Politics Roundup – December 12 – 18, 2016

politicsroundup

Welcome to the weekly compilation of the ins and outs, the ups and downs, the comings and goings from the alternate world of reality – politics!

My Word of Wisdom: Politics is like WWE Raw
Governing is like 60 Minutes

Monday, 12/12/16:

Not being dictated.

President Elect Donald Trump indicated that he may not adhere to the “One China” policy honored by Republican and Democratic Presidents for decades.

This has prompted a warning from China.

We urge the new U.S. leader and government to fully understand the seriousness of the Taiwan issue,” Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry said, “and to continue to stick to the one China policy.”

A Chinese newspaper referred to Trump “as ignorant as a child” for suggesting a change in US policy on China.

Motive is the issue.

Did Russian hackers break into the Democratic National Party and attempt to influence the recent election?

Most likely.

Did the Russians succeed in throwing the election to Trump?

No.

Four Senators – two Republican, two Democrat – want and will get an investigation into what influence Russia did have in the election. Those Senators are John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Jack Reed.

The Senators wrote in a letter: “While protecting classified material, we have an obligation to inform the public about recent cyberattacks that have cut to the heart of our free society. Democrats and Republicans must work together, and across the jurisdictional lines of the Congress, to examine these recent incidents thoroughly and devise comprehensive solutions to deter and defend against further cyber-attacks.”

During a press briefing this morning, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave his blessing into a probe of Russian activity in the election.

It’s over:  A judge in Pennsylvania put the kibosh on the Green Party’s Dr. Jill Stein for a recount in the Keystone State today.

Unless there is new information to report, Trump only wants to hear from the intelligence community once a week.

Retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid accused Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey of ignoring a request for an investigation into Russia interfering in the US election on partisan grounds to get Trump elected.

Reid also accused the Trump campaign of coordinating with the Russian government to throw the election Trump’s way.

Going on in the interview on CNN, Reid said it was “obvious, Wikileaks was bought and sold” to get Trump elected.

Singlehandedly“, Reid accused Comey of costing Democrats the majority in the Senate and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton not winning the White House.

The Illinois Republican Party was informed by the FBI in June that their email had been hacked.

Possible #2 at the State Department in the incoming Trump Administration, former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton, suggested the hack of the DNC was a covert op by the Administration of President Barack Obama.

Talk about your fake news!

After the President Elect tweeted today that cost of the new fighter jet, F-35, was “out of control“, stock price in Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer, too a tumble.

A group of Electors are demanding an intelligence briefing on the role of Russia in the election prior to the December 19 vote to choose the 45th President.

One of those Electors is the daughter of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who penned an open letter to the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper:

The Electors require to know from the intelligence community whether there are ongoing investigations into ties between Donald Trump, his campaign or associates, and Russian government interference in the election, the scope of those investigations, how far those investigations may have reached, and who was involved in those investigations,” the letter read. “We further require a briefing on all investigative findings, as these matters directly impact the core factors in our deliberations of whether Mr. Trump is fit to serve as President of the United States.

Separate from Mr. Trump’s own denials of Russian involvement in the election, the confirmed communication between Trump’s aides and those associated with the Russian election interference activity raise serious concerns that must be addressed before we cast our votes.”

In addition to Pelosi, eight other Democrats and one Republican signed the letter.

With just over a month left in office, President Obama is enjoying his highest approval rating of 56%.

Scuttlebutt: Former Texas Governor and presidential rival Rick Perry is being considered for Secretary of Energy.
Former presidential rival Carly Fiorina was interviewed today to be Director of National Intelligence.
New Jersey Governor and former rival turned surrogate Chris Christie wants no position in the White House since he was not offered the one job he wanted – Attorney General.

In global politics:

Romania’s leftist Social Democrat Party won the majority in parliamentary elections with 45.5% of votes.

The ruling Conservatives claimed victory in elections in Macedonia, but the opposition claims victory as well.

