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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: 45,888

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

Jake Tapper Grills Carter Page on FISA Application: 'You Did Advise the Kremlin'

by Aidan McLaughlin | 9:50 am, July 22nd, 2018


Carter Page appeared on CNN for an interview with Jake Tapper Sunday morning after the Justice Department released its FISA warrant application to surveil the former Trump campaign adviser.

Tapper kicked off the interview by asking Page about one of the more explosive sections of the application, which said the FBI believed Page had been “collaborating and conspiring with the Russian government,” and referred to him as “an agent of a foreign power.”

“Jake, this is so ridiculous, it’s just beyond words,” Page replied, saying the application was “misleading the courts.”


“Were you ever an agent of a foreign power? Did you ever advise the Kremlin, or work with the Kremlin on anything?” Tapper asked.

After some waffling, Page replied, “No, I’ve never been an agent of a foreign power by any stretch of the imagination.” The former Trump adviser did note that he had “participated in meetings.”

“So you have advised the Kremlin in the past?” Tapper pressed.

Page gave an oblique answer, calling his work “nothing.”

“But you did advise the Kremlin,” Tapper continued.

“Jake, it’s really spin. I sat in on some meetings but to call me an adviser I think is way over the top,” Page said.

Tapper read to Page a letter in which he declared himself an informal adviser to the Kremlin. “That’s yourself, calling yourself an informal adviser to the Kremlin.”


Gowdy: Trump 'missed a good opportunity' to stand up to Putin

Source: The Hill

BY MAX GREENWOOD - 07/22/18 09:39 AM EDT

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) on Sunday criticized President Trump's handling of a closely watched summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying the U.S. leader "missed a good opportunity" to stand up to Moscow.

"The president missed, I think, a really good opportunity to distinguish the United States from any other country, but especially from Russia," Gowdy said on "Fox News Sunday."

Gowdy, the chairman of the powerful House Oversight Committee, said that Trump needed to listen to his advisers and intelligence officials, who have repeatedly warned that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election. If not, Gowdy said, those advisers would need to think twice about whether they can effectively serve in Trump's administration.

"The president either needs to rely on the people he has chosen to advise him or those advisers need to reevaluate whether or not they can serve in this administration, but the disconnect cannot continue," Gowdy said.

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/sunday-talk-shows/398234-gowdy-trump-missed-a-good-opportunity-to-stand-up-to-putin

Trump: 'Fake news' tried to 'disparage' a 'great' meeting with Putin

Source: The Hill

BY KYLE BALLUCK - 07/22/18 09:28 AM EDT

President Trump said in a tweet early Sunday that he had a “great” meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, adding that “fake news” has worked to “disparage” it.


Trump was roundly criticized for his performance at a press conference last Monday alongside Putin in Helsinki during which he appeared to embrace Putin’s denial of election meddling and said the U.S. shared blame for tense relations between Washington and Moscow.

The president and his staff later attempted to walk back and clarify his comments.

Trump last week also blasted coverage of the summit, calling the “fake news media” the “real enemy of the people.”

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/398232-trump-fake-news-tried-to-disparage-a-great-meeting-with-putin

Rubio pushes back on Trump: DOJ didn't do anything wrong with Carter Page surveillance

Source: The Hill

BY BRETT SAMUELS - 07/22/18 09:43 AM EDT

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Sunday argued that the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) warrants to monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page were justified.

Rubio, appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” said he has a “different view” than President Trump, who earlier Sunday claimed that newly released DOJ documents prove his campaign was “being illegally spied upon.”

“I don’t believe that them looking into Carter Page means they were spying on the campaign. I also don’t believe it proves anything about collusion,” Rubio said. “He was a guy that was on their screen even before the campaign.”

"I don’t think it’s part of any broader plot. The only plot here is the plot to interfere in our election by the Russians,” he added.

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/sunday-talk-shows/398235-rubio-rebuffs-trump-doj-warrants-on-carter-page-doesnt-mean-they

White House Targets Home Healthcare Workers

Sarah Okeson

July 22, 2018 5:18 am

The Trump administration is continuing its war against unions by trying to make it harder for lowly paid home healthcare workers to pay union dues.

The workers, whose hourly pay is about $10.50 to about $12, can have their union dues taken out of their paychecks from Medicaid. Third-party payments, which sometimes include union dues, are currently allowed in 11 states, including California, Illinois, Missouri and New Jersey, but a proposed federal rule would end that.

“This proposed rule is intended to ensure that providers receive their complete payment, and any circumstances in which a state does divert part of a provider’s payment must clearly be allowed under the law,” said Tim Hill, the acting director for the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services.

Unions may collect as much as $71 million in dues that support their efforts to negotiate better working conditions for home healthcare workers who help the elderly and disabled stay out of institutions. The median caregiver turnover rate last year, 66.7 %, was the highest since 2013.


