Congressional Republicans are refusing to hold Donald J. Trump and his cronies accountable for the greatest scandal of all: climate change denial.
Just imagine how Republicans would act if we had a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that claimed ISIS was no threat to the United States and refused to take any action against it. How would the GOP respond if that Chairman began telling the media that ISIS did not exist and Americans should not worry about it? What would Republicans do if this imaginary chairman kept making such absurd claims even as ISIS terrorists were murdering innocent Americans in the streets?
Republicans would be demanding that general or admiral be drummed out of the service and possibly court martialed. Disturbingly those Republicans are tolerating an outrage just as great or greater by allowing Scott Pruitt to serve as Director of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Scott Pruitt Needs to Held Accountable
Pruitt is a notorious climate change denier, whose claims about global warming are constantly being refuted by scientists. Indeed a very good case can be made the Pruitt lied to the U.S. Senate during his confirmation testimony. A study by scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, MIT and the University of Washington (Seattle) directly refuted at least one of Pruitt’s claims, The Washington Post reported.
If these claims are true Pruitt may have lied to Congress which is perjury; a felony that can carry a sentence of up to five years in a federal prison, according to the Find Law Blotter. Section 1001, Title 18 of the United States Code states that a person who makes a material statement that is false or fraudulent to federal officials is guilty of a crime.
If he is convicted of or pleads guilty to perjury Pruitt can also be stripped of his bar license. Disturbingly lying to Congress is not the only unethical behavior Pruitt is accused of.
The Oklahoma Bar Association is investigating Pruitt for using a private email account to conduct official business in his former job as Oklahoma’s Attorney General, The Hill reported. This is the same unethical behavior that Trump attacked Hillary Clinton for; yet he appointed a person accused of it to one of the most vital jobs in the nation.Read more
The shortage of affordable housing across America; and the problem of homelessness, it generates are getting worse. To make matters worse neither Congress nor the President is willing to acknowledge or deal with the shameful catastrophe
The epicenter of the crisis is Los Angeles County; where homelessness increased by 23% in 2016, according to The LA Times. Data gathered by the Los Angeles Homeless Authority shows the extent of the problem. Some disturbing numbers about homelessness in the nation’s second largest city include:
- There were 34,000 homeless people in Los Angeles in 2016.
- More than two million families in Los Angeles and Orange counties spend more than 30% of their income on housing.
- Housing prices in California increased by 30% between 2000 and 2015 even though average incomes remained the same.
- The average rent for a one bedroom apartment in Los Angeles is $1,995; nearly $2,000, a month.
- The average rent for a two or three bedroom apartment in Los Angeles is now $2,416 a month.
- The number of homeless people in Los Angeles County increased by 17,000 in 2016.
- The number of homeless veterans in Los Angeles County more than doubled. Rising by 57% to 4,828.
- The number of homeless families in Los Angeles increased by 30% in 2016.
- The number of homeless people with a disability or mental illness in Los Angeles increased by 20% in 2016.
- The fastest growing group of homeless was the young. The number of homeless people between ages 18 and 24 on LA’s streets increased by 64% in 2016.
The Trump Administration might be trying to cover up Russian election hacking by prosecuting a U.S. Citizen.
The NSA detected a cyberattack against a U.S. voter registration software supplier in August 2016; and an attempt to send malware to 122 election officials’ accounts days before the presidential election, The Intercept reported on Monday June 5. The Agency’s experts concluded that Russian military intelligence (GRU) was behind the attack and the emails.
The Intercept story was based on a report leaked to the website by intelligence Reality Winner, The New York Times reported. Winner was arrested and charged with violating the Espionage Act on the day the story broke.
The GRU’s goal was to get control of election computers, the NSA concluded. To achieve that the Russians sent spear-phishing emails containing malware to election officials. The email was designed to look like it came from a software supplier.
President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are planning to deprive millions of Americans of the vote in an effort to keep Republicans in office.
A presidential commission to investigate charges of vote fraud is really a front for a scheme to implement Republican voter suppression tactics nationwide, critics charged. Scathing media coverage indicates that the Republicans’ charges of widespread vote fraud and illegal voting are lies.
News articles; and op-ed pieces, indicate that the Commission might propose legislation that would threaten many Americans’ right to vote to Congress. Some of the harshest criticism includes:
- There were just four documented cases of vote fraud in the United States in 2016 despite 135 million votes cast, The Washington Post reported.
- A survey of 23.5 million voters in 2016 found that only 30 undocumented aliens had cast ballots, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported. The survey was conducted by the Brenan Center at the New York University School of Law.
- There was no evidence to support president Trump’s allegations that millions of illegal aliens voted, Dartmouth College researchers David Cottrell, Michael C. Herron and Sean J. Westwood concluded; in a research paper.
- The vice chairman of the commission will be Kansas Secretary of State Kris W. Kobach; who championed the strictest voter ID laws in the country, The New York Times reported. Kobach was the chief author of Kansas law that required people to produce a passport, birth certificate or naturalization papers in order to register to vote. Kobach also tried to remove thousands of people from Kansas’s voter rolls.
- The New York Times Editorial Board labeled the panel “Trump’s Fraudulent Voter-Fraud Commission.”
- Guardian writer Steven W. Thrasher went farther and called the commission a “Shameless White Power Grab.” Thrasher is afraid the commission would propose legislation that would disenfranchise millions; or tens of millions, of Latinos and African-Americans.
Russia is not the only country with which the Trump family may have improper, unethical and potentially illegal business ties. There is now strong circumstantial evidence that Trump and his family have closer ties to Beijing than Moscow.
Recent news stories have exposed a troubling pattern of questionable Trump business dealings in China. Some evidence of conflicts of interest involving Trump, his children and China includes:
- The Chinese government granted Ivanka Trump’s company; Trump Marks LLC, four lucrative trademarks on April 7, The Guardian reported. That was the same day her father was meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mir-a-Lago. Trump Marks has at least 32 other trademark applications before the Chinese government.
- Shortly after he won the Presidential election, Donald J. Trump was granted trademark protection for his name in the Chinese construction industry, The Guardian reported. Trump had been fighting for that protection for over 10 years with no success in Chinese courts until he was elected President.
- The Chinese government granted Trump himself 38 trademarks on February 27, 2017, The Guardian reported. The trademarks granted include ones for a bodyguard service, an escort service, hotels and an insurance company.
1. To ﬁnd out if Trump has paid any federal income taxes.
Many rich people—especially real estate investors like Trump—use tax loopholes to slash their tax bills. We know Trump has paid zero federal income taxes in at least two and in as many as five years since 1979. Separately, he reported a $1 billion loss in the mid-1990s that could have zeroed out his federal taxes for 18 years.
House Republicans; like Peter Roskam (R-Illinois), just proved that they do not care about working families, older Americans, children, the poor and the middle class.
Tens of millions of Americans would lose access to healthcare and thousands of people will die if the American Health Care Act (AHCA); passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on May 4, 2017, becomes law, Washington Post writer Paul Waldman predicted. He went so far as to call the ACHA an “abomination.”
Here are a few of the ways in which the Republican healthcare bill would hurt average Americans if it became law:
- Middle class families would lose the subsidies that help them purchase insurance through the Obamacare exchanges. That means many families would no longer be able to afford health insurance.
- Insurance companies would be able to greatly increase the premiums charged to older payments. This means many people over 50 would no longer be able to afford health insurance.
- The deductible for a middle-class family would increase by $1,550 a year, rising from $2,550 to $4,100, Axios.com concluded. Many families would not be able to afford basic medical treatments or drugs because of this. Others would end up deep in credit-card debit trying to cover the deductible.
- An estimated 24 million people would lose their health insurance, according to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate.
- Medicaid would be cut by $880 billion over the next 10 years.
- Obamacare subsidies would be replaced with a tax credit. All Americans; including the world’s richest man Bill Gates, who is worth $87.6 billion, would receive a tax credit.
- Persons with serious health problems would pay far higher premiums because they would be placed in “risk pools.” Under this policy many sick people would not be able to afford health insurance.
- The amount of hassle and paperwork involved in applying for health insurance would greatly increase because “medical underwriting” would be revived. That means you would have to document every health problem you’ve ever had to get insurance. This would increase health insurance costs by expanding corporate bureaucracy.
- "So it is a huge tax cut for guys like me," the fourth richest man in America; Warren Buffett, said of the AHCA. The Berkshire Hathaway chairman; who is worth is $74.7 billion, estimated the Republican healthcare act would cut his tax bill by 17%, Fox News reported.
“It is no exaggeration to say that if it were to become law, this bill would kill significant numbers of Americans,” Waldman wrote. “The Republican health-care bill is an act of monstrous cruelty.”Read more
The debt limit—commonly referred to as the debt ceiling—is the maximum amount of debt that the Department of the Treasury can issue to the public and to other federal agencies. That amount is set by law and has been increased over the years in order to finance the government’s operations. Currently, there is no statutory limit on the issuance of new federal debt because the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (Public Law 114-74), enacted in November 2015, suspended the debt ceiling through March 15, 2017. On March 16, the limit will be reset to reflect cumulative borrowing through the period of suspension.
Absent additional legislation that further suspended or increased the debt limit, existing statutes allow the Trea-sury to declare a “debt issuance suspension period” on March 16, 2017, and take a number of “extraordinary measures” to borrow additional funds without breaching the new debt ceiling. The Congressional Budget Office projects that if the debt limit remains unchanged, those measures will probably be exhausted and the Treasury will probably run out of cash sometime in the fall of 2017. (The timing and magnitude of revenues and outlays over the next several months could vary noticeably from CBO’s projections, so those measures could be exhausted and the Treasury could run out of cash earlier or later.) At such time, the government would be unable to fully pay its obligations, a development that would lead to delays of payments for government activities, a default on the government’s debt obligations, or both.