2017 Archives

--The backlog in obtaining security clearances for Trump administration staffers is getting more attention...following the firestorm over the resignation of Rob Porter and then another key aide...within days. Both have been accused of spousal abuse, which they deny.  Porter served as White House staff secretary, a right-hand man to President Trump, but lacked full security clearance for over a year because of the investigation into his past.
--Porter's first wife, Colbie Holderness, writes in the Washington Post of "living in constant fear of Rob’s anger and being subjected to his degrading tirades for years chipped away at my independence and sense of self-worth."

The sale of the movie company founded by Harvey Weinstein is off, at least for now.  Talks between The Weinstein Company and an investor group led by the former head of Small Business Administration Maria Contreras-Sweet broke down after New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a lawsuit alleging civil and human rights violations.  He said the terms of any sale should include victim compensation, employee protections and no promotions for any current executive.

The heads of the nation's intelligence and law enforcement agencies testify Tuesday to the Senate Intelligence Committee about worldwide threats. Questions to CIA Director Mike Pompeo, DNI Dan Coats, NSA Director Mike Rogers, FBI Director Christopher Wray and others could get into other issues, like Russia, and the memos.

President Trump appears to be focused on policy Tuesday morning, with his first two tweets of the day on two debates that are playing out on Capitol Hill: immigration and infrastructure. With the March 5 deadline fast approaching on DACA, he tweets that the "this will be our last chance" to make a deal -- sggesting that he will not offer extended protections for dreamers should a deal not be hatched by the deadline he imposed.
--The Senate voted Monday to begin a rare open debate on immigration... that will allow a rare free-for-all discussion and series of votes that will hopefully lead to a bipartisan agreement.
--Sen. Mitch McConnell throws his support to an immigration proposal put forth by conservatives that mirrors what the White House wants.  The "Secure And Succeed Act" would shield 1-point-8 million DACA recipients from deportation, add 25-billion dollars for security, and end the diversity visa lottery program and "chain family migration."

--Budget Director Mick Mulvaney Tuesday appears before the Senate Budget Committee to talks about the president's 4.4-trillion dollar budget proposal, which contains infrastructure and wall spending. Mulvaney Monday concedes the proposal would increase the deficit and would not balance the budget.
--The budget proposal requests more than $30 billion for drug control efforts, while at the same time proposing a sharp cut to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, which has been leading the fight in the opioid crisis.

President Trump's daughter-in-law was taken to the hospital as a precaution after she opened an envelope containing a white powder. The envelope with a Boston postmark was addressed to Donald Trump Jr. but opened just by his wife Vanessa.  There was a white substance and note expressing the sender's anger about something.  The substance was not immediately identified but police said it was non-hazardous.  The NYPD and US Secret Service were investigating the package.

A man who set off small bombs on a New York City street and at a charity race in New Jersey is set to be sentenced to a mandatory term of life in prison. Ahmad Khan Rahimi injured 30 people when one of his pressure cooker bombs exploded in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood in 2016. That blast happened just hours after a small pipe bomb exploded along a Marine Corps road race in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. Rahimi is scheduled to be sentenced on Tuesday by a federal judge in Manhattan. Federal prosecutors say he has not shown remorse and has tried to radicalize fellow inmates.

A South Carolina woman pleads guilty to kidnapping an infant in 1998 and raising her as her own daughter. Gloria Williams agreed to plead guilty to kidnapping and interference of custody, and faces up to 27 years in prison. Williams is accused of kidnapping Kamiyah Mobley nearly 20 years ago, and raising the girl as her own child in South Carolina under the name Alexis Manigo.

Three employees of Milwaukee County jail are facing criminal charges for their role in the 2016 dehydration death of an inmate.. An investigation reveals water to Terrill Thomas's cell was shut off for week before he died.  Two employees are charged with neglect or abuse of a prisoner.. their supervisor is charged with misconduct and obstructing an office.

--An Indiana family that decided against vaccinating a 3-year-old is now haunted by that decision, wondering if a flu shot could have saved the girl's life. Alivia Viellieux, of Muncie, Indiana, died at home Monday morning, just days after being diagnosed. The girl's grandmother, Tameka Stettler, said the family is second-guessing its decision not to vaccinate her. Stettler said Alivia’s parents declined to give her the flu shot after hearing that the vaccination could be ineffective.
--Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) has announced plans to introduce "The Flu Vaccine Act"...legislation that will encourage research to develop a more effective, "universal" flu vaccine.

Among Tuesday's medal events: men's alpine skiing, cross country skiing, curling, luge, and women's short track speed skating. 

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