Drain The Swamp?Yeah Right. How Lobbyists Are Helping Trump Roll Back Regulations

Bombshell NYT piece goes into details of how the Trump administration, with the help of lobbyists tied to the fossil fuel industry (oil and gas), is rolling back environmental regulations and in so doing, seriously jeopardizing the public’s health and safety. These environmental regulations affect everything– from the air we breathe, the water we drink, to the toxic(potentially carcinogenic) substances we may be exposed to as a result of petrochemical processes.

Trump who was elected President largely because of his signature promise to “drain the swamp”(end corruption) in Washington, has apparently created his own swamp of oil and gas lobbyists who are tearing down environmental regulations they deem a hindrance to maximizing profits.

Yeah, you read that right–oil and gas lobbyists are helping the Trump administration to tear down environmental regulations so that the companies they represent can maximize profits–public health and safety be damned. This is public corruption at its worst and as “swampy” as it gets.

According to the New York Times piece the Trump admin has to date rolled back 95 environmental regulations, 58 of them completely and 37 still in the roll back process.

16 environmental regulations related to air pollution and emissions have already been completely rolled back with 9 more still in the roll back process

10 regulations related to drilling and extractions have already been completely rolled back with 9 more still in the roll back process.

As for regulations related to infranstructure and planning, 11 regulations have already been completely rolled back with 1 more still in the roll back process.

7 regulations related to animals have already been completely rolled back with 3 more still in the roll back process. 5 regulations related to toxic substances have already been rolled back with 3 still in the roll back process.

4 regulations related to water pollution have already been completely rolled back with 6 more still in the roll back process. According to the NYT piece, there are 11 other environmental regulations the Trump administration has tinkered with, 5 of which have completely been rolled back and 6 still in the roll back process.

Bottom line folks, there are already very many reasons for America to adopt Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s ( AOC) Green New Deal(GND). As gifted as Rep AOC is in promoting her GND, she rarely cites corruption in the oil and gas industry as one of the central reasons why the country should adopt her plan. Hopefully this bombshell NYT piece will make her highlight corruption in the oil and gas industry as one of the primary reasons why America needs the green new deal. Simply put, AOC’s GND will once and for all, drain the swamp that is the oil and gas lobby.

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Epstein’s Death Was A Homicide, Says Family’s Forensic Pathologist

Michael Baden, a forensic pathologist hired by Epstein’s brother to look into his death said today on Trump’s favorite show Fox and Friends that based on his analysis, the cause of Jeffrey Epstein’s death was a homicide by strangulation. Specifically, Baden told Fox and Friends’ hosts, “I think the evidence points to a homicide rather than a suicide” adding, “Because there are three fractures in the hyoid bone, the thyroid cartilage that are very unusual for suicide and more indicative of strangulation — homicidal strangulation.”

This of course contradicts the official cause of death given by the New York City Medical Examiner in August that Epstein died of suicide by hanging and is sure to add to the already rampant conspiracy theories surrounding the accused child sex trafficker’s death.

There was already rampant public speculation, including by Yours Truly, that Epstein may have been killed in order to prevent him from giving testimony in his criminal case that might have negatively affected very powerful people, up to and including President Trump, whom he was known to have socialized with. This bombshell revelation therefore that his death was a homicide and not a suicide will undoubtedly lead to questions as to who may have killed him and what the motive behind his killing was?

It also bears pointing out that Michael Baden is a former New York City Medical Examiner so his findings cannot just be dismissed as frivolous. It will be interesting to see how New York City officials who declared Epstein’s death a suicide deal with Baden’s bombshell revelation on Fox and Friends.

Also currently playing out in federal court is a civil suit by one of Epstein’s accusers Virginia Roberts Giuffre where the presiding judge has intimated that she may release the names of some 1000-plus people Epstein had listed on his address book. Yours Truly has written about this issue and there is tremendous appetite for Epstein’s address book.

Bottom line despite Epstein’s death, his case remains one of great public interest. Questions remain about the way he died, and now, whether the public will get to see the people he listed on his address book. Today’s revelation that he may have been killed will only add to the public interest. All Yours Truly can say is, stay tuned!!

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What Happened At Trump & Epstein’s “Calendar Girls” Party In 1992?

In the midst of Jeffrey Epstein’s child sex trafficking scandal and the growing questions about his ties to President Trump, a New York Times bombshell today revealed that in 1992, Trump and Epstein hosted an exclusive “Calendar Girls” party at Maralago that had 30 attendees, with Trump and Epstein being the only men.

