house committees

7

This woman who attributes her survivor to Planned Parenthood after she was diagnosed with cancer asked a Republican a CRUCIAL question

On Thursday night, House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz held a town hall near Salt Lake City, Utah — and judging by the audience’s jeers, it doesn’t seem like it went over well. Women came out in droves to ask the hard and necessary questions about Republican plans to save their healthcare.

Gifs: Dan Diamond

SEE MORE

8

Republicans feel wrath of angry constituents at fiery town hall meetings

  • Republican congressmen in traditionally red pockets of the country were greeted by angry constituents at town hall events Thursday night,
  •  They faced tough questions on holding Trump accountable, as well as the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. 
  • The most raucous event Thursday was held by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the Utah Republican and chair of the House Oversight Committee, which is tasked with investigating ethical breaches in government.
  • More than 1,000 people attended the town hall, with hundreds more unable to get into the auditorium, according to NPR. Large chunks of the crowd booed and jeered Chaffetz throughout the evening.
  • In Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Rep. Diane Black, chair of the powerful House Budget Committee that will have a major role in the possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act, per CNN, was also met by a packed crowd of angry constituents. Read more (2/10/17 8:53 AM)
2

In case you missed it. FBI director James Comey, when called to testify in a public hearing to the House Intelligence Committee revealed two key pieces of information today. 

 1), the most obvious and expected announcement being that there never was any evidence of Obama wiretapping Trump. Not that anyone *really* needed this confirmed, but he was the last line of defense for the White House to continue on with this entire farce. But I obviously don’t expect him to ever come clean about lying or apologize to President Obama. 

 2) More importantly, Comey also revealed that the FBI has an actual ongoing criminal investigation into Trump/Russia connections. 

Since July.
MONTHS BEFORE ELECTION DAY. 

While Comey was writing letters about Hilary’s emails, the FBI was also investigating possible links between the Trump campaign and the Russian hack of the DNC. 

So just to reiterate, because this is new information, there is an ongoing FBI criminal investigation looking into possible links between the Trump Campaign and Russian hacks of the US election and attacking our nations democratic process.

In case you missed it

youtube

The 10 Steps to Impeach a President

It won’t be easy to impeach Donald Trump. No president in American history has ever been convicted on articles of impeachment. 

Only two presidents so far have been impeached by the House and had that impeachment go to the Senate for trial. The first was Andrew Johnson, in 1868, when the Senate came one vote short of convicting him. The next was 131 years later, in 1999, when Bill Clinton’s impeachment went to the Senate. 50 Senators voted to convict Clinton, 17 votes short of what was needed.

What about Richard Nixon? He resigned early in this process, before the House had even voted on articles of impeachment. And then his successor, who had been his vice president, Gerald Ford, gave Nixon a full and unconditional pardon for any crimes he might have committed against the United States while president.

This isn’t to say Trump couldn’t or won’t be impeached. Only that it’s a long and drawn-out process. 

It all revolves around Article I Sections 2 and 3 of the Constitution, and rules in the House and the Senate implementing those provisions.

Step 1. It starts in the House Judiciary Committee, when a majority of the member vote in favor of what’s called an “inquiry of impeachment” resolution.

Step 2. That resolution goes to the full House of Representatives where a majority has to vote in favor. And then votes to authorize and fund a full investigation by the Judiciary Committee into whether sufficient grounds exist for impeachment.

Step 3. The House Judiciary Committee investigates. That investigation doesn’t have to be from scratch. It can rely on data and conclusions of other investigations undertaken by, say, the FBI.

Step 4: A majority of the Judiciary Committee members decides there are sufficient grounds for impeachment, and the Committee issues a “Resolution of Impeachment,” setting forth specific allegations of misconduct in one or more articles of impeachment.

Step 5: The full House then considers that Resolution and votes in favor of it – as a whole or on each article separately. The full House isn’t bound by the Committee’s work. The House may vote to impeach even if the Committee doesn’t recommend impeachment.

Step 6: The matter then goes to the Senate for a trial. The House’s Resolution of Impeachment becomes in effect the charges in this trial.

Step 7: The Senate issues a summons to the president, who is now effectively the defendant, informing him of the charges and the date by which he has to answer them. If the president chooses not to answer or appear, it’s as if he entered a “not guilty” plea.

Step 8 is the trial in the Senate. In that trial, those who are representing the House – that is, the prosecution – and counsel for the president, both make opening arguments. They then introduce evidence and put on witnesses as in any trial. Witnesses are subject to examination and cross-examination. The trial is presided over by the chief justice of the Supreme Court – who has the authority to rule on evidentiary questions or may put such questions to a vote of the Senate. The House managers and counsel for the president then make closing arguments.

Step 9: The Senate meets in closed session to deliberate.

Step 10: The Senate returns in open session to vote on whether to convict the president on the articles of impeachment. Conviction requires a two-thirds vote by the Senate. Conviction on one or more articles of impeachment results in removal from office. Such a conviction also disqualifies the now former president from holding any other public office. And it doesn’t bar additional legal proceedings against that former president, and punishment.

So there you have it–the 10 steps that must all take place to impeach the president. 

It may come in handy.

2

Office of Government Ethics asks White House to discipline Kellyanne Conway

  • The U.S. Office of Government Ethics, an independent executive branch ethics watchdog, recommended Tuesday that the White House discipline Trump’s counselor Kellyanne Conway for promoting Ivanka Trump’s clothing and accessory line during a recent press conference.
  • In a letter to House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz, ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings and OGE director Walter M. Shaub, Jr. recommended the White House take action before the matter escalates further. Read more (2/14/17 3:20 PM)
The Crisis of Governance

America is in a crisis of governance. There is no adult in charge.

Instead, we have as president an unhinged narcissistic child who tweets absurd lies and holds rallies to prop up his fragile ego, whose conflicts of financial interest are ubiquitous, and whose presidency is under a “gray cloud” of suspicion (according to the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee) for colluding with Russian agents to obtain office in the 2016 election.

He’s advised by his daughter, his son-in-law, and an oddball who once ran a white supremacist fake-news outlet.

His cabinet is an assortment of billionaires, CEOs, veterans of Wall Street, and ideologues, none of whom has any idea about how to govern and most of whom don’t believe in the laws their departments are in charge of implementing anyway.

He has downgraded or eviscerated groups responsible for giving presidents professional advice on foreign policy, foreign intelligence, economics, science, and domestic policy. He gets most of what he learns from television.

Meanwhile, Congress is in the hands of Republicans who for years have only said “no,” who have become expert at stopping whatever a president wants to do but don’t have a clue how to initiate policy, most of whom have never passed a budget into law, and, more generally, don’t much like government and have not shared responsibility for governing the nation.

As a result of all this, the most powerful nation in the world with the largest economy in the world is rudderless and leaderless.

Where we need thoughtful resolve we have thoughtless name-calling. Where we need democratic deliberation we have authoritarian rants and rallies. Where we need vision we have myopia.

The only way out of this crisis of governance is for us – the vast majority of Americans who deserve and know better – to take charge. Your country needs you desperately. 

4

House ethics head says Kellyanne Conway crossed the line by promoting Ivanka Trump products

  • The head of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform said  Kellyanne Conway crossed a line when she made a pitch for Ivanka Trump’s clothing line during a TV appearance Thursday.
  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) told reporters from multiple news outlets that Conway erred when she said she was giving Ivanka Trump “a free commercial” on Fox & Friends following Nordstrom’s announcement that it was dropping the womenswear line.
  • According to reports, Chaffetz said Conway’s remarks were “clearly over the line” and “wholly unacceptable.”
  • Sean Spicer told reporters Conway had been “counseled” about her remarks but declined to further elaborate on the situation. Read more (2/9/17 4:12 PM)
Dianne Bentley saved receipts, helped take down her cheating governor husband.

The text copy, of course, leaves out all pics and formatting, (not to mention being unnecessarily laborious and time-wasting) but you can google a sentence or two to find the source (mic.com).

“When male politicians do shitty things, their wives are generally expected to stand quietly and supportively behind them, in press conferences and in life.

Not Dianne Bentley, though.

According to Business Insider, when she discovered that her husband, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, was having an affair, she set the sabotage machine in motion that ultimately brought him down.

The governor resigned Monday as evidence mounted that he had violated a number of campaign finance and state ethics laws in pursuit of an extramarital relationship with his adviser Rebekah Mason. That the Alabama House Ethics Committee amassed so much evidence in the first place is thanks in no small part to Dianne Bentley, who saves receipts.

According to the impeachment report, the Alabaman first lady first sensed something was going on between her husband and Mason in September 2013. At the time, Mason had not yet moved to Montgomery and was living in the governor’s mansion pool house. She was also, Bentley noticed, aggressively texting the governor during off hours and for non-gubernatorial business. But Bentley didn’t get concrete proof until February 2014, when she and the governor attended a National Governor’s Association in Washington, D.C. Mason came along, and Bentley saw her texting flirtatiously with the governor at the dinner table one night.

"I can’t take my eyes off of you,” the governor texted Mason, in full view of his wife, according to the report.

In spring of 2014, the governor made a few unambiguous fumbles that blew his cover. Once, he texted his wife to say, “I love you Rebekah.” He also gave her his state-issued iPad, apparently oblivious to the fact that it was synced with his state-issued iPhone and that any texts he might send from that phone would be accessible on the iPad.

Dianne Bentley watched her husband call Mason “sweetheart” and overheard the pair discussing the governor’s “Private Rebekah phone” and speak of making an escape together. Mason apparently called the governor a “handsome wonderful amazing funny sweet man,” to which he responded, “You are wonderful my sweet love.”

Bentley’s wife took screenshots of it all, which can be viewed here.

She also obtained audio evidence. In March 2014, according to the report, she turned on her phone’s recorder, dropped it into her handbag and told her husband she was taking a “long walk on the beach.” She left her purse behind, and within one minute, the governor and Mason were chatting on the phone. Their conversation eventually took a turn from business to Mason’s breasts.

Dianne Bentley filed for divorce in 2015 and handed over her evidence to the ethics committee in 2016. Taken together with accounts from staffers on both sides, who attested to threats and the misuse of state money in an effort to sustain the affair but keep it secret, it paints a very clear picture. The governor pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges on Monday, and will never again run for or occupy public office.

And that’s why you always save receipts.“

4

GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz says low-income Americans may have to choose between healthcare and an iPhone

  • Low-income Americans might soon be faced with a tough choice, if House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz is to be believed: Would they rather have health coverage or an iPhone?
  • During a Tuesday morning interview, Chaffetz implied that Americans who wouldn’t be able to afford insurance under the new plan would only have themselves to blame, and said that those individuals would need to make sacrifices for their health.
  • “Americans have choices, and they’ve got to make a choice. So maybe rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and they want to go spend hundreds of dollars on, maybe they should invest in their own health care.” Read more (3/7/17 12:03 PM)
3

House Republicans block Democratic attempt to debate Trump’s Russia ties

  • Republicans on a House committee on Tuesday voted to block a Democratic attempt to force the Department of Justice to release information on the investigation into whether Trump and his aides had ties to Russia during his campaign.
  • Questions over Trump’s relationship with Russia has dogged his administration for the past few weeks, and cost him his National Security Adviser Mike Flynn.
  • The vote was on an obscure legislative tactic called a resolution of inquiry, which gives Congress the opportunity to compel the executive branch to hand over documents, according to Politico. Read more (2/28/17 7:52 PM)

Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, told lawmakers in a statement on Monday that he “did not collude … with any foreign government.”

Kushner met behind closed doors with the Senate Intelligence Committee on Monday and will talk with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday. Both panels are investigating Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election and whether any members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.

NPR journalists have annotated Kushner’s statement, in which he describes his contact with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and a June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer, among others, but denies any wrongdoing.

Jared Kushner’s Statement To Congress About Russia, Annotated

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

2

Inspired by the words of the wonderful @gallifreyburning​ and @whatwecanfic, everyone’s favorite baddy-battling sci-fi/fantasy ladies want you (yes, YOU!) to resist government corruption by calling your representatives and the House Oversight Committee! Learn more here!

3

James Comey says the FBI is investigating possible Trump-Russia ties at hearing

  • FBI Director James Comey testified before the House Intelligence Committee Monday morning in a high-profile hearing that could have a lasting impact on Trump and his administration’s credibility.
  • In a major moment, Comey confirmed that there is an active investigation into whether there are “any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign” and Russians who meddled in the U.S. election.
  • Comey added there is no timetable for how long the investigation will take. "I can promise you we will follow the facts wherever they lead,“ Comey said. Read more (3/20/17 10:36 AM)
2

Kellyanne brings up cameras in microwaves after being asked about dubious wiretapping claims

  • In perhaps the most bizarre comments to date about Trump’s evidence-free allegation that fObama wiretapped Trump Tower, Kellyanne Conway suggested that the spying wasn’t a wire tap at all.
  • Instead, she obliquely hinted that surveillance of Trump Tower could have been done by several means, including spy cameras in microwaves.
  • “What I can say is there are many ways to surveil each other,” Conway told Bergen County, New Jersey, newspaper the Record. “You can surveil someone through their phones, certainly through their television sets — any number of different ways.”
  • She added that the surveillance could have been done by “microwaves that turn into cameras.” Read more (3/13/17 8:19 AM)

DOJ has until Monday to back up Trump’s unfounded wiretapping claims against Obama

  • The House Intelligence Committee has given President Donald Trump’s administration a deadline for furnishing evidence in support of his wiretapping allegations against former President Barack Obama. 
  • Trump must prove there was basis for his as-yet unsubstantiated tweet storm by Monday March 13th, according to NBC News.
  • Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, the House Intelligence Committee chairman, and Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff sent a letter calling for evidence to acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente on Wednesday. Read more (3/12/17 6:20 PM)
The administration is acting like a caricature of the cruelhearted scrooges Democrats would like everyone to believe they are. The program that helps fund Meals on Wheels, Mulvaney said, is “just not showing any results.” I mean really — how many of those elderly shut-ins have pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and gotten jobs? And as for after-school programs for kids, “There’s no demonstrable evidence,” Mulvaney said, that “they’re actually helping kids do better in school.” He said about climate change research that “we’re not spending money on that anymore.” As a result, even some Republicans are recoiling from the administration’s budget. Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), who used to chair the House Appropriations Committee, called the cuts “draconian, careless and counterproductive.”
— 

Why liberals should be happy about Trump’s appalling budget proposal

I mean really — how many of those elderly shut-ins have pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and gotten jobs? And as for after-school programs for kids, “There’s no demonstrable evidence,” Mulvaney said, that “they’re actually helping kids do better in school.”

Yeah, those elderly people who just want to have a little dignity, a little food, and aren’t able to get out of their homes for some reason or another … fuck those goddamn parasites, right, Mulvaney?

And hungry kids who are so poor they can’t get a good meal before they go to school? How are those little ingrates ever going to learn how to do high-frequency trading and get ready to argue about the carried interest deduction if they’re wasting all that time eating instead of watching Morning Bell on CNBC? Fuck those little shits, right?

I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. And that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.