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Name: Don
Gender: Male
Hometown: Massachusetts
Home country: United States
Member since: Sat Sep 1, 2012, 03:28 PM
Number of posts: 60,536

Journal Archives

WH Spins Shutdown: Dems Protect 'Illegal Immigrants' Over Americans

By Kate Riga

December 27, 2018 4:28 pm

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders fired off a heated press release Thursday blaming Democrats for the shutdown and omitting any mention of a border wall.

“The President has made clear that any bill to fund the government must adequately fund border security to stop the flow of illegal drugs, criminals, MS-13 gang members, child smugglers and human traffickers into our communities – and protect the American people,” she said in a written statement. “The Administration understands this crisis and made a reasonable, common-sense solution to Democrats five days ago – we’ve not received a single response.”

The Senate passed a continuing resolution unanimously to keep the government funded last week, but President Donald Trump threatened a veto since the bill omitted funding for the wall. House Republicans, therefore, did not take it up.

“The President and his team stayed in Washington over Christmas hoping to negotiate a deal that would stop the dangerous crisis on the border, protect American communities, and re-open the government,” Sanders continued. “The Democrats decided to go home.”

It’s not entirely clear which lawmakers remained in Washington for shutdown negotiations. Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) let House members know that no votes are anticipated until the Democrats take over next week. Trump is still there, though White House senior advisers Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump left for the holiday.


Fox News Host: 'The Base Didn't Believe' Trump Would Get Mexico to Pay For Wall

by Tamar Auber | Dec 27th, 2018, 6:57 pm 640

During a discussion of President Donald Trump‘s border wall on Fox News’ The Five, Fox News host Tom Shillue suggested that even the president’s base doesn’t really believe that Trump will get Mexico to pay for his wall.

Shillue’s remarks came after one of the panelists noted Trump’s promise was not that taxpayers would pay for the wall, but rather that the people of Mexico would pay for it.

Shillue started by saying that Democrats insisting “well, we’ll wait for Mexico to pay for it,” is a “loser” argument. Then, after he was reminded that Trump did, in fact, say Mexico would pay for the wall, Shillue said this: “It doesn’t matter [that Trump said it]. The base didn’t believe it anyway. They knew he was going to get the money other ways.”

He added that when he does his radio show, “the callers come in and they all say look, we knew he knew he would find other ways to pay for it.”

He then stressed, though, that knowing Mexico paying for it doesn’t change the fact,”they want construction to start on the wall.”


Trump's Most Blatant Assault on the Rule of Law Yet

There have been questionable moves before. But the president’s reported lashing-out at his acting attorney general is truly problematic.

Matt Miller, Mimi Rocah

12.28.18 4:41 AM ET

In the nearly two years since he took office, President Trump has repeatedly tried to obliterate the wall that has long separated the White House from the Justice Department—a wall that is critical to insulating law enforcement from politics and preserving the rule of law.

From pushing then-FBI Director James Comey to drop an investigation into his national security adviser, Michael Flynn, to railing against, and eventually firing, Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia investigation, Mr. Trump has shown that he expects the men and women of the Justice Department to serve as his personal policemen and prosecutors.

On Friday, CNN revealed his most astonishing act yet, one that in our view clearly violated the law. According to CNN’s reporting, the president recently “lashed out” at acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker over court documents referencing the president in the guilty plea by his former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen. Worse, a week later Mr. Trump pushed Whitaker on “why more wasn’t being done to control” the Southern District of New York prosecutors who brought the case against Cohen. The president of the United States, in that moment, was essentially pressuring an acting official whose job hangs on his personal whims to shut down an investigation into himself.

On Christmas Eve, Mr. Trump tweeted that he never lashed out at Whitaker and, predictably, attacked the story as “Fake News.” But he notably didn’t deny other details of CNN’s reporting.


Syrian troops mass at edge of Kurdish town threatened by Turkey

Source: The Guardian

Kurdish appeal for help follows Trump’s surprise decision to pull US military out of Syria

Bethan McKernan Middle East and Turkey correspondent

Fri 28 Dec 2018 06.32 EST

Syria’s military has arrived at the frontline of the flashpoint town of Manbij, as Kurdish fighters appealed to Damascus for help in the face of the imminent threat of attack by Turkey.

It was not immediately clear whether US personnel, who have been patrolling Manbij and the tense frontline between it and adjacent towns where Turkey-backed fighters are based, were still present. The US-led coalition against Isis did not respond to a request for comment.

