Philly76

It Takes A Village – VNV Monday: We the People – 6/12/17

Grass Roots Activism- Our salvation



 

Resistance News:

Hillary Clinton

In an interview with Christiane Amanpour at a Women for Women International event in New York, the former presidential candidate said that she is now “part of the resistance,” and despite no longer holding office, she considers herself to be an “activist citizen.”

“I spent decades learning about what it would take to move our country forward—including people who clearly didn’t vote for me—to try to make sure we dealt with a lot of these hard issues that are right around the corner like robotics and artificial intelligence and things that are really going to be upending the economy for the vast majority of Americans, to say nothing of the rest of the world,” she said.

“I am going to publicly request that this administration not end our efforts making women’s rights and opportunities central to American foreign policy and national security.”

Clinton gave the keynote address at the commencement ceremony for Medgar Evers, a college in Brooklyn, New York. While the nation’s attention was turned to former FBI director James Comey’s testimony at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, Clinton stayed silent on the revelations about his conversations with President Donald Trump, instead urging the graduating class to remember that “the work of justice is never finished.”

“The first months of this year saw a surge in hate crimes across our country,” Clinton said. “White supremacists are emboldened, and their numbers on the rise.”

She reminded the audience of the May 26 stabbing on a Portland commuter train, when Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, allegedly stabbed three men who defended two teenage girls from Christian’s “racist, xenophobic tirade,” as Clinton put it. One of the girls was wearing a hijab, and Christian reportedly made comments such as telling the girls to go back to Saudi Arabia.

Ricky John Best, 53, and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, 23, died in the attack. Micah David-Cole Fletcher, 21, was seriously injured but survived.

“They stepped in front of those girls to block the abuse,” Clinton said. “Other passengers rushed forward to comfort and pray with the victims, and one victim’s last words as he was carried away by paramedics echoes what [Medgar Evers College President Rudolph Crew] said at the very beginning of this ceremony: ‘Tell everyone on this train that I love them.’”

 QUESTION OF THE DAY: What cause Hillary the Election:

During the 2016 election cycle, Bill Clinton met with former Attorney General Loretta Lynch on a tarmac in Phoenix, Arizona ― a move that was widely discussed because it coincided with the Justice Department investigating his wife, then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

After hearing about that meeting, Comey said he was prompted to bring the news of the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s emails to the public spotlight.

When asked in his testimony on Thursday whether his decision was influenced by the meeting, Comey said, “Yes, in an ultimately conclusive way.”

“That was the thing that capped it for me that I had to do something separately to protect the credibility of the investigation, which meant both the FBI and the Justice Department,” Comey said.

 

 Musings On The Vagina Grabber In Chief:

Republicans are well on their way to repealing the Affordable Care Act, putting millions of people at risk of losing their health insurance. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday took steps to fast-track their efforts, sidestepping the typical committee hearings in favor of closed-door meetings. And many Republicans are avoiding their own town hall meetings, where the subject is likely to come up. 

As progressive New York Times writer David Leonhardt notes, the Comey hearing has relieved some of the pressure Republicans faced in previous months against their health care plans. But it shouldn’t, he says.

“Even amid the Comey testimony, and all of the attention it deserves, don’t let health care be forgotten,” Leonhardt wrote this week. “It’s too important.”

    On Thursday, while every major news channel was trained on former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke was busy defending the Trump administration’s budget before the House Appropriations Interior and Environment Subcommittee.

Under the proposed budget, the Department of the Interior — which manages about 500 million acres across the country — would see its funding cut by 13 percent. Climate programs, in particular, would take a substantial cut, seeing reductions of around 80 percent

Not The Onion: Trump proposed covering his untenable border wall with solar panels

It Takes A Village – VNV Monday: We the People – 5/29/17

Grass Roots Activism- Our salvation



 

Resistance News:

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton sharply criticized President Trump during her graduation speech at Wellesley College on Friday, delivering a stinging rebuke to his policies and governing style without ever mentioning his name.

She started with a playful tone talking about her election loss.

“You may have heard that things didn’t exactly go the way I planned. but you know what, I’m doing OK,” she said. “I’ve gotten to spend time with my family, especially my amazing grandchildren … long walks in the woods, organizing my closets. I won’t lie, Chardonnay helped a little, too.”

She implicitly compared Trump to President Nixon while talking about her own graduation from Wellesley in 1969, to laughter from the audience.

“We were furious about the past presidential election of a man whose presidency would eventually end in disgrace for impeachment of obstruction of justice,” she said, “after firing the person running the investigation into him at the Department of Justice.”

But she then took a more serious turn, condemning Trump’s new budget and denouncing what she sees is a dangerous direction the administration is taking the country.

“There is a full-fledged assault on truth and reason,” she said. “Just log on to social media for 10 seconds, it will hit you right in the face. People denying science, concocting elaborate hurtful conspiracy theories about child abuse rings operating out of pizza parlors, drumming up rampant fear about undocumented immigrants, Muslims, minorities, the poor … Some are even denying things we see with our own eyes, like the size of crowds. And then defending themselves by talking about quote unquote alternative facts.”

“When people in power invent their own facts and attack those who question them, it can mark the beginning of the end of a free society,” Clinton continued. “That is not hyperbole, it is what authoritarian regimes throughout history have done.”

“In the years to come there will be trolls galore,” Clinton said. “They may even call you a nasty woman.” The audience cheered at the reference to Trump famously calling Clinton that during a presidential debate, which turned the phrase into a rallying cry for her campaign.

Clinton implored the all-female graduating class to vote, be active participants in society and politics and work toward their values.

“Keep going,” she said. “It’s often during the darkest times when you can do the most good.”

This article was originally published on TIME.com

 QUESTION OF THE DAY:

Will the Dems capture The House following Che Guevara Sanders mantra of cultivating White Working Class voters that voted for the Vagina Grabber In Chief?

The Democratic defeat in a hard-fought special House election in Montana on Thursday highlighted the practical limitations on liberal opposition to President Trump and exposed a deepening rift between cautious party leaders, who want to pick their shots in battling for control of Congress in 2018, and more militant grass-roots activists who want to fight the Republicans everywhere.

Rob Quist, the Democratic nominee in Montana, staked his campaign on the Republican health care bill, but he still lost by six percentage points, even after his Republican opponent for the state’s lone House seat, Greg Gianforte, was charged with assaulting a reporter on the eve of the election.

But House Democratic officials make no apology for their prudence, believing they are more likely to claim the 24 seats needed to capture the House majority in suburban districts with highly educated voters, where anger at Mr. Trump runs high. That includes districts like the one in suburban Atlanta, previously represented by Health Secretary Tom Price, where both parties have poured tens of millions of dollars into a contest that looms all the more consequential after the Democratic defeats in Kansas and Montana.

Even this week, just two days before the Montana vote, Mr. Luján announced new spending in the Georgia race. And in private, Mr. Luján was telling other House Democrats that Mr. Quist stood little chance, based on private polls showing Mr. Gianforte with a healthy, consistent lead, according to one of those present at a closed-door meeting of the caucus. After the election was called, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee circulated a memo declaring that it had “refused to waste money on hype.”

 Musings On The Vagina Grabber In Chief:

The Washington Post
Ellen Nakashima, Adam Entous and Greg Miller29 mins ago
FILE PHOTO - White House senior advisor Jared Kushner (C) sits alongside U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross (2nd L) as they prepare to meet with Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and the Saudi delegation at the Royal Court in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017.© REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo FILE PHOTO – White House senior advisor Jared Kushner (C) sits alongside U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross (2nd L) as they prepare to meet with Saudi Arabia’s King…Jared Kushner and Russia’s ambassador to Washington discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between Trump’s transition team and the Kremlin, using Russian diplomatic facilities in an apparent move to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring, according to U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports.

From one Orange guy to another:  The Ohio Republican says, “Everything else he’s done (in office) has been a complete disaster.” He says Trump is still learning how to be president. Boehner says he’s been friends with Trump for 15 years, but still has a hard time envisioning him as president. He also says Trump shouldn’t be allowed to tweet overnight.

