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Member since: Thu Feb 14, 2008, 11:58 AM
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State Department, U.S. embassies promoting Trump's Mar-a-Lago

Source: Politico

President Donald Trump isn’t the only one promoting his private Mar-a-Lago club as the “winter White House.” His foreign policy team is doing it too.

The State Department and at least two U.S. embassies — the United Kingdom and Albania — earlier this month circulated a 400-word blog post detailing the long history of the president’s South Florida club, which has been open to dues-paying members since the mid-1990s and is now used by Trump for frequent weekend getaways. He has hosted foreign leaders there twice.

The blog post — written by the State Department-managed site Share America — describes the “dream deferred” when Mar-a-Lago’s original builder, Marjorie Merriweather Post, willed the property to the federal government upon her death in 1973, with the stipulation it be used as a winter retreat for the president.

“Her plan didn’t work, however,” the post’s author, Leigh Hartman, wrote, explaining how the government returned the property to Post’s trust because it cost too much money to maintain. Trump bought the property and its furniture in 1985, and he opened it a decade later as a private club.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/24/state-department-us-embassy-mar-a-lago-237537

Trump to host conservative media at reception

Source: Politico

President Donald Trump will welcome members of the conservative media for a small reception at the White House on Monday.

Among those attending: One America News Network, The Daily Caller and Breitbart, as well as some columnists and talk radio hosts.

“They were neglected the last eight years, and they’re an important medium to communicate to a massively growing number of Americans who, frankly, have grown tired of mainstream media’s coverage,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in an interview.

The reception, Spicer said, is part of the administration's overall push to open up the White House to a “more diverse set of media outlets.” The White House has expanded which reporters they call on in the briefing room and at presidential press conferences, and they introduced Skype seats for regional reporters, talk radio hosts and others who might not otherwise be able to attend the daily briefings.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/blogs/on-media/2017/04/23/trump-conservative-media-237506

100 days: how Donald Trump compares with last five presidents

Source: The Guardian


Donald Trump

Inaugurated 20 January 2017

In short

Mileage may vary. Either he is an unapologetic populist whose efforts to drain the swamp of Washington have been met, all too predictably, by powerful resistance.Or he is a buffoonish con whose every gesture showcases his gross incompetence, plus he golfs too much, and he’s probably bad at that, too.

Highs and lows

Empirical analysis has found that presidents enjoy a “honeymoon hundred” with Congress, during which time legislation that a president backs is more likely to pass. If that’s true for Trump, he’s in trouble. His effort to broker a deal on healthcare reform turned out to be as ineffectual as it was ostentatious. His promise to pull off tax reform is equally in doubt. The one spending bill he has managed to sign thus far, a $19.5bn reauthorization of Nasa, was both small potatoes and peripheral. He has struck down at least 10 important Obama regulations, pertaining to clean streams, internet privacy and gun purchases by the mentally ill, but not everyone considers those accomplishments.

Many Americans – more than half, in most polls – believe that Trump is underperforming as president. Strikes against him include his divisive and failed travel bans, his blatant and insulting duplicity when it comes to voter fraud or crowd size, his impulsive conduct of foreign policy, his failure to divest from the Trump Organization, his embrace of Wall Street and of foreign dictators, his addiction to cable news, and a lack of policy seriousness which leads him to confuse Iraq and Syria, confuse which direction the navy is sailing in and to say things like, “Nobody knew that healthcare could be so complicated.”

Trump supporters see his presidency differently. He is praised for responding to a chemical attack in Syria with airstrikes, for generally projecting strength in foreign policy, for undoing Obama-era regulations on the environment and business, for installing a conservative supreme court justice, for protecting American jobs, and for not letting people tell him what he can’t do. It was also cool when he climbed into that truck and honked the horn.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/23/100-days-how-trump-compares-to-last-five-presidents

100 days of Trump Resistance: the wins so far and battles to come

As President Trump approaches 100 days in office, Adam Gabbatt surveys the resistance movement’s biggest moments so far, key groups, and challenges ahead

Source: The Guardian

It’s not just by chance that Donald Trump’s first 100 days have been so underwhelming. The president’s failure to pass healthcare reform, to ban people from entering the country, and arguably to achieve anything of note (beyond his supreme court justice) is down, in no small part, to the efforts of hundreds of thousands of people across the country.

Activists have pressured their representatives, held mass demonstrations and scrambled to protect those at risk in a rollercoaster few months. Trump has until January 2021 to turn things around, but there seems little sign of the resistance fading away.

