Thursday, March 23, 2017

Lawmaker calls for complete shutdown of Trump agenda over possible collusion with Russia

AOL.COM EDITORS Lawmaker calls for complete shutdown of Trump agenda over possible collusion with Russia
AOL.COM EDITORS          March  23rd 2017 
Congressman Ted Lieu called for a "total and complete shutdown" of any of President Donald Trump's agenda in response to reports that Trump associates may have coordinated with Russians during the campaign.

The California Democrat issued a fiery statement on Thursday in response to the allegations, arguing that Trump's presidency may be illegitimate and that his policies cannot be pursued until after an independent investigation assesses the claims.

"Congress cannot continue regular order and must stop voting on any Trump-backed agenda item until the FBI completes its Trump-Russia collusion investigation," Lieu said in the statement.

The demand comes in response to a report that emerged Wednesday night on CNN claiming the FBI has evidence to suggest Trump associates "may have coordinated" with Russians to impact the 2016 presidential election by releasing damaging information about Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

On Wednesday, the top ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said in an interview that the evidence against Trump's team was more than circumstantial in nature.

"I can't go into the particulars, but there is more than circumstantial evidence now," Rep. Adam Schiff said in an interview with MSNBC.

On Thursday, Schiff's Republican counterpart, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, revealed publicly and to the president that communications of Trump and his associates may have been captured by intelligence agencies conducting surveillance of foreign targets.

Trump set off a political firestorm over possible surveillance of his campaign earlier this month when he claimed in a tweet that Trump Tower had been wiretapped by former President Barack Obama. A spokesman for Obama quickly denied the claim, and officials came forward in the following days to clarify that the Justice Department and other intelligence agencies handle any surveillance directives.

Nunes apologized to committee members Thursday, according to Democrats, for briefing the president and the public on the information before speaking to the committee.

Read Lieu's full statement below:
The bombshell revelation that U.S. officials have information that suggests Trump associates may have colluded with the Russians means we must pause the entire Trump agenda. We may have an illegitimate President of the United States currently occupying the White House.

Other than allowing routine governmental functions, there must be a total and complete shutdown of any agenda item being pushed by the Trump Administration. Congress cannot continue regular order and must stop voting on any Trump-backed agenda item until the FBI completes its Trump-Russia collusion investigation.

Congress must immediately form an independent commission and appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the collusion allegations with impartiality and independence. Congress also needs to pass the Resolution of Inquiry, authored by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries and I, to compel the Trump Administration to publicly disclose information on its Russian ties to the American people. At this point in our nation's history, there is nothing more important than finding out whether or not high crimes were committed by associates of Donald Trump or possibly by Trump himself.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Chuck Berry, wild man of rock who helped define its rebellious spirit, dies at 90

Washington Post The Washington Post    Terence McArdle
Legendary musician Chuck Berry passed away in his home in Missouri on March 18, 2017. He was 90 years old. We take a look at his remarkable life in pictures. 
Chuck Berry, the perpetual wild man of rock music who helped define its rebellious spirit in the 1950s and was the sly poet laureate of songs about girls, cars, school and even the “any old way you choose it” vitality of the music itself, died March 18 at at his home in St. Charles County, Mo. He was 90.

St. Charles County police announced the death in a Facebook post on its Website, saying officers responded to a medical emergency at Mr. Berry’s home and administered lifesaving techniques but could not revive him. No further information was available.

“While no individual can be said to have invented rock and roll, Chuck Berry comes the closest of any single figure to being the one who put all the essential pieces together,” reads Mr. Berry’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

A seminal figure in early rock music, he was all the rarer still for writing, singing and playing his own music. His songs and the boisterous performance standards he set directly influenced the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and later Bruce Springsteen and Bob Seger.

Mr. Berry so embodied the American rock tradition that his recording of “Johnny B. Goode” was included on a disc launched into space on the Voyager 1 spacecraft in 1977.

Besides Mr. Berry, members of the rock hall of fame’s inaugural class included Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, James Brown, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino and the Everly Brothers. Of those he survived, Mr. Berry remained among the most indefatigable and acclaimed performers, playing concerts all over the world well into his 80s.

Despite John Lennon’s oft-quoted quip — “If you tried to give rock-and-roll another name, you might call it ‘Chuck Berry’ ” — Mr. Berry was an unlikely idol for a burgeoning teen subculture that he sang about at the dawn of the rock era.

He was 30, married and the father of two when he made his first recording, “Maybellene” in 1955. The song — a story of a man in a Ford V8 chasing his unfaithful girlfriend in a Cadillac Coupe de Ville — charted No. 1 on Billboard’s rhythm-and-blues chart and No. 5 on the pop music charts.

It was soon followed by “Rock and Roll Music” (“it’s got a backbeat, you can’t lose it”) and “Sweet Little Sixteen,” whose astute reference to the teen-oriented TV show “American Bandstand” (“Well, they’ll be rockin’ on Bandstand, Philadelphia, P.A.”) helped him connect to adolescent record-buyers.

With his lithe, athletic body, high cheekbones and perfectly pomaded hair, Mr. Berry personified the dangerous appeal of rock. He’d grin salaciously and telegraph the lyrics with a wide-eyed, almost childlike exuberance and then shoot across the stage, unleashing a staccato burst of bright, blaring guitar notes.

When he went into his signature “duck walk,” his legs seemed to be made of rubber, and his whole body moved with clocklike precision — the visual statement of his music’s kinetic energy. His charisma was the gold standard for all the rock-and-roll extroverts who followed.

He once told The Washington Post that he initiated the duck walk at the Brooklyn Paramount theater in 1956, based on a pose he sometimes struck as a child. “I had nothing else to do during the instrumental part of the song,” he said. “I did it, and here comes the applause. Well, I knew to coin anything that was that entertaining, so I kept it up.”
Rooted in the blues

Mr. Berry was credited with penning more than 100 songs, the best known of which used carefully crafted rhymes and offered tightly written vignettes about American life. They became an influential part of the national soundtrack for generations of listeners and practitioners.

“Back in the U.S.A.” (1959), later covered by Linda Ronstadt, delighted in an America where “hamburgers sizzle on an open grill night and day.” And “School Day (Ring! Ring! Goes the Bell)” (1957), written about the over-crowded St. Louis schools of Mr. Berry’s youth, became an anthem for bored, restless kids everywhere.

The Beach Boys had a hit record with “Surfin’ USA” (1963), its melody borrowed without credit from “Sweet Little Sixteen.” The Beatles began their first U.S. concert, at the Washington Coliseum, with Mr. Berry’s “Roll Over Beethoven” (1956).

And when Bob Dylan turned toward electric rock-and-roll, he acknowledged that his “Subterranean Homesick Blues” (1965) borrowed its meter almost directly from Mr. Berry’s “Too Much Monkey Business’’ (1956).

Perhaps the most performed of his songs — indeed, one of the most performed of all rock songs — was “Johnny B. Goode” (1957). Its storyline embodied Mr. Berry’s own experience as a black man born into segregation who lived to see “his name in lights:”

Deep down Louisiana close to New Orleans

Way back up in the woods among the evergreens

There stood a log cabin made of earth and wood

Where lived a country boy named Johnny B. Goode

Who never ever learned to read or write so well

But he could play the guitar just like a ringin’ a bell

“The gateway from freedom, I was told, was somewhere near New Orleans where most Africans were sorted through and sold” into slavery, Mr. Berry wrote in his self-titled 1987 memoir. “I’d been told my grandfather lived ‘back up in the woods among the evergreens’ in a log cabin. I revived the era with a story about a ‘colored boy named Johnny B. Goode.’  ”

Mr. Berry said he knew the song could have a wider appeal. “I thought it would seem biased to my white fans to say ‘colored boy’ so I changed it to ‘country boy,’ ” he added.

In an interview with The Washington Post this year, rock historian Albin Zak called Mr. Berry a “very literate” wordsmith but that more important was the “durability” of his songs.

“In early rock-and-roll, there were so many one-hit wonders, but Chuck had so many hits that he was one of the most recognizable stars in the business,” Zak said. “When rock became solidified in 1964 and the British invasion comes along with bands like the Beatles and Rolling Stones performing Chuck Berry songs, it seals the deal on the vitality of that repertoire. His music became tradition at that point.”

Despite Mr. Berry’s charisma, race played a factor in preventing him from achieving Elvis-like levels of commercial success in Hollywood and Las Vegas. He had hits including “No Particular Place to Go” (1964) and “Dear Dad” (1965) and appeared in “The T.A.M.I. Show,” a 1965 concert film with James Brown, the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys and Marvin Gaye. But Mr. Berry was relegated to the oldies circuit by the end of the decade.

In 1987, in the wake of his induction into the rock hall of fame, Mr. Berry released his memoir and was the subject of “Chuck Berry: Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll,” a documentary and concert film featuring guest performers including Keith Richards and Eric Clapton.

At the time, Mr. Berry said he was wary of accepting a crown — bestowed by critics or peers — as a “king” of rock music.

“It’s not me to toot my horn,” he told The Washington Post. “The minute you toot your horn, it seems like society will try and disconnect your battery. And if you do not toot your horn, they’ll try their darnedest to give you a horn to toot, or say that you should have a horn. It’s them that creates the demand, so let them toot the horn.”
                                       Rising to the top
Charles Edward Anderson Berry was born in St. Louis on Oct. 18, 1926. His father was a carpenter and handyman.

He was 14 when he began playing guitar and performing at parties, but that was interrupted by a three-year stint in reform school for his role in a bungled armed robbery. After his release, he worked on an automobile assembly line while studying for a career in hairdressing.

On weekends, he sang at the Cosmopolitan Club in East St. Louis, Ill., with a group led by pianist Johnnie Johnson, who later played on many of Mr. Berry’s records.

At the urging of Muddy Waters, Mr. Berry took his demo tapes to Chess Records, the Chicago label that specialized in blues and urban rhythm-and-blues. Label owner Leonard Chess was impressed by “Ida May,” a country-and-western-styled tune, and said he would allow Mr. Berry to record it if he would change the name to “Maybellene.”

The song’s countrified style and Mr. Berry’s non-bluesy intonation reportedly led many disc jockeys to assume that he was white, and the song’s popularity with white record-buyers helped spur his quick rise in the music industry.

His savvy about the unsavory business practices of the day — giving co-writing credits to deejays, such as Alan Freed, in exchange for frequent airplay — also propelled his career.

String of legal woes

His career was nearly derailed in 1959, when he was arrested on a federal charge of taking a 14-year-old girl across state lines for immoral purposes. Mr. Berry was convicted but granted an appeal on the basis of racist remarks made by the judge. A second trial also ended in a conviction. Mr. Berry eventually served 18 months of a three-year sentence and paid a $10,000 fine.

He was released in 1963, soon to find his career overtaken by a second wave of rockers and the so-called British invasion of bands, such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. He continued to be drawn into the headlines by legal troubles. In 1979, he served four months in Lompoc Federal Prison in California for tax evasion.

In 1989, Hosana Huck, a cook in Mr. Berry’s St. Louis restaurant, the Southern Air, sued him, claiming that he secretly videotaped her and other women in the establishment’s restroom. Huck’s suit was followed by a class-action suit by other unnamed women. Mr. Berry denied any wrongdoing but settled out of court in 1995 for $1.5 million.

In 1948, Mr. Berry married Themetta Suggs, known as Toddy. Information on survivors was not immediately available.

Mr. Berry receiveda Grammy Award for lifetime achievement in 1984 and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2000.

In later years, when Mr. Berry reflected on his age, he always made it clear that he intended to keep rocking as long as he lived.

“Elvis’s songs will always be there, and I hope mine will be after I’m gone,” he told the Los Angeles Times in 2002. “But you can’t compare that, because he’s gone and I’m not!”

Bill Maher zaps Trump on ‘wiretap’ lies: His tiny hands make it easier to pull stuff out of his a**

17 MARCH  2017      
     During  his opening monologue on Friday night’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” Maher assailed Pres. Donald Trump’s budget for its short-sightedness and the president himself for clinging to the unsubstantiated story that former Pres. Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Towers in the weeks ahead of the 2016 election.

This week the Trump administration cut funding for Meals on Wheels, Public Broadcasting and other agencies serving children, elderly people and the poor.

“President Crazypants,” Maher said, “based on nothing,” accused Obama of tapping his phones.

He’s clung to that story in spite of the fact that he’s been able to produce no evidence to support it and even Fox News is walking away from its own talking head Andrew Napolitano’s statements on the matter.

Finally, Maher said, we’ve found something Trump is uniquely qualified for.


“That’s the great thing about tiny hands. It makes it easier for you to pull stuff right out of your a**,” he quipped.

What is Trump going to have to do, Maher asked Republicans, before they’ll finally put on the brakes. Does he have to strip naked and roll around on the White House lawn eating grass and yelling, “Vroom! Vroom! I’m a lawnmower?'”

Sunday, March 12, 2017

How Trump and Trudeau have formed an unlikely alliance

Mar 12th 2017 
By Maria Mercedes Galuppo, Veuer

Despite differing views on many issues, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has managed to forge a unique partnership with President Trump.

Although Trudeau certainly has not hid his political opinions, AFP suggests he also hasn't gone out of his way to take shots at Trump.

This has resulted in stronger ties between the two administrations, without hurting Trudeau's image in Canada or elsewhere in the world.

Trudeau reportedly sent his top ministers to meet their new counterparts in Washington to help build good relations.

Of course, as the Prime Minister recently said in his own Washington visit, "We won't always agree on everything."
But, Trudeau added, "The last thing Canadians expect is for me to come down and lecture another country on how they choose to govern themselves."

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Report: Trump's assertion of Obama wiretapping may increase impeachment odds

Mar 7th 2017 
President Trump's Saturday tweet storm regarding Obama, wiretapping and the next Watergate could bring serious consequences.

Noah Feldman of Bloomberg has made a case for how impeachment could be among them.

He notes that Trump's apparently unfounded assertions may not fall under the free speech protection granted by the First Amendment.

Further, says Feldman, "An allegation of potentially criminal misconduct made without evidence is itself a form of serious misconduct by the government official who makes it."
He continues, "How is such misconduct by an official to be addressed?...The answer is that the constitutional remedy for presidential misconduct is impeachment."

Feldman further notes, "If the alleged action would be impeachable if true, so must be the allegation if false. Anything else would give the president the power to distort democracy by calling his opponents criminals without ever having to prove it."

Trump's tweets regarding the wiretapping are notably lacking in the proof category.

Two of the tweets read, "Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my 'wires tapped' in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!" and "How low has President Obama gone to tap my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!"

Senator Lindsey Graham agrees that the situation has the potential to be a scandal of Nixon proportions, but not quite in the same way Trump suggests.

During a recent town hall meeting, Graham said, "I don't know if it's true or not, but if it is true, it would be the biggest political scandal since Watergate. The other side of the story, if the former president of the United States was able to obtain a warrant, lawfully, to monitor Trump's campaign for violating the law, that would be the biggest scandal since Watergate."

Let's hear it from Witchy :
Trump sunk his own ship with the ridiculous accusation....
It is almost like he wants to be impeached because he is in over his head
with this "so-called president' thing.  
 Republicans 'YOU' guys hired a sick, incompetent, and serial liar for the top position in the world. Reap what ye sow.
Maybe that's why 76% or so of eligible voters decided not to even bother?
Here's the medical definition - 


 "Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of ultra confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that's vulnerable to the slightest criticism. "

Monday, March 6, 2017

Off The Hook, AGAIN! Bill Cosby Wins Major Victory Against Rape Accusers

BREAKING NEWS :.Complaints brought by three alleged victims have been dismissed.
By Radar Staff       Posted on Mar 3, 2017
Bill Cosby continues to rack up legal wins against his sexual assault accusers, RadarOnline.com has learned, as still more legal complaints against him have been dismissed.

Check back often for the most up-to-the-second celebrity gossip, news and Hollywood happenings anywhere. Follow stories as they happen & see what’s happening right now.
Cosby, 79, tweeted Friday that emotional distress complaints brought by Joan Tarshis, Linda Traitz, and Therese Serignese had all been dismissed from a lawsuit filed by Tamara Green in Massachusetts.

Green is suing Cosby for defamation, claiming her ruined her “good name and reputation” by calling her a liar when she claimed he’d drugged and groped her in the 1970s.

Tarshis, Traitz, and Serignese have all made similar claims — with Cosby denying each one — and they joined Green’s lawsuit in November 2015.

This comes on the heels of last month’s legal victory for Cosby: As Radar reported, a similar lawsuit brought by Katherine McKee was also dismissed.
McKee, a former girlfriend of Sammy Davis Jr., said Cosby defamed her by denying claims she’d made in an interview with The New York Daily News, describing an alleged sexual assault she’d suffered at his hands.

The judge in that case ruled, “An accused person cannot be foreclosed … from considering the issuance of a simple and unequivocal denial — free from overall defamatory triggers or contextual themes.”

And on Monday, Cosby won again when a judge in his Pennsylvania criminal sexual assault case ruled that he may have a jury comprised of people not from the Philadelphia area.


That case goes to trial on June 5.