July 2017 News Reports


 Editor’s Choice: Scroll below for our monthly blend of mainstream and alternative July 2017 news and views

July 31

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New York Daily News cover for Aug. 1, 2017 print edition

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ny times logoNew York Times, Scaramucci Is Forced Out of New Role at White House, Maggie Haberman, Michael D. Shear and Glenn Thrush, July 31, 2017. The decision to remove Anthony Scaramucci as communications director came at the request of President Trump’s new chief of staff, John Kelly, shown in an official photo. President Trump has decided to remove Anthony Scaramucci from his position as communications director, three people close to the decision said Monday, relieving him just days after Mr. Scaramucci unloaded a crude verbal tirade against other senior members of the president’s senior staff.

Mr. Scaramucci’s abrupt removal came just 10 days after the wealthy New York financier was brought on to the West Wing staff, a move that convulsed an already chaotic White House and led to the departures of Sean Spicer, the former press secretary, and Reince Priebus, the president’s first chief of staff.

White House Survivor Game (New York Post cover July 29, 2017)

The decision to remove Mr. Scaramucci, who had boasted about reporting directly to the president, not the chief of staff, John F. Kelly, came at Mr. Kelly’s request, the people said. Mr. Kelly made clear to members of the White House staff at a meeting Monday morning that he is in charge.

It was not clear whether Mr. Scaramucci will remain employed at the White House in another position or will leave altogether. Just days into his appointment, Mr. Scaramucci unloaded a crude verbal tirade against other senior members of the president’s staff.

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Internet Dark Humor: Photoshopped photo on web shows ousted Trump asides in awkward poses

ny times logoNew York Times, A Divorce Report Caps Scaramucci’s Explosive First Week on the Job, Katie Rogers, July 31, 2017.…

June 2017 News Reports


 Editor’s Choice: Scroll below for our monthly blend of mainstream and alternative June 2017 news and views

June 30

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Washington Post, Trump’s voting commission asked states for election data. At least 25 states say they can’t or won’t hand it over, Mark Berman and David Weigel, June 30, 2017. President Trump’s voting commission stumbled into public view this week, issuing a sweeping request for nationwide voter data that drew sharp condemnation from election experts and resistance from at least 24 states that said they cannot or will not hand over all of the data.

Donald TrumpThe immediate backlash marked the first significant attention to the “Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity” since Trump started it last month and followed through on a vow to pursue his own unsubstantiated claims that voter fraud is rampant and cost him the popular vote in the presidential election. The White House has said the commission will embark upon a “thorough review of registration and voting issues in federal elections,” but experts and voting rights advocates have pilloried Trump for his claims of widespread fraud, which studies and state officials alike have not found. They say that they fear the commission will be used to restrict voting.

Those worries intensified this week after the commission sent letters to 50 states and the District on Wednesday asking for a trove of information, including names, dates of birth, voting histories and, if possible, party identifications. The letters also asked for evidence of voter fraud, convictions for election-related crimes and recommendations for preventing voter intimidation — all within 16 days.

While the Trump administration has said it is just requesting public information, the letters met with swift — and sometimes defiant — rejection. “This entire commission is based on the specious and false notion that there was widespread voter fraud last November,” Virginia Gov.…

May 2017 News Reports


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Editor’s Choice: Scroll below for our monthly blend of mainstream and alternative May 2017 news and views

May 31

New York Times, Trump Likely to Pull U.S. Out of Climate Pact, Officials Say, Michael D. Shear and Coral Davenport, May 31, 2017. The decision would make good on President Trump’s campaign pledge, but would weaken the landmark accord that pledged action to curb global warming. Mr. Trump has been willing to shift direction up until an announcement, and an official said that caveats may accompany the withdrawal.

And Mr. Trump has proved himself willing to shift direction up until the moment of a public announcement. He is set to meet Wednesday afternoon with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (shown at left in a file photo), who has advocated that the United States remain a part of the Paris accords and could continue to lobby the president to change his mind.

Advocates for pullout are reported to include White House advisor Stephen Bannon, shown in a file photo at right.

