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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

Sources: Trump unsettled by McGahn's 30 hours with the special counsel

Source: CNN

By Kaitlan Collins, Kevin Liptak and Jeremy Diamond, CNN

Updated 4:56 PM ET, Mon August 20, 2018

Washington (CNN) - White House counsel Don McGahn's 30 hours of conversations with special counsel Robert Mueller's team have unnerved President Donald Trump, who didn't know the full extent of McGahn's discussions, two people familiar with his thinking said.

The meetings only add complications to the already-fraught relationship between the President and the White House's top lawyer. And as nervous aides await a verdict in former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's trial and watch with trepidation the inauspicious public relations blitz carried by lead attorney Rudy Giuliani, uncertainty surrounding the President's handling of the Russia investigation abounds.

Trump was spending another weekend at his New Jersey golf club when The New York Times first reported McGahn's cooperation with Mueller's office, which is investigating Russian attempts to interfere in the 2016 election.

The President was unsettled by the notion that he didn't know everything McGahn said to the special counsel during their interviews, the sources said. And while he had approved the cooperation, Trump did not know the conversations stretched for 30 hours or that his legal team didn't conduct a full debriefing with McGahn after the fact.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/20/politics/trump-mcgahn-30-hours/index.html

Falwell Jr. killed student newspaper articles critical of Trump: report

BY BRETT SAMUELS - 08/20/18 05:16 PM EDT

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr., a staunch supporter of President Trump, reportedly reviewed and rejected stories and opinion pieces written about the president in the school's student newspaper.

World Magazine, a Christian news publication, reported Monday that tensions rose between Falwell Jr. and the school newspaper, The Champion, when the Evangelical leader endorsed Trump for president in 2016.

Falwell Jr. reportedly required that editors disclose whom a columnist planned to vote for in the 2016 election.

When sports editor Joel Schmieg penned a column objecting to Trump's vulgar comments on the "Access Hollywood" tape that was released in October 2016, Falwell Jr. ordered the piece be spiked because the paper had already run one Trump column that week, World Magazine reported.

Schmieg told the publication that he posted the column on his Facebook page instead, and was warned by school staff against doing so in the future.


Automakers unite against proposed Trump tariffs

Source: The Hill

BY NIV ELIS - 08/20/18 05:28 PM EDT

Eight auto associations have banded together in what they say is an unprecedented coalition to oppose new tariffs President Trump has proposed on foreign autos, saying they represent a “significant threat” to the U.S. economy.

The coalition, calling itself the Driving American Jobs Coalition, says that the proposed import taxes would raise auto prices across the board by as much as $6,900, making it harder for consumers to buy cars, lowering sales for auto dealers, and leading to job losses in the industry.

“The impact of these proposed tariffs are especially harmful to American jobs because they would hurt U.S. employment across the supply chain,” said Matt Blunt, a former governor of Missouri and the head of the American Automotive Policy Council, one of the eight groups in the new coalition.

That group includes the major U.S. automakers Ford, Chrysler and General Motors, which employ about 250,000 people in the United States. Two of the eight associations, in particular, include foreign automakers, some of which have factories in the United States: the Association of Global Automakers, which includes Honda, Hyundai, Toyota, Subaru, Nissan and Ferrari; and the Auto Alliance, which includes Volkswagen, Volvo, Mitsubishi, Mercedes and BMW.

Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/finance/402738-automakers-unite-against-proposed-trump-tariffs

Poll: Most Americans think Trump doesn't 'hire the best people'

Source: Politico

By CAITLIN OPRYSKO 08/20/2018 01:00 PM EDT

President Donald Trump repeatedly said during the 2016 election that he would “hire the best people” for his administration, but a new poll Monday shows that most Americans don't think he delivered on that promise.

The new Monmouth University Poll found that only 30 percent of respondents believe that Trump has hired the "best people," with 58 percent saying he has not. Twelve percent of those polled responded either that the president’s hiring record was mixed or that they didn’t know about his hiring record.

Trump's White House has experienced higher-than-usual turnover. And several of his hires for his 2016 campaign and White House have made news in recent weeks.

Paul Manafort, who ran Trump’s presidential campaign in the summer of 2016, is awaiting a jury verdict on tax evasion and bank fraud charges as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian election interference. The president has distanced himself from his former campaign chairman but on Friday said that he was a "very good person" and that his trial was a "very sad day."

Read more: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/20/trump-poll-administration-staff-turnover-789604

Trump on border wall: Democrats 'don't mind crime'

Source: Politico

By REBECCA MORIN 08/20/2018 04:54 PM EDT

President Donald Trump on Monday criticized Democratic lawmakers who are against his proposed border wall, saying they are “people that don’t mind crime.”

The president delivered his criticism during an event at the White House saluting members of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Customs and Border Protection. Several Republican officials attended, including Sen. David Perdue of Georgia and Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona.

“Sadly, in recent months — incredibly, I have to say, incredibly,” Trump said, “a coalition of open-borders extremists — and to me that means crime, people that don’t mind crime — they’ve waged an unprecedented assault on American law enforcement, our greatest people, threatening ICE and Border Patrol for performing their duties admirably and for defending our country from horrible people and horrible, horrible events and crimes.”

Democrats have opposed Trump’s plans for a border wall, which he has advocated since the inception of his campaign. Last year, California’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra, filed a lawsuit to try to stop the proposal to expedite construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, saying it would violate laws aimed at protecting the environment.

Read more: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/20/donald-trump-border-wall-immigration-democrats-789731

Giuliani Attempts To Taunt Brennan Into Suing Trump: 'You're Not A Blowhard?'

Source: Talking Points Memo

By Matt Shuham | August 20, 2018 3:02 pm

Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani on Monday appeared to try to taunt former CIA Director John Brennan into filing a lawsuit over his revoked security clearance.


On Sunday, Brennan affirmed that he was considering legal action following Trump’s revocation of his security clearance, in order to prevent similar action being taken against other former intelligence and national security officials critical of the President, or even current officials like the Justice Department’s Bruce Ohr.


Trump appears to have embraced Brennan as a foil, tweeting Monday, “I hope John Brennan, the worst CIA Director in our country’s history, brings a lawsuit.”


Read more: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/giuliani-attempts-to-taunt-brennan-into-suing-trump-youre-not-a-blowhard

WATCH: Trump Keeps Calling CBP 'CBC,' Says Officer 'Speaks Perfect English'

By Matt Shuham | August 20, 2018 4:02 pm

President Donald Trump on Monday spoke at a White House event in support of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs of Border Protection, two agencies housed within the Department of Homeland Security charged with immigration law enforcement and border security, respectively.

In a strange turn, Trump repeatedly referred to CBP as “CBC.” Was he referring to the Congressional Black Caucus? The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation? Who knows.

He also made sure to mention that a Border Patrol officer he invited on stage “speaks perfect English.”


Separately, Trump brought up a CPB officer he identified only as “Adrian,” who he credited with stopping a human smuggler who’d locked 78 people in the back of a trailer and attempted to cross the border. “Speaks perfect English,” he said, referring to Adrian.


As the Toronto Star’s Daniel Dale noted, Trump lied multiple times during his remarks, including by saying his promised wall on the U.S.-Mexico border “is getting longer and taller and stronger each and every day,” and by asserting ICE was “actually liberating towns.”



Exclusive: Pentagon raises alarm about sharp drop in Iraqi refugees coming to U.S.

Source: Reuters

AUGUST 20, 2018 / 11:27 AM / UPDATED 31 MINUTES AGO

Yeganeh Torbati

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Military officials are sounding the alarm inside the Trump administration about the sharp drop in admission to the United States of Iraqi refugees who have helped American troops in battle, said two U.S. officials aware of the internal discussions.

The Pentagon is concerned that not providing safe haven to more of the Iraqis, many of whom interpreted and did other key tasks for U.S. forces, will harm national security by dissuading locals from cooperating with the United States in Iraq and other conflict zones, the officials said.

In a closed-door White House meeting last week devoted to the Iraqi issue, officials focused largely on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s method of conducting certain deep background checks on the Iraqis, and identified it as a major source of the drop in admissions, said the two officials aware of the discussions, who declined to be named.

As of Aug. 15, just 48 Iraqis have been admitted to the United States this fiscal year through a special refugee program meant for people who worked for the U.S. government or American contractors, news media or non-governmental groups, according to data provided by the State Department. More than 3,000 came last year and about 5,100 in 2016.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration-refugees-iraq-exclusi/exclusive-pentagon-raises-alarm-about-sharp-drop-in-iraqi-refugees-coming-to-u-s-idUSKCN1L51N9

Trump's Base Has Become Too Delusional for the GOP's Own Good

12:01 P.M.

By Eric Levitz@EricLevitz

or decades now, the conservative movement has sought to keep its core voters confined to a carefully curated media ecosystem — one where the Democratic Party is a Marxist-Islamist organization, America is the world’s most over-taxed nation, illegal immigrants bear sole responsibility for the stagnation of middle-class wages (and/or all violent crime), and there’s never been a better time to buy gold coins.

In many respects, this project has been a great boon to the Republican Party. Research suggests that Fox News’ existence significantly boosts the GOP’s vote-share (and might have even swung the 2004 election to George W. Bush). And, in addition to helping Republicans win elections, the right-wing echo-chamber has given the party a freer hand once in power. More tax cuts for the wealthy, less social insurance for the working class, and near-total impunity for polluters and predatory lenders is not a popular platform, even with Republican voters. But by supplying conservatives with “alternative facts” about such policies; stoking their cultural resentments and racialized fears; and branding all non-conservative media as biased or liberal (or, in today’s parlance, “fake news”) the GOP has succeeded in retaining the loyalty of its grassroots, while betraying their stated preferences on a wide range of economic issues.

But cultivating mass delusion has also had downsides for the GOP — or, at least, for its Establishment. During the Obama years, the tail began wagging the dog — the party’s propaganda outlets went from selling the leadership’s policies to dictating them. Alarmist lies about an imminent debt crisis didn’t just provide momentum to Paul Ryan’s austerity agenda — they nearly forced a debt default that the Speaker (along with all of corporate America) had no interest in. And then, of course, Fox News lost control of its own audience, and the network’s “birther” correspondent became the GOP’s 2016 standard-bearer.

Now, Republican consultants are concerned that the combination of their voters’ insulation from reality — and Donald Trump’s fragile ego — could cost the party control of the House.

And their fear is quite rational. The party that controls the White House almost always has a tough time mobilizing its base in midterm elections. When voters see their team in power everyday, they feel secure; and thus, complacent; and thus, less obligated to drive to their polling places after work. GOP strategists hope to combat this perennial problem by turning their party’s weakness into a strength: With polls predicting a “blue wave” this November, Republicans hope to instill an energizing panic in their base over the terrifying prospect of Speaker Pelosi.


David Hogg, After Parkland

9:03 P.M.

Furious and unflinching, an NRA enemy, an accused “crisis actor,” and a high-school grad trying to figure out what’s next.

By Lisa Miller Photographs by Andres Kudacki

At 2:30 on February 14, David Hogg was not yet a spokesperson for radicalized young America or a renowned media savant or a resistance fighter or, to some, the encapsulation of everything terrifying about where the country is going, but a high-school senior crouched in a dark classroom while a gunman with an AR-15 ranged beyond the walls of his hiding place, slaughtering 17 people in six minutes. In the quiet aftermath, when the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School had stopped but before the SWAT team had given the all clear, the 17-year-old debate geek did what first came to mind: He detached himself from the situation by turning on his phone’s video recorder and, in a perfect simulation of the news correspondents he had watched in his bedroom for years, narrated the events that had just taken place. To an imaginary audience, Hogg explained that he, like many of his classmates in Parkland, Florida, had initially thought the massacre was a drill. “And then we heard more gunshots,” he said somberly, still in a crouch, his face in shadow, “and that was when we realized, This was not a drill.”

Like so many young men in so many foxholes before him, Hogg discovered in himself a powerful drive not to leave this Earth without making a mark. “We really only remember a few hundred people, if that many, out of the billions that have ever lived,” he told me at his house in a gated community in Parkland, ten days after the shooting. “Is that what I was destined to become?” Hogg was home alone that day, checking his phone and keeping company with Tater, the family terrier (allergic to grass but fond of tangerines and bananas), and he struck me as surprisingly composed. After the shooting, he had met up with his father but then driven himself home. That’s when he lost it, alone in the car, screaming “Fuck!” again and again at the top of his lungs and hammering his fists on the dashboard. By the time he got to his house, he was calm enough to send his video to the Sun-Sentinel, the newspaper where he worked as an intern. “I had the exclusive for about six hours,” he told me.

Hogg understood that he was living in a historical moment. Later that evening, he shouldered past his father, who was blocking the door, and biked back to school, where he offered his eyewitness account to the first television producer he saw. The segment with Laura Ingraham aired live at 10:05 on Fox. It is remarkable to watch — Hogg with his stoic poise, his David Byrne cheekbones and wide-set stare, his grave expression and small impatient nods of understanding, narrating the day’s atrocities. But it’s most memorable for its final moments, when he refuses to allow Ingraham to offer her condolences or to get off the air. “Can I say one more thing to the audience? I don’t want this just to be another mass shooting. I don’t want this to be something that people forget.”

By 6 a.m., to his parents’ astonishment, Hogg was in an ABC News van riding back to school, preparing to interview with George Stephanopoulos. Just past nine, on MSNBC, he was smoother now, more assertive and armed with facts. “Everybody’s getting used to this, and that’s not okay,” he told Stephanie Ruhle. He referenced statistics from Everytown for Gun Safety: “There have been 18 more mass shootings than there need to be this year at schools. It needs to come to an end.”

Instantly he was absorbed into the crew camped out at the house of a schoolmate named Cameron Kasky, a loose association of Parkland juniors and seniors who saw the shooting with the moral clarity of revolutionaries. Soon the group was operating under a hashtag, #NeverAgain, and planning a march on Washington. Hogg was so obviously an asset, a connoisseur of news cycles and sound bites, with the ability to hoover up facts and figures like his idol John Oliver and then spew them in angry torrents before the cameras. When Anderson Cooper asked Hogg if banning bump stocks was a good idea, his answer was succinct: “Absolutely, but that should have been done after 50 people were slaughtered in Las Vegas.”

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