Archive for the ‘Republicans’ Category

Why GOP Congressman Killed Web Privacy: ‘Nobody’s got to use the Internet’

April 28, 2017

Why GOP Congressman Killed Web Privacy: 'Nobody's got to use the Internet'

At at recent Town Hall, 73-year-old Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI, 5) explained why he and his fellow Republicans voted to allow your Internet Service Provider to sell your browsing history:

“Nobody’s got to use the Internet. … And the thing is that if you start regulating the Internet like a utility, if we did that right at the beginning, we would have no Internet. … Internet companies have invested an awful lot of money in having almost universal service now. The fact is is that, you know, I don’t think it’s my job to tell you that you cannot get advertising for your information being sold. My job, I think, is to tell you that you have the opportunity to do it, and then you take it upon yourself to make that choice. … That’s what the law has been, and I think we ought to have more choices rather than fewer choices with the government controlling our everyday lives.”

You may recall that the Internet (and the Web as we know it) was developed by government, with your federal tax dollars.

More:

“‘Nobody’s got to use the Internet’: A GOP lawmaker’s response to concerns about Web privacy,” Kristine Phillips, Washington Post

“Why one Republican voted to kill privacy rules: ‘Nobody has to use the Internet,’” Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica

_______________

Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-pB0

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

It’s Magic! Trump’s Tax Cut Will Pay for Itself.

April 27, 2017

It's Magic! Trump’s Tax Cut Will Pay for Itself.

On Wednesday the Trump Administration rolled out its Tax Plan, less a ‘plan’ than a plutocrat’s wet dreamCorporate tax rate slashed, huge new pass-through business loophole opened, giveaways to wealthy heirstaxes for the rich slashed and their nannies and mansions subsidized through tax deductions.

This won’t produce a federal revenue shortfall, the Tax Fairy promises; tax cuts for the wealthy will pay for themselves.  How? Magic! The same magic that worked so well during the 30 years of the GOP’s trickle-down, deregulating, big-corporate, no-taxes-for-the-rich philosophy, the failed policies that crashed the world economy when Republican leadership was last inflicted upon the nation, making the rich even wealthier at the expense of the rest.

More:

“Trump’s treasury secretary: The tax cut ‘will pay for itself,'” Damian Paletta and Max Ehrenfreund, Washington Post

“Mnuchin: Our Tax Cuts for the Rich Are Not About Cutting Taxes for the Rich,” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

“The New GOP Math: ‘Dynamic Scoring’ Doesn’t Add Up.” NotionsCapital

____________________________

Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-pF5

Image by Mike Licht (with apologies to The Great Karlini, Ludwig Trinka). Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Mike Flynn’s Russian Headslapper

April 26, 2017

Mike Flynn's Russian Headslapper
           General Mike Flynn: “D’oh!”

President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, failed to seek permission or inform the U.S. government about accepting tens of thousands of dollars from Russian organizations after a trip there in 2015. There are also questions about $530,000 in consulting work his company performed for a businessman tied to Turkey’s government.

“Personally, I see no data to support the notion that Gen. Flynn complied with the law,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R, UT-3), Chairman of the House Oversight Committee. Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D, MD-7 ) added that failure to file information on such payments is a felony. The Oversight Committee’s request for Gen. Flynn’s files was rejected by the White House.

Before Donald Trump hired Mike Flynn as his National Security Advisor and then ousted him, Gen. Flynn was known for shouting “Lock her up!” at Trump campaign rallies.

More:

“Flynn probably broke the law by failing to disclose foreign payments, House Oversight leaders say,” Karoun Demirjian, Washington Post

“What Law Is Michael Flynn Accused of Violating?” Brendan Morrow, Heavy

Updates:

“Flynn was warned not to accept foreign government payments,” Chad Day and Stephen Braun, Associated Press

“Top Pentagon watchdog launches investigation into money that Michael Flynn received from foreign groups,” By Dan Lamothe, Washington Post

___________

Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-pHN

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

Romney’s Binders

April 24, 2017

Romney's Binders
Remember back in 2012 when Mitt Romney responded to comments about his campaign’s lack of gender diversity by claiming he had “binders full of women“? He really did.

“The Boston Globe recently reported that it had obtained the files — which were indeed literal three-ring binders full of cover letters and résumés — by way of an unnamed former Romney aide.

The binders weighed in ‘at an aggregate 15 pounds, 6 ounces,’ according to the Globe.

At the time, Romney’s remark came across as patronizing, a reflection of his awkward and detached public persona at its most visible.”

— “Mitt Romney Really Did Have Literal Three-Ring ‘Binders Full Of Women,'” Esme Cribb, TPM Livewire

__________

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p6sb6-pxV

Top image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

There is Law on ‘An Island In the Pacific’: Jeff Sessions is Amazed

April 21, 2017

There is Law on 'An Island In the Pacific': Jeff Sessions is Amazed
Speaking on Mark Levin’s radio show, Attorney General Jeff Sessions addressed Hawaiian Federal Judge Derrick Watson’s order blocking President Trump’s latest ‘Muslim ban”:

“I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the President of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and Constitutional power.”

Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III is clearly suggesting that Hawaii is not a real state.

As Martin Longman observes:

“… Hawaii is not only a series of islands in the Pacific, but it is the least white and most ethnically and racially diverse state in the country. That probably has at least a little to do with why a white conservative man from Alabama named after the former president of the Confederacy and the man who fired on Ft. Sumter doesn’t think it’s a legitimate part of America.”

— “Sessions Suggests That Hawaiians Aren’t Real Americans,” Martin Longman, Washington Monthly

(more…)

Steamy Scandal in the Heart of Dixie

April 10, 2017

Steamy Scandal in the Heart of Dixie

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley appears to have had an affair with a top aide, Rebekah Caldwell Mason, a married woman. That’s been pretty embarrassing for the “Love Gov,” a former Sunday school teacher, who was married at the time, but it gets worse. While Ms. Mason was the governor’s senior political adviser, it still wasn’t legal for him to use campaign funds to pay for her legal defense. As usual, the cover-up is worse than the sexy-time crime.

On Wednesday the Alabama Ethics Commission found probable cause that Governor Bentley violated the Alabama Ethics Act and the Fair Campaign Practices Act. On Friday the state’s House Judiciary Committee released a 3,000-page report with scandalous details about security personnel seeing Ms. Mason “leaving the office with her hair tousled and her clothing in disarray,”mushy text messages between her and the Gov, and allegations the governor threatened his wife’s staffers for talking about the affair. On Saturday the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that the legislature can go ahead with impeachment proceedings, and lawmakers are expected to begin impeachment hearings today.

Updates:

“Robert Bentley, Alabama Governor, Resigns Amid Scandal,” Alan Blinder, New York Times

“Alabama Guv Resigns, Is Convicted On 2 Campaign Finance Charges,”Allegra Kirkland, TPM Livewire

“Kay Ivey becomes governor; promises open administration,” Brian Lyman, Montgomery Advertiser

“Why It Took Alabama’s Governor So Long to Resign,” alan Greenblatt, Governing

“Robert Bentley joins a growing list of Alabama governors who had trouble with the law,” Travis M. Andrews, Washington Post

“How Alabama’s Shady Governor Cultivated a Culture of Disenfranchisement,” Brentin Mock, CityLab

____________________________

Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-pvD

Top image. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

Bridgegate Conspirators on Off-Ramp to Prison

April 5, 2017

Bridgegate Conspirators on Off-Ramp to Prison
Two former allies of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie convicted in the Bridgegate caper were sentenced by Newark Federal Court Judge Susan Wigenton on Wednesday. Former Christie aide Bridget Anne Kelly will spend 18 months behind bars, and former Port Authority executive Bill Baroni will reside in prison for two years. The two Republicans will remain free on bail while they appeal their convictions. Donald Trump’s sister Maryanne is a New Jersey Federal Appeals Court judge, but she won’t be hearing the case.

In September 2013 members of the Christie Administration and Christie-appointed members of the New York Port Authority decided to punish Mayor Mark J. Sokolich of Fort Lee, a Democrat, for not supporting the governor’s re-election bid. They had George Washington Bridge access lanes in Fort Lee blocked, causing five days of massive traffic jams. Political fallout from this emerged in time to tank Christie’s presidential campaign and then push him out of the Trump transition team.

____________________________

Short link:

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Trump’s Shady Russian Business Ties

April 4, 2017

Trump's Shady Russian Business Ties

“. . . USA Today looked at the ‘wealthy Russians and oligarchs from former Soviet Republics — several allegedly connected to organized crime,’ who have invested in Trump-branded real estate, basing the article on a ‘review of court cases, government and legal documents, and an interview with a former federal prosecutor.’ The review focused on ’10 wealthy former Soviet businessmen with alleged ties to criminal organizations or money laundering,’ but the pertinent question now is whether Trump is beholden to Kremlin-linked Russian oligarchs.”
— “Ex-federal prosecutor says shady Russian money is keeping the Trump Organization afloat,” Peter Weber, The Week

(more…)

Trump’s Mercenary Back-Channel to Russia

April 3, 2017

Trump's Mercenary Backchannel to Russia

Nine days before Donald Trump’s inauguration, the United Arab Emirates arranged a secret meeting between Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a contact close to Russian President Vladi­mir Putin, according to the Washington Post. The January 11th meetup, an attempt to open a back-channel line of communication between Putin and Trump, took place in the Seychelles islands. Erik Prince, who donated $250,000 to the Trump election effort, is still in the army-for-hire business, providing private security services for the UAE, and lives part-time in Abu Dhabi. His sister, Betsy DeVos, is currently Secretary of Education.

More:

“Blackwater founder held secret Seychelles meeting to establish Trump-Putin back channel,” Adam Entous, Greg Miller, Kevin Sieff and Karen DeYoung, Washington Post

____________

Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-ptI

Top image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

Congress: Kiss Internet Privacy Goodbye

March 30, 2017

Congress: Kiss Internet Privacy Goodbye

The Internet was already a surveillance state, but now Congress has removed your last vestige of Web privacy by passing a bill to allow your Internet service provider (ISP) — AT&T, Comcast, Verizon,  Spectrum (Time Warner Cable) — to gather your browsing history data and sell it. You won’t be able to opt out. Under the last administration, the FCC had ruled that ISPs are public utilities like electricity and telephone companies, and subscribers are entitled to privacy protections. After all, your phone company can’t eavesdrop on your conversations, and even the government needs a warrant to find out who you called.

But Republicans in both houses passed legislation that allows Comcast and the like to sell your browsing history, and the current president says he’ll sign it. ISPs will be able to sell data about your shopping, video streaming, medical needs, political views, and personal life.

There may be new business opportunities here. Maybe ISPs will blackmail you into preserving your privacy by paying more for a premium private service tier.

More:

“The 265 members of Congress who sold you out to ISPs, and how much it cost to buy them,” T.C. Sottek, The Verge

“House Dems launch pro-broadband privacy petition,” Ali Breland, The Hill

“Protesters raise more than $200,000 to buy Congress’s browsing histories,” Travis M. Andrews, Washington Post

“The Conservative Case Against Trashing Online Privacy Rules,” Klint Finley, Wired

“Dems urge Trump to veto bill blocking online privacy rule,” Associated Press

Update:

“Lawmakers Who Championed Repeal of Web Browsing Privacy Protections Raked in Telecom Campaign Cash,” Lee Fang, The Intercept

_______________

Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-prg

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine