Category Archives: Updates

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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image…rollingstone.com

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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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image…cnn.com

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Could the Democrats actually have a chance for a US Senate majority come next year?

The reasoning?

If Democrat Doug Jones could win in Red Alabama?

Heck, what other places can they win that they thought where impossible? 

The Democrats got the political version of a miracle on Tuesday. Doug Jones’s victory in Alabama means Democrats have accomplished the most difficult item on their checklist in pursuit of the Senate. A Democratic path is now obvious, and the race for control is basically a tossup, perhaps with a Republican advantage.

It is hard to overstate how surprising this would have seemed a year ago. Democrats needed three states to flip control of the Senate, but they entered the cycle defending 25 seats (two of them independents) to the G.O.P.’s eight. Of those Democratic seats, a staggering 10 of them were in states that chose Donald J. Trump for president, including five that he carried by at least 18 percentage points.

Only one Republican, Dean Heller, represented a state (Nevada) won by Hillary Clinton. Jeff Flake’s seat in Arizona was also plausibly competitive after Mr. Trump’s tepid 3.5-point win in the state, but it was hard to find the third Democratic seat. Perhaps the next best Democratic opportunity was against Ted Cruz in Texas — a long shot at best.

But the Republican position has steadily deteriorated throughout the year. Most obviously, Mr. Trump’s weak approval ratings have decidedly shifted the national political environment….

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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.”…

More….

Note….

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….

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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 together.in 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….

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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….
Update…

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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Some Democrats get nervous about pushing Trump to resign over sexual misconduct…

Donald Trump’s misbehavior is back in the news…

A growing list of Democrats are calling for the President to do what a increasing number of politicans are doing across the country….

Step down from their jobs…..

THAT is bothering other Democrats….

They look to the last two big wins by Democarts in the South and wins in other places  and reject….

ALL of those wins where earned by candiates that ran against local problems  and the Republican overall efforts to take away benefits from voters…Donald Trump was a side issue…Not THE issue…..

Some Democrats are afraid that making the parties whole push a effort to dislodge Trump, before even Mueller supplies even more  poliutical and criminal ammunition will NOT work…..

And some remember a recent Democratic President who came out stronger after the opposition party was unable convict him on a case that started with a sexual misconduct situation….

Many veteran operatives and elder statesmen in the Democratic firmament worry that engaging in this fight is not the way to win in 2018. They think Hillary Clinton blundered by trying to turn last year’s election into a referendum on Trump’s baggage and boorish behavior. They worry that Democrats won’t fully capitalize on Trump’s unpopularity if they’re perceived as overplaying their hand. They’re nervous that the conversation over whether Trump should step down has sucked up too much political oxygen, possibly at the expense of the tax debate — which a lot of these Democrats believe they can win since so many voters already see the GOP bill as a giveaway to the rich at the expense of the middle class.

Ed Rendell, the former governor of Pennsylvania and chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said it’s very hard to ask Trump to resign when all the accusations of sexual assault against him were out in the open before the 2016 election. “The American people knew this, and they voted for him anyway,” Rendell said in an interview. “If there were any new allegations, that might be something different. But they knew it, and they voted for him.”

“It’s something that makes people think Washington’s gone nuts: Everyone’s asking everyone to resign,” he added. “I think the guy should not be president. I think he’s mentally unstable. I think there are things we know about what he did to impede the [Russia] investigation that might justify his impeachment. … But we’ve got problems in North Korea and all sorts of other problems at home. I don’t think that advances the ball.”

“Look, he’s not going to resign. So let’s not play games,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) told HuffPost on Tuesday…

The specter of 1998 looms large for “Chuck and Nancy.” Americans felt the GOP overreached with the impeachment of Bill Clinton and punished them in that year’s midterms….

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Sec of State Tillerson appears to be back in trouble with his boss…

Tillerson appears to be back in trouble with his boss for trying to actually make nice with his employee’s and suggesting that the US wants talks with North Korea….

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson seemed focused this week on rebooting his image as a beleaguered Cabinet member on the outs with his boss and his own employees — holding a rare town hall with employees, promising foreign trips into 2018 and saying he is “learning” to enjoy his job.

But then he went off script by offering another invitation for diplomatic talks with nuclear-armed North Korea, putting him at odds once again with President Trump and senior White House officials, who are increasingly exasperated with the secretary of state and say he cannot remain in his job for the long term.

The episode highlights the deep distrust between the White House and Tillerson and suggests how difficult it will be for the relationship to continue….

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Note…

I could be wrong….
But this sure soulds like the WH line is to follow Trump’s yelling at the problem and they’ll come around…
Except THAT hasn’t worked…
Sen Linsey Graham is out talking about a 30% chance of a military engagement and a 70% chance of the N Korea’s fire another missile ….

Folks?
The North Korean’s ARE gonna fire ANOTHER missile…
They are gonna keep testing the nukes they have….

And Mattis , Tillerson and McMasters are gonna keep on trying to keep Donald Trump their boss from ordering a ‘military solution’ that COULD start WW III and cost North Korea, American soldiers and South Korea lives….

Can’t blame Tillerson for trying to talk this country out of a box Donald Trump and his supporters seem to NOT understand they are in…

The WH political knives appear to be out for the guy….

image…nbcnews.com

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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.”…

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Note….

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….

