*Trump Jr., Kushner and the Lie of Inherent White Innocence(White Supremacy)
*Looking for the most bitter, moronic take on the failed health care vote? Fox News didn't disappoint(Worthless Media)
*Kareem Abdul Jabbar: Skyhook Foundation Financing Will Hopefully Encourage Students To Learn STEM Skills(Real People)
(for previous day's articles see "what's inside" below)
another lost for the worthless gop!!!
‘Let Obamacare Implode!’ Trump Reacts to Failed ‘Skinny Repeal’ Vote in Senate by Joseph A. Wulfsohn | 6:02 am, July 28th, 2017
From Mediaite: Early Friday morning, President Trump took to Twitter to weigh in on the Senate’s latest failed effort to repeal Obamacare.
Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump 3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch! 11:25 PM - Jul 27, 2017
His tweet pointed out that three GOP Senators, Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and John McCain (R-AZ), joined Senate Democrats in their opposition to the “skinny repeal” bill. Vice President Mike Pence was on the Senate floor trying to keep the party together, particularly the Arizona senator who came back to Washington D.C. just one week after he was diagnosed with brain cancer. In the end, Pence fell short, resulting in a 49-51 vote. This vote was a major blow to the agenda of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican Party, and President Trump, all who’ve campaigned to repeal and replace Obamacare for years. It is uncertain whether this will put the nail in the coffin for such efforts, whether they will continue this heath care reform battle, or simply move on to other legislation like tax reform and infrastructure.
Conservatives Are Turning On Trump As Wall Street Journal Calls Him Weak And Not A Real Man By Sarah Jones on Fri, Jul 28th, 2017 at 10:38 am
From Politicus USA: “Half his tweets show utter weakness. They are plaintive, shrill little cries, usually just after dawn,” Peggy Noonan wrote in Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal in an article entitled “Trump Is Woody Allen Without the Humor.”
This was written before the Trump Obamacare repeal fail and subsequent White House whines and tantrums.
It gets worse. The President’s primary problem as a leader isn’t that he is brash and stupid, “It is that he is weak and sniveling. It is that he undermines himself almost daily by ignoring traditional norms and forms of American masculinity.”
“He’s not strong and self-controlled, not cool and tough, not low-key and determined; he’s whiny, weepy and self-pitying. He throws himself, sobbing, on the body politic. He’s a drama queen. It was once said, sarcastically, of George H.W. Bush that he reminded everyone of her first husband. Trump must remind people of their first wife.”
Precisely because of the conservative view of women, which is none too attractive and involves using being feminine as a negative, this is damning criticism. For conservatives, Trump was supposed to be the BMOC, the Decider, Big Daddy in the White House, Clint Eastwood cleaning up crime with the heart of a vigilante. Instead, he is a whining little drama prince throwing tantrums on an hourly basis, in public, because someone won’t give him the candy he wants right now.
Conservatives elected this man; this is the end game of the values into which they have warped their party. Gone are the deep thinking intellectuals, the generous and caring patriarchs, the fiscally responsible adults… gone.
This is what they have become: Everything they loathe.
Everything Republicans assure themselves they are not, Trump is. He is entitled, spoiled, lazy, whining, immature, nasty, vulgar, obscene, and ignorant.
Republicans have been calling black people thugs for so long, they don’t realize they are the thugs. Coming on the heels of an indisputably great man and honorable president who just so happened to be black, the Trump presidency is throwing cruel, unforgiving light on the false notion of white supremacy to which many Trump voters cling.
Trump is basically not a man to conservative Peggy Noonan. She is no Trump fan to begin with, but certainly she understands the appeal of the hyper masculine altar at which conservatives worship.
The idea that This Man will save you, knows all, is wiser than you, these fairy tales have deep appeal. Trump has unmasked the fairy tale; he is the little oz behind the curtain.
There is no all-knowing man who will save us. There is only Trump, sniveling and whining his way into failure, dragging us all down with him.
Conservatives can forgive Trump his vulgarity, his lack of values, his laziness, his stupidity, his cruelty, even his traitorous tendencies. But they will not forgive him for ruining their dreams of masculine superiority.
