Tag Archives: Politics

James Comey FBI Director and the 2016 Election…

The New York Times is out with  a long detailed  piece putting forth how FBI Director James Comey spent his last year dealing with first and foremost the look at Hillary Clinton and her email sever case, then the politics of the probe…..Then the walk into the Trump & Co. Russian connections case which is on going ….

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The piece , done  by 

That Hillary Clinton through her own actions put her campaign at risk….But she was also the recipient of fumbles and miscues by the Obama Admin from Barack Obama, thru Loretta Lynch and even Comey himself….

In these days of few secrets an FBI Director has hand to shepard his agency thru several politically sensitive investigations that involved people at the top of the American political government ….That there would be NO politics involved is naive….

But no department head to be fair could expect to make it thru without being thrown at is also wrong….

The piece shows a James Comey consulting with his people to game out where he should go on all major decisions….

But after he decides ?

He is overideen several times by events (Bill Clinton visiting AG Lynch), and direction from his superiors (White House holding Trump initial probe from the media)…

The result was and is a see-saw of criticism  thrown at Comey in-particular and the FBI by BOTH American political parties and don-off relationship with two President’s who have the power to remove him from his job…

In this day and age organizations cannot afford to tell their story in public ….

This from the NY Times is James Comey’s and the Federal Bureau of Investigation …

And agency trying hard to stay OUT of politics…

For Mr. Comey, keeping the F.B.I. out of politics is such a preoccupation that he once said he would never play basketball with President Barack Obama because of the appearance of being chummy with the man who appointed him. But in the final months of the presidential campaign, the leader of the nation’s pre-eminent law enforcement agency shaped the contours, if not the outcome, of the presidential race by his handling of the Clinton and Trump-related investigations.

An examination by The New York Times, based on interviews with more than 30 current and former law enforcement, congressional and other government officials, found that while partisanship was not a factor in Mr. Comey’s approach to the two investigations, he handled them in starkly different ways. In the case of Mrs. Clinton, he rewrote the script, partly based on the F.B.I.’s expectation that she would win and fearing the bureau would be accused of helping her. In the case of Mr. Trump, he conducted the investigation by the book, with the F.B.I.’s traditional secrecy. Many of the officials discussed the investigations on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters.

Mr. Comey made those decisions with the supreme self-confidence of a former prosecutor who, in a distinguished career, has cultivated a reputation for what supporters see as fierce independence, and detractors view as media-savvy arrogance.

The Times found that this go-it-alone strategy was shaped by his distrust of senior officials at the Justice Department, who he and other F.B.I. officials felt had provided Mrs. Clinton with political cover. The distrust extended to his boss, Loretta E. Lynch, the attorney general, who Mr. Comey believed had subtly helped play down the Clinton investigation.

His misgivings were only fueled by the discovery last year of a document written by a Democratic operative that seemed — at least in the eyes of Mr. Comey and his aides — to raise questions about her independence. In a bizarre example of how tangled the F.B.I. investigations had become, the document had been stolen by Russian hackers.

The examination also showed that at one point, President Obama himself was reluctant to disclose the suspected Russian influence in the election last summer, for fear his administration would be accused of meddling.

Mr. Comey, the highest-profile F.B.I. director since J. Edgar Hoover, has not squarely addressed his decisions last year. He has touched on them only obliquely, asserting that the F.B.I. is blind to partisan considerations. “We’re not considering whose ox will be gored by this action or that action, whose fortune will be helped,” he said at a public event recently. “We just don’t care. We can’t care. We only ask: ‘What are the facts? What is the law?’”

But circumstances and choices landed him in uncharted and perhaps unwanted territory, as he made what he thought were the least damaging choices from even less desirable alternatives.

“This was unique in the history of the F.B.I.,” said Michael B. Steinbach, the former senior national security official at the F.B.I., who worked closely with Mr. Comey, describing the circumstances the agency faced last year while investigating both the Republican and Democratic candidates for president. “People say, ‘This has never been done before.’ Well, there never was a before. Or ‘That’s not normally how you do it.’ There wasn’t anything normal about this.”…

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Elizabeth Warren is out with a new Book…

The Boston Globe does a review of the book and the states ‘ Senator and seems to find both wanting….

She is NOT such a big deal back in Massachusetts  as she is to progressives around the country…

The most revealing thing about Elizabeth Warren’s new book is all the material she left out.

