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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: 52,691

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

Why Trump Is Ready to Compromise to End Shutdown

January 19, 2019 at 11:42 am EST By Taegan Goddard

A source close to the negotiations told Jonathan Swan “the inflection point for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was the letter from Nancy Pelosi telling Trump not to deliver the State of the Union. McConnell had been saying all along that Pelosi and Trump needed to negotiate because one needed to put a bill on the House floor and one needed to sign it — two people with singular power.”

But after Pelosi’s letter, it became clear to McConnell she was “never going to get off her position and some other spark needed to happen.”

“McConnell told the president that it was his view that Pelosi was never going to move. She would and could not negotiate on border funding because her caucus, and Trump needed to be the one to put something forward he would sign so that McConnell would have the presidential backing to bring it to the floor.”



Texas Border Towns' GOP Rep: Trump's Border 'Crisis' Is A 'Myth'

Source: Talking Points Memo

By Matt Shuham

January 19, 2019 11:39 am

Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX), whose congressional district includes more than 800 miles of the border separating the United States and Mexico, said in an interview published Friday that President Donald Trump’s claim of a “border crisis” is a “myth”

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Hurd asserted: “I think $67 billion of drugs coming into our country is a crisis. Now, I also think when you think of a crisis, that means people are afraid to leave their homes, right?”

But El Paso and other border towns are some of the “safest cities in the United States of America,” Hurd said.

The congressman noted that the Trump administration would have to cut off large areas of United States land along the Rio Grand in order to build a wall. “In my district alone there’s the potential of ceding 1.1 million acres of land to Mexico,” Hurd said. “There’s a thing in Texas we care about called private property rights.”

Read more: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/texas-border-towns-gop-rep-trumps-border-crisis-is-a-myth

Sheriff Ends Cooperation With ICE After Agency Tried to Deport U.S. Marine Born in Michigan

by Colin Kalmbacher | 10:52 am, January 19th, 2019

A sheriff’s department in Michigan is ending a controversial agreement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after civil rights advocates heaped scorn on the agency for putting a decorated military veteran and U.S. citizen into administrative detention over false claims that he was an undocumented immigrant.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Kent County Sheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young announced on Friday that her department will no longer hold immigrant detainees for federal immigration officials unless there’s an accompanying warrant–signed by a federal judge or magistrate–involved.

Sheriff LaJoye-Young said, via statement:

My primary goal remains the preservation and enhancement of public safety, due process and the rule of law. For this reason, I notified ICE officials earlier today that the Kent County Sheriff will hold detainees for ICE only after ICE presents to our office an arrest warrant issued by a federal judge or magistrate — otherwise known as a judicial arrest warrant. This change is effective immediately.

This move will essentially put an end to the county’s practice of holding suspected immigrants in custody for ICE agents to pick them up on suspected immigration violations.


Trump Says Border Wall Has Worked in San Antonio, a City 150 Miles North of the Border That Has...

Source: Mediaite

Trump Says Border Wall Has Worked in San Antonio, a City 150 Miles North of the Border That Has No Wall

by Aidan McLaughlin | Jan 19th, 2019, 12:47 pm

Ahead of his planned speech on Saturday to address immigration and the ongoing government shutdown, President Donald Trump made the case for his border wall to reporters outside the White House.

“Everybody knows that walls work,” Trump said. “You look at different places they put up a wall, no problem. You look at San Antonio, you look at so many different places. They go from one of the most unsafe cities in the country to one of the safest cities, immediately.”


One problem with Trump’s claim: San Antonio, in Texas, is some 150 miles from the border with Mexico. It does not have a border wall.

To make matters more interesting, San Antonio’s congressman is Republican Will Hurd, who has repeatedly dismissed Trump’s wall as pointless.

Read more: https://www.mediaite.com/tv/trump-says-border-wall-has-worked-in-san-antonio-a-city-100-miles-north-of-the-border-that-has-no-wall/

'Inaccurate': Special Counsel Corrects Buzzfeed Scoop On Cohen

Cody Fenwick

January 19, 2019 5:19 am

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team took the unusual step Friday of responding to a media report about its investigation, calling a bombshell story reported by BuzzFeed News “inaccurate.”

