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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: 52,834

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

Signs of trouble on Team Trump? Jeff Sessions could be in trouble; Michael Flynn could be toast

TUESDAY, JAN 31, 2017 08:05 AM EST

Sessions looks worse in the wake of Sally Yates' firing; Flynn may be too erratic even for the Trump White House


Late on Monday night, President Trump fired Sally Yates, the acting attorney general left behind by the Obama administration. Citing both the law and the Constitution, Yates had ordered the Department of Justice not to defend his ban on Muslims from certain countries entering the United States. Republicans all applauded the firing, calling her insubordinate because it was her job to carry out his orders, no questions asked. Democrats hailed her as a hero for asserting the independence that’s supposed to be conferred upon the office. To back this up they produced footage of Sen. Jeff Sessions himself — yes, now Trump’s attorney general-designate — telling Yates during her confirmation hearing that she was obligated to say no if she believed the president’s order were unlawful.

-snip- (video of Sessions questioning Yates)

At this point it would behoove the Senate to think very, very hard about confirming Sessions as the new attorney general. It’s hard to imagine that he would ever say no if Donald Trump wanted him to execute an unlawful order. On the other hand, it’s also hard to imagine that Trump would ever ask him to execute an unlawful order that Sessions didn’t enthusiastically agree in advance should be executed, so perhaps it’s a moot point. Nonetheless this crisis should induce Democrats to stiffen their spines and vote against Sessions. According to this Washington Post article, this is just a preview of what’s to come:

The early days of the Trump presidency have rushed a nationalist agenda long on the fringes of American life into action — and Sessions, the quiet Alabam­ian who long cultivated those ideas as a Senate backbencher, has become a singular power in this new Washington.

Sessions’s ideology is driven by a visceral aversion to what he calls “soulless globalism,” a term used on the extreme right to convey a perceived threat to the United States from free trade, international alliances and the immigration of nonwhites. …


Pharma CEO Now Denies Price Was Offered Exclusive Deal On Stock

Source: Talking Points Memo

By MATT SHUHAM Published JANUARY 31, 2017, 11:15 AM EDT

The CEO of an Australian pharmaceutical company is forcefully denying offering President Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services a sweetheart stock deal.

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) was one of fewer than 20 American investors in Innate Immunotherapeutics, Ltd. to have been offered discounted shares of the company.

But Simon Wilkinson, the company’s CEO and a quoted source for the Journal’s story, wrote to CNN Tuesday that it was “NOT factually correct” to say Price was one of fewer than 20 U.S. investors to have been offered discounted shares.

"All Australian and New Zealand shareholders (the company had about 2,400 shareholders at the time of whom 850 had actively supported share offerings over the previous 5 or more years) were 'invited' (offered) new shares at the same discount," Wilkinson wrote to CNN. "Our 'accredited' US resident shareholders were also made aware of the offering. About 600 AU/NZ shareholders and about 20 US shareholders/investors took up the 'invitation.'"

Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/innate-immuno-ceo-denies-tom-price-sweetheart-deal

Donald Trump, Our 'America First' President, Is Profoundly Un-American

‘The presidency,’ FDR said, ‘is preeminently a place of moral leadership.’ Don’t expect any from Donald Trump.


01.31.17 12:00 AM ET

The most striking thing about President Trump’s first 10 days in office is that the ardent nationalist who pledged to put “America first” is emerging as the least American president of the United States.

By least American, I mean least connected to the larger democratic values that define the country.

Our national identity is unique in the world because it’s based not on race, religion, or country of origin, but on ideals that transcend party.

Such ideals are at odds with a president who lies promiscuously, destabilizes the government with impulsive, discriminatory, and inhumane policies backed up with jarring firings, and cannot allow his White House to apologize or admir error under any circumstances, even for neglecting to mention Jews in a Holocaust commemoration. Those are the telltale signs of a foreign dictator, not an American leader.

Trump’s mentor in 1980s New York was Roy Cohn, who helped Sen. Joe McCarthy identify liberals who could be defined as “un-American.” Now the wheel has turned and supporters of patently unconstitutional religious tests are the ones whose patriotism is being called into question.


U.K. Posthumously Pardons Thousands of Gay Men

Source: BBC News

Thousands of gay and bisexual men found guilty of decades-old sexual offences in England and Wales have been posthumously pardoned.

The enactment by the government of the so-called Alan Turing law means about 49,000 men will be cleared of crimes of which they would be innocent today.

Wartime code-breaker Mr Turing was pardoned in 2013 for gross indecency.

Statutory pardons will also be granted to people still living who apply to have their convictions removed.
The pardons were first announced last year and have now been officially rubber-stamped after the Policing and Crime Bill received Royal Assent.

The men were found guilty of committing now-abolished offences while in consensual relationships.

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-38814338?ns_mchannel=social&ns_campaign=bbc_breaking&ns_source=twitter&ns_linkname=news_central

Donald Trump UK state visit to be debated in Parliament

Source: CNN

By James Masters, CNN
Updated 10:21 AM ET, Tue January 31, 2017

London (CNN)Members of the UK parliament are to hold a debate on President Donald Trump's controversial state visit.

The debate, which will be held in the House of Commons on February 20, comes after a petition calling for the invite to be scrapped attracted over 1.6 million signatures.

A counter petition, supporting Trump's visit, will also be discussed, after it gathered the support of more than the required 100,000 signatures required to trigger a debate in Parliament.

Protests took place across the UK Monday with thousands turning out to protest against Trump's potential visit in which he would be expected to meet Queen Elizabeth II.

This is a developing story...

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/31/politics/donald-trump-parliament-state-visit-debate/index.html

Madeline Albright rails against the travel ban: Trump officials need to 'actually read...

Madeline Albright rails against the travel ban: Trump officials need to ‘actually read the Constitution’

31 JAN 2017 AT 09:59 ET

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is not happy about President Donald Trump’s latest executive order to ban certain immigrants and refugees from coming into the United States.

In an interview with Chris Cuomo Tuesday, the Bill Clinton appointee blasted the ban and those who helped write the order. “It would be helpful if the people at the top of our government actually read the Constitution,” she said.

Albright explained that the “unprepared plan” will not make America safer, rather it is dangerous to Americans.

“It has actually created more danger,” she said. “Because there are countries that are now, in fact, not able to cooperate with us in terms of intelligence sharing or generally mistrust, and there’s going to be tit for tat, where we have troops in Iraq and we have to worry how they are going to be treated.”


Senate Democrats boycott committee vote on Trump nominees Mnuchin and Price

Source: Reuters

31 JAN 2017 AT 10:51 ET

U.S. Senate Democrats on Tuesday boycotted a planned committee vote on two of President Donald Trump’s nominees, Steve Mnuchin to be Treasury Secretary and Tom Price to head the Health and Human Services department, making it impossible for the vote to go forward.

Democrats said they were delaying the vote because they wanted more information on Price’s stock trades in an Australian medical company and reports that Mnuchin’s former bank, OneWest, used automated “robosignings” of foreclosures, which apparently contradicted statements he made to senators.


Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/2017/01/senate-democrats-boycott-committee-vote-on-mnuchin-price/

'He is running a cabal': White House leaker says Steve Bannon runs 'shadow NSC' with no paper trail

31 JAN 2017 AT 09:28 ET

Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s chief political strategist, has taken control of domestic and national security police, according to a Trump administration source.

An intelligence official who spoke to Foreign Policy magazine painted a picture of a White House that was in disarray and being run without checks and balances or even a complete paper trail.

Even before he was given a formal seat on the National Security Council’s “principals committee” this weekend by President Donald Trump, Bannon was calling the shots and doing so with little to no input from the National Security Council staff, according to an intelligence official who asked not to be named out of fear of retribution.

“He is running a cabal, almost like a shadow NSC,” the official said. He described a work environment where there is little appetite for dissenting opinions, shockingly no paper trail of what’s being discussed and agreed upon at meetings, and no guidance or encouragement so far from above about how the National Security Council staff should be organized.


Paul Krugman says democracy and Trump can't coexist: 'Either he or the republic will be gone soon'

31 JAN 2017 AT 10:23 ET

New York Times columnist and Pulitzer Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman believes there are only two ways Donald Trump’s presidency can end: Either with his resignation, or the death of democracy.

In a tweet storm posted on Tuesday morning that analyzed the events of the past few days — such as the anti-immigration executive order that sparked chaos last weekend and the president’s continued assault on media outlets who don’t give him positive coverage — Krugman said that there was simply no way that a president with Trump’s authoritarian tendencies can coexist with our constitutional republic.

In other words, writes Krugman, either Trump goes or our democracy does.

“Given the rate at which things are coming to a head, “President Trump” — the sort-of legitimate head of a republic — won’t last long,” Krugman writes. “Either he or the republic, in any meaningful sense, will be gone quite soon. I have a hard time seeing one year, let alone four.”

What this means, Krugman says, is that absolutely no one should collaborate with Trump — even if they happen to agree with him on a particular issue. The threat to democracy that Trump represents, according to Krugman, is too great to risk giving him legitimacy.


'Morning Joe': The 'frightening' way Trump fired Sally Yates was something an 'autocrat' would do

After the Trump administration fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates for her refusal to defend its executive order barring immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, it issued a statement calling her “very weak,” while also slamming her for supposedly “betraying” the Justice Department.

On Morning Joe Tuesday morning, co-host Joe Scarborough argued that Trump had the right to fire Yates for her defiance, but he said the way that his administration trashed her on the way out the door was terrifying. Specifically, the administration’s declaration that she had “betrayed” the DOJ seemed to really spook the MSNBC host.

“The word ‘betrayed,’ using the word betrayed for somebody, that’s frightening,” Scarborough said. “That’s what an autocrat would use, whoever put that word in there.”

Scarborough then emphasized that he did believe that Trump may have been in the right to fire Yates, but he said that the way that it was done was unlike anything he’d ever seen before in the United States.


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