The big resistance moments

Activists have already been rewarded with some tangible victories – whether by drawing attention to some of the president’s more egregious policies, or by contributing to some of his failures.

Women’s March

An estimated 500,000 people marched in Washington DC on 21 January. The turnout far exceeded the crowd at Donald Trump’s inauguration a day earlier. An estimated 4 million people attended demonstrations across the country against the new president. Political scientists estimated that the marches were the single largest day of protest in US history.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/24/100-days-of-trump-resistance-wins-so-far-battles-to-come

Conservationist, author of I Dreamed of Africa ambushed and shot at her ranch in Kenya

Source: Washington Post

Since Kuki Gallmann moved to Kenya in 1972, the conservationist’s life has been plagued by loss and tragedy. In Africa, her husband was killed in a car accident, and her 17-year-old son died from the bite of a snake he had studied with avid curiosity.

And yet instead of returning to a comfortable life in her native Italy, Gallmann stayed, compelled by her love for the land and desire to protect it. She would chronicle her experiences in the best-selling novel “I Dreamed of Africa,” which would later be turned into a movie starring Kim Basinger.

Now, a wave of misfortune has struck Gallmann again, stemming from months-long local violence and drought. The prominent author and conservationist, 73, was driving to her property in Laikipia on Sunday morning, assessing damage inflicted by arsonists at one of her tourism lodges, when her vehicle was ambushed by gunmen. She was shot in the stomach, according to the Laikipia Farmers’ Association.

Rangers with the Kenya Wildlife Service helped her flee the area, and she was transported to a hospital in Nanyuki, a town south of Laikipia, where a British field medic treated her. Then she was flown to a hospital in Nairobi to undergo surgery. Gallmann suffered serious injuries but was in stable condition after surgery, family members told authorities.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/04/24/conservationist-author-of-i-dreamed-of-africa-shot-at-her-ranch-in-kenya/

Trump executive order could undo designation of national monuments

Source: The Hill

President Trump will sign an executive order on Wednesday instructing the Department of the Interior to review the designations of national monuments by his predecessors, apparently targeting monuments designated by former President Obama late in his term.

Trump’s order will instruct the Secretary of the Interior to examine those designations to see whether or not they were within the scope of a century-old law that allows presidents to set aside federal lands without congressional approval.

The executive order is mainly geared towards reviewing former President Obama’s designation of Bears Ears National Monument in Utah in December, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. The 1.35-million acre site was preserved due to its Native American heritage, but critics say Obama’s designation was an overreach of executive power.

Trump’s order to review the monument designations will come as part of a broader series of executive orders on energy and the environment, which follows his signing of an executive order that began undoing Obama’s climate change agenda.

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/330172-trump-executive-order-could-undo-designation-of-national

Earth (NASA)

Elisabeth Moss Describes A 'Fictional' Totalitarian, Right-Wing Regime


2nd doctor, wife charged in female genital mutilation case

Source: Freep

For the second time in a week, authorities have charged a Detroit area doctor with breaking a federal genital mutilation law, this time arresting a suburban physician and his wife for allegedly helping another doctor perform genital cutting on 7-year-old girls in a Livonia clinic.

According to a criminal complaint unsealed today, while the doctor removed parts of the girls' genitals, the wife of the clinic owner held the girls' hands "in order to comfort them."

Two months later, she and her husband were arrested.

Charged are Dr. Fakhruddin Attar, 53, and his wife, Farida Attar, 50, both of Livonia, who were arrested this morning on charges of conspiring to perform genital mutilation on minor girls by letting a doctor use their clinic to perform the procedure. According to a criminal complaint unsealed today, Attar owns the Burhani Medical Clinic in Livonia, where prosecutors say two Minnesota girls had their genitals mutilated in February by Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, who was charged last week in what is the nation's first federal prosecution of genital cutting. She was arrested April 12 and ordered jailed pending the outcome of her case involving the two Minnesota girls, though the FBI believes she has several more victims.


According to the complaint, Attar has admitted to authorities that Nagarwala has used his clinic after hours to treat children ages 6-9 for problems with their genitals, including genital rashes, but that she only saw the patients "when the clinic is closed on Friday evenings or Saturdays." She never billed for the procedures nor documented them, the complaint said, noting multiple other young girls have told authorities that Nagarwala also performed gender mutilation on them.

Read more: http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2017/04/21/doctor-genital-mutilation-detroit/100742726/

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