Resistance Recess Puts Congress on Notice for Supporting Trump’s Agenda (VIDEO)

by Libero Della Piana – Rep. Dave Trott’s constituents in the Northeastern suburbs of Detroit gathered at his office to ask him about his stance on health care, refugees and other urgent issues. Instead of scheduling a meeting, Trott’s staff called the police. The delegation was organized by Michigan People’s campaign, an affiliate of People’s Action, a national organization fighting for economic and social justice. Since last weekend dozens of other town hall meetings and constituent forums have been dominated by vocal and angry people wondering where their lawmakers stand on Trump’s agenda, in particular regarding plans to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Embracing the #ResistanceRecess hashtag, national organizations such as MoveOn.com, Daily Kos, the AFL-CIO and People’s Action are helping mobilize grassroots frustration with the direction of the country after just one month of the Trump presidency. Many Republicans in Congress have concealed or simply refused to hold public town halls and opted to...

Read More...


Milo Yiannopoulos’ Fall From a Hateful Summit

by Sam Fulwood III – Until recently, I’d never heard of Milo Yiannopoulos. How I wish that blissful ignorance had remained intact. Over the past several years, Yiannopoulos has developed a fanatic following among a minority of Americans who’ve embraced his nasty bleating on Breitbart. Had he been confined exclusively to Breitbart, I might not have ever become aware of him. Alas, he crossed my path over the weekend, turning up like a lightening bug smashing into my social media windshield. The bombastic provocateur accepted a headline speaking gig at the American Conservative Union’s Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC. That didn’t sit too well with some of Yiannopoulos’ critics, of which I’ve learned there are legions. He seems to enjoy attracting controversy as a means to burnish his reputation and line his pocket. Yiannopoulos is an unlikely hero for the conservative political action group; he’s an openly gay man who...

Read More...


Chickenshit Trump Blows Off White House Correspondents Dinner: Paging Alec Baldwin

by News Corpse – Donald Trump has been fighting a bloody “War on the Media” for months now. His recent escalations included calling the “fake news” media the “enemy of the American people.”  Shortly thereafter his press secretary, Sean Spicer, banned several news organizations from a White House briefing. The animosity from Trump gets more intense by the hour. In his latest assault Gen. Trump has just announced that he will not be attending the White House Correspondents Dinner on April 29. The WHCD is an annual affair that is held to raise funds for scholarships. But apparently Trump’s anti-media obsession overrules any interest in helping a charity. The truth is more likely that Trump is afraid of having a close encounter with the “enemy.” He has never been particularly good at laughing at himself. That’s a personality flaw that’s common among narcissists. So rather than fraternize with the media he...

Read More...


Indiana is Going Hard Against Abortion This Week

by Maureen Shaw – These measures are extreme, even for Indiana. Indiana is gunning for abortion rights this week. Within a span of two days, Indiana’s House revived its “abortion reversal” bill, and a Senate panel advanced a restrictive bill aimed at curbing minors’ access to abortion care. Even for Indiana, which has a draconian anti-choice record, these measures are extreme in their disregard for women’s health and privacy. On Tuesday, the House Public Policy Committee approved H.B. 1128, which requires, among other things, that “a pregnant woman be informed orally and in writing before an abortion obtained through an abortion inducing drug that the abortion may be possibly reversed.” Last week, the committee approved a similar bill, but was met with resistance by some House Republicans, who cited concerns about a provision requiring abortion providers to perform an ultrasound to determine a fetus’ gestational age. This provision was struck from Tuesday’s...

Read More...


Republican Congressman Calls for Independent Prosecutor to Investigate Donald Trump

by Laurel Raymond – Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) said that Attorney General Jeff Sessions should recuse himself. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) said on Friday night that an independent special prosecutor should investigate potential ties between Russia and the Donald Trump campaign. “You’re right that you cannot have somebody — a friend of mine, Jeff Sessions — who was on the campaign and who is an appointee,” Issa said on HBO’s Real Time. “You’re going to need to use the special prosecutor’s statute and office.” He also added that it wouldn’t be enough to hand the job instead to the deputy attorney general, who is also a political appointee. The Priebus/FBI segment begins at approx. 5:30 Issa formerly served as the head of the House Oversight committee, where he conducted repeated investigations of the Obama White House. Issa once called Obama “one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times.” Issa’s high-theater investigations, however, often failed to...