It Takes A Village – VNV Monday: We the People – 5/22/17

Grass Roots Activism- Our salvation



 

Resistance News:

Hillary Clinton has launched a new political organization aimed at funding a “resistance” against Donald Trump’s leadership. The former Democratic presidential nominee unveiled Onward Together, a name which echoes her campaign theme Stronger Together, on Monday.
The 69-year-old described herself as a “citizen activist” as she revealed plans to empower Democrats and liberal groups.
The organization aims to build a network of candidates in the 2018 mid-term polls to oppose Mr. Trump.
Mrs. Clinton tweeted that she was launching the group “to encourage people to get involved, organize, and even run for office”.
The former secretary of state is not expected to rejoin the Clinton Foundation, the primary focus of her husband and daughter.
In another tweet, she said she has been “reflecting, spending time with family – and yes, taking walks in the woods”.
According to CNN she wrote in an email to supporters: “The challenges we face as a country are real but there’s no telling what we can achieve if we approach the fights ahead with the passion and determination we feel today, and bring that energy into 2017, 2018, 2020, and beyond.”

According to a PublicPolicyPolling

Only 43% of voters think Trump is not actually going to make it through his whole term, 45% don’t think he will: http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2017/05/health-care-puts-house-in-play.html 

By 8 point margin, 49/41, voters wish Hillary Clinton was President instead of Trump. Including 10% of Trump voters: http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2017/05/health-care-puts-house-in-play.html 

Health Care Puts House in Play

PPP’s new national poll finds that Republicans are facing significant..

 QUESTION OF THE DAY:

IS Donald J. Trump a Traitor: Black’s Law Dictionary defines “treason” as ”attempting to overthrow the government of the state to which one owes allegiance, either by making war against the state or by materially supporting its enemies”.

It Takes A Village – VNV Monday: We the People – 5/15/17



 

HOPE ALL THE MOTHERS AND MOTHERS TO BE HAD A GREAT MOTHERS DAY. Here is The History of Mother’s Day

Meet Anna Jarvis, the founder — and fighter — of Mother’s Day

2 / 29

Laura T. Coffey

 

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The Founder Of Mother’s Day Ended Up Hating It
Anna Jarvis founded Mother’s Day to honor her beloved mother, then spent the rest of her life fighting the holiday’s commercial and political exploitation. She died alone in an asylum.Her story — and the modern-day story of Mother’s Day — began, of course, with her own mother. Here’s how it all got started.

1858

In the beginning

Mother of Anna M. Jarvis, Founder of Mother's Day: Anne Reeves Jarvis, mother of Mother's Day founder Anna Jarvis© Bettmann Archive via Getty Images Anne Reeves Jarvis, mother of Mother’s Day founder Anna JarvisIn 1858, Ann Reeves Jarvis (Anna Jarvis’ mother) organizes Mothers’ Day Work Clubs to improve sanitary conditions and stem her community’s appalling infant mortality rates. In her lifetime, Jarvis has 13 children and only sees four of them live to adulthood.

1868

Foes unite

In the wake of the Civil War, Ann Reeves Jarvis (Anna Jarvis’ mother) coordinates a Mothers’ Friendship Day in West Virginia to bring former foes on the battlefield back together again. The initially tense day goes well, with veterans from the North and South weeping and shaking hands for the first time in years.

1870

Sacred right

Julia Ward Howe: American feminist, abolitionist and reformer Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910)© Getty Images American feminist, abolitionist and reformer Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910)Julia Ward Howe, a mother and another forerunner of modern-day Mother’s Day celebrations, suggests a “Mothers’ Peace Day.” She makes the case that war is a preventable evil and mothers have a “sacred right” to protect the lives of their boys.

1873

Howe’s holiday

The inaugural celebration of Howe’s “Mothers’ Day” takes place in June of this year.

1905

Jarvis dies

Ann Reeves Jarvis dies on the second Sunday in May.

1907

Enter Anna

One of Jarvis’ surviving daughters, Anna Jarvis, organizes a small service in honor of her deceased mother on the second Sunday in May at the Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, West Virginia.

1908

This holiday sticks

The first formal “Mother’s Day” commemoration is marked with another service on the second Sunday in May at the same church in Grafton, and with a much larger ceremony in Philadelphia. Jarvis has white carnations distributed to the mothers, sons and daughters in attendance in Grafton.

1910

It’s official in West Virginia

The governor of West Virginia makes Mother’s Day an official holiday on the second Sunday in May.

1912

Vision for Mother’s Day

While waging a relentless letter-writing campaign to drum up support for Mother’s Day, Anna Jarvis creates the Mother’s Day International Association and trademarks the phrases “second Sunday in May” and “Mother’s Day.” “She wanted Mother’s Day to be a very private acknowledgment of all the mother does for the family,” said Katharine Antolini, a history professor at West Virginia Wesleyan College. “It was very sweet.”

1914

National holiday

Woodrow Wilson© Getty Images Woodrow WilsonPresident Woodrow Wilson makes Mother’s Day an official national holiday. Jarvis is gratified by her preferred placement of the apostrophe in “Mother’s Day” — making it singular possessive, not plural possessive, so each family would honor its one and only mother.

1915

Movement spreads

Mother’s Day becomes an official holiday in Canada.

1915

Changing tide

Shortly after 1915, Jarvis begins to sense that she’s created a monster when she sees the florist, card and candy industries cashing in on Mother’s Day and public interest groups using the holiday to make political statements. She rails against exploitation of what was supposed to be a special, reverential day for families.

1922

Battle with florist industry

Jarvis endorses open boycotts against florists who raise the prices of white carnations every May.

1923

Threats of litigation

Jarvis threatens to sue the New York Mother’s Day Committee, of which New York Gov. Al Smith and Mayor John Hylan are members, over plans for a large Mother’s Day celebration. The event is canceled.

1925

Disorderly conduct

Jarvis crashes a Philadelphia convention of the American War Mothers, a group that had its own Mother’s Day commemoration and began using a white carnation as its emblem. The American War Mothers push for Jarvis’ arrest, but charges of disorderly conduct are dismissed.

1934

Commemorative stamp

Jarvis is slighted when the American War Mothers successfully lobby President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Postmaster General James A. Farley to unveil a Mother’s Day stamp. The stamp features a portrait of painter James McNeill Whistler’s mother with white carnations and the words, “In memory and in honor of the Mothers of America.”

1935

Taking on the first lady

Anna Jarvis accuses first lady Eleanor Roosevelt of “crafty plotting” by using Mother’s Day in fundraising material for charities trying to combat high maternal and infant mortality rates.

1940

Increasingly reclusive

Sensing that she can’t contain her creation, Jarvis threatens to end it during the 1940s. “She told me, with terrible bitterness, that she was sorry she had ever started Mother’s Day,” said one journalist who allegedly pretended to be a deliveryman so he could meet the increasingly reclusive Jarvis.

1944

Asylum bound

Jarvis, now 80, is placed in a mental asylum called the Marshall Square Sanitarium.

1948

Jarvis dies at 84

Jarvis dies at age 84, alone and penniless from the various legal battles she waged over the holiday she started. She never made any profit from Mother’s Day, and she never had any children.

2017

Ever since Consumers spend big bucks on their moms each Mother’s Day.

Source: “Memorializing Motherhood: Anna Jarvis and the Struggle for Control of Mother’s Day,” a dissertation by Katharine Lane Antolini
Portrait of mother and baby

CURRENT EVENTS:

THE VAGINA GRABBER IN CHIEF DANCE WITH PUTIN AT A GLANCE:

What we know about investigations into Trump campaign and Russia

Maureen Groppe, Eliza Collins, and Bartholomew D Sullivan7 hrs ago

Comey’s fired. Here’s what we know about probes into Trump campaign and Russia

President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey raises a ton of questions, including how this will affect the FBI and congressional investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections.

Here’s what we know — and what we still don’t know.

Why did Trump fire Comey?

First, let’s start off with the basics.

