An Alabama upset win for the Democrats

A big ouch!

Alabama Democratic Senate nominee Doug Jones won a tight race over Republican Roy Moore. Is this the end of Moore’s career?

The question is what will Donald Trump do now. In a seat where the Republicans won by over 30 points in the last senate election only to lose by over a full percent.

Will Trump open a Twitter storm and blame everyone but himself? He should admit to the mess and take part of the blame. Same for other Republicans such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Trump tweeted “The reason I originally endorsed Luther Strange (and his numbers went up mightily), is that I said Roy Moore will not be able to win the General Election.  I was right! Roy worked hard but the deck was stacked against him!” How was it stacked? Trump still endorsed Moore. Didn’t have to.

Moore’s votes plus write-ins would of put Moore over the top – barely. Democrats controlled the major cities and the center of the state, Republicans controlled the outskirts/rural areas.

Privately, some of Trump’s advisers cast blame on his White House political director Bill Stepien, already under fire for losses last month in New Jersey and Virginia. Stepien unsuccessfully advised Trump against backing Moore — a sign, his detractors say, of his middling influence.

“This guy [Stephen Bannon] does not belong on the national stage. He looks like some disheveled drunk that wandered on to the national stage,” said Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican.

“Mitch McConnell and the Republican establishment got their wish and delivered the Yellowhammer State into the hands of a liberal Democrat,” said Andy Surabian, senior adviser to the Great America Alliance, an outside political group aligned with Bannon.

Moore appeared on a conspiracy-driven radio show twice in 2011, where he told the hosts in an interview that getting rid of constitutional amendments after the Tenth Amendment would ‘eliminate many problems’ in the way the US government is structured. Those amendments include the abolition of slavery, voting rights, etc.

In a May 2011 episode, Moore told the two radio hosts, who have repeatedly rejected the official explanation for the 9/11 attacks, that he would be open to hearings looking into “what really happened” on that day.

Moore campaign spokesman Brett Doster said that Moore “is the only Senate candidate with experience serving in a combat zone.”

When Trump backed Luther Strange, who lost to Moore at the end of September, Trump was infuriated at having taken his team’s advice. Worried his support for Strange risked alienating his Republican base, Trump erased all evidence that he’d endorsed the senator at all, including on Twitter [which is probably illegal].

Moore was favored in exit polls by whites, males, voters 50 and older, and those with some college or less. 2% of Democrats would vote for Moore but 8% of Republicans and a slight majority of independents would vote for Jones. Most moderates and the vast majority of liberals would vote for Jones.

Moore had said after his loss that he will ask for a recount. With a 20,000 majority by Jones, that would be a losing battle.

“This is the worst political operation in my lifetime in a White House, Republican or Democrat,” said one Republican close to the White House. “It’s just a rudderless ship with no direction and no captain.”

Republican Senator Richard Shelby, who was the last Democrat to win a Senate seat from Alabama in 1992 before switching parties two years later, declared the charges credible, despite Moore’s denials, and the senior senator said he’d write in another Republican. No nasty tweets about him by Trump. Maybe Trump can’t afford to completely alienate a senator after losing one.

 

Trump moves embassy and endorses Moore, opens more cans of worms

Donald Trump officially announced the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol. Despite urgent appeals from Arab and European leaders, The Pope and others and the risk of anti-American protests and violence, Trump declared that he was ending an approach that for decades has failed to advance the prospects for peace. He also for the first time personally endorsed the concept of a “two-state solution” for Israel and the Palestinians, provided both sides agree to it.

Trump claimed this move would actually push the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians for a two state solutions but this obviously won’t me the case. Many foreign affairs departments across the world have already warned those visiting Israel to avoid Muslim dominated areas in Israel and nearby.

Trump claimed that the previous Presidents failed to solve the impasse between the two sides. If so, it can also be said that his son-in-law has also failed as he was trying to kick start the peace talks. Trump will also claimed in future elections [such as the mid-term elections in 11 months] that he has fixed the problem – but in fact made it worse. Now the Muslim countries will trust the Trump administration even less.

Trump is probably trying to please the conservative evangelicals who don’t really care about Israel but instead want to make sure that their religious sites don’t fall in the hand of Muslims.

Trump also directed that the State Department begin the process of moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as required by U.S. law. Officials said, however, that the move will take years to complete. This was one of his few campaign promises that he has acted on.

