Category Archives: Law

Any thing to do with Law

The Senate will go forward with a review of NJ Democratic Senator Menendez….

Fresh from a hung jury in his corruption trial and the prospect of a conviction remote after the Supreme’s call on political corruption definitions ….It looks like the Jersey Senator is home free….The report is the jury was 10-2 for acquittal …..

The Republicans will now take a crack at him from within the Senate…Lindsey graham was a character witness for the guy during his trial…

After a nine-week trial, and nearly two weeks of jury deliberations, U.S. District Judge William Walls declared a mistrial, a huge legal victory for Menendez.

One juror told reporters afterward that there was a 10-2 split in favor of acquittal, saying prosecutors had “no smoking gun” for proving bribery between Menendez and Melgen.

Menendez, though, admitted in 2013 that he had taken flights on Melgen’s jet and failed to declare them, a potential violation of Senate ethics rules. Menendez later repaid Melgen $58,000 once the flights were reported by the media….

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Note ….

Last Senator to have his job taken away was almost a 100 years ago…

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House passes Tax Cut bill….Senate passage uncertain at best…

The US House , with Donald Trump in attendance just passed that cost the American  Government $1.5 Trillion in lost revenue if enacted over the next decade….

House members never saw the details of what they just voted on….

But that really doesn’t matter since the Senate is working on its own bill…

The bill actually hurts Blue Democratic states by reducing tax breaks for middle class families who file taxes there…

The House has passed a sweeping Republican tax bill cutting taxes for corporations and many people. It puts GOP leaders closer to delivering to President Donald Trump a crucial legislative achievement after nearly a year of failures.

The House voted 227-205 along party lines to approve the bill, which would bring the biggest revamp of the U.S. tax system in three decades.

Most of the House bill’s reductions would go to business. Both the Senate and House would slash the 35 percent corporate tax rate to 20 percent and reduce levies on millions of partnerships and certain corporations, including many small businesses.

Personal income tax rates for many would be reduced through some deductions, and credits would be reduced or eliminated. But projected federal deficits would grow by $1.5 trillion over the coming decade….

More….

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A few House Democrats call for a Trump Impeachment…

It’s not gonna anyplace since  the Grand Ole Party owns the House….

But it gets a small play in the media…

Come back with this right AFTER Robert Mueller gets finished doing his thing….

A small group of House Democrats welcomed President Donald Trump back to Washington on Wednesday with a call for impeachment hearings.

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) told reporters that five other Democrats have signed on to his resolution to introduce five articles of impeachment against the president.

The Democrats charge that Trump obstructed justice when he fired FBI Director James Comey; that he has violated the Constitution’s emoluments clause by continuing to frequent and profit from his businesses; and that he has undermined the federal judiciary and freedom of the press.

“We’re calling upon the House to begin impeachment hearings,” Cohen said. “It’s not a call for a vote. It’s a call for hearings.”

Cohen acknowledged that he doesn’t expect the House Judiciary Committee, which he accused of operating “like a branch of the administration,” to hold hearings but pledged to hold briefings with experts to highlight what he contends are the president’s impeachable offenses….

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Note…

House Minority Leader Nanacy Pelosi is NOT supporting this effort…RIGHT NOW….

Most Democrats want Trump to keep digging himself and his party deeper into a political hole….They’ll wait…

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Mistrial in Menendez NJ Fed Corruption trial….

After a week of deliberation the jury could not come to verdict….

This assures Democrats the US Senate seat in New Jersey since the incoming Governor will be a Democrat if the Us Attorney in that state retries the case and a guilty plea results on a second try….

Since the US Supreme court ruling on what defines corruption from lawmakers ?…Trying them for political corruption has been much more difficult ….

Image result for menendez

A judge declared a mistrial in the bribery case against SenatorRobert Menendez after the jury deadlocked, dealing a dramatic setback to the U.S. Justice Department and avoiding a potential succession battle over the New Jersey Democrat’s seat….

Source….

image…cnn.com

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House Democrats Bring In Record Fundraising Numbers for 2018 Midterms…

Democrats are quietly bulking up for next year’s elections….

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is touting major fundraising numbers fueled by increased grassroots activism, continuing a streak of record-breaking donations ahead of next year’s midterm elections.

