US Politics in Trump era Public date: 02.10.2020 20:59:01

Publisher: NYTimes

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4 May 2017

A Little-Noticed Target in the House Health Bill: Special Education

With all the sweeping changes the Republican bill would impose, little attention has been paid to its potential impact on education. School districts rely on Medicaid, the federal health care program for the poor, to provide costly services to millions of students with disabilities across the country. For nearly 30 years, Medicaid has helped school systems cover costs for special education services and equipment, from physical therapists to feeding tubes. The money is also used to provide preventive care, such as vision and hearing screenings, for other Medicaid-eligible children.
With all the sweeping changes the Republican bill would impose, little attention has been paid to its potential...

Publisher: The Week

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4 May 2017

The most clueless man in Washington

President Trump's most vociferous critics warn that we shouldn't  allow the president's bug-eyed tweets and other erratic statements to  distract from what's really important — namely, the administration's graft, grifting, Russian intrigue, racism, and efforts to advance the interests of big business. This implies that there's a core of consistent and coherent intent to the man who occupies the Oval Office,  and that many of his public statements are deliberate attempts to divert attention from this intent. But what if this is wrong?
President Trump's most vociferous critics warn that we shouldn't  allow the president's bug-eyed tweets and...

Publisher: Politico

Author:

4 May 2017

Trump’s dizzying day of interviews

President Donald Trump questioned why the Civil War— which erupted 150 years ago over slavery — needed to happen. He said he would be "honored" to meet with Kim Jong-Un, the violent North Korean dictator who is developing nuclear missiles and oppresses his people, under the "right circumstances." The president floated, and backed away from, a tax on gasoline. Trump said he was "looking at" breaking up the big banks, sending the stock market sliding. He seemed to praise Philippines strongman President Rodrigo Duterte for his high approval ratings. He promised changes to the Republican health care bill, though he has seemed unsure what was in the legislation, even as his advisers whipped votes for it.
President Donald Trump questioned why the Civil War— which erupted 150 years ago over slavery — needed to happen. He...
4 May 2017

Woman faces a year in prison after laughing at Jeff Sessions

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a notorious racist. He prosecuted a former aide to Martin Luther King, Jr. after the former aide helped black voters cast ballots. He once claimed that immigrants “create cultural problems.” When Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) claimed at Sessions’ most recent confirmation hearing that Sessions’ record of “treating all Americans equally under the law is clear and well-documented,” Desiree A. Fairooz, a spectator who says she attended the hearing in silent protest, let out a chuckle. For this chuckle, she was arrested, dragged out of the hearing by Capitol police, and eventually convicted of disorderly conduct and “parading or demonstrating on Capitol grounds.” She could receive up to a year in prison.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a notorious racist. He prosecuted a former aide to Martin Luther King, Jr. after the...
4 May 2017

“Trump Says We Don’t Have To Let You In:” Report Says U.S. Border Officials Are Turning Away Asylum Seekers

Three times this winter a Honduran woman named Alma went to U.S. officials at the border between Reynosa, Mexico and Hidalgo, Texas, to ask for asylum for herself and her three children. She had fled Honduras because her other child had been killed by gang members, and she had brought documentation to prove it, but three times she was told by U.S. Customs and Border Protection that she would have to wait in Mexico. In February, the family was kidnapped.
Three times this winter a Honduran woman named Alma went to U.S. officials at the border between Reynosa, Mexico...
3 May 2017

Berkeley author George Lakoff says, ‘Don’t underestimate Trump’

George Lakoff believes it's a mistake for Democrats to appeal to reason rather than worldview. People vote based on their values, not facts, he said. So if you are going to craft a message that can reach people who disagree with you, you have to understand their subconscious worldview. Lakoff calls this worldview a “frame,” and claims that Republicans have done a much better job with framing over the past 30 or 40 years. Republicans understand the narrative that governs many people in this country, and they target their message directly to that worldview. Democrats, on the other hand, ignore the worldview and focus instead on rationality, facts and policies.
George Lakoff believes it's a mistake for Democrats to appeal to reason rather than worldview. People vote based on...
2 May 2017

A Hundred Days of Trump

On April 29th, Donald Trump will have occupied the Oval Office for a hundred days. For most people, the luxury of living in a relatively stable democracy is the luxury of not following politics with a nerve-racked constancy. Trump does not afford this. His Presidency has become the demoralizing daily obsession of anyone concerned with global security, the vitality of the natural world, the national health, constitutionalism, civil rights, criminal justice, a free press, science, public education, and the distinction between fact and its opposite.
On April 29th, Donald Trump will have occupied the Oval Office for a hundred days. For most people, the luxury of living...
2 May 2017

