Politics Roundup: January 16 – 22, 2017


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, 1/16/17:

In four short days, Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America.

There are some, notably Democratic Congressman John Lewis of Georgia, who are saying that Trump will not be a legitimate President due to Russian interference in the election.

Trump reacting has set off a firestorm with more than two dozen Democratic Congresspersons saying, along with Lewis, they will not attend the inauguration on Friday.

Incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus on Sunday called on President Obama to “step up” and urged Democrats to accept Trump’s victory.

Adding to all the uproar leading to the inauguration, the President Elect and the current Director of the Central Intelligence Agency are in a feud after Trump said that Director John Brennan may be the source of leaking the scurrilous dossier of unverified, and in some instances debunked, gossip about Trump.

Now that he’s going to have an opportunity to do something for our national security as opposed to talking and tweeting, he’s going to have tremendous responsibility to make sure that U.S. and national security interests are protected,” Brennan said on Fox News Sunday, warning that Trump’s impulsivity could be dangerous.

Spontaneity is not something that protects national security interests,” Brennan declared.

Over the weekend, Trump told The Washington Post he is working on a healthcare plan to offer “insurance for everybody.”

Trump also said he would drive down health care costs by forcing drug companies to negotiate on prices in Medicare and Medicaid.

Democratic legislators spread out across the country this holiday weekend to push back on Republican plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Trump, in another weekend interview, said he would consider lifting sanctions on Russia in exchange for a new deal on reducing the nuclear arsenal.

Trump warned that he would impose a 35 percent border tax on cars exported to the U.S. from a plant BMW plans to build in Mexico, during an interview with a German magazine.

With this being the week leading to the inauguration, it should be noted that Trump won 2,626 counties across the nation while Democratic rival Hillary Clinton won 487 counties across the country. Yet Clinton did win the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes, winning only 20 counties with Trump getting the rest.

Trump has Germany and Chancellor Angela Merkel scratching heads after he compared trust for her and trust for Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. The President Elect said he would trust both, but wait and see how long that trust lasted.

Though saying how much he respected Merkel, Trump went on to pan her refugee policy.

Merkel is up for re-election this year.

China is also pushing back on Trump’s position that Taiwan is a negotiable issue.

Russia is both upset and pleased with Trump. Pleased over his calling NATO obsolete and the possibility of easing sanctions, but not so happy with other remarks from Congress and the US intelligence community.

Martin Luther King III, son of the slain civil rights leader whom we honor today, met with the President Elect at Trump Tower today to talk about voting rights.

When both men came down the elevator, neither spoke to the news media.

A few minutes later, King did speak after reporters followed him down the hallway shouting questions.

The goal is to bring America together,” King said. “America is great, but we need to make America greater.”

Things get said on both sides in the heat of emotion,” King said in reference to the squabble between Trump and Lewis.

When we roll up our sleeves and work together, there is nothing Americans can’t do,” King summed up.

Comedian Steve Harvey is getting slammed for agreeing to sit at the table with Trump and his Administration to find workable solutions to inner cities issues and concerns.

Naming Names: None today – outstanding is Secretary of Agriculture

Scuttlebutt: Monica Crowley is out as part of the National Security Team after reports revealed she plagiarized many passages in her book.

Is Andrew Puzder, tapped for Secretary of Labor, thinking of backing out?

White Sox fan and outgoing President, Barack Obama, paid homage to the long-suffering, now winning World Champion Chicago Cubs in the White House today.

Should the three states which commemorate the birth of Confederate General Robert E. Lee and the federal holiday honoring The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior on the same day, change the date for Lee?

The three states are: Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi.

Global politics: A South Korean special prosecutor’s office on Monday said it was seeking a warrant for the arrest of Samsung Group chief Jay Y. Lee in connection with the influence peddling scandal that led to the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the President Elect’s view on NATO and criticism that allied members weren’t paying their fair share has “caused astonishment.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that even though Trump’s positions had been well known “I think we Europeans have our fate in our own hands.”

I’m personally going to wait until the American president takes office, and then we will naturally work with him on all levels,” Merkel told reporters.

We are going to move away from, I guess, a kind of Twitter diplomacy, and then into a reality,” said Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen, adding that reality could be “perhaps more difficult than what is going on on Twitter.”

“We expect continuity from the new U.S. administration. Trump must maintain this leadership role, to ensure security, stability and peace,” Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said.

It is clear that we are discussing this issue all the time,” Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek said at the European Union meeting in Brussels, Belgium.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has confirmed the arrest of the son of a leader of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) separatist movement over his alleged involvement in a deadly blast late last year.

Oman said today it accepted 10 inmates from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay ahead of President Barack Obama leaving office, part of his efforts to shrink the facility he promised to close.

Tuesday, 1/17/17:

Three days.

The countdown is on to the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States of America.

Not everyone is happy.

From Democratic lawmakers to global leaders, rancor is the word.

More than four dozen Democratic Congresspersons are now boycotting the swearing in ceremony.

Democratic New York Congressman Jerold Nadler, who is boycotting the inauguration so as not to “normalize” Trump, said that Trump will be an illegitimate President, but not an illegal President.

For the record, Georgia Congressman John Lewis also boycotted the inauguration of George W. Bush in 2001 because the Supreme Court stepped in and ruled on the Florida recount.

China’s President showed up at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland to defend globalization and push back on Trump’s plans to put America first.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is speaking out in defense of Trump and blaming the outgoing Administration of President Barack Obama of trying to delegitimize the presidency of Trump before he takes the oath.

Trump when he came to Moscow… wasn’t any kind of political figure, we didn’t even know of his political ambitions,” Putin said, responding to a journalist’s question at a news conference.

Does anyone think that our special services chase every American billionaire? Of course not, it’s just completely ridiculous.”

More Cabinet appointments face grilling by the US Senate.

Some of those nominees, such as Congressman Dr. Tom Price the designee for Health and Human Services Secretary is being hit with violation of ethics allegations.

Price is alleged to have purchased stock in a medical device company then turned around in days to introduce legislation favorable to that company.

Did Price break the law?

Can his nomination be saved?

Price faces Senators tomorrow as will Commerce designee Wilbur Ross.

Up for confirmation hearings today are Education nominee Betsy DeVos and Interior designee Congressman Ryan Zinke.

The nation is evenly split 48% each whether Trump will be a good or bad President.

Heading to the inauguration, Trump’s approval rating is only 40%.

The Democratic National Party has been huddled in Phoenix, Arizona hoping for a resurrection as the members hear from candidates to chair the party, which is currently rudderless.

Outspoken Maine Republican Governor Paul LePage thinks Georgia Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis needs a refresher in history and be thankful for Republican Presidents.

But LePage may also need to re-read history.

He got some points wrong.

Security personnel and police agencies are bracing for nearly a million protesters during the inauguration weekend in Washington DC.

Trump will place his hand on both his family Bible and the Abraham Lincoln Bible when he is sworn into office.

Naming Names: None today – outstanding is Secretary of Agriculture

Scuttlebutt: Could incoming First Son-in-Law Jared Kushner be the person tapped to bring peace between Israel and Palestine?

The President Elect thinks Kushner has the chops to win a deal that has eluded Administrations for decades.

Global Politics: Controversial Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte threatened over the weekend to impose martial law to prosecute his deadly war on drugs.

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh today declared a state of emergency, citing foreign interference in a presidential election he lost to opponent Adama Barrow last month.

The declaration was necessary “due to the unprecedented and extraordinary amount of foreign inference in the December 1 presidential elections and also in the internal affairs of The Gambia,” Jammeh said on state television.

Ukraine has filed a case with the United Nations International Court of Justice accusing Russia of sponsoring “terrorism” and demanding Moscow pay damages for the shelling of civilians and the downing of Flight MH17, the court said today.

Canada’s Ethics Commissioner has opened a probe of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over his lavish post-Christmas vacation at the private island of billionaire philanthropist and spiritual leader the Aga Khan.

Wednesday, 1/18/17:

Two days.

The countdown is on to the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States of America.

But it is the commutation of the prison sentence of national security documents leaker Chelsea Manning which is dominating the headlines.

Late on Tuesday, President Barack Obama commuted the 35-year sentence of Manning to seven years, causing outrage from not just Republicans, but Democrats, the military and the intelligence community.

In his last press conference before leaving office on Friday, this was the top subject braced by the national press corps of Obama.

Wikileaks founder and fugitive from justice Julian Assange said last week he would submit to extradition to the US if Manning’s sentence was commuted. The problem is there is no known indictment or extradition request by the US for Assange.

The President also pardoned James Cartwright, the former Vice Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, who pleaded guilty in October to a single charge of making false statements to federal investigators in 2012 when he was questioned about leaking top secret information on US efforts to cripple Iran’s nuclear program to two journalists.

This decision has been roundly applauded.

The full list of clemency from Tuesday: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/01/17/along-with-chelsea-manning-here-are-the-other-people-who-received-pardons-and-commutations-from-obama/

Expect another round of clemency Thursday during Obama’s last day in office.

Obama in his press conference cited that Manning had served nearly seven years of her sentence, was adjudged and found guilty, admitted to her crime in comparison to the National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden who did not apply for clemency and who took refuge in Russia.

I feel very comfortable that justice has been served,” Obama said.

The notion that the average person who was thinking about disclosing vital, classified information would think that it goes unpunished, I don’t think would get that impression from the sentence that Chelsea Manning has served,” Obama said.

The Prez gave an emphatic shout out to maintaining a strong press corps working in the White House’s West Wing.

Obama also gave this advice to his successor to be sure he is not surrounding himself with only “yes men.”

The outgoing President does not plan to walk in the steps of his predecessor and go quietly away.

President Obama said he would speak out when core values of all Americans are at risk. Primarily he zeroed in on any effort to suppress access by all to the voting booth.

Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s pick for the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, failed to pay more than $15,000 in payroll taxes for a household employee, he admitted in a statement to the Senate Budget Committee.

I have come to learn during the confirmation review process that I failed to pay FICA and federal and state unemployment taxes on a household employee for the years 2000-2004,” Mulvaney informed the committee.

Will this end Mulvaney’s aspirations in the Trump Administration?

Health and Human Services nominee Congressman Dr. Tom Price came under fire on a number of issues, but primarily over his purchase of stock in a medical device company days before introducing legislation which directly impacted that company.

A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found 45 percent of Americans now say the Affordable Care Act is “a good idea,” the highest approval level since the poll first asked the question in April 2009. Forty-one percent of Americans say the health care law is “a bad idea.”

Twenty-six percent of Americans said they had a “great deal” or “quite a bit of confidence” that the GOP would find a suitable replacement, while 50 percent said they had “very little” or no confidence.

Price was hit hard by Democratic Senators today in the first of two Senate committees he must face before a vote on his confirmation, which will probably not happen until February.

Led by Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, Democrats tried to get Price to commit to Trump’s stump pledge to not cut or touch Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Price danced.

The Trump Administration would only support legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act if it doesn’t “pull the rug out on anyone,” Price told the committee.

Also appearing for hearings today were Commerce designee Wilbur Ross, Environmental Protection Agency Director nominee Oklahoma Attorney General Steve Pruitt and United Nations Ambassador designee South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.

When America fails to lead, the world becomes a more dangerous place. And when the world becomes more dangerous, the American people become more vulnerable,” Haley told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Russia is trying to show its muscle,” she said. “We cannot trust them and need to continue to be cautious.”

We need to continue to be strong back, show what this administration will be,” she said. “We are not OK with what happened in Ukraine and Crimea and what is happening in Syria. But we do need their help in ISIS,” she said, using an acronym for the Islamic State.

As Attorney General, Pruitt has sued and still has pending suits against the EPA.

Science tells us that the climate is changing, and that human activity, in some manner, impacts that change,” Pruitt told the Environment and Public Works Committee in the opening statement of his confirmation hearing Wednesday.

The ability to measure with precision the degree and extent of that impact, and what to do about it, are subject to continuing debate and dialogue, and well it should be,” Pruitt said.

Interior nominee Congressman Ryan Zinke told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday that climate change is “not a hoax,” but there is debate as to “what that influence is [and] what we can do about it.”

I’m pro-trade. But I’m pro-sensible trade, not trade that is detrimental to the American worker and to the domestic manufacturing base,” Ross told the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

I think I’ve probably had more direct experience than any prior cabinet nominee has had with unfair trade in the steel business, in the textile business, in the auto parts business and other sectors,” Ross said.

Ross said the North American Free Trade Agreement, involving the US, Canada and Mexico, “is logically the first thing for us to deal with.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer slammed his Republican colleagues for ramming through the appointees of the President Elect for what he termed as a “Swamp Cabinet” which was filled with billionaires.

Democrats are taking issue with the inability to adequately question and address their concerns with the nominees as the GOP, in their opinion, is rushing through the confirmation process.

Naming Names: None today – outstanding is Secretary of Agriculture and several Under Secretaries in all departments

Scuttlebutt: Whew! None worth mentioning today.

The President Elect is writing his own inaugural speech, which is expected to last about 20 minutes.

My distant cousin, former President George H.W. Bush, is in the hospital after being admitted for shortness of breath on Saturday. Bush 41 took a turn for the worse and now is recovering in the intensive care unit.

Later today, America’s Grandmother, Barbara Bush, was also admitted to the hospital for observation.

It is not yet known if the hospital stay of his parents will alter plans of my other cousin, former President George W. Bush, attending Friday’s inauguration of Trump.

Global Politics: Pursuing protectionism is like locking oneself in a dark room,” China’s President Xi Jinping said in his first Davos, Switzerland World Economic Forum appearance. “Wind and rain may be kept outside, but so is light and air.”

Hours before the end of Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh’s mandate, legislators voted to extend his term by three months, and Special Adviser Mai Ahmad Fatty warned in a Facebook post that “those who resist peaceful change effective 12 midnight tonight shall face definite consequences, to their peril. Anyone with firearms tonight shall be deemed a rebel, and will certainly become a legitimate target.”

Gambian President Elect Adama Barrow has vowed to take office on Thursday regardless of whether Jammeh leaves. “Our future starts tomorrow,” Barrow was quoted as saying in a tweet, adding that his supporters made history when they elected him in December.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Vice President Joe Biden cited Iran and China among “the greatest threats” to the democracies built in Europe and the United States, but, he said, “I will not mince words. This movement is principally led by Russia.”

We again urge the relevant side in the United States not to allow the Taiwan authority to send a so-called delegation to the United States to attend the presidential inauguration and not have any form of official contact with Taiwan,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular news briefing.

China’s position has already accurately and unmistakably been given to the US Administration and Trump’s team.”

Thursday, 1/19/17:

One day.

The countdown is on to the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States of America.

But the pomp has already begun.

The first official inaugural event was shortly after 3 p.m. today when the President Elect and Vice President Elect Mike Pence placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown at Arlington National Cemetery.

This was followed by a concert at the Lincoln Memorial with a dinner later this evening.

Sean Spicer, the incoming White House Press Secretary, gave his first press briefing today along with Pence.

Two nominees faced a grilling before Senate committees today: Steve Mnuchin for Treasury and former Texas Governor Rick Perry for Energy.

For over four hours today, Mnuchin was grilled by an often contentious Senate Finance Committee, acquitting himself admirably.

When questioned over whether he was using the Cayman Islands to avoid paying taxes, “In no way did I use [offshore entities] to avoid U.S. taxes,” Mnuchin said. “I can assure you I pay all my taxes as was required.”

On buying a bank when the 2008/2009 fiscal collapse was happening, “I have been maligned as taking advantage of others’ hardships in order to earn a buck,” Mnuchin told lawmakers. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”

During an exchange with Ohio Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown over his role in homeowner foreclosures, Mnuchin pushed back at the senator.

If you know [the answer], why did you ask me?” Mnuchin said. “It seems to me with all due respect that you just want to shoot questions at me.”

Perry said he may have to take back his suggestion from 2012 about getting rid of the Energy Department. Seems Perry did not know that Energy also maintains the nation’s nuclear arsenal.

My past statements made over five years ago about abolishing the Department of Energy do not reflect my current thinking,” Perry said in his opening statement. “In fact, after being briefed on so many of the vital functions of the Department of Energy, I regret recommending its elimination.”

Perry admitted that climate change is real and said, “The question is how we address it in a thoughtful way that doesn’t compromise economic growth.”

Wilbur Ross, the Trump pick for Commerce, had to let an employee go after he learned that employee is in the country illegally.

At least 50 people will be staying over from the Obama Administration, at least until replacements can be selected, to maintain continuity of governance, the Vice President Elect said.


Seems a prestigious Washington law firm represents not only Health and Human Services designee Congressman Dr. Tom Price, but also CNN. The firm inadvertently sent a request for a retraction from one client to the other, when it was plain there was a conflict of interest.

That retraction request from Price to CNN has now been retracted.

The Women’s March on Washington has spread to 57 countries around the globe.

Naming Names: Secretary of Agriculture – Sonny Perdue, former Governor of Georgia

Scuttlebutt: Some folk are grumbling because a group of Girl Scouts are taking in the feeling of doing their civic duty and marching in tomorrow’s Inaugural Day Parade.

In his final act (as of now) as President, Obama commuted the sentences of 330 drug law offenders.

Without fanfare, Trump has paid the $25 million settlement in the Trump University fraud lawsuit.

Global politics: British Prime Minister Theresa May said today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that the United Kingdom would continue to be a “world leader” on trade after its exit from the European Union.

Friday, 1/20/17:

Inauguration Day!

Donald John Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America.

Today Americans and the world witnessed the peaceful transition of power.

Today a new chapter began in the American story.

My take: Peaceful Transition

Sunday, 1/22/17:

When Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

That played out across the country and around the globe on Saturday. The “Women’s March” descended on Washington DC and in Democrat-controlled, big cities throughout the nation to protest the presidency of President Donald Trump.

Protest marches also erupted in major world cities such as London, England and Paris, France.

But not all women were represented.

In fact conservative women and pro-life women were uninvited to participate. Pro-life women were specifically told to stay away. They were not welcome.

Only pro-choice, liberal women were allowed in this “Women’s March,” which did not represent all women.

Reportedly 1.6 million women in the US of A participated.

President Trump, wrongly, was focused on crowd size at his inauguration rather than more pressing matters.

When the Prez went to Central Intelligence Agency headquarters and stood before the wall honoring the agents who lost their lives in protecting our country, rather than focus on their memory and service, Trump was mostly spoke on crowd size and his ongoing feud with the national press corps.

This should not be.

Focus, Mr. President.

The President did have this to say, however, to the CIA members, “I am so behind you. You’re gonna get so much backing. Maybe you’re gonna say, please, don’t give us so much backing, Mr. President, please, we don’t need that much backing.”

Had he stopped there rather than adding this, he would have been fine:

I have a running war with the media, they are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth,” he said. “They sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence community. The reason you are the number one stop is exactly the opposite.”

New White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was sent out in his first White House briefing to deliver this message:

The new White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, insisted Saturday that Friday’s inauguration hosted “the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period.” He accused the media of “intentionally” framing photos of the event to make the crowd look smaller, “to minimize the enormous support that had gathered on the National Mall.”

These attempts to lessen the enthusiasm of the inauguration are shameful and wrong,” Spicer said.

There was good news for First Son-in-Law Jared Kushner, who will play a key role in the Trump White House:

We conclude that [the federal anti-nepotism statute] does not bar this appointment because the president’s special hiring authority … exempts positions in the White House Office” from the ban, the opinion tells Trump. The 14-page document was prepared by Deputy Assistant Attorney General Daniel L. Koffsky, who is “a longtime career lawyer at Justice,” as Politico reports, and not a Trump appointee.

President Trump will meet with British Prime Minister Theresa May in the Capitol on Friday. This is traditional to meet with our closest and strongest ally.

When I sit down [with Trump], I think the biggest statement that will be made about the role of women is the fact that I will be there as a female prime minister,” May said. “Whenever there is something that I find unacceptable, I won’t be afraid to say that to Donald Trump.”

Although she did not watch the inauguration Friday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel did note about developing a relationship with the new President, the “trans-Atlantic relationship will not be less important in the coming years than it was in past years. And I will work on that. Even when there are different opinions, compromises and solutions can be best found when we exchange ideas with respect.”

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto each expressed a desire to strengthen their countries’ respective ties with the U.S, while Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement he looks forward to working with Trump “to restore prosperity to the middle class.”

During his inaugural address, Trump told the nation, “This moment is your moment. It belongs to you. January 20, 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.”

After confirming Defense Secretary James Mattis on Friday evening by a 98-1 vote, the Senate approved the nomination of retired Marine Gen. John F. Kelly as Secretary of Homeland Security, 88-11.

Vice President Mike Pence swore in both men the same night.

Hours after he was sworn in on Friday, President Trump signed an executive order making it his administration’s official policy “to seek the prompt repeal” of the Affordable Care Act, a change requiring congressional action.

The new Prez also froze all pending regulations; announced the new administration’s plan to develop a missile defense system to protect the U.S. against Iran and North Korea; and indicated its intent to eliminate the Climate Action Plan as well as a Housing and Urban Development program to reduce certain mortgage fees.

In a sign of a new sheriff in town, the Trump Team promptly took down former President Barack Obama-era issue pages on the White House website covering civil rights, climate change, LGBT rights, and health care. New pages tout issues like “An America First Energy Plan” and “Standing Up For Our Law Enforcement Community.”

A reporter for The New York Times inaccurately tweeted that the Trump Administration had removed the bust of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from the Oval Office, which set off a firestorm.

The President has already put his mark on the Oval Office. Gone are the red drapes of Obama and in their place are gold ones, which resemble the signature Trump gold decor.

Trump reacted to the protest on Saturday in typical fashion with a tweet, “Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn’t these people vote? Celebs hurt cause badly.”

Later today, the President tweeted, “Peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy. Even if I don’t always agree, I recognize the rights of people to express their views.”

Organizers of the march are hoping it is the genesis of a liberal Tea Party movement that will retake state legislatures and governors’ offices across the country.

The one unifying factor seemed to be opposition to the President, while the marchers differed widely on a range of issues.

Will it become a movement with real political impact or fizzle like the Occupy movement?

In one of his first executive orders, the President gave agencies affected by the Affordable Care Act the authority to waive or delay implementation of any part of the law that would “impose a fiscal burden on any State or a cost, fee, tax, penalty, or regulatory burden” on individuals, insurers, drug companies and so on.

It also promotes the creation of a system to allow the sale of insurance across state lines, something Republicans have said will increase competition in the health care market.

What did Senior Presidential Adviser Kellyanne Conway actually mean when she pushed back at Chuck Todd on NBC‘s Meet the Press this morning talking about “alternative facts?”

We will be starting negotiations having to do with NAFTA,” Trump said at a swearing-in ceremony for his top White House advisers. “We are going to start renegotiating on NAFTA, on immigration and on security at the border.”

The US will not be sending a representative to the peace talks between the Syrian regime and rebels, spearheaded by Russia, Turkey and Iran.

Trump Counselor Kellyanne Conway stated today that Trump will not release his tax returns,” WikiLeaks posted on Twitter.

Send them to: https://wikileaks.org/#submit so we can.”

Speaking on ABC‘s This Week, Conway said the President “may stop enforcing the individual mandate“, the driving force of the ACA.

Before swearing in the senior staff at the White House today, the Prez told them, “This is not about party. This is not about ideology. This is about country. It’s about serving the American people.”

We’re not here to help ourselves,” Trump told his advisers.

So many people are dependent on us,” he said, such as veterans, the unemployed, military service members, victims of crime and young people.

We will face challenges. But with faith in each other and faith in God we will get the job done. We will prove worthy of this moment in history. It may very well be a great moment in history.”

Is the President considering a new war in Iraq?

Now I said it for economic reasons,” Trump said while introducing Representative Mike Pompeo, his pick to lead the CIA. “But if you think about it, Mike, if we kept the oil, you probably wouldn’t have ISIS because that’s where they made their money in the first place, so we should have kept the oil. But, okay, maybe we’ll have another chance.”

It is that last sentence that have people scratching their heads.

Global Politics: “2016 was the year the Anglo-Saxon world woke up,” Marine Le Pen, leader of the French National Front, said, referencing Brexit and Trump’s win. “I am sure 2017 will be the year the people of continental Europe wake up.”

More than 15,000 Romanians, including President Klaus Iohannis, protested across Romania Sunday against controversial decrees that will pardon corrupt politicians and decriminalize other offenses.

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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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