Inauguration Open Thread.

Here’s the (Harump) open thread for the Inauguration Insertion of Donald J. Trump, yech!, as President of the United States, cough! Yech! Many are not watching but the TV News will have non-stop reporting on it.

Here’s your space to comment on it and also a place to talk about the counter inauguration functions. Have at it!

518 thoughts on “Inauguration Open Thread.”

  1. Robert Reich
    8 mins ·

    The Environmental Protection Agency announced today that operators of oil and gas wells no longer have to provide information about their emissions of methane, an extremely powerful climate pollutant responsible for about a quarter of global warming to date.

    Scott Pruitt, the EPA administrator, said the action will “reduce burdens on businesses.”

    Why is it necessary to reduce burdens on business? Corporate profits are now at their highest level relative to the size of the economy since the government began keeping records in 1947, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

    Corporate profits are more than twice as high as their peak during Ronald Reagan’s administration, and more than 50 percent greater than during the late-1990s Internet boom, measured by the size of the economy.

    When Trump and his administration say corporations need “regulatory relief” and lower taxes, they’re spouting lies. Corporations have never had it so good.

    What do you think

    EPA halts inquiry into oil, gas industry emissions of methane

    The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday announced it was withdrawing a request that operators of existing oil and gas wells provide the agency with…

  2. Christopher Johnson
    2 hrs ·

    Great coverage of this issue. Marcy Wheeler does an excellent job brining you up to speed on this story and all the side stories.

    As Sessions Recuses Himself From Campaign Investigation, Questions Remain Over Trump-Russia Ties

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from any investigation into last year’s presidential campaign, following reports he met twice with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. at a time when he was serving as both a senator and a campaign surrogate for Donald Trump. The revelation directly contradicts Sessions’ sworn testimony to Congress in January that he did not meet with any Russian officials in the run-up to November’s election. On Thursday, Sessions called charges he lied under oath “totally false” and said he failed to mention the meetings with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak because the two did not discuss the campaign. Meanwhile on Thursday The New York Times revealed that Flynn and Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner held a meeting at Trump Tower with the Russian ambassador ahead of the presidential inauguration. “Do those relationships risk posing undue influence on him going forward, possibly, bribery or some kind of coercion on policy?” asks Marcy Wheeler, an independent journalist who covers national security and civil liberties at [more]

  3. Washington Post was live
    Page Liked · 57 mins ·

    Trump eyes cuts at EPAPresident Trump’s administration is considering plans to cut staff at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by one-fifth , according to a document reviewed by Washington Post reporters. The EPA cuts would eliminate key programs.

    Reporter Brady Dennis explains. — at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

  4. toniD says:
    March 3, 2017 at 2:39 pm
    Christopher Johnson
    2 hrs ·
    Great coverage of this issue. Marcy Wheeler does an excellent job brining you up to speed on this story…
    Yet another accurate typo rears its inaccurate head.

    I feel like I’m being brined a lot lately. Pickled in a suspended state of non-animation, awaiting something less ludicrous.

  5. The Majority Report
    Page Liked · 1 hr ·

    Fox & Friends Are VERY SUSPICIOUS About Timing of Jeff Session…Fox & Friends Are VERY SUSPICIOUS About Timing of Jeff Sessions Story After Trump’s GLORIOUS Speech

  6. There’s an intriguing sociological reason so many Americans are ignoring facts lately

    Tristan Bridges, Sociological Images

    Feb. 27, 2017, 4:29 PM 249,466

    Facts about all manner of things have made headlines recently as the Trump administration continues to make statements, reports, and policies at odds with things we know to be true.

    Whether it’s about the size of his inauguration crowd, patently false and fear-mongering inaccuracies about transgender persons in bathrooms, rates of violent crime in the U.S., or anything else, lately it feels like the facts don’t seem to matter. The inaccuracies and misinformation continue despite the earnest attempts of so many to correct each falsehood after it is made. It’s exhausting. But why is it happening?

