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Regent Ganahl:

Free to Be Coalition / Club

Regent Sharkey & President Benson:

"Teach Students How to Think,
Not What to Think"

Denver Post Op-ed
October 5, 2018

Regents Talk Football

"I can't go there anymore. I don't believe it can be played safely anymore. I want these young men to leave C.U. with minds that have been strengthened, not damaged."

New York Times: At Colorado, a Breach in Football's Wall
April 18, 2019

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Regents Not Doing Their Job

Regents inexplicably decline to provide an evaluation of the state of the University at the 10-year mark of Bruce Benson's term as President of the University

Regents fail to document major changes to the University during Benson's term

Regents fail in their responsibility to the University community to provide transparency, accountability, and
open community discussion

Regents act like the privately-appointed Board of Directors of a private corporation rather than as a state-wide body of publicly-elected officials, overseeing a public institution of higher education

See the story here.

The Infrastructure of Political Polarization on Campus

A recent event on the CU Boulder campus highlights a network of interconnected organizations and individuals advocating a politically partisan point of view now actively operating at, and in partnership with, the University of Colorado.

The event at Boulder was billed as a "debate and discussion" between Nigel Farage and Vicente Fox on the topic of "Nationalism vs. Globalism." The event took place at Mackey Auditorium on the Boulder campus on
April 2, 2018.

See the story here.

CU Regents Oblivious to President Benson's Outside Business Activities

CU President Bruce Benson shares many characteristics in common with U.S. President Donald Trump.

One of these characteristics is maintaining an involvement with outside, private business interests while holding public office.

When considering Mr. Benson's appointment to become president of CU, and throughout the President's term, the regents have asked no questions, sought no information and considered no issues regarding this matter.

See the story here.

CU Regents Aloof, Isolated From
Constituents, University Community

The regents appear to act more in the manner
of a board of directors of a private
corporation than as stewards of a public institution of higher ed

The regents of the University of Colorado are publicly-elected officials, responsible for ensuring the integrity and independence of the University of Colorado as a public institution of higher education.

Although elected to represent their constituents' interests, the regents' public communications and interactions with Colorado residents and the University community are extremely limited.

The regents hold no public town hall meetings*, allow minimal public input at their regular meetings, make little use of technology to communicate back and forth with constituents and the University community, and treat important decisions like presidential selection and evaluation as all but private matters concerning the regents only.

Read the full article here, including a response to the article from the Board Chair, following the article.

* Regents Griego and Ganahl, co-chairs of the Presidential Search Committee, actually held one town hall regarding the presidential search on each of CU's four campuses in October of 2018.

CU Boulder Redefined and Commercialized

Major Multiyear Effort to Redefine the Boulder Campus and Commercialize its Activities

Treat Students and Parents as "Customers"

Chancellor Appoints 'Strategic Advisory Council'
to Oversee Commercialization

Chancellor's Strategic Advisory Council Web Site Reconstructed and Annotated

Article     Reconstructed Advisory Council Web Site

CU Boulder No Longer a
'4-Year College'

CU Students Face Dilapidated and Deteriorating Conditions Trying to Graduate in 4 Years

Less than 50% of incoming freshmen graduate in 4 years

CU Boulder, now a 7- or 8-year college, has
no plan to address this major problem for students

Colorado Department of Higher Education website
still erroneously lists CU as a 4-year college

CU 4-Year Graduation Rates

Source: University of Colorado System Office, Office of Institutional Research

Republicans extend voter suppression
efforts to their own party

cancel primaries in anti-democratic
move to suppress dissent

moves usually used against Democrats

Politico: Republicans to scrap primaries and caucuses
as Trump challengers cry foul

September 6, 2019

In response to remarks about a U.S.
Congresswoman, Republicans at small rally chant
"Send her back!" "Send her back!"

July 18, 2019

Donald Trump listens to chanting at rally
in Greenville, North Carolina

And now an important message from the Republican Party to Members of Congress critical of the President:

'Go back to where you came from!'

July 14, 2019

20 Investigations into Donald Trump

Washington Post: A guide to 20 inquiries into Donald Trump

May 11, 2019

"President Trump and his allies are working to block more than 20 separate investigations by Democrats into his actions as president, his personal finances and his administration's policies, according to a Washington Post analysis, amounting to what many experts call the most expansive White House obstruction effort in decades.

Trump's noncooperation strategy has shifted from partial resistance to all-out war as he faces mounting inquiries from the Democratic-controlled House - a strategy that many legal and congressional experts fear could undermine the institutional power of Congress for years to come. All told, House Democrats say the Trump administration has failed to respond to or comply with at least 79 requests for documents or other information."

Washington Post: Trump and his allies are blocking more than 20 separate Democratic probes

Washington Post Investigative Report

A conservative activist's behind-the-scenes campaign to remake the nation's courts

May 21, 2019

"The story of [Leonard] Leo's rise offers an inside look into the modern machinery of political persuasion. It shows how undisclosed interests outside of government are harnessing the nation's nonprofit system to influence judicial appointments that will shape the nation for decades."

Washington Post: A conservative activist's behind-the-scenes campaign to remake the nation's courts

New York Times Investigation

Decade in the Red: Trump Tax Figures Show
Over $1 Billion in Business Losses

May 7, 2019

"The numbers show that in 1985, Mr. Trump reported losses of $46.1 million from his core businesses - largely casinos, hotels and retail space in apartment buildings. They continued to lose money every year, totaling $1.17 billion in losses for the decade."

New York Times Investigation: Decade in the Red

Hundreds of Former Federal Prosecutors Say Trump would have been Charged with Obstruction
were he not President

May 6, 2019

"We are [over 500] former federal prosecutors. We served under both Republican and Democratic administrations at different levels of the federal system . . . .

Each of us believes that the conduct of President Trump described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report would, in the case of any other person not covered by the Office of Legal Counsel policy against indicting a sitting President, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice.

The Mueller report describes several acts that satisfy all of the elements for an obstruction charge: conduct that obstructed or attempted to obstruct the truth-finding process, as to which the evidence of corrupt intent and connection to pending proceedings is overwhelming. These include:

- The President's efforts to fire Mueller and to falsify evidence about that effort;

- The President's efforts to limit the scope of Mueller's investigation to exclude his conduct; and

- The President's efforts to prevent witnesses from cooperating with investigators probing him and his campaign."
Statement by Former Federal Prosecutors

Washington Post: Trump would have been charged with obstruction were he not president, hundreds of former federal prosecutors assert

Trump Discussses 'The Russian Hoax' with Putin in One Hour Phone Call

May 3, 2019

"President Trump said on Friday that he discussed the "Russian Hoax" with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, in their first conversation since the release of the special counsel's report, which found that "the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion." "

New York Times: Trump Says He Discussed the 'Russian Hoax' in Phone Call With Putin

April 16, 2019

"Mulvaney's careful campaign of deconstruction offers a case study in the Trump administration's approach to transforming Washington, one in which strategic neglect and bureaucratic self-sabotage create versions of agencies that seem to run contrary to their basic premises."

New York Times: Mick Mulvaney's Master Class in Destroying a Bureaucracy From Within

Collusion in plain sight

Whose Interests does
Donald Trump Represent?

Trump Withdraws U.S. Forces From Syria,
Declaring 'We Have Won Against ISIS'

December 19, 2018

"President Trump has ordered the withdrawal of 2,000 American troops from Syria, bringing a sudden end to a military campaign that largely vanquished the Islamic State but ceding a strategically vital country to Russia and Iran.

In overruling his generals and civilian advisers, Mr. Trump fulfilled his frequently expressed desire to bring home American forces from a messy foreign entanglement. But his decision, conveyed via Twitter on Wednesday, plunges the administration's Middle East strategy into disarray, rattling allies like Britain and Israel and forsaking Syria's ethnic Kurds, who have been faithful partners in fighting the Islamic State."

New York Times: Trump Withdraws U.S. Forces From Syria

Putin Welcomes Trump's Syria Withdrawal:
'Donald's Right'

December 20, 2018

"Donald's right, and I agree with him," Mr. Putin said.

New York Times: Putin Welcomes Trump's Syria Withdrawal

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis Resigns,
Rebuking Trump's Worldview

December 20, 2018

"Jim Mattis, the four-star Marine general turned defense secretary, resigned on Thursday in protest of President Trump's decision to withdraw 2,000 American troops from Syria, where they have been fighting the Islamic State."

New York Times: Defense Secretary Jim Mattis Resigns

Jim Mattis resignation letter

December 20, 2018

"I believe we must be resolute and unambiguous in our approach to those countries whose strategic interests are increasingly in tension with ours. It is clear that China and Russia, for example, want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model gaining veto authority over other nations economic, diplomatic, and security decisions to promote their own interests at the expense of their neighbors, America and our allies. That is why we must use all the tools of American power to provide for the common defense.

My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades of immersion in these issues. We must do everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances.

Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position."

Washington Post: Jim Mattis resignation letter

Glee in Russia Over Trump's Foreign Policy Largess

Dec. 21, 2018

"A note of glee crept into Russian commentary and news coverage on Friday about the current turmoil in Washington around national security, with President Vladimir V. Putin seemingly checking off one item after another that he might have written on his wish list for Santa.

First, President Trump blindsided his aides and the rest of the world by deciding to pull the full contingent of some 2,000 American troops out of Syria, helping the Kremlin to confirm Mr. Putin's gamble that intervening in Syria would revive Russian influence in the Middle East.

Mr. Trump followed that up by declaring that the United States would pull half its forces out of Afghanistan; the combined withdrawals prompted the resignation of Jim Mattis, the respected general who leads the Pentagon. All that followed Mr. Trump's already substantial effort to undermine NATO and the European Union by weakening the American commitment to its traditional alliances.

"Trump is God's gift that keeps on giving,"" said Vladimir Frolov, a Russian columnist and foreign affairs analyst. "Trump implements Russia's negative agenda by default, undermining the U.S.-led world order, U.S. alliances, U.S. credibility as a partner and an ally. All of this on his own. Russia can just relax and watch and root for Trump, which Putin does at every TV appearance." "

New York Times: Glee in Russia Over Trump's Foreign Policy Largess

U. S. envoy to coalition fighting ISIS
resigns in protest of Trump's Syria decision

December 22, 2018

"Brett McGurk, the U.S. envoy to the international coalition fighting the Islamic State, has resigned in protest of President Trump's decision to abruptly withdraw U.S. troops from Syria."

Washington Post: U. S. envoy to coalition fighting ISIS resigns in protest of Trump's Syria decision

Trump forces Mattis out two months early

December 23, 2018

"President Trump, who aides said has been seething about news coverage of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis's pointed resignation letter, abruptly announced Sunday that he was removing Mattis two months before his planned departure and installing Patrick Shanahan as acting defense secretary."

Washington Post: Trump forces Mattis out two months early

Trump didn't know his own anti-ISIS point man

December 24, 2018

" "Brett McGurk, who I do not know, was appointed by President Obama in 2015," Trump said Saturday on Twitter. "Was supposed to leave in February but he just resigned prior to leaving. Grandstander? The Fake News is making such a big deal about this nothing event!"

It is not clear whether Trump meant he never met McGurk or was otherwise unfamiliar with him. McGurk was scheduled to leave in February, making his instant resignation symbolic.

But Trump's assertion raised questions about his awareness of or interest in the intricate policies surrounding one of his cornerstone campaign promises - the defeat of the Islamic State, in which McGurk played a central role in Washington, Baghdad and elsewhere."

Washington Post: Trump didn't know his own anti-ISIS point man

"persistently illegal conduct"

Trump agrees to shut down his charity
amid allegations that he used it
for personal and political benefit

December 18, 2018

"President Trump has agreed to shut down his embattled personal charity and to give away its remaining money amid allegations that he used the foundation for his personal and political benefit, New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood announced Tuesday.

Underwood said that the Donald J. Trump Foundation is dissolving as her office pursues its lawsuit against the charity, Trump and his three eldest children.

The suit, filed in June, alleged "persistently illegal conduct" at the foundation, which Trump began in 1987. Underwood is continuing to seek more than $2.8 million in restitution and has asked a judge to ban the Trumps temporarily from serving on the boards of other New York nonprofit organizations.

Underwood said Tuesday that her investigation found "a shocking pattern of illegality involving the Trump Foundation - including unlawful coordination with the Trump presidential campaign, repeated and willful self-dealing, and much more." "

Washington Post: Trump agrees to shut down his charity

Republican gerrymandered state legislature
reacts to Democratic electoral wins in executive branch

Wisconsin governor Scott Walker signs lame-duck legislation curbing his Democratic successor's power

December 14, 2018

"Outgoing Gov. Scott Walker signed lame-duck legislation Friday that will scale back the authority of his Democratic successor - approving the entire legislation after saying he was inclined to veto parts of it.

The move came a day after Walker announced a $28 million incentive package for Kimberly-Clark Corp. using powers the legislation strips from incoming Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. If Walker had signed the legislation earlier, he wouldn't have been able to cut the deal with Kimberly-Clark without permission from lawmakers."

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Scott Walker signs lame-duck legislation

Letter from 44 Former U.S. Senators:

"It is our shared view that we are
entering a dangerous period"

December 10, 2018

Dear Senate colleagues,

As former members of the U.S. Senate, Democrats and Republicans, it is our shared view that we are entering a dangerous period, and we feel an obligation to speak up about serious challenges to the rule of law, the Constitution, our governing institutions and our national security.
. . . .
We are at an inflection point in which the foundational principles of our democracy and our national security interests are at stake, and the rule of law and the ability of our institutions to function freely and independently must be upheld. . . .

Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), Bill Bradley (D-N.J.), Richard Bryan (D-Nev.), Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.), Max Cleland (D-Ga.), William Cohen (R-Maine), Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Al D'Amato (R-N.Y.), John C. Danforth (R-Mo.), Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), Dennis DeConcini (D-Ariz.), Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), David Durenberger (R-Minn.), Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), Wyche Fowler (D-Ga.), Bob Graham (D-Fla.), Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Gary Hart (D-Colo.), Bennett Johnston (D-La.), Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), Paul Kirk (D-Mass.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), Larry Pressler (R-S.D.), David Pryor (D-Ark.), Don Riegle (D-Mich.), Chuck Robb (D-Va.), Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), Jim Sasser (D-Tenn.), Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), John W. Warner (R-Va.), Lowell Weicker (I-Conn.), Tim Wirth (D-Colo.)

Washington Post: We are former senators

Whose Interests does
Donald Trump Represent?

CIA: Saudi Crown Prince ordered the assassination of Khashoggi

Donald Trump: "maybe he did and maybe he didn't"

Statement from President Donald J. Trump
on Standing with Saudi Arabia

November 20, 2018

America First!