“Democrats refusal to give even one vote for massive Tax Cuts is why we need Republican Roy Moore to win in Alabama” as Trump tweets and now endorses sexual harasser Moore for the senate seat for Alabama. “We need his vote on stopping crime, illegal immigration, Border Wall, Military, Pro Life, V.A., Judges 2nd Amendment and more. No to Jones, a Pelosi/Schumer Puppet!” Or basically everything that has failed Trump in his first term.

So I guess it’s more important to have his vote than for being charged for harassment of women.

The White House announced that Trump will hold an event in Pensacola, Florida — just 25 miles from the Alabama border. But Trump still hasn’t campaigned for Moore [some nicknamed “Judge Pervert”] otherwise. Some endorsement.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell changed his tone on whether he thought Moore should be in the Senate, saying he would “let the people of Alabama make the call”. In November, McConnell said Moore should “step aside” and maybe even a write-in candidate. After that, Moore tweeted that it was McConnell who should bow out of politics, saying he “has failed conservatives and must be replaced.”

If Moore loses, then trump will just say that he had backed Luther Strange and not Moore. He will claim that he didn’t campaign with Moore [and yet he endorsed him].

The fact that Trump kept his distance only to support Moore in this past week [to an extent] probably because he can’t lose a senate seat which would make it even more difficult for him to pass any legislation.

Already, there are some senators [even Republicans] who threaten to start an ethics investigation if Moore somehow wins. Moore may barely step a foot or two in the Senate before he could be thrown out. In this case, another special election will be called and million was wasted on Moore’s election win.

At the Florence [Alabama] rally, in response to a question from one of the only African Americans in the audience — who asked when Moore thought America was last “great” — Moore acknowledged the nation’s history of racial divisions, but said: “I think it was great at the time when families were united — even though we had slavery — they cared for one another…. Our families were strong, our country had a direction.” At the same event, Moore referred to Native Americans and Asian Americans as “reds and yellows.”

“Look, it’s being proven we have a rigged system,” Trump said to the crowd supporting Moore at an event. Trump also called it a “sick system from the inside.” So he’s been in office for over 10 months, what has he done to fix the “rigged system”?

Moore is really out there. He believes that Barack Obama isn’t an American. As well ban Muslims from run in government because they will bring in Sharia Law. Muslims make up around 3% of the US. Be a long way for that to happen. Also add 9/11 happened because America strayed from God. He equates homosexuality with bestiality.

His spokeswoman, Janet Porter, is one of the worst spokesperson I’ve seen. Can’t seem to answer, doesn’t know the answer or goes way off topic. She defended him against accusations of sexual misconduct against teenage girls by arguing that the national media was ignoring the “group of non-accusers” who have not come forward with similar allegations against the former judge. Huh? We can assume Moore didn’t harass every woman in Alabama.

She also said “When we’re talking about Leigh Corfman [supposedly molested by Moore when she was 14], even her own mother said that her report to the Washington Post that her life spiraled out of control after this alleged incident, well actually the court records say differently.” Another huh? Hasn’t gone to court yet and the spiraling proves something happened during the “alleged” incident.

Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, who’s been adamantly opposed to Moore, posted a photo of a check for $100 with his signature on it that was addressed to Moore’s Democratic rival, Doug Jones.

Trump’s personal attorney, John Dowd, claims the President cannot be guilty of obstructing justice. Dowd isn’t a constitutional expert. “(The) President cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under (the Constitution’s Article II) and has every right to express his view of any case.”

The new defense comes after a tweet from Trump’s account suggested the President knew former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn had lied to the FBI when he was fired in February, raising questions about whether Trump knew about Flynn’s lying before pressuring former FBI Director James Comey to let go of inquiries into Russian election meddling.

“Flynn lied and they destroyed his life,” Trump said. Well, didn’t he lie to the FBI? Was he supposed to get a medal?

At one point Dowd claimed he wrote what Trump said in a tweet [which sounds a bit odd] which could of brought Trump obstruction of justice if he said it but still could because Trump is basically approving what Dowd said.

“I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI,” in Trump’s tweet. “He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!” Dowd has said he drafted the tweet, but denied that it admitted obstruction.

Former Obama administration White House counsel Bob Bauer said “There is no express grant of immunity under the Constitution to protect the President who commits a felony.”

Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates tweeted a response as well: “The FBI is in ‘tatters’? No. The only thing in tatters is the President’s respect for the rule of law. The dedicated men and women of the FBI deserve better.”