Read More...


Most Americans Continue to Oppose U.S. Border Wall, Doubt Mexico Would Pay for it

by ROB SULS – As was the case throughout the presidential campaign, more Americans continue to oppose (62%) than favor (35%) building a wall along the entire U.S. border with Mexico. And while President Donald Trump has said the U.S. would make Mexico pay for the wall, the public is broadly skeptical: 70% think the U.S. would ultimately pay for the wall, compared with just 16% who think Mexico would pay for it. The proposal to build the wall was one of several contentious issues that loomed over a meeting between Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Mexican officials this week to discuss immigration and border issues. The latest national survey by Pew Research Center, conducted Feb. 7-12, 2017 among 1,503 adults, finds the public holds mixed views on a border wall’s potential impact on illegal immigration. About three-in-ten (29%) think a wall along the entire border with Mexico would lead to...

Read More...


On This Day, Feb. 26, 1993 – 1,000 Injured as Bomb Rocks World Trade Center

1993 – Six people were killed and more than a thousand injured when a van exploded in the parking garage beneath the World Trade Center in New York City. The World Trade Center bombing plot began in the months before September 1, 1992, when two of the main conspirators, Ahmad Ajaj and Ramzi Yousef, arrived in the United States from Pakistan. Upon detecting his poorly falsified Swedish passport, customs agents detained Ajaj and confiscated his suitcase, which contained bombing manuals and anti-American propaganda. Yousef, traveling on an Iraqi passport bearing the name Abdel Basit Mahmoud, requested political asylum. He was arrested for entering the United States without a visa but was released on his own recognizance and allowed into the country. While Ajaj waited in jail, Yousef allegedly began to implement a plan that aimed at toppling the twin towers of the World Trade Center. On October 1 he...

Read More...


Perez Wins Chairmanship of DNC in Close Vote on Second Ballot

by Meteor Blades – On the second ballot Saturday afternoon, former Labor Secretary Tom Perez narrowly won the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee over Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison at the organization’s winter meeting in Atlanta. Perez took the podium to move that Ellison be made deputy chair of the DNC. No “nays” could be heard from delegates during the voice vote. Here was the tally of the 435 delegates who cast ballots: Tom Perez……………………..235 Keith Ellison………………….200 After the vote, a motion to make Perez chairman by acclamation. Peter Daou  ✔@peterdaou Congrats to @TomPerez, new #DNCChair! The Hillary/Obama coalition IS the Democratic Party. It INCLUDES Ellison and millions of progressives. 3:22 PM – 25 Feb 2017 Despite the efforts of the other nine candidates who sought the office, the only ones anybody gave a chance to were Ellison and Perez. On issues related to the DNC’s tasks, the two men’s views were extremely...

Read More...


Trump Broke 64 Promises in His First Month in Office

by Ryan Koronowski – He kept 7. On Thursday, Trump’s Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and chief strategist Steven Bannon spoke about their priorities after the first month of the administration at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland. Bannon said that Trump is “maniacally focused” on executing the promises he made during the campaign. The facts tell a different story. A ThinkProgress’ analysis of Trump’s statements and policy proposals prior to his swearing-in found that he made at least 663 discrete promises. After his first day in office, Trump failed to keep 34 of 36 “Day One” promises. Since then, he has also broken 30 more promises, yielding a total of 64. Trump did manage to keep five more promises, for a total of seven. Trump made a lot of promises about what he will do as president. We’ve documented 663 of them. The people who elected Trump expect him to...

Read More...


McMaster’s Challenge: His Boss Is Already Making America Less Safe

by Vikram Singh and Peter Juul – At a time when the Trump administration continues to spark an immediate and growing national security crises due to mismanagement and reckless policies, the national security community felt great relief at the president’s selection of Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as the next national security advisor. McMaster will be tasked with resolving a number of serious foreign policy blunders already committed by the new administration. President Trump must ensure that McMaster has the authority and tools to deal with the following seven problems. Chaotic and dysfunctional management. Even before former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s forced resignation, President Trump’s National Security Council proved disturbingly dysfunctional. For example, U.S. military officials told Reuters that the president “approved his first covert counterterrorism operation without sufficient intelligence, ground support or adequate backup preparations.” The operation in Yemen was launched with no normal process and resulted in the...

