Category Archives: Law

Any thing to do with Law

Mueller Trump probe update…Looking at ‘tens of thousands’ of Trump Transition emails…

Anybody think this investigation is gonna be ‘over’ anytime soon?

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has obtained “many tens of thousands” of Trump transition emails, including emails of Jared Kushner, transition team sources tell Axios.

  • Trump officials discovered Mueller had the emails when his prosecutors used them as the basis for questions to witnesses, the sources said.
  • The emails include 12 accounts, one of which contains about 7,000 emails, the sources said.
  • The accounts include the team’s political leadership and the foreign-policy team, the sources said.

Why it matters: The transition emails are said to include sensitive exchanges on matters that include potential appointments, gossip about the views of particular senators involved in the confirmation process, speculation about vulnerabilities of Trump nominees, strategizing about press statements, and policy planning on everything from war to taxes.

  • “Mueller is using the emails to confirm things, and get new leads,” a transition source told me.

How it happened: The sources say Mueller obtained the emails from the General Services Administration, the government agency that hosted the transition email system, which had addresses ending in “,” for Presidential Transition Team.

Taking fight public: Charging “unlawful conduct,” Kory Langhofer, counsel for the transition team, wrote in a letter to congressional committees Saturday that “career staff at the General Services Administration … have unlawfully produced [transition team] private materials, including privileged communications, to the Special Counsel’s Office.”….

More ….


Does Trump’s lawyers understand what’s actually going on?

And Mueller surely has a LOT of stuff the media and others have no idea he’s going thru…

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Sen Rubio hints Republicans want to attack Social Security and Medicare next…

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Republicans have ALWAYS wanted to cut American’s governemnt helping its citizens get what they pay for….

Probably getting a tax cut is their firts effort to transfer more wealth to the rich at the expense of the poor, middle class and older Americans it seems…

Giving themselsves a YUGE tax cut needs to be paid for some way, eh?

In a videotaped interview with two Politico reporters Wednesday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said the quiet parts out loud. Asked by interviewers Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman how to address the federal deficit, he replied: “We have to do two things. We have to generate economic growth which generates revenue, while reducing spending. That will mean instituting structural changes to Social Security and Medicare for the future.” (A video of Rubio’s appearance is here, with his remarks on Social Security and Medicare beginning at the 21:45 mark.)

The only thing that’s new here is the explicit admission by a Republican officeholder that this is the GOP’s master plan to eviscerate the welfare and retirement of American workers. Budget analysts have seen it coming with all the subtlety of a freight train….



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Judge blocks Trump rollback of Obamacare contraception mandate

The fight against taking away people’s heathcare benefits will be fought in the courts….The Republicans used them against Obama…Democrats and others will do the same against Trump & Co……

A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Friday blocked the Trump administration from enforcing new rules that would allow virtually any l objection to Obamacare’s birth control coverage mandate.

Judge Wendy Beetlestone granted Pennsylvania’s request for a preliminary injunction, saying the commonwealth could suffer “serious and irreparable harm” from the rules. The long-anticipated policies, imposed Oct. 6, greatly expand the exemptions to the health law’s requirement to provide FDA-approved contraception at no cost.

“The Commonwealth’s concern is absent available cost-effective contraception, women will either forgo contraception entirely or choose cheaper but less effective methods — individual choices which will result in an increase in unintended pregnancies,” Beetlestone wrote in her 44-page opinion. “That in turn will inflict economic harm on the Commonwealth because unintended pregnancies are more likely to impose additional costs on Pennsylvania’s state-funded health programs.”

The Affordable Care Act requires employers to cover birth control with no cost sharing, with narrow exemptions. The Trump administration, in issuing its directive, has said it was acting to protect individuals and groups from being forced to violate their religious beliefs while downplaying concerns that more women would struggle to afford birth control.

A federal judge in California heard arguments over the same issue earlier this week and is expected issue a ruling soon. Four other states — Delaware, Maryland, New York and Virginia — have joined California in the motion….


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AG Session may get his way on coming down on the Marijuana business in America…

Politico does a pice on the a little noticed  legislative leg that that has kept the Department of Justice from going after state sponsored matijuana businesses…

While Attorney Gnereal Jeff Session has been quiet about the increased licnesing and law relaxing about grass smoking…The product is still considered a dangerous drug  on the feeder books….

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Some reform people think a media pushback would stop Sessions from sending the DEA after state sponsered businesses…

But they haven’t been paying attention to the Trump admin moves on immigration…

NOBODY though Trumpo and his guy Kelly could slow the illegal and legal flow of people into the US….They HAVE…

If Session’s releases the full might of the federal law enforcement on the marijuana business?

There are gonna be a LOT of people losing their money, and some could be going to jail despite empty promises form state lawmakers….Those lawmakers could also be out a LOT of money from the business if it crashes….

……“I won’t commit to never enforcing federal law, Senator Leahy,” Sessions replied, suppressing a slight smirk. That double negative tightened the knot in every drug policy reformer’s gut. Exactly how vulnerable were the nascent marijuana industries in the 29 states where it was now legal? Would Sessions, who rarely misses an opportunity to bemoan the scourge of marijuana, sweep aside the paper-thin order imposed by the Obama administration that had stayed the enforcement hand of the Department of Justice? Would SWAT teams arrest wheelchair-bound medical marijuana patients, raid marijuana dispensaries and shut down the high-tech growhouses that supplied them?

The dreaded crackdown never materialized. Sessions, perhaps preoccupied with other priorities like keeping his volatile boss from firing him, remained largely inactive on the subject. Meanwhile, a series of incremental advancements on the pro-marijuana front helped to further enmesh the $9.7 billion industry into the commercial fabric of the nation, 60 percent of whose residents support some form of legal pot. California opened the doors to recreational marijuana and issued regulations for outdoor marijuana festivals; Florida began its implementation of a medical marijuana program; and Denver and Las Vegas are vying to become the first city in America to legalize “marijuana consumption lounges” (think high-end bars with expensive weed choices instead of booze). Sessions, for his part, has spent his time in testy exchanges with DOJ interns and convening meetings with small groups of like-minded anti-pot activists determined to roll back state-level momentum. “I do believe … that the public is not properly educated on some of the issues related to marijuana,” he told one such group on Friday.

But things are suddenly looking rosier for Sessions. Thanks to Congress’ fumbling over the spending bill, the AG’s yearning to battle legal marijuana may get a major boost without him having to lift a finger. That’s because Rohrabacher-Farr, a little-known and even less discussed amendment that protects state-legal medical marijuana programs from federal interference, is close to expiring. If the government shuts down at the expiration of the current continuous resolution on December 22, or if negotiations in an upcoming appropriations conference committee fail to insert it in the final draft of the spending bill—entirely possible given House Republicans’ hostility to marijuana—Sessions would be free to unleash federal drug agents on a drug, which according to federal drug law, is considered the equal of heroin and LSD.

The politics on this issue has shifted so dramatically that reform advocates, instead of quaking in their boots at Sessions’ saber rattling, are actually itching for the fight….

Morgan Fox, communications manager of the Marijuana Policy Project, agreed with Blumenauer: “There’s no way that Sessions can start rolling back medical marijuana policies or attacking patients and providers without looking like the bad guy.”

Still, with the legislative barrier gone, there would be plenty of ways for Sessions to make life difficult for marijuana businesses without creating dramatic footage for the nightly news. Fox worries less about SWAT team raids than the possibility the Department of Justice would quietly send letters to landlords who rented to legal marijuana businesses to threaten them with asset forfeiture.

People would be forgiven for thinking that state-legal medical marijuana was a settled issue, but in fact it is hanging by a thread, and Congress is poised to hand Jeff Sessions the scissors…..



