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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 55,322

Journal Archives

Trump consumed by Russia probe-was "100% focused" on it during foreign trip; barely practiced

Trump has been consumed by Russia probe—was "100% focused" on it during foreign trip; barely practiced Muslim speech


Mr. Trump has previously queried advisers about major changes, only to stick by his current staff and leave in place internal processes. But as he prepares to return from the nine-day foreign trip on Sunday, the situation back home is threatening to consume his administration, his allies said. Before he left, the Justice Department appointed former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to oversee the probe, which is focused on any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the election and may also include looking into the firing of Mr. Comey earlier this month.

“He’s 100% focused on this,” said a White House official, noting that the president slept only two hours in Saudi Arabia the night before his widely-anticipated speech on Islam that he spent little time rehearsing.


One major change under consideration would vet the president’s social media posts through a team of lawyers, who would decide if any needed to be adjusted or curtailed. The idea, said one of Mr. Trump’s advisers, is to create a system so that tweets “don’t go from the president’s mind out to the universe.”


WSJ: Trump's Tweets to be vetted by a team of lawyers..."

WSJ: "One major change under consideration would vet the president’s social media posts through a team of lawyers..."



NYT Ed. Board: "President Trump Fails NATO"


President Trump’s first NATO meeting was the moment to show that he would honor the example of his predecessors in leading a strong and unified alliance that has been and should remain the anchor of Western security. He failed.


What possesses him to treat America’s allies so badly? The NATO nations are mostly democracies with vibrant free markets that have helped America keep enemies at bay, including in Afghanistan. The question is made all the more pressing in view of Mr. Trump’s enthusiastic embrace of countless autocrats, among them Vladimir Putin of Russia and King Salman of Saudi Arabia, where he just paid a deferential visit and assured Sunni Arab leaders that “we are not here to lecture” despite their abominable records on human rights.

This perplexing dichotomy has been vividly captured in video and photographs — Mr. Trump laughing comfortably with Russia’s foreign minister and ambassador to Washington during a recent Oval Office meeting, while refusing to shake the hand of Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany when she came to town. There was more of the same in Brussels, with Mr. Trump shoving aside the prime minister of Montenegro, which recently defied Russia to join NATO, on his way to a front row spot for a photograph.


Reuters: Tillerson declines to host Ramadan event at State Department, breaking near 20-yr tradition

Reuters: Rex Tillerson declines to host Ramadan event at the State Department, breaking near 20-year tradition



Clinton on Trump's inauguration: "It was hard. It was really-difficult-I caught Michelle Obamas eye




WAY TO GO! 1/2 of S. Orange NJ 8th grade class refused to be used as photo prop for lyin' Paul Ryan

About 50% of Visiting South Orange Students Refuse Photo With Speaker Ryan
By villagegreennj access_timeMay-25-2017
Golda Och - Fall 2016 Open Houses
Updated 9:41 a.m. with a quote from a student who chose to participate in the photo with Speaker Ryan.


About half the students in a group of South Orange Middle School 8th graders touring the Capitol in D.C. this past week refused a photo with House Speaker Paul Ryan, according to students on the field trip.

Elissa Malespina, a school librarian who is also the parent of a SOMS eighth grader, reported that her son was among the students who declined to pose with Ryan for a photo.

“I am so proud of my son and 1/2 the 8th grade at South Orange Middle School,” Malespina wrote on Facebook. “They went to D.C. on a field trip and toured the Capitol building. The kids had a chance to have their picture taken with Paul Ryan and over half the class choose not to, including my son! What a powerful statement.”

The kids gave reasoned opinions for their choice — and said they were not fueled by partisanship.

“I think that taking the picture represents that you agree with the same political views and I don’t agree with his political views so I chose not to be in it,” said Wendy Weeks, an 8th grade SOMS student.

“I can’t take a picture with someone who supports a budget that would destroy public education and would leave 23 million people without healthcare,” said 8th grade SOMS student Matthew Malespina.

“I didn’t want to be in (the picture] because he believes in most of what Trump believes in,” said another SOMS 8th grader, Louisa Maynard-Parisi.



GOP: Its time to get off the Trump train. You have nothing left to lose

GOP: It’s time to get off the Trump train. You have nothing left to lose


The crazy train is the Trump Train, and it runs down its own passengers. A politician may think he is riding the train, only to find out the train’s been riding over him, pounding him into political roadkill. Survivors of the Trump Train stumble around like scared animals who don’t understand how they mistook the highway for home. Just ask Chris Christie, the first major Republican to endorse Mr. Trump, and now the first to condemn him, as he pitifully affirmed this week the corruption of the administration he was not asked to join.