Read More...


The Manchurian President

by NEAL GABLER – A classic Hollywood political thriller may tell us more about what’s happening in America than any history book. As the Trump presidency unravels, unraveling the country along with it, there is no real political antecedent, no lessons from American history on which to draw and provide guidance. We are in entirely uncharted waters. But there is an antecedent in our popular culture that provides a prism through which to view the contemporary calamity, especially the alleged collusion between Trump’s henchmen and Russian intelligence to deny Hillary Clinton the presidency. I am not the first observer who has noted the relevance of the movie The Manchurian Candidate. But the relevance is more than skin or celluloid deep. It goes to the very heart of this bizarre and frightening political moment. First, the fact that this implausibly plotted Hollywood thriller could now be applied, not altogether implausibly, to a...

Read More...


Why the Emerging Bill to Repeal the Affordable Care Act Will Fail

by Topher Spiro and Harry Stein – Last week, the House majority released an outline for repealing the Affordable Care Act, or ACA. Although the document provides no new details, it does provide enough information to evaluate the adequacy of financing, the likely policies needed to pay for new tax credits for health insurance, the likely effects on tax credit levels, and the political hurdles to such an approach. This analysis is based exclusively on numbers from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, or CBO. Although the congressional majority will claim that the emerging repeal bill represents a simultaneous replacement of the ACA, the math does not add up. Using CBO estimates, the Center for American Progress calculates that the repeal bill will cut the Medicaid expansion by $277 billion over 10 years. To finance new tax credits for health insurance, the repeal bill will likely cut Medicaid—including funding for nursing homes...

Read More...


Right-Wingers Want Us to Accept Inequality and Move On

by SAM PIZZIGATI – Cheerleaders for concentrated wealth have a new reason to cheer. They have chanced upon a fresh rationalization for inequality. This new rationalization comes from an unlikely source, a sober and thoughtful just-published book from a distinguished historian and classicist, Stanford’s Walter Scheidel. In The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century, Scheidel builds upon his considerable academic expertise on the ancient world and explores how and when societies have actually become less unequal. In the process, he has brought forth a book that could hardly be more profoundly depressing. Scheidel’s basic thesis: Down through history, only “massive and violent disruptions of the established order” have generated “big equalizing moments.” “It is almost universally true,” he advises, “that violence has been necessary to ensure the redistribution of wealth at any point in time.” The violence that Scheidel details has taken various...

Read More...


Dan Rather: This is an Emergency—and a Moment of Judgement for Everyone Who Remains Silent

by Leslie Salzillo – If you’ve been following news this week, there’s no doubt you’ve read/heard about the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), where White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon made a dangerous and odious threat against the media. This was followed by Donald Trump echoing the same message while barring some reputable, truth-seeking news groups including The New York Times from a White House briefing, an unprecedented act against the media, the freedom of the press, and the nation’s First Amendment. The legendary newsman Dan Rather took to social media to share his straight-shooting views, experience and wisdom regarding the latest derelictions from the White House. Here is his Facebook post in full.  The time for normalizing, dissembling, and explaining away Donald Trump has long since passed. The barring of respected journalistic outlets from the White House briefing is so far beyond the norms and traditions that have governed this republic for generations, that they must be seen as a real and present threat to our democracy....

Read More...


Top Obama Lawyers Join To Dig Into Trump’s Abuse of Power

by CathyM – I really, really think we need to tell folks about this group! I haven’t seen them mentioned before. Obama lawyers form ‘worst-case scenario’ group to tackle Trump Fearful the new administration will abuse its power, the former president’s lawyers are uniting to fight back. Top lawyers who helped the Obama White House craft and hold to rules of conduct believe President Donald Trump and his staff will break ethics norms meant to guard against politicization of the government — and they’ve formed a new group to prepare, and fight. United to Protect Democracy, which draws its name from a line in President Barack Obama’s farewell address that urged his supporters to pick up where he was leaving off, has already raised a $1.5 million operating budget, hired five staffers and has plans to double that in the coming months. They’ve incorporated as both a 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4), allowing...

Read More...


On This Day, Feb. 25, 1836 – Samuel Colt Patents the Revolver

1836 – Connecticut-born gun manufacturer Samuel Colt (1814-62) received a U.S. patent for a revolver mechanism that enabled a gun to be fired multiple times without reloading. Colt’s revolver mechanism is considered by some to be more innovation than invention because it improved upon a revolving flintlock (a firing mechanism used in muskets and rifles) already patented by Boston inventor Elisha Collier (1788-1856). The British patent for Colt’s mechanism was acquired in October 1835, and on February 25, 1836, the American inventor received U.S. Patent No. 138 (later 9430X) for his revolving-cylinder pistol. The enhancements listed in this patent include greater “facility in loading,” changes in “the weight and location of the cylinder, which give steadiness to the hand,” and “the great rapidity in the succession of discharges.” Colt’s Patent Arms Manufacturing Company began making the Paterson pistol in 1836 at its Paterson, New Jersey, factory using funds advanced...

Read More...


State Dept. Memo Warning Employees Against Leaking Is Immediately Leaked

by Jon Queally – So-called “low-life leakers” certainly have a sense of irony. The leaks just keep on coming. While President Donald Trump has repeatedly expressed frustration over the unsanctioned release of internal documents and information, the Washington Post reported Friday morning on the existence of a State Department memo specifically warning agency employees against unauthorized leaks. How did the paper know about the memo? Because it was leaked, of course. As the Post‘s Josh Rogin reports: The State Department legal office prepared a four-page memo for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warning of the dangers of leaking by State Department employees. It promptly leaked, to me. That’s only the latest sign that the relationship between the Trump administration political appointees and the State Department professional workforce is still very much a work in progress. The Feb. 20 memo by State Department acting legal adviser Richard Visek to Tillerson is entitled “SBU: Protecting...

Read More...


New Deportation Rules Could Cost the Economy Trillions

by Bryce Covert – Deporting all undocumented immigrants would have extreme effects on the economy. President Trump pushed forward on his campaign promise to deport all undocumented immigrants on Tuesday by releasing new guidelines to expand and speed up deportations. The memos from the Department of Homeland Security target all undocumented immigrants for deportation, even those who haven’t committed serious crimes, while necessitating the hiring of thousands of new agents and building new detention facilities. These policies are going to wreak havoc on the lives, families, and communities of those who end up deported. And they will also come with a steep cost for everyone in this country. It’s still not clear whether the administration will actually have the resources and ability to deport every undocumented immigrant. But even if it were able to deport just the 7 million undocumented workers in this country, out of the estimated 12 million total, it...

Read More...


Law Professors File Misconduct Complaint Against KellyanneConway

by CathyM – As bad as all the crap that’s pouring from the White House is, it is heartening today to see people pushing back: Law professors file misconduct complaint against Kellyanne Conway A group of law professors from around the country has filed a professional misconduct complaint against White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, a graduate of George Washington University Law School who was admitted to the D.C. Bar in 1995. The letter, filed with the office that handles misconduct by members of the D.C. Bar, said Conway should be sanctioned for violating government ethics rules and “conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation,” the letter says. The 15 professors, who specialize in legal ethics, cite several incidents,including a television interview in which Conway made the “false statement that President Barack Obama had ‘banned’ Iraqi refugees from coming into the United States for six months following the ‘Bowling Green Massacre,’ ”...

Read More...


Gabby Giffords Shames GOP Rep. for Using Her Shooting as an Excuse to Hide From Town Halls

by April Hamlin – Republicans across the country have been doing all they can to avoid town hall meetings where angry constituents are waiting. But Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) should win some type of award for his despicable excuse. Earlier this week, Gohmert claimed that he hadn’t scheduled a town hall meeting to discuss important issues with the people he represents because with all the angry protesters around he’s afraid of a shooting like the one that involved Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. But don’t worry. This isn’t because he’s a coward. It’s just that he wants to keep his constituents safe. “Unfortunately, at this time there are groups from the more violent strains of the leftist ideology, some even being paid, who are preying on public town halls to wreak havoc and threaten public safety. Threats are nothing new to me and I have gotten my share as a felony judge.” “However, the House...

Read More...