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How Republicans bought Bob Corkers ‘YES’ vote on the tax bill….

Republicans play hard folks….

While ‘earmarks’ are gone….

Being in power doesn’t stop the Republicans’ from paying off lawmakers they want, or need votes from…

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And they needed votes from Senator Bob Corker , a Republican from Tennessee ….They appear to have gotten it….

In an exclusive interview with International Business Times, U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn, denied knowing about a controversial last-minute provision slipped into the Republican tax bill that could personally enrich him. Corker, the lone Republican to vote against the original Senate bill, which didn’t include the provision, also admitted he has not read the final tax bill he announced he will support.

A trio of Democratic Senators, meanwhile, slammed the provision, which was first reported on by IBT.

Corker’s vote is considered pivotal in the closely divided Senate and he could be in a position to make or break the landmark legislation. He declared his support for the final reconciled version of the bill on Friday after GOP lawmakers added a provision that could benefit his vast real estate holdings — a provision that Corker denied having any knowledge of….

Corker called IBT to respond to a series of IBT investigative reports showing that he switched his vote to “yes” on the tax legislation, only after Republican leaders added in a provision reducing taxes on income from real-estate LLCs. Federal records reviewed by IBT show Corker, a commercial real estate mogul, made up to $7 million last year from such income. President Donald Trump’s financial disclosures listed between $41 million and $68 million of the same income.

After the report, Corker called IBT and asked for a detailed description of the provision, insisting he did not know about. After the provision was described, he said: “If I understand what [the provision] does, it sounds totally unnecessary and borderline ridiculous.”

A few minutes later, however, Corker called back, and tried to back off that criticism….



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Folks?…Republicans still do NOT have the votes for the tax bill sewed up….

A LOT of deals made on this  which has moved closer to what the Senator’s wanted….But NOT all….

The media and Republicans are all strutting around like the tax bill is signed and sealed?

It isn’t….

There ARE loose ends floating around that could torpedo the bill next week….

The final vote will involve a small few Republican Senator’s either accepting what they didn’t get and voting ‘Aye’…or?….Those same Senator’s holding their noses and  voting ‘No’….

We’ll see next week…

He’s the Update from Bloomberg on Friday evening….

….’the final bill will follow the Senate legislation and include a two-year tax extended tax break for individuals with high medical expenses, according to two people familiar with the provision who described it on the condition of anonymity.

The provision lowers the amount people have to spend on health costs before they can deduct those costs, to 7.5 percent of their income, from 10 percent under current law. Its expansion was pushed for by Senator Susan Collins, the Maine Republican whose vote is crucial to passing the tax package.’…


Mike Lee of Utah is “undecided,” and — like Rubio — he’s working to make the child tax credit more generous, according to Conn Carroll, his spokesman.

Jeff Flake of Arizona, who has voiced concerns about tax cuts adding to the deficit, said Thursday he’s undecided as well…

Susan Collins of Maine has voiced opposition to cutting the tax rate for incomes above $1 million and has pushed for passage of two health-care stabilization bills that the House has been cold to. She hasn’t committed to supporting the final tax measure. “I am going to review the tax bill over the weekend,” she said. “There’s lots of rumors about what’s in it, what isn’t.”…



The final bill is 500 or so pages….

People are gonna be reading thru it all weekend….

There are bound to be some surprises….

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Trump Administration Adds Restrictions for legal Visa-Waiver Countries

Trump is moving to go after the legal’s now….

This isn’t gonna make a LOT of European countries happy….

Notice….. No implimentation date…No penalty given

Dozens of countries, mostly in Europe, must meet additional security requirements for their citizens to continue to be allowed into the United States without a visa, the Department of Homeland Security said on Friday.

The countries must begin sharing additional background information and establish effective safeguards against threats by foreign airport workers. Some will also be required to start a public relations campaign to discourage their citizens from overstaying their visits.