At any other time this could have been dismissed as just another irrelevant story about Trump’s well known past. However given recent revelations in Epstein’s indictment by the Southern District of New York which portray him as someone who serially sought out under age girls for sex, this “Calendar Girls” party at Maralago takes a whole new meaning. Specifically, it is now incumbent upon the New York Times journalists who wrote this bombshell piece to go back and find out who these “Calendar Girls” were and more importantly, what Trump and Epstein did at this party.

All too often the mainstream media stumbles upon a very good story only to walk away from it without sufficient follow up. This “Calendar Girls” story is a perfect example of a consequential story that deserves a follow up.

Bottom line, given Epstein’s troubling record of molesting young girls, the public deserves to know whether the 1992 “Calendar Girls” party at Maralago was yet another scene of Epstein’s numerous crimes.

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Gillibrand Slams McConnell For Harming SCOTUS “Almost Irreparably”

At a town hall in New Hampshire, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand blasted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying by blocking President Obama’s Supreme Court pick Merrick Garland, McConnell had harmed the U.S. Supreme Court “almost irreparably”

Senator Gillibrand addressed a whole host of issues at the New Hampshire town hall (which Yours Truly strongly recommends that any Democrat watch) most notably her long record in Congress for fighting corruption/getting money out of politics. However it was her answer as to how she would handle the U.S. Supreme Court if elected President that caught Yours Truly’s attention the most.

When asked by the town hall moderator whether she would be in favor of term limits for federal Supreme Court justices, Sen Gillibrand emphatically said “Yes” adding;“I think what has happened by this President[Trump] and Mitch McConnell is the extreme politicization of the court. I’ve never seen it worse than it is today and the fact that Mitch McConnell denied the vote and the hearing on Merrick Garland is outrageous and I don’t think we’ve recovered from it….It was a stolen justice….. I think they[Trump and McConnell] have harmed our courts almost irreparably.”

It cannot be left unsaid that even though Senator Gillibrand came into the 2020 Dem presidential nomination contest as one of the top contenders, her campaign has not lived up to its billing. As a matter of fact most Democrats will agree that she has seriously under-performed especially given the fact that she almost failed to make the cut for the recent debate. There is a divergence of opinions among cable TV pundits as to why Sen Gillibrand’s campaign has not caught fire yet. As for Yours Truly, the answer to that is very simple. For Sen Gillibrand to become a top-tier presidential candidate, her campaign should tone down a little on the uber-feminist message and instead focus on her real and provable congressional record of fighting corruption in Washington. Simply put, if Senator Gillibrand becomes the anti-corruption candidate— going after lobbyists, lamenting the swamp, and even going after Trump’s elusive tax returns–the future is bright for her presidential campaign.

Bottom line, even though she gets very little credit from grassroots Democrats (especially post-Al Franken), Sen Gillibrand has been a Dem stalwart with a stellar congressional record to prove it. Yours Truly strongly believes that in the coming months, especially if she keeps touting her anti-corruption record, she will become a top-tier presidential candidate. And while you are at it Sen Gillibrand, keep slamming Mitch McConnell over his Supreme Court chicanery. McConnell bashing is an absolute win win among grassroots Democrats.

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The Obscene Trump-Fox News Relationship 2.0

A bombshell piece in The New Yorker says that in the Summer of 2017, Trump ordered his then Director of National Economic Council Gary Cohn to block the blockbuster merger between telecom giants AT&T and Time Warner. It was well known at that time that blocking the deal would benefit Fox News(Trump’s declared favorite news channel) while hurting CNN(his sworn enemy). Trump reportedly called Cohn and Chief of Staff Kelly into the Oval Office where he ordered Cohn to call the Justice Department and kill the merger

The author of the New Yorker piece Jane Mayer, told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, “The question is, has he[the President] been abusing his power to help his friend Rupert Murdoch, the mogul over at Fox, and to hurt his enemies, the people at CNN? This was an order from the President to his top economic adviser in the White House to block a deal, a very major multi billion dollar corporate deal and if they blocked the deal it was going to hurt CNN and it was going to help Fox. It seems like he is trying to punish his enemies and help his friends by using the U.S. Justice Department.”

The full Jane Mayer-Andrea Mitchell interview is available here but the relevant clip is below

Other startling revelations of the obscene Trump-Fox News relationship chronicled in Jane Mayer’s blockbuster piece include;

Fox News apparently knew about the Stormy Daniels story before the 2016 elections but then owner Rupert Murdoch ordered Fox News’ staff to kill it.(not to air it)

Remember the infamous Megyn Kelly clash with Trump during the first Republican presidential debate? Well according to Mayer, Fox News’ Roger Ailes(since deceased) tipped off Trump a day before that he was going to be asked a tough question by Kelly. This of course means Trump’s crude response to Kelly(“blood coming out of….everywhere”) may have been rehearsed. It may not have been a spur of the moment response like we all have assumed it was

To date Fox News has had 44 interviews with President Trump while all the other networks combined have had a total of about 10 with CNN getting zero.

The former President of Fox News, Bill Shine, is now Trump’s Communications Director

Bottom line folks, as Yours Truly argued in a previous post, time has come for some serious questions to be asked/answered about this obscene Trump-Fox News relationship. As Jane Mayer correctly sums it, “It raises questions that are troubling about our democracy when the number one rated cable news show appears many times to be an arm of the White House.” As we approach the 2020 elections, there needs to be bipartisan condemnation of this obscene Trump-Fox News relationship as it is antithetical to democratic norms. Simply put, any self-respecting democratic society can not have a major news network controlled by one candidate, especially as here, where that one candidate is already the President, equipped with the tremendous electoral advantages of incumbency.

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Ivanka Slams AOC’S Green New Deal

In a Fox News interview Ivanka Trump attacked Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (aka AOC) Green New Deal initiative making the shocking argument that most Americans are opposed to the initiative’s guarantee of a job with a livable wage–a guaranteed minimum of $15/hour.

Ivanka said, “I don’t think most Americans in their heart want to be given something….people want to work for what they got. So I think this idea of a guaranteed minimum is not something most people want. They want the ability to be able to secure a job, they want the ability to live in a country where there is a potential for upwards mobility.”

While this may not necessarily be a controversial point if its advanced by any other conservative, it is kind of shocking coming from Ivanka whose White House job many consider “given”. In other words, the argument Ivanka is making against AOC’s Green New Deal is routinely made by many other conservatives. However hearing it from her, someone who has literally “got” everything from her rich dad, just makes the argument almost insulting. And yeah Ivanka, given the fact that the cost of living has steadily risen over the years while wages have remained stagnant, a lot of working families are eager for $15/hour jobs which they deserve as opposed to being “given”. These are jobs that will make them keep up with the rising costs of living, something Ivanka probably never had to deal with.

It bears pointing out however that Ivanka is very media savvy. As the president’s daughter she is a very beloved figure on the right. She knows AOC is a very beloved figure on the left. So there’s a very good chance that she deliberately went after her Green New Deal in an effort to generate fireworks both on the left and right thereby giving her publicity. As they say in media circles, “no publicity is bad publicity”. It will be interesting to see the blowback Ivanka’s stunning remarks generate from the left, especially from the aforementioned AOC.

Bottom line nobody seriously believes that in her heart of hearts Ivanka thinks working families currently earning less than $15/hour would not appreciate a wage hike. Yours Truly will go out on a limb and say this is a publicity stunt on Ivanka’s part–a very clever one at that.

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In 2015 Kushner Got A $4,000 Tax Refund After Earning 1.7 Million

Yours Truly did a post yesterday based on the bombshell New York Times revelation that President Trump’s son in law Jared Kushner who is worth an estimated $324 million, has not paid federal income taxes for 7 years thanks to a tax loophole that favors real estate developers. The Kushner post understandably generated a lot of public reaction because it is one of the best illustrations of the glaring inequities that exist with the U.S. tax law. It makes absolutely no sense that someone worth $324 million would pay zero federal income tax for 7 years straight.

In the post Yours Truly called out the mainstream media for breaking very important stories like this but never doing any follow ups to help the public further understand the issue, or force a serious debate on the issue. Luckily one Katy Tur of MSNBC decided to dig a little deeper into the Kushner tax story and boy did she unearth a new bombshell.

Turns out that in 2015, in addition to not paying any federal income tax, Kushner got a $4,000 tax refund from the IRS after earning a whopping 1.7 million. Think about that folks–most working families that earn more than $40,000 a year, have federal income taxes taken out of their checks all year and often end up owing the IRS because they “make too much” yet Kushner who earned 1.7 million in 2015, never paid any federal income tax that year, still got a $4,000 refund from the IRS. Folks this is the height of inequity.

As anybody who has lived paycheck to paycheck(a lot of Americans) knows, most working families literally wait on that four, five or six thousand dollars income tax refund at the beginning of the year to help them catch up with their bills–late rent, car payment, credit cards etc. It is a big deal to most working families. It is also important to note that someone earning more than $40,000 a year often ends up owing the IRS because they “earn too much.” Can you imagine making an argument to such a person making $40,000 a year that they are not entitled to a federal tax refund because they “make too much” but rich Kushner over there, who earned $1.7 million gets a $4,000 refund? Better question–can you imagine how effective such a message would be on the campaign trail for any Dem candidate nationwide?