In recommending Comey’s firing, the Justice Department leadership excoriated the FBI director for his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her time as secretary of State.

In a letter released by the White House, Trump said he agreed with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and newly-confirmed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that Comey “was not able to effectively lead the bureau.” As Trump told reporters on Wednesday: “Very simply, he was not doing a good job.”

But wasn’t he running the FBI’s Russia investigation?

Yes. Comey in March confirmed publicly the FBI was conducting a counterintelligence investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during last year’s election. Trump has repeatedly denied any connections and has dismissed the Russia story as a “hoax” from Democrats committed to sabotaging his presidency.

White House aides spent all of Wednesday arguing the timing of the firing had nothing to do with the agency’s ongoing investigation.

Where does the FBI’s Russia probe stand now?

That’s what everyone wants to know.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the Russia investigations will “continue whether Jim Comey is there or not.”

“Any investigation that was happening on Monday, is still happening today. We encourage them to complete this investigation so we can put it behind us,” Sanders told reporters Wednesday. “Nobody wants this to be finished and completed more than us.”

But Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., expressed concern on Wednesday that the investigation would continue in full force, confirming reports that Comey had asked for more money for the FBI’s probe of Russia’s interference in the election days before being fired. “I’m told that as soon as Rosenstein arrived, there was a request for additional resources for the investigation and that a few days afterwards he (Comey) was sacked,” said Durbin, a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which oversees the Justice Department and FBI.

Durbin said he did not know the details of the request, which The New York Times reported the FBI director made to Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general overseeing the Russia investigation who also recommended Trump fire Comey. Durbin also said he did not have direct evidence that the request was related to Comey’s firing. But he had a general takeaway: “I think the Comey operation was breathing down the neck of the Trump campaign and their operatives and this was an effort to slow down the investigation.”

Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said Comey made no request for additional funding or personnel in meetings with Rosenstein. “No resources — personnel, money or otherwise,’’ Flores said. “That is false.’’

If the FBI doesn’t investigate, who could?

Democrats are unifying around the call for a special prosecutor. If Trump were truly upset with Comey about his handling of the Clinton probe, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said, he could have fired Comey on his first day in office. Instead, Schumer said, the president waited until Congress and FBI investigations into Russia heated up.

“Given the way the President has fired Director Comey, any person who he appoints to lead the Russia investigation will be concerned that he or she will meet the same fate as Director Comey if they run afoul of the administration,” Schumer said. Without an independent special prosecutor, he added, “every American will rightly suspect that the decision to fire Director Comey was part of a cover-up.”

How would a special prosecutor be appointed?

Not easily, it turns out. 

The responsibility would fall to Rosenstein, who wrote Tuesday’s memo justifying Comey’s firing. While Attorney General Jeff Sessions has legal authority to make the appointment, he has recused himself from investigations relating to the 2016 campaign after his conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, came to light.

The post-Watergate independent counsel law that gave Congress the authority to call on the attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor lapsed in 1999. And passing a new version is unlikely in a GOP-controlled Congress.

An independent counsel isn’t needed, Sanders said, because Congress is also investigating — and because Rosenstein, who is overseeing the Justice Department’s probe, “is about as independent as it comes.”

On Wednesday afternoon, Schumer said Rosenstein’s role in Comey’s dismissal had cast “serious doubts” on his impartiality. Democrats now say the authority to name a special prosecutor should fall instead to the highest-ranking career civil servant at the Justice Department.

James Comey pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill on May 3, 2017.©

Carolyn Kaster, AP James Comey pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill on May 3, 2017.

So will Congress take any action, then?

There are five key committees looking at aspects of Russia’s involvement in the election.

After the U.S. intelligence community accused Moscow of orchestrating a campaign of cyberattacks against Democratic political organizations, and leaking the stolen information to websites such as WikiLeaks with the goal of undermining public confidence in the election, congressional panels offered to take up the charge.

So far, though, there have been some hearings, but little definitive progress — at least that’s visible to the outside observer.

Here’s where things stand:

Senate Intelligence Committee:

The committee hasn’t held open hearings on its Russia probe since it heard from some academic witnesses on Russian “disinformation” efforts on March 30.

On May 5, committee leaders asked four Trump campaign associates — including former national security adviser Michael Flynn and campaign advisers Carter Page, Paul Manafort and Roger Stone — to provide records of meetings with Russian officials. The committee announced late Wednesday that it sent a subpoena to Flynn for Russia-related documents.

Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., said Tuesday night that he was “troubled by the timing” of Comey’s firing, adding it “confuses an already difficult investigation.” Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., said it was “shocking” that Comey was fired “during an active counterintelligence investigation into improper contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia.” He tweeted that the situation “demands the appointment of a Special Counsel.”

But some members of this investigating panel might not support a special prosecutor. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a member of the panel, said Wednesday such an appointment “would probably shut down our ability to do our work because a significant amount of information would now be denied on the basis of an ongoing investigation.” He urged patience in letting the committee continue its work.

Comey has been invited to testify before the committee during a closed hearing next Tuesday.

House Intelligence Committee:

This panel’s effort is stalled, with staff continuing to go through evidence but no hearings scheduled. After Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., recused himself from the probe and handed the matter over to Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, the committee heard from Comey in a May 4 closed session — but that’s about it.

Nunes stepped aside after reviewing evidence at the White House he said proved some Trump associates were inadvertently caught up in surveillance by the intelligence community of legitimate foreign agents during the presidential transition. Nunes shared that information with Trump — before informing fellow committee members, prompting calls for his ouster.

With this as a backdrop, the panel’s top Democrat, Adam Schiff of California, questioned whether the White House was inappropriately interfering in the probe after Comey’s firing Tuesday. “The decision by a president whose campaign associates are under investigation by the FBI for collusion with Russia to fire the man overseeing that investigation, upon the recommendation of an attorney general who has recused himself from that investigation, raises profound questions about whether the White House is brazenly interfering in a criminal matter,” he said.

Conaway spokeswoman Emily Hytha said he has not addressed the Comey firing, adding the committee’s investigation will continue “as planned.”

Senate Judiciary Committee: 

This committee, which has been one of the most publicly active in its investigation, hosted two hearings that provided critical information in recent days.

The hearing with Comey appeared to be part of the impetus for his eventual firing. On May 3, Comey said in his appearance before the panel that “hundreds and thousands” of emails had ended up on former New York congressman Anthony Weiner’s laptop because of Hillary Clinton’s aide Huma Abedin. Comey said Abedin made a “regular practice” of forwarding emails to her now-estranged husband.

But it turned out that Comey misspoke. After ProPublica reported Monday night that his testimony was not accurate, the FBI issued a statement the next day to the committee attempting to clear things up. That was just hours before Comey’s firing was announced.

Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said Tuesday it was within Trump’s right to fire Comey after the FBI director had lost the public’s trust. Grassley also criticized the way Comey had provided information to the committee. But ranking member Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., praised the way Comey had worked with the panel, calling a past briefing “comprehensive” and “precise.”

On Monday, Senate Judiciary panel hosted former acting attorney general Sally Yates and former director of national intelligence James Clapper. In that hearing, Yates told lawmakers that she was so concerned that Flynn had misled Vice President Mike Pence about his communications with the Russian ambassador that she warned the White House counsel he was vulnerable to blackmail and could even face criminal charges. Eighteen days later, Flynn was fired.

House Judiciary Committee: 

In a non-binding list of activities the committee adopted for the year, the panel promised to “continue to conduct oversight into allegations of misconduct” by the executive branch. Other than that, there hasn’t been much public movement.

Following Tuesday’s developments, ranking member John Conyers, D-Mich., said Comey’s firing “obliterates any semblance of an independent investigation into Russian efforts to influence our election, and places our nation on the verge of a constitutional crisis.” Yet Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., pointed to the recommendations of the attorney general and deputy attorney general in encouraging Trump to fire Comey. “The FBI is the premier law enforcement agency in the world and it is critical to have a director who holds the trust of the American people,” he said.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee:

Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and ranking member Elijah Cummings, D-Md., sent shockwaves through Washington when the they announced last month that Flynn may have broken the law in relation to payments he accepted from Russia for speaking engagements. They came to that conclusion after the committee viewed classified documents related to Flynn.

Cummings said the White House had refused their requests for documents related to Flynn’s tenure. There is “no data to support the notion that Flynn complied with the law,” Chaffetz said at the time. A Chaffetz spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Comey’s firing, while Cummings called for “immediate emergency hearings to obtain testimony directly from Attorney General Sessions, the deputy attorney general, and FBI Director Comey” for answers.

“There is now a crisis of confidence at the Justice Department, and President Trump is not being held accountable because House Republicans refuse to work with us to do our job,” Cummings said Tuesday.

Contributing: Fredreka Schouten, David Jackson, Deirdre Shesgreen

 QUESTION OF THE DAY:

By TOM MURPHY, AP Health Writer5 days ago
Fact Check: Rumors, Claims and Context on G.O.P. Health Bill
Pregnancy, sexual assault and domestic violence could be considered “pre-existing conditions” that make it hard to keep insurance coverage under the Republican health care bill, according to a number of news articles and social media posts.The bill doesn’t specifically refer to any of these things, and headlines suggesting that it does are misleading.

But the bill does allow insurers, in limited circumstances, to charge more for a health condition that existed before the patient’s coverage starts if that person has had a lapse in insurance. Because of that, there might be the potential in some states for a pregnant woman to be charged more for coverage.

THE CLAIM: Twitter is overflowing with lists of pre-existing conditions, patient testimonials and posts with the #iamapreexistingcondition hashtag. People living with a host of medical conditions are worried about the future of their coverage if the Republican plan becomes law. Concern has focused in particular on women’s health issues, and especially pregnancy. And claims that rape victims are singled out has stirred outrage.

THE FACTS: One of the bigger changes to health care under the Republican plan is that it would allow insurers to consider the health risk of customers applying for new coverage if they had a recent gap in coverage. This is possible only if states apply for a federal waiver to allow it. The Affordable Care Act, which remains in place, does not permit this.

Carrying a baby also carries some risk, so insurance companies see pregnant women as risker — and more expensive — customers when they apply for coverage. The same goes for a person who was injured or sickened with a chronic illness. They consider medical conditions, not how they got injured or sick. For example, if someone sees a therapist because they have been raped, the condition that the therapist treats might be considered pre-existing but the rape would not.

Insurers have generally considered conditions treated within three months of the start of coverage to be pre-existing, health care industry consultant Robert Laszewski said.

Before the Affordable Care Act, pregnancy was considered a pre-existing condition, and insurers frequently denied coverage because of it.

They can no longer do that. But, under the Republican bill, insurers may be able to charge higher prices for a limited time due to a person’s recent medical history.

It Takes A Village – VNV Monday: We the People – 5/8/17



 

Just like to take a moment of Personal Privilege to first wish my eldest child a Happy 40th Birthday, to the love of my existence my wife a Happy 60th and for 41 years of love and companionship.

Trumpcare Destroys Any Notion That American Conservatism Gives a Damn

By

Image
Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post/Getty Images

A word on Obamacare. I relied on it until just recently when I joined New York’s staff and went on an employer’s plan, and, to tell the truth, part of me didn’t even want to make the change — even though it will obviously save me a lot of money. What Obamacare did for me, living with the preexisting condition of HIV, was, first of all, give me far more independence and freedom. It gave me the confidence to quit a previous job and start my own little media company — my blog, the Dish. It gave me peace of mind when I subsequently shut that business down and was able to stay on the same plan. It allowed me to be a freelance writer without fear of personal bankruptcy. I got no subsidy, but I was glad to pay the premiums for me and my husband because it gave me a sense of control over our finances and our future. I knew I wouldn’t suddenly find myself facing soaring health-care costs or no health care at all — and the premium actually went down a smidgen last year.

The TrumpGOP’s attempt to abolish it is therefore, to my mind, neither conservative nor decent.

You might think Obamacare would violate my generally conservative principles, but it didn’t. In fact, it seemed to me to be an effective marriage of conservative principles and, well, human decency. The decency part comes from not blaming or punishing the sick for their condition. The conservative part comes from the incremental nature of the reform, and its reliance on the private sector to provide a public good. For good measure, it actually saved the government money, and it slowed soaring health-care costs. The exchanges, with predictable early hiccups, largely worked — a case study in the benefits of market competition. The law allowed for experiments to test how efficient health care could be. It even insisted on personal responsibility by mandating individual coverage. And the concept of insurance is not socialism; it’s a matter simply of pooling risk as widely as possible. If any European conservative party were to propose such a system, it would be pilloried as a far-right plot. And yet the Republican Party opposed it with a passion that became very hard for me to disentangle from hatred of Obama himself.

The Trump GOP’s attempt to abolish it is therefore, to my mind, neither conservative nor decent. It’s reactionary and callous. Its effective abandonment of 95 percent of us with preexisting conditions will strike real terror in a lot of people’s hearts. Its gutting of Medicaid will force millions of the poor to lose health care almost altogether. It will bankrupt the struggling members of the working and middle classes who find themselves in a serious health crisis. It could hurt Republicans in the midterms —though that will be cold comfort for the countless forced into penury or sickness because of Trump’s desire for a “win.” But it’s clarifying for me. It forces me to back a Democratic Party I don’t particularly care for. And it destroys any notion I might have had that American conservatism gives a damn about the vulnerable. It really is a deal-breaker for me. I hope many others feel exactly the same way.

AMA Letter to Congressional Leaders on Reform of Health Care System

For immediate release:
Jan 3, 2017

Back to top

CHICAGO – The American Medical Association (AMA) released the following letter today to congressional leadership from Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President James L. Madara, M.D., concerning legislative efforts to reform the health care system.

Dear Majority Leader McConnell, Leader Schumer, Speaker Ryan and Leader Pelosi:

On behalf of the physician and medical student members of the American Medical Association (AMA), I am writing regarding our ongoing commitment to reform of the health care system and potential legislative actions during the first months of the 115th Congress.

The AMA has long advocated for health insurance coverage for all Americans, as well as pluralism, freedom of choice, freedom of practice, and universal access for patients. These policy positions are guided by the actions of the AMA House of Delegates, composed of representatives of more than 190 state and national specialty medical associations, and they form the basis for AMA consideration of reforms to our health care system.

Health system reform is an ongoing quest for improvement. The AMA supported passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) because it was a significant improvement on the status quo at that time. We continue to embrace the primary goal of that law—to make high quality, affordable health care coverage accessible to all Americans. We also recognize that the ACA is imperfect and there a number of issues that need to be addressed. As such, we welcome proposals, consistent with the policies of our House of Delegates, to make coverage more affordable, provide greater choice, and increase the number of those insured.

In considering opportunities to make coverage more affordable and accessible to all Americans, it is essential that gains in the number of Americans with health insurance coverage be maintained.

Consistent with this core principle, we believe that before any action is taken through reconciliation or other means that would potentially alter coverage, policymakers should lay out for the American people, in reasonable detail, what will replace current policies. Patients and other stakeholders should be able to clearly compare current policy to new proposals so they can make informed decisions about whether it represents a step forward in the ongoing process of health reform.

We stand ready to work with you to continue the process of improving our health care system and ensuring that all Americans have access to high quality, affordable health care coverage.

Sincerely,
James L. Madara, MD

AUSTRALIA’S Health System

It is not single payer.

Australia has a universal health care structure, with the federal government paying a large part of the cost of health services, including those in public hospitals. The amount paid by the federal government includes:

  1. patient health costs based on the Medicare benefits schedule. Typically, Medicare covers 75% of general practitioner, 85% of specialist and 100% of public in-hospital costs.
  2. patients may be entitled to other concessions or benefits[8]
  3. patients may be entitled to further benefits once they have crossed a so-called safety net threshold, based on total health expenditure for the year.[8]

Government expenditure on healthcare is about 67% of the total, below the OECD average of 72%.[9]

The remainder of health costs (called out of pocket costs or the copayment) are paid by the patient, unless the provider of the service chooses to use bulk billing, charging only the scheduled fee, leaving the patient with no out of pocket costs. Where a particular service is not covered, such as dentistry, optometry, and ambulance transport,[10] patients must pay the full amount, unless they hold a Health Care card, which may entitle them to subsidised access.