New Zealand’s new Prime Minister is Bill English, who won leadership of the National Party.

Thailand’s new King is stirring good will by pardoning minor offenders and cutting jail terms.

Even with US urging to accept the election results and go, Gambia’s President continues to hold out and call for a new election.

Tuesday, 12/13/16:

When will the President Elect conduct an actual news conference?

The planned Thursday press availability to discuss divesting business interests to run the presidency has been postponed until some unknown future date.

President Elect Donald Trump and his lawyers need more time to sort it out dicing up a global business empire.

Still – Trump could have a presser to answer questions on a deluge of other topics.

Trump did tweet yesterday, “No new deals will be done during my term(s) in office.”

Naming Names:

Secretary of State – ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, awarded the Russian Order of Friendship, facing opposition from Republican Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio, no government or military experience
Secretary of Energy – Former Texas Governor Rick Perry, of the department he wanted to do away with when runnng for President in 2011 and famously forgot in the viral “OOPs!” moment
Secretary of Interior – Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke, a former Navy SEAL commander
Senior Policy Adviser – Stephen Miller, a former staffer to Attorney General nominee Senator Jeff Sessions

Republican Congresswoman Cathy McManus Rodgers of Washington, a member of the House leadership, had previously been leaked to be Interior Secretary, but will instead keep her seat and power in the Congress.

The man who led the campaign of Hillary Clinton and whose emails were rolled out day-by-day, John Podesta, is backing Electors who want an intelligence briefing on Russian incursions that may have impacted the election before the Elector College meets Monday to elect Trump President.

Electors have a solemn responsibility under the Constitution and we support their efforts to have their questions addressed,” said Podesta.

The number of Electors now calling for an intelligence briefing has risen from nine to 40.

After visiting Trump Tower, Democratic West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin says he is staying put and not moving to the West Wing.

Scuttlebutt: Ivanka Trump Kushner and husband, Jared, will be playing a role in the Trump White House and not in the Trump Organization.

Could Ivanka take on First Lady duties while Melania stays in New York with little brother Barron?

Former Fox News chief Roger Ailes is being considered for position of Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy.

Those two Colorado Electors who went to federal court to protest the requirement that Electors follow the state’s law mandating voting for the candidate who won the state’s popular vote got scolded by the judge and sent home.

Republicans tried to talk the Securities & Exchange Commission from implementing new rules until the new Trump Administration, but were rebuffed.

Say goodbye to any more probes into the 9/11 attack on Benghazi, Libya as the House closed it down.

Afraid that weather and climate data and research will disappear once Trump takes office, scientists are copying it all to backup disks and servers.

House Intelligence Committee Republican Chair Devin Nunes informed Director of National Intelligence James Clapper he wants a briefing on “alleged Russian involvement in cyber activities” in elections.

Nunes said he was “dismayed” that Clapper did not inform him of “conflicting assessments” on Russian hacking.

President Barack Obama today signed the 21st Century Cures Act, which includes Vice President Joe Biden’s “Moonshot” cancer cure program and billions for treatment of opiod abuse.

So much for the Trump Transition Team getting names of Department of Energy personnel who worked or participated in climate change programs. The union said, “Stuff it.”

New York Police took into custody a man with a knife and fireworks in his backpack at Trump Tower after he was stopped by the Secret Service.

Washington State Governor Jay Islee proposed $4 billion in new taxes to pay teachers.

Ohio Governor John Kasich signed a 20-week ban on abortions bill, but vetoed the very controversial and likely unconstitutional heartbeat legislation.

An Oklahoma law restricting abortion has been struck down as unconstitutional. The Oklahoma Supreme Court said the 2014 law “places an undue burden on a women’s access to abortion.”

With President Elect Donald Trump choosing so many people from the world of business, who like him have no government nor military experience, is he draining the swamp or setting up the country to be drowned in the marsh?