Bottom line this Kushner tax story is a big deal and Dems should talk more often about it especially as we head towards midterms 2018. These are the kinds of stories that Dems can use to illustrate a clear contrast between their agenda that is geared towards helping working families and that of the GOP which is geared towards helping the rich. Simply put the glaring inequities exposed by this Kushner tax story are enough to swing a huge chunk of independent voters to the Dems. As Katy Tur’s guest Jesse Drucker of the New York Times excellently put it, “There is an intense public interest in understanding the equity of our tax system and the public can decide whether they think think this is an equitable state of affairs.” You will be hard pressed to find a single independent voter who concludes that this is an equitable tax system after looking at the Kushner story.

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Another Woman Accusing Kavanaugh Of Sexual Assault

New Kavanaugh Accuser Deborah Ramirez

A bombshell piece by the New Yorker says yet another woman has come forwatd accusing Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault.




The woman Deborah Ramirez, Kavanaugh’s classmate at Yale says in 1983-84 when Kavanaugh was a freshman, after a night of partying, he exposed himself to her then forced her head onto his penis and forced her to touch it against her will.

Like in the case of Kavanaugh’s previous accuser Christine Blasey Ford, if this new allegation holds up it will be yet another clear cut case of sexual assault against Kavanaugh and needless to say, an automatic disqualifier for his Supreme Court prospects.

Because this is still a developing story, Yours Truly will accord TeamKavanaugh due process and wait for their response. It goes without saying however that given everything that has transpired so far in Kavanaugh’s confirmation process, this new allegation will most likely kill his chances of ascending to the U.S Supreme Court. There’s simply no way the two crucial female GOP Senators Susan Collins(ME) and Lisa Murkowski(AK) can overlook two accusations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh.

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Proof That Congressional Republicans Have Become A Criminal Enterprise


Ever since Trump became President, many have wondered why congressional Republicans have totally abdicated oversight functions that all their predecessors routinely conducted and Americans came to expect as the norm. The inaction as regards oversight by House Speaker Ryan and Senate Majority Leader McConnell’s congress has struck most Americans as very strange and has spawned many conspiracy theories, the most popular one being that Russian President Putin has “Kompromat” on all congressional Republicans.

President Trump with Congressional Republicans

Well, courtesy of a bombshell article by The Daily Intelligencer, we now find out that congressional Republicans have actually compiled a secret list of things they have vowed to block from any congressional oversight requested by Dems–a sad and totally unprecedented move by U.S. members of congress.


The list of items GOP has vowed to keep away from any congressional oversight includes “election security and hacking attempts”, ” White House security clearances”, “Trump’s Tax Returns”, ” Trump’s family businesses”, among many others. Think about that, we currently have GOP members of congress whose stated mission is to hide from the public any wrongdoing by Trump and his administration–the aforementioned criminal enterprise.

Bottom line Dems and the mainstream media must start calling out congressional Republicans for totally abdicating their oversight functions. Its about time people started calling Trump’s GOP what it truly is–a criminal enterprise. What House Speaker Ryan and Senate Majority Leader McConnell are presiding over in congress today goes way beyond what Americans would characterize as “politics as usual” and is borderline if not out and out criminal conduct.

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GA GOP County Officials Plan To Close 75% Of Polling Stations In Black Area


According to a New York Times piece GOP election officials in Georgia plan to close 7 out of 9 polling stations in Randolph county, a predominantly black county that votes overwhwlmingly for Democrats.

The New York Times piece points out that the majority of residents in this majority black county are poor and therefore lack reliable transportation. Closing down more than 75% of the polling stations would require them to travel more than 10 miles to vote–a move that will almost certainly depress voter turnout.


It cannot also be left unsaid(and the NYT article catches it) that this shameful move by Randolph county GOP election officials is a direct result of decisions by the the Roberts Supreme Court which have rolled back Voting Rights Act provisions that required state election officials to get permission before making changes that affect how people vote. In essence the Roberts Supreme Court has literally given local state officials total control in election related issues, the result of which is this shameful episode in Randolph county, Georgia.

It also bears pointing out that Georgia, and its GOP Secretary of State Brian Kemp in particular, has long been in the crosshairs of election integrity advocates and this latest incident in Randolph county will only make things worse.

This kind of chicanery by state GOP election officials is quite common in southern states and Yours Truly has repeatedly called on the DNC to take action against GOP election officials in Texas who have packed unverifiable voting machines in Dem strongholds. The DNC is yet to move a finger.


Bottom line even though the article points out that the Geoegia ACLU is going after Randolph county GOP election officials, grassroots Democrats would prefer the DNC to be on the forefront of these fights. There’s no earthly reason why the DNC continues to stay in the sidelines while local GOP election officials are actively scheming on how to steal the Dem vote!!

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