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Archive for January 4th, 2017

From the Yuk, yuk, yuk dept. This headline from yesterday’s Politco:

Conway: GOP has ‘mandate’ to gut congressional ethics office

This is from the Politico story:

The move by Republicans in Congress to gut the independent Office of Congressional Ethics will cut down on “overzealousness,” incoming counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway said Tuesday morning, while leaving in place a “mechanism” with which to address ethical complaints.

Although Conway stopped short of saying the GOP move came with the blessing of the president-elect, she told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that Republican majorities in the House and Senate mean “there’s a mandate there for them to make significant change.” She said she had not spoken to President-elect Donald Trump about the move.

“Let’s make clear that you’re still going to have an Office of Complaint Review. In other words, it’s not like we’re taking away everything,” Conway told “Good Morning America” anchor George Stephanopoulos. “Look, there’s a very ambitious agenda to push forward. The Republicans have been given the majority in the House and the Senate, most of the governorships, they’ve won over 1,000 state legislative seats under President Obama’s watch. So there’s a mandate there for them to make significant change.”

House Republicans voted Monday night during a closed-door meeting to dramatically cut back the powers of the Office of Congressional Ethics, which would put the currently-independent watchdog under the control of the very lawmakers it is supposed to police. The plan, proposed by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), would give the office a new name, the Office of Complaint Review, and would “provide protection against disclosures to the public or other government entities,” essentially keeping secret any accusations against members of Congress. The proposal would also bar the restructured office from considering anonymous tips.

Well, we all know the outcome to this story. Conway got it very, very wrong. The American people showed outrage yesterday and the GOP got their arses handed to them and backed off big time.

American People 1, GOP zip on this one.

Jeff Bagwell hit his 449th and final career dinger off of which Hall of Fame pitcher?

Yeah, who is very strange? This tweet from yesterday:

Teddy Schleifer Retweeted

Donald J. Trump ‏@realDonaldTrump 2h2 hours ago

The “Intelligence” briefing on so-called “Russian hacking” was delayed until Friday, perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange!

Related to the above, this tweet came out:

Brett RedactedVerified account ‏@BrettRedacted 2h2 hours ago

Brett Redacted Retweeted Donald J. Trump

Trump’s “press conference” on so-called “business conflicts” delayed until January, perhaps more time to build a case. Very strange!

This is from the internet yesterday:

Bill and Hillary Clinton have decided to attend the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, according to two sources with knowledge of their plans. The Clintons will join former Presidents George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter, who have also announced that they will attend. George and Laura Bush said today that they would be present “to witness the peaceful transfer of power.”

Two well-placed sources tell New York that over the past few weeks Hillary Clinton discussed with trusted advisers and friends whether or not she should attend the inaugural. She and President Clinton, the sources said, decided to do so out of a sense of duty and respect for the American democratic process.

Commentary would have defended the Clintons if they had decided to skip the event.

R.G. has a take on Burkablog on this here http://www.texasmonthly.com/burka-blog/george-laura-bush-plus-clintons-attend-trumps-inauguration/.

There is from an Op-Ed on Sen. Jeff Sessions in the Washington Post from the following:

Gerald Hebert is director of the Voting Rights and Redistricting Program at the Campaign Legal Center. Joseph D. Rich is co-director of the Fair Housing and Community Development Project at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. William Yeomans is a fellow in law and government at American University’s Washington College of Law; on Election Day, he worked as a voter protection legal volunteer for the Democratic Party of Virginia.

Here are parts:

Attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions is trying to mislead his Senate colleagues, and the country, into believing he is a champion for civil rights. We are former Justice Department civil rights lawyers who worked on the civil rights cases that Sessions cites as evidence for this claim, so we know: The record isn’t Sessions’s to burnish. We won’t let the nominee misstate his civil rights history to get the job of the nation’s chief law enforcement officer.

In the questionnaire he filed recently with the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sessions (R-Ala.) listed four civil rights cases among the 10 most significant that he litigated “personally” as the U.S. attorney for Alabama during the 1980s. Three involved voting rights, while the fourth was a school desegregation case. Following criticism for exaggerating his role, he then claimed that he provided “assistance and guidance” on these cases.

We worked in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, which brought those lawsuits; we handled three of the four ourselves. We can state categorically that Sessions had no substantive involvement in any of them. He did what any U.S. attorney would have had to do: He signed his name on the complaint, and we added his name on any motions or briefs. That’s it.

And:

Attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions is trying to mislead his Senate colleagues, and the country, into believing he is a champion for civil rights. We are former Justice Department civil rights lawyers who worked on the civil rights cases that Sessions cites as evidence for this claim, so we know: The record isn’t Sessions’s to burnish. We won’t let the nominee misstate his civil rights history to get the job of the nation’s chief law enforcement officer.

In the questionnaire he filed recently with the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sessions (R-Ala.) listed four civil rights cases among the 10 most significant that he litigated “personally” as the U.S. attorney for Alabama during the 1980s. Three involved voting rights, while the fourth was a school desegregation case. Following criticism for exaggerating his role, he then claimed that he provided “assistance and guidance” on these cases.

We worked in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, which brought those lawsuits; we handled three of the four ourselves. We can state categorically that Sessions had no substantive involvement in any of them. He did what any U.S. attorney would have had to do: He signed his name on the complaint, and we added his name on any motions or briefs. That’s it.

Here is the entire Op-Ed : https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/jeff-sessions-says-he-handled-these-civil-rights-cases-he-barely-touched-them/2017/01/03/4ddfffa6-d0fa-11e6-a783-cd3fa950f2fd_story.html?utm_term=.30a747cdb3ba.

Sessions will get the votes even though he fudges on his application. What a tool. And he is going to be our chief law enforcement officer.

Then this tweet came out yesterday and made some news:

CNNVerified account ‏@CNN 14m14 minutes ago

Megyn Kelly to leave Fox News later this year and join NBC News http://cnn.it/2i7Fgo3

I guess NBC News is going to do what NBC News is going to do. It is their money. Just like CNN does what it wants to do. If NBC News wants to give big money so Megyn Kelly can make a career change and try journalism, it is their money.

Jeff Bagwell of course hit his final career dinger off of Greg Maddux.

SpringerDinger has decided not to play in the World Baseball Classic and don’t ask me what the heck is the World Baseball Classic.

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