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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: 48,264

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

Kavanaugh Was Supposed to Be a Midterm Boon for G.O.P. Not Anymore.

By Jonathan Martin
Sept. 23, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — No Republican Senate candidate has been as aggressive in using the Supreme Court nomination of Brett M. Kavanaugh as a political weapon as Josh Hawley, the Missouri attorney general who is in an intensely tight race against Senator Claire McCaskill.

A former Supreme Court clerk, Mr. Hawley made his first campaign commercial about control of the court, and he assailed Ms. McCaskill for refusing to say if she would support Judge Kavanaugh. And after the accusation of sexual assault against Judge Kavanaugh last week, Mr. Hawley denounced Democrats for staging an “ambush.”

Yet in Missouri and other politically competitive battleground states, leaders in both parties are increasingly doubtful that Mr. Hawley and other Republicans can wield the Kavanaugh nomination as a cudgel without risking unpredictable repercussions in the midterm elections.

With Judge Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, tentatively scheduled to testify this week before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and many women furious over President Trump’s attacks on Dr. Blasey, a Supreme Court nomination that was once seen as a political winner in many conservative-leaning states could, instead, rouse female voters and independents who otherwise may have cared little about the confirmation fight.

Suburban women are pivotal in this year’s campaign and many of them were already tilting toward Democrats because of their contempt for President Trump. If Republicans are too harsh in their questioning of Dr. Blasey, they risk inviting an even greater backlash at the ballot box in an election where their House majority is in peril and their one-vote Senate majority is teetering.


Poll: Dems up 12 points ahead of midterms

Source: The Hill

BY KYLE BALLUCK - 09/23/18 09:36 AM EDT

Democrats hold a 12-point lead over Republicans just more than six weeks ahead of the midterm congressional elections, according to a new poll.

Slightly more than half of registered voters -- 52 percent — said in the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday that they preferred a Democratic-controlled Congress, compared to 40 percent who want Republicans to retain their majorities in the House and Senate.

NBC News noted that the Democrats’ 12-point lead is their highest this cycle. In August, they held an 8-point lead, 50 to 42 percent. Voters who are most likely to vote favor Democrats by 8 points in the new survey, 51 to 43 percent.

Pollsters also found that Republicans’ enthusiasm has drawn nearly even with Democrats.

Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/sunday-talk-shows/407964-poll-dems-up-12-points-ahead-of-midterms

(Fox) Poll: Opposition to Kavanaugh confirmation rises

BY JUSTIN WISE - 09/23/18 09:37 AM EDT

Public support for President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, has dropped considerably following sexual assault allegations brought against him, according to a new poll released by Fox News on Sunday.

The survey found that 40 percent of respondents support his confirmation, a figure that represents a five-point decrease from a similar poll conducted in August.

Meanwhile, 50 percent of respondents oppose Kavanaugh's confirmation, up from 46 percent last month.

In addition, more people polled say they believe the woman accusing Kavanaugh of sexual assault than do the Supreme Court nominee, who denies the allegations.


Pompeo sees 'long ways to go' to get North Korea's Kim to fully denuclearize

Source: The Hill

BY KYLE BALLUCK - 09/23/18 09:00 AM EDT

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in an interview broadcast Sunday that he sees a “long ways to go” to get North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to fully denuclearize.

“Here's what I'd say about North Korea,” Pompeo said on NBC’s “Meet the Press." “We came in. There was the risk of war. We've taken that threat down by taking the temperature down, by beginning this set of discussions. They have stopped missile firings and nuclear testing. That's all to the good. We got back the remains of some of our soldiers. That's to the good.”

Pompeo added, however, that administration officials have their “eyes wide open.”

“There is a long ways to go to get Chairman Kim to live up to the commitment that he made to President Trump and, indeed, to the demands of the world in the U.N. Security Council resolutions to get him to fully denuclearize,” he said.

Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/sunday-talk-shows/407954-pompeo-sees-long-ways-to-go-to-get-north-koreas-kim-to-fully

Mark Shields - Why Booming Economy Won't Save GOP In Midterms

Mark Shields

Why Booming Economy Won’t Save GOP In Midterms

September 23, 2018 3:15 am

The stock market has just hit a new historic high. Median household income in the U.S. is higher than ever. Fewer laid-off Americans are today forced to file for unemployment benefits than at anytime since 1968, when the U.S. civilian labor force of 81 million was one-half of today’s 162 million. With the 2018 midterm elections only little more than a month away, this is all good news for Republicans, who control the presidency and both the House and Senate, right?

Not really. The most recent Gallup Poll shows only 38 percent of American voters approve of the job President Donald Trump is doing while 56 percent of voters disapprove. By way of historical comparison, the last time a first-term president faced disapproval numbers almost as bad as Trump’s was President Ronald Reagan on the eve of the 1982 midterm elections, when the U.S. unemployment rate had hit 10.8 percent, its highest point since the Great Depression, and the nation’s prime interest rate had skyrocketed to 21.5 percent. Reagan, whose job-approval rate was 42 percent, saw his Republican Party lose 26 House seats on Election Day.

Since 1952, history has shown that when a president’s job rating is above 50 percent approval, that president’s party loses an average of just 14 House seats in the midterm elections. But presidents below 50 percent job approval see their Party lose an average of 39 House seats. Barring divine intervention between now and Nov. 6, Donald Trump’s approval number cannot reach above 50 percent.

Midterm elections are inescapably a referendum of voters’ judgement on the current president’s job performance and the man himself. It is not a comparison to the president’s past opponents. Donald Trump, trying to recycle his winning campaign against Hillary Clinton, is on a fool’s errand. Clinton, voters know, has not held public office for nearly six years, and she was never president.

