The FBI wiretapped Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, both before and after the election, CNN reports. According to the report, those taps were active during a “period when Manafort was known to talk” to President Trump, but not at the time Manafort attended a meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer.
Three sources told CNN the investigators were concerned Manafort had “encouraged Russians to help with the campaign.”
The taps were authorized by a FISA court, per CNN, a step that requires high-level approval and significant documentation. A storage facility belonging to Manafort was also searched…..
This is REALLY beginning to sound like an ole’ fashion criminal conspiracy and enterprise case that would be pursed against organized crime operations….With an obstruction of justice parallel also running……
Remember….Donald Trump had IRS tax issues BEFORE he won the election….
Gross: I want to get back to the question, would you completely rule out questioning the legitimacy of this election if we learn that the Russian interference in the election is even deeper than we know now?
Clinton: No. I would not. I would say —
Gross: You’re not going to rule it out?
Clinton: No, I wouldn’t rule it out.
This a big deal. The 2016 Democratic nominee, who won the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes, is expressly leaving open the possibility that she would pursue legal action to invalidate the last presidential election.
I’ve paid close attention to what Clinton’s been saying since she lost the election and I have never heard her broach the possibility of a formal challenge of the results.
Knowing what we know of Clinton, it seems unlikely to me that she simply spoke off the cuff here, that this was just an unconsidered remark. She doesn’t really do that sort of thing.
Glen Caplin, a spokesman for Clinton, said after the interview aired that the former secretary of state “has said repeatedly the results of the election are over but we have to learn what happened.”
“I would hope anyone in America concerned about the integrity of our democracy would feel the same way if we got there. But we’re not,” Caplin said. “Right now Bob Mueller and several congressional committees are investigating to what extent the Russians impacted our election and who exactly helped them do so.”
And, context matters too. Clinton floated the idea of formally contesting the election after she said this about how she envisions her role in the party going forward: “I expect to be really active, and my voice, I’m going to keep out there. I’m not going to just go slowly and quietly into that good night.”
Given all of that, it’s logical to conclude Clinton knew what she was doing here.
The harder-to-answer questions are a) how she would go about challenging the election and b) what the prospects for such a challenge actually working might be…..
Several Democratic senators thought to already running in the 2020 Presidential nomination sweepstakes are coming into the crosshairs of groups working with the Republican National Committee …..
The names include Sanders, Gillibrand, Warren, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy….But does NOT include the possible two top names Kamala Harris and Joe Biden, though Harris has already attracted the attention of Republicans…
Of course no one knows who the Republicans President will be come 2020….Will it be Donald Trump or maybe Mike Pence, eh?
Allies of Donald Trump have begun plotting to take down or weaken potential Democratic challengers in 2020, including several who will be on the ballot in next year’s midterms.
The 2018-focused work ranges from a major donor-funded super PAC designed to blemish Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s image, to a full-scale effort to defeat Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown outright before he gets the chance to take on Trump. Beyond that, after months of monitoring dozens of potential challengers, Trump allies are building research files and crafting lines of attack on Democrats seen as most threatening to Trump and who will be on the ballot next November.
The patchwork push is less organized than past efforts orchestrated by presidential reelection campaigns. But it’s beginning to resemble Republicans’ successful attempt to drag down Hillary Clinton before she announced her 2016 run. Plus, with Trump under siege from Democrats and Republicans — and with his team wary of a GOP primary challenge — it’s more confirmation that Trump allies are already maneuvering for a bruising 2020 campaign.
The bulk of the early preparations underway focus on seven possible 2020 Democrats who are up for reelection in 2018. Within the Republican National Committee and Trump-aligned outside groups in recent months, operatives have regularly met to discuss plans for constructing the research material, money and staff they’ll need to chip away at Democratic White House hopefuls’ reputations in 2018 and 2020…..
CYA…..Trust NO ONE is the word for Trump ‘s staff who have their OWN lawyers …
Lawyers on the case MUST cooperate with Mueller’s investigation with NO lawyer-client shield….
….During the 1998 investigation into whether President Bill Clintoncommitted perjury and obstruction of justice to cover up an affair with Ms. Lewinsky, an appeals court ruled that government lawyers do not enjoy the same attorney-client privilege as private lawyers and that prosecutors in some circumstances can compel a White House lawyer to testify….
The uncertainty has grown to the point that White House officials privately express fear that colleagues may be wearing a wire to surreptitiously record conversations for Mr. Mueller…..