Trump White House

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Washington Post, How Jared Kushner built a luxury skyscraper using loans meant for job-starved areas, Shawn Boburg, May 31, 2017.  The strategy allowed Kushner and his partners to obtain $50 million in financing from foreigners through a U.S. visa program. Jared Kushner and his real estate partners wanted to take advantage of a federal program in 2015 that would save them millions of dollars as they built an opulent, 50-story residential tower in this city’s booming waterfront district, just across the Hudson River from Lower Manhattan.

There was just one problem: The program was designed to benefit projects in poor, job-starved areas.

So the project’s consultants got creative, records show. They worked with state officials in New Jersey to come up with a map that defined the area around 65 Bay Street as a swath of land that stretched nearly four miles and included some of the city’s poorest and most crime-ridden neighborhoods.…

April 2017 News Reports


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Editor’s Choice: Scroll below for our monthly blend of mainstream and alternative news and views for April 2017

April 30

Trump Administration

New York Times, First Bipartisan Deal of Trump Era Averts a Shutdown, Thomas Kaplan and Matt Flegenheimer, April 30, 2017. A President Donald Trump officialbipartisan agreement will keep the government funded through September, congressional aides said, effectively ending the threat of a government shutdown. The deal, which still must be voted on, is said to include increased spending for the military and for border security, but does not 

Washington Post, Schools nationwide are pressed to act on an unseen danger: Lead in the water, Brady Dennis, April 30, 2017. Tests last summer showed troubling levels of lead in the water at Summit Township Elementary School, perched on a quiet hilltop outside Butler, Pa. But for the next five months, no one told the parents of Summit’s 250 students.

When officials alerted families to the potential lead contamination in January, the dominoes fell quickly. The district superintendent and assistant superintendent resigned. The school board hired an independent investigator. Administrators shuttered Summit and moved students to another building several miles away. And the mother of a kindergartner filed a federal lawsuit, saying the inaction had created “a school full of poisonous drinking water.”

Parents are pushing for action, but districts are challenged by aging buildings, strained budgets and a regulatory vacuum that seldom mandates testing. Health officials agree that no amount of lead exposure is safe. Even small amounts risk irreversible cognitive and developmental damage, particularly in young children.

Washington Post, Trump guarantees protection for those with preexisting medical conditions — but it’s unclear how, Paul Kane and Jenna Johnson, April 30, 2017. Appearing on “Face the Nation,” the president said “I mandate” protections for such patients be included in the latest proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act, but he struggled to fully articulate what form those protections would take.…

March 2017 News Reports


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Editor’s Choice: Scroll below for our monthly blend of mainstream and alternative news and views for March 2017

March 31

Huffington Post, Senate Intelligence Committee Denies Immunity To Michael Flynn In Russia Probe, Amanda Terkel, March 31, 2017.    Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, once one of President Donald Trump’s strongest supporters and then his national security adviser, is scrambling to save himself from prosecution in exchange for telling Congress what he knows about Russia’s involvement in the 2016 elections. And to do so, he has hired a lawyer who has been a vocal opponent of Trump.

Palmer Report, Senate Intel Committee takes control on Trump-Russia by rejecting Mike Flynn’s immunity request, Bill Palmer, March 31, 2017. Mike Flynn (pictured in a file photo) showed his hand this last night when he offered to testify in the Trump-Russia scandal in exchange for immunity. Donald Michael Flynn fileTrump tried to bluff by publicly telling him to go ahead and do it. And then the Senate Intelligence Committee took control of the entire pot by rejecting Flynn’s offer, essentially saying ‘not at this time’ (link). Now they’re making him beg to be allowed back into the game to play his hand.

If you watched the opening round of the Senate Intel Hearings this week, the witness list consisted of security experts and technical experts, the kind of people who are laying the groundwork for the overall context of the crimes that the Trump campaign and Russia conspired to commit. That way, by the time an eye witness like Sally Yates or a suspect like Mike Flynn is called to testify, the parameters of the crime will already have been established.

