Federal judge gives Trump’s fraudulent ‘voter fraud’ commission the go ahead

A federal judge on Monday cleared the way for President Trump’s fraudulent “voter fraud” commission to proceed in gathering personal data on the nation’s voters. The 35 page order and opinion is HERE (.pdf).

The New York Times reports, Judge Clears Way for Trump’s Voter Fraud Panel to Collect Data:

[Trump’s fraudulent “voter fraud” commission], which was created after the president falsely claimed that millions of illegal votes cost him the popular vote in 2016, has come under siege from many organizations that have filed lawsuits accusing the commission of violating federal privacy laws. The judge’s decision on Monday delivered a setback to the opposition, which has objected to the commission’s expansive request for the personal and public data about the country’s 200 million voters.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center, which filed the suit, sought to stop the commission from acquiring the voter data, claiming that the panel should have conducted a privacy impact assessment before asking states for the personal information. But the judge, Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of Federal District Court, said the panel did not qualify as a federal agency, so it was not required to conduct and publish a privacy assessment.

So this is a narrow ruling based on a statutory technicality, not a sweeping endorsement of the commission.

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Evil GOP bastard Mitch McConnell’s final desperate act to repeal ‘Obamacare’ (updated)

The straight repeal of “Obamacare,” the Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act, a policy that Tea-Publicans had voted for over 60 times in the past seven years when they used it as a bludgeon against Democrats and campaign fundraising talking point to the GOP crazy base — secure in the knowledge that their ideological antics would never actually become law — failed spectacularly in the Senate on Wednesday on a vote of 45 to 55, with seven Republicans (including Sen. John McCain) and all Democrats voting to block it. The latest vote to repeal Obamacare fails in the Senate.

Evil GOP bastard Mitch McConnell is down to his final desperate act to repeal “Obamacare,” the so-called “skinny repeal” bill that has yet to be drafted in secret in the dark recesses of McConnell’s star chamber,  a bill strategically designed to attract 50 GOP senate votes so that Vice President Mike Pence can, once again, break the tie vote to pass anything in the Senate to get it to a House-Senate conference committee.

Andrew Prokop at Vox.com provides analysis, Republicans’ last-ditch plan to save their health bill, explained in 500 words:

Republican leaders now have one last-ditch plan to keep their effort to repeal Obamacare alive.

Senate leaders’ new plan is to try to pass a simple, stripped-down “skinny repeal” bill that gets rid of just a few Obamacare provisions — like the individual and employer mandates and the medical device tax — while leaving the bulk of the law in place.

We don’t yet know whether skinny repeal will pass the Senate, or whether enough Senate Republicans will unify around some alternative proposal that can squeak through. We don’t even yet know what, exactly, would be in a skinny repeal bill.

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Voters Get Clear-Cut Choices of Candidates for Ward 3 of Tucson City Council

Tucson voters in northernmost Ward 3 have clear-cut choices among the three Democratic candidates running for the city council, as they spoke to Democratic precinct captains in the sprawling Ward.

Voters will select one in the primary on August 29. The winner will run against an “independent” in the general election on November 7. Some 88,700 people (36% Hispanic) live in the Ward, which sprawls from River Road on the north, to Swan on the east, to I-29 on the west, and Drachman on the south. Click here to see a map.

The Intellectual: Paul Durham

Paul Durham

Paul Durham

Attorney, MBA in finance.

Raised $41,000 in contributions and matching funds.

Key issues: run Tucson 100% on solar power, attract jobs that pay well, build community.

Lived in Tucson since 2004.

Voted for Hillary.

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House passes Russian sanctions bill by a veto-proof majority

Back in June, a bipartisan Senate majority easily approved legislation imposing new sanctions on Russia in response to Russia’s interference in the U.S. election on a vote of 97 to 2.

Putin’s pal in the White House launched an aggressive push to derail the bill, or to at least water it down considerably in the House.

The White House efforts failed.

Today the House passed a revised Russian sanctions bill on an overwhelming  — and veto-proof — vote of  419-3. That bill now goes back to the Senate where it is expected to pass by a veto-proof majority, again. What is Putin’s pal in the White House  to do? House passes Russia sanctions bill, setting up veto dilemma for Trump:

The House on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly to advance new financial sanctions against key U.S. adversaries and deliver a foreign-policy brushback to President Trump by limiting his ability to waive many of them.

Included in the package, which passed 419 to 3, are new measures targeting key Russian officials in retaliation for that country’s alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election, as well as sanctions against Iran and North Korea in response to those nations’ weapons programs.

Members of the Trump administration, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, have resisted the congressional push — in particular a provision attached to the Russian measures that would require Congress to sign off on any move to relieve those sanctions.

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Democratic Party announces a ‘Better Deal’ for America

On Monday, the Democratic Party began to get separation from its standard-bearer Hillary Clinton in 2016, and moving forward with a first draft of a plan for the 2018 midterms. The New York Times reports, Congressional Democrats Promise a ‘Better Deal’ for American Workers:

The Democratic Party wants to pick a fight with corporate America to win back Congress.

The big ideas in the economic agenda that congressional Democrats unveiled on Monday, including a higher minimum wage and lower drug prices, are aimed at reclaiming the party’s populist mantle from President Trump.

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the driving force behind this “Better Deal,” said that Mr. Trump won the presidency by promising to help working Americans, only to abandon them. The Democrats are now hoping to reclaim Congress by making a number of the same promises to the same people.

“Old-fashioned capitalism has broken down to the detriment of consumers,” Mr. Schumer said on Monday afternoon in Berryville, Va., about an hour west of Washington.

Yet there were some striking omissions in the plan. There was no talk about health insurance beyond prescription drug prices. There was no discussion of trade policy beyond a placeholder sentence promising more details later; Mr. Schumer’s office said Democrats planned to roll out a detailed trade agenda in the fall. And party leaders did not embrace liberal concerns about the outsize economic role of the financial industry.

The focus, instead, was on a fairly small set of battle-tested ideas. And though Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont was not present on Monday, the imprint of his presidential campaign was unmistakably present. Democrats proposed to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour — an idea the party’s 2016 nominee, Hillary Clinton, never heartily embraced.

The “Fight for $15” has energized parts of the Democratic base, and it has racked up impressive victories in states including New York and California and cities from Seattle to Washington.

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Ward 3 Democratic Candidates Forum at Literary Connects

Check our online Calendar for additional forums to learn more about the 3 Democrats running in the August 29 primary, for the Ward 3 Council seat.  So far three more are scheduled for August 2 (Hispanic Chamber of Commerce/Az Daily Star), Aug. 5 (Equity Forum), and Aug. 9 (Sustainable Tucson).

The Dem winner will face off with Independent Gary Watson in the General Election on Nov. 7, 2017.  There is no Republican candidate in this Ward 3 race.

Vote wisely on or before August 29, 2017.