Individuals can take out private health insurance to cover out-of-pocket costs, with either a plan that covers just selected services, to a full coverage plan. In practice, a person with private insurance may still be left with out-of-pocket payments, as services in private hospitals often cost more than the insurance payment.

The government encourages individuals with income above a set level to privately insure. This is done by charging these (higher income) individuals a surcharge of 1% to 1.5% of income if they do not take out private health insurance, and a means-tested rebate. This is to encourage individuals who are perceived as able to afford private insurance not to resort to the public health system,[11] even though people with valid private health insurance may still elect to use the public system if they wish.

Insurance[edit]

Medicare is Australia’s publicly funded universal health care system.

Funding of the health system in Australia is a combination of government funding and private health insurance. Government funding is through the Medicare scheme, which subsidises out-of-hospital medical treatment and funds free universal access to hospital treatment. Medicare is funded by a 2% tax levy on taxpayers with incomes above a threshold amount, with an extra 1% levy on high income earners without private health insurance, and the balance being provided by the government from general revenue.[12]

Private health insurance, funds private health and is provided by a number of private health insurance organisations, called health funds. The largest health fund with a 30% market share is Medibank. Medibank was set up to provide competition to private “for-profit” health funds. Although government owned, the fund has operated as a government business enterprise since 2009, operating as a fully commercialised business paying tax and dividends under the same regulatory regime as do all other registered private health funds. Highly regulated regarding the premiums it can set, the fund was designed to put pressure on other health funds to keep premiums at a reasonable level

It Takes A Village – VNV Monday: We the People – 5/1/17



 

Excellent report I wanted to share with you:

Welcome to the latest issue of Greenlining’s #ResistReport, which appears on our blog every Thursday. With so many harmful policies coming out of Washington, we hope this will help our friends and supporters plug into grassroots activities to resist these policies here in the Bay Area and around the country.

If you find this weekly compilation of actions, updates, and resources useful, please share it with your friends and colleagues.

TAKE ACTION:

  • Individual actions:
    • Resist negative stereotypes and celebrate Muslim and immigrant mamas this Mama’s Day, thanks to these beautiful images from Forward Together.
    • May Day actions to resist dangerous policies and protect communities are coming! Catch up on the latest Beyond the Moment nationwide “road to May Day” call here (discussion actually starts at about 34:50).
    • Resist on May Day! Stand up for immigrants, workers, womxn, and people of color wherever you are! Find local events, digital resources, posters, and other info here.
    • Connect theory with action through Harvard’s free Resistance School videos.
    • Practice self-care — check out wisdom from Jen Hofmann here.
  • Political & Social Justice Events:
    • March for Science on Earth Day, Saturday 4/22! Rallies in Sacramento, San Francisco, Berkeley, and around the U.S. Find local events here.
    • Learn more about sanctuary policies at the Sanctuary Jurisdiction Symposium, hosted by the Santa Clara Law Center for Social Justice and Public Service on Friday 4/21 at 9 a.m.
    • Join Mexican journalist Carmen Aristegui and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Prof. Lowell Bergman for “45 from the Mexican Perspective,” on Friday 4/21 at 6 p.m.
    • Untangle the relationship between (neo)liberalism and Islamophobia at Cal’s 8th Annual International Islamophobia Conference on Friday 4/21-Sunday 4/23.
    • Livestream Sen. Kamala Harris’ first Town Hall as California Senator at Shotgun Players on Friday 4/21 at 3 p.m.
    • Support young people in conversations about race, gender, and power dynamics; attend “Talking with Kids about Race: A Panel Discussion,” hosted by Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), on Saturday 4/22 at 3:30 p.m.
    • Learn to resist unlawful evictions and learn more about your tenants’ rights. Join the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, the East Bay Community Law Center, and others on Saturday 4/22 at 2 p.m.
    • Join this multigenerational conversation on the LGBTQ movement’s involvement in electoral politics, hosted by the GLBT Historical Society on Tuesday 4/25 at 7 p.m.
    • Protest ICE detentions and deportations in Richmond on Sunday 4/23 at 11 a.m.
    • Discuss Angela Davis’ “Freedom is a Constant Struggle” at a Racial Justice Reading Group. Meets in Alameda on Tuesday 4/25 at 7:30 p.m.
    • Protest Berkeley’s participation in Urban Shield at the Berkeley City Council meeting on Tuesday 4/25 at 7 p.m.
    • Fight for justice and jobs, peace and the planet: Join the People’s Climate Movement Bay Area at Lake Merritt on Saturday 4/29.
    • Explore emerging threats and learn how to resist authoritarian trends at ‘Facing the Right: A Conversation with Tarso Luis Ramos.’ Hosted by the Center for Political Education, featuring Ramos, ED of Political Research Associates, on Tuesday 5/4 at 7 p.m.
  • Trainings and Discussions:
    • Register for a webinar discussion with Gina McCarthy, President Obama’s EPA Administrator from 2013-2016, on Thursday 4/20 at 5 p.m. Thanks to Interfaith Power and Light for hosting this conversation.
    • Explore social justice and the healing power of art at “The Art of Seeing,” a workshop through OneLife Institute with funding from the Akonadi Foundation, Thursday 4/20 at 6:30 p.m.
    • Practice public speaking at the “Speak from Your Strengths” workshop, hosted by the Asian American Women Artists Association on Saturday 4/22 at 1 p.m.
    • Join the Legal Observer Training for a Rapid Response Team, hosted by Sacramento Immigration Coalition on Tuesday 4/25 at 6 p.m.
  • Arts Events:
    • Uplift over 60 art pieces by trans and gender nonconforming artists across the US at the “Trans Life + Liberation Art Opening” on Friday 4/21 and Saturday 4/22.
    • Support local storytelling at “Stranger in a Strange Land,” on Saturday 4/22 at 7 p.m.
    • Cheer on local musicians at a concert benefiting ScienceDebate.org, fiscal partner for the March for Science. Concert on Saturday 4/22 at 7:30 p.m.
    • Screenprint shirts, hoodies, and fabric to support immigrant justice! Join the Berkeley Animal Rights Center and Berkeley Organization for Animal Advocacy on Saturday 4/22 at 1 p.m.
    • Build art for the May Day March and Strike on Monday 4/24 at 4 p.m.
    • Drum alongside BoomShake Music and Batala SF on Monday 4/24 at 7 p.m.
    • Celebrate SF MOMA’s Birthday Bash with Solange on Wednesday 4/26 at 6:30 p.m.

WINS FOR COMMUNITIES OF COLOR:

  • Thousands March Nationwide to Demand 45’s Taxes:
    • In over 150 cities on Saturday 4/15, people rallied to demand 45’s tax returns. Thousands gathered in San Francisco alone (with over 10,000 marked interested on the FB event). Speakers included SF Supervisor and Greenlining Leadership Academy alum Jane Kim.
  • 45’s Lawyer Retreats on Sanctuary Cities:
    • On Friday 4/14 the Trump administration’s lawyer told a federal judge that 45’s recent executive order doesn’t actually deprive sanctuary cities of funding. SF City Attorney Dennis Herrera said, “President Trump tried to take a scorched-earth approach to immigration, and San Francisco stood up to him. Because San Francisco faced down this bully, and because others like Santa Clara County joined us, President Trump had to back down.” Whether this constitutes a real change or a temporary tactical retreat as cities resist remains to be seen. Read Herrera’s full statement here.
  • Sanctuary Restaurant Movement Sweeps Bay Area and East Coast:
    • The Sanctuary Restaurant movement has swept the Bay as well as cities around the country, including Philadelphia, Boston, L.A., Miami, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. Though lacking legal force, the effort at least symbolically “protects restaurant workers from harassment and [promotes] diverse workplaces and communities regardless of immigration status.”
    • With an estimated 30% of SF restaurant workers undocumented, the Golden Gate Restaurant Association announced last week that it will formally educate its 1,000 member restaurants on immigrants’ rights for employees and patrons alike.
  • New Fruitvale Restaurant and Worker-Owned Cooperative Incubator to Support Workers of Color in Fine Dining:
    • Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC) and the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights purchased a building in Fruitvale for a new restaurant, Colors, to serve as a training facility and worker-owned cooperative incubator. The effort seeks to usher more workers of color into fine dining and higher-wage restaurant industry jobs by specifically addressing the intersection of race and income inequality.
  • Foundation Earmarks $90 Million to Girls of Color:
    • Executive Director of the NoVo Foundation, Pamela Shifman, noted that “minority girls are disproportionately affected by a number of social ills, including poverty and sexual assault, but are largely overlooked in philanthropic giving.” Over seven years, the $90 million will fund community-based groups that specifically work with girls of color, as well as national policy and research organizations focused on issues for women and girls of color.

