- Newly confirmed Attorney General Jeff Sessions failed to disclose to the Senate that he spoke with the Russian ambassador twice last year. (Mar. 1)
- CNN: White House misled media on possible immigration compromise to ensure good coverage before Trump’s speech to Congress. (Mar. 1)
- A young woman with DREAMer status is detained by ICE after speaking at a press conference.
- Republican leaders have hidden House draft plan for healthcare reform in a basement.
- Ben Carson confirmed as secretary of housing and urban development.
- A growing number of lawmakers call for Sessions to recuse himself from Russia investigation or resign.
- WSJ: Donald Trump Jr. paid $50,000 by Russian and Syrian allies to speak at event in October.
- Rick Perry confirmed as secretary of energy. As a candidate, he proposed eliminating the department.
- Sessions recuses himself from investigations into Russian hacking of U.S. election.
- Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner met with Russian ambassador during transition.
- EPA withdraws request for oil and gas wells to provide info on equipment and methane emissions.
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The GOP is hell bent on “defunding” Planned Parenthood, but most people don’t actually know what that means. No federal money is donated to or designated for PP. The federal money PP gets is from medicaid and title X reimbursement.
A low income patient comes in -> they get whatever treatment -> PP files a claim through medicaid or title X like they would with an insurance company -> PP is reimbursed for services provided.
One big thing to note, the reimbursement does not cover the full cost of services. This is the big reason PP is so important. Because of the philanthropy side of it, they can take care of medicaid and title X patients. The donations, private donations, can cover what the reimbursement fails to cover. [Side note: that is also why it is good for people who have private insurance to use PP. They will reimburse in full.] Other community healthcare clinics cannot afford to take on the number of medicaid and title X patients that PP covers because they do not have the same donation support.
I give you a series of tweets on the subject.
From Planned Parenthood:
The former acting director of the CIA has called the Russian cyberattack “the political equivalent of 9/11.”
I was surprised to read in the New York Times that when the FBI discovered the Russian attack in September 2015, it failed to send even a single agent to warn senior Democratic National Committee officials. Instead, messages were left with the DNC IT “help desk.” As a former head of the FBI cyber division told the Times, this is a baffling decision[…]
What takes this from baffling to downright infuriating is that at nearly the exact same time that no one at the FBI could be bothered to drive 10 minutes to raise the alarm at DNC headquarters, two agents accompanied by attorneys from the Justice Department were in Denver visiting a tech firm that had helped maintain Clinton’s email server.
Comparing the FBI’s massive response to the overblown email scandal with the seemingly lackadaisical response to the very real Russian plot to subvert a national election shows that something is deeply broken at the FBI.
But the FBI’s role is particularly troubling because of its power and responsibility — and because this is part of a trend. The Justice Department’s Inspector General issued a damning report this summer about the FBI’s failure to prioritize cyberthreats more broadly.
Finally, Congress should more vigorously exercise its oversight to determine why the FBI responded overzealously in the Clinton case and insufficiently in the Russian case. The FBI should also clarify whether there is an ongoing investigation into Trump, his associates and their ties to Russia. If ever there were a case of “intense public interest,” this is it. What’s broken in the FBI must be fixed and quickly.
The race for governor in North Carolina was only recently settled after mandated recounts and an incumbent that did not want to concede and made outrageous claims of widespread voter fraud.
This week, in the waning hours of their hold on North Carolina’s executive branch, Republicans unveiled and quickly pushed through a series of bills that would significantly curb Gov.-elect Roy Cooper’s (D) power.
Republicans were voting on measures Thursday that would, among other things, require the governor’s Cabinet appointments to be approved by the state Senate and effectively give Republicans control of the Board of Elections during election years. Other bills appeared designed to limit Democrats’ judicial influence by making North Carolina one of just a handful of states that holds partisan elections for its state Supreme Court justices.
But he said it is potentially concerning that lawmakers are powering through these changes in such a blatantly political way: A Republican legislature is convening a special session to pass bills that limit an incoming Democratic governor’s power.
Pat McCrory, North Carolina’s outgoing Republican governor, has signed a law stripping executive powers from his successor, Democrat Roy Cooper.
The law removes the State Board of Elections from the governor’s control by reducing the number of members on the board from five — three of whom could be from the governor’s party — to four members, evenly split between the parties.
Three of North Carolina’s county election boards faced a legal challenge in November after they attempted to revoke the voting rights of thousands of registered voters shortly before Election Day. A federal judge blocked the move.
“They knew for weeks what they were going to do and they didn’t tell the public. That’s wrong. They need to put these issues out on the table so that the people know about them so that there’s time to debate them.”
On Friday, the Legislature also passed a second bill that would further curb the powers of the incoming administration. That bill, if McCrory signs it, would require Cooper’s cabinet secretaries to receive Senate confirmation, would significantly reduce the number of administrative positions in the executive branch, would strip the governor of his right to appoint trustees to the University of North Carolina and would take away some of the governor’s power to oversee schools in the state.
The GOP distrust of the CIA is actually distrust of themselves. The CIA did not claim weapons of mass destruction and start the war in Iraq, that was Republican President George W. Bush. The CIA actually reported that there was not evidence of WMDs.