In “This Fight Is Our Fight,’’ which is Warren’s 11th book and is set for release Tuesday, the Massachusetts senator trains her scrappy prose on corporations and Republicans while notably pulling her punches on the Democratic Party’s stunning failures of 2016.

She dispatches her decision not to run for president in little more than a page. She forgoes any autopsy of what Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party got wrong. She doesn’t even mention meeting with Clinton in Washington to discuss her prospects for joining the ticket as Clinton’s vice presidential pick.

Instead, Warren has produced a policy-focused (or, in her word, “nerdy”) book that is reflective of a politician whose future could depend on preserving Democratic alliances. Put another way, this is no Bernie Sanders-style screed.

In a rare interview at her home in Cambridge on Friday, Warren explained that she wanted to focus on how American government has stopped working for all but the very wealthiest citizens and corporations, and her worry that President Trump “is about to deliver the knockout blow” to the country’s floundering middle class.

“I think it’s time to look forward,” Warren said. In Warren’s case, forward means her 2018 reelection campaign in Massachusetts, upcoming Washington battles with Trump and Senate Republicans — and maybe, though she will not discuss it, a 2020 bid for president.

Pressed on why she doesn’t use the opportunity of a well-timed book to offer a sharper critique of the Democratic Party, Warren’s answer is, essentially: Circular firing squads aren’t very productive.

“I never lose sight of the fact that Democrats have tried to do more for working people than Republicans,” she said. “Have Democrats failed? Yes. There have been places where we have not fought as hard as we should, but Republicans as a party have blocked every move that would have helped working families.”

The new book is relentlessly on message and on brand, as was Warren herself during a 30-minute interview with the Globe.

Cambridge, MA- April 14, 2017: United States Senator Elizabeth Warren at her home in Cambridge, MA on April 14, 2017. (Globe staff photo / Craig F. Walker) section: metro reporter

CRAIG F. WALKER/GLOBE STAFF

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The Russian Navy is VERY Busy around Europe…

Putin’s Military is flexing out at sea….

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Recent Russian naval activity in Europe exceeds levels seen during the Cold War, a top U.S. and NATO military officer said, voicing concern that the distributed nature of the deployments could end up “splitting and distracting” the transatlantic alliance.

Navy Admiral Michelle Howard, who heads NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command in Naples and commands U.S. naval forces in Europe and Africa, said Russia had clearly stepped up its naval actions in recent years although the size of its navy was smaller now than during the Cold War era.

“We’re seeing activity that we didn’t even see when it was the Soviet Union. It’s precedential activity,” Howard told Reuters in an interview late on Saturday during a missile defense conference.

Howard cited a wide range of activities, including Russia’s deployment of its Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier to the Mediterranean, increased patrols in the north Atlantic and Arctic region, significant out-of-area submarine deployments, and submarine movement in the Black Sea.

“They’re a global navy, I understand that. But the activity in this theater has substantially moved up in the last couple of years,” Howard said.

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New York Governor gets free college tuition ok for some New Yorkers…

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Bernie Sanders is proud of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo….

The Democratic Governor is the first to implement Sanders’ idea of free college for those who qualify….

The program kicks in AFTER students apply and get state and federal assistance….

Budget negotiators struck a deal late Friday that could make New York the largest state to offer tuition-free public higher education.

The $163 billion state budget agreement includes the Excelsior Scholarship, which covers tuition for any New Yorker accepted to one of the state’s community colleges or four-year universities, provided their family earns less than $125,000 a year.

Proposed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in January, the scholarship taps into one of the Democratic Party’s most popular ideas and advances a bipartisan movement to lower the cost of college that is taking shape across the country.

“Today, college is what high school was — it should always be an option even if you can’t afford it,” Cuomo said in a statement Saturday. “With this program, every child will have the opportunity that education provides.”

The scholarship program will be phased in over three years, beginning for New Yorkers making up to $100,000 annually in the fall of 2017, increasing to $110,000 in 2018, and reaching $125,000 in 2019. Nearly 1 million families will qualify for the scholarship.

It is a last-dollar program, meaning the state would cover any tuition left over after factoring in federal Pell Grants and New York’s Tuition Assistance Program. Students must be enrolled in college full time and take at least 30 course credits a year, though those facing hardships can pause and restart the program or take fewer credits.

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U.S. payroll gains slowed in March…Jobless rate @ 4.5%

The Jobless rate is the lowest since 2007….