Barack Obama Is Using His Presidency to Cash In, But Harry Truman and Jimmy Carter Refused

Defenders of Barack Obama’s decision to do things like accept a $400,000 check for a speech to a Wall Street brokerage house argue that the former president might as well cash in — everyone else does. But that isn’t the case. It used to be the norm for presidents to retire to ordinary life after their stint in the White House — just ask Harry Truman. When the Democratic president was getting ready to leave the White  House in 1953, he was approached by many employers. The Los Angeles Times noted  that if he was “unemployed after he leaves the White House it won’t be for lack of job offers ... but [he] has accepted none of them.”
Defenders of Barack Obama’s decision to do things like accept a $400,000 check for a speech to a Wall Street brokerage...
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2 May 2017

Brand Ivanka: inside the tangled empire of the president’s closest ally

She has a White House job and a global business empire modeled on her image. Ethics experts  are increasingly concerned that despite removing herself from the management of her eponymous Ivanka Trump fashion company and becoming an unpaid government employee in March, her political and business interests are still so closely linked that she is deep in an ethical “danger zone” over conflict of interest laws.
She has a White House job and a global business empire modeled on her image. Ethics experts  are increasingly...

Democrats confident they can block Trump’s agenda after spending-bill win

Democrats think they have set the stage to block President Trump’s legislative priorities for years to come by winning major concessions in a spending bill to keep the government open. In addition to the $5 billion in domestic spending, the bipartisan agreement released early Monday morning is packed with Democratic priorities, such as protection for funding for Planned Parenthood, a permanent extension of health care for coal miners and money to help Puerto Rico make up a projected shortfall in Medicaid.
Democrats think they have set the stage to block President Trump’s legislative priorities for years to come by winning...
2 May 2017

Donald Trump voices confusion over US history: ‘Why was there a civil war?’

Donald Trump expressed confusion in an interview published on Monday as to why the civil war had taken place. He also claimed that President Andrew  Jackson, who died 16 years before the war started, “was really angry” about the conflict.
Donald Trump expressed confusion in an interview published on Monday as to why the civil war had...

Publisher: Medium

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1 May 2017

7 Jaw-Dropping Revelations From Hearings on the Motion to Dismiss the DNC Fraud Lawsuit

Last Tuesday, Senior U.S. District Judge William J. Zloch heard oral arguments regarding a Motion to Dismiss filed by attorneys representing the Democratic National Committee and Debbie Wasserman...
Last Tuesday, Senior U.S. District Judge William J. Zloch heard oral arguments regarding a Motion to Dismiss filed by...
1 May 2017

Priebus: White House Has ‘Looked At’ Changing Law To Let Trump Sue Press

White House chief of staff Reince Priebus on Sunday said that President Donald Trump’s administration has “looked at” changing the law so that Trump can sue the press, though Priebus offered few details. ABC News’ Jon Karl questioned Priebus on “This Week” about Trump’s suggestion in March that he might “change libel laws” in order to go after the New York Times.
White House chief of staff Reince Priebus on Sunday said that President Donald Trump’s administration has “looked...
1 May 2017

Russia raises defense alert after North Korea launches missile

Russia raised the level of alert for its air defense system just a few  hours after North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile on Saturday and  after Washington and Moscow clashed at the United Nations over a possible military conflict on the Korean Peninsula.
Russia raised the level of alert for its air defense system just a few  hours after...

Publisher: NYTimes

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1 May 2017

Trump’s ‘Very Friendly’ Talk With Duterte Stuns Aides and Critics Alike

During their “very friendly conversation,” the administration said in a late-night statement, Mr. Trump invited Mr. Duterte, an authoritarian leader accused of ordering extrajudicial killings of drug suspects in the Philippines, to visit him at the White House. Now, administration officials are bracing for an avalanche of criticism from human rights groups. Two officials said they expected the State  Department and the National Security Council, both of which were caught off guard by the invitation, to raise objections internally.
During their “very friendly conversation,” the administration said in a late-night statement, Mr. Trump...

Publisher: RT International

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30 Apr 2017

‘Broken by US power machine’: Trump’s 100 days prove his maverick image was fake

Donald Trump critique from Russia and Chinese news sources, with actual translation from chinese news sources with translation, critiquing Trump's flip flop on his promise of dealing with Chinese leaders, and reaction of chinese people.
Donald Trump critique from Russia and Chinese news sources, with actual translation from chinese news sources with...
30 Apr 2017

Climate March expected to draw massive crowd to D.C. in sweltering heat

On what could be a record-hot day, tens of thousands of demonstrators are expected to assemble in Washington on Saturday. Their large-scale climate change protest will mark President Trump’s first 100 days in office, which have been punctuated by multiple rollbacks of environmental protections and Obama climate policies.
On what could be a record-hot day, tens of thousands of demonstrators are expected to assemble in Washington on...
30 Apr 2017

Trump echoes extreme militant group in NRA speech

President  Trump echoed the language of an extreme, anti-government group during  his speech to the NRA’s annual meeting on Friday, claiming that the next  revolutionary war is coming if the government tries to regulate guns. He also borrowed heavily from a book about the American Revolution, using nearly identical language. Toward the end of his remarks, Trump shared the story of Paul Revere, a symbol of the American Revolution, and his “famous warning that ‘the British are coming.’” Like Revere, NRA members need to be “vigilant” against those who “would take away our freedoms, restrict our liberties” and “abolish the Second Amendment,” Trump said.
President  Trump echoed the language of an extreme, anti-government group during  his speech to the NRA’s...
30 Apr 2017

Two members of alt-right accused of making white supremacist hand signs in White House after receiving press passes

Two conservative journalists have sparked outcry on social media by making what some have interpreted as a white supremacist hand symbol at a recent visit to the White House. Freelance journalist Mike Cernovich and Cassandra Fairbanks, a reporter for Russian news outlet Sputnik, posed for a picture behind the podium in the White House briefing room. In the photo, they are making a hand sign that can be used to signify “white power.”
Two conservative journalists have sparked outcry on social media by making what some have interpreted as a white...
29 Apr 2017

Trump now agrees with the majority of Americans: He wasn’t ready to be president

To a reporter from Reuters this week, Trump had a slightly different assessment of the presidency. “I love my previous life. I had so many things going. This is more work than in my previous life,” Trump said. “I thought it would be easier. I thought it was more of a ... I’m a details-oriented person. I think you’d say that, but I do miss my old life. I like to work so that’s not a problem, but this is actually more work.”
To a reporter from Reuters this week, Trump had a slightly different assessment of the presidency. “I love my...
29 Apr 2017

Trump Targets Undocumented Families, Not Felons, in First 100 Days

The Trump administration’s decision to target families and longtime residents for deportation diverts resources from criminal investigations. The Trump administration’s approach to immigration enforcement has leaned heavily on a combination of bellicose language and hard-line directives effective at driving intense fear into immigrant communities. Beyond that, advocates and former U.S. immigration officials say, the White House agenda is basically a rehashing of some of the most counterproductive policies of the Obama administration, married to a series of mind-boggling and at times hypocritical proposals that threaten to plunge the already broken immigration system into further disarray, all while undermining public safety in the very areas it seeks to improve.
The Trump administration’s decision to target families and longtime residents for deportation diverts resources from...
29 Apr 2017

Trump will appoint Charmaine Yoest, who insists abortion causes breast cancer, to HHS leadership.

Donald Trump announced Friday that he is appointing an opponent of abortion, science, contraception,  same-sex marriage, and common sense to the Department of Health and Human Services. Charmaine Yoest, who was until recently president of the radical anti-abortion group Americans United for Life, will serve as the agency’s assistant secretary for public affairs.
Donald Trump announced Friday that he is appointing an opponent of abortion, science, contraception, ...
29 Apr 2017

UK was given details of alleged contacts between Trump campaign and Moscow

The UK government was given details last December of allegedly extensive contacts between the Trump campaign and Moscow, according to court papers.Reports by Christopher Steele, a former MI6 officer, on possible collusion between the the Trump camp and the Kremlin are at the centre of a political storm in the US over Moscow’s role in getting Donald Trump elected.
The UK government was given details last December of allegedly extensive contacts between the Trump campaign and...
28 Apr 2017

It’s not just Trump — Mexico threatened to leave NAFTA too

Mexico doesn’t want to be bossed around. After alarming the world with news about potentially ending NAFTA, Trump seemed to backtrack, saying in a Wednesday statement that he had “pleasant and productive” calls with the leaders of Mexico and Canada. “It is my privilege to bring NAFTA up to date through renegotiation,” he said. “It is an honor to deal with both President Peña Nieto and Prime Minister Trudeau, and I believe that the end result will make all three countries stronger and better.”
Mexico doesn’t want to be bossed around. After alarming the world with news about potentially ending NAFTA, Trump...
28 Apr 2017

The Obamas face the paid-speaking circuit — and all the questions that come with it

“President Obama will deliver speeches from time to time. Some of those speeches will be paid, some will be unpaid, and regardless of venue or sponsor, President Obama will be true to his values, his vision and his record,” his senior adviser, Eric Schultz, said in a statement issued after the Cantor Fitzgerald speech drew a wave of criticism — including a New York Post headline that dubbed Obama “Wall Street’s new fat cat.”
“President Obama will deliver speeches from time to time. Some of those speeches will be paid, some will be unpaid,...
27 Apr 2017

Do Trump’s Murky Financial Ties to Russia Connect to Money Laundering?

