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Эрик Холдер
Эрик Холдер
Эрик Химптон Холдер-младший (англ. Eric Himpton Holder, Jr., род. 21 января 1951) — американский политик, Генеральный прокурор США с 3 февраля 2009 года. До своего назначения работал в юридической фирме Covington |&| Burling.
Эрик Химптон Холдер-младший (англ. Eric Himpton Holder, Jr., род. 21 января 1951) — американский политик, Генеральный прокурор США с 3 февраля 2009 года. До своего назначения работал в юридической фирме Covington |&| Burling.
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Выбор редакции
21 февраля, 03:51

Uber hires Eric Holder to investigate sexism allegations

Read full story for latest details.

Выбор редакции
21 февраля, 03:14

Uber Scrambles To Investigate Shocking Sexual Harassment Claim

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick called on former Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder to lead the investigation.

10 февраля, 08:05

Poll: California rallies around Jerry Brown, eager to battle Trump

SACRAMENTO – Less than three weeks into Donald Trump’s presidency, Gov. Jerry Brown has never been more popular, and nearly two-thirds of adults in the nation’s most populous state want California to go its own way on climate change and immigration, according to a new poll.The poll, released late Thursday by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California, comes amid intensifying conflict between Trump and heavily Democratic California. State lawmakers are fast-tracking legislation to shield undocumented immigrants from deportation, and they have hired Eric Holder, the former U.S. attorney general, to help prepare for potential litigation against the Trump administration on issues ranging from climate change to health care and immigration.Brown’s approval rating of 62 percent is a record high for the fourth-term governor in PPIC surveys, up from 57 percent in December. The Democrat-controlled Legislature has also seen its stock improve since Trump took office. Its 57 percent approval rating is the highest it has been since before the energy crisis in 2001.Trump’s lopsided loss to Hillary Clinton in California in November contributed significantly to his loss of the national popular vote, and the president remains unpopular in the state after taking office. Just 30 percent of California adults approve of Trump’s job performance, according to the poll.Californians’ view of the Republican-controlled Congress is also dismal, with one-third of adults approving of the job Congress is doing, according to the poll.While Trump was never expected to post favorable marks in deep blue California, the poll served as a significant measure of popular support for efforts at the state Capitol to resist his policies.Sixty-five percent of California adults say the state and local governments should pursue their own policies to protect the rights of undocumented immigrants, while 63 percent of adults support state action to address global warming, according to the poll.Asked what issue facing California is most important for Brown and lawmakers to address this year, immigration and illegal immigration rank first, tied with jobs and the economy.Eight-five percent of Californians, including nearly two-thirds of Republicans, support a pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants. Even among Californians who said they voted for Trump, 61 percent favor allowing undocumented immigrants to remain in the state."People are feeling good about the way California’s going right now,” said Mark Baldassare, director of the poll. “This is where they’re asking leadership to step in and make sure that, for California, the status quo continues.”This past weekend, Trump threatened to withhold funding from California if it moves forward with additional protections for undocumented immigrants, telling Fox News' Bill O’Reilly that “California in many ways is out of control.”The poll, using live telephone interviews, was conducted Jan. 22-31, surveying 1,702 California adults. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.PPIC’s record of Brown’s public approval ratings does not include his first two terms, from 1975 to 1983. According to the recently closed Field Poll, Brown’s public approval ratings ran into the high 60s when he was first elected, before falling off in his second term.

10 февраля, 00:12

Trump's Illusory Answers to Imaginary Crime Problems

The president’s latest executive orders achieve little while trying to answer a crime wave that data doesn’t support.

09 февраля, 13:13

Obama's party-building legacy splits Democrats

Party officials are having a painful discussion about the state and local losses that occurred on his watch.

Выбор редакции
08 февраля, 17:36

U.S. attorneys join Eric Holder in backing Perez for DNC chair

More than 50 former U.S. attorneys and Justice Department veterans co-signed a letter in support of Thomas Perez.

08 февраля, 14:05

O'Malley backs Buttigieg in DNC chair race

Former Maryland governor and 2016 presidential candidate Martin O'Malley is endorsing South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg for the Democratic National Committee chairmanship, just days ahead of the candidate forum in Baltimore, where he served as mayor.“I’ve known Pete Buttigieg for many years, he has been a terrific mayor. He’s one of those new, up-and-coming leaders in our country and in our party that’s really bringing forward a new and better way of governing,” O’Malley — who himself briefly considered a run for the chairmanship before bowing out in November — told POLITICO. “He speaks with a clarity that our party really, really needs right now. He has been successful in a so-called red state, he brings to the public service of being mayor the background of having served in our armed forces."“He is of a new generation of leadership. Our party sometimes talks about bringing forward a new generation of leadership, well, hey man, there’s never been a better time,” added O’Malley, referring to the 35-year-old veteran of the war in Afghanistan.The endorsement represents Buttigieg’s most prominent nod so far as he faces up against a field of favored candidates that includes Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison and former Labor Secretary Tom Perez — and it’s a clear snub of Perez, a Marylander who O’Malley appointed to be the state's secretary of labor in 2007.Buttigieg, who also has the backing of another influential Maryland member in the party — former state chair Susan Turnbull — jumped into the race later than his rivals, but he has caught the attention of DNC members at recent candidate events. Ellison has the backing of prominent Democrats including Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Chuck Schumer, while Perez is supported by a handful of former Barack Obama administration officials like former Vice President Joe Biden and former Attorney General Eric Holder.In a race that is often compared to a proxy war between Sanders and Hillary Clinton supporters, however, Buttigieg — much like O’Malley tried to do — is aiming to present himself as a third option, the best one to take on Donald Trump.“It shouldn’t be about what faction of the losing party you were in in this last election,” said O’Malley, who left the presidential race after the Iowa caucuses. “Who cares?"O’Malley noted Buttigieg’s role in a state that went to Trump by 19 points in November, painting him as the right choice to counter the president.“The way we overcome the Trumpism and the all of the threats that the Trump administration presents to our Constitution, our freedom, our economy, our values, and our role in the world is by going large-minded,” he said. “Pete Buttigieg speaks with a clarity of message that gets people’s attention, and his ability to do that in a red state? Well, we didn’t lose the last election because we lost the dinner party circuit inside the Beltway."The DNC chair race — which also includes New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley, South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison, Idaho Democratic Party Executive Director Sally Boynton Brown, and TV commentator Jehmu Greene — will be voted on at the end of February, in Atlanta.

07 февраля, 17:42

Eric Holder endorses Tom Perez in DNC chair race

Former Attorney General Eric Holder is endorsing former Labor Secretary Tom Perez for chairman of the Democratic National Committee. "As we’ve seen since the inauguration, there is much at stake for our nation, and our democracy and our party. We need a DNC chair who is a proven fighter and a proven uniter. Tom Perez is that person," Holder said in a statement sent out Tuesday from Perez's DNC chair campaign team. "Tom not only knows how to take on big fights; he wins them. He led the effort against former Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona on immigration issues, stopped discriminatory voter ID laws, and successfully took on Wall Street in the aftermath of the foreclosure crisis. He made opportunity a reality for women, immigrants, and people with the disabilities."The endorsement adds Holder to the list of other former top Obama administration officials backing Perez. Former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are also backing Perez. The endorsement also falls in line with Perez's background. He served in the Department of Justice as a civil rights lawyer and has made voting rights one of the major themes of his campaign for DNC chair. Perez is running against Rep. Keith Ellison, Idaho Democratic Party executive director Sally Boynton Brown, New Hampshire Democratic Party chairman Ray Buckley, South Carolina Democratic Party chairman Jaime Harrison, Democratic strategist Jehmu Greene, and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Holder praised the other candidates but said he firmly supported Perez. "I truly have great respect for all of the candidates running for DNC chair, but as we wage an epic battle for the heart and soul of our nation, I strongly believe that Tom Perez is the progressive fighter and change agent we need to lead the Democratic party and to rebuild the party infrastructure in the states," Holder said. "I’m confident Tom is up to the tasks that will confront the next DNC Chair. I endorse him with great enthusiasm."

06 февраля, 10:23

Trump Attacks 'Out Of Control' California In Sanctuary Fight

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Donald Trump turned up the heat on the most populous state in the union in the sanctuary battle, calling California out of control and soft on immigrants. He vowed to cut funding to California if officials vote to declare it a sanctuary state for undocumented immigrants, and warned that California and his administration are on a “collision course.” California “is, as you know, out of control in many ways,” Trump told Fox News host Bill O’Reilly in an interview aired Sunday before the Super Bowl. A State Senate committee last Tuesday approved a bill that would prohibit all local law enforcement agencies from using resources to enforce federal immigration laws. Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Francisco are already sanctuary cities. “I think it’s ridiculous. Sanctuary cities, as you know, I’m very much opposed to sanctuary cities. They breed crime, there’s a lot of problems,” Trump said. “I don’t want to defund the state or city,” Trump said. But “if they’re going to have sanctuary cities we may have to do that — certainly that would be a weapon.” He added: “If we have to, we’ll defund. We give tremendous amounts of money to California.” In fact, California, which has the eighth largest economy in the world, receives approximately 78 cents for every dollar it pays the feds, according to the most recent analysis available by the non-profit Tax Foundation think tank. A recent survey found the state was the fifth least dependent state in the nation on federal funds. In an interview last month state Lt. Gov. Gavin Newson said that the U.S. “needs California more ... than California needs it from an economic perspective. California is the economic engine of the country.” (He also called Trump’s plans to build a border wall between Mexico “laughable.”)  But the University of California system would be vulnerable to federal funding reductions that would have to be made up by state money in the event of a cut. It receives at least $9 billion in grants, financial aid and research funds. Trump threatened to cut funds after violent Berkeley protests in early February forced the cancellation of a speech on campus by white nationalist Milo Yiannopoulos. If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view - NO FEDERAL FUNDS?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2017 Trump insisted to O’Reilly that California voters “obviously” agree with him on his anti-sanctuary issue “otherwise they wouldn’t have voted for me.” In fact, California, home to 39 million people, voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton in the presidential election (62 percent to Trump’s 32 percent). Trump has claimed illegal votes in California cost him a popular vote victory — though hasn’t offered any evidence for that claim. CA ballots are now all counted. Unofficial results posted online show Hillary Clinton votes almost doubled those for President-elect Trump. pic.twitter.com/uPgIMqB58T— John Myers (@johnmyers) December 8, 2016 Californian officials have vowed to defy Trump’s policies not only on immigration, but also against any reduction in environmental protections. The state has placed on retainer former U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to battle the Trump administration in court. Governor Jerry Brown is working with representatives to design a budget with some protections for federal funding cuts. He pledged in his State of the State address last month to defend “everybody — every man, woman and child — who has come here for a better life and has contributed to the well-being of our state.” type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related Coverage + articlesList=586d0cb8e4b0de3a08fa4b00,58744fdbe4b099cdb0ff2a8a -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