If or when more conservatives start to see Trump this way, as a whining loser, he will lose the last leg of support he has.
On this failure Friday, Trump has been humiliated by being unable to bring yet another huge campaign promise to fruition. Will he compound it by vetoing Congress’ tough Russian sanctions, thereby possibly forcing them to override him in yet another humiliating defeat, which he would no doubt respond to by showing yet again that he doesn’t understand even the most basic parts of his job.
U.S. will have to cut diplomatic staff in Russia by 200-300 people: RIA By Reuters on Fri, Jul 28th, 2017 at 9:56 am
From Politicus USA: MOSCOW (Reuters) – The United States will have to cut its diplomatic staff in Russia by 200 to 300 people after Moscow retaliated on Friday against Washington over new U.S. sanctions, the RIA news agency said, citing a source.
Russia told the United States on Friday that some of its diplomats had to leave the country in just over a month and said it was seizing some U.S. diplomatic property as retaliation for what it said were the proposed illegal U.S. sanctions.
(Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Andrew Osborn)
this is the government that gop voters elected!!!
Congress Is Still Fighting Over Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs By Ari Natter July 27, 2017, 8:18 AM PDT
From Bloomberg: Congressional Republicans renewed their effort to save the traditional light bulb, passing a measure to block federal energy standards that have come to symbolize government overreach for many consumers but are largely embraced by manufacturers as the cost of the newer bulbs has plummeted.
The House passed an amendment to a spending bill late Wednesday to block enforcement of Energy Department rules requiring manufacturers to phase out sales of incandescent light bulbs to cut power use. While the measure faces an uncertain future in the Senate, its sponsor called it an important victory for freedom.
"Congress should fight to preserve the free market," Representative Michael Burgess, a Texas Republican, said on the House floor before the vote. Burgess said he had heard from tens of thousands of people about how the regulations "will take away consumer choice when constituents are deciding which light bulbs they will use in their homes."
The measure takes aim at rules that were issued under a 2007 bipartisan energy legislation signed into law by Republican President George W. Bush. The standards, which were phased in overtime starting in 2012, have curtailed the use of incandescent light bulbs.
If it becomes law, the measure could have some unintended consequences, critics warn. While it won’t change light bulb standards which have been in effect for years, it could hamstring authorities from blocking import of incandescent bulbs from China or other nations that that don’t meet the requirements, said Steven Nadel, executive director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, a non-profit group that promotes energy conservation.
When Republicans attacked these standards, manufacturers said they would still voluntarily comply with them, and the LED share of the market has surged over the last three years as the cost of those bulbs dropped.
LED light bulbs, which made up just 1 percent of global market share in 2010, are estimated to make up 95 percent that market by 2025, according to research by Goldman Sachs. They accounted for more than a quarter of U.S. sales last year, it said. Other bulbs that have been used to meet the requirements include the ubiquitous curly compact florescent, or CFL, bulbs and halogen lights.
When a similar measure passed into law as a rider in government funding legislation in 2011, the National Electrical Manufactures Association, which represents companies such as Philips Lighting NV and General Electric Co. said light bulb makers planned to comply with them regardless. Tracy Cullen, a spokeswoman for the trade group, did not respond to an email and phone message seeking comment.
"It’s mind boggling to me," Elizabeth Noll, legislative director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s energy and transportation program, said. "It just adds uncertainty to their products and the rules of the road they are complying with."
The requirements, which have been put in place over time starting with the 100-watt light bulb in 2012, will cut the nation’s electricity costs by $12.5 billion dollars annually and avoid the equivalent of 30 new power plants, the environmental group estimates.
"It’s a an ideological objection to government interference in the market place," said Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy, a Washington-based nonprofit. "All the things that Dr. Burgess and other opponents to those standards said would happen -- limited choice by consumer, high prices -- none of that has borne out."
trolls of big pharma!!!
