The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake offered four good reasons why the optics of a $400K Wall Street payday may not play well in Breitbart and Peoria. The Huffington Post reminds us that taking a fat speaking fee is “completely in character” for Obama. Zach Carter notes that the ex-president is the pure product of the Wall Street meritocracy. Too true!
While the leaders of France’s traditional right- and left-wing parties were routed, the two frontrunners, Emmanuel Macron, a centrist newcomer, and Marine Le Pen, the standard-bearer of the right-wing National Front, will face each other in the May 7 runoff election.
Donald Trump would prefer to forget such matters. In a 2013 deposition for a court case related to Trump Soho, Trump claimed he only met Sater a couple of times and would not recognize him. Sater seems to feel the relationship is closer. In February, he and Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen prepared a Ukraine peace proposal for the president, although it’s not clear it ever reached the Oval Office.
On Election Day, Graham let it be known that he didn’t vote for Trump. When Trump took office, he criticized the travel ban, which several federal judges found unconstitutional. When the White House ties to Russia came under investigation, Graham said any Trump underling working inappropriately with Russia, “needs to pay a price.”
Yet even the “mother of all bombs” cannot obliterate the accumulating body of evidence about his relationship with Russian organized crime figures and the not unrelated question about whether he and his entourage colluded with Russian officials in the 2016 presidential election. The story, notes Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall, is “Hiding in plain sight.”
New York’s Excelsior Scholarship will launch in the fall of 2017. Around 940,000 New York families will eventually be eligible, according to a website created by the governor’s office to promote the plan. Curiously enough, the site features a photo of a smiling man who is neither college-bound nor a New York resident: Bernie Sanders.
Last August, when the Obama administration returned $440 million from frozen Iranian bank accounts to Iran as part of the international deal to shutter Iran’s nuclear weapons program, Giuliani said, “I call that trading with the enemy.”
On February 28, Sessions told the National Association of Attorneys General. “We need, so far as we can, in my view, help police departments get better, not diminish their effectiveness.” Afterwards, he told reporters “So we’re going to try to pull back on [investigating police abuses], and I don’t think it’s wrong or mean or insensitive to civil rights or human rights.”
Trump faces a different situation than Obama did in 2013. The Syrian government has consolidated its battlefield gains. The rebels, led by Al-Qaeda and supported heavily by the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia, are in retreat. Syria’s allies, Iran and Russia, are not budging. Russia is defending Syria’s action, not very convincingly.
The removal of Steve Bannon from the National Security Council was first revealed in the capital’s dullest publication, the Federal Register, and explained in the country’s most influential conservative newspaper, the Wall Street Journal.
DARPA was born in the wake of the Soviet Union’s successful launch of the Sputnik satellite in October 1957. With a little encouragement from elected officials, Americans grew fearful and then hysterical that the world’s first global orbiting vehicle was built by communist scientists.
The second plank of Trump’s job program is the much touted and much delayed “trillion-dollar infrastructure jobs plan,” favored by White House adviser Steve Bannon. However, the plan has yet to be drawn up and is not scheduled for presentation until next year. It remains to be seen if Trump and Bannon can harmonize their infrastructure jobs program with that of Senate Democrats or the American Society of Civil Engineers.
If Rep. Nunes wasn’t making up the whole story, he made an unauthorized disclosure of FISA-derived classified information in violation of the Espionage Act—exactly what he criticized others for doing.
On Wednesday Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said he had seen classified information indicating U.S. investigators had surveilled phone calls made from Trump Tower during the campaign. If you leave President Obama out of the allegation, what Rep. Nunes says may well be true. Comey said the FBI had been investigating since July and was looking into many different activities and persons. Breitbart News claims, implausibly, that the conversations had nothing to do with Russia.
The goal is to replace the United Nations, the European Union, NATO and other multinational organizations with a more transactional diplomacy. Trump and Bannon prefer bilateral deals with partners that are willing to take on the “civilizational struggle” against “radical Islamic terrorism.” The template is gendered: abandon the soft, feminized European Union and embrace the hard, manly Putin.
Bannon’s unprecedented role as a statutory member of the NSC where he speaks as an equal with the Secretaries of Defense and State is “bizarre,” said Daniel Benjamin, a former State Department official, in an email to AlterNet.
Before the 2016 election, author Eric Schlosser said the notion of Donald Trump “with the launch codes, capable of devastating cities and countries, is extraordinary. It’s like the plot out of a science-fiction film.” Now that film has become reality and the opening scenes are already scary.
Reprinted with permission from Alternet. Less than a month after much-admired Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster took over from Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as national security adviser, Trump’s alter-ego Steve Bannon appears to be more in control of U.S. foreign policy than ever. There is little sign McMaster will be able to restore traditional U.S. foreign […]
The Trump administration is expanding the use of private prison facilities to handle a massive increase in deportation and is considering a policy of separating women and children who illegally cross the border, according to news reports.
An imperiled president says the state of the union demands radical change and asks the help of a supine Congress, while an imperiled administrative state seeks to protect constitutional government with the help of a burgeoning civil society protest movement and unknown allies in the FBI and CIA.
A report by the libertarian Cato Institute found there were 154 foreign-born terrorists who engaged in fatal attacks in the United States from 1975 to 2015. Twenty of these terrorists were refugees. Collectively those 20 people were responsible for killing a total of three people.
In a sobering interview, Yale history professor Tim Snyder recently suggested that American democracy has less than a year to live. Is it really possible that the Madisonian republic, founded in 1789 and renewed in 1865, is about to die? Yes, says Michael J. Glennon, professor of international law at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University.
Elizabeth Warren has set the table for Andrew Puzder, the burger chain executive and Secretary of Labor nominee, with a blistering 28-page letter outlining the likely line of Democratic questioning in this Thursday’s confirmation hearings.
The defection of two Republican senators has imperiled President Trump’s nomination of Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos to serve as Secretary of Education. DeVos has contributed $5,000 to Susan Collins’ campaigns, but Lisa Murkowski’s no-vote was perhaps an even bigger surprise. DeVos’ family businesses have contributed $33,400 to Murkowski’s political campaigns since 1989, according to OpenSecrets.
Whatever the eventual costs, the current reality seems to be that Bannon—not his White House rivals, chief of staff Reince Priebus or Vice President Mike Pence—decides what piece of paper gets put in front of Donald Trump’s pen. Under Bannon’s watchful eye, the Washington establishment is being routed, and the “normal” administration of the American government has officially ended.