06 февраля, 10:23

Trump Attacks 'Out Of Control' California In Sanctuary Fight

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); President Donald Trump turned up the heat this weekend on the country’s most populous state, calling California “out of control” and soft on immigrants. He vowed to cut funding to California if officials vote to declare it a sanctuary state for undocumented immigrants, and warned that California and his administration are on a “collision course.” California “is, as you know, out of control in many ways,” Trump told Fox News host Bill O’Reilly in an interview aired Sunday before the Super Bowl. A state Senate committee last Tuesday approved a bill that would prohibit all local law enforcement agencies from using resources to enforce federal immigration laws. Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Francisco are already sanctuary cities. “I think it’s ridiculous. Sanctuary cities, as you know, I’m very much opposed to sanctuary cities. They breed crime, there’s a lot of problems,” Trump said. The president said he doesn’t “want to defund the state or city” ― but “if they’re going to have sanctuary cities, we may have to do that. Certainly that would be a weapon.” “If we have to, we’ll defund,” Trump went on. “We give tremendous amounts of money to California.” In fact, California, which has the eighth largest economy in the world, receives approximately 78 cents for every dollar it pays the feds, according to the most recent analysis available by the Tax Foundation, a nonprofit think tank. A recent survey found that California is the fifth least dependent state in the nation on federal funds. In an interview last month, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said that the U.S. “needs California more... than California needs it from an economic perspective. California is the economic engine of the country.” (He also called Trump’s plans to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border “laughable.”)  But the University of California system would be vulnerable to federal funding reductions that would have to be made up by state money in the event of a cut. It receives at least $9 billion a year in grants, financial aid and research funds. Trump threatened to cut funds after violent protests at the University of California, Berkeley, in early February forced the cancellation of a speech on campus by the right-wing agitator Milo Yiannopoulos. If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view - NO FEDERAL FUNDS?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2017 Trump insisted to O’Reilly that California voters “obviously” agree with his anti-sanctuary stance. “Otherwise,” he said, “they wouldn’t have voted for me.” In fact, California, home to 39 million people, voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton in the presidential election (62 percent to Trump’s 32 percent). Trump has claimed that illegal votes in California cost him a popular vote victory — though he hasn’t offered any evidence for that claim, and none seems to exist. CA ballots are now all counted. Unofficial results posted online show Hillary Clinton votes almost doubled those for President-elect Trump. pic.twitter.com/uPgIMqB58T— John Myers (@johnmyers) December 8, 2016 California officials have vowed to defy Trump’s policies not only on immigration, but also against any reduction in environmental protections. The state has placed on retainer former U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to battle the Trump administration in court. Meanwhile, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) is working with representatives to design a budget with some protections for federal funding cuts. He pledged in his State of the State address last month to defend “everybody — every man, woman and child — who has come here for a better life and has contributed to the well-being of our state.” type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related Coverage + articlesList=586d0cb8e4b0de3a08fa4b00,58744fdbe4b099cdb0ff2a8a -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

06 февраля, 07:15

Airbnb Tackles Immigration Ban In Powerful Super Bowl Commercial

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Airbnb took subtle, but critical aim at President Donald Trump’s executive order barring the entry of refugees and immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries during the Super Bowl on Sunday. In a 30-second advertising campaign called #weaccept, the rental giant had a simple message for viewers, played over the changing faces of people from different minority groups: “We believe no matter who you are, where you’re from, who you love or who you worship, we all belong. The world is more beautiful the more you accept.” The ad was a clear commentary on the ongoing turmoil around the Trump administration’s immigration ban, which just days earlier had been temporarily halted by a federal judge in Seattle. In a message posted to the Airbnb website on Sunday, the company’s founders pointed to the ongoing refugee crisis, describing the urgent need the help millions of displaced people “in need of a place to belong.”  “We know this is an idealistic notion that faces huge obstacles because of something that also seems simple, but isn’t - that not everyone is accepted. People who’ve been displaced, whether because of war or conflict or other factors, are acutely vulnerable to not being accepted,” the founders, Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk, wrote. “They are, quite literally, in need of a place to belong, which is why we’ve been inspired to take action.” On Twitter, Chesky, the CEO of Airbnb, said the company would also contribute $4 million over the next four years to the International Rescue Committee, a relief agency for refugees.  We’re also going to contribute $4M over 4 years to @theIRC to support critical needs of displaced populations globally #weaccept— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) February 6, 2017 Shortly after Trump signed his executive order last week, Chesky sent a memo to Airbnb employees expressing his opposition to the ban, which he called “a policy that I profoundly disagree with ... a direct obstacle to our mission at Airbnb.” The company garnered widespread support for the Super Bowl spot on social media during the game. Former Secretary of State John Kerry called it “leadership that’s needed!” and former Attorney General Eric Holder said it represented “who we truly are.” Heartened to see people and companies standing with those doing so much good for those most in need -- leadership that's needed! #WeAccept https://t.co/Nk15igKZsJ— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) February 6, 2017 This is who we truly are - We work together. We stand together. We are one nation. We are one people. @Airbnb @bchesky #weaccept together— Eric Holder (@EricHolder) February 6, 2017 In the letter published Sunday, Airbnb’s founders addressed criticism that its platform can allow hosts to discriminate against users. The company adopted new policies in September to address those fears, and affirmed it was still working towards inclusion and “these efforts are just the beginning.” “The painful truth is that guests on Airbnb have experienced discrimination, something that is the very opposite of our values,” they wrote. “We know we have work to do and are dedicated to achieving greater acceptance in our community.” -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

31 января, 20:48

Why Trump’s Firing of Sally Yates Should Worry You

The president had the right to remove the acting attorney general. That doesn’t mean it was a good idea.

31 января, 13:06

How Obama will take on Trump

The former president is keeping tabs on his successor in the White House and selectively weighing in.

Выбор редакции
31 января, 06:32

Meet America's New Acting Chief Law Enforcement Officer

With Trump having relieved acting Attorney General Sally Yates of duty for her "betrayal" of the Department of Justice, and with the next AG Sen. Jeff Sessions pending confirmation, meet the new - interim - chief law enforcement officer of the United States: Dana Boente (who incidentally was also appointed by Obama in October 2015). Dana J. Boente was nominated by President Barack Obama on Oct. 8, 2015, and confirmed by the United States Senate on Dec. 15, 2015, as the 60th U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA). As the chief federal law enforcement for the district, which includes offices in Alexandria, Richmond, Norfolk and Newport News, Boente supervises the prosecution of federal crimes and the litigation of federal civil matters. Boente is a 31-year veteran of the Department of Justice, and has spent his professional career in public service. He began as a law clerk to Chief U.S. District Judge J. Waldo Ackerman for the Central District of Illinois in 1982. In 1984, he joined the Tax Division’s Criminal Section as part of the Attorney General’s Honors Program.  In January 2001, Boente became an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Fraud Unit of EDVA. He was detailed to the Tax Division in August 2005 to serve as the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General.  Boente returned to EDVA when he was selected as the First Assistant U.S. Attorney in May 2007, and later served as the U.S. Attorney for EDVA from October 2008 through September 2009.  In December 2012, Boente was appointed by Attorney General Eric Holder to serve as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, a position he held until September 2013. He became the Acting U.S. Attorney for EDVA by virtue of the Vacancy Reform Act on Sept. 23, 2013, and served in that position until Dec. 15, 2015. Boente is a graduate of St. Louis University (B.S.B.A. and M.B.A.) and its School of Law (J.D.).  He has lived in Northern Virginia for 29 years. Meanwhile, former DOJ spokesman Matthew Miller is clearly displeased with the way events have unfolded tonight:

31 января, 02:56

Acting Attorney General Says Justice Department Won't Defend Trump's Ban On Refugees, Travelers

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); WASHINGTON ― In a stunning announcement Monday afternoon, acting Attorney General Sally Yates said the Justice Department won’t defend President Donald Trump’s executive order blocking all refugees and certain foreign nationals. “I am responsible for ensuring that the positions we take in court remain consistent with this institution’s solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right,” Yates, an appointee of former President Barack Obama, wrote to Justice Department lawyers, the New York Times first reported. “At present, I am not convinced that the defense of the executive order is consistent with these responsibilities nor am I convinced that the executive order is lawful.” The announcement from Yates delivers a symbolic blow to the executive order Trump signed on Friday suspending all refugee resettlement for 120 days, halting Syrian refugee resettlement entirely and temporarily barring entry of nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Before Yates’ letter, the Justice Department said that the Office of Legal Counsel at DOJ had cleared the language of Trump’s executive order. But as Yates made clear in her letter, that review was focused on the narrow question of whether it is lawful on its face and properly drafted and “does not address whether any policy choice embodied in an Executive Order is wise or just.” Trump called Yates “an Obama A.G.” in a tweet not long after her letter became public, and said that Democrats were “delaying [his] cabinet picks for purely political reasons.”  The Democrats are delaying my cabinet picks for purely political reasons. They have nothing going but to obstruct. Now have an Obama A.G.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 31, 2017 Trump advisor Stephen Miller said on MSNBC’s “For The Record” that it was “sad” that there were people “refusing to enforce our laws,” and knocked Yates and others for objecting to Trump when they didn’t object to Obama’s immigration decisions.  “Now you have us using and utilizing and enforcing our laws and you have the same people who were silent then now engaging in misguided political protests,” Miller said.  Trump’s order faces multiple lawsuits, and several courts had already issued orders that led to the release of some individuals detained due to the executive order. But the refusal of the Justice Department to defend the order leaves it in legal limbo. Also in limbo is Yates’ immediate fate at the department. A week before leaving office, Obama signed an executive order providing for a succession line at the Department of Justice once Attorney General Loretta Lynch left her post. Under that order, Yates, who is a longtime career prosecutor at the DOJ, would serve as acting attorney general. Trump agreed to keep her on the post until the confirmation of his nominee, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). Trump has the power to fire Yates and very well could, though that would send a potentially damaging signal for how he views the department’s prosecutorial independence. It would also leave the department without any officials authorized to sign warrants for foreign surveillance. There was no immediate comment from the White House. However, Yates’ decision would almost certainly be reversed as soon as the Senate confirms Sessions. At least one Democrat is already sticking up for Yates. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Ct.) said in a statement that she “demonstrated genuine grit and grace in standing strong for the rule of law.”  Sally Yates: person of integrity/attorney with great legal skill. Has served this nation with distinction. Her judgment should be trusted.— Eric Holder (@EricHolder) January 31, 2017 Meanwhile, Democrats continued to attack the order on Monday, introducing bills in both chambers to halt its implementation. Republicans blocked votes on it, but Democrats clearly feel they have the public on their side and aren’t dropping the issue. They led an evening rally outside the Supreme Court demanding an immediate end to the ban on refugees and travelers. Police closed down the street in front of the court to accommodate the hundreds of people who showed up with signs, and ready chants, in support of Democrats’ efforts. One of those people was Bill Sanderson, who stood in the cold with his wife and their 2-year-old son. “I’ve got a baby on the way,” said Sanderson, 40, motioning to his pregnant wife, Lise Clavel. “And I’ve got this guy who’s 2 years old. I want him to see what it looks like when people feel something strongly. Whatever he comes to believe, I want him to feel this.” Clavel said she felt obligated to lend her voice at the rally because she fears Trump’s agenda will leave the country worse off for minorities and women. “We don’t know who is on the way, but especially if it’s a little girl on the way, we just haven’t seen something like this in our country, in our lifetimes,” she said, choking up. “And it’s kind of scary.” Trump lacks many strong allies among Republicans. Only a small number released statements applauding the order over the weekend, while a growing number have said they are concerned about it. Some have claimed it was the wrong move entirely, and a potentially dangerous one that could be used by terrorist recruiters. But many others objected more to its implementation, which led to the detention in airports of many people with valid visas and even green cards, and both Congress and the agencies tasked with enforcing the order scrambling to figure out how it would work. A major problem between Trump and congressional Republicans is the fact that many say the order was done without the president’s team consulting them at all ― outside the norm for a major and controversial policy change. It’s tough for lawmakers to mount a rousing defense of an order they hadn’t seen until the day it was signed ― or one they still have questions on that the administration hasn’t answered. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said that his staff was told by the State Department that it “was ordered not to talk to Congress about this issue.” “We were told that the directive was that they were not to share any information today, and ... I suppose it’s because I’m not clear what they’ll tell us yet,” Rubio told reporters. “But that cannot be a permanent position. We expect answers here fairly soon because we have constituents calling.” UPDATE: White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday night on Twitter that Yates “has been relieved” from her job and that Dana Boente, U.S. attorney for the eastern district of Virginia, has been named acting attorney general.   Read the full text of Yates’ letter: On January 27, 2017, the President signed an Executive Order regarding immigrants and refugees from certain Muslim-majority countries. The order has now been challenged in a number of jurisdictions. As the Acting Attorney General, it is my ultimate responsibility to determine the position of the Department of Justice in these actions. My role is different from that of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), which, through administrations of both parties, has reviewed Executive Orders for form and legality before they are issued. OLC’s review is limited to the narrow question of whether, in OLC’s view, a proposed Executive Order is lawful on its face and properly drafted. Its review does not take account of statements made by an administration or it surrogates close in time to the issuance of an Executive Order that may bear on the order’s purpose. And importantly, it does not address whether any policy choice embodied in an Executive Order is wise or just. Similarly, in litigation, DOJ Civil Division lawyers are charged with advancing reasonable legal arguments that can be made supporting an Executive Order. But my role as leader of this institution is different and broader. My responsibility is to ensure that the position of the Department of Justice is not only legally defensible, but is informed by our best view of what the law is after consideration of all the facts. In addition, I am responsible for ensuring that the positions we take in court remain consistent with this institution’s solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right. At present, I am not convinced that the defense of the Executive Order is consistent with these responsibilities nor am I convinced that the Executive Order is lawful. Consequently, for as long as I am the Acting Attorney General, the Department of Justice will not present arguments in defense of the Executive Order, unless and until I become convinced that it is appropriate to do so. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

