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Pence leading delegation to S. Korea Winter Olympics to make statement

Posted: 10 Jan 2018 10:40 AM PST

Amid ongoing tensions with North Korea over its proliferation of nuclear weapons, Vice President Mike Pence will lead a U.S. delegation to the Winter Olympics in neighboring South Korea.

According to a senior administration official, Pence will not only be in Pyeongchang to support the American athletes who are participating in the games, he and second lady Karen Pence will also be there to reinforce the strong U.S. presence on the Korean Peninsula and send a clear signal to the North Korean government, The Hill reported.

The Winter Olympics will be held in Pyeongchang from Feb. 9 to 25.

On Tuesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that President Donald Trump would officially announce members of the U.S. delegation "in the coming days."

In an effort to ease strained relations, North Korean officials recently met with their counterparts from South Korea and agreed to send a delegation of athletes to the winter games.

Pence also plans to visit Alaska, where he will review intercontinental ballistic missile defense systems. An additional stop is planned in Japan, where he will reassure officials that the U.S. is committed to regional security, just as he intends to do in South Korea.

Last year, Pence traveled to South Korea and Japan to declare that the U.S. was ending its “era of strategic patience” with North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

The post Pence leading delegation to S. Korea Winter Olympics to make statement appeared first on Dennis Michael Lynch.

New Trump-Oprah poll results released

Posted: 10 Jan 2018 10:35 AM PST

Conservative-leaning pollster Rasmussen just published a poll stating that if the 2020 presidential election were held today, billionaire media maven Oprah Winfrey would beat President Donald Trump by 10 points.

Noting that there were also a lot of undecideds, the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey found that 48% of likely U.S. voters would opt for Winfrey, while 38% would choose Trump. But a sizable 14% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

The survey further noted:

Winfrey has the support of 76% of Democrats, 22% of Republicans and 44% of voters not affiliated with either major political party. The president earns 66% of the vote from Republicans, 12% of Democrats and 38% of unaffiliateds.”

Twelve percent (12%) of both Republicans and Democrats are undecided given this matchup. One-in-five unaffiliated voters (19%) aren't sure which candidate they would support.

Talks of Winfrey running for president have quickly gained traction after she gave a speech about sexual harassment and racial justice at the Golden Globes on Sunday. Her audience went wild, but conservatives have been posting photos of her on social media looking very cozy with Hollywood pervert extraordinaire Harvey Weinstein. In her twenty-year relationship with the man, this was the first time Winfrey has ever acknowledged the fact that Weinstein has been harassing, molesting, and even reportedly raping actresses throughout his career as a film producer.

“Fifty-five percent of those polled have a favorable view of Winfrey, and 34 percent have an unfavorable one,” according to Rasmussen, noting that “55 percent disapprove of Trump’s job performance, while 44 percent approve.”

Sources close to Winfrey have said that while she is "intrigued" with the idea, she is not actively considering a presidential bid. Despite this, "Oprah 2020" merchandise has swept online retailers in the days following her speech, according to a report in The Hill.

The president said Tuesday that he likes Winfrey. But knowing her personally, Trump said that he does not think she will challenge him for the White House.

Rasmussen polled 1,000 likely voters in the two days after Winfrey's Golden Globes speech, and the survey has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

The post New Trump-Oprah poll results released appeared first on Dennis Michael Lynch.

Report: Gen Xers face retirement crisis (video)

Posted: 10 Jan 2018 10:22 AM PST

A new survey from TD Ameritrade is causing headlines to say that Gen Xers are worried about the possibility that they won’t have enough money to retire.

“Nearly four out of 10 (37%) of Generation X — those born between 1965 and the late 1970s — say they would like to stop working for good and ‘fully retire’ someday, ‘but will not be able to afford to,’ the survey reveals.

The oldest of the roughly 65 million Gen X Americans — those now 39 to 53 — will be the next generation to retire.

