any case, Trump’s executive order specifically invoked two of the sections of the United States Code."

Congressman On Donald Trump-John Kelly's “Autocratic Tendencies”

Gold Star Widow Myeshia Johnson Confirms Rep. Frederica Wilson's Account of Her Call with Trump to the Word @alternet

Gold Star Widow Myeshia Johnson Confirms Rep. Frederica Wilson's Account of Her Call with Trump to the Word @alternet:

"Myeshia Johnson, the widow of slain U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson, confirmed Rep. Frederica Wilson’s account of her phone call with President Donald Trump on Monday. During an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America, Johnson said that Trump didn’t seem to know her husband’s name when he talked with her on the phone."

‘That is wrong’: McCain whacks Trump over ‘bone spur’ excuse to dodge the Vietnam draft

‘That is wrong’: McCain whacks Trump over ‘bone spur’ excuse to dodge the Vietnam draft

"Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) swatted President Donald Trump during an interview about the Vietnam War on Sunday — without ever mentioning the former reality TV game show host by name."

Trump Caught In Gold Star Letter Lie

John McCain Dings Trump's Vietnam Draft Deferment Without Using His Name @alternet

John McCain Dings Trump's Vietnam Draft Deferment Without Using His Name @alternet:

"Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) attacked President Donald Trump without mentioning his name during an interview for C-SPAN3’s American History TV. The senator was discussing the Vietnam War, in which he served as a Navy pilot and became a POW after being shot down, when he raised the issue of classist draft procedures in the United States. McCain used Trump's widely-publicized reason for a medical deferment as a specific example of rich Americans buying their way out of military service."

John Kelly and the Dangerous Moral Calculus of Working for Trump
"Kelly is the chief of staff and a political operative. He held a press conference and told a lie that smeared one of Trump’s political opponents."

John Kelly and Sarah Huckabee Sanders Must Resign | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann | GQ

John McCain Rips ‘Bone Spur’ Vietnam Deferments, in Apparent Trump Jab
"Sen. John McCain seemed to hit President Donald Trump during an interview about the Vietnam War on Sunday, criticizing Americans from "the highest income level" who were able to obtain draft deferments for ailments like a “bone spur"."

Here’s an Appalling List of All the Times Trump’s Disrespected Our Military and Veterans
"Let’s run down all of the things Trump has said and done to display a total lack of respect for our brave men and women in uniform and those who’ve previously served: He said Senator John McCain wasn’t a war hero because he “likes people who weren’t captured.” Once claimed that he knew more about terrorism than our generals. After skipping a GOP presidential debate because Fox News refused to pull Megyn Kelly as a moderator, he staged an event where he used “raising money for veterans” as a shield from criticism for cowardly refusing to participate in the debate prior to the Iowa Caucus. After spending four months bragging about giving $1 million to veterans groups, and his campaign manager insisting that the money had already been paid, it wasn’t until after The Washington Post discovered that he hadn’t fulfilled his promise that he finally wrote them a check. He repeatedly attacked Gold Star parents of an American hero who died fighting in Iraq. When a veteran allegedly gave him his Purple Heart medal, Trump bragged about telling the retired lieutenant colonel, “I always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier.” For the record, the Purple Heart is awarded to those who’ve been wounded or killed in combat — while Trump used multiple deferments to avoid fighting in Vietnam. He’s repeatedly tried to undermine the credibility of U.S. intelligence agencies, which includes the Army, Marines, Navy, and Air Force."

Grieving Mother Of Fallen Soldier Contradicts President Trump

Donald Trump pushes back against fallen soldier’s widow
"The president and his team have, over the course of just seven days, lied about other presidents’ interactions with fallen soldiers’ loved ones, lied about the number of families Trump has personally contacted, lied (more than once) about a Democratic congresswoman who’s close to the Johnson family, repeatedly insulted the Democratic congresswoman, and failed to acknowledge any of the White House’s collective missteps. It’s against this backdrop that Donald Trump thought it’d be a good idea to question the word of Sgt. La David Johnson’s widow – two days after the fallen soldier’s funeral."

