Previous Daily News Headlines

Daily News Digest September 6, 2018

Just another day of total horseshit.

This Week's Headlines: 

Astute observers have noted, though, that the rest of the administration is operating on another track, one where countries like Russia are called out for meddling and punished accordingly, and where allies around the world are engaged as peers rather than ridiculed as rivals.

Here's where we get to the potential perjury Kavanaugh committed before the Senate Judiciary Committee previously. There is apparently evidence in the materials that Grassley has marked "Committee Confidential" that would show it. Leahy says so: "I'm concerned because there is evidence that Mr. Miranda provided you with materials that were stolen from me. And that would contradict your prior testimony... there is no reason [those emails] can't be made public."

The extraordinary column, published anonymously in the New York Times, surfaced one day after the first excerpts emerged from Bob Woodward’s new book, in which Trump’s top advisers painted a devastating portrait of the president and described a “crazytown” atmosphere inside the White House.

Trump made the comment as he detailed the conflicts of interests he claims are at play in Mueller’s probe into alleged collusion between Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russia.

It [Britain] has cutting-edge technology for visually identifying criminals, and software so sensitive it can scan an airport for a tattoo or a pinkie ring. And then there is that team of genetically gifted humans known as “super-recognizers.”

On Wednesday, the authorities announced that the effort had paid off: Two Russian intelligence officers had been charged with attempted murder, the first criminal charges in a case that has driven a deep wedge between Russia and the West.

Daily News Digest September 5, 2018

Your Daily Dose of Crazy

This Week's Headlines: 

President Donald Trump's closest aides have taken extraordinary measures in the White House to try to stop what they saw as his most dangerous impulses, going so far as to swipe and hide papers from his desk so he wouldn't sign them, according to a new book from legendary journalist Bob Woodward.

As a result, Republicans are in their worst position to date in our U.S. House forecast: The Classic version of our model gives them only a 1 in 5 chance of holding onto the House. 

"The period of devastation was so short, because so shortly after that, the responses — my wife and I started to read these responses from literally all over the world of support and so, fortunately, the shame part didn’t last very long," Owens said.

Daily News Digest September 4, 2018

Back to the grind. Hope everyone has a good holiday weekend.

Here are the stories we are watching today.

  1. There are still about 500 children waiting to be reunited with their parents.
  2. Nike has chosen Colin Kaepernick as their spokesperson for its 30th Anniversary "Just Do It" Campaign. Congrats, Kap!  Trump supporters are cutting the Swooshes off of their clothes and burning their sneakers. (Side note for racists - Nike bought Converse in 2003, so owns Charles Taylor All Stars (ChuckieT's).
  3. Hearings for Brett Kavanaugh start today. You can read about his record on Civil Rights  and then PLEASE call your Senator and urge them to block Kavanaugh's nomination.
  4. With all of the media focused on John McCain's passing, the fact that we lost Neil Simon (a national treasure) seemd to go a little unnoticed.
  5. Things are so bad for Paul Manafort that even his own daughter has gone to court to change her last name.
  6. Jack Dorsey overrode his own team's decision to permanently ban Alex Jones from Twitter  and allowed Jones to remain on the Twitter platform, with just a week suspension.

This Week's Headlines: 

"I've re-considered," "New Yorker" editor David Remnick announced Monday in a lengthy statement. "There is a better way to do this," he wrote, noting that Bannon has been interviewed for "The New Yorker" previously by its journalists. He said that should he interview Bannon in the future, it would be in "a more traditionally journalistic setting, and not on stage."

“A majority of the Senate now represents just 18 percent of the nation’s population,” David Wasserman, an editor for The Cook Political Report, wrote in a recent New York Times column.

Plenty of schools will probably maintain the same, more stringent Title IX policies they had under Obama, at least at first. Wary of the optics of appearing soft on sexual assault, they’ll likely keep investigating off-campus incidents, and assume broad responsibility for Title IX violations, says Erin Buzuvis, a law professor at Case Western University who specializes in Title IX. But eventually, Buzuvis expects schools to loosen up—if not in their written policies, at least in how they enforce them. “Now a university could, without fear of liability from the courts or the government, drastically decrease its overall attention to sexual misconduct.”

Trump's deregulatory moves on worker safety are at odds with his public stance as a champion of working class Americans, but consistent with his naming two management-side attorneys bent on rolling back economic protections for workers to the National Labor Relations Board, which regulates labor unions, and with his nominations of two reliably pro-management jurists to a now-Republican-majority Supreme Court that recently dealt a heavy financial blow to public-employee unions.