Other troubling Gen X retirement findings:

  • 43% say “they are behind” in their savings.
  • Half (49%) are “worried about running out of money” once they leave the workforce.
  • Nearly two out of 10 (17%) say they “aren’t saving or investing for anything.”
  • Only a third expect to be “very secure” in retirement — vs. nearly half of Baby Boomers.

The report blames employer-funded pensions being phased out and replaced with an increasing reliance on 401(k) plans and IRAs, which require workers to do most of the saving on their own, as one reason contributing to the problem.

Those in the Millennial generation are also worried about their future finances after having been stung by the Great Recession in 2008-09 and high college costs.

Older Boomers, 47% of which said they expect to be “very secure” in retirement, according to the TD Ameritrade survey, means that more than half of them are also concerned.

Lule Demmissie, managing director of retirement and investment at TD Ameritrade, cites a series of setbacks as the reason for the Gen X savings deficit:

  • The 1987 stock market crash;
  • The 2000 tech stock meltdown;
  • The 2008 financial crisis.

Demmissie notes that beside being the “first 401(k) generation,” the Gen X generation was also more likely to have grown up in a family split by divorce and as latch-key kids. These two factors alone lead to less financial security as adults.

However, Demmissie says that there’s still time for Gen Xers to prepare. “It’s easy to be cynical, but the important thing for Generation X is that all hope is not lost,” she says. “Improving their finances is still very much in their control.”

She advises people take control of their finances now. “Take advantage of your 401(k). Find out how the tax-code changes will impact you. And don’t expect to build your nest egg to $1 million overnight,” she says, adding that it’s a good idea to “break down financial goals into manageable milestones, such as picking a year you would like to retire and figure out how much you need to save each month to get there.”

The TD Ameritrade survey included 828 Gen Xers and 990 Baby Boomers.

The post Report: Gen Xers face retirement crisis (video) appeared first on Dennis Michael Lynch.

Breaking: ICE descends on 7-Eleven stores in massive employment audit

Posted: 10 Jan 2018 10:11 AM PST

U.S. immigration agents swarmed approximately 100 7-Eleven stores nationwide before daylight on Wednesday to initiate employment audits and interview workers in what officials characterized as the largest operation against an employer within the past year.

According to the Associated Press, the initiative represents the broadening of an investigation related to a 4-year-old case against a 7-Eleven franchisee on Long Island in New York.

The “compliance inspections” could result in criminal charges or fines related to the company’s hiring practices.

Opponents of illegal immigration have been pushing for a tougher stance on employers who hire aliens, and the current ICE operation might represent an expansion of enforcement in that sector.

Derek Benner, a senior official at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said that Wednesday's operation was "the first of many" and "a harbinger of what's to come" for employers, warning that more employment audits and investigations are imminent.

"This is what we're gearing up for this year and what you're going to see more and more of is these large-scale compliance inspections, just for starters. From there, we will look at whether these cases warrant an administrative posture or criminal investigation," said Benner, acting head of ICE's Homeland Security Investigations, which oversees cases against employers.

"It's not going to be limited to large companies or any particular industry, big, medium and small," Benner said. "It's going to be inclusive of everything that we see out there."

Twenty-one people suspected of being in the country illegally were arrested during Wednesday’s sweep, although ICE contends that the audits are focused on management.

The 7-Eleven stores targeted on Wednesday will be required to produce documents verifying that they required work authorization, which will become more common, according to Benner.

7-Eleven Stores Inc. is based in Irving, Texas, and operates more than 8,600 stores in the U.S.

The post Breaking: ICE descends on 7-Eleven stores in massive employment audit appeared first on Dennis Michael Lynch.

Republican congressman announces retirement

Posted: 10 Jan 2018 09:56 AM PST

Rep. Darrell Issa, R.-Calif., announced Wednesday that he will not seek reelection this year, offering Democrats a chance to flip his swing district as they battle to regain control of the House in the 2017 mid-term elections.