The world is a very dangerous place! The country of Iran, as an example, is responsible for a bloody proxy war against Saudi Arabia in Yemen, trying to destabilize Iraq's fragile attempt at democracy, supporting the terror group Hezbollah in Lebanon, propping up dictator Bashar Assad in Syria (who has killed millions of his own citizens), and much more. Likewise, the Iranians have killed many Americans and other innocent people throughout the Middle East. Iran states openly, and with great force, "Death to America!" and "Death to Israel!" Iran is considered "the world's leading sponsor of terror."

On the other hand, Saudi Arabia would gladly withdraw from Yemen if the Iranians would agree to leave. They would immediately provide desperately needed humanitarian assistance. Additionally, Saudi Arabia has agreed to spend billions of dollars in leading the fight against Radical Islamic Terrorism.

After my heavily negotiated trip to Saudi Arabia last year, the Kingdom agreed to spend and invest $450 billion in the United States. This is a record amount of money. It will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, tremendous economic development, and much additional wealth for the United States. Of the $450 billion, $110 billion will be spent on the purchase of military equipment from Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and many other great U.S. defense contractors. If we foolishly cancel these contracts, Russia and China would be the enormous beneficiaries - and very happy to acquire all of this newfound business. It would be a wonderful gift to them directly from the United States!

The crime against Jamal Khashoggi was a terrible one, and one that our country does not condone. Indeed, we have taken strong action against those already known to have participated in the murder. After great independent research, we now know many details of this horrible crime. We have already sanctioned 17 Saudis known to have been involved in the murder of Mr. Khashoggi, and the disposal of his body.

Representatives of Saudi Arabia say that Jamal Khashoggi was an "enemy of the state" and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, but my decision is in no way based on that - this is an unacceptable and horrible crime. King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman vigorously deny any knowledge of the planning or execution of the murder of Mr. Khashoggi. Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event - maybe he did and maybe he didn't!

That being said, we may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi. In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They have been a great ally in our very important fight against Iran. The United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region. It is our paramount goal to fully eliminate the threat of terrorism throughout the world!

I understand there are members of Congress who, for political or other reasons, would like to go in a different direction - and they are free to do so. I will consider whatever ideas are presented to me, but only if they are consistent with the absolute security and safety of America. After the United States, Saudi Arabia is the largest oil producing nation in the world. They have worked closely with us and have been very responsive to my requests to keeping oil prices at reasonable levels - so important for the world. As President of the United States I intend to ensure that, in a very dangerous world, America is pursuing its national interests and vigorously contesting countries that wish to do us harm. Very simply it is called America First!

White House: Statement from President Donald J. Trump
on Standing with Saudi Arabia

CIA concludes Saudi crown prince ordered Jamal Khashoggi's assassination

November 16, 2018

"The CIA has concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last month, contradicting the Saudi government's claims that he was not involved in the killing, according to people familiar with the matter."

Washington Post: CIA concludes Saudi crown prince ordered Jamal Khashoggi's assassination

Donald Trump and the Free Press

Trump dumps on reporters following midterm election losses

"I'll tell you what, CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them. You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn't be working for CNN."

Trump to CNN Reporter Jim Acosta

"That's such a racist question. Honestly, I mean, I know you have it written down, and you're going to tell me. Let me tell you: It's a racist question."

Trump to PBS Reporter Yamiche Alcindor

"What a stupid question that is. What a stupid question. But I watch you a lot. You ask a lot of stupid questions."

Trump to CNN Reporter Abby Phillip

"I mean, you talk about somebody that's a loser. She doesn't know what the hell she's doing. She gets publicity, and then she gets a pay raise or she gets a contract, I think it's with CNN. She's very nasty and she shouldn't be."

Trump regarding American Urban Radio Networks Reporter and CNN Contributor April Ryan

Donald Trump on the Stump before Midterms

           Donald Trump on the Stump

Mr. Justice Kavanaugh

October 6, 2018

"Earlier generations of American lawyers conceived their highest goal to be the attainment of a wisdom that lies beyond technique - a wisdom about human beings and their tangled affairs that anyone who wished to provide real deliberative counsel must possess. They understood this wisdom to be a trait of character that one acquired only by becoming a person of good judgment, and not just an expert in the law. . . .

I have given this ideal an old-fashioned name to stress its roots in the past and the air of obsolescence that now surrounds it. I call it the ideal of the lawyer-statesman. . . .

A disproportionate number of America's political leaders have always come from the legal profession. If lawyers are especially well equipped to play a leading role in politics, however, it is not because of their technical legal expertise. It is because their training and experience promote the deliberative virtues of the lawyer-statesman ideal. As this ideal fades and these virtues come to seem less important within the profession, they will be less consciously cultivated by lawyers themselves. And as that happens, the ability of lawyers to provide sound political leadership must eventually deteriorate too.

In the future, the legal profession will continue to supply a large percentage of the country's political leaders. But the demise of the lawyer-statesman ideal means that the lawyers who lead the country will on the whole be less qualified to do so than before. They will be less likely to possess the traits of character - the prudence or practical wisdom - that made them good leaders in the past. Like ripples on a pond, the crisis of values that has overtaken the legal profession in the last twenty-five years must thus in time spread through the whole of our political life with destructive implications for lawyers and nonlawyers alike."

The Lost Lawyer
Failing Ideals of the Legal Profession
by Anthony T. Kronman
Dean, Yale Law School (1994 - 2004)
1995, pp. 2 - 4

New York Times Special Investigation

Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes
as He Reaped Riches From His Father

October 2, 2018

"President Trump participated in dubious tax schemes during the 1990s, including instances of outright fraud, that greatly increased the fortune he received from his parents, an investigation by The New York Times has found.

Mr. Trump won the presidency proclaiming himself a self-made billionaire, and he has long insisted that his father, the legendary New York City builder Fred C. Trump, provided almost no financial help.

But The Times's investigation, based on a vast trove of confidential tax returns and financial records, reveals that Mr. Trump received the equivalent today of at least $413 million from his father's real estate empire, starting when he was a toddler and continuing to this day."

New York Times Special Investigation

11 Takeaways From The Times's
Investigation Into Trump's Wealth

- The Trumps' tax maneuvers show a pattern of deception, tax experts say

- Donald Trump began reaping wealth from his father's real estate empire as a toddler

- That 'small loan' of $1 million was actually at least $60.7 million, much of it never repaid

- Fred Trump wove a safety net that rescued his son from one bad bet after another

-The Trumps turned an $11 million loan debt into a legally questionable tax write-off

- Father and son set out to create the myth of a self-made billionaire

- Donald Trump tried to change his ailing father's will, setting off a family reckoning

- The Trumps created a company that siphoned cash from the empire

- The Trump parents dodged hundreds of millions in gift taxes by grossly undervaluing the assets they would pass on

- After Fred Trump's death, his empire's most valuable asset was an I.O.U. from Donald Trump

- Donald Trump got a windfall when the empire was sold. But he may have left money on the table.

11 Takeaways From The Times's Investigation Into Trump's Wealth

Sept. 5, 2018

The writer is a senior official in the Trump administration.

"The Times today is taking the rare step of publishing an anonymous Op-Ed essay. We have done so at the request of the author, a senior official in the Trump administration whose identity is known to us and whose job would be jeopardized by its disclosure. We believe publishing this essay anonymously is the only way to deliver an important perspective to our readers."

I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration

NYT: How the Anonymous Op-Ed Came to Be

Trump the Outsider

Donald Trump campaigned for president as an outsider

The funeral of John McCain showed
just how much of an outsider he really is

While Washington dignitaries, past and present,
from all political views, gathered to celebrate
the American Spirit and an American Hero,
Donald Trump was out playing golf

"For the clusters of onlookers, besuited power players and three former presidents who had all traveled to Washington National Cathedral, the muggy day was a historic opportunity to memorialize the life of Senator John McCain, who was remembered as a deeply patriotic war hero, a former Republican presidential candidate and a scrappy, humanly flawed, ultimately idealistic lawmaker.

For President Trump, it was Saturday."

NYT: Washington Mourned John McCain.
President Trump Played Golf.

September 1, 2018

"In coordination with and at the direction of a candidate for federal office"

Cohen Pleads Guilty, Implicating the President

NYT: Michael Cohen Says He Arranged Payments to Women
at Trump's Direction

Michael Cohen's Plea Agreement

Manafort Found Guilty by Jury

Washington Post: Manafort convicted on 8 counts;
mistrial declared on 10 others

August 21, 2018

August 16, 2018

"A central pillar of President Trump's politics is a sustained assault on the free press. Journalists are not classified as fellow Americans, but rather "the enemy of the people." This relentless assault on the free press has dangerous consequences. We asked editorial boards from around the country - liberal and conservative, large and small - to join us today to address this fundamental threat in their own words."

Boston Globe: Journalists are not the enemy

New York Times: A free press needs you

Obstruction in Plain View

August 1, 2018

Collusion in Plain View

U.S. - Russia Summit

Helsinki, Finland
July 16, 2018

At the summit, a joint press conference between President Trump and President Putin followed a private meeting (which followed by days a NATO Summit meeting) in which a psychologically fragile and naive U.S. President was debriefed in private for over 2 hours by a trained and experienced KGB agent. Officials at the most senior levels of the U.S. government have little to no information about what was discussed at the private meeting.

President Trump and President Putin at the joint press conference

"Well, actually I called him a competitor. And a good competitor he is. And I think the word "competitor" is a compliment.
.    .   .   .
I hold both countries responsible. I think that the United States has been foolish. I think we've all been foolish. We should've had this dialogue a long time ago; a long time, frankly, before I got to office. And I think we're all to blame.
.    .   .   .
But I do feel that we have both made some mistakes. I think that the - the probe [Special Counsel Mueller's Investigation] is a disaster for our country. I think it's kept us apart, it's kept us separated. There was no collusion at all. Everybody knows it. And people are being brought out to the fore. So far that I know, virtually none of it related to the campaign. And they're going to have to try really hard to find somebody that did relate to the campaign. That was a clean campaign. I beat Hillary Clinton easily. And, frankly, we beat her - and I'm not even saying from the standpoint - we won that race.
.    .   .   .
So I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today. And what he did is an incredible offer. He offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators with respect to the 12 people. I think that's an incredible offer. O.K.? Thank you."

Joint News Conference by Trump and Putin: Full Video and Transcript

Trump Tower Pyongyang?

June 12, 2018

"President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un state the following:

1. The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new U.S.-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.

2. The United States and the DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.

3. Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

4. The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.""

Joint Statement of President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea at the Singapore Summit

"But that [video shown by Trump to Kim] was a version of what could happen, what could take place. As an example, they have great beaches. You see that whenever they're exploding their cannons into the ocean, right? I said, "Boy, look at the view. Wouldn't that make a great condo behind?" And I explained, I said, "You know, instead of doing that, you could have the best hotels in the world right there." Think of it from a real estate perspective."

President Trump's Press Conference On North Korea Summit, Annotated

Video President Trump shared with Chairman Kim
at the Singapore Summit

North Korean video following the summit

Unprecedented Actions by a U.S. President

U.S. President Refuses to Sign Joint G-7 Statement

Calls Canadian Prime Minister
"very dishonest and weak"

June 9, 2018

"President Trump upended two days of global economic diplomacy late Saturday, refusing to sign a joint statement with America's allies, threatening to escalate his trade war on the country's neighbors and deriding Canada's prime minister as "very dishonest and weak."

In a remarkable pair of acrimony-laced tweets from aboard Air Force One as he flew away from the Group of 7 summit toward a meeting with North Korea's leader, Mr. Trump lashed out at Justin Trudeau. He accused the prime minister, who hosted the seven-nation gathering, of making false statements."

Trump Refuses to Sign G-7 Statement and Calls Trudeau 'Weak'

The G-7 summit, summed up in one photo

U. S. President Increasingly Unstable

April 26, 2018

The President of the United States spent 30 minutes live on the phone with the Fox & Friends tv program on Thursday morning, April 26, 2018, in what has been variously described as a "tirade," or a "rant" or "venting."

Watch the video.

Office of Science and Technology Policy
staff drops from 135 to 45 people

Top positions vacant

In 1976, Congress established the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to provide the President and others within the Executive Office of the President with advice on the scientific, engineering, and technological aspects of the economy, national security, homeland security, health, foreign relations, the environment, and the technological recovery and use of resources, among other topics.

OSTP also leads interagency science and technology policy coordination efforts, assists the Office of Management and Budget with an annual review and analysis of Federal research and development in budgets, and serves as a source of scientific and technological analysis and judgment for the President with respect to major policies, plans, and programs of the Federal Government.


Since January of 2017, OSTP's staff dropped from 135 to 45 people. As of March, 2018, the OSTP director position remains vacant, the longest vacancy for the position since the office's founding

Director for the Office of Science and Technology Policy: Vacant
Deputy Director for the Office of Science and Technology Policy: Vacant
Associate Director for Technology: Vacant
Principal Assistant Director for Science: Vacant
Assistant Director for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences: Vacant
Associate Director for Science: Vacant

Chief Technology Officer of the United States: Vacant
Deputy Chief Technology Officer: Michael Kratsios
Associate Director for National Security & International Affairs: Vacant
Associate Director for Energy & Environment: Vacant

Source: Wikipedia - Office of Science and Technology Policy

The Nunes Memo

President of the United States and Republican
Party & Friends Continue Campaign to Discredit
Fundamental American Values and Institutions

"Hannity: Mueller Probe Was Based on a
House of Cards That's Now Crashing Down"

February 2, 2018

"The Republican FISA surveillance memo reveals the biggest case of abuse of power in U.S. history, Sean Hannity said in his opening monologue tonight . . . .

"That type of abuse of power, that type of corruption, that shredding of the Constitution, it is unprecedented in American history," Hannity said.

He said that Mueller's investigation has been a witch hunt from the beginning, and it was built on a house of cards that is now crashing down.

"If we care about the Constitution, if we believe in civil liberties, if we believe in those protections, then the special counsel must be disbanded immediately."

Watch Hannity's powerful monologue above."


"I think it's a disgrace what's happening in our country. A lot of people should be ashamed of themselves, and much worse than that."

-- The President of the United States


The text of the Republican memo and related House documents.

"The [House Intelligence] Committee has discovered serious violations of the public trust, and the American people have a right to know . . . ."

FISA Memo: Charge and Response

House Intelligence Committee Minority Response to Release of Chairman Nunes' Misleading Memo

"Chairman Nunes' decision, . . . to publicly release misleading allegations against the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation is a shameful effort to discredit these institutions, undermine the Special Counsel's ongoing investigation, and undercut congressional probes."

The text of the Democratic memo and related House documents.

Fact Sheet on Democratic Memo


"That's it?" -- James Comey (@Comey) February 2, 2018

A "manufactur[ed] partisan sideshow." -- Senator John McCain

"Fake News Awards"

President of the United States and Republican
Party Continue Campaign to Discredit
Fundamental American Values and Institutions

January 17, 2018

"2017 was a year of unrelenting bias, unfair news coverage, and even downright fake news. Studies have shown that over 90% of the media's coverage of President Trump is negative."

Paid for by the Republican National Committee.

The President un-Promptered

"Why are we having all these people from
shithole countries come here?"

January 11, 2018

Trump derides protections for immigrants from 'shithole' countries

Presidential Rhetoric

President of the United States
proclaims himself "a very stable genius"

Presidential reaction (via Twitter) to news reports quoting passages from the book "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House"
by Michael Wolff

Now that Russian collusion, after one year of intense study, has proven to be a total hoax on the American public, the Democrats and their lapdogs, the Fake News Mainstream Media, are taking out the old Ronald Reagan playbook and screaming mental stability and intelligence.....
- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2018

....Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart. Crooked Hillary Clinton also played these cards very hard and, as everyone knows, went down in flames. I went from VERY successful businessman, to top T.V. Star.....
- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2018 President of the United States (on my first try). I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius....and a very stable genius at that!
- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2018

Michael Wolff is a total loser who made up stories in order to sell this really boring and untruthful book. He used Sloppy Steve Bannon, who cried when he got fired and begged for his job. Now Sloppy Steve has been dumped like a dog by almost everyone. Too bad!
- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2018

The President un-Promptered

U.S. President asserts an "absolute right"
in interview with New York Times
December 28, 2017

U.S. President apparently unfamiliar with difference between an American President and a King

U.S. President ignorant of fundamental
American values and institutions

"What I've done is, I have absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department. But for purposes of hopefully thinking I'm going to be treated fairly, I've stayed uninvolved with this particular matter . . . .

I know the details of taxes better than anybody. Better than the greatest C.P.A. I know the details of health care better than most, better than most . . . .

. . . . there is absolutely no collusion,
that's been proven by every Democrat is saying it . . . .

There is no collusion . . . .

So, I think it's been proven that there is no collusion . . . .

I can only tell you that there is absolutely no collusion. Everybody knows it . . . ."

Transcript of excerpts from interview

Trump Says Russia Inquiry Makes U.S. 'Look Very Bad'

NYT Reporter on his Golf Club Interview with President Trump

10 Falsehoods From Trump's Interview With The Times

In a 30-minute interview, President Trump made 24 false or misleading claims

Time at Mar-a-Lago is a respite for Trump -
and a headache for his staff

White House self-assesments of
president's first year in office

President Donald J. Trump:
Year One of Making America Great Again

Issued on: December 22, 2017

Background Press Briefing on Year-End Accomplishments
Issued on: December 21, 2017

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Sarah Sanders
Issued on: December 19, 2017

2017 Republican Christmas Tree Bill

Trust me: President signs bill to cut taxes
but refuses to release his tax returns

December 22, 2017

"That makes me smart":
The president's view of not paying taxes
[from September, 2016 presidential debate]

Leader McConnell again ignores Regular Order - hearings, expert testimony, public discussion - to rush through most extensive tax legislation in 31 years

Significant budget cuts planned next year to
make up for trillion dollar increase in deficit
caused by new tax law

H.R.1 - An Act to provide for reconciliation pursuant to titles II and V of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2018

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, House and Senate Conference Committee, Policy Highlights

Source: Incomes Grew After Past Tax Cuts, but Guess Whose

Source: Tax Policy Center - Urban Institute & Brookings Institution, Distributional Analysis of the Conference Agreement for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, December 18, 2017

Textbook Case of 'Regulatory Capture'

FCC repeals 'net neutrality' rules for Internet

American Oligarchs Given Control over Internet,
Central U.S. Telecommunications Infrastructure

FCC Press Release
December 14, 2017

FCC Releases 'Restoring Internet Freedom' Order
January 4, 2018

-- More to follow --

Washington Post Report

"Doubting the intelligence, Trump pursues Putin and leaves a Russian threat unchecked"

Dec. 14, 2017

"Nearly a year into his presidency, Trump continues to reject the evidence that Russia waged an assault on a pillar of American democracy and supported his run for the White House.

The result is without obvious parallel in U.S. history, a situation in which the personal insecurities of the president - and his refusal to accept what even many in his administration regard as objective reality - have impaired the government's response to a national security threat. The repercussions radiate across the government.

Rather than search for ways to deter Kremlin attacks or safeguard U.S. elections, Trump has waged his own campaign to discredit the case that Russia poses any threat and he has resisted or attempted to roll back efforts to hold Moscow to account."

Complete report

2017 Midnight Tax Bill

Mitch McConnell, Regular Order,
the Rules of Law and Public Opinion

Senate Leader Mitch McConnell disregards regular order,
the rules of law and public opinion by orchestrating the passage
of a (partially penciled-in) tax bill in the U.S. Senate
after midnight on December 2, 2017.

"Regular order within the context of the United States Congress refers to the semi-strict or strict application of committee and subcommittee processes, including public hearing opportunities and the holding of multiple votes. Said processes are designed to promote consensus-based forms of decision making, particularly in terms of fostering accommodations for minority viewpoints. In the context of the broader history of the U.S. Congress, regular order is closely associated with bipartisanship." Regular Order - Wikipedia

Page 257 from the Midnight Tax Bill

Complete text of bill

The President of the United States Retweets
Anti-Muslim Videos

WASHINGTON - November 29, 2017 - President Donald Trump retweeted inflammatory videos from a fringe British political group Wednesday that purported to show violence being committed by Muslims, drawing quick condemnation from civil rights groups as well as a spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Trump retweeted videos from Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of Britain First, a far-right British group whose profile was elevated by Trump's attention.
Washington Post: Trump's Muslim retweets draw fire from US and abroad

The videos (from top) are titled:

- Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death!
- Muslim destroys a statue of Virgin Mary!
- Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!

Alabama Campaign Rally for Senate Candidate Strange

President of the United States Disparages
Americans for Expressing their Views

President Displays Disregard of
Bedrock American Value of Free Speech

President Adopts Authoritarian Stance,
Ignores U. S. Constitution

Congress Fails to Address President's Actions

September 22, 2017

"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He's fired. He's fired!'"

Source: Trump vents frustrations in rambling speech

Video of president's speech

President Follows Up Speech with Tweets

Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating,
therefore invitation is withdrawn!
- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump [Twitter]) Sept. 23, 2017

Roger Goodell of NFL just put out a statement trying to justify the total disrespect certain players show to our country. Tell them to stand!
- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump [Twitter]) Sept. 23, 2017

If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend!
- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump [Twitter]) September 24, 2017

NFL Teams Respond to the President


Sunday, September 24, 2017

An "America First" Infrastructure Project

Kabul Security Zone to be Significantly Expanded

Expansion Signals Expectation of Long Term
Future American Presence in Afghanistan

           Source: U.S. Expands Kabul Security Zone

           See also: The Vietnam War, a 10-part PBS film.

President of the United States Uses Pardon
to Effectively Nullify Federal Court Ruling

Former Arizona Sheriff Arpaio Pardoned 25 Days
After Finding of Criminal Contempt

President Intervenes in Judicial Process
to Protect Longtime Political Ally

Congress Fails to Address Issue of
Presidential Abuse of Power

Sheriff Arpaio with candidate Trump in Iowa, 2016

United States of America, Plaintiff,
Joseph M. Arpaio, Defendant.


No. CR-16-01012-001-PHX-SRB


This case arose from a finding of civil contempt by Judge G. Murray Snow in the Melendres v. Arpaio, 2:07-cv-02513-GMS case ("Melendres").   .   .   .