Former Attorney General Eric Holder said “The FBI’s reputation is not in ‘tatters’. It’s composed of the same dedicated men and women who have always worked there and who do a great, apolitical job,” he tweeted. “You’ll find integrity and honesty at FBI headquarters and not at 1600 Penn Ave right now.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the panel is beginning to see “the putting together of a case of obstruction of justice” against Trump.

Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been working on an op-ed essay with a long-time colleague “assessed to have ties” to a Russian intelligence service, according to prosecutors. Court papers say Manafort and the colleague sought to publish the op-ed under someone else’s name and intended it to influence public opinion about his work in Ukraine.

Russian operatives tried to correspond with adviser Hope Hicks multiple times after Trump’s 2016 election, prompting the FBI to caution Hicks.

“I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office and a man who repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party. But this decision is not about me. It’s about the people of Minnesota,” soon to be former Senator Franken said as he resigned after harassment accusations. Now who was he talking about?

Billy Bush says he decided to speak out after news reports indicated that Trump has been casting doubt on the authenticity of the so-called “Access Hollywood” tape. On the 12-year-old tape, which resurfaced in the final weeks of the presidential election campaign last year, Bush and Trump spoke profanely about women — and Trump bragged about sexual assault. Trump has already admitted he did what he said on the tape. He said this was merely engaging in “locker room talk” with Bush. So why deny it now?

Trump will undergo a physical examination early next year at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and allow doctors to release details of his medical evaluation, keeping with past precedent. This came a day after some questions were raised about the President’s health after he appeared to get a dry mouth and slurred his words toward the end of remarks he delivered. He also had similar issues in November.

Trump released a clean bill of health from his long time personal physician last year that was widely panned as laughable for lacking details and offering an over-the-top portrait of Trump’s health. For example, his doctor declared then that Trump “has had no significant medical problems” and called Trump’s blood pressure and lab results “astonishingly excellent.”

On the campaign trail, candidate Trump’s typical McDonald’s meal contained nearly a day’s worth of calories and sodium, almost double the recommended daily dose of saturated fat and 2.5 times the sugar he should eat in a day, according to US Dietary Guidelines. Trump’s typical order from McDonald’s, in a book written by Corey Lewandowski, consisted of “two Big Macs, two Filet-O-Fish and a chocolate malted.” But at least he didn’t eat the buns and seemed to choose diet Coke.

“Well I hope to represent the people of the United States, not the president,” skier Lindsey Vonn said recently. “I want to represent our country well. I don’t think that there are a lot of people currently in our government that do that.” Vonn revealed she wouldn’t accept an invitation to the White House if she were to win gold at Pyeongchang.

There are still [after 10.5 months] 34 vacancies key State Department posts and 11 pending confirmations and 18 confirmed ambassadors. For example, one confirmed in Central and South America, just a few in Africa, and one in South east Asia and none for Australia.

Of 43 Trump administration nominees in science-related positions — including two for Health and Human Services secretary — almost 60 per cent did not have a master’s degree or a doctorate in a science or health field, according to an Associated Press analysis. For their immediate predecessors in the Obama administration, it was almost the opposite: more than 60 per cent had advanced science degrees.

Even after 10 months with this administration, many still have yet to be filled. None of the seven Trump energy science-oriented nominees — including the undersecretary for science, who did research while in the U.S. Navy — has even a master’s degree in a science field.

Not quite the same, Trump’s Energy Secretary Rick Perry has a bachelor’s degree in animal science. Many of the 65 senate-confirmable positions that deal with science and environment, the Trump administration hasn’t nominated someone yet, including all four top positions at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

What in the world is going on with Trump? In two days, he tweeted just four times and all were very presidential-ish.

Twitter has changed its explanation as to why it did not delete three graphic anti-Muslim videos retweeted by Trump. “We mistakenly pointed to the wrong reason we didn’t take action on the videos from earlier this week,” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said in a tweet. The videos were first shared by Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of the far-right party Britain First.

“These videos are not being kept up because they are newsworthy or for public interest,” Twitter Support tweeted on Friday. “Rather, these videos are permitted on Twitter based on our current media policy.”

The House of Representatives approved along party lines legislation loosening gun regulations and allowing those with permits to carry concealed weapons to legally travel with those firearms to other states, a top priority of the National Rifle Association. I guess they are forgetting the previous mass shootings this past year.