Daily Mail, Disgraced Trump aide, ‘Crazy Miss Cokehead’ and questions over their Russia links: ‘Worrisome’ meeting between sacked national security adviser and Cambridge graduate raised concern among British and US intelligence, Daniel Bates, March 31, 2017.…

February 2017 News Reports

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 Editor’s Choice: Scroll below for our monthly blend of mainstream and alternative February 2017 news and views

Feb. 28

President Trump, Vice President Pence, House Speaker Ryan Feb. 28, 2017 (Jim Lo Scalzo / Pool image via AP)

President Trump, center, Vice President Pence, lefty, House Speaker Ryan at State of Union address on Feb. 28, 2017 (Jim Lo Scalzo / Pool image via AP)

Washington Post, Winners and losers from Trump’s big speech, Chris Cillizza, Feb. 28, 2017. This may have been the best speech Trump has given since he entered politics in June 2015, and people rooting for his imminent demise may be disappointed.

Washington Post, Jeff Sessions dismisses DOJ reports on police abuse without bothering to read them, Radley Balko, Feb. 28, 2017. In a briefing with reporters yesterday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he’s still deciding whether or not to implement reforms for the Chicago Police Department. The reforms, suggested by the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, were part of a blistering report on the city’s police agency that was published at the tail end of President Obama’s second term. This section from the Reuters write-up of the briefing jumped out at me:

Sessions said he had seen summaries of both the Chicago report and the report that the Obama Justice Department completed on police in Ferguson. “Some of it was pretty anecdotal and not so scientifically based,” Sessions said.

Of course, the summary for any study will be anecdotal, and not particularly heavy on data. That’s the whole point of a summary. Asked by The Huffington Post whether he had read the Civil Rights Division’s investigative reports on the police departments in Chicago and Ferguson, Missouri, Sessions conceded he had not. But, he said, he didn’t think they were necessarily reliable.

“I have not read those reports, frankly.” Just to be clear, the U.S. attorney general is currently deciding whether to continue to enforce civil rights reforms suggested by the Civil Rights Division of DOJ in Chicago and Ferguson — but he’s apparently pondering that decision without having read the reports supporting those reforms.…

January 2017 News Reports


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Editor’s Choice: Scroll below for our monthly blend of mainstream and alternative January 2017 news and views


Jan. 31

President Trump, Judge Neil Gorsuch, wife Louise Gorsuch (NBC News)

President Trump announces Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, with his wife Louise Gorsuch (NBC News Photo)

NBC News, Trump Nominates Federal Appeals Court Judge Neil Gorsuch to Supreme Court, Pete Williams, Jan. 31 2017. President Donald Trump said Tuesday night that he will nominate Neil Gorsuch, a federal appeals court judge in Denver, to succeed Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court. Gorsuch, who currently serves on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, was appointed in 2006 by George W. Bush and confirmed by the Senate on a voice vote.

Trump made the announcement in a prime-time event from the East Room of the White House, after a day of speculation. The president called the power to nominate Supreme Court justices the most important one behind national defense. “Millions of voters said this was the single most important issue to them when they voted for me for president,” Trump said. He said Gorsuch possesses “outstanding legal skills, a brilliant mind, tremendous discipline.”

A widely respected judge, he had the backing of two conservative legal groups that advised former President Barack Obama and included his name on a list of potential nominees.

Washington Post, Trump picks Neil Gorsuch, judge seen as similar to Scalia, for Supreme Court, Robert Barnes, Jan. 31 2017. Nominee is favorite of conservative legal establishment President Trump selected Colorado federal appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch as his Supreme Court nominee on Tuesday, opting in the most important decision of his young presidency for a highly credentialed favorite of the conservative legal establishment to fill the opening created last year by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Gorsuch prevailed over the other finalist, Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania, also a federal appeals court judge, and Trump announced the nomination at a televised prime-time event at the White House.…

December 2016 News Reports


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Christmas Wreath

Happy Holidays  & New Year from the Justice Integrity Project!

Editor’s Choice: Scroll below for our monthly blend of mainstream and alternative December 2016 news and views

Dec. 31

Federal Justice System Year-End Report

Washington Post, Roberts steers clear of controversy, praises district judges in year-end report, Robert Barnes, Dec. 31, 2016. The federal courts in general and the Supreme Court in particular have been a focal point of the contentious 2016 election campaign, but Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. continued to steer well clear of controversy in his year-end report issued Saturday.

John RobertsRoberts, shown in an official photo, did not mention that the court has been shorthanded since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February nor the Republican-controlled Senate’s refusal to hold a hearing for President Obama’s nominee to the court, U.S. Circuit Court Judge Merrick Garland. That action kept the seat open for an appointment by President-elect Donald Trump, and will retain a conservative majority of Republican nominees on the Supreme Court.

Instead, Roberts used his Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary to focus on what he said was the underappreciated role of federal district judges, who conduct trials and serve at the first level of the justice system.

The estimated 103 judicial vacancies that Obama is expected to hand over to Trump in the Jan. 20 transition of power is nearly double the 54 openings Obama found eight years ago following George W. Bush’s presidency.

“While the Supreme Court is often the focus of public attention, our system of justice depends fundamentally on the skill, hard work, and dedication of those outside the limelight,” Roberts wrote.

Trump has the chance to fill an uncommon number of vacancies in the federal courts in addition to the open Supreme Court seat, giving him a monumental opportunity to reshape the judiciary after taking office.…

November 2016 News Reports


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Editor’s Choice: Scroll below for our monthly blend of mainstream and alternative November 2016 news and views

Nov. 30

Deep State

Unz Review, Political Science’s “Theory of Everything,” David Chibo, Nov. 30, 2016. The 7 “Blind” men and the US Elephant. The famous Indian story of the Blind Men and the Elephant is a metaphor highlighting that while one’s subjective experience can be true, it can also be limited by its failure to account for other truths or a totality of truth. A similar metaphor can be used to try to explain the hidden forces guiding the US Government

From 1975 to 1976, the Church Committee in the Senate and the Pike Committee in the House attempted unsuccessfully to curtail the power of US intelligence agencies. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), in particular, was investigated to see if it was a “rogue elephant” or under strict control of the President and the executive branch. However, besides some damning revelations outlined in the “whitewashed” report and some minor oversight changes, the “rogue elephant” was allowed to roam free.

Election Recount

Truthout, The No-BS Inside Guide to the Presidential Recount, Greg Palast, Nov. 30, 2016. Greg Palast (shown in a file photo) investigated vote suppression in the 2016 election for Rolling Stone. The film of his investigation, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, was released by Cinema Libre Studios in September.

Greg Palast file photoThere’s been so much complete nonsense since I first broke the news that the Green Party would file for a recount of the presidential vote, I am compelled to write a short guide to flush out the BS and get to just the facts, ma’am.

Nope, they’re not hunting for Russian hackers. To begin with, the main work of the recount hasn’t a damn thing to do with finding out if the software programs for the voting machines have been hacked, whether by Putin’s agents or some guy in a cave flipping your vote from Hillary to The Donald.…

October 2016 News Reports


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Editor’s Choice: Scroll below for our monthly blend of mainstream and alternative October 2016 news and views

Oct. 31 Sean Stone, Tyrel Ventura, Tabetha Wallace

“Watching the Hawks” co-host Sean Stone, shown at right above, interviewed Justice Integrity Project Editor Andrew Kreig about current relevance of Kreig’s book “Presidential Puppetry” regarding Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on a taped edition of the show cablecast Oct. 31, 2016. In the segment, Kreig made the “strong” circumstantial case that both candidates were compromised if not controlled by powerful and secretive financial interests, with the CIA playing a role in the Clinton family ascendancy and the mob in Trump’s. In the photo above with Stone are his co-hosts Tabetha Wallace and Tyrel Ventura. The 12-minute RT interview segment can be seen on reruns and via YouTube.

Interview Part I; Interview Part II

Presidential Puppetry by Andrew Kreig


Washington Post, Democrats demand swift answers after news of a renewed FBI inquiry, Anne Gearan, Jenna Johnson and John Wagner, Oct. 31, 2016.​ Senators have asked for an answer by the end of the day about what FBI Director James Comey is looking for and why — after ending the email investigation without charges in July — he chose to renew it less than two weeks before Election Day.

James Comey FBI file photo

FBI Director James Comey (FBI photo)

OpEdNews, What is Comey Up To? Who is he working for? Michael Collins (shown at right), Oct. 31, 2016. The 1939 Hatch Act bars Federal employees from a broad range of political activities. Richard Painter, a former lawyer in the Bush White House Counsel’s office, filed a formal complaint against FBI Director Comey for violating that act.

If Comey acted on his own without any outside inducements or threats, we should all pause and say a short prayer for Michael Collinshim. In that scenario, he is an utter fool, playing in a league way above his skill set, and doing great and memorable damage to the political process.…

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