Category: Political News

Trump N’ Nem Is Nasty

According to reports obtained by NBC 4 Washington,  The White House is plagued with cockroaches, mice and ants. NBC obtained work orders and  building maintenance files that have revealed there are multiple rodent and bug infestations around the premises.

The work orders, which all came from the past two years, included multiple requests for mouse traps and bug lights — including one for the office of top Trump aide Kellyanne Conway — and an order to exterminate “cockroaches in the dining room.”

Cockroach infestations were found in at least four parts of Donald Trump’s official residence, while a colony of ants were living in Chief of Staff John Kelly’s office. Mice were also discovered to be living in the Situation Room and the White House Navy mess food area.

General Brian Miller, a former General Services Administration (GSA) inspector, told NBC maintaining the White House was an “enormous job”.

“GSA hires contractors and subcontractors for the work. Then the agency must watch over the contractors.”

He added: “They are old buildings. Any of us who have old houses know old houses need a lot of work.”

Another victim of Roy Moore comes forward 

Beverly Young Nelson said she was 16 years old when Roy Moore allegedly tried to force himself on her after offering a ride home from her job as a waitress.”I tried fight him off while yelling at him to stop,” she said, adding that he locked his car to prevent her escape.

Moore, 70, denies the allegations, describing them as a “witch hunt”.

But Senator Cory Gardner, the National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman, said on Monday he believes Moore’s accusers “spoke with courage and truth” and the former Alabama chief justice should be expelled if he is elected.

“If he refuses to withdraw and wins, the Senate should vote to expel him, because he does not meet the ethical and moral requirements of the United States Senate,” he said.

Nelson’s accusation comes after four other women detailed allegations of sexual assault by the conservative firebrand while they were teenagers in Alabama.

The 56-year-old said she met Mr Moore at the Olde Hickory House restaurant in Gadsen, Alabama, where she worked as a waitress while she was a teenager.

She claimed Moore, a 30-year-old deputy district attorney at the time, offered to sign her high school yearbook and wrote: “To a sweeter more beautiful girl I could not say Merry Christmas.”

He signed it “Love, Roy Moore, DA”, according to a copy of the yearbook page provided to reporters by her attorney, Gloria Allred.

About a week or two later, he allegedly offered to drive her home and instead drove to the back of the restaurant car park.

“I was terrified. He was also trying to pull my shirt off. I thought he was going to rape me,” she told reporters at a news conference on Monday.

“At some point he gave up and he then looked at me and he told me, ‘You’re just a child,’ and he said, ‘I am the district attorney of Etowah County. If you tell anyone about this, no one will believe you”, Nelson said, adding that her neck was bruised in the struggle.

“He finally allowed me to open the door and I either fell out or he pushed me out.”

Danica Roem? Transgender Virginia Candidate Running For Office

A different kind of glass ceiling could be broken this Election Day by a Democrat aiming to become Virginia’s first transgender office-holder — and the first openly transgender person elected to any state legislature.

Danica Roem, 32, is running for a delegate seat in the Virginia state legislature to represent a district that favored Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election by 5 percent. She holds a coveted endorsement from former Vice President Joe Biden in an effort by national Democratic leaders to end the 16-year GOP reign in the Virginia state chamber.

Roem told Cosmopolitan that she’s not running to directly oppose President Donald Trump — after all, the state Democratic Party asked her to run for office before Trump even won the White House — but she understands the importance of her voice in Trump’s America.

As Trump pushed anti-LGBT policies like a ban on transgender people serving in the military, Roem used her voice — and fundraised based on the discriminatory rhetoric from the White House. “For our president, who opted out of serving in the military, to attack transgender people for being unfit to serve… is the height of hypocrisy,” Roem told The Washington Post. “Transgender military members… have done more to serve and protect their country than Donald Trump ever will.”

Roem has campaigned on infrastructure fixes, economic development, marginally raising the state’s minimum wage, sweeping school funding reform and civil rights issues. She called the civil rights issues a way to “improve [the] quality of life” of people in Virginia.

She hopes to unseat Robert Marshall, a Republican who sponsored Virginia’s transgender bathroom bill and a ban on gay people serving in the Virginia National Guard. His campaign website highlights his authorship of an anti-gay marriage amendment, which was struck down by a federal judge. He also opposed protection for LGBT people in the state, saying there is no evidence that it’s needed in Virginia.

“Success of the GLBT agenda in recent years has largely depended on identifying the homosexual movement as a modern version of the Civil Right struggle,” Marshall said on his campaign website. “This is, of course, nonsense.”

The polls in Virginia close 7 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday.

Trump wants to let Puerto Ricans die because budgets matter more 

President Donald Trump said Thursday the federal government cannot keep the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Puerto Rico “forever,” even as the U.S. territory continues to reel from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria in September.
“We cannot keep FEMA, the Military, the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!” Trump tweeted.


His comments — in which he also blamed the beleaguered island for a financial crisis “largely of their own making” and infrastructure that was a “disaster” before the hurricane — come as Puerto Rico still reels from a lack of electricity, public health access and a rising death toll. The remarks quickly prompted cries from Democratic lawmakers, who argue that Puerto Rico still needs a lot of help, as well as the mayor of San Juan, who said they were “unbecoming” and appeared to come from a “hater in chief.”

Meanwhile, Texas and Florida — two states Trump won during last year’s presidential election — also were struck by severe hurricanes recently, but the President has made no public indication that the federal government is pulling back on its response there.

This comes just after the stay on the Jones act has expired, which means foreign ships won’t be able to deliver food, water, or medical supplies to Puerto Rico. Officials estimate only 70% is the island has access to clean water and only about 12% of residents have electricity. 

Senate candidate insists his son was arrested as a “political trick”

Former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, who won a hotly-contested Republican Senate primary against incumbent Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) last month, is calling his son Caleb’s ninth arrest a “cheap political trick.”
According to AL.com, Caleb Moore was charged with third-degree criminal trespassing, a misdemeanor related to another misdemeanor charge from November 2016 for hunting without a permit.

In a statement, Judge Moore’s campaign chairman Bill Armistead said the “personal matter” is a “cheap political trick to detract from the real issues facing our country.”

The statement echoes Caleb’s claims in 2015, when he took to social media after a marijuana and Xanax possession charge to blame his arrest on people opposed to his staunchly anti-LGBT father.

“This is nothing more than a prime example of how media and crooked police officers and critics of my dad try to not only destroy his career for what he stands for but will go as far as trying to destroy his family,” the younger Moore wrote in a Facebook post that has since been deleted. “I am not a drug user as the drug test taken today will show. As for the malicious possession charges, justice will be served.”

As AL.com noted, the 2015 charges against Caleb Moore were dropped “after he agreed to enter a pre-trial diversion program with the Pike County District Attorney’s Office, court records show.” He has also been charged with DUIs in Alabama and Florida, and had three other drug-related charges in three separate Alabama counties.

Supreme Court to consider voting rights case 

Washington, D.C.- The Supreme Court heard a strong argument Tuesday for reining in partisan gerrymandering — at least if it’s extreme enough to allow one party’s politicians to keep themselves in power for a decade.

“Politicians are never going to fix gerrymandering. You are the only institution in the United States that can solve this problem,” Paul Smith, an attorney for Wisconsin Democrats, who brought the current case, told the justices. “And this is your last opportunity” to act before the next round of redistricting following the census of 2020.

In essence, the court is being asked to decide whether such a partisan divide should continue unabated or be reined in. The immediate stakes are enormous: A decisive ruling striking down the Wisconsin Assembly map could invalidate redistricting maps in up to 20 other states, said Barry C. Burden, the director of the Elections Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Other analysts said that at least a dozen House districts would be open to court challenges if the court invalidated Wisconsin’s map. Some place the number of severely gerrymandered House districts as high as 20.

The case to be heard on Tuesday, Gill v. Whitford, could settle that debate once and for all. The 54 friend-of-the-court briefs, from party elders and officeholders, social scientists, historians, constitutional lawyers and even a neuroscientist, help build powerful arguments on both sides. They show how complex the seemingly simple definition of an unconstitutional gerrymander really is — and how the justices could define it should they choose to.

Gill v. Whitford is straightforward enough: After taking control of Wisconsin’s Legislature and State Capitol in 2010, Republicans used computer models and voting data to redraw political boundaries in the Assembly, the Legislature’s lower house. The map cemented the Republican majority in place. In the three elections since, Democrats have never won more than 39 of the 99 seats, even when they won a majority of the votes cast statewide for Assembly candidates.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who likely holds the swing vote on the issue, seemed open to ruling that extreme gerrymanders are unconstitutional.

Kennedy asked a lawyer for Wisconsin’s Republicans whether it would be constitutional for the state to adopt a law that the election map will be drawn to “favor party X over party Y.”

Attorney Erin Murphy hesitated, noting that in this case, Republicans did not publicly proclaim that they were drawing a statewide map to ensure the GOP would maintain a solid majority, even though that was the effect of the district lines they created.

By the time the hourlong argument ended, it was clear that Kennedy believes that the Constitution would prevent one party from writing a law designed to keep itself in power for a decade. What was unclear is whether he was convinced that the Republicans in Wisconsin had in effect done that when they went behind closed doors and drew legislative boundaries.

The argument against that map can be traced to the most significant decision on political boundaries: the Supreme Court’s ruling, in 1964, that political districts must contain roughly equal numbers of people. (In the state at issue, Alabama, some State Senate districts contained as many as 41 times the number of voters of others.) Every vote must carry equal weight, the court stated; to dilute some voters’ voices by packing them into more populous districts violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

White House waives Jones act 

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Twitter Thursday that President Donald Trump has “authorized the Jones Act be waived for Puerto Rico.” She says Trump is responding to a request from the governor, and it “will go into effect immediately.”
Acting Homeland Security Department Secretary Elaine Duke confirmed the move, saying that the temporary waiver will last for 10 days and covers all products being shipped to Puerto Rico.

“It is intended to ensure we have enough fuel and commodities to support lifesaving efforts, respond to the storm, and restore critical services and critical infrastructure operations in the wake of these devastating storms,” Duke said.

A one-two punch by Hurricanes Irma and Maria battered the island in recent weeks, leaving residents with shortages of all supplies. Maria wiped out the power supply, destroyed cell towers and led to massive fuel shortages on the island that relies on diesel for much of its power. 

The Jones Act is a little-known federal law that prohibits foreign-flagged ships from shuttling goods between U.S. ports. Republicans and Democrats have pushed Trump to waive the Jones Act, saying it could help get desperately needed supplies delivered to the island more quickly and at less cost.

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló had tweeted earlier that he’d petitioned the White House Wednesday night for a temporary waiver, which would allow foreign ships to deliver items to the island.

GOP scraps Obamacare repeal plan; can’t gather enough votes

WASHINGTON, D.C.-  Unable to come with enough votes in a limited amount of time, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has decided to move away from the health care repeal- for now.

Republican senators decided during their weekly conference lunch on Tuesday that it as best not to not take a vote on the measure to repeal the ACA. This move comes after the GOP considered  a lack of votes, since three senators have explicitly  stated they would vote “no” on the measure, while other law makers have expressed doubts about the bill.

“The decision was a joint one between Lindsey and Bill and the other two sponsors and also the leader that if the votes are not there, not to have the vote, but not to give up,” said Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, after leaving the lunch, referring to the latest health care bill’s co-sponsors, Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.

With no Democrats supporting the repeal of Obamacare, Senate Republicans could afford to lose the support of only two of their 52 members and still pass the bill. On Monday evening, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine became the third GOP senator to publicly oppose the measure, delivering a fatal blow to what was already a last-ditch effort. Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and John McCain of Arizona had previously said that they were against the measure.

The Graham-Cassidy legislation was the latest version of a series of efforts to partially repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, but none were able to find the 50 votes needed to pass.

The timing is critical for the GOP since the Senate only has until September 30 before reconciliation expires. Under reconciliation, a simple majority of 50 votes is needed to pass legislation instead of the usual 60.

House Republicans, who did pass a version of Obamacare repeal in May, were disappointed with their congressional colleagues.

Twitter refuses to remove incendiary Trump tweets because they want the publicity

WASHINGTON (AP) — Twitter cited President Donald Trump’s “newsworthiness” and the public interest as reasons why it declined to remove a tweet that added to the fiery rhetoric between the United States and North Korea.

 

Trump tweeted Saturday : “Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won’t be around much longer!”

On Monday, North Korea’s top diplomat called the tweet a declaration of war. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded by calling the suggestion of such a declaration “absurd.”

 

Twitter’s rules state users “may not make threats of violence or promote violence, including threatening or promoting terrorism.”

The company responded to questions about why Trump’s tweet wasn’t removed Monday by posting in a series of messages on its public policy account that “newsworthiness” is one of the factors it considers in determining if a tweet breaks the platform’s rules.

“This has long been internal policy and we’ll soon update our public-facing rules to reflect it,” one message read. “We need to do better on this, and will.”

The company also stated it’s “committed to transparency and keeping people informed about what’s happening in the world.”

Calls on the company to curtail Trump’s use of the platform are not new . The company has said in the past that it doesn’t comment on individual accounts, but it has cited the importance of hearing from leadership in order to hold people accountable.

Trump’s account wasn’t affected in July, when Twitter announced that it was taking action, including suspensions, on 10 times the number of abusive accounts than it did a year before.

Earlier this year, twitter co-founder Evan Williams said this about Trump’s belief that Twitter put him in the White House:

“It’s a very bad thing, Twitter’s role in that,” he said. “If it’s true, that he wouldn’t be president if it weren’t for Twitter, then yeah, I’m sorry.”

Anthony Weiner sentenced to 21 months in prison 

Anthony Weiner was sentenced to 21 months in prison for exchanging sexually explicit messages with a 15-year-old girl, capping the spectacular fall of the former congressman whose self-destructive behavior wrecked his career and marriage and played a role in the final days of the 2016 presidential campaign.
“The crime I committed was my rock bottom,” a tearful Weiner told U.S. District Judge Denise Cote. He was ordered to surrender to prison on Nov. 6. “I was a very sick man for a long period of time, but I am also responsible for the damage I have done,” he said. “I have no excuse.”

Weiner pleaded guilty in May to one count of transmitting obscene material to a high-school girl in North Carolina. An FBI investigation into Weiner’s sexually explicit messages turned up emails that had been sent to his wife, Huma Abedin, then a top aide to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. That prompted the FBI to reopen its investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server while serving as Secretary of State.

“This is a serious crime that deserves serious punishment,” Cote said as she handed down the sentence. “She was a minor. She was a victim. She is entitled to the law’s full protection.”

Weiner broke down weeping, covering his face with his hand as Cote delivered the sentence before a packed courtroom in lower Manhattan.

“Anthony Weiner, a former Congressman and candidate for mayor, asked a girl who he knew to be 15 years old to display her naked body and engage in sexually explicit behavior for him online. Justice demands that this type of conduct be prosecuted and punished with time in prison,” Joon Kim, the acting U.S. attorney in Manhattan, said in a statement Monday.
Neither Weiner nor his lawyer, Arlo Devlin-Brown, responded to reporters’ questions after the 46-minute hearing.

Weiner, who faced as long as 10 years, had asked Cote to sentence him to probation. His lawyers said in court papers that the crime was a result of “an uncontrolled sickness” and the “profit-seeking curiosity” of the high-school girl, who contacted him in hopes of generating material for a book she is currently shopping to publishers. He said he hoped to avoid prison to continue with treatment and to help raise his five-year-old son.

Weiner told Cote he participates in therapy twice a week and attends 12-step meetings for sex addicts almost every day.

Prosecutors asked for a prison term of 21 months to 27 months, which they had agreed to as part of a plea deal with Weiner. He must register as a sex offender and forfeited his iPhone. Cote also ordered him to pay a $10,000 fine and to serve three years’ probation when he’s released.