Trump seem to have battles in multiple fronts this week

[And in some cases he opened his big mouth to start them.]

Donald Trump defended embattled Alabama Republican Roy Moore, all but endorsing the Senate candidate who has been accused of sexual assault. Trump is taking Moore’s word at it even with at least 8 accusers. One or two could be questionable. But 8?

“He denies it. Look, he denies it,” Trump said of Moore. “If you look at all the things that have happened over the last 48 hours. He totally denies it. He says it didn’t happen. And look, you have to look at him also.” Now what he said is confusing. What happened in the past 48 hours? And the last sentence?

Isn’t this a bit of favoritism? The Alabama Secretary of State said that on the election day and on the web site, the state plans to hand out how to write in a candidate on the ballot? This is like putting up a poster at the polling booth and say to write in another candidate. The Alabama secretary of state is a Republican, BTW.

The former Alabama GOP chairman said polls are useless and probably more Democrats were polled. This after a Fox News [not even a left wing] poll said Democratic candidate Doug Jones has a 12% lead. Wonder what he would of said if it was the other way.

The Birmingham News, Mobile Press-Register and The Huntsville Times [all part of the Alabama Media Group] all rejected Moore saying that “there is only one candidate left in this race who has proven worthy of the task of representing Alabama. He is Doug Jones.”

Trump has not campaigned for Moore but one of his minions claimed as if it was because of the accusations when this issue came up after he won the Republican primary. As Trump has avoid commenting about Moore, looks more like he isn’t trying to help him. I guess Trump really doesn’t think he needs that Senate seat.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders previously said “Like most Americans, the President believes we cannot allow a mere allegation, in this case one from many years ago, to destroy a person’s life. The President also believes that if these allegations are true, Judge Moore will do the right thing and step aside.” First, who is saying he hasn’t done anything more recently? Because it is [say] over 20 years ago that it is past a certain statute of limitations? If so what is the difference between a judge [and Senate candidate] and say a celebrity that has been accused 20+ years ago?

Trump shot back at Lavar Ball, the father of one of the UCLA basketball players arrested in China, for belittling the President’s role in the students’ release. “Now that the three basketball players are out of China and saved from years in jail, LaVar [sic] Ball, the father of LiAngelo, is unaccepting of what I did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal,” Trump tweeted. “I should have left them in jail!”

Even Trump’s social media director, Dan Scavino, fire back saying “Wannabe @Lakers coach, BIG MOUTH @Lavarbigballer knows if it weren’t for President @realDonaldTrump, his son would be in China for a long, long, long time! #FACT.” Did Trump actually tweet that? Sounds like him. The three players did thank Trump at a press conference before Trump’s latest tweets. [Wow! Trump really likes to have his ego stroked.]

Trump said: “It wasn’t the White House, it wasn’t the State Department, it wasn’t father LaVar’s so-called people on the ground in China that got his son out of a long term prison sentence – IT WAS ME.” And of course Trump has to go at Ball directly in his tweet by tweeting after “Too bad! LaVar is just a poor man’s version of Don King, but without the hair.” And in another tweet, he ended with “Ungrateful fool!”

Apex Marketing Group said that Ball’s Big Baller Brand has received an estimated $13.2 million in advertisement as Trump and Ball exchanged barbs in recent days.

In another head scratcher, out of the blue, Trump tweeted “Crooked Hillary Clinton is the worst (and biggest) loser of all time. She just can’t stop, which is good for the Republican party. Hillary, get on with your life and give it another try in three years!” [I think most of us miss the 140 character tweet limit.]

Let’s break the tweet down. Clinton actually had more votes in the 2016 election than Trump and only lost by the way the electoral college is set up. In most countries, Clinton would of won the election. “She just can’t stop”. Stop what? She has been quiet. It is Trump that has been bring up the topic. Finally, Clinton has already stated she does not intend on running in 3 years.

Clinton did respond that Trump is “obsessed with my speaking out” and “between tweeting and golfing, how does he get anything done?”

Days ahead of what should be a major moment for Ivanka Trump on the world stage at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in India, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson isn’t sending a high-level delegation to support her amid reports of tensions between Tillerson and the White House. One source said “Rex doesn’t like the fact that he’s supposed to be our nation’s top diplomat, and Jared [Kushner] and now Ivanka have stepped all over Rex Tillerson for a long time.”