Wages have slowed in rising….

While the payroll figures are the weakest since last May and represent a pullback from the first two months of the year, it may reflect that things are getting back to normal. Employment has been on a healthy run, giving Federal Reserve policy makers enough confidence to raise interest rates in March and forecast two more hikes this year. Businesses have been challenged by a dwindling pool of unemployed, and are gradually giving in to pressures to raise wages in order to attract and retain talent.

“Even if payrolls are slowing down, I’m not sure that that means the labor market is weakening,” said Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities LLC. “To the extent that it is slowing down or going to slow down, it’s probably more a function of tight supply than weakening demand.”…

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Judge Gorsuch confirmed to the Supreme’s….

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No surprise here…

The vote was 54-45….

The guy is only 49 years old….

He could be a judge for  decades….

We’ll have to see if he’s as hard right as Scalia….

Trump and the Republiocans finally get a win….

The Democrats get nothing …..

This was a done deal when Hillary Clinton lost….

Most American’s though,  won’t care about this…

Judge Neil M. Gorsuch was confirmed by the Senate on Friday to become the 113th justice of the Supreme Court, capping a political brawl that lasted for more than a year and tested constitutional norms inside the Capitol’s fraying upper chamber.

The development was a signal triumph for President Trump, whose campaign last year rested in large part on his pledge to appoint another committed conservative to succeed Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016. However rocky the first months of his administration may have been, Mr. Trump now has a lasting legacy: Judge Gorsuch, 49, could serve on the court for 30 years or more.

Vice President Mike Pence presided over the final vote Friday, a show of force for the White House on a day when his tie-breaking vote as president of the Senate was not necessary. The final tally was 54-45 in favor of confirmation.

The confirmation was also a vindication of the bare-knuckled strategy of Senate Republicans, who refused even to consider President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court pick, Judge Merrick B. Garland, saying the choice of the next justice should belong to the next president…..

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Political Roundup for April 4, 2017…Another Obamacare Try…RRH Elections…

Obamacare:  After threatening to make Republicans live with Obamacare and potentially entertaining Democratic offers after his high stakes negotiation tactics failed, President Trump (Art of the Deal) and House conservatives are mulling another attempt at repealing parts of Obamcare and replacing them with watered down versions.  It is not clear if the third largest party in the House, the House Freedom Caucus, will provide support to the minority government of Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Janesville) or cause parliamentary chaos, their usual tactic.

More Obamacare:  After golfing with the President, Senator Rand Paul (R-Libertarian) articulated something resembling a repeal and partial replace of Obamacare.  Basically Paul is trying to maintain optics of being against new entitlements by keeping the subsidy regime in place instead of creating a tax credit entitlement regime.  It really sounds like third largest party in the House and their Senate fellow travelers are looking at caving under “yuge” pressure from the Trumpian hordes.

Judiciary:  The Trump administration is scouring the countryside looking for young conservative lawyers in their late 30s early 40s to appoint to the federal judiciary.  Yours truly is not one of them, but I would not mind serving as a Bankruptcy Court judge.

Kaisch:  Ohio Governor John Kaisch (R-Weaverland) does not plan on running against President Trump in 2020, but he is spending a lot of time contrasting himself to Trump.  John Weaver is keeping himself fed apparently by stroking Kaisch’s enormous ego.  Talk about someone who could get me to actively support Trump in a primary….

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They voted FOR Trump…He wants to screw them…

Trump and Co. want to cut funds to a HUD programs that has help rural Americans ….

THAT is their payback for voting for a snake oil type salesman……

And folks?

Some of those he’s trying to screw?

STILL would follow him off a cliff….

HOME Investment Partnerships is one of dozens of programs and independent agencies aimed at the poor — including the Appalachian Regional Commission, AmeriCorps, the Legal Services Corporation and the Interagency Council on Homelessness — that Mr. Trump has proposed cutting. The budget for the fiscal year beginning in October would cut $6.2 billion — about 13 percent — from HUD, eliminating the Community Development Block Grant program, which funds local initiatives like Meals on Wheels and anti-poverty efforts; and the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity and Choice Neighborhoods programs, which aim to replace distressed public housing with mixed-income development.

Trumbull County, where the Pavlics live, teamed up with the City of Warren in the 1990s to create the Warren-Trumbull HOME Consortium, which receives about $450,000 a year from HUD to repair homes, assist with down payments, finance affordable housing and build housing for people suffering from chronic mental illness, said Julie Edwards, the economic development coordinator for the county’s planning commission.

