Category Archives: Updates

Congress approves new Russian Sanctions Bill…

Trump had tried to water down or stop the action….

The Bill also covers sanctions against North Korea and Iran….

The bill beuffs his efforts…

The House and Senate reached a deal Saturday to slap Russia with fresh sanctions and give Congress new veto power to block any easing of those sanctions — an agreement that could send a new bill to President Donald Trump’s desk before the end of the month.

House and Senate negotiators announced an agreement was reached Saturday morning for a bill that would include new sanctions against Russia, Iran, and North Korea.
Despite the White House lobbying for changes to the measure, the legislation will give Congress a new ability to block the administration from easing sanctions on Moscow. Democrats and some Republicans have expressed concerns that Trump is considering giving Russia back two compounds in Maryland and New York that were seized by the Obama administration in December…..
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What is up with Kyrie Irving?

Image result for kyrie Irving/lebron james

The Cleveland Cavaliers basket ball player wants out from the NBA winning team that stars Lebron James?

Please understand….

Lebron James IS the franchise….

Every player in the NBA would do just about anything to play alongside LeBron James and experience the accompanying trips deep into the playoffs.

Every player, that is, except for Kyrie Irving.

News broke Friday — first reported by ESPN.com and later confirmed by The Washington Post and others — that Irving has demanded a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers, and, in doing so, is willing to step away from that coveted role of playing next to LeBron.

So what gives? First, it should be noted that this isn’t exactly a surprise. There has been tension among the Cavaliers since James returned to Cleveland — a move that came less than two weeks after Irving committed to a five-year max contract extension on the opening night of free agency in 2014. When Irving signed that deal, both he and the Cavaliers envisioned him being the face of the franchise.

Then James decided he wanted to go back to Northeast Ohio, and the plans to feature  Irving understandably were set aside. It has worked out beautifully — Irving has thrived playing next to James, winning a championship, becoming a shoe-selling star and being the face of the upcoming version of NBA 2K.

But what’s clear now is that Irving’s desire to be the face of a franchise has never gone away, and after three years biding his time, he doesn’t want to wait any longer……

More….

image  of James and Irving…

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New found Memo argues that a President Can be charged with a Crime….

Ole William Jefferson Clinton gets his two cents into Donald Trump’s ongoing predicament …..

A memo generated by Kenneth Star’s legal people back when Clinton, the last President to be impeached , was under investigation….

It argues that a sitting President should be able to be indicted by a Federal Grand Jury for crimes OUTSIDE the scope of their official duties…

Star’s office even drafted an indictment, but deferred to Congress , as the Constitution points to , to do it’s political duty….

Star’s basis for his view was underwritten by a Conservative outside legal ‘ prominent conservative professor of constitutional law and ethics, Ronald Rotunda.

Current Dept. of Justice procedure ban a Special Prosecutor from bringing criminal charges against a sitting President it has been reported…

One assumes Robert Mueller would follow those rules….But the things we’re looking at with Trump could be a whole more serious that Clinton  not telling the truth about a affair with a staffer….

A newfound memo from Kenneth W. Starr’s independent counsel investigation into President Bill Clinton sheds fresh light on a constitutional puzzle that is taking on mounting significance amid the Trump-Russia inquiry: Can a sitting president be indicted?

The 56-page memo, locked in the National Archives for nearly two decades and obtained by The New York Times under the Freedom of Information Act, amounts to the most thorough government-commissioned analysis rejecting a generally held view that presidents are immune from prosecution while in office.

“It is proper, constitutional, and legal for a federal grand jury to indict a sitting president for serious criminal acts that are not part of, and are contrary to, the president’s official duties,” the Starr office memo concludes. “In this country, no one, even President Clinton, is above the law.”

Mr. Starr assigned Ronald Rotunda, a prominent conservative professor of constitutional law and ethics whom Mr. Starr hired as a consultant on his legal team, to write the memo in spring 1998 after deputies advised him that they had gathered enough evidence to ask a grand jury to indict Mr. Clinton, the memo shows….

The Justice Department’s regulations give Mr. Mueller, as a special counsel, greater autonomy than an ordinary prosecutor, but still say he must follow its “rules, regulations, procedures, practices and policies.” They also permit Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein to overrule Mr. Mueller if he tries to take a step that Mr. Rosenstein deems contrary to such practices.

There is no guiding precedent about whether Office of Legal Counsel memos would fall into that category, or if a special counsel is free to reach his own legal judgments. But as Mr. Mueller’s office investigates, the ambiguity about the rules could influence calculations in the Trump camp about how much to cooperate and how much to fight, said Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor turned defense lawyer.

“I would be surprised if Mueller indicted the president for the same prudential reasons that swayed Starr,” Mr. Mariotti said. “But the specter that he might do that could have an impact on things. If I were on the president’s team, I would say, ‘I don’t think it’s likely that he would, but it’s possible,’ depending on what the facts are.”….

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Russian says he talked to Sessions about Trump/Clinton Campaign…

Jeff Sessions originally said he had NO Russian contacts….

But the NSA has transcripts of the Russian “Ambassador Sergey Kislyak telling his people in Moscow about the meetings and conversations….

Sessions has hired his OWN personal lawyer……

And is becoming another name on the list of political liabilities for Trump’s Admin….That Robert Mueller will be looking at….

Image that?

The Attorney General, who out ranks Mueller’s whole group, being probed …..Something Police Internal Affairs people investigating their Police Chief…..

Drip…Drip…Drip…..

Russia’s ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, according to current and former U.S. officials.

Ambassador Sergey Kislyak’s accounts of two conversations with Sessions — then a top foreign policy adviser to Republican candidate Donald Trump — were intercepted by U.S. spy agencies, which monitor the communications of senior Russian officials both in the United States and in Russia. Sessions initially failed to disclose his contacts with Kislyak and then said that the meetings were not about the Trump campaign.

One U.S. official said that Sessions — who testified that he has no recollection of an April encounter — has provided “misleading” statements that are “contradicted by other evidence.” A former official said that the intelligence indicates that Sessions and Kislyak had “substantive” discussions on matters including Trump’s positions on Russia-related issues and prospects for U.S.-Russia relations in a Trump administration….

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McConnell probably will need 60 votes in the Senate to Repeal The Healthcare Law…

THAT is NOT gonna happen…..

The Senate would likely need 60 votes to overcome Democratic opposition and pass key portions of the GOP health care bill under the chamber’s rules, a blow to both the plan’s policy and its political fortunes unless Senate Republicans are willing to break decades of precedent or the bill is substantially rewritten.

The Senate’s so-called “Byrd Rule” is designed to make sure policies passed under “budget reconciliation” — which allows legislation to advance with only 51 votes instead of the usual 60 needed to get past a filibuster — directly affect the federal budget, either by decreasing spending or by increasing revenue. (Vox has explained the Byrd Rule in great detail.)

The findings of the Senate parliamentarian, who evaluates whether policies included in bills meant to pass through reconciliation comply with the Senate rules, were posted online late Friday afternoon and sent out by Democratic ranking member Sen. Bernie Sanders’s office. A Senate Republican aide noted that the parliamentarian reviewed a draft version of the bill, and the legislation could still be changed.

They are a critical blow to Republicans’ hopes of repealing and replacing Obamacare. Their plan is already short on votes, but Friday’s news could make it even more difficult for Senate leaders to sway their holdouts….

More….

Note….

McConnell CAN change the rules….

But if he does?

What would happen if the Republicans lost their majority?

What comes around?

Goes around, eh?

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Senator’s Harris and Paul co-sponsor a Bail Reform Bill for States….

Image result for rand paul/kamala harris

Yup….

That’s Democratic California Senator Kamala Harris, a former Attorney General …..

And…

Senator Rand Paul, The Republican Senator from the Red State of Kentucky  , together offering a bill to assist states  in reforming their ‘money based’  Bail Rules and Regulations ,,,

This from a NY Times Op-Ed written by both….

…’Our bail system is broken. And it’s time to fix it.

That’s why we’re introducing the Pretrial Integrity and Safety Act to encourage states to reform or replace the bail system.

This should not be a partisan issue.

First, our legislation empowers states to build on best practices. Kentucky and New Jersey, for instance, have shifted from bail toward personalized risk assessments that analyze factors such as criminal history and substance abuse. These are better indicators of whether a defendant is a flight risk or a threat to the public and ought to be held without bail.

Colorado and West Virginia have improved pretrial services and supervision, such as using telephone reminders so fewer defendants miss court dates and end up detained.

These nudges work. Over the second half of 2006, automated phone call reminders in Multnomah County in Oregon, resulted in 750 people showing up in court who otherwise may have forgotten their date.

