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Friday December 29, 2017

Was 2017 the Craziest Year in U.S. Political History?
Politico | author | 12/29/17

Imagine how future historians might try to summarize 2017: A U.S. president, his family and his political aides came under investigation by a special counsel for possibly helping a foreign government meddle in the election. Talk of impeachment swirled through Congress, where the fracturing Republican Party was in the midst of an identity crisis--and the Democrats were, too. Twitter became a source of official U.S. policy. A wave of sexual harassment allegations took down U.S. senators and congressmen, top judges and reporters, and high-profile political candidates--but not the president, who had been caught on tape admitting to grabbing women "by the pussy." We learned that the Pentagon has secretly been studying UFOs. All while the leaders of North Korea and the United States exchanged threats to rain down nuclear "fire and fury like the world has never seen."

But as unbelievable and unprecedented as this year seemed, how wild was it really? Does it come in No. 1 in the pantheon of American political chaos? Or, alongside the Civil Wars, assassinations, race riots and Watergates, does it not even rank? We asked some of the nation's smartest historians to tell us whether 2017 was indeed the craziest year in U.S. political history, and, if not, what year's got it beat. Here's what they had to say. --Elizabeth F. Ralph ... Read more

Trump Boasts He's Signed More Laws Than Any President Since Truman. He's Actually Signed the Fewest.
Slate | Elliot Hannon | 12/27/17

You know if Donald Trump is pushing some sort of record or achievement or a Time cover, you should probably run the numbers again, you know, just to double-check. On Wednesday, while totally not golfing at Mar-a-Lago in Florida, Trump reflected on his first year in office in a way only Trump could. That is, he basically made it up. Ruminating on what he considered his achievements, Trump explained at an event with firefighters in West Palm Beach that he had set a record for the most legislation passed in a year. At least that's what it appears he was trying to say:

Donald Trump said: We got a lot of legislation passed ... I believe--and you would have to ask those folks who will know the real answer--we have more legislation passed, including the record ... was Harry Truman, a long time ago. And we broke that record, so we got a lot done."

That is, predictably, not the case. In fact, Trump's version of history is the exact opposite of reality. Trump has signed fewer bills into law than any other president in his first year in office since Dwight Eisenhower in 1953, according to GovTrack.
Read more
Click to zoom in Trump Breaking Records? | TYT | 12/28/17 | 8:29

Trump Veers Away From 70 Years of U.S. Foreign Policy
NYT | Mark Landler | 12/29/17

President Trump has transformed the world's view of the United States from an anchor of the international order into something more inward-looking and unpredictable.

That is a seminal change from the role the nation played for 70 years, and it has lasting implications for how other nations chart their futures. ... Read more

Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Friday, December 29 [11:43]
Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Friday, December 29 (FULL) | 59:02
Note: on the full 59:02 video look for small white (or black) circles on the Progressbar they denote the different news stories. You can move the pointer on the Progressbar to jump to each story, and around the video.
  1. Headlines
  2. Is the U.S. Exporting Its Travel Ban with Thousands of TSA & DHS Agents in 70 Countries?
  3. Concerns Raised About $1 Billion Facial Scan Program with High Error Rate at Nine U.S. Airports
  4. Deportation Now on Hold for Mexican Journalist Emilio Gutiérrez Soto, But He Remains in Detention
  5. As Trump Attacks Media with "Fake News" Claims, a Record 262 Reporters Are Jailed, 46 Killed in 2017
Thomas Frank Interview -> Obama Chose Wall St. Over Main St., Part 8 | TRNN | 12/29/13 | 21:44
Code Pink Conference: The Arms Industry Hides Behind Euphemisms | TRNN | 12/29/13 | 10:37
Trump Weighs In On Vanity Fair's Apology To Hillary | TYT | 12/28/17 | 3:42
The1a.org
Friday News -- Domestic | 1a.org | 12/29/17 | 1hr
The year started with new leadership that took that nation into uncharted territory politically, culturally and digitally:
But was the inauguration of President Trump the biggest story of 2017? We look back over the major headlines that shaped the year and ones we're not likely to forget in 2018.
Friday News -- International | 1a.org | 12/29/17 | 1hr
While many of the big stories about President Donald Trump concern domestic politics, America's new leader has had a major impact on the world. Whether it's the investigation into Russian election meddling or the growing tension with North Korea, President Trump's presence is felt globally.

Meanwhile, this year also saw persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, an attempted coup in Turkey and major elections in Britain and France.


Donald Trump: I Have 'Absolute Right' To Do What I Want With DOJ | The Last Word | MSNBC | 12/29/13 | 15:14
President Donald Trump Opens Up To NYT In Impromptu Talk | Morning Joe | MSNBC | 12/29/13 | 13:05

12.29.2017. 11:11

Thursday December 28, 2017

26 Photos That Show The Natural Disasters Humanity Faced In 2017
HP | Chris McGonigal and Damon Dahlen | 12/27/17

For those in the United States, 2017 will probably always be associated with the record hurricanes that caused widespread damage in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. In California, raging wildfires destroyed thousands of structures.

But around the world, millions faced other natural disasters as well, including volcanic eruptions in Indonesia and massive flooding in Peru.

Read more
Click to zoom in

Sanctuary Cities
*The Laura Flanders Show: Immigrants Dream of Sanctuary | Laura Flanders Show | 12/28/17 | 26:22

13 Days in July: The Trump White House's crucible
AP & wisconsingazette.com | Jonathan Lemire and Zeke Miller | 12/28/17

They were 13 days that transformed the White House. Even for an administration that spent most of 2017 throwing off headlines at a dizzying pace, events in the second half of July unfolded at breakneck speed. And they yielded aftershocks that reverberate within the White House even as the calendar turns to 2018.

The two-week span laid bare the splintering of Donald Trump's relationships with two influential Cabinet members; foreshadowed the reach of the Russia probe into the interior of his orbit; saw the dramatic, last-minute defeat of one of the president's signature campaign promises; and featured a senior staff shakeup that reset the rhythms of this presidency. ... Read more
*How Two Weeks In July Transformed The White House | Morning Joe | MSNBC | 12/28/13 | 14:28

*32 Tweets That Encapsulate President Donald Trump's First Year | Morning Joe | MSNBC | 12/28/13 | 6:49
*'Terrible Numbers' For Donald Trump In New Poll | Morning Joe | MSNBC | 12/28/13 | 8:44
*How Will The Tax Bill Impact Americans Next Year? | Morning Joe | MSNBC | 12/28/13 | 4:27
*Rex Tillerson Takes Aim At China, Russia In New Op-Ed | Morning Joe | MSNBC | 12/28/13 | 5:13
Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Thursday, December 28 [9:50]
*Former Federal Judge: Trump Is Packing the Courts with Unqualified Conservative Extremists | DN | 12/27/17 | 13:30
Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Thursday, December 28 (FULL) | 59:02
Note: on the full 59:02 video look for small white (or black) circles on the Progressbar they denote the different news stories. You can move the pointer on the Progressbar to jump to each story, and around the video.
  1. Headlines
  2. "Bussed Out": How Cities Are Giving Thousands of Homeless People One-Way Bus Tickets to Leave Town
  3. Lithium, Love and Losing My Mind: Jaime Lowe on Her Life with Bipolar Disorder & Drugs to Manage It
*Thomas Frank Interview -> Presidents Clinton and Obama Helped Make the Democrats a Wall Street Party, Part 1 | TRNN | 12/28/13 | 22:53 *Bill Black -> Corporations Hoard Their Trump Tax Windfall | TRNN | 12/28/13 | 9:07
Trump Supporter Shocks CNN | TYT | 12/27/17 | 9:24
Obama Issues Warning | TYT | 12/27/17 | 9:12
The1a.org
The Psychological Effects Of Signing Off Social Media | 1a.org | 12/28/17 | 1hr
When it comes to social media, is it better to fight or take flight? Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can be open spaces to express your views -- but things can get ugly, fast.
,br> Maybe you're used to the bickering and the trolling on social media, but why put up with it?
,br> At what point would you just log off...forever? Are there health benefits to shunning social media? Or would FOMO online cause you too much anxiety?



12.28.2017. 11:31

Wednesday December 27, 2017

Steve Bannon Blasts 'Javanka' As Everything Wrong With The White House
HP | Mary Papenfuss | 12/23/17

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has attacked President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner as the "railhead of all bad decisions" in the White House.

Bannon picked apart the problems of the White House and derided the couple as "Javanka" in a wide-ranging interview with Vanity Fair published Thursday. He said Ivanka was a "fount of bad advice during the campaign," and claimed he once called her to her face "the queen of leaks." Vanity Fair also reported Bannon considers Kushner an elitist with no political experience who is in over his head and is out of touch with Trump's constituency. ... Read more

Amb. Nikki Haley Negotiates Cuts To US Contributions To United Nations | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC | 12/26/17 | 2:41

**This Should Freak Everyone Out: The Arctic Will Never Be Frozen Again
MotherJones | Eric Holthaus | 12/26/17

This story was originally published by Grist and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Last week, at a New Orleans conference center that once doubled as a storm shelter for thousands during Hurricane Katrina, a group of polar scientists made a startling declaration: The Arctic as we once knew it is no more.

The region is now definitively trending toward an ice-free state, the scientists said, with wide-ranging ramifications for ecosystems, national security, and the stability of the global climate system. It was a fitting venue for an eye-opening reminder that, on its current path, civilization is engaged in an existential gamble with the planet's life-support system. ... Read more
Click to zoom in

The Arctic Report Card 2017

The Arctic as we once knew it is no more. The region is now definitively trending toward an ice-free state, the scientists said, with wide-ranging ramifications for ecosystems, national security, and the stability of the global climate system. It was a fitting venue for an eye-opening reminder that, on its current path, civilization is engaged in an existential gamble with the planet's life-support system.


Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Wednesday, December 27 (FULL) | 59:02
Note: on the full 59:02 video look for small white (or black) circles on the Progressbar they denote the different news stories. You can move the pointer on the Progressbar to jump to each story, and around the video.
  1. Headlines
  2. Former Federal Judge: Trump Is Packing the Courts with Unqualified Conservative Extremists
  3. Meet the Federal Judge Trump Attacked for Ruling NYPD's Stop & Frisk Policy was Unconstitutional
  4. Outgoing NY City Council Speaker on Her Work to Close Rikers, Expand Living Wage, Protect Immigrants
REPLAY
The Pathology of the Rich - Chris Hedges, Part 1 | TRNN | 12/05/13 | 23:37
The Pathology of the Rich - Chris Hedges, Part 2 | TRNN | 12/05/13 | 14:12
Trump Republican Calling For Purge | TYT | 12/26/17 | 3:23
Republicans LOVE Redistributing Wealth | TYT | 12/26/17 | 8:07
The1a.org
he New Tax Law And Your Financial Future | 1a.org | 12/27/17 | 1hr
Every tax season brings at least a little confusion, but you might have even more questions than usual about your financial future after the massive Republican tax overhaul that became law last week.

How should individuals, families and small businesses prepare for Tax Day now?


Is President Donald Trump Still Considering Firing Robert Mueller? | Morning Joe | MSNBC | 12/27/17 | 14:37
Definitive Timeline Of The Trump-Russia Connections | Morning Joe | MSNBC | 12/27/17 | 14:49
A Look at President Donald Trump's First Year | Morning Joe | MSNBC | 12/27/17 | 14:03
Ex-Intel Leaders Say Russia Hasn't Stopped Cyber Attacks | Morning Joe | MSNBC | 12/27/17 | 6:14
Note: I add this just to expose you to what the Alt Right is listening to. Sometimes pretty scary.
Breaking! Jerome Corsi, Big Monsters Going Down? | Infowars | 12/22/17 | 9:03
Roger Stone, Saved Trumps Life! Mark Burns | Infowars | 12/22/17 | 9:45

12.27.2017. 10:32

Tuesday December 26, 2017

Trump visited his properties over 100 times this year
CNN | Dan Merica | 12/22/17

West Palm Beach, Florida (CNN)President Donald Trump, fresh off of signing his signature tax legislation, arrived in Florida on Friday for a prolonged visit at Mar-A-Lago, his private club that sits on this tony spit of land in Southern Florida. With him comes a host of White House aides, an abundance of Secret Service agents and the ongoing controversy around the President boosting his private businesses by making frequent visits to properties that bear the Trump name.

Trump's Friday arrival to Mar-A-Lago will mark the 106th day Trump has visited one of his properties as President, a fact that critics argue helps the businessman-turned-politician boost the bottom line at The Trump Organization. Trump transferred his business holdings to a trust run by his sons before taking office earlier this year, but stopped short of selling off his holdings. ... Read more

Note: t is unclear how much each visit to Mar-A-Lago costs and estimating the cost is difficult because of fluctuations based on security protocols and protection on each trip. But a 2016 Government Accountability Office report for a four-day trip President Barack Obama took to Florida in 2013 found that total cost to the Secret Service and Coast Guard was around $3 million.
Trump Visited Properties More Than 100 Times | TYT | 12/25/17 | 5:05

Report: Hundreds of EPA employees leave under Trump
CNN | Sophie Tatum | 12/22/17/span>

Hundreds of Environmental Protection Agency employees have exited their posts at the agency over the course of President Donald Trump's first year in office, a report by the New York Times and ProPublica said Friday. The Trump administration has touted efforts to roll back regulations at the agency, and an internal memo obtained by CNN in April revealed a buyout program that was aimed at curbing employment.

... In April, CNN reported that John O'Grady, president of AFGE Council 238, the union that represents EPA employees, said the Trump administration's goal was to cut "at least 3,100 full-time employees." ... Read more
Hundreds Fleeing Trump's EPA | TYT | 12/25/17 | 6:28

Where is Trump's Cabinet? It's anybody's guess.
Politico | Emily Holden | 12/26/17

Agency heads are carrying out the Trump administration's agenda largely in secret, in many cases shielding their schedules from public view.

The Cabinet members carrying out President Donald Trump's orders to shake up the federal government are doing so under an unusual layer of secrecy -- often shielding their schedules from public view, keeping their travels under wraps and refusing to identify the people and groups they're meeting.

A POLITICO review of the practices of 17 Cabinet heads found that at least seven routinely decline to release information on their planned schedules or travels -- information that was more widely available during the Obama and George W. Bush administrations. Four other departments -- Agriculture, Labor, Homeland Security and Education -- provide the secretaries' schedules only sporadically or with few details. The Treasury Department began releasing weekly schedules for Secretary Steven Mnuchin only in November.

In addition, at least seven Cabinet departments don't release appointment calendars that would show, after the fact, who their leaders had met with, what they discussed and where they traveled -- a potential violation of the Freedom of Information Act, which says agencies must make their records "promptly available to any person." At least two departments -- Education and the Environmental Protection Agency -- have released some of those details after activist groups sued them. ... Read more

Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Tuesday, December 26 (FULL) | 59:02
Note: on the full 59:02 video look for small white (or black) circles on the Progressbar they denote the different news stories. You can move the pointer on the Progressbar to jump to each story, and around the video.
  1. Headlines
  2. Allan Nairn: United States Tries -- But Fails -- to Stop to Stop Hondurans from Protesting Election Fraud
  3. Allan Nairn: By Recognizing Jerusalem as Capital of Israel, Trump Drops "Pretense of Neutrality"
  4. 2017 in Review: Allan Nairn on Trump's "Rightist Revolution" & the Social Movements Pushing Back
Clinton, Blair and Obama Destroyed the Idealism of Politics - Gabriel Byrne on RAI, Part3 | TRNN | 12/26/17 | 20:29
Trump Suppressing Biggest National Security Threat | TRNN | 12/25/17 | 7:31
Pentagon Drops Climate Change From Global Threat List | TYT | 12/25/17 | 5:42
U.S. House Votes for $4.5 Trillion Tax Increase (On The Poor & The Middle Class) | TYT | 12/26/17 | 7:11
The1a.org
Months After María | 1a.org | 12/26/17 | 1hr
When the skies cleared in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, the island was left in almost total darkness. The storm took the lives of 66 people ... but more than 1,000 have died in the days and months since the island's worst natural disaster on record.

Many of the fatalities include residents over 50 years old who were hospitalized or lived in nursing homes due to age and illness -- a stark comparison to the death toll from the same period of time in 2016.

As the news cycle has largely moved on from the plight of Puerto Rico, how are Americans on the island dealing with the process of rebuilding communities and caring for people who need special resources to survive? And what level of aid is the federal government providing for a U.S. territory in need?

The world's forceful response to the Trump administration's foreign policy moves | PBS | 12/22/17 | 24:54

Joe: What Nikki Haley Did At The UN Was An Embarrassment | Morning Joe | MSNBC | 12/22/17 | 10:28
A Look at President Trump's First Year | Morning Joe | MSNBC | 12/25/17 | 14:03
Donald Trump Hid Mar-A-Lago Tax Deal From IRS | The Beat With Ari Melber | MSNBC | 12/22/17 | 6:10
New Poll: Only 24% Think GOP Tax Plan is Good Idea | AM Joy | MSNBC | 12/24/17 | 14:31
Should Trump get credit for stock market success? | CNN | 12/26/17 | 2:47

12.26.2017. 10:38

Friday December 22, 2017

Trump eyes former aides as West Wing staffers depart
Politico | Andrew Restuccia | 12/21/17

Behind closed doors, the president has lately been talking up the outside advisers who helped usher him into the White House, fueling speculation about new additions in 2018.

Speculation about additions to the cast of characters in Season 2 of Trump’s West Wing has ramped up as the administration braces itself for a wave of staff departures expected in the coming weeks, according to a dozen White House aides and outside advisers who have spoken with the president.

In recent weeks, these people say, Trump has been particularly high on Larry Kudlow, an outside economic adviser to the president and a former adviser to President Ronald Reagan. He helped lobby senators on the tax bill and was on hand at the White House on Wednesday for the South Lawn celebration after it passed. ... Read more

Tax Bill Is Great for Accountants -- Unless They Have Holiday Plans
NYT | Tiffany Hsu | 12/22/17

Jonathan Traub was supposed to spend his family vacation in Breckenridge, Colo., skiing and roasting marshmallows. Instead, Mr. Traub, the head of Deloitte’s tax-policy practice in Washington, has been holed up in the resort town, producing tax-analysis documents and recording podcasts for clients, trying to explain sweeping tax changes in real time.

Read more

What’s in the Final Republican Tax Bill
NYT | Wilson Andrews | 12/15/17

House and Senate Republicans have released a final plan to resolve the differences between their tax overhaul bills. The legislation would cut taxes for corporations. American taxpayers, in large part, would also get cuts, though most of the changes affecting taxpayers would expire after 2025. Read more

Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Friday, December 22 (FULL) | 59:02
Note: on the full 59:02 video look for small white (or black) circles on the Progressbar they denote the different news stories. You can move the pointer on the Progressbar to jump to each story, and around the video.
  1. Headlines
  2. Coming soon
UN Security Council Isolates the US on Jerusalem | TRNN | 12/21/17 | 9:53
Bannon For President? | TYT | 10/21/17 | 7:59
Tax Cuts Already Raising Wages? | TYT | 12/21/17 | 10:03
The1a.org
Friday News -- Domestic | 1a.org | 12/21/17 | 1hr
The tax bill is a done deal. But we’re not done talking about it. In fact, we’re bound to hear more about the massive GOP tax reform next year during midterm elections. Speaking of elections, how is it that a race for a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates has come down to … this? And President Donald Trump now holds a seat in a coveted amusement park attraction.
Friday News -- International | 1a.org | 12/21/17 | 1hr
Nikki Haley says the U.S. is “taking names” of countries criticizing America’s policies on Israel. And it looks like the U.S. will have to take a lot of names. In the UN General Assembly Thursday, 128 nations backed a resolution asking other countries to not follow the United States’ example in pledging to move its embassy to Jerusalem. As NPR points out, “among the countries that voted in favor of the resolution are many traditional U.S. allies, including the United Kingdom and France.”

Another controversial American concept also took some punishment from Europe this week. The European Union’s top court declared that ride-hailing app Uber is a taxi service, not simply a tech company. This means Uber could face more regulations in Europe.

And from one tech story to another, the White House says North Korea was behind this year’s devastating WannaCry cyberattack.


Donald Trump "Lies All The Time" - Rep. Jerry Nadler | All-In | MSNBC | 10/21/17 | 6:16
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
*Fox & Friend | December 20, 2017 | Samantha Bee | 10/20/17 | 5:34
*Apocalypse Soon | December 20, 2017 | Samantha Bee | 10/20/17 | 6:45
Late Night with Seth Meyers
Republicans Praise Trump; Trump Claims He Repealed Obamacare | Seth Meyers | 10/21/17 | 7:38

12.22.2017. 07:29

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