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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

Hillary Clinton: Trump admin's response to Puerto Rico 'an American tragedy'

Source: The Hill

Hillary Clinton slammed the Trump administration for its response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico last year, saying that it’s time for the U.S. government to “step up & protect its people.”

Clinton cited in her tweet a study released this week that found that the death toll from the hurricane last year was more than 70 times the official government estimate.

“The US gov’t has failed its own citizens. The response itself is an American tragedy,” Clinton wrote. “Hurricane season is about to begin in Puerto Rico. The administration must step up & protect its people,” she added.


A recently released study from The New England Journal of Medicine found that there were as many as 5,740 more deaths caused by the hurricane than originally stated.

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/390101-hillary-clinton-trump-admins-response-to-puerto-rico-is-an

Trump ahead of visit with Texas shooting survivors: 'We are going to have a little fun'

Source: The Hill

BY JOHN BOWDEN - 05/31/18 02:10 PM EDT

President Trump on Thursday told reporters that he and his team would be having "fun" on a trip to Texas where the president is expected to meet with survivors from last week's deadly school shooting in Santa Fe.

Trump made the comment to reporters as he was boarding Air Force One to leave for the Lone Star state, where he is also expected to appear at several GOP fundraisers.


The remark was noticed by gun violence activists, who questioned Trump's use of the word to describe a trip with to meet shooting survivors and first responders.


Trump is scheduled to meet with survivors of last week's deadly shooting at a Santa Fe, Texas high school where 10 people were killed when a gunman attacked the school with guns reportedly stolen from the suspect's father.

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/390099-trump-ahead-of-visit-with-texas-shooting-survivors-we-are-going

D'Souza, the Pardon Power and the Question of Norms - By Josh Marshall

By Josh Marshall | May 31, 2018 12:37 pm

The issue of presidential pardons raises an important issue with “norms”. I have written many times over the years that Presidents don’t use the pardon power nearly enough. The pardon power is archaic and in some ways hard to reconcile with our modern concepts of justice and judicial process. But mercy is an important element of justice. Indeed, without a role for mercy there can be no justice. There are many people rotting in prison who shouldn’t be there, even if they were guilty of the crimes for which they were convicted. In the past, the pardon was used sometimes for reasons as simple as managing prison over crowding. Sentences do not need to be sacrosanct. The pardon power is a tool to cut through the harsh indifference of criminal law and right wrongs.

Relatedly, I’ve written about the way the modern pardon power has been circumscribed almost beyond recognition. There’s a Pardon Attorney at the DOJ who handles the process. The guidelines make demands which all but erase the meaning of the pardon power itself. You not only have to express remorse, you have to have served your sentence and then wait a period of time after you’ve served your sentence. In other words, the whole idea of have executive clemency which springs you out of prison ahead of time isn’t even supposed to be part of the process.

There’s some benefit of having your record wiped clean. But notional pardons long after you finished your punishment really defeats the purpose. That’s why most pardons until the ones Obama did late in his term were stuff like some guy who got arrested for selling moonshine forty years ago but has been a stand up guy since and he gets a pardon.

The pardon power is there to find people who simply should be forgiven by the state in advance of completing their sentence. We should use it for classes of prisoners who we see now shouldn’t be in jail. Once marijuana is legal, should people really be serving long terms for use or minor dealing? As a legal matter, legalization makes no difference. But the pardon power can provide a measure of justice and rectification.

Yet clearly part of what running the pardon process through the DOJ is for is to insulate the President from that power. These are in a sense norms. The President doesn’t just wake up one day and decide to pardon someone or hear from a friend who puts in a good word for someone in jail. It’s too arbitrary, too ripe for abuse, even though the constitution is 100% clear that the President does have the power to do this.


Exclusive: Trump says may need to meet North Korea's Kim more than once

Source: Reuters

MAY 31, 2018 / 12:18 PM / UPDATED 30 MINUTES AGO

Reuters Staff

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday it may take more than one meeting to seal a denuclearization deal with North Korea and that he would like Pyongyang to dismantle its nuclear weapons program as quickly as possible under any agreement.

Trump, in a brief interview with Reuters aboard Air Force One as he flew to Texas for Republican fund-raising events, said he was still hoping to hold a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on June 12 in Singapore.

He said he will most likely be visited by North Korean envoy Kim Yong Chol on Friday at the White House after the official wraps up meetings with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in New York. The North Korean official is carrying a letter to Trump from Kim Jong Un.


Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-usa-trump-interview-exclus/exclusive-trump-says-may-need-to-meet-north-koreas-kim-more-than-once-idUSKCN1IW2CQ?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=twitter

Controversial Dinesh D'Souza tweets resurface after Trump announces pardon

Twitter users reacted to President Trump's announcement of a pardon for conservative activist Dinesh D'Souza on Thursday by resurfacing old tweets made by the convicted author, some of which his critics have called racist.


Both journalists and others chimed in with criticism of D'Souza, accusing him of posting racist messages and attacking school shooting survivors.


