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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: 46,799

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

The night Aretha Franklin brought the nation's first black president to tears

By DeNeen L. Brown, Reporter
August 16 at 1:53 PM

He’d made history as the country’s first black president. She’d made history as the Queen of Soul.

Aretha Franklin, who died Thursday at 76, sang “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” at Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009. She’d stood on the steps in freezing cold in a gray hat, her voice sailing over the huge crowd that stretched back to the Reflecting Pool.

Now six years later, the president was sitting in the balcony at the Kennedy Center in Washington when Franklin took the stage. She was making a surprise appearance to honor Carole King at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors.

Franklin carried a silver sequin clutch and wore a lush, gray floor-length mink. Her necklace of diamonds might as well have been a crown.

The stage lights flashed, bouncing off the diamonds. The crowd gasped at the sight of Franklin, and King, who wrote “Natural Woman” with Gerry Goffin, stood in awe. Michelle Obama, in an electric-blue gown, sitting next to King, rose beside the president.

Franklin swept back her long mink, slid onto the piano bench and began to play “Natural Woman.”

Looking out on the morning rain,” she sang in her signature soulful, rich voice, sounding like no other. “I used to feel so uninspired.”

The camera cut to President Obama, who wiped back a tear before Franklin sang the next verse.


Education Department investigates sex abuse scandal amid Jordan allegations

Source: Politico

By BENJAMIN WERMUND 08/16/2018 03:34 PM EDT

The Education Department's Office for Civil rights is investigating how Ohio State University officials handled complaints against a former university doctor accused of sexually abusing athletes, in a case that's also drawn allegations that a Republican congressman turned a blind eye as Ohio State wrestling coach.

Multiple former Ohio State wrestlers have accused Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican and former Ohio State wrestling coach, of being among the faculty members who ignored inappropriate behavior by the physician, Richard Strauss. Jordan, a leader of the House Freedom Caucus has denied those allegations, saying: "I never knew about any type of abuse ... If I did, I would have done something about it."

The Education Department confirmed the inquiry on Thursday. "I can confirm that in light of recent allegations made by former students concerning sexual abuse by former athletic team doctor Richard Strauss, OCR initiated a directed investigation on August 8, 2018," Education Department spokeswoman Liz Hill said.

"This new Title IX investigation will examine the University's handling of reports of sex-based incidents involving Dr. Strauss, including allegations that University employees knew or should have known about the sexual misconduct and allowed the abuse to continue."

Read more: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/16/education-department-ohio-state-jim-jordan-investigation-780010

Trump wages war against New York

For the longtime Manhattanite, running against New York’s political leaders is a mix of opportunity, muscle memory and method.

By ANNIE KARNI 08/16/2018 05:22 PM EDT

Even in the West Wing, all politics is local.

President Donald Trump — raised in Queens, made in Manhattan — in the past week is finding his latest targets back home, turning New York political leaders into liberal punching bags that offer him familiar and useful foils ahead of the midterm elections.

It’s an old political playbook — attack elite, liberal New York, and the heartland loves you — but it’s also personal for Trump, whose relationships with some of New York’s political leaders go back generations.

On Monday, the president deliberately attacked New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is fighting for his third term, as a presidential wannabe. He told attendees at a fundraiser in Utica that Cuomo once promised he would “never run for president against” him and then urged him to get in the race. “Oh, please do it,” Trump goaded. “Anybody who runs against Trump suffers.”

Trump then quickly capitalized on a nuclear-level gaffe from Cuomo, who in a speech on Wednesday noted that America “was never that great,” tweeting that Cuomo was “having a total meltdown!”


No verdict after first day of jury deliberations

Source: Politico

The former Trump campaign chairman has pleaded not guilty to 18 counts of tax and bank fraud.

By DARREN SAMUELSOHN, JOSH GERSTEIN and KYLE CHENEY 08/16/2018 10:18 AM EDT Updated 08/16/2018 05:20 PM EDT

UPDATE 5:20 p.m.:

Jurors in Paul Manafort's trial ended their first day of deliberations Thursday without reaching a verdict.

The 12-person jury spent seven hours cloistered in the Alexandria, Virginia, federal courthouse examining reams of evidence related to a slate of bank- and tax-fraud charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller's team.

But the group was unable to reach a final conclusion.

Jurors are scheduled to resume deliberations at 9:30 a.m. on Friday.


Read more: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/16/paul-manafort-trial-verdict-latest-updates-779660

Possibly Trump's stupidest tweet ever

By Jennifer Rubin
August 16 at 9:15 AM

President Trump has issued shameful tweets, offensive tweets and self-serving tweets. Rarely, however, has he sent out a tweet that better conveys his abject ignorance about the country and economics than the tweet he posted Wednesday:


No, no, no.