RESOURCES:

  • Intro Materials:
    • Explore how one Korean-American woman understands being a woman of color and how a Chinese-American woman grapples with the absence of Asian Americans in U.S. history books.
    • Unpack the ‘Model Minority’ Myth here. Learn how this myth has pitted AAPI communities against black communities in the US here.
    • Check out these “10 Books I Wish My White Teachers Had Read.”
    • Decolonize your history with this article, “8 Times the US Government Gave White People Handouts to Get Ahead”’
    • Listen to Prof. Duchess Harris’ presentation, “Hidden Human Computers: The Black Women of NASA,” the inspiration for the movie Hidden Figures

 

 

Status of the Latest Distraction from Russia– Tax Reform:

The Vagina Grabber In Chief has introduced his “Bernie Madoff” tax reform principle that has the potential to create a black hole of financial debt and send the country into a recession. That bastion of liberalism Jennifer Rubin [snark], even scoffs at the Tax reform effort backed in March.

” In the case of taxes, both Trump and Ryan ignore palpable distaste for widening income inequality and the risk of enlarging the already enormous debt. However, in this case, Ryan is more wrong than the president, if only because Ryan offers the working poor and middle class so little. At least Trump would have the argument that the middle class gets something along with the rich:

Trump’s plan arguably reflects his unique style of conservative populism. The proposal would be extremely costly for the government, and the president’s past comments suggest he would be willing to put the federal government deeper into debt to fund breaks for the middle class.

Ryan’s plan would instead simplify and streamline the tax code in accordance with conservative orthodoxy, eliminating the goodies for households with modest incomes that Trump would preserve or expand.

In all, taxpayers with roughly average incomes could expect a tax cut of around $1,100 a year under Trump’s plan, compared to just $60 under Ryan’s plan once the proposals were fully implemented.

Ryan’s plan gets worse, however. Ryan want to fill the revenue gap created by his plan with a border adjustment tax. That idea makes the Ryan plan even less likely to pass the Senate and less friendly toward middle- and lower-class Americans who spend more of their income on imported necessities (e.g., food, clothing, household goods) that will include a new tax paid by consumers.

Frankly, we don’t think any cut of the top marginal rate for individuals makes sense at a time of huge debt, when neither party has the nerve to address entitlement reform. Revenue-neutral corporate tax reform, pro-growth trade and immigration policies, smart regulatory policy and investment in both worker skills and physical infrastructure have much more appeal politically and are likely to bear equal or better results than another 1980’s-style tax cut for those at the very top.

Most Corrupt ever!

Trump’s White House Family Affair Looks A Lot Like The Most Corrupt Nations In The World

Presidential advisers Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner are still connected to their own businesses.

ILLUSTRATION: JON SHIN/HUFFPOST; PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES

WASHINGTON ― For decades, the United States has worked with other countries to eliminate nepotism. There’s a good reason for that: Nepotism breeds corruption.

“You’ve seen it in countries all over the world where they’ve appointed family members, whether it’s their son, daughter, in-laws — it provides for tremendous opportunities for corruption,” said Shruti Shah, an international anti-corruption expert at Coalition for Integrity, a good-government nonprofit. “People who want to curry favor find their way to provide favors to family members as a way to get closer to the person in power.”

But President Donald Trump, who has entrusted more power to his family members than any recent president, puts that agenda at risk. “I like nepotism,” Trump told Larry King in 2006, the year he replaced his “Apprentice” costar, Trump company executive Carolyn Kepcher, with his daughter Ivanka Trump.

Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, hold broad portfolios at the White House that include everything from diplomacy with China, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, women’s issues, cybersecurity and reinventing government.

They determine who else has power in the Trump administration. Trump sidelined Steve Bannon, a close adviser, after he butted up against his daughter and adviser-in-law, and he elevated former Goldman Sachs employees Gary Cohn and Dina Powell based in part on their friendly relationships with Ivanka and her husband. And the couple act as presidential emissaries, with Kushner traveling to Iraq at the suggestion of the Pentagon and Ivanka heading to Germany.

Ivanka and Kushner — the two Trump advisers least likely to be fired — now rule the White House. And, although Ivanka and Kushner are not being paid, they maintain ownership stakes in their own businesses. Ivanka owns her own personal brand, which produces shoes, clothing, jewelry and accessories, and has a stake in her father’s businesses, including the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. Kushner, like Trump, is a real estate magnate with numerous holdings throughout the U.S. who inherited his wealth from his father.

The nepotism in the Trump administration would seem familiar in foreign countries with high rates of corruption, according to U.S. diplomats who have served in them.

“For many countries and governments, certainly in the Gulf, in the Middle East, they would recognize this pattern immediately,” Gerald Feierstein, who served as ambassador to Yemen from 2010 to 2013 and worked as a deputy secretary of state in the Obama administration, told HuffPost. “I think that they would find it completely normal that leaders mix personal business interests with government affairs and would use family members in various official responsibilities.”

THE WASHINGTON POST VIA GETTY IMAGES
Jared Kushner, senior adviser and son-in-law, listens to Donald Trump during a White House session with cybersecurity experts.

Joseph C. Wilson IV, former ambassador to Gabon and Sao Tome and Principe from 1992 to 1995 and deputy chief of mission in Iraq during the first Gulf War, told HuffPost, “If you’re an overseas businessman or politician who wants to curry favor with the Trump family, it doesn’t hurt to provide these little niceties to them. Things such as having a conference at the Trump hotel in Washington or entertaining at the Trump hotel, that you already see.”

Foreign countries have indeed taken advantage of the continued business ownership of Trump and his children/advisers.

China approved five new trademarks for Ivanka Trump’s business on the same day she met with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Ivanka’s business already had 16 registered trademarks in the country and has 30 more pending. The new trademarks covered the brand-name rights for jewelry, spa services and purses. The vast majority of Ivanka Trump’s product line is made in China and imported to the U.S.

Kushner’s company was seeking an investment from a politically connected Chinese bank into the largest property he owns. Those negotiations ended after members of Congress and others questioned whether it would create a conflict of interest with his work as a go-between for the White House and Chinese leadership. (Kushner sold his stake in the building to a private trust controlled by his family members.)

Foreign governments, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Azerbaijan and Turkey, have held or plan to hold events at Trump’s D.C. hotel, which both the president and his daughter have a stake in. It is not known how many diplomats and foreign dignitaries have decided to book rooms at Trump hotels or properties since the president took office.

“I think the Chinese have already completely figured it out,” Feierstein said. “I would say the Arabs have figured it out. Because, again, from their perspective, this isn’t an unusual thing. One way of ensuring favorable treatment is you take care of the business interests.”

SABAH ARAR VIA GETTY IMAGES
Supporters of Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr demonstrate in Baghdad on Feb. 8 to demand reforms from Iraq’s leading parties, which they accuse of corruption and nepotism.

Not all former diplomats see Trump’s nepotistic governing arrangement through the lens of foreign nations.

“Actually I would compare it to what I’ve seen in Washington,” Ambassador John Herbst, who headed the embassy in Uzbekistan from 2000 to 2003 and in Ukraine from 2003 to 2006, told HuffPost.

Herbst is right: The U.S. has its own long tradition of political nepotism. President George Washington was opposed to nepotism, but his successor, John Adams, appointed his son John Quincy Adams as minister to Prussia. Unlike Kushner and Ivanka Trump, John Quincy Adams had already, perhaps against his wishes, worked as minister to the Netherlands during Washington’s administration. “I rather wish it had not been made at all,” Adams lamented about the Netherlands posting. Later, President John F. Kennedy appointed his brother Robert as attorney general.

When PresOident Bill Clinton tapped his wife, Hillary Clinton, to lead an effort to reform health care in 1993, conservative and medical industry groups charged that her appointment violated either a 1967 anti-nepotism law or a federal advisory committee law requiring public meetings. But two appeals court judges ruled that Hillary Clinton’s White House role was not a violation of the anti-nepotism law. The decision stated that the nepotism law probably did not apply to White House adviser positions, particularly if they were unpaid.

“The anti-nepotism statute, moreover, may well bar appointment only to paid positions in government,” D.C. Circuit Court Judges Laurence Silberman and Stephen Williams wrote in their 1993 decision. “Thus, even if it would prevent the President from putting his spouse on the federal payroll, it does not preclude his spouse from aiding the President in the performance of his duties.”

The Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel made the same argument in a 14-page memo rationalizing Trump’s appointment of his son-in-law as a White House adviser. The legal counsel also argued that a subsequent law providing the president with unilateral hiring authority in the White House superseded the possibility of the nepotism law restricting the employment of children or in-laws.

Or, as Eric Trump, the co-head of the president’s multibillion-dollar international business, puts it, “Nepotism is kind of a factor of life.”

One Hundred Days of Incompetence:

There is frustration all around. During his first hundred days in office, Trump has not done away with populist rhetoric, but he has acted almost entirely as a plutocrat. His Cabinet and his cast of advisers are stocked with multimillionaires and billionaires. His positions on health care, tax reform, and financial regulation are of greatest appeal to the super-wealthy. How he intends to improve the situation of the middle class remains obscure. A report in Politico described thirty staffers holed up in a conference room in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, attempting a “rebranding” of this first chapter of the Trump Administration. The aides furiously assembled “lists of early successes” on whiteboards.

One success they can name is the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, although Democrats rightly judge that his seat was stolen from Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland. The first hundred days are marked most indelibly by Trump’s attempted ban of travellers from six Muslim countries, which failed in the courts, and the effort to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, which imploded in the House of Representatives. The list of domestic initiatives is largely confined to reversals of achievements of the Obama era. Trump has proposed an expansion of the prison at Guantánamo and ordered the easing of Dodd-Frank financial regulations. He has reversed plans to save wetlands and protect waterways from coal waste; he has reversed executive orders that banned gun sales to the mentally ill and that protected L.G.B.T. federal employees from discrimination; his Vice-President voted in a Senate tiebreaker to allow states to defund Planned Parenthood clinics. Trump, because of the lavish travel habits of his family, is shaping up to be the most expensive executive in history to guard. At the same time, his budget proposals would, if passed in Congress, cut the funding of after-school programs, rental-assistance programs, the Community Development Block Grant program, legal assistance for the poor, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Scorekeepers will credit these as promises kept. Guardians of democratic values and the environment, champions of economic opportunity and the national well-being will view them as an ever-growing damage report.

“There’s a slight madness to thinking you should be the leader of the free world,” Obama admitted before he went ahead and ran for President. But even after Richard Nixon’s anti-Semitic rants and Ronald Reagan’s astrology-influenced daily schedule, we are at a new level of strangeness with Donald Trump—something that his biography had always suggested.

Trump emerged from neither a log cabin nor the contemporary meritocracy. He inherited his father’s outer-borough real-estate empire—a considerable enterprise distinguished by racist federal-housing violations—and brought it to Manhattan. He entered a world of contractors, casino operators, Roy Cohn, professional-wrestling stars, Rupert Murdoch, multiple bankruptcies, tabloid divorces, Mar-a-Lago golf tournaments, and reality television. He had no real civic presence in New York. A wealthy man, he gave almost nothing to charity. He cultivated a kind of louche glamour. At Studio 54, he said, “I would watch supermodels getting screwed . . . on a bench in the middle of the room.” He had no close friends. Mainly, he preferred to work, play golf, and spend long hours at home watching TV. His misogyny and his low character were always manifest. Displeased with a harmless Palm Beach society journalist named Shannon Donnelly, he told her in a letter that if she adhered to his standards of discretion, “I will promise not to show you as the crude, fat and obnoxious slob which everyone knows you are.” Insofar as he had political opinions, they were inconsistent and mainly another form of performance art, part of his talk-show patter. His contributions to political campaigns were unrelated to conviction; he gave solely to curry favor with those who could do his business some good. He believed in nothing.

By the mid-nineties, Trump’s investment prospects had foundered. Banks cut him off. He turned to increasingly dubious sources of credit and branding opportunities at home and abroad. A typical deal, involving a hotel in Baku, Azerbaijan (described at length in these pages by Adam Davidson), included as partners an Azerbaijani family distinguished for its outsized corruption and for its connections to some Iranian brothers who worked as a profit front for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. There is little mystery as to why Trump has broken with custom and refuses to release his tax returns. A record of his colossal tax breaks, associations, deals, and net worth resides in those forms. It may turn out that deals like the one in Baku will haunt his Presidency no less than his grotesque conflicts of interest or any of the possible connections to Russia now being investigated by the F.B.I. and congressional committees will.

As Trump struggled in business, he made a deal with NBC to star in “The Apprentice,” which, for fourteen seasons, featured him in a role of corporate dominance. It was there that he honed his peculiar showmanship and connected to a mass audience well beyond New York City, perfecting the persona that became the core of his Presidential campaign: the billionaire populist. That role is not unknown in American history: in the eighteen-seventies, wealthy leaders of the Redeemer movement, a southern faction of the Bourbon Democrats linked to the Ku Klux Klan and other white paramilitary groups, set out to defund public schools, shrink government, lower taxes for land owners, and undercut the rise of a generation of black politicians.

It Takes A Village – VNV Monday: We the People – 4/24/17

Grass Roots Activism- Our salvation



 

 

Glad to see that President Obama will be making a speech soon. Sent encouragement to the French Presidential Candidate Melacon.

Popular vote winner Hillary Clinton blasted the Vagina’s Grabber In Chief recent anti-LGBTQ attacks, urging Americans to “remember 2018, the midterm elections” and “resist, insist, persist and enlist and make sure our voices and our votes count.” Hillary said:

“We have to face the fact that we may not ever be able to count on this administration to lead on LGBT issues,” the former Democratic nominee said during a speech at a fundraising event for The Center, a community LGBT organization in New York City.

Clinton singled out the Trump administration’s February directive revoking Obama-era protections for transgender students, with the Justice and Education Departments telling schools to disregard memos instructing them that preventing students from using bathrooms that aligned with their sexual identity would violate federal law.

The 2016 Democratic nominee added that if LGBT advocates wanted to see progress from the federal government, they needed to focus their efforts on the next round of congressional elections.

Protests during the presidency Just a reminder

Protest in Chicago on January 20

  • January 20 – Fifty women from El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juárez, demonstrated against the proposed wall and the Trump Administration immigration policies by standing on the US/Mexico border, linked by hands and braiding scarves or hair together between 7am and 9am.[290][291] The women were part of an organization called Boundless Across Borders.[291]
  • January 20, inauguration – Multiple protests took place in connection with the inauguration of Donald Trump as the President of the United States of America.[292]

Women’s March in Washington D.C.