The fundraising arm of the House Democrats raised $7.68 million in October, including $2.81 million in online donations, according to numbers released Thursday. DCCC said it was its highest total for the month of October in a non-national election year — in October of 2015, it raised $5.4 million.

The group attributed the gains to “grassroots energy,” noting that its average online donation was $18 and that more than 60 percent of its fundraising came in the form of smaller donations.

The large haul continues a record-breaking year — so far in 2017, the DCCC has brought in just over $89 million, compared with $57 million at the end of October 2015. More than 240,000 people donated for the first time this year, contributing to a total of 2.5 million individual donations, according to a news release.

Their Republican counterparts have not yet released the breakdown of their October fundraising, but the DCCC garnered a larger haul from May to September of this year and, overall, has slightly out-raised Republicans so far in 2017.

Democrats nationwide have seen increased mobilization since the election of President Donald Trump last year. Earlier this month, the party notched major victories in state and local races, particularly in Virginia, where they successfully kept the governor’s mansion and picked up local seats previously held by the GOP. Many of the local candidates cited last year’s election, with its subsequent groundswell in grassroots action, as an impetus for their success.,,,

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2nd Trump impeachment ad coming out….

I’ve actually seen the ads on the cable news channels …

Not bad…

Image result for trump impeachment ads

Democrat mega-donor Tom Steyer on Thursday launched an ad targeting the GOP tax-reform legislation, the second ad in his campaign to impeach President Trump.

“This president and the Republican Congress are making a bad situation even worse,” Steyer said in a statement.

Steyer announced last week that he would pour an additional $10 million into his ‘Need to Impeach’ campaign, bringing his total spend so far to $20 million.

In the ad, Steyer slams the Republican plan for taxes as a means to cut taxes for corporations and the wealthy.

“They won’t tell you that their so-called tax-reform plan is really for the wealthy and big corporations while hurting the middle class,” Steyer says in the ad.

“It blows up the deficit, and that means fewer investments in education, health care and job creation,” Steyer added.

The end of the ad displays a graphic suggesting viewers sign the petition to impeach Trump, which the campaign says has received 2.3 million signatures….

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image..money.com

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Stand-back…The spotlight on sexual harrasment turns on Congress…

There are going to be a LOT of congressmen called out …..

This isn’t gonna help Roy Moore….

But just like with Bill Clinton?….

The spotlight has no regard for political parties….

CNN spoke with more than 50 lawmakers, current and former Hill aides and political veterans who have worked in Congress, the majority of whom spoke anonymously to be candid and avoid potential repercussions. With few exceptions, every person said they have personally experienced sexual harassment on the Hill or know of others who have.
In an environment with “so many young women,” said one ex-House aide, the men “have no self-control.” “Amongst ourselves, we know,” a former Senate staffer said of the lawmakers with the worst reputations. And sometimes, the sexual advances from members of Congress or senior aides are reciprocated in the hopes of advancing one’s career — what one political veteran bluntly referred to as a “sex trade on Capitol Hill.”
These anecdotes portray a workplace where women are subjected to constant harassment — both subtle and explicit. They also highlight an antiquated reporting system that discourages some victims from speaking out, leaving many professionals on the Hill to rely instead on hushed advice from peers and mentors…..
Note….

A TV host and sports broadcaster on Thursday accused Sen. Al Franken(D-Minn.) of kissing and groping her without her consent in 2006.

Leeann Tweeden accused Franken of groping her, without her consent, while she was asleep and provided a photo as evidence

More..

There will be more stories coming out …..

How Sexual harrasment complaints in Congress are handled……

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Obamacare sign-up’s continue to beat President Obama years levels…

It beginning to seem like everytime Republicans say they want to get rid of the countries healthcare program?

MORE people sign up?

Keep up the good work !

And the more that sign up?

The more that will be counted AGAINST Republican law makers if they lose their coverage, eh?

Oh….. and the Real Clear Politics average approval numbers for the program are 51% FOR vs 35% AGAINST…..

With ALL this does it REALLY make sense for Republican lawmakers too be knocking themselves out to sent over 10 million Americans out of their coverage?

