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Monday, March 27, 2017

It Turns Out Transgenders Don’t Really Want to Be Treated Like Everybody Else

Monday - March 27, 2017

RUSH: “Transgender Passengers Uneasy About TSA Shift on Pat-Downs.” This from the Washington Post. I always thought that transgenders wanted to be treated like everybody else, and now that TSA is gonna treat ’em like everybody else, they are uneasy about it. “When the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced a recent shift toward a more aggressive and uniform policy on pat-downs at airport checkpoints, transgender people had special reason to be wary.

“Transgender passengers have used social media to document humiliating and sometimes hostile experiences at airport checkpoints in recent years. Given the apparent change on transgender policies already signaled by the Trump administration, some LGBT advocates are worried.” What are they talking about? How could these pat-downs be any different from anybody else’s? Are only transgenders allowed to complain about being groped in ways that would normally get the groper arrested?

I don’t understand. You either like it or you don’t, you want it or you don’t.

Blaming Conservatives For Obamacare Repeal Failure Will Not Fly

Blaming Conservatives For Obamacare Repeal Failure Will Not Fly

Now that the attempts to repeal Obamacare are over, there are suggestions that conservative Republicans are responsible for the failure to overturn that bill’s unconstitutional control over the formerly free state of America. But thinking Americans would refute that contention and convincingly put the blame for suffering healthcare patients on its source: Democrats.

So, when the failing and unsupportable Obamacare dies a horrible death and when that disaster causes major disruptions to healthcare in America, especially in the poorest neighborhoods in the nation, the discomfort and illness that will result will be solely pinned to Democrats and liberal, establishment Republicans, not conservative Republicans.

Democrats were the only voters for Obamacare when it was enacted, with not one Republican voting for its passage, and if Democrats, who all of a sudden, following President Trump’s crusade to repeal the Democrat bill, were reported to have admitted that Obamacare had many bad aspects that needed to be fixed, but the bad aspects had, until Donald Trump came along, been ignored and defended by Democrats and Americans had been left to suffer under Obamacare for as long as Obama held Democrat legislators’ careers in the palm of his ruthless hand, if Democrats hadn’t blocked the repeal with their negativism and obscene criticism, necessary changes could have resulted. So much for the alleged compassion of the liberals in the Democrat party. It wasn’t the conservatives who blocked repeal, it was Democrats and the foul being and dark visage of Charles Schumer.

Conservative Republicans opposed the extension of the worst aspects of Obamacare which were being preserved in the failed repeal bill, and held out for the elimination of big-government controls on healthcare, which were only lessened under Ryan’s bill but not reduced enough, and certainly were not eliminated, while Democrats voted for the same old crap of big-government control over the lives of Americans. I salute the conservatives for standing tall and killing the Republican version of Obamacare.

So there’s no escape from blame for Democrats when the current nationalized healthcare system dies an agonizing death, unless the idiots in the Republican establishment allow this escape from blame to happen. And they probably will.

Kremlin Rejects US, EU Call To Free Detained Protesters As Court Fines Opposition Leader Navalny

One day after snap protests against corruption and Russia PM Medvedev broke out across numerous Russian cities, leading to the detention of hundreds of protesters as well as opposition leader Aleksey Navalny, the Russian opposition activist was found guilty of staging an unsanctioned rally, and will be fined 20,000 rubles (US$350) for his role in organizing what the authorities said was an illegal protest in Moscow on Sunday.

The Russian protests, estimated to be the biggest since a wave of anti-Kremlin demonstrations in 2011/2012, come a year before a presidential election that Vladimir Putin is expected to contest, running for what would be a fourth term.

The same court was due, later on Monday, to consider a separate charge against Navalny of disobeying a police officer.

The Russian opposition activist Aleksey Navalny

"Those who claimed on the previous day in pseudoacademic language that the event was lawful and in no way violated the law – they were telling blatant lies,” Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday, referring to the organizers of the event.

As reported on Sunday, Navalny was detained shortly after arriving at an anti-corruption protest in downtown Moscow on Sunday. He was charged with violating a law on public gatherings and faced a fine, community service, or administrative detention. Moscow police have officially confirmed that they detained some 500 demonstrators.

Approximately 8,000 people took part in the protest in Russia’s capital, law enforcement officials reported. As the rally continued, police used loudspeakers to call on the protesters to disperse.

