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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: 40,930

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

McCain rips Trump's congratulatory call to Putin as an insult to Russian people

Source: The Hill

BY MAX GREENWOOD - 03/20/18 01:29 PM EDT

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) blasted President Trump on Tuesday over news that Trump phoned Russian President Vladimir Putin to congratulate him on his recent electoral win.


In a statement, McCain called Trump's phone call to Putin an insult to "every Russian citizen who was denied the right to vote in a free and fair election to determine their country's future."

“An American president does not lead the Free World by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections," McCain said.

"And by doing so with Vladimir Putin, President Trump insulted every Russian citizen who was denied the right to vote in a free and fair election to determine their country's future, including the countless Russian patriots who have risked so much to protest and resist Putin's regime."

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/379339-mccain-rips-trumps-congratulatory-call-to-putin-as-insult-to-russian-people

GOP attorney Theodore Olson won't join Trump legal team

Source: The Hill

BY BRETT SAMUELS - 03/20/18 01:26 PM EDT

Attorney Theodore Olson will not join President Trump’s legal team, one of his legal partners said Tuesday afternoon.

Ted Boutrous, who works with Olson at the Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher law firm, responded quickly to a Washington Post report earlier Tuesday that said Trump had extended an offer to the veteran attorney.


Olson served as the U.S. solicitor general under President George W. Bush and is considered a star attorney in Washington. He had previously turned down an offer to join the Trump administration.

The reported offer to Olson came as the Trump legal team takes a more aggressive approach toward special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/379338-gop-attorney-theodore-olson-wont-join-trump-legal-team

From an earlier OP which I self-deleted after posting the above. -- Don

Trump legal team seeks to add star GOP attorney Theodore B. Olson

Source: The Washington Post

By Robert Costa and Carol D. Leonnig March 20 at 11:29 AM

President Trump’s legal team has reached out to Theodore B. Olson, one of the country’s most high-profile and seasoned litigators, to join forces amid mounting challenges in the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to three people familiar with the discussions.

The addition of Olson would come as Trump, feeling more vulnerable to the investigation led by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, has told confidants that he wants to recruit top-tier talent and shake up his group of lawyers, the people said.

Olson, 77, who served as solicitor general in the George W. Bush administration and has long been considered a legal superstar, would bring deeper ties to the Justice Department and more experience on landmark cases than any of Trump’s current lawyers.

Olson is said to be reviewing the offer while weighing potential conflicts with his clients at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, where he is a partner, one person close to him said. Another person familiar with the discussions said Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway recommended Olson to the president this week, but it was unclear whether Olson would accept. He previously declined an offer to join the team.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-legal-team-seeks-to-add-gravitas-with-offer-to-star-gop-attorney-theodore-b-olson/2018/03/20/571f1e46-2c41-11e8-8ad6-fbc50284fce8_story.html?utm_term=.b46a6283b319

Trump: Feds will track down 'sick person' behind Austin bombings

Source: The Hill

BY JONATHAN EASLEY - 03/20/18 12:58 PM EDT

President Trump said Tuesday that law enforcement officials are working in partnership to track down the “sick person or people” behind a string of bombings in Texas.

Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office, Trump called the bombings “an absolute disgrace” and vowed to get to the bottom of them.

“The bombings in Austin are terrible,” Trump said. “Local, state and federal are working hand-in-hand to get to the bottom of it. This is obviously a very, very sick individuals or individuals. These are sick people and we will get to the bottom of it. We are very strong."

Two people have died in the bombings so far, and at least four others have been inured from five bombs planted in packages that have gone off in Texas in recent days. Three packages exploded at private residences in Austin, another was set up with tripwire on a roadside and a fifth blew up inside a FedEx facility in San Antonio.

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/379326-trump-feds-will-track-down-sick-person-behind-austin-bombings

Wall Street Journal publishes polygraph results backing Stormy Daniels

BY BRETT SAMUELS - 03/20/18 01:06 PM EDT

A polygraph exam taken by adult film star Stormy Daniels in 2011 supported her account of an affair she said she had with Donald Trump five years earlier, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

The newspaper obtained reports of the exam, which Daniels took on May 19, 2011. The polygraph showed she truthfully said she had unprotected sex with Trump around July 2006. She also said Trump told her she would get on his television show, “The Apprentice,” but the accuracy of that answer was inconclusive.

The White House and Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, have denied that the president ever had an affair with Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

While the exam supports Daniels’ version of events, polygraph results are generally not admissible in court on the grounds that they are not “generally accepted” as scientifically reliable evidence.


The Latest: Judge temporarily blocks 15-week abortion ban

Source: Associated Press

24 minutes ago

11:43 a.m.

A federal judge is temporarily blocking a new Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks, the most restrictive abortion law in the United States.

U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves on Tuesday granted a temporary restraining order requested by the state’s only abortion clinic. Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed House Bill 1510 on Monday, and it became law immediately.

Dr. Sacheen Carr-Ellis of the Jackson Women’s Health Organization said in court papers filed Monday that a woman 15 weeks or more pregnant was scheduled for a Tuesday afternoon abortion.

The law and responding challenge set up a confrontation sought by abortion opponents, who are hoping federal courts will ultimately prohibit abortions before a fetus is viable. Current federal law does not.

