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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: 43,347

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

Jeff Flake: "We may have hit bottom"

Source: CBS News

By ED O'KEEFE CBS NEWS May 23, 2018, 3:05 PM

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., leveled some of his harshest criticisms of President Trump to date — using a Harvard Law School commencement address Wednesday to say the president is debasing the office and that Congress "is dishonoring itself" by failing to stand up to him.

Flake, the junior senator from Arizona, has spent most of the past two years raising concerns about Trump's policy positions, temperament and fitness for office — drawing the ire of the White House, which used its influence over GOP politics to stoke potential primary opponents and contributed to the senator's decision not to seek re-election this year.

But in his remarks to law school students, Flake also attacks his congressional colleagues in sharper terms. He told students Congress "is failing its constitutional obligations to counteract the power of the president" at a critical moment in the nation's history.

"Our presidency has been debased. By a figure who has a seemingly bottomless appetite for destruction and division. And only a passing familiarity with how the Constitution works," Flake said, according to prepared remarks obtained by CBS News ahead of the speech. "And our Article I branch of government, the Congress (that's me), is utterly supine in the face of the moral vandalism that flows from the White House daily."

Read more: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/jeff-flake-we-may-have-hit-bottom/

India files WTO case against US over steel and aluminum tariffs

Source: CNBC

Published 7 Hours Ago Updated 6 Hours Ago

India has launched a complaint against the United States to challenge U.S. President Donald Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum, a filing published by the World Trade Organization showed on Wednesday.

Indian officials told Reuters last month that their government would open a WTO dispute if the country's firms were not granted an exemption.

Trump imposed the tariffs in March, levying 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum. He said they were justified by national security concerns and therefore outside the WTO's remit.

India, China, Russia, Japan, Turkey and the European Union have all dismissed that claim, regarding the U.S. tariffs as "safeguards" under the WTO rules, entitling them to a combined $3.5 billion in annual compensation.

Read more: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/23/india-takes-us-steel-tariffs-complaint-to-the-wto.html

Massachusetts and Rhode Island announce offshore wind projects

Source: Associated Press

Posted 3:44 PM Updated at 3:49 PM

Both projects will be located a dozen or more miles south of Martha's Vineyard.


BOSTON — Massachusetts and Rhode Island have announced offshore wind projects aimed at delivering a combined 1,200 megawatts of energy.

The Vineyard Wind project will be Massachusetts’ first offshore wind farm and is expected to generate 800 megawatts of energy — enough to power 400,000 homes.

Vineyard Wind said Wednesday it is proud to be selected over two other offshore wind proposals; Bay State Wind and Deepwater Wind.

Also Wednesday, Democratic Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo announced Deepwater Wind has been selected to construct a 400-megawatt offshore wind farm, Revolution Wind.

Read more: https://www.pressherald.com/2018/05/23/massachusetts-and-rhode-island-announce-offshore-wind-projects/

Mueller Team Hints At Still-Unrevealed PR Firms Involved In Manafort Case

Source: Talking Points Memo

By Tierney Sneed | May 23, 2018 1:27 pm

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team suggested Wednesday that there were other yet-to-be-revealed public relations firms involved in Paul Manafort’s Ukraine lobbying scheme beyond those already referenced specifically in the indictment.

The hint came in a hearing in front of a federal judge in Washington D.C. concerning Manafort’s request for what’s known as a bill of particulars. Manafort is asking the judge to require the prosecutors to give him more details about the charges being brought against him.

Manafort’s attorneys pointed specifically to a line in the indictment referring to alleged unregistered foreign lobbying work done by Company A, Company B, Company C “and others.”

Company A and Company B are Mercury Public Affairs and the Podesta Group respectively, it’s been reported. Company C refers to a PR firm allegedly hired by Manafort to promote a report assembled by the law firm Skadden Arps justifying the imprisonment of the political rival of Manafort’s Ukrainian client.

Read more: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/pr-firms-bill-of-particulars-manafort-mueller

White collar crime expert: Trump's 'Spygate' is a typical 'con' from 'a longtime con artist'


Exclusive: Israeli minister says U.S. may soon recognize Israel's hold on Golan

Source: Reuters

MAY 23, 2018 / 2:32 PM / UPDATED 2 HOURS AGO

Dan Williams

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel is pressing the Trump administration to recognize its sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights, an Israeli cabinet minister said on Wednesday, predicting U.S. assent could come within months.

