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Halcyon Daze

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I guess my point, that you have successfully baited me into giving (kudos btw,) is precisely what you have stated. Resources have been given.

 

Job done.

 

Now what can I sort out in my own life that needs my immediate attention, rather than expending precious time and energy beyond that which I have already given copious amounts of energy to?

 

I'll admit that I'm as much of a voyeur as anyone else, and I have the same primal inclination to watch a fight/troll fest/clash of ideologies as anyone. It doesn't mean I'm proud of it, nor does it mean that I think it is a healthy thing either. When flesh and blood on the whip have been replaced by dirt, surely the horse has been flogged enough aye? All you're doing after that is agriculture, which is what this forum is largely about.

 

I thank you for your bait, and I'll bid this thread adieu. Apologies again to the OP.

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All good RC :)

 

Anyway, the interesting thing to note here is the actual content of the articles. I'm not even hoping to generate a whole lot of debate, that's better off in the other threads anyway.

 

Edited by Halcyon Daze

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Put it this way, when things get really bad in the near future, we should be under no illusion how we got there.

 

IMO Trump is making some really dangerous moves as leader of the free world, but peeps can make up their own opinion on that.

 

 

That depends.  If some war breaks out, not as a result of insubordinate deep state MIC but due to the new leadership, then perhaps the case will be clear.

 

A really bad financial crash is coming though, and Ive stated many times now that nothing can stop it.  Everyone will "be under no illusion how we got there", but everyone will be wrong. 

 

Trump may even have exacerbated it but it will have been set in motion long before him.

Edited by ThunderIdeal
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Fair enough, but are you saying everything the media has documented never happened?

 

It doesn't seem like it's the journalism that's at fault here... That would suggest some massive conspiracy and that Trump never said or did any of this, despite people being able to listen to all the statements that Trump himself has released, and hear it straight from the horse's mouth.

 

There's no conspiracy here. Just the cold hard reality that the prez is a flop.

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4184166/Trump-warns-Iran-NOTICE-thankful.html

 

Trump warns Iran it has been 'PUT ON NOTICE' over ballistic missile test as he says Tehran 'should have been thankful' for $150 billion Obama handed over in nuclear deal

 

  • President Donald Trump warned Iran on Twitter that it 'should have been thankful' for Obama's nuclear and kept its end of the bargain 
  • National Security Advisor Gen. Michael Flynn told reporters Wednesday that the U.S. is 'officially putting Iran on notice' after it tested a ballistic missile 
  • Iran is the subject of a United Nations Security Council resolution prohibiting tests of ballistic missiles
  • Flynn slammed the Obama administration for failing 'to respond adequately to Tehran's malign actions' 
  • Senior administration officials wouldn't rule out military action or sanctions during a separate briefing with reporters that came later 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Halcyon Daze

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What's he going to do? Pick a fight with all his enemies at once and expect America will somehow come out on top?

 

And people thought Iraq was a mistake...

 

If there's one person who could/would profiteer from war it's Trump. Like I've always said, he's Bush and Cheney rolled into one power hungry psychopath.

Edited by Halcyon Daze

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Turnbull has come out this morning and said the refugee deal is still going through even though Trumps doesn't like the idea.

 

I'm just wondering what leverage Turnbull could possibly have to force his hand & why the yanks even considered it in the first place.

 

What did we bring to that deal ?

 

More military bases or hardware here, nukes based here or something else ?

 

A free trade deal would seem to be off the agenda at the moment with the way Trump is & they already have free access to our markets, so what could we possibly offer the yanks to make that trade worthwhile for them ?

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Good question, and one which the opposition is already demanding an answer to.  Remember Trumps first move is usually to put everybody off balance so that when his terms become more reasonable they are accepted more readily.  Its a negotiation tactic and the media and everyone keeps flipping their lid over this stuff,lol

 

Obama left this shitty deal for Trump to clean up and take flak over, no consequences for obama, one of several such landmines.  The initial outcome should be no surprise, we dont want 1000+ potential terrorists nor does America.  So what changed?  The most probable is something along the lines of pumping more money into the purchase of stealth fighters with which to decorate RAAF hangars.  I mean look, our tax money was used to bribe the clinton foundation but that was a poor investment!  

