Trump Junior Releases Eye-Popping Emails That Show New Details of the Campaign’s Ties to Russia
To quote the BBC, “‘explosive’ doesn’t do justice to the details of the emails Donald Trump Jr tweeted out on Tuesday morning….
The president’s eldest son probably revealed this correspondence because the New York Times was about to publish it, a fourth devastating journalistic wave that was poised to crash on the White House at any moment.
If that’s the case Trump Jr’s act, while committed in the name of being ‘totally transparent’, was akin to shooting oneself in the head to avoid getting shot. He certainly didn’t do it to save his own skin.’’
The email dump followed days of news reports about the June 2016 meeting, and it offers evidence that senior officials in the Trump camp entertained offers of Russia’s help in last year’s election. That emails contradict a long list of statements by President Donald Trump, V.P. Mike Pence, Donald Trump Jr. and other members of the campaign who said they were unaware of any Russian effort to support Trump’s campaign.
Read the emails for yourself here. These tweets help connect the dots, too.
Donald Trump Jr.’s email chain included Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump’s husband and White House senior advisor. McClatchy reports that the Justice Department and U.S. House and Senate intelligence committees are scrutinizing the Trump campaign’s digital operation which was overseen by Kushner. The investigations focus on whether Trump’ campaign had a role in assisting the Russians by suggesting or pointing cyber attacks to certain voting jurisdictions.
Time magazine explains the details of impeachment but even one of the strongest proponents of impeachment acknowledges it will be a long road.
And a new poll shows 73% of Democrats would give up drinking for Trump’s impeachment. We’d track all of the contradictions, evolving stories and well-documented lies – but there are too many to tally.
Senate Rolls out Obamacare Replacement and It’s Met with Immediate Defections from Key Republicans
The highly anticipated Senate health care bill revision released Thursday is already being met with skepticism, and even outright opposition, by some key Republican Senators, reports NBC News.
The new version is the latest chapter in a long, arduous process for GOP leaders attempting to keep a seven-year long campaign promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. It has evolved into a partial repeal of some of the Obamacare taxes as well as an effort to reform an expensive entitlement program for low-income, elderly and disabled Americans, but still keeps in place much of Obamacare’s structure.
Ohio’s junior U.S. Senator, Republican Rob Portman, continued his pattern of speaking with a forked tongue.
This from The Plain Dealer:
Portman … says he has not decided how he will vote.
While Portman responded with a “no” when a reporter asked how he would vote if the matter came up for a procedural vote, that appeared to be misinterpreted in some circles as declaring he was against the bill.
Nor was he for it.
“My goal is to create a more workable system that lowers the cost of coverage, provides access to quality care, and protects the most vulnerable in our society,” Portman said in a statement his office issued later. He tweeted the same.
Portman has long insisted that the bill must take meaningful steps to address Ohio’s opioid overdose crisis – something the Senate bill does not properly address, experts said.
Dayton is among the region’s hardest hit by the crisis. Since the beginning of the year, Dayton Children’s Hospital has been treating as many as two children a week for opioid overdoses due to accidental exposure.
Kelly Liker, pediatric physician at Dayton Children’s Hospital, told Dayton Daily News:
“It seems like every week we are having the same conversation about kids who have symptoms of opiate exposure. We’re talking about kids coming into contact, breathing, touching, we really don’t know. We’re calling it an accidental exposure to fentanyl or opiates.”
“It’s clear it’s a much bigger issue here,” she said. “We’ve been called the epicenter of the opioid crisis.”
For the low-down on who gets Medicaid, where they live and what it costs, read this. Ohio Counties that went for Trump could face huge job losses under Obamacare re-writes.
A Policy Matters report shows that, of the Ohioans who have enrolled through the expansion, more reside in rural than non-rural counties. Rural counties have higher overall Medicaid spending per capita than the state average. Many rural hospitals are often the largest employers in their counties. Medicaid expansion has helped hospital finances, reducing the amount of uncompensated care and increasing the flow of revenue. Rural hospitals in expansion states such as Ohio have benefited from a 4 percentage point boost to operating margins.
Read the full story about the economic impact of Medicaid expansion to hospitals and rural communities here.
Despite GOP-Run Legislature’s Ban on Cities Raising Minimum Wage, Some Hamilton County Employees to Finally Get a Living Wage
Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval is pushing a $16-an-hour minimum wage for most of his 212 employees as well as paid leave to care for newborns and sick relatives. The wage increase covers those workers who earn less than $30,000 a year, Pureval told CityBeat.
While many legislators in Columbus keep finding ways to preempt local autonomy, it’s refreshing that there are still elected officials using their office to benefit their employees and the communities they serve.
Columbus Cops Trying to Determine If Police Intentionally Tipped Disabled Protester Out of Her Wheelchair at Portman Protest
Dozens of protesters held a sit-in at Sen. Rob Portman’s Columbus office last week. Many were disability rights activists. These protestors were forcibly removed from Sen. Portman’s office in the Huntington Building, and video shows one was likely dumped forward from her wheelchair.
