According to eyewitnesses around 10:36 am on NW Stewart Pkwy overpass, a blue 4 door late model Honda sedan was seen spinning out of control before making contact with a city bus in the opposite lane. Both female driver and male passenger look to be in their early 20’s.
By Cheryl Chumley
It’s barely a month into President Donald Trump’s administration, and already the White House is rocking with breaking news of a shake-up that has led to the resignation of Michael Flynn from his national security adviser spot.
Flynn’s abrupt departure from the White House came after reports he misled administration officials about the content and frequency of his communications with Russia’s ambassador to the United States – a political misstep that critics said left him vulnerable to blackmail.
Flynn, in a letter dated Feb. 13, expressed remorse. The full text of his letter:
“In the course of my duties as the incoming National Security Advisor, I held numerous phone calls with foreign counterparts, ministers and ambassadors,” Flynn wrote. “These calls were to facilitate a smooth transition and begin to build the necessary relationships between the President, his advisors and foreign leaders. Such calls are standard practice in any transition of this magnitude.
“Unfortunately, because of the fast pace of events, I inadvertently briefed the Vice President Elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian Ambassador. I have sincerely apologized to the President and the Vice President, and they have accepted my apology.
“Throughout my over thirty three years of honorable military service, and my tenure as the National Security Advisor, I have always performed my duties with the utmost of integrity and honesty to those I have served, to include the President of the United States.
“I am tendering my resignation, honored to have served our nation and the American people in such a distinguished way.
“I am also extremely honored to have served President Trump, who in just three weeks, has reoriented American foreign policy in fundamental ways to restore America’s leadership position in the world.
“As I step away once again from serving my nation in this current capacity, I wish to thank President Trump for his personal loyalty, the friendship of those who I worked with throughout the hard fought campaign, the challenging period of transition, and during the early days of his presidency.
“I know with the strong leadership of President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence and the superb team they are assembling, this team will go down in history as one of the greatest presidencies in U.S. history, and I firmly believe the American people will be well served as they all work together to help Make America Great Again.”
Flynn’s situation in the White House, and Trump’s plans for his future, had been described right up until the final moments before his resignation as “fluid,” leading some to believe he might actually keep his role. Top White House aides, however, had been urging Trump in recent hours to get rid of Flynn, seeing him as a political liability and untrustworthy figure who would become an easy target for Democrats to exploit.
The conflicting messages came from the highest positions of Trump’s team.
Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s counselor, tried to tamp down concerns about Flynn’s fate in the lead-up to his resignation, telling national television audiences the general “does enjoy the full confidence of the president.”
But Sean Spicer, Trump’s press secretary, seemed to shortly after suggest otherwise.
“The president is evaluating the situation,” Spicer said, within hours of Conway’s public remarks.
It’s not yet clear who might replace Flynn. Trump has yet to respond publicly to the resignation.
The most damaging aspect of the Flynn matter seemed to have come from reports of the acting attorney general, Sally Yates, informing the Trump White House in late January of her belief Flynn had misled the administration about his talks with Russia’s ambassador. Specifically, Yates expressed concerns that Flynn told Mike Pence and others in the White House he had not spoken of the sanctions put in place under Barack Obama’s administration against Russia over the election hacking scandal.
by Dr. Susan Berry
Pence’s vote was in accordance with his post as president of the Senate. The Senate vote was 50-50, with two Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins (ME) and Lisa Murkowski (AK), voting against DeVos.
As Fox News notes, Pence’s vote “marked the first time in American history a vice president has broken a tie on a Cabinet nominee’s Senate confirmation – and the first tie-breaking vote by a VP since 2008.”
“The Senate being equally divided, the vice president votes in the affirmative, and the nomination is confirmed,” Pence said in the Senate.
DeVos has been one of the most controversial picks for President Donald Trump’s cabinet. Objections to her nomination have come from both the left, including teachers’ unions, and the grassroots base of the GOP who want to see the federal education department dismantled and oversight of education turned back to parents and local school districts.
Democrats, like ranking member of the Senate education committee Sen. Patty Murray (WA), highlighted DeVos’ vast wealth and potential financial entanglements, as well as a lack of experience with the public school system. Republicans, such as Sen. Tim Scott (SC), however, said DeVos’ work in the area of school choice, to help children in low-income school districts escape failing public schools, makes her qualified to lead an education system that is abandoning many of its students.
By John A. Charles, Jr.
For the past 18 months, the Oregon Land Board has been working to sell the Elliott State Forest. The decision to seek buyers was based on the fact that the Elliott is losing money, and it is supposed to be making money for Oregon schools.
At its December meeting, the Board was presented with a firm offer of $221 million from a private buyer. Instead of accepting the offer, the Board did nothing. Governor Kate Brown said she wants to sell bonds to buy the Elliott so that it remains in public ownership.
The only problem is that the public already owns it. Selling bonds to buy ourselves out makes no sense.
Land Board members have a fiduciary obligation to maximize revenues from the Elliott for the benefit of students. Increasing taxes on the parents of those students to pay off bonds would be a breach of fiduciary trust.
The only way to ensure that taxpayers benefit is to sell the Elliott to private parties and place the proceeds in the Common School Fund, where the investment earnings are shared with school districts.
The two new Land Board members—Treasurer Tobias Read and Secretary of State Dennis Richardson—should work with the Governor to accept the private offer and move on.
John A. Charles, Jr. is President and CEO of Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.
©2017 Cascade Policy Institute