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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, 03:28 PM
Number of posts: 46,862

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

Watch: Laurence Tribe explains how Trump's 'collusion' with Russia has already been proven

Trump administration to attempt to kill $3B in foreign aid

Source: Politico

By SARAH FERRIS 08/17/2018 01:43 PM EDT

The White House budget office believes it has found a way to cancel about $3 billion in foreign aid even if it is never approved by Congress, according to a Republican aide familiar with the plan.

Using an obscure budget rule, administration officials are planning to freeze billions of dollars in the State Department’s international assistance budget — just long enough so the funds will expire. The current plan involves about $3 billion, though officials are said to have discussed as much as $5 billion.

The White House plans to submit the package of so-called rescissions in the coming days, which triggers an automatic freeze on those funds for 45 days. The cuts would largely come from the U.S. funding for the United Nations, according to the aide.

With exactly 45 days left in fiscal 2018, the State Department wouldn't be able to use those funds even if Congress rejects the request because those dollars will have expired by Oct. 1.

Read more: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/17/white-house-cut-foreign-aid-money-743481

'I know he's frustrated': GOP megadonor on staggering losing streak

Richard Uihlein, one of the top donors of 2018, has dropped tens of millions of dollars only to watch most of his picks go down.

By NATASHA KORECKI 08/17/2018 02:32 PM EDT

WAUKESHA, Wis. — Conservative megadonor Richard Uihlein needed a win, and Kevin Nicholson was his guy.

After watching his other recent political investments crash spectacularly — Roy Moore in Alabama, and a Republican challenger who lost a primary challenge to Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner — Uihlein plowed $8 million in recent months into Nicholson’s bid for Senate in Wisconsin, for an astounding $11 million in all.

Nicholson lost by nearly 6 percentage points in Tuesday’s Republican primary. It was the latest in a string of costly defeats for Uihlein, who stormed on the scene this year to become one of the most prolific GOP donors of the 2018 election cycle.

Now the reclusive packing supply magnate is second-guessing strategists giving him political advice on big-money races, according to people with knowledge of Uihlein’s discussions on the matter.

“I know he’s frustrated. I know he questions the political judgment of the people around him — not good,” said a Republican consultant with knowledge of Uihlein’s strategy. “There are people around him who play on his conservative better angel to make money off of him.”


Manafort trial Day 14: Jury expected to head home without verdict

Source: Politico

By DARREN SAMUELSOHN and JOSH GERSTEIN 08/17/2018 10:37 AM EDT Updated 08/17/2018 03:03 PM EDT

Jurors in Paul Manafort’s trial are expected to end their second day of deliberations Friday without reaching a verdict.

The 12-person jury sent a note Friday afternoon to U.S. District Court T.S. Judge Ellis III asking to leave at 5 p.m. because one of the jurors had an event to attend that evening.

Manafort is facing 18 counts of bank and tax fraud in the first case special counsel Robert Mueller has brought to trial as part of his wide-ranging probe of 2016 Russian election interference.

Ellis said he would ask the jurors what time they would like to reconvene on Monday morning.

Read more: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/17/manafort-verdict-latest-news-updates-783089

Jury In Manafort Trial Will Wrap Up For The Day At 5PM ET

By Alice Ollstein | August 17, 2018 3:01 pm

ALEXANDRIA, VA — The jury in the Paul Manafort bank and tax fraud trial asked the court to be dismissed at 5 p.m. ET Friday because one of the jurors has an event later in the evening.

Judge T.S. Ellis granted the jury’s request. Ellis will bring the jury back at 4:50 p.m. ET before formally dismissing them for the day.

Lawyers for both the defense and prosecution —as well as Manafort himself — were present in the courtroom as Ellis read the note. Reporters rushed back into the courtroom upon news of the new note.

There will be no deliberations over the weekend.

When Ellis brings the jury back into the courtroom he will ask when they want to resume deliberations on Monday.



Roger Stone's Super-PAC Paid the Manhattan Madam's Mom During the 2016 Campaign

The consulting fee could come under scrutiny as Robert Mueller investigates political committees linked to the Republican operative.

DAN FRIEDMANAUG. 17, 2018 8:30 AM

Why did a super-PAC run by longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone pay nearly $5,000 to the mother of Kristin Davis, the so-called “Manhattan Madam,” in July 2016? This may be a question that special counsel Robert Mueller seeks to answer as he zeroes in on Stone in his ongoing investigation of possible coordination between Trump allies and Russia.

One of the more colorful characters to enter the Trump-Russia scandal, Davis once ran a high-priced prostitution ring and currently splits a two-floor Harlem apartment with Stone, who is the godfather of her son. Last week, Davis appeared before a Washington, DC, grand jury convened by Mueller to answer questions about Stone that she says focused on “whether or not any collusion happened with Russia.”

Over the years, Stone has employed Davis to do web design, schedule his travel, and perform other administrative tasks, but he claims she did not work for him in 2016 and would therefore have no knowledge of any of the subjects Mueller is probing. “She knows of no Russian collusion or WikiLeaks collaboration or any other illegal activity on my part in connection with the presidential election or otherwise,” Stone said in a CNN interview last week. “In the time period that’s most under focus, 2015 and 2016, she was not working for me. She came back to work for me in January of ’17, although I think I paid her in December of 2016.”