  • January 21, Women’s Marches – A series of political rallies known as Women’s Marches took place in locations around the world.[293][294] Estimates suggest between 3.3 and 4.6 million people took part, making it the largest protest in United States history.[295]
  • January 25 – Seven Greenpeace members climbed a construction crane belonging to Clark Construction and displayed a large banner saying “Resist”, blocking traffic and interrupting work on a new office building a half mile from The White House.[296]
File:Trump Immigration Order Sparks Protests at NY Airport.webmhd.webm

‘Trump Immigration Order Sparks Protests at NY Airport’ report from Voice of America

February 2017[edit]

Protests in St. Louis

LGBT Solidarity Rally on February 4

Day Without Immigrants 2017 – Protesters in Washington, D.C.

File:Not My President's Day Protest VOA.webm

‘Not My President’s Day Protest’ video from Voice of America

  • February 20Not My Presidents Day, thousands of protesters in cities around the country demonstrated against Trump.[347]
  • February 21 – Protesters participated in a “Resist Trump Tuesday” protest in Chicago where 8 clergy members of different faiths were arrested.[348]
  • February 22 – After the Trump administration rescinded the protections for transgender students to use school restrooms that correspond to their gender identity, protests took place. [349] There were around 200 people demonstrating in front of the White House in support of transgender students’ rights.[350] The city council of Richmond, California passed a resolution which supported an investigation of Trump in relation to the Foreign Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.[351]
  • February 24 – The United Talent Agency (UTA), which had already cancelled its Oscars party, hosted a rally against Trump, called “United Voices.”[352] The event helped raise $320,000 for the ACLU and the International Rescue Committee.[352] At the rally were Jodie Foster, Michael J. Fox, Keegan-Michael Key and other celebrities.[353] There were nearly 2,000 attendees.[352]
  • February 27 – A peaceful protest that stopped some traffic occurred in Minneapolis in the evening. The protest drew between 150 and 200 demonstrators who protested Trump and were in support of $15 minimum wage.[354]
  • February 28 – Protesters in Vancouver demonstrated anti-Trump sentiment during the grand opening of the Trump hotel in Vancouver.[355] Outside the White House, despite pouring rain, Rosie O’Donnell led a few hundred protesters against Trump.[356]

March 2017[edit]

  • March 1 – Protests against Trump using the hashtag, #CampusResistance, occurred on college campuses across the United States.[357]
  • March 2 – Employees of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) protested proposed budget cuts for their department. There were a “few dozen” protesters at the Federal Plaza in Chicago.[358]
  • March 3 – Around 1,000 protesters in Chicago demonstrated for transgender rights and against the Trump administration.[359] In Palm Beach, around 100 protesters demonstrated against Trump, and one protester was arrested and given a traffic ticket and then released.[360]
  • March 4 – Counter-protesters at Pro-Trump rallies (Spirit of America) occurred on March 4, with one protest, at Berkeley, becoming a violent clash between pro and anti-Trump groups.[361] Ten people were arrested in connection with the violence and the protest briefly shut down the BART station at Berkeley.[362] In Minneapolis, anti-Trump and pro-Trump supporters also clashed and six people were arrested for setting off firecrackers.[363]
  • March 6 – A rally held outside of the White House against the new travel ban. Tom Perez was one of the speakers.[364]
  • March 8A Day Without a Woman, a call for women not to work on International Women’s Day.[365]
  • March 10 – Thousands of protesters marched from the US Army Corps of Engineers headquarters to the White House to protest the Dakota Pipeline decision by Trump.[366]
  • March 12 – In Baltimore, several groups protested the revised travel ban.[367] On Sunday morning, an anonymous environmental group carved the message “NO MORE TIGERS. NO MORE WOODS.” into the greens of the Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes.[368] On the same day, in Brentwood, Los Angeles, roughly 50-60 people protested outside the offices of Breitbart News aiming to “hold the Trump Administration accountable for its unprecedented assault on the free press.”[369]
  • March 14 – Tech industry workers protested Trump’s policies on Pi Day.[370] There were a few hundred protesters in Palo Alto.[371]
  • March 15 – Hundreds of protesters demonstrated outside of a Trump rally in Nashville.[372] A physician, Carol Paris, interrupted the rally with a sign reading “Improved Medicare for All” and when she was met with boos from the crowd, Trump stopped speaking and she was asked to leave.[373] In Detroit, about 300 protesters demonstrated at the Willow Run Airport and denounced Trump’s environmental policies.[374]
  • March 17 – A small protest against Trump took in took place in Aspen.[375] In New York, the “Irish Stand” event took place. It was led by Aodhán Ó Riordáin in Riverside Church and opposed Trump’s stance on immigration.[376]
  • March 18 – Protests in London, Cardiff and Glasgow against Brexit and Trump’s “anti-migrant hysteria.”[377]
  • March 20 – Hundreds of protesters on Monday waved signs and gave fiery speeches at the gates to Freedom Hall ahead President Donald Trump’s visit to tout his plan to replace Obamacare, booing as Air Force One passed overhead for landing. [378][379]
  • March 21 – In opposition to “Trump Care,” around 300 protesters held a “die-in” outside of the office of Representative Darrell Issa in Vista, California.[380]
  • March 25 – Trump supporters clashed with Protesters after the Trump supporters path were blocked by the protesters.
  • March 28 – Anti-Trump Protesters Gather Outside Senator Cornyn’s Houston Office and voice their opinion.

April 2017

Tax March demonstrators outside the United States Capitol

  • April 1 – Hundreds of protesters showed up for a “dance party” protest outside of Ivanka Trump’s Washington, D.C. home.[383]
  • April 2 – Around 300 people, both pro and anti Trump came to a rally at Esther Short Park.[384]
  • April 3 – Protesters displayed a banner with the words “Impeach Trump” at the opening day game at Nationals Park.[385]
  • April 4 – Movie theaters across the United States and in five other countries screened 1984 in a protest against Donald Trump.[386][387]
  • April 9 – More than 3,000 people came to the Dallas MegaMarch demonstration to protest Trump’s immigration policies.[388][389] Protests against Trump’s strike on Syria occurred in Milwaukee.[390]
  • April 10 – Children and young adults from the group, We Belong Together, start their spring break trip to Washington D.C. to protest Trump. They first protested on Monday outside of Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s office because the mayor of Miami-Dade County has agreed to work with Trump.[391]
  • April 11 – Protests against both Trump and Representative Marsha Blackburn took place in Clarksville, Tennessee.[392]
  • April 12 – The “first protest in space” was carried out by the Autonomous Space Agency Network (ASAN) by printing a tweet against Trump and flown into the near-space atmosphere.[393]
  • April 13 – Around 25 protesters from the group, “Rise and Resist” were arrested while protesting immigration policies at Trump Tower.[394] Around 200 young people and other activists from We Belong Together protested in front of the White House.[395]
  • April 15 – The Tax March demanded that Donald Trump release his tax returns. Thousands attended rallies and marches held throughout the U.S.[396][397] At least 21 people were arrested as Trump supporters and opponents clashed Saturday at the Civic Center Park in Berkeley, California, police said. Another eleven people were also injured.[398]
  • April 18 – Protesters came to Snap-on Inc. in Kenosha, Wisconsin to urge Trump to release his tax returns. President Trump was there to sign an executive order.[399]
  • April 19 – Anti-Trump protesters showed up at Auburn University after “word got out that white nationalist Richard Spencer would be speaking at an event.”[400]

Planned protests

 Resistance Continues:

Jon Ossoff was 3200-3700 short of a clear win, but will win in June. Dems need to keep strong during the Budget negotiations, shut the Gov down if necessary, I will be directly affected.

Rev. Barber Silence is not an option https://www.facebook.com/NowThisPolitics/videos/1529379923760159/

It Takes A Village – VNV Monday: We the People – 4/17/17

Grass Roots Activism- Our salvation


 

 

This week post will be short due to illness and PC Issues:

The continue dismantling of regulations and rules enacted to protect the most vernable continues with the resolution  to let states not fund planned parenthood.

We drop the Mother of all bombs on a another Nation of Color, shades of Doctor Strange Love.

Vagina Grabber In Chief wants to ride in a Carriage when he visits Britain.

7 executions in a role, what have we become as a nation.

 

 Resistance Continues:

Thousands March for The Vagina Grabber In Chief ‘s Tax return