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Name: Don
Gender: Male
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Home country: USA
Current location: Greenfield, MA
Member since: Sat Sep 1, 2012, 03:28 PM
Number of posts: 30,025

Journal Archives

Officials: San Antonio truck victim, 19, grew up in Northern Va., was deported

Source: The Washington Post

By Maria Sacchetti, Moriah Balingit and Fenit Nirappil July 25 at 4:35 PM

SAN ANTONIO — One of the undocumented immigrants who died in a stifling tractor-trailer here this weekend was a 19-year-old who lived in the United States and graduated from high school in Northern Virginia before apparently being deported to his native Guatemala, according to interviews with government officials and postings on social media.

Frank G. Fuentes was one of at least three Guatemalan nationals on a truck packed with undocumented immigrants and driven by James Matthew Bradley Jr., said Cristy Andrino, the consul of Guatemala in McAllen, Tex. Fuentes previously had lived in Virginia, Andrino said.

The Guatemalan government said Fuentes, who was initially described as 20-years-old, died of “heat exposure and asphyxiation.” Bradley has been charged with smuggling immigrants for financial gain resulting in death.

A Facebook page belonging to Fuentes, which was getting tagged with condolence messages on Tuesday, said he graduated from J.E.B. Stuart High School in Fairfax County in 2015. A school system official confirmed that a student by that name graduated that year. “He was caring and such a friendly person,” said fellow Stuart attendee Chris Garcia in a Facebook message. “He just wanted to [live] his life here.”

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/immigration/3-guatemalans-among-tractor-trailer-victims-including-one-of-the-dead/2017/07/25/f0b45af6-7131-11e7-8839-ec48ec4cae25_story.html

Manafort testifies to Senate Intelligence Committee, turns over notes from Trump Tower meeting...

Source: The Washington Post

Manafort testifies to Senate Intelligence Committee, turns over notes from Trump Tower meeting with Russian lawyer

By Rosalind S. Helderman and Karoun Demirjian July 25 at 4:13 PM

Paul Manafort, a top campaign aide to President Trump, appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee early Tuesday morning to answer questions about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Before his voluntary interview, Manafort submitted to the committee notes that he took at a meeting with a Russian lawyer he and other campaign aides attended during the presidential campaign, a person familiar with the investigation said.

The notes could provide a key contemporaneous account of a meeting that has emerged as a focus of investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 campaign by both Congress and Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Manafort’s testimony had been widely anticipated but took place without prior announcement early Tuesday, hours before senior White House adviser Jared Kushner appeared before the House Intelligence Committee.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/manafort-turns-over-notes-that-could-provide-new-details-on-trump-tower-meeting-with-russian-lawyer/2017/07/25/85989da6-713e-11e7-8839-ec48ec4cae25_story.html

House passes Russia sanctions bill, setting up veto dilemma for Trump

Source: The Washington Post

By Mike DeBonis and Karoun Demirjian July 25 at 5:15 PM

The House on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly to advance new financial sanctions against key U.S. adversaries and deliver a foreign-policy brushback to President Trump by limiting his ability to waive many of them.

Included in the package, which passed 419 to 3, are new measures targeting key Russian officials in retaliation for that country’s alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election, as well as sanctions against Iran and North Korea in response to those nations’ weapons programs.

Members of the Trump administration, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, have resisted the congressional push — in particular a provision attached to the Russian measures that would require Congress to sign off on any move to relieve those sanctions.

The legislation was revised last week to address some administration concerns, including its potential effect on overseas oil-and-gas projects that include Russian partners. But the bill passed Tuesday retains the congressional review requirement.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/house-prepares-to-pass-sanctions-bill--and-set-up-veto-dilemma-for-trump/2017/07/25/ece80164-7138-11e7-8839-ec48ec4cae25_story.html

Trump Thanks GOP For Voting To Move Forward On Nebulous O'Care Repeal Bill

Source: Talking Points Memo

By ESME CRIBB Published JULY 25, 2017 3:56 PM

President Donald Trump on Tuesday thanked Senate Republicans for voting to open debate on a measure to repeal Obamacare, though it remains unclear what that proposal will be.

“I’m very happy to announce that with zero of the Democrats’ votes, the motion to proceed on health care has just passed,” Trump said during a joint White House press conference with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri. “This was a big step.”

He thanked Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who flew in to vote days after being diagnosed with brain cancer, for making “a tough trip to get here.”

“Very brave man,” Trump said. “So we want to thank Sen. McCain and all of the Republicans. We passed it without one Democrat vote.” He said it was “very sad” that two Republican senators, Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), opposed the motion to proceed, and called health care “always difficult.”

Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-thanks-republicans-obamacare-repeal-vote-senate

GOP Leaders Tout Motion To Proceed As 'Beginning' Of O'Care Repeal Process

Source: Talking Points Memo

By CAITLIN MACNEAL Published JULY 25, 2017 3:56 PM
After Senate Republicans voted to proceed Tuesday afternoon on the repeal of Obamacare, GOP leaders touted the move as the “beginning” of a long, open process to repeal and replace the health care law.

“This is just the beginning,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told reporters during a brief press conference after the vote. “We’re not out here to spike the football.”

McConnell said he expects the Senate to finish debating on the legislation by the end of the week, but he would not provide details about which bills or amendments would be offered on the floor. He said that it’s “impossible to predict” what will happen in such a process.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, referenced what he said was an “important message” in Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) speech after the motion to proceed vote, in which he called for bipartisanship. Cornyn called on Democrats to help build a bipartisan health care bill, arguing that “could be the beginning of that healing process” for a “polarized” institution.


Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/mcconnell-cornyn-motion-proceed-beginning-of-process

This is not okay - WaPo Editorial Board

By Editorial Board July 25 at 2:00 PM

WHEN PRESIDENT TRUMP attacked Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a tweet Tuesday for not aggressively investigating Hillary Clinton, most attention focused, understandably, on the implications for Mr. Sessions. Yet even more alarming than the president’s assault on his own attorney general is Mr. Trump’s return to the “lock her up” theme of his 2016 campaign. We need to recall, once again, what it means to live under the rule of law. Since his inauguration six months ago, so many comparisons have been made to “banana republics” that it is almost unfair to bananas. But there is a serious point to be made about the difference between the United States of America and a state ruled by personal whim.

In a rule-of-law state, government’s awesome powers to police, prosecute and imprison are wielded impartially, with restraint and according to clearly defined rules. These rules apply equally to rich and poor, powerful and weak, ruling party and opposition. In such states, individuals advance on the basis of their talent and initiative, not whom they know. Companies invest where they think the returns will be highest, not to please those in power. The result is that, over time, rule-of-law states prosper. Banana republics do not.

No country ever has attained perfection in this regard, but the United States has been the envy of the world because certain norms have been accepted. After hard-fought elections, the losing side concedes and the winning side leaves the loser in peace to fight another day. Leaders are expected to speak truthfully to their citizens. They respect the essential nonpartisan nature of law enforcement and the military and of key civic organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America. They show respect too for the political opposition.

To list those basic expectations is to understand how low Mr. Trump is bringing his office. Just in the past few days, he urged Navy men and women to call Congress on behalf of his political goals and turned the National Scout Jamboree into an unseemly political rally, calling the nation’s politics a “cesspool” and a “sewer”and disparaging his predecessor and the media. Routinely he trades in untruths, even after they have been exposed and disproved. He has launched an unprecedented rhetorical assault on the independence of the Justice Department, the FBI and the special counsel’s office — and now he is again threatening his defeated 2016 opponent.


Schumer to Trump: don't even think about a sneak Sessions move

Jonathan Swan 21 mins ago

Chuck Schumer gave a little noticed — but very important — speech on the Senate floor this morning. He said there's no way Senate Democrats will allow President Trump to replace Jeff Sessions during the August recess with a friendlier Attorney General who'd fire Robert Mueller, the Special Counsel who heads the Russia investigation.

Why this matters: Dems have the power to stop the Senate going on recess, which means they can block any plans Trump might have to sneak around the Senate confirmation process and appoint a friendlier AG.

The part of Schumer's speech that matters:

"Many Americans must be wondering if the President is trying to pry open the office of Attorney General to appoint someone during the August recess who will fire Special Counsel Mueller and shut down the Russian investigation. First, let me state for the record now, before this scheme gains wings, Democrats will never go along with the recess appointment if that situation arises. We have some tools in our toolbox to stymie such action. We're ready to use every single one of them, any time, day or night. It's so vital to the future of the republic."

As the WashPost reported, citing Steve Vladeck, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law — "Trump could choose an attorney general during the August recess who would serve until the end of the next Senate session, which would run to Jan. 3, 2019. That person would have the same authority as someone who is confirmed by the Senate."



Americans share their ACA success stories with John McCain before he votes on health care reform

TUESDAY, JUL 25, 2017 09:56 AM EDT

Americans share their ACA success stories with John McCain before he votes on health care reform

The Arizona senator is returning to D.C., and people fear he'll repeal the ACA after his cancer treatment


Sen. John McCain is returning to Washington Tuesday to provide a pivotal vote on health care reform. The maverick senator was diagnosed with brain cancer just five days ago, but he apparently got approval from doctors to make the trip back to Congress.

The fate of the Affordable Healthcare Act could rest on the shoulders of the Arizona Republican, and Americans from all over the country are pleading with the senator to protect their health insurance.

McCain tweeted late Monday that he “looks forward” to returning to the Senate to continue working on important legislation, including health care reform.

-snip- (McCain's tweet)

This tweet provided an open invitation for Twitter users to voice their concerns about Obamacare repeal.



Rex Tillerson Hasn't Let Quitting Cross His Mind, Says Spokesman

Source: Newsweek


Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s spokesman is throwing cold water on chatter from sources familiar with Tillerson’s private conversations with friends that he may make a “Rexit” from the Trump administration before the year’s end.

The thought of quitting “never crossed his mind," R.C. Hammond, a State Department spokesman, told Politico of the idea Tillerson might leave early. There is still “plenty of work to do,” Hammond said.

The former Exxon Mobile CEO is currently overseeing a massive reorganization of the department after President Donald Trump’s March budget proposal laid out plans to cut $10 billion from its roughly $47 billion in funding. Yet one source familiar with the private conversations told the publication that Tillerson is “no longer wedded to” his initial plan to stay in the post for at least a year. The secretary of state feels as though he’s “not being allowed to do his job,” they said.

In recent months, multiple other reports about Tillerson’s clashes with the White House and the president from different outlets reveal the difficult time he is having inside the Trump administration.

Read more: http://www.newsweek.com/rex-tillerson-hasnt-let-quitting-cross-his-mind-says-spokesman-641682

North Korea could cross ICBM threshold next year, U.S. officials warn in new assessment

Source: The Washington Post

By Ellen Nakashima, Anna Fifield and Joby Warrick July 25 at 1:38 PM

North Korea will be able to field a reliable, nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile as early as next year, U.S. officials have concluded in a confidential assessment that dramatically shrinks the timeline for when Pyongyang could strike North American cities with atomic weapons.

The new assessment by the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), which shaves a full two years off the consensus forecast for North Korea’s ICBM program, was prompted by recent missile tests showing surprising technical advances by the country’s weapons scientists, at a pace beyond which many analysts believed was possible for the isolated communist regime.

The U.S. projection closely mirrors revised predictions by South Korean intelligence officials, who also have watched with growing alarm as North Korea has appeared to master key technologies needed to loft a warhead toward targets thousands of miles away.

The finding further increases the pressure on U.S. and Asian leaders to halt North Korea’s progress before it can threaten the world with nuclear-tipped missiles. President Trump, during his visit to Poland earlier this month, vowed to confront Pyongyang “very strongly” to stop its missile advances.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/north-korea-could-cross-icbm-threshold-next-year-us-officials-warn-in-new-assessment/2017/07/25/4107dc4a-70af-11e7-8f39-eeb7d3a2d304_story.html?pushid=597782e4e07a841d00000004&tid=notifi_push_breaking-news&utm_term=.71a889fe244d
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