Instead of the federal government mandating a one-size-fits-all approach, this bill provides Department of Justice grants directly to the states so each can devise and carry out the most effective policies, tailored for its unique needs.’….

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image…randpaul.trendolizer.com

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The NY Times does sneakers for Summer…

Yea…

The NY Times!

(These are not real playing sports kicks…They are causal fashion shoes really…)

The recent Dries Van Noten men’s show featured rubber-soled plimsolls that conveyed a youthful spirit and paired well with creased trousers and muted blazers. For the months ahead, here are six simple renditions of this classic canvas shoe.

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Novesta, $90, gonovesta.com.
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MHL by Margaret Howell, $135, margarethowell.co.uk.
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RFW, $135, blueingreensoho.com.
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The Juggling over at Trump’s legal shop….

“President Donald Trump is reshuffling his legal team as special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation moves full steam ahead,” CNN reports.

“Marc Kasowitz, Trump’s longtime personal attorney who has been the lead lawyer on the Russia investigation, will see his role recede… Instead, attorney John Dowd, along with Jay Sekolow, will now be the President’s primary personal attorneys for the investigation… Dowd will take the lead.”

“By being outside the White House, their dealings with the President will be protected under attorney-client privilege that is afforded any US citizen.”…..

Politico: “Mark Corallo, the spokesman, had grown frustrated with the operation and the warring factions and lawyers, these people said. Corallo also was concerned about whether he was being told the truth about various matters.”

“Corallo has been close to special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the Russia investigation, and has praised him publicly. He didn’t like the strategy to attack his credibility.”

Politicalwire….

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Trump’s legal team studies Mueller’s people…

The NY Times is out with a  piece that shed’s light on what would normal in a high powered legal case like Donald Trump’s investigation by the Special Prosecutor  Robert Mueller…

Trump’s legal team is said to be compiling info on the Justice Dept. Lawyer they will be dealing with after Mueller  presents his case….

The piece points out that same was the way things went with Bill Clinton back when he got into trouble…

But the author of the piece neglects to acknowledge that even with the info on the Special Prosecutor Star?

Bill Clinton was impeached by the House back then….

There is also a  leak (How convenient?) that Trump’s team is studying how Trump could pardon people  a Mueller Grand Jury might charge…Trump is aware that Mueller’s  FBI investigators are looking into his financial doing and his family…Something Trump has warned Mueller NOT to do …The probe has already probably gone deep into….

That might work legally…..

But MASS Pardon ‘s would probably be the end of Trump’s political capital with his party and wouldn’t work if the Senate votes where closing in turning him out of office…

I’m sure this NY Times piece has been leaked for Trump Supporters,  and of course , Trump himself…..

President Trump’s lawyers and aides are scouring the professional and political backgrounds of investigators hired by the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, looking for conflicts of interest they could use to discredit the investigation — or even build a case to fire Mr. Mueller or get some members of his team recused, according to three people with knowledge of the research effort.

The search for potential conflicts is wide-ranging. It includes scrutinizing donations to Democratic candidates, investigators’ past clients and Mr. Mueller’s relationship with James B. Comey, whose firing as F.B.I. director is part of the special counsel’s investigation.

The effort to investigate the investigators is another sign of a looming showdown between Mr. Trump and Mr. Mueller, who has assembled a team of high-powered prosecutors and agents to examine whether any of Mr. Trump’s advisers aided Russia’s campaign to disrupt last year’s presidential election.

Some of the investigators have vast experience prosecuting financial malfeasance, and the prospect that Mr. Mueller’s inquiry could evolve into an expansive examination of Mr. Trump’s financial history has stoked fears among the president’s aides. Both Mr. Trump and his aides have said publicly they are watching closely to ensure Mr. Mueller’s investigation remains narrowly focused on last year’s election.

During an interview with The New York Times on Wednesday, Mr. Trump said he was aware that members of Mr. Mueller’s team had potential conflicts of interest and would make the information available “at some point.”….

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OJ Simson granted parole …..

He could be released by October…..

He is serving time for a Casino  armed robbery….

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O.J. Simpson will soon be a free man. Again. A four-member parole board in Carson City, Nev., voted unanimously Thursday to curtail his 33-year prison sentence for kidnapping and armed robbery, stemming from a confrontation over sports memorabilia in Las Vegas in 2007.

The football legend and abusive husband, now 70 years old, could be released as soon as October 1 into a world that’s still fascinated by his plummet from grace.

