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Name: Chris Bastian
Gender: Male
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 54,972

Journal Archives

White House Correspondents' Association responds to the Trump killing video


Inside Trump's Botched Attempt to Hire Trey Gowdy

New York Times

For 24 hours last week, Trey Gowdy, the former South Carolina congressman best known for leading congressional investigations of Hillary Clinton, was the new face of President Trump’s outside legal defense and a symbol of a streamlined effort to respond to a fast-moving impeachment inquiry.

A day later, the arrangement fell apart, with lobbying rules prohibiting Mr. Gowdy from starting until January, possibly after the inquiry is over. Now, according to two people familiar with events, Mr. Gowdy is never expected to join the team. And Trump advisers are back to square one, searching for a different lawyer.

How a celebrated announcement quickly ended in disarray offers a rare public glimpse into the internal posturing — and undercutting of colleagues — that has been playing out in the West Wing on a daily basis since Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry last month. Even as the White House confronts a deepening threat to Mr. Trump’s presidency, it has struggled to decide how to respond, and who should lead that response.

This article is based on interviews with a half-dozen aides and other people close to Mr. Trump.

Rachel Maddow has a recurring role on BATWOMAN

She provides the radio voice of Vesper Fairchiled


Threatening China will end in 'crushed bodies', says Xi Jinping amid Hong Kong protests

Source: The Guardian

Chinese president Xi Jinping has warned that any attempt to divide China will be crushed, as Beijing faces political challenges in months-long protests in Hong Kong and US criticism over its treatment of Muslim minority groups.

“Anyone attempting to split China in any part of the country will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones,” he told Nepal’s prime minister, KP Sharma Oli, in a meeting on Sunday, according to China’s state broadcaster CCTV.

“And any external forces backing such attempts dividing China will be deemed by the Chinese people as pipe-dreaming,” he was quoted as saying.

Xi, the first Chinese president to visit Nepal in 22 years, arrived in the country on Saturday on a state visit. Both sides are expected to sign a deal expanding a railway link between the Himalayan nation and Tibet.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/14/threatening-china-will-end-in-crushed-bodies-says-xi-jinping-amid-hong-kong-protests?CMP=edit_2221&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1571019519

Furious Republicans prepare to rebuke Trump on Syria

Source: The Hill

Congressional Republicans appear poised to hand President Trump a stinging rebuke of his Turkey and Syria policy when lawmakers return to Washington this week.

GOP lawmakers, furious over Trump’s decision to withdraw troops to make way for a Turkish offensive against Kurdish allies, are preparing legislation that would force the administration to impose sanctions on Turkey.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced Friday that Trump would sign an executive order giving the Treasury Department “very significant” new sanctions authorities against Turkey, but it’s unclear whether the move will be enough to placate Republicans on Capitol Hill.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) called the announcement “welcome news,” while Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said the administration needs to “up their game.”

Read more: https://thehill.com/policy/defense/465494-furious-republicans-prepare-to-rebuke-trump-on-syria

BREAKING: Bernie Sanders dumps his video guy...




Hostage-taking, a gold stick and Black Rod. What to look out for in the Queen's Speech


Even by British standards, the pomp and pageantry of the State Opening of Parliament is off the scale.

The event -- which marks the monarch's symbolic association with the British legislature -- includes a grand carriage procession, a particularly heavy crown, and a part where the sovereign must read out a speech that the government writes on her behalf.

The latest version of the jamboree, which takes place on Monday, has an overlay of political controversy -- there hasn't been one for nearly two years, and this year it was preceded by a suspension of parliament so long that it was deemed illegal.

Fortunately, that drama was all sorted out and Queen Elizabeth II will enter the Sovereign Gate on Monday in a perfectly constitutional manner.

Fox News staff warns of an 'exodus' as consequence of Shep Smith resignation

Raw Story

“It feels like death in the news division,” said one senior Fox employee. The source explained that many staffers were “shocked” at the news, and some were crying. “At least we had him.”

Even Fox host Neil Cavuto was floored as his show began immediately after Smith’s announcement. He struggled to find the words to describe the shock and touted Smith’s kindness and compassion for those in the newsroom.

“Who can fill that role?” another Fox employee asked.

Another Fox News employee said, “staffers were openly weeping” after Smith made the announcement. The person explained that some “were here and have stayed here solely for” Smith.

“Don’t be surprised if there’s an exodus,” the staffer told CNN. “Fox hasn’t just lost Shep today.”

Turkish-led forces film themselves executing a Kurdish captive in Syria

Source: Washington Post

BEIRUT — Videos posted on social media showing at least one execution-style killing have called into question the discipline of the soldiers engaged in Turkey’s near week-long effort to seize territory controlled by Kurds in northeastern Syria.

The most gruesome and explicit of the videos shows Turkish-allied Syrian fighters pumping bursts of automatic fire into the body of a bound man lying on the side of a desert road as a gunman shouts to his comrades to take his phone and film him doing the shooting. Another trembling, handcuffed man crouches on the opposite side of the road as the shooting erupts. “Kill them,” one man is heard shouting.

The video is one of a series of photographs and videos posted on Twitter accounts of the Turkish-backed rebel groups and circulated by the U.S.-allied Syrian Democratic Forces that suggest some of the Syrian rebels participating in Turkey’s offensive to capture territory in Syria might have committed war crimes.


Another fleeing pig has been liquidated by the hands of the National Army,” one of the fighters says as the others clamor to be filmed. “He was fleeing in an armored car.”

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/turkish-led-forces-film-themselves-executing-a-kurdish-captive-in-syria/2019/10/13/22e11198-ed9c-11e9-89eb-ec56cd414732_story.html

Adam Schiff says whistleblower may not testify in impeachment probe

Source: Politico

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff indicated Sunday that the whistleblower at the heart of Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump may not testify over concerns about that person’s safety.

Schiff’s remarks come after Trump has dramatically escalated his attacks on the whistleblower and repeatedly called for the official to be unmasked. Trump’s unrelenting barrage has spurred worries from Democrats that congressional Republicans may try to reveal that person’s identity — conceivably endangering his or her safety — at the behest of the president.

Schiff (D-Calif.) said the whistleblower’s testimony might not be needed given that a rough transcript of the call with Trump asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for a “favor” — the centerpiece of the whistleblower’s complaint — is public. In addition, lawmakers have a collected a tranche of damning text messages and witness testimony related to the scandal in the last two weeks.
Story Continued Below

“Our primary interest right now is making sure that that person is protected. Indeed now there’s more than one whistleblower, that they are protected,” Schiff said on CBS’ “Face the Nation“ on Sunday.

Read more: https://www.politico.com/news/2019/10/13/schiff-whistleblower-impeachment-probe-045910
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