Protesters turned up despite failing to obtain a permit from the mayor’s office to hold a rally at the site of their choosing. The authorities had suggested two alternative venues, which the organizers rejected. Moscow police said that taking part in the unsanctioned rally could pose a safety risk and advised people against it. Similar rallies, some unsanctioned and others permitted by local authorities, were attended by thousands of people across Russia on Sunday.

Additionally, on Monday the Kremlin rejected calls by the United States and the European Union to release opposition protesters detained during what it said were illegal demonstrations the previous day and accused organizers of paying teenagers to attend.

Police detained hundreds of protesters across Russia on Sunday, including opposition leader Alexei Navalny, after thousands took to the streets to demonstrate against corruption and demand the resignation of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Medvedev's spokeswoman has called corruption allegations against him "propagandistic attacks," saying they amount to pre-election posturing by Navalny, who hopes to run against Putin next year.

According to Reuters, which cites opinion polls, the liberal opposition, which Navalny represents, has little chance of fielding a candidate capable of unseating Putin, who enjoys high ratings. But Navalny and his supporters hope to channel public discontent over official corruption to attract more support. 

On Sunday, the U.S. and the European Union both issued statements calling on Russia to free detained protesters, but Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday such calls were wide of the mark. "We can't agree with these calls," Peskov told reporters on a conference call, saying the police had been professional and properly enforced Russian law.

He said the Kremlin had no problem with people expressing their opinions at protest meetings, but said the timing and location of such events had to be agreed with the authorities in advance, something which he said had not been done in large part on Sunday.

The authorities are concerned opposition activists will try to encourage people to break the law again in future, he said. "We can't respect people who deliberately misled minors -- in essence children -- calling on them to take part in illegal actions in unsanctioned places and offering them certain rewards to do so, thus putting their lives at risk," said Peskov.

"What we saw yesterday in certain places, and especially in Moscow, was a provocation." He said police had gathered factual evidence that some teenagers, who had been detained, had been paid cash by protest organizers to attend.

The Kremlin would listen to what people who took part in other sanctioned anti-government protests in some Russian cities had said on Sunday, Peskov promised.

Needless to say, the US and EU, which have accused Russia of hacking the US election and of being behin attempts to manipulate both the Brexit vote and the upcoming French election, were not amused.

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Coons Predicts Dems Will Force GOP to Go Nuclear Over Gorsuch

Cortney O'Brien

Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) was one of several Democrats who acknowledged that President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch deserved a vote. Yet, on "Morning Joe" Monday, Coons predicted that Gorsuch will not find the support he needs to get on the bench - at least not in the first round.

“He will get an up or down vote," Coons said. "Sen. Schumer, our minority leader, has said it is going to be a 60-vote margin, and I doubt he is going to get 60 votes."

Republicans will be forced to go "nuclear," Coons continued. That is, they'll have to confirm Gorsuch by changing the rules with a simple 51-vote majority. Ironically, this form of congressional circumvention was first introduced by the Democrats in 2013.

The senator hinted that Democrats may be holding their ground because they are bitter over the GOP's refusal to hold hearings on President Obama's Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.

As many pundits and my coworkers have (rightly) noted, stubborn Democrats vowing to oppose Gorsuch, like Schumer, are acting a bit too prematurely. Gorsuch, after all, has been proven to be "mainstream" and he comes with little to zero baggage. He has been praised by both conservatives and liberals. Democrats would be much better situated to try and prevent a conservative justice the next timea seat opens.

Krauthammer: Let's Face It, Friday's Big Winner Was Barack Obama

Guy Benson

Republicans' years-long quest to repeal and replace President Obama's failing healthcare scheme suffered a devastating blow on Friday, as President Trump and Speaker Ryan withdrew legislation from consideration after it became clear that they didn't have the votes for passage. Following this dramatic setback, Trump said he was ready to move on to other issues, assuring voters that as Obamacare continues to implode, a second bite at this apple will become necessary. Ryan, for his part, uttered what must have been a very painful sentence: "We're going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future." The inevitable 'blame game' sniping is well underway, but before we get to that, here is our analysis on Special Report, hours after the bill got yanked. Amid multiple interesting and worthwhile observations is Charles Krauthammer's central point: By establishing a new baseline for public expectations regarding the government's role in healthcare, Obama has won a major ideological victory for statism. His law is fatally flawed and won't work. But he appears to have shifted the paradigm toward more government intervention, not less (via Right Sightings):

