GOP House looking to cut Federal employee benefits and job protections…

Not something to votes from Federal employees for Republicans, eh?

House Republicans greeted current and future federal employees with two controversial body blows in recent days — one amounts to a pay cut and the other would allow new feds to be fired for “no cause at all.”

The House Budget Committee approved a spending plan that would save the government $163.5 billion over 10 years by taking that amount from federal employees. They would pay that in the form of “greater contributions to their own defined benefit retirement plans,” according to the panel’s budget document.

Republicans call their plan “Building a Better America.”  But the Americans now working to build a better country through their federal jobs would be called on to sacrifice again, as they have repeatedly over the years.

“Since 2010, these employees have already lost $182 billion in pay and benefits,” Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said in a letter to the committee. Those losses occurred through measures including a partial three-year pay freeze and previous retirement hits under the Obama administration.

Rep. Anthony G. Brown (D-Md.) offered legislation on Monday to repeal the previous retirement cuts. Don’t expect his bill to pass, not with this Congress…..

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Bernie Sanders is talking about a 2020 run…..

Which party?

No…I ‘m kidding…..

The guy that isn’t a Democrat is still trying to take over that party….

Image result for sanders

With Kamala Harris rising in the media and Biden leading the 2020 Presidential polls of DEMOCRATS along with  how Sanders  did against Hillary Clinton…. it is natural for him to be thinking about running again….

For those who thing it’s too early to be thinking about the Democratic 2020 President nomination?

You’re wrong….The maneuvering  is ALREADY going on

For my two cents?

He won’t get the nomination again….

“He’s part of the Democratic leadership in the Senate and helped raise millions of dollars to help down ballot Democrats,” he said. “He’s helping to reform the Democratic Party. I think it speaks for itself.”

Still, the decision by Sanders to run for the Democratic nomination in 2016 as an independent is a sore spot for some Democrats. There are also Clinton supporters who believe Sanders deserves some of the blame for Clinton’s loss to Trump.

Polls suggest Sanders, along with Biden, would have to be seen as favorites if they were to enter a 2020 race.

A Public Policy Polling survey out earlier this week suggested that either candidate would be the favorite over Trump.

“From what I can see, he’s popular in the polls, Democrats like him and I’m sure if I was in his position I would be thinking of running for president again, too,” said Democratic strategist Brad Bannon. “He certainly has true believers that would support him through hell or high water and they feel like they were robbed and destiny is on his side.”

At the same time, there are also Democrats looking for fresh faces — such as Sen. Kamala Harris, the freshman California senator with a growing national presence. …

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image…huffingtonpost.com

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AG Sessions is gearing up the Feds for TOUGHER Marijuana enforcement….

The Dog is NOT surprised with this at all….

We have discussed the growing marijuana industry in America and rapid state government acceptance of making money on grass that is available almost anywhere …

But I have pointed out repeatedly that grass IS still listed as a dangerous drug by the Feds and the nation’s Federal Law enforcement CAN go after marijuana operations that are legal under state laws, with Federal Laws that supersede …..

The news that Attorney General Sessions is sending memo’s that underscore the Federal view about grass has got to catch the attention of the marijuana industry and cause worries…

Sessions is first asking Congress to NOT give state efforts to decriminalize marijuana under  The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act — would amend federal law to allow states to set their own medical marijuana policies……He COULD  then  begin a Federal effort to roll back the advances….

Stay tuned….

Sessions is in for a fight….

This is is gonna get interesting….

Sessions sent a letter in May asking congressional leaders to do away with an amendment to the DOJ budget prohibiting the agency from using federal funds to prevent states “from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana.”

“I believe it would be unwise for Congress to restrict the discretion of the Department to fund prosecutions, particularly in the midst of an historic drug epidemic and potentially long-term uptick in violent crime,” said the letter from Sessions, first obtained by Massroots.com and verified by The Washington Post.

As for the task force, Sessions said another subcommittee would “explore our use of asset forfeiture and make recommendations on any improvements needed to legal authorities, policies, and training to most effectively attack the financial infrastructure of criminal organizations.”

On Wednesday, Sessions reportedly re-established a controversial criminal asset seizure program ahead of the committee’s recommendations.

Local law enforcement leaders say a crackdown appears to be next, though they argue there’s no need for it.

“From a practitioner’s point of view, marijuana is not a drug that doesn’t have some danger to it, but it’s not the drug that’s driving violent crime in America,” said Ronal Serpas, the former superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department who co-chairs Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration…..

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The US Senate Republicans are Confused….Resurgent….

It’s easy from the outside….

But actually being responsible as the MAJORITY  is more difficult, eh?