The county, which voted overwhelmingly for Mr. Trump, is the type of place where people might hope to be great again. Open fields of overgrown grass line winding roads that lead to rusted steel mills and shuttered factories. The median household income in the county, which is about 90 percent white and 8 percent black, dropped by $7,400, to $42,368, from 2006 to 2015, while the population declined by 14,000, to 203,750. Near Kinsman is Masury, which locals have nicknamed Misery.

“Our county voted for President Trump, so I’m not sure they quite understand what is going to happen,” Ms. Edwards said. “I don’t think people realize how much we rely on these services. I don’t think people are making the connection between cutting the HUD funds and paving our streets or building new affordable housing.”….

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Republicans are unlikely to give Trump any money for his ‘Wall’….

Donald Trump is good at spending OTHER PEOPLE’s money….

He used to smile and say he was comfortable being a Debt ‘King’….

Now he wants to spend American taxpayer money on a Wall facing Mexico that could cost tens of Billions of dollars….Congress write the checks…Not Trump & Co…..

House GOP Speaker Paul Ryan was counting on a border tax (in a Tax Reform package) to pay for the Wall, because Trump promise that Mexico would pay for the Wall just isn’t gonna happen….

Democrats have warned Republicans that if they want a budget and the government to keep running?

Forget the Wall….

Sounds a lot like a few years past eh, ?

With the shoe on the Democrats foot looking to kick someone….

Congressional Republicans might deliver some more bad news for President Donald Trump, fresh off their embarrassing failure to scrap Obamacare: No new money is coming to build his wall.

Trump hoped to jump-start construction of a massive wall on the U.S.-Mexico border with money in a must-pass government funding bill. But Democratic leaders are vowing to block any legislation that includes a single penny for the wall.

With the GOP consumed by its own divisions, the White House and Hill Republicans will have to rely on Democratic votes to avoid a government shutdown next month in what would be another disaster for Trump’s fledgling presidency.

Republican leaders, wary of this, are considering a plan that would not directly tie the border wall money to the April 28 government funding deadline. Some Republican insiders worry that the president cannot afford another major legislative setback — and they believe a shutdown showdown would result in just that.

While no decision has been made by GOP leadership, Republican lawmakers may decide to decouple the two to avoid a confrontation with Democrats. If they do, the chances of getting Trump’s wall funding passed this spring become slim.

“It remains to be seen,” said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) in an interview. “What I would like to see is a plan for how the money would be spent and a good faith discussion about what border security is really composed of. We haven’t had that.”

Asked about the prospects for a lapse in government funding, Cornyn was definitive: “There’s not going to be a shutdown.”…

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Special Prosecutors can go places people don’t anticipate…

Republicans will fight ‘tooth and nail’ to NOT have a Special Prosecutor empowered to investigate the Russian/Campaign influence questions….

Why?

Because those investigations often go places NOBODY thought they would…..

Skepticism about the utility of special prosecutors has often risen and fallen depending on whose political ox is being gored.

In the wake of Watergate and Iran-Contra, many Republicans were deeply wary of the idea. When the Supreme Court upheld the independent counsel law in 1998, Justice Antonin Scalia issued a sharp dissent.

“Nothing is so politically effective as the ability to charge that one’s opponent and his associates are not merely wrongheaded, naive, ineffective, but, in all probability, ‘crooks,’” Scalia warned. “And nothing so effectively gives an appearance of validity to such charges as a Justice Department investigation and, even better, prosecution. The present statute provides ample means for that sort of attack, assuring that massive and lengthy investigations will occur, not merely when the Justice Department in the application of its usual standards believes they are called for, but whenever it cannot be said that there are ‘no reasonable grounds to believe’ they are called for.”

Another outspoken critic of the law in that era was Attorney General William Barr, one of the former attorneys general whose portraits now grace the walls of Sessions’ conference room, was among the most outspoken opponents of the independent counsel law.

President Bill Clinton was initially a proponent of the law. In 1994, he signed a bill reauthorizing the lapsed statute for five years. The law led to independent counsel probes of five of his Cabinet members, as well as the Whitewater-Monica Lewinsky probe that led to his impeachment.

Clinton eventually concluded that giving his OK to the reauthorization was a serious mistake.