So how, in the face of such painfully bad economic news, was Ronald Reagan able to keep GOP House losses down to just 26 seats in 1982 — a number, privately, knowledgeable Republicans today would be relieved to suffer in 2018? Quite simply, American voters liked Ronald Reagan. When asked in the Gipper’s first term which of the following statements best described their feelings toward Reagan: a) I like him personally and I mostly approve of his policies; b) I like him personally and I mostly disapprove of his policies; c) I dislike him personally and I mostly approve of his policies; and d) I dislike him personally and mostly approve of his policies. What this found was that 7 out of 10 American voters personally liked Ronald Reagan which provided him in stormy times — such as 1982 — with a reservoir of positive feelings that he could draw upon in stormy times.


OPEC, Russia rebuff Trump's call for immediate boost to oil output

Source: CNBC

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said Riyadh had spare capacity to increase oil output but no such move was needed at the moment.

Published 1 Hour Ago Updated 1 Hour Ago

OPEC's leader Saudi Arabia and its biggest oil-producer ally outside the group, Russia, ruled out on Sunday any immediate, additional increase in crude output, effectively rebuffing U.S. President Donald Trump's calls for action to cool the market.

"I do not influence prices," Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told reporters in Algiers ahead of a meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC energy ministers.

Benchmark Brent oil reached $80 a barrel this month, prompting Trump to reiterate on Thursday his demand that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries lower prices.

The price rally mainly stemmed from a decline in oil exports from OPEC member Iran due to fresh U.S. sanctions.

Read more: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/09/23/opec-russia-rebuff-trumps-call-for-immediate-boost-to-oil-output.html

Danziger: You Get Up With Fleas

Jeff Danziger

September 22, 2018 10:15 pm


Conway Insists the 'Whole Reason' Kavanaugh Accuser is Getting Hearing is 'Because of Republicans'

Kellyanne Conway Insists the ‘Whole Reason’ Kavanaugh Accuser is Getting Hearing is ‘Because of the Republicans’

by Tamar Auber | Sep 22nd, 2018, 9:43 pm

After a heated opening statement where Judge Jeanine Pirro cast doubt on the veracity of Christine Blasey Ford‘s claims, Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway joined Pirro to talk about the negotiations about Ford’s testimony and the tentative agreement reached.

Ford accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teens. She agreed today to testify on the matter.

On Friday, though, Ford was still on the fence about whether or not she should testify before Congress and said, via her lawyer, that the 10 pm deadline amounted to bullying.

“The 10:00 p.m. deadline is arbitrary. Its sole purpose is to bully Dr. Ford and deprive her of the ability to make a considered decision that has life-altering implications,” the letter requesting a one-day extension, as reported by CNN, read. ” Our modest request is that she be given an additional day.”

Responding to the bullying claims, Conway suggested that Ford was not being bullied and chastised her for using such “cheap words” when “the whole reason” she’s getting a hearing is because of Republicans.

“You can argue that the whole reason she’s getting a hearing — is because of the Republicans, not the Democrats. The Senate Judiciary Committee led by Chairman [Chuck] Grassley is honoring her request to testify,” Conway said. “The White House has said all week, ‘let her speak.’ Everybody has said ‘let her speak.’ But to let her speak means she’s actually coming to speak. And not using cheap words like bullying. Nobody is bullying her. Nobody wants her to be unsafe.”


Trump sees 'tremendous progress' on the Koreas where none exists - WaPo Editorial Board

By Editorial Board
September 22 at 6:07 PM

A THREE-day summit meeting between the leaders of North and South Korea this week produced some significant steps to reduce tensions and the risk of war along the two countries’ borders, as well as plans for new economic cooperation. But it offered no real progress in the matter of most import to the United States: the dismantlement of North Korea’s arsenal of nuclear weapons and intercontinental missiles capable of striking the United States. Instead, it appeared to raise the risk of a breach between the Trump administration and the dovish South Korean government of Moon Jae-in, which is pushing for significant U.S. concessions even without meaningful action by the Kim Jong Un regime.

That President Trump would describe this result as “tremendous progress ” and “very exciting” only makes it more disturbing. Intent on portraying his Korean diplomacy as a success, Mr. Trump appears to be ignoring — or maybe failing to understand — all-too-palpable warning signs.

The administration set the goal of a “complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization” of North Korea. But the third Moon-Kim summit meeting, like that between Mr. Kim and Mr. Trump in June, passed without any unambiguous commitment by North Korea to that end. Instead, Mr. Kim spoke of a “Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons and nuclear threat,” a formulation that Pyongyang has long defined as including the withdrawal of U.S. forces from South Korea and the removal of the U.S. nuclear umbrella from both South Korea and Japan.

Mr. Trump’s negotiators have been pushing the North for a show of seriousness about negotiating denuclearization, such as a full disclosure of its arsenal and facilities. Instead, Mr. Kim this week offered the same mostly symbolic measure he outlined to Mr. Trump months ago: the dismantlement of a single engine test site and missile launchpad.


Spicer: Press have 'a personal animus' against Trump administration


Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said "elite media" with whom he interacted while President Trump's press secretary with have "a personal animus" towards the president and those affiliated with him.

Spicer told host John Catsimatidis in an interview airing Sunday on AM 970 in New York that the press' distaste for conservatives is easy to see.

"They don’t like conservatives in general," he said.

"I really don’t think they like this president. And it shows every single day.”

Spicer explained while "there are a lot of really good reporters out there," the White House press corps in particular are the problem.

Spicer also dished the "personal animus" claim to Saturday Night Live, saying that their skits are no longer funny, but more focused on attacking people.

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