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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: 46,959

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

Trump Lawyers' Sudden Realization: They Don't Know What Don McGahn Told Mueller's Team

Source: The New York Times

By Maggie Haberman and Michael S. Schmidt
Aug. 19, 2018

President Trump’s lawyers do not know just how much the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, told the special counsel’s investigators during months of interviews, a lapse that has contributed to a growing recognition that an early strategy of full cooperation with the inquiry was a potentially damaging mistake.

The president’s lawyers said on Sunday that they were confident that Mr. McGahn had said nothing injurious to the president during the 30 hours of interviews. But Mr. McGahn’s lawyer has offered only a limited accounting of what Mr. McGahn told the investigators, according to two people close to the president.

That has prompted concern among Mr. Trump’s advisers that Mr. McGahn’s statements could help serve as a key component for a damning report by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, which the Justice Department could send to Congress, according to two people familiar with the discussions.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers realized on Saturday that they had not been provided a full accounting after The New York Times published an article describing Mr. McGahn’s extensive cooperation with Mr. Mueller’s office. After Mr. McGahn was initially interviewed by the special counsel’s office in November, Mr. Trump’s lawyers never asked for a complete description of what Mr. McGahn had said, according to a person close to the president.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/19/us/politics/don-mcgahn-trump-mueller.html

Montana governor supports assault weapon ban

Source: Politico

By REBECCA MORIN 08/19/2018 12:06 PM EDT

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock on Sunday said he would support a ban on semiautomatic weapons — the strongest stance the Democratic governor has taken on gun control as he weighs a possible run for the 2020 presidential election.

Bullock told Jake Tapper on CNN's "State of the Union" that firearm owners and those who want more gun control have the same goal: keeping their families safe.

"If we really step back for a minute, I think most folks that live in Montana and elsewhere that are firearm owners want to keep themselves and their families safe. It's not unlike folks who say that all these school tragedies and everything that's been happening," he said. "What do they really want? Those same values."

Bullock in May wrote in an op-ed in the Great Falls Tribune that he would support universal background checks. That stance was much stronger than a statement he made in his 2016 re-election campaign, where he said that he opposed universal background checks and that he had actually expanded gun rights during his tenure as governor. (Bullock won reelection in his state at the same time President Donald Trump was routing Hillary Clinton by more than 20 percentage points.)

Read more: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/19/montana-governor-supports-assault-weapon-ban-788194

Mulvaney on canceled military parade: It wasn't just the money

Source: Politico

By REBECCA MORIN 08/19/2018 10:49 AM EDT

Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney said he believes President Donald Trump’s plans for a military parade were canceled for other reasons besides the cost of the event, but would not specify other “contributing factors.”

During an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Mulvaney said he was not in the room when the decision was made to cancel the parade, as he said he would have been had the cancelation been done “purely for fiscal reasons.”

“If the parade had been canceled purely for fiscal reasons, I imagine I would have been in the room when that was made, and I wasn’t,” he said. “So my guess is there were other contributing factors.”

Trump on Friday blamed local politicians, such as Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser, for the parade’s cancelation, saying they “wanted a number so ridiculously high” that he was forced to hold off on the event.

Read more: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/19/mulvaney-trump-military-parade-788157

Christie Says Trump Will Regret Legal Advice

August 19, 2018 at 12:58 pm EDT By Taegan Goddard

Former Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) told ABC News that President Trump will regret not invoking executive or attorney-client privilege in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.

Said Christie: “You never waive that. Absolutely not. This shows what a C-level legal team the president had in Ty Cobb and John Dowd.”

He added: “This is not in the president’s interest. It wasn’t in the president’s interest. It’s bad legal advice. Bad lawyering.”



Ex-Fox News Analyst Ralph Peters Calls Former Colleagues Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson 'Prostitutes'

‘The polite word is prostitutes, so we’ll just leave it that,’ Ralph Peters said when he was asked about Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson.

08.19.18 12:37 PM ET

“As a a former Russia analyst,” Lt. Col. Ralph Peters said on CNN’s Reliable Sources Sunday, “I am convinced that the president of the United States is in thrall to Vladimir Putin.” That was hardly his most provocative statement of the morning.

Peters, who left his job as a military analyst for Fox News earlier this year declaring the network a “destructive propaganda machine” for President Trump, spent much of his sit-down with Brian Stelter excoriating his former employer. He explained that he left Fox because he could not be part of an institution that was “assaulting the Constitution, the constitutional order, the rule of law.”

“Fox isn’t immoral, it’s amoral,” Peters explained. “It was opportunistic. Trump was just a gift to Fox and Fox in turn was a gift to Trump. Echoing Stelter — and inadvertently evoking a particularly iconic moment from HBO’s Succession — he said, “it’s a closed loop, so people who only listen to Fox have an utterly skewed view of reality.”

Later in the segment, Stelter played side-by-side clips from Fox News and MSNBC on Trump’s decision to strip former CIA director John Brennan of his security clearance. While Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson accused Brennan of “serious misconduct” and questioned his “intellectual” competence, the MSNBC hosts and pundits blasted the president for punishing his prominent political critic.


Exclusive: Is a senior Air Force general using his power to spread far-right Christian nationalism?

Brig. Gen. John Teichert faces charges he has used his rank and authority to spread extremist, anti-American views

AUGUST 19, 2018 4:10PM (UTC)

On July 18, Air Force Brig. Gen. John Teichert assumed command of the 412th Test Wing at Edwards Air Force Base. Less than one month later, on Aug. 12, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation filed a 22-page complaint against him for violating military rules and regulations about religious proselytizing, based on the online record at Teichert's Christian ministry website, “PLUS” (“Prayer at Lunchtime for the United States”), which has been in operation for five years, well before his latest promotion. Within the week, the MRFF, a watchdog group founded in 2005, received word that the Department of Defense was beginning a formal investigation.

According to a press statement from MRFF founder and president Michael L. Weinstein, a former Air Force officer, on Teichert's website he has “denigrated LGBT individuals, slammed American society at large, and, of course, delivered election voting mandate directives" urging that only certain categories of Christians should be elected to public office.

Military officers enjoy the same freedom of religion as everyone else in America, so Teichert's religious faith is not an issue in itself. But military service entails special restrictions on how religion is expressed, particularly if that expression is deemed to undermine military effectiveness, a point that lies at the heart of the MRFF’s complaint.

For example, Air Force Instruction 1-1, Paragraph 2.15.4. states the following:

Airmen who provide commentary and opinions on internet blogs that they host or on others’ internet blogs, may not place comments on those blog sites, which reasonably can be anticipated, or are intended, to degrade morale, good order, and discipline of any members or units in the U.S. Armed Forces, are Service-discrediting, or would degrade the trust and confidence of the public in the United States Air Force.

The complaint was filed on behalf of 41 clients at Teichert’s new command (32 of whom identify as Christian), “many of whom are in mortal fear of retaliation should they be personally identified in this matter, something that MRFF suggests is an equally troublesome issue,” as its text explains. Elsewhere the MRFF complaint argues that Teichert's specific form of zealotry does not “promote diversity, unit cohesion, good order and discipline, religious tolerance and esprit de corps," all considered core values of the 21st-century military.


Santorum: Mueller could avoid charges of McCarthyism by investigating DOJ, FBI

BY MICHAEL BURKE - 08/19/18 01:51 PM EDT

Former GOP Senator Rick Santorum said Sunday that special counsel Robert Mueller could avoid comparisons to Sen. Joseph McCarthy by investigating the Justice Department (DOJ) and FBI.

Santorum said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that Mueller should investigate the DOJ and FBI “with respect to Hillary Clinton and all these other things.”

The former senator was responding to a string of tweets from President Trump early Sunday morning claiming that Mueller makes McCarthy, who searched for communists in the U.S. government in the 1950s, “look like a baby.”

