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Name: Don
Gender: Male
Hometown: Massachusetts
Home country: United States
Member since: Sat Sep 1, 2012, 02:28 PM
Number of posts: 60,536

Journal Archives

Christie calls rollout of Trump immigration order 'terrible'

Source: Associated Press

JANUARY 31, 2017 1:12 PM

NEWARK, N.J. - Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Tuesday that the rollout of President Donald Trump's executive order restricting travel from seven majority-Muslim countries was "terrible."

Christie said Trump's intention to protect the country from terrorist attacks is right but that the order was explained so "unartfully" that it allowed the president's opponents to mischaracterize it. He said Trump deserves to be better served by his advisers.

"The rollout of this executive order was terrible. The way people were not involved or consulted. ... The president deserved much better than the rollout that he got of this plan." Christie's comments come after Trump fired the acting U.S. attorney general after she publicly questioned the constitutionality of his refugee and immigration order and refused to defend it in court.

They also came after GOP congressional leadership was frozen out of the drafting of the order. Despite that, House Speaker Paul Ryan told rank-and-file Republicans in a closed-door meeting before speaking to reporters that he supports the order.

Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/business/article129841909.html#storylink=cpy

Read more: http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/business/article129841909.html

Senator hammers Jeff Sessions over his 'willful blindness' to Russian interference in 2016 election

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said Tuesday that his colleague Jeff Sessions (R-AL) was not independent enough to serve as the U.S. Attorney General for Donald Trump.

“I have very serious doubts that senator sessions would be an independent attorney general,” he said in the Senate Judiciary Committee while explaining why he was voting against Sessions’s confirmation. “Let me give you a few reasons why.”

Leahy said Sessions had ignored potential conflicts of interest in the Trump administration. “Sessions has repeatedly evaded my questions on this topic by claiming that he has “not studied the issue.” He even refused to acknowledge that it is a conflict of interest for a President to have a personal financial stake in the policies pursued by his administration. This is the very definition of a conflict of interest: Presidents should not personally profit from their decisions.”

“Senator Sessions’ willful blindness extends even to the Russian interference in our democracy. I asked him a series of questions based on the intelligence community’s report on ‘Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections.’ Multiple times, he answered my questions by stating, ‘I have not reviewed the report, but I have no reason not to accept the intelligence community’s conclusion(s) as contained in the report.'”


Report: Feds Weigh Child-Porn Charges Against Anthony Weiner

Source: The Daily Beast

Federal prosecutors are considering child-pornography charges against Anthony Weiner, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. The news comes according to sources familiar with the FBI and Manhattan U.S. attorney’s investigation into allegations the former Democratic congressman had exchanged sexually explicit messages with a 15-year-old girl. The Journal reported that Weiner’s lawyers have met with prosecutors and have attempted to dissuade them from bringing child-porn charges, which carry a 15-year mandatory minimum prison sentence. This latest probe into Weiner’s sexting habits had a drastic effect on the 2016 presidential race, with FBI chief James Comey announcing mere weeks before Election Day that agents had found a laptop used by Weiner, containing emails potentially related to the probe of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s private email server.



Read more: http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2017/01/31/reports-feds-weigh-child-porn-charges-against-anthony-weiner.html?via=desktop&source=copyurl

Budweiser's Super Bowl Ad Tells an Immigration Story

In advance of this weekend’s Super Bowl, Budweiser has released its ad, “Born the Hard Way” that tells the story of the company’s origin. The ad is topical- it takes place in 1857 and shows Adolphus Busch immigrating to the United States from Germany. The journey isn’t easy. He has to abandon ship due to a boat fire, but he survives, and eventually reaches land.

When he first arrives, people say to him “You are not wanted here. Go back home.” He keeps going.

The ad ends with Busch in a bar, sitting next to Eberhard Anheuser. The two meet, and the rest is history. While the story seems timely today, Anheuser-Busch InBev executives told Ad Age that they were not trying to make a political statement with the commercial. “This commercial shows the start of Budweiser’s journey, and while it is set in the 1800’s, it’s a story we believe will resonate with today’s entrepreneurial generation — those who continue strive for their dreams,” Ricardo Marques, a Vice President at Anheuser-Busch said in a press release.