Sign-ups surged as soon as enrollment opened Nov. 1, easily surpassing the number of Americans getting coverage during the opening days of the final two sign-up periods under the Obama administration. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reported Wednesday that nearly 1.5 million people had selected plans through last Saturday.

In other words, there might be no such thing as bad news for Obamacare.

“As P.T. Barnum would say, as long as my name is in the papers and it’s spelled correctly, it’s all good,” said Michael Marchand, chief marketing officer for Washington state’s Obamacare marketplace, which saw its website traffic increase by 24 percent during the first week of enrollment. “I think there’s some truth to that.”

The conventional wisdom was that enrollment would dip significantly as a hostile administration gutted outreach and marketing. Analysts at Standard & Poor’s projected that anywhere from 800,000 to 1.6 million fewer Americans would sign up for 2018 coverage.

Instead, 876,788 individuals enrolled through HealthCare.gov during the second week of sign-ups alone — and that doesn’t count the states running their own markets and doing more ambitious outreach.

It’s early days; the initial burst of enthusiasm could sputter out. But at the moment, the fears appear overblown. The barrage of Obamacare news coverage, coupled with little-noticed steps taken by the Trump administration to ramp up participation by insurance brokers, may have provided an unexpected marketing boost for a health law the president has pronounced “dead.”

“All that negative publicity has been helpful,” said Kathy Hempstead, who oversees coverage programs at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “Not that I’d necessarily recommend that going forward.”….

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Special Alabama US Senate Race Moves to Toss-Up?

All of the polling except a few STILL show Roy Moore ahead of his Democratic challanger Dog Jones….

The politicans in-state seem to be pretty much behind Moore while each day brings more Republicans in Washington DC against him…

Will this swiring around ?

The race might be a toss-up….

One of the biggest questions is turnout. Will Republican voters who never supported Moore show up to the polls? Can Democrats turn out their voters, particularly African-Americans and white voters who supported Strange, in an oddly timed election two weeks before Christmas, especially considering the campaign had to build a Democratic turnout operation from scratch? Allies of Jones believe his record, including prosecuting the KKK bombers who killed four African-American girls in a Birmingham church in 1963, will help him receive more votes from African-Americans than a typical 63-year-old white guy.

When it became clear after the primary that Moore could be the GOP nominee, we moved the Senate race from Solid Republican to Likely Republican as an acknowledgment that the former judge’s style and reputation could cause him to underperform. We even went to Alabama to talk to Jones — who had just won the Democratic nomination and had yet to build a ground operation — and assessed whether his campaign was prepared in the event that external factors dropped an opportunity in the Democrats’ laps.

Moore can still win this race, but there is enough uncertainty to move the race to Toss-up.

Three weeks is enough time for Moore to regain some political ground but also more time for more reports to surface about his past. It’s been a wild five days in the Alabama Senate race and there’s no reason to believe the twists and turns will stop over the next month….

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New Q Poll has voters AGAINST Trump/GOP Tax Cut plan by a wide margin…

From the November 15th , 2017 Quinnipiac poll….

24. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Donald Trump is handling – taxes?

                                                               WHITE......
COLLEGE DEG
Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
Approve              34%    75%     6%    31%    40%    29%    36%    47%
Disapprove           55     11     88     57     50     60     57     38
DK/NA                11     14      6     12     10     11      6     15
AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
Approve              31%    31%    36%    35%    48%    37%    42%     7%    19%
Disapprove           57     60     56     51     42     52     47     89     66
DK/NA                12      9      8     14     10     12     11      3     16

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Donald Trump is handling – taxes?

                     App     Dis     DK/NA
Nov 15, 2017         34      55      11
Oct 11, 2017         37      49      14
May 11, 2017         34      54      13

30. Do you approve or disapprove of the Republican tax plan?

                                                               WHITE......
COLLEGE DEG
Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
Approve              25%    60%     4%    20%    30%    20%    25%    34%
Disapprove           52     15     81     54     49     55     54     38
DK/NA                23     26     15     26     21     25     20     27
AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
Approve              26%    25%    23%    24%    36%    25%    30%     7%    13%
Disapprove           52     56     54     49     42     49     46     78     57
DK/NA                22     19     23     27     22     26     24     14     30
ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME..........  ECONOMIC CLASS.......
30-    50-    100-                        Upper
<30K   50K    100K   250K   >250K  Wrkng  Middle Middle+
Approve              20%    23%    28%    24%    22%    24%    28%    21%
Disapprove           53     46     52     59     69     46     52     60
DK/NA                26     30     20     17      9     30     20     19

31. Do you think the Republican tax plan will increase your taxes, reduce your taxes, or will it not have much impact either way?

                                                               WHITE......
COLLEGE DEG
Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
Increase taxes       35%    16%    54%    33%    31%    40%    33%    27%
Reduce taxes         16     33      8     13     20     13     17     20
Not much impact      36     43     27     41     39     33     41     39
DK/NA                12      9     11     13     10     14      9     14
AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
Increase taxes       36%    35%    39%    31%    26%    33%    30%    56%    48%
Reduce taxes         13     17     18     14     23     15     19      5     14
Not much impact      37     40     31     41     42     38     40     30     21
DK/NA                14      7     12     14     10     14     12     10     18
ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME..........  ECONOMIC CLASS.......
30-    50-    100-                        Upper
<30K   50K    100K   250K   >250K  Wrkng  Middle Middle+
Increase taxes       32%    33%    36%    41%    45%    33%    37%    36%
Reduce taxes          8     16     19     14     24     16     16     17
Not much impact      44     37     34     37     28     37     36     37
DK/NA                16     15     10      8      3     14     11      9

32. Do you believe that the Republican tax plan will lead to an increase in jobs and economic growth, or not?

                                                               WHITE......
COLLEGE DEG
Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
Yes/Believe          36%    78%     8%    31%    43%    30%    38%    47%
No                   52     12     80     56     47     57     54     39
DK/NA                12     10     11     13     11     14      8     13
AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
Yes/Believe          30%    36%    36%    38%    50%    37%    43%     9%    20%
No                   53     57     51     50     41     51     46     79     57
DK/NA                17      7     13     12      9     12     11     13     22
ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME..........  ECONOMIC CLASS.......
30-    50-    100-                        Upper
<30K   50K    100K   250K   >250K  Wrkng  Middle Middle+
Yes/Believe          29%    35%    41%    32%    33%    39%    36%    32%
No                   53     48     50     60     62     45     53     59
DK/NA                18     16      9      8      5     16     10      9

33. Who do you think will benefit the most from this plan: low income Americans, middle class Americans, or wealthy Americans?

                                                               WHITE......
COLLEGE DEG
Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
Low income            6%    11%     3%     4%     7%     5%     5%     8%
Middle class         24     53      4     22     28     21     25     34
Wealthy              61     22     88     65     58     63     62     48
DK/NA                 9     13      4      9      8     11      8     10
AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
Low income            5%     7%     7%     4%     8%     5%     6%     -      7%
Middle class         23     24     23     25     34     27     30      4     10
Wealthy              62     66     60     59     50     58     54     88     73
DK/NA                 9      3     10     11      8     10      9      8     10
ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME..........  ECONOMIC CLASS.......
30-    50-    100-                        Upper
<30K   50K    100K   250K   >250K  Wrkng  Middle Middle+
Low income            8%     4%     5%     6%     8%     7%     5%     4%
Middle class         16     27     28     22     19     26     25     22
Wealthy              66     56     60     66     70     57     61     65
DK/NA                 9     13      7      6      3     10      9      8
More....
Note...
The poll also has extensive questions about gun control and the broad support it has....
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Fox News’s anchor Shepard Smith knocks his channel’s Hillary Uranium story…

Republicans have been trying to dig up dirt on Hillary Clinton as the Robert Mueller investigation intensifies….

Smith’s comments/view has NOT made the right leaning cable channels followers happy…

( AG Sessions said yesterday he’see’s no reason to go after Clinton )

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith debunked what his own network has called the Hillary Clinton uranium “scandal,” infuriating Fox viewers, some of whom suggested that he ought to work for CNN or MSNBC.

Smith’s critique, which called President Trump’s accusations against Clinton “inaccurate,” was triggered by renewed calls from Republicans on Capitol Hill for a special counsel to investigate Clinton.

