Veteran Reporter Arrested While Trying to Ask A Question
Mic – Dan Heyman, a West Virginia-based producer and reporter for Public News Service, has been a journalist for about 30 years. On Wednesday night, he was arrested in the West Virginia State Capitol, reportedly for trying to ask visiting Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price a question as the official walked through a hallway.
Price was visiting West Virginia along with White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, to hear about the state’s plans to deal with an opioid addiction crisis.
Heyman was following Price and Conway as they walked through the Capitol, trying to ask the official whether or not the Republican’s new health care bill would allow domestic violence to be considered a pre-existing condition.
House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, is Getting Primaried
PA – Stephen Jaffe is a Democrat from the state of California who is having the guts to do something many Democrats have been scared to do: primary House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi.
Pelosi is a controversial figure within the Democratic Party. She is praised and loved by the mainstream media, the Democratic establishment, and the Clintonite wing of the party, but she is incredibly disliked by the progressive wing of the Democrats.
Why is Representative Pelosi so utterly disliked by left-wing Democrats? There are plenty of reasons: her lack of support for Medicare for All, her support for a hawkish foreign policy, the fact that she doesn’t oppose money in politics, and many other issues where she has stood against the working-class.
Europe Shares Dip, Dollar Down on Comey Sacking
Reuters – European shares pulled back on Wednesday from 21-month highs hit after strong earnings while the dollar fell on concerns that U.S. President Donald Trump’s dismissal of his FBI chief could make passage of his tax reform plans more difficult.
Expectation-beating first-quarter company results have lifted stock markets across the globe, with European full-year earnings forecasts set to be their best since 2010. The prospect of U.S. tax cuts has also helped push shares higher.
At the same time, measures of market volatility are at rock-bottom. The U.S. VIX index fell on Tuesday to 9.56, its lowest since late 2006.
However, Trump’s abrupt sacking of FBI Director James Comey marked a fresh intrusion of politics into markets after Emmanuel Macron’s weekend victory in the French presidential election had seemed to clear the decks of major political risk, at least in Europe.
Support for GOP Health Bill Declines
Politico – The popularity of the Republican health care bill declined over the past week even as its chances of becoming law improved after its passage by the House, underscoring the political peril President Donald Trump and the GOP face in their efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Voters have low expectations — few believe the bill, if enacted, will make the U.S. health care system better, increase the number of Americans with health coverage, improve the quality of their own care or decrease the costs for them and their family.
And as the Senate prepares to take up the legislation, the POLITICO/Morning Consult also shows declines in voters’ views of Trump’s job performance and his party’s standing in next year’s congressional elections.
Even Edward Snowden Thinks Firing James Comey Was A Bad Idea
TIME – Edward Snowden has slammed the decision by President Donald Trump to fire FBI Director James Comey Tuesday.
“This FBI Director has sought to jail me on account of my political activities,” Snowden tweeted. “If I can oppose his firing so can you.”
In an earlier tweet, Snowden wrote that “every American should condemn such political interference in the Bureau’s work.
Snowden, the former CIA employee who exposed global surveillance programs run by the National Security Agency and others, has previously railed against Trump’s approach to intelligence gathering.
In March, the whistleblower — who was granted asylum in Russia and is currently living in Moscow — rubbished accusations that former President Obama had “tapped” Trump Tower. “If Donald Trump or anyone else wants us to take this seriously, they have to show evidence,” Snowden told The Intercept. “And the fact that they have not despite the severity of this allegation means that they’re trying to make political hay — I suspect — out of something that affects all of us, which is that mass surveillance is making all of us vulnerable.”
Trump Fires Comey Over Handling of Clinton Emails
PA – In a memorandum he issued for the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein said that over the past year, “the FBI’s reputation and credibility have suffered substantial damage, and it has affected the entire Department of Justice.” Rosenstein continued, stating that he is unable to “defend the Director’s handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton’s emails, and I do not understand his refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken.”
Further into the memorandum, the Deputy Attorney General elaborated, stating that Comey “was wrong to usurp the Attorney General’s authority on July 5, 2016, and announce his conclusion that the case should be closed without prosecution. It is not the function of the Director to make such an announcement.” Rosenstein continued, saying that Comey made matters worse when he “ignored another longstanding principle: we do not hold press conferences to release derogatory information about the subject of a declined criminal investigation.”
Turkey Hits Back As Trump Authorizes Arming Kurds
CNN – Turkey has lashed out at Washington’s plan to send arms to Kurdish rebels fighting ISIS in Syria, calling for an end to a strategy that has long rattled officials in Ankara.
The Pentagon announced Tuesday that President Donald Trump had authorized arming the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG). A US official said that small arms, machine guns, construction equipment and armored vehicles were among the provisions.
The group is part of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a coalition of rebel fighters that Washington has for years considered its main ally in Syria. But Ankara sees the YPG as part of a terrorist organization waging an insurgency in Turkey’s southeast, near the Syrian border.