Mueller appears to be intensifying his focus on Stone, and prosecutors have questioned or contacted at least eight of his associates, including Davis. Stone has said he is “probably” the person described in Mueller’s July 13 indictment of 12 Russian intelligence agents as an American who communicated with Russian hackers about emails they allegedly stole from Democrats. Stone has acknowledged exchanging messages with “Guccifer 2.0,” who prosecutors say was a front for Russian military intelligence. He asserts that he did not believe his interlocutor was Russian, and has disputed allegations that Guccifer 2.0 was a persona used by Russian agents.

Court records suggest prosecutors are also investigating the 2016 activities of Stone’s super-PAC, the Committee to Restore America’s Greatness. They have interviewed several people connected to the organization. One former Stone employee paid by the super-PAC, Andrew Miller, has sought immunity to discuss the finances of that committee and another political organization linked to Stone. Among the other individuals paid by the super-PAC—which raised hundreds of thousands of dollars and spent just a fraction of that haul in support of Trump’s candidacy—was Cheryl Smith of Oroville, California, who public records indicate is Kristin Davis’ mother. According to Federal Election Commission filings, the group paid Smith $4,900 on July 11, 2016, for “consulting.”


Melania Trump announced she'll address a cyberbullying conference. Twitter cracked up.

By Alex Bollinger · Friday, August 17, 2018

When it was announced that Melania Trump would be going to Maryland next week to address a conference on fighting cyberbullying, Twitter cracked up.


Her husband is one of the best-known internet trolls, and he uses Twitter to insult and attack people he disagrees with. Who better than other Twitter users to point out the irony of Melania making cyberbullying her issue?


Not everyone is laughing. This is serious.


But the jokes about Melania fighting cyberbullying have been happening for some time.


Even The Hill – a journal not known for calling out powerful people – couldn’t help but point out that Donald Trump just spent the past week throwing insults at Omarosa.


This past March, Melania actually addressed this contradiction. “I’m well aware that people are skeptical of me discussing this topic. I have been criticized by many for my commitment to tackling this issue, and I know that will continue,” she said.

“But it will not stop me from doing what I know is right,” she added. “I’m here with one goal: helping children in our next generation.”


MSNBC immediately fact-checks Trump's latest attempt to distance himself from Paul Manafort

Worst-case scenario for House GOP is 70-seat wipeout

BY REID WILSON - 08/17/18 11:40 AM EDT

Democratic enthusiasm and a GOP malaise surrounding President Trump have set the stage for a potentially devastating midterm election for the House Republican majority.

In a series of special elections mostly in reliably GOP districts, Democratic candidates have routinely outperformed Hillary Clinton’s share of the vote from 2016.

At the same time, Republican candidates have underperformed President Trump's vote share in all but two special elections.

If that pattern holds in November, the worst-case scenario for the GOP is a truly historic wipeout of as many as 72 House seats, according to The Hill’s analysis of special election results and congressional and presidential returns from 2016.

That would mark the deepest decline for either party in a single election cycle since Harry Truman ran against the "Do Nothing Congress" in 1948.


Turkish Court Refuses to Release U.S. Pastor Andrew Brunson

Source: Bloomberg News

By Onur Ant and Baris Balci
August 17, 2018, 8:23 AM EDT

Appeals court in Izmir rejects bid from cleric’s lawyer

Brunson is at heart of spat with U.S. roiling Turkish markets

A Turkish appeals court rejected U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson’s bid for freedom, setting the stage for a new round of sanctions by the Trump administration.

Brunson’s lawyer Ismail Cem Halavurt told Bloomberg via text message that he might appeal the decision. The American has been held for nearly two years over what Turkey says was his role in a failed coup.

The lira weakened after the ruling and was trading 5.2 percent lower at 6.1500 per dollar at 3:16 p.m. in Istanbul.


Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-17/turkish-court-refuses-to-release-u-s-pastor-andrew-brunson

Woman calls police on man trying to get into his own car

Updated: 9:04 PM CDT Aug 16, 2018

Nick Bohr

A man recorded a woman calling the police Tuesday to report he was breaking into a car -- except the car was his.

Corvontae Davis, of Oak Creek, said he was simply getting change from his car to feed a parking meter when he was suddenly labeled a thief.

Davis narrated his encounter with the woman Tuesday at St. Paul Avenue and Milwaukee Street, near the Milwaukee Public Market.

"I was getting ready to put money in a meter or whatever, and she has nothing else better to do and asked me if I was breaking into my car," Davis said on video.

Davis told WISN 12 News the woman said she was calling police.

"I hit unlock, but it wouldn't open, so I went around to the other side and opened the door after hitting unlock. And by that time, I hear this lady shouting, screaming, 'Dude, why are you breaking into that car? Whose car is that? Does it belong to you?’” Davis said.

Davis waited for police to arrive figuring it'd look bad if he left. They quickly verified the car was his, but by then, the woman was gone. He's convinced this was more than a case of "See something say something."

more + video
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