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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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Omarosa Manigault Newman will be allowed back inside the White House

The report was that she was fired by Trump’s chief or staff Kelly and escorted out of the WH by Secret Service….

Something makes me think that Trump went over Kelly’s head after Omarosa Manigault Newman got thru to Trump….

She was smart enough to threaten to go ‘public’ with inside stuff?

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Omarosa Manigault Newman will be allowed back inside the White House — two days after she was reportedly fired and dragged out kicking and screaming.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday said the former “Apprentice” star and ousted presidential aide would be back in the building “later this afternoon,” while declining to comment on the reality TV-worthy drama surrounding her exit.

“We put out a statement. The president likes Omarosa and thanked her for her service. She will be here later this afternoon,” she said.

Manigault Newman on Thursday morning said she resigned from her position after seeing things that made her “very uncomfortable” — rejecting numerous reports that she was given the boot Tuesday night after clashing with chief of staff John Kelly, then raised a stink and had to be physically escorted off the premises….

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image…thedailybeast.com

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Republican extremism is helping Democrats win ….

Tea party candidates….

Steve Bannon candidates ….

Failure to work with Democrats candidates ….

Doubious moral candidates ot President….

It’s costing Republicans and helping Democrats…

After ya win a majority?

Smart people try to KEEP that majority….

Starting around the 2010 Tea Party surge, Republican voters have repeatedly chosen the most extreme candidates during primaries, and have paid a real electoral price, particularly in the Senate.

  • In Nevada’s 2010 Senate race, State Assembly member Sharron Angle beat state Sen. Sue Lowden to face Democrat Harry Reid. Lowden was expected to easily beat Reid, but Angle was a weak candidate who, among other things, said that Sharia law had taken over cities in Michigan and Texas and that the health care system was better when poor patients bartered for care with doctors. Reid won.
  • In Delaware’s 2010 Senate race, Christine O’Donnell, who had never held elected office, beat at-large Rep. Mike Castle in the GOP primary. O’Donnell proved one of the strangest candidates in memory, and lost a race that Castle almost certainly would have won. Republicans also lost the House seat Castle vacated.
  • In Colorado’s 2010 Senate race, Tea Party favorite Mike Buck beat Lt. Gov. Jane Norton in the Republican primary, and then lost narrowly to Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet in the general. It’s widely believed that Norton, a more moderate candidate who didn’t have Buck’s background of extreme comments on abortion, would’ve won.
  • In Indiana’s 2012 Senate race, Tea Party favorite (and State Treasurer) Richard Mourdock took down incumbent Sen. Richard Lugar in a primary, turning an untouchable seat for Democrats into a race that Democrat Joe Donnelly ultimately won.
  • In Missouri’s 2012 Senate election, Republican voters nominated Todd Akin, a very conservative representative who would go on to make bizarre comments about rape and pregnancy during his race against embattled Democrat Claire McCaskill. McCaskill won.

If Republicans held all these seats today, and if they hadn’t run and lost with Roy Moore on Tuesday, they would hold a 57-43 margin in the Senate, and Democrats would have no shot at taking back the chamber next year….

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Democratic clawback coming from the suburbs …..

It isn’t just the black vote…And it isn’t the Bernie Sanders people….

Increasingly it’s the suburbs of major cities in Blue and surprisingly Red state’s….

Democrats in Nassau County NY, the subburb where I live won victories countywide and borowide that put  sent Republicans packing from offices they though they owned…The boro/town of Hemstead did have a Democrat in office for decades !….

This movement has been forming BIGGER with Trump and the GOP , which is out to take away benefits that Obama had worked hard to provide…..

Republicans maybe sheepishly following Donald Trump and HIS base….But that base is slowly thinning around the edges and has cost Republicans increasingly in elections….

In Alabama, Sen.-elect Doug Jones (D) flipped or came close on Tuesday in suburban counties that Trump had won around Birmingham and Montgomery.

His victory offers the latest data points for a trendline that stretches back to April, when a special election in Kansas to replace Mike Pompeo — who gave up his House seat to become CIA director — was unexpectedly close because of Democratic strength and high turnout in the Wichita suburbs, specifically Sedgwick County.

In Virginia last month, Chesterfield County — which includes the suburbs around Richmond — backed a Democratic gubernatorial candidate for the first time since 1961. Several GOP state legislators unexpectedly went down in suburban districts that were not thought to be in play. Gov.-elect Ralph Northam (D) won the district held by Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) in the D.C. suburbs by 13 points. Four years before, Terry McAuliffe got 60 percent in Fairfax County. Northam pulled 68 percent.

The same night, Democrats flipped two county executive races in the New York suburbs of Westchester and Nassau. They also picked up GOP-held state legislative in the suburbs of Seattle, Tulsa and Atlanta.

These shifts alarm Republicans because many of their most vulnerable House incumbents represent suburban districts around places like Minneapolis and Philadelphia.Many college-educated white women who voted for Trump are swinging away, and traditional Democrats are highly motivated while Republicans are fractured.

“Throughout 2017, there has been a storm brewing in these suburbs, but on Tuesday night it got upgraded to a Category 5,” said Democratic strategist Jesse Ferguson, who cut his teeth in Virginia politics and worked on Hillary Clinton’s campaign last year.

There have been more than 70 special elections for state and federal legislative seats in 2017 so far. … Democrats have outperformed the partisan lean in 74 percent of these races,” Harry Enten tabulates on FiveThirtyEight….

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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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