The evidence at trial proves beyond a reasonable doubt and the Court finds that Judge Snow issued a clear and definite order enjoining Defendant from detaining persons for further investigation without reasonable suspicion that a crime has been or is being committed; that Defendant knew of the order; and that Defendant willfully violated the order by failing to do anything to ensure his subordinates' compliance and by directing them to continue to detain persons for whom no criminal charges could be filed. Because the Court finds that Defendant willfully violated an order of the court, it finds Defendant guilty of criminal contempt.

IT IS ORDERED finding Defendant guilty of criminal contempt.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED setting Sentencing for October 5, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED directing the Probation Department to prepare a presentence investigation report.

Dated this 31st day of July, 2017.

/s/ Susan R. Bolton
United States District Judge

US v. Arpaio

Executive Grant of Clemency to Arpaio, August 25, 2017

United States Investigation of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, December 15, 2011

MCSO discriminates against Latinos by engaging in police practices that violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Section 14141, Title VI, and the Department's Title VI implementing regulations. Investigation, page 4

"How good is Hannity!"

The President of the United States
Addresses the American People on the Free Press

Phoenix, Arizona, August 22, 2017

". . . But the very dishonest media, those people right up there with all the cameras.
[crowd booing]
So the -- and I mean truly dishonest people in the media and the fake media, they make up stories. They have no sources in many cases. They say "a source says" -- there is no such thing. But they don't report the facts. Just like they don't want to report that I spoke out forcefully against hatred, bigotry and violence and strongly condemned the neo-Nazis, the White Supremacists, and the KKK.
.  .  .  .
And then I went on, this is my first statement, and they said, remember they said, well, he wasn't specific enough. Why wasn't he more specific?
So in my second statement, I got really specific, and they said, why didn't he do it faster? The -- I'm telling you folks, look, look, I know these people probably better than anybody. And a lot of people have a problem with it, because look, what happens with them, if they're doing a story about me, I know if it's honest or false.
If you're reading a story about somebody, you don't know. You assume it's honest, because it's like the failing New York Times, which is like so bad. It's so bad.
[crowd booing]
Or the Washington Post, which call a lobbying tool for Amazon, OK, that's a lobbying tool for Amazon.
Or CNN, which is so bad and so pathetic, and their ratings are going down.
[crowd booing]
[crowd: CNN sucks! CNN sucks! CNN sucks!]
.  .  .  .
You're taxpaying Americans who love our nation, obey our laws, and care for our people. It's time to expose the crooked media deceptions, and to challenge the media for their role in fomenting divisions. [crowd applause]
And yes, by the way -- and yes, by the way, they are trying to take away our history and our heritage. You see that.
[crowd booing]
And -- and I say it, and you know, we're all pros. We're all, like, we have a certain sense. We're smart people. These are truly dishonest people. And not all of them. Not all of them. You have some very good reporters. You have some very fair journalists. But for the most part, honestly, these are really, really dishonest people, and they're bad people. And I really think they don't like our country. I really believe that. And I don't believe they're going to change, and that's why I do this. If they would change, I would never say it. The only people giving a platform to these hate groups is the media itself, and the fake news.
.  .  .  .
The Washington Post is terrible. But these are dishonest -- but let me tell you, you have some great, honest papers. You have some great networks. I must tell you, Fox has treated me fairly. Fox treated me fairly.
[crowd applause]
.  .  .  .
And Hannity? How good is Hannity (inaudible)! How good is Hannity!
[crowd applause]
And he's a great guy, and he's an honest guy. And "Fox and Friends in the Morning" is the best show, and it's the absolute, most honest show, and it's the show I watch. . . ."

Complete transcript of president's remarks


August 11 - 12, 2017



Reactions to Trump press conference, August 15, 2017.

President's Trump Tower press conference, August 15, 2017

"What about the alt-left that came charging at - Excuse me What about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt-right? Do they have any semblance of guilt? Let me ask you this: What about the fact that they came charging, that they came charging with clubs in their hands swinging clubs? Do they have any problem? I think they do. So, you know, as far as I'm concerned, that was a horrible, horrible day.

Wait a minute. I'm not finished. I'm not finished, fake news. That was a horrible day.

I will tell you something. I watched those very closely, much more closely than you people watched it. And you had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. And nobody wants to say that. But I'll say it right now. You had a group on the other side that came charging in without a permit and they were very, very violent.
.  .  .  .
So - excuse me - and you take a look at some of the groups and you see and you would know it if you were honest reporters, which in many cases, you are not. But, many of those people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. So this week, it is Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?
.  .  .  .
I am not putting anybody on a moral plane. What I'm saying is this: You had a group on one side and you had a group on the other and they came at each other with clubs and it was vicious and horrible. And it was a horrible thing to watch. But there is another side. There was a group on this side, you can call them the left. You have just called them the left, that came violently attacking the other group. So you can say what you want, but that's the way it is.
.  .  .  .
Well I do think there's blame. Yes, I think there is blame on both sides. You look at both sides. I think there is blame on both sides. And I have no doubt about it. And you don't have doubt about it either. And if you reported it accurately, you would say. Excuse me. They didn't put themselves down as neo-Nazis. And you had some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides. You had people in that group - excuse me, excuse me - I saw the same pictures as you did. You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down, of to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name."

Complete transcript and video of press conference

           Credit Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

New Nazis parading in Charlottesville, August 12, 2017

More Photos of Events in Charlottesville

More Photos of Events in Charlottesville

Opposition Research

Russia conducts research on the Trumps

"But everything we know about the meeting - from whom it involved to how it was set up to how it unfolded - is in line with what intelligence analysts would expect an overture in a Russian influence operation to look like. It bears all the hallmarks of a professionally planned, carefully orchestrated intelligence soft pitch designed to gauge receptivity, while leaving room for plausible deniability in case the approach is rejected. And the Trump campaign's willingness to take the meeting - and, more important, its failure to report the episode to U.S. authorities - may have been exactly the green light Russia was looking for to launch a more aggressive phase of intervention in the U.S. election."
Trump Jr.'s Russia meeting sure sounds like
a Russian intelligence operation

The President of the United States
Defends the Dignity of the Presidency

@realDonaldTrump on Twitter, July 2, 2017

FBI Director Firing


Will the American People Accept a President who Governs the Country as if it were his Private Company?

"The Russia-Trump collusion story is a total hoax,
when will this taxpayer funded charade end?"

@realDonaldTrump on Twitter, May 8, 2017

"You are hereby terminated
and removed from office, effective immediately"
Letter from the President to the FBI Director
May 9, 2017

"I must recommend that you remove [the FBI] Director"
Letter to the President from the Attorney General, who had previously recused himself from any role in the Russia-Trump collusion investigation
May 9, 2017



House Republicans Pass Health Cut Bill

After the vote, the President and House republicans
congratulate themselves in the White House Rose Garden
May 4, 2017

The bill proposes to cut taxes of higher income Americans
and cut health care for lower income Americans

"This is a great plan"
@realDonaldTrump on Twitter, May 4, 2017

House Republican Health Care Act Page

Politico's Critique of Republican Health Care Act

Congressional Budget Office Report
May 24, 2017

"CBO and JCT estimate that enacting the American Health Care Act would reduce federal deficits by $119 billion over the coming decade and increase the number of people who are uninsured by 23 million in 2026 relative to current law."



President Releases One Page of Tax Notes

No Details

President's One-pager
April 26, 2017

President Trump Proposed a Massive Tax Cut.
Here's What You Need to Know

by Gary Cohn, April 26, 2017

Transcript of Briefing with Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Director Gary Cohn
April 26, 2017

Gary Cohn is the Director of the National Economic Council and former President of Goldman Sachs.

Steve Mnuchin is the Secretary of the Treasury, and former Executive Vice President at Goldman Sachs.

Private Prisons


Inmate Shortage

Administration Takes Steps to Maintain Highest
Incarceration Rate and Alleviate Inmate Shortage

Obama Administration Reduces Use of Private Prisons
Reducing our Use of Private Prisons
August 16, 2016

Trump Administration Restores Private Prisons
Rescission of Memorandum on Use of Private Prisons
February 21, 2017

and Restores Mandatory Minimum Sentences
Department Charging and Sentencing Policy
May 10, 2017

The Budget


2018 US Budget Blueprint
Focuses on Fear and Force

Massive Cuts Proposed to Science, Technology,
Medicine, Arts, Domestic & Foreign Aid, Diplomacy

"The Earth is Flat" Budget

"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together."

President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Farewell Adress, January 17, 1961

Part 1

White House Text of Budget Blueprint
March 15, 2017

New York Times Analysis of 2018 Budget Blueprint

Washington Post Analysis of 2018 Budget Blueprint

Presidential Executive Order on a Comprehensive Plan
for Reorganizing the Executive Branch

March 13, 2017

Press Briefing by OMB Director Mick Mulvaney
Previewing the President's FY18 Budget

March 15, 2017

From the president's message to congress on the proposed budget:

"My Budget Blueprint for 2018:
The core of my first Budget Blueprint is the rebuilding of our Nation's military without adding to our Federal deficit. There is a $54 billion increase in defense spending in 2018 that is offset by targeted reductions elsewhere. This defense funding is vital to rebuilding and preparing our Armed Forces for the future." (Budget Blueprint, p. 1)

Part 2

White House Text of President's Budget FY 2018
May 23, 2017

White House Text of Major Savings and Reforms
May 23, 2017

Major Discretionary Eliminations
(from Major Savings and Reforms doc)
May 23, 2017

Mandatory Savings Proposals
(from Major Savings and Reforms doc)
May 23, 2017

New York Times Analysis of President's Budget FY 2018
May 23, 2017

What is TABOR?

TABOR is a set of citizen-initiated constitutional restrictions on Colorado legislators' ability to
manage the annual budget

These restrictions are based on the idea that
"government-is-too-big / taxes-are-too-high"

TABOR provisions directly restrict the General Assembly's ability to deal in a responsive and pragmatic manner with Colorado's problems and opportunities.

Direct consequences of TABOR restrictions include:
the deterioration of infrastructure across Colorado, the substantial decline in funding available for education in Colorado (detailed elsewhere on this page) and the commercialization of Highway 36 between Denver and Boulder.

"TABOR" - an acronym for 'Taxpayers Bill of Rights' -
is the name given to these restrictions by the proponents of the restrictions.

Specific TABOR provisions include the following:
  • a yearly state spending cap
  • refunds to the public of revenues taken in over and above the spending cap ("TABOR refunds")
  • mandatory state elections for any state tax or debt increase
  • mandatory ballot language for those mandatory elections
  • a flat income tax requirement
  • provisions directly affecting property taxes
  • creation of a new type of quasi-governmental entity: the "enterprise"
See complete story here.

Colorado Public Radio: The Taxman - How Douglas Bruce And The Taxpayer's Bill Of Rights Conquered Colorado

Colorado Fiscal Institute: TABOR at 25, Part II: A Limit on Colorado's Way of Life

A Reporter at Work

Regents refuse to promptly
release meeting minutes

Delays of weeks or months
to release public information

A reporter discusses his experiences trying
to obtain basic information from the University -
in this case the minutes of public meetings of the regents

A portion of the agenda for the Regent meeting
of September 7, 2017: Regents approve release to public
of meeting minutes for the previous 3 months.

See the story here.

Student Loan News

Student debt just hit $1.5 trillion

The Next Financial Calamity Is Coming

New York Times (October 9, 2018) How a Potential $1 Billion Student Loan Settlement Collapsed After Trump Won

"There is growing concern among myself and state attorneys general that the federal government is not only losing interest in holding student loan servicers like Navient accountable, but that the federal government is actively looking for ways to shut down state enforcement actions against Navient and other student loan servicers," said Jim Hood, the Mississippi attorney general, who sued Navient in July. "The timing of filing our lawsuit reflects that concern." "

New York Times (August 27, 2018) Student Loan Watchdog Quits, Saying Trump Administration Is Harming Students

"A top federal official in charge of handling complaints about student loans stepped down on Monday, blasting the Trump administration for protecting predatory lenders at the expense of borrowers.

Seth Frotman, the student loan ombudsman at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, said in his resignation letter that millions of borrowers had been harmed by "sweeping changes" at the bureau under Mick Mulvaney, President Trump's budget director, who became the bureau's acting director in November. . . .

"You have used the bureau to serve the wishes of the most powerful financial companies in America," Mr. Frotman wrote to Mr. Mulvaney. "The current leadership of the bureau has abandoned its duty to fairly and robustly enforce the law.""
Seth Frotman resignation letter

New York Times: (August 10, 2018) DeVos Ends Obama-Era Safeguards Aimed at Abuses by For-Profit Colleges

"WASHINGTON - Education Secretary Betsy DeVos formally moved Friday to scrap a regulation that would have forced for-profit colleges to prove that the students they enroll are able to attain decent-paying jobs, the most dramatic in a series of moves that will free the scandal-scarred, for-profit sector from safeguards put in effect during the Obama era.

In a written announcement posted on its website, the Education Department laid out its plans to eliminate the so-called gainful employment rule, which sought to hold for-profit and career college programs accountable for graduating students with poor job prospects and overwhelming debt by revoking federal funding and access to financial aid. After a 30-day comment period, the rule is expected to be eliminated July 1, 2019."

New York Times: (May 13, 2018) Education Department Unwinds Unit Investigating Fraud at For-Profits

"WASHINGTON - Members of a special team at the Education Department that had been investigating widespread abuses by for-profit colleges have been marginalized, reassigned or instructed to focus on other matters, according to current and former employees.

The unwinding of the team has effectively killed investigations into possibly fraudulent activities at several large for-profit colleges where top hires of Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, had previously worked."

New York Times: (May 9, 2018) Mulvaney Downgrades Student Loan Unit in Consumer Bureau Reshuffle

"WASHINGTON - Mick Mulvaney, the interim director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, will move the agency's student loan division into the bureau's consumer information unit, a shift that career officials fear will sidetrack a major enforcement case the agency is pursuing against Navient, the nation's largest student loan collector.
. . . .
The change comes at a critical moment in the agency's effort to rein in abuses in the student loan industry. The program, started under the Obama administration, has clawed back about $750 million from lenders since 2011. At the center of the bureau's effort is its case against Navient, a spinoff of Sallie Mae, which the agency accused in 2017 of steering low-income borrowers into higher payments than they needed to make, misallocating payments and failing to provide customers with clear information about cost-saving options."

Washington Post: (March 9, 2018) Education Dept. opens door for student loan companies to ignore state authority

"The Education Department issued guidance Friday informing state regulators to back off the companies managing its $1.3 trillion portfolio of student loans, arguing that only the federal government has the authority to oversee its contractors.

State regulation of the servicing of direct loans impedes uniquely federal interests," the department wrote. "State regulation of the servicing of the Federal Family Education Loan Program is preempted to the extent that it undermines uniform administration of the program.""