Trump has blazed a decades-long trail of questionable financial dealings with Russian sources that could provide investigators with the grist they need for legal action. A wide array of Russian oligarchs with links to Vladimir Putin have invested tens of millions of hard-to-explain dollars in Trump properties. And Trump professes never to know who these people are or where they got the big bucks for their mostly cash deals.
Trump has blazed a decades-long trail of questionable financial dealings with Russian sources that could provide...
27 Apr 2017

Immigrants With No Criminal Record Are Now Being Arrested At Twice the Rate

Under the Trump administration, immigration enforcement has become increasingly unfocused. Rather than prioritizing the apprehension and removal of immigrants who have committed serious crimes, enforcement personnel are now scooping up anyone who is deportable for any reason. This lack of prioritization has translated into a surge in immigration-related arrests across the board.
Under the Trump administration, immigration enforcement has become increasingly unfocused. Rather than prioritizing the...

Publisher: NYTimes

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27 Apr 2017

President Trump’s son-in-law, a top adviser, had help building a real estate empire from a member of one of Israel’s wealthiest families.

President Trump’s son-in-law, a top adviser, had help building a real estate empire from a member of one of Israel’s wealthiest families the Raz Steinmetz. Raz's uncle, and the family’s most prominent figure, is the billionaire Beny Steinmetz, who is under scrutiny by law enforcement authorities in four countries. In the United States, federal prosecutors are investigating whether representatives of his firm bribed government officials in Guinea to secure a multibillion dollar mining concession. In Israel, Mr. Steinmetz was detained in December and questioned in a bribery and money laundering investigation. In Switzerland and Guinea, prosecutors have conducted similar inquiries.
President Trump’s son-in-law, a top adviser, had help building a real estate empire from a member of one of Israel’s...

Publisher: NYTimes

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27 Apr 2017

State Department Understaffing Is Likely to Linger Into 2018

Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson wants to restructure the department before he fills top posts, an aide said — a timeline that alarms many of its veterans. Whatever the future — even if it involves drastic reductions — there is a near-universal wish among State Department employees for Mr. Tillerson to lead them to it, and soon. The wait is taking a toll. “With very little guidance coming from the secretary’s office, rumors of draconian cuts abound, and many dedicated and extremely knowledgeable civil servants are electing to leave,” said Robert G. Berschinski, a top Obama administration diplomat.
Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson wants to restructure the department before he fills top posts, an aide said — a...

Publisher: The Guardian

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27 Apr 2017

The Democrats delivered one thing in the past 100 days: disappointment

The distinctive feature of these bleak times is the lack of institutional capacity on the left – the absence of a political party that swings free of Wall Street and speaks to the dire circumstances of poor and working people. As the first 100 days of the plutocratic and militaristic Trump administration draw to a close, one truth has been crystal clear: the Democratic party lacks the vision, discipline and leadership to guide progressives in these turbulent times.
The distinctive feature of these bleak times is the lack of institutional capacity on the left – the absence...
27 Apr 2017

Trump administration talks tough on North Korea, but frustrated lawmakers want details

Lawmakers said they came away convinced that the Trump administration recognized the urgency of the mounting tensions on the Korean Peninsula, where Pyongyang conducted a failed missile test last week and drew international condemnation for the launch. But several members of Congress said the administration remained vague about its efforts to confront Pyongyang beyond tougher talk from Trump.
Lawmakers said they came away convinced that the Trump administration recognized the urgency of the mounting...

Publisher: CNBC

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27 Apr 2017

Trump has a plan to change the tax code to make himself much, much richer

President Trump is planning to include a massive cut in the top tax rate on "pass-through" companies, from its current level of 39.6 percent to a mere 15 percent, the Wall Street Journal's Michael Bender and Richard Rubin report. This will be sold as a boost for small businesses, and it is, but it is mostly a huge giveaway to the rich — including the president himself.
President Trump is planning to include a massive cut in the top tax rate on "pass-through" companies, from its current...

Publisher: Independent

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26 Apr 2017

Donald Trump to strip all funding from State Department team promoting women’s rights around the world

Donald Trump plans to strip all funding from a State Department bureau that promotes the rights of women around the world, it has emerged. Oxfam America led criticism of the move, saying said cutting funds for the Office of