31 января, 01:02

Trump rattles statehouse order

In Democratic and Republican state capitals, the new president is becoming a central organizing principle.

30 января, 22:22

Donald Trump's Wack Week, The California Delta, And Jerry Brown (For Senate?)

After a tiring week of Donald Trump's presidency, his approach seems a lot less like a strategy than a syndrome. If Trump critics, and this especially includes the media, can avoid playing the now standard little kid's soccer game -- somebody kicks the ball and everyone runs toward it, the ball is kicked again, everyone runs toward it, etc, etc, ad infinitum -- their aims are much much more likely to be achieved. After a remarkably dark and strikingly raucous yet vacuous inauguration day (Day One action? What Day One action?), Trump indulged in a dizzyingly kaleidoscopic week of arguably dramatic activity, topped off by the weekend just past, which featured both the amazingly misconceived travel ban and the bizarre replacement of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the inner sanctum of the National Security Council by the former head of Breitbart News. Whether all that remarkably dizzy activity constitutes quite so much in the way of action is another matter. That's just a matter of fact, not "alternative fact." (Thank you, Kellyanne Conway, for a far better phrase for the endless blither than any writer could ever come up with!!) Trump may be right about some things, but he is turning out to be mostly far right about most things. Which is not the change people thought they were getting. To the extent they wanted Trumpist change, that is, considering that 54 percent of voters opted against the new president, who not surprisingly has the lowest approval rating in polling history. (Except in the Rasmussen poll, which is back to its old "alternative facts" tricks some of us are all too familiar with.) What's more alarming than the ideology is the insularity. It breeds incipient chaos. Here new President Donald Trump says that torture -- which is disastrous as policy and, at best, erratic as practice -- really does work well as a means of gathering intelligence. But in the next breath he says he will defer to new Secretary of Defense James Mattis. The retired Marine four-star insists that torture is a bad way to gain intelligence. In reality, Mattis was not consulted by the White House before it issued its backfiring travel ban on people from seven nations, none of which have produced terrorist attacks on the US. The countries which have produced terrorist attacks are not covered. Take Trump's erratic pendulum swings around Mexico. Early last week, the Mexicans were, in Trumpist hyperbole, "awesome." Then Trump again claimed that not only would he/we build the notorious "Wall" between the two nations but that Mexico will pay for the looming political white elephant. Which of course Mexican leaders fervently denied (again). Trump huffed and puffed and Mexico pulled out of the summit. I am pretty damn sure that ain't how 'The Art of the Deal' is supposed to go. This is not clever behavior, this is manic behavior. Then Trump's sad sack flack Sean Spicer said that the wall will be paid for by Mexico after all, in the form of a 20 percent tax on imports from Mexico. Only to have his colleagues, realizing that it's actually Americans who would pay, walk that obvious trade war scenario back to the "concept" stage. Houston, we have a problem. The spaced craft Trump does not appear flight-worthy. That Trump, despite his obvious shrewdness and standing as a perfect creature of our ADD media culture, is driven more by syndome than strategy is made glaringly obvious by his weird behavior around his own popularity. Or lack of same. His strange obsession with crowd size, TV ratings, vote totals. All of which have to be the best. And when they are clearly not, it's all the result of a conspiracy, a massive fraud, anything but potential deficiency in his own appeal. Trump goes to such enormous lengths to deny obvious realities -- his inaugural did not draw as well as the opposition protests, much less his predecessor Barack Obama's festivities (or as well as I expected). His loss of the popular vote, by nearly three million votes to the troubled Hillary Clinton candidacy, is due to Trump's own unpopularity, his erratic behaviors as a candidate, the extremist elements of his platform, not his preposterous claim of massive illegal immigrant voting against him. In all this, Trump's huge, and hugely touchy, ego, a monstrously fragile vanity fair nearly matched in its dimensionality by his vast ignorance -- there simply are not enough illegal immigrants in California to account for his popular vote defeat, as this amusing San Jose Mercury-News takedown makes plain -- very much gets the better of him. It is so bizarre. Trump is the President of the United States. He won, as I said all along that he could, under the accepted constitutional rules of engagement by imploding the supposed "Blue Wall" of purportedly impregnable Democratic strength in the Electoral College so often touted by the Clinton machine and its multitude of allies in the media as the very reason why Trump could not possibly win. So, beyond a certain point, why should Trump care about carping from a media which was essentially dead wrong about presidential politics for the entire campaign? Why not have fun with that instead? If he were healthy and wise, he would rise above his critics and make them look petty and vindictive. Instead they all look bad, and he increasingly looks worse. The difference is that there is no popular expectation of executive leadership from journos. Frankly, if I were Trump, I would not be angry, I would be absolutely thrilled. He won the presidency, which virtually all the "experts" said could never happen, despite being outspent two to one by the Clinton machine and having most of the media actively campaigning against him. After abetting his rise, of course, by using his notoriety to build audience and by imagining that he was just an entertainment sideshow. And he didn't even have to spend much of his own money to do it. Winning the presidency turned out to be a bargain deal. Fantastic! What a hoot! Instead of being thrilled, as he should be, reveling in his triumph and engaging in a crash course of learning about the world off which he's now such a central part, Trump looks increasingly like an arrogantly ignorant borderline nut, though I will still give him the benefit of the doubt and refer to him as "erratic." We are, however, way beyond "quirky." And "iconoclastic" is far back in the rear view mirror. Frankly, it was this way during the campaign. As I noted repeatedly, Trump would have been in command of the race against Hillary Clinton much earlier had he not repeatedly shot himself in the, er, foot ... a week wasted battling an ex-beauty queen, two weeks fighting a Gold Star family, and on and on. Deeply goofy stuff, folks. And yet he ended up getting away with it, as I feared he could all along against the fatefully flawed Clintons. Governor Jerry Brown, in his 2017 State of the State address entitled "California Is Not Turning Back, Not Now, Not Ever," vows that America's mega-state on the Pacific will provide as much resistance to the Trump administration as needed. Since I have a history of liking unconventional people, I have been told that if I knew Trump, as, say, I knew Arnold Schwarzenegger while he contemplated and then assumed the California governorship, that I would get a kick out of the guy and have a more positive view of all this. But I think I get it already. Different guys, despite some very pronounced similarities and not dissimilar circumstances, with different drives. At heart, while he is a tough guy, Schwarzenegger, though imperfect, is a pretty kindly fellow, thoughtful and always eager to learn. But there seems to be an ultimately enveloping darkness about Donald Trump. In the midst of the Trump/Media spectacle, we've seen the emergence of a larger and powerful if amorphous popular resistance. And we have the emergence of what I think of as the California Delta. By which I mean not the vast Sacramento River Delta which controversially provides so much of the state's water and in which I boated in training runs for the Navy but a powerful new difference factor in American politics. A state within a state, the Golden State, the world's fifth or sixth largest economy in its own right, the most diverse commonwealth on the planet, home to the global dynamos of Silicon Valley and Hollywood, headed by a brilliant political figure who would have made mincemeat of Trump in the election just past were he half a decade younger (and had a little less to do as governor). In the most unconventional State of the State address in California's unconventional history, Governor Jerry Brown laid down a gauntlet of massive institutional opposition to the Trump Administration if it crosses lines it sounds like it wants to cross. Full text available here. It is not an accident that the sailing ship that brought my great-grandfather to America was named "Perseverance." That is exactly what it took to endure the dangerous and uncertain months at sea, sailing from Germany to America. While we now face different challenges, make no mistake: the future is uncertain and dangers abound. Whether it's the threat to our budget, or to undocumented Californians, or to our efforts to combat climate change - or even more global threats such as a financial meltdown or a nuclear incident or terrorist attack - this is a time which calls out for courage and for perseverance. I promise you both. But let's remember as well that after the perilous voyage, those who made it to America found boundless opportunity. And so will we. Let me end in the immortal words of Woody Guthrie: "This land is your land, this land is my land From California to the New York Island From the Redwood Forest, to the Gulf Stream waters This land was made for you and me... Nobody living can ever stop me, As I go walking that freedom highway; Nobody living can ever make me turn back This land was made for you and me." California is not turning back. Not now, not ever. Here Los Lobos, joined by Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir before a big Grateful Dead 4th of July weekend show at Foxboro Stadium outside Boston in 1989, performs an impromptu parking lot version of Woody Guthrie's eternal 'This Land Is Your Land' for CBS News. Brown draws on a variety of sources for information and ideas in addition to his own explorations, but he is very much his own author. Having known and studied him and his family since my own student days, I can say that this is vintage Jerry Brown. While he was fiery in asserting and defending the California difference, the Great Exception as he termed it, on immigration, health care, and climate change/renewable energy issues which are at least rhetorically under threat from Trumpism, he did it in a still measured fashion. If Trump decides to be reasonable as he finally rolls out policies affecting the California Delta, there is room for cooperation. Brown even specifically noted infrastructure, and Trump's expansive yet vague notions in that regard, as something on which to work together. This is not Brown's first rodeo, or his 250th. He can wait to see the whites of their eyes before opening fire on multiple fronts. Brown made it very clear that he and his newly appointed state attorney general, veteran Congressman Xavier Becerra, the former House Democratic Caucus chair (not to mention the Legislature's new counsel, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder) will aggressively defend immigrants who are, to be clear, productive members of the California community. "We don't have," noted Brown, "a Statue of Liberty with its inscription: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free..." But we do have the Golden Gate and a spirit of adventure and openness that has welcomed - since the Gold Rush of 1848 - one wave of immigration after another. "For myself, I feel privileged to stand before you as your governor, as did my father almost sixty years ago. His mother, Ida, the youngest of eight children, was born in very modest circumstances, not very far from where we are gathered today. Her father arrived in California in 1852, having left from the Port of Hamburg, aboard a ship named "Perseverance." "It is that spirit of perseverance and courage which built our state from the beginning. And it is that spirit which will get us through the great uncertainty and the difficulties ahead ... We will defend everybody - every man, woman and child - who has come here for a better life and has contributed to the well-being of our state." And he was equally clear on the intertwined issue of climate change and renewable energy, on which California has the most advanced policies on the planet, policies which are, if anything, furthering one of the biggest economies on the planet. "Our state is known the world over for the actions we have taken to encourage renewable energy and combat climate change," Brown observed. Then he moved in on the "alternative facts" rhetorical space so wonderfully created by Trump spin doctor Kellyanne Conway. "Whatever they do in Washington, they can't change the facts. And these are the facts: the climate is changing, the temperatures are rising and so are the oceans. Natural habitats everywhere are under increasing stress. The world knows this. "One hundred and ninety-four countries signed the Paris Agreement to control greenhouse gases. Our own voluntary agreement to accomplish the same goal - the "Under Two M.O.U." - has 165 signatories, representing a billion people. We cannot fall back and give in to the climate deniers. The science is clear. The danger is real." Does Donald Trump, who clearly has an unsteady grasp on the levers of a government he barely understands, and will need all the help he can get to avoid further embarrassing himself on the world stage, really want to get into a protracted political war with one of the most powerful and sophisticated political entities on the planet? Which happens to be a lynchpin part of the country he is so fretfully trying to govern? That really would be most unwise. Especially since California, quite unlike the great bulk of the red states which formed the core of Trump's narrowly decisive minority electoral strength, is not a tax consuming state but a tax producing state. Brown has overseen a major comeback for California since its long days of chronic budget crisis, utilizing a combination of early budget cuts and tax increases that most would support. He mentions that and various other accomplishments in the address. What was once a California exodus is now anything but. What's next for Brown, whose record fourth term ends in January 2019 when term limits finally catch up with him? Well, as I've written a few times over the past few years, I hope he is able to move into the U.S. Senate. The latest term for Senator Dianne Feinstein, who was elected over 24 years ago, ends at the same time as Brown's final term as governor. She's five years older than Brown and, while still very clear and vigorous, seems more fragile than the robust governor, who can still beat me in pull-ups. (Okay, the chronic rotator cuff problem from pole vaulting back in the day is a factor, but his fitness is most impressive. And I think he can out-run me for three miles.) In 2008, I was with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and a host of others on an easy hike beside Lake Tahoe in advance of the annual Tahoe summit when Feinstein tripped on a root and broke her ankle. That kept her away from the Democratic national convention which nominated Barack Obama. Earlier this month, the senator had a pacemaker installed. Her husband, investor Richard Blum, has his own issues of ill health. First Lady/Special Counsel Anne Gust Brown's health? Well, she's in her fifties and can probably out-run not just me but most everyone who is reading this. And her intellectual and organizational prowess have only made the naturally formidable Brown even more formidable. Nevertheless, Feinstein is showing well in battling the confirmation of Attorney General-designate Jeff Sessions. It's hard to say if Feinstein will run for re-election. Her old friend, legendary former California Assembly Speaker and San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, predicted in his Christmas Eve San Francisco Chronicle column that Feinstein will step away in favor of the governor. More recently, as in after the pacemaker procedure, some counter-spin was produced. Of course, nobody wants to be a lame duck. Yet it is impossible for me to conclude that Feinstein would be a better advocate in this environment than Jerry Brown. As good a governor as Brown has been, as someone who began as a Senate intern I've always seen him as a natural senator. In fact, had he been a U.S. senator, I believe he would have been at least the Democratic nominee for president. Brown thrives in chaotic situations, which Feinstein, a friend of Hillary Clinton who shares her establishmentarian style (as we saw with Feinstein's controversial tenure as Senate Intelligence chair), simply does not. If it's a question of someone to go head to head with Trump and other personalities in his pirate crew, you have to go with the guy who only lost Democratic presidential nominations to Jimmy Carter (Brown ran out of running room after a very late-breaking campaign) and Bill Clinton (Brown made a critical error which lost his big lead in the turning point New York primary). Time will tell. In the meantime, Trump had better rethink his drink before taking on California. He will not prevail in a multi-front political war. Facebook comments are closed on this article. William Bradley Archive http://www.huffingtonpost.com/william-bradley/ -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