It referred to a story that claimed, citing two law enforcement sources, that Mueller had a large amount of evidence showing that President Donald Trump had directed his attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress, a federal crime.

“BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate,” said Peter Carr, Mueller’s spokesperson.

The report had claimed that Mueller had evidence of Trump’s direction including “interviews with multiple witnesses from the Trump Organization and internal company emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents.”

“Difficult to parse each and every word here, but it is extremely unusual for the Special Counsel’s office to issue a statement disputing a story and should be taken very seriously,” said Susan Hennessey, executive editor of Lawfare, in response to the special counsel’s statement.

“What this suggests to me is that some of the information relied upon by the sources cited by @BuzzFeedNews exists, but was mischaracterized by the sources, who I strongly suspect were not prosecutors,” said Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor. “In a white collar criminal case, precision is very important. It is possible that a law enforcement agent, analyst, or contractor saw a document but didn’t understand its legal significance or a nuance in the document that is important. These cases are rarely black and white.”

NBC News reported Ken Dilanian pointed out: “To be clear: Mueller is not disputing that Cohen says Trump told him to lie. He’s disputing the line about corroborating evidence taken from Trump Org emails, texts, etc. Still a huge deal. But not a total refutation. In fact, Cohen’s 11/30 memo says Trump directed him to lie.”



Sorry Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, your 'minority privilege' is no longer secret

Laura Ingraham’s whine about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has rumbled our secret: once you ignore the facts, minorities are having a grand old time in America

Arwa Mahdawi

Fri 18 Jan 2019 15.26 EST Last modified on Fri 18 Jan 2019 18.42 EST

Minorities of the world, gather around, I’ve got bad news. The jig is up; we’ve been rumbled. While I know we’ve all been trying to keep our “minority privilege” a secret, the whitest minds in America have put their heads together and found us out.

On Thursday, the Fox News host Laura Ingraham went on a rant about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and how she benefits from a widespread but little-discussed phenomenon called “minority privilege”.

Fox News rants about Ocasio-Cortez every five minutes, but this particular outburst was prompted by the fact that she had posted a tweet noting that many people have recognized the network “has crossed a line beyond conservatism and into outright bigotry with their financing of Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham”.

ngraham took offence at being called a bigot and, in an episode of The Laura Ingraham Show Podcast, railed against the fact that you can’t say anything racist these days without people calling you a racist. Ocasio-Cortez, she argued, was guilty of “minority privilege” in her criticism of Fox News.

“How about the privilege of being a protected member of a class that you can never criticize, lest you be called racist?” she asked. The fact that conservatives are obsessed with criticizing Ocasio-Cortez appears to have passed her by; self-awareness not really being her strong suit.


The week in patriarchy: President Pence? That vision should terrify women

By Arwa Mahdawi

The news that Karen Pence is returning to work at an anti-gay Christian school should remind us of the vice-president’s dangerous bigotry

Sat 19 Jan 2019 09.00 EST

President Pence would turn America into The Handmaid’s Tale

Karen Pence is not just the wife of the US vice-president, she’s an empowered career woman in her own right. While her husband works tirelessly alongside Trump to make America white again, Karen Pence, it was announced this week, is returning to her old job teaching kids art. Or rather, she’s going to teach heterosexual kids art, and they shouldn’t expect to draw any rainbows.

The Christian school in northern Virginia where Pence will be working requires its teachers to agree that they won’t engage in or condone “homosexual or lesbian sexual activity” and “transgender identity”. The school also reserves the right to expel or refuse to admit students if they or their parents participate in, support, or condone, homosexual or bisexual activity. A policy that seems to chime perfectly with the vice president’s own bigoted worldview – Pence has a long history of homophobia and transphobia.

