Politics Roundup – March 27 – April 2, 2017

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!

Monday, 3/27/17:

Deep Throat Redux?

Cloak and dagger activiities?

The House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes sneaking away from his own staff, changing cars, ending up on the White House grounds to meet his source the day before informing President Donald Trump about the unmasking of individuals associated with his Transition Team following the election?

Now news today that First Son-in-Law Jared Kushner will meet with the Senate Intelligence Committee about three meetings with Russians, including a representative of one of Russia’s largest banks, which was subjected to sanctions.

What does this all mean?

Cancelling of Intelligence Committee meetings are also raising eyebrows.

The Democrats are actively calling for Nunes to resign.

The President announced today the creation of The White House Office of American Innovation, described as a “SWAT team of strategic consultants.”

The new committee will be headed by Kushner

All Americans, regardless of their political views, can recognize that government stagnation has hindered our ability to properly function, often creating widespread congestion and leading to cost overruns and delays,” Trump said. “I promised the American people I would produce results, and apply my ‘ahead of schedule, under budget’ mentality to the government.”

The President is expected to issue an executive order on Tuesday reversing many of former President Barack Obama’s regulations aiming to fight climate change.

It will cover polices affecting nuclear power as well as domestic production of oil, coal, and natural gas.

Before the week’s out, Congress will have to raise the debt ceiling or face a government shutdown.

Democrats in the Senate have already been calling for a shutdown.

Will the Freedom Caucus confront the President again over the debt ceiling, as they have in previous years?

Hear about the latest stunt from Democrats in both chambers of Congress?

They have introduced the M.A.R.A.L.A.G.O. Act to get logs of who is visiting the President in Florida at Mar-a-Lago.

Defunding of sanctuary cities for non-compliance with federal law on immigration was announced today by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Sessions announced that it would be the policy of the Justice Department to deny department grants to “sanctuaries,” and possibly to fight to strip existing funding from them as well.

(More on this: http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/3/27/15076576/sanctuary-cities-jeff-sessions-trump-explained)

The President’s approval rating keeps going down instead of going up. 

Turns out after the fail of the American Health Care Act, 29% of likely voters “strongly approved” of Trump while 46% “strongly disapproved,” Rasmussen Reports found.

State Politics: A complaint has been filed calling for a criminal investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the top law enforcement officer in the nation.

Nearly two dozen people from five states are accusing Attorney General Jeff Sessions of lying to the Senate Judiciary Committee about his communications with the Russian government and subsequently trying to cover up that lie, according to a complaint sent to the Department of Justice.

Global Politics: Prosecutors in South Korea have gone to court to obtain an arrest warrant of ousted President Park Geun-Hye on charges of taking bribes and leaking confidential information.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s re-election bid got a boost Sunday when her center-right Christian Democrat Party won a state election that was widely seen as a test of her support.

The United States, Britain and France are among almost 40 countries boycotting talks on a nuclear weapons ban treaty at the United Nations, according to Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the world body.

Nine leaders of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy Umbrella Movement turned themselves in to police today, the day after the territory selected a conservative, pro-Beijing politician as its next leader.

NATO plans to spend 3 billion euros ($3.24 billion) to upgrade its satellite and computer technology over the next three years as the Western military alliance adapts to new threats, a senior official said.

Tuesday, 3/28/17:

Recuse or resign.

That is the demand from Democrats to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes.

Nunes said he is not going to do either. He said the investigation into Russian influence in the last election and any ties to the campaign of then candidate Donald Trump would be investigated fully under his leadership.

Nunes dismissed the calls from Democrats, whom he said, “want me to quit because they know that I’m effective at getting to the bottom of things.”

Some Republicans such as Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain are not so sure Nunes is the man for the job.

But for now, Nunes still has the support of House Speaker Paul Ryan.

The President tweeted that Congress should turn its attention to any ties between former President Bill Clinton and former Oval Office rival Hillary Clinton and the Russians instead of focusing on him and his associates.

President Donald Trump told the Environmental Protection Agency today to start the legal process necessary to rewrite former President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which aimed to cut carbon dioxide emissions from electricity by 32% by 2030.

The White House said Trump’s order will increase the nation’s “energy independence” and restore thousands of coal mining jobs.