26 января, 03:31

Trump's call for election-fraud probe fraught with peril

Former Justice Department lawyers and prominent Democrats are warning the president against a blatantly political exercise.

22 января, 00:58

Will the Women’s March be another Occupy, or a Democratic tea party?

Organizers and participants want it to be a movement that can do what Trump did in his presidential campaign—only in reverse.

21 января, 18:47

WOMEN’S MARCH takes over downtown DC -- THE JUICE: What we’ve learned, what we’ve seen about insiders in Trump’s orbit -- ABOUT LAST NIGHT: Understanding the exec. orders, inside the parties

Good Saturday morning. More than 200,000 people are descending on Washington this morning to participate in the Women’s March. The effort, which includes six “sister marches” across the country, is featuring more than 50 speakers, including Gloria Steinem, in downtown D.C. before walking 2 miles along the National Mall to The Ellipse. Organizers were still looking for additional marshals Friday afternoon to help shepherd the larger than expected number of attendees.-- @ABC7NEWS: “Multiple Metro station parking lots filled to capacity as #WomensMarch begins” http://bit.ly/2jZCsdYDONALD TRUMP and MIKE PENCE are attending the National Prayer Service at the Washington National Cathedral this morning. Trump’s team has advised that today is a work day, so the press is on standby for potential executive orders and other meetings at the White House.-- @seanspicer: ".@POTUS to visit @CIA this afternoon. Event is over capacity at 300+. Excited to thank the men and women of the intelligence community."**SUBSCRIBE to Playbook: http://politi.co/1M75UbXUNDERSTANDING WHAT TRUMP SIGNED LAST NIGHT -- “Trump signs sweeping order that could gut Obamacare,” by Jen Haberkorn and Nolan McCaskill: “The order changes nothing immediately and doesn't spell out exactly what Trump would like his government to do. But it sends a strong symbolic message to his supporters, while offering some clues to his direction. Federal agencies could use the order to stop enforcing the individual mandate, which has been the most contentious piece of the law -- a move that could throw the individual insurance market into an almost immediate spiral.” http://politi.co/2jAIfqu-- “White House orders ‘immediate regulatory freeze,’” by Andrew Restuccia and Nick Juliano: “President Donald Trump took his first steps Friday night toward what he has promised will be a wide-ranging assault on Barack Obama’s regulatory agenda, a crusade eventually aimed at erasing Obamacare and landmark climate change regulations. Trump’s initial action -- ordering a freeze on all pending regulations until his administration can review them -- would have a more modest impact: It could throttle almost-completed rules aimed at expanding overtime pay, tightening pipeline safety, protecting imperiled bumblebees and imposing stricter safeguards on rail shipments of flammable crude oil, among other topics.” http://politi.co/2jLmRBcFOR HISTORY -- PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP -- NYT: “TRUMP, SWORN IN, ISSUES A CALL: ‘THIS AMERICAN CARNAGE STOPS’” http://bit.ly/2j76zBH … WaPo: “TRUMP TAKES POWER: NEW PRESIDENT VOWS TO END ‘AMERICAN CARNAGE’” http://bit.ly/2jZntR6 … WSJ: “The Trump Era Dawns – ‘We are transferring power back from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to you, the people’” http://bit.ly/2jjaI2Y ... MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL: “POMP, PROMISES, PROTESTS” http://bit.ly/2jLsobd … GRAND RAPIDS PRESS: “HAIL TO THE CHIEF: Trump takes reigns of country with a vow to return the power to the people” http://bit.ly/2jj2Iip … L.A. TIMES: “Trump takes first steps in a new era of conservatism -- Latinos have no place in this cabinet” http://bit.ly/2jj6N6zTHE BOSTON GLOBE has a great front page with an eye-grabbing AP image. http://bit.ly/2jiYvvo-- THE AP BULLETIN at 11:59 a.m.: “WASHINGTON (AP) - Donald Trump takes oath of office as the 45th president of the United States.” … at noon: “WASHINGTON (AP) - Donald Trump takes the oath of office as the 45th president of the United States, a combative billionaire businessman and TV celebrity elected to lead a profoundly divided country. The unorthodox politician and the Republican-controlled Congress are charting a newly conservative course for the nation, vowing to reverse the work of the departing Barack Obama.”FROM 1600 PENNSYLVANIA -- @realDonaldTrump at 6:53 a.m.: “A fantastic day and evening in Washington D.C.Thank you to @FoxNews and so many other news outlets for the GREAT reviews of the speech!”THE JUICE -- WHAT WE’VE LEARNED --THE MOST INTERESTING THING about yesterday was not the speech, parade or protests. It was the inaugural lunch in the Capitol, where Donald Trump mingled and back-slapped with the long-time D.C. politicians he dumped all over on the National Mall. THE SCENE: Reporters were allowed to observe the lunch from a balcony above Statuary Hall. We were permitted to snap photos for most of the lunch (Jake put a ton on Twitter http://bit.ly/2jAvyfj).-- THE INVITED GUESTS were not only lawmakers, but, as the WaPo’s top congressional reporter Paul Kane pointed out on Twitter, the lunch also included top donors like Sheldon Adelson for the first time in his memory. They all sipped wine and chatted in a friendly manner that belied the blow-up-Washington rhetoric that Trump used in his address.-- MITCH MCCONNELL swapped seats with SEN. ROY BLUNT (R-MO.), the chairman of the inaugural committee, so he could sit next to Donald Trump. McConnell and Trump spoke for a long period of time -- and if you know McConnell, he doesn’t talk to anyone for that long unless he has something to say. The senator was doing a lot of the talking, and he’s not much for small talk. This was a one-on-one chat, with even Mike Pence laying back. McConnell and Trump were both talking with their hands, with McConnell at one point making a “T” with his two hands, appearing to illustrate a collision. McConnell is the ultimate Capitol operator. He’ll be able to tell Trump what is -- and, more importantly, what isn’t -- possible. Plus, he doesn’t have the scar tissue with Trump that Ryan has.-- CHUCK SCHUMER spoke with TRUMP for a while, too. The format was a lot less formal. Melania Trump was seated next to the president, and Abby Blunt -- Sen. Blunt’s wife, and a top lobbyist for Kraft Heinz Company -- was in the middle of the chat as well. It seemed like a friendly conversation from afar.-- ROY BLUNT, who chaired the inauguration, worked the room judiciously on his own, but also made sure to introduce Trump to people that he should know. One of the most notable introductions he made was Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the No. 2 Senate Democrat.-- It’s becoming clear how TRUMP sees PAUL RYAN. He quipped at a ceremony this week that Ryan was probably “out writing legislation. He’s got so much legislation to write. He never had it so good. He’s actually got somebody that’s gonna sign it.” That’s actually not a bad read. Ryan is the legislator of this gang. He was seated at the end of the table, next to Karen Pence, the second lady.-- IT WAS ALSO FASCINATING to see which lawmakers took it upon themselves to go up to Trump. Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, got words in with Trump. Rep. John Larson, a gregarious Democrat from Connecticut, also approached the front table to chat with him. DAVID SHULKIN, the VA nominee, seemed friendly not only with Trump, but also with Schumer.-- KEVIN MCCARTHY will be a key figure for Trump. Trump said this week that McCarthy frequently called the New Yorker when he was feuding with Paul Ryan. Think of McCarthy as the insider -- the pal in the House. According to people close to both men, Trump enjoys McCarthy and his phone calls. At the lunch, he was seated next to Ivanka and a few seats away from Jared.JAMES MATTIS was sworn in as Defense secretary last night, and GEN. JOHN KELLY was sworn in to lead D.H.S. BY THE NUMBERS -- Facebook is reporting that 60 million people in the U.S. Friday engaged in 208 million likes, posts, comments and shares related to Trump’s inauguration.THE NEXT FOUR YEARS? -- “Rough first day for press in Trump’s White House,” by Sarah Wheaton: “The pomp and circumstance ended in pandemonium in the White House briefing room. President Donald Trump’s staff teased the press all afternoon on Friday about whether Trump would sign executive orders. ‘A possibility,’ said Press Secretary Sean Spicer. ‘Potentially,’ said strategic communications director Hope Hicks. ‘Don’t start drinking yet,’ said deputy Communications director Raj Shah. The back-and-forth ended with Trump signing an executive order allowing federal agencies to disregard provisions of the Affordable Care Act.“In the hours leading up to Trump's signing, Spicer emerged repeatedly, without warning, to address the press in the briefing room, prompting reporters to run through the corridor and push each other out of the way. He announced, at first, that Trump would sign two executive orders. Then he announced there’d be three actions – and in the end, only one of them was actually an executive order. Though he promised a full readout of the executive order, a vague directive to agencies to ‘ease the burden’ of Obamacare before it’s repealed, Spicer ultimately delivered a 30-second statement that didn’t mention the order, and tweeted to confirm it had been signed.” http://politi.co/2jiK6PWTHE LOYAL OPPOSITION -- “An Anti-Corporate Investigative Reporter Will Lead Left’s ‘Answer’ To Breitbart: Hillary Clinton fundraiser David Brock has hired David Sirota, a critic of big money ties to both parties.” by BuzzFeed’s Paul McLeod: “True Blue Media, pitching itself as the left’s answer to Breitbart, has picked an investigative reporter critical of Republicans and Wall Street Democrats alike as its new CEO. David Sirota is leaving his role as senior investigations editor at the International Business Times to lead True Blue, which currently operates as ShareBlue and was part of a network of liberal outlets supporting Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign.” http://bzfd.it/2jJY68k --@grynbaum: “As Trump is sworn in, FOX News announces that it has signed Nigel Farage as a network contributor.”FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: LIZ JOHNSON, communications director for former Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and a member of the Trump transition team, is going to the Department of Homeland Security’s office of public affairs as a communications adviser.