D'Souza in the past promoted the false "birther" conspiracy that former President Obama was born outside of the United States and ineligible for the White House.

"The Big Bang Theory" executive producer Bill Prady joined in the criticism, posting a tweet D'Souza made about Obama in which the writer says Americans are "cowering in embarrassment" of the president.


In another controversial tweet, posted by Everytown for Gun Safety founder Shannon Watts, D'Souza referred to former President Obama as a "grown-up Trayvon," referring to the black teenager Trayvon Martin who was shot and killed by George Zimmerman.


The largest federal employee union sues Trump administration over time restrictions on union...

Source: The Washington Post

The largest federal employee union sues Trump administration over time restrictions on union activity

By Washington Post Staff

May 31 at 12:43 PM

The American Federation of Government Employees on Thursday took the Trump administration to court to block a new executive order that severely restricts the time employees can spend on union activity, claiming it violates the First Amendment guarantee of the right to freedom of association and oversteps the president’s constitutional authority.

The restriction on what is known as “official time” — which will ultimately have to be bargained through collective bargaining contracts at federal agencies — was one of three orders the president signed late Friday before the Memorial Day weekend to roll back long-held civil service protections for federal employees.

This is a developing story. It will be updated.


Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2018/05/31/the-largest-federal-employee-union-sues-trump-administration-over-time-restrictions-on-union-activity/

Trump considering clemency for Blagojevich, Stewart

Source: The Hill

BY JORDAN FABIAN - 05/31/18 12:03 PM EDT

President Trump on Thursday said he is considering commuting the sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) and pardoning TV personality Martha Stewart.

Trump’s comments come hours after he pardoned conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza, who pleaded guilty to a felony campaign finance violation.

This developing report will be updated


Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/390064-trump-considering-clemency-for-blagojevich-stewart

Poll: Teens favor YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat over Facebook and Twitter

BY HARPER NEIDIG - 05/31/18 10:48 AM EDT

YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat are the most popular social media platforms among teenagers, outpacing sites like Facebook and Twitter, according to a new Pew Research Center poll.

The survey found that 85 percent of teens use YouTube, 72 percent use Instagram and 69 percent use Snapchat. Facebook and Twitter register 51 percent and 32 percent, respectively.

The numbers show a major shift in teens’ social media use. In Pew’s last survey, released in April 2015, 71 percent of teens said they used Facebook. Instagram was the only other site at the time that a majority of teens (52 percent) reported using.

“The social media environment among teens is quite different from what it was just three years ago,” Monica Anderson, a lead author of the report, said in a statement. “Back then, teens’ social media use mostly revolved around Facebook. Today, their habits revolve less around a single platform.”


Boehner: 'There is no Republican party. There's a Trump party'

Source: The Hill

BY JOHN BOWDEN - 05/31/18 11:13 AM EDT

Former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ill.) said Thursday that the Republican Party has been completely co-opted by President Trump.

In an interview following his address at the Makinac Policy Conference 2018 in Michigan, the former House Speaker accused his fellow Republicans of abandoning their political ideals for those professed by Trump.

"There is no Republican party. There’s a Trump party. The Republican Party is kinda taking a nap somewhere," Boehner said. In the interview, Boehner added that Trump was clearly the "most unusual" president the country had ever seen.

"It's too divided," Boehner said of the Trump administration, explaining why he did not want to return to Congress.

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/390051-boehner-there-is-no-republican-party-theres-a-trump-party

New Hints That Mueller's Manafort Probe Is Going Beyond Ukraine Charges

By Tierney Sneed | May 31, 2018 6:00 am

While Paul Manafort has claimed, so far without much success, that special counsel Robert Mueller has overstepped his authority by focusing on Manafort’s Ukraine lobbying, Mueller has left hints in various filings that his ongoing investigation into the former Trump campaign chairman may also be looking into something else.

It’s not clear exactly what that something else is, when or even if it will yield additional charges against Manafort, or whether it will bring the Russian collusion case closer to President Donald Trump or his associates. But there has been a series of intimations floated publicly by Mueller that suggest more is going on beneath the surface.

The most obvious signal was an Aug. 2 internal Justice Department memo from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to Mueller, disclosed with heavy redactions by Mueller last month, in which Rosenstein confirmed the special counsel’s authority to investigate Manafort for both the Ukraine allegations, and accusations that the Trump campaign and Russian colluded to influence the 2016 election.

Manafort has not been charged with any crimes related to alleged Russian collusion, but there have been subtle clues along the way that suggest that Mueller is still digging into Manafort, and what he’s searching for goes beyond alleged financial and lobbying disclosure crimes laid out in the two federal indictments against Manafort, one in DC and the other in Virginia. Manafort has pleaded not guilty in both cases to charges that include money laundering, tax fraud, bank fraud and failure to disclose foreign lobbying — mostly stemming from Ukraine work that predated the 2016 campaign.

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