Homeland security officials said the new measures did not come as a result of a specific threat but part of a continuous review of national security measures to protect the United States from terrorist attacks.

About 38 countries participate in the visa-waiver program, including the Britain, France, Germany, South Korea and Australia. The program allows their citizens to visit the United States without a visa on trips of 90 days or less, and about 20 million tourists use it each year.

No timeline has been set for countries to carry out the changes, and officials did not say how countries would be punished if they failed to putt the changes in effect….


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More changes to the Tax bill that was supposed to be done….

Probably will more changes….

We haven’t heard from Senator’s Corker, Collins, Flake and Murkowski and Cruz probaly won’t the guy to sink things on his own…But he hasn’t said yes….

House and Senate negotiators have agreed on last-minute changes to their sweeping tax measure to win over GOP holdouts — although it’s unclear whether it’ll be enough for a pair of Senate Republicans to come on board.

The negotiators have agreed to expand the child tax credit at the behest of Sen. Marco Rubio, who announced on Thursday that he would be a “no” unless the credit was made more generous. The refundable portion of the child tax credit was increased from $1,100 to $1,400, according to a senior Senate GOP aide.

News of the changes leaked out as a joint panel of lawmakers from both chambers began signing the legislative text they intend to be the final version of tax reform. They plan to release that text publicly at the end of the day on Friday.

Still, Rubio and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who also wants a bigger child tax credit, said they’d yet to see the details.

“We have not seen bill text, and until we see if the percentage of the refundable credit is significantly higher, then our position remains the same,” a spokesperson for Rubio’s office said in an email….


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To save the GOP, Republicans have to lose

Opinion writer @ WashPost….

I find myself wandering in an unfamiliar place. As a pro-life conservative, I am honestly happy — no, positively elated — that pro-choice Democrat Doug Jones won Alabama’s U.S. Senate election.

It is an odd position for me, and a complicated one. This change may impose costs to causes I care about. And Democrats did not make my shift of sentiments any easier. A pro-life Democrat (there used to be herds of such unicorns before they were hunted to near-extinction) would have won the Alabama race going away and left me entirely unconflicted.

But even so, it was not a close decision. In reality, the chance that the flip of this seat would somehow determine the fate of Roe v. Wade is vanishingly small. And political leadership does not consist entirely of checking policy boxes. What needs to be considered is the net effect on the country and the cause. And the Alabama election was like looking into the abyss. Roy Mooreism was distilled Trumpism, flavored with some self-righteous moralism. It was all there: the aggressive ignorance, the racial divisiveness, the disdain for governing, the contempt for truth, the accusations of sexual predation, the (just remarkable) trashing of America in favor of Vladimir Putin, the conspiracy theories, the sheer, destabilizing craziness of the average day.

President Trump and his admirers are not just putting forth an agenda; they are littering the civic arena with deception and cruelty. They are discrediting even the good causes they claim to care about. They are condemning the country to durable social division. In Trump’s GOP, loyalty requires corruption. So loyalty itself must be reconceived.

What would weaken the grip of Trump on the GOP? Obviously not moral considerations. The president has crossed line after line of decency and ethics with only scattered Republican bleats of protest. Most of the party remains in complicit silence. The few elected officials who have broken with Trump have become targets of the conservative media complex — savaged as an example to the others.

This is the sad logic of Republican politics today: The only way that elected Republicans will abandon Trump is if they see it as in their self-interest. And the only way they will believe it is in their self-interest is to watch a considerable number of their fellow Republicans lose….


image…Roy Moore speaks at a campaign rally. (Brynn Anderson/Associated Press)

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Senate GOP Moderates gain from Moore’s loss…

There ARE Republican Moderates still around folks….

And they could become the door keepers for the entire Congress if they stick the US Senate…

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The senators to watch: Well, there have been six instances this year in which a 50-50 Senate tally left Vice President Mike Pence to cast the tie-breaking vote. He has voted with the majority of Republicans all six times, allowing those provisions to pass.