Good news: The Clydesdales haven’t been forgotten. Blink and you might miss them, but they’re there.


Trump Could Still Undermine the Obama LGBTQ Order He Just Reaffirmed

By Ed Kilgore

January 31, 2017
12:51 p.m.


At Vox, German Lopez explains that another shoe may soon drop that could undermine today’s action significantly, or even effectively reverse it in many cases:

The decision to keep this executive order does not prevent Trump from signing another order that creates religious exemptions for the LGBTQ protections.

Depending on how that other executive order is written, it could allow federal contractors to cite their religious beliefs — for example, religious opposition to same-sex marriage or just LGBTQ people in general — to fire, refuse to hire, or refuse to promote an LGBTQ worker.

On the campaign trail, Trump said a whole lot more about protecting the right to discriminate as essential to “religious liberty” than he said about LGBTQ protections. Indeed, he received a definitive seal of approval from none other than Hobby Lobby CEO David Green, whose lawsuit defying Obamacare’s contraception-coverage mandate led to the most important Supreme Court precedent carving out an area of protected discrimination for religious individuals who run for-profit corporations. Anyone supporting that line of reasoning will certainly have no trouble exempting federal employees who claim a religious motive for disliking LGBTQ folk from the executive order allegedly protecting them.

So any celebration of Trump’s announcement today should be put on hold until we see whether it represents the president’s final word on the subject.

And keep in mind the overall context at play: Trump will tonight announce a Supreme Court nominee. “Religious liberty” enthusiasts are mostly rooting for Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Neil Grouch, who is considered an important judicial champion of their cause. If Trump goes in another direction, he could assuage hurt feelings among conservative Christian activists by a complementary gesture like a “religious liberty” executive order. But odds are he’ll let the potentially false impression that he’s broken with the Christian Right on LGBTQ rights percolate for a while first.


Donald Trump's primetime SCOTUS circus: Is his empty showmanship starting to lose its power?

After just 10 days in the White House, Trump tries to recapture the narrative. Is the media getting wise to him?


Donald Trump will announce his pick to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court live from the White House in a prime-time broadcast on Tuesday night. Given the incompetence this administration has shown in its first week, it seems fitting that this television event is scheduled for one day before Nielsen’s February sweeps period begins. And Trump is supposed to be our reality-show president! No wonder ratings for “The Apprentice” cratered after the second season.

To be fair, there is precedent for a prime-time introduction of a Supreme Court nomination. George W. Bush announced his pick of John Roberts to replace the retiring Sandra Day O’Connor live in a ceremony broadcast from the East Room of the White House in July 2005. Speculation at the time was that the Bush administration went for the splashy unveiling to draw attention away from its terrible poll numbers, which were being dragged down by various scandals, the fight over Social Security privatization and the quagmire in Iraq.

There may be something similar at work with the timing of Trump’s announcement. Originally the White House had planned to unveil the SCOTUS pick on Thursday. The media has been speculating that it was moved up by two days to take attention off the backlash over the immigration ban announced last Friday by giving reporters almost two full days to feverishly speculate on the identity of the far-right, Heritage Foundation-approved gasbag Trump is certain to nominate.

Whatever the reason, there is more than a touch of showmanship attached to this announcement, and that has been among this administration’s most notable features 10 days in (aside from the authoritarianism). Putting on a show is also the motivation behind the much-ballyhooed executive orders that Trump has been signing nearly every day. Some, like Friday’s immigration ban, have had an immediate, dramatic, devastating effect. But others are just memorandums with orders that could have just as easily been delivered at a meeting or by phone.


Spicer Signals Getting Fired For Dissent 'Comes With The Job' In Trump Era

Source: Talking Points Memo

By ESME CRIBB Published JANUARY 31, 2017, 1:49 PM EDT

White House press secretary Sean Spicer suggested Monday that if federal employees refuse to follow President Donald Trump's "orders," they should expect to be fired.

Responding to a question on fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates' letter to Justice Department lawyers ordering them not to defend Trump's travel ban, Spicer said it "is the right of every American to express their idea and opinion." But he insisted that Yates' letter went further than that.

"There's a difference when she, as the acting attorney general, is not only responsible but required to execute lawful orders and defiantly says no," he said. "As someone who was chosen to lead a department, she was rightfully removed."

