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Name: Don
Gender: Male
Hometown: Massachusetts
Home country: United States
Member since: Sat Sep 1, 2012, 02:28 PM
Number of posts: 60,536

Journal Archives

New Jersey credit rating cut for 11th time under Christie

Source: Reuters

Mon Mar 27, 2017 | 5:54pm EDT

By Hilary Russ | NEW YORK

New Jersey's credit rating was cut on Monday, affecting $37 billion of debt, the 11th time Wall Street has downgraded the state's bonds since Governor Chris Christie took office in January 2010.

Persistent underfunding of the state's public pension system and weak budgetary position contributed to the rating cut. So did the $1.1 billion of annual revenues the state will lose by 2021 because of sales and estate tax cuts passed last year in conjunction with a gasoline tax hike, Moody's Investors Service said.

Christie, once a Republican presidential candidate, will leave office at the end of the year when his second term expires. His fiscal 2018 budget proposal last month included a $2.5 billion contribution to the state's retirement system for public employees, a $647 million increase from this year.

Moody's said the bigger contributions under Christie were still not meeting actuarial recommendations and unfunded liabilities were mounting.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-new-jersey-downgrade-moody-s-idUSKBN16Y2LF

Trump son-in-law met with U.S. sanctioned Russian bank; will testify

Source: Reuters

Mon Mar 27, 2017 | 5:41pm EDT

By Steve Holland and Patricia Zengerle | WASHINGTON

A Russian bank under U.S. economic sanctions over Russia's incursion into Ukraine disclosed on Monday that its executives had met Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and a top White House adviser, during the 2016 election campaign.

Kushner, 36, married to Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump, has agreed to testify to a Senate committee investigating whether Russia tried to interfere in the election.

Allegations by U.S. intelligence agencies that Russian actors were behind hacking of senior Democratic Party operatives and spreading disinformation linger over Trump's young presidency. Democrats charge the Russians wanted to tilt the election toward the Republican, a claim dismissed by Trump. Russia denies the allegations.

But there has been no doubt that the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergei Kislyak, developed contacts among the Trump team. Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was forced to resign on Feb. 13 after revelations that he had discussed U.S. sanctions on Russia with Kislyak and misled Vice President Mike Pence about the conversations.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-russia-idUSKBN16Y1H6

Army Veteran Charged With Murder As Act Of Terrorism In Deadly Midtown Stabbing

Source: CBS News- New York

March 27, 2017 5:13 PM

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — An Army veteran was hit with new charges of murder as an act of terrorism and hate Monday in the alleged random stabbing a black man to death with a sword in Midtown.

James Harris Jackson, 28, was arraigned last week in the slaying of 66-year-old Timothy Caughman.

In a court appearance Monday, his charges were upgraded in a grand jury indictment. He had already been accused of second-degree murder as a hate crime. Jackson is also facing several weapons charges.

Meanwhile, as CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported, more is being revealed about what may have motivated the attack and what else the accused was plotting.

Read more: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2017/03/27/midtown-stabbing-suspect-court/

Wikileaks Denies Roger Stone Had 'Back-Channel' Contact With Assange

Source: Talking Points Memo

By ESME CRIBB Published MARCH 27, 2017, 5:02 PM EDT

Wikileaks on Monday denied longtime Donald Trump ally Roger Stone's claim that he had "back-channel communication" with the organization's founder, Julian Assange, before the 2016 election.

"No communications, no channel," a Wikileaks representative told CNN's KFILE by email.

In August 2016, Stone claimed to be in touch with Assange in advance of a so-called "October surprise" comprised of documents the Wikileaks founder promised to release in order to derail Hillary Clinton's campaign. "I actually have communicated with Assange," Stone said.

Stone denied in October 2016 that he had direct contact with Assange, but claimed to have "a back-channel communication" with him.

Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/wikileaks-denies-roger-stone-back-channel-contact-with-julian-assange

Roger Wilkins, civil rights champion in government and journalism, dies at 85

Source: The Washington Post

By Adam Bernstein March 27 at 4:30 PM

Roger W. Wilkins, a ranking Justice Department official during the 1960s who later composed Pulitzer Prize-winning editorials about the Watergate scandal for The Washington Post and wrote unsparingly about the conflicts and burdens he experienced as a black man in positions of influence, died March 26 at a nursing home in Kensington, Md. He was 85.

The cause was complications from dementia, said his daughter Elizabeth Wilkins.

In a career that traversed law, journalism and education, Mr. Wilkins made matters of race and poverty central to his work as an assistant attorney general in the Johnson administration and later as one of the first black editorial board members at The Post and the New York Times.

By kinship or friendship, he was linked to many black leaders of the civil rights era. Roy Wilkins, who led the NAACP from 1955 to 1977, was an uncle. In law school, Roger Wilkins was an intern for Thurgood Marshall, then director-counsel of the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund and later a U.S. Supreme Court justice.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/roger-wilkins-civil-rights-champion-in-government-and-journalism-dies-at-85/2017/03/27/aaf4bcaa-1320-11e7-ada0-1489b735b3a3_story.html?utm_term=.bf4c90cbd462&wpisrc=nl_evening&wpmm=1

Georgia Dems normally raise $10,000 for this House seat. This April they'll have $3 million.

Georgia Dems normally raise $10,000 for this House seat. This April they’ll have $3 million.

The anti-Trump resistance movement is about to get its first big electoral test.

Updated by Jeff Stein Mar 27, 2017, 9:00am EDT

ROSWELL, Georgia — On a sunny Sunday in mid-February, Karley Barber, 54, spends her morning and afternoon going door to door for Jon Ossoff, the leading Democrat running for the Georgia House seat vacated by former Rep. Tom Price, Donald Trump’s health and human services secretary.

Clipboard in hand, she laughs nervously as she marches up the steep gravel path to the first house on her list. She raps twice on the wood door frame, and shivers with a nervous jitter as someone inside approaches.

“I’ve never done this! What if they slam the door in my face?” says Barber, a government contractor with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More than 7,000 people have already volunteered for Ossoff’s campaign, and he has raised more than $3 million — unprecedented numbers for the congressional district.

The April 18 special election in Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District is Democrats’ first chance to eat into Republicans’ House majority — and potentially preview the 2018 midterm elections. “Normally, a Democrat running for Price’s seat would be lucky to raise $10,000 to $20,000,” says Phil Lunney, legislative liaison for the Fulton County Democrats. “There’s been nothing like it here, at least in the 21st century.”


'This is a nightmare for Trump': CNN panel says Nunes's stunt will make White House's life miserable

Gallup: Trump Approval Rating Now Lower Than Obama, Clinton Records

Source: Talking Points Memo

By MATT SHUHAM Published MARCH 27, 2017, 2:29 PM EDT

President Donald Trump’s approval rating reached a new low in Gallup’s daily polling average Monday.

According to Gallup, 36 percent of respondents to its daily polls approved of Trump’s performance in office, while 57 percent disapproved.

Gallup arrives at its approval numbers by averaging the previous three days of polling. Monday's numbers reflect responses from March 24-26, during and following the surprising failure of Republicans’ Obamacare replacement plan on Friday.

Trump’s Gallup approval is now lower than former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton's approval numbers were at any point in their presidencies, according to an analysis by Gallup's editor-in-chief. Obama reached a low of 38 percent in 2011 and 2014. Former President Bill Clinton reached a low of 37 percent in 1993. Former President George W. Bush reached his low, 25 percent, in October 2008.

Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-approval-reaches-new-low-gallup

Schumer: Ryan should replace Nunes on Intel chair

Source: The Hill

BY JORDAIN CARNEY - 03/27/17 03:39 PM EDT

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Monday stepped up his criticism of House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, calling on House Speaker Paul Ryan to replace him.

"Without further ado, Speaker Ryan should replace Chairman Nunes," the Senate minority leader said from the floor. "If Speaker Ryan wants the House to have a credible investigation, he needs to replace Chairman Nunes."

Nunes caused an uproar last week when he told the press that he had seen intelligence showing that members of President Trump's transition team had been caught up in surveillance operations — without first discussing the information with fellow committee members. He later briefed Trump on the information.

On Monday, Nunes confirmed that he was on White House grounds the day before the announcement, further raising speculation that the information he saw originated from within the administration. Schumer argued that Nunes is acting like someone who wants to protect Trump even though his committee is investigating Russia's meddling in the White House race, including any potential ties between the campaign and Moscow.

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/325968-schumer-nunes-needs-to-be-replaced

WH won't commit to defunding Planned Parenthood in spending bill

Source: The Hill

BY JORDAN FABIAN - 03/27/17 02:43 PM EDT

The White House refused to commit Monday to defunding Planned Parenthood in an upcoming must-pass spending bill, a sign it’s looking to avoid a government shutdown over the hot-button issue.

President Trump viewed the now-dead Republican healthcare bill as “an opportunity to defund” Planned Parenthood, according to press secretary Sean Spicer, who wouldn’t say whether the president would demand defunding in future legislation.

“I don’t want to get ahead of our legislative strategy,” Spicer told reporters. “We’ll look at other opportunities, but this was definitely one that was a way to make that happen.” The comments set a marker for talks on the government spending bill, which Congress must pass by April 28 to avoid a shutdown.

Conservative Republicans are pushing for action defunding Planned Parenthood to be included in the measure. But doing so could make it impossible to pass through the Senate, where it will likely need 60 votes to pass. But Democrats, whom Republicans will need to break a potential filibuster of the bill, are deeply opposed to defunding the organization.

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/325951-wh-wont-commit-to-defunding-planned-parenthood-in-govt-funding-bill
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