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Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 50
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 9,812

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Onetime popular president eyed a return to power. Ecuador voters had other ideas

In a demonstration of the sometimes fleeting nature of populist power and political alliances, Ecuadoreans overwhelming voted Sunday to limit presidents to two terms, ending the chances of a return to office by the onetime popular Rafael Correa.

The passage of the initiative put forward by President Lenin Moreno essentially ends the aspirations of his predecessor and former patron, ex-President Correa, who prodded the congress in December 2015 to legalize unlimited presidential runs, leaving open the possibility of a return to power.

But much has changed in Ecuador since Moreno succeeded Correa in May. Correa once commanded a large and devoted following but has fallen from grace, as have many populist leaders in Latin America. (Just last month former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was sentenced to 12 years in prison for corruption.)

In Ecuador, an economic crisis has deepened and Moreno blamed the huge debts taken on during Correa’s 10 years in office as the primary cause.


Officer punched as tensions flare at 'Patriot Picnic' in San Diego's Chicano Park

A San Diego police officer was punched in the face and three people were arrested Saturday during a clash at Chicano Park between a small group holding a "Patriot Picnic" and a larger gathering of park supporters defending its cultural roots.

San Diego police reported three arrests, one for battery on a police officer. The officer suffered a bloody nose as he tried to arrest a suspect who refused an order to get out of the street, said Lt. Scott Wahl. The suspect was not injured, Wahl said.

The event started about 10 a.m., with police initially reporting that both groups were "law-abiding and peaceful."

But as the crowd ballooned to an estimated 700 people, Chicano Park advocates far outnumbered the 50 or so "picnickers," who staged the event in an attempt to hoist the American flag at the park, where the Aztlan and La Raza flags fly. A U.S. flag flies in a corner of the park near a veterans monument.


There's a big problem for California Republicans, and it's this year's race for the U.S. Senate

There is something worse than seeing your political party lose — yet again — the race for one of California's most prominent offices.

It's when your party's voters simply don't show up on election day. And if enough of them simply sit out due to a lack of interest, it can endanger the party's power for years to come.

That brings us to the U.S. Senate race, where Sen. Dianne Feinstein is seeking a fifth full term. With only days to go before the formal filing season opens, there's not a single California Republican with any name I.D. who seems prepared to run against her.

If re-elected, the venerable Democrat will almost certainly set the record for the longest Senate tenure of any Californian in history. She won her most recent three races — in 2000, 2006 and 2012 — by an average of almost 23 percentage points. The only close contest was her 1994 nail-biter victory over Republican Michael Huffington. No doubt that weighs on the mind of any would-be GOP challenger.


Ecuador 'rejects unlimited election terms', blocking Correa return

Source: BBC

Ecuadoreans have voted to scrap unlimited presidential terms, a move which should stop leftist ex-leader Rafael Correa from returning to power.

A quick count suggested 64% of voters supported a constitutional change which will prevent presidents from holding office for more than two terms.

The question is one of seven being put to voters in a referendum.

It was called by current President Lenin Moreno, once Mr Correa's deputy but now his staunch opponent.

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-42937819

This is the week that the GOP truly became the party of Trump

This was the week when the Republican Party finally went all in with President Trump. What once seemed unlikely is now reality. The Republican establishment — there are a few dissenting voices, of course — has succumbed to the power of the presidency, and this president in particular.

This coming together has taken place gradually. The path has been rocky at times. But the embrace of the president by elected Republicans could not have been warmer or fuller than shown in the past week.

There was the enthusiasm Republicans in the House chamber displayed when Trump delivered his State of the Union address Tuesday. There was the all-in-the-family chitchat when a conversational and relaxed Trump spoke at the Republican retreat in West Virginia on Thursday.

Then on Friday came the memo prepared for Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee alleging misconduct by the FBI with regard to the Russia investigation. It was released with the full blessing of the president (over objections by FBI officials) and of House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), who claimed, despite the thrust of the memo, that it was not “an indictment of our institutions, of our justice system.”


The Republican Party is the party of criminals and traitors. They have all violated their oaths of office and are hell-bent on destroying the government of, by, and for the people.

Lenin Moreno's Challenge to the Past

When Lenín Moreno was sworn in as president of Ecuador last May, expectations were low.

Most assumed the mild-mannered former vice president to the bombastic leftist Rafael Correa would simply keep the seat warm for his erstwhile boss, who had termed out but was widely expected to run again in 2021.

How, after all, could a politician named after the legendary Russian revolutionary be expected to move the Andean nation away from the hard-left antics and vocal anti-American posturing of his predecessor?

Meanwhile, his passionate, career-long advocacy of humor as a way of improving quality of life had left some critics labeling Moreno, the son of public school teachers in a remote Amazonian province, an intellectual and political lightweight.


Rafael ain't too happy with his protege.

Lawyers Confirm Trump Willing To Answer All Of Sean Hannity's Questions About Russia Collusion

WASHINGTON—Ending any speculation over whether he would submit to questioning on the subject, lawyers representing President Trump confirmed Wednesday he is willing to clear up any concerns that talk show host Sean Hannity may have about his 2016 campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia.

“The president has expressed to us that he is fully committed to cooperating with Mr. Hannity on all aspects of the Russia issue,” said White House attorney Ty Cobb, adding that his client looks forward to speaking with the Fox News anchor on the record and, furthermore, is not the least bit worried about the revelations that will result from Hannity’s line of inquiry.

“Whether the questions are about why Mr. Trump, as a candidate, had no reason to collude, or how Hillary Clinton has done much worse, the president is ready to provide complete and detailed responses. He understands the level of accountability to which he will be held by a person in Mr. Hannity’s position, and he is entirely prepared for it.”

Cobb went on to express confidence that Hannity will ultimately conclude the president has engaged in no wrongdoing.


United States Will Hit Debt Limit Sooner Than Expected Because of Tax Cuts

Source: NY Times

The Congressional Budget Office said on Wednesday that the United States is expected to bump up against its borrowing limit a month earlier than previously expected, a function of last year’s $1.5 trillion tax cut, which is resulting in less revenue for the Treasury Department.

According to the budget office, the borrowing limit will most likely need to be raised in early March after the “extraordinary measures” to extend borrowing employed the Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, are exhausted. The budget office previously projected that the debt limit would need to be raised beyond its current level of $20.5 trillion in late March or early April.

The reason for the change stems from the tax cuts, which went into effect in January and are expected to translate into less revenue for the federal government.

The Internal Revenue Service released new withholding tables this month to reflect the new, lower tax rates, which will result in companies withholding less money from worker paychecks. Beginning in February, the government is expected to see $10 billion to $15 billion less tax revenue each month.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/31/us/politics/united-states-debt-limit.html

Another perfect shitstorm looming on the horizon.
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