Share your opinion: http://fromthecornfield.com/623-2/

In global politics:

The Cherokee Nation’s Attorney General declared tribe’s bans on same-gender marriage unconstitutional.

Former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres was sworn in as United Nations Secretary-General on Monday.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny announced he is officially running in the 2018 presidential election.

Gambia security forces have taken over the Election Commission as the President continues to reject the results of the election which ousted him.

Brazil’s Senate approved a 20-year spending freeze.

The US of A is cutting back on arm sales to Saudi Arabia in reaction to the kingdom’s involvement in the civil war in Yemen.

Turkey was given the bad news the European Union will not consider its bid for membership under the current world climate.

The Governor of Jakarta, Indonesia, a Christian, is now on trial for blasphemy.

Wednesday, 12/14/16:

Silicon Valley made a pilgrimage to Trump Tower today, meeting as Kernels From the Cornfield goes to press.

Noticeably absent was the CEO or anyone from Twitter.

In Wisconsin last night as part of his “Thank You Tour“, President Elect Donald Trump joked about House Speaker and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, with whom he has had disagreements at times, “He’s like a fine wine. Every day goes by, I get to appreciate his genius more and more. Now if he ever goes against me, I’m not going to say that, okay?”

Naming Names:

Republican National Committee Chair: Michigan Republican Party Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel, niece of Mitt Romney

Ronna McDaniel, what a great job you and your people have done,” Trump told thousands at Deltaplex Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan, last Friday. “I was very impressed with you. She didn’t sleep for six months!”

Scuttlebutt:

The Trump sons, Don Jr. and Eric, have been involved with selecting Cabinet positions. Most notably was interviewing and pushing for the selection of the Interior Secretary, Montana Republican Congressman Ryan Zinke.

There may be as many as 20 #NeverTrump Republican Electors who may buck their state voters and in some cases state law and vote their conscience against Trump.

If there are 36 “faithless” Electors, the choosing of the President will fall to the House of Representatives.

Seems the Administration of President Barack Obama knew that Russia was behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee, but did not speak out for fear of giving the Trump campaign ammunition to use against Hillary Clinton or to use as an excuse of why Trump lost the election.

Of course Trump did not lose.

The White House is also putting out other reasons for not doing something or saying more about Russian involvement in the hacks, but some Democrats are not buying it and blaming the President for Clinton’s loss.

Outgoing Labor Secretary Tom Perez has mounted a challenge to Congressman Keith Ellison to be the Democratic National Committee Chair.

The Trump Transition Team is now saying that questionnaire asking for names of scientists in the Department of Energy who participated in any climate change programs was not authorized. The Team also says the person who sent out the questionnaire was “properly counseled.”

One Democratic Congressman from Connecticut, Jim Himes, wants Republican Electors to block Trump from becoming President. Himes is calling into question the temperament of Trump, saying he is “temperamentally unfit” to serve as President. The Congressman admits the chance of this happening is a “very low percent.”

Republican Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, plans to launch an investigation into Russian hacking of the DNC and other entities.

Democrats in the House of Representatives are pressing the President Elect to divest his newly opened hotel in Washington DC or be in breech of the lease the day he is sworn in as President.

Jackie Evancho, the young girl who won national attention on America’s Got Talent a few years ago, now 16, will sing the national anthem for the inauguration of Trump.

Press conference watch: Still waiting, Mr. President Elect. The last presser was back in July.

Does business prowess equate to good governance?

Share your opinion: http://fromthecornfield.com/623-2/

In global politics:

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte admitted to personally killing suspected drug users and dealers while he was a mayor. He urged his people to do the same.

The French National Assembly extend the state of emergency until mid July, 2017.

King Salman of Saudi Arabia has rolled out Saudi Vision 2030 plan to provide a decent livelihood for his subjects.

The United Nations has called on security forces in Gambia to vacate the Electoral Commission premises, which they occupied on Tuesday.

Iran sent out congratulations to the Butcher of Syria on taking Aleppo, Syria.

