Sam Knight

Sam Knight has 674 articles published.

After GOP Healthcare Embarrassment, Bannon-Style “Administrative Deconstruction” of Obamacare is Coming

Democrats spent little time on Wednesday gloating about Republicans’ recent Obamacare repeal failure and instead blasted the Trump administration for planned cuts to the Department of Health and Human Services. One Democratic legislator after another teed off on Department Secretary Tom Price, in an appropriations subcommittee hearing. They accused him of planning to wreck Obamacare through executive inaction and austerity measures. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) said Price was carrying out a strategy articulated by Steve Bannon, the ex-Breitbart editor and White House aide. “I see… Keep Reading

Congress Seeks to Penalize Peaceful Pro-Palestine Movement, Amid Annual AIPAC Lobbying Blitz

The influential pro-Israel group AIPAC is asking supporters to back recently-drafted legislation that seeks to punish a peaceful movement in solidarity with Palestinians. The organization, which is in Washington this week for an annual policy conference, is dispatching members to lobby lawmakers to pass the bill. One Washington-based group decrying Israel’s occupation of Palestine has said the proposal is unconstitutional. “This dangerous bill seeks to impose fines on corporations that boycott business dealings with illegal Israeli settlements,” said Josh Ruebner, the policy director of the US… Keep Reading

Obama Admin. Regulator Warns “Massive” Derivatives Market Fraud Is Flying Under the Radar

A former top financial regulator who served under President Obama has warned that there is “a massive amount of misconduct” that goes unpunished in derivatives markets. Ex-Commodity Futures Trading Commission enforcement chief Aitan Goelman told Reuters on Friday that the body lacks the means to ferret out malfeasance, in the era of computerized trading. “We could do a lot more manipulation cases. We have all these new enforcement tools and this vastly expanded jurisdiction and data,” Goelman said. “But you have to be acutely conscious… Keep Reading

Wall Street Can Hire Firm Tied to Trump SEC Chair to Lessen Chance of Getting Punished

President Trump’s pick to be the United States’ top stock market regulator has been described as a “fox guarding the henhouse.” But the predator analogy might not be appropriate because he would be napping for much of the time, according to ethics rules and his job history. SEC Chair-nominee Jay Clayton would have to recuse himself from a wide range of cases involving heavy-hitters in the financial industry, he admitted on Thursday, before the Senate Banking Committee. As a partner at a well-heeled law firm, Clayton… Keep Reading

Distrust of Surveillance State Grows, As Expiration of Key Law Inches Closer

Democrats and Republicans teamed up to blast the FBI on Wednesday, using a government audit on facial recognition capabilities to suggest that surveillance reform could be in the offing. The Bureau has been the target of anger from both parties over the past few months, with criminal investigations impacting presidential politics like they haven’t since the Nixon Era. House Oversight Committee chair Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) brought up some of the recent displeasure from conservatives, in a hearing before the panel. “Somebody decided to take off… Keep Reading

Pro-Gorsuch Dark Money Raises Doubts About Judicial Independence

A Democratic lawmaker expressed concerns on Tuesday about a well-funded advocacy campaign compromising the independence of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) noted that conservative donors are anonymously spending $10 million on lobbying for Gorsuch’s appointment. He said the initiative raises questions about Gorsuch needing to recuse himself from future cases, should his nomination pass the Senate. Those queries, however, cannot currently be answered, with the money having been given anonymously. When asked by Whitehouse about the source of the funding, Gorsuch… Keep Reading

Pattern of Deportation As Retaliation Emerging in Trump Era

Recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement actions raise questions about the Trump Administration using deportation proceedings to punish political opponents—both institutions and individuals. Three undocumented activists in Vermont were arrested over the past week by ICE agents—two of them, while leaving the office of an organization that advocates for immigrants’ rights. In Texas, meanwhile, a federal magistrate judge on Monday confirmed that immigration agents were conducting raids in response to policy changes carried out by the county seat of Austin. The Texas-based federal magistrate, Judge Andrew… Keep Reading

Corruption Case Against Sen. Menendez Can Proceed, SCOTUS Rules

The Supreme Court won’t consider throwing out corruption charges filed against Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.). Justices did not give any reasoning for not granting Menendez a hearing, as is the norm. The lawmaker’s appeal was one of many on Monday that the high court declined to hear. The decision means prior rulings on the indictment will stand, and that a criminal trial can now proceed this fall. Last summer, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia rejected Menendez’s arguments for dismissing the charges. Menendez… Keep Reading

Senior Navy Officials Accused of Interfering in Sexual Assault Investigation

The Pentagon is investigating charges that senior Navy officials “adversely affected the independence” of an internal probe into the “career paths” of those who claim to be victims of sexual assault. The Department of Defense Inspector General said Wednesday that it is launching the inquiry after receiving “hotline allegations.” Carolyn Hantz, an official within the Pentagon’s primary watchdog, disclosed the opening of the investigation in a letter her naval counterparts. “This evaluation will include but is not limited to reviewing relevant supporting documentation and interviews… Keep Reading

Congress Approves of Drug Test Measure that “Vilifies Unemployed Workers”

Congress has voted to jettison Labor Department regulations that limit who can be drug-tested before collecting unemployment benefits from state governments. The Senate on Tuesday passed a resolution under the Congressional Review Act, disapproving of the rule in a 51-48 party line vote. Lawmakers in the House had already advanced the measure, and it now only needs the signature of President Trump before the Obama-era framework is fully scrapped. “It isn’t some fringe or mean-spirited notion that there’s a connection between the use of illegal… Keep Reading

Federal Judge: FBI Can Keep Secret Rules on Warrantless Espionage of Reporters

A federal judge in San Francisco declined on Monday to force the FBI to reconsider a request to divulge guidelines for spying on journalists without a warrant. District Judge Haywood Gilliam Jr. ruled that the agency had properly responded to public records requests at the heart of the litigation, under Freedom of Information Act requirements. The Freedom of the Press Foundation, which filed the lawsuit, had claimed the FBI failed to reference a relevant memo, in response to prior FOIA requests and litigation filed by… Keep Reading

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