Republican ex-congressman Joe Walsh: We Have a ‘Right to Attack’ Widow of Sgt. La David Johnson
"We’re living in very sad times in this country. A former Republican congressmen, empowered by millions of people who’ve made it clear that there really isn’t a level to which they will not stoop to defend Trump, didn’t hesitate to say publicly that a pregnant widow who recently lost her husband just a couple of weeks ago fighting for this country is fair game to be “attacked” simply because the current “president” is a soulless b*stard who disrespected the sacrifices made by him and his family. Don’t criticize Trump for what he said, the fact he’s since tried to lie about Rep. Wilson since she told the truth about him, or the fact that he’s continued to disrespect Sgt. Johnson and his family by calling them liars — just attack her for telling the truth about him. It’s absolutely disgusting."

Trump Is Still Lying About His Phone Call To Widow Of Slain Soldier

October 24, 2017

In the dead of night, Republicans vote to give lawsuit immunity to banks
"Tuesday night, as many Americans were preparing to go to bed, an evenly divided Senate voted to give broad lawsuit immunity to credit card companies, auto lenders, credit reporting companies like Equifax, and many other financial firms. The 50-50 tie in the Senate was broken by Vice President Mike Pence (R), and the House approved the lawsuit immunity measure. President Trump is expected to sign it."

VP Mike Pence Swings into Senate to Deliver 'Wet-Kiss-to-Wall-Street' Tie Breaker
"Vice President Mike Pence was summoned to the Senate chamber on Tuesday night where he cast the tie-breaking vote in order to scrap a federal rule designed to protect consumers from so-called "rip-off clauses" used by Wall Street and other corporations."

Jeff Flake Denounces Trump as a Danger to Democracy in Stunning Speech on Senate Floor @alternet

Jeff Flake Denounces Trump as a Danger to Democracy in Stunning Speech on Senate Floor @alternet: “Mr. President, I rise today to say, 'enough.'' Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), shortly after announcing his retirement, gave a stunning speech on the Senate floor in which he condemned President Donald Trump’s behavior while in office — and said he represented a threat to the republic.Flake, who faced the possibility of a primary challenge from the right over his criticism of Trump, once again called out Trump — as well as his fellow Republicans for trying to paper over their concerns with his behavior.

Lawrence: Jeff Flake And Bob Corker Know Exactly What They're Doing

Scott Pruitt’s back-to-basics agenda includes 30 personal security guards
"The Environmental Protection Agency is expanding the number of security personnel dedicated to protecting agency chief Scott Pruitt by 12, raising the administrator’s total security detail to 30 guards. Prior to the latest boost in protection, the EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division was providing an 18-member security team that worked in shifts to guard the administrator around the clock. The millions of dollars spent on guarding Pruitt is coming at a time when the Trump administration wants to cut the EPA’s budget by 30 percent, including major cuts to the agency’s environmental enforcement program. The salaries for Pruitt’s security detail will cost at least $2 million per year, CNN reported Monday. That cost does not include funding to cover training, equipment, or travel. No previous EPA administrator has ever received a 24/7 security detail. Two prior administrators were guarded when getting transported to meetings or on trips. During the first three months of Pruitt’s tenure at the EPA, the government spent more than $800,000 on security for him, almost twice the cost of security for each of his two predecessors — Gina McCarthy and Lisa Jackson — over similar time periods."

Trump gives chemical industry insider power on regulating chemicals
"Voters who supported Donald Trump because they hoped he’d “drain the swamp,” preventing corporate insiders from helping call the shots in government agencies, are getting the exact opposite of what they wanted."

President Trump Disgrace Laid Bare In Interactions With Gold Star Families

Trump talks through solemn military ceremony: “Are they playing that for you or me?”
"As the president spoke to Hannity at an Air National Guard hangar in Middletown, Pennsylvania, the tune of "Retreat" was heard over the loudspeakers. The song is "part of a firmly rooted tradition that predates the American Revolutionary War; the US military tune signals the start and end of the official duty day," Task and Purpose reported. "When the American flag is lowered and raised on US military installations, a bugle blares on loudspeakers as service members and civilians pay their respects to the flag." The tune "Retreat" is played at 5 p.m. every day and "is traditionally a time to secure the flag and pay respect to what it stands for," according to the Defense Logistics Agency. Trump heard the song on Wednesday, and instead — like everything else — made it about himself. "What a nice sound that is," he said, before asking Hannity, "Are they playing that for you or for me?" But before Hannity could answer, Trump added, "They’re playing that in honor of his ratings. He’s beating everybody"."