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Trump considering pardoning himself and criminal associates

(Washington Post) Some of President Trump’s lawyers are exploring ways to limit or undercut special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation, building a case against what they allege are his conflicts of interest and discussing the president’s authority to grant pardons, according to people familiar with the effort.

Trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with the probe, according to one of those people. A second person said Trump’s lawyers have been discussing the president’s pardoning powers among themselves.

Trump’s legal team declined to comment on the issue. But one adviser said the president has simply expressed a curiosity in understanding the reach of his pardoning authority, as well as the limits of Mueller’s investigation.

Judi Lynn

Carrier Cuts 300 At Factory Where Trump Boasted Of Saving Jobs

(NBC News) The Carrier factory where a president-elect Donald J. Trump boasted of having crafted a deal to save jobs from moving to Mexico has begun laying off workers.

338 employees at the Carrier Corporation fan coil manufacturing facility in Indianapolis will be let go tomorrow under the previously announced plan, the company said in a statement Wednesday.

Their positions will still be shifted to Mexico, where workers are paid in a day what the Rust Belt employees make in an hour.

Those plans included an additional 290 employees to be terminated on December 22nd, 2017, three days before Christmas.

Miles Archer

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) given explicit instructions by the Kremlin for how to attack sanctions

(Raw Story) A bombshell report claims that Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), who has long been described as “Putin’s favorite congressman,” was given explicit instructions by the Kremlin for how to attack sanctions against Russia last year.

The Daily Beast reports that “after being given a secret document by officials in Moscow, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher sought to alter sanctions legislation and tried to set up a virtual show trial on Capitol Hill” last June, right at around the time that Donald Trump Jr. and key members of the Trump campaign met with Russian nationals who claimed to be representatives of the Russian government’s efforts to undermine the candidacy of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.


Ruminations on failure, spell-checking, and, of course, madness

Well, today we were treated to a fresh installment of the Roving Holiday where we get to read dozens of columns, think pieces, finger-pointing interviews, and leak-fueled-behind-the-scenes reenactments about yet another colossal failure by Donald J Trump (The "J" stands for Emotionally Stunted Assclown) and the Washington Generals of politics, the McConnell/Ryan Republican Party.

After the latest attempt at his "Silly Plebes, Health Care is for Millionaires" Bill collapsed last night for being insufficiently murderous for the likes of Mike Lee and Rand Paul, Majority Leader Yertle pulled the old Straight Repeal and We'll Totally Replace Later, Wink Wink alternative out of his drawer. "Let's just do it, and be legends," McConnell allegedly shouted, before doing a Jell-O shot out of Roy Blunt's navel.

But that shitty plan fell apart before the daytime soaps were over, with Senators Murkowski, Collins and Moore turning McConnell over on his back, and laughing as he swayed from side to side in an attempt to right himself...

Miles Archer

"He was playing with a firetruck, trying on a cowboy hat as the bill was collapsing. He had no clue"

(CNN) The collapse of the Republican bid to repeal and replace Obamacare Monday, alongside chaos brewed by the Russia scandal, has revealed a stunted presidency and a White House struggling to master the levers of power.

It also leaves President Donald Trump without a significant legislative triumph to show for his first six months in office.

"He was playing with a firetruck and trying on a cowboy hat as the bill was collapsing and he had no clue," a top Republican told CNN's Jeff Zeleny on Tuesday, mocking the "Made In America" week at the White House.


Trump had 2nd, private meeting with Putin during G20 summit. No American translator present.

(The Hill) The meeting took place during the G-20 heads of state dinner, according to Bremmer, hours after Trump's formal bilateral sit-down with Putin.

In that conversation, Trump spoke with the Russian leader for roughly an hour, joined only by Putin's translator. The meeting had previously gone without mention by the White House.

Trump's interactions with Putin are the subject of particularly intense scrutiny in the U.S., because of the ongoing special counsel and congressional investigations into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.


Al Gore: Trump is first president to deliberately 'tear down America's standing in the world'

(Raw Story) Former Vice President Al Gore appeared on NBC’s Today on Monday to discuss his deep disappointment with President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord.

Gore noted that he had a meeting with Trump late last year where he came away optimistic that the president wouldn’t hastily withdraw from the Paris deal, if for no other reason than it would hurt America’s standing as a world leader.

Now, however, he doesn’t have any optimism that we’ll see any kind of leadership from Trump on addressing climate change.

“We’ve never had a president who’s deliberately made decisions… to tear down America’s standing in the world,” Gore told Willie Geist. “The climate crisis is by far the most serious challenge we face. But he’s also undermined our alliances, such as NATO, and hurt our standing in the world in many ways.”

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