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Name: Don
Gender: Male
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Home country: USA
Current location: Greenfield, MA
Member since: Sat Sep 1, 2012, 03:28 PM
Number of posts: 25,280

Journal Archives

Joe Biden flabbergasted by Trump White Houses pro-Russia policies: What in the hell are we doing?

WEDNESDAY, MAR 22, 2017 02:55 PM EDT

Joe Biden flabbergasted by Trump White House’s pro-Russia policies: “What in the hell are we doing?”

Biden said he was appalled with "this romance with Putin"


Former Vice President Joe Biden didn’t hold back on his views about President Donald Trump’s foreign policy during an appearance at Capitol Hill on Wednesday, as NBC News reported.

“The notion that there is still this romance with Putin,” Biden told reporters. “The idea that — and I’m told and I’m not sure this is true, you would know better — I’m told that the secretary of state decided he’s gonna go and visit Putin before he goes to the NATO conference? What in the hell are we doing?”

Biden later added, “The president’s words matter, they matter a great deal, they have repercussions around the world. And that’s not hyperbole. I mean, they literally do.”

That same day, after hearing a speech by Gov. Jerry Brown of California, Biden told an audience, “I had planned on saying a lot more but the truth of the matter is Jerry Brown summed it up. As of a matter of fact, he got me so cranked up I was about take my tie off.”

Brown had earlier denounced the Republican bill to repeal and replace Obamacare: “This is a dangerous bill. It’s written by people who don’t know what the hell they’re talking about. It is so big, so complicated that I doubt if any member of Congress on the Republican side has even read it,” Brown said. “I know the people in Trump Tower have not read it.”



Media Matters founder David Brock suffers heart attack



'A dog and pony show': Fox News' John Roberts says Nunes revelations don't clarify anything


Schiff implores Nunes to decide if hes head of the Intel Committee or a 'surrogate for ...

Schiff implores Nunes to decide if he’s head of the Intel Committee or a ‘surrogate for the White House’


Some 'question your impartiality': Jake Tapper grills Devin Nunes in contentious CNN interview

Part 1

Part 2


Supreme Court sets higher bar for education of students with disabilities

By Emma Brown and Ann E. Marimow March 22 at 12:53 PM
The Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously raised the bar for the educational benefits owed to millions of children with disabilities in one of the most significant special-education cases to reach the high court in decades.

The opinion rejected a lower standard set by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit and used in a subsequent case by President Trump’s nominee to the high court, Neil Gorsuch, during his tenure on the appeals court. The high court’s ruling quickly became the focus of questions on Wednesday at Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing.

In its unanimous ruling, the Supreme Court said a child’s “educational program must be appropriately ambitious in light of his circumstances” and that “every child should have the chance to meet challenging objectives” even if the child is not fully integrated into regular classrooms.

The justices said the standard used by the 10th Circuit set the bar too low for students. A student offered such a minimal level of education “can hardly be said to have been offered an education at all,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote in the court’s 16-page opinion.

“It cannot be right,” he continued, that federal law “generally contemplates grade-level advancement for children with disabilities who are fully integrated in the regular classroom, but is satisfied with barely more than de minimis progress for children who are not.”


Gorsuch is being cagey about his views on Trump and ethics. That could pose huge problems.

By Sarah Posner March 22 at 3:12 PM

At his Senate confirmation hearings Wednesday, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, declined to answer questions about the Constitution’s emoluments clause, which prohibits a public officeholder from accepting payments from a foreign government or foreign government-owned entity without congressional approval.

The questions, from Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), highlighted how extraordinarily fraught Gorsuch’s nomination is, as his hearings unfold amid the unprecedented presidential conflicts of interest precipitated by Trump’s refusal to divest from his vast business empire. And these unparalleled circumstances make Gorsuch’s answers — or, more accurately, his evasions — a matter of grave consequence for public confidence in the court’s ability to hold Trump accountable, should it hear any political corruption cases against Trump.

