Trump threatens to break the glass on DOJ succession plan – POLITICO

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/16/donald-trump-justice-department-succession-plan-239652

“We know Rachel Brand is the next victim,” said Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and the editor-in-chief of Lawfare, referring to the former George W. Bush official who was recently confirmed as associate attorney general, the third-highest position in the Justice Department.

“For those of us who have high confidence in Rachel — the more confidence you have in someone in this role, the less long you think they’ll last,” said Wittes, who said he considers Brand a friend. “That does put a very high premium on the question of who is next.”

That question, however, has become more complicated because the Trump administration has been slow to fill government positions and get those officials confirmed. Typically, the solicitor general would be next in line after the associate attorney general, followed by the list of five assistant U.S. attorneys, the order of which would be determined by the attorney general. But none of those individuals have been confirmed by the Senate, and they would be unable to serve as acting attorney general without Senate confirmation.

Because of that, the executive order comes into play — one that puts next in line after Brand the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Dana Boente. Boente, a career federal prosecutor and an appointee of former President Barack Obama, was tapped last April to serve as the interim head of the Justice Department’s national security division, which oversees the FBI’s Russia investigation.

Boente, who was briefly thrust into the no. 2 spot at the Justice Department after Yates was fired, was also tasked with phoning Preet Bharara, then U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, to deliver the unexpected news that he was fired. At the time, Boente also vowed to defend Trump’s travel ban in the future.

Rosenstein friends say he won’t be influenced by Trump tweets – POLITICO

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/16/rod-rosenstein-donald-trump-attack-239648

“I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt,” Trump tweeted Friday morning, apparently referring to Rosenstein and his role in preparing a memo that was used to justify Comey’s dismissal.

Trump’s morning tweet reverberated in legal circles, where many viewed it as encouragement that Rosenstein recuse himself from overseeing the investigation being led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Some said the Twitter message could even be a prelude to Rosenstein’s resignation or firing.

Forgiving the unforgivable: 4 years a slave laborer under the Khmer Rouge | Street Roots

http://news.streetroots.org/2017/06/02/forgiving-unforgivable-4-years-slave-laborer-under-khmer-rouge

many believing the Khmer Rouge would be good for Cambodia. 

Unlike his long-held infatuation with the Royal Rosarians later in life, Kilong’s adoration for the Khmer Rouge soldiers would quickly fade. 

Soon after the war’s end celebration, he saw a group of the soldiers humiliate a man in the street near his home. After berating and threatening the half-naked man to the point of urinating on himself, they shot him in the head, killing him instantly right before Kilong’s eyes.

The Khmer Rouge regime and its Marxist leader, Pol Pot, are notorious for what followed. 

They transformed the entire country of Cambodia into a network of barbaric prison-like labor camps, forcing families apart and out of the cities to work on communal farms and build infrastructure.

Workers were not allowed possessions or contact with their families. They were expendable cogs in a machine, worked to death and frequently tortured or executed for trivial missteps.

Cambodians starved to death beneath trees full of ripe coconuts and oranges. In the newly communist and heavily militarized Cambodia, trees belonged to everyone, so their fruits were off-limits.

Democratic Norms Are Under Attack, and Not Just by Trump

http://www.governing.com/topics/politics/gov-democracy-trump-states-legislatures.html?AMP

University of North Carolina political scientist, who had helped devise a formula for measuring the vitality of democracies, wrote a newspaper column claiming his state’s restrictions on voting and its unwillingness to follow established rules “means our state government can no longer be classified as a full democracy.” 

Reynolds’ column was widely shared and reprinted by several national outlets, mostly but not exclusively liberal. He received some pushback. But the North Carolina legislature seems to be on a mission to prove him right.

Immediately after last November’s election, in which Democrat Roy Cooper unseated GOP Gov. Pat McCrory, the Republican-controlled legislature used a lame-duck session to strip the governor’s office of a number of key powers, including authority over some appointments. That effort has been held up in court

Comey details ‘inappropriate’ and ‘very concerning’ meetings with Trump – ABC News

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/comey-testify-trump-asked-loyalty-drop-flynn-investigation/story?id=47893899

FBI Director James Comey detailed a series of interactions with Donald Trump in which he says the president left him feeling uncomfortable and “concerned,” pressed him for “loyalty,” pushed him to clear the president’s name and drop the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Pro-Trump Nonprofit 501(c)(4) Runs Ad Attacking Comey ahead of Testimony – Non Profit News For Nonprofit Organizations | Nonprofit Quarterly

Source: Pro-Trump Nonprofit 501(c)(4) Runs Ad Attacking Comey ahead of Testimony – Non Profit News For Nonprofit Organizations | Nonprofit Quarterly

The Great America Alliance was born out of the Great America PAC, which supported Trump’s election. Wikipedia describes the Alliance as follows:

In December 2016, Great America PAC announced the formation of a new offshoot called the Great America Alliance, which it described as a research and issue advocacy organization whose mission was to support the “Trump Agenda”

How Trump’s Health Budget Would Impact States

http://www.governing.com/topics/health-human-services/gov-trump-budget-health-medicaid-chip.html?AMP

Trump’s budget, “A New Foundation for American Greatness,” slashes spending in almost every department except defense. While it has no chance of passing, health experts caution that it shouldn’t be written off because it will still influence Congressional Republicans’ spending bills.