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Member since: Mon Sep 15, 2008, 10:33 AM
Number of posts: 3,616

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Hope Hicks, former top aide to Trump, to return to the White House as reelection campaign heats up

Source: Washington Post

One of President Trump’s longest-serving aides and closest confidantes is returning to the White House after leaving in 2018.

Hope Hicks, the president’s former communications director who served an outsize role in the White House and spent many hours a day in the Oval Office, will rejoin the administration, officials said Thursday.

She will work for Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and political adviser, the White House said, on political affairs and other “strategic” matters. She will not be part of the White House communications shop.

“There is no one more devoted to implementing President Trump’s agenda than Hope Hicks. We are excited to have her back on the team,” Kushner said.

Hope Hicks, the president’s former communications director, will rejoin the administration and work for Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and adviser. (Reuters)

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/hope-hicks-former-top-aide-to-trump-to-return-to-the-white-house-as-reelection-campaign-heats-up/2020/02/13/1e828954-4e74-11ea-a4ab-9f389ce8ad30_story.html

Canada: thousands of travelers affected as Indigenous-led rail blockade continues

Source: The Guardian

Thousands of travelers in Canada have been affected and billions of dollars worth of freight traffic delayed as an Indigenous-led blockade of critical rail lines continues to cripple the country’s train network.

'Reaper of death': scientists discover new dinosaur species related to T rex
Read more
Via Rail, the crown corporation that operates much of Canada’s commuter rail service, announced on Wednesday that trains on the Toronto-Montreal and Toronto-Ottawa routes would be halted until at least Friday. More than 150 passenger trains have been cancelled since the blockade began, forcing an estimated 24,000 people to find alternate travel routes.

Canadian National Railway, which owns the tracks, warned it “will be forced to shut down significant parts” of its vast Canadian network, which moves oil, grain and forestry products to markets in Asia and the United States, unless a resolution is reached.

For the past week, Tyendinaga Mohawk protesters in Ontario have defied a court injunction and blocked railway tracks in support Wet’suwet’en activists in British Columbia who are locked in a standoff over a multibillion-dollar natural gas pipeline that would cross through their traditional territory.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/12/canada-protests-indigenous-rail-blockade

A cancer in the body. Trump's post impeachment behavior leads me to believe he's convinced 2020.....

....is already a done deal.

Symptoms that nothing has changed.
He fires at will.
He breaks promises that he just made the day before.
He convinced he can outspend nearly every Democratic candidate.
He believes no one can compete with him toe to toe. Dollar for dollar and he might be right.

For me, I will vote blue no matter who..... but please consider that none of the promised from any democratic candidate will ever see the light of day if Trump steals a second term.

Let me put it this way. I have just gone through cancer treatment in the last couple of years and I now look at Trump in this light.

Doctor speaking to the patient (aka Our Democracy): "I'm sorry but you have a fast-growing malignant tumor."

Patient (aka Our Democracy): "What are my options doctor?"

Doctor: "first you could get a second opinion". "But I would avoid consulting Dr. Senate he and his colleagues agree you're cancer-free"

Patient: "So what then should I do to attack my cancer?"

Doctor: "First you MUST excise (aka 2020 election) the cancerous tumor now before it grows to a systemic threat"

Patient: "Remove the cancerous tumor FIRST"?

Doctor: "YES! Then you would follow-up with chemotherapy (aka subsequent house and senate elections) to stop further growth of any remaining cancer cells." (aka MoscowMitch and his caucus)

Patient: "how long will these steps take? Surgery and chemo?

Doctor: "you will be looking at several years surely 2020-2024 if all goes well"

Patient: "what else might I do between those years?

Doctor: "my advice would be to follow-up surgery and chemo with targeted radiation therapy (aka state elections) to destroy any remaining cancer cells (aka rightwing republican congress members)

Patient: "Ok! Then what?

Doctor" "take care of yourself (aka Constitution), get your health back (aka your rights), work every day to care for what you could lose if you don't first get rid of the Stage IV Cancer (aka Trump)

More Than 3 Dozen Military Hospitals to Stop Treating Retirees, Families, Memo Shows

Military families and retirees receiving care through 38 military hospitals nationwide will soon be forced to go off-base instead, and some pharmacies at those hospitals will stop providing drugs to those not on active duty, Military.com has learned.

A 12-page memo, reviewed by Military.com, was sent to the commanders of 50 military treatment facilities, or MTFs, targeted for changes. It details for commanders the impacts of a planned MTF restructuring, the subject of an upcoming report to Congress. It also includes a letter to commanders explaining upcoming changes, signed by Lt. Gen. Ronald Pace, who directs the Defense Health Agency, and provides communications guidance to public affairs personnel.

The changes are a part of a review of military hospital operations and a system consolidation under the Defense Health Agency ordered by Congress in 2016. Aimed at increasing a focus on military readiness, the consolidation includes a plan to cut about 18,000 uniformed medical personnel and increase focus on active-duty support.

But to do so, the hospitals must cull the number of family members and retirees to whom they currently offer care. The report to Congress detailed in the memo lays out the Pentagon's path for those changes.

"DoD must adapt the military health system to focus more on readiness of the combined force, while continuing to meet our access to health care obligations for active duty families, retirees and their families," the Feb. 3 memo states. "With a challenging array of threats around the world, we need our military medical facilities to keep combat forces healthy and prepare our medical personnel to support them."



Payback: Trump ousts officials who testified on impeachment

Source: AP

WASHINGTON (AP) — Exacting swift punishment against those who crossed him, an emboldened President Donald Trump ousted two government officials who had delivered damaging testimony against him during his impeachment hearings. The president took retribution just two days after his acquittal by the Senate.

First came news Friday that Trump had ousted Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the decorated soldier and national security aide who played a central role in the Democrats’ impeachment case. Vindman’s lawyer said his client was escorted out of the White House complex Friday, told to leave in retaliation for “telling the truth.”

“The truth has cost Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman his job, his career, and his privacy,” attorney David Pressman said in a statement. Vindman’s twin brother, Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, also was asked to leave his job as a White House lawyer on Friday, the Army said in a statement. Both men were reassigned to the Army.

Next came word that Gordon Sondland, Trump’s ambassador to the European Union, also was out.

Read more: https://apnews.com/2bc056ec4cab05b7c5069cbac5e3fa9c

Air Force suicides surged last year to highest in 3 decades

Source: AP

WASHINGTON (AP) — Suicides in the active-duty Air Force surged last year to the highest total in at least three decades, even as the other military services saw their numbers stabilize or decline, according to officials and unpublished preliminary data.

The reasons for the Air Force increase are not fully understood, coming after years of effort by all of the military services to counter a problem that seems to defy solution and that parallels increases in suicide in the U.S. civilian population.

According to preliminary figures, the Air Force had 84 suicides among active-duty members last year, up from 60 the year before. The jump followed five years of relative stability, with the service’s yearly totals fluctuating between 60 and 64. Official figures won’t be published until later this year and could vary slightly from preliminary data.

Air Force officials, who confirmed the 2019 total, said they knew of no higher number in recent years. Data and studies previously published by the Pentagon and Air Force show that 64 suicides in 2015 had been the highest total for the Air Force in this century. A 2009 Air Force study said suicides between 1990 and 2004 averaged 42 a year and never exceeded 62.

“Suicide is a difficult national problem without easily identifiable solutions that has the full attention of leadership,” Lt. Gen. Brian Kelly, the Air Force’s deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services, said in a statement. He said the Air Force is focused on immediate, midterm and long-range solutions to a problem faced throughout the military.

Read more: https://apnews.com/b6fa278e5078e3479adbe4745b765ed7

High water wreaks havoc on Great Lakes, swamping communities

Source: AP

MANISTEE, Mich. (AP) — Rita Alton has an unusual morning routine these days: Wake up. Get dressed. Go outside to see if her house is closer to tumbling down an 80-foot (24.4-meter) cliff into Lake Michigan.

When her father built the 1,000-square-foot (93-square-meter), brick bungalow in the early 1950s near Manistee, Michigan, more than acre of land lay between it and the drop-off overlooking the giant freshwater sea. But erosion has accelerated dramatically as the lake approaches its highest levels in recorded history, hurling powerful waves into the mostly clay bluff.