Krauthammer had begged the GOP to unify behind a single "damn plan," then march together to turn back the Obamacare tied.  That didn't happen, and now here we are.  As I added in my comments, while much of DC is fixated on the politics of Friday's outcome, the hard reality beyond the Beltway is that millions of Americans are still being actively harmed by Obamacare's lack of access and affordability.  They helped elect Republicans to rescue them, and Republicans have failed.  Plus, with poor enrollment figures and other projections coming in, the law is getting worse, not better. Democrats are going to continue to whine that by allowing the current law to play out as written, Republicans are "undermining" it. But the fact remains that Democrats are 100 percent responsible for the status quo; it's their mess that they passed with zero GOP votes. And their so-called "solutions" -- as outlined briefly in the clip of Sen. Chuck Schumer in our segment -- are destructive and politically unviable: More spending, more government, more price controls. So the squabbling between the parties shows few signs of abating, and the same applies to intra-GOP wrangling, as well. The moderates and rank-and-file conservatives are blaming the right-wingers. The right-wingers are blaming the moderates and the leadership. Trumpists are blaming Paul Ryan ("this was his bill and his failure"), and Trump's detractors are pointing fingers at him ("the buck stops with the president, who was supposed to be a world-class negotiator").  Over the weekend, Trump made it clear that he isn't happy either:

Then another apparent feud blew up over the weekend over another presidential tweet, with Trump blasting out a message urging followers to watch a Fox News weekend program, which proceeded to open with an impassioned (and misguided, in my view) demand that Ryan step down as Speaker. Given the current context, Trump's penchant for hiding behind "many people are saying" hedges, and rumbles from within the White House attacking Ryan, this sequence of events looked a lot like Trump promoting an opinion that he wanted to inject into the bloodstream, even if he didn't want to publicly shiv Ryan himself. (In fact, Trump had explicitly called on Ryan to remain in place on Friday afternoon). But a separate, very plausible theory also emerged:

Either the president, frustrated by the collapse of his first major legislative push, was knifing a scapegoat by proxy, or he was promoting a television program based on an on-screen graphic promoting content related to an entirely separate issue.  Big difference.  Reportedly embattled White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus says the timing of the tweet and the Ryan diatribe was coincidental. Speaker Ryan's office was more specific and emphatic about what didn't go down:

So if Trump and Ryan's relationship remains copacetic in spite of last week's debacle, what's next? Tax reform, we're told -- which is extremely complex and politically-challenging unto itself, and which became even more so now that the post-Obamacare budgetary baseline Republicans were expecting hasn't panned out. But what about healthcare? Is the GOP really going to just table the issue on which they've campaigned for eight years? It's not like the existing law is improving. A number of Republicans are insisting that the party go back to the drawing board to urgently address this problem, but how might that shape up? Step one is starting over. Step three is repealing and replacing Obamacare. But step two is the real challenge, as has become abundantly clear. Both Krauthammer and Ramesh Ponnuru have suggested fashioning a bill that includes everything that Republicans would ideally feature in a start-from-scratch legislative process, "reconciliation" concerns be damned. Pass it out of the House, and force Senate Democrats to filibuster it. That sounds fine, but Democrats absolutely would filibuster it. Then what?  Is there an acceptable middle waynobody has introduced yet?  Or would this all amount to yet another messaging bill from Republicans on Obamacare?  If so, why spend even more time on something that will inevitably butt up against another brick wall?

Stand Strong Against the Lunacy of the Left

Last Week’s Reality Check About Liberalism and Entitlements

Judd Gregg: A budget that fails to learn history's lessons

Judd Gregg: A budget that fails to learn history's lessons
By Judd Gregg - 03-27-17 06:00 AM EDT

After the 1980 election, Ronald Reagan arrived in Washington riding the slogan that government was the problem, not the solution.

He became one of the most impactful presidents of the twentieth century.

Along the way, he and the Republicans that followed him to Washington learned a few things - and, of course, made a few mistakes.

President Reagan hired as his budget director a young, aggressive, conservative House member named David Stockman.

In order to fulfill the purposes of the Reagan campaign and movement, the first Reagan/Stockman budget sent up to Capitol Hill took an ax to numerous federal programs that were annually funded - known as discretionary programs - while dramatically increasing the commitment to defense.

There were no proposals included in this Stockman budget to address the most significant spending items in the federal universe, specifically entitlement programs.

By leaving these items out of the arena, Stockman essentially guaranteed that, even if he were successful in cutting the individual programs favored by the Democratic Congress for years, the underlining drivers of the growth of the national debt would hardly be affected.

The practical effect of this budget was to mire the Reagan revolution - intent on fundamentally changing Washington - in a hand-to-hand street fight over the funding of hundreds of small federal programs.

Massive amounts of energy and political capital were expended. Supportive members of Congress - the Reagan Robots, as they were known - cast vote after vote that did not in the end reduce the size and growth of the federal government in any significant manner.

When the smoke of these battles cleared, the political capital of the new president and his supporters in Congress had been much diminished.

The chance to effect real, lasting change in the cost and effectiveness of the federal government was missed.

This should sound familiar, because this path is being trod again.

The budget proposed this year by another young, aggressive, conservative former House member - Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney - tracks almost identically with the original Reagan proposal, right down to the many discretionary programs that are to see large funding reductions and the increase in defense spending.

There are differences, of course. Today, discretionary spending makes up a significantly smaller portion of the federal budget pie.

It is down from approximately 40 percent in 1980 to less then 30 percent today. Entitlement spending, which is the core driver of the looming federal fiscal distress, is up to over 60 percent, and growing fast.

In 1980, Democrats loyal to Speaker Tip O'Neill (D-Mass.) controlled the Congress, and stymied the likelihood of success at the starting gate. This is not the case today, as the Republicans control the House.

But waiting on the horizon now are the Senate Democrats and the filibuster rule that requires 60 votes to pass appropriation bills.

Since most of the programs proposed for dramatic cuts are favorites of the left, there will be no cooperation when it comes to instituting the Mulvaney budget from the Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).

The Mulvaney budget does make the very appropriate political point that many discretionary programs are bloated, wasteful and directed at sustaining political groups.

No conservative can deny the need to defund organizations such as National Public Radio, which takes everyone's tax dollars and spends them on advocacy for a far-left agenda.

Unfortunately, if pursued aggressively and unilaterally, this across the board attack on non-defense discretionary programs will lead up a blind alley for Republicans, especially in the House.

Real change in the direction of the federal spending trajectory - which is straight up - will only come through reforming the driver of this growth: Entitlements.

If this administration does not take lessons from history, a great deal of time, energy and political goodwill will be frittered away in battles that may occasionally be won but will come at a steep cost. Victory in the larger war of actually putting the federal financial house in order will be rendered impossible.

President Trump has said he will not address Medicare or Social Security reform. He has therefore taken off the table two of the key causes of our major debt and deficit problems.

But this does not mean that he should use his considerable political clout on pushing the Mulvaney budget and in the process reduce the chances for other major reforms.

The two most defining and fundamental legislative changes proposed by the president were the healthcare reform reset and tax reform.

With the defeat of the healthcare bill last week, that issue appears to be in legislative limbo, at least for the time being.

The administration should therefore have a single focus, legislatively speaking: Tax reform.

If the president and the Republican Congress can accomplish effective tax reform, they will have done a great service to the nation, safeguarding our future solvency and boosting opportunities for economic growth.

With the Mulvaney budget, the point has been made: much of the non-defense discretionary spending in Washington should be reduced or at least dramatically adjusted.

However, this budget is not going to pass. It will be stopped in the Senate.

The effort to change this reality should not be allowed to undermine or distract from the big picture of fixing our tax laws.

Republican members, especially those from competitive House districts, should not be asked to use up their political capital on votes that have no likelihood of surviving in the Senate.

History does not need to be repeated just to make a point.

A better course would be to take advantage of the knowledge gained from that history and use it to produce real and lasting results that will meet the goals of the president, and those who put their hope and faith in him.

Judd Gregg (R) is a former governor and three-term senator from New Hampshire who served as chairman and ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, and as ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Foreign Operations subcommittee.

The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.

Conservative media struggles with new prominence under Trump

Conservative media struggles with new prominence under Trump
By Jonathan Easley - 03-27-17 06:00 AM EDT

Conservative media outlets have suffered through a tumultuous few weeks punctuated by infighting and public controversy, underscoring the difficulty some are having adjusting to the new levels of attention and scrutiny that comes with their elevated status in the age of Trump.

GOP majorities in Congress and Donald Trump's presidency have been a boon for conservative media, which has benefitted from increased access to Washington's power brokers and a White House that has gone out of its way to accommodate outlets that were once considered fringe.

But the transition from the edges of the media to its center can be difficult. Conservative media's mainstream peers have greeted them with suspicion and hostility, often eager to highlight the newcomers' stumbles or question their legitimacy.

In interviews with nearly a dozen key figures in conservative media, right-leaning reporters and editors spoke about their relative youth and inexperience and the need to professionalize and move on from the sensationalism that initially helped them attract readers.

They see their challenge as one that mirrors what the Republican Party as a whole is experiencing, as it makes the transition from being the opposition party to the party in power.

"I think there is a bit of an existential crisis," said Lucian Wintrich, a 28-year-old gay conservative provocateur who is moving to Washington to be the White House correspondent for the Gateway Pundit blog.

"We're having some growing pains as we try to expand our reach and become more mainstream and less sensationalist in our writing and journalism. It's an interesting transition. You have publications that historically have not had much oversight suddenly needing to reevaluate how they do things."

The millennial-focused conservative website Independent Journal Review suspended three staffers last week, including creative director Benny Johnson - a former BuzzFeed reporter who had been a high-profile hire for the young outlet - for publishing a conspiracy theory about President Obama. The controversy provoked one of the site's reporters to resign in frustration over the direction of the company.

Also last week, Breitbart News investigative reporter Lee Stranahan quit the publication after going public with his frustrations with the site's political editor, Matthew Boyle, who has greater editorial control now that former chairman Stephen Bannon has become Trump's chief White House strategist.

Meanwhile, Glenn Beck's website, The Blaze, suspended one of its top personalities, the unapologetically pro-Trump booster Tomi Lahren, for announcing on "The View" that she supports abortion and for criticizing anti-abortion conservatives.

And Fox News yanked one of its top legal experts, Andrew Napolitano, after he alleged that a British intelligence agency had wiretapped Trump Tower at Obama's request. White House press secretary Sean Spicer repeated the claim during a press briefing, resulting in international backlash.

The errors and turmoil have frustrated some on the right, who warn that the mainstream press and the left will seize on every misstep in an effort to delegitimize conservative outlets.

"Conservative media has always been held to a higher standard than liberal media, and as conservatives we have to live up to that higher standard," said Matthew Continetti, the editor-in-chief of the Washington Free Beacon. "When we don't, it not only undermines our work as journalists, but also the conservative project as a whole."

Tensions between the mainstream press and right-wing media outlets have spilled into the open in recent weeks.

State Department reporters cried foul when only one outlet - the conservative I.J. Review - was allowed to travel abroad with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The I.J. Review instructed its reporter, Erin McPike, not to tweet or write daily news reports. She focused instead on a single feature story they could be packaged as an exclusive.

Reporters excluded from the trip were furious that McPike didn't act as their eyes and ears by filing incremental news stories or pool reports.

And Wintrich, the Gateway Pundit correspondent who once ran a group for young gay men called "Twinks 4 Trump," was accosted in the White House briefing room and called a racist by a Fox News Radio reporter who berated him in front of the press corps.

"If you're legacy media and have been trading on that access for decades, when the new guy comes in and gets your access, it's enraging," said Sean Davis, a co-founder of The Federalist. "I don't buy that this is about conservative outlets making errors or not knowing what they're doing. This is legacy outlets acting like an entitled monopoly or a cartel when someone new comes in and does the job better than they do."

Still, many conservative media players interviewed by The Hill acknowledged that adjusting to the brighter spotlight, coupled with the gravity of covering the White House, has been a challenge.

"A lot of them aren't ready for prime time," said John Ziegler, a Trump critic who spent 20 years in conservative media but left his radio show last year after he grew weary of battling his pro-Trump audience.

"A lot of so-called conservative media is like the dog that caught the car and now they don't know what the hell to do. They're completely confused because they've never been in this situation before."

Many are rushing to "professionalize" or "institutionalize" their operations.

Some conservative outlets have never before been in the rotation for White House pool duty. Their reporters are learning on the fly as they follow the president around the country to file reports for the benefit of the entire press corps, in what has traditionally been the domain of nonpartisan outlets.

Breitbart has applied for its first permanent congressional credentials, a process that opens the outlet to new scrutiny about its investors. In order to get the credentials, Breitbart had to disclose that the conservative billionaire Robert Mercer, a major Trump backer, is a part owner.

These outlets are also facing editorial challenges over how to cover a political landscape that is dominated by like-minded conservatives.

"It was a lot easier under Obama, when you could just hate on everything he did," said one source who works in conservative media but requested anonymity.

And covering Trump, who is not a traditional conservative and who is viewed as reckless and dangerous by some in his own party, presents a unique challenge.

"Trump has added a new dynamic to conservatism," said Ben Shapiro, a former Breitbart editor who now runs the Daily Wire, another conservative news site. "Politics used to exist on a right-left X-axis. Now we've added a pro-Trump, anti-Trump Y-axis. And that's throwing everything into turmoil."

Indeed, the way these outlets cover Trump is often itself news - especially if the story is coming from Breitbart.

Under Boyle's stewardship, Breitbart has steadfastly backed Trump, even as the president whipped support for an ObamaCare replacement bill that the outlet has tried to sink. As they have long done, Breitbart cast GOP leadership as the villains in the drama.

That editorial decision has been controversial and is one of the criticisms Stranahan, the site's former investigative reporter, made as he unleashed a litany of frustrations with Breitbart's direction.

"Bannon was such a visionary and when he left it was significant," Stranahan said. "It is still a good company. But there is a difference between being a good company and a disruptive one. When Steve left, it was a big deal."

Still, Breitbart's impact on the political landscape remains.

They lobbied hard to doom the GOP healthcare bill, making themselves instrumental in shielding Trump from political damage while setting Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) up for defeat. Boyle is one of only a handful of reporters to score an Oval Office interview with Trump.

But access can have its downsides. Breitbart scored an exclusive interview on Facebook Live with White House press secretary Sean Spicer minutes after a judge blocked Trump's travel ban - a much-watched scoop that was undermined by the broadcast's poor production values and awkward camera angles.

Even as these tensions play out in public, though, conservatives argue that the growing pains are a good problem to have. They believe that conservative media can appeal to a growing audience frustrated with the mainstream press.

"This is healthy. These outlets are earning their battle scars," said one editor at a conservative outlet. "These are the key moments every outlet needs to survive and get to the next stage. It sucks now, but we'll get there."

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Trump Supporters Attacked With Pepper Spray at SoCal Rally

Anti-Trump violence - 90000

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (AP) -- A scuffle broke out on a Southern California beach where supporters of President Donald Trump were marching when counter-protesters doused organizers with pepper spray, authorities said Saturday.

The violence erupted when the march of about 2,000 people at Bolsa Chica State Beach reached a group of about 30 counter-protesters, some of whom began spraying the irritant, said Capt. Kevin Pearsall of the California State Parks Police. Three people were arrested on suspicion of illegal use of pepper spray and a fourth person was arrested on suspicion of assault and battery, he said.

Two people suffered minor injuries that didn’t require medical attention, Pearsall said.

An anti-Trump protester who allegedly used the eye irritant was kicked and punched in the sand by a group of Trump supporters, the Los Angeles Times reported

Counter-protesters said before the march began that they planned to try to stop the march’s progress with a “human wall.”

Earlier this month, a rally in Berkeley, California, in support of Trump turned violent, and his supporters clashed with counter-protesters in several fights that led to the arrest of 10 people and left at least seven people injured.


Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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"Much Worse Than Watergate", Former CIA Officer Admits Trump 'Wiretapping' Likely True

The "political appointees" in the intelligence community knew exactly what they were surveilling for, former CIA officer Col. Tony Shaffer told Fox News, adding that the case is "much worse than Watergate by an order of magnitude."

While Trump was not physically wiretapped, with a wire into his phone, Shaffer said the "basic fundamental idea and claim is true."

"Clearly they were after gossip because it was political," Shaffer said, maintaining that the alleged wiretap had nothing to do with Russia.

Due to the simplicity required to "mask" an American's name during an incidental wiretap, Shaffer said that the leak of Gen. Michael Flynn's name was "accidental on purpose."

Even if the surveillance was done legally, Shaffer exclaimed that whoever is responsible for the "unmasking" of Americans' names and the leaking of the information are felons.

With Comey and Rogers facing "closed sessions", and Trump looking for a win, we can't help but think something substantial looms for the leakers just ahead. Of course, the biggest dilemma for exposing the leakers is the confirmation of what we already know to an even wider audience of deniers - that Snowden, Binney, et al. are 100% correct and the surveillance state's all-seeing eye is everywhere and far beyond government control. (just remember it's for your own good).

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