 

Trump is only interested in bilateral trade deals (can we stop calling them free trade deals?) so that will come in time, we arent at the top of the list.

 

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Now they're saying Trump hung up on Turnbull over a disagreement about the refugee resettlement.

Trumps hangs up on Turnbull

 

After the PR machine here telling us how it was all hunky dory between the two and the agreement was still going through.

 

Who would have thought the media or the liberals would lie to us.

it's alright Sal, Turncoat is sending in smokin' Joe to fix the problem......he's a fine ambassador ....look what he did for our economy

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i proclaim images can be used as data in an information timeline within the constraints of this thread

 

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Trump gives a hand to Big Oil and streamlines corruption for resource rich nations

 

Summary of sorts:

 

"President Donald Trump has overturned an Obama-era anti-corruption rule that would have forced oil, gas and mining companies to disclose payments to foreign governments, becoming the first president in 16 years to take advantage of a law that allows him to rescind a predecessor’s regulations. 

 

It’s likely just the start: Congress is considering a number of other measures, [including further deregulation of fracking].

 

Overturning the SEC rule could benefit U.S. oil giants Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp.

“The president’s signature on the Congressional Review Act is a welcome step forward for American competitiveness and jobs,” American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard said in a statement.

 

Backers of the SEC regulation say forcing companies to disclose foreign payments would curb corruption in resource-rich countries, such as Nigeria. The oil industry says the rule would put U.S. companies at a competitive disadvantage compared to state-run enterprises, such as Saudi Aramco., which are not subject to the disclosure rules."

 

Just what we need, a race to the bottom on fossil fuel exploitation. Well, former ExxonMobil. CEO and now Trump's secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, will be happy. He fiercely opposed the transparency laws when they were introduced, since he was at the time professionally obliged to maximise ExxonMobil's profit margins and not to worry about silly things like the environment.

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http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-14/michael-flynn-resigns-donald-trump-national-security-adviser/8269402

 

 

Donald Trump's security adviser Michael Flynn resigns over contact with Russian official

 

 

Donald Trump's embattled national security adviser Michael Flynn has resigned after reports he misled administration officials about his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the US.

 

Key points:

Mr Flynn had been under pressure over his contact with Russia's ambassador

He said he gave "incomplete information" about those discussions to Mike Pence

Retired Lieutenant General Keith Kellogg is named acting national security adviser

 

 

Mr Flynn's departure less than one month into the Trump administration marks an extraordinarily early shakeup in the US President's senior team of advisers.

In his resignation letter, Mr Flynn said he held numerous calls with the Russian ambassador during the transition and gave "incomplete information" about those discussions to Vice-President Mike Pence.

The Justice Department had warned the Trump administration weeks ago that contradictions between the public depictions and the actual details of the calls could leave Mr Flynn in a compromised position, according to the Associated Press.

Mr Flynn was a loyal supporter of Mr Trump throughout the election campaign, but his ties to Russia had caused concern among other senior aides.

Earlier, before Mr Flynn's resignation, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Mr Trump was consulting with Mr Pence about his conversations with the national security adviser.

Asked whether the President had been aware that Mr Flynn might have discussed sanctions with the Russian envoy, Mr Spicer said: "No, absolutely not."

 

 

Edited by Halcyon Daze

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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-pick-vice-admiral-robert-harward-national-security-adviser-michael-flynn-resignation-a7584806.html

 

 

Donald Trump's pick for national security adviser turns down job

 

 

Vice-Admiral Robert Harward says decision was 'purely a personal issue'

 

Donald Trump’s choice for national security adviser has rejected the post days after Michael Flynn was forced to resign.