-- SPOTTED: SARA BONJEAN helping Vice President Mike Pence and his family navigate the waters of inauguration festivities.-- BUZZ: Shealah Craighead will be the White House photographer. Her website: http://bit.ly/2jj6mJvOVERHEARD at the Whiskey Ball Friday night, a young Republican discussing his desire to try to work in the administration: “You can get something that you’re not qualified for and make something of it.”TOP TWEETS -- @CNN: “The Piano Guys play ‘Fight Song’ at Trump #InauguralBall, Clinton campaign’s signature song”: http://bit.ly/2jAlwuD …@KatyTurNBC: “Parade route from Capital to WH. Entire stands empty. Crowd thin.” 2-min. video http://bit.ly/2kbZa1v … Gender-Professecs (@MrTrunney): “Richard Spencer got punched in the face during the protests at Trump’s #inauguration” http://bit.ly/2iWpSdO … @BarackObama, whose bio reads “Dad, husband, President, citizen”: “Hi everybody! Back to the original handle. Is this thing still on? Michelle and I are off on a quick vacation, then we’ll get back to work.” …Ciaran Jenkins (@C4Ciaran): “Watch Trump and Obama greet the same couple [the Doles]. V different styles.” http://bit.ly/2iN8NHYMICHAEL GRUNWALD in Politico, “From Obama to Trump: No Ordinary Lurch: The ceremony might have looked smooth, but it’s hard to imagine a more abrupt change in the American presidency”: “Trump was Trump, even though he had just become President Trump. He is no ordinary politician, and his inaugural address—a pugilistic, nationalistic, campaign-style screed that made America sound like an unbearable dystopia—was a harsh reminder, if one were needed, that this was no ordinary transfer of power. ... It’s an abrupt shift not only from a Democratic technocrat who pursued progressive policies to a Republican billionaire who has vowed to undo them, but from no-drama to melodrama, from cerebral and methodical to impulsive and chaotic, from the pedantic intellectual who loathes cable news and quoted V.S. Naipaul in an exit interview with the New York Times book critic to the brand-savvy entrepreneur and reality-TV host who incessantly watches cable news and does not seem to read books at all.” http://politi.co/2kbOvnEFACT CHECK -- NYT A21, “Trump’s Grim View of the Economy Ignores Most Americans’ Reality,” by Binyamin Appelbaum: “The dismal picture of the American economy President Donald J. Trump painted in his Inaugural Address on Friday is at odds with the economic reality of most Americans. Mr. Trump described a nation depleted, despairing and in decline. ... In fact, the United States is in the midst of one of the longest sustained economic expansions in the nation’s history. The stock market has climbed to record heights; middle-class incomes are increasing after years of stagnation; and corporations are recording enormous profits. Some measures of consumer confidence show that optimism about the economic outlook, and job and income prospects have climbed to the highest levels in more than a decade.” http://nyti.ms/2kbQYP4SNEAK PEAK -- KELLYANNE CONWAY on NBC’s “Sunday TODAY with Willie Geist”: When asked if President-elect Trump will answer every criticism, like SNL and Meryl Streep, Conway says, “He doesn’t answer every criticism, believe me” and he will “possibly engage pop culture but again, he rarely draws first blood.” “Why was it okay for President Obama -- everybody swooned and thought it was a wonderful idea that he would engage pop culture on his own terms, and if Donald Trump does it a little bit differently through his social media platforms everybody feigns shock and dismay?” http://on.today.com/2iN6gxxTHE CABINET -- “Weak vetting led to Cabinet confirmation surprises,” by Josh Dawsey and Eli Stokols: “Steve Mnuchin, Donald Trump’s pick to be treasury Secretary, failed to list $100 million in assets on his federal disclosure forms. Vincent Viola, nominated to be Army secretary, punched a man in the face at a horse race last summer. The ex-wife of Andrew Puzder, the labor secretary nominee, once appeared incognito on ‘Oprah’ to raise domestic abuse allegations, which Puzder has denied. Betsy DeVos, Trump’s choice for education secretary, struggled to demonstrate a basic comprehension of department policy and basic education terms during her hearing this week. Two nominees didn’t pay taxes on their household employees. This string of startling revelations over the past two weeks caught senior members of Trump’s staff by surprise, and they didn’t know some of the potential for problems before Senate confirmation hearings began.” http://politi.co/2kd34eGTHE NEW ADMINISTRATION -- “With Trump in Charge, Climate Change References Purged From Website,” by NYT’s Coral Davenport: “Within moments of the inauguration of President Trump, the official White House website on Friday deleted nearly all mentions of climate change. The one exception: Mr. Trump’s vow to eliminate the Obama administration’s climate change policies, which previously had a prominent and detailed web page on whitehouse.gov.” http://nyti.ms/2iWArNX-- “Republicans delay DeVos committee vote by a week,” by Michael Stratford: “Sen. Lamar Alexander, chair of the Senate education committee, has delayed by a week a planned committee vote on Betsy DeVos, President Donald Trump’s nominee for Education secretary. The vote, which was originally slated for this Tuesday, has been rescheduled until Jan. 31, Alexander announced Friday evening. The delay comes as Democrats have argued that they haven’t had enough time to examine DeVos’ complicated financial holdings or ask her questions.” http://politi.co/2jZh48CPLAYBOOK IN-BOX – From “President Trump” yesterday at 1:19 p.m. with the subject line “Before tomorrow”: “Friend, I am humbled to write to you for the first time as your president. This is an honor I will never take lightly – and I will NEVER forget the brave and strong Americans who entrusted me with this great responsibility. ... Ronna McDaniel – our Party’s terrific new chairman and a real winner – will soon be sending me a list of our many members who renewed their commitment for the 2017 year. Friend: I hope you will accept your Sustaining Membership to sustain everything we accomplished for years and years to come. Please accept your Sustaining Membership for the 2017 year and make a contribution of $250, $100, $65, $50, $35, $25, or $15. ... God bless you, Donald J. Trump President of the United States.”CLICKERS – “The best photos from Trump’s inauguration” -- 132 pix http://politi.co/2j6McV8 … “The nation’s cartoonists on the week in politics,”edited by Matt Wuerker – 12 keepers http://politi.co/2kddbQQ … @PostGraphics:“Words Donald Trump said for the first time in any U.S. inaugural address” http://bit.ly/2jZg7wTGREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman:--“The Government Secrets Trump Is About to Discover,” by Garrett M. Graff in the January/February 2017 issue of Politico Magazine: “From spy planes to cyberattacks to the private lives of foreign leaders, the president gets access to more confidential material than anyone else on the planet. Now, it’s all in Donald Trump’s hands.” http://politi.co/2iN0DPG--“The Heroism of Incremental Care,” by Atul Gawande in The New Yorker: “We devote vast resources to intensive, one-off procedures, while starving the kind of steady, intimate care that often helps people more.” http://bit.ly/2jE7334--“The Great Exception: California vs. Trump. Part One,” by Andy Kroll in California Sunday: “With a GDP of $2.5 trillion, it has the sixth-largest economy in the world, trailing only the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, China, and, of course, the United States. With 39 million people, it is by far the most populous state in the union. (Put another way, nearly one out of every eight Americans is a Californian.) Two of the nation’s most influential industries — tech and entertainment — reside primarily in California. The state is the fifth-largest supplier of food in the world.” http://bit.ly/2jD9aUW (h/t Longreads.com)--“I Work in the Restaurant Industry. Obamacare Saved My Family’s Life,” by Allison Robicelli in Eater magazine: “The Affordable Care Act was going to make hospitality careers livable. Now what?” http://bit.ly/2k7XWsm--“The Feels of Love,” by T. Kira Madden in Guernica Magazine: “‘In my defense,’ he said, ‘I thought you were 13.’” http://bit.ly/2jdkYdb--“Why the elites always rule,” by Hugo Drochon in The New Statesman: “Since an Italian sociologist coined the word ‘elite’ in 1902, it has become a term of abuse. But history is the story of one elite replacing another – as the votes for Trump and Brexit have shown.” http://bit.ly/2iOZMZS (h/t TheBrowser.com)--“My Dinners With Harold,” by Daniel Duane in California Sunday: “How a shy Ph.D. in English literature revolutionized the science of cooking and became revered in the most famous kitchens in the world.” http://bit.ly/2iXYgbb--“How Jokes Won the Election,” by Emily Nussbaum in The New Yorker: “How do you fight an enemy who’s just kidding?” http://bit.ly/2jQZT9j--“Searching for Richard Spencer,” by Eli Sanders in The Stranger: “What I found in a small Montana town at the center of a white nationalist troll storm.” http://bit.ly/2jdmtrV (h/t Longform.org)--“They Called Her Mrs. Sherlock Holmes,” by Brad Ricca in Narratively: “The mysterious case of the first female U.S. District Attorney, and the morbid murder investigation that put her on the map.” http://bit.ly/2jR2YGj--“Gay bars are under threat but not from the obvious attackers” – The Economist: “The disappearance of gay bars and clubs is an unhappy side-effect of a far more cheering trend.” http://bit.ly/2iXWLdcSPOTTED -- Former Louisiana Gov. and presidential candidate Bobby Jindal at Table Kitchen & Bar in Baton Rouge on inauguration night, with his wife Supriya and two of his three children … Marvin Nicholson, Anita Decker Breckenridge, Joe Paulsen and Pete Souza on Obama’s final flight aboard Air Force One (i.e. Executive One) to Palm Springs. All returned to D.C. aboard the plane once it refueled. ... Rahm Emanuel with a large group dining on Thursday evening at Miami Beach steakhouse The Forge ... former Gov. George Pataki walking near the Newseum Friday morning ... Justice Sonia Sotomayor last night at Red Hen ... Having breakfast at Bistro Bis at the Kimpton George hotel this morning: Chris Cuomo with David Axelrod; Doug Brinkley with James RosenINAUGURATION PARTY CIRCUIT -- Sheldon and Miriam Adelson and the Ricketts family hosted a private inaugural party last night in a room decked out like a Vegas lounge with TVs framed in gold. The party took place at the Morning Consult office close to the White House. SPOTTED: Sylvie and Todd Ricketts, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), John Paulson, Paul Singer, Andy Abboud, Robin and Brian Baker, Rob Collins, Laura and Joel Kaplan, Campbell Brown and Dan Senor.-- Amb. Mary Ourisman and Mandell Ourisman hosted an “Inaugural Afterglow Party” at Cafe Milano last night, which ran past 1 a.m.: SPOTTED: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) taking photos with guests, Wilbur Ross, Al Hunt and Judy Woodruff, Jim Glassman, Laura Ingraham chatting with Tammy Haddad, Bob Barnett, Juleanna Glover, Eric Bolling, Sergio Gor, Marcie and Will Kinzel, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, Ark. Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Kit and Linda Bond, Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), Jim McCray, Marlene Malek, Matt Swift, former Amb. Paula Dobriansky, Jack and Susanna Quinn, Steve Clemons, Ken and Jackie Duberstein, Carlos Gutierrez, Bret and Amy Baier, Fred Ryan, Walt Cronkite IV, Kevin Sheridan, John Arundel, Jack Evans, Pam Stevens, Rick Perry, Tommy Quinn, Lloyd Hand, Virginia Coyne, Scott Thuman, Annie Groer, John Avlon, Kevin Chaffee, Nancy Brinker.--Tim Daly hosted a Creative Coalition Ball last night with Robin Bronk and urged the 300 plus attendees for “the right to bear arts” at the Harman Center for the Arts. Blues Traveler performed after a spoken word presentation by the stars. SPOTTED: Christina Hendricks, Dean Norris, Cheryl Hines, Alysia Reiner, Mae Whitman, Geoffrey Arend, Beau Willimon, Susan Blumenthal, Jen Smith, Carol Alt, Bob Franken, and members of Congress and media types.--SPOTTED at Time Warner’s viewing party which Carol Melton hosted: Jim and Heather Johnson, Tim McBride, Philippe Bourguignon, Kate Goodall, Niki Christoff, Heather Podesta, Gary Knell, Andrew Overton, Tammy Haddad, Raul Fernandez, Steve Clemons, Kevin Merida, Jen Smith, Juleanna Glover, Kevin Chaffee, Nika Nour. --SPOTTED at last night’s Big & Rich RIAA Musicians on Call Benefit: Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Amy Isbell, Mike Platt, Penny Nance, Michele Ballantyne, Mitch Glazier, Tyler Grimm, Morna Willens, Cary Sherman, iHeartRadio DJs Toby Knapp and JT Bosch, Austin Carson, Brendan Belair, Todd Dupler, Todd Willens, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, Cara Weiblinger, Jonathan Lamy, Rhod Shaw, Laura Mullen, McKinley Cooper, Jeff Gregorio, Brendan Kownacki, Joanna McIntosh. Pic by Dan Swartz of Big & Rich toasting with Rep. Collins http://bit.ly/2iN6IM0--Hundreds of guests gathered at MXDC downtown from 8 until well after midnight for the Inaugural Whiskey Ball hosted by the Distilled Spirits Council, National Restaurant Association, Locust Street Group, Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America, Quicken Loans and Washington Life Magazine. SPOTTED: Kraig Naasz, Frank Coleman, Mark Gorman, Michele Famiglietti, David Culver, Steve Danon, Craig Wolf, Craig Purser, Ben Jenkins, Joe Maloney, Katy Summerlin, Allison Schneider, Nina Verghese, Gloria Dittus, Carl Hulse, Emily Heil, Nika Nour, Matt Cooper, Robert and Katie Zirkelbach, Rick Klein, Byron Tau, Amy Harder, Matt and Rebecca Haller, Jared Parks, Leslie Kimball, Andrew Kovalcin, Craig Gordon, Chris Gindlesperger, Alex Strong, Sue Hensley, Erin Streeter, Chrys Kefalas, Tommy McFly.TRANSITIONS -- Eddie Vale emails friends and colleagues, per a note forwarded by a friend: “Hey everyone...time for some impersonal sharing of personal news...after four wonderful years of working with David [Brock], an amazing team, and you all, from American Bridge it’s time for me to head off on a new adventure and I’m going to be working with Cara Morris-Stern and Tom McMahon over at New Partners.” … Kirstjen Nielsen named chief of staff at DHS -- In his initial letter to DHS employees, Secretary John Kelly wrote: “With her extensive experience in homeland security, she understands the complexity of the various agencies and policies within the Department and the larger homeland security enterprise.” She most recently has worked on global risk consulting and been a senior fellow at GWU’s Center for Cyber and Homeland Security.BIRTHDAYS: Eric Holder, former attorney general, is 66 (hat tip: Kevin Lewis) ... Gary Locke, former Commerce Secretary and Ambassador to China, is 67 ... Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is 64 ... Becca Glover, comms. director for Sen. Richard Burr and an Issa alum (h/ts her Sarahs, Katy Summerlin and Taylor Holgate) ... Will Holley, partner at Firehose Strategies, former counsel for Rubio for President and a Mercury and Bush WH alum (h/ts Marco, Alex Conant, Peter Watkins) ... CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist (h/t Matt Dornic) … Tyler Cowen, GMU economist and Marginal Revolution blogger, is 55 ... Matt Cooper, political editor at Newsweek and the pride of South Orange, N.J. ... Politico’s John Shinkle, the pride of Dayton, Ohio ... Politico’s Jen Haberkorn ... Jonathan Grella, EVP of public affairs at the U.S. Travel Association (Aggressive!) ... Philly Daily News’ Will Bunch is 58 ... Nahiomy Alvarez, analyst at Hamilton Place Strategies (h/t Ben Koltun) ... philanthropist Lynn Schusterman, co-founder of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation (h/t Jewish Insider) ... Jim Davidson at Polsinelli (h/t Jon Haber) ... Joe Donoghue, LD for Sen. John McCain and McCain’s favorite “little jerk” since 1987 (h/t Lee Dunn) ... Bob Sensenbrenner, GC at House Rules Committee (h/t birthday girl Becca Glover, who went to high school with Bob) … Chris Donovan, senior producer at ABC News and the pride of New Hampshire, is 42 ...… Josh Isay, managing director at SKDKnickerbocker ... D.C. attorney Leonard Silverstein … Michael Anderson, a CAP fundraiser and alum of Sen. Tim Johnson ... Jamie Waters, Bush alumnus now VP at Compass Advisers Group ... ABC News’ Subrata De ... Politico Europe’s Christopher Spillane and Helen Collis ... Roberto Jose Coquis, an OFA and Bush 43 WH alum and a fun, devoted dad and hubby; lover of all things sports n’ politics ... Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) is 56 ... former Rep. Matt Salmon is 59 ... Steve Rosenthal, president of the Organizing Group, is 64 (h/t Sean Johnson) ... Michael Vanzetta … Elizabeth Wickett ... Jordan Grossman, alum of HHS, OFA and DHS ... Collin Hansen ... Forrest Brown, campaign coordinator at Unified Social and a PCCC alum … Tommy McKone, manager of gov’t affairs at the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office ... Campbell Spencer ... Ron Bell … Jeff Simmons (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) … Tony Reinke ... Kyle O’Connor, former Obama WH speechwriter, now in executive comms at Facebook ... Margaret Olmos ... Josh Warren, Treasury alum now director of corporate strategy and development at BlackRock ... Michael Lemov ... Katie Loovis, director of corporate responsibility at GlaxoSmithKline ... Rich Juliano ... Len Colodny is 79 ... Cynthia Faulkner ... McCain LD Joe Donoghue – read a WashExaminer profile of him http://washex.am/2jDov7V … Amy Allman ... Tony Reinke … Margaret Olmos … World Golf Hall of Famer Jack Nicklaus is 77 (h/t AP)THE SHOWS, by @MattMackowiak, filing from BWI en route Austin:--CNN’s “State of the Union” (9 a.m.): Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) … House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.). Panel: David Axelrod, Marsha Blackburn, Nina Turner and Mia Love. --“Fox News Sunday”: Reince Priebus … Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Panel: Bret Baier, Mo Elleithee, Kim Strassel and Juan Williams. --ABC’s “This Week”: Kellyanne Conway … Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)… Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). Panel: Alex Castellanos, Stephanie Cutter, Matthew Dowd, Jonathan Karl and Cokie Roberts. --CBS’s “Face the Nation”: Kellyanne Conway … Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) … Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Panel: Lanhee Chen, Susan Page, Frank Luntz and Jeffrey Goldberg. --NBC’s “Meet the Press”: Kellyanne Conway ... Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) … Tom Barrack … Panel: Hugh Hewitt, Eliana Johnson, Chris Matthews and Kristen Welker. --Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” (10 a.m.): Anthony Scaramucci … Grover Norquist … House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) … Carly Fiorina … Paula Broadwell. Panel: Ed Rollins, Stephen Sigmund and Judith Miller. --Fox News’ “MediaBuzz” (SUN 11 a.m.): Erin McPike … Mollie Hemingway … Joe Trippi … Bret Baier … Corey Lewandowski … Susan Ferrechio. --CNN’s “Inside Politics” with John King (8 a.m.): Panel: Peter Baker, Mary Katharine Ham, Jeff Zeleny, Nia-Malika Henderson. --CNN’s “Reliable Sources”: (11 a.m.): Panel: Michael Oreskes, Karen Tumulty, Lynn Sweet and Frank Sesno ... Jeff Mason … David Fahrenthold. --Univision’s “Al Punto” (10 a.m.): Univision News correspondent Luis Megid … Presidential Inauguration Committee spokesman Carlos Diaz-Rosillo … National Hispanic Leadership Conference president Rev. Samuel Rodriguez … Luis Gutierrez … report on “El Chapo” from Univision investigative unit vice president Gerardo Reyes … United We Dream’s Cristina Jimenez and The Women’s March’s Paola Mendoza … actress and activist Diane Guerrero. ---C-SPAN: “Newsmakers” (10 a.m.): Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, questioned by Politico’s Isaac Dovere and The Hill’s Reid Wilson … “Q&A” (SUN 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET): Author and Johns Hopkins University’s Benjamin Ginsberg (“What Washington Gets Wrong: The Unelected Officials Who Actually Run the Government and Their Misconceptions about the American People”). --Washington Times’ “Mack on Politics” weekly politics podcast with Matt Mackowiak (download on iTunes or listen at MackOnPolitics.com): Ben Shapiro … Reed Galen … ViaMedia CEO Mark Lieberman.

