Posted by: maboulette | March 13, 2018

Is Betsy Devos The Next to Go?


We just lost our Secretary of State this morning – is Betsy DeVos the next to go?

This past week has been pretty rough for Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and her brother Erik Prince. Prince was caught red handed lying about his meeting with the Crown Prince of United Arab Emirates and Russian government representatives in the Seychelles. The latest cooperating witness in the Robert Mueller investigation, George Nader, is shedding light on this meeting and how it all ties to Donald Trump.


Another black eye for Trump this weekend was delivered by Betsy DeVos herself. She appeared with Leslie Stahl on 60 Minutes. She was either ill-prepared for the interview or she just choked. DeVos, after a year of “working” as Education Secretary, had a hard time answering even basic questions on subjects ranging from sexual assaults in schools to arming grade school teachers with guns.


DeVos’ education policies would make all schools just like the ones that she attended: Christian private schools. She wants to defund public schools, leaving the poor with no good choices for their education. DeVos admitted that she intentionally does not visit public schools that have a low performance record. She was arguably the most hated Trump cabinet member before this interview.


All that aside, here’s the real reason why DeVos may soon be given the boot. While on 60 Minutes, she started criticizing Trump. She started lecturing Trump on his foul language and vulgarity. She said that he needs to be mindful that the president is a role model for others, especially children.


We all know that Donald Trump hates when anyone criticizes him, particularly when it comes from one of his own people, on national television no less. It’s the easiest way to hear the words “You’re fired!” So between Erik Prince’s role in the Russia scandal, and Betsy DeVos’ public criticism of Trump, their usefulness to Donald Trump has come to an end. Is DeVos the next to go?


Posted by: maboulette | March 13, 2018

Stormy Daniels Appears to Have the Goods on Trump


Adult film actress and director and likely former mistress of Donald Trump says she wants to return the $130,000 in hush money to Donald Trump and/or his attorney Michael Cohen. She wants the right to tell her story and says America deserves the truth. That offer is going to put Trump and Cohen in a bind. If they refuse the money, they acknowledge they want to keep her silent. According to Daniels’ attorney, her story includes “text messages, photos and/or videos.” From the New York Times:


Mr. Avenatti set a deadline of noon Tuesday for Mr. Cohen to answer the offer from Ms. Clifford, known professionally as Stormy Daniels, to answer his offer.


Under the terms of the deal detailed in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, the contract ensuring Ms. Clifford’s silence would be “deemed null and void’’ once she returned the sum called for in her original contract.


Under Mr. Avenatti’s offer, Ms. Clifford would then be allowed to “(a) speak openly and freely about her prior relationship with the President and the attempts to silence her and (b) use any publish any text messages, photos and/or videos relating to the President that she may have in her possession, all without fear of retribution and legal liability for damages.”


Donald Trump has attacked every person who’s ever even whispered a negative word about him—everyone except Stormy Daniels? Is it because she’s got evidence of his bad behavior? Mr. Big Mouth sure is silent about Stormy Daniels and her nonstop headlines. 


Meanwhile, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY) are demanding an investigation into the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels by Michael Cohen. Rep. Lieu explained on CNN this morning. Read:

Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu has asked the FBI to “investigate whether any federal laws were violated” in Trump’s lawyer paying off Stormy Daniels. Says “the payment far exceeded campaign contribution limits, a crime punishable by up to 5 years in prison.”

— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) March 12, 2018


Donald Trump appears to be backed into a corner here. Fight the refund from Stormy Daniels and acknowledge Trump cheated with an adult film actress while his newlywed wife was home with their newborn son. How will that play with his base of suburban women? And if Stormy Daniels is released from the nondisclosure agreement, what does that unleash? 


Michael Cohen is also backed in a corner. If he stands by the claim that he alone paid Stormy Daniels, it could be violating federal law and punishable by up to 5 years in prison. If he admits he was reimbursed by Donald Trump, he is again confirming the affair and the hush payment. 


Stormy Daniels recorded an interview with 60 Minutes that is scheduled to air this weekend. Buckle up, America. The forecast calls for stormy weather all week. 



Posted by: maboulette | March 8, 2018

Just Leave It to A Child


It’s a modern-day horror story: a 2-year-old child input an incorrect passcode on an iPhone so many times that the device became locked for 47 years, rendering it utterly useless to its formerly digitally-connected owner.


That’s the scenario now facing a Shanghai mother identified only as Ms. Lu by Chinese news reports, whose toddler unfortunately took the time allotted to watch “educational videos” on the phone and instead began the process of disabling the device for, basically, forever.


According to a news report, Ms. Lu waited for two months to see if the situation would improve — but the phone remained locked. “I couldn’t really wait for 47 years and tell my grandchild it was your father’s mistake,” she reportedly said. The alternative mode of accessing the phone is to wipe it with a factory reset. (This is why you should always backup all your data.)


In the midst of a week which has seen a heightened Trump-Russia investigation and the apparent poisoning of Russian nationals in the United Kingdom, something very strange was going on in the early morning hours at the Russian Embassy in Washington DC. Whatever is playing out, it involves the Secret Service, CSI personnel, and emergency medical professionals, and it’s happening in the middle of the night.


Filmmaker Ford Fischer captured video footage of the various personnel surrounding the Russian Embassy on Wisconsin Avenue, located about four miles from the White House. Fischer posted this along with his video: “Secret Service and CSI / MPD are outside Russian Embassy on Wisconsin Avenue. Reason unclear. Ambulance was present but left before I began filming.” So what’s going on here?


Frankly, have no idea. The presence of just the Secret Service could point to a mere visit to the Embassy by someone who is under routine protection. The presence of just an ambulance could point to a mere medical malady. But combine the two, along with crime scene investigators, and it appears that something much more has happened here. This week Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared to resume targeting Russian nationals whom he sees as a threat, after several suspicious Russian deaths took place earlier in the Trump-Russia scandal. You can watch Fischer’s video of the Russian Embassy incident here:

Secret Service and CSI / MPD are outside Russian Embassy on Wisconsin Avenue. Reason unclear. Ambulance was present but left before I began filming.#Russians #SecretService

— Ford Fischer (@FordFischer) March 8, 2018


Third Trump

Even as Donald Trump’s affair with Stormy Daniels becomes a more salacious sex scandal by the day, it also becomes a more brazenly criminal financial scandal by the day. Not only did Trump have his attorney Michael Cohen pay $130,000 in hush money to Daniels during the election in violation of federal campaign laws, it appears Trump came out $130,000 ahead on the transaction.


It’s already been firmly established that Cohen paid the $130,000 to Daniels out of his own pocket. Cohen has claimed that he made that payment without Trump’s involvement or knowledge. No one believes him. It’s since been reported that Cohen has privately complained to associates that Trump was supposed to reimburse him and never did. In other words, Trump ripped off Cohen and left him with the tab. But now it gets even worse, because it looks like the Trump campaign did pay the $130,000 to Donald Trump.


When the $130,000 figure first surfaced, Palmer Report pointed out that it was a strange number for a settlement. Why not a round number $100,000 or $200,000? We still don’t know how or why Cohen and Daniels agreed on that number. But the oddly specific nature of the number has made it easier to track. Attorney Susan Simpson dug through election filings and discovered that the Trump campaign made a series of payments to Donald Trump’s properties adding up to $130,000 on what appears to be the same day that Cohen paid Daniels that same amount.


So now it’s clear what happened here. Michael Cohen paid $130,000 to Stormy Daniels to silence her just before the election, a violation of federal law. Donald Trump then took $130,000 from the Trump campaign for reimbursing Cohen, also a violation of federal law. Trump then pocketed the $130,000 instead of giving it to Cohen, meaning Trump effectively stole the money from both his campaign and from Cohen. In other words, Trump profited financially from his affair with Daniels. Paging Robert Mueller.



Trump 2

What did Trump know about Russian hacking and when did he know it? For starters, according to the FBI, Trump knew it from the very beginning after he announced his official bid for the Presidency in June of 2015. According to an existing report by NBC News both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were warned by the FBI early in the campaign that, “foreign adversaries, including Russia, would probably try to spy on and infiltrate their campaigns,” and both “candidates were urged to alert the FBI about any suspicious overtures to their campaigns,” the officials said.”


That means Trump knew it when he used his global platform to implore a hostile nation to hack the State Department. Trump knew it each time he proclaimed his undying love for Wikileaks. Trump knew it when he hired, “honored friends of Vladimir Putin” like, Michael Flynn and Rex Tillerson then gave them access to our nation’s top secrets. Donald Trump Jr. knew it the day he responded back with “I love it” when he was invited to commit treason with the Russians.


Trump also knew it when his top campaign officials met with the Russians at Trump Towers and then lied about it. The newly elected President of the United States, Donald J. Trump also knew it when he successfully used his lawyers to stop the recount in key states he astonishingly won against enormous odds.


Donald Trump knew the Russians were hacking our democracy before the general public knew it. The first time Trump was asked to serve our nation, he deferred. This time, Trump did not defer, but he actively supported and encouraged attacks to our democracy during his campaign and again as President. Why should Trump enforce sanctions and tighten election security against the Russians when they were so effective in his last campaign?

Posted by: maboulette | March 6, 2018

Scott Pruitt Just Made Matters Worse

Scott Pruitt - EPA

This past Thursday, Pruitt announced he will try to scrap EPA rules restricting the disposal of coal ash, the toxic byproduct from coal-fired power plants. Coal ash often contains arsenic, chromium, lead, and mercury and has caused major water contamination problems across the country.


With this decision, Pruitt is again putting polluters ahead of our health — he needs to step down. He’s already under fire for a massive scandal over extravagant travel expenses and is facing an unprecedented 55 anti-secrecy lawsuits.


We have a short window to make that happen. We’re building a massive campaign — including rallies across the country, serious pressure on Congress to investigate Pruitt, and demands for his resignation.


Pruitt’s tenure at EPA must end and it must end now. Pruitt has abandoned the EPA’s mission to advocate for our public health and the wellbeing of our communities, all for the benefit of corporate polluters. In less than a year, Pruitt has already tried to dismantle nearly 70 critical environmental safeguards, including:

  • Repealing the Clean Power Plan, which limits carbon pollution from dirty power plants, putting our communities at risk.
  • Gambling with the drinking water of 117 million people by delaying and repealing the Clean Water Rule, blocking critical protections for the drinking water of 1 in 3 people in the U.S.
  • Selling out our most basic public health protections by dramatically weakening safeguards against hazardous industrial air pollution — which will cause a huge rise in pollutants including lead, mercury, and arsenic and endanger the lives of children, the elderly, and communities of color.

Posted by: maboulette | March 4, 2018

Stop Selling Assault Style Rifles


Dick’s Sporting Goods announced that it would stop selling assault-style rifles in all of its stores, a direct reaction to the February 14 high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead.

“When we saw what happened in Parkland, we were so disturbed and upset,” CEO Edward Stack said.


The move leaves only one major retailer standing alone in continuing to sell the semi-automatic assault-style rifles commonly used in mass shootings: Bass Pro Shops, which now includes Cabela’s, a competitor it purchased last year. Bass Pro Shops was named by Forbes as one of America’s largest privately-owned companies. There are a total of over 160 Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops retail stores in the U.S. and Canada. Both stores also sell high-capacity magazines, which allow shooters to fire a higher number of rounds without needing to reload.


Many large companies have changed their policies around guns lately, as protesters push for tougher regulations. Some have cut ties with the National Rifle Assocation, ending discount programs for NRA members. Dick’s announced that all of its stores would immediately stop selling assault-style rifles and high-capacity magazines, and that it would no longer sell any guns whatsoever to customers who are under the age of 21.


While stating that “we support and respect the Second Amendment,” Dick’s also urged Congress to take action and called for a national ban on assault-style firearms, a ban on high-capacity magazines and bump stocks, and a minimum age of 21 for all firearms sales. “Thoughts and prayers aren’t enough,” a Dick’s press release said.


Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, has also been scaling back gun sales at its stores. In 2006, Walmart stopped selling guns at roughly one-third of its stores, citing “diminished customer relevancy.” In 2015, all Walmart stores stopped selling semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15, the weapon of choice in mass shootings such as those in Sandy Hook, San Bernardino, Las Vegas, and most recently in Parkland, Florida.


Dick’s CEO Edward Stack went on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and told George Stephanopoulos how the company made its decisions. “As we looked at what happened down in Parkland, we were so sad and disheartened, we felt we really need to do something,” Stack said.


Stack said that current laws fail to stop mass shootings. He expressed frustration that the Florida school shooter, who was 19 and had given off many warning signs he was dangerous, bought a shotgun last November at a Dick’s store (though the weapon was not used at the school). “We did everything by the book. We did everything that the law required. And still he was able to buy a gun,” Stack said.


Stack said that his company was inspired to take action by the student survivors in Parkland who have been calling for tougher gun regulations and improved safety. “If the kids can be brave enough to organize like this, we can be brave enough to take these out of here,” he said.




Posted by: maboulette | March 3, 2018

Trump and the NRA


President Trump has touched off new tensions with the National Rifle Association after urging Republican lawmakers not to be “afraid” of the powerful gun lobby and publicly entertaining more gun restrictions during a rare public debate with Hill leaders.


During the televised discussion with bipartisan lawmakers on Wednesday, Trump said they and the NRA don’t “have to agree on everything.”


He proceeded to pitch a mix of gun control measures as well as proposals the NRA likes — such as arming teachers. But his language, at times, was stunning coming from a Republican president.


“Take the guns first. Go through due process second,” Trump said at the White House. “I like taking the guns early.”


Trump has long been comfortable defying conventional Republican policy tenets, working ever since his entry into the 2016 race to pull the party toward him — on trade, on entitlements, on infrastructure and more.

Read more at Foxnews


Posted by: maboulette | March 1, 2018

Tariffs On Imports of Steel And Aluminum Products

steel and aluminum

President Donald Trump said Thursday he will unveil steep tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum products next week – a move that could have major repercussions for global trade.


Trump has decided to set tariffs of 25 percent for steel imports and 10 percent for aluminum. “We’ll be signing it next week,” Trump said at a meeting of industry officials, according to a pool report. “And you’ll have protection for a long time.”


It was not clear if the tariffs would exempt certain trading partners. Trump’s decision follows a pair of investigations by the Commerce Department that determined imports of steel and aluminum are eating away at domestic production capacity in those two sectors and pose a threat to U.S. national security interests.


Trump’s decision, which was hotly debated within the administration, on Capitol Hill and throughout the U.S. business community, has the potential to ignite a tit-for-tat trade confrontation with China, the European Union and other major players in world trade. U.S. industries aside from steel and aluminum, particularly agriculture, fear they could take a hit if Trump’s tariffs prompt trading partners to take retaliatory action.

Read more:



Older Posts »


%d bloggers like this: