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It is apparent that our Congress is broken but fixable. Uncle mitch has surpassed our wildest dreams  nightmares regarding politics. His leadership is on par with Iago or Pecksniff . His refusal to allow even a discussion about opening the government agencies and discussing the “wall” at a different time. His statement that he wants to put something before the “president” that he will sign is ludicrous at best and cowardly at least. He is the “leader” of the Senate and should as he wants us to believe knows the law and is pragmatic(?). His statements belie his intentions and abilities while he has put us in a tax situation that hurts the people he so proudly proclaims to represent and spearheaded the GOP in a direction that almost un American and allowing the rise of a radical right and left. There is as TOTUS once proclaimed blame on “both sides” which in my mind indicates that we as  voters need to initiate a clean slate voting initiative which will elect new representatives who can reach a cross the aisle to help ALL Americans no matter where they live in the United States and it’s territories. It is my opinion that the voters have to assert their will on Congress and not the other way around but only if we arm ourselves with intelligence on the issues and their effects on us all.

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a man wearing a suit and tie: McConnell blocks bill to reopen most of government

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Noses are still growing and appear to be the state of play in our politics. This could forebode a state perpetual lies that we have suspected and now has become a reality. MA

By Carla Herreria
POLITICS 01/17/2019 09:16 pm ET Updated 8 hours ago
The Senate majority leader fumed over Democrats’ attempts to strengthen voting rights, ethics and campaign finance rules.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) accused House Democrats of trying to “swing elections” with a major piece of legislation designed to clean up voting and campaign finance and strengthen government ethics.
McConnell described the so-called For the People Act as a “power grab” and a “naked attempt to change the rules of American politics to benefit one party” in a Thursday op-ed for The Washington Post.
The top Republican criticized Democrats for introducing the bill, also known as HR1, while the longest-ever partial government shutdown continues.
“House Democrats won’t come to the table and negotiate to reopen the government, but they’ve been hard at work angling for more control over what you can say about them and how they get reelected,” McConnell wrote.
Later Thursday, McConnell blocked legislation aimed at reopening most of the federal government, except the Department of Homeland Security, according to The Hill.

The act, the first major bill House Democrats have introduced to the 116th Congress, contains a package of reforms that aim to make voting more accessible, force President Donald Trump (and future presidential candidates) to release their tax returns and take power away from big political donors by incentivizing smaller donations and by requiring super PACs to make their private donors public.
The bill also aims to make Election Day a paid holiday for federal workers, which McConnell dismissed as a “generous new benefit” for “federal bureaucrats.” In theory, that proposal would encourage private businesses to also make Election Day a holiday, allowing more people to get to the polls.
McConnell also suggested that making private donors public was an attack on free speech.
“Apparently the Democrats define ‘democracy’ as giving Washington a clearer view of whom to intimidate and leaving citizens more vulnerable to public harassment over private views,” McConnell wrote.
The Republican also took issue with the bill’s ban on removing people from voter rolls for not voting in a previous election, as well as a ban on voter caging, a practice in which election officials send non-forwardable mail to addresses on the voter rolls, then remove anyone whose mail is returned to sender.
McConnell pointed to a mistake made in California that led to 23,000 voters being registered incorrectly, with errors including wrong party preferences.
However, linking that part of the bill to the mishap in California is misleading, according to HuffPost’s voting rights reporter Sam Levine.
“It was an issue with software, and the head of the DMV resigned,” Levine noted on Twitter. “For context, there are over 19.6 million registered voters in CA. Automatic registration added 727,924 people to the rolls since launch in April.”
“The law congress is proposing authorizes the states to set up their own systems for registering voters. People have to be given the chance to opt out,” Levine tweeted.
The law would prevent states from aggressively purging the voter rolls by removing people if they don’t vote and don’t respond to a single mailer from the state, he said. “Proponents of the change argue that this practice removes eligible voters from the rolls.”

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The ongoing political drama is more than food for thought, it is more like food to gag on. We have extreme to moderate congressional members on both sides yet we can’t seem to get past the leaders(?). We should already know that TOTUS is a child seeking approval so the grownups should take the lead. Unfortunately the long time members of Congress rather than use their knowledge to move us forward, they appear to be out for revenge and that revenge comes at a high price. That price is the well being and health of the often cited “American People”. There are multiple solutions offered to the shutdown and the associated issues around it however the “child” and the so called grownups cannot seem to get beyond their own self interests. “Bitch” keeps his head down to seemingly avoid criticism while allowing  TOTUS to continue his whining ways. Flip flop Graham seems to have no idea where to lay his head. The recent Scamocratic win has brought us no closer to a solution since there appears to be no cohesive thoughts about anything of value much like the Dupublicans. In the background you have the “goaders” of TOTUS on Faux news poking him on national TV. Thank you Ann and Sean! As voters we should talk about what we want as a collective and leave the politics to the politrickers while we decipher their nonsense in order to vote with intelligence, as the old saying goes” if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it’s a duck!

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Pot Calling the kettle Black? MA.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie sees the Trump White House as a rogues’ gallery of flawed people side tracking the work of the U.S. president, according to excerpts of his forthcoming memoir posted on the news site Axios on Wednesday.

President Donald Trump employs a “revolving door of deeply flawed individuals — amateurs, grifters, weaklings, convicted and unconvicted felons — who were hustled into jobs they were never suited for, sometimes seemingly without so much as a background check via Google or Wikipedia,” Christie, who was a senior adviser to Trump’s 2016 campaign, says in his memoir, “Let Me Finish,” which is due to be released on Jan. 29.
Christie had sought the Republican presidential nomination himself in 2016 before becoming a diligent supporter and surrogate for Trump, but his work with the administration has been limited and he recently withdrew his name from consideration for Trump’s chief of staff.

Marred by his own scandal as governor of New York’s southern neighbor, Christie writes that Trump “trusts people he shouldn’t, including some of the people who are closest to him.”
“I did everything I could to make sure my friend Donald reached the White House fully prepared to serve,” he writes. “But a handful of selfish individuals sidetracked our very best efforts. They set loose toxic forces that have made Trump’s presidency far less effective than it would otherwise have been.”
He also writes about a grudge that Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner allegedly harbors against him, saying that Trump’s former campaign manager Steve Bannon told him Kushner was relentless in bashing Christie over “ancient bitterness.”
As the U.S. attorney for New Jersey before he became governor, Christie prosecuted Charles Kushner, Jared’s father, for tax evasion, witness tampering and making unlawful campaign donation, and many in Washington believe that in winning a conviction in that case Christie lost any chance of holding a post in the Trump administration.
(Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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TOTUS’s most influential advisor? M.A.

Josh Feldman 8 hrs ago

Ann Coulter spoke with Vice News in an interview that aired tonight, and once again she said that a lot is riding on President Donald Trump actually building the border wall.
The current government shutdown and fight over a wall has been blamed in part on the President listening to Coulter and other commentators who were criticizing him for appearing to cave.
Coulter said tonight she cares more about drugs coming across the border “more than I care about the Yosemite gift shop being open.”

And Trump is digging in now, she added, because “he is dead in the water if he doesn’t build that wall––dead, dead, dead.

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The irony. MA 

Mary Papenfuss
HuffPost January 14, 2019
Ardent foe of socialized medicine Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is planning to undergo hernia surgery this month in Canada, where medical care is publicly funded and universally provided.
Paul, who is not covered by the Canadian health care system, will pay out of pocket for the operation, an aide told Politico. The surgery is set to take place at Shouldice Hernia Hospital in Ontario, a “world renowned hospital,” the senator’s spokeswoman Kelsey Cooper said.
Information about the surgery, scheduled for Jan. 21, was revealed in court papers in Paul’s civil lawsuit against neighbor Rene Boucher, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported.
According to Paul, the surgery — which will cost as much as $8,000 — is linked to injuries he suffered in 2017 when Boucher attacked him as he mowed his lawn. Boucher pleaded guilty last year to attacking Paul in a dispute over yard care and was sentenced to 30 days in jail.
Shouldice Hernia Hospital markets itself as a “global leader” in hernia repair, according to its website. It’s privately owned, but “almost all of its work” is done under contract with the Ontario government, according to the Globe and Mail, and it accepts Ontario’s Hospital Insurance Plan, which is part of the nation’s public health care system, the Courier-Journal reported.
Cooper was furious about media coverage of the surgery, blasting it as “fake news.”
“This is more fake news on a story that has been terribly reported from day one,” she wrote in an email to the Courier-Journal. “This is a private, world-renowned hospital separate from any system, and people come from around the world to pay cash for their services.”
Paul has called universal health care “slavery” because it would “conscript” doctors and their staff members to provide care.

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Changes required: Bitch McConnell, Flip Flop Lindsey Graham and Kennedy need to go, They are as Racist as Trump.MA

Lisa Mascaro, AP Congressional Correspondent
Associated Press January 12, 2019
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama stunned Republicans when he bypassed Congress and, relying on what he called his pen and his phone, used executive powers to enact his agenda, including protecting millions of young immigrants from deportation.
Now, with President Donald Trump proposing an even more dramatic end-run around Congress to build his promised border wall with Mexico, many Republicans are uneasily cheering him on.
The potential use of a national emergency declaration by Trump for the border wall shows the extent to which the party is willing to yield on treasured values — in this case, the constitutional separation of powers — to steer clear of confronting the White House and give the president what he wants.
It’s a different accommodation from just a few years ago. Then Republicans often called out Obama as overstepping his authority in using executive actions when Congress failed to act on White House priorities. They complained about Obama as “king,” ”emperor” or “tyrant.”
Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., a leader of the House Freedom Caucus, said most conservatives would go along with Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency as “the last tool in the tool box” for building the wall.
“Does the president have the right and the ability to do it? Yes. Would most of us prefer a legislative option? Yes,” Meadows told reporters this week. “Most conservatives want it to be the last resort he would use. But those same conservatives, I’m sure, if it’s deployed, would embrace him as having done all he could do to negotiate with Democrats.”
Other Republicans say Trump has few options left after talks broke down at the White House over his long-promised border wall.
“This is not something you would want to do,” said Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, now the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee.
“But we’ve been put into this position,” he said. “The Democrats are forcing him into a choice of doing the national emergency because they won’t sit down and discuss it.”
On Saturday, the partial government shutdown will stretch in its 22nd day and Trump’s plans for ending the stalemate are shifting yet again.
Trump indicated he was slowing what had appeared to be momentum toward the national emergency declaration as the way out of the stalemate. Invoking the power would allow him to tap unspent Defense funds to build the long-promised wall along the border that was central to his presidential campaign.
On the campaign trail, the president often said at rallies that Mexico would pay for the wall. But Mexico has refused forcing Trump to ask Congress for the money instead. Trump walked out of negotiations this week when Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democrats refused to give, saying they support dollars for border security just not the big wall Trump envisions. They call the wall ineffective and say it’s a symbol that does not reflect the nation’s values.
After having talked for days about invoking the national emergency power to unleash the funds, the president hit pause Friday. “I’m not going to do it so fast,” Trump said during an event Friday at the White House.
Experts have said even though the president may have the authority to invoke powers under the 1976 National Emergencies Act, using it will almost certainly bring on a court battle. The courts did not allow President Harry Truman to nationalize the U.S. steel industry during the Korean War.
Moreover, they say, it could lead the country into uncharted areas. Declaring an emergency could give the president access to many other powers, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law.
“The president thinks that he can do whatever he wants by declaring something a national emergency,” said Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii who serves on the Judiciary Committee. “I think it’s a very dangerous thing.”
But what cuts to the core of the concern on Capitol Hill is the executive branch wading into legislative domain to shift money Congress has already approved to the wall.
The constitution provides the Congress, not the White House, the power of the purse, and lawmakers are not eager to cede their role to the president, even for a wall many Republicans support.
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill objected to the administration eyeing shifting unspent disaster funding Congress approved last year for Army Corps of Engineer projects to help hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, Texas and other areas to pay for the wall. By Friday, lawmakers said they were being told those projects will not be touched and the White House was now looking for other funds to pay for the border wall.

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, part of the GOP leadership, said at a forum Friday in Austin that the lawmakers “worked very hard to make sure that the victims of Hurricane Harvey – their concerns are addressed and Texas is able to rebuild.”
He said, “I will tell you that I will oppose any reprogramming of Harvey disaster funds.”
Republican Richard Shelby of Alabama, the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, acknowledged the dilemma, especially as the shutdown continues with no end in sight.
Trump invoking a national emergency “might break an impasse and it needs to be broken one way or another,” Shelby said as the Senate adjourned. But he prefers a negotiated settlement with Congress. “I’m still hoping we’ll have a breakthrough, but right now I don’t see one.”
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Follow Mascaro on Twitter at https://twitter.com/lisamascaro

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There is a video connected with this you can find it at Politics on the date listed at the head of the article.MA

POLITICS 01/11/2019 06:40 am ET Updated 23 hours ago
Former Trump Organization VP Spills Beans On Donald Trump’s Awful Dealmaking Skills
“It is always someone else’s fault.”

By Lee Moran

President Donald Trump may hype himself as a master dealmaker.
But that’s not how former longtime Trump Organization executive Barbara Res or Trump’s The Art of the Deal co-author Tony Schwartz see it. They told MSNBC’s Ari Melber on Thursday that Trump’s dealmaking skills aren’t what the president brags them to be.
“I never thought he was a great dealmaker, to be honest with you,” said Res, who was the organization’s vice president in charge of construction. “In terms of taking the responsibility for the buck, he just would never do it. It’s not in his DNA. He’s never responsible. It is always someone else’s fault.”
Schwartz, meanwhile, said he recently looked back on Trump’s business deals that he “unfortunately described 30 years ago” and realized that “most of the deals in that book were failures.”
“And the number of deals he’s made over the years since then have overwhelmingly been failures,” Schwartz added. He said Trump was “really one of the worst” dealmakers he’s ever come across.

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Chris Britt Comic Strip for January 10, 2019

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Phil Hands Comic Strip for January 11, 2019 Rob Rogers Comic Strip for January 11, 2019


Stephen A. Crockett Jr.,The Root Thu, Jan 10 12:29 PM CST
Trump claims he never said Mexico would directly pay for border wall.
Despite running on a campaign of how he was a master business deal-maker and touting that he was going to get a beautiful wall built to keep all the white people in America, now the president of people who wear shorts in winter is claiming that he didn’t mean what he said.
“When during the campaign, I would say ‘Mexico is going to pay for it,’ obviously, I never said this, and I never meant they’re gonna write out a check, I said they’re going to pay for it. They are,” he said as he prepared to visit the war-torn southern border of Texas, CNN reports.
Well, Mr. President you ran your entire presidential campaign on the promise that Mexico was going to pay for the wall.
Wasn’t Mexico Supposed To Pay For The Wall?
One of President Trump’s central campaign promises was that Mexico would pay for a southern border wall. Now Trump is asking taxpayers to pay for it.
Once in office, and remember that Trump had Congress in his pocket, Trump never did anything to get the wall built. Now the mantra has switched from Mexico is going to pay for the wall to Mexico is going to reimburse America for the wall.
CNN reports:
But in April 2016, Trump’s campaign outlined the steps he would take to compel Mexico to pay the US “$5-10 billion” to fund a border wall — a plan that relies largely on threatening to bar undocumented Mexican immigrants in the United States from wiring money to relatives in Mexico.“It’s an easy decision for Mexico: make a one-time payment of $5-10 billion to ensure that $24 billion continues to flow into their country year after year,” the memo said. Using a broad interpretation of the post-9/11 USA Patriot Act, Trump wrote in the memo that he would threaten to issue new regulations that would compel money transfer companies like Western Union to verify a client’s identity and legal status before authorizing a wire transfer. Trump now claims his renegotiated trade deal with Mexico and Canada would result in Mexico “indirectly” paying for the wall. But the US-Mexico-Canada trade deal has not yet been approved by Congress and even the perceived benefits of its passage would not amount to a Mexican — direct or indirect — payment of the border wall. Whatever economic benefits the trade deal delivers would be reflected in financial benefits to companies and higher wages for some individuals, not in any immediate financial boon to the US government.
The government has been shutdown as Trump holds some 800,000 American workers hostage as he fights to get funding for the wall that Mexico was never going to pay for.
Nonetheless, Trump claimed: “Mexico is paying for the wall indirectly, and when I said Mexico will pay for the wall in front of thousands and thousands of people, obviously they’re not gonna write a check. But they are paying for the wall indirectly many, many times over by the really great trade deal we just made.”
Everyone who didn’t vote for Trump knew that Mexico was never going to pay for the wall, which has also now become some kind of steel slats or steel barrier because the president is a liar.
Meanwhile, 800,000 federal workers just called their utility providers and promised that Mexico was going to pay their electric bill.
I’m sure it will work.

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