Published in 1969 by Lawrence Peter, the Peter principle is a management theory that posits the selection of a candidate for a position is based on the candidate’s performance in their current role, rather than on abilities relevant to the intended role. Employees are promoted a final time into jobs they cannot accomplish, and managers rise to the level of their incompetence.

The Republican Senate is a hot mess, and is a perfect example of the Peter Principle. The American citizenry chose to promote them to the role of majority party in part because of their excellence in being the minority party, and in part because they assumed the Republicans would be able to translate Obama resistance into actual political leadership.

But sadly, not so much. Their ineptitude is both confounding, and infuriating. But even more difficult to comprehend is their inability to understand even the simple principles of governing. They don’t seem to grasp the essentials of being a majority party: leadership, presenting a coherent message, and coalescing their members into a united body. These necessities seem to be far beyond their capabilities.

There are a myriad of issues within that august body, but chief among them is their inability to look beyond themselves in order to protect the brand and the party.

From the outside, the Republican party appears to be confused and uncertain as to their identity. They campaign on being conservatives, one even declared his desire to “build that dang wall”.  They know all the conservative talking points, they even eagerly took the identity of Tea Party membership when necessary. Every website touts conservative this, and conservative that, but close examination reveals a true inner conflict.

For many Senate Republicans, it is apparent the talk of being Republican conservative is just that, talk. Conservatism is the hard outer shell, but if you were to take a look at the squishy center, you would see a Rockefeller republican, a moderate trans dying to compromise, aching for comity, desirous of the approval of the Democratic coastal elites, and jealous for preening media attention….

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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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Republicans look to raise taxes in Democratic states….

Democratic leaning states tend to be big states that have state and local taxes supporting public services….

Republicans are thinking of rewriting the tax code to eliminate your tax deduction against state and local taxes…..Hmmmm?

Raising taxes?

We’ll keep an eye on this….

The chances are slim since Republicans..Rich one’s…DO live in Blue states and they don’t want this anymore than Democrats do ….

“Although Republicans usually recoil at any type of tax increase, cutting this tax break would almost be fun for them,” said Martin Sullivan, chief economist for Tax Analysts. “It provides massively disproportionate deductions to high-tax states controlled by Democrats.”

Proposals by House Republican leaders and President Donald Trump would repeal the tax break as part of their packages to overhaul the American tax code. But they are getting a lot of pushback from Republican lawmakers in Democratic-controlled states.

The standoff illustrates how hard it is for Congress to eliminate any popular tax break, even one that primarily benefits the ruling party’s political opponents.

Almost 44 million claimed the deduction in 2014, according to IRS statistics. That’s nearly every taxpayer who itemizes deductions, a little less than 30 percent of all taxpayers. Sullivan analyzed which states would be hit hardest by repealing the tax deduction. The Associated Press did a similar analysis and came to the same conclusion.

Nationally, the average deduction is about $11,800, but it is much bigger in many blue states. New York is tops with an average deduction of more than $21,000. Connecticut is next at $18,900, followed by New Jersey at $17,200 and California at $17,100…..

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They ALL thought Mitch McConnell was the Senate Wizzard….

Then the Senate Healthcare fiasco started, eh?

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 13:  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) answers questions following the weekly Republican policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol November 13, 2014 in Washington, DC. McConnell was re-elected as leader of the Senate Republican caucus earlier in the day.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Mitch McConnell plotting his next dastardly deed.

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It’s really hard to determine if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has the path forward to a Trumpcare vote laid out and is just creating massive confusion over what his senators will even be voting on as a smokescreen, or whether he is truly scrambling and honestly doesn’t have a clue which of three bills is going to the floor next week.

His choices: repeal and delay; Trumpcare 3.0 as disastrously scored by the CBO on Thursday; or Trumpcare 3.0 with the amendment from Texas Sen. Ted Cruz that would turn the insurance exchange into a big, unaffordable high-risk pool. One thing is definitely certain: he’s pissing off his caucus.

The uncertainty so close to a major vote is feeding a growing sense of chaos on Capitol Hill, where GOP senators are openly fretting about the lack of information about legislation that could leave anywhere from 22 million to 32 million more Americans without health insurance.

“I don’t even know what we’re proceeding to next week,” said Maine Sen. Susan Collins, a centrist Republican who has called on her party’s leaders to take a more measured approach to fixing the current healthcare law.

“I don’t know whether we’re proceeding to the House bill, a new version of the Senate bill, the old version of the Senate bill, the 2015 repeal-and-hope-that-we-come-up-with something-in-two-years bill. I truly don’t.”

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) compared the current Senate GOP healthcare discussions to a “bazaar,” with tens of billions of dollars being offered up to woo holdout senators. “I fear that it’s beginning to lack coherency,” Corker told reporters.

