Sunday, February 5, 2017

Emma! No Party and Let The Fun Begin!

My oldest granddaughter lives in New York and is an up and coming artist.  Her work is fresh and very recognizable.  She is beginning to gain a following of collectors.  I believe her work is under priced and distinctive.

You can see some of her work at: Emma  These are a few samples. (See 1 below.)
Displaying 200.gif

Self image

Displaying 200w-2.gif

    Sad Angolina

Displaying source-4.gif

Sedona, Arizona
Democrats in all the way. (See 1 below.)


Let the fun begin. (See 1a below.)
1)Democrats are now the party of ‘no.’ Is that enough to win back the country?

After three months wandering in a post-election wilderness, Democrats in Washington are coalescing around a new mission, courtesy of President Trump: “Resist.” That’s the one-word slogan progressives began using after Trump’s election, but even establishment Democrats have begun to take it up.

“Where we can engage, we certainly will,” House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said last week. But if cooperation is fruitless, she added, “We must stand our ground — we must resist.”
Democrats in Congress began the year less defiant, with a more tentative, case-by-case approach to an untested new president. They were ready to work with Trump, they said, if he met them halfway. Democratic senators confirmed a few of Trump’s Cabinet nominees without much fuss.
Then their base erupted.
Thousands of pink-hatted demonstrators poured into the streets to renounce the president and all his works. Democratic senators’ switchboards lit up with demands that they stop voting for Trump’s nominees. Outside the Capitol, demonstrators crashed a speech by the Senate Democratic leader, Charles E. Schumer of New York, chanting “Do your job.” In Brooklyn, demonstrators gathered outside Schumer’s home, chanting “Resist or resign.”

It won’t stop Cabinet nominations from moving forward; there are 52 Republicans in the Senate, and only 50 are needed for confirmation. But it will make it difficult for the GOP to advance much in the way of new legislation, such as a replacement for President Obama’s healthcare plan; that would require 60 votes.
And Democratic strategists say there’s no political downside to being obstructionist. “It didn’t stop Republicans from winning in 2016,” former Bill Clinton advisor Stanley Greenberg noted.
“Resist” is simple, punchy and clear — but it’s only the beginning of a strategy to revive the Democrats’ fortunes. It’s not enough to win the real prize, which is to regain a majority in the House or the Senate two years from now.
That’s a daunting challenge. Democrats need to win another 24 seats to take back the House, no easy job when gerrymandering has turned many districts into single-party strongholds. The Senate looks even more difficult, because an unusually high number of Democrats are up for reelection, 10 of them in states Trump won.
Still, there’s historical precedent on the Democrats’ side: The party that wins the White House usually suffers reverses in the congressional election that comes two years later. That’s what happened to the Democrats in 2010, after President Obama passed his healthcare plan.
If Democrats have a larger strategy, so far it boils down to this: Make the 2018 election a referendum on Trump, whose job approval is already slightly lower than it was on Inauguration Day.
“You have to assume this is 2010 in reverse,” said Greenberg, who’s advising House Democrats. “The Republicans succeeded in 2010 because they nationalized the election around Obama and Obamacare. The 2018 election will be about Donald Trump, and that changes everything.”
One more factor that’s buoying Democrats’ hopes: the enthusiasm of the anti-Trump demonstrators who have poured into the streets in recent weeks.
“We have a well-known problem with turnout in congressional elections,” said Guy Cecil, another Democratic strategist. “But there’s already a lot of energy out there. We need to find a way to harness it.”
Already, the Democrats’ House campaign committee has released a list of 59 Republican-held districts it will target in the midterm, many in suburban areas that Trump lost to Hillary Clinton last year. In Southern California, one example is Rep. Ed Royce’s district east of Los Angeles, which Clinton won by almost nine percentage points.
But one challenge still bedevils the Democrats: coming up with a single, clear message about what their priorities are —  beyond rejecting Trump.
At the moment, the party doesn’t even have a chairman, and the race for that job has reopened old divisions. Last week, former Vice President Joe Biden endorsed former Labor Secretary Tom Perez, who is widely seen as the candidate of Obama and Clinton loyalists. Bernie Sanders, who backs Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), responded with a tart statement: “Do we stay with a failed status quo approach or do we go forward with a fundamental restructuring?”
“We need to talk about a vision for the country —  the whole country, not just a confederation of demographic groups,” Cecil said. “There are going to be a thousand fights available. The fight needs to be focused, it needs to be consistent, and it needs to be electoral.”
And yet, he conceded, “Our success will depend on whether Donald Trump is a popular president.”
The most important figure in the Democratic Party right now may be Trump. He’s a unifying figure, and they’re hoping his flaws will lead them to victory in the next election. But then, that’s what they thought in 2016.


GOP assault on Obama’s regs is just beginning

A predawn Senate vote marked an early phase in what Republicans and President Donald Trump vow will be a wholesale attack on federal regulations.