It is said that this not related to his key project of slashing the Department’s budget. No one higher than the deputy assistant secretary is allowed to participate. The secretary and his top staff have insisted on approving all travel. Tillerson won’t send someone senior because they don’t want to bolster Ivanka.

Speaking to five branches of the military serving overseas via satellite from Mar-a-Lago, Trump highlighted how the US military is “really winning” since he took office. “We know how to win, but we have to let you win. You weren’t winning before. They were letting you play even. We want to let you win,” Trump said, referencing the Obama administration. If you can figure what he said, good luck.

Problem is that while ISIS is on the run, it seems to be the Russians who did the brunt of the work.

[Note that I am not being negative to the military. I stand by them. I am more against the continuous exaggeration and taking credit by Trump.]

In his Thanksgiving speech, Trump said [among other things]:

  • “I still haven’t figured out how people take their boats out into a hurricane.” – I think no one would, except him.
  • “You saved 16,000 lives — nobody knows that — 16,000 lives.” – No one knows what that figure is about or came from. The Coast Guard did say they rescued 11,000 during Hurricane Harvey.
  • “But if you were looking at it as a brand, there’s no brand that went up more than the Coast Guard, with what happened in Texas.” – As if the “brand” is like Nike, Reebok or others. You can’t buy the Coast Guard – hopefully.
  • “I don’t know — I mean, they go out in a boat and they think, I guess, they’re — you know, they’ve got a wonderful boat, they’ve had it for years, it can weather anything.” – You scratching your head? I am.
  • “And it’s nice that you’re working for something that’s really starting to work.” – Another scratcher but I think he’s trying to say, they didn’t work under Obama but will with him. Need a Star Trek type Universal Translator to speak “Trump”.
  • “You know, when we sell to other countries, even if they’re allies — you never know about an ally. An ally can turn.” – That should help in selling American goods.

Remember those tax returns Trump didn’t want to be released claiming that he was being audited? Well, now the IRS has securely locked away those tax physical records in a vault. Very few have access. So what is he [or they] hiding?

Michael Flynn’s lawyers have told other defense lawyers in the ongoing Russia probe, including President Donald Trump’s legal team, that they’re no longer able to share information. The source added that the decision to cease informal information-sharing could be an indication Flynn is preparing to plead guilty in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Trump said on the campaign trail that he wouldn’t have time to golf [“never see them (his golf courses) again”]. Well, as of November 24th, he has spent roughly a quarter of his first year in office at the golf courses.

Kellyanne “The Witch” Conway said “we want the votes in the Senate to get this tax bill through” less than a week after Conway said that “no Senate seat is worth more than a child” in the wake of a series of sexual allegations against Moore. So getting the tax bill is more important than this alleged sexual harasser? [Although by the way this tax bill is going, whomever wins the Senate seat will be voting on it a few times next year.]

Trump tweeted “ObamaCare premiums are going up, up, up, just as I have been predicting for two years. ObamaCare is OWNED by the Democrats, and it is a disaster. But do not worry. Even though the Dems want to Obstruct, we will Repeal & Replace right after Tax Cuts!” So he’s not twinning Obamacare and his tax bill now?

Trump slammed Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, calling his political career “toast” after he was caught on mic criticizing Trump and Moore at an event a couple of nights prior. [Why so long in the delay?] Flake was fielding questions about the Republican tax reform plan and a possible 2020 run against Trump when the incident occurred.

Trump said “Sen. Jeff Flake(y), who is unelectable in the Great State of Arizona (quit race, anemic polls)” Again, like previous times, Flake is stepping away as Senator, not because of “anemic” pools [how did Trump spell “anemic” right?]. But his polls are as anemic as Trump’s.

After photographs surfaced showing Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch standing during the Mexican national anthem and sitting during the US national anthem at a game against the New England Patriots in Mexico City, Trump called for his suspension and he had to add “Attendance and ratings way down”. Now you know of course attendance and ratings have dropped but Trump is as usual exaggerating. Of course the Raiders’ owner is probably laughing right now since it is unlikely that the NFL Players Association would allow that.

[Of course it is a rule for him to criticize anything he doesn’t like and then give some incorrect or exaggerated facts. The same in reverse when he praises something.]

Trump criticized a reported proposal that would ask NFL players to remain in the locker room during the playing of the national anthem rather than kneeling. “That’s almost as bad as kneeling! When will the highly paid Commissioner finally get tough and smart? This issue is killing your league!” Until 2009, players weren’t asked to be on the sidelines for the anthem.