Beginning to lack coherency? Sounds like it’s safe to say Collins is going to remain firmly in the “no” column. But it’s the “bazaar” that is the problem.

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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……

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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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Trump Jr. and Manafort will NOT do a public hearing before the Senate…

Thought this was gonna happen…

Made NO sense for the two to be out there testifying with Mueller looking at them….

“Both Donald Trump, Jr. and Paul Manafort, through their attorneys, have agreed to negotiate to provide the committee with documents and be interviewed by committee members and staff prior to a public hearing,” the lawmakers said.

Feinstein and Grassley, the panel’s top two lawmakers, left the door open to subpoenaing either of the men in the future if they stopped cooperating.

“We will not issue subpoenas for them tonight requiring their presence at Wednesday’s hearing but reserve the right to do so in the future,” they said…..

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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….

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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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WH Press Sec Spicer resigns….

Spicer NEVER had a chance…

He was trying to reprise the normal role of a Press Sec…

That is NOT Trump…
Who is looking for a rock thrower to defend him thru fighting the media…Not INFORM…

White House press secretary Sean Spicer does a television interview at the White House, Friday, June 23, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Update, 12:06 p.m.: White House press secretary Sean Spicer has resigned, according to a White House official.

The official said Spicer decided to leave the White House because of President Donald Trump’s expected move to name Anthony Scaramucci, a Wall Street financier and longtime supporter, to the position of White House communications director….

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North Carolina Democratic Governor Roy Cooper’s fight maybe the ‘way’ for Democrats to make gains…

Image result for roy cooper

A Democratic Governor in the South that is Republican country…

Cooper is working hard to stake a Democratic foothold as North Carolina, like some other Southern state moves quietly from a Red State to a Purple one with changing voter bases….

Republicans have been able hold  gains during President Obama’s time in office….(And are trying to keep them by gerrymandering and vote suppression means)

But that’s over….

With Donald Trump fighting his own adopted party…..

Democrats have to get back to the basic’s to grab swing voters and consolidate them with growing Democratic voters in North Carolina and maybe elsewhere?

Roy Cooper wants Democrats to do something they haven’t done in state politics in years: Go on offense.

His eyes on 2018 state Legislature races and potential special elections before then, the North Carolina governor is launching a multimillion-dollar, multiyear effort to knock Republicans out of the state capital. And national Democrats, reeling from losing hundreds of seats in statehouses across the country over the past decade, are hoping other governors pay close attention.

Cooper’s initiative is the latest frontier in a state that’s a cauldron of just about every political fight in America—redistricting, voter ID, public education, gender. The two major parties are just about equally matched here, though unaffiliated voters outnumber Republicans. North Carolina is where Hillary Clinton swooped in for her final, exuberant past-midnight campaign rally—only to see the race called later that day for Donald Trump; it’s where a local battle over who can use which bathroom became a national brawl over human sexuality.

Already, Cooper has quietly banked $1 million for his new group, Break the Majority, and plans to raise several million more, along with recruiting candidates and then campaigning for them in state Senate and General Assembly races. The money, being put into a new state Democratic Party account, will also cover salaries for what will effectively be a new campaign committee, with a dedicated communications director, research director, several junior staffers and cash for everything from field organizers to ads.

Given the cutthroat nature of politics in North Carolina, Cooper’s power play is especially audacious: Though there have been previous independent expenditures and coordinated campaigns in the state and beyond, an effort with this kind of focus and funding is unprecedented…..

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image….charlotteobserver.com

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Donald Trump is about to have a bunch of Civil Suits start against him…

As if the guy didn’t have enough battles going on?

Those civil suits that where dropping on him during last years campaign are about to begin…

Trump’s MO is to put up a fight against these things…Then settle…

His lawyers are trying to say him being the King...ah , President means he’s untouchable for past actions…

Bill Clinton tried that…It didn’t work….

President Donald Trump’s strategy for fending off civil cases while in office is taking shape in a New York lawsuit accusing Mr. Trump of defamation and another in Kentucky that alleges he incited supporters to violence during a campaign rally.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers, who say the allegations are meritless and are seeking to dismiss both cases, argued in recent legal filings that state courts lack jurisdiction over the president and that a Supreme Court decision that allowed a federal civil lawsuit to proceed against President Bill Clinton in the 1990s was wrongly decided. They also made a case for exempting the president from giving testimony in depositions, except as a last resort.

The judges in both cases, which are in early phases, could toss out the lawsuits without addressing the constitutional issues. Courts often avoid making broad pronouncements if they can dispense with cases on narrower grounds. But if the cases move forward, they could lead to rare rulings that change the scope of legal protections enjoyed by the president…..

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