Politics

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Veterans Victory
Our veterans have helped this country win so much, it's about time we do some winning FOR them too...

President Trump keeps up with his promise of “draining the swamp.” However, this is bad news for hundreds of Veteran Affairs officers that have either lost their job or have been suspended.

It has been noted that around 500 employees of the VA have been fired and 200 have been placed on suspension and around 30 have been demoted. It has been reported that “those disciplined include 22 senior leaders, more than 70 nurses, 14 police officers, and 25 physicians.”

Taking into account the scandal that took over the media, as several veterans died during the never ending waiting for their required treatment at the VHA, only nine employee were targeted out of a pool of 57 employees that were held responsible, and only three were removed from their position – President Trump and administration stood by the promise he made during his campaign; to “take care of our veterans like they’ve never been taken care of before.”

Trump argued that the previous laws had “…kept the government from holding those who failed our veterans accountable.”

It was in June that Veterans Affairs Chief David Shulkin announced that would be making some important changes under the new law that President Trump and his administration introduced to minimize the restrictions placed on terminating VA employees. Shulkin went on to call it as an action that was much needed to reform the organization.

VA is the very first government agency to take the initiative to make their employee disciplinary date public. It was this Friday that the VA announced that they shall make their actions transparent, going forward. They stated that shall allow the public to have complete access to view all and any disciplinary action they take against employees under the Trump administration. Veterans Affairs Chief David Shulkin stated, “Veterans and taxpayers have a right to know what we’re doing to hold our employees accountable and make our personnel actions transparent,” he continued. “Posting this information online for all to see, and updating it weekly, will do just that.”

This additional step will continue to shine a light on the actions we’re taking to reform the culture at VA.”

Following this announcement by Sulkin, the VA noted, “In addition to posting the adverse action information, Secretary Shulkin announced that he is requiring approval by a senior official of any monetary settlement with an employee over the amount of $5,000.”

And that, “Any settlement above this amount will require the personal approval of the undersecretary, assistant secretary or equivalent senior-level official within the organization in which the dispute occurs.”

It was shortly after that the VA’s official website, went under maintenance and was back up and running on Sunday with a new accountability page that and a copy of the Adverse Action Report, as of July 03.

As per CBS, “The Veterans of Foreign Wars praised this new VA decision and said the organization is ‘…very, very hopeful that the Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act will continue to heal the VA, which will definitely help restore the faith of veterans in their VA.”

Donald Trump Jr. also showed his support by tweeting, “A great start, need to get replace bureaucrats w thinkers: Hundreds of VA officials fired since Trump’s inauguration,” as he cited an article by CBS that talks about the firings.

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No Vacation
I'd say "get back to work you lazy guys!" but every time Congress is in session, it seems they just produce more bad laws...

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blames the Democratic Party, as he delays the August recess. McConnell announced the canceled of just about half of the Senate summer break, this Tuesday whilst stating that he will be needing lawmakers to continue to work, as they provide the Congress more time to thoroughly consider President Trump’s agenda, such as that on the issue of affordable healthcare.

McConnell argued that the Democratic Party’s opposition to just about everything that Trump and his administration proposes has made it very difficult for the congress to make to progress. He further argued that there is a lot to be within just a limited number of days, “There are other things that we have to do, and we only have a limited number of days left,” Mr. McConnell said. “We intend to fully utilize the first two weeks in August.”

“I think it’s just a realization: We have a lot of work to do and very little time, and the Democrats aren’t cooperating in the slightest,” said Sen. Ron Johnson, Wisconsin Republican.

It is to be noted that the Democrats are trying their level best to produce hurdles for the Trump administration, every step of the way. While, former President Obama had 183 nominees confirmed at this point in his term, President Trump only has 46 confirmed out of some 178 nominations that he had submitted.

“We’re getting zero cooperation on the personnel part of the Senate’s portfolio, which is confirming nominations,” McConnell stated.

McConnell’s decision came as many Republican’s expressed that would not feel content during their time off, given that there are important things that need to be addressed.

“I don’t believe the Senate should go home if we haven’t do ne our job,” said Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican.

The Democrats, on the other hand, strongly argued that the Republicans are pinning the blame for the delay and their failure to produce policies that take under account the best interests of the people of the United States.

“They’re struggling with health care. They don’t want to go home and face their constituents,” stated Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer. “So what Mitch McConnell’s trying to do is sort of say to them, ‘Well, if you don’t do it in two weeks, we may have to stay here,’” he added. And that, “the problem is not the timing; it’s the substance.”

The House Freedom Caucus further stressed upon the immediate need to resolve any issues hindering the Congress from making progress. “There are too many unresolved issues before Congress, including tax reform, health care, the debt ceiling, government funding and more, to leave Washington before the people’s work is done,” they stated. “It is imperative that the additional weeks are coupled with decisive action.”

Rick Manning, president of the group Americans for Limited Government stated that it time for the Democrats to end their “collective temper tantrum.”

“It’s time for the Democrats’ collective temper tantrum to end, and Sen. McConnell must continue to ratchet up the pressure so that President Trump’s nominees and agenda have a chance of being considered,” he stated.

With the healthcare bill on the very top of their list of things to do, the Congress has a lot of work to take care of before the fiscal year ends.

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Wall Funding
Will these politicians keep their promises to support Trump's wall...

President Trump is sticking to his guns, in a recent sit-down with Mexican counterpart Enrique Nieto, he once again reiterated the administration’s desire to see the border wall between the two nations built. Going so far as to state Mexico would “absolutely” be paying for the ultimate construction costs incurred.

Regardless of who foots the final bill, it’s clear that Trump is keen to see the project underway sooner rather than later, but until now Congress hasn’t played ball.

Back in May when an estimated $1 Trillion bill was voted on and approved by the House and Senate, no provisions were pushed through for the security wall. Many at the time felt betrayed by a GOP dominated congress that had talked a big game, but when the time had come hadn’t been willing to risk political capital in the face of obstructionist Democrats.

This time around Democrats may have a tougher fight on their hands, already word coming from House representatives is that they won’t be so quick to make concessions on the hot button issue.

Speaking this past Monday, House Freedom Caucus chairman Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) said,

“There is nothing more critical that has to be funded than funding the border wall for two reasons… One is it is a commitment that the president made to the American people and one that he intends on keeping, but the second part of that is for our national security we must secure our borders. And the American people will accept no less.”

This comes on the heels of conversations the Chairman has held with President Trump which indeed confirm,

“Nothing less than a full and total commitment on his part to only sign into law a funding bill that actually allows for us to start construction of a border wall on our southern border”

So, the President is willing to veto any bill that doesn’t account for the wall, and it seems like he’s finally found a few party members that are willing to stand with him.

To this end a $1.6 Billion dollar bill has just been debuted in the House, which would allow a down payment on all of the provisions promised during Trump’s campaign. With the current budget only providing government funding until September a decision on Homeland Security spending has to be made soon.

While the bill likely already has enough support in the House to guarantee passage even with a few deferrals. The real faceoff will likely come in the Senate where at least eight Democrats needed to sign off on the funding in order to push it forward into law, unfortunately prospects don’t look great so far,

With Senate Democratic Leaders penning this note to the GOP,

“We are once again concerned with the President’s Fiscal Year 2018 request for a very expensive, ineffective new wall along the southern border with Mexico and new funding for the Department of Homeland Security to hire a ‘deportation force’ and increase detention beds”

Senate hopefuls such as Rep. Mo Collins, running for the vacant Alabama seat left by Attorney General Jeff Sessions are keeping a watchful eye on the issue. In a fiery new campaign ad the he promises,

“I’ll fight every spending bill that doesn’t fund that wall. And if I have to filibuster on the Senate floor, I’ll even read the King James Bible until the wall is funded…
We’re going to build that wall, or you’ll know the name of every Republican who surrenders to the Democrats to break my filibuster. I give you my word, and I don’t give my word lightly”

For his part the President isn’t opposed in principle to a shutdown, tweeting earlier this year he wrote

So we’ve got the President and his base throwing their weight behind the people want. So what’s the hold up? If the Democrats want to continue holding up the rightful passage of Govt. then they deserve all the blame for the damage it causes to the American people. With billions in funds going to coastal sanctuary cities every year, the math is simple. Take money away from housing these immigrants and cementing their wrongful residence in this country, and start using it to keep them out.

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Senate Hearing
How can you drain the Swamp, when the Swamp has a say in every single one of your Administration's major personnel decisions?

Donald Trump opened the can of worms when he fired FBI Director, James Comey from his position for failing to deal with Hillary Clinton’s emails, and refusing to swear loyalty to him. There was a massive uproar in Washington, and there were even calls for obstruction of justice and impeachment by the Democrats. However, none of that has come to pass, since Trump made the decision on recommendation by his Attorney General, and after Comey testified in front of the senate the matter has been swept under the rug, for the time being at least.

Donald Trump took his time in selecting a nominee for the position of FBI Director, but he has now made his choice, and it is Christopher Wray, who will be testifying in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee next week. The notifications of the hearing have been sent out by the current chairman of the committee, Senator Chuck Grassley.

Making a Statement

Grassley had already made statements to the press about how he was going to hold a confirmation hearing for Wray this month, because he needed to get the Senate’s confirmation before the August break for lawmakers. This comes after he had a meeting with Trump’s nominee regarding his future as the Director of FBI and how he needs to woo lawmakers in Capitol Hill.

It has been nearly a month, since Trump fired James Comey as Director of FBI, because he thought that he was incapable of handling the numerous duties of the FBI, and was doing a poor job of handling the investigation considering relations between the Russians and the Trump campaign.

Leading the Nomination

Trump has now seen Wray fit to lead the FBI in a directorial position, and is confident that he will be able to do a much better job than former director James Comey. Wray also has previous experience, as he was overseeing the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and worked in the capacity of assistant attorney general under President George W. Bush.

During that time, he handled the Bridgegate scandal of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s (R), and analysts think that he will be grilled about that case in his confirmation hearing. The Democrats, who have been unanimous in their criticism on Trump for dismissing Comey, are supporting the nomination of Wray to be the new Director of the FBI.

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Foreign Women

Donald Trump campaigned on an “America First” agenda, yet when it came to impressing foreign leaders and giving in to his daughter, Ivanka, this time around he dropped that promise to his voters and instead pledged $50 million dollars to a World Bank fund to assist women entrepreneurs in developing countries.

The pledge that will be paid for by U.S. taxpayers was given at the recent G-20 meeting.

Justifying the expense, Trump told reporters, “When more women participate in the work force, which by the way will be a lot more competition for people like me prior to government . . . the world economy will grow and millions of people will be lifted out of poverty.”

How that helps American interests was not discussed.

During the 2016 election and since President Trump’s inauguration, the first daughter, Ivanka Trump, has been a vocal advocate for women’s issues both in front of the camera and behind the scenes.

Ivanka’s problem is that she is of champion liberal issues like the wage gap that has been debunked countless times.

A growing chorus of Trump supporters are echoing the sentiment that they did not elect Ivanka or her lifelong-Democrat husband, Jared Kushner.

Should Trump have pledged $50 million to the World Bank for Ivanka’s pet issue, or instead followed through on a tax cut for American workers?

Comment below.

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Chris Christie
Yo' governor is sooo fat, when he want to the beach - he was the only one that got a tan!

On July 1st, a New Jersey budgetary bill over state health insurer Blue Cross, had caused a budgetary stand-off which had reached such a boiling point that governor Chris Christie had declared a state emergency.

Shutting down all non-essential state services, Christie had thrown a shot at key opponents of the bill, stating,

“If they send me a budget today the shutdown would be over. The legislature is deciding not to send me either budget.”

With a massive infrastructure of state employees, public parks, beaches and historical sites now out of commission, assembly speaker Vincent Prieto had stated that governor Christie had shut off communication channels and was only willing to deal if the bill he wanted was put back on the table.

The frustrated democratic representative went on to state, “This is almost like extortion.”

So, in the midst of a full blown constitutional crisis with a vita health care bill on the table to negotiate, governor Christie decided to do what any committed politician would in the circumstance: Visit one of New Jersey’s fine public beaches, and enjoy a relaxing day with his friends and family. Never mind that the safety and well-being of his constituents was at stake. Or that he himself had decided the budgetary crisis to be too vital to allow such frivolous services to remain open to the rest of the state on a beautiful fourth of July weekend. The governor had decided that the shutdown didn’t apply to him or his family.

It just so happens that veteran photo journalist Andrew Mills, more used to catching snapshots of criminals and fugitives, had decided to set his long lens on the Christie private residence.

“It wasn’t difficult to find him. There Christie was, with family and friends, on a long and empty stretch of beach near the governor’s shore residence, nobody else within a country mile.” States Mills in an article for nj.com.

From Mills’ account, it seems that governor Christie was well aware of the situation. Mills says, “In one photo, Christie looks me dead in the eye.”

Yet at no point does he seem to betray even the slightest bit of worry, at being caught in such a position.

Once the photos started to take off on the internet, the reaction was swift and merciless.

 

Chris Tierney, a New Jersey native who had made her way down to the beach as she does every fourth of July said, “I’ve never seen this beach this quiet.”

With the governor already experiencing record-low approval ratings of 15%, with scandals such as Bridgegate still plaguing his administration, the horrible optics of this fiasco were impossible to ignore. The governor just didn’t seem to care how he was being presented to the people of New Jersey.

He arrived back in Trenton on a helicopter paid for by the taxpayers, the same helicopter he had been using to shuttle himself back and forth to his private residence all through the shutdown. The first thing he was met with, after getting back, were questions regarding his day at the beach.

He responded to one reporter by stating, “I didn’t get any sun today.”

Maybe you could forgive that statement as a snap reply to a gotcha question, but later on Christie’s spokesman Brian Murray doubled down by joking, “Yes, the governor was on the beach briefly today talking to his wife and family before heading into the office. He did not get any sun – he had a baseball hat on.”

In case you had any doubts about an apology being on its way, Christie further stated regarding the incident, “That’s the way it goes. Run for governor, and you can have the residence.”

“I don’t apologize for it. I don’t back away from it.”

So as we celebrate this great nation’s ideals of justice and freedom, equality for all. Do remember that it may not apply to you unless you are the governor.

 

At least the bill got signed.

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Statehouse Budget
"If we throw taxpayer money to this organization, I know their PAC will surely gives us millions for reelection"

Oregon State passed a bill that requires all insurance companies within the state to provide free abortion services to all, including illegal immigrants.

While, on one side we see President Trump imposing a travel ban, tightening immigration rules and building walls to prevent illegal immigrants from entering the United States, on the other hand the lawmakers in Oregon have pushed for a bill to allocate $10 million of taxpayer dollars on this reproductive health care bill.

The “Reproductive Health Equity Act”, was passed by a 33-23 votes most of which were by Democrats “Even while the Trump Administration and Republicans in Congress are trying to strip away reproductive rights, Oregon is ensuring access regardless of income, citizenship status, gender identity, or type of insurance,” stated the House Democrats.

The bill that was passed without a single vote from the Republic party is noted as “political gift card to Planned Parenthood.”

“This highly contentious bill isn’t about health care or about people, it is a political gift card to Planned Parenthood,” stated Jonathan Lockwood, communications director for the Senate Republican Caucus.

Gayle Atteberry, highlighted that this was perhaps another attempt by the Democrats to support “one of their primary campaign supporters, Planned Parenthood.”

“This terrible legislation is just another example of how Oregon’s largest abortion provider’s only real concern is for their financial bottom line,” Atteberry stated.

“The Oregon Health Authority testified [Thursday] that HB 3391-B will provide almost $500,000 more for abortions. Make no mistake: most of this money is going to Planned Parenthood,” she emphasized.

Furthermore, Republican state Rep. Jodi Hack talked of the passing of this bill as “the saddest day I have experienced in the Oregon Legislature.”

“It’s extremely disheartening that House Democrats have decided to move forward with this bill despite overwhelming concerns from employers and religious Oregonians,” Hack stated.

“Oregonians have a right to access reproductive care, but that does not mean Oregon employers should be forced to forfeit their right to hold true to their deeply held religious beliefs,” she urged.

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Bernie Sanders
"Do as I say, not as I do!"

On Tuesday, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) appeared to have gotten quite agitated following a question by CNN’s Erin Burnett, regarding the FBI’s investigation of his wife’s role in possible fraud in a land deal that failed, when she was president of Burlington College.

“We understand your wife has hired a lawyer to represent her in a possible probe into a land deal that fell apart,” Burnett said. “This was back when she was president of Burlington College—”

“No, it was not when she was, oh,” Sanders interrupted, “let me say a word about that, you know.”

“I just want to ask you,” Burnett continued, “do you know if she’s under FBI investigation?”

“Excuse me,” Sanders interjected, “my wife is about the most honest person I know. When she came to that college, it was failing financially and academically. When she left it, it was in better shape than it had ever been.”

“Five years later, just at the moment, coincidentally no doubt, when I’m a candidate for president of the United States, Donald Trump’s campaign manager, a co-chair, vice chairman of the Republican Party in Vermont launched this investigation,” he continued.

“So all that I will tell you now, Erin, it is a sad state of affairs in America,” Sanders added, “not only when we have you know politicians being destroyed … when there are attacks against elected officials, when you’re going after your wife, people’s wives, that is pretty pathetic, and that’s where we are right now, and that’s about all that I’m going to say.”

“I do just want to understand though,” Burnett pressed, “at this time, do you have any knowledge as to whether she’s under FBI investigation?”

“That’s all that I want to say, and we’ll let it play out,” he responded. “But I think it’s fairly pathetic that when, you know, people are involved in public life, it’s not only that they get attacked, but it’s their wives and their families that they get attacked. That’s what this is about.”

The FBI is looking into a $10 million loan that Jane Sanders took to buy 33 acres of land for Burlington College. Investigating authorities believe Sanders likely overstated the financial position of the college to secure the loan. Hence, when the donations she had promised weren’t fulfilled, the institution defaulted.

Investigators are also looking into the possibility that Senator Bernie Sanders may have used his position in the government to influence the loan in any way.

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Nancy Pelosi
"You are going to have to read the speech in order to find out what's in it..."

On Sunday, during an event in New York City, Nancy Pelosi seemed to suffer from spells of memory loss, while giving a speech regarding Obamacare.

Pelosi also spoke about her father, “He was part of a group called the Berkson Group and they did rallies and pageants and parades and um, and when he stood up on the floor of Congress, ‘I stand here as a representative of the …” and then she seemed to be distracted, as she gazed at the audience, standing at a loss of words.

Getting back to what she was saying, Pelosi added to her botched speech, “members of the Jewish army.”

Talking about Obamacare, she elaborated, “Home care — some, you know, people are at home but they still get care from, uh … from Medicaid,” she said, before going silent again while staring into the crowd.

Continuing her speech on health and medical care, Pelosi said, “It will have a tremendous impact on what families can do for their children … ” and motioned with her hands, as if searching the air for the words, and added, “with relationship to what they need to do.”

It is to be noted that this is not the Nancy Pelosi has made such a botched speech. Earlier this month, following the attack on Republican congressmen at the GOP baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, Pelosi confused his critical injuries with death.

“Our hearts are broken over the assault that was made, really on all of us,” Pelosi said, referring to the attack on the congressmen by a left-wing activist.

“But personally heartbroken over the dea— uh,” she continued, pausing, closing her eyes and lowering her head, “of what happened to Steve Scalise, our colleague,” she finished.

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Islamic State
"Abu Bakr said we should attack the gun shows next? I know we are suicide bombers, but that's suicide!"

U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C) bashed Manhattan District Attorney, Cyrus Vance for stating on WNYM-AM Sunday, that the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act is supported by ISIS.

“This bill is supported, I’m sure, by ISIS,” New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance said. “ISIS points its readers to America and how they can easily obtain guns by going to states where there are no permitting requirements.”

U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) was quick to shut-down the alleged criticism from Vance’s end. Hudson stated in an op-ed by the Hill that Vance needs to “educate himself” before “making such disparaging and false statements.

“With all due respect, the district attorney needs to educate himself on H.R. 38 before making such disparaging and false statements. He outrageously accused the 200 co-sponsors of this bill — both Democrats and Republicans — of ‘playing into the hand’ of ISIS and other terrorists, attempting to support his point by saying terrorists can ‘easily obtain guns’ in some states. The chief law enforcement officer should be above dishonesty and scare tactics, but I guess desperate times call for desperate lies,” Hudson stated.

Vance had argued on the radio show that the bill would make it increasingly easy to buy guns in the United States and can pose as a serious safety issue.

“It would be completely legal for a person to bring a loaded gun or guns in New York as long as it was legal to possess them in the person’s home state,” Vance said. And that, “a guy from Idaho, where there’s no permitting requirement whatsoever, could carry his gun into New York City loaded, into Times Square,” he added.

Vance further noted that, “Does anyone really think the gun laws in West Virginia should be the same laws that apply in Washington Heights, Manhattan?”

“Can you imagine how incensed Idaho would be if they had to abide by New York gun laws?” he questioned.

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