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Sessions recuses himself from any Michael Flynn investigation

(Politico) Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Friday that his recusal from Justice Department investigations into the 2016 campaign for president will extend into inquiries into the activities of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, under fire for his ties to foreign governments.

“My recusal deals with the campaign issues,” Sessions told NBC’s “Today” show. “But I would expect not to be involved in this one.”

"You would recuse yourself from any decision dealing with general Flynn?" asked Today anchor Matt Lauer. "Yeah," Sessions replied.


Republicans fail to muster enough votes in their own party to pass health bill & drop it... again

(WaPo) House GOP backs down from a last-minute push to vote on health-care bill, smoothing way for government to stay open past Friday

Despite pressure from the White House, House GOP leaders determined Thursday night that they don’t have the votes to pass a rewrite of the Affordable Care Act and will not seek to put their proposal on the floor on Friday.


Oh the irony: Secret Service bans guns at Trump NRA speech

(The Hill) The Secret Service confirmed Thursday that those attending President Trump’s Friday speech to the National Rifle Association in Atlanta must leave their guns outside.

“Individuals determined to be carrying firearms will not be allowed past a predetermined outer perimeter checkpoint, regardless of whether they possess a ticket to the event,” the Secret Service said in a statement, as reported by CNN.


WH Official:I kind of pooh-poohed the experience stuff when I first got here, but this shit is hard

When Donald Trump gets angry, he fumes. “You can’t make them happy,” he said. “These people want more and more.”

He was complaining to friends that he had negotiated for weeks with Freedom Caucus members and he couldn’t believe the group was still against the health care legislation. Trump and his advisers were buzzing about making an enemies list and wanted to force a vote. But it was Trump, a man who hates to show weakness, who had to blink. As support flagged, the bill was shelved.

“I kind of pooh-poohed the experience stuff when I first got here,” one White House official said of these early months. “But this shit is hard.”


Trump Has Changed at Least Three Major Positions After World Leaders Explained Them to Him

(Mediaite) A number of reports out Wednesday claimed President Donald Trump was considering an executive order to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Trump, who has repeatedly lambasted the agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico as “catastrophic”, reversed course Thursday, agreeing to renegotiate the deal after speaking with Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

During a presser in Canada, Trudeau responded to questions from reporters on what led to Trump’s decision to stick with the trade deal, implying that all it took was explaining to the president the simple consequences of pulling out.

Miles Archer

Mnuchin "can't guarantee" Trump tax plan wont raise taxes on middle class

(Raw Story) President Donald Trump unveiled his tax reform plan this week, and it included a lot of big giveaways for high-income earners, including the elimination of both the inheritance tax and the alternative minimum tax.

Despite this, the administration has tried to pitch the plan as a boon for the middle class, as it proposes doubling the standard deduction for all earners. However, the plan will also likely get rid of several popular deductions, including the deduction for state and local taxes and for student loan payments, meaning some middle income earners might end up paying more than they do right now.

During an interview on ABC News on Thursday, George Stephanopoulos asked Trump Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin if he could guarantee that middle-class families wouldn’t pay any additional taxes under the administration’s plan — and Mnuchin replied that he couldn’t.

“I can’t make any guarantees until this thing is done and it’s on the president’s desk,” Mnuchin said. “But I can tell you, that’s our number one objective in this.”


House Democrats to force vote on bill requiring Trump to release his taxes, visitor logs

(WaPo) House Democrats plan to force a floor fight with Republicans on Thursday over legislation that would require President Trump to disclose information about his personal taxes, business holdings, ethics waivers, and visitors to the White House and his vacation properties.

Knowing that the legislation will be blocked by Republicans who control the House, Democrats are hoping to squeeze the majority party so they can claim that GOP incumbents in competitive reelection fights are standing with a president who remains deeply unpopular. The move comes as Trump nears the 100th day of his presidency on Saturday, a milestone that he has mocked but that his administration has used as an opportunity to tout early accomplishments.


New Trumpcare plan 'makes bad bill worse,' AARP says

(Orlando Sentenel) Under Trumpcare 2.0 — the GOP’s revised plan to replace Obamacare — older low-income Floridians would face “prohibitively expensive” health insurance premiums, even if they’re healthy, AARP Florida warned Wednesday in what leaders said should be a wake-up call to the state’s residents.

“If this passes, it’s going to push a lot of older Floridians back into the ranks of the uninsured,” said AARP Florida director Jeff Johnson. “And that will have dire consequences for their health, for their personal finances, for the finances of the health care system in Florida and for our public health.”


Still More Madness

Oh wow. I don't usually do these on back-to-back days, but the news kept coming at me today like a tommy gun full of bat guano, so let's all tear our clothes off and run naked through the poppy field that is the news these days.

We started with the national media picking up last night's story about the Marmalade Shartcannon seeking a review of the last 21 years' worth of national park designations, with an eye on reversing a few. Seriously, he wants to UN-DESIGNATE SOME FUCKING NATIONAL PARKS. Oddly, rather than being the plot of a Muppet film, this turned out to be objective reporting on the actions of the President of the United States. Hey, maybe you want to preserve our nation's natural beauty for your kids and grandkids, but the dudes in Rex Tillerson's poker game don't have quite enough mad money for recreational space travel, so FUCK YOU...


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Farmers find 'unicorn' among their sheep in Iceland Weird News : By shenmue

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