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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: 52,595

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

Giuliani Is Drastically Changing Trump-Collusion Narrative, But it Looks Like He's Just Starting

Giuliani Is Drastically Changing the Trump-Collusion Narrative, But it Looks Like He’s Just Getting Started

by Ronn Blitzer | 2:19 pm, January 17th, 2019

Rudy Giuliani nearly broke Twitter Wednesday night with his comments on possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign during a CNN interview. Despite President Donald Trump claiming for years that there was “no collusion” between his campaign and Russia, and that Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation of this is a “witch hunt,” Giuliani now claims that while Trump himself didn’t collude, he’s not saying others did not.

This latest shift in the narrative from Giuliani led some in the Twittersphere to wonder what the next change to Team Trump’s approach will be.

Fortunately, in that same interview, Giuliani dropped a pretty big hint, and he didn’t waste any time doing it. It happens at the 26-second mark of the video below.

“There is not a single bit of evidence that the President of the United States committed the only crime you could commit here, conspired with the Russians to hack the DNC,” Giuliani said.


CNN legal analyst: Trump knew Jr and Manafort colluded

Generation Z may be most liberal demographic yet

BY REID WILSON - 01/17/19 10:08 AM EST

A generation of post-Millennials is poised to enter the electorate as perhaps the most liberal age cohort ever, fueled by unprecedented diversity and expansive views of the role of government.

On issues ranging from the treatment of racial minorities to climate change to diversity in society, the post-Millennial generation — dubbed Generation Z by demographers — looks a lot more like the Millennial Generation than like their parents in Generation X or the Baby Boom generation, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center.

But Generation Z takes an even more liberal view of the role of government in society than do Millennials. Seven in ten members of Generation Z say the government should do more to solve problems, while just 29 percent say government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals.

Just under two-thirds of Millennials say government should do more. About half of those in Generation X and the Baby Boom generation agree.


Harvard taps Gillum and Heitkamp for fellows program

By BENJAMIN WERMUND 01/17/2019 10:02 AM EST

Harvard University has tapped Andrew Gillum — a breakout Democratic star, despite losing his bid for Florida governor — for a spring fellowship.

Gillum, along with former Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and former Reps. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) and Carlos Cubelo (R-Fla.), will teach in the Harvard Kennedy School's Institute of Politics.

Gary Cohn, the former director of the National Economic Council during the early days of the Trump administration, was also named a spring fellow.

Gillum, a former Tallahassee mayor, is viewed as a likely 2020 kingmaker as Democratic presidential hopefuls will seek his endorsement, as well as his valuable volunteer and donor lists.


Michael Cohen blames Trump for reported poll-rigging efforts

Source: Politico

By CAITLIN OPRYSKO 01/17/2019 09:58 AM EST

Michael Cohen, the former fixer for President Donald Trump, is deflecting responsibility for allegedly paying someone to rig online polls in Trump’s favor, claiming in a tweet Thursday that his efforts were “at the direction of and for the sole benefit” of his boss.

Cohen was responding to a report in the Wall Street Journal that alleged Cohen owed money to the owner of a small tech company for creating a computer script aimed at boosting Trump’s standing in two online polls in 2014 and 2015, before Trump declared his candidacy for president.

John Gauger, the owner of RedFinch Solutions LLC, was unsuccessful in his attempts to push Trump to the top of a CNBC poll about business leaders and a Drudge Report poll measuring support for potential GOP presidential contenders, and he told the Journal that Cohen only paid him about a quarter of the $50,000 he was owed.

Cohen was sentenced late last year to three years in prison for tax evasion, lying to Congress and campaign finance violations for paying hush money to women alleging affairs with Trump.

Read more: https://www.politico.com/story/2019/01/17/cohen-trump-poll-rigging-1107596

Howard Dean on what he's looking for in a 2020 Democratic presidential nominee


ISIS is morphing in Syria, but it's not beaten yet

Source: CBS News

CBS NEWS January 17, 2019, 8:11 AM

Last Updated Jan 17, 2019 8:34 AM EST

As CBS News senior national security correspondent David Martin reported on Thursday, President Trump appears to be standing firm on his decision to pull American forces out of Syria. The president himself has not yet commented on the topic since four Americans were killed in a targeted attack by ISIS in northern Syria on Wednesday. But Vice President Mike Pence did reiterate Mr. Trump's assertions, not long after the U.S. confirmed the casualties, that ISIS had been defeated in Syria and it is time to bring American troops home.

Visiting the front lines of the ongoing war this week with U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters, however, CBS News correspondent Charlie D'Agata saw a different reality. What follows is his report from the front-line town of Ash Sha'fah, in eastern Syria.