Issa, who is the former chairman of the House Oversight Committee, won reelection in 2016 by a little more than a percentage point in his San Diego-area district that voted for for Hillary Clinton by 7 points over her opponents in the presidential election, The Hill reported.

The 17-year incumbent would have faced a tough reelection bid in California’s 49th Congressional District that has become increasingly Democratic. Issa’s lack of presence in a 2018 race will allow the Democrats an easier path to victory in the race.

Issa’s decision to leave Congress follows the Monday announcement that House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, R.-Calif., who also represents a district won by Clinton, will not seek reelection this year, giving Democrats another edge in the mid-terms.

Democrats need to flip 24 seats to in order to secure the House majority.

Issa, who was a businessman prior to entering politics, consistently ranked as one of the wealthiest members of Congress.

The post Republican congressman announces retirement appeared first on Dennis Michael Lynch.

Prison system creates special program for veterans (video)

Posted: 10 Jan 2018 09:53 AM PST

Nationwide, veterans accounted for 8 percent of the prison population, but in the past several years, officials have begun to acknowledged that incarcerated veterans have special needs.

For instance, the military veterans in the Albany County jail are treated to a special cellblock where they can work through problems they often share, such as substance use and post-traumatic stress disorder. Veteran inmates are more likely to have reported mental health issues, particularly PTSD, reveals a snapshot of the prison population by the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

According to 31-year-old Navy veteran James Gibson, who was serving a 60-day criminal contempt sentence, "Everybody who's been in here has been in the service. So we can all relate to at least that."

Thanks to help from the nonprofit group Soldier On, "veteran pods" are being instituted into state and county lockups as the criminal justice system focuses on helping troubled former service members instead of punishing them. There are at least 86 prisons and jails with designated veterans' housing, according to federal government statistics. Many of the programs were started in the last five years, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday.

Some of the half-dozen veterans' dorms in Florida prisons feature daily flag raisings or monthly formations. Others, like Albany, tend to avoid military trappings. The San Francisco Sheriff's Department offers yoga and meditation and works with a local veterans treatment court. But their common aim is to create an esprit de corps and a "safe space" to help veterans deal with their issues and reintegrate into society.

Inmates and officials say the Albany pod is cleaner and less troublesome than other tiers. For instance, when a guard was attacked in 2016 by an inmate from another unit, the pod inmates ran from across the common area to the guard's aid.

"We send all these young men and women overseas and when they come back, a lot of them with PTSD, domestic violence, drug issues," said Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple, who started the veterans pod more than three years ago. "And I just felt we could have treated them better or done something for them."

Apple noted that 6 percent of the roughly 331 participating veterans in Albany over the years have returned to jail. This is much better than the typical jail recidivism rates of more than 40 percent.

Albany's program also provides post-release services, such as housing, through Soldier On. So, when the veterans are released from jail, they have a place to go.

The post Prison system creates special program for veterans (video) appeared first on Dennis Michael Lynch.

Ivanka instagram photo sparks rumors

Posted: 10 Jan 2018 09:49 AM PST

Social media users began speculating that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are expecting another baby after Trump posted an old photo in which she appears to have her hand on her slightly swollen stomach.

In her efforts to publicly wish her husband a happy birthday as he turned 37 on Wednesday, Trump, 36, used the photo, which was previously posted in 2016.

In addition to the usual nasty remarks from their critics, many social media users were wondering if congratulations were in order for the couple, who are the parents of three young children.

Their youngest son, Theodore, was born in March of 2016.

But reporters learned that Wednesday’s photo is a throwback and not any sort of pregnancy announcement, according to The Hill.


Below is the original photo Ivanka posted on January 1, 2016:

The post Ivanka instagram photo sparks rumors appeared first on Dennis Michael Lynch.

IRS watchdog calls for more funding to implement tax bill

Posted: 10 Jan 2018 09:28 AM PST

The in-house watchdog of the Internal Revenue Service contended Wednesday that it needs increased funding to implement the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 recently signed into law by President Donald Trump.

“The IRS will have a lot of issues to work through, and taxpayers will have a lot of questions,” National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson said in a news release. “But with more funding, strong leadership, and a closer working relationship with Congress, I am convinced the IRS can do the job well."

In Olson’s annual report to Congress, she outlined the most serious issues facing taxpayers. As leading House Republicans consider addressing IRS reform this year, Olson also made legislative recommendations regarding the strengthening of taxpayer rights and the improvement of tax administration.

The Hill reported:

The IRS saw its budget cut in the early part of the decade, and Republicans have criticized the agency in the wake of 2013 revelations that it subjected conservative groups’ applications for tax-exempt status to extra scrutiny.

In a preliminary estimate, the IRS predicted that it would need an additional $495 million in fiscal 2018 and 2019 to implement the tax law. The agency found 131 filing-season systems that will be affected by the new law.

Olson said in her report that there’s “no doubt” that the IRS needs a funding boost.

“Funding cuts have rendered the IRS unable to provide acceptable levels of taxpayer service, unable to upgrade its technology to improve its efficiency and effectiveness, and unable to maintain compliance programs that both promote compliance and protect taxpayer rights,” she wrote.

At the same time, Olson also said that the IRS can also make changes to help taxpayers within its current budget.

“Within the budget it currently has, there are plenty of opportunities for the IRS to demonstrate that it can do a better job of using creativity and innovation to provide taxpayer service, encourage compliance, and address noncompliance,” she said in her report.

The post IRS watchdog calls for more funding to implement tax bill appeared first on Dennis Michael Lynch.

Cliven Bundy considering legal action against feds

Posted: 10 Jan 2018 09:00 AM PST

Following the Monday dismissal of charges against Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher is reportedly considering filing a lawsuit against the federal government for malicious prosecution and civil rights violations.

According to attorney Larry Klayman, a conservative activist and former Justice Department lawyer who has represented Bundy in other matters, Bundy, 71, might also file ethics complaints against federal prosecutors, The Washington Times reported.

Bundy’s potential lawsuits are related to the court battle that concluded Monday when U.S. District Court Chief Judge Gloria Navarro dismissed the government’s case against Bundy and characterized the conduct of the federal prosecutors in the trial as "outrageous." Navarro also said that the prosecutors in the case "violated due process rights" of the defendants.

Navarro ordered Bundy to be released from prison immediately.

Klayman contended that Navarro "didn't dismiss this matter out of the goodness of her heart. It was like rats fleeing a sinking ship."

"But what she said was extremely strong against prosecutors and against the FBI in particular," he said. "This is yet the latest FBI scandal. [She] accused them of lying and hiding evidence, calling it 'outrageous.'”

Navarro lambasted prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney's office in Nevada for willfully withholding potentially exculpatory evidence from the defense, including FBI surveillance and sniper records from the April 2014 armed confrontation that occurred at the Bundy ranch near Bunkerville, Nevada.

The post Cliven Bundy considering legal action against feds appeared first on Dennis Michael Lynch.

Death toll rises in horrific California mudslides (videos)

Posted: 10 Jan 2018 08:48 AM PST

Rescue teams continue to search for anyone who is trapped, injured or dead as a result of massive mudslides that occurred Tuesday in Southern California that swept away homes and cars, killing 15 people so far.

Following the torrential rain which triggered the mudslides, search and rescue teams began combing the affected areas, sometimes contending with mud up to their shoulders, the Associated Press reported.

"Right now our assets are focused on determining if anyone is still alive in any of those structures that have been damaged," said Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown.

According to Brown, several dozen homes were severely damaged or destroyed, many of which were located in areas that were not yet accessible.

Yaneris Muniz, spokeswoman for Santa Barbara County, said that at least 15 people were confirmed dead.

Authorities reported that at least 25 people were injured, with four left in severely critical condition. Fifty or more victims required rescue by helicopters and an undetermined number of others were missing.

The search was set to expand with assistance from a major search-and-rescue team from Los Angeles County, the Coast Guard and the National Guard.

Most of the deaths occurred in and around Montecito, a wealthy community of approximately 9,000 people which is located northwest of Los Angeles.

A mud-covered 14-year-old girl was among the many rescued on Tuesday when she was pulled from her collapsed Montecito home where she had been trapped for hours.

"I thought I was dead for a minute there," the dazed girl said on the video posted below.

Flash flooding caused the mudslides to occur in the middle of the night in the steep Santa Ynez Mountains, where vegetation on hillsides was burned in December by the largest wildfire on record in California, a 440-square-mile inferno that destroyed 1,063 homes and other structures.

Heavy rain in the forecast prompted authorities to issue evacuation orders in recently burned areas of Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

Authorities said that only an estimated 10 to 15 percent of people residing in a mandatory evacuation area of Santa Barbara County heeded the warning.

The post Death toll rises in horrific California mudslides (videos) appeared first on Dennis Michael Lynch.

Dem senator praises Trump for DACA meeting

Posted: 10 Jan 2018 08:38 AM PST

In a Wednesday appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., said that President Donald Trump’s unprecedented televised meeting with lawmakers on Tuesday signaled that he might be able to push Congress toward a deal on immigration, but warned that Trump must foster compromise among Republicans and Democrats.

Coons said that millions of people voted for Trump expecting to see “a businessman who knew how to bring people together, to cut big deals and to … get through some of the divisions of Washington.” According to Coons, that is not the president America saw last year.

“But for a variety of reasons, he’s realized that that’s the president he needs to be in order to be successful as president, and in order for the Republican Party to survive the 2018 elections,” said Coons.

“So what I thought we saw yesterday in that meeting, both in the visuals and in the conversation, was a president really trying to be and sound reasonable on a compromise around the Dreamers, on DACA,” Coons asserted.

Coons cautioned Trump not to “to make this not just a one-day photo op, but to show real leadership here, he actually could move us forward by getting a resolution to the status of Dreamers, and new investment in border security.”

Coons contended that lawmakers in the Republican party represent some of the biggest obstacles to helping DACA recipients remain in the U.S. and work. However, Coons argued that Trump could facilitate a deal on DACA by leading Republicans toward a permanent fix for the program.

“This is the president, President Trump is the president who could get that done,” he said.

The post Dem senator praises Trump for DACA meeting appeared first on Dennis Michael Lynch.

Palestinian bonus program to terrorists exposed

Posted: 10 Jan 2018 08:32 AM PST

Records released Tuesday by the Israeli Defense Ministry revealed that the Palestinian Authority paid terrorists and their families more than $347 million in 2017.

According to the Jerusalem Post, the data was presented to the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of the Knesset, which is Israel’s Parliament.

The PA supports incarcerated terrorists, paying those who are sentenced to three to five years $580 per month, equal to the average monthly income of a Palestinian. Terrorists sentenced to twenty years or more, often for crimes involving the murder of Israelis, receive five times that amount per month, payable for the rest of their lives.

Imprisoned terrorists are also awarded bonuses by the PA. Those who are Israeli citizens receive a $145 per month bonus, and terrorists from Jerusalem receive an additional bonus. Bonuses are also paid to terrorists if they are married, with increases for each of their children.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman criticized the PA payments, declaring that the funds perpetuate terrorism.

“The PA pays over a billion shekels a year to terrorists and their families, thus encouraging and perpetuating terror,” Liberman said.

“The minute the amount of the payment is decided according to the severity of the crime and the length of the sentence — in other words, whoever murders and is sentenced to life in prison gets much more –that is funding terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens,” Liberman said. “There is nothing that better illustrates the PA’s support for terror. We must stop this.”

The post Palestinian bonus program to terrorists exposed appeared first on Dennis Michael Lynch.

New BLM supporter, Soros-backed district attorney fires over 30 Philly prosecutors

Posted: 10 Jan 2018 07:48 AM PST

Thanks to nearly $2 million from liberal billionaire George Soros, Democrat Larry Krasner became Philadelphia’s new district attorney and was sworn in on Jan. 2. His first move was to oust more than 30 local  prosecutors with no explanation.

Four days into the job, Krasner reportedly asked 31 prosecutors to resign from the district attorney’s office; many of them from the homicide division, drug enforcement, and civil asset forfeiture units.

According to a report in The Washington Free Beacon, “The terminations have stalled court cases in the city, where one judge on Monday criticized the office after they asked that a murder trial be postponed due to the assistant attorney general being one of the dozens of people let go by Krasner.”

Prior to his being elected district attorney, Krasner was a far-left defense attorney who represented Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter. Krasner had sued the police department more than 75 times and often joked that he had built a career that made him “completely unelectable.”

However, with Soros’ millions behind him, Krasner went on to defeat seven opponents in the Democratic primary.

This is Soros’ modus operandi: He targets cities and then establishes Super PACs, floods them with money, refunds himself any leftover cash at the conclusion of a race, and shuts down the PAC. Using this method over the past few years, he’s been able to control a number of district attorney races in Florida, Ohio, Illinois, Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Mississippi, among others.

Soros set up the Philadelphia Justice & Public Safety PAC and pushed nearly $2 million into the committee with the sole intent of backing Krasner, the Washington Free Beacon previously reported.

Beth Grossman, Krasner’s Republican opponent, voiced her fears last year that Krasner would turn Philadelphia into another Baltimore or Chicago.

“I have concerns, if he gets elected, my opponent, I don’t want us to turn into a Baltimore,” Grossman said at the time. “I don’t want us to turn into a Chicago. It’s really disturbing—we have one of the finest public defenders offices in the country, we don’t need two.”

Krasner defeated Grossman by more than 40 percentage points in the overwhelmingly Democratic city.

The Democracy Alliance, a network of wealthy liberal donors who each promise to funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars into approved progressive groups, is set to ramp up efforts to elect far-left individuals to district attorney positions in 2018, according to documents obtained by the Free Beacon at the group’s secretive investment conference held last November at the La Costa Resort in Carlsbad, Calif.

Soros, a cofounder of the Democracy Alliance, and Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), headlined the three-day conference where the group planned out their next steps of the “resistance.”

The post New BLM supporter, Soros-backed district attorney fires over 30 Philly prosecutors appeared first on Dennis Michael Lynch.

Obama faces backlash over $100 million presidential center plans

Posted: 10 Jan 2018 07:23 AM PST

More than 150 faculty members from the University of Chicago have criticized the nearby construction of the Obama Presidential Center as “socially regressive.”

The Washington Free Beacon reported that an open letter was sent by the faculty members on Monday in which they joined multiple community organizations in voicing concerns regarding the current blueprint for the center.

As planned, Obama’s center would cost local taxpayers an estimated $100 million, and utilize large areas of historic public park for private development.

“The Obama Center as currently planned will not provide the promised development or economic benefits to the neighborhoods,” wrote the faculty members.

Instead of representing a “bold vision for urban living in the future, it will soon become an object-lesson in the mistakes of the past,” the letter read.

A particular point of contention is the proposed seizure of 21 acres of Jackson Park, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The faculty members contended that a park designed as a hallmark of “democratic urban” living should not be relegated to private use.

The faculty members also criticized the center for having “abandoned its original plans to be a Presidential Library,” with the site now intending to house only an electronic database of President Barack Obama’s records or hard-copy manuscripts. The center would also have “no official connection to the National Archives.”

Faculty members also argued that the center as currently planned would be an “intrusion” on the daily lives of Chicago residents, negatively impacting leisure and transportation for little return.