Fox News, along with Trump and his allies, have been suggesting for months a link between donations to the Clinton Foundation and the approval of a deal by the State Department and the Obama administration allowing a Russian company to purchase a Canada-based mining group with operations in the United States.

Trump called it “Watergate, modern-age.” Former White House adviser Sebastian Gorka, speaking on Fox News last month, said it was “equivalent to” the Julius and Ethel Rosenberg spying case of the 1950s, in which the couple was charged with providing U.S. atomic secrets to the Soviet Union, noting that “those people got the chair.”….

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Trump sounds ignorant of history. But racist ideas often masquerade as ignorance….

…from the Washington Post….


A sign with a Confederate flag touts President Trump’s 2016 campaign in North Carolina in May 2017. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

The racial story is often told from assuming lips.

All year, that story has been told from the prevailing assumption that President Trump, White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and other allies of the Trump administration who have rhetorically rewrote the Civil War are “startlingly ignorant” about American history — not to mention the American present.

The latest backlash and accusations of ignorance came in response to Kelly saying on Fox News last month that “the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War.” There were “men and women of good faith on both sides,” including the “honorable” Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, Kelly said. The next day, Sanders gave her defense of Kelly during a news briefing. “There’s pretty strong consensus” that “a failure of compromise” sparked the Civil War. Defenders of Confederates and their statues rallied all year long from Charlottesville to Knoxville, from the White House to the defeated gubernatorial campaign of Ed Gillespie.

White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly called Robert E. Lee “an honorable man” and said that “the lack of an ability to compromise” led to the Civil War(Thomas Johnson/The Washington Post)

“Not a good day for Sarah Huckabee Sanders or the places that taught her history (looking at you Central High and Ouachita Baptist),” an Arkansas editor mourned in her home state. “Kelly’s understanding of American history and the Civil War is piss-poor and willfully ignorant,” a Salon writer raged.

Historians have been no less troubled about “this profound ignorance,” as Yale historian David Blight termed it. Likewise politicians. Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-La.), head of the Congressional Black Caucus, said Kelly “needs a history lesson.”

But what if they are not the ignorant ones? What if we are the ignorant ones, for assuming they are ignorant? What if the real “national crisis” is not Trump’s ignorance, but rather our own ignorance of how racist ideas propagate themselves in American society?….

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Senate Republicans add Obamacare manadate cut to tax cut bill….

The chances of the tax cut bill passing in the US Senate just dropped…

Trying to sneak back to some sort of Obamacare Repeal stance is NOT gonna help things with the group of Senator’s, Republicans , who sunk previous efforts to scuttle the Affortable Helathcare Bill…

Senate Republicans took a big gamble Tuesday with their tax reform bill, adding a partial Obamacare repeal provision that would free up more money for tax cuts, but also inject significant new political hurdles.

The change, backed by President Trump and a handful of senators, would end the mandate under the Affordable Care Act that all Americans have health coverage. Senate GOP leaders had previously rejected the idea as too risky to include in their tax package, particularly after the repeated failed efforts earlier this year to repeal and replace the 2010 law.

Repealing the mandate would save the government an estimated $338 billion over 10 years, but only because millions of people would stop buying insurance and therefore would no longer receive subsidies to help pay for their premiums.

Looking for a way to fund their ambitious tax plan and under fire for giving most of the breaks to corporations and the wealthy, Senate Republicans made a last-minute decision to insert the Obamacare repeal. They plan to use the savings to pay for additional tax cuts for middle- and upper-class Americans.

It remains to be seen whether Senate leaders can muster the 50 votes needed from their own party to pass the new version, though they expressed confidence. “We’re optimistic that inserting the individual mandate repeal would be helpful,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said.

As a possible concession to lure centrist Republicans who sank previous efforts to repeal the healthcare law, Senate leaders indicated they would move ahead with a bipartisan healthcare compromise bill worked out by Sens. Lamar Alexander(R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) that is intended to stabilize the healthcare markets. “We’re committed to moving Alexander-Murray,” Thune said.

But by inserting healthcare into the tax debate, Republicans risked reactivating opposition from the coalition of healthcare groups that helped quash their earlier repeal efforts….

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Here’s another potential problem with the Senate Republicans’ revised tax plan: “[T]hey are proposing making the new individual benefits expire at the end of 2025 in an effort to avoid adding to the long-term federal deficit,” the Los Angeles Times reports. “Proposed cuts to corporate taxes would be permanent, under the revised Senate plan.”

“Expiration of the individual tax cuts [is] likely to bolster criticism that the GOP overhauls favors corporations over middle-class Americans,” the LA Times adds.

According to September’s NBC/WSJ poll, a majority of Americans – 55 percent – said they preferred INCREASING taxes on corporations, versus 16 percent who favored DECREASING taxes for them. In other words, the individual tax cuts are more popular than the corporate ones are….

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Smaller banks Regs/Rules will be scaled back in proposed Senate Bill…

The outline of the bill has support by Republicans AND Democrats so far….

The compromise would ease regulations on small, community banks as well as several larger lenders that have been subject to stricter oversight because they have more than $50 billion in assets.

The release of the deal immediately drove a wedge between moderate Democrats and others in the party who have resisted making significant changes to the post-financial crisis regulatory regime. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, the top Democrat on the Banking Committee, said he opposed the proposal because it went too far in rolling back regulations.

But with nine Republicans, eight Democrats and one independent senator signing on, the package had a significant head start on the way to advancing through the Senate, where bipartisan agreement is essential to passing most laws.

“Our bill is an example of how if Democrats and Republicans can put partisanship aside and work together, we can reach real compromises that support the country,” Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) said.

The announcement was significant because bipartisan agreement on big changes to banking rules has been elusive in the Senate since Democrats enacted a sweeping overhaul of financial regulations in 2010….

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AG Sessions up on Capital Hill before the House….

The nation’s Attorney General does a Q & A….

And the Donald Trump White House will be watching closely….

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

…from the NY Times…

• Attorney General Jeff Sessions, testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, showed selective recall on the Trump campaign’s Russia contacts.

• Mr. Sessions said he had “no reason to doubt these women” who have accused the man who wants his old Senate seat, Roy S. Moore, of seeking sexual or romantic favors from them as teenagers.

• Mr. Sessions was asked about his direction that the department consider a special counsel to investigate Mr. Trump’s political opponents, including Hillary Clinton….

In addition….

Applying the Sessions standard on perjury to … Jeff Sessions….

Sessions abandons fellow Alabamian Roy Moore.

The twin hearings: Russia — and anything but Russia.

The straight dope on marijuana use among ‘good people’

The White House has its eye on his performance.

More….

Note…

Attorney General Jeff Sessions threw cold water Tuesday on Republicans clamoring for the Department of Justice to appoint a special counsel to investigate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton….

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The Trans Pacific Partnership(TPP) will go ahead without America…

Donald Trump seems to have gambled on having a strong hand to keep ‘America First’ on this and lost….

One could wonder will his move give up American jobs and exports to other countries?

This can only help China in efforts to surpass America as the world’s biggest economy …

……On Saturday, the 11 remaining Pacific Rim countries agreed on a way forward — without the United States. The remaining bloc, whose trade totaled about $350 billionlast year, now has a blueprint to start trading more freely between themselves in a resurrected form of the deal.

There are still many details for the member countries — which include Mexico, Japan, Australia, and Canada — to work out. But the pact, called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, looks a little different from when the US was part of the negotiations through the end of Barack Obama’s presidency.

About 20 provisions that were once part of the TPP talks have been “suspended,” according to a joint statement by the agreement’s member countries. And there are still four sticking points — including a commitment on coal that affects Brunei — to solve, but experts say a final deal could be announced as early as next year. Each country would still have to sign and ratify the deal to be a member of the agreement.

Ironically, the new deal was announced while many of the bloc’s leaders were with Trump during an international forum in Vietnam. On Friday, Trump gave a speech at the gathering where he said there were “trade abuses” in Asia that hurt the American worker. That was just one day after he accused China of “taking advantage” of the US in trade — and put the blame on past US administrations.

While Trump pursues an America First foreign and trade policy, it looks like at least 11 countries don’t mind leaving America alone….

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