Republicans Kill Medical Marijuana Provision for Veterans
If veterans want to use medical marijuana, they have to go outside the VA system. By Chris Sosa / AlterNet July 27, 2017, 9:44 PM GMT
Republicans on the House Rules Committee successfully stoppedVeterans Affairs doctors from being allowed to recommend medical marijuana in states where the treatment is legal.
The “Veterans Equal Access” amendment will not move to debate on the House floor. GOP lawmakers wouldn’t allow it to be included in the House’s proposed VA funding bill for next year, effectively killing it. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), who sponsored the amendment, told McClatchy that veterans have been “failed” by the VA on pain management issues. He referenced opioid addiction, which can occur due to opiate-derived medications prescribed for chronic pain management.
Blumenauer correctly pointed out that his amendment had bipartisan support. “But somehow the House Rules Committee decided it wasn’t going to allow this amendment,” he added.
Federal law still considers all marijuana consumption to be illegal. This prohibits VA doctors from recommending medical marijuana. If veterans want to use medical marijuana, they have to go outside the VA system. This incurs high out-of-pocket cost for veterans needing the pain treatment.
A Senate finance bill contains the medical marijuana provision, so approval of marijuana treatment is still possible. For now, veterans cannot receive medical marijuana through the VA, even in states that offer it legally to other residents.
The Trump administration is ramping up its war on clean water There is a serious, concerted effort going on to undermine clean water.
From Think Progress: The Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers’ proposal to undo the Clean Water Rule has been published in the Federal Register, meaning that the plan to review and redefine an Obama-era water pollution rule is officially public. The proposal is a two-step effort aimed at undoing the Clean Water Rule, which was finalized in 2015 and sought to clarify the legal jurisdiction for the federal government under the Clean Water Act. And while publishing the proposal is merely the first step in rolling back the Clean Water Rule, environmental groups fear that it signals an escalation of the Trump administration’s larger effort to prioritize industry over the protection of America’s streams, rivers, and drinking water.
“The Trump administration’s proposal to allow more pollution into America’s drinking water sources is senseless,” John Rumpler, senior attorney for Environment America, said in a statement.
Under the Clean Water Act, the government has the ability to regulate pollution throughout the “waters of the United States,” which the 1972 law defined as being “navigable waters.” Certain waters clearly fall under the definition of navigable — rivers like the Mississippi, for instance — but other kinds of waters, like wetlands or Western rivers that flow for only part of the year, are less clear. The vagueness of the Clean Water Act lead to years of litigation, and courts had to decide largely on a case-by-case basis if a particular body of water qualified for protection under the Clean Water Act.
In 2015, the Obama administration, after years of consultation with scientists, environmental groups, industry, and other stakeholders, finalized the Clean Water Rule, which used a 2008 opinion from Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy defining the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act as any body of water with a “significant nexus” to navigable waters. In doing so, the administration protected 2 million miles of streams, 20 million acres of wetlands, and the drinking water of 1 in 3 Americans that otherwise would not have been clearly covered by federal law.
The Clean Water Rule was widely criticized by both Republican lawmakers and industry, which argued the rule was a prime example of government overreach. In February, President Donald Trump signed an executive order directing the EPA to review and reconsider the rule; now, with the proposal published in the Federal Register, that effort can begin in earnest.
Step one of the EPA’s proposal basically undoes the Clean Water Rule, reverting the definition of “waters of the United States” back to pre-2015 regulations. The second part of the proposal then redefines “waters of the United States” consistent with a different 2008 Supreme Court Justice’s opinion — that of the late Antonin Scalia.
Scalia’s definition of “waters of the United States” is much narrower than Kennedy’s, arguing that bodies covered by the Clean Water Act need to be both relatively permanent and continuously connected — thus, seasonal streams and wetlands would not qualify for protection. If the Trump administration succeeded in promulgating a rule based on Scalia’s definition, various water law experts agree that it would constitute a massive reduction in the ability of the federal government to protect vulnerable bodies of water from pollution.