The 165 faculty members who have signed the letter to date represent diverse disciplines such as urban planning, medicine, music, literature, and philosophy. Despite their criticism of the proposed center, the letter indicated their theoretical support of the project, contingent upon “significant revision.”

Plans for an overground parking garage associated with the center have been scrapped due to separate complaints. The garage initially proposed would have been built on the site of another historic urban park, but has now been redesigned as an underground space.

The center, described by Obama described as a “campus … for training young people in leadership,” is scheduled to be completed in 2021.

The post Obama faces backlash over $100 million presidential center plans appeared first on Dennis Michael Lynch.

Report: WH staff turnovers causing chaos

Posted: 10 Jan 2018 07:03 AM PST

The latest rumor coming out of CNN is that White House aides have until the end of January to decide whether or not they intend to leave the administration or stay through the November midterm elections. The deadline is reportedly intended to “help bring a sense of order to an anticipated staffing exodus,” according to one unnamed official.

Anonymous sources told the news outlet that “President Donald Trump is finding it difficult to recruit staff to fill the vacancies,” citing daunting political odds and an ongoing Russia investigation as the reason no one wants to work in the White House.

Chief of staff John Kelly is reportedly trying to find replacements for those leaving. “But the absence of willing and qualified replacements, paired with a lengthy hiring process, make it unlikely he’ll reach that goal,” CNN suggested.

“Kelly is eating bullets every day by himself and doesn’t have a lot of help,” said one person familiar with the personnel situation. “He needs reinforcements.”

According to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, the rumor is laughable. “There has been no directive on staff departures and any suggestion otherwise is ridiculous fake news,” she said.

Acknowledging that “a revolving door is common in any administration,” the report goes on to claim that this issue is “magnified remarkably under Trump,” noting that “the  unpredictability and chaos, along with a fear of costly legal fees in the wake of the Russia investigation, have added to the fatigue.”

Staffers who have departed:

  • Dina Powell, the deputy national security adviser announced her departure last year
  • Deputy chief of staff Rick Dearborn, who is joining the private sector
  • Jeremy Katz, Cohn’s deputy at the National Economic Council
  • Sean Cairncross, a senior adviser who Trump nominated to head the Millennium Challenge Corporation
  • Omarosa Manigault-Newman, who was dismissed from her job as communications director at the Office of Public Liaison

Staff rumored to depart:

  • Don McGahn, the White House counsel
  • HR McMaster, the national security adviser
  • Gary Cohn, the National Economic Council chairman

“There are still a lot of people who have said that they are unwilling to work in the White House and there are a lot of people that the White House is unwilling to have come in,” said longtime Republican operative Doug Heye, adding that Trump’s current team consists of “all qualified people who are trying to do the best for their country.”

The post Report: WH staff turnovers causing chaos appeared first on Dennis Michael Lynch.

Dem congresswomen plan fashion statement for State of the Union event

Posted: 10 Jan 2018 06:38 AM PST

Democratic women in Congress intend to imitate a fashion statement made at Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards and wear black to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on January 30.

According to Rep. Jackie Speier, D.-Calif., the Democratic Women’s Working Group, which includes all of the Democratic women in the House, strongly supports the “wear black” initiative, NBC News reported.

“This is a culture change that is sweeping the country, and Congress is embracing it,” Speier said Tuesday.

Speier and the other members of the DWWG have invited men and women of both parties to join them in wearing black to the State of the Union address.

In support of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, many women and several men dressed in black for the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday in Beverly Hills, California, a demostration of solidarity with victims of sexual misconduct.

The women of the DWWG have previously joined together to make a fashion statement. In February 2017, many of the congressional Democratic women wore white to Trump’s first joint address to Congress, labeling it “suffragette white,” in support of the women’s rights movement which has, in the past, encouraged its supporters to wear white as a representation of purity.