“It was a nightmare,” he told Fox News in 2010. “The only good thing to come out of it was, it killed this whole system. I don’t think there’ll ever be another one like this again.”…

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Political Roundup for February 28th, 2017…Most Americans find politics stressful these days…RRH Elections

President & Miscellaneous

The Donald’s Budget: Many people are saying that Congressional Republicans don’t find 45’s Dick Gephardt ’00-inspired budget tremenous. Sad!

Need another reason to drink?: According to a new Reuters poll, most Americans find politics stressful these days. In other news, water is wet.

POTUS Favorability: In news that must be fake, young voters would fire The Donald—if given the chance. According to Reuters, most Americans aged 13-17 disapprove of POTUS (surprise!) and are just as disillusioned with politics as their older counterparts. They are, however, slightly more optimistic about the future than is the first generation to leave its children worse off than it itself was left.

Commerce Secretary: Billionaire Wilbur Ross was confirmed yesterday as Secretary of Commerce by a 72-27 margin.

TX-Voter ID: As expected, the DOJ has reversed its stance on Texas’ voter ID law. But, let’s be real: would such a law even be necessary with our inevitable Big Beautiful Wall?

Trump v. the Media: The New York Times claims that Donald Trump has “evil intentions.” But, seriously, did that stop the paper from publishing plenty of attention-seeking Trump headlines before his political days to boost its readership? The Donald was still The Donald then—just as much as he is now.

The Almighty Dollar: The dollar has held steady as of late, apparently due to POTUS’ current lack of specifics on fiscal and tax policy….

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Political Roundup for February 21, 2017…Trump Supporters…RRH Elections…

President-National

NSA:  Lt. General H.R. McMaster has been appointed National Security Adviser replacing Michael Flynn, the former General who was sacked resigned for defying Vice President Pence and the Deep State, and colluding with the Russians.  McMaster is a more conventional pick from a worldview and is known as a warrior-scholar.

Trump Supporters:  The Washington Post looks at how President Trump’s supporters view him as the greatest thing since sliced bread while not understanding why everyone else does not view him as the greatest thing since sliced bread as well.  I guess they feel the same way I felt when people on the right accused former President Obama of being anti-energy while he was the most pro-fracking president in history (before Trump).

Cuomo:  New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D / IDC / RINO / Whatever gets me votes today) released New York’s DNC delegates to vote their conscience in the DNC chairperson race.  This is clearly a sign there is no frontrunner so Andy needs as much cover as he can get.

Identity Politics: Victor Davis Hanson examines identity politics and whether we are seeing the End Times of identity politics with the era of Trump.  Hanson argues increased diversity and conflicting goals in the various political coalitions might mean we are seeing the apex of identity politics with a decline occurring in the near future.  We can only hope!

Trump-LBJ:  National Review examines the similarities between President Trump and former President (and the worst president of the last 50 years) Lyndon Johnson.   National Review in particular looks at how the left loves the results LBJ obtained while using Trump style tactics.

RNC:  The RNC has had two record months in a row.  It broke its previous post-presidential election record for January by raising $19.8 million, which is higher than the record breaking December the RNC had.

CPAC:  Showing yet again why CPAC should be banned from occurring by constitutional amendment for the sake of the Republic, the organizers have embarrassed themselves by inviting and uninviting mentally/morally compromised Milo Yiannopoulos over the holiday weekend.  Milo, the gay male Ann Coulter, got himself into real deep sh*t by essentially trying to justify inappropriate relationships between older men and teenage boys.  As conservatism is dead, it is fitting that CPAC and the ACU commit ritualistic suicide by first inviting Milo angering the remaining socially conservative rump then sticking the knife back in their gut by uninviting him unleashing the wrath of his militant sympathizers….

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Daily Kos Morning Digest 2/2/17…: Democrats romp in special election, but too soon to say if Trump’s offering a boost

Iowa Democrat Monica Kurth

Iowa Democrat Monica Kurth

Leading Off

Special Elections: An interesting thing happened on Tuesday night, in a special election for Iowa’s 89th state House District: Democrats didn’t just win—though they were expected to—they won big. This, suffice it to say, is an outcome Team Blue does not typically see in oddly timed elections, so here’s a little background.

 Late last year, Democratic state Rep. Jim Lykam won a previous special election for the state Senate, thus setting off a second special election—the political equivalent of musical chairs. Democrats, who nominated retired community college instructor Monica Kurth, were favored to retain Lykam’s seat, which is located in the city of Davenport and backed Hillary Clinton by a 52-41 margin.

But you never know with these kinds of races, which so often see turnout among Democratic voters drop disproportionately, compared to elections when there’s a presidential contest on the ballot. What’s more, Clinton’s performance represented a huge drop from four years earlier, when Obama racked up a huge 63-36 win. That falloff seemed to mirror Democrats’ misfortune statewide, and should have been cause for concern.

Kurth, however, completely smashed her Republican opponent, police officer Mike Gonzales, winning by a 72-27 margin, and that’s certainly a positive sign. At the very least, a lot of Trump voters either didn’t show up or switched sides…..

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Mook and Lewandowski….Cash in…Together

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s campaign amangers are gonna cash in by going around debating each others and getting PAID for it….

Rival campaign managers from Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s respective presidential bids are set to join forces on the lucrative paid speaking circuit.

In joint appearances across the country, Robby Mook and Corey Lewandowski will offer a “future-focused look at why Trump won” in what their speaking agency, Leading Authorities, promises will be an “entertaining pair sure to keep any audience engaged,” according to the Washington-based firm’s website.

The paid speech roadshow most often takes speakers to corporate gatherings, trade conferences, and universities. The contracts can deliver tens of thousands of dollars for each speech — and hundreds of thousands for names like Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Mook, the 37-year-old who managed Clinton’s campaign, is a career field organizer, new to the world of speech and television contracts that have helped make well-paid public figures out of operatives fresh from campaigns or the White House.

After his dismissal from the Trump campaign in June of 2016, Lewandowski, 43, signed on as a paid political analyst for CNN. The arrangement became subject to criticism when Lewandowski continued to advise Trump and once on-air revived the “birther” conspiracy that the president helped make prominent before his candidacy…..

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Note….

Why souldn’t  there past bosses just make the money?

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House Republicans push to undo Obama Government Rules and Regulations…

They won’t undo EVERYONE of President Obama’s and old Regulations….

But….

They ARE gonna try….

(The by-product of this will be to strip down the power of the American President...I wonder when President Donald Trump REALIZES THIS?)

When it comes to unraveling President Obama’s legacy, Trump could not have found a more enthusiastic partner than the GOP Congress.

After just two weeks of work, the House has already passed several sweeping bills that, if enacted, would roll back scores of Obama administration regulations and make it significantly harder for future presidents — including Trump — to write similar rules. One measure would allow Congress to eliminate a host of regulations in one fell swoop, while another would make it harder for agencies to issue rules to begin with.

Next month, the House is expected to take up more targeted measures that would use fast-track procedures to undo several recent rules issued by executive-branch agencies.

The effort to eliminate existing regulations and place curbs on future ones has garnered almost unheard-of unanimity among fractious House Republicans and heralds sweeping changes to federal labor, environmental and financial oversight as the GOP takes control of Washington….

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Obama to Working Class Trump voters…You played Yourself….

Really?

Is Donald Trump and his MILLIONAIRE cabinet members gonna be looking out for Working Class or even Middle Class Suburban Americans???

Barack Obama is a famously optimistic rhetorician. He’s also one who doesn’t really do “bad guys.” The enemies in his speeches are always unnamed and merely alluded to. He’s also extremely even-handed, in typical fashion balancing a slam on people who deny that racism is real and important with a call on people of color to empathize with “the middle-aged white man who from the outside may seem like he’s got all the advantages, but who’s seen his world upended by economic, cultural, and technological change.”

But for one, brief, shining moment Obama stopped being polite and started being real.

“If every economic issue is framed as a struggle between a hardworking white middle class and undeserving minorities,” he said, “then workers of all shades will be left fighting for scraps while the wealthy withdraw further into their private enclaves.”

It does not take a genius to understand who is whom in this parable. Donald Trump, who was born rich and lives in a gold-plated tower, is a wealthy person who can withdraw further into his private enclaves. So is his son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner. So is his billionaire education secretary Betsy DeVos. So is his billionaire commerce secretary Wilbur Ross. So is the Goldman Sachs executive he’s tapped to run the National Economic Council and the Goldman Sachs trader turned hedge fund manager he’s tapped to run the Treasury Department. This crew is laughing all the way to the bank as white working class votes install a new regime based on regressive tax cuts and bank deregulation….

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