Spicer said the position of acting attorney general is "given to somebody who is supposed to execute orders that are handed down to them properly," and said that was "100 percent done" in the case of Trump's executive order temporarily barring visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/sean-spicer-getting-fired-for-dissent-comes-with-the-job

Weak quarterly reports push stocks lower for a second day

Source: Associated Press

TUESDAY, JAN 31, 2017 01:46 PM EST

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are falling Tuesday following weak fourth-quarter results from companies including UPS and Under Armour. Industrial and technology companies are down the most as investors move money into bonds and stocks that pay large dividends, like utilities. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index is on track for its fourth consecutive loss.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 147 points, or 079 percent, to 19,823 as of 1:30 p.m. Eastern time. The S&P 500 lost 9 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,271. The Nasdaq composite fell 29 points, or 0.5 percent, to 5,584. The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks lost less than 1 point to 1,351.

The S&P 500 is on the verge of its longest losing streak since before the presidential election in November. But the losses have been fairly small and other indexes haven’t lost much ground. The Nasdaq set an all-time high on Friday.

SHOELACES UNTIED: Athletic apparel maker Under Armour is plunging after investors were disappointed with its fourth-quarter report, which included higher expenses. Under Armour also issued a weak full-year forecast and said its chief financial officer is leaving. The stock tumbled $7.31, or 25.3 percent, to $21.63. It dropped 30 percent last year and is now trading at its lowest price in two years. Rival Nike also lost 63 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $52.45.

Read more: http://www.salon.com/2017/01/31/weak-quarterly-reports-push-stocks-lower-for-a-second-day/

'Well, They Are Idiots': GOP Senator Tees Off on Democrats Over Committee Boycott

Source: Mediaite

by Justin Baragona | 1:34 pm, January 31st, 2017

Following Democrats of the Senate Finance Committee announcing that they were boycotting the committee votes of two of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees, thus creating a delay in advancing the nominations to the Senate floor for a vote, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) had some harsh words for them.

Speaking to CNN’s Manu Raju, Hatch teed off on the Dems for not allowing a vote in committee to be taken on Treasury nominee Steve Mnuchin or HHS nominee Tom Price.

“Well, they are idiots,” Hatch said. “It’s just complete breach of decorum, a complete breach of committee rules, a complete breach of just getting along around here.”

Democrats have claimed they are boycotting because they feel Mnuchin and Price were not truthful and they would like the two nominees to clarify what they lied about.


Read more: http://www.mediaite.com/online/well-they-are-idiots-gop-senator-tees-off-on-democrats-over-committee-boycott/

video at link, above

POLL: Sheriff David Clarke Deeply Unpopular, Basically Has No Path to Victory in Reelection

Source: Mediaite

by Justin Baragona | 12:55 pm, January 31st, 2017

As Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke has seen his national profile increase, his standing back at home has plummeted. According to a new survey by Public Policy Polling, the outspoken law enforcement chief is extremely unpopular with voters in Milwaukee County and has essentially no path to victory if he seeks reelection next year. Per the poll, only 31% of the voters in the county approve of the job he’s doing, compared to 62% who disapprove.

PPP also found that 65% feel that Clarke has had a negative impact on the county’s image with only 29% thinking he’s helped give the area a positive image. The outspoken sheriff has found himself in the news on a regular basis, whether it be from his social media posts, comments made on cable news interviews, or for allegedly detaining a traveler for shaking his head at him.

Clarke, who is a Democrat despite saying he wants to choke those in the party, has virtually zero chance at this point of winning a Democratic primary. Among Democratic voters, only 13% said they’d support Clarke in the primary while 82% would back anyone other than the current sheriff.

Now, Clarke could run as a Republican and likely win that primary as 78% of those who voted for President Donald Trump approve of the job he’s done. However, that still leaves him no real way to win the election due to the makeup of the county. PPP found that 62% of those surveyed vote in Democratic primaries compared to only 27% in Republican ones. Also, 64% of respondents voted for Hillary Clinton in the presidential election and only 30% approve of Trump.


Read more: http://www.mediaite.com/online/poll-sheriff-david-clarke-deeply-unpopular-basically-has-no-path-to-victory-in-reelection/
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