“It’s his job to do a thorough investigation,” Santorum said of Mueller. “… There’s certainly no evidence that he’s looking into any of this.”

Other panelists on “State of the Union” pushed back against Trump’s comparison of McCarthy to Mueller's probe into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm said Mueller “is the total hero.”


Brett Kavanaugh was concerned with his Federalist Society membership in 2001, emails show

By Annie Grayer

Updated 1:03 PM ET, Sun August 19, 2018

Washington (CNN)In an email chain addressed to two of his colleagues in March 2001, Brett Kavanaugh, then associate counsel to President George W. Bush, complained to his colleagues about recent press reports characterizing him.

"While you cannot possibly respond to every false statement in the press reports," Kavanaugh wrote, "you may want to (or at least have the press office do so) point out obvious whoppers to some of these reporters/writers." There were two "whoppers" Kavanaugh was referring to.

The first, was that the press was claiming multiple members of the Bush administration had worked for Ken Starr at the Office of the Independent Counsel, when, according to Kavanaugh, he was the only one. And the second was the notion that he was still a member of the Federalist Society, when he claimed to have resigned.


In the email chain Kavanaugh wrote, "the reason I (and others) resigned from Fed society was precisely because I did not want anyone to be able to say that I had an ongoing relationship with any group that has a strong interest in the work of this office."


Despite what he told colleagues in 2001, when Kavanaugh filled out his Senate Judiciary Questionnaire on July 20, 2018, he wrote that he had been a member of the Federalist Society since 1988 without any gaps in membership.

A source close to Kavanaugh attempted to rectify the discrepancy by confirming that Kavanaugh has been a member of the Federalist Society since 1988 "save for a brief lapse at the beginning of his time in the White House Counsel's Office," although the source could not specify an exact time frame. The source said that Kavanaugh canceled his membership early on in his career at the White House when he was under the impression that it was proper procedure to cancel the membership. According to the same source, once Kavanaugh learned that he could continue his membership, he renewed.


Michael Hayden says he, too, would be honored if Trump revoked his security clearance

Source: CNN

By Maegan Vazquez, CNN

Updated 12:33 PM ET, Sun August 19, 2018

Washington (CNN)Former CIA and National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden said Sunday that he'd be fine with having his security clearance revoked, as President Donald Trump threatened to do to him and other former intelligence officials who have been critical of the President.

Hayden made the comment on CNN's "State of the Union" when asked about a recent op-ed from retired Adm. William McRaven, who oversaw the 2011 Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden. In his piece, McRaven issued a stunning rebuke of Trump's decision to revoke the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan, whom the former naval officer called "a man of unparalleled integrity." He added that he "would consider it an honor" if Trump also took away his clearance "so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency."

Asked by CNN's Jake Tapper if he too would be honored to lose his security clearance, Hayden said, "Well, to be included in that group? Sure."

"And frankly, if his not revoking my clearance gave the impression that I somehow moved my commentary in a direction more acceptable to the White House, I would find that very disappointing and frankly unacceptable," Hayden, a frequent critic of Trump, added.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/19/politics/intelligence-chiefs-michael-hayden-john-brennan-cnntv/index.html

Trump's epic Mueller gamble

Jonathan Swan, Mike Allen 3 hours ago

Several top White House officials thought then and think now that President Trump made an epic error in rolling over to cooperate with Robert Mueller in the early stages of the special counsel investigation.

Why it matters: Trump himself thought then and thinks now that he personally has nothing to lose because he personally did nothing wrong. Who’s right might very well decide the fate of the Trump presidency.

One source close to the Trump team told us the full acquiescence to Mueller was "dumb" and "idiotic."

A top source said White House counsel Don McGahn and his lawyer, William Burck, never thought it was a good idea to cooperate the way Trump has, but realized they had no choice once the decision was made.

The White House made an epic gamble to try to placate Mueller rather than fight him:


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