"The Supreme Court will decide whether Electoral College voters have a constitutional right to cast ballots for candidates who didn’t win their state’s popular vote, the justices announced in an order on Friday."
"The justices said they will hear two cases brought by Electoral College voters in Washington state and Colorado who refused to vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016 despite her wins in those states."
"Like most states, Washington and Colorado require their electors to follow the will of their states voters. But those laws are now being challenged by Electoral College voters who argue that such laws are unconstitutional."
"A decision in the matter is expected by the end of June, ahead of the U.S. presidential election in November. The cases are the latest in a string of high-profile disputes the top court is expected to resolve in a contentious election year."
"On Tuesday, Judge Trevor McFadden of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a surprising order further delaying any potential release of President Donald Trump’s tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee. McFadden, who was appointed by Trump to the federal bench, has had that committee’s subpoena of Trump’s tax returns before his court since July and has yet to issue a ruling. In Tuesday’s order, the judge continued to delay, putting the proceedings on hold until the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decides a completely separate matter. The tax returns case—which has nothing to do with the on-going impeachment inquiry of Trump—is now on hold until the circuit court rules on the House’s subpoena of testimony for former White House counsel Don McGahn in the impeachment inquiry."
"Because these cases have few similarities, it is difficult to understand McFadden’s latest order as anything other than an effort to delay the release of Trump’s tax returns for as long as possible. Coupled with D.C. Circuit Judge Neomi Rao’s effort to block a subpoena of Trump’s financial records in the Mazars USA case, this is another instance of one of Trump’s appointees to the federal bench taking a position that could undermine Congress’ ability to access critical information about this president’s finances."
"Donald Trump repeatedly berated U.S. military leaders while throwing a massive fit during a Pentagon meeting in 2017, according to 'A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump’s Testing of America', a book penned by Washington Post reporters Carol D. Leonnig and Philip Rucker."
"An excerpt from the book describes how Trump’s meeting with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Joseph F. Dunford Jr. and flag officials on July 20, 2017 (arranged by then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and then-National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn) went completely off the rails."
"The temper tantrum began when Trump started complaining about the 'loser war' in Afghanistan and demanded to know 'where is the fucking oil' that he felt the U.S. deserved for its military presence in the Persian Gulf."
"'You’re all losers', he told them. 'You don’t know how to win anymore'."
"In May of 2016, shortly after Donald Trump had wrapped up his party’s nomination, but when the notion he might win the presidency seemed remote at best, Benjamin Wittes wrote one of the very early essays attempting to analyze how an obviously authoritarian president might abuse his powers. 'The soft spot, the least tyrant-proof part of the government, is the U.S. Department of Justice', he argued, laying out how prosecutorial discretion could allow a president to harass his domestic enemies."
"Yesterday’s news that the Department of Justice is exploring yet another probe of James Comey, the former FBI director turned Trump antagonist, would seem to confirm those fears have been borne out."
"State GOP lawmakers in Florida introduced a series of anti-LGBTQ bills Monday, narrowly beating the 2020 legislative deadline."
"If passed, the four bills would nullify the protection of LGBTQ employees, legalize controversial 'gay conversion therapy' and threaten physicians with up to 15 years in prison if they provide particular transition-related healthcare to transgender youth, ABC News reports."
"U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders has been steadily climbing in popularity this year and is now tied with former Vice President Joe Biden for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination among registered voters, according to a Reuters/Ipsos national poll."
"The Government Accountability Office says the Trump administration broke the law when it withheld US security aid to Ukraine last year that had been appropriated by Congress -- an issue at the center of the impeachment of President Donald Trump."
"In a decision issued Thursday, the GAO said that the White House budget office violated the Impoundment Control Act, which says that funds appropriated by Congress cannot be withheld by the White House."
"'Faithful execution of the law does not permit the President to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law. OMB withheld funds for a policy reason, which is not permitted under the Impoundment Control Act (ICA). The withholding was not a programmatic delay. Therefore, we conclude that OMB violated the ICA', the GAO said."
The Government Accountability Office says the Trump administration broke the law when it withheld US security aid to Ukraine last year that had been appropriated by Congress -- an issue at the center of the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
"Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), one of the House’s top progressives, endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I) presidential campaign Thursday as the Vermont lawmaker racks up support from progressive politicians and advocacy groups."
"Pocan, who co-chairs the House Progressive Caucus and will now chair Sanders’s campaign in Wisconsin, praised the senator's progressive platforms as the 'antidote' to the nation’s struggles."
Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), one of the House’s top progressives, endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I) presidential campaign Thursday as the Vermont lawmaker racks up support from progressive politicians and advocacy groups.