27 мая 2013, 11:26

Простым языком об организованной преступности финансового бизнеса. Тема: ставки Libor

Организованная преступность финансового бизнесаПора перестать смеяться над любителями теорий заговоров. Может быть, за нитки за кулисами дергают не ротшильды с рокфеллерами, а наемные менеджеры, но суть от этого не меняетсяМеждународная финансовая система, ставшая сегодня основой современной корпоративной свободнорыночной экономики - это мошенничество в особо крупных размерах.Странные порядки царили в советских СМИ. Интересные вещи появлялись в самых неожиданных местах. Журналы «Наука и жизнь» и «Знание сила» писали про политическую философию, рассказы Кафки появлялись где-нибудь в «Сибирских огнях», репродукция Пикассо впервые в СССР была опубликована в сатирическом «Крокодиле», а о Роллинг стоунз впервые написали не в музыкальном обозрении, а в детском журнале «Ровесник».В Америке все скоро будет, как в СССР эпохи застоя. Уже сейчас расследованиями финансовых спекуляций занимаются не солидные «Уолл-стрит джорнал» или «Файненшиал таймс», а журнал «Роллинг стоунз». Финансовый корреспондент журнала Мэтт Тайби практически единственный в мейнстриме, кто пишет о разрегулированном и дисфункциональном американском и мировом финансовом рынке и о том, насколько этот рынок мошеннический.Почему, как в СССР? А потому, что все меньше и меньше реальных хозяев, а делами заправляет цех наемных менеджеров, заинтересованный лишь в высокой зарплате и жирном пакете бенефитов в конце года. Именно менеджеры и финансовые спекулянты, да еще их адвокаты составляют тот 1%, который присваивает себе львиную долю национального богатства Америки. Как заметил ветеран американской журналистики Хедрик Смит, распределение богатства в Америке аналогично тому, что было в Египте в эпоху фараонов. Однако, в отличие от Египта, собственность здесь обезличена, а богатство рассредоточено и перемешано в различных банковских и финансовых продуктах, которые давно уже никто не способен контролировать.На встречу с Мэттом Тайби я шел с большим интересом. Его последняя статья «Все – мошенничество. Крупнейшая финансовая афера фиксирования цен в истории» рассказывает о манипулировании на рынке свопов. Комиссия по торговле товарными фьючерсами недавно начала следствие по делу брокерской фирмы ICAP и 15 банковских учреждений Уолл Стрит. Комиссия расследует их сговор с целью манипуляции скоростью публикации индекса ISDAfix.О ФИНАНСАХ ПРОСТО И ИНТЕРЕСНОЕсли продолжать писать о финансах в том же псевдопрофессиональном духе, зараженном корпоративным новоязом, то даже самые преданные мои читатели скоро потеряют интерес. Потому объясню просто. Что бы вы сказали, если бы результаты скачек объявлялись публике через несколько дней после того, как скачки состоялись? А в это время «умным людям» внутри системы разрешалось делать ставки? Собственно, так и происходит со скоростной электронной торговлей. Комбинаторы внутри системы получают возможность видеть и прогнозировать результаты торгов в конце дня, и на этом основании делают свои ставки, покупают и продают до того, как остальные игроки узнают, что там происходит. Покупают и продают не на свои деньги, а на деньги клиентов, против интересов которых они часто играют. ISDAfix – один из многих индексов, существующих на финансовых рынках. Он служит для определения курса в финансовых сделках. Libor – другой такой индекс, с помощью которого определяют курс практических всех банковских сделок с переменным курсом. Фокус здесь в том, что эти индексы составляются на основе оценочных данных, которые финансовые компании предоставляют добровольно и имеют возможность их поправлять.Самое простое объяснение свопа. Скажем вы – город или компания – заняли деньги под переменный курс и хотите иметь стабильность займа с фиксированным процентом. Тогда  фиксированный процент вы платите банку, а уже он разбирается с переменными процентными ставками. Это выходит дороже, но освобождает от хлопот. Своп – это многошаговая операция,  в ходе которой активы переходят из рук в руки, одновременно продаются и покупаются на заранее договоренных условиях.Сговор был в том, чтобы лишить широкую публику возможности своевременно узнавать об этих условиях. Банки докладывают о своих курсах добровольно, а это прямое приглашение не говорить всей правды.Большинство американского среднего класса слишком озабочено своими растущими долгами,  невозможностью сводить концы с концами, необходимостью выкладываться на двух-трех работах. Лишь мельком они могут услышать о скачках индекса Доу Джонс на Уолл Стрит. В конце дня им по телевизору расскажут, как шутка хакеров о взрыве в Белом Доме завалила на несколько минут финансовые рынки. Уровень торгов  потом восстановится. Вот только самого главного - кто нагрел на этом руки - СМИ не расскажут.Только недавно без лишнего шума закончилось судебной сделкой расследование аферы, в которой мошенники сманипулировали индексом Libor на пятьсот триллионов долларов. Штрафы заплатят, как водится, не виновники, а вкладчики компаний и налогоплательщики. Да еще законодатели дадут проворовавшимся банкирам налоговые скидки.Так случилось в рождественскую ночь, когда для компании, оштрафованной на $750 миллионов за уголовные нарушения, конгрессмены тихонько протащили закон об освобождении от налогов на $500 миллионов. ПОЧЕМУ ЖЕ ЗАКОНОДАТЕЛИ РАЗРЕШАЮТ ПОДОБНОЕ?– Раньше это работало или, по крайней мере, ничего не всплывало на поверхность, – говорит Тайби. – Теперь же выясняется, что котировки подправлялись довольно долгое время. Это очень легко сделать. Достаточно одному биржевому маклеру и одному из сотрудников рейтингового агентства вступить в сделку и позвонить по нескольким номерам. И это без преувеличения затрагивает интересы миллиардов людей.На манипуляциях поймали три банка, которые уже заключили судебные сделки, еще четыре - под следствием, но предполагается, что все 16 «первоклассных» банков, определенных в маркетмейкеры индекса, занимались манипуляциями. Тайби говорит, что по его данным, следствие ведется против 15-ти из них:Если там было мошенничество, то во всех 16-ти банках должны были знать о нем? – В деле есть множество косвенных улик, подтверждающих, что руководство знало о мошенничестве, – говорит Тойби. – В деле фигурирует переписка между Bank of England и гендиректором одного из крупнейших в Великобритании и мире финансовых конгломератов – Barklays в разгар глобального финансового обвала 2008 года о том, чтобы установить индекс ниже, чем он был на самом деле.Индекс Libor, по сути, измеряет, как банки доверяют друг другу, и поэтому является показателем благосостояния финансовой системы в целом. Если индекс низкий, банки доверяют и занимают друг другу деньги. Если индекс высокий – значит, банковская система нестабильна.Котировки межбанковского обмена устанавливаются ежедневно, и, вероятно, можно было создать независимую организацию для мониторинга и предотвращения мошенничества?– Да, если бы использовали реальные данные. Однако сегодня никто не обязан подавать реальные цифры о том, сколько денег они заняли вчера и по какому курсу. Предоставляют лишь свои предположения о том, какая котировка будет. Там довольно сложный процесс подсчета, охватывающий разные периоды времени и 16 основных мировых валют.Новый сговор, который расследует Комиссия, влияет на затраты по обслуживанию займов во всем мире и процентные свопы стоимостью в $379.  – триста семьдесят девять триллионов долларов. Для сравнения – валовой национальный продукт США составляет около 15 триллионов, а совокупное национальное богатство США – 57.4 триллиона (на 2011 г). Эта мошенническая схема затрагивает любого, кто платит по ипотечной ссуде, по ссуде на машину, расплачивается кредитной карточкой. От этого зависит сама цена денег, обменные курсы валют во всем мире. Речь идет о небольшом подразделении внутри ICAP, – говорит Тайби. –  Около 20 человек, которые, по сути, определяли курсы свопов во всем мире. Хотя фирма зарегистрирована в Лондоне, действовали они из Джерси-сити, потому американские регуляторы смогли расследовать их деятельность.По сути же, транснациональные банковские корпорации действуют в сумеречной зоне, с неопределенными юрисдикциями. В афере Lidor все началось с японского биржевика, вступившего в сговор с сотрудником Lidor, тоже находившимся в Японии. Национальные границы не всегда позволяют эффективно расследовать новые виды корпоративной преступности.Это совершенно новый вид преступлений. Нет надобности красть у людей деньги и имущество. Вместо воровства манипулируют стоимостью имущества, которое имеется у людей, манипулируют процентными ставками, которые мы платим.НОВЫЙ ЭТАП МЕЖБАНКОВСКИХ МЕЖДУНАРОДНЫХ ПРЕСТУПЛЕНИЙЧто же здесь нового, если Уолл-стрит и банки всегда отличались "творческими" и "новаторскими" подходами к поиску путей, как делать деньги? – Здесь нечто совершенно новое. Во время финансового коллапса 2008 вскрылся огромный объем системной коррупции в финансовых корпорациях, систематической обман в ипотечном бизнесе, укорененные аферы в аудите, мошеннические схемы в банках и компаниях, как в Лэмон Брозерс.Однако раньше мы никогда не сталкивались со случаями коррупции и мошенничества, включавшие сговор между банками. Последние аферы свидетельствуют о том, что корпоративная преступность вступила в новый этап межбанковских международных преступлений. На сцену выходит глобальная институцианализированная организованная преступность, способная безнаказанно подавить конкуренцию и манипулировать международными финансовыми рынками в невиданных ранее масштабах.Речь не идет о группе злоумышленников, ловящих рыбку в мутной воде рынка производных финансовых продуктов - деривативов. Определенные деятели зарабатывают миллиарды потому, что делают бизнес по-блатному, имеют нечестные преимущества. Мощные силы лоббируют политическую систему, и не допускают сделать рынок деривативов и свопов более прозрачным и понятным. Они имеют своих людей в Конгрессе. Они помогли Обаме избраться, а он расставил нужных людей в своей администрации. Громко разрекламированная финансовая реформа Обамы, известная еще как Додд-Френк Акт была без зубов, содержала множество лазеек и исключений, позволявший обойти закон. Даже те скромные меры обеспечения прозрачности рынка, которые содержит закон, администрация Обамы за полтора года так и не провела в жизнь.