As the proceedings got underway around 10 a.m., Nevada time, a smiling Simpson entered the hearing room at the Lovelock Correctional Center dressed in a light blue shirt with billowy sleeves, his hair splotched white, his voice gravelly. Seated at a desk with his attorney, Simpson was by turns affable and testy, humbled and defiant.

“I always thought I’ve been pretty good with people,” Simpson told the board by video link, “and have basically spent a conflict-free life.”

Simpson’s eldest daughter, Arnelle Simpson, and one of Simpson’s victims from the Vegas case testified in support of his release….

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image….abcnews.go.com

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RNC To GOP Candidates: Fealty To Donald Trump Or Else…Red State…

Party loyalty in politics is nothing new. The fact is, most people who vote for Democrats and Republicans are “party” people. Meaning it doesn’t much matter what positions an individual candidate or office holder has on issues. Voters walk into a booth, look at the party and vote for the Republican or the Democrat. It is the case in most scenarios, and that’s just a fact.

Hard-core supporters are there and don’t like it when you criticize their guy. That’s understandable as well. But those are issues between voters, not the party and the candidates running under the banner of that party.

When it comes to candidates and people in office, the Republican National Committee has a responsibility to back Republicans. As much as it stung for some people, Donald Trump won the nomination, and the party infrastructure backed him. It didn’t matter if he smeared fellow Republican candidates with lies and ridiculous conspiracy theories. The party supported him because it does so for Republicans. 

However, it doesn’t appear as though that kind of thinking applies to other Republicans now, especially if they’ve been critical of Donald Trump:

The Republican National Committee isn’t spending big for New Jersey gubernatorial candidate Kim Guadagno because the RNC doesn’t think she has been loyal to President Trump, NJ.com reported Wednesday.

Guadagno, currently the lieutenant governor under Gov. Chris Christie (R), is viewed skeptically by the RNC because of her criticism of Trump after the release of the “Access Hollywood” tape and as a lost cause, the report said.

“[The president] is unhappy with anyone who neglected him in his hour of need,” an RNC insider reportedly said, referring to Guadagno’s public disavowal of Trump last fall after the surfacing last year of the “Access Hollywood” tape, in which Trump brags about sexually assaulting women. 

If the RNC stated that they weren’t going all in because Guadagno is trying to ride into office on the scorched coattails of Chris Christie, that might make some sense. But that isn’t the justification here. The thinking appears to be Guadagno didn’t rush in to defend Donald Trump when audio tape revealed he thinks men in positions of power can do what they want with women sans repercussions.

What Guadagno did was not unreasonable. She was hardly the first Republican to distance themselves from Trump when that tape hit the public airwaves. Now the RNC is going to withhold funds and assistance from a Republican candidate because of Donald Trump? Since when did the RNC become beholden to one person instead of the party as a whole?

It only proves Trump doesn’t just want loyalty. He wants slavish devotion. Fealty. Without it, he has no use for a person. It is a dangerous method if the GOP wants to grow…..

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Obama sends McCain get well wishes….

Less ANYONE fail to think that Sen. John  MCain doesn’t have a LOT of friends from BOTH of American political parties….

Forget it….

The ole timer may break a lot of political balls….

But he’s got people who like and respect him and wish him well just like this dog does…..

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Former President Obama on Wednesday sent well wishes to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) after it was announced that McCain has been diagnosed with brain cancer…..

More….

…twitter….

John McCain is an American hero & one of the bravest fighters I’ve ever known. Cancer doesn’t know what it’s up against. Give it hell, John.

image….politico.com
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The Trump Special Prosecutor’s look is far beyond just the Russians….

It could be fair to now say that Robert Mueller and his Dept of Justice Lawyers and FBI agents are looking at just about EVERYTHING that has causal relationship to Trump, his finances,  his supporters , his campaign and Yes…His family…..

The Wall Street Journal is out with a piece that points to Mueller wide ranging investigation of all things , even remotely connected to Donald J. Trump….

Mueller IS investigating the background actions of a sitting American President….

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His findings could end up  going to a Federal Grand Jury for consideration….

The U.S. special counsel investigating possible ties between the Donald Trump campaign and Russia in last year’s election is examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates, according to a person familiar with the probe.

The president told the New York Times on Wednesday that any digging into matters beyond Russia would be out of bounds. Trump’s businesses have involved Russians for years, making the boundaries fuzzy so Special Counsel Robert Mueller appears to be taking a wide-angle approach to his two-month-old probe.

FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008, the person said.

President Donald Trump, Commerce Secretary nominee Wilbur Ross and senior advisor Jared Kushner attend a meeting at the White House on Feb. 2, 2017.

Trump, Ross and Kushner attend a meeting at the White House on Feb. 2, 2017.

Photographer: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

John Dowd, one of Trump’s lawyers, said on Thursday he was unaware of this element of the investigation. “Those transactions are in my view well beyond the mandate of the Special counsel; are unrelated to the election of 2016 or any alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia and most importantly, are well beyond any Statute of Limitation imposed by the United States Code,” he wrote in an email…..

More….

Note….

Trump has warned Mueller to NOT probe his family….

Mueller and the FBI are unlikely to heed his warning….

Note…

It’s also not clear that Mueller’s probe is restricted in any way, legally speaking. Jeffrey Jacobovitz, a white-collar lawyer who represented officials in the Clinton White House, said there’s pretty much no limit.

“Mueller’s designation as special counsel is very broad, and he will be looking at both direct and indirect issues related to Russia and the campaign,” Jacobovitz said. “If you recall, Spiro Agnew was convicted of tax evasion, and the Clinton independent counsel evolved from Whitewater to an affair. So independent counsels have a lot discretion in terms of what they investigate.”…

More….

Mueller image…CNN.Com

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AG Sessions says he’s staying…..

Then Senator Jeff Sessions was a early strong supporter of Donald Trump….

But now?

He is learning that Trump has only one friend….

Himself….

Attorney General Jeff Sessions deflected questions on Thursday about whether he can stay in his post after President Trump expressed a lack of confidence in Mr. Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia investigation.

Mr. Sessions said he loves his job and will continue to serve “as long as that is appropriate.”

Asked whether he is considering resigning, Mr. Sessions said he and his colleagues intend to continue to do their jobs.

“We are serving right now. The work we are doing today is the kind of work that we intend to continue,” he said during a news conference announcing what he described as the dismantling of a dark web operation that sold narcotics and other illicit goods.

“I am totally confident that we can continue to run this office in an effective way,” he added.

In an interview with The New York Times on Wednesday, Mr. Trump said he never would have appointed Mr. Sessions had he known he would recuse himself from overseeing the investigation into possible ties between Russia and the Trump campaign. The inquiry has dogged Mr. Trump’s presidency….

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Republican effort’s to Repeal Obamacare appear to be done….

For 8 years the Grand Ole party used the Affordable Healthcare Law as a bat to swing at President Obama and Democrats….

Now that they are the majority in Congress, The White House and the Supreme Court ?

They are choking on their promise to get rid of the program….

They more they talk about Repealing Obamacare?

The MORE people support the program….

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Senate Republicans reversed course yesterday and plowed ahead with their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act — ignoring all the experts, actuaries, independent analysts, governors and even voters who say their bill would lead to millions of people losing insurance and make it harder for sick, poor people to obtain coverage.

  • Aides are frustrated and candidly skeptical that a deal is achievable at this point. One senior GOP aide referred to the bill — as well as a straight-repeal bill the caucus is now also considering — as “corpsicles.” Another aide said, “It’s a terrible idea to make people vote for the 2015 [repeal] bill” and that last night’s attempt to revive the replacement bill was a “death rattle.”
  • “They can’t accept they’ve been promising something that is undeliverable and a bad idea for seven years,” one well-connected former GOP aide told me.
  • Bottom line: Congressional Republicans aren’t listening.

They’re ignoring health care experts, industry groups, governors from both parties, and voters. Many of them seem to have decided passing something — anything — is better than failure. The irony is that if they succeed, and everyone else was right about the effects of this bill, they’ll own the disastrous consequences. Either way, it looks very much like they’re about to be forced to go on the record on one of these bad options.

“Governors, industry and policy experts are not really the right experts for the problem at hand. This is no longer about salvaging what is left of the individual market. This about salvaging what’s left of the Republican Congress,” one health care lobbyist said…..

More…

Note….

All those stories about Senate Majority Leader McConnell being a great political tactical guy?

Huh?

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Donald Trump 6 month Report Card….

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Donald J. Trump has been office for 6 months 

Below is a summary of his actions 

…twitter…..

Today, hits the 6-month mark of his presidency. Some milestone markers:

image…cnn.com
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