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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, 02:28 PM
Number of posts: 39,346

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

WH: Everything About Stormy Daniels Payout 'Has Been Asked And Answered'

Source: Talking Points Memo

By Nicole Lafond | February 22, 2018 3:23 pm

During the White House press briefing Thursday, deputy press secretary Raj Shah dodged questions about President Trump’s personal lawyer admitting last week that he paid a porn star $130,000 out of his own pocket.

While Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, admitted to giving money to porn star Stephanie Clifford, who goes by the stage name Stormy Daniels, he did not say the money was designed to keep Clifford quiet about an alleged affair she had with the President, as the Wall Street Journal has reported.

When CBS’ Major Garrett asked if Trump was aware of the payout, Shah deflected. “I haven’t asked him about it. That matter has been asked and answered in the past,” he said.

Garrett pressed further, saying the White House hasn’t addressed the allegations since Cohen admitted to the payout last week. Shah repeated that he hadn’t asked the President about the matter.

Read more: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/white-house-stormy-daniels-payout-asked-answered

Longtime NYC police chief: Giving teachers guns is 'the height of lunacy'

Source: The Hill

BY BRETT SAMUELS - 02/22/18 03:49 PM EST

Former New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton on Thursday said President Trump’s and gun advocates’ suggestion to arm teachers to prevent school shootings is “the height of lunacy.”


Trump on Thursday afternoon reiterated his suggestion to arm teachers in an effort to prevent future school shootings. He suggested those who undergo training to wield a firearm could receive bonuses.

"I want my schools protected just like I want my banks protected," Trump said during a meeting with local and state officials on school safety.

Bratton, who previously served as head of police in New York City, Boston and Los Angeles, called the concept an “ill thought out” political band-aid. Instead, he called for improved background checks and regulations without loopholes.

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/375139-longtime-nyc-police-chief-giving-teachers-guns-is-the-height-of

Democrats Could Pick Up 18 Governorships This Year

February 22, 2018 at 12:40 pm ESTBy Taegan Goddard

FiveThirtyEight: “According to qualitative assessments by nonpartisan handicappers — Cook Political Report, Sabato’s Crystal Ball and Inside Elections, — only eight GOP-held governorships are completely safe in 2018. That leaves 18 Republican-held governorships in some degree of danger.”



Cruz: Dems are 'the party of Lisa Simpson'

Source: The Hill

BY BEN KAMISAR - 02/22/18 02:44 PM EST

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) compared the Democrats to know-it-all cartoon character Lisa Simpson in a Thursday appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

"The Democrats are the party of Lisa Simpson and Republicans are happily the party of Homer, Bart, Maggie and Marge," Cruz said, referring to the other Simpson family members on the long-running cartoon show "The Simpsons." Cruz, who often mentions the television show, made the joke after his interviewer, The Federalist publisher Ben Domenech, likened the gun control debate to an episode of "The Simpsons."

Domenech mentioned how, in one episode, Homer Simpsons cites Second Amendment protections for guns used for hunting or protection. In response, Lisa Simpson argues that the Second Amendment is a relic of earlier times.

Cruz went on to push back against those who want to enact further gun control in the wake of last week's mass shooting at a Florida high school. Instead, Cruz argued for stricter enforcement of current laws and a tougher line against violent criminals.


Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/375114-cruz-dems-are-the-party-of-lisa-simpson

Social media mocks Cruz for calling Dems 'party of Lisa Simpson'

BY BRANDON CARTER - 02/22/18 03:11 PM EST

-snip- (a re-hash of the above)


Simpsons" showrunner Al Jean joined in the pile-on against Cruz, writing on Twitter that the Texas Republican is "the one who could use a pacifier in his mouth."

Cruz is a big fan of Fox's long-running animated sitcom, even favoring BuzzFeed with some his best impressions of characters from Springfield during a 2015 interview.



WH: Trump doesn't support assault weapons ban

Source: The Hill

BY JONATHAN EASLEY - 02/22/18 03:02 PM EST

The White House said Thursday that President Trump does not support a ban on “assault weapons.”

Democrats are calling on lawmakers to enact a ban on semi-automatic weapons that have been fashioned to fire more rapidly, like the AR-15 that was used to kill 17 students at a high school in Florida last week.

The president once supported a ban on “assault weapons,” but White House press secretary Raj Shah said it is not something the president is considering at this point.

“He campaigned for president and was opposed to the assault weapons ban, and his position hasn't changed on that,” Shah said.

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/375120-wh-trump-doesnt-support-assault-weapons-ban

HE... HE... KNOWS, RIGHT? Trump: 'Maybe They Have to Put a Rating System' on Movies

After suggesting Hollywood is to blame for shootings, Trump offered up a system that already exists as a way to curb violent films. He then proposed paying armed teachers a bonus.

After suggesting Hollywood is to blame for shootings, Trump offered up a system that already exists as a way to curb violent films. He then proposed paying armed teachers a bonus.

02.22.18 2:48 PM ET

During a meeting Thursday with state lawmakers, President Trump suggested violent entertainment is to blame for mass shootings in the United States.

His proposed solution? A ratings system for movies.

At first, during the conversation about ways to prevent further massacres like the one that claimed 17 lives last week in Florida, the president connected video games to gun violence.

“We have to look at the internet because a lot of bad things are happening to young kids and young minds and their minds are being formed,” the president said. “We have to do something about maybe what they’re seeing and how they're seeing it. And also video games. I’m hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts.”

And then the president pivoted to blaming Hollywood.



Why Trump won't use his superpower on guns

Jonathan Swan, Mike Allen 8 hours ago

President Trump has a rare political superpower — he can get Republicans to do what seems like the impossible. He used this superpower to soften their opposition to Vladimir Putin, to instantly stir their distrust of the FBI, and embrace trillion-dollar deficits. No politician can move Rs to unthinkable places and provide more cover in the toughest of states or districts.

The big picture: Every few months, friends, family and advisers like Ivanka Trump, Rupert Murdoch and Gary Cohn fantasize Trump will tap his superpower as a force for good — to pass a big infrastructure bill, fight global warming, strike an epic immigration deal. Now, they dream of new gun controls to protect schools, kids and the innocent. He could, but he almost certainly won’t.

Listening to distraught students, teachers and parents at the White House yesterday, he proposed more guns — arming teachers.

Given what Trump has openly mused about internally, he could push for quick action on higher minimum age for rifle purchases, better background checks, longer waiting period, and a bump stock ban.


NRA spox: 'Many in legacy media love mass shootings'

Source: CNN

By Maegan Vazquez, CNN

Updated 1:35 PM ET, Thu February 22, 2018

Washington (CNN)The National Rifle Association's national spokeswoman argued Thursday that "many in legacy media love mass shootings" during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

"Many in legacy media love mass shootings. You guys love it," Dana Loesch said Thursday. "Now I'm not saying that you love the tragedy. But I am saying that you love the ratings. Crying white mothers are ratings gold to you and many in the legacy media in the back (of the room)."

"And notice I said 'crying white mothers' because there are thousands of grieving black mothers in Chicago every weekend, and you don't see town halls for them, do you?" Loesch asked. "Where's the CNN town hall for Chicago? Where's the CNN town hall for sanctuary cities?"

Loesch also voiced frustrations with the FBI, which was warned about the alleged shooter's disturbing behavior prior to the incident, and law enforcement officials, who encountered warning signs about him prior to last week's killings.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/22/politics/dana-loesch-cpac-media/index.html

Trump says he and NRA are on same page

Source: The Hill

BY JONATHAN EASLEY - 02/22/18 01:39 PM EST

President Trump expressed optimism on Thursday that the National Rifle Association would back new restrictions on guns, despite the gun lobby declaring opposition to the president’s proposal to raise age limits on certain purchases.

Speaking from the Oval Office at a meeting with local officials on school safety, Trump said he had spoken recently with officials at the NRA and said they’re “ready to do things.”

“I don’t think I’ll be going up against them,” Trump said.

“I think we're making a lot of progress and I can tell you there's a tremendous feeling that we want to get something done,” he added. “And we're leading that feeling, I hope, but it is a great feeling, including at the NRA, including with Republican senators and hopefully Democrat senators and congressmen."

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/375101-trump-says-he-and-nra-are-on-same-page

Megachurch youth leader sentenced to eight months for sexual relationship with minor

Hannah Dellinger Feb 21, 2018 Updated 1 hr ago

A former youth leader of a Manassas megachurch who was convicted of having a sexual relationship with an underage girl in his congregation was sentenced to spend eight months in jail today.

Prosecutors allege Jordan Baird, 26, of Warrenton, used his position as the son of the leader of the Life Church and as a Christian pop singer to manipulate young girls and women into having inappropriate relationships with him. Baird was found guilty of five counts of indecent liberties with a minor by a custodian, all of which were related to one victim, after a four-day jury trial in Prince William County Circuit Court. Jurors recommended Baird serve five months in jail for those convictions.

The jury couldn’t reach a verdict on one charge—using electronic means to commit a sex crime with a minor. As part of a plea deal, the charge was amended to electronic solicitation of a minor and Baird pleaded no contest to it today.

“You kept me silent for a year-and-a-half and I want you to know you no longer have control over me,” the victim said during Baird’s sentencing hearing. “This is not your story. This is my story and I will use it to help other victims. You picked the wrong girl to mess with. Thank you for empowering me to stand up and fight for what is worth fighting for.”

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