“We invite the Syrian government forces … to assert control over the areas our forces have withdrawn from, in particularly Manbij, and to protect these areas against a Turkish invasion,” a statement from the People’s Protection Units (YPG) said.

The Syrian army had already mobilised before the public Kurdish invitation. It said on Friday morning that units had entered the town on the western bank of the Euphrates.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/28/syrian-kurdish-militia-manbij-turkey

UPDATED: Trump threatens to 'close Southern Border entirely' if Democrats don't fund border wall

Source: ABC News

President Trump threatens to 'close Southern Border entirely' if Democrats don't fund border wall

By WIL CRUZ Dec 28, 2018, 7:47 AM ET

President Trump threatened to shut down the entire southern border with Mexico if his demands for more funding to build a wall aren't met.

Trump tweeted Friday that if "Obstructionist Democrats" don't give him the $5 billion he is asking for to build his proposed border wall he will "close the Southern Border entirely."

"We will be forced to close the Southern Border entirely if the Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall & also change the ridiculous immigration laws that our Country is saddled with," the president tweeted. "Hard to believe there was a Congress & President who would approve!"


The government has been partially shut down since last week over an impasse between Trump and Democrats over funding for a proposed security wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The government shutdown, which has kept hundreds of thousands of federal employees out of work, is expected to extend into the new year.

Read more: https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/president-trump-threatens-close-southern-border-democrats-fund/story?id=60048020


Trump Warns of a ‘New Caravan Forming’ In Tweet Storm Threat to Close ‘Southern Border Entirely’

by Colby Hall | Dec 28th, 2018, 7:32 am

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

One week into a government shut down that he had previously “owned” before blaming his political rivals, President Donald Trump is once again threatening to completely close the Southern Border of the United States unless he gets funding for the border wall that was the central promise made during his 2016 campaign. He also repeatedly promised that Mexico would pay for the said wall, but it appears that’s not one of the “promises made, promises kept.” that underpins his 2020 campaign slogan.

In a Friday morning Tweetstorm, Trump not only threatened to close the border unless he got funding but also warned of a new caravan of migrants heading north to the Southern U.S. border. “Word is that a new Caravan is forming in Honduras and they are doing nothing about it,” Trump tweeted, without any sourcing of where he is getting this “word.”



If the threat of shutting the border sounds familiar, it’s because Trump tweeted a similar threat back in November:


full article:

Rep. Luis Gutirrez to Democrats: Pay 'ransom' to get immigration reform

"I don’t know if we have to give them a wall … but we’re going to have to sit down and negotiate," he said.

Dec. 28, 2018 / 5:14 AM EST

By Suzanne Gamboa

WASHINGTON — Rep. Luis Gutiérrez, the Illinois Democrat and immigration champion whose zealous advocacy has at times irked colleagues and presidents from his own party, exits Congress with this advice to newcomers: Pay whatever "ransom” is necessary to get immigration reform.

As Gutiérrez, 65, closes out a 26-year career in Congress, 10.7 million people are living in the United States without legal status and facing far greater obstacles to gaining it.

“For my friends on the left, remember, there’s going to be a ransom that is going to be required,” Gutiérrez said of getting a comprehensive immigration overhaul measure passed in Congress. "Pay it. It’s the right thing to do, because we’re never going to be able to overcome the 60 votes in the Senate.”

“There are people on the right that are going to want certain things," he said in an interview with NBC News. "I don’t know if we have to give them a wall … but we’re gonna have to sit down and negotiate."

Gutiérrez made his comments before the clash between Democratic leaders and President Donald Trump over the $5 billion that Trump is demanding for a wall on the southern border led to the current government shutdown.


'What Obama had, he has that': Jeffries' stock rises as Pelosi successor

The newly elected Democratic Caucus chairman could one day be the first African-American speaker — if he can get past some hurdles in his own party.


Within minutes of Hakeem Jeffries winning a contentious House leadership battle, his supporters were already crowing that the New York Democrat was one day destined to wield the speaker’s gavel.

“What [Barack] Obama had, he has that. I call it lightning in a bottle,” said Rep. Juan Vargas (D-Calif.), who stumped for Jeffries ahead of the November party election. “I do think he’s somebody that could, with a few breaks, become our speaker and also our president. He has that talent.”

More than a few Democrats see Jeffries’ youth and Brooklyn swagger — he’s been known to quote rapper Biggie Smalls on the House floor — as the antidote for a caucus long ruled by a pack of old-school septuagenarians. But the speakership is far from guaranteed.

