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Saturday, Aug 19th

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Top Oversight Dem: ‘I Want Every Note’ White House Has On Trump’s Meeting With Russians

Cummings wants evey not on Trump meeting with RussiansRep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said Sunday he wants every single note the White House has on President Donald Trump’s meeting with Russian officials in the Oval Office earlier this month.

In the past week, multiple damning reports have emerged regarding what was discussed during Trump’s May 10 meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak, which was closed to U.S. press. Lawmakers expressed frustration that they only learned of notes documenting what was said in the meeting from media reports, and struggled to catch up to one scandal before another surfaced.

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Gowdy poised to replace Chaffetz as Oversight chief

Gowdy poised tp re[;ace ChaffetzRep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) is expected to become the next chairman of the House Oversight Committee, replacing Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) in the high-profile post when he leaves Congress late next month, according to multiple senior House Republicans.

Gowdy, who led the Republican investigation into the Benghazi terror attacks, has started buttonholing members of the House Steering Committee in recent days to build support. Five members of that panel, which decides committee assignments, told POLITICO that Gowdy would easily win a race for the high-profile position.

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The coming GOP assault on regulations

BannonWhile President Donald Trump has launched a noisy crusade to slash regulations that constrain American businesses, Republicans in Congress have embarked on a less prominent but potentially more lasting effort to make it much harder for federal agencies to create new regulations in the future.

There is a flurry of anti-regulatory legislation floating around Capitol Hill, but it is becoming clear that the key Republican vehicle to rein in rulemaking will be Ohio Senator Rob Portman’s Regulatory Accountability Act. A 16-page draft of the legislation obtained by POLITICO was significantly less radical than several aggressive bills recently passed by the House of Representatives, but industry groups have pinned their hopes on this one attracting support from enough moderate Democrats to overcome a Senate filibuster and make it to Trump’s desk. And even if the Portman bill won’t automatically ensure “the deconstruction of the administrative state” promised by White House adviser Steve Bannon, it could still dramatically curtail the power of government regulators in the long run.

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Mark Sanford has nothing left to lose. And he’s here to haunt Donald Trump.

SanfordNone of this feels normal. The congressman greets me inside his Washington office wearing a wrinkly collared shirt with its top two buttons undone, faded denim jeans and grungy, navy blue Crocs that expose his leather-textured feet.

Nearing the end of our 30-minute interview, he cancels other appointments and extends our conversation by an hour. He repeatedly brings up his extramarital affair, unsolicited, pointing to the lessons learned and relationships lost. He acknowledges and embraces his own vulnerability—political, emotional and otherwise. He veers on and off the record, asking himself rhetorical questions, occasionally growing teary-eyed, and twice referring to our session as “my Catholic confessional.”

And then he does the strangest thing of all: He lays waste to the president of his own party.

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Trump EPA nominee ordered to release emails with energy industry

Scott PruittAn Oklahoma judge on Thursday ordered President Donald Trump's nominee to run the Environmental Protection Agency to turn over thousands of emails he exchanged with or about the fossil fuel industry by next Tuesday, though he may already be confirmed for the position by then.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, whose confirmation hearing for head of the EPA is scheduled for Friday, was ordered by Oklahoma County District Judge Aletia Haynes Timmons to fulfill public records requests for more than 3,000 emails by the Center for Media and Democracy.

TVNL Comment;  The Senate vote should be postponed until the contents of the emails are revealed.  But they will vote before Tuesday.  Watch this space.

Yep.  Pruitt was just confirmed.  The swamp increases.

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Congress rejects Obama veto of 9/11 bill; first override of his presidency

9/11 veto overridden by CongressThe House and Senate voted Wednesday to reject President Obama's veto of legislation allowing lawsuits against foreign sponsors of terrorism — the first successful override of a presidential veto since Obama took office.

The president had vetoed the legislation Friday because he said the bill — known as the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, or JASTA — would infringe on the president’s ability to conduct foreign policy. It was the 12th veto of his presidency.

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The GOP Shut Down a Program That Might Have Prevented Dallas and Baton Rouge

GOP cut funds for vet studyAs the right-wing outrage machine would have it, the shootings of police in Dallas and Baton Rouge by U.S. military veterans were the fault of President Obama. “How many law enforcement and people have to die because of a lack of leadership in our country?” Trump recently wrote in a Tweet.

But seven years ago, when a little-known division in the new president’s Department of Homeland Security sought to explore the potential violence of returning veterans—one that might have aided local law enforcement with intelligence in Dallas and Baton Rouge—it was Congressional Republicans who succeeded in pushing to shut the program down.

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