In five of those six instances (all but one that rolled back a regulation created by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), the two Republican “no” votes were Maine’s Susan Collins and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski. This is not surprising. Both senators are among the five Republicans who most often break with the Trump administration’s position according to FiveThirtyEight’s Trump Score. (Collins is the GOP senator who votes against Republicans most often.) And of course, Collins and Murkowski were two key opponents of the GOP’s push to repeal Obamacare.

Once Jones is seated in the Senate (which could happen late this month or in early January) and the GOP is down to a 51-person majority, Republicans can afford to have Collins or Murkowski vote against a bill, but not both. That pair can tank legislation if they both join with the 49 Democrats in the Senate. Think about how a 49th Democrat would have changed, say, the debate on Obamacare repeal, which was voted down only because Arizona’s John McCain emerged, in a surprise, to join Collins and Murkowski in voting against it.

Also keep an eye on the possibility of Collins or Murkowski joining with Tennessee’s Bob Corker or Arizona’s Jeff Flake or McCain, the anti-Trump trio that has more political freedom than most members because none of them are likely to face Republican voters again. (Corker and Flake are retiring in 2018, and McCain has been diagnosed with brain cancer.)

In addition, unique coalitions may arise because of the ways that specific issues affect a certain constituency. For example, two GOP senators from the same state can now take down legislation by allying with the Democrats. Or senators Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky, who are both deeply conservative and occasionally aligned, might join together to block something….


image…Sen Murkowski and Collins…Instyle.Com

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Trump says wait on a possible Flynn pardon….

No surprise on this answer….

But Trump will NOT be able to start pardoning EVERYBODY Mueller charges….

THAT could put him in trouble and be looked at as an  admittance of obstructing the  Mueller investigation in whole….A cover-up…..

Flynn has already committed to, and is working with Mueller’s people…

President Trump on Friday refused to rule out a pardon for former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in the special counsel probe into Russia’s election interference.
“I don’t want to talk about pardons for Michael Flynn yet,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “We’ll see what happens. Let’s see.”
Trump may have been trying to signal to Flynn it’s possible he could receive a legal reprieve if he protects him and his family….

White House lawyer Ty Cobb says a pardon for former national security adviser Michael Flynn is not under consideration.

“No — there is no consideration at the White House of pardoning Michael Flynn,” Cobb said in an email to The Hill.

Earlier Friday, Trump refused to rule out a pardon for Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in its investigation of Russia’s election interference. …


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Senate Republicans will cover Mueller’s back….

This week had a hard push by House Republicans and some right leaning media to question Speccial Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into all matter’s Trump because of email comments by a lawyer on Mueller’s staff and a senior FBI agent that describe Trump in an unflattering matter and voiced support last year for Hillary Clinton….

The agent and lawyer have been reassigned and the text messages shown to the Senate Judiciary Committee….

The head of the committee , Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa),  has indicated that the and others have NO problem with Mueller’s investigation and Mueller boss, Deputy Attorney General Roenstein,  also has no problem with the way things are going….

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Senate Republicans are scrambling to shield special counsel Robert S. Mueller III from mounting GOP fury about new evidence that members of his team were biased against President Trump, as factions of the party charge that his entire investigation is tainted.

The stakes are high: If the GOP moves to hold Mueller accountable for his former subordinates’ actions, it could enable Trump to order his ouster and cripple the inquiry he has run examining Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and whether the president’s campaign coordinated with the Kremlin to tilt its outcome in his favor.

But as House Republicans demand that the special counsel face a reckoning over the newly released details of anti-Trump, pro-Hillary Clinton text messages sent between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, Senate Republicans are fighting to preserve Mueller’s ability to steer the Russia investigation to its conclusion.

“There’s all kinds of reasons to believe there’s political interference, and we ought to get to the bottom of it,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) said, adding: “I’ve got confidence in Mueller, as far as what he’s doing in the Trump-Russia investigation, and I don’t have any reason to believe otherwise.”…




The FBI agent involved had unkind words about Bernie Sanders and Chelsea Clinton, also….