Republican lawmakers checked off a second energy industry rule from their kill list Friday, as they and President Donald Trump cranked up what they promise will be a far-reaching effort to erase the Obama administration’s regulatory legacy.

The Senate convened before sunrise and voted to revoke a SEC rule requiring energy and mining companies to reveal their payments to foreign governments. Trump is expected to sign off on that repeal, along with a Senate action Thursday revoking a regulation on coal-mining pollution in streams.

Both moves represent the first successful use in 15 years of the Congressional Review Act, an obscure law that allows Congress to repeal recently enacted regulations by simple-majority votes. The House separately voted Friday to repeal an Obama-era regulation curbing greenhouse gas pollution from oil and gas wells — an action the Senate must approve before it goes to Trump’s desk.

The Republican effort to dust off the 1996 law is just one aspect of Trump's anti-regulation drive. Trump also signed an executive order Friday to start unraveling the Dodd-Frank financial regulations put in place after the 2008 financial crisis, which the new president and congressional Republicans complain are strangling the economy.

The SEC rule that the Senate attacked Friday was required under Dodd-Frank, and was championed by Democrats and transparency advocates as a tool to curb corruption. Had such a rule been effect in past years, Exxon Mobil would have had to disclose what Russia’s government was getting from the company’s multibillion-dollar investment in the country under then-CEO Rex Tillerson, who is now Trump’s secretary of State.

Friday's unusually early Senate vote stemmed from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's clock management for the floor — as well as senators' desire to catch flights home. Leaders in both chambers are acutely aware that the campaign to roll back Obama-era rules will be limited by Senate time restrictions, which also must make room for confirmation votes on Trump's Cabinet nominees and an ambitious GOP agenda on spending, health care and taxes.

“For the next 60 days around here, that’s probably the most important legislative activity — moving these Congressional Review Act items through the chamber," said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.).

Republicans are digging through a list of more than 200 measures that are ripe for repeal under the review act's time restrictions. They also must consider how many resolutions the Senate can deal with, given its slowness compared with the House.

“The criteria will be based on how much the Senate can handle," said House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah). "We’re not just going to repeal rules for the fun of repealing rules if the Senate doesn’t have the time frame to actually pick them up."

The Congressional Review Act allows lawmakers to repeal any regulation completed within the past 60 legislative days. That means that any rule the Obama administration finished after mid-June is vulnerable, but that Congress must act by late May or early June, depending on each chamber’s schedule.

Once Congress uses the act to repeal a regulation, no future administration can enact any “substantially similar” rule without lawmakers' approval. Before this week, Congress had successfully used the review act only once, to overturn a Clinton administration rule in 2001.

Besides voting to repeal the SEC rule, both chambers also voted this week to vacate the coal-mining restrictions that the Interior Department had imposed in December, which were designed to protect steams from the waste created by mountaintop-removal coal mining. In addition, the House's vote Friday would wipe out the Obama administration's attempts to limit emissions of the potent greenhouse gas methane from oil and gas wells on public lands.

The energy industry opposes the methane limits because it would make companies incur the expense of capturing the greenhouse gas and shipping it to market. But environmental groups say controlling methane emissions is crucial in fighting climate change. Greens also complain that letting companies vent their methane into the atmosphere deprives the government of revenue it should receive for fuel produced on federal property.

"There’s absolutely no reason why the industry can’t and shouldn’t be responsible for limiting the methane pollution they waste, leak, vent and flare from our public lands," said Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters. "This rollback is like an early Valentine’s Day gift from the Republican-led House to the oil and gas industry, showing that they love them more than their constituents and everyone who is affected by this pollution."

The methane rule is just one of dozens of late Obama administration regulations that Republicans lambaste as a burden on U.S. businesses, contending they offer few benefits but come with high costs.

“Obviously, over-regulation has been a constant complaint around the country and one of the reasons the economy’s not doing as well as it should,” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) told POLITICO this week. “So this is one tool we have available to us, obviously. So we’re going to do a number of these.”

As soon as next week, the Senate is also expected to take up House-passed resolutions blocking rules that require background checks before Social Security recipients with mental health issues can buy guns, and order federal contractors to disclose labor law violations.

The House, meanwhile, has teed up several more resolutions likely to pass next week. Those would repeal rules on the reporting of work-related injuries and drug-testing requirements; teacher preparation; state education plans; and the use of public lands. More resolutions are in the works as Republican leaders sort through the list of rules that can be be eliminated, a House Republican aide said Friday.

The Trump administration may have to unwind other Obama-era rules through the regulatory process once his Cabinet is in place, or lawmakers may have to block them with appropriations riders, Republicans said.

Courts have never tested the provision of the Congressional Review Act that prohibits the executive branch from enacting rules similar to those lawmakers have repealed. It's almost certain to draw legal challenges in the future, although that's not much of a worry for Republicans now.

“We’re going to make a lot of lawyers rich, but if we’re going after regulations that I think are onerous then I think it’s worth the fight and we should do as much of it as we can," Cole said.

Eric Wolff and Alex Guillén contributed to this report.


No comments: