Featured

FBI Director – No Evidence of Wiretapping, But Investigating Trump/Russia Ties

The Trump White House took another hit today when FBI Director, James Comey, shot down Trump’s false claims of being wiretap by former President, Barack Obama. Comey also confirmed that the FBI is actively investigating collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The FBI is investigating whether President Donald Trump’s campaign associates coordinated with Russian officials in an effort to sway the 2016 presidential election, Director James Comey said Monday in an extraordinary public confirmation of a probe the president has refused to acknowledge, dismissed as fake news and blamed on Democrats.

In a bruising five-hour session, the FBI director also knocked down Trump’s claim that his predecessor had wiretapped his New York skyscraper, an assertion that has distracted White House officials and frustrated fellow Republicans who acknowledge they’ve seen no evidence to support it.

The revelation of the investigation of possible collusion with Russians, and the first public confirmation of the wider probe that began last summer, came in a remarkable hearing by one branch of government examining serious allegations against another branch and the new president’s election campaign.

Tight-lipped for the most part, Comey refused to offer details on the scope, targets or timeline for the FBI investigation, which could shadow the White House for months, if not years. The director would not say whether the probe has turned up evidence that Trump associates may have schemed with Russians during a campaign marked by email hacking that investigators believe was aimed at helping the Republican defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton.

“I can promise you,” the FBI director vowed, “we will follow the facts wherever they lead.”

Featured

Reality Sinks In

Really now: What did you expect?

The great know-nothing Donald Trump is president, having run on an incoherent mixture of lies, half-truths, innuendo, sexism, nationalism, xeno- and Islamophobia and promises about jobs that he couldn’t possible keep. Add in an ultra right wing Congress that’s committed itself to acting first and thinking about consequences later. And what do get get?

Our present reality.

Yes, I know that the Trump budget will never pass as it is currently constructed, but it still does provide a framework from which the Republicans can build their cuts and aggressively apply their ideology, which assumes that the best budget Congress ever passed was in 1790 when the federal government was appropriately small and anyone who wanted a gun could have one (and abortion, by the way, was still legal up to about 15-20 weeks of pregnancy). Many of the programs on the chopping block are ones used by Trump voters who are struggling economically and need some government support to stay alive or to keep their jobs.

And the proposed cuts to the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will devastate many state and educational arts programs for people who live outside areas that have museums or universities that promote the arts. Many teachers also use the endowments for educational purposes in K-12 classrooms and for their own academic enrichment throughout the school year and in the summer. To say there is no place anywhere in the federal budget for these programs is a capitulation to ignorance. The arts and humanities, and public television and radio, provide services that are vital and should be insulated from the ravages of competition because they promote ideas that sometimes aren’t prized by the market until they are introduced, viewed or broadcast.

Are there programs that could and should be cut? Yes. Many federal programs overlap or have outlived their usefulness, but many have not and even if they serve a small population, if that population depends on that program, it’s up to the government to provide an alternative or a path forward for those people. Otherwise, citizens will lose their jobs, their education, their heat, their health insurance, or their lives. All in the name of increased military spending.

But the true moral bankruptcy of the GOP is their proposed replacement for the Affordable Care Act. Their argument seems to be that it’s OK for 24 million fewer people to have health insurance as long as the wealthy get their tax break and we can save over $300 billion over ten years to fund it. And the extra bonus is that by 2026 (!) health insurance premiums will be approximately 10% cheaper.

Where do I sign up?

I can certainly understand an appreciate that there are conservative voters who voted for this, want these cuts, and believe that the federal government has grown too large. Those who voted for Trump based on his promises, though, should be extremely wary at this point. Many of them are going to get much less than they bargained for domestically and in lost international trade because of this budget and his actions.

A shrinking America is not, and never will be, a great America.

For more, go to www.facebook.com/WhereDemocracyLives or Twitter @rigrundfest

Politics

Hillary Clinton – “I’m Ready To Come Out of the Woods” – Video

Following her so-called “defeat” to Russia… Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary was spotted walking in the woods of Chappaqua NY., accompanied by her husband Bill Clinton. Photographs were taken and posted on social media and it was understood that the former Secretary of State needed some alone time with her family. Hillary sightings were few and in-between since the November 8th election, but things are changing.

In a speech in Scranton, Hillary says that she is “ready to come out of the woods,” and that watching Donald Trump and his kind of politics makes it hard for her to watch the news. The former First Lady then went on to advocate a united nation.

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Featured

White House Explains Why Cutting Funding for American Elders Make Sense – Video

If you’re not in the top 1 percent and able to get massive tax cuts simply because you’re rich, then you’re not worthy of any program that will make your survival any easier.

That is apparently where Donald Trump and the Republicans stand when it comes to programs designed to help the middle class and poorer Americans, programs like Meals on Wheels – a program that delivers meals to the elderly. According to the Trump White House, funding that help states offer Meals on Wheels benefits must be cut.

Listen to this White House Trump staffer explain why cutting funding to these fundamental programs make sense.

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Featured

Trump Praises “Extremely Strong” Wall-less Border for Reduction in Border Crossing

Where is the wall you may ask? Well it’s not up yet, But Donald Trump is already touting and patting himself on the back for what he calls, “an unprecedented 40 percent reduction in illegal immigration” at the southern border… the wall-less border that is…!

At a rally in Tennessee on Wednesday, Trump had this to say…

TRUMP: “And by the way, aren’t our borders getting extremely strong? … We’ve already experienced an unprecedented 40 percent reduction in illegal immigration on our southern border, 61 percent — 61 percent since Inauguration Day. Sixty-one percent; think about it. And now people are saying we’re not going to go there anymore ’cause we can’t get in, so it’s going to get better and better.”

THE FACTS: There’s not much evidence yet that Trump is driving down illegal immigration. It’s true that the number of border arrests dropped about 44 percent from January to February. But it’s too early to know if that will hold or what prompted it. Monthly and seasonal fluctuations are common.

Trump hasn’t expanded the ranks of the Border Patrol or any other immigration or border-security agency. His orders haven’t yet changed the way the Border Patrol operates and so far there is no evidence that more people are being deported. The wall he’s promised to build isn’t up.

The number of border arrests is the primary measure of the flow of illegal immigration at the border, though an imperfect one. If fewer people are arrested, that’s taken to mean fewer people are trying. Over recent decades, presidents have tried to have it both ways. They cite low arrest numbers to illustrate how their policies are dissuading people from crossing illegally. When arrest numbers are high, they say that’s because they’re being aggressive in enforcing the border.

Featured

MSNBC Host Slams Republican Congressman on Wiretap Issue – Video

The Republican congressman went on MSNBC and thought it was a good idea to accuse the host of spending too much time on Trump’s “wiretapping” claim. The Republican congressman told the MSNBC host that her network kept pushing the wiretapping story to boost their ratings.

It was then that host Katy Tur let loose on Rep. Mo Brooks. “You think it’s ratings?” Tur asked. “That’s why we’re talking about the president accusing another president or wiretapping him?”

The Alabama congressman complained that Tur had not spent enough time on an “important story” about the Federal Reserve raising its benchmark interest rate — even though she had covered it minutes earlier.

“Congressman, we led our newscast with that so thank you for pointing that out,” Tur replied calmly. “And secondly, there is a hearing underway on Capitol Hill talking about wiretapping and talking about information being searched or asked for by the FBI and from the DOJ. So, we are choosing to cover what is going on in Washington — and that is what is going on in Washington.”

“And my question to you is, because we are covering this, because that is what is going on in Washington, do you have a message to your president to say, ‘Hey, if you’re going to make an accusation, why not produce the evidence so that everybody’s not running around searching for the evidence when you say you have it?” the MSNBC asked, repeating her earlier question.

Brooks agreed that it was “incumbent upon President Trump” to share “whatever information he has about the prior administration wiretapping him.”

Celebrities

Will Smith Looks Like Uncle Phil in Bungee Jumping Incident – PIC

A video of Will Smith bungee jumping has taken the internet by storm. But it is not seeing Will Smith achieve a 20 year dream to bungee jump that is causing the internet to go bonkers, it is a still picture of Mr. Smith hanging upside down that has people talking.

In the photo, Will Smith bears a striking resemblance to Uncle Phill, Smith’s former co-star in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Video