Interviewed by Reuters, Intelligence Minister Israel Katz described endorsement of Israel’s 51-year-old hold on the Golan as the proposal now “topping the agenda” in bilateral diplomatic talks with the United States.

Any such move would be seen as a follow-up on the U.S. exit from the international nuclear deal with Iran, and President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the opening of a new U.S. embassy there this month.

Trump’s moves were hailed by Israel and caused deep concern among major European allies of Washington.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-israel-usa-exclu/exclusive-israeli-minister-says-us-may-soon-recognize-israels-hold-on-golan-idUSKCN1IO2YU

Senate sends major VA reform bill to Trump's desk

Source: The Hill

BY JORDAIN CARNEY - 05/23/18 04:21 PM EDT

The Senate easily cleared legislation on Wednesday overhauling medical care options for veterans, sending the bill to President Trump's desk.

Senators voted 92-5 on the proposal, termed the VA Mission Act, with only a simple majority needed to pass the bill. Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) voted against the legislation.

With its passage, the bill will meet Trump's public deadline and arrive on his desk before Congress departs for a week-long Memorial Day recess. The bill passed the House last week in a 347-70 vote. The sweeping, $52 billion reform bill would overhaul medical care options for veterans, including giving them more access to private doctors and hospitals.

The legislation was expected to easily clear the Senate and won over support of both Sens. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) — the chairman and ranking member of the Senate's veterans panel, respectively.

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/389072-senate-sends-major-va-reform-bill-to-trumps-desk

Former NFL player lays waste to the league's hypocrisy on the American flag with one perfect photo

23 MAY 2018 AT 15:01 ET

Former NFL quarterback Sage Rosenfels on Wednesday laid waste to the league’s new policy mandating that players either stand for the national anthem before games or wait inside their locker rooms until the anthem is finished.

Writing on Twitter, the former player attacked the new NFL initiative by saying that “forced patriotism is the opposite of freedom.”

He also said that, while he had the utmost respect for the men and women in America’s military, “peaceful protests are extremely important for us to remain a free country.”

Rosenfels then dropped the hammer on the NFL itself by quoting the official U.S. flag code that was established in the 1940s.



Trump floats cutting foreign aid when criminal illegal immigrants enter US

Source: The Hill

BY BRETT SAMUELS - 05/23/18 03:07 PM EDT

President Trump on Wednesday suggested the United States could withhold foreign aid from countries that allow criminal illegal immigrants to come to the United States..

“I have to say that many of these countries we give tremendous amounts of aid to — tens of millions of dollars — and we’re working on a plan to deduct a lot of the aid,” Trump said at a roundtable about addressing immigration loopholes.

“I happen to believe that it’s not so hard. You know, they’ll let you think they’re trying to stop this — they’re not trying to stop it,” Trump continued. “I think they encourage people from leaving. They don’t want the people that we’re getting in that country.

“So, we’re going to work out something where every time somebody comes in from a certain country, we’re going to deduct a rather large amount of money from what we give them in aid, if we give them aid at all,” Trump said to a round of applause from the crowd.

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/389049-trump-suggests-cutting-foreign-aid-to-countries-who-allow-criminal

Doctors say changes to family planning program is 'government interference' in doctor, patient...

Source: The Hill

Doctors say changes to family planning program is 'government interference' in doctor, patient relationship

BY JESSIE HELLMANN - 05/23/18 03:14 PM EDT

The Trump administration's proposed changes to a federal family planning program is "government interference" in the patient-physician relationship, according to the leading association representing doctors in the U.S.

Family planning clinics that refer patients for abortions or share locations or finances with abortion providers will be ineligible for funding through the Title X family planning grant program under proposed regulations released by the administration on Tuesday.

Such restrictions would force doctors to withhold information from their patients, argues the American Medical Association. “The AMA objects strongly to the administration’s plan to withhold federal family planning funding from Planned Parenthood and other entities. We are particularly alarmed about government interference with the patient-physician relationship in the exam room," said AMA President David O. Barbe.

The regulations would also remove a requirement that patients are informed about options that include adoption and abortion.

Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/389051-american-medical-association-trumps-changes-to-family-planning-program-is
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