Now, the jagged clifftop is about eight feet from Alton’s back deck.

“It’s never been like this, never,” she said on a recent morning, peering down the snow-dusted hillside as bitter gusts churned surf along the shoreline below. “The destruction is just incredible.”

On New Year’s Eve, an unoccupied cottage near Muskegon, Michigan, plunged from an embankment to the water’s edge. Another down the coast was dismantled a month earlier to prevent the same fate.

High water is wreaking havoc across the Great Lakes, which are bursting at the seams less than a decade after bottoming out. The sharp turnabout is fueled by the region’s wettest period in more than a century that scientists say is likely connected to the warming climate. No relief is in sight, as forecasters expect the lakes to remain high well into 2020 and perhaps longer.

Read more:

Link to accompanying YouTube

Jared Kushner appeared ignorant of what Nato actually does, book claims

Source: The Guardian

Thu 6 Feb 2020 01.30 EST
Though Jared Kushner was a “lead point of contact” for US allies worried about Donald Trump’s threats to Nato, the president’s son-in-law did not “seem to know what Nato actually did”, a new book claims.

Kushner even appeared to be ignorant of article 5, the treaty clause which stipulates that an attack on one member is an attack on all.

The claim is contained in Sinking in the Swamp: How Trump’s Minions and Misfits Poisoned Washington, by Lachlan Markay and Asawin Suebsaeng, two reporters for the Daily Beast. The Guardian obtained a copy of the book, which has been excerpted elsewhere and will be published on 11 February.

Markay and Suebsaeng write that Kushner’s ignorance of the founding principles of Nato was exposed in May 2017, as Trump was about to travel to Nato headquarters in Brussels to address allies worried by his attacks on the organization and claims that other countries were not paying their way.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/feb/06/jared-kushner-nato-sinking-in-the-swamp

Trump unleashes fury at impeachment enemies at prayer event

Source: AP

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump unleashed his fury against those who tried to remove him from office at a prayer breakfast Thursday, a day after his acquittal by the Senate in his impeachment trial.

Speaking from a stage where he was joined by congressional leaders, including Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who led the impeachment charge against him, Trump shattered the usual veneer of bipartisanship at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington.

“As everybody knows, my family, our great country and your president have been put through a terrible ordeal by some very dishonest and corrupt people,” Trump said at the annual event. His airing of grievances came hours before he was to deliver a formal response to the impeachment vote at the White House.

“They have done everything possible to destroy us and by so doing very badly hurt our nation,” said Trump, who triumphantly held up copies of two newspapers with banner “ACQUITTED” headlines as he took the stage.

Read more: https://apnews.com/504e331eeec5107afbe757e8d241a16d

Morning Mix Rep. Matt Gaetz demands criminal probe of Pelosi for mutilating Trump speech. 'This is c

Source: Washington Post

Morning Mix
Rep. Matt Gaetz demands criminal probe of Pelosi for mutilating Trump speech. ‘This is cute,’ responds Laura Ingraham.

It fell to a Fox News host on Wednesday to inform an excited Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) that no, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) can’t be prosecuted and sent to prison or fined for ripping up a copy of President Trump’s State of the Union address.

This, after Gaetz called for a House Ethics Committee investigation of Pelosi and a referral of her action to the Justice Department for a criminal investigation. Gaetz cited a law that makes it a crime for anyone having custody of certain federal records to mutilate, obliterate or destroy them.

“There is no question that Speaker Pelosi ‘mutilated, obliterated, or destroyed’ the copy of the President’s address provided to her,” said a letter to the House Ethics Committee signed by Gaetz, a staunch and sometimes boisterous defender of Trump.

“The video evidence is clear and abundant, and the Speaker herself told reporters that she tore up the document,” the letter said. “Nobody is above the law,” Gaetz declared in a tweet accompanying the letter.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/02/06/gaetz-complaint-pelosi-speech/?itid=hp_hp-morning-mix-for-right-rail_mm-gaetz%3Ahomepage%2Fstory-ans
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