New York Times Editorial: (March 18, 2018) The Student Loan Industry Finds Friends in Washington

"The loan servicing industry's longstanding failures came into sharp focus three years ago when an analysis of consumer complaints by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that some companies were pushing struggling borrowers toward default - which essentially ruins their financial lives - by giving them misinformation, by making it difficult for them to refinance their loans and pay lower rates, and by withholding information about affordable payment plans."

Four Corners

President outlines big cuts to Utah monuments, environmentalists sue

WASHINGTON/SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) - December 4, 2017 - President Donald Trump on Monday shrank two wilderness national monuments in Utah by at least half in the biggest rollback of public land protection in U.S. history, drawing praise from pro-development lawmakers and a lawsuit from environmentalists.

Full Reuters article

Larger maps, additional documents and links

Uranium Miners Pushed Hard for a Comeback.
They Got Their Wish.

January 13, 2018

Driven by Trump Policy Changes,
Fracking Booms on Public Lands

"Reversing a trend in the final years of the Obama presidency, the Trump administration is auctioning off millions of acres of drilling rights to oil and gas developers, a central component of the White House's plan to work hand in glove with the industry to promote more domestic energy production.

Seeing growth and profit opportunities at a time of rising oil prices and a pro-business administration, big energy companies like Chesapeake Energy, Chevron, and Anschutz Exploration are seizing on the federal lands free-for-all, as they collectively buy up tens of thousands of acres of new leases and apply for thousands of permits to drill."

Driven by Trump Policy Changes,
Fracking Booms on Public Lands

Missing in Action:
CU Center of the American West

CU Flunks Test for Lower and
Middle Income Student Accessibility

The New York Times recently issued its College Access Index. The Index lists 171 colleges in the US with a five-year graduation rate of at least 75 percent, and a commitment to economic diversity: a combination of the number of lower- and middle-income students that a college enrolls and the price it charges these students.

CU did not make the list of 171 US colleges.

This despite the fact that one of the major goals for the Owens-Benson Report of 2003, which proposed major changes in the way Colorado higher education was funded, was "increased access for students from the lowest income levels".

See the complete list of schools at Top Colleges Doing
the Most for the American Dream
and a related commentary
The Assault on Colleges - and the American Dream.

See also 2017 College Access Index Methodology


The Owens-Benson Report

January 10, 2003

A New Model for Higher Education Policy in Colorado

Proposed Changes at Odds with State Constitution:

"first in the nation to fund students rather than institutions"

Basis for Subsequent Higher Ed Legislation

CU President Benson, Chair of the Panel that Produced the Report, Declines to Respond to Questions

The 2003 Owens-Benson Report initiated the privatization of pubic higher education in Colorado. See story here.

CU President Benson Holds Spring 2017 Town Hall Meeting
at Trinity United Methodist Church, Denver.

Introduced by Senior Pastor Michael Dent.
April 13, 2017
Watch the video here.

The Aftermath of 9/11
and Edward Snowden

Following the events of September 11, 2001, the United States government enacted the most far reaching changes to the legal, political and moral character of the United States to take place until the election of November 8, 2016.

In early June of 2013, Edward Snowden delivered a large number of classified documents to journalists in Hong Kong. The documents concerned the internal surveillance activities of the National Security Agency, activities which constituted a major change in U.S. policy. He directed the journalists to make the documents public as they best saw fit, in light of their journalistic experience. He asked for nothing in return.

Edward Snowden spoke via video link at Macky Auditorium at CU on February 16, 2016. The talk was moderated by Ron Suskind, an author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist appearing in person at Macky.

Click here for background information for U.S. government actions following September 11, 2001.

See also:

Apple v. FBI

Higher Education Funding in Colorado

The Colorado Constitution Mandates
State Support for
Public Institutions of Higher Education


We, the people of Colorado, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, in order to form a more independent and perfect government; establish justice; insure tranquillity; provide for the common defense; promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the "State of Colorado".


State Institutions

Section 1. Established and supported by state. Educational, reformatory and penal institutions, and those for the benefit of insane, blind, deaf and mute, and such other institutions as the public good may require, shall be established and supported by the state, in such manner as may be prescribed by law.

Section 5. Educational institutions. (1) The following educational institutions are declared to be state institutions of higher education: The university at Boulder, Colorado Springs, and Denver; . . . .

College Affordability Diagnosis Report 2016

A postsecondary education is no longer
affordable for many students,
making opportunity through higher education
a false promise

"College Affordability Diagnosis paints a sobering picture of college opportunity in the United States today: A postsecondary education is no longer affordable for many low- and middle-income students and their families.

States have lost ground on college affordability. Even in the best-performing states, college is less affordable than it was in 2008.

Student financial aid does not go as far as it used to. Many states have increased investment in need-based financial aid, but much of state aid is not based on financial need.

Unlike in the past, most full-time students cannot work their way through college. Even at many public community colleges - long an entryway into higher education - students would have to work more than 20 hours a week to cover the costs of attending full time.

Debt is often the only option for low- and middle-income students who want to attend college full time. As a major policy strategy, using loans to fill the gap between educational expenses and what students receive in financial aid raises significant concerns, especially for low- and middle-income families.

Low- and middle-income families face significant economic barriers that limit their ability to invest in education. Many of these same families are already burdened with living expenses that consume most, if not all, of their annual incomes.

      State policy makers often talk passionately about wanting to level the playing field. They make a great show of outlining goals for improving educational attainment - for the sake of both a strong civic culture and a robust economy. If they are serious about achieving these outcomes, they must make it a priority to increase the number of students from low- and middle-income families enrolled in college. To truly tackle this problem, policy makers must seek to lessen the financial burden of higher education on these families. Unless we make college affordable for people of all financial means, opportunity through higher education will be a false promise."

Source: Institute for Research on Higher Education (2016),
College Affordability Diagnosis: National Report

See also: College Affordability Diagnosis: Colorado Report

Source: Colorado Commission on Higher Education,
Higher Education in Colorado: Our challenges and our goals

The National Science Board's report states that it "is concerned with the continued ability of these universities to provide affordable, quality education and training to a broad range of students, conduct basic science and engineering research that leads to innovations, and perform their public service missions."

It cautions that a continued decline in state funding "threatens [the major public research universities'] continued capacity to attract the best talent, to provide quality education and training for the next generation of scientists and engineers, and to compete with their private counterparts, and is likely to result in an ongoing increase in tuition and fees."

Source: The National Science Board, governing body
for the National Science Foundation, September 25, 2012,
Trends and Challenges for Public Research Universities

Source: State Higher Education Executive Officers Association,
FY2014 State Higher Education Finance Report

Source: Institute for Research on Higher Education (2016),
College Affordability Diagnosis: Colorado Report

Source: Boston Consulting Group, Five Trends to Watch in Higher Education
(April, 2014), distributed at Regent's annual retreat, July, 2017

Economic Inequality in the United States

                                               Source: The Tax Bill That Inequality Created

Source: Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman | By Karl Russell/The New York Times,
A Bigger Economic Pie, but a Smaller Slice for Half of the U.S.

Source: Through the New York Times, originally from
Economic Policy Institute - The State of Working America
Source: Through the New York Times, originally from
Pfeffer & Schoeni, How Wealth Inequality Shapes Our Future

K-12 Education Funding in Colorado

Source: Colorado School Finance Project

Ten Years of Funding Cuts for K-12 Education in Colorado

2009-2010 to 2018-2019

Total lost revenue: $7,300,000,000 ($7.3B)

Source: Colorado School Finance Project: A Decade of Colorado K-12 School Funding Cuts 2018-19 to 2009-10