Daily News Digest September 2, 2018

Happy Labor Day!

Have fun, get some rest and come back on Tuesday ready to RESIST!

This Week's Headlines: 

Between 2014 and 2016, the F.B.I. and the Justice Department unsuccessfully tried to turn Mr. Deripaska into an informant. They signaled that they might provide help with his trouble in getting visas for the United States or even explore other steps to address his legal problems. In exchange, they were hoping for information on Russian organized crime and, later, on possible Russian aid to President Trump’s 2016 campaign, according to current and former officials and associates of Mr. Deripaska.

In February 2017, Eric and Don Jr. flew to Dubai to open a Trump-branded golf club. On the Dubai trip, the Secret Service paid more than $200,000, including about $125,000 for airfare, $75,000 for hotel rooms and more than $15,000 for “other” expenses including cell phones, car service and other transportation. The business trip cost taxpayers significantly more than the $73,000 in Secret Service cost for a 2018 trip to Dubai for the Trump sons to attend the wedding of the daughter of a business partner.

In the audio of one robocall placed on Friday and obtained by The New York Times, a man pretending to be Mr. Gillum can be heard talking in the exaggerated accent of a minstrel performer. “Well hello there,” it begins, “I is Andrew Gillum.” He then talks for a little over a minute about mud huts and unfair policing practices, and asks repeatedly for the listener’s vote. In the background are the sounds of drums and monkeys.

Daily News Digest September 1, 2018

This Week's Headlines: 

Sixty percent in the national survey disapprove of Trump’s performance in office, numerically the highest of his presidency, albeit by a single point; that includes 53 percent who disapprove strongly, more than half for the first time. Thirty-six percent approve, matching his low.

A senior Justice Department lawyer says a former British spy told him at a breakfast meeting two years ago that Russian intelligence believed it had Donald Trump “over a barrel,” according to multiple people familiar with the encounter.

The lawyer, Bruce Ohr, also says he learned that a Trump campaign aide had met with higher-level Russian officials than the aide had acknowledged, the people said.

In a statement on Friday, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and and Vice-Chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.) said they had asked the Justice Department to consider charging Patten due to concerns he misled the panel during an interview in January. “We can confirm that Mr. Patten produced documents to the Committee and was interviewed by Committee staff,” the senators said. “Due to concerns about certain statements made by Mr. Patten, the Committee made a criminal referral to the Department of Justice. While the charge, and resultant plea, do not appear to directly involve our referral, we appreciate their review of this matter.” 

Is this the book that has 45 freaking out. It is available for pre-order on Amazon.

For the first time, the full, explosive record of the unthinkable: how a US president compromised American foreign policy in exchange for the promise of future business and covert election assistance.

Looking back at this moment in history, historians will ask if Americans knew they were living through the first case of criminal conspiracy between an American presidential candidate turned commander in chief and a geopolitical enemy. The answer might be: it was hard to see the whole picture. The stories coming in from around the globe have often seemed fantastical: clandestine meetings in foreign capitals, secret recordings in a Moscow hotel, Kremlin agents infiltrating the Trump inner circle...

“It's like a political event and you don't even have to pay for it,” Trump said, according to multiple reporters in attendance and a live stream of the event.

In comments Trump wanted to be “off the record,” the U.S. president told Bloomberg News reporters on Thursday that he is not making any compromises at all in the talks with Canada — but that he cannot say this publicly because “it’s going to be so insulting they’re not going to be able to make a deal.”

President Trump finds himself backed into a corner, wagging a fire poker at anyone or anything that dares cross him — the liberal media, his former lawyer-fixer, defenestrated White House aides, a dead senator. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation continues to gain strength with each passing week, and more and more members of Trump’s inner circle are reportedly cooperating with Mueller’s team and opening their respective vaults. (In the case of one of Trump’s New York Rich Guy Friends, David Pecker, there exists a literal vault of secrets — to which the special counsel’s team may or may not gain access.) 

Daily News Digest August 31, 2018

It seems we can't even put a post together before the headlines change. In the last couple of hours we went from - Trump lobbying senators to get rid of Sessions, to - Sessions will remain in job at least until mid-terms.

Please click the link and sign up for the call to "Stop Kavanaugh". Just say #KavaNAY.

This Week's Headlines: 

Brett Kavanaugh’s record demonstrates that, if confirmed, he will vote to overturn the Affordable Care Act, will gut women’s reproductive freedom protected by Roe v. Wade and will not be an independent check on the president. This last point is particularly concerning given the events of last week where President Trump was implicated by his former lawyer Michael Cohen as a co-conspirator in criminal campaign finance violations. These are serious charges that add a new level of urgency in our movement to stop the confirmation of Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. With the hearings beginning next week, it is imperative that we redouble our efforts to defeat this nomination.

Join PFAW's experts as well as a couple of our state organizers, who will provide updates on Supreme Court campaign activity in key target states.

The president, who has spent a year and a half fulminating against his attorney general in public, finally got traction on Capitol Hill thanks to the growing frustration of a handful of GOP senators with their former colleague – most importantly, Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley and South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham, who have been irritated by Sessions’ opposition to a criminal justice reform bill they support, according to interviews with more than a half-dozen congressional GOP aides, Trump advisers, and Republicans close to the White House.

"Make no mistake, Mr. President, CNN does not lie," the official Twitter account for CNN Communications tweeted late Wednesday. "We report the news. And we report when people in power tell lies. CNN stands by our reporting and our reporters. There may be many fools in this story but @carlbernstein is not one of them." 

President Trump told Bloomberg in an interview Thursday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions will remain in his position until at least the upcoming midterm elections.

But in this moment, the conversation we should be having—how can we fix the algorithms?—is instead being co-opted and twisted by politicians and pundits howling about censorship and miscasting content moderation as the demise of free speech online. It would be good to remind them that free speech does not mean free reach. There is no right to algorithmic amplification. In fact, that’s the very problem that needs fixing.

Our new report encourages all Senators – Republican and Democrat alike – to review this report in detail and halt all further action on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination.

Daily News Digest August 30, 2018

This Week's Headlines: 

What Bolyard is suggesting is that because we don't know the algorithm that Google uses to populate its "News" tab, it's possible that they could be purposely editing out conservative sites. Because we can't rule it out, then no one can say what she's suggesting isn't true.

(I'd point you to lots and lots of smart pieces about how the Google News algorithm works -- and why it has very little to do with ideology.)

Under Republican governors, the two states committed at least $625 million of pension cash into Chatham Asset Management, a high-risk hedge fund that has taken control of the National Enquirer’s parent company, American Media Inc., which is at the center of the federal investigation into President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.

The hedge fund is run by Anthony Melchiorre, a GOP donor who reportedly met with the president and AMI CEO David Pecker at the White House soon after Trump took office. Melchiorre and his wife have donated more than $100,000 to Republican candidates and party committees since 2010.

n 2017, the Department of Justice blocked the deal in district court, which found that it likely would harm consumers. Subsequently, Anthem appealed to a three-judge panel on which Kavanaugh served.

The other two judges ruled to block the deal, and their reasoning was consistent with facts well-established by previous health insurance mergers.

Senate Democrats just gave a huge gift to President Donald Trump: They agreed to expedite votes on 15 of his nominees to lifetime federal court seats because they wanted to go home.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) had lined up votes for all those district court nominees last week. Normally, Senate rules require up to 30 hours of waiting time for each nominee ― something Democrats typically take advantage of to delay action on confirming Trump judges. But Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) cut a deal with McConnell on Tuesday to bypass the wait times and let them all get through.

However, BuzzFeed on Tuesday reported that Cuomo reversed himself in June, sending a letter to New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood asking her to suspend the investigation for six months. The suspension effectively shields Boies from scrutiny of any potential relationship between his 2015 donation to Vance and Vance’s decision not to prosecute Weinstein.

Daily News Digest August 29, 2018

This Week's Headlines: 

Trump’s early morning tweets appeared to be based on a story that first surfaced on a conservative site, PJ Media, claiming that “96 percent of Google Search Results for ‘Trump’ News Are from Liberal Media Outlets.”

That story was in turn retweeted by Lou Dobbs, of Fox Business Network, whom the president has praised and who is said to talk to Trump regularly.

“This is a really big deal,” Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s foreign minister, said on Tuesday after meeting with the United States trade representative. “We are encouraged by the progress that the U.S. and Mexico have made, particularly on cars and labor,” she said, adding that those concessions were “going to be valuable for workers in Canada and the United States.”

“The General Assembly expressly directed the legislators and consultant responsible for drawing the 2016 Plan to rely on ‘political data’ — that is, past election results specifying whether, and to what extent, particular voting precincts had favored Republican or Democratic candidates, and therefore were likely to do so in the future — to draw a districting plan that would ensure Republican candidates would prevail in the vast majority of the State’s congressional districts, and would continue to do so in future elections,” the court wrote.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum delivered an upset victory in Florida's Democratic gubernatorial primary Tuesday night, toppling several well-funded candidates after a late surge in the polls and support from progressive groups.

Gillum, who rallied with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) before the primary, advances to a general election matchup with GOP Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), who stormed to victory in the Republican gubernatorial primary, the first of several nominating contests Tuesday that were shaped and shaken by President Donald Trump.

A former C.I.A. officer running for Congress accused a super PAC aligned with Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Tuesday of improperly obtaining her entire federal security clearance application — a highly sensitive document containing extensive personal information — and then using it for political purposes.
[snip]
Ms. Spanberger, 39, said in the letter that she had “clear evidence” that the Congressional Leadership Fund had provided a copy of her security clearance application to “at least one news outlet,” adding, “I am not aware of any legal way that C.L.F. could have this document.”

Daily News Digest August 28, 2018

Trump's Approval rating: Image source FiveThirtyEight

This Week's Headlines: 

After Michael Cohen’s plea deal last week, Donald Trump spiraled out of control, firing wildly in all directions. He railed against “flippers” in a rambling Fox & Friends interview, and lashed out on Twitter at Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Justice Department, and Robert Mueller. In the wake of his outbursts, White House officials have discussed whether Trump would listen to his closest New York City friends in an effort to rein him in. Two sources briefed on the matter told me that senior officials talked about inviting Rudy Giuliani and a group of Trump’s New York real-estate friends including Tom Barrack, Richard LeFrak, and Howard Lorber to the White House to stage an “intervention” last week. 

The report by the GSA's inspector general (IG) found that top members of the agency might have misled Congress over the amount of influence the White House yielded over their decision to keep the FBI headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue.

The report is the latest fuel to ongoing speculation over Trump's reported "obsession" with the location of the FBI headquarters. Several Democratic lawmakers have stated they believe Trump wants to keep the headquarters in its current place because Trump International Hotel is nearby. 

It is with mixed feelings that I even post this here because, emphatically, I am not in favor of the Democrats supporting a non-politician celebrity candidate for president, for obvious reasons. However, if Trump has not resigned and is actually running for re-election in 2020, then I for one am willing to stop at nothing to defeat him. We cannot lose the White House in 2020. Period. Full stop.

Throughout our history as a nation, when Americans realize the laws of our country and the values of our country do not coincide, we make our dissatisfaction known.  This was true of the men and women who rebelled against the British Crown and remains a part of our cultural heritage to this day.  Since the American Revolution, we have continually worked to bridge the gap between our values and our laws, whether we look to the Seneca Falls Convention, the United Auto Workers strikes of the 1930s, the march from Selma to Montgomery, or the Stonewall Uprising.  In 2018, we find ourselves in another era of imbalance and it is the People who understand the seriousness of our condition far sooner and more clearly than those who hold power in Government.

What Trump is calling the “United States-Mexico Trade Agreement” is actually nothing more than an informal, preliminary agreement on rules mostly centered around auto manufacturing. The terms will ultimately represent a portion of a potential new NAFTA deal, the negotiations for which are still ongoing and also include Canada.

That did not stop F.B.I. agents from collecting coveted information from Mr. Steele. While the F.B.I. could no longer consider him a confidential informant, former officials said, agents eager to assess the dossier as part of their counterintelligence investigation into links between Trump associates and Russia’s election interference could still document what he was telling a third party — Mr. Ohr.

And when Mr. Ohr approached the F.B.I. about his relationship with Mr. Steele, bureau officials saw an opportunity.

Daily News Digest August 27, 2018

This Week's Headlines: 

Congressional Republicans are getting ready for hell. Axios has obtained a spreadsheet that's circulated through Republican circles on and off Capitol Hill — including at least one leadership office — that meticulously previews the investigations Democrats will likely launch if they flip the House.

In a split decision, the court said Thursday that Pruitt, a Republican forced to resign earlier this summer amid ethics scandals, violated federal law by ignoring the conclusions of agency scientists that chlorpyrifos is harmful.

Former President Obama congratulated the Hawaiian Little League team for winning the 2018 World Series on behalf of the United States. 

“You make America very proud,” Obama, who was born in Honolulu, tweeted Sunday, along with a picture of the championship team.

But the Trump era saw a rebirth of McCain’s pugnaciousness. The president and the senator have been public foes since the earliest stages of the 2016 presidential campaign. In Ames, Iowa, then-candidate Trump said this to a crowd, “He’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.” McCain’s posture toward the president has remained defiant. 

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