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Profile Information

Name: Don
Gender: Male
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Home country: USA
Current location: Greenfield, MA
Member since: Sat Sep 1, 2012, 02:28 PM
Number of posts: 51,604

About Me

Since 1995, a year after I was forced into a very early retirement due to Multiple Sclerosis, I have owned and operated a daily newsgathering service out of my home, for a clientele comprised of TV newscasters, Op-Ed columnists, book authors, a national wire-service and some online publications. I post many of the news articles I gather, here on DU. I also post news articles and Op-Eds written/reported/authored by my list of subscribers/clientele.

Journal Archives

Negotiators strike a deal at global climate talks, but questions linger over whether it measures up

Source: The Washington Post

The final agreement creates rules for how countries will work together to combat climate change. But frustration remains that the world’s progress doesn’t match the urgency of the problem.

By Brady Dennis, Griff Witte and Chris Mooney December 15 at 4:38 PM

KATOWICE, Poland — Weary climate negotiators limped across the finish line Saturday night after days of round-the-clock talks, striking a deal that keeps the world moving forward with plans to curb carbon emissions. But the agreement fell well short of the breakthrough that scientists — and many of the conference’s own participants — say is needed to avoid the cataclysmic impacts of a warming planet.

The deal struck Saturday at a global conference in the heart of Polish coal country, where some 25,000 delegates had gathered, adds legal flesh to the bones of the 2015 Paris agreement, setting the rules of the road for how nearly 200 countries cut their production of greenhouse gases and monitor each other’s progress.

The agreement also prods countries to step up their ambition in fighting climate change, a recognition of the fact that the world’s efforts have not gone nearly far enough. But, like the landmark 2015 agreement in Paris, it does not bind countries to hit their targets. And observers questioned whether it was sufficient given the extraordinary stakes.

“We are driven by our sense of humanity and commitment to the well being of the earth that sustains us and those generations that will replace us,” Michał Kurtyka, the Polish environmental official who presided over the two-week international summit, said late Saturday as the marathon talks drew to a close.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/energy-environment/2018/12/15/negotiators-strike-deal-global-climate-talks-questions-linger-over-whether-it-measures-up/

Trump and Rudy Giuliani tweeting bogus claims about missing texts from ex-FBI agents Strzok and Page

15 DEC 2018 AT 12:21 ET

President Donald Trump tweeted out a blatantly false claim intended to undermine the federal investigation of his campaign ties to Russia.

The president and his attorney Rudy Giuliani each passed along bogus claims that 19,000 texts between two former FBI officials had been destroyed by investigators — which contradicted new findings by the Justice Department’s inspector general.


Giuliani continued tweeting misleading claims about the story, citing conservative media reports, throughout Saturday morning, and then Trump chimed in.


In fact, the Justice Department’s watchdog has found no evidence law enforcement officials intentionally destroyed text messages — which were ultimately recovered by the FBI.

Strzok was removed from special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation after text messages expressing anti-Trump views were discovered, and he was ultimately fired by the FBI and Page, his colleague and girlfriend, resigned.



Trump Dances on the Weekly Standard's Grave: 'Pathetic and Dishonest'

President Donald Trump unleashed on The Weekly Standard in a tweet Saturday morning, a day after the conservative magazine announced it would be closing down.


The Weekly Standard, founded in 1995 by Bill Kristol, has been deeply critical of the president and his brand of conservatism. Kristol — a leading voice of the Never Trump movement — currently serves as the mag’s editor at large, while Stephen Hayes is its editor in chief.

The owner of The Weekly Standard, Clarity Media Group, announced on Friday the magazine would be shuttering after 23 years. In an op-ed, founding editor John Podhoretz accused the magazine’s current owners of murdering the Weekly Standard. He wrote that they would not allow for its sale, and suggested they intended to harvest the magazine’s subscriber base for its other publication, The Washington Examiner — which has embraced Trump to a greater extent than TWS.



Sally Yates Was 'Not Happy' About The FBI's Move To Interview Mike Flynn

By Tierney Sneed

December 14, 2018 4:55 pm

President Trump was too busy directing workers where to place art in the West Wing on Jan. 24, 2017 to notice the two FBI agents walking by whose impending interview of his national security advisor was about to dog his presidency for years.

That, and other details about the fateful day that Michael Flynn lied to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador, were revealed in a court filing Friday by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Before the FBI sat down with Flynn, he had given false accounts of the conversations with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak to top administration officials, who in turn repeated it to the media, Mueller pointed out.

Nevertheless, then-Acting Attorney General Sally Yates was reportedly “not happy” about the plan to interview Flynn about the Kislyak discussion, which took place during the presidential transition.

According to notes from a July 2017 FBI interview with Peter Strzok — the lead FBI agent who interviewed Flynn and who later got kicked off the Russia probe for anti-Trump texts — then-FBI Director James Comey was only going to tell Yates right before the interview about the plan, though he ended up telling her a little earlier when she called him about another matter.


'Stop,' 'I wasn't there,' 'I don't know anything about that': Republicans dodge or dismiss Trump's..

‘Stop,’ ‘I wasn’t there,’ ‘I don’t know anything about that’: Republicans dodge or dismiss Trump’s legal woes

By Seung Min Kim December 15 at 6:00 AM

A reporter hadn’t even finished asking about President Trump and the sentencing of his former lawyer Michael Cohen when Republican Sen. James E. Risch indicated he would have none of it.

“Oh, I don’t do interviews on any of that stuff,” Risch said when questioned about Trump’s shifting explanations on efforts to buy the silence of women who claimed sexual dalliances with him.

Well, why not?

“I don’t do any interviews on anything to do with Trump and that sort of thing, okay?” Risch (Idaho) responded curtly before quickly slipping into the Senate chamber.

As Trump’s legal woes — rooted in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe and the Southern District of New York’s investigation into the hush payments — continued to spiral this past week with new revelations and fresh presidential denials, congressional Republicans found themselves in a familiar position: struggling to account for Trump’s behavior and not-so-consistent statements about his personal controversies.


How Schumer united Dems against Trump's wall

Senate Democrats are emboldened after the midterm elections and Trump’s vow to own any government shutdown.

By BURGESS EVERETT 12/15/2018 06:53 AM EST

The midterm election results had barely finished trickling in when Chuck Schumer began preparing for a head-on collision with President Donald Trump over the border wall.

The Senate minority leader called his members on the phone and buttonholed them in his office — eager to see where they stood on the president’s $5 billion border wall request, according to a person familiar with his interactions.

Several moderate Democrats had previously endorsed or considered supporting the funding, but after the midterms, the whip count was clear. There aren’t even close to nine Democrats who would join Republicans to break a filibuster.

The bottom line? Mexico isn’t paying for the border wall, and neither is Congress — even if there’s a Christmastime shutdown.

“You can break arms and do things like that, I don’t think the votes are here,” said Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.). Even ousted Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) said in an interview he wasn’t wedded to the $5 billion wall proposal after endorsing it during his reelection campaign.

The Democratic unity is already having its desired effect: After digging in on Tuesday in a remarkable back and forth with Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in a televised Oval Office debate, Trump is actively considering ways out of the wall fight to avoid a partial shutdown next Friday.


Author of Ohio's strict abortion bill believes Supreme Court will welcome it 'with open arms'

The bill, which just passed in the Ohio Senate, would ban abortions as soon as a heartbeat is detected, which could be as early as six weeks.

Dec. 15, 2018 / 6:59 AM EST

By Elizabeth Chuck

A bill that would ban abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected was approved this week by the Ohio Senate, the first step in what the bill's author says is the controversial legislation's path to being welcomed by the U.S. Supreme Court "with open arms."

But many legal experts and women's rights groups say the bill has no chance of surviving in the nation's highest court — even with the shift in the makeup of Supreme Court justices that President Donald Trump's conservative nominations have ushered in.

Ohio's so-called heartbeat bill would ban abortions from the moment a heartbeat is detected in a fetus, which can be as early as six weeks into a pregnancy — before some women even know they are pregnant.

Its author, president and founder of pro-life network Faith 2 Action Janet Porter first introduced the bill in Ohio in 2011 and has in past years described it as being designed to be the "arrow in the heart of Roe v. Wade," the 1973 case that legalized abortion nationwide.


Trump push to deport Vietnam War refugees scalds California GOP

‘It’s not just bad social policy. It’s incredibly bad politics,’ said one Republican consultant.

By JEREMY B. WHITE 12/15/2018 06:56 AM EST

Anti-Trump sentiment helped Democrats topple every Republican House member in Orange County last month in the storied California conservative stronghold.

Now, a Trump administration push to deport Vietnamese nationals is compounding the party’s problems, possibly cementing the loss of a coastal county that had long been the epicenter of Republican power in California.

As state Republicans try to chart a path out of electoral oblivion, several of them expressed incredulity that Donald Trump would follow the election thrashing by antagonizing one of the few minority groups that has consistently voted for GOP candidates.

“Trump shovels more dirt on California Republicans’ grave...” Republican Assemblyman and former leader Chad Mayes tweeted in response to reports that the administration would revive its efforts to deport Vietnamese people who arrived in America before 1995.


For 76-year-old Joe Biden, age a factor as he mulls 2020 run


33 minutes ago

As he considers running for president, Joe Biden is talking with friends and longtime supporters about whether, at 76, he’s too old to seek the White House, according to several sources who have spoken with the former Democratic vice president.

The discussions suggest Biden is aware that his age may be the biggest hurdle to launching another bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, especially in an era when many in the party yearn for a new generation of leadership. He would be the oldest person to ever be elected president.

Past and current advisers to Biden have held frequent conversations about options to alleviate concerns about age, including teaming him with a younger running mate. One option that has been floated, according to a source with knowledge of the talks, is outgoing Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who at 46 has become the subject of intense 2020 speculation after nearly beating GOP Sen. Ted Cruz.

The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations. Representatives for Biden and O’Rourke declined to comment for this story.


VA Secretary Misled Senators During Confirmation

Source: PoliticalWire

December 15, 2018 at 7:23 am EST By Taegan Goddard

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie “gave inaccurate answers to senators during his confirmation process about pro-Confederate speeches he delivered in 2009,” CNN reports.

“In response to questions about remarks he made at Confederate memorial events, Wilkie downplayed his participation in a June 2009 event at the Confederate memorial in Arlington National Cemetery as simply introducing a keynote speaker. He also said he didn’t have copies of remarks because he had not delivered a speech to such groups in ’15 to 20 years.'”

“But Wilkie’s comments stand in contradiction to what his spokesman told CNN’s KFile team last week, when he confirmed that Wilkie delivered a speech extolling the legacy of Robert E. Lee at that June 2009 ceremony at the Confederate memorial. The speech was the same one that he gave to another group in December 2009, which was also published in the Confederate Veteran magazine.”


Read more: https://politicalwire.com/2018/12/15/va-secretary-misled-senators-during-confirmation/
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