The cost of 62 miles of The Wall?

$1 billion.

The House Republican leadership team today vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act in spite of last Friday’s spectacular failure to get a vote on the House floor.

The President may have moved on to tax reform, but the GOP conference wants to keep working behind the scenes on repealing and replacing the ACA.

Did constituents give lawmakers an earful over the weekend?

Even some of the Freedom Caucus members are saying that they may consider finding an ACA repeal bill.

It is being reported that fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates was blocked by the White House from speaking to the House Intel Committee.

The White House denies this.

The top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, asked the government ethics watchdog on Monday to review comments by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin plugging The Lego Batman Movie, a film one of his companies produced, for a possible ethics violation.

State Politics: The “gentleman’s agreement” between Attorneys General across the country has been scrapped after Democratic Attorneys General have gone to the forefront in opposing the policies and going to court to sue the Trump Administration.

Republican Attorneys General are now going to work to unseat their Democratic counterparts.

The GOP AGs have also filed friend-of-court briefs in support of the President’s travel ban in opposition to the Dems who are blocking it in court.

My Congressman here in the 8th District of the Indiana Cornfield, Dr. Larry Buschon, had this to say about the non-vote on the American Health Care Act last Friday.

On Friday, the American Health Care Act was pulled from the House floor preventing a vote on the legislation from occurring.

While I believed the bill wasn’t perfect, I was prepared to vote to begin the process of repealing and replacing of Obamacare, which is a promise I made the constituents of Indiana’s Eighth Congressional District.

Unfortunately, a small group of Republicans chose to side with Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats by preventing passage of this first step in that process, even after receiving significant policy changes during the negotiations with President Trump. That’s incredibly disappointing because their obstruction solidified Obamacare as the law of the land for the foreseeable future. Make no mistake, what happened last week rests on the shoulders of a handful of Republican members; and their constituents will hold them to account for reneging on their promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.”

Buschon also said, “I agree it is time to make the tough decisions necessary to move the country forward and undo the damage of the last eight years. That’s why we were elected.”

Democratic lawmakers in some states are pressing ahead with efforts to protect birth control access, Planned Parenthood funding and abortion coverage in case they are jeopardized in the future.

Global Politics: A Russian court on Monday sentenced Alexei Navalny, a leading opponent of President Vladimir Putin, to 15 days in prison for resisting arrest, following his detainment at a protest demonstration over the weekend.

Scottish lawmakers backed plans by the nationalist government in Edinburgh to pursue a second independence referendum, setting up what may be a lengthy and acrimonious showdown within the United Kingdom in the midst of Brexit negotiations.

Democratic Republic of Congo’s government confirmed today that two bodies discovered by villagers were those of two United Nations investigators who disappeared this month in an area wracked by a violent uprising.

A German State Minister today accused Turkey of “unacceptable” spying on alleged followers of exiled preacher Fethullah Gulen, whom President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blames for a failed coup attempt last year.

It is notable with what intensity and ruthlessness the people living abroad are being investigated,” said Boris Pistorius, Interior Minister of the northern German State of Lower Saxony.

It’s intolerable and unacceptable,” he said at a press conference.

Wednesday, 3/29/17:

Investigate or not to investigate – that is the question.

Is the House Intelligence Committee still looking into the influence of Russia on the recent presidential election and whether there was any collusion between the campaign of Donald Trump and the Russians?

With all meetings cancelled by embattled House Intel Chair Devin Nunes, that question is buzzing through the hallowed halls of the Capitol today.

Nunes refuses to recuse himself though Democrats are pressing for him to do that. House Speaker Paul Ryan remains firmly on Nunes six, giving him cover.

Ranking Member Adam Schiff said, “We can’t conduct an investigation this way.”

Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey and National Security Agency Director Admiral Mike Rogers reportedly refuse to meet with the House Intel members until the Dems and the GOP come to a meeting of minds and stop the bickering.

Health care insurance reform is still very much alive.

President Donald Trump told Senators last night at a dinner where he invited all 100 Senators to join him, “I know we’re going to make a deal on health care, that’s such an easy one.”

Speaker Ryan said, “I won’t tell you the timeline because we want to get it right.”

In what I think is a bad move, the House of Representatives followed suit with the Senate approving legislation taking away internet privacy allowing internet services providers to sell personal information. The bill is now on the President’s desk.

Hopefully, the President will veto the bill, but that is doubtful.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez is cleaning house at the DNC, requesting resignations of all employees by April 15.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Senate will confirm Neil Gorsuch as a Supreme Court Justice a week from Friday, one way or the other. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer vows to filibuster Gorsuch’s confirmation.

The Senate Intelligence Committee will begin as soon as Monday privately interviewing 20 people in its ongoing investigation of Russian involvement in the 2016 election as well as potential ties to the Trump campaign, Chairman Richard Burr and Vice Chair Mark Warner announced today.

We’re not asking the House to play any role in our investigation. We don’t plan to play any role in their investigation,” Burr said.

Over the last month we’ve seen some progress,” Warner said. Later, with a hand on Burr’s shoulder, he added: “I have confidence in Richard Burr that we together, with the members of our committee, are going to get to the bottom of this.”

FBI Director Comey attempted to go public as early as the summer of 2016 with information on Russia’s campaign to influence the US presidential election, but former President Barack Obama Administration officials blocked him from doing so, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Newsweek.

President Trump vowed today to step up efforts to combat the nation’s opioid addiction crisis. Trump said his administration wants “to help people who have become so badly addicted.”

First Daughter Ivanka becomes an official government employee, joining her husband, Jared Kushner, in serving as an unpaid adviser to her father in the White House.

Not only is the President not attending next month’s Washington Correspondents Dinner, the Nerd Prom, but White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and members of his staff also will not attend.

Speaking out today was First Lady Melania Trump at the International Women of Courage Awards.

The President has declined to throw out the first pitch Monday at the Washington Nationals’ game when baseball season opens, breaking a long-standing presidential tradition.

A lawyer for President Trump plans to file briefs seeking to delay a lawsuit filed by a former contestant on The Apprentice by arguing that the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause bars people from bringing state lawsuits against a sitting president, according to an article The Hollywood Reporter.

State Politics: This did not take long.

The City of Seattle, Washington has sued the Trump Administration over the President’s executive order that calls for cutting federal funding for so-called sanctuary cities and other jurisdictions that protect undocumented immigrants.

Global Politics: British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government today submitted a letter to the leaders of the European Union to formally begin the process to pull the United Kingdom out of the 28-nation trading bloc.

In a statement to British lawmakers, May said the kickoff of the process was “the moment for the country to come together.”

Prime Minister May’s government promptly denied the Scottish Parliament’s request for another independence referendum, saying it would be “unfair” to make people vote before they know what the United Kingdom’s relationship will be with the European Union after Brexit.

A Muslim organization in Norway has been criticised for hiring a communications officer who wears a full-face veil, or niqab. The Culture Minister, Muslim Members of Parliament and other Muslim organizations have condemned the Islamic Council of Norway’s move.

Israel said today it would cut $2 million from its already reduced contribution this year to the United Nations in protest at resolutions taken against it at the world body’s various forums.

US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad is a “big hindrance in trying to move forward” to find an end to the country’s six-year conflict.

I’m not going to go back into should Assad be in or out, been there, done that, right, in terms of what the US has done,” she told the Council of Foreign Relations. “But I will tell you that he is a big hindrance in trying to move forward, Iran is a big hindrance in trying to move forward.”

Thursday, 3/30/17:

The Senate Intelligence Committee began its hearings into the Russian interference in the 2016 election and any possible collusion with the campaign of President Donald Trump today.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes and Ranking Member Adam Schiff met today to try and work out differences.

Will it be enough to jump start the stalled investigations into Russian meddling and possible collusion by Trump associates by the House?

The New York Times is reporting that two White House officials, including a member of the National Security Council, showed the still secreted documents to Nunes, which have resulted in all the rancor and uproar with the House Intel investigation.

One of the experts speaking to the Senate Intel Committee today revealed that during the primaries, Russians targeted Senator Marco Rubio for elimination from the presidential race.

Rubio noted today that members of his staff are still being targeted by Russians.

Schiff vowed today at a news conference that the committee will “not be distracted” from investigating the Russian meddling and “getting to the bottom” of what occurred in 2016.

Part of the reason active measures have worked in this US election is because the Commander-in-Chief has used Russian active measures at time [sic] against his opponents,” said Clint Watts of George Washington University’s Center for Cyber and Homeland Security, talking to Senators about Russian activity to effect election outcomes.

Senate Intel Chairman Richard Burr pledged a “thorough, independent and non-partisan review” of evidence potentially tying Trump to Russia, a commitment echoed by Vice Chair Mark Warner.

If we politicize this process, our efforts will likely fail,” Burr said at the outset of today’s hearing.

The White House invited the heads of congressional intelligence committees investigating Russia’s role in the 2016 election to view materials found by the National Security Council.

The President has laid down the gauntlet to the Freedom Caucus.

In a tweet the Prez told the ultra-conservative members of the House of Representatives to get onboard and back the Republican agenda or be prepared to fight in 2018.

The President is hinting at reaching out to Democrats if Republicans are unwilling to work with him to fulfill his promises and agenda.

House Speaker Paul Ryan voiced his concern that the Prez may indeed reach out to Democrats if stubborn Republicans cannot be corralled.

OOPs!

The Environmental Protection Agency criticized the Boss’ executive order on climate change policies.

A news release from the EPA included a quote attributed to Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito, which actually was from Democratic Senator Tom Carper.

The offending quote:

With this Executive Order, President Trump has chosen to recklessly bury his head in the sand. Walking away from the Clean Power Plan and other climate initiatives, including critical resiliency projects is not just irresponsible – it’s irrational. Today’s executive order calls into question America’s credibility and our commitment to tackling the greatest environmental challenge of our lifetime.”

OOPs!

The Hawaii federal judge who blocked the new travel ban has now made his injunction indefinite.

The Gallup Daily Tracking Poll has the Prez at a super low 35% approval rating.

White House Deputy Chief of Staff Katie Walsh is leaving her position.

Mark your calendar, Chinese President Xi Jinping will confab with the President at Mar-A-Lago April 6-7.

After Congress sent the President legislation putting a nail in internet privacy, allowing internet service providers to sell personal information and browsing history, funds are being set up to purchase the browsing history of those legislators who voted for the bill.

State Politics: After losing thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, the Republican-controlled North Carolina State Legislature went through with a “repeal” of its infamous “bathroom law.” It still bans communities from passing ordinances barring discrimination based on sexual and gender orientation.

Ohio Governor John Kasich signed an order today to fight the opioid addiction and overdose crisis in his state. The Governor’s order limits the amount of opiates primary care physicians and dentists can prescribe to no more than seven days for adults and five days for minors.

In addition to pill limits, Kasich said the new rules require doctors to provide a specific diagnosis and procedure code for every painkiller prescription they write.

Global Politics: German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday rejected a central proposal made by British Prime Minister Theresa May in her letter officially launching the process of Britain’s exit from the European Union, saying that the EU would only negotiate the United Kingdom’s future relationship with the trading bloc after its departure was arranged.

Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, said there would be “no winners” from Brexit, and the coming two years of negotiations would focus on “damage control.”

Accusations that Russia interfered in last year’s US elections are “lies” used for “domestic American politics,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said today.

We said on numerous occasions and I reiterate that we are confident … and know for sure that opinion polls in the United States show that very many people are … friendly towards the Russian Federation, and I’d like to tell these people that we perceive and regard the United States as a great power with which we want to establish good partnership relations,” Putin said on a CNBC-moderated panel.

All those things are fictional, illusory and provocations, lies. All these are used for domestic American political agendas. The anti-Russian card is played by different political forces inside the United States to trade on that and consolidate their positions inside,” Putin said in Russian.

The Trump Administration informed Congress it plans to approve a multibillion-dollar sale of F-16 fighter jets to Bahrain without the human rights conditions imposed by the State Department under former President Barack Obama.

Taking a page from President Trump, Canadians running to lead the Conservative Party are calling for a wall between the US and Canada to stem the flow of immigration. They also want to deploy the Canadian armed forces to stop would-be refugees from entering America’s northern neighbor.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in Turkey, has confirmed a change in US policy toward Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad. Tillerson said that it will be up to the Syrian people to decide if it wants Assad as leader or to boot him from office. This differs from the previous policy demanding Assad leave office in any peace negotiations.

The Attorney General for the western Mexican State of Nayarit has been arrested in Southern California on charges of drug smuggling.

Friday, 3/31/17:

Innocent, I tell ya! I’m innocent. But give me immunity. I got a story to tell.”

That’s the hue and cry of former National Security Adviser retired General Michael Flynn offering to bare all to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.

Forget about what he said during the presidential campaign that anyone seeking immunity must be “guilty” of committing a crime.

President Donald Trump tweeted out today that Flynn should not only testify, but seek for immunity.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the Prez was not signaling the Justice Department or the Intel Committees to give Flynn immunity, but rather for Flynn to do whatever is necessary to allow him to testify.

House Intel Ranking Member Adam Schiff went to the White House to look at information recovered by the National Security Council, following the White House invitation on Thursday to do so.

The Senate Intel Committee, however, is not wanting to go down the street to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The Committee told the White House to send the information directly to them.

In response to the White House letter, the Committee has asked the White House to direct the agencies that own the intelligence documents in question to immediately provide them directly to the Committee,” a Committee spokesperson said in a statement.

The White House says it will release details this evening about the personal finances of senior staff members.

Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote in the Senate yesterday to approve legislation that will let states cut off funding to Planned Parenthood.

Two Democratic senators, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, have signed on to voting for Neil Gorsuch to be confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice.

Manchin, who frequently crosses the aisle to side with the GOP, said he found Gorsuch to be “an honest and thoughtful man,” and that he had “not found any reasons why this jurist should not be a Supreme Court Justice.”

The President today took on trade abuse signing two executive orders. The Prez said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will spearhead the effort to eliminate abusive trade practices which harm the US market and companies.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson affirmed that the US commitment to NATO was “rock solid” today, but also urged members to pony up what they owed the organization.

This is the first campaign that I can recall where my party did not talk about what it always stood for, and that is how to maintain a burgeoning middle class,” former Vice President Joe Biden said at an event at the University of Pennsylvania.

And the truth of the matter is you didn’t hear a single solitary sentence in the last campaign about that guy working on the assembly line making 60,000 bucks a year and a wife making $32,000 as a hostess in a restaurant and they’re making 90 grand and they’ve got two kids and they can’t make it and they’re scared.”

I can tell you that hostesses around here in the Cornfield make nowhere close to $32,000 per year.

State Politics: California and several other states honored Cesar Chavez by closing schools and state offices today, the 90th anniversary of the birth of a man who went from a grape and cotton picker to an enduring hero for laborers, Latinos and justice seekers of all kinds.

Farmworkers in four states also plan to march Saturday and Sunday in honor of Chavez, who died in 1993, and in protest of President Trump’s immigration policies.

Global Politics: The European Union has offered to start negotiations with the United Kingdom on a future free trade pact, but only if London first accepts EU demands on the terms of Britain’s exit from the 28-nation trading bloc.

Those terms include paying tens of billions of dollars, and securing residence rights for 3 million EU citizens living in the UK.

The Israeli Knesset approved the construction of new settlements in the disputed West Bank. This will be the first such settlements approved in 20 years.

Ousted South Korean President Park Geun-Hye has been arrested on corruption charges.

Right now, [North Korea] appears to be going in a very reckless manner…and that has got to be stopped,” Defense Secretary James Mattis said at a press conference in London today.

Ecuadoran voters will elect a new President Sunday, and one of the two candidates, the conservative former banker Guillermo Lasso, has pledged to evict the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from the country’s embassy in London, England within 30 days of taking office.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has written to British Prime Minister Theresa May formally demanding that she allow a second referendum to be held on Scottish independence ahead of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union.

Venezuela’s powerful Attorney General on Friday rebuked the judiciary’s takeover of congress, breaking ranks with President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government as protests and international condemnation grew.

It constitutes a rupture of the constitutional order. It’s my obligation to express my great concern to the country,” said Luisa Ortega, usually considered a key ally of the Socialists who have ruled Venezuela for the last 18 years.

Gibraltar’s leader Fabian Picardo on Friday hit out at an European Union proposal to give Spain a say in the future of the British overseas territory post-Brexit, branding it “unnecessary” and “discriminatory.”

The South African rand plunged more than 5% after President Jacob Zuma sacked Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, a man widely seen as a competent manager of one of the world’s most important emerging economies.

Serbia Premier Aleksandar Vucic, is headed for a landslide victory in Sunday’s presidential election.

The presidency is weaker on paper than the premiership, but we see it highly unlikely that Vucic will stop dominating Serbia politically from the new post,” said Nate Schenkkan, Project Director at Washington, DC-based Freedom House, an independent organization that advocates for democracy. “That creates a situation like what we have right now in Turkey, where the president de facto runs the country, even though it is still a parliamentary system.”

Sunday, 4/2/17:

Follow the money.

That has been the line of investigation which has tripped many a person over the years.

It may be what sinks former National Security Adviser retired General Michael Flynn as well.

But not only Flynn, members of the campaign of now President Donald Trump could be caught up in the investigation of Russian meddling in the presidential election.

Financial disclosures released by the White House Friday evening revealed Flynn made at least $1.5 million from Russia Today and other Russian entities, previously unreported.

Flynn is shopping around his story, but so far the players – the Justice Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the House and Senate Intelligence Committees – are showing no interest in paying out immunity to get that story.

Those financial reports also showed First Daughter Ivanka and husband Jared Kushner are worth at least $740 million.

Remember that time in band camp when everyone made a big issue about Mitt Romney being worth $250 million?

Ranking Member of the House Intel Committee Adam Schiff reviewed documents provided by the White House Friday. He was told these were the same documents which were viewed by House Intel Chair Devin Nunes.

Schiff said the documents need to be sent for review by the entire Committee.

Schiff said “I don’t think we can say anything definitively at this point” about the probes of Trump and Russia.

Now it is three – the number of Democrats who will vote to confirm Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court.

The Cornfield’s senior Senator Joe Donnelly has come out in support of Gorsuch.

Donelly’s fellow Hoosier Senator Todd Young, a Republican, has already endorsed Gorsuch.

After meeting with Judge Gorsuch, conducting a thorough review of his record, and closely following his hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, I believe that he is a qualified jurist who will base his decisions on his understanding of the law and is well-respected among his peers,” Donnelly said in a statement.

Not surprising since Donnelly is up for re-election in 2018 in Indiana, which went overwhelmingly for President Trump.

The President and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, a vocal critic on the health care insurance legislation, played golf with the Prez today. Paul came away saying that he and the President were moving closer to an agreement on the issue.

About the President’s favorite toy – Twitter – United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley had this to say, “I don’t hear about them. I don’t talk about them. I don’t have them interfere in everything that I’m doing. And so, to me, it’s chatter I don’t focus on.”

Haley also noted, “I think the foreign leaders are picking up the phone and calling him if they have an issue. And that’s what they’re doing with me. If they have an issue, they’re calling me. They’re not sitting there texting me and saying, ‘What was this tweet about?’”

State Politics: Return to Camelot?

Looks like the Kennedy political dynasty is ready to make its presence known once again.

A Kennedy is running for Governor in Illinois and another is mulling a run in Connecticut. While cousin Massachusetts Congressman Joseph Kennedy III is a leading voice against the President’s moves to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Global Politics: The Venezuelan Supreme Court reversed its decision to strip the country’s legislature of power after widespread foreign and domestic protest.

The Court’s review came at the request of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who couched his critique of the original ruling in terms of “maintain[ing] institutional stability and the balance of powers.”

In a print interview, President Trump put the pressure on China to do something with the North Korean problem. The President warned that if China was not willing to put the thumb on the Young Leader Kim Jung Un, the US would solve the threat.

Trump told The Financial Times, “China will either decide to help us with North Korea, or they won’t. And if they do that will be very good for China, and if they don’t it won’t be good for anyone.”

China’s President Xi Jinping will meet with the Prez Thursday and Friday at Mar-A-Lago.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s one-year-old government retained most of its seats in Myanmar by-elections today, but braced for symbolic losses in ethnic minority areas as results from the 19-seat poll trickled in.

Ecuador votes today in a presidential runoff to turn the page on a decade under radical economist Rafael Correa and decide whether the country will follow Latin America’s recent shift to the right.

Thanks for viewing!

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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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