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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: 53,737

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

‘Oh God, Anthony Weiner…’: Biden Reacts to New FBI Revelations

by Josh Feldman | 11:04 am, October 29th, 2016

Vice President Joe Biden sat down with CNN’s Michael Smerconish and reacted to the FBI’s big bombshell yesterday.

Biden said he can’t comment on the specifics, but expressed support for what everyone else has: making the relevant emails public.


When Biden said he’s unaware of where these new emails came from, Smerconish informed him it was during a search of Anthony Weiner‘s devices. Here is Biden’s verbatim reaction:

“Oh God, Anthony Weiner. Um, I should not comment on Anthony Weiner. I’m not a big fan. And I wasn’t before he got in trouble, so I shouldn’t comment on Anthony Weiner.”

full article + video:


Trump boasts about his philanthropy. But his giving falls short of his words.

Source: The Washington Post

By David A. Fahrenthold October 29 at 3:00 PM


For as long as he has been rich and famous, Donald Trump has also wanted people to believe he is generous. He spent years constructing an image as a philanthropist by appearing at charity events and by making very public — even nationally televised — promises to give his own money away. It was, in large part, a facade. A months-long investigation by The Washington Post has not been able to verify many of Trump’s boasts about his philanthropy.

Instead, throughout his life in the spotlight, whether as a businessman, television star or presidential candidate, The Post found that Trump had sought credit for charity he had not given — or claimed other people’s giving as his own.

It is impossible to know for certain what Trump has given to charity, because he has declined to release his tax returns. In all, The Post was able to identify $7.8 million in charitable giving from Trump’s own pocket since the early 1980s. In public appearances, Trump often made it appear that he gave far more.

Trump promised to give away the proceeds of “Trump University.” He promised to donate the salary he earned from “The Apprentice.” He promised to give personal donations to the charities chosen by contestants on “Celebrity Apprentice.” He promised to donate $250,000 to a charity helping Israeli soldiers and veterans.


Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-boasts-of-his-philanthropy-but-his-giving-falls-short-of-his-words/2016/10/29/b3c03106-9ac7-11e6-a0ed-ab0774c1eaa5_story.html?wpisrc=al_alert-COMBO-politics%252Bnation

Despite ‘Bombshell’ New Emails, Hillary Clinton Probably Still Didn’t Commit a Crime

by Rachel Stockman | 10:22 am, October 29th, 2016

The new revelation that the FBI has apparently re-opened—or at the very least is “reviewing”—some emails as they relate to the Clinton private server investigation has sent ripples through the 2016 election. While this supposed “bombshell” news will likely hurt Hillary Clinton‘s narrowing lead in the race, I think there is little to no chance that the FBI will suddenly find, based on these new emails, that Clinton committed a crime.

What’s even clearer is that the answer to this question will not come before November 8th. You have to remember the burden under the law that FBI Director James Comey articulated in his July news conference is an arduous one. The federal statutes, under the current interpretation, require first and foremost that prosecutors prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Clinton intentionally and/or willfully mishandled classified information. Extreme carelessness, as you will recall, is not enough to satisfy the law’s burden. On top of that, according to a top official who spoke to Newsweek, there is no indication that the emails in question were withheld by Clinton during the original investigation. Furthermore, the official said that none of the new emails being examined were sent to or from Hillary Clinton.


We’ve later come to learn through various reports that the emails in question were discovered while the FBI was investigating close Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s husband, Anthony Weiner, for his alleged sexting of an underage girl. A senior law enforcement official told The New York Times that tens of thousands of emails belonging to Abedin were on Weiner’s laptop which was seized by the FBI. Some of those emails appear to have information “pertinent” to the investigation. Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald followed up with a report that the FBI is not examining any emails that were specifically sent to or from Clinton, but rather they are examining Abedin’s practice of sending herself emails from her state department account to her yahoo account and her account on Clinton’s server. Abedin apparently did that in order to make it easier to print them out for Hillary Clinton (who liked to read them in a paper form).

In his letter, Comey said that investigators are taking a look to determine whether those emails contain classified information. But, remember, even if they determine that there were classified emails, that still doesn’t mean Clinton committed a crime. For one, these emails come from the archives of Huma Abedin, not Hillary Clinton. And two, even if some are found to be classified, it doesn’t look like they were sent to or received by Clinton if Eichenwald’s news report is accurate. And third, suppose his report is wrong. Even if they were found to have been sent or received from Clinton, that doesn’t mean she was aware the information was classified at the time, or that she sent them with “intent” to cause harm to U.S. national security.



Sheriff Joe Arpaio Pleads Not Guilty To Criminal Contempt-Of-Court Charge

Source: Talking Points Memo

By AP STAFF Published OCTOBER 29, 2016, 10:34 AM EDT

PHOENIX (AP) — Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona has pleaded not guilty to a criminal contempt-of-court charge less than two weeks before he tries to win his seventh term.

The lawman of metro Phoenix opted to enter his plea in a court filing Friday instead of during a courtroom appearance. Arpaio was charged for defying a court order to stop his immigration patrols in a racial profiling case. The sheriff prolonged the patrols for more than a year. A judge later determined Arpaio's officers profiled Latinos and said he believed Arpaio did it to benefit his 2012 campaign.

The sheriff has acknowledged the violation but insists it wasn't intentional. He has been charged with a misdemeanor. If convicted, Arpaio could face up to six months in jail but wouldn't be barred from office.

Arpaio's trial is scheduled for Dec. 6. His lawyers also asked the court Friday for a 120-day continuance so they can prepare.


Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/joe-arpaio-not-guilty-plea-charges

Ethical Questions Surround FBI Director’s Decision On Email Probe - by Joe Conason

October 29, 2016 12:52 am

With a tweet that trumpeted “Case reopened,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) set off a sustained roar of hyperbole about Hillary Clinton’s emails. As chair of the House Oversight Committee, Chaffetz and seven other Republican committee chairs — but none of the ranking Democrats — received a very brief letter on Friday from FBI Director James Comey. In three paragraphs, he informed them that while looking into “an unrelated case,” his agents had found “emails that appeared to be pertinent” to the Clinton server investigation. He had directed investigators to look at the emails, he wrote, and determine their significance.

Nothing could be less surprising than the partisan response to this news by Chaffetz’s fellow Republicans, ever ready to string up someone named Clinton immediately, if not sooner. Reince Priebus, eager beaver RNC chair, leaped to fill the big blank spaces left by Comey’s letter.

“The F.B.I.’s decision to reopen their criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s secret email server just 11 days before the election shows how serious this discovery must be,” said Priebus, although Comey had not characterized it at all. “This stunning development raises serious questions about what records may not have been turned over and why, and whether they show intent to violate the law,” he added, although Comey had said nothing to support any such negative inferences.

Donald Trump, conning and clowning as usual, went still further before a raucous crowd in New Hampshire: “I have great respect for the fact that the F.B.I. and the [Department of Justice] are now willing to have the courage to right the horrible mistake that they made. This was a grave miscarriage of justice that the American people fully understand. It is everybody’s hope that it is about to be corrected.”

What Trump thinks everybody hopes will be “corrected” was Comey’s recommendation last July against any prosecution of Clinton in connection with her private email server. He pretended not to notice that the FBI director had said nothing to satisfy the manic desire of Trump and his followers to see Hillary Clinton “locked up.”



A Theory for Why Comey Sent Congress Letter

October 29, 2016By Taegan Goddard

Playbook: “The FBI stumbles across some of Huma Abedin’s emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop. They need to get permission from Huma and her attorneys to look at the emails — or get a warrant from a judge. This would be handled by the Justice Department. Comey would have no idea what was in those emails, since they haven’t had the permission to look at them yet. So they could be explosive — or they could be nothing.”

“Huma was known to forward emails to other accounts, sometimes to have documents printed. So, in this scenario, Huma uses Weiner’s laptop. The FBI searches it after they seize it in the sexting case. They discover that Huma has emails on there. The FBI New York folks notify HQ in D.C. to ask for guidance. FBI officials kick it up the chain to Comey, who feels like he has no choice but to notify Congress, because he doesn’t want it leaking that he’s covering something up days before the election.”



Justice officials warned FBI that Comey’s decision to update Congress was not consistent...

Source: The Washington Post

Justice officials warned FBI that Comey’s decision to update Congress was not consistent with department policy

By Sari Horwitz October 29 at 12:05 PM

Senior Justice Department officials warned the FBI that Director James B. Comey’s decision to notify Congress about renewing the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server was not consistent with long-standing practices of the department, according to officials familiar with the discussions.

Comey told Justice Department officials that he intended to inform lawmakers of newly discovered emails. These officials told him the department’s position “that we don’t comment on an ongoing investigation. And we don’t take steps that will be viewed as influencing an election,” said one Justice Department official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the high-level conversations.

“Director Comey understood our position. He heard it from Justice leadership,” the official said. “It was conveyed to the FBI, and Comey made an independent decision to alert the Hill. He is operating independently of the Justice Department. And he knows it.”

Comey decided to inform Congress that he would look again into Hillary Clinton’s handling of emails during her time as secretary of state for two main reasons: a sense of obligation to lawmakers and a concern that word of the new email discovery would leak to the media and raise questions of a coverup.


Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/justice-officials-warned-fbi-that-comeys-decision-to-update-congress-was-not-consistent-with-department-policy/2016/10/29/cb179254-9de7-11e6-b3c9-f662adaa0048_story.html?wpisrc=al_alert-COMBO-politics%252Bnation

Biden: No plans to serve in Clinton's administration


Vice President Joe Biden has no plans to serve as secretary of state if Hillary Clinton is elected president, he said Friday.

“I'll do anything I can if Hillary's elected to help her, but I don't want to remain in the administration,” Biden told CNN affiliate KBJR, according to CNN’s reporters, who tweeted the vice president’s response.


“I have no intention of staying involved,” Biden added. “I have a lot of things to do, but I'll help her if I can in any way I can.”

Biden said during a campaign appearance for Clinton on Monday that he hoped to stay involved in domestic and foreign policy, but added that he was considering writing a book.
"This might disappoint you: It won’t be a tell-all book," he said.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/joe-biden-no-secretary-of-state-230468#ixzz4OTgpIgch

The damage Comey’s bad timing could do - By the Washington Post Editorial Board


By Editorial Board October 28 at 7:24 PM

POLITICAL TENSION is running high in the United States, extraordinarily so, we’d say. And so it behooves everyone in a position of official responsibility to do everything he or she possibly can to help maintain stability — while avoiding all avoidable provocations — until the bitter competition between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump runs its ugly course on Nov. 8.

That is the context for Friday’s announcement by James B. Comey, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, that his agency is again looking into Ms. Clinton’s private email server in light of newly discovered emails “that appear to be pertinent to the investigation.” Mr. Comey may have had good reason to inform Republican committee chairmen in Congress of the review, but his timing was nevertheless unfortunate, given its potential to affect a democratic process in which millions of people are already voting.

What might his reason be? On the merits, Ms. Clinton erred by using a private email server for her official communications as secretary of state — though as we have previously argued, the matter has been greatly overblown. According to the previous FBI review, the small amount of classified material that moved through Ms. Clinton’s private server was not clearly marked as such, and no harm to national security has been demonstrated.

The FBI conducted a thorough investigation for any prosecutable offenses, especially any involving the transmission of classified information. Mr. Comey rightly recommended against bringing charges; he told his staff that the decision was “not a cliff-hanger.” In deference to the reality that the target of the inquiry was a major-party nominee for president, he gave the public a summary of the facts and law behind his decision. Mr. Comey went too far, however, in providing raw FBI material to Congress, notwithstanding its important oversight role; that attempt to appease Republicans set a precedent that future partisans who are unhappy with the results of FBI investigations may exploit.

Mr. Comey found himself in a bind when his investigators turned up additional, previously unexamined Clinton emails, apparently on devices belonging to top aide Huma Abedin and her husband, Anthony Weiner, seized during an FBI probe of the latter’s alleged sexual misconduct with a minor. (As if this could not get any more bizarre.) If Mr. Comey failed to tell Congress before Nov. 8 about his decision to review them, he would be accused — again — of a politically motivated coverup. By revealing it, he inevitably creates a cloud of suspicion over Ms. Clinton that, if the case’s history is any guide, is unwarranted. Hence Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s not unreasonable demand that Mr. Comey “immediately provide the full details of what he is now examining.”



Donald Trump’s Entities, Family Rank High as Vendors to Campaign

GOP presidential candidate’s airline, hotels, family members and allies listed in FEC report as receiving election spending


Updated Oct. 28, 2016 6:01 p.m. ET

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s list of highest-paid campaign vendors is brimming with his own name.

An airline he owns has drawn the fifth-largest paycheck of any company the campaign paid through Oct. 19. Mr. Trump has also paid at least eight of his golf clubs, seven of his hotels and five of his restaurants.

In all, the New York businessman has spent close to $10 million over the course of the election cycle reimbursing his children for travel expenses and family-owned companies for campaign services, the most recent Federal Election Commission reports show.

Only four companies have been paid more than the set of Trump entities: Two of his media buyers, who have collectively been paid $59 million; a firm owned by his digital director, which has been paid $58 million; and the firm that makes his campaign hats, which has been paid $14 million.


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