North Korea’s Kim Jung Un finds the presidential crisis in South Korea as a reason to laugh.

Thursday, 12/15/16:

Obviously aware” is how White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest described President Elect Donald Trump’s knowledge of Russian hacking and attempts to affect the outcome of the US presidential election.

Seems former surrogate and former South Carolina lawmaker Jack Kingston visited Russia to talk with American business people to reassure them about the President Elect’s plans which may affect their dealings in that country, including considering lifting sanctions imposed on the country.

Everyone played nice during the summit of Silicon Valley and Trump Tower on Wednesday, but nothing of substance has emerged.

We want you to keep going with the incredible innovation,” Trump told the gathering of tech giants. “There’s nobody like you in the world.”

Amazon CEO and owner of The Washington Post Jeff Bezos quipped this after the meeting, that he and the others were “super excited about the possibility that this can be the innovations administration.”

Twitter was noticeably not invited for allegedly not allowing a #CrookedHillary emoji to be used by Trump.

To court we go after a Washington DC Superior Court Judge ruled Trump must answer questions in an ongoing lawsuit between him and a celebrity chef, who refused to work for the President Elect at his new Washington DC hotel down the street from the White House.

Naming Names:

National Security Council – Fox News commentator Monica Crowley, to be Strategic Communications Adviser
National Security Council – Retired Army Lieutenant General Keith Kellogg, to be Chief of Staff and Executive Secretary

Scuttlebutt:

Idaho Governor Butch Otter is being considered to head up the Department of Agriculture.

Republican National Committee spokesperson Sean Spicer has the inside track to become White House Press Secretary.

Admiral Michelle Howard is being considered to be Secretary for Veterans Affairs.

Word is the President Elect is now “concerned” about Russian hacks.

No daily White House briefing? That seems to be what incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus seemed to insinuate on Wednesday.

Secretary of State designee Rex Tillerson is not so keen on the idea of having former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton as #2 at Foggy Bottom.

Looks like incoming First Son-in-Law Jared Kushner will be occupying an office in the West Wing of the White House as his wife, Ivanka, takes on duties usually executed by the First Lady with an office in the East Wing.

Intelligence officials are saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered the break into Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign workers emails to keep Hillary Clinton from winning the US election due to her accusing him of shady dealings in the 2011 Russian election.

South Carolina Senator and former presidential candidate Lindsey Graham revealed his campaign email was hacked as well during this past year.

What is in the water North Carolina Republicans are drinking?

GOP lawmakers are trying to strip power from the incoming Democratic Governor, who happens to be the current Attorney General in the state.

New Mexico Secretary of Taxation and Revenue Demesia Padilla has resigned amid charges of official misconduct.

It was reported earlier this year about the breech by incoming National Security Adviser retired Lieutenant General and former Director Military Intelligence Michael Flynn in providing classified information without permission to Pakistani allies.

Now comes news another similar breech occurred with foreign allies in Afghanistan in 2010.

Electors surveyed by The Associated Press are not interested by-and-large in rocking the boat when they convene to vote on Monday.

Looks like Trump will sail through to another victory.

One thing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is not doing is going quietly into retirement.

Intelligence agencies denied a briefing to the House Intelligence Committee about the Russian hacking situation, citing a much larger probe is being undertaken.

Once the review is complete in the coming weeks, the Intelligence Community stands ready to brief Congress – and will make those findings available to the public consistent with protecting intelligence sources and methods,” the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) said in a statement.

It is unacceptable that the Intelligence Community directors would not fulfill the House Intelligence Committee’s request to be briefed tomorrow on the cyber-attacks that occurred during the presidential campaign,” Committee Chairman Devin Nunes of California said in a statement Wednesday.

The Committee is deeply concerned that intransigence in sharing intelligence with Congress can enable the manipulation of intelligence for political purposes. The Committee will continue its efforts and will insist that we receive all the necessary cooperation from the relevant leaders of the Intelligence Community.”

While refusing to sign legislation extending sanctions on Iran, President Barack Obama allowed the law to take effect by not acting within time limits.

In his last Economic Report of the President, Obama said the nation’s economy had moved from “crisis” to the “strongest and most durable in the world.”

Senate Democrats are moving ahead with introducing legislation to force Trump to shed conflicts of interests. In other words, make Trump sale Trump.

The Delaware Supreme Court has ruled the death penalty unconstitutional and made its ruling retroactive to take in inmates on death row.

Press conference watch: Still waiting, Mr. President Elect. The last presser was back in July.

Does business prowess equate to good governance?

Share your opinion: http://fromthecornfield.com/623-2/

In global politics:

After brazenly telling the world that he had personally killed suspected drug users and drug dealers while he was a mayor, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is hearing calls for impeachment.

Senator Leila De Lima, a staunch Duterte critic, said his boasting amounted to an admission of “mass murder,” which would qualify as high crimes that are grounds for impeachment under the country’s constitution. A second Senator has now come out in favor of impeachment as well.

India’s Supreme Court has banned the sale of liquor on national and state highways.

Great Britain has called on the carpet the Ambassadors of Russia and Iran over the Aleppo, Syria humanitarian crisis.

Canadian Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson plans to question Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about cash-for-access fundraising.

Friday, 12/16/16:

Is President Barack Obama shifting responsibility to the incoming President Elect?

Obama said the US will retaliate at a “time and place of our own choosing” for the Russians hacking into our electoral system.

The Prez said he spoke personally to Russian President Vladimir Putin when they met in China earlier this fall, telling him to “cut it out” and if Putin did not, there would be consequences.

We can do stuff to you,” Obama said to Putin.

He also said the response to Russia would be “proportional.”

My take: When You’re Right, You’re Right

Meanwhile, the hacks go on and expected to continue into the unforeseeable future.

Former chairman of the Hillary Clinton campaign, John Podesta, is putting a good amount of blame on the election loss on the Federal Bureau of Investigation and its non-response to the Russians hacking the Democratic National Committee and his personal email.

The Russians are saying to the Obama Administration, “Put up or shut up.”

Clinton told supporters last night that the hacking was a “personal” attack on her by Putin for her support of protesters in Russia following the 2011 election in that country.

The former First Lady did not stop there.

She laid her loss to Trump squarely at the feet of Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey – but not at her own doorstep.

It is being reported that attempts by the Russians to hack the Republican National Committee were thwarted by security precautions put in place for the RNC computer system.

The Central Intelligence Agency continues to ignore a request to brief the Senate Homeland Security Committee on the Russian hacks impacting the 2016 election, according to Chairman Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.

First Lady Michelle Obama told Oprah Winfrey she has no hope, but Trump supporters are saying they have found hope.

President Obama had his last news conference of his Administration today.

The President took advantage of the press to tout his accomplishments over his 8-year tenure.

The Prez smirked and insinuated that Trump was well aware of the Russian involvement and Putin working to get him elected.

Obama quipped, “Not much happens in Russia,” without the involvement of Putin.

In a strong defense of the FBI, following Clinton and her supporters putting blame on Comey for her loss, the President praised the agents’ and Comey’s work and that “they save lives every day.”

The President also came to the defense of intelligence operatives.

The Prez and family jetted off to Hawaii for the holidays following the presser.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest has found himself the subject of Trump tweets. Earnest is not taking it lamely, but is striking back with tweets of his own.

Naming Names:

Ambassador to Israel – New York bankruptcy lawyer David M. Friedman, who is against a 2-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, pro moving US Embassy to Jerusalem

Scuttlebutt:

Word is that Ivanka has been calling Republican lawmakers to discuss child care legislation.

David McCormick, Bridgewater Associates Management Committee President, is said to be in the lead to become Deputy Secretary of Defense.

Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway said it is not an issue for Ivanka Trump Kushner and her husband Jared to work in the White House along side her father, the President Elect.

The anti-nepotism law apparently has an exception if you want to work in the West Wing, because the President is able to appoint his own staff,” Conway said.

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence will investigate the Russian hacking situation.

President Obama may be heading out the door in about 30 days, but that does not mean he is doing nothing as the transition takes place. Yesterday, he announced some key appointments to the US Civil Rights Commission and other boards:

The Massachusetts Attorney General and other Democratic Attorneys General across the country have come out to warn the incoming Trump Administration it will be watching and ready to take the White House to court if they perceive missteps.

The row between the North Carolina Republican lawmakers and the incoming Democratic Governor Roy Cooper is getting more heated after the State Legislature in an “emergency session” passed legislation to curb the power of the Governor’s Office.

If I believe that laws passed by the legislature hurt working families and are unconstitutional, they will see me in court,” Cooper said.

Several people were arrested in the State Capitol building in Raleigh, North Carolina as they protested the power grab taking place during that emergency session to curb power of Cooper.

Press conference watch: Still waiting, Mr. President Elect. The last presser was back in July.

Does business prowess equate to good governance?

Share your opinion: http://fromthecornfield.com/623-2/

In global politics:

The South Korean Presidential Office has barred investigators of Parliament looking into the scandal involving impeached President Park Geun-hye.

Northern Ireland’s Deputy Foreign Minister is calling on the Foreign Minister to step down due to an investigation into a controversial green energy scheme.

Palestinian Liberation Organization Secretary-General Saeb Erekat said that moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv, Israel to Jerusalem would end chances for peace.

Doubling down, a defiant Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte had this to say about killing drug users and dealers:

To spare you embarrassment about the crawlers on television that have been running on CNN and even the BBC since yesterday that says Duterte admits killing or shooting the criminals: they were not mistaken. Sons of whores I will really kill these idiots. My campaign on drugs will not end, until the end of my term six years from now when every drug pusher is (killed),”, making a throat-cutting gesture.

Electoral College Set to Vote – Monday is the day when the official vote is taken by the 538 members of the Electoral College in 51 locations across the nation.

When the American people voted on November 8, 306 Electors were selected and pledged to Donald Trump.

Another 232 Electors were selected and pledged to Hillary Clinton.

It takes 270 of the Electors to officially select the 45th President of the United States.

By law the vote of the Electoral College must be held on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December, which this year is this coming Monday, the 19th.

Electoral College voting is conducted between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. local at various state capitals and at the District of Columbia.

Learn more: https://www.yahoo.com/news/electoral-college-voting-unfold-monday-102405396.html

Sunday, 12/18/16:

Changing role.

In a rally that is part of President Elect Donald Trump’s “Thank You Tour” in Florida Friday night, Trump promised America’s foreign policy will no longer move “from one reckless intervention to another.”

Earlier this week, I met separately with FBI [Director] James Comey and DNI Jim Clapper, and there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election,” CIA Director John O. Brennan said in a message to the agency’s staff.

However, Comey is not commenting.

Monday is the day when the official vote is taken by the 538 members of the Electoral College in 51 locations across the nation.

Results will not be revealed until January 6, 2017.

Will at least 37 Republican Electors change their vote to cast the election into the House of Representatives?

Don’t hold your breath.

The President Elect pushed back at a “Thank You Tour” rally in Mobile, Alabama Saturday night against First Lady Michelle Obama’s statement to Ophrah Winfrey of being without hope.

We have tremendous hope, and we have tremendous promise and tremendous potential,” Trump said. “And beyond hope, we have such potential. This country has such potential. You watch, it’s going to be so special.”

Naming Names:

Office of Management and Budget Director – South Carolina Congressman Mick Mulvaney, a fiscal conservative and co-founder of the House Freedom Caucus

No talking business with family, that is the word from Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks. She also said that the President Elect is not against restrictions being placed on his business talks with his family.

Former campaign chairman for Hillary Clinton, John Podesta refused today on NBC’s Meet the Press to say whether or not the recent election was free and fair. Instead Podesta said the election was “distorted” by the intervention of Russia into the electoral process. Podesta referred to the President Elect as a “lap dog” of the Russians.

Following the boss’s lead, incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus had this to say on Fox News today about whether the Russian government and Putin were behind the hacking of Clinton campaign and DNC emails, “It sure would be nice to hear from everybody. I mean, if there is this conclusive opinion among all of these intelligence agencies, then they should issue a report or they should stand in front of a camera and make the case.”

Scuttlebutt:

It was rumored that the President Elect would stay in his Washington DC hotel down the street from the White House ahead of his inauguration on January 20. Spokesperson Jason Miller says that is not the truth, but that Trump will stay in Blair House, the official location for visiting dignataries.

Turns out that Secretary of State designee Rex Tillerson is a director of a Russian American oil company based in The Bahamas, according to a German news source.

Soon-to-be Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and fellow Democratic Senator Jack Reed have joined with Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham in a statement to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that a special committee with wider investigative powers be empanelled to investigate Russia’s involvement in the recent election.

We need to get to the bottom of this,” McCain told CNN‘s Jake Tapper on State of the Union this morning. “There’s no doubt they were interfering. There’s no doubt. The question is now, how much and what damage? And what should the United States of America do?”

The Senators said, in part, in their statement to McConnell:

This cannot become a partisan issue. The stakes are too high for our country. We are committed to working in this bipartisan manner, and we will seek to unify our colleagues around the goal of investigating and stopping the grave threats that cyberattacks conducted by foreign governments pose to our national security.”

Global Politics:

Bolivian President Evo Morales looks headed for a 4th term after the ruling party bucked a referendum and cast its support behind the President.

The Mayor of Cuernavaca, Mexico, Cuauhtemoc Blanco, a former soccer star, has gone a hunger strike as a way to counter those who question his mayorship.

Impeached South Korean President Park Geun-hye says that there is not sufficient legal grounds for her impeachment and no serious crime was committed.

The United Nations is considering today whether or not to send observers into war-torn Syria to monitor the situation in the City of Aleppo. Russia has vowed to veto the measure, keeping outside monitors out of what has been described as the scene of multiple war crimes. Russia this afternoon submitted an alternative that would give the Syrian regime veto power over placement of monitors to observe evacuations in Aleppo.

After major civil unrest and blowback, Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro is postponing his plan to do away with the 100-bolivar bill until January. Meanwhile in reaction to the plan, Colombia and Brazil have closed their borders to the country.

Saad Hariri has formed a new government in Lebanon.

Saudi Arabia is denying reports that the US of A has curtailed selling weapons to the kingdom over concerns of its involvement in the Yemeni civil war.

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Mark

I am Mark Ivy, a born and bred Hoosier.
I am father to two wonderful sons, Dave and Kev, of whom I am very proud;
two terrific daughters-in-law, Anna and Hailey; three beautiful granddaughters, Dylan, Alaina and Amelia.

On May 9, 2017, my lung specialist hit me with the news I had maybe six months to live if the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the damage caused by the histoplasmosis described below, ran its normal course. I am now on hospice at home. Content and ready to cross over the river to the other side.

On September 2, 2014, I was diagnosed with disseminated histoplasmosis, a fungal infection, discovered by a biopsy of my larynx.
The infection is fatal if left untreated. For 2 1/2 years I lived under a death sentence being misdiagnosed
with a non-specific bacterial infection which left my right lung a “dried up sponge” and non-functioning.
I was aggressively treated for the infection with antifungals.
The treatment ended October of 2015 and fortunately did not take two years.

I suffer from chronic Horton’s Syndrome. The effects vary widely causing various problems.
Statistically, Horton’s affects only 0.1% of the population. Major depression also attacks me regularly.

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