 

Vice-Admiral Robert Harward said the decision was “purely a personal issue” but his refusal was another blow for the White House after a series of policy U-turns and calls for investigations into alleged Russian links.

 

“Harward is conflicted between the call of duty and the obvious dysfunctionality,” a person with first-hand knowledge of the discussions between the President and his candidate told the Financial Times.

 

A friend of Vice-Admiral Harward's told CNN he described the President's offer as a “s*** sandwich”.

 

A reported stumbling block in negotiations was Vice-Admiral Harward’s concern whether he would be allowed to bring his own staff to the National Security Council, following suggestions that Mr Flynn’s deputy KT McFarland, a former Fox News pundit, was asked to remain.

 

The President denied “chaos” had beset his administration on Thursday, telling reporters it was “running like a fine-tuned machine”.

 

But critics have seized on Vice-Admiral Harward’s refusal to replace Mr Flynn as a vote of no confidence in Mr Trump amid uncertainty about his positions on key issues including the Syrian war, Ukrainian conflict and Russia.

 

Edited by Halcyon Daze

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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-coal-rivers-regulation-scrapped-law-a7584916.html

 

 

Donald Trump overturns law preventing companies dumping coal mining debris in streams and rivers

 

 

President dismisses regulation as 'a job-killing rule' by signing Resolution 38, nullifying stream protection legislation

 

 

President Donald Trump has put the brakes on a regulation blocking coal mining debris from being dumped into nearby streams.

 

Trump called the stream protection regulation a “job-killing rule” before he signed a measure to overturn it.

 

Lawmakers from coal-mining states stood close by, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Republican-Kentucky), Senator Rand Paul (Republican-Kentucky), Senator Joe Manchin (Democrat-West Virginia) and Senator Shelley Moore Capito (Republican West Virginia).

 

Several coal miners and energy company executives also attended the White House signing ceremony.

 

Republicans and some Democrats argued that the rule could eliminate thousands of coal-related jobs. They said the rule also ignored dozens of existing federal, state and local regulations.

 

 

 

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https://boingboing.net/2017/02/16/holy-shiyat-he-crazy.html

 

Here's the weirdest, scariest stuff Trump said at today's 'I’m not ranting and raving' meltdown

 

“Peace through strength,” Donald Trump said to reporters today in a rambling, aggressive, monologue news conference that lasted nearly about an hour and a half. Trump rattled on in circular patterns about plans to “build and rebuild” the “great” military and law enforcement. He dodged questions on Flynn, Obamacare, leaked reports of turmoil within the administration, and expressed outrage at being questioned repeatedly about “this whole Russia scam that you guys are building so that you don’t talk about the real subject which is illegal leaks.”

 

“Russia is a ruse,” Trump said, several times.

 

Here is the full transcript of Donald J. Trump's remarks to the press earlier today, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. He is currently the President of the United States of America. I read the whole thing and watched all hour and 53 minutes of the video, so you wouldn't have to, and I highlighted the most terrifying stuff and have pasted it here with my deep thoughts. Hold me. I'm legit terrified.

 

https://boingboing.net/2017/02/16/holy-shiyat-he-crazy.html

 

 

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https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/17/opinion/is-it-time-to-call-trump-mentally-ill.html?_r=0

 

 

Is It Time to Call Trump Mentally Ill?

 

 

A lot of people seem to be questioning President Trump’s mental health. This month, Representative Ted Lieu, a California Democrat, went so far as to say he was considering proposing legislation that would require a White House psychiatrist.

 

More controversial is the number of mental health experts who are joining the chorus. In December, a Huffington Post article featured a letter written by three prominent psychiatry professors that cited President Trump’s “grandiosity, impulsivity, hypersensitivity to slights or criticism, and an apparent inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality” as evidence of his mental instability. While stopping short of giving the president a formal psychiatric diagnosis, the experts called for him to submit to a full medical and neuropsychiatric evaluation by impartial investigators.