Democrats pressed the Justice Department on Thursday to explain why it released salacious, anti-Donald Trump text messages exchanged between two FBI employees who are still under investigation for their work on the Russia special counsel investigation.

[House] Judiciary Committee ranking member Jerrold Nadler of New York and two other panel Democrats asked for a full review of DOJ’s decision making that led to Tuesday night’s release of about 375 texts that the FBI officials — Peter Strzok and Lisa Page — sent over a 15-month period during the 2016 presidential campaign….


More on the release of the 375 texts of the FBI officals to the public…

You’ve seen the on-going pseudo-controversy about two FBI employees who sent texts to each other trashing now-President Trump. The two were having an affair at the time and Special Agent Peter Strzok was reassigned off the Mueller probe and in essence demoted over the texts. Public employees are allowed to have political opinions. Indeed, there are laws specifically protecting government employees from being disciplined or having their work affected by their political views. The only real infraction here seems to be that the two used government devices to discuss their private political opinions when they should have reserved those for their personal devices – hardly a major infraction.

Nonetheless, defenders of the President have leaped from these emails to saying the entire Clinton emails probe – Strzok was involved in both probes – and the Mueller investigation are irreparably tainted. Others are going so far as to say the DOJ and the FBI need to undergo a political purge. The head of one prominent right-wing legal advocacy group went as far as to say the FBI should be shut down. It is a stark reminder of how many will go so far so quickly to prevent the enforcement of the law and lawful investigations when it comes to Donald Trump….


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Does Trump wall mean a pay and equipment cut for Homeland employee’s?

It’s leak time again….

Seem’s somebody has let Senate Democrats see how Trump & Co. THINKS they could pay for a ‘wall’ thru internal funding…..(they KNOW Congress isn’t gonna pay for Trump’s silliness)…

The White House would essentially cut spending for ALL of the Dept. of Homeland’s agencies and freeze pay for their employee’s to general money from within DHS…..

The Trump administration is planning to offset the steep cost of a Mexico border wall by instructing the Department of Homeland Security to cut spending on surveillance technology and freeze the pay of federal officers in the 2019 fiscal year, according to a report released Wednesday by the Democratic staff of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

The report, which the staffers said was based on information provided to them by “a whistleblower” in late November, said the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) told DHS to boost its projected spending on border wall construction for the 2019 fiscal year to $1.6 billion, an amount that would be “$700 million more than the Department’s original budget request.”

The $1.6 billion would be used to build additional physical barriers in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, the border’s busiest sector for illegal immigration. To offset some of the costs, OMB instructed DHS to decrease its funding request for border security technology and equipment by nearly $175 million, the report said.

“OMB acknowledged that reductions to RVSS technology are necessary ‘to offset the costs of Presidential priorities,’ ” the report said.

The cuts include a 50 percent spending reduction on Remote Video Surveillance Systems (RVSS), the network of video cameras Border Patrol agents rely on heavily to monitor illegal border traffic. The mobile cameras have infrared technology that allows them to track smugglers and illegal border-crossers at night.

These former congressional interns share why the battle in Congress over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is so personal.

“When [Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.] visited the border earlier this year, she was told by many of the folks she spoke with along the front lines that technology needs were their highest priority, not a border wall,” said Drew Pusateri, a spokesman for the Senate committee’s Democratic minority. “So it’s a concern to see technology funding reprogrammed for wall funding that wasn’t even requested by the department itself,” he said.

DHS was also told to strike tens of millions in requests for the boats, helicopters, dirigibles, planes and other equipment that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) uses to detect and track low-flying aircraft, smugglers’ vessels and illegal traffic along the border…..


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Senator Rubio comes out AGAINST the Tax Bill….

Oh Snap!….

I’ve been saying that this is NOT a slam dunk….

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There IS going to be trouble between what the Senate wants and the House…(If Lee , Rubio , Corker and Collins join Flake ?…And this vote rolls back to after Jones gets sworn in?…NO LAW…..

Stay tuned!

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has informed Senate leaders he intends to vote against the Republicans’ $1.5 trillion tax plan unless it includes a larger expansion of a child tax credit, according to a Senate GOP source.

Rubio and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) proposed a change to expand the tax credit as part of the tax bill that passed the Senate, but the plan was opposed by GOP leadership and voted down.

Lee is undecided on whether to support the bill, according to a Lee spokesperson.

If Rubio votes against the bill, Republicans can afford to only lose one more vote on their tax plan and pass it through the Senate. They control 52 seats in the Senate and need 50 to pass their bill, as Vice President Pence could break a tie. But Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) already opposes the plan because of its effect on the federal deficit.

As Republicans look to reconcile the House and Senate bills into a joint final version, Rubio and Lee have pushed a change to the child tax credit that would allow millions more low-income families to take advantage of the bill’s expanded credit…..



I have been saying the cahnces for passage is LESS than 50%….

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FCC Votes to Dismantle Net-Neutrality Rules…

I  have two views on this below….One from WSJ , the other at Axios…

The Federal Communications Commission Thursday voted to roll back far-reaching rules governing how internet-service providers treat traffic on their networks, a move expected to empower cable and wireless providers and transform consumers’ online experience.

The 2015 “net neutrality” rules were one of the signature regulatory actions of the Obama administration, requiring broadband providers to treat all traffic equally, without blocking or slowing content, or providing fast lanes for favored sites and services.

Republicans say the shift will unwind what they consider to be a regulatory overreach, restoring vitality to the broadband economy and benefiting consumers with more choices as well as lower prices.

The commission’s vote was 3-2, along party lines, with FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and the two fellow Republicans on the board backing the change.


Why it matters: The repeal empowers internet providers like Comcast or AT&T to charge web services like Netflix or Facebook extra fees if they want to see their content delivered faster. They also have more leeway to favor content their subsidiaries produce, or to charge customers more to access certain websites.

The debate over FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s repeal plan has been deeply contentious. On Thursday morning, Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins became the most prominant Republican lawmaker to call for the vote to be cancelled. Democratic comissioners have alleged the public input process was corrupted by fraudulent comments. And protesters convened outside of the FCC’s building ahead of the vote.

What’s next?: The rollback will likely be challenged in court. And some in Congress are pushing hard for a legislative fix to settle the issue once and for all or a bill to outright strip the repeal from the books.

Go deeper: What the internet landscape could look like now that the rules have been repealed….


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House GOP Speaker Paul Ryan looks to step down after next years Midterms..

Somewhere John Boehner is smiling…..

Riding herd over the Republican House with Donald Trump around isn’t a job one would want to hold for a long time these days….

Ask Boehner….Ryan did….

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Despite several landmark legislative wins this year, and a better-than-expected relationship with President Donald Trump, Ryan has made it known to some of his closest confidants that this will be his final term as speaker. He consults a small crew of family, friends and staff for career advice, and is always cautious not to telegraph his political maneuvers. But the expectation of his impending departure has escaped the hushed confines of Ryan’s inner circle and permeated the upper-most echelons of the GOP. In recent interviews with three dozen people who know the speaker—fellow lawmakers, congressional and administration aides, conservative intellectuals and Republican lobbyists—not a single person believed Ryan will stay in Congress past 2018.

Ryan was tiring of D.C. even before reluctantly accepting the speakership. He told his predecessor, John Boehner, that it would be his last job in politics—and that it wasn’t a long-term proposition. In the months following Trump’s victory, he began contemplating the scenarios of his departure. More recently, over closely held conversations with his kitchen cabinet, Ryan’s preference has become clear: He would like to serve through Election Day 2018 and retire ahead of the next Congress….




twitter screen shot….@ 

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