    Many of the inaccuracies seem like they ought to be easy enough to challenge, as data simply don’t support the statements made. Consider the following charts documenting the violent crime rate and property crime rate in the U.S. over the last quarter century (measured by the Bureau of Justice Statistics). The overall trends are unmistakable: Crime in the U.S. has been declining for a quarter of a century. [more]

  7. CNN was live
    Page Liked · 36 mins ·

    Pro-Trump Rally NYWe’re in New York, where a pro-Trump rally is underway. — in New York, New York.

  8. Ben Rhodes‏
    Verified account

    Ben Rhodes Retweeted Donald J. Trump
    No President can order a wiretap. Those restrictions were put in place to protect citizens from people like you.

  9. Robert Reich
    5 hrs ·

    This morning Trump went berserk, tweeting a series of bizarre accusations charging that former president Barack Obama orchestrated a “Nixon/Watergate” plot to tap the phones at his Trump Tower headquarters last fall in the run-up to the election. Citing no evidence, he said the former president was a “Bad (or sick) guy!”

    Folks, we’ve got a huge problem on our hands. Either:

    1. Trump is more nuts than we suspected — a true paranoid.

    2. Or he’s correct, in which case there’s probable cause that he committed treason. No president can order a wiretap. For federal agents to obtain a wiretap on Trump’s phone conversations, the Justice Department would first have had to convince a federal judge that it had gathered sufficient evidence that there was probable cause to believe that Trump had committed a serious crime or was an agent of a foreign power, depending on whether it was a criminal or foreign intelligence wiretap.

    3. Or Trump’s outburst was triggered by a commentary on Breitbart News reporting an assertion Thursday night by rightwing talk-radio host Mark Levin suggesting Obama and his administration used “police state” tactics last fall to monitor the Trump team’s dealings with Russian operatives. If this was the source of Trump’s ravings this morning, we’ve got a president willing to put the prestige and power of his office behind a baseless claim emanating from rightwing purveyors of lies.

    So there you have it — either he’s paranoid, he likely committed treason, or he’s making judgments based on rightwing crackpots. Each of them is as worrying as the other.

    What do you think?

    Trump, citing no evidence, accuses Obama of ‘Nixon/Watergate’ plot to wiretap Trump Tower

    President Trump used Twitter to accuse his predecessor of orchestrating a…|By Robert Costa

  10. John T Switzer:

    Barbara Schoeberl On January 11, 2017, the media reported on the existence of a private intelligence dossier containing unverified allegations of misconduct and ties between then President-elect Donald Trump and the Russian government. The dossier was written by a former British MI6 intelligence agent, Christopher Steele, who went into hiding after the release of the dossier. A highly respected intelligence source.

    Senate May Question Ex-British Spy Who Compiled Trump Dossier 2, 2017

  11. Robert Reich
    40 mins ·

    What are the 4 Trump syndromes to avoid — and how can you best avoid them? Watch our video to find out. And please share.

  12. James Bennett
    1 hr ·

    WE HAVE TO KEEP SPEAKING OUT: Sharing with permission. From an Environmental Protection Agency staffer: “So I work at the EPA and yeah it’s as bad as you are hearing: The entire agency is under lockdown, the website, facebook, twitter, you name it is static and can’t be updated. All reports, findings, permits and studies are frozen and not to be released. No presentations or meetings with outside groups are to be scheduled.

    Any Press contacting us are to be directed to the Press Office which is also silenced and will give no response.

    All grants and contracts are frozen from the contractors working on Superfund sites to grad school students working on their thesis

    We are still doing our work, writing reports, doing cancer modeling for pesticides hoping that this is temporary and we will be able to serve the public soon. But many of us are worried about an ideologically-fueled purging and if you use any federal data I advise you gather what you can now. We have been told the website is being reworked to reflect the new administration’s policy.

    Feel free to copy and paste, you all pay for the government and you should know what’s going on. I am posting this as a fellow citizen and not in any sort of official capacity.”

  13. The #FISA warrant for Trump’s secret, Russia-connected server was reported on election morning on Democratic Underground and hackers took down the site hours later:

    FBI has FISA warrant for Trump secret server connected to Russia.

    Oh sweet irony! Trump’s secret email server connected to Russia is the subject of an FBI investigation. Trump’s secret server was found during the investigation of the hacking of DNC computers from a server in Russia. The warrant will allow reading the secret emails.

    So, Comey knew this when he sent his letter. Were Republicans trying to preempt the FISA warrant leaking? ….

    This is old news to those in the know, so Trump’s tweet storm begins with another Big Fat Lie. NY Times sat on the #FISA warrant story before the election, just like they did the Bush illegal spying story before his reelection.

  14. While we were distracted by Trump, Republicans advanced these 9 terrifying bills

    The Republican-led Congress is wasting no time forcing through the most horrendous bills seen in decades while America’s eyes are on Russia.

    With both houses of Congress solidly under Republican control, there’s little in the way to stop House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) from sending bills to President Trump’s desk that embody the most dangerous aspects of radical right-wing ideology.

    However unlikely these bills’ passage would have seemed in the 114th Congress, the possibility of these nine bills becoming law is much higher now, especially considering the flurry of headlines around Donald Trump’s ties to Russia, Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal on the ongoing investigation into the president’s Russian connections, and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak’s multiple meetings with several of Trump’s top lieutenants.

    Here are the nine worst bills to keep an eye on:

    1. H.R. 861: To terminate the Environmental Protection Agency

  15. Christopher Johnson
    1 hr ·
    The Washington Post

    Geez, this has to stop, sharing conservative opinion pieces but Krauthammer posted this piece on a topic that rings so true.

    We all grew up knowing our federal government is a system of checks and balances and assumed it always would be, except for now when it’s not. The GOP has morphed it into a strong executive with a lapdog legislative branch awaiting the next order from it’s master. At least it’s like this when they have, like now, control of 2 branches. When they don’t have the executive then the legislative branch is a bad dog obeying no orders.

    Either way, Congress is no longer a certain check on the executive but as we have learned, that job has been picked up by the Attorney’s General in the 50 states.

    I have to give ol’ Chucky props for this week’s opinion piece pointing out this new organic process that is managing to keep the republic from crashing.

    Opinion | Revolt of the attorneys general

    A process to counter executive willfulness.|By Charles Krauthammer


    Among the many unintended legacies of Barack Obama, one has gone largely unnoticed: the emergence of a novel form of resistance to executive overreach, a check-and-balance improvised in reaction to his various presidential power grabs.

    It’s the revolt of the state attorneys general, banding together to sue and curb the executive. And it has outlived Obama.

    Normally one would expect Congress to be the instrument of resistance to presidential trespass. But Congress has been supine. The Democrats in particular, approving of Obama’s policy preferences, allowed him free rein over Congress’ constitutional prerogatives.

  16. Robert Reich
    2 hrs ·

    Breaking news: FBI direction James Comey yesterday asked the Justice Department to publicly reject Trump’s assertion that President Obama ordered the tapping of Trump’s phones, senior officials said today. Comey told the Justice Department that the claim is false and must be corrected.

    But so far the Justice Department has done nothing.

    If Attorney General Jeff Sessions doesn’t accede to Comey’s request, there’s no reason to believe Sessions will recuse himself from the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election – despite Sessions’ promise to do so.

    But if the Justice Department does accede to Comey’s request, the Department (and presumably Attorney General Jeff Sessions) will be calling Trump a liar.

    It’s a fitting test.

    What do you think?

    Comey Asks Justice Dept. to Reject Trump’s Wiretapping Claim

    The F.B.I. director wants the Justice Department to refute Mr. Trump’s contention that Barack Obama ordered the tapping of his phones, a claim that Mr. Comey says is…

  17. Rogue EPA Staff Retweeted
    SarcasticRover‏ @SarcasticRover 9h 9 hours ago
    Remind me again why America needs another 54 billion in military
    spending, but @NOAA can’t afford study the climate?

    AltNSA‏ @AltNatSecAgency 3h 3 hours ago
    Declassified report on Russian activities
    during the 2016 election by
    #resist #RESISTANCE #altgovt

  18. Le-Show (Harry Shearer)
    has been pushed an hour later on the local npr station here,
    and in it’s place is “On the Media”

    Here is a segment from this week:

    WNYC’s weekly investigation into how the media shapes our world view.

    17:56 minutes

    . . . But according to Zephyr Teachout, author of Corruption in America, this was never what America’s founders envisioned when they set out to fight corruption. Brooke talks with Teachout about the overwhelming passion for anti-corruption present at the founding of the nation, the “bright line” rules it inspired, and how we have drifted so far from our original understanding of the concept.

    Zephyr Teachout at 4:40

  19. Robert Reich
    29 mins ·

    In just the 6 weeks since Trump took office, federal agencies and the Republican-controlled Congress have delayed, suspended or reversed more than 90 regulations, according to a tally by The New York Times. Dozens more could be eliminated in the coming weeks, in one of the most significant shifts in regulatory policy in recent decades.

    1. Telecom giants like Verizon and AT&T will no longer have to take “reasonable measures” to ensure that their customers’ Social Security numbers, web browsing history and other personal information are not stolen or accidentally released.

    2. Wall Street banks like Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase will no longer have to collect extra money from customers to cover potential losses from certain kinds of high-risk trades that helped unleash the 2008 financial crisis.

    3. Social Security Administration data will no longer be used to try to block individuals with disabling mental health issues from buying handguns.

    4. Hunters be no longer be banned from using lead-based bullets, which can accidentally poison wildlife, on 150 million acres of federal lands.

    5. Automakers won’t have to bide by an agreement they made to increase mileage standards for their fleets (this one is still pending but looks very likely).

    6. The pharmaceutical industry will no longer have to worry about marketing of prescription drugs for unapproved uses (also still pending but likely).

    Trump’s swamp is brimming with moneyed reptiles. On a near daily basis, regulated industries are now sending in specific requests to the Trump administration for more rollbacks. The Business Roundtable, which represents some of the nation’s largest corporations and is led by Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, has given Trump a wish list of 16 rules it wanted killed, including mandatory disclosure of how much chief executives are paid compared with other employees.

    It’s the biggest elimination of health, safety, environmental, labor, and investor protections in a generation. If those who voted for Trump think their lives will be better because of what the moneyed interests are now achieving, they should think again.

    What do you think?

    Leashes Come Off Wall Street, Gun Sellers, Polluters and More

    In a flurry of deregulation, the Trump administration has already suspended or reversed more than 90 rules. And industry is clamoring for more.

  20. Following Sessions’ Mar-a-Lago appearance, new ethics questions arise

    At some point during the Obama era, conservatives convinced themselves that the Democratic president took an outrageous amount of time off, traveled constantly, and vastly preferred golfing to working. The criticisms were always quite silly – especially after George W. Bush broke every modern record for time off taken by a sitting president – but the right nevertheless embraced the nonsense with great enthusiasm.

    Vox recently talked to a series of CPAC attendees, many of whom continued to complain bitterly about Obama’s travel costs and downtime. Told that Donald Trump is actually spending more on travel and enjoying more downtime, conservatives were incredulous. The facts “can’t possibly be right,” one said. “That absolutely can’t be right.”

    Reality, however, is stubborn. Trump headlined a political fundraiser on Friday night, before heading to Mar-a-Lago, the for-profit club he still owns, for another relaxing weekend. Over the last five weekends, the president has visited his luxury resort four times – each trip costs American taxpayers about $3 million – and as of last night, Trump had spent 31% of his presidency at Mar-a-Lago. He’s now played golf eight times since taking office six weeks ago.

    In October 2014, Trump whined via Twitter, “We pay for Obama’s travel so he can fundraise millions so Democrats can run on lies. Then we pay for his golf.” A year later, as a presidential candidate, Trump declared that if he were in office, he’d dispense with breaks. “I’d want to stay in the White House and work my ass off,” he told voters.

    If you voted Republican because you were worried about Hillary Clinton and pay-to-play controversies, I have some very bad news for you. Trump is profiting from the presidency in ways no one has been able to credibly defend.

  21. Bernie Sanders
    1 hr ·

    Over the weekend I was in Mississippi where workers at Nissan are fighting for justice, dignity and the right to join a union that they deserve.

    It is no secret why Nissan chose to build a plant in Mississippi. Today, Mississippi is the poorest state in this country. Over 30 percent of kids in this state are living in poverty, the highest in the nation. The average weekly wage in Mississippi is just $727, the lowest in the nation. Very few people in Mississippi have a defined benefit pension plan. One out of five people in Mississippi suffer from food insecurity, the worst rate in the country.

    What corporations understand is that if they can stop workers in Mississippi from forming a union, they can keep wages down in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. They can keep telling workers in the North that if they don’t accept lower wages, if they don’t agree to give up their pensions and health care benefits, they’ll just pack up and move to the South.

    But on the other hand, if auto workers in Mississippi are able to negotiate for higher wages and better working conditions here, wages will go up in the North and in every state in America. If they have the courage to form a union here, they will do it in Alabama. They’ll do it in Tennessee. They’ll do it in Georgia.

    And instead of a race to the bottom, we can start lifting up living standards throughout the country.

  22. CNN Counterterrorism Expert Drops Trump BOMBSHELL, “This Man Is DELUSIONAL”

    Former CIA counterterrorism official Phillip Mudd appeared on CNN this evening and went off on Donald Trump tonight in response to the president’s wiretapping tweets.

    Mudd said that most of the people he talks to still in government now see Trump as a “circus clown” who’s alleging a gigantic conspiracy that either the FBI and DOJ conspired with the FISA court to go after him, or that Barack Obama engaged in a “felonious violation of federal law that exceeds what we saw in Watergate.”

    He argued that this is just a smokescreen Trump is using to avoid tough questions on Russia:

    “The smokescreen is a lie that says there is a massive conspiracy involving the judiciary, the FISA court, the Department of Justice, and the FBI. The man is delusional, Wolf, and the conversation has to transition from how to we explain what the Commander-in-Chief is doing to how do we understand the acts of a man who doesn’t understand the difference bdtween protecting his brand and protecting the country. I’ve never seen anything like this, Wolf.”

    Video at link, no embed code.

  23. Ezra Klein
    1 hr ·

    Republicans have finally — after 7 years — released a bill to replace Obamacare. In key ways, it looks a lot like Obamacare. But over the long-term, the cuts to Medicaid would be enormous, and the leaner, age-based tax credits would leave a lot of people unable to afford anything resembling decent health insurance.

    The Republicans’ bill to replace Obamacare, explained

    The GOP bill would roll back key Affordable Care Act programs in a big way.


    Trump’s Team Is Absurdly Bad at History
    As is the president*, himself.

    By Charles P. Pierce Mar 6, 2017
    If you don’t read anything else in Pierce’s post, follow the WHAAAAAAT? hotlink in the last line:

    Update (6:14 PM): WHAAAAAAT?????

    Carson’s statements extolling the all-encompassing retention capabilities of the human brain are…uh, unbelievable.

    Methinks that the neurosurgeon Carson believes that the mechanics of brain surgery necessarily includes a full grasp on the compendium of neuroscience.

    That’s like saying that an air-conditioner repairman is as knowledgeable about thermodynamics as a thermodynamics scientist.

  25. Miss Representation‏ @RepresentPledge Mar 5
    Women drive 80% of all consumer purchasing. Use it this
    #DayWithoutAWoman to tell Amazon that if its ads support sexism you’re #NotBuyingIt

    Linda Sarsour‏Verified @lsarsour 3h 3 hours ago
    Share with your friends. See you Wednesday 12pm. 59th & 5th Ave.
    Manhattan. #DayWithoutAWoman…


  26. From Saturday:


    This Is Hell
    Episode 942: Manifesto Destiny (Full Broadcast – March 4 2017)
    March 4

  27. We have a Saying…

    in the old neighborhood… “Fuck You, ‘Moneybags’…” reserved for people who’s callousness in words or actions betray their inability or unwillingness to consider the economic hardships of the poor…

    Places like NYC & Hollywood are full of smug bubblized clueless assholes who believe their “Liberalness” exempts them from this character flaw… They stand on podiums at award ceremonies congratulating themselves and each other on their evolved sensibilities and morality… while having zero insight into the reality of what is really going on out there… even under their own noses…

    TRUE: California has the nation’s highest poverty rate, when factoring in cost-of-living
    By Chris Nichols – Politifact
    January 20th, 2017 at 3:11 p.m.

  28. Isn’t it Funny How…

    …all the people who used to eyeroll and ridicule ‘conspiracy theorists’ for claiming US Intelligence is conspiring with, and collaborating with, and strong-arming all the major tech giants to hack, and read, and record everything you say and do on your computers have switched from denialist to apologist and are now saying “Of course they are… that is their job… anyone who didn’t believe this was happening is naive and ignorant…”

    Toldyaso… Statist assholes….

    bbbbbbutttt RUSSIA!!!

  29. Toni DiPego shared a link.
    1 hr ·

    Wednesday: Stand with women

    Extremist Republicans need to get the message loud and clear that people all over the country have had enough of their anti-woman agenda and are committed to fighting back — on Wednesday and beyond.

  30. John Amato
    1 hr ·

    No, Tom Price, Americans haven’t demanded to purchase healthcare across state lines. Trump lost the popular vote

  31. It is Going to be Fun to Watch…

    …Trump and the GOP trip all over themselves scrambling to pass a version of Bernie’s Drug Import Bill to save face after they fail to take out Obamacare…

  32. Bernie Sanders
    1 hr ·

    President Trump cannot continue to lie, lie, lie. It diminishes the office of the president and our standing in the world. Mr. Trump claimed without any evidence that President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower last year—a claim which the FBI and intelligence officials have rejected as false. He said that 3 to 5 million people voted illegally. Another lie. He said “it looked like a million and a half people” at his inauguration. Not even close. He said his 2016 victory “was the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan.” Also a lie. And Mr. Trump has been lying long before he was president when he started the “birther” conspiracy against President Obama in an attempt to delegitimize our country’s first black president. The United States will not be respected or taken seriously around the world if Donald Trump continues to shamelessly lie.

    First Read: Welcome to our post-truth presidency

    First Read is a morning briefing from Meet the Press and the NBC Political Unit on the day’s most important political stories and why they matter|By Chuck Todd

  33. @toniD:

    Grassley, McCain and others have been pushing for it off and on since it was stripped from the final version of the ACA… now Trump is making noises about it… as it becomes clear they will not be able to replace Obamacare…

  34. Watch this

    George Stephanopoulos repeatedly shuts down White House deputy press secretary for statements that ‘simply aren’t true’

    [This is Huckabee’s daughter.]

    Good Morning America’s George Stephanopoulos repeatedly interrupted his interview with White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday to debunk her “simply not true” statements.

    Sanders was attempting to defend President Trump’s allegations that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower by calling the storyline “pretty widely [reported] by quite a few outlets.” “I’ve got to stop you,” Stephanopoulos cut in. “That is simply not true … Not a single one of those articles backs it up. So what is the president’s evidence?”

    It only takes a few sentences of protest from Sanders for Stephanopoulos to shut her down a second time. “Sarah, I have got to stop you again,” said Stephanopoulos, “because that is simply not true.”
    [More and video at link]

  35. The Majority Report
    Page Liked · 44 mins ·

    George Stephanopoulos SHUTS DOWN Sarah Huckabee’s Nonsense & L…George Stephanopoulos SHUTS DOWN Sarah Huckabee’s Nonsense & Lies About Trump’s Wiretapping Claims

  36. Wikileaks claims to reveal how CIA hacks TVs and phones all over the world

    The CIA has become the preeminent hacking operation, sneaking into high-tech phones and televisions to spy on people worldwide, according to an explosive WikiLeaks publication of purported internal CIA documents on Tuesday.

    To hide its operations, the CIA routinely adopted hacking techniques that enabled them to appear as if they were hackers in Russia, WikiLeaks said.

    WikiLeaks also claimed that nearly all of the CIA’s arsenal of privacy-crushing cyberweapons have been stolen, and the tools are potentially in the hands of criminals and foreign spies.

    WikiLeaks claimed the stolen tools ended up in the hands of “former U.S. government hackers and contractors… one of whom” leaked documents to WikiLeaks.

    U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu of California called for an immediate congressional investigation.

    “I am deeply disturbed by the allegation that the CIA lost its arsenal of hacking tools. The ramifications could be devastating,” he said in a statement. “”We need to know if the CIA lost control of its hacking tools, who may have those tools, and how do we now protect the privacy of Americans.”

    “The potential privacy concerns are mind-boggling,” he said.


  37. This Presidential Memorandum Is Ominous. Everyone Missed It Today Including Me

    While all eyes were focused on the “Muslim Ban 2” coming out today, hidden from all the hoopla was this item buried in a Memorandum to several heads of departments…

    Sec. 3. Enforcement of All Laws for Entry into the United States. I direct the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the heads of all other relevant executive departments and agencies (as identified by the Secretary of Homeland Security) to rigorously enforce all existing grounds of inadmissibility and to ensure subsequent compliance with related laws after admission. The heads of all relevant executive departments and agencies shall issue new rules, regulations, or guidance (collectively, rules), as appropriate, to enforce laws relating to such grounds of inadmissibility and subsequent compliance. To the extent that the Secretary of Homeland Security issues such new rules, the heads of all other relevant executive departments and agencies shall, as necessary and appropriate, issue new rules that conform to them. Such new rules shall supersede any previous rules to the extent of any conflict.

    Here is what is problematic with this. Sure, current laws can be rigorously enforced. But that is just campaign talk, Current laws are always enforced to the same standard extent to which they are written by those working day in and day out. Although we may like not to have tough laws enforced, we understand that IF they are in place, the legal system recognizes their right to be used (as long as such is Constitutional). [more]

  38. Obama’s Lawyers Drop a BOMB on Trump, 50 Documents Just Submitted!

    News Commentary
    Obama’s Lawyers Drop a BOMB on Trump, 50 Documents Just Submitted!
    By Armani |


    Former President Barack Obama currently has a team of lawyers are working on what’s being called a “worst case scenario,” in worry that Donald Trump and his administration will (continue to) abuse their authority and power.

    The group is being called ‘United to Protect Democracy’ (based on a line Obama used in his last national speech), and is basically the same group that aided the Obama Administration in abiding by rules of conduct.

    They are sure that President Donald Trump and his staff will violate standards of ethics put in place to guard against governmental power abuse.

    United to Protect Democracy has already raised a $1.5 million for its operating budget, and it has also hired 5 full time staffers. They have plans to increase that by double in the coming months, and they’ve incorporated as both a 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4), which would give them the ability to operate as a nonprofit organization, but still participate in many forms of political advocacy.

    From Politico:
    While other Trump opponents focus on taking the president to court over the travel ban and deportations, the new group plans to drill into issues that aren’t already hitting the headlines, like potential intervention in and intimidation of regulatory agencies by West Wing staff.

    “When people hear concerns about democracies declining into authoritarianism, they expect that moment to come in a singular thunderclap where everyone can see that this is the time,” said Ian Bassin, who’s leading the new group. “In reality, often times, democracies decline over a period of years that happen through a series of much smaller steps.”



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