News that the second lady of the United States is cheerfully teaching at an anti-LGBT school has sparked an unfair amount of criticism, according to Pence. On Friday the vice-president told a Catholic TV network that “see[ing] major news organizations attacking Christian education is deeply offensive to us”. I had no idea that Christian education meant teaching kids to hate thy neighbor, but what do I know! I’m just an ignorant heathen. Also, I thought it was the liberal snowflakes who were supposed to take offense at everything, not thick-skinned conservatives.

Because we’re all so obsessed with Trump I don’t think we take enough time to reflect on how deeply terrifying Pence is. Trump may be a bigot, but Pence is a zealot – he believes his discriminatory views are justified by a higher power. Trump may not care about morals but Pence has a dangerous view of what morality entails. He refuses to eat alone with any woman isn’t his wife, for example, because he apparently views women as nothing more than dangerous sexual temptations. And despite his beliefs about moral purity, he has no problem associating himself with Trump, a man who pays off porn stars. Also, he reportedly calls his wife “Mother” – which is just really creepy.


States race to prevent teacher strikes by boosting pay

BY REID WILSON - 01/19/19 08:28 AM EST

State legislators across the country are planning big pay increases for teachers in hopes of avoiding politically perilous strikes that embarrassed officials in several states last year.

The push for higher salaries in many states comes from an unlikely source: Republicans who have been reluctant to spend state money, especially on employees who belong to Democratic-leaning unions.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R), a staunch conservative, has proposed increasing teacher salaries by $5,000 across the board, an expense that would cost the state $3.7 billion over two years.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) has proposed a $3,000 increase, at a cost of $418 million. South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) wants to give teachers a 5 percent pay raise, totaling about $155 million.

Some Republicans acknowledge that their motives in hiking teacher salaries come in response to protests last year that rocked red states like Kentucky, West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arizona, where teachers forced school closures and descended on state capitals demanding better pay.


Ben Shapiro loses second sponsor after March for Life speech

BY MORGAN GSTALTER - 01/19/19 08:49 AM EST

Conservative commentator and radio host Ben Shapiro has reportedly lost a second advertiser after giving a controversial speech at the annual March for Life anti-abortion rally in Washington, D.C., on Friday.

Calm, a relaxation and meditation app, responded to users condemning Shapiro's speech on Twitter, writing late Friday night that the company did do not "align with" Shapiro's message and that it would be pulling its sponsorship.


The Hill has reached out to Calm for comment.

Calm's announcement appears to be the second sponsor to pull its advertisements from Shapiro's podcast since his speech on Friday. Quip toothbrushes first announced that the company would no longer advertise with the conservative commentator's podcast.

“Our mission is to make good oral health more accessible to everyone, and podcast advertising is one way we’re able to realize this,” Quip said in a statement reported by HuffPost.


In Turkey, Senator Calls for Slower, Smarter U.S. Withdrawal From Syria

Source: The New York Times

By Carlotta Gall
Jan. 19, 2019

ANKARA, Turkey — After lengthy meetings with the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Senator Lindsey Graham called on Saturday for a slower, smarter withdrawal of American troops from Syria to avoid setting off a broader war and a nightmare for Turkey.

Mr. Graham, Republican of South Carolina, has a long familiarity with Turkey and its place in the NATO alliance, and he said he was on a mission to ensure that the American withdrawal announced by President Trump in December did not cause greater damage that would be against United States interests in the long run.

“I can understand the desire to withdraw, but withdrawal without a plan is chaos,” he told a news briefing in Ankara, the Turkish capital. “It would be Iraq on steroids,” he warned, in a reference to how the Islamic State gained power after the withdrawal of American forces from the country in 2011.

Mr. Graham’s trip to Turkey came after an aborted visit by the White House national security adviser, John R. Bolton, who left the country without meeting with Mr. Erdogan. Infuriated by comments Mr. Bolton had made in Israel that Turkey would be forced to ensure that Kurdish forces were protected, Mr. Erdogan canceled a proposed meeting.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/19/world/middleeast/turkey-lindsey-graham.html?partner=rss&emc=rss
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