The success of such a rule, however, is far from certain. First, the rule would face significant hurdles in the courts, as lower appeals courts have never upheld Scalia’s test for navigable waters on its own; they have all either used Kennedy’s test, or Kennedy and Scalia’s test together. And second, the rule would need to go through a public comment period, offering environmental, public health, and recreational groups — those that most strongly supported the Obama administration’s Clean Water Rule — a chance to voice their opposition to a definition consistent with Scalia’s test.
To avoid public and legal scrutiny over their revision of the rule, however, the Trump administration might get some help from Congress. The House is currently considering a “minibus” spending bill, and a provision in that bill would allow the EPA to withdraw the Clean Water Rule “without regard to any provision of statute or regulation that establishes a requirement for such withdrawal.” That would mean that the EPA could withdraw the rule without following the Administrative Procedures Act, which requires the agency to both have a period for public comment and defend their reasoning for withdrawing the rule as being neither arbitrary nor capricious. During the original public comment period for the Clean Water Rule, the EPA received more than a million comments, 87 percent of which were in support of the rule.
That’s not surprising. Americans generally care deeply about clean water and water protections, even more so than clean air according to one Gallup poll. And Americans tend to care even more about water when it comes to drinking water — more so than they care about the pollution of rivers and lakes, toxic waste, or climate change. The Trump administration has pledged to adhere to an environmental policy that protects water for the American public. In his first speech to Congress, Trump said that his administration would “work very, very hard on clean air and clean water.” In a hearing before Congress, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt echoed that sentiment, promising to focus the EPA on a core mission of protecting clean air and water.
But for most Americans, the water they drink is already far from clean. A Natural Resources Defense Council report published earlier this year found that almost 77 million Americans -- nearly 1 in 4 — drink water that is either unsafe or not properly monitored for contaminants. In Flint, Michigan, residents still cannot drink tap water more than three years after the Michigan state government ordered the city to switch sources of drinking water, a decision that caused the city’s water supply to become contaminated with lead.
Even in places that clearly fall under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act, holding industry responsible for pollution is an uphill battle. In Tennessee, for instance, environmental groups have argued for years that the Tennessee Valley Authority has violated the Clean Water Act by allowing coal ash pollutants to leach into groundwater near the Cumberland River and, eventually, into the river itself. The company’s own internal documents recorded coal ash spills into the river, as well as topography that would allow coal ash stored in waste ponds to leech into groundwater. Still, a conviction is far from certain.
In North Carolina, where state government has worked to loosen regulations — including water pollution regulations — seen as unfriendly to industry, a similar saga is playing out. Residents near Duke Energy coal ash ponds have fought for years to hold the company responsible for polluting their drinking water by allowing coal ash toxins to leech into groundwater, as well as nearby rivers and streams; the company has fought those allegations for years, largely with support from the state government.
Places like North Carolina offer a glimpse into a world where government caters to the desires of industry over the safety of public drinking water. But the Trump administration doesn’t even need to look as far as North Carolina for a blueprint in favoring industry over clean water; in tapping Pruitt to lead the rollback of the Clean Water Rule, Trump chose a man whose career is rife with examples of deferring to industry. As Oklahoma’s attorney general, Pruitt chose to delay anti-pollution efforts aimed at cleaning up water quality in the Illinois River, despite clear evidence that the river and watershed suffered from agriculture-related pollution.
And the Clean Water Rule is not the Trump administration’s only example of favoring industry preference over clean water protections. Earlier this week, the Trump administration officially filed its intention to repeal an Obama-era fracking rule aimed at preventing operations on federal lands from polluting water supplies.
The administration, meanwhile, has proposed no new rules or policies that would protect clean water for the American public, despite Trump’s promise to Congress.
*Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif resigns over Panama Papers verdict - Nawaz Sharif has resigned as prime minister of Pakistan following a decision by the country's Supreme Court to disqualify him from office. The ruling came after a probe into his family's wealth following the 2015 Panama Papers dump linking Mr Sharif ... (BBC)
McCain says the heath and lives of millions of Americans aren't as important as his defense bill
By Joan McCarter Thursday Jul 27, 2017 · 10:16 AM PDT
From Daily Kos: Arizona Sen. John McCain made his position on whatever it is the Senate is doing today on Affordable Care Act repeal and Trumpcare very clear in an exchange with Sen. Chuck Schumer Thursday morning: just get done with this so we can get to what matters—McCain’s defense authorization bill.
Schumer had just declared his intention, now that Republicans apparently are actually intent on passing their skinny repeal bill, to have "numerous" amendments, and "many more" amendments after the bill hits the floor. He also made clear he wasn’t going to give consent to bring up McCain's defense authorization bill in the middle of this massive healthcare fiasco.
That apparently enraged McCain (which isn't hard to do) because he wants to just set aside this whole taking health insurance away from millions of people thing so that they can get to what matters. "I believe," he told Schumer, "that our obligation to the men and women in the military is transcendent." He said that. Schumer responded that "the reason that we must ask consent to go to the bill is we're in reconciliation," reminding McCain, who continued to bitch about partisanship, that this is the "very process that has prevented us from debating, from having hearings, from having some kind of bipartisan input." But McCain doesn't care about your process, never mind his lecture about regular order just a few days ago.
Schumer: The reason we can't do that is our dear friend, the majority leader, is insisting on the reconciliation process. And you can't say—we can't because we feel defense is important and we feel the health care of tens of millions of Americans is equally important. And we can't say you can turn on and turn off the reconciliation process when you want to and when you don't. What's good for the goose, good for the gander. […] Let's get rid of reconciliation and we can do what the leader and the senator from Arizona want and what I think the American people want, a fair process. […]
McCain: All I can say to the senator from New York, this is not the same. Defending the nation is our first priority. That's what our declaration of Independence says. That's what our—all of our basis for our roles here. And there are men and women who are in harm's way today whose lives are in danger, who need this legislation to be better equipped and better able to defend themselves and this nation.
So there you go, Arizona. Your senator really doesn't think whether or not you have health care matters as much as his pet project, the defense industry.
And as far as the men and women serving the nation? Never mind that they are in no danger of losing all their funding anytime in the near future, and never mind that the Congress will never shut down defense. This is the only thing that matters to McCain. He didn't return to the Senate to much fanfare and plaudits Monday night to make sure that the Senate did the right thing—or anything—on Trumpcare.
McCain returned so McConnell had is 50th vote to dispense with this healthcare for millions of people thing so they could get to the important stuff: his bill. So that he can get back to his taxpayer-funded cancer treatment sooner rather than later.
‘Our kids are upstairs, please take care of them’: NYC couple leap to their deaths over health care costs Tom Boggioni 28 JUL 2017 AT 08:45 ET
From Raw Story: Leaving a note asking that their children be taken care off, a New York City couple jumped to their death early Friday after pointing out they could no longer afford their health care costs.
According to the New York Post, the bodies of the unidentified couple — both in their 50’s — were discovered between Park and Madison avenues.
Police state that the woman had a note in her pocket reading, “Our kids are upstairs, please take care of them.”
In the man’s pocket was another note stating, “We both have medical issues, we just can’t afford the health care.” Their deaths came within hours of the U.S. Senate holding off on the repeal of Obamacare — a huge set-back for President Donald Trump and Republicans.
Official DOE account tweets praise for Rick Perry’s ‘fight’ against climate scientists
The department is already facing criticism for an op-ed Perry wrote criticizing the Affordable Care Act.
From Think Progress: The Department of Energy’s official press Twitter account apparently wants you to know two things: that there is a fight going on between climate scientists and Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, and that Perry is supposedly winning.
At least that was the message sent out Thursday, when the department’s press office tweeted an op-ed published in The Hill by Ross McKitrick, a professor of economics at the University of Guelph and an Adjunct Scholar at the Cato Institute.
McKitrick, like Perry, does not accept the mainstream scientific consensus on climate change. In the op-ed, McKitrick primarily takes aim at the American Meteorological Society (AMS), which sent a letter to Perry in late June protesting his remarks on CNBC; in the interview, Perry claimed that carbon dioxide is not a primary contributor to climate change. That claim blatantly contradicts the scientific consensus on climate change, and the AMS wanted Perry to understand that “emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are the primary cause” of global warming.
The Department of Energy’s tweet is hardly the first time an official government communications channel has shared misleading information about climate change under the Trump administration. In January, the official House Science Committee Twitter account posted a Breitbart article claiming that global temperatures had plunged; the article looked only at land temperatures, which climate scientists agree are neither an accurate nor complete measure of Earth’s actual warming.
But the Energy Department is already under increased scrutiny this week over charges that the department misused taxpayer funds by promoting an op-ed criticizing the Affordable Care Act, written by Perry, through its official social media channels. On Wednesday, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) wrote a letter to the Government Accountability Office asking for an investigation into whether the department had improperly used funds in promoting the op-ed.
The Department of Energy subsequently deleted the tweet promoting Perry’s op-ed. As of Thursday afternoon, however, the tweet promoting McKitrick’s op-ed was still on the department’s Twitter feed. The Energy Department employs climate scientists at many of its national laboratories. In December, the Trump transition team asked the department for names of employees that had done work on either international or national climate policy, fueling concerns that the administration was preparing for a purge of climate scientists. The department refused the request, and the Trump administration subsequently dropped the matter.
*TRUMP JR., KUSHNER AND THE LIE OF INHERENT WHITE INNOCENCE(WHITE SUPREMACY)
*LOOKING FOR THE MOST BITTER, MORONIC TAKE ON THE FAILED HEALTH CARE VOTE? FOX NEWS DIDN'T DISAPPOINT(WORTHLESS MEDIA)
~KAREEM ABDUL JABBAR: SKYHOOK FOUNDATION FINANCING WILL HOPEFULLY ENCOURAGE STUDENTS TO LEARN STEM SKILLS(REAL PEOPLE)
*DEMOCRATS IN CONGRESS NEED TO GO BOLDER, NOT BACKWARDS(DEMO POLITICS)
*NAACP REPORT DOUBLES DOWN ON ANTI-CHARTER POSITION(EDUCATION)
*WHY YOU STILL CAN'T DITCH YOUR CABLE BOX(CAPITALISM)
*EXCLUSIVE: NOT MADE IN AMERICA - WAL-MART LOOKS OVERSEAS FOR ONLINE VENDORS (CAPITALISM)
*CALIFORNIA DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL CHARGED WITH CHILD PORN(AMERIKKKANS)
*JURY SENTENCES MAN TO 137 YEARS IN JAIL FOR STEALING TIRES(AMERICA)
*THE COLOSSAL TRAIN WRECK OF REPUBLICAN RULE(TALKERS)
~THE OVERWHELMINGLY WHITE WHITE HOUSE INTERN CLASS PHOTO, AND WHY IT MATTERS (WHITE SUPREMACY)
*LESS THAN 24 HOURS AFTER DEMANDING RETURN TO 'REGULAR ORDER,' JOHN MCCAIN VOTES AGAINST DOING THAT(GOP POLITICS)
*REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN SAYS SENATE OPPONENTS OF TRUMPCARE SHOULD BE BEATEN (GOP POLITICS)
*100,000 PAGES OF CHEMICAL INDUSTRY SECRETS GATHERED DUST IN AN OREGON BARN FOR DECADES — UNTIL NOW(REALITY)
*COPS KILL INNOCENT MAN BY SHOOTING HIM THROUGH A CLOSED DOOR — AT THE WRONG HOUSE: LAWYER(GESTAPO USA)
*26 HOURS, 29 TRUMPIAN FALSE OR MISLEADING CLAIMS(TRUMP)
*WHY DOESN'T THE EARTH SWALLOW UP LIARS LIKE JASON CHAFFETZ?(WORTHLESS MEDIA)
*SEVENTY TOP HEALTH CARE CEOS RAKED IN $9.8 BILLION SINCE 2010(CAPITALISM)
*MODERN-DAY EUGENICS? PRISONERS STERILIZED FOR SHORTER SENTENCES(AMERICA)
*THIS MASSIVE NATURAL GAS PIPELINE WILL RUN RIGHT THROUGH NATIVE AMERICAN COMMUNITIES(Rights)
*DEMOCRATIC SENATORS INTRODUCE BILL TO BAN INSECTICIDE LINKED TO BRAIN DAMAGE (DEMO POLITICS)
*HOUSING DISCRIMINATION, REDLINING AND LACK OF LAND OWNERSHIP CREATED THE RACIAL WEALTH GAP(RACE MATTERS)
*TRANSGENDER BATHROOM BILL CLEARS TEXAS SENATE(EDUCATION)
*late news of interest*
Trump booster Devin Nunes continues to push discredited ‘unmasking’ story attacking Obama officials David Ferguson 27 JUL 2017 AT 20:01 ET
From Raw Story: House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) continued to push his unfounded accusations that members of President Barack Obama’s administration maliciously “unmasked” the identities of Trump campaign and transition team officials who intelligence agencies caught having suspicious conversations with operatives loyal to the Russian government.