US Envoy To Russia Won't Resign -- But Won't Defend Trump

Elizabeth Preza

July 22, 2018 5:16 am

Huntsman, the U.S. ambassador to Russia, on Saturday responded to a column by Salt Lake Tribune columnist Robert Gerke, explaining why he won’t step down from his role even after Donald Trump appeared to side with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a press conference last Monday. But, Huntsman offered little in the way of support for the president’s actions.

Huntsman was responding to a column published Tuesday in the Tribune, the Utah paper owned by Huntsman’s brother, Paul Huntsman. In that article, Gerke called on Hunstman to resign, writing, “Huntsman, you work for a pawn, not a president.” That article was published in the wake of Trump’s stunning performance last Monday in Helsinki, during which the president cast doubt on U.S. intelligence agencies and appeared to accept Putin’s denial of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Writing for the Tribune, Huntsman defended his position as U.S. ambassador to Russia, explaining that he is “charged with representing our country’s interest, which in the case of Russia are complex and little understood.”

“Popular punditry is ill-suited to describing the acts of courage, dedication and patriotism I regularly witness as chief of mission overseeing one of America’s most sensitive overseas outposts,” Hunstman wrote. “Our work has been made more difficult over the past year by the loss of hundreds of colleagues through unprecedented expulsions of diplomats and a staff drawdown imposed by the Russian government.”

In his op-ed, Hunstman likewise defended the “representatives of our foreign service, civil service, military and intelligence services” who work to “stabilize the most dangerous relationship in the world, one that encompasses nuclear weapons, fighting terrorism, stopping bloodshed in Ukraine, and seeking a settlement of the seemingly intractable Syrian crisis.”


Manila's 'Golden Gays' sing for their supper

22 JUL 2018

Al Enriquez sheds his threadbare street vendor clothes like dead skin and develops a voguish, winking air once he slips into a gauzy gown and wig of tight blond curls.

He's 82 years old and is one of the stars in a beauty pageant for elderly and poor gay men that's about to start in a banquet hall on a rundown Manila street. But this is not a rowdy, hooting drag show for tourists -- instead it is part of the decades-long work of a collective of men like him to take care of their own.

They call themselves the Golden Gays and they mean it.

"When I'm dressed like this I feel ecstatic and I feel that I don't have any sadness in me," Enriquez told AFP. "I'm gay and I'm not embarrassed that I'm gay."

The Philippines has a reputation of openness toward homosexuality, but experts say legal protections are lacking and the nation's weak social safety net especially fails older gay people.

That's why the Golden Gays have recruited corporate and private sponsors who pay for their members to get a decent lunch and a few days' worth of groceries after the pageants they hold at least once a month.


WATCH: Trump voters defend president's botched Putin summit but admit 'he's an embarrassment'


Trump leaving lasting legacy throughout judiciary

By Matt Viser GLOBE STAFF JULY 21, 2018

WASHINGTON — President Trump is not only poised to put his conservative imprint on the Supreme Court, but he’s restocking vacancies throughout lower US courts at a historic clip, ensuring a judicial legacy that will last decades.

Trump has appointed 44 judges since taking office — including more appellate judges than any president in American history at this point in his tenure. He has another 88 nominees currently pending before the US Senate; and with an aging federal bench, future opportunities will assuredly arise. If Trump is able to fill just the current vacancies alone, he will be responsible for installing more than one-fifth of the sitting judges in the United States.

It is the fruits of decades of labor by conservatives — or, critics might say, the result of calculated partisan attacks on a process that once had at least a hint of bipartisan flavor — that has allowed Republicans to send like-minded appointees to this powerful branch of government.

“From the conservative perspective, it is a great triumph, a great victory,” said Sheldon Goldman, a professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who studies presidential nominees to the federal courts.


Iran's Rouhani warns Trump about 'mother of all wars'

Source: Reuters

JULY 22, 2018 / 3:03 AM / UPDATED 2 HOURS AGO

Reuters Staff

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday cautioned U.S. President Donald Trump about pursuing hostile policies against Tehran, saying “America should know ... war with Iran is the mother of all wars,” but he did not rule out peace between the two countries, either. Iran faces increased U.S. pressure and looming sanctions after Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from a 2015 international deal over Iran’s nuclear program.

Addressing a gathering of Iranian diplomats, Rouhani said: “Mr Trump, don’t play with the lion’s tail, this would only lead to regret,” the state new agency IRNA reported.

“America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars,” Rouhani said, leaving open the possibility of peace between the two countries which have been at odds since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

“You are not in a position to incite the Iranian nation against Iran’s security and interests,” Rouhani said, in an apparent reference to reported efforts by Washington to destabilize Iran’s Islamic government.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-usa-rouhani/irans-rouhani-warns-trump-about-mother-of-all-wars-idUSKBN1KC07Z
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