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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: 26,254

Journal Archives

Reports: Jim DeMint On His Way Out As President Of Heritage Foundation

Source: Talking Points Memo

Jim DeMint is on his way out as the president of the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation, Politico and the New York Times reported Friday.

Politico first reported, according to three unnamed people with knowledge of the situation, that the former South Carolina senator’s ouster would follow a difference of opinion on a variety of issues with a portion of the foundation’s board.

The far-right foundation, funded in part by billionaire Republican kingmakers Charles and David Koch and their network, became more politically active during DeMint’s tenure. He took up the office in 2013, and has used its political advocacy arm, Heritage Action, to target Republicans in Washington, D.C. deemed insufficiently conservative. The foundation did not immediately respond to TPM’s questions about DeMint’s status.

One unnamed operative who has worked with Heritage told Politico, “If Heritage pushes Jim DeMint out it was because a few board members, who are close to the Republican establishment, never wanted him to be president and have been working to push him out ever since.”

Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/reports-jim-demint-on-way-out-heritage-foundation

Trump wants to stop programs that combat child and forced labor abroad

Source: Reveal - The Center for Investigative Reporting

By Jennifer Gollan / April 27, 2017

Exorbitant recruitment fees. Employers that seized workers’ passports. Workers packed into cramped housing. These were just some of the conditions workers endured in Malaysia’s electronics industry, according to a 2014 report commissioned by the U.S. government.

The study by Verité, an international research organization in Amherst, Massachusetts, relied on a $450,000 grant from the Labor Department’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs, which combats child and forced labor overseas.

The preliminary budget of President Donald Trump’s administration would eliminate $60 million in grants from the bureau’s budget, calling them “largely noncompetitive and unproven.” It suggested that the agency instead focus its efforts “on ensuring that U.S. trade agreements are fair for American workers.”

The cuts would hobble one of the country’s key methods for combatting child and forced labor around the globe, and potentially limit the federal government’s ability to help countries comply with labor provisions in 13 free trade agreements. In addition, the cuts could effectively do the opposite of what Trump intends by forcing U.S. companies to increasingly compete with overseas companies that flout worker safeguards and pay meager wages.

Read more: https://www.revealnews.org/blog/trump-wants-to-stop-programs-that-combat-child-and-forced-labor-abroad/

Obama trolls Trump by pointing out Obamacare has better poll numbers than he does: report

Source: RawStory

28 APR 2017 AT 13:45 ET

Former President Barack Obama reportedly told an audience at a private event this week that he’s proud his signature legislative achievement is now more popular than current President Donald Trump.

One source who was at the event this week tells CNN that Obama boasted to an audience in Manhattan this week that “the Affordable Care Act has never been more popular — and it’s more popular than the current president.”

According to the polling averages compiled by the Huffington Post, Trump currently has an approval rating of 44%, with a disapproval rating of 52%. The Affordable Care Act, meanwhile, has an average favorable rating of 49% and an unfavorable rating of 41%.

Obama’s remarks came as Republicans in Washington have once against stalled in their efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. In fact, one anonymous GOP lawmaker told the Washington Examiner this week that his own party’s pledge to fully repeal the law amounted to “one of the biggest political shams in history.”

Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/2017/04/obama-trolls-trump-by-pointing-out-obamacare-has-better-poll-numbers-than-he-does-report/

Brownback wants $24 million to keep guns out of psychiatric hospitals

Source: The Wichita Eagle


Gov. Sam Brownback wants more than $24 million over the next two years to keep guns out of state hospitals, frustrating lawmakers who question how such security measures can be put into place by a July 1 deadline.

Lawmakers and Brownback have the power to change the law – and avoid spending millions – but attempts to amend it have faltered.

A 2013 state law allows concealed weapons at public hospitals and college campuses beginning July 1. That includes the state’s psychiatric hospitals in Larned and Osawatomie. Guns may be kept out if buildings provide security measures such as metal detectors and armed guards. Storage for weapons may also be provided.

In a budget request released Thursday, Brownback asks for $12.5 million in the fiscal year that begins July 1, and $11.7 million in the year after, to meet the security requirements.

Read more: http://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/article147131789.html

Edward Snowden Can Stay as Long as He Likes, Says Russia

Source: Newsweek


Former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor and U.S. fugitive Edward Snowden can stay in Russia until he decides to leave, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said.

“I think that that is something he will decide himself,” Zakharova said on Thursday when Yahoo News anchor Katie Couric asked her how long Snowden’s sojourn in Russia will continue. The former NSA contractor has been living in Russia since 2013, after leaking thousands of classified intelligence documents and fleeing the U.S.

“I have never met him, I have never talked to him. I don't know. It is up to him to decide. He is just a human being. He’s a person and he has his own will to decide where he will stay,” she said.

Zakharova refused to provide additional comment on whether or not Russia would consider extraditing him to the U.S. where he would be tried, saying: “This is not my field.”

Read more: http://www.newsweek.com/snowden-will-decide-himself-if-he-leaves-russia-591645

'He's Pretty Close to Perfect': Lou Dobbs and Hannity Take Turns Gushing Over Trump


Trump's administration after 100 days: A second-rate salesman surrounded by con men and losers

FRIDAY, APR 28, 2017 04:30 PM EDT

Donald Trump’s administration after 100 days: A second-rate salesman surrounded by con men and losers

Trump has staffed the West Wing with low-grade hucksters, and his deal-making skills are just bad poker bluffs


Saturday will mark the 100th year – sorry, the 100th day – of Donald Trump’s presidency. And what a white-knuckle ride it has been for the world.

The obsession with a president’s accomplishments in the first 100 days of a presidency is often maddening. But it can also be useful, in that the way a new administration handles all these challenges can set the tone for the next four to eight years and determine whether it will go down in history as a success or failure.

After 100 days, we can say this about Donald Trump and his team: History will not be kind.

At the rate Trump is going, the internet could run out of space cataloging all of his administration’s deficiencies as a functional entity, its destruction of governing norms and the hash it has made of both domestic and foreign policy, long before he leaves office. But two observations from the first 100 days stand out to me.

The first is the extent to which Trump’s struggles can be attributed to his pronounced tendency to staff his administration with mediocre, two-bit hustlers and con men whose careers indicate they have a lot more luck than smarts or talent.

Two profiles this week drive this point home. The first is a look at the Hollywood career of Steve Bannon, Trump’s “senior strategist,” whose nationalist policies, bungled initiatives and, most importantly to a president who loves to be the center of attention, increased media profile have quickly reduced his influence in the West Wing.


How Presidents Handle Frustrating Moments

April 28, 2017 By Taegan Goddard

Former President Obama “made another $400,000 on Thursday when he appeared at the A&E Networks advertising upfront at The Pierre Hotel. He was interviewed over 90 minutes at the Midtown Manhattan event by presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin in front of the cable network’s advertisers,” the New York Post reports.

“Goodwin asked Obama how, while president, he handled frustrating moments. She mentioned Lincoln would write angry letters and then put them in a desk and not mail them.”

Responded Obama: “For starters, by not having a Twitter account.”



Kelly Checks Expectations: No Wall At Some Points, 'See-Through' At Others

Source: Talking Points Memo

By MATT SHUHAM Published APRIL 28, 2017, 12:22 PM EDT

The Homeland Security secretary aggressively tamped down on expectations for President Donald Trump’s endlessly hyped border wall Thursday, saying that concrete barrier would only be constructed along a fraction of the U.S. border with Mexico.

“I foresee there being an increase in physical barrier, backed up by the men and women of CBP, Customs and Border Protection, and technology,” Secretary John Kelly told Bloomberg’s David Gura Thursday. “There are places along the border, and I would offer to you, down in the southern Rio Grande valley, where a wall, a concrete wall, makes all the sense in the world.”

“There are other places where a see-through wall, say a large bollard, if you will, fence, makes a lot of sense,” he said. “There’s places, probably, we won’t build a wall, because it’s across river beds, and we can’t dam up the rivers. And there’s other places that are just so rough — you know, the Big Bend area of Texas, canyons, high ground, low ground. Very little moves through there, anyways. So we are all still committed to a barrier, wall in some in places, in some places see-through wall, but once again, technology, and backed up by CBP.”

In February, Fox News’ Catherine Herridge reported that Kelly had told her the wall “will take a multi-layered approach. There will be the physical wall and then parts of the wall that you can see through because it will rely on sensors and other technology.”

Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/john-kelly-see-through-wall-border-mexico

GOP lawmaker confesses: GOP pledge to repeal Obamacare is 'one of the biggest shams in history'

GOP lawmaker confesses: Republican pledge to repeal Obamacare is ‘one of the biggest shams in history’

28 APR 2017 AT 11:10 ET

The Republican Party has pledged for seven years now that it would repeal the Affordable Care Act — but now that it’s in a position to do so, it suddenly seems to have gotten cold feet.

Talking with the Washington Examiner’s Byron York, one anonymous Republican lawmaker acknowledged that many Republicans in Congress don’t actually have any desire to fully repeal Obamacare, despite the fact that it has been a staple of the party’s platform for multiple election cycles.

“A pure repeal would get less than 200 votes,” the lawmaker admitted, even as he fumed that he would like to see the law entirely repealed. “It really is one of the biggest political shams in history — many of these members would not have been elected without promising repeal, and now they are wilting.”

Why are so many Republicans queasy about doing something they vowed to do for years? According to York, they believe that doing so would badly hurt people in their districts — and thus kill their hopes of getting reelected.

“The reason is fear,” York explains. “When the lawmaker said colleagues don’t want repeal “because of their district,” that was another way of saying the members are all representatives, and the voters they represent don’t want repeal.”


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