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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

Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley Tells Fox and Friends That Trump's a 'Real-Life Superman'

by Justin Baragona | 12:40 pm, January 20th, 2018

The morning after the Senate was unable to agree on a spending bill that would keep the government open, leading to a partial shutdown, White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley appeared on President Donald Trump’s favorite program to provide the White House’s take on the situation.

With Trump taking to Twitter this morning to place the blame solely on Democrats for the shutdown, Gidley not only repeated those talking points on Fox & Friends but claimed that the president was an actual superhero by standing up for Americans.

Co-host Pete Hegseth introduce Gidley on the program by reading a statement from Democrats that said the shutdown was the result of a failure of leadership by Republicans and the president. The statement also dinged the GOP for recently passing a “massive tax break” for their “wealthy donors.” Hegseth asked the White House spokesperson where the Democrats were going with this by claiming “this is all about greed.”

“Nobody is buying that — look you guys are sitting with a former TV Superman in Dean Cain,” Gidley responded while referencing co-host Cain’s past television role. “I’m working for a real-life Superman over my shoulder in Donald Trump.”

He added, “He stood up to the American people last night. He did not bend. He did not break.”



Russians Want Clinton Not Trump As Prez, As Disappointment Sweeps Moscow A Year After Inauguration


BY REUTERS ON 1/20/18 AT 11:14 AM

A year ago on Saturday, Russian nationalists partied in central Moscow to celebrate Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th president of the United States.

Euphoria has given way to dismay as the man they expected to end U.S. sanctions against Russia reluctantly reinforced the penalties and allegations of Russian interference in the U.S. election, denied by Moscow, eroded political ties.

Some Russians even say it might have been better if Hillary Clinton, long portrayed here as rabidly anti-Russian, had won the presidency. “Under a Clinton administration ... we could have maintained some kind of contacts and dialogue, at least in the arms control sphere. Now, that’s all gone,” said Valery Garbuzov, director of the Institute for U.S. and Canadian Studies in Moscow, which advises the government on foreign policy.

Before he was elected, Trump’s talk of wanting better relations with Moscow and praise for President Vladimir Putin delighted Russian officials, who had watched ties with the administration of Barack Obama sink to a post-Cold War low.

News of Trump’s White House win was greeted by applause in the Russian lower house of parliament and the head of the Kremlin-backed RT TV channel, Margarita Simonyan, said she felt like driving around Moscow with a U.S. flag.

Simonyan now spends much of her time assailing the U.S. authorities, accusing them of shutting down free speech there by designating her channel as “a foreign agent.”

Tsargrad, the nationalist TV channel that broadcast the main Russian Trump inauguration party at Moscow’s Soviet-era post office, accused Trump this week of criticizing Russia over North Korea to distract from his own problems at home.

With the U.S. Congress continuing investigations into alleged collusion between Trump and Russia and the administration working on lawmakers’ demand for more punitive measures, the Kremlin’s frustration is palpable.

While Putin met Trump twice last year, officials here say they are unaware of any plans for a bilateral summit and Moscow tried and failed to set up a formal meeting between Putin and Trump at an APEC summit in November.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov listed U.S.-Russia relations as among the biggest disappointments of 2017.

The U.S. Treasury Department is due to publish a report before the end of this month naming wealthy Russians close to Putin or the authorities, something Russian officials fear is a prelude to extending a list of sanctioned people and entities.

Russian officials say they expect at least another six U.S. government reports this year that may result in new U.S. action against Russia’s energy and financial sectors as well as media, and a possible ban on the purchase of Russian Treasury bonds.

“(U.S.) sanctions policy is designed to turn Russia into a toxic asset so that any investor will think 10 times before deciding to enter the Russian market,” said Ivan Timofeev, a sanctions expert at the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), a think-tank close to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Russia’s scope to defend itself from new sanctions was “extremely limited,” he said.

Putin has put a brave face on worsening U.S.-Russia relations, using his annual news conference in December to say he thought ties would eventually recover, while praising Trump for his economic achievements.

But though Russian officials say they believe Trump’s stated desire to improve ties with Moscow is sincere, they portray him as a lame duck president when it comes to making Russia policy, neutered by his domestic political opponents.

The result, they complain, is that U.S.-Russia ties are actually worse in some ways than under Obama and that high-level contacts are virtually non-existent.

“Unfortunately the actions of the current administration are in line with Obama‘s, despite the line of president Trump during his election campaign. In certain areas, they are even more assertive,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told his annual news conference this month.

Both Trump and Putin may say they want better ties, officials say, but day-to-day relations between the two countries are locked in a downward spiral with no Cold War-style communications channels to help tamp down tensions.

Russian efforts to persuade Trump to hand it back two diplomatic properties in the United States seized under the Obama administration have come to nothing, prompting Moscow to respond by seizing U.S. property in Russia. Putin last year ordered the U.S. Embassy in Russia to shed half its staff.

The Trump administration has also upped pressure on Russia over Ukraine, going further than Obama by authorizing the supply of new weapons to Kiev, which is locked in a war with pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

It has also described Russia as a revisionist state seeking to challenge U.S. power.

Andrey Kortunov, head of RIAC, said Moscow had been blinded by its desire for “anyone but Clinton”, a view that the Republicans were easier to work with than the Democrats, and a belief that Trump’s world view overlapped with Russia‘s.

“We warned them,” he said.

Garbuzov, whose institute also advises the government, said the elite wrongly assumed the U.S. political system was like Russia’s where the president has few checks on his authority, and can now only try to limit the damage by cooperating where possible.

“Trump can’t do anything (to improve Russia ties),” said Garbuzov.

“He’s made vague statements saying it would be good to fix relations, but how to achieve this is an enigma for him.”



Posted with the permission of Newsweek -- Don

Republicans can win elections. But they can't govern. - WaPo Editorial Board

By Editorial Board January 20 at 11:20 AM

THE GOVERNMENT shut down at 12:01 a.m. Saturday. The immediate cause was Senate Democrats refusing to go along with another short-term federal funding extension, and Congress stayed in Washington Saturday in hopes of making the shutdown short-lived. But the underlying problem is GOP dysfunction in both branches of government. This is the first time the government has ever shut down while one party controlled Congress and the White House. Republicans can win elections but they cannot govern effectively.

The impasse centers on two issues that Congress should have solved months ago. First is the fate of the “dreamers” — immigrants brought to the country illegally when they were children — who know the United States as their only home and have integrated into American society. The second is the funding-starved Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which ensures that low-income families can get care for their children. Providing legal protections to the dreamers and re-upping CHIP both command overwhelming support from the public and their representatives in Congress. If congressional leaders had allowed simple up-or-down votes on these questions, lawmakers would have passed mainstream solutions, easily. But they practically ignored CHIP’s funding crisis for months. They also declined to bring a dreamers bill to a vote. This reflected GOP congressional leaders’ spineless practice of suppressing legislation that a majority of Congress supports, in counterproductive deference to their right wing.

After months of inaction, Democrats were understandably incensed. President Trump could have brokered a deal. In fact, he appeared ready to do so earlier this month, when he promised to sign a bipartisan compromise bill on the dreamers, if one were negotiated, and to “take the heat” for doing so. A bipartisan group presented a plan that would have given immigration hard-liners several concessions in return for a dreamers fix. Yet, Mr. Trump betrayed his promise, suddenly siding with the hard-liners who demanded a long list of policy changes in return for extending dreamer protections.

The House offered to extend CHIP funding for six years. But as it became clearer that Democrats were serious about holding up government funding until Congress finally addressed both the dreamers and CHIP, Mr. Trump should have bargained. Instead, even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) complained that the president’s position was unclear. Just hours before federal funding expired, Marc Short, Mr. Trump’s legislative director, insisted that the White House had already offered its plan — which was no compromise at all. In other words, the hard-liners were in control and the president would not compromise — despite his past insistence that he wanted a bipartisan bill to sign.

If GOP leaders had allowed the majority of Congress to work its will, the shutdown might have been avoided. If, when that did not happen, the president had negotiated in good faith, the government would still be open. Forcing a shutdown is a drastic legislative act that should not be welcomed. But neither should Republicans’ unreason and inconsistency. This is no way to run a country.



Ex-RNC head Steele puts sole blame for government shutdown on 'no-energy AWOL' Donald Trump


Trump appointed judge rules against him, for deported immigrant

John K. Bush opined the mother of four has credible evidence of threats to her safety

01.20.2018•7:15 AM

Maribel Trujillo Diaz, a mother of four from Mexico who was deported from the U.S. last April, now has a sliver of hope thanks to a crucial assist from an unlikely source – a Donald Trump judicial appointee.

John K. Bush, United States Circuit Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, ruled in favor of Trujillo on Jan. 17, saying she has credible evidence that her safety was at risk from a Mexican drug cartel. Such a finding could strengthen Trujillo's case that deporting her to Mexico was unethical. Trujillo became a national figure after she was deported to Mexico in April, after having lived peacefully in the United States since 2002. Her children still reside in the U.S., including a daughter who is still a toddler.

Judge Bush's statement suggests that the Board of Immigration Appeals “abused its discretion” when it denied a request from Trujillo to reopen her removal proceedings. The statement with the ruling reads as the following:

Because the BIA failed to credit the facts stated in Trujillo Diaz’s declarations, and this error undermined its conclusion as to the sufficiency of Trujillo Diaz’s prima facie evidence, we hold that the BIA abused its discretion. We further hold that the BIA abused its discretion in summarily rejecting Trujillo Diaz’s argument that she could not safely relocate internally in Mexico for purposes of showing a prima facie case of eligibility for relief under the Convention Against Torture. Thus, we vacate the order of the BIA and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Bush is a Trump judicial appointee who is known for his conservative views, including Birtherism. In more than 400 blog posts written under a pseudonym from 2007 to 2016, Bush expressed his conservative viewpoints, including calling for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and arguing that Roe v. Wade is one of the greatest tragedies in American history.


Turkey launches airstrikes in northern Syria to start offensive on U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters

Source: The Washington Post

By Kareem Fahim January 20 at 10:30 AM

ISTANBUL — Turkish warplanes carried out airstrike against Kurdish fighters in Syria on Saturday to open a long-anticipated offensive on Afrin, an enclave for the Kurdish militias backed by the United States.

The offensive has raised fears of sparking a new round of hostilities between the various powers with interests in northern Syria, including Russia and the United States.

Turkish leaders have framed as part of its wider battle against the Kurdish separatists in southwest Turkey, known as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party. But Turkey also fears any gains in strength for the Syrian Kurds, whose territory runs along some of Turkey’s south border.

Syria had warned that it was prepared to fire on Turkish warplanes in the event of an attack on Afrin, about 12 miles from Turkey’s southern border.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/turkey-launches-airstrikes-in-northern-syria-to-start-offensive-on-us-backed-kurdish-fighters/2018/01/20/614d5528-fdec-11e7-a46b-a3614530bd87_story.html

'He's not President Perfect': Watch Evangelist Franklin Graham blow off Trump affair with adult star


Trump touts first year accomplishments in op-ed


President Trump on Saturday touted his administration’s accomplishments during his first year in office on the one-year anniversary of the inauguration.

In a rare op-ed for The Washington Examiner, Trump boasted about the U.S. economy and military, arguing he has enacted policies and changes that live up to the promises he made to the American people.

“We are putting America first, making real change in Washington, and creating opportunities for all of our people. From coast to coast, there is a renewed spirit,” Trump wrote. “Our country is roaring back more quickly than anyone could have predicted. The American Dream is real again.”

The op-ed and one-year anniversary of the president’s inauguration coincides with the first day of a partial government shutdown, which began at midnight after the Senate failed to pass a spending bill to keep the government’s lights on.


Republicans may have another hurdle in their efforts to unseat Elizabeth Warren

By Frank Phillips GLOBE STAFF JANUARY 17, 2018

Gabriel Gomez, the former Navy SEAL and onetime GOP US Senate nominee, might be on the verge of creating more problems for state Republicans who are trying to unseat Democrat Elizabeth Warren.

Gomez, who has weaved in and out of the Republican voter registration lists over the last few years, is sending out signals he is considering running against Warren as an independent — a move that, by siphoning off anti-Warren votes, would probably drag down the GOP nominee in the general election.

That news couldn’t be more pleasing to Warren and her political team.

Gomez would be the second deep-pocketed former Republican in the general election — already an uphill battle for the GOP. Shiva Ayyadurai, a wealthy high-tech entrepreneur ready to spend his personal funds, dropped out of the Republican Senate primary several months ago to run as an independent in the fall election.


Ousted Trump adviser Omarosa signs with Mass. speakers firm

WASHINGTON — Omarosa Manigault Newman, the controversial former assistant to President Trump, is about to hit the speaking circuit.

Newman has signed up to be represented by a Massachusetts-based speakers firm after her recent high-profile ouster from the White House, according to people familiar with the deal and the firm’s website.

In a yet-to-be-announced deal, Newman has joined American Programs Bureau, a top booking firm headquartered in Newton whose speakers sometimes command more than $50,000 an appearance. The prestigious firm also represents celebrities such as Larry King, Al Pacino, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, and Sarah Palin.

“Rising from the depths of extreme poverty to become the only African American senior advisor to the 45th President of the United States Donald J. Trump, Omarosa Manigault Newman is one of the most dynamic keynotes in the speaking world today,” reads Newman’s biography on the APB website.

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