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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: 49,174

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

Backtracking, Le Pen meets Bannon and states she is open to closer ties

Source: France24/AFP

Philippe Huguen, AFP | Marine Le Pen and former US President advisor Steve Bannon at the Front National party annual congress, on March 10, 2018 in Lille, France.

Latest update : 2018-10-13

Marine Le Pen, the French far-right leader, has met with former White House strategist Steve Bannon and signaled her interest in his project to help European populist parties.

Louis Aliot, a vice president of Le Pen’s National Rally party who is also her companion, said Friday on BFMTV station that she met with Bannon a day earlier in Paris. According to Aliot, Bannon wants to provide “technical assistance” for nationalist parties ahead of next year’s European elections but that he “doesn’t want to play a (political) role.”

Two years on from helping to mastermind Donald Trump’s successful campaign to become U.S. president, Bannon has his sights set on Europe and he is planning a foundation, called The Movement, to boost far-right parties.

“We’re not going to say ‘no’,” Aliot said with regard to getting help.

Le Pen’s apparent interest in working with Bannon stands in marked contrast to comments earlier this week when she said that only European voices should “shape the political forces ... to save Europe.”

Read more: https://www.france24.com/en/20181013-reversal-le-pen-meets-bannon-says-she-open-help

West Virginia's voting experiment stirs security fears

By CHRISTIAN VASQUEZ 10/13/2018 06:57 AM EDT

West Virginia is about to take a leap of faith in voting technology — but it could put people's ballots at risk.

Next month, it will become the first state to deploy a smartphone app in a general election, allowing hundreds of overseas residents and members of the military stationed abroad to cast their ballots remotely. And the app will rely on blockchain, the same buzzy technology that underpins Bitcoin, in yet another Election Day first.

“Especially for people who are serving the country, I think we should find ways to make it easier for them to vote without compromising on the security,” said Nimit Sawhney, co-founder of Voatz, the company that created the app of the same name that West Virginia is using. “Right now, they send their ballots by email and fax, and — whatever you may think of our security — that's totally not a secure way to send back a ballot.”

But cybersecurity and election integrity advocates say West Virginia is setting an example of all the things states shouldn’t do when it comes to securing their elections, an already fraught topic given fears that Russian operatives are trying again to tamper with U.S. democracy.


Trump vows 'severe punishment' if U.S. determines Saudi Arabia killed Khashoggi

Source: The Washington Post

By Philip Rucker October 13 at 8:28 AM

President Trump vowed “severe punishment” for Saudi Arabia if the United States determines that Saudi agents killed Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, calling the journalist’s suspected murder “really terrible and disgusting.”

In excerpts of a new interview released Saturday morning, Trump said the incident is being investigated and that the Saudis deny any involvement, despite the mounting evidence that the Saudi regime was implicated in Khashoggi’s disappearance last week.

“Well, nobody knows yet, but we’ll probably be able to find out,” Trump said in the interview with Lesley Stahl of CBS’s “60 Minutes,” which will air in full on Sunday night. “It’s being investigated, it’s being looked at very, very strongly. And we would be very upset and angry if that were the case. As of this moment, they deny it, and they deny it vehemently. Could it be them? Yes.” Trump added, “We’re going to get to the bottom of it and there will be severe punishment.”

Turkish authorities say a team of Saudis killed Khashoggi, and U.S. intelligence intercepts show Saudi officials discussing an operation to lure Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia from his home in Virginia and detain him.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-vows-severe-punishment-if-us-determines-saudi-arabia-killed-khashoggi/2018/10/13/dbefa658-cee0-11e8-920f-dd52e1ae4570_story.html

In Trump's America murder has a price

How much does it cost to get away with murder?

$110 billion if you’re Saudi Arabia and you want Trump to look the other way


OCTOBER 13, 2018 12:00PM (UTC)

Do you want to know what you should do if you want to get a handle on this week’s story about the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi? Get on Google maps and punch up Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. It’s a metropolis of six million residents located about 500 miles northeast of the holy city of Mecca, and about 300 miles west of the Persian Gulf. These days, it’s a modern city, with two of the tallest skyscrapers in Saudi Arabia, the 99-story Kingdom Tower, and the 1,000-foot Burj Rafah, which features 474 condominiums and a 350 room five-star hotel, the Kempinski.

The city is bisected by one of the country’s few major highways, Route 65. Go south about 30 miles, and Route 65 ends in the town of Al Kharj. South of there, all the way to the border with Yemen, there is nothing but sand. Oh, there are a couple of little settlements in the desert — Layla, and then Wadi ad-Dawasir. But to the east, all the way to Oman and the Persian Gulf, nothing but sand. Zoom in, and you’ll see that the sand drifts in long, wave-like dunes for miles and miles and miles. But there’s nothing else there. No water. No vegetation. No towns. Nothing.

Head north on Route 65 out of Riyadh, and a couple dozen towns are strung out along the road for about two hundred miles. Then the low hills and settlements and a few irrigated farms end, and there’s nothing but sand, a great swath of it, running east and south, mile after mile of shifting dunes and . . . nothing.

It’s the great, empty nothingness when you drive Route 65 out of Riyadh that tells you why Saudi Arabia thinks it can get away with killing Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in its embassy in Turkey last week. Saudi Arabia is one of the most isolated, barren countries on the face of the earth. It has been inhospitable to outsiders for centuries. The Muslim world has to deal with them because Mecca and Medina, the holy places of Islam, are within its borders. The rest of the world has to deal with them because they’ve got oil. But beyond that, they don’t give a damn what we think, because they don’t have to.


Could Democrats flip a West Virginia district Trump won by 49 points?

Donald Trump ran up huge numbers in West Virginia’s 3rd district, but Democrat Richard Ojeda has a real shot

OCTOBER 13, 2018 10:00AM (UTC)

West Virginia's 3rd congressional district is among the most conservative in the nation, but a new poll shows Democrats are making this year's race very competitive.

The district had been represented by Rep. Evan Jenkins, a former Democrat himself, who vacated the seat to stage an unsuccessful campaign for the Republican Senate nomination. (State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey won the Republican primary, and will face incumbent Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin next month.) Now, two polls show split results in the race to replace Jenkins, which pits Democratic state Sen. Richard Ojeda, a retired Army officer, against Republican Carol Miller, a member of the state House of Delegates.

An Emerson poll conducted Sept. 13-15 showed Ojeda leading by five points among 274 registered voters. A New York Times/Siena poll, which sampled 499 likely voters in early September, found Miller leading by eight points. An earlier Monmouth poll conducted in June had Ojeda up by six.

The race should be a lock for the GOP, given that Donald Trump won West Virginia's 3rd district by 49 points in 2016. FiveThirtyEight rates the district 37 percent more conservative than the country as a whole. But Ojeda is no stranger to converting Trump supporters: He won his state Senate election by 18 points, in a district Trump carried by 59.


Saudi rejects 'baseless' murder claims over missing journalist

Source: Agence France-Presse

13 OCT 2018

Saudi Arabia dismissed on Saturday accusations that Jamal Khashoggi was ordered murdered by a hit squad inside its Istanbul consulate as "lies and baseless allegations", as Riyadh and Ankara spar over the missing journalist's fate.

A Saudi delegation was in Turkey for talks on the case, which threatens not only to harm fragile relations between the two countries but also to do serious damage to the reformist credentials of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the kingdom's ties to the West.

As the controversy intensified, the Washington Post reported Turkish officials had recordings made from inside the building that allegedly proved their claims Khashoggi was tortured and killed at the consulate.

Big names from media and business have already cancelled appearances at a major conference in Riyadh this month and both the IMF chief and the US treasury secretary made their attendance conditional on the findings in the case.

Read more: https://www.afp.com/en/news/717/saudi-rejects-baseless-murder-claims-over-missing-journalist-doc-19z0gw7

'We've never seen anything like this': GOP overwhelmed by Democratic cash

The gush of spending in House races has triggered recriminations on the right as the party tries to salvage its majority.

By ALEX ISENSTADT 10/12/2018 07:43 PM EDT

A deluge of Democratic spending in the final days of the battle for the House has triggered recriminations among Republicans and forced the party to lean on its biggest patron to salvage their majority.

Since the end of July, Republican candidates in the 70 most contested races have reserved $60 million in TV ads, compared to $109 million for Democratic hopefuls, according to figures compiled by media trackers and reviewed by POLITICO. The disparity is almost certain to grow, as former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg makes good on plans to spend nearly $80 million to help Democrats flip the House.

“From Democrat candidates to outside groups, we’ve never seen anything like this before,” said Brian Walsh, president of the pro-Trump America First Action super PAC. “They are dumping in cash by the truckload.”

Desperate for help, Republicans are turning to their go-to benefactor: Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. The 85-year-old ally of President Donald Trump has made another contribution in the range of $20 million to the House GOP-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund super PAC, according to two Republican officials familiar with the donation. Party leaders are hopeful he'll fork over even more.


Melania: I Wore the Jacket to Tell 'Left-Wing Media' That 'I Don't Care'

First Lady Melania Trump said she was sending a message to her detractors, including the “left wing media,” when she wore the now infamous jacket on a surprise visit to immigrant detention facilities, emblazoned with the phrase “I DON’T REALLY CARE DO U?” Asked during an ABC News interview why she wore the jacket, the first lady said, “It’s obvious that I didn’t wear the jacket for the children. I wore the jacket to go on the plane and off the plane. And it was for the people and the left wing media who are criticizing me. And I want to show them that I don’t care. You could criticize, whatever you want to say, it will not stop me to do what I feel is right.” After the image of Trump boarding the plane wearing the jacket vent viral, her spokesman said there was “no hidden message.” But in the interview, the first lady admitted it was “kind of a message” and that she wore the jacket on her way back from her visit “because I see how the media got obsessed about it.” She added, “I would prefer that they focus on what I do, on my initiatives, than what I wear.”




The Trump Rally: A Play in Three Acts

The art of Making America Great Again. And again. And again.


Part presidential ego boost, part political organizing tool and part WrestleMania, “Make America Great Again” rallies are the defining event of the Trump era: Over 500 have taken place since 2015, and over 30 have been held since President Trump was elected.

Halfway through the tumultuous reality show that is “The White House: Season Two,” the rallies are starting to feel like the only scripted plot point. No matter where they are held, no matter how raucous they might become, the rallies follow a formula: Just add MAGA.

What follows is a script of how each usually plays out, based on the real events of a rally on Sept. 21.



A prototypical rally location. This time, it’s JQH Arena, rented out by the Trump campaign, in Springfield, Mo. It’s a conservative college town far from liberal strongholds where anti-Trump hostility is high.



PRESIDENT TRUMP, 72, the grand marshal of the “Make America Great Again” movement, posts a celebratory message from the presidential iPhone hours before his rally in Missouri begins.

As he types, a graphic appears on a screen upstage.




Jr. promotes tweet smearing missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi as a secret terrorist ally

12 OCT 2018 AT 15:12 ET

Donald Trump Jr. on Friday promoted a tweet from Federalist founder Sean Davis that smeared missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi as an ally of the late terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden.

In the tweet, Davis commented on a separate tweet from Pajamas Media foreign correspondent Patrick Poole, who dug up an old article from 1988 that Khashoggi wrote about the U.S.-backed anti-Russian insurgency in Afghanistan.

“I didn’t realize until yesterday that Jamal Khashoggi was the author of this notorious 1988 Arab News article of him tooling around Afghanistan with Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda co-founder Abdullah Azzam,” Poole wrote. “He’s just a democrat reformer journalist holding a RPG with jihadists.”

Davis then approvingly cited Poole’s analysis and commented, “It’s almost like reality is quite different than the evidence-free narratives peddled by media with a long history of cooperating with or getting duped by Iran echo chamber architects.”

This tweet was subsequently promoted by Trump Jr.

In 1983, then-President Ronald Reagan praised the mujahideen by referring to them as “Afghan freedom fighters” for their struggle to drive out the Soviet army.

Jamal Khashoggi, who frequently wrote articles critical of the Saudi government, has been missing ever since he entered Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey last week. Several leaks from intelligence agencies have claimed that he was killed by Saudi operatives and then dismembered and removed from the building in pieces.


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