Days later he added for no apparent reason “Can you believe that the disrespect for our Country, our Flag, our Anthem continues without penalty to the players. The Commissioner has lost control of the hemorrhaging league. Players are the boss!”

Trump had said previously he would push Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad out of office a number of times. But it looks like you can add this as another failure as Al-Assad’s military who once controlled just 19% of Syria a couple of months ago, now controls at least 50% of Syria including most of the major Syrian cities.

“Today the United States is designating the North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. Should have happened a long time ago. Should have happened years ago,” Trump said. So after his name calling and threats, he only now decided to do it. 10 months into office. Trump said that North Korea has “repeatedly” sponsored acts of terrorism, including “assassinations on foreign soil.”

A former director of the US Office of Government Ethics says he filed an official complaint against White House counselor Kellyanne Conway for what he argues was a violation of the Hatch Act after she attacked GOP Alabama Senate hopeful Roy Moore’s opponent on television.

“I found the video. She’s standing In front of the White House. It seems pretty clear she was appearing in her official capacity when she advocated against a candidate,” said Walter Shaub.

 

Of Russia, Panama and Moore

Well after a fairly quiet week as he was in Asia, Trump was back in full force.

Sen. John McCain slammed Donald Trump for saying he believes Russian President Vladimir Poutine over senior US intelligence officials when he says his country didn’t interfere in the 2016 election. “There’s nothing ‘America First’ about taking the word of a KGB colonel over that of the American intelligence community,” said McCain.

“He said he didn’t meddle. He said he didn’t meddle. I asked him again. You can only ask so many times,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One. “I think he is very insulted by it,” Trump added. Do Americans care that Poutine is?

A new report shows that for 10 years, a Trump property in Panama City collected millions of dollars from the Russian mafia and Colombian drug cartels. An investigation from Global Witness, an international NGO that probes corruption and money laundering, reveals how the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower turned a blind eye to crime lords looking for a safe haven to stash their blood money.

The property, with lead broker Alexandre Ventura Nogueira, listed units for three times the going rate in Panama City, thanks to the Trump name. Nogueira worked closely with the Trump family; he claims he attended at least 10 meetings with Ivanka Trump, who challenged him to sell 100 units in the building.

Nogueira later fled Panama after he was arrested for unrelated charges of real estate fraud. From his European asylum, he told NBC that at least half of his Trump Ocean Club customers were Russians, including some with “questionable backgrounds.” Only later did he learn of their ties to Russian organized crime circles.

Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore reiterated his denials against what he said were allegations of sexual misconduct, adding that “revelations” regarding the charges will surface over the coming days. Will he follow Trump’s lead by not actually announcing those “revelations”? He added that the alleged incidents happened nearly 40 years ago. Does that make a difference?

A former co-worker of Moore says it was ‘common knowledge’ that Moore dated high school girls.

Counselor to Trump, Kellyanne Conway, says that actions allegedly committed by Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore “should disqualify anyone”.

“I’ve been investigated more than anyone in this country,” claims Moore. Very Trump sounding. He is complaining that it is the Democrats who are after him and yet even Republicans [other than the hard conservatives] are against him now.

Keurig pulled its advertising from Sean Hannity’s Fox News show after his interview with Moore. In protest, some Twitter users posted videos of themselves destroying their Keurig coffee makers. Critics of the interview said Hannity went too easy on Moore. By Saturday, other companies including 23andMe and E-Trade all announced they would also pull their ads.

House Speaker Paul Ryan called allegations leveled against Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore about pursuing relationships with teenage girls and committing sexual assault “credible” and that he should step aside.

The Republican National Committee has withdrawn from a joint fundraising agreement with Moore, according to a Federal Election Commission filing, as the GOP establishment continues to break ties with the Alabama Senate candidate.

A man who worked at the local mall in Moore’s hometown of Gadsden says Moore was on a mall watch list because he was “bothering girls in the mall.”

While Trump has stayed quiet on the Moore matter, Conway addressed the situation briefly on Fox and Friends by saying “The president will make a statement when he wants to make a statement.” Which is code word/phrase for never.

Moore allies will wonder if Trump dumped him because of the allegations. It’s not the first time he turned his back on fellow Republicans. The state’s party are still supporting him. Fearing a lawsuit and backlash, they are keeping him on the ballot. The governor’s office and entire state Legislature will be up for grabs in a year.

Moore’s attorney is trying to cast doubt at one of Moore’s accusers claiming a signature is fake in a high school yearbook. But what about the other 5 [so far]. Gloria Allred, the accuser’s attorney, later said her client would allow the yearbook to be examined only if Moore is questioned under oath by a Senate committee. So far, Moore’s side hasn’t agreed.

It’s too late to remove Moore’s name from the ballot, so fielding a Republican write-in at this point would almost certainly hand the election to the Democrats unless he should withdraw and persuade his supporters to vote for that substitute.

Trump, who has stayed quiet on the allegations of sexual abuse against Moore, blasted Democratic Sen. Al Franken after a woman said he groped and kissed her without her consent. The accuser accepted Franken’s apology. Franken said he would welcome an ethics probe into his conduct.

Back in October 2016, Trump said all the accusations against him from the 12 accusers were false and he would take them all to court after the election. Guess how many he took to court 13 months later? None.

A group of Alabama women in Montgomery were backing Moore saying the [at least] six accuses are liars and are in just for the money and fame. You don’t get fame for accusing someone and none asked for money or launched a lawsuit.

Trump’s repeated public comments attacking the Justice Department have not influenced the department or ongoing investigations, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said during a contentious House judiciary committee hearing. “To announce recusal from any investigation would confirm the existence of that investigation, and top officials have advised me I should not do so,” Sessions said.

Sessions said although his Justice Department will consider investigations into Hillary Clinton, he could not say whether he would recuse himself from the matter, contradicting his previous statements on the matter. News broke that Sessions has asked senior federal prosecutors to “evaluate certain issues” presented by House Republicans, including alleged ties between the Clinton Foundation and the sale of Uranium One.

Senate judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley and ranking member Dianne Feinstein sent a letter requesting more information on Trump’s son-in-law and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner related to his security clearance and questions over whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 election.

The two senators specifically requested “transcripts from other committee interviews, additional documents from previous requests, communications with (former national security adviser) Michael Flynn and documents related to his security clearance,” according to their statement.

Kushner told congressional Russia investigators that he did not communicate with WikiLeaks and did not recall anyone on the Trump campaign who had. But Kushner did receive and forward an email from Donald Trump Jr. about contact Trump Jr. had with WikiLeaks, according to a new report this week and a letter from the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Trump and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte “briefly” discussed human rights and the Philippine’s bloody war on drugs during their closed-door conversation, the White House said. But a spokesman for the Philippine President told reporters that “human rights did not arise” during the meeting.

While Trump did nothing about the human rights abuses in the Philippines with Duterte, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau directly raised human-rights concerns with Duterte — including extrajudicial killings carried out by security forces in his country — in a confrontation that the Philippine president later derided as a “personal and official insult.” Duterte also seemed to have a different recollection regarding the conversation. Who would you believe…. [Trudeau was the only leader to talk with Duterte about the issue.]

Before the vote, House GOP thinks it has the votes for tax overhaul. You would figure with an easy majority this would be a no brainer in any normal presidency.

The House of Representatives passed major tax reform legislation along party lines, advancing a key agenda item for President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans. The vote was 227-205, with no Democrats backing the bill. But expect an uphill battle in the Senate.

Senate Republicans plan to include a repeal of the individual mandate — a key piece of the Affordable Care Act — in their tax reform efforts. The mandate requires nearly all Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty. But getting rid of it has a cost.

Roughly 4 million fewer people would be covered in the first year the repeal would take effect, the Congressional Budget Office said last week, rising to 13 million by 2027, as compared to current law. Premiums would also rise by about 10% in most years of the decade, “Republicans just can’t help themselves,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement. “They’re so determined to provide tax giveaways to the rich that they’re willing to raise premiums on millions of middle-class Americans and kick 13 million people off their health care.”

Already the America’s Health Insurance Plans, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, and the Federation of American Hospitals are against the plan.

The House leadership is now pressing those same suburban representatives [that did badly in last week’s elections] to back a tax reform bill that independent analysts say will raise taxes on many of their constituents, particularly in Democratic-leaning states and around the major metropolitan areas with the highest real estate values.

Already GOP Sen. Ron Johnson has come out against the current version of the bill. If two more GOP senators go against the bill [assuming all Democrats vote against the bill and that’s very likely], this bill will be dead in the water.

In the Senate tax plan, senate Republicans are proposing significant excise tax reductions for wine, liquor and beer — including one that slashes in half the rate for craft brewers. But the party could be short lived. Even if it passes, the proposed tax reductions are set to expire after two years. Coincidently the first day is New Year’s Eve 2017 and the last day is Year’s Eve 2019 [so it goes through 3 “Eves”].

House Democrats introduced articles of impeachment against Trump, though they acknowledged their efforts have no chance of success while Republicans control both houses of Congress. Democrat Rep. Steve Cohen introduced five articles of impeachment that include obstruction of justice for Trump’s decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey, two emoluments clause violations, undermining the independence of the federal judiciary and undermining the freedom of the press.

Sanders responded in a statement, saying time spent calling for Trump’s impeachment “would be better spent focusing on tax relief for American families and businesses. It’s disappointing that extremists in Congress still refuse to accept the President’s decisive victory in last year’s election.” Seems only the Republicans think that the Democrats are disgruntled because they lost the election.

The Trump administration is lifting a federal ban imposed by the Obama administration on the importation of body parts from African elephants shot for sport. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a written notice saying that allowing elephants in Zimbabwe to be killed will enhance the survival of the threatened species by raising money for conservation programs from the wealthy trophy hunters who pay to shoot them.

In probably a rarity this year, Republican and Democratic senators have joined forces on legislation to strengthen the FBI database of prohibited gun buyers after the Air Force failed to report the criminal history of the gunman who slaughtered more than two dozen people at a Texas church. The bill would ensure that federal agencies, such as the Defense Department, and states accurately report relevant criminal information to the FBI. The bill faces an uncertain future in the GOP-run House.

North Korea has reacted angrily to Trump’s recent comments [“fat and short”] about Kim Jong-un, saying, “the worst crime for which he can never be pardoned is that he dared [to] malignantly hurt the dignity of the supreme leadership. He should know that he is just a hideous criminal sentenced to death by the Korean people.”

With just 46% approval by Rasmussen’s polling, Trump says of Rasmussen that it was “one of the most accurate polls last time around.” Rasmussen survey only likely voters – not all voters. Rasmussen tends to be give trump 10% more approval percentage over other polls. Even then, most Presidents wouldn’t be excited if under 50%. With Trump, he’ll take anything.

Then Trump’s tweet adds a very Trumpian comment: “Some people think numbers could be in the 50’s.” “Some people” or “many people” is Trump’s traditional way of saying “nobody, but wouldn’t it be nice if.”

Trump tweeted “Do you think the three UCLA Basketball Players will say thank you President Trump? They were headed for 10 years in jail!” The three players are accused of shoplifting during a trip to China to play a game. Trump told the media that he spoke directly to Chinese President Xi Jinping about the case and were supposedly released right after. Demanding to be praised by three teenagers for what you did for them isn’t exactly presidential. [Do convicted shoplifters in China actually get 10 years?]

Trump has selected former pharmaceutical executive Alex Azar as his newest pick to lead the department of Health and Human Services. Trump tweeted while overseas of his intentions to tap Azar, writing that Azar “will be a star for better healthcare and lower drug prices!” There’s another billionaire added to the cabinet.

With Trump threatening to tear up the NAFTA agreement, possibly preferring bilateral agreements, at the Asia-Pacific summit, the remaining countries in the currently failed Trans-Pacific Partnership [the US dropped out] are working on reviving it without Trump and the US. As Mexico is part of TPP, should Trump scrap NATFA, Canada and Mexico would still have agreements, leaving the US out.

400 wealthy Americans, which include doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs and CEOs signed a letter, say the GOP is making a mistake by reducing taxes on the richest families at a time when the nation’s debt is high and inequality is back at the worst level since the 1920s and are urging Republican lawmakers not to cut their taxes. The legislation which would add $1.5 trillion to the debt to pay for widespread tax cuts for businesses and individuals.

“I don’t believe that we’ve set out to create a tax cut for the wealthy,” Gary Cohn, the head of Trump’s National Economic Council, said in an interview last week. “Everything in our tax system is meant to encourage investment.” At the moment only 5,000 families a year end up paying the estate tax. Under the Senate plan, that would drop to just 1,800 families.

The letter specifically criticizes Congress for attempting to repeal the estate tax, which is only paid on assets worth over $5.49 million ($11 million for couples) that are left to heirs. The House bill would eliminate the estate tax entirely. The Senate plan would double the threshold so people could inherit up to $11 million for individuals ($22 million for couples) tax free.