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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: 37,594

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

Clad in pink and vowing to vote, activists around the globe flood streets for another Women's March

Source: The Washington Post

By Vera Haller, Mark Guarino and Brady Dennis January 20 at 2:44 PM

Before the sun rose on Saturday over a Washington gripped by gridlock, pink hats and poster-board signs already were emerging around the world. The second iteration of the Women’s March began in cities such as Rome, where crowds raucously rallied on a clear, sunny morning. “Came for the carbonara, stayed for the resistance,” read one of the thousands of signs that protesters carried throughout the day.

From Beijing to Buenos Aires, from Denver to Dallas, from California to the Carolinas, hundreds of thousands of activists once again took to the streets to protest the policies and presidency of Donald Trump. The number of participants might not have eclipsed the millions who marched in cities a year ago, but The Resistance still brought out swarms of people from Los Angeles to Philadelphia.

Saturday’s march made clear how a movement that began as a protest has evolved. A year of the Trump presidency, coupled with the galvanizing experience of the #MeToo moment, has made activists eager to leave a mark on the country’s political system. As a result, a key component of Saturday’s demonstrations was an effort to harness the enthusiasm behind the Women’s March and translate that into political sway at the polls this fall.

“Last year it was about hope. This year it’s about strength,” said Diane Costello, 67, a retired teacher and member of Moms Against Violence, a group that advocates for gun control, said as she marched through Manhattan.

Read more: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/20/womens-march-anniversary-dc-352231

Thousands protest in D.C., across the country on women's march anniversary

By BRENT D. GRIFFITHS 01/20/2018 02:09 PM EST

Thousands marked the first anniversary of the national women's march in cities across the country on Saturday, vowing that last year's massive turnout was only the first step in the ongoing protests against President Donald Trump.

"Today we're sending Trump another message, look out your window," Toni Van Pelt, president of the National Organization for Women, told marchers in Washington. "See us, hear us, feel our power. You can't stop us with your tweets, you can't stop us with your bullying and you can't stop us with your hate speech."

Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez emphasized the number of women running on the party's ticket in November.

"If the Congress, if the White House, if the governorships across America had more women like I see here today, we would be a much better America," Perez said.


Democrats mull keeping Senate in session overnight

Source: The Hill


A group of Senate Democrats are talking about forcing the Senate to stay in session overnight to protest Republican opposition to a bipartisan immigration deal.

Democratic senators say they may block a motion to adjourn the chamber on Saturday and require the Senate to stay in session until Sunday morning so they can take turns talking about the plight of "Dreamers," immigrants brought to the country illegally as children, on the floor.

The talk-a-thon would likely be led by Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.), a Democrat considered a top-tier contender for president in 2020, with expected support from Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and other lawmakers who have supported similar efforts in the past.

Democratic lawmakers said they did not think a deal to end the shutdown would be reached before the end of the day Saturday.

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/369947-democrats-mull-keeping-senate-in-session-overnight

Senate Dems: Trump making negotiations 'impossible'

BY JORDAIN CARNEY - 01/20/18 04:49 PM EST

Senate Democrats knocked President Trump a day into the government shutdown, saying his penchant for changing his mind is undercutting the ability to get a deal.

"Let's face it. This president at this point is impossible to negotiate with. It's impossible," Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said. He added that the Senate couldn't "wait for an approval stamp" from the president.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) also questioned "why should we trust him" if the president could change his mind on a myriad of outstanding issues that Congress needs to be resolved. "If we can't take the word of the president when we know he is only one tweet away from changing his mind, why should we trust him when he says he will take care of our veterans or get serious about the opioid epidemic?" he asked.

He added that the Senate is "spinning our wheels in the Trump shutdown."


Women's March in Chicago draws thousands more than last year


The number of people who attended the Women's March in Chicago on Saturday exceeded the number who took part in the march one year ago this weekend, according to Chicago's ABC affiliate.

Roughly 50,000 more women attended the march this year, which was titled "March to the Polls" bringing the number to 300,000 participants.

Last year's event drew 250,000 marchers to the Windy City, according to the report.

CNN reported that Los Angeles also had their largest Women's March yet, with 500,000 people joining for the event this year.


Twitter informs Cornyn he interacted with Russia-linked content during 2016 election

Source: The Hill

BY BRANDON CARTER - 01/20/18 04:05 PM EST

Sen. John Cornyn (Texas), the No. 2 Senate Republican, posted an email he received from Twitter on Saturday indicating that he interacted with content from Russian-linked Twitter accounts that attempted to influence the 2016 presidential election.


Cornyn shared a screenshot of the email with his followers on Saturday.


Twitter announced on Friday that it suspended 1,062 new accounts it found to be linked to the Internet Research Agency.

In total, the company has found 3,814 Internet Research Agency-linked accounts, which posted 175,993 tweets during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/technology/369943-twitter-informs-cornyn-he-interacted-with-russia-linked-content-during-2016

'Negotiating with Jell-O': How Trump's shifting positions fueled the rush to a shutdown

By Ashley Parker, Josh Dawsey and Ed O'Keefe January 20 at 2:53 PM

In a remarkable, televised 55-minute meeting with about two dozen Democratic and Republican lawmakers earlier this month, President Trump twice proclaimed that any immigration deal would need to be “a bill of love” — setting an optimistic tone for averting a government shutdown with a bipartisan solution.

After the president ordered cameras out of the Cabinet Room that day, the group delved into the details. Kirstjen Nielsen, Trump’s homeland security secretary, and her staff passed out a four-page document on the administration’s “must haves” for any immigration bill — a hard-line list that included $18 billion for Trump’s promised border wall, eliminating the diversity visa lottery program and ending “extended family chain migration,” according to the document, which was obtained by The Washington Post. But one person seemed surprised and alarmed by the memo: the president.

With Democrats and Republicans still in the room, Trump said that the document didn’t represent all of his positions, that he wasn’t familiar with its contents and that he didn’t appreciate being caught off-guard. He instructed the group to disregard the summary and move on, according to one of the lawmakers in the room, speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe a private conversation.

“It’s like the wedding where someone actually stands up and objects to the wedding,” the lawmaker said. “It was that moment.”

That meeting nearly two weeks ago, and the president’s ambivalence, marked the beginning of yet another period of Trump-fueled tumult that helped push the federal government into a shutdown at midnight Friday. Pinging from one upheaval to the next — while clearly not understanding the policy nuances of the negotiation — Trump clashed at different times with Democrats and members of his own party, who grew increasingly exasperated with the president even as they sought to cast blame on the other side.


The GOP's Biggest Charter School Experiment Just Imploded

How a washed-up lobbyist built a charter school empire and siphoned millions from public schools.

JAMES POGUEJAN. 19, 2018 2:20 PM

The west side of Columbus, Ohio, is a flat expanse of one-story houses, grimy convenience stores, and dark barrooms, and William Lager, in his business wear, cut an unusual figure at the Waffle House on Wilson Road. Every day, almost without fail, he took a seat in a booth, ordered his bottomless coffee, and set to work. Some days he sat for hours, so long that he’d outlast waitress Chandra Filichia’s seven-hour shift and stay on long into the night, making plans and scribbling them down on napkins.

The dreams on the napkins seemed impossibly grandiose: He wanted to create a school unlike anything that existed, a K-12 charter school where the learning and teaching would be done online, and which would give tens of thousands of students an alternative to traditional public schools across the state. It would offer them unheard of flexibility—a teen mom could stay with her child and study, while a kid worried about being bullied could complete lessons at home. And it would be radically cheaper than a traditional classroom, since there would be no buildings to maintain, no teachers’ unions to bargain with. At the time—the late 1990s—it was a revolutionary idea. Lager called it, in the heady days when the internet seemed to promise a solution to every problem, the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow.

But back then—before Lager had his mansion and lake house, before he rose to become a hero of the school choice movement, before Jeb Bush flew in to give ECOT’s commencement speech and Betsy DeVos helped him and his cohort transform Ohio’s educational landscape—Filichia, the Waffle House waitress, could tell Lager seemed broke. Balding, round-faced, and concentrating intently as he scribbled, she even once caught him trying to pass off photocopies of discount coffee coupons. But he didn’t plan on using a Waffle House as his office forever. “One of these days I’m going to have a real big business,” she remembers him telling her, “and you can come work with me, and you won’t ever have to work anywhere else.”

