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Wednesday, February 07, 2018

he most bitter dispute over the Nunes memo involves Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. This might seem odd since the memo, published last week by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee chaired by Devin Nunes (R. Calif.), does not address the Mueller investigation. Rather, it homes in on potential abuses of foreign-intelligence-collection authorities by Obama-era Justice Department and FBI officials, said to have occurred many months before Mueller was appointed. Nevertheless, it is simply a fact that many ardent supporters of President Trump claim the legitimacy of the Mueller investigation is destroyed by revelations in the Nunes memo -- particularly, the improper use of the unverified Steele dossier to obtain a FISA-court warrant to spy on Carter Page...The idea is that without the Steele dossier, there would be no Trump-Russia narrative, and thus no collusion investigation -- which is how Trump supporters perceive the Mueller probe.


The House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation Tuesday giving greater flexibility to restaurants and grocery stores in complying with an Obamacare regulation that mandated every food item be labeled with calorie counts. The Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act, sponsored by House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R., Wash.), passed on a 266 to 157 vote, with 32 Democrats joining Republicans.


Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Only a few aging historians still remember Rep. John J. Rooney, but from the 1940s into the 1970s he was FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's most powerful enabler. Rooney, a Brooklyn, N.Y., Democrat, led the House appropriations subcommittee that oversaw the Justice Department. He remained Hoover's steadfast ally as presidents from Truman through Nixon came and went.

John Rooney personified an era in which congressional Democrats eagerly aided and abetted the FBI's running amok, as the bureau surveilled political activists who attracted Hoover's ire. Rooney's retirement in 1974 ushered in a radically different age, featuring rigorous and aggressive congressional oversight. A new generation of Democrats, led by principled progressives like Sen. Frank Church and Rep. Otis Pike, courageously proved ready and willing to expose and eliminate the abuse of Americans' constitutional rights that had long been Hoover's political bread and butter. read more


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Bari Weiss, New York Times: Imagine this: The author of the most popular book in the country goes on Bill Maher's show and says the following about President Barack Obama: "There is something in the book that I was absolutely sure of but it was so incendiary that I just didn't have the ultimate proof," he says. "I didn't have the blue dress." The host pushes the coy writer for a hint. "You just have to read between the lines toward the end of the book," the writer answers. "When you hit that paragraph you're going to say, 'Bingo!'" Within moments, every person with a copy turns to the last bit. The woman's name jumps out as if it was printed in boldface: Samantha Power, the United Nations ambassador. "The president has been spending a notable amount of private time," the book says, with her on Air Force One. Do I have to tell you what the reaction to this rumor-mongering would be? read more


America's comfort level with the LGBTQ population is declining, according to GLADD, one of the oldest and largest LGBTQ organizations. GLAAD reports a drop of 3 to 4 percent drop in people's reported "comfort levels" with several scenarios, such as learning a family member is gay. "This year, the acceptance pendulum abruptly stopped and swung in the opposite direction," the report states. "More non-LGBTQ adults responded that they were ‘very' or ‘somewhat' uncomfortable around LGBTQ people in select scenarios." The decline is paired with a significant increase in LGBTQ people reporting discrimination because of sexual orientation or gender identity," the report continues. "This change can be seen as a dangerous repercussion in the tenor of discourse and experience over the last year. 2017 brought heightened rhetoric toward marginalized communities to the forefront of American culture." The survey incorporated 2,100 respondents...and has been in place for several years.


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