At the time, the Democratic members of Congress dressed in white to show support for Planned Parenthood, affordable health care, reproductive rights, equal pay, paid leave, affordable child care and “lives free from fear and violence,” according to a statement from Florida Democratic Rep. Lois Frankel, the chairwoman of the group.

The post Dem congresswomen plan fashion statement for State of the Union event appeared first on Dennis Michael Lynch.

White House to erase data from dissolved voter fraud panel

Posted: 10 Jan 2018 06:15 AM PST

All data collected for President Trump's now-disbanded voter fraud commission will be erased, according to a report in Politico Tuesday.

Last Wednesday, the White House released a statement announcing that because so many states refused to cooperate with his bipartisan voter fraud commission, President Trump decided to disband the group. At the time, he suggested that the data would be turned over to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

In a court filing, White House Director of Information Technology Charles Herndon said the commission would destroy the voter data it had so far collected.

Herndon added that the panel did not create any "preliminary findings," despite White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders previously suggesting such findings would be sent to DHS, Politico reported.

Trump formed the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity last year after claiming that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election.

The commission had asked states to turn over their voter rolls as part of the commission's efforts, but many states refused.

The panel met twice, but was bogged down by lawsuits and states' unwillingness to comply with its requests.

Trump dissolved the commission last week saying, "Despite substantial evidence of voter fraud, many states have refused to provide the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity with basic information relevant to its inquiry. Rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense, today I signed an executive order to dissolve the Commission, and have asked the Department of Homeland Security to review these issues and determine next courses of action."

The post White House to erase data from dissolved voter fraud panel appeared first on Dennis Michael Lynch.

Drug overdose deaths skyrocket as Trump administration pushes for amnesty

Posted: 10 Jan 2018 05:59 AM PST

How bad was the drug problem under President Trump’s first year? A simple Google search shows one report after the next — 2017 was the worst year in recent memory as towns and cities across the US are breaking records for drug overdoses.

Here are some examples: In Queens, NY there were more drug overdose deaths than murders in 2017. In Lancaster, PA, the Lancaster County Coroner’s Office saw a 400 percent increase in overdose deaths in 2017 compared to 2016. In York County, heroin-related deaths nearly doubled from 2016 to 2017. By the end of August, Baltimore had racked up more overdose deaths in 2017 than it did for all of 2016. For the first 5 days of 2018 in Peoria County, there were 5 overdose deaths.

According to US News, data published in December shows the drug issue scaled 7% in the first 6 months of Trump’s presidency, and it is expected that the full 12-months will show an even bigger increase when the numbers are finalized.

By declaring the country's opioid crisis a 90-day national public health emergency on Oct. 26, President Donald Trump set in motion his administration's response to the country's deadly overdose epidemic.

While Trump's October announcement did direct national attention toward the crisis and open temporary access to a small amount of federal funds, the president did not divert any new permanent funding toward a federal response. With the temporary emergency status set to expire at the end of January, Trump now faces the challenge of financing and implementing long-term policies that will have a lasting impact on ending the American addiction scourge. Meanwhile, Trump is pushing for DACA to be approved, which is estimated to cost US taxpayers $26 Billion. It appears as if the “Americans first” lingo no longer means much.

One has to wonder how serious the president is about addressing the issue. The GOP healthcare bill that was proposed in the early summer months of 2017, and pushed by Trump as being a “really great bill,” stripped Medicaid funding for addiction services.

One of Trump’s strongest supporters during the 2016 campaign, Kraig Moss. The New York contractor pulled his support from Trump after the GOP healthcare bill was announced.

Moss, who had sold all his construction equipment to pay for his travels to Trump campaign rallies in cities across the country, lost his son to a drug overdose a few years ago. “I would stand outside and play music for Trump supporters while they waited to enter his rallies, but I feel lied to today,” Moss said in a cable news interview.

Moss says Trump’s rhetoric on the stump about fighting the war on drugs was nothing more than a tactic to get elected.

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