 

A practicing psychologist went further in late January. He was quoted in a U.S. News and World Report article titled “Temperament Tantrum,” saying that President Trump has malignant narcissism, which is characterized by grandiosity, sadism and antisocial behavior.

 

I don’t doubt that these experts believe they are protecting the country from a president whose behavior they — like many of us — see as dangerous. A recent letter to the editor in this newspaper, signed by 35 psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers, put it this way: “We fear that too much is at stake to be silent.” It continued, “We believe that the grave emotional instability indicated by Mr. Trump’s speech and actions makes him incapable of serving safely as president.”

 

 

 

Edited by Halcyon Daze
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http://www.smh.com.au/world/as-the-tempo-of-trumps-media-war-rises-the-unthinkable-becomes-possible-20170225-gul63s.html

 

As tempo of Trump's media war rises, the unthinkable becomes possible

 

 

Washington: By the measure of his spokesman Sean Spicer, Donald Trump is tracking towards dictatorship – how else to explain Spicer barring "enemy" reporters from a White House media briefing, just weeks after he said open media access was "what makes a democracy a democracy versus a dictatorship".

The unprecedented exclusion of CNN and The New York Times, among others, marked an escalation in Trump's war on the media and on a particular government agency that has provided sensational leaks on his presidency – the FBI.

On a day when the White House press office was corralling reporters on the basis of who were friends and who were not, Trump resorted to Twitter to slam the FBI and to issue what seemed like a presidential order for the agency to silence the media's secret sources in its ranks.

Fired off in two bites, Trump's tweeted reprimand read: "The FBI is totally unable to stop the national security 'leakers' that have permeated our government for a long time. They can't even find the leakers within the FBI itself.

 

 

 

 

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http://www.thecanary.co/2017/02/24/trump-administration-will-enforce-federal-cannabis-prohibition-justification-ridiculous/

The Trump Administration will enforce federal cannabis prohibition, but its justification is ridiculous

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White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer says the Trump Administration will enforce a federal law prohibiting recreational cannabis in states where it is currently legal.

This marks a big change from the more relaxed approach under President Obama. The justification for this enforcement comes from Spicer, who says that cannabis is linked to the country’s opioid epidemic.

The gateway argument 

Spicer’s argument suggests that cannabis is a gateway drug. He believes it leads users to take much more addictive and harmful drugs – in this case, prescription painkillers such as hydrocodone and oxycodone. But Spicer provides no evidence in support of this argument. Probably because there isn’t any.

In fact, he is peddling a myth that has long since been debunked. A study published in the Journal of School Health concluded that there is a gateway drug. But it’s not cannabis. It’s alcohol.

Numerous studies have failed to support the gateway idea. According to sociology professor Dr Karen Van Gundy, whether cannabis smokers go on to use other drugs depends more on personal preference and social factors rather than a causal link being involved.

All mixed up

Spicer’s argument could be completely backwards. Cannabis might actually help, rather than exacerbate, America’s opioid crisis. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that the annual rate of deaths due to opioid painkillers was nearly 25% lower in states that had legalised medical cannabis. Researchers also said this effect grew stronger in the five to six years after the states approved medical cannabis.

Health economist David Bradford, from the University of Georgia, analysed drug prescription data from 2010 to 2013. He found that, in states where medical cannabis was used, physicians prescribed an average 1,826 fewer doses of conventional pain medication each year.

Legalising cannabis for recreational use

But Spicer isn’t worried about medicinal cannabis. He’s worried about grown adults being able to walk into a shop and buy cannabis for personal use. He said:

 

There’s a big difference between [medical] and recreational marijuana. And I think that when you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states around this country, the last thing we should be doing is encouraging people.

But this again hinges on the assumption that recreational cannabis will lead to opioid abuse. Which is still an unfounded claim. In January 2017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine published a comprehensive review of studies concerning cannabis use published since 1999. Researchers found no study linking cannabis use to increased opioid use.

The actual cause of the epidemic

Most argue that the increase in opioid painkiller prescriptions stems from an increased demand for better pain medication in the early 1990s. And a 2016 review published in the New England Journal of Medicine attributes the epidemic to legal prescriptions from doctors. The drugs are used by the patient legally, or illegally diverted from a doctor to another individual.

Cracking down on states that have legalised cannabis for recreational use will not be a fruitful enterprise. It won’t tackle the nationwide opioid epidemic. It will only lead to more incarcerations and intensify ethnic discrimination (black people are 3.73 times more likely than white people to be arrested for cannabis). There are effective, evidence-based ways to tackle the opioid crisis in America. But Spicer has overlooked the evidence completely. He has decided instead to promote fears and myths about cannabis.

Get Involved!

– Check out more articles from The Canary’s Health section.

– See more TrumpWatch articles at The Canary Global.

– Support The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.

Featured image via Wikimedia

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The anonymous documentary is also worth watching if you liked that 

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http://www.news.com.au/finance/work/leaders/kellyanne-conway-says-surveillance-is-possible-with-microwaves-that-turn-into-cameras/news-story/13204fc91c6e7b1548f8f3e67cce6865

White House backpedals on President Trump’s wiretapping allegation against Obama

 

 

AFTER launching an investigation into US President Donald Trump’s wiretapping allegations against Obama, the White House is now backpedalling on a key point.
According to CNN, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told media that President Trump wasn’t referring to actual “wiretapping” when he tweeted the serious accusation, which mentioned the word wiretapping directly.
“I think there’s no question that the Obama administration, that there were actions about surveillance and other activities that occurred in the 2016 election,” CNN reported Mr Spicer as saying.
“The President used the word wiretaps in quotes to mean, broadly, surveillance and other activities.
“He does not think Obama went out there and wiretapped him personally... There are are a whole host of techniques to or surveil someone.”


Meanwhile, the Justice Department has asked for more time to respond to the congressional inquiry into the unproven wiretapping assertion.
Mr Spicer also reportedly said President Trump was referring to the Obama administration broadly when he accused the former President of being a “bad” or “sick guy”.
 

 

 

 

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DONALD TRUMP ENDS “WAR ON COAL” BY DECLARING WAR ON BREATHABLE AIR

 

http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/03/donald-trump-ends-war-on-coal-by-declaring-war-on-breathable-air

 

 

The planet may be going to hell, but we might be getting a few new jobs in exchange.

 

Following his failure to kill—sorry, liberate—millions of Americans by effectively taking away their health insurance, Donald Trump on Tuesday decided to dream bigger, setting his sights on the destruction of the entire planet with an an executive order intended to roll back several key Obama-era climate-change policies. Flanked by coal miners, Vice-President Mike Pence, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and anti-environment Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt, Trump put pen to paper and declared victory over liberal snowflakes everywhere. “My administration is putting an end to the war on coal,” he said, promising to end the “crushing attack” on the energy industry by killjoy regulators.

 

In Trump’s mind, bringing back a smattering of jobs is more important than addressing the very real and detrimental effects of climate change. Even if the coal industry is dying—thanks natural-gas boom—and those mining jobs are rapidly disappearing anyway. Per The New York Times

 

Unfortunately, “accelerating the decline of the planet and making bold claims about growing jobs while not actually growing jobs” doesn’t fit neatly on one of those red hats. Back to the drawing board, re-election staffers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Donald Trump lawsuit: Protesters’ injuries a ‘direct result’ of Trump’s words, judge rules

 

http://www.news.com.au/finance/work/leaders/donald-trump-lawsuit-protesters-injuries-a-direct-result-of-trumps-words-judge-rules/news-story/d0e22b0f60a15fcf233ea1bd2dc5a816

 

 

IT was three simple words.

But it is these three words issued at a campaign rally last March which have come back to haunt US President Donald Trump in a big way.

Protesters who were injured at an election rally claim they were roughed up by Mr Trump’s supporters after he said the words “get them out.” A federal judge has ruled their injuries were as a direct result of Mr Trump’s command. The President’s lawyers sought to dismiss the lawsuit by three protesters who claim they were roughed up by his supporters at a March 1, 2016 rally in Louisville, Kentucky. They argued that Mr Trump didn’t intend for his supporters to use force.

However Federal Judge David J Hale in Louisville ruled on Friday that the suit against Mr Trump, his campaign and three of his supporters can proceed. Judge Hale also rejected Mr Trump’s free speech defence against the lawsuit which accuses him of inciting violence against protesters during his campaign.

Two women and a man say they were shoved and punched by audience members at Mr Trump’s command. Much of it was captured on video and widely broadcast during the campaign, showing Mr Trump pointing at the protesters and repeating “get them out.” Judge Hale found ample facts supporting allegations that the protesters’ injuries were a “direct and proximate result” of Mr Trump’s actions, and noted that the Supreme Court has ruled out constitutional protections for speech that incites violence.

“It is plausible that Trump’s direction to ‘get ‘em out of here’ advocated the use of force,” the judge wrote. “It was an order, an instruction, a command.” Plaintiffs Kashiya Nwanguma, Molly Shah and Henry Brousseau allege that they were physically attacked by several members of the audience, including Matthew Heimbach, Alvin Bamberger and an unnamed defendant they have yet to be able to identify. Bamberger later apologised to the Korean War Veterans Association, whose uniform he wore at the rally. He wrote that he “physically pushed a young woman down the aisle toward the exit” after “Trump kept saying ‘get them out, get them out,” according to the lawsuit.

Heimbach, for his part, sought to dismiss the lawsuit’s discussion of his association with a white nationalist group and of statements he made about how Mr Trump could advance the group’s interests. The judge declined, saying such information could be important context when determining punitive damages. The judge also declined to remove allegations that Nwanguma, an African- American, was the victim of racial, ethnic and sexist slurs from the crowd at the rally.

This context may support the plaintiffs’ claims of negligence and incitement by Mr Trump and his campaign, the judge said. “While the words themselves are repulsive, they are relevant to show the atmosphere in which the alleged events occurred,” Judge Hale wrote. Lawyers for Mr Trump and his campaign also argued that they cannot be held liable because they had no duty to the plaintiffs, who assumed the risk of injury when they decided to protest at the rally.

The judge countered that under the law, every person has a duty to every other person to use care to prevent foreseeable injury. “In sum, the Court finds that Plaintiffs have adequately alleged that their harm was foreseeable and that the Trump Defendants had a duty to prevent it,” the judge ruled, referring the case to a federal magistrate, Judge H Brent Brennenstuhl, to handle preliminary litigation, discovery and settlement efforts.

IMPEACHMENT CALL

The lawsuit is just the latest blow to Mr Trump after a Massachusetts city is deliberating weighing whether to call for an impeachment investigation into Mr Trump. Cambridge Vice Mayor Marc McGovern has filed a policy order for Monday’s city council meeting pushing for an investigation.

The proposed order calls on the US House to back a resolution directing the Judiciary Committee to investigate whether there are grounds to impeach Mr Trump. Mr McGovern and others believe Mr Trump has violated the emoluments clause of the US Constitution that prohibits government officials from profiting from foreign businesses. Mr McGovern said he believes the Republican president is still deeply involved in his business operations. Cambridge voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election. The city is across the Charles River from Boston, and is home to Harvard University.

 

 

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http://www.chicagotribune.com/bluesky/technology/ct-trump-internet-privacy-20170403-story.html

 

Trump signs bill removing online privacy protections

 

After his press secretary blasted it as an example of fighting rampant government overreach, President Donald Trump signed a bill into law Monday that could eventually allow internet providers to sell information about their customers' browsing habits.

The bill scraps a Federal Communications Commission online privacy regulation issued in October to give consumers more control over how companies like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon share that information. Critics have argued that the rule would stifle innovation and pick winners and losers among internet companies.

The regulation was scheduled to take effect later this year, but Congress used its authority under the obscure Congressional Review Act to wipe it from the books.

With a Republican president in the White House, the GOP-controlled Congress has turned to the 20-year-old law to scrap numerous regulations that Republicans say are costly, burdensome or excessive, many of which were finalized in the closing months of Democrat Barack Obama's presidency.

Internet companies like Google don't have to ask their users for permission before tracking what sites they visit, a discrepancy that Republicans and industry group have blasted as both unfair to companies and confusing to consumers.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said last week that the president's support for the bill was part of a larger effort "to fight Washington red tape that stifles American innovation, job creation and economic growth."

"The president pledged to reverse this type of federal overreach in which bureaucrats in Washington take the interest of one group of companies over the interest of others," picking the winners and losers, he said.

Supporters of the privacy measure argued that the company that sells an internet connection can see even more about consumers, such as every website they visit and whom they exchange emails with, information that would be particularly useful for advertisers and marketers.

 

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http://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/4/4/1650138/-Trump-signs-away-your-internet-privacy

 

Trump signs away your internet privacy

 

Hey, all you Twitter eggs out there so happily disrupting the system and helping to get popular vote loser Donald Trump into the White House to stick it to the man, or whatever. Wave good-bye to your internet privacy, courtesy of your "president."

President Trump signed into law a resolution that repealed protections requiring Internet service providers to get your permission before collecting and sharing data. These protections—which had not yet gone into effect—were approved by the Federal Communications Commission in the final days of the Obama administration.

The providers have data on your web browsing history, app usage and geo-location.

Providers would also have been required to notify customers about the types of information collected and shared.

Members of Reddit‘s r/The_Donald subgroup already have been freaking out over the fact that their hero really doesn't care about them and would betray them so.

“It’s taking us in the wrong direction,” writes one user in a popular comment. “We should be limiting the kind of data, not just saying ‘Hey those apps get more data then I doooo Not fair!’ Then say here you go Comcast, Verizon, and other companies that have been known to screw us over all the time. We’re going to give you power over us even more.”

Wait until the rest of his shrinking fanbase finds out he's ultimately responsible for the spam they will now find themselves awash in. It's going to dawn on them that he wasn't telling them the truth about how he was going to stick up for the little guy. That's going to be bad news for all of the Republicans who made this happen, starting with Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake who introduced the resolution in the Senate, and who also happens to be up for re-election in 2018. How convenient for us.

 

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Yes, Trump’s Cabinet is super rich. That’s not why we should be worried.

 

Wealthy Americans have served the country well. But usually they have a record of putting the greater good above self-interest.

 

Can a president with a private jet and a Cabinet of millionaires and billionaires understand and address the concerns of ordinary Americans?

In much of the media coverage of President-elect Donald Trump and his Cabinet picks, the assumption seems to be no. The Wall Street Journal ran the headline: “Trump’s Wealthy Appointments Contrast With Populist Campaign Tone.” Similarly, Politico assessed, “Trump’s glittering roster of millionaires and billionaires risks undermining the fundamental basis of his campaign before the Manhattan magnate even takes the oath of office.” Critics have accused Trump’s selections of being out of touch with the working-class Americans he said he would fight for, or, worse, in the words of The Washington Post’s Paul Waldman, “just one more con ” plotted against the American people by Trump and his cronies.

It’s true that the collective wealth of Trump’s team dwarfs that of any other in history. There are two billionaires in his Cabinet: commerce secretary pick Wilbur Ross, net worth $2.5 billion, and education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos, whose portion of her family’s wealth is estimated at $1.25 billion. They are joined by a dozen multimillionaires. The most conservative calculations put the personal fortunes of Trump’s Cabinet, in total, at more than $5 billion — more than 80 percent higher than the total wealth of President Obama’s Cabinet (with one billionaire, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker , in the lineup). And that’s not including Trump’s own fortune or that of other senior Trump administration officials, such as Army secretary pick Vincent Viola (net worth $1.8 billion) Small Business Administrator pick Linda McMahon (wife of WWE promoter Vincent McMahon, net worth $1.16 billion) or deputy commerce secretary pick Todd Ricketts (whose family wealth is estimated at $5.3 billion).

But history demonstrates that “billionaire populist” isn’t necessarily a contradiction in terms. Wealthy Americans — some populist and some patrician in their style — have done this country a lot of good, including serving in our highest public offices with distinction. What matters is not how much a president and his advisers are worth but whether they’re willing to put the country’s interests before personal gain and partisanship. That’s what Trump’s team will have to prove and what we all should be watching.

Money and privilege in U.S. politics have been more the rule than the exception. Think about those faces on Mount Rushmore. Three of the four — George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Teddy Roosevelt — inherited fortunes equivalent to tens of millions of dollars in present-day values. Like a certain fellow from Queens, they used their inheritances to dabble in real estate, particularly Washington, who parlayed his former job as a land surveyor into success in land speculation. More recently, John F. Kennedy came to office backed by a trust fund valued at almost $1 billion in today’s dollars. His successor, Lyndon Johnson, was a self-made man who amassed a fortune of nearly $100 million in, wait for it, television and real estate.

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The argument that private wealth can give politicians independence was a major justification for Trump’s candidacy. “I don’t need anybody’s money,” he said at his campaign launch in June 2015. And presumably, neither do his millionaires and billionaires. (Although Trump’s presidential campaign was happy to accept millions in donations from the families of people now joining his administration, including $7.5 million from McMahon, $1.8 million from the DeVos family, $1.3 million from the family of Ricketts and $200,000 from Ross.) 


In Trump’s case, there isn’t much evidence of service to others or putting anything above self-interest. He told Fortune magazine back in 2000 that he “could be the first presidential candidate to run and make money on it.” His claims of private philanthropy have been repeatedly debunked, with investigative reporting showing that he didn’t follow through on pledged donations and used his charitable foundation to pay his personal bills — or to give away other people’s money in lieu of his own. And he is the first president-elect never to have held any kind of public office and never to have done military service for his country. His success in evading calls to service is by now well-documented.

As for his wealthy Cabinet nominees, there are charitable people among them. The DeVos family, for instance, is ranked No. 24 on Forbes’s most recent list of top philanthropists, with large donations to education, health care and the arts. But Betsy DeVos has no public-service record to speak of — unless you count tireless devotion to gutting public education in Michigan as a service. She would be the first education secretary who never attended a public school, who never sent her children to a public school and for whom taxes paid toward public education represent a cost without a benefit.

On the whole, Trump’s picks are more renowned for enriching themselves than for giving to needy causes or serving others. For secretary of labor, we find the chief executive of a fast-food company who opposes a higher minimum wage and other labor regulations that cost him money. For leader of the Department of Health and Human Services, the nominee is an orthopedic surgeon who as a member of Congress built a track record of opposing policies that cut into physicians’ profits — including programs such as Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, which limit reimbursements for medical services.

Given what Trump and his Cabinet picks have done in the past, it seems unlikely that they will embrace the independence their wealth allows and govern on behalf of people less fortunate.

To put the cherry on the sundae, Harding’s attorney general — the man in charge of prosecuting such malfeasance — was himself double-crossing the public by profiting off of criminal activity. Although Harry Daugherty swore to uphold the Constitution when he took office, he saw the 18th Amendment, known colloquially as Prohibition, as an opportunity to line his pockets and collected protection money from bootleggers . If this group had any political commitment or ideology to speak of, it could be summarized in two words: “More!” and “Mine!”
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There are no laws against a president and his super-wealthy Cabinet using their power to benefit their own class. There is nothing that compels them to look beyond their privilege to address the needs of the citizenry.

The problem with these prospective leaders is not their money. It’s that they — like Trump — seem more interested in what their country can do for them than in what they can do for their country.

 

 

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