Разве банки не конкурируют между собой? Разве незримая рука свободного рынка не способна упорядочить рынок? А как же базисные мифы капитализма, которые американцы (а теперь и все остальные) впитывают чуть ли не с молоком матери? Предвидя возмущенные возгласы моих читателей-свободнорыночных энтузиастов "где вы видели свободный рынок", скажу, то, что называет себя свободным рынком, таковым и является, другого - нет.С другой стороны мои читатели-либералы, свято верящие, что американское общество стоит на защите их прав и равных возможностей, возразят, мол, а как же антимонопольное законодательство? Что бы сказал борец с монополизацией Тедди Рузвельт?Я полагаю, что антимонопольное законодательство должно применяться к подобным сговорам, но оно не применяется, – говорит Мэтт Тайби. –  Большие корпорации, контролирующие огромные сегменты рынка и национальных ресурсов, являются монополиями. Тем самым они становятся опасными для общества.Однако, когда появляются доказательства того, что они находятся в сговоре между собой для манипуляций курсами и котировками, это становится чрезвычайно опасным  для общества. Если мы ничего с этим не делаем радикально, то это ведет нас к эскалации.ЧЕМУ БАНКИРЫ НАУЧИЛИСЬ У МАФИИ?И все-таки, что же с конкуренцией. Неужели "Чейс" и "Сити банк" не конкурируют между собой? – Они ведут борьбу за клиентов. Они конкуренты на каком-то уровне, но есть целые сферы в финансовом бизнесе, когда они заодно, – говорит Мэтт Тайби. –  Я проводил журналистское расследование по поводу манипуляций на аукционах государственных облигаций. Мало кто об  этом знает, но если город, штат или даже целая страна хочет мобилизовать средства, то по закону, они обязаны провести торги. Аукцион призван создать конкуренцию между финансовыми корпорациями, и тем самым снизить учетные ставки, которые общество платит. На деле банкиры поделили между собой рынок с целью не допустить конкуренции, мол, мы возьмем облигации этого города, вы – другого.Материал по расследованию торгов облигациями Тайби называется «Чему банкиры научились у мафии». Читателю на просторах бывшего СССР они живо напомнят мошеннические аукционы веселых времен приватизации 1990-х.В Америке власти все же уличили пять крупнейших финансовых корпораций Уолл-Стрит, да еще банковскую компанию «Дженерал Электрик» в махинациях на сумму в $3.7 млрд. Как водится, в тюрьму никто не сел. В Штатах элита выше этого и понятие личной ответственности здесь напрочь отсутствует. Никто не заплатил штрафа из собственного кармана. Откупились многомиллионными штрафами из денег держателей акций. Такие штрафы никого не отпугивают. Когда делаются десятки миллиардов, то многомиллионые штрафы – лишь производственные расходы.Да и не доходят штрафы до пострадавших. Когда американское министерство финансов в рамках судебной сделки оштрафовала банки за нарушения в сфере ипотеки, то пострадавшие получили компенсацию в размере $300 на душу, зато адвокаты банков положили в карман два миллиарда. Прокуратура предпочитает не связываться с финансистами. Уходящий министр юстиции Эрик Холдер заявил недавно, что эти компании слишком большие и не по силам прокуратуре.«Министерство юстиции не провело во время президентства Обамы никаких серьезных расследований ни одного из крупных финансовых учреждений», – говорил мне Уильям Блак, адъюнкт-профессор экономики и права в Университете Миссури, Канзас-Сити. В 1980-х годах он работал следователем в скандале S&L (saving&loans). За 4 года Холдер и его люди не только не завели ни одного дела против крупных банковских воротил, но и тщательно следили, чтобы на местах не появились такие дела. Когда генеральный прокурор Нью-Йорка Эрик Шнайдерман завел было уголовные дела за массовые нарушения законов банками при выселении людей из домов за долги, Холдер и его люди тут же надавили и заставили Шнейдермана подписать сделку с банками. При подготовки статьи, из офиса генерального прокурора штата сообщили, что взамен он добился, чтобы из сделки исключили пункт о предоставлении иммунитета банкирам от дальнейших расследований по ипотечным преступлениям.Обама привел Холдера из адвокатской фирмы «Ковингтон и партнеры», которая обслуживает и представляет худших финансовых нарушителей. Холдер зарабатывал там $2,5 млн. в год. Холдер привел с собой Ленни Брюэра, возглавлявшего в фирме отдел "белых воротничков" по защите финансовых уголовников. В юстиции Обамы, Брюэр возглавил отдел уголовного преследования и всячески заботился, чтобы его бывшие клиенты не стали его подследственными. В одном из интервью Брюер признался, что, прежде всего, его заботит, что финансовые фирмы могут пострадать, если их менеджеры окажутся на скамье подсудимых.Брюэра хорошо вознаградили, и после завершения работы в министерстве юстиции, он получил работу лоббиста с окладом $4 млн. в год. Еще два юриста из Ковингтон заняли при Холдере ключевые позиции в системе правосудия Обамы, а первый заместитель Холдера Джеймс Кол пришел из другой, не менее одиозной юридической фирмы Bryan Cave LLP.Не удивительно, что и расследование аферы Libor, по сути, закончилось пшиком.Первым обвиняемым, с кем заключили сделку, оказался Barclays. Они заплатили относительно небольшой штраф ($450 млн. способны ослепить человека с улицы, но это копейки по сравнению с суммами, которые они оборачивают). Мой друг в правоохранительных органах говорил тогда, что все ожидают, как обычно, что за легкое наказание они сдадут всех остальных и последуют обвинительные иски в уголовных преступлениях. Оказалось, что сделка с Barclays стала эталоном для всех остальных подобных сделок.    СМИ не уделяют большого внимания финансовым аферам. Когда я ехал на встречу с Мэттом Тайби, в поезде пролистал газеты. Первые полосы были заняты сообщениями о том, что Джейон Коллинз стал первым открытым геем в Высшей спортивной лиге, Анджелина Джоли в целях профилактики удалила себе грудь (в качестве рекламной кампании по защите многомиллиардного бизнеса корпорации, запатентовавшей на себя человеческие гены – прим. ред.) в городских джунглях Сиэттла нашлись три женщины, проведшие 10 лет в рабстве в подвале дома в тихом городском районе. Одна из рабынь сумела сбежать, когда ее хозяин отправился покушать в местный МакДональдс.Мэтт Тайби - один из немногих в Америке, кто берется распутать аферы и рассказать о них публике, а «Роллинг Стоунз магазин» - практически единственное издание мейстрима, готовое предоставить свои страницы для расследований на эту тему.Много лет назад я слушал выступление легендарного Бена Бредли, многолетнего главреда «Вашингтон пост», запустившего расследование «Уотергейтского дела» и опубликовавшего знаменитые «Бумаги Пентагона». В русскоязычном мире многие помнят блестящую роль Джейсона Робардса, сыгравшего Бредли в фильме «Вся президентская рать». Бредли тогда спросили, а почему бы ему не заняться финансовыми аферами. Как раз тогда в самом разгаре был кризис S&L, в котором прогорело больше четверти всех кредитно-сберегательных ассоциаций США. Бредли тогда усмехнулся и сказал, что у публики «glaze over» – глаза остекленеют от этих дел. Американская публика способна до остервенения спорить по поводу толкования конституции, гражданских, гендерных или религиозных прав, но совершенно не обучена реагировать, когда задевают ее реальные социальные или классовые интересы. Капиталистический реализм, в котором здесь выросли, не дает необходимого словаря, моделей и понятий.Михаил Дорфман

07 мая 2013, 00:39

Без суда и следствия - в лучших традициях Линча

В прошедший понедельник американцам доходчиво разъяснили при каких обстоятельствах любого из них могут убить, причем не кровожадные террористы, а собственная, горячо любимая армия, полиция, спецслужбы…Выступая перед студентами и преподавателями Северо-Западного Университета, генеральный прокурор США Эрик Холдер разъяснил, что факт убийства американских граждан их правительством не стоит расценивать как нечто ужасное, а наоборот, как демонстрацию заботы правительства о безопасности американцев. Эрик ХолдерХолдер пояснил, что: «Когда речь идет о национальной безопасности, конституция гарантирует надлежащую правовую процедуру, а не судебный процесс.» Иными слвоами, любого американца теперь могут лишить жизни без суда и следствия, лишь при одном подозрении в намерении совершить противоправные действия (теракт).Так же Холдер подчеркнул: "Мы находимся в состоянии войны с врагом без гражданства, склонного кочевать от страны к стране… Ни Конгресс, ни наши Федеральные суды не ограничили границы применения нами силы…"До недавних лишь группа высших чиновников могла расценивать уровень угрозы для национальной безопасности и принимать решение по ликвидации лиц, от которых эта угроза исходит. Среди таких чиновников были равно как министр обороны Леон Панетта (ныне Чак Хэйгел) так и президент Барака Обама, который, непосредственно и давал окончательное утверждение на ликвидацию.Леон Панетта и Барак Обама еще в январе 2012 публично обсуждали идею ликвидации подозреваемых без суда и следствия.По словам генерального прокурора, это, с недавних пор, уже пережиток прошлого. «Конституция не требует от президента откладывать действия по предотвращению теракта до момента, когда полностью становится известно, что подозреваемый планирует его совершить. Такие действия приводят к нежелательному риску».По словам Холдера отныне решения, о ликвидации граждан являются исключительной прерогативой исполнительной власти, потому что только исполнительная власть обладает "опытом принятия подобных решений и полным доступ к имеющейся.Таким образом, в ближайшее время стоит ожидать появления списков неблагонадежных граждан США, за которыми будет организована слежка. И случайный клик на гиперссылке радикального исламистского сайта может в ту же секунду призвать фею калибра 5.56.