"The campaign to remove the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch from her post in Kyiv was done with the sole intent to clear the way for associates of President Trump to better pressure the Ukrainian president to launch politically-beneficial investigations, indicted Ukrainian businessman Lev Parnas said in an interview Wednesday night."
"The revelation undercuts arguments by House Republicans and Congressional allies in the impeachment allegations against Trump that Yovanovitch was removed from her post because she had lost the confidence of the president, and adds new details of efforts by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani to target the ambassador."
The campaign to remove the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch from her post in Kyiv was done with the sole intent to clear the way for associates of President Trump to better pressure the Ukrainian president to launch politically-beneficial investigations, indicted Ukrainian businessman Lev Parnas said in an interview Wednesday night.
"A new book by top Washington Post reporters said senior White House officials think Trump is 'dangerously uninformed' and shows 'disdain ... for our country's foundation and its principles'."
"The book, title 'A Very Stable Genius', contains numerous eyebrow-raising anecdotes, including one in which Trump demanded that now-former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson get rid of the 1977 Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bans American companies and individuals from using bribes to secure foreign business deals."
During last night’s Democratic presidential debate on CNN, a moderator asked candidates about their position on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Senator Bernie Sanders explained he didn’t support the controversial trade deal because it doesn’t take the climate crisis, “the greatest threat facing this planet,” into consideration. But the moderator cut him off, saying, “we’re going to get to climate, but we need to stay on trade.”
"Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Wednesday called for an investigation into documents produced by House lawmakers suggesting then-Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was placed under surveillance."
"'It is outrageous that the President’s personal lawyers appear to have directed the surveillance of a U.S. ambassador. This must be fully investigated as the Senate conducts the impeachment trial', Sanders tweeted Wednesday. 'We have a responsibility to hold this lawless administration to account'."
"A week before Germany, France and Britain formally accused Iran of breaching the 2015 nuclear deal, the Trump administration issued a private threat to the Europeans that shocked officials in all three countries."
"If they refused to call out Tehran and initiate an arcane dispute mechanism in the deal, the United States would impose a 25 percent tariff on European automobiles, the Trump officials warned, according to European officials familiar with the conversations."
"Within days, the three countries would formally accuse Iran of violating the deal, triggering a recourse provision that could reimpose United Nations sanctions on Iran and unravel the last remaining vestiges of the Obama-era agreement."
"The Trump administration is preparing to further dismantle environmental regulations by vastly reducing the reach of federal protections for streams and wetlands — delivering a major win for farmers, developers, miners and oil and gas producers."
"The announcement could come as soon as the upcoming holiday weekend, when President Donald Trump is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at the annual convention of the American Farm Bureau Federation, the most vocal advocate of the rollback of water protections. The officials scheduled to accompany him Sunday at the convention in Austin, Texas, include Environmental Protection Agency chief Andrew Wheeler, whose agency has said it plans to finish the new water rule this month."
"As Common Dreams reported, the financial burden of deploying American forces was notably absent during first part of the debate—a lengthy discussion on foreign policy and war—but the moderators did ask candidates about the costs of implementing Medicare for All healthcare, as Sanders has proposed. That contrast, and the presentation of the healthcare questions, sparked swift condemnation from progressives."
"A judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland granted a preliminary injunction against a Sept. 2019 executive order that, as the judge described, effectively ‘gives individual States and Local Governments veto power over resettlement’. The judge argued that the plaintiffs are ‘clearly likely to succeed’ on the merits of their suit and that ‘they have also shown that they will be irreparably harmed’ if the order and a corresponding funding notice get implemented."
A judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland granted a preliminary injunction against a Sept. 2019 executive order that, as the judge described, effectively "gives individual States and Local Governments veto power over resettlement." The judge argued that the plaintiffs are "clearly likely to succeed" on the merits of their suit and that "they have also shown that they will be irreparably harmed" if the order and a corresponding funding notice get implemented.
"New materials released by House Democrats appear to show Ukraine’s top prosecutor offering an associate of President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani, damaging information related to former vice president Joe Biden if the Trump administration recalled the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine."
"The text messages and documents provided to Congress by former Giuliani associate Lev Parnas also show that before the ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch, was removed from her post, a Parnas associate now running for Congress sent menacing text messages suggesting that he had Yovanovitch under surveillance in Ukraine. A lawyer for Yovanovitch said Tuesday that the episode should be investigated."
"In emails to Breitbart News leaked to Hatewatch, Miller said DACA recipients would contribute to altering the country’s demographics by replacing Americans born in the United States. White nationalists often promote the idea of the 'great replacement' in their propaganda. Manifestos linked to terror suspects have cited this idea to justify acts of violence."
"[Katie McHugh, then a Breitbart editor] leaked more than 900 emails to Hatewatch that Miller sent to her from March 2015 to June 2016 to help expose what she described as the 'evil' underpinnings of President Donald Trump’s immigration policies. These include rescinding DACA and separating children as young as 4 months old from their parents at the border. McHugh said she was fired from Breitbart for publishing anti-Muslim tweets. While working for Breitbart, she was enmeshed in America’s far-right, anti-immigrant movement, but she has since renounced those views."
White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller went against many Republicans when siding with white nationalists and other extremists on the issue of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, more commonly known as DACA, emails show.
"Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Chris Van Hollen (Md.) are calling for an investigation into whether any illegal trading in defense company stocks or commodities took place ahead of the U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani."
"The demand for a federal inquiry comes in light of The Daily Beast report that President Trump gave guests at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida “advance knowledge” of potential military action."
Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Chris Van Hollen (Md.) are calling for an investigation into whether any illegal trading in defense company stocks or commodities took place ahead of the U.S.
Attorney General William Barr announced Monday that he would raise the threshold for opening counterintelligence probes into presidential campaigns after accusations that the investigation into President Trump’
"There’s no real forethought from this administration in how policy might affect allies. And really there’s no afterthought to how they might ameliorate the damage that comes from these situations." -- Stephanie Carvin, Professor of international Relations at Carleton University in Canada
"President Trump plans to divert $7.2 billion from the Pentagon to go toward border wall construction this year, an amount five times greater than what Congress authorized in the budget, the Washington Post reported."
"This would be the second year in a row that money is redirected to the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border from military construction projects and counternarcotics funding."
President Trump plans to divert $7.2 billion from the Pentagon to go toward border wall construction this year, an amount five times greater than what Congress authorized in the budget, the Washington Post
"With just over a month and a half until voters go to the polls, Sen. Bernie Sanders is leading a tight three-way race in California’s Democratic presidential primary, a new poll released Monday afternoon found."
"The poll, conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California, found Sanders leading with 27 percent among likely Democratic primary voters, followed by former Vice President Joe Biden at 24 percent and Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 23 percent."
"It means the world to me to be on Bernie’s side because I know that’s the right side of history. He’s the guy to do it. He is the man to beat Trump. He is the man to change our whole system." -- Danny DeVito
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) doesn't know who he'd pick to be his running mate if he wins the Democratic presidential nomination, but he definitely knows who it won't be. In an interview with The New York Times editorial board published Monday, Sanders was reluctant to declare who he'd pick as vice president. Considering, the Iowa caucus hasn't even happened yet, Sanders called choosing someone to round out his hypothetical ticket 'a little bit premature,' but he did say the person 'will not be an old white guy.' The 78-year-old Sanders said he believes in diversity and promised his cabinet 'will look like what America looks like,' adding that 'the country is long overdue for the kind of diversity that we're going to bring to the White House.' That's all he was willing to reveal for now, acknowledging his campaign hasn't considered any specific names at this point. He did rule out one person though — former Vice President Joe Biden. The senator said Biden's eight years as President Obama's right-hand man was 'probably enough.' Read the full interview at The New York Times. Tim O'Donnell
"The Trump family—including the creepy automaton Jared Kushner—will continue to view the American government not as a sacred trust but as an ATM for their crapulous enterprises and nation-state-level grifting." - Rick Wilson
"Women are receiving lower-quality care and ultimately paying more for care than men, with worse outcomes. This is true of all women, but women who are poor and women of color have notably worse experiences with the healthcare system, including higher death rates."
"We have a healthcare system in place that keeps women sick, uninformed, and at the mercy of a system that was not created to treat her."
"Racial disparity continues to run rampant, and, according to a 2018 study from the American Journal of Public Health, medical expenditures increase income inequality of families across the country, materially forcing families below the federally poverty line."
"The duties to act impartially, to avoid even the appearance of partiality and impropriety, and to avoid manifesting bias, prejudice, or partisanship in the exercise of official responsibilities are bedrock obligations for government lawyers. In the context of pending investigations, government lawyers also are obliged to be circumspect in their public statements and to avoid prejudging the outcomes of those investigations."
"Mr. Barr has disregarded these fundamental obligations in several extended public statements during the past few months." -- New York City Bar Association, in a letter to Speaker Pelosi, Minority Leader McCarthy, Majority Leader McConnell, and Minority Leader Schumer asking Congress to investigate whether Attorney General William Barr is too politically biased to fulfill the obligations of his position. The letter, which highlighted several public comments and actions made by the AG, argued that Barr’s conduct 'threatens public confidence in the fair and impartial administration of justice'.
"There is a huge faction of our politics that refuses to believe what is plainly obvious: that for at least three decades, the preeminent business plan of American corporations has been based on pure profit derived from selfishness and deception."