The Hill reported Thursday evening that Nunes sent a letter to Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dan Coats insisting that Obama officials made “hundreds” of requests to unmask the identities of Trump-loyal American citizens whose conversations with foreign officials were intercepted by U.S. intelligence agencies. “We have found evidence that current and former government officials had easy access to U.S. person information and that it is possible that they used this information to achieve partisan political purposes, including the selective, anonymous leaking of such information,” said Nunes’ letter.
Nunes briefly disrupted the investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia last March when he claimed that he’d seen intelligence backing up the president’s unfounded claim that Pres. Obama “wiretapped” Trump Tower in the months before the 2016 election.
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) cast aspersions on his fellow Republican’s attempt to interfere with the investigation last week, saying, “The unmasking thing was all created by Devin Nunes, and I’ll wait to go through our full evaluation to see if there was anything improper that happened.”
The new number two in the Interior Department: A lobbyist against environmental protections
By Hunter Thursday Jul 27, 2017 · 4:31 PM PDT
From Daily Kos: Even in the context of Donald Trump's other anti-government, pro-corporate hires, his choice of industry lobbyist David Bernhardt for the No. 2 position in the Department of the Interior is remarkably cynical.
Bernhardt, who ran the natural resources department at lobbying and law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, has spent the last several years working on behalf of oil and gas companies and large agribusiness to weaken environmental protections.
His lobbying appears to have continued into this current year:
The Campaign for Accountability accused Bernhardt of continuing to lobby for a client, the Westlands Water District in California, after withdrawing his registration as a lobbyist last November, the Washington Post reported Friday. In a letter to the Justice Department asking it to investigate the claim, the group contended Bernhardt edited a draft executive order for then-President-elect Donald Trump involving water issues that stood to benefit Westlands Water.
The suggestion here is that the man is, in addition to an advocate for the very groups most wanting to take over more of the nation's resources on the cheap, also crooked. If he is not crooked, he will have to recuse himself from much of his actual day job due to his myriad conflicts of interest; if he is crooked, he will sally forth despite those conflicts and dare the nation's ethical watchdogs and law enforcement officials to stop him.
He was of course confirmed by the Senate on Monday, because nothing matters anymore.
Russia sanctions heads to Trump's desk after Senate approval, putting him in a bind
From Daily Kos: The Senate put their stamp of approval Thursday on a sweeping sanctions bill that will now go straight to the desk of Donald Trump. The New York Timeswrites:
The Senate vote, 98-2, followed the passage of a House bill earlier this week to punish Russia, Iran and North Korea for various violations by each of the three American adversaries. In effect, it would sharply limit the president’s ability to suspend or lift sanctions on Russia, and won near unanimous support across the Republican-led Congress. [...] Now the president will face a decision he had hoped to avoid as the legislation slowly churned through Congress.
White House aides have acknowledged privately that a veto would be politically awkward — at the least — for Mr. Trump to justify during the continuing investigations into whether his campaign colluded with Moscow. Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Thursday the White House would “wait and see” what the final bill looked like but never actually promised Trump would sign it. Well, it’s all there now. Will Trump put his name on bill that essentially confirms the intelligence estimate that Russia interfered in the election to benefit Trump? That will be a real existential dilemma for the narcissist in chief.
You read. You learn
From Demo. Underground: Dred Scott • 7 hours ago • 1) Trump owes Blackstone/ Bayrock group $560 million dollars (one of his largest debtors and the primary reason he won't reveal his tax returns)
2) Blackstone is owned wholly by Russian billionaires, who owe their position to Putin and have made billions from their work with the Russian government.
3) Other companies that have borrowed from Blackstone have claimed that owing money to them is like owing to the Russian mob and while you owe them, they own you for many favors.
4) The Russian economy is badly faltering under the weight of its over-dependence on raw materials which as you know have plummeted in the last 2 years leaving the Russian economy scrambling to pay its debts.
5) Russia has an impetus to influence our election to ensure the per barrel oil prices are above $65 ( they are currently hovering around $50)
6) Russia can't affordably get at 80% of its oil reserves and reduce its per barrel cost to compete with America at $45 or Saudi Arabia at $39. With Iranian sanctions being lifted Russia will find another inexpensive competitor increasing production and pushing Russia further down the list of suppliers. As for Iranian sanctions, the 6 countries lifting them allowing Iran to collect on the billions it is owed for pumping oil but not being paid for it. These billions Iran can only get if the Iranian nuclear deal is signed. Trump spoke of ending the deals which would cause oil sales sanctions to be reimposed, which would make Russian oil more competitive.
7) Rex Tillerson (Trump's pick for Secretary of State) is the head of ExxonMobil, which is in possession of patented technology that could help Putin extract 45% more oil at a significant cost savings to Russia, helping Putin put money in the Russian coffers to help reconstitute its military and finally afford to mass produce the new and improved systems that it had invented before the Russian economy had slowed so much.
8) Putin cannot get access to these new cost saving technologies OR outside oil field development money, due to US sanctions on Russia, because of its involvement in Ukrainian civil war.
9) Look for Trump to end sanctions on Russia and to back out of the Iranian nuclear deal, to help Russia rebuild its economy, strengthen Putin and make Tillerson and Trump even richer, thus allowing Trump to satisfy his creditors at Blackstone.
10) With Trump's fabricated hatred of NATO and the U.N., the Russian military reconstituted, the threat to the Baltic states is real. Russia retaking their access to the Baltic Sea from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia and threatening the shipping of millions of cubic feet of natural gas to lower Europe from Scandinavia, allowing Russia to make a good case for its oil and gas being piped into eastern Europe.
From Crooks & Liars: I've never gone wrong betting on the racism and arrogant ignorance of the Right: I've only erred occasionally on the point spread. And predicting Conservative behavior is dead-easy because traditionally they only have four basic settings:
Arrogant triumphalism: The aforementioned "We won! You lost! Bush is a genius! Suck it Libtards!"
All-out denialism: The aforementioned "Everything I see on non-Fox teevee is fake! Terrible lies by the terrible Murrica-hating Libtard media conspiracy!"
Bargaining: It doesn't matter whether or not I'm a brain-washed moron...because Both Sides!"
Running Away: As I pointed out back during the first Great Skedaddle back in 2009, because Conservatives are by nature abject moral cowards, their last "out" is doing like German soldiers did after the fall of Berlin: stop running away from the catastrophe they created only long enough to burn their uniforms. See, "I'm an independent."
The big difference this time around is that the implosion of the Failed Trump Administration is coming on so much faster and more spectacularly than the implosion of the Failed Bush Administration, that we now need to include a fifth basic setting for Conservatives:
Of course Conservatives are ignorant -- deeply and malignantly ignorant. This comes from letting lying demagogues like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity take a dump in their skulls for the last 20 years. But since the GOP OnStar only emits turns in one direction, traditionally the only way Conservatives have been permitted to be "wrong" about anything was that they were "not Conservative enough!". From Crain's, October, 2015: