H.R. 2884: The COVFEFE Act

June 14, 2017

H.R.2884: The COVFEFE Act
Congressman Mike Quigley (D, IL-05) has introduced the Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement or “COVFEFE” Act, H.R.2884. It would amend the Presidential Records Act ( Sec. 2201, Title 44 USC) to include social media, ensuring preservation of presidential tweets. It has been referred to House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

The bill’s short title was provided by Donald Trump in a well-known tweet, since deleted.  Since Mr. Trump’s is the first Twitter Presidency, that deletion illustrates the need for such legislation, and Press Secretary Sean Spicer has already observed that the president’s tweets are official White House statements.

More:

“Remember covfefe? It might become a law about presidential records.” Carly Sitrin, Vox

“COVFEFE Act would make social media a presidential record,” Joe Uchill, The Hill

“The Covfefe Act Has A Silly Name — But It Addresses A Real Quandary,” Laurel Wamsley, NPR

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

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The Senate’s Secret Medicine

June 13, 2017

Last month the House of Representatives sent a critically-ill healthcare bill to the Senate emergency room, where the men of the Senate GOP Group Medical Practice are still performing secret surgery on it. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is cautiously optimistic about the bill’s condition. If you want to know details about the senate version of the American Health Care Act, you’ll have to wait until it comes up for a vote on Senate floor.

Wait. Won’t senators be able to examine the proposed legislation and offer amendments during hearings?

We don’t need no stinkin’ hearings, says Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R – UT), That way the bill can pass the Senate with a simple majority, not the usual two-thirds vote.

In the video above, Senator Claire McCaskill (D- MO) responds to the GOP’s diagnosis with a second opinion.

More:

“The Senate’s three tools on health care: Sabotage, speed and secrecy,” Andy Slavitt, Washington Post

Update:

“Conservatives near revolt on Senate health care negotiations,” Burgess Everett, Politico

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Credibility: Comey Versus Trump

June 12, 2017

On June 8th, former FBI Director James Comey testified under oath before the Senate Intelligence Committee that President Trump asked him to end the FBI investigation of former White House advisor Michael Flynn’s Russian contacts.

Senator Martin Heinrich ( D – NM): “A lot of this comes down to who should we believe. Do you want to say anything as to why we should believe you?”

James Comey: “I think people should look at the whole body of my testimony because, as I used to say to juries when I talked about a witness, you can’t cherry-pick it. You can’t say ‘I like these things he said, but on this, he’s a dirty, rotten liar’. You can’t say, ‘I like these things he said but on this, he’s a [rot]ten liar’. You have to take it together.”

“… in looking at any witness, you look at consistency, track record, demeanor, record over time, that sort of thing.”

President Trump refuted Mr. Comey’s charges that he sought to impede the Flynn investigation, and offered to testify under oath about the matter. The last time Donald Trump offered sworn testimony, in 2007, he was forced to admit to lying 30 times.

Video clip: Fred Astaire and Jane Powell in Royal Wedding (1951). Music by Burton Lane, with lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner

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Sooner or Later

June 11, 2017

“Sooner or Later” written and performed by John Németh.

John Németh website

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Femme

June 11, 2017

“Femme,” by Le Couleur. Video by David Dean Burkhart.

Le Couleur website

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Black & White

June 11, 2017

“Black & White,” written in 1951 by David Arkin and Earl Robinson, performed by Greyhound in 1971. The song was originally recorded by Pete Seeger.

More:

“Greyhound – The Story behind ‘Black and White,'” Marco On The Bass

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Nervous Breakdown

June 10, 2017

“Nervous Breakdown,” written and performed by Carleen Anderson. Video directed by David Betteridge.

Carleen Anderson website.

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High In Heels

June 10, 2017

“High In Heels,” written and performed by Kelsey Waldon on Live from the Loveless Cafe in 2014. The pedal steel player may be Brett Resnick.

Kelsey Waldon website

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Apricot Tree

June 10, 2017

“Tsirani Tsar (Apricot Tree),” an Armenian folksong interpreted by Komitas, performed by Canadian violinist Nuné Melik on a 1750 Carlo Ferdinando Landolfi violin from the Canada Council Musical Instrument Bank.

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Sugar: Threat or Menace?

June 9, 2017

Is a sugar a drug? A PBS Digital video by Joe Hanson.

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