Ash Sha'fah, Syria -- President Trump and Vice President Pence may continue to insist that ISIS is defeated in Syria, but the frontlines here tell a very different story, with U.S. forces and their allies on the ground battling a persistent enemy that refuses to surrender.

Even as we made our way toward the fighting, we were warned that ISIS terror cells lurked among the ruined villages, launching counterattacks and planting bombs on the only road in and out.

Read more: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/isis-syria-not-beaten-manbij-bombing-donald-trump-us-troop-withdrawal/

Security, immigration controls fraying as impasse over Trump's wall stretches into its fourth week

Rick Jervis, Bart Jansen, Alan Gomez and Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY Published 7:35 a.m. ET Jan. 17, 2019 | Updated 7:57 a.m. ET Jan. 17, 2019

WASHINGTON – As the government shutdown stretched toward a month, the security and immigration controls that President Donald Trump says he's fighting to improve are instead starting to fracture as a result of the impasse.

In all, an estimated 800,000 federal employees from nine shuttered federal agencies, many charged with border and national security, have been furloughed or are working without pay. Lines at some airports lengthened as Transportation Security Administration agents failed to show for work. More than four in five Coast Guard employees stands watch without pay.

Nine in 10 of the 60,000 employees at Customs and Border Patrol must report to work, checking passports and manning the existing pieces of border wall. But they're not being paid. Immigration courts, as of Tuesday, had postponed more than 40,000 hearings, including many of the deportation cases Trump is trying to speed up.

Meanwhile, the impasse over Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion for a wall at the border and the Democrats’ refusal to fund it showed no sign of resolution in the longest-ever shutdown. From the high seas and airport terminals to desert border crossings and immigration courtrooms, concerns about security and those responsible for maintaining it continued to mount.

Border security could snap, all at once, in a matter of weeks without a resolution, said Robert Pape, political science professor and director of the University of Chicago Project on Security and Threats.


Recession warnings pile up as shutdown wraps up fourth week

The impasse is triggering alarms about an already fragile economic environment.

By BEN WHITE 01/17/2019 05:01 AM EST

The partial government shutdown was supposed to be a brief non-event for the economy. Now it’s starting to look like a serious crisis that could nudge the U.S. toward recession and threaten President Donald Trump's economic message during his reelection campaign.

Across Wall Street, analysts are rushing out warnings that missed federal paychecks, dormant government contractors and shelved corporate stock offerings could push first-quarter growth close to or even below zero if the shutdown, which is wrapping up its fourth week, drags on much longer.

Their broader fear: The protracted impasse could convince consumers and businesses that the federal government will spend all of 2019 on the brink of crisis — whether on the border wall, trade with China or the debt limit. That could choke business investment and consumer spending, bringing an end to one of the longest economic expansions on record.

Recessions don’t just happen, after all. They are usually triggered by largely unforeseen shocks to the system, like the tech over-investment and dot-com crash of the late 1990s or the credit crisis of 2008. The government shutdown is not there yet. But the longer it drags on, the closer it gets.

“You can take the ruler out right now and calculate the exact impact from missed paychecks and contracts and you don’t have to go many months to get to zero growth,” said Torsten Slok, chief international economist at Deutsche Bank. “But this is not just some linear event. It can get exponentially worse in very unpredictable ways, from government workers quitting, to strikes, to companies not going public. It’s no longer just a political sideshow, it’s a real recession risk.”


Effort to ease Russian sanctions boosted by former Louisiana senator

By Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb, CNN

Updated 6:27 PM ET, Wed January 16, 2019

(CNN)Former Republican Sen. David Vitter is lobbying on behalf of companies linked to a Russian oligarch with ties to President Vladimir Putin, aligning himself with Trump administration efforts to ease sanctions on his clients, according to documents filed with the Justice Department.

Vitter, who has registered as a foreign agent, lobbied with several countries' ambassadors and the Treasury Department to ease punishing sanctions imposed on major aluminum firms tied to oligarch Oleg Deripaska. After the Treasury Department agreed last month and eased the sanctions, Vitter was spotted in the Senate ahead of critical votes taking aim at the Trump administration move.

Deripaska restructured his ownership in the firms to win over the Trump administration, which argues the oligarch's influence in his firms will be sufficiently limited in the new arrangement. But the restructuring deal has prompted sharp scrutiny on Capitol Hill since shares now will be distributed to Deripaska's family, a foundation he started and a Kremlin-linked bank sanctioned by the US government, according to documents provided to Congress.

The concerns culminated in a dramatic Senate vote Tuesday when 11 Republicans broke ranks and joined Democrats to advance a measure seeking to reimpose the sanctions. But on Wednesday, the administration was able to lean on its GOP allies to filibuster the measure from going forward, blocking the plan by 57-42, needing 60 votes to advance.

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