FiveThirtyEight takes a look at how warm winters are effecting the natural growth of America’s fruit crops…..
Things are NOT good….
And we have people in charge of our government who will NOT deal with what their children ‘s children will have to deal with as the planet goes thru changes that could be addressed NOW for the future…
2017 has been a bad year for peaches in the Peach State. Georgia’s disruptively warm winter caused the loss of an estimated 85 percent of the peach crop. “We had fruit here in Georgia from the middle of May to about probably the first week of July, and after that we didn’t have anything else,” said Dario Chavez, an assistant professor in peach research and extension at the University of Georgia.1
As temperatures rise globally because of climate change, Georgia is not the only part of the country where warm winters are causing trouble for farmers. California’s cherry crop took a hit in 2014 because of a warm, dry winter. And in 2012, after a warm February and March brought early blooms, Michigan’s apple crop was decimated by an April frost. Farmers have always been at the mercy of the environment, but now agricultural catastrophes brought on by warm winters seem likely to occur with greater frequency.
For trees that fruit each year (such as peaches, cherries, blueberries, almonds and other fruits and nuts), cool weather is as important as warm. Cold air and less sunlight trigger the release of chemicals that halt trees’ growth, prepare them to withstand freezing temperatures and enable them to resume growing the following spring. When a tree enters this dormant state, it sets a kind of internal seasonal alarm clock that goes off once the tree has spent enough time in chilly temperatures.2 This countdown is measured in so-called chill hours — the amount of time the temperature is between 32 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit.3 When crops don’t get the chill hours they expect, they can’t properly reset. Buds are delayed, and instead of ripening into juicy, delicious fruit, they remain small and underdeveloped.4……
Before Donald Trump became President people didn’t care much about politics…
They went for the glitz ….
That’s about gone….
Trump places have lost charities and other outfits….Because of Trump’s politics….
Now a good many signups are reported to be looking for a good look from the President’s people ….Politically….
For the Trump Organization, a potentially troubling trend is emerging.
Before this year, many longtime Trump clients said they would return to use his clubs again — believing that quitting a Trump club would be a political act. Now, as Trump’s presidency has grown more polarizing, some customers say they see it as a political act to stay.
“We are not a political organization,” said Mike Levin, whose charity Harlem Lacrosse this year moved its golf tournament away from a Trump course in New York state, after going there for two prior years. “Given the current political environment, we opted to reschedule for a different course.
In all, Trump owns 12 golf courses in the United States — 11 on the East Coast, and one outside Los Angeles. He owns at least a partial stake in four hotels, in the District, Chicago, Las Vegas and New York’s SoHo. And he owns Mar-a-Lago and a winery resort outside Charlottesville.
To assess the state of Trump’s hospitality business, The Washington Post reviewed public records, data released by the Trump Organization and social-media postings from Trump properties. The Post identified a sample of more than 200 groups that had rented out meeting rooms or golf courses at a Trump property since 2014.
Of those groups, 85 are no longer Trump customers. Many said they left for nonpolitical reasons. But 30 told The Post that they had left because of Trump’s political career.
The Post provided its findings to the Trump Organization, which declined to provide a response or answer questions. A White House spokeswoman declined to comment, referring questions to the Trump Organization.
The Post’s review could not determine if the Trump Organization’s special-event business is growing or shrinking overall.
But it did show, clearly, that one part of that business is thriving. The business of political events…..
At Trump’s D.C. hotel, there have also been a slew of events involving groups that have come to Washington to influence policy decisions.
Just last week, the hotel hosted the prime minister of Malaysia, who is the subject of a Justice Department corruption probe, as well as the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, which wants more offshore drilling. The hotel was also scheduled to host an association of candy-makers, who want federal help in a long-running feud with the sugar industry.
In July, a trade group representing e-cigarette makers and vape shop owners brought about 150 people to the hotel. They paid $285 per guest room. They also paid to rent a ballroom, and reserve the hotel’s Lincoln Library, though the vapers wouldn’t say how much they cost.
Ten days after the group checked out,it scored a victory.
An Obama-era regulation requiring stricter government oversight of e-cigarette products, was put on hold by the Food and Drug Administration.
Tony Abboud, the executive director of the Vapor Technology Association, said in a recent interview that the FDA decision was based on the merits and unrelated to the group’s choice of venue. He said the Trump hotel was chosen as a matter of convenience.
“We put this together very quickly,” he said.
When asked if the Trump hotel event had influenced the FDA’s decision, an agency spokesman said that the announcement was the “culmination of months-long international discussions” about how to reduce tobacco-related deaths.
Rentals from groups such as these helped Trump’s D.C. hotel surpass its own revenue expectations…..
While his boss Donald Trump keeps talking about ‘walls’?
Defenese Sec James Mattis continues his travel’s around the world playing down his bosses media comments…
As political daggers fly back and forth across the U.S.-Mexico border, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis used words like “trust,” “respect,” and “support” to describe the relationship between the neighbors’ militaries.
Mattis and other high-level American military officials are south of the border today [ 9/15/17] to meet with their counterparts and take part in Mexico’s Independence Day festivities.
“In our military-to-military relationship, we maintain a very steady relationship — a growing relationship built on trust and respect,” the secretary told reporters Friday on a flight to the Mexican capital.
The visit comes amid increased political tension between President Donald Trump — who wants to build a wall on the southern border of the U.S.— and Mexican politicians. Mattis played down the political rhetoric, but alluded to shared concerns over the drug trade, human trafficking, and corruption.
“We have shared security concerns,” he said. “There’s partnerships, military-to-military exchanges that are based on trust and respect.”
“The people are keenly aware of their crime problems,” Mattis added. “They’re dealing with them. The drug trafficking going into America, we’re working together on it. Every nation has its challenges it deals with. Mexico is keenly aware of these and I’m there to support them in dealing with them.”
Some of Mattis’ civilian aides were spotted wearing lapel pins depicting intersecting American and Mexican flags. Mattis said that the only full-honors military parades he’s held at the Pentagon were for visits by the Mexican and Canadian defense ministers….
Trump’s early euphoric win has desolved for his people as they are forced deal with following things their boss ran against and could care less about….back THEN….
They are no longer ‘Masters of the Universe’ ….
A former campaign adviser to President Trump said the ongoing federal probe into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia has taken such a financial toll on him that he’s had to liquidate his children’s college fund to pay for legal counsel.
“It’s very expensive and nobody’s called me and offered to help,” Michael Caputo, who worked in the Trump campaign’s communications department, told The Washington Examiner.
“The problem is, it’s very specialized representation, so it takes a certain type of attorney, and they’re quite competent. And you’ll pay for competency,” he continued. Caputo said he has hired a New York-based attorney.
The former campaign adviser said the probe was politically motivated, and aimed at “destroying” the president’s allies.
Caputo went on to tell the publication he has received death threats, which has also contributed to the financial strain.
“We’ve had to install security. I’ve had to take security precautions at both my home and at my office, and with my children, so these all add up very quickly,” he said…..
The New York Times takes a look at some of the fine print in the Sanders Bill written by other Senators in better attempt address the basic question of HOW a move TOWARDS Universal Healthcare could actually begin….
The bill, introduced this week, has attracted the endorsement of 15 Democratic senators, including several of the party’s most ambitious liberals. But many more Democrats this week said they’d like to pursue more limited steps to expand health insurance coverage and the government’s role in the system. It turns out that the Sanders bill also has provisions along those lines. Taken together, the bill encapsulates much of the coming Democratic debate about the direction of health care.
In the statements of the bill’s co-sponsors, one can detect an openness to less transformational approaches to health reform. “This bill is aspirational, and I’m hopeful that it can serve as a starting point for where we need to go as a country,” Senator Al Franken of Minnesota wrote in a Facebook post. He described the bill as a “marker” and “one way to achieve universal coverage.”
Parts of the Sanders bill help establish a road map for what some other strategies might look like.
The provisions are tucked into Title X of the bill and describe the four-year transition between current policy and the Sanders bill’s goal of a Medicare-for-all system. During that interim, some younger Americans would be able to buy access to the traditional Medicare program, which is now mainly for those 65 and up. The provisions would also establish an option for Americans to buy access to a Medicare-like government plan that would be sold on the Obamacare exchanges.
The Medicare buy-in section comes from Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, who has introduced the provision as a stand-alone bill.
“One part of the bill that I worked with my colleagues to put in was the ability for every American to buy into a nonprofit public option as part of a four-year transition to get to single-payer in this country,” she said during the news conference introducing the bill. “This would create affordable, public health care that is available to any American to purchase in the already available exchanges.”
The idea of mixing public and private insurance in a competitive marketplace was a goal of many Democrats during the writing of the Affordable Care Act. The hope was that a public option would provide more choice to consumers and more pricing discipline for insurers. The idea didn’t have enough support to stay in the final bill, but it has been experiencing a bit of a comeback. Before the 2016 election, both President Obama and Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, endorsed a public option. Mrs. Clinton also endorsed the idea of a Medicare buy-in for older Americans.
Other Democrats are working on similar provisions that would provide more access to public health insurance without upending the existing private system. Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, who has not endorsed the Sanders bill, has said he’s developing different legislation to allow Americans to buy into the Medicare program, as Ms. Stabenow’s provision in the Sanders bill does for Americans of certain ages. (A group of House Democrats has already offered one piece of legislation to create such a program.)….
In a another example of Donald Trump making campaign promises to then back away from in reality…
The Trump Admin has signaled quietly that it want’s a better ‘deal’ on the Climate Accord….(This means LESS strenuous goals for sure)
No surprise here….
White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said President Donald Trump could decide to keep the U.S. in the Paris Climate Accord if there is a better agreement that benefits the American people.
“If there’s an agreement that benefits the American people, certainly,” McMaster told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos in an interview on “This Week” Sunday.
In June, the president announced that the U.S. would exit the climate agreement, saying, ““I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”
Trump’s national security adviser said the president has been clear he is withdrawing the U.S. from the deal because it does not benefit the U.S., but would be open to re-entering the accord if a there is a better deal.
“What the president has said is that we are withdrawing from the Paris Accord. He left the door open to re-entering at some later time if there can be a better deal for the United States,” McMaster said on “This Week.”
“The president’s objection to Paris is not that he’s against the environment or the climate,” McMaster said. “What the president wants is a more effective approach to energy and the climate.”….
But NOT of the magnitude promised by Trump for rightwingnuts….
(This is normal for Republican Presidents actually… Who run on making cuts to programs Democrats support and won’t let go away)
Furthermore more money is gonna have to good to disaster relief for Texas and Florida….
….Many of those proposed cuts were reduced or absent altogether on Thursday as the House passed a $1.2 trillion government-funding package.
The package contains significant cuts to government programs, though not nearly as deep as what the Trump administration had recommended.
“I would say that the bill reflects conservatives’ priorities pretty well, as indicated by the fact that only a small number of Republicans  voted against it,” said Molly Reynolds, a governance studies expert at the Brookings Institution.
The funding bills are not expected to become law, but represent a likely starting point for fiscal negotiations between the two parties this fall.
“I see the House omnibus as just the first step in an overall process of coming to an agreement,” Reynolds said.
Trump’s budget, released well before hurricanes Harvey and Irma devastated portions of Texas, Louisiana and Florida, would have cut FEMA’s funding by $876 million. Instead, the House voted to increase FEMA’s funding by $39 million. Trump also requested cutting the National Weather Service budget by $62 million, or roughly 6 percent. The House cut $25 million.
The Community Development Block Grant, which many members of Congress noted helps fund Meals on Wheels, were targeted for elimination in the administration’s blueprint. The House cut $100 million, but left $2.9 billion of the funding intact.
Trump’s budget proposal called for eliminating the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which funded the channel that created “Sesame Street” long before it was sold to HBO. Congress left its funding untouched, and only slashed 3 percent from the National Endowment for the Arts, which Trump had also slated for elimination.
On healthcare research, the House approved a whopping $1.1 billion increase for the National Institute of Health. Trump proposed cutting the agency’s funding by $7.5 billion….
The third wife of Donald Trump, Melania Trump (Born Melejia Knavs) , has moved from growing up in Slovenia to become a fashon model in Europe and America before becoming the wife of the President of United States…..
In the early days of the Trump White House, the question frequently lobbed about by Washington’s chattering class was, “Where is Melania?”
Now, though, she is providing an answer, taking on a public schedule that is beginning to resemble those of her predecessors.
This week, the first lady flew with her husband to Florida, where they surveyed the wreckage left by Hurricane Irma and handed out FEMA lunches. She returned to Washington that same Thursday evening to host a reception for the White House Historical Association, a venerable group founded by Jackie Kennedy to maintain and protect the executive mansion. The event included a sit-down dinner where President Trump introduced his wife as “the star of the Trump family.”
On Friday afternoon, she traveled to Joint Base Andrews in suburban Maryland to visit a youth center in a show of support for military families. Then she and her husband boarded Air Force One for a weekend at their New Jersey golf resort.
“She is more visible and starting to do some of the more conventional first lady things,” said Katherine Jellison, a professor of history at Ohio University who studies first ladies.
Still, “we don’t see her rushing in to do some public press conference about her cyberbullying project” — a cause Mrs. Trump said during the campaign she hoped to champion.
From the start, Melania Trump has said she would take her own time filling out the contours of the role….
While it’s well-known that Hollywood doesn’t excel at putting Asian talent on the big screen, a study shows that the industry hasn’t done much to advance the group on the small screen, either.
New research on the minority group’s representation on television reveals that while there are more Asian characters on the small screen now than there were a decade ago, progress is slow. Oftentimes, the Asian characters on TV are tokenized. Moreover, the majority of shows still fail to feature a single Asian-American or Pacific Islander (AAPI) in the main cast at all.
Nancy Wang Yuen, Ph.D., a co-author of the study and associate professor of sociology at Biola University, explained that the absence of Asian roles in the TV landscape could impact the public’s perception of the minority.
“This is something that Asian-Americans struggle with in general ― visibility. You’re not recognized as someone who is fully present in society,” Yuen told HuffPost. “It’s a literal silencing of Asians and it reinforces the stereotype that Asians aren’t expressive, they’re invisible, that they’re not really there. But that’s because [Hollywood’s] not casting them.”
The study, entitled “Tokens On The Small Screen,” examined 252 broadcast, cable and digital platform television shows during the 2015-2016 year, and found that AAPIs make up about 4 percent of series regulars ― a stark contrast from the 70 percent occupied by their white counterparts. What’s more, 64 percent of shows don’t feature any Asian-American or Pacific Islander regular, whereas almost all shows have at least one white regular.
About two-thirds of the programs that do feature AAPI series regulars have only one…..
On Tuesday evening, the Supreme Court blockedtwo rulings by a federal district court that would have required Texas to redraw its state and federal congressional districts. The lower court had ruled that the Texas Legislature illegally gerrymandered these districts along racial lines and ordered new maps for the 2018 election. But by a 5–4 vote, the Supreme Court put that order on hold, ensuring that the gerrymander will remain through 2018. The decision may also indicate that the five Republican-appointed justices will eventually reverse the district court’s decisions altogether.
The Supreme Court’s abrupt intervention is a devastating blow to the years-long fight against race-based voter suppression in Texas. Since 2011, federal courts have ruled nine times that Texas intentionally discriminated against minority voters. Before Tuesday, civil rights advocates had good reason to believe that the judiciary would finally put a stop to the Texas GOP’s anti-democratic chicanery. Now it seems that the high court’s conservative bloc may thwart this progress and force Texan minorities to continue suffering under a self-perpetuating and racist system of vote dilution….
It shouldn’t be that just people investigating Donald Trump for possible crimes get s to know what a person leading a country of 300 Million has as a financial history…
This should be a requirement for EVERY state…
The California State Assembly on Thursday passed a bill that would require all presidential candidates to release their tax returns prior to being placed on the state’s ballot.
The bill, called the Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act, passed the state Assembly on a 42-18 vote and will now head to the state Senate for a concurrence vote before being sent to the governor for his signature.
“President Trump’s blatant disregard for the tradition of releasing tax returns is dangerous to our democracy,” state Sen. Mike McGuire (D), one of the authors of the bill, said in a statement. “For decades, every President has put their personal beliefs aside and put our country first and released their returns. “
“SB 149 helps to reestablish desperately needed transparency in the White House, and we are looking forward to seeing the Governor’s signature on the bill.”
The bill would require all presidential candidates to release the last five years of their tax returns in order to appear on the California ballot.
The tax returns would be made available to the public on the California Secretary of State’s website…..
Retiring Republican Rep. Dave Reichert said if President Donald Trump had made his 2005 comments about grabbing women in Washington when he was a cop, he would have arrested him.
Reichert was speaking in an interview with Vice News about the difficulty moderate Republicans face.
Reichert, a former sheriff in King County, Washington, said he never endorsed Trump last year. He also said that as a former police officer, Trump’s “Access Hollywood” comments revealed in October resonated with him.
“When somebody says that — you know, those recordings came out regarding sexual assaults,” he said. “If the statute of limitations was still in existence, and he made those comments in King County, and you know it happened in King County, that’s a person that I would have to arrest.”
Reichert said Trump’s comments were “sort of an admission of guilt from him.”
“There was no reasonable explanation for those words,” he said….