Read more: https://apnews.com/6c55a98736194980a29ddeba3ec71e00?utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=AP

Graham: It's An Impeachable Offense If Trump Fires Mueller 'Without Cause'

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Tuesday said that it would “probably” be an impeachable offense if President Donald Trump fired special counsel Robert Mueller “without cause.”

“If the President fired Robert Mueller, do you think that would be an impeachable offense?” conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt asked the senator in an interview.

“Probably so, if he did it without cause, yeah,” Graham replied.

“Now Angus King said no, last hour,” Hewitt said. “Why do you think it would be?”

“Well, I think what the President will have done is stopped an investigation into whether or not his campaign colluded with the Russians, what effect the Russians had on the 2016 campaign,” Graham said. “I can’t see it being anything other than a corrupt purpose.”

Later in the interview, asked whether congressional Republicans would be willing to impeach Trump, Graham compared the situation to a hypothetical involving former President Barack Obama.


White House: No apparent nexus to terrorism in Texas explosions

Source: The Hill

BY JORDAN FABIAN - 03/20/18 11:56 AM EDT

The White House said Tuesday that a string of deadly bombings in Texas has “no apparent nexus to terrorism” and vowed to bring the bomber to justice.


The serial bombings have gained national attention and sparked fear in the Lone Star State.

The latest explosion occurred early Tuesday when a package bomb went off inside a FedEx distribution center near San Antonio, injuring one worker.

Police said the bombing was related to four others in the Austin area that have killed two people and injured four others over the course of three weeks.

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/379310-white-house-no-apparent-nexus-to-terrorism-in-texas-explosions

Texas rep: Explosions 'absolutely a terrorist activity'

BY BRETT SAMUELS - 03/20/18 11:55 AM EDT

Texas Rep. Brian Babin (R) on Tuesday said the string of recent package explosions around Austin are “absolutely a terrorist activity,” hours after a package detonated at a FedEx facility outside of San Antonio.

“We have no clue who this is, absolutely no clue. I’m sure the FBI and the law enforcement agencies that are looking into this have some tips, some clues, but I haven’t heard anything about it,” he told Fox Business Network.

Police in Austin have warned residents to remain indoors if possible as they investigate a spate of explosions. Blasts across the city in recent weeks have killed two people and injured several others.

Local law enforcement said that a package exploded earlier Tuesday morning at a FedEx distribution facility in Schertz, just outside of San Antonio. Officials would not confirm that the package was bound for Austin, but said they are confident the Schertz area was not the target.


Betsy Devos: School safety commission to consist of four Cabinet secretaries, no Democrats

Source: The Hill

BY NIV ELIS - 03/20/18 11:51 AM EDT

The Trump administration’s commission to examine school safety in the aftermath of the Parkland Florida school shooting will consist of just four people — all Cabinet secretaries — and no Democrats.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, testifying at a congressional hearing Tuesday, said the commission would be comprised of herself, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

She said it would meet for the first time “within the next few weeks,” but did not commit to a start date or an end date for the commission completing its work.

“We will be inviting and having forums and meetings with a wide variety of expert,” DeVos said when Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Ma.) pressed her on the commission’s lack of experts or Democrats.

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/house/379307-betsy-devos-school-safety-commission-to-consist-of-four-cabinet-secretaries-no

Cost of Pruitt's Italy trip rises above $84,000


Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Scott Pruitt spent more than $30,000 on security related expenses during his travel to Italy last summer, official documents show.

New EPA travel documents show Pruitt’s personal security detail racked up $30,553.80 in travel expenses between June 5 and June 12 of last year. Added to previously-disclosed costs, the documents put the total taxpayer cost of the trip above $84,000.

During that time period, Pruitt was visiting Italy for meetings at the Vatican and to meet with international energy ministers at a summit. The administrator heavily photographed and tweeted out his time abroad.

Travel vouchers previously obtained by Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) put the cost to taxpayers above $43,000 for the Italy trip, but did not include costs for his 24-hour security detail.


Bill banning abortion outright introduced in Ohio House

Source: Cleveland.com

Updated 7:49 AM; Posted Mar 19, 4:19 PM

By Jackie Borchardt, cleveland.com jborchardt@cleveland.com

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Two Republican Ohio lawmakers have introduced a bill that would outright ban abortion in Ohio, legislation that some abortion opponents hope will push a more conservative U.S. Supreme Court to review past decisions legalizing abortion.

House Bill 565 would ban all abortions at all stages of pregnancy, even in cases of rape, incest or when the mother's life is in danger. The bill makes an "unborn human" a person under Ohio's criminal code regarding murder, manslaughter and homicide and allows wrongful death lawsuits.

Rep. Ron Hood, an Ashville Republican and bill sponsor, said it would be up to a prosecutor to decide what punishment to seek and who to charge. Unlike other abortion restrictions passed in recent years, the pregnant woman seeking an abortion could be charged with a crime.

"I believe life begins at conception so the goal of this bill is to first of all continue to get the word out that life does begin at conception and move the debate in that direction, and to protect unborn Ohioans from being aborted," Hood said.

Read more: http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2018/03/bill_banning_abortion_introduc.html
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