Many who boarded the Trump Train likely did so suspecting the conductor might get booted, leaving them with Mike Pence, a right-wing extremist who nonetheless is a more standard Republican official. Opportunists are fighting to get vile policies – like stripping Americans of their social safety net – passed before Mr. Trump is potentially booted while simultaneously avoiding the contamination of his regime.

But this endeavour is impossible. As GOP strategist and “Never Trumper” Rick Wilson says, “Everything Trump touches dies.” This includes the ability of politicians to escape unscathed. If it is only one’s career prospects and integrity that are lost, the politician is lucky. At this point, association with the Trump administration means you may be tangentially linked to a massive international criminal operation. It means you may be in proximity to treason, as some have perceived from the released tapes of Speaker Paul Ryan and others speculating that Mr. Trump might be paid by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The road to impeachment is the road to self-immolation, which is why Republicans at Russian interference hearings behave as if intelligence officials – like former CIA chief John Brennan – are hostile witnesses instead of patriots providing valuable testimony, and treat leaks as greater affronts than the horrifying revelations the leaks contain.

National security should never be a partisan issue. The gutlessness of the Republican Party at this critical juncture hurts all Americans, including themselves. To depart the Trump Train now may be to leave tarnished by scandal, but it is the only way to keep the country from going off the rails.



NV legislature passed resolution calling for constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.

BREAKING The Nevada legislature has passed a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizen


CARSON CITY — The Nevada Assembly on Thursday voted 26-14 on a resolution that asks Congress to propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would rein in independent political campaign spending.

The party-line vote makes Nevada the 19th state to ask Congress to propose a constitutional amendment that would overturn the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United case, which held that the the government cannot restrict corporate or union campaign spending because it is protected by the First Amendment.

For a constitutional amendment to become a reality, at least 38 states would need to ratify the amendment after Congress proposes it. The resolution also passed the Senate on a 12-9 vote.


HRC: "I have a lot of sympathy for voters in a lot of places I didn't win."


The Guardian Has A MESSAGE For Journalists and ALL of US.

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Katharine Viner (Guardian Members)" <info@mail.theguardian.com>
Subject: Why we won't relent when our journalists are attacked
Date: May 26, 2017 at 9:17:22 AM PDT
Reply-To: "Katharine Viner (Guardian Members)" <reply-febe1672726c0d78-2652_HTML-20466318-1058977-48@mail.theguardian.com>


Earlier this week, Guardian US political reporter Ben Jacobs went to talk to Greg Gianforte, a Trump-backed tech millionaire running for Congress in a hotly contested special election in Montana, about healthcare policy. That conversation ended when, according to witnesses, Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck, slammed him to the ground and punched him. Jacobs left the scene in an ambulance.

Less than 24 hours later, Gianforte was elected to Congress, one of the most powerful political positions in America.

The Guardian believes that Gianforte’s election hours after he was charged with misdemeanor assault for allegedly assaulting our reporter – an incident recorded by Jacobs on his mobile phone and corroborated by a local Fox news crew that witnessed the attack – sends an alarming signal about the health of American democracy and the swift erosion of press freedoms in the Trump era.

"It was the type of encounter I've never expected to have with a politician and one that's very disappointing for what it means for the role of reporters asking questions,” said Jacobs. "We're asking questions on behalf of voters who deserve to know what a politician would do if they were elected to office – in this case it was about a major healthcare bill that would reshape the American economy."

Gianforte’s outburst was not a random act of violence. It came in the wake of the Guardian’s rigorous reporting of Gianforte’s campaign.

In Jacobs’ audio recording of his meeting with Gianforte, the politician sounds frustrated by the Guardian’s work. “I’m sick and tired of you guys,” Gianforte shouts at him. “You with the Guardian? Your last guy did the same damn thing.”

In April, the Guardian published an exclusive story written by Jacobs exposing Gianforte’s financial ties to a number of Russian companies that have been sanctioned by the US. Earlier this week, we ran an interview with Gianforte about his controversial environmental policies as part of our Anywhere but Washington video series. In that interview, the Guardian’s west coast bureau chief, Paul Lewis, challenged Gianforte over his support of Trump’s executive order that threatens more than two dozen national monuments in America, including the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in Montana.

This attack on the Guardian comes at a time when journalists are being demonized by the Trump administration and its supporters in unprecedented ways. The president has declared reputable media organisations “the enemy of the American people”, and at least seven reporters have been arrested this year in the US while covering anti-Trump protests.

It has never been more important for us to stand strong against these aggressions. Our journalists work with complete editorial independence, safeguarded by our unique ownership structure that ensures we are free from commercial or political interference. This means we can hold power to account, an essential role in protecting democracy.

Thank you for supporting independent journalism and the crucial role it plays in the world.

Katharine Viner,
Editor-in-chief, Guardian News & Media

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