Lager kept his promise, sort of. His back-of-the-napkin vision soon became an improbable reality, and though she’d never gone to college, in 2000 Lager hired Filichia, and eventually, she says, she became one of ECOT’s registrars. In that role, the 24-year-old had a front-row seat to watch the company’s growth. As it expanded from an upstart to a juggernaut—this year it educated some 12,000 students across Ohio, and two years prior its student body was the largest in America—she began to turn on Lager, angered that the school seemed to provide some students with a sham education, functioned more like a profit center than an educational institution, and ignored its own attendance policies, a fact later corroborated by court documents. “I am a single mom, so obviously I needed money and stayed there,” Filichia told me. “But after so long, when I saw how bad these poor kids were doing, I couldn’t do it anymore.”

Yesterday, after 17 years of operation, the school came to a spectacular end, and many of Filichia’s concerns suddenly seemed prophetic. (Lager and ECOT officials did not reply to repeated requests for comment.) Despite years of critics raising similar concerns, the school’s demise happened quickly, after two Ohio Department of Education reviews from 2016 and 2017 found that ECOT had overbilled taxpayers by $80 million for thousands of students it couldn’t show were meeting the department’s enrollment standards. As a result, last summer the state ordered the school to begin paying back almost $4 million per month in school funds, which ECOT claimed it was was unable to do. Then, last week, the school’s charter sponsor, the Educational Service Center of Lake Erie West, claiming concern that ECOT wouldn’t have the funds to last out the year, suddenly announced plans to drop the school. Many of ECOT’s 12,000 current students learned on the nightly news or read in newspapers that unless an emergency deal could be worked out, the institution was in imminent danger of folding up before the start of next semester, set to begin on January 22, leaving many parents confused and panicking, with only days to choose a new school and get their child enrolled.


Parties grapple with possible shutdown repercussions ahead of midterms

Republicans worry the disruption could distract from their successful tax law and Democrats fear it could hurt red-state candidates.


The government shutdown has both parties scrambling to predict its impact on a political environment that had turned decidedly against President Donald Trump and the Republican Party ahead of the midterm elections.

Republicans, fully in charge of Washington and fearful that voters will punish them for failing to keep the government open, have quietly taken steps in recent weeks to gauge the possible fallout. America First Action, the principal pro-Trump group, has polled to see how the public would respond to a shutdown – and to see which party it would blame. The organization is exploring the possibility of airing ads that buttress the party.

On Saturday morning, American Action Network, a pro-House GOP outside group, began airing commercials blaming the shutdown on House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Concerns over a shutdown extend to the highest levels of the GOP, with some officials warning that it could further jeopardize the party ahead of a perilous midterm election.

"A government shutdown never ends well for Republicans, and it seldom ends well for the party in power," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican.


AM Joy panel ridicules 'scumbag' Trump for having to employ a 'lawyer goon squad' to avoid...

AM Joy panel ridicules ‘scumbag’ Trump for having to employ a ‘lawyer goon squad’ to avoid being blackmailed


'Cash before Christ': Bishop William Barber accuses Franklin Graham of being 'bought off' ...

‘Cash before Christ’: Bishop William Barber accuses Franklin Graham of being ‘bought off’ to defend Trump


Gunmen attack Inter-Continental Hotel in Kabul

Source: The Washington Post

By Brian Murphy January 20 at 12:51 PM

Gunmen in Kabul opened fire Saturday at a major international hotel complex in the Afghan capital, touching off gun battles with security forces, officials said.

There were no immediate reports of casualties from the clashes at the Inter-Continental Hotel, one of the city’s main sites for foreign visitors, envoys and other high-profile guests.

The spokesman for Afghanistan’s interior ministry, Najib Danish, said special forces were engaged in the battle against the attackers, the BBC reported.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. The Taliban and Islamic States have each waged attacks in the past against diplomatic targets and other sites in Kabul.


Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/gunmen-attack-intercontinental-hotel-in-kabul/2018/01/20/11432686-fe08-11e7-ad8c-ecbb62019393_story.html
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