With Nancy Pelosi’s grip on the gavel likely secure for at least the next two years, Jeffries, 48, would first have to elbow aside others on a leadership team that’s suddenly brimming with young upstarts. He also must navigate some of the same land mines that tripped up his fellow New Yorker, outgoing Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley.

Crowley, too, was often whispered about as the heir apparent to Pelosi’s throne. That is, until he was ousted in a primary upset by Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in June. And now Ocasio-Cortez reportedly has Jeffries in her cross hairs, as she and some of her liberal allies consider trying to take him out in 2020.


Disinformation campaign targeting Roy Moore's Senate bid may have violated law, Alabama AG says

Source: The Washington Post

Disinformation campaign targeting Roy Moore’s Senate bid may have violated law, Alabama attorney general says

By Craig Timberg and Tony Romm December 27 at 1:17 PM

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said Thursday that his office is exploring whether disinformation tactics deployed against Republican Roy Moore during last year’s special election violated state campaign laws and said he was worried that the operation could have affected the closely fought Senate race.

“The information is concerning,” Marshall, a Republican, said in a phone interview. “The impact it had on the election is something that’s significant for us to explore, and we’ll go from there.”

Moore lost the election to his Democratic rival, Sen. Doug Jones.

Marshall, who said he learned of the disinformation campaign called Project Birmingham through news reports over the past two weeks, stopped short of announcing a formal investigation but said his office was beginning to gather information about the effort.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2018/12/27/disinformation-campaign-targeting-roy-moores-senate-bid-may-have-violated-law-alabama-attorney-general-says/

Saudi Arabia clarifies Trump tweet: No new Saudi pledges to rebuild Syria

Source: CNBC


Tom DiChristopher


President Donald Trump tweeted on Monday that Saudi Arabia has agreed to spend the “necessary money” to help rebuild Syria.

The tweet briefly raised questions about whether the White House has secured new commitments from the kingdom.

An official at the Saudi embassy in Washington confirmed the kingdom has not made any major new financial pledges since August.

President Donald Trump on Monday announced that Saudi Arabia “has now agreed to spend the necessary money” for Syria’s reconstruction, briefly raising questions about whether the White House had secured additional funding from Riyadh to rebuild the war-ravaged nation.

It turns out that Trump, under fire for suddenly announcing the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria, was highlighting a commitment that the Saudis made several months ago.


An official at the Saudi embassy in Washington told CNBC that the kingdom has not made any major new financial pledge to Syria since August. That is when the State Department announced that Saudi Arabia had committed $100 million to a fund to stabilize areas of Syria liberated from ISIS militants by a U.S.-led coalition.

“The Kingdom is a major contributor to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, flying the second highest number of sorties against ISIS in Syria, as well as, donating millions of dollars for relief efforts there,” a Saudi embassy official told CNBC in an email on Tuesday.

Read more: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/26/saudi-arabia-clarifies-trump-tweet-no-new-pledges-to-rebuild-syria.html

Internet billionaire Reid Hoffman apologizes for funding a group tied to disinformation in AL race

Source: The Washington Post

Internet billionaire Reid Hoffman apologizes for funding a group tied to disinformation in Alabama race

By Tony Romm, Craig Timberg and Aaron C. Davis December 26 at 3:05 PM

Internet billionaire Reid Hoffman apologized Wednesday for funding a group linked to a “highly disturbing” effort that spread disinformation during last year’s Alabama special election for U.S. Senate, but he said he was not aware that his money was being used for that purpose.

Hoffman’s statement is his first acknowledgment of his ties to a campaign that adopted tactics similar to those deployed by Russian operatives during the 2016 presidential election. In Alabama, the Hoffman-funded group allegedly used Facebook and Twitter to undermine support for Republican Roy Moore and boost Democrat Doug Jones, who narrowly won the race. Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn and an early Facebook investor, expressed support for a federal investigation into what happened, echoing Jones’s position from last week.

Hoffman referred to a group he funded, American Engagement Technologies, or AET, as being involved in an effort to spread disinformation targeting Moore. Hoffman invested $750,000 in the organization, some of which covered its work in Alabama, according to a person close to the matter but not authorized to discuss Hoffman’s spending.

The statement left key facts unaddressed, including a full accounting of everyone who crafted and executed the campaign. The effort was the subject of a presentation in September to a group of liberal-leaning technology experts who met in downtown Washington to discuss electoral tactics, according to one of the attendees and documents from the meeting obtained by The Washington Post. This person spoke on the condition of anonymity because those at the gathering were required to sign nondisclosure agreements.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2018/12/26/internet-billionaire-reid-hoffman-apologizes-funding-group-behind-disinformation-alabama-race/
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