Where’s Erik Paulsen?

Our Representative in Congress hasn’t held a public town hall since September 6, 2011. There’ve been last minute meetings announced on social media shortly before they happen, tele-town halls where questions can be vetted before being forwarded, appearances at local businesses and school, robocalls that come to you saying he’s sorry you weren’t there to take his invitation to the tele-townhalls — but no traditional town hall.

It’s been 2,209 days since Rep. Paulsen’s last public town hall.

At EPA, guarding the chief pulls agents from pursuing environmental crimes

The following article by Juliet EIlperin and Brady Dennis was posted on the Washington Post website September 20, 2017:

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

Scott Pruitt’s round-the-clock personal security detail, which demands triple the manpower of his predecessors at the Environmental Protection Agency, has prompted officials to rotate in special agents from around the country who otherwise would be investigating environmental crimes.

The EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance has summoned agents from various cities to serve two-week stints helping guard Pruitt in recent months. While hiring in many departments is frozen, the agency has sought an exception to hire additional full-time staff to protect Pruitt. Read More

Mueller casts broad net in requesting extensive records from Trump White House

The following article by Carol D. Leonnig and Rosalind S. Helderman was posted on the Washington Post website September 20, 2017:

President Trump has weighed in on special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election time and time again. Here’s a look at how he can limit the probe, and what Congress is trying to do about it. (Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)

The special counsel investigating Russian election meddling has requested extensive records and email correspondence from the White House, covering areas including the president’s private discussions about firing his FBI director and his response to news that the then-national security adviser was under investigation, according to two people briefed on the requests. Read More

Mueller Seen To Be Probing Trump Like A Mob Boss

The following article by Greg Price with Newsweek was post on the National Memo website on September 20, 2017:

Bonanno, Gambino…Trump?

The first two are recognizable as bosses of the notorious Five Families, as the leading organized crime outfits of New York and other areas of the country were once known, and the third obviously belongs to the president of the United States and his famous New York real estate family. Other than location, location and location, the three names also have something else in common: aggressive federal investigations. Read More

Republican Governors Have Created a Fake News Site Masquerading as a Legitimate Publication

The following article by Kali Holloway was posted on the AlterNet website September 19, 2017:

Credit: cspan.org

Never underestimate Republicans’ willingness to pull out a shovel when it seems they’ve hit rock bottom. For proof one need look no further than the Free Telegraph, a website purposely constructed to look like a news publication that’s actually a hyperpartisan bit of propaganda launched by the Republican Governors Association.

The Associated Press reports the website “blares headlines about the virtues of GOP governors, while framing Democrats negatively,” and instructs readers on how to receive “breaking news alerts.” The apparent motive is to fool voters into thinking they are reading a bonafide news outlet, and the site includes “no acknowledgement that it was a product of an official party committee whose sole purpose is to get more Republicans elected.” Read More

Trump Offers a Selective View of Sovereignty in U.N. Speech

The following article by Mark Landler was posted on the New York Times website September 19, 2017:

President Trump delivering his first address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

UNITED NATIONS — President Trump, in declaring Tuesday that sovereignty should be the guiding principle of affairs between nations, sketched out a radically different vision of the world order than his forebears, who founded the United Nations after World War II to deal collectively with problems they believed would transcend borders.

Mr. Trump offered the General Assembly a strikingly selective definition of sovereignty, threatening to act aggressively against countries like North Korea, Iran and Venezuela, whose policies he opposes, yet saying almost nothing about Russia, which seized territory from its neighbor Ukraine, and meddled in the American presidential election. Read More

How the latest effort to repeal Obamacare would affect millions

The following article by Simon Haeder was posted on the Conversation website September 19, 2017:

From left, Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., hold a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

At the end of July, the nation held its collective breath as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) looked poised to achieve his most formidable parliamentary accomplishment: the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act.

But Republican hopes were dashed by one of their own, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who cast the deciding vote that appeared to decisively derail the multi-year effort.

McCain called to return to “regular order,” to work through committees, to bring in and listen to experts, to be open and transparent, and perhaps most importantly, to at least listen to both parties. Read More

2017 Jackie Stevenson Dinner

If you weren’t able to join us September 10, 2017, for this year’s Jackie Stevenson Dinner, here are some photos from the evening:

Five things to know about the new ObamaCare repeal bill

The following article by Rachel Roubein and Nathaniel Weixel was posted on the Hill website September 20, 2017:

The new ObamaCare repeal bill under consideration in the Senate includes some controversial policies that have divided Republicans in the past.

Some senators haven’t taken a position on the bill from Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.), saying that they have yet to fully digest the bill and how it would work.

In short: The bill ends federal funds for ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion and the subsidies that help people afford coverage. Instead, the money would be converted into block grants and given to the states.

Here are five things to know about the legislation. Read More

RNC taps legal account to help pay for lawyers for President Trump and son Donald Jr. in Russia probes

The following article by Mattea Gold was posted on the Washington Post website September 20, 2917:

The RNC paid $131,250 last month to Jay Sekulow, a member of President Trump’s legal team. (Steve Helber/AP)

The Republican National Committee is using a pool of money stockpiled for election recounts and other legal matters to pay for President Trump’s ballooning lawyer fees related to the multiple Russia investigations, directing more than $427,000 so far to lawyers representing him and his eldest son, party officials confirmed Tuesday.

The RNC will report that last month it paid $100,000 to Trump’s personal attorney John Dowd, and $131,250 to Jay Sekulow, another member of his legal team, in a Federal Election Commission report set to be filed Wednesday. Read More