Republicans Are Forcing Gorsuch Through…

From the Washington Post

Republicans on Thursday cleared the way for Judge Neil Gorsuch to be confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court, overcoming a historic Democratic blockade by changing the rules of the U.S. Senate — a move that highlighted the fierce partisanship that has seized Congress.

The long-anticipated rules change now means that all presidential nominees for executive branch positions and the federal courts need only a simple-majority vote to be confirmed by senators.

At this point, we can all expect to say Justice Neil Gorsuch.

Fuck.

Goodbye Progress. It Was Nice Knowing You.

Neil Gorsuch is now on the Supreme Court.

By a 54–45 vote, the Senate confirmed Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court on Friday.

The vote effectively returns control of the judicial branch — and with it, the U.S. Constitution — to Republicans. Once Gorsuch is sworn in, Republicans will enjoy a 5–4 majority on the Supreme Court.

Lisa Simpson saying "well, I guess that's it." in defeat.

Lisa Simpson saying “well, I guess that’s it.” in defeat.

 

Twitter Sues Agent Orange

No one is safe from being sued.

From Variety

Twitter has sued the Trump administration over attempts of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to unmask the identity of users behind an account critical of the government. The account in question, @ALT_USCIS, is one of several alt-government accounts which were launched after the new administration took office and proceeded to silence some official Twitter government accounts.

The lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of California, alleges that the DHS tried to use a “limited-purpose investigatory tool” to find out who is behind the account in question, which has been critical of the immigration policy of the current administration. “The rights of free speech afforded to Twitter’s users and Twitter itself under the U.S. Constitution include a right to disseminate such anonymous or pseudonymous free speech,” the lawsuit argues.

The lawsuit goes on to argue that many of these alt-government accounts, including @ALT_USCIS claim to be run by government workers, in this case employees of the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services. These users have taken to Twitter to voice their dissent with official government policies.

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Hearing About the Baltimore PD Will NOT be Delayed

Remember yesterday, when I pointed out that Jeff Sessions wants to make it even easier for the US police to enforce Patriarchal White Supremacy, and part of that was a 90-day delay on the hearing about how racist the Baltimore PD is?

Well… guess what?

A federal judge refused Wednesday to delay a hearing on a proposed agreement to overhaul the Baltimore Police Department, calling the Trump administration’s request a “burden and inconvenience.”

The Justice Department asked for a delay earlier this week, saying it needed time to review the plan and determine whether the proposal would hinder efforts to fight violent crime. U.S. District Judge James Bredar said the hearing would go on as scheduled Thursday.

Hundreds of people are expected to testify about the court-enforceable agreement and special security measures have been put into place, the judge said.

Pushing back the hearing at the last minute would be a “burden and inconvenience to the court, other parties, and most importantly, the public,” the judge said.

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Jeff Sessions Wants to Unregulate the Police

The police are already the enforcement force of Patriarchal White Supremacy. Jeff Sessions, of course, apparently wants to just let them go with it…

From the New York Times

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered a sweeping review of federal agreements with dozens of law enforcement agencies, an examination that reflects President Trump’s emphasis on law and order and could lead to a retreat on consent decrees with troubled police departments nationwide.

In a memorandum dated March 31 and made public Monday, the attorney general directed his staff to look at whether law enforcement programs adhere to principles put forth by the Trump administration, including one declaring that “the individual misdeeds of bad actors should not impugn” the work police officers perform “in keeping American communities safe.”

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Dictator Drumpf Tried to Stop Yates from Testifying on Russia

They really… desperately… want to stop this whole Russia thing in it’s tracks, don’t they? Could it be because they know the election was illegitimate, and Agent Orange actually lost?

From the Washington Post

The Trump administration sought to block former acting attorney general Sally Yates from testifying in the House investigation of possible links between Russian officials and Donald Trump’s campaign, according to letters provided to The Washington Post. The effort to keep Yates from testifying has further angered Democrats, who have accused Republicans of trying to damage the inquiry.

According to the letters, the Justice Department notified Yates earlier this month that the administration considers her possible testimony — including on the ouster of former national security adviser Michael Flynn for his contacts with the Russian ambassador — to be off-limits in a congressional hearing because the topics are covered by attorney-client privilege or the presidential communication privilege.

The issue of Yates’s testimony adds to the political controversy surrounding the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation of Russian meddling in last year’s election and any possible coordination between Trump associates and Moscow.

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Internet Privacy Regulations Are Gone

From NPR

The House of Representatives has gone along with the Senate and voted 215-205 to overturn a yet-to-take-effect regulation that would have required Internet service providers — like Comcast, Verizon and Charter — to get consumers’ permission before selling their data.

President Trump is expected to sign the rollback, according to a White House statement.

The measure is a victory for the ISPs, which have argued that the regulation would put them at a disadvantage compared with so-called edge providers, like Google and Facebook. Those companies are regulated by the Federal Trade Commission and face less stringent requirements. Congress’ approval is a loss for privacy advocates, who fought for the regulation, passed in October of last year by the then-Democratic majority on the Federal Communications Commission.

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Climate-Hater-in-Chief

From AP News

President Donald Trump in the coming days will sign a new executive order that unravels his predecessor’s sweeping plan to curb global warming, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency said Sunday.

EPA chief Scott Pruitt said the executive order to be signed Tuesday will undo the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, an environmental regulation that restricts greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants. The 2015 rule has been on hold since last year while a federal appeals court considers a challenge by coal-friendly Republican-led states and more than 100 companies.

Speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” Pruitt said Trump’s intention is to bring back coal-mining jobs and reduce the cost of electricity.

I’ve been saying this a lot, but… Agent Orange hates the earth. He wants to destroy the climate. He wants to make things worse.

I think the idea of a post-apocalyptic future where a toxic climate has destroyed most life and surviving humans live underground and have to breathe bottled oxygen, and “going outside” could mean certain death without protective gear, turns him on.

Jared Kushner Tapped to “Fix Government with Business Ideas”

From the Washington Post

President Trump plans to unveil a new White House office on Monday with sweeping authority to overhaul the federal bureaucracy and fulfill key campaign promises — such as reforming care for veterans and fighting opioid addiction — by harvesting ideas from the business world and, potentially, privatizing some government functions.

The White House Office of American Innovation, to be led by Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, will operate as its own nimble power center within the West Wing and will report directly to Trump. Viewed internally as a SWAT team of strategic consultants, the office will be staffed by former business executives and is designed to infuse fresh thinking into Washington, float above the daily political grind and create a lasting legacy for a president still searching for signature achievements.’

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Keystone XL Pipeline a Go… Maybe…

Welp… this is bad news mixed with some spotty hope…

From Reuters

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration approved TransCanada Corp’s (TRP.TO) Keystone XL pipeline on Friday, cheering the oil industry and angering environmentalists even as further hurdles for the controversial project loom.

The approval reverses a decision by former President Barack Obama to reject the project, but the company still needs to win financing, acquire local permits, and fend off likely legal challenges for the pipeline to be built.

“TransCanada will finally be allowed to complete this long-overdue project with efficiency and with speed,” Trump said in the Oval Office before turning to ask TransCanada Chief Executive Officer Russell Girling when construction would start.

“We’ve got some work to do in Nebraska to get our permits there,” Girling replied.

“Nebraska?” Trump said. “I’ll call Nebraska.”

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