Separately, the ACLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of protesters who were pepper sprayed at close range earlier this year. “Columbus has a practice of overreacting to peaceful demonstrators and using excessive force,” said Mike Brickner, senior policy director at ACLU of Ohio. “In this current political era, protests will continue to happen regularly. Columbus police must be prepared to de-escalate situations, use force only as necessary, and proactively support demonstrators’ free speech rights – not assault peaceful individuals like they did on January 30.”
Dad of Four with Valid Work Permit, Who Never Used Public Assistance, Facing Deportation
Jesus Lara Lopez is among the tens of thousands of immigrants being deported as a result of the Trump administration’s directive to immigration authorities. Like many undocumented workers, he lived under the radar, mostly working in fields picking fruits and vegetables. Lopez has no criminal record. He has a valid work permit issued by the federal immigration officials several years ago and has supported his family. Lopez has paid taxes and never used public assistance for welfare, food stamps, housing or unemployment compensation.
Yet, in the next week, he will be ripped away from his four children, who are U.S. citizens, and sent back to Mexico. Read the full story here.
When Ken Blackwell was Ohio’s Top Elections Official, He Created a Mess – and Now Serves on Trump’s Voter Commission
Remember that time Ken Blackwell accidentally posted the posted the full social security numbers of 1.2 million Ohio voters to the Secretary of State’s website? We do. A month later, in a separate incident, Blackwell’s office inadvertently distributed voter lists with the Social Security numbers of 5.7 million voters, so it makes sense that he would serve on Trump’s Voter Commission.
In other fun Blackwell-throwback stories, remember his obsession with NAMBLA? If you need a refresher, or a laugh, catch it here.
Two Charged with 2016 Shooting Death of Transgender Women from Cleveland
Two Bedford Heights residents who were charged with the 2016 murder of Brandi Bledsoe, a transgender woman found shot to death in her driveway with plastic bags covering her head and hands, have surrendered to police.
HRC Plans Big Boost for Sen. Sherrod Brown — and Other Developments in the 2018 Statewide Contests
The Human Rights Campaign announced the launch of a $26 million political organizing effort ahead of next year’s midterm elections, and Ohio is one its targeted states. One of the reasons why the Buckeye State is a focus of HRC is the U.S. Senate race between Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat with a long and strong record of support for LGBTQ rights, and Ohio’s Trump-loving State Treasurer, Josh Mandel.
Trump’s approval remains underwater, yet Mandel and Congressman Jim Renacci – who wants to be governor – continue to embrace Trump’s bombastic style and defend his misguided policies. It’s unclear where that path will lead them; polling trends would indicate nowhere good.
In other news, Attorney General Mike DeWine – also seeking the GOP’s nomination for governor– received a blistering critique from fellow Republican and State Senator Bill Coley. DeWine’s office was “smacked down” Monday in seeking approval to waive bidding and pay $29.1 million to hire outside counsel to represent state entities.
According to The Columbus Dispatch, Senator Coley’s rant caused the state Controlling Board to defer action on the request after discussing the Attorney General’s failure to compile and provide comparative information about the 67 law firms seeking state money in the coming fiscal year.
Among the Democrats running for governor, former Congresswoman Betty Sutton announced the endorsement of the Akron Education Association. She previously announced a string of union endorsements such as International Longshoreman’s Association; International Brotherhood of Boilermakers including Local Lodges 85, 105, 733 and 900; Painters & Allied Trades District Council 6; the Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council and others.
State Sen. Joe Schiavoni – also seeking the Democratic Party’s nod for governor – announced an endorsement from the Western Reserve Building Trades Council. And Dayton Mayor and governor wannabe Nan Whaley has announced support from the Industrial Division of the Communication Workers of America.
ECOT Loses a Big One at the Supreme Court – Despite Recusal of Pro-Charter Justice Judith French
Ohio can begin to collect more than $60 million from the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) after the Ohio Supreme Court refused to intervene in a dispute over how the chronically failing online charter school has counted enrollment.
The state’s high court agreed with lower courts and the Ohio State School Board that ECOT padded its enrollment and must return tax money paid for no-show students. The ruling was 6 to 1, with Justice Judith French recusing herself.
Justices are increasingly getting called out for perceived conflicts. For a quick refresher, there is a story about Justice French’s timely contributions from White Hat Management and David Brennan. Justice French ultimately voted in favor of White Hat in a case over a White Hat contract that fellow GOP Justice Paul Pfeifer said “defies common sense.”
Justice Pfeifer went on to say:
“The contracts in this case are plainly and obviously unconscionable. The contracts require that after the public pays to buy those materials for a public use, the public must then pay the companies if it wants to retain ownership of the materials. This contract term is not merely unwise as the opinion would have us believe; it is extremely unfair, so unfair, in fact, as to be unconscionable. The contract term is so one-sided that we should refuse to enforce it.”
Fast forward two years, and another charter school, ECOT, is continuing the trend of wasting taxpayer dollars on litigation (taking tax dollars from our schools AND using our tax dollars to sue to keep more money). This week ECOT lost three court decisions in two hours. A Supreme Court case is still pending.