The possibility of a Supreme Court case against Trump is more than speculative. Days after Trump took office, the government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, along with some of the nation’s leading ethics and constitutional lawyers, filed a federal lawsuit alleging that Trump “has violated the Constitution during the opening moments of his presidency and is poised to do so continually thereafter for the duration of his administration.” The improper benefits to Trump, CREW charges, include leases by foreign entities in Trump-owned buildings, reservations at his hotels and payments from rebroadcasts of “The Apprentice,” among other things.

Apparently using this pending litigation as an excuse, Gorsuch demurred from Leahy’s questions on the grounds that if confirmed, he would likely hear such a case. Throughout his hearings, Gorsuch has leaned on this crutch — that Supreme Court nominees should not comment on the merits of pending cases or cases that are likely to come before the court. He has used this pretext to avoid saying whether he agrees with the holding in, for example, in Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case legalizing abortion.


Trump: I Feel 'Somewhat' Vindicated By Nunes' Surveillance Claim

Source: Talking Points Memo

By MATT SHUHAM Published MARCH 22, 2017, 3:47 PM EDT

President Donald Trump said that he felt “somewhat” vindicated in his unsubstantiated wiretapping claims after hearing from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), who claimed Wednesday that Trump and members of his transition team had been “incidentally” surveilled.

“Do you feel vindicated by Chairman Nunes?” a reporter asked the President. “I somewhat do. I must tell you, I somewhat do. I very much appreciated the fact that they found what they found, but I somewhat do," Trump responded.

Trump claimed without evidence on March 4 that President Obama had personally ordered wiretapping at Trump Tower. Trump also claimed that it was illegal. Recently, the White House has pointed to media reports about wiretapping and surveillance generally to support Trump's claim, though the reports have not substantiated the accusation.

Nunes claimed Wednesday that Trump and members of his transition team had been “incidentally” surveilled, meaning they were not the actual targets of the surveillance. He did not say that Obama ordered the surveillance, as Trump claimed, and he stated multiple times that the surveillance had been legal.

Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-somewhat-vindicated-wiretapping

Sean Spicer: On Health Care, There's No 'Plan B'

Source: Talking Points Memo

By MATT SHUHAM Published MARCH 22, 2017, 3:18 PM EDT

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Wednesday that he was confident that the American Health Care Act would pass the House of Representatives.

The bill, currently in the House Rules Committee, could see a full floor vote Thursday.

“No,” there’s no plan B, Spicer told a reporter who asked about his confidence that the bill would win support in the House during a press briefing Wednesday. “There's ‘Plan A’ and ‘Plan A,’” he said. “We’re going to get this done.”

Spicer said Trump “absolutely” embraces the role of “closer,” when it comes to health care.

Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/spicer-there-is-no-plan-b

WH Cautious On Claim That Trump Team Info Was 'Incidentally Collected'

Source: Talking Points Memo

By MATT SHUHAM Published MARCH 22, 2017, 2:20 PM EDT

White House press secretary Sean Spicer mostly avoided discussing a claim from the chair of the House Intelligence Committee that information on President Donald Trump and members of transition team was “incidentally collected” during an investigation unrelated to Russian interference in the election.

“The chairman of one of the two committees that we asked to look into this wants to share his findings, or what he knows,” Spicer said during his daily press briefing, referring to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, that the White House asked to look into Trump’s unsubstantiated claim that President Obama ordered wiretapping on Trump Tower.

“I think that is exactly how we’ve talked about this working,” Spicer said. “But I will leave it Congressman Nunes to come up and to brief, and share his thoughts. I don’t know what his plan is.”

Rep. Devin Nunes nodded in the affirmative during a press briefing Wednesday when asked if Trump himself was “also part of that incidental collection.” That the information was collected “incidentally” implies that Trump and transition staffers were not the targets of the surveillance. Nunes said the intelligence was legally collected under a FISA warrant.

Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/spicer-briefing-nunes-incidental-collection
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