Our country was founded on a principle Trump often seems unacquainted with: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Unless Trump wants to retreat to a 1776-sized economy or relive the Great Depression (care of Smoot-Hawley) it’s best we not follow the outdated mercantilist philosophy that was supplanted fortunately by Adam Smith who deplored tariffs (“extraordinary restraints upon the importation of almost all sorts of goods from those countries with which the balance of trade is supposed to be disadvantageous”). Unlike Trump, Smith knew that a balance of trade “deficit” is not disadvantage, let alone a debt to be repaid or money stolen from us:

Nothing … can be more absurd than this whole doctrine of the balance of trade, upon which, not only these restraints, but almost all the other regulations of commerce are founded.

When two places trade with one another, this doctrine supposes that, if the balance be even, neither of them either loses or gains; but if it leans in any degree to one side, that one of them loses and the other gains in proportion to its declension from the exact equilibrium. Both suppositions are false. A trade which is forced by means of bounties and monopolies may be and commonly is disadvantageous to the country in whose favour it is meant to be established, as I shall endeavour to show hereafter. But that trade which, without force or constraint, is naturally and regularly carried on between any two places is always advantageous, though not always equally so, to both.


Security beefed up at Globe's downtown headquarters after threats

Source: Universal Hub

By adamg on Thu, 08/16/2018 - 12:36pm

Companies with offices at 53 State St., where the Globe is now headquartered, got a memo from building management today about unspecified threats called into the Globe:

Earlier today a tenant in the building, the Boston Globe, received several threats via phone call. Based on this threat the local and federal authorities have recommended some additional security measures for the property. For the remainder of the day you will see uniformed Boston Police officers in the lobby and around the property. There are very few specifics, but the threat was specific to later this afternoon.

The property is working closely with the authorities and we will advise all tenants of any updates or changes in this situation. The property is following all appropriate procedures and protocols.

The Globe today spearheaded an effort by American newspapers to fight back against Nazi- and Soviet-style attacks on the press by the president, who, of course, responded with a befuddled rant about free-speech collusion.


Read more: https://www.universalhub.com/2018/security-beefed-globe-headquarters-after-threat

Omarosa hints she handed over incriminating evidence to Mueller

Katy Tur: 'Is Omarosa the smoking gun' that takes down Trump?

In soybean country, Trump's trade war with China tests patience and nerves

By DON LEE AUG 16, 2018 | 4:00 AM| TRUMBULL, NEB.

Doug Saathoff, whose great-grandfather began farming around Trumbull, Neb., in the late 1800s, planted his first soybean in 1996 and hasn’t lost money since. Even droughts haven’t hurt because there’s plenty of underground water.

But that streak is in jeopardy, thanks to President Trump’s trade war with China, which has pummeled soybean exports and prices. Increasingly anxious about his family’s livelihood, the 44-year-old has taken small steps to save money, such as canceling satellite television and buying a used combine harvester rather than a new one.

One thing hasn’t changed: his support for Trump, whom Saathoff credits for taking China to task for its unfair trading behavior. He and some of his fellow farmers are willing to give the president more time to win concessions, betting that Trump won’t let things get really bad for American soybean farmers, who export about one-fourth of their crops to the Chinese market. But he also warned that their patience won’t last forever.

“He’s probably the only president who knew soybean farmers exist,” said the soft-spoken Saathoff. “I don’t know if we’re ready to rebel or not. But let’s just get the trade policy done.”

Saathoff can wait it out for at least a few more months partly because he was able to sell some of his fall harvest in advance, before soybean prices dropped. The question is: Will he and other farmers stick with Trump when they really start to feel the pain?

The economics and attitudes in this corner of the Nebraska plains provide some clues. As in other parts of the nation’s farm belt, most of these farmers have voted Republican for generations. They’re highly unlikely to abandon the party in droves.


U.S. will prosecute makers of 'undetectable' plastic guns: Sessions

Source: Reuters


Reuters Staff


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned on Thursday that anyone who uses a 3-D printer to make an “undetectable” gun will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, a day after his department asked a court not to block the public from downloading blueprints for the guns.

“We will not stand for the evasion ... of current law and will take action to ensure that individuals who violate the law by making plastic firearms and rendering them undetectable, will be prosecuted to the fullest extent,” Sessions said in his Thursday statement.

Reporting by Lisa Lambert


Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-guns-sessions/u-s-will-prosecute-makers-of-undetectable-plastic-guns-sessions-idUSKBN1L1248
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