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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

Netanyahu to Ask Pompeo to Slow Syria Pullback, Official Says

Source: Bloomberg News

By Jonathan Ferziger

December 31, 2018, 10:44 AM EST

Brazil interested in buying Israeli attack drones: official

Israeli premier is in Brazil for president’s inauguration

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will ask U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to slow the pullback of U.S. troops from Syria, a senior Israeli official told reporters, speaking anonymously due to the sensitivity of the matter.

Netanyahu is in Brazil on a five-day trip to attend President-elect Jair Bolsonaro’s inauguration Tuesday in Brasilia.

The official also said:

Bolsonaro is seeking to buy attack drones from Israel

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-31/netanyahu-to-ask-pompeo-to-slow-syria-pullback-official-says

Chickpeas Sit In Silos As Trump's Trade Wars Wage On

December 31, 20189:00 AM ET


On a recent rainy day, farmer Allen Druffel stands outside a silo shuffling his feet in the gravel. This co-op bin is where he stores his dried garbanzo beans in the tiny town of Colton, Wash. The place should be busy; trucks should be loading and hauling this year's crop to markets and international ports. But midafternoon, there's just the rain.

Since farmers like Druffel brought in this year's crops, hardly any garbanzos — or chickpeas — have moved.

"Thirty to 40 percent of our total revenue is in the bin," Druffel says. "And we're not sure what we want to do with it."

And it's bad times for lentils and peas, too. In the agriculture industry, these are all called pulse crops. The largest importers of U.S. pulse crops have slapped tariffs on them, and they've been sitting in silos ever since.

Bitter bumper

The real trouble started early this year, with the U.S. pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Then came President Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs. China and India are the two largest buyers of American garbanzos, peas and lentils, and those exports have all but stopped. Other countries are holding off on buying them, too, while the prices are unstable.


Trump returns to border wall fight: 'Democrats, come back from vacation now'

Source: Politico

By ELI OKUN 12/31/2018 11:23 AM EST

President Donald Trump on Monday demanded Democrats come back to Washington early to approve funding for a wall at the border with Mexico, as a government shutdown over the issue threatens to stretch well into January.

“I’m in the Oval Office. Democrats, come back from vacation now and give us the votes necessary for Border Security, including the Wall," Trump tweeted. Though he said he was in the West Wing, there was no Marine posted outside that section of the White House, the usual indicator that the president is there, according to a pool report. Trump canceled plans to travel to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida to stay in Washington over the shutdown.

“It’s incredible how Democrats can all use their ridiculous sound bite and say that a Wall doesn’t work," Trump continued on Twitter. "It does, and properly built, almost 100%! They say it’s old technology - but so is the wheel. They now say it is immoral- but it is far more immoral for people to be dying!”

Trump also has pushed back hard on comments from his outgoing chief of staff, John Kelly, who told the Los Angeles Times in an exit interview this weekend that plans for a “solid concrete wall” were dropped early in Trump’s tenure.

Read more: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/12/31/trump-border-wall-government-shutdown-1077194

Sheriff's Office to refer dragging, shoving incidents at migrant child shelter to prosecutors

Mary Jo Pitzl, Arizona Republic Published 8:05 p.m. MT Dec. 30, 2018 | Updated 8:39 p.m. MT Dec. 30, 2018

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office will refer incidents of staffers dragging and shoving migrant children at a shelter to county prosecutors for determination of whether criminal charges are warranted.

The announcement came after The Arizona Republic published videos from Southwest Key's Youngtown Hacienda Del Sol shelter, showing the mid-September incidents.

The videos, obtained from state health authorities and blurred to protect the children's privacy, involved three children and various staffers.

The Sheriff's Office initially concluded there was no grounds for a criminal referral after reviewing hours of surveillance footage from the facility. But after reconsidering what it called its "thorough investigation," the office changed course and said it will ask the Maricopa County Attorney's Office on Monday to review the incidents and determine


Rep. Hakeem Jeffries: Trump Holding America 'Hostage' For His Wall With $5 Billion 'Ransom Note'

Source: HuffPost

“What Donald Trump and the Republicans want to do is waste $5 billion in taxpayer money on an ineffective, medieval border wall that is a 5th-century solution to a 21st-century problem.”

By Amy Russo

As the federal government shutdown dragged into its second week, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) lambasted President Donald Trump for sending Washington into chaos with demands for billions in border wall funding.

During a Sunday appearance on ABC News’ “This Week,” the congressman contended that elected officials must manage public money responsibly, rather than throwing it away it on a barrier he felt was outdated.

“What Donald Trump and the Republicans want to do is waste $5 billion in taxpayer money on an ineffective, medieval border wall that is a 5th-century solution to a 21st-century problem,” Jeffries said.

“Yes, we need comprehensive immigration reform. Yes, we need to enhance border security,” he added. “But we are not willing to pay $2.5 billion or $5 billion in wasting taxpayer dollars on a ransom note because Donald Trump decided that he was going to shut down the government and hold the American people hostage. That’s unreasonable.”


Read more: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/hakeem-jeffries-shutdown_us_5c29dec8e4b0407e908449a1

Trump Hits Back At 'Failed Generals' Who Were 'Unable To Do The Job' Over Syria Withdrawal Criticism

Source: Mediaite

by Colby Hall | Dec 31st, 2018, 8:32 am

President Donald Trump is pushing back on criticism about the sudden announcement from a week and a half ago about plans to remove U.S. troops from Syria and that ISIS was defeated. This decision reportedly came despite advice from military and intelligence leadership and eventually led to the protest resignation from Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

On New Year’s Eve, President Trump apparently felt the need to clear the air and defend his position via a short series of tweets that explained his process as a simple fulfillment of his campaign promise. And, as his is wont, he included some not-so-subtle digs at his detractors.


Following the announced plans to withdrawal, Trump has received bipartisan criticism for the planned withdrawal. Senator Lindsey Graham, a close Senate ally to the White House, notably was vocal in pushing back on this plan, though his rhetoric has softened more recently.

Trump’s dig at “some failed generals” is certainly a dig at Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who in a recent interview with ABC News’ Martha Raddatz, spared little criticism for a president who he sees as “immoral.


Read more: https://www.mediaite.com/online/trump-hits-back-at-failed-generals-who-were-unable-to-do-the-job-over-syria-withdrawal-criticism/

Trump pushes back on Kelly claim: All concrete wall was 'never abandoned'

Source: The Hill

BY BRETT SAMUELS - 12/31/18 08:08 AM EST

President Trump on Monday asserted that his administration did not abandon the concept of building a concrete wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, a day after his outgoing chief of staff John Kelly said the White House had long since moved on from the idea of a “solid concrete wall.”

Trump tweeted that an "all concrete Wall was NEVER ABANDONED, as has been reported by the media." Kelly's interview with The Los Angeles Times was published on Sunday morning.

The president also repeated his proposal for the border wall to made with “see through” materials.

"Some areas will be all concrete but the experts at Border Patrol prefer a Wall that is see through (thereby making it possible to see what is happening on both sides)," Trump added. "Makes sense to me!"


Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/423292-trump-says-all-concrete-wall-was-never-abandoned-contradicting-john

Republicans expect the worst in 2019 but see glimmers of hope from doom and gloom.


DECEMBER 31, 2018 05:00 AM,


WASHINGTON - Republicans who support President Donald Trump are bracing for an onslaught of congressional investigations and court battles that could paralyze the White House over the next year.

But they also see windows – albeit small ones – of opportunity where Trump might be able to shift the narrative from the doom and gloom.

After winning back control of the House of Representatives, Democrats are gearing up to use their subpoena power to unleash dozens of investigations against Trump, his administration, his campaign, his business and his family.

They will try to force him to hand over his tax returns, scrutinize his family separation policy at the border and seek to unravel any business ties Trump and his extended family may have with Russia, Saudi Arabia and other foreign powers.


What Should Democrats Not Investigate?

December 31, 2018 at 5:33 am EST By Taegan Goddard

The Guardian: “Fresh off a major victory in the November 2018 midterm elections – which saw the party gain 40 seats in the House – Democrats are preparing to fully utilize the investigative authorities afforded to Congress as legal troubles continue to mount for the president and his inner circle.”

“And unlike their Republican counterparts, who were reticent to levy the powers of congressional oversight against Trump, nothing appears to be off limits.”

“The question before Democrats appears to be what not to investigate – and whether there’s any room for negotiation with a president who is anathema to the party’s base.”

Washington Monthly: “When Democrats assume control of the House on January 3rd, they will have $129 million more to spend on staff than their predecessors in the 115th Congress did—money they can use to hire more personnel to, among other things, investigate the Trump administration.”



Trump's Incurable Incompetence

Steve Chapman

Trump’s Incurable Incompetence

December 31, 2018 5:51 am

In May 2017, Donald Trump met in the Oval Office with the Russian ambassador and the Russian foreign minister and did something appalling: He tossed out highly classified details about an Islamic State plot provided by Israeli intelligence, which could have revealed the source of the information and how it was obtained.

It was a major blunder, the product of a new president’s bravado and unfamiliarity with the need to protect secrets. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker said, “There’s some alignments that need to take place over there, and I think they’re fully aware of that.” The Israelis downplayed the leak. It was easy to see this as a rookie mistake that Trump would learn from.

But after visiting American troops in Baghdad on Wednesday, he tweeted a video of him with Navy SEALs, showing their faces — in disregard of the military’s policy of carefully protecting the identities of special operations forces. Again Trump exposed people on our side to possibly lethal consequences without a second thought, or a first one.

It was another rookie mistake, by someone who no longer has the excuse of being new to the job. Having no experience in politics, government or the military, Trump apparently faced a steep learning curve. But it turns out that he has no learning curve, because he is incapable of learning.

His brain is shielded by a concrete border wall that repels any unwelcome facts or obligations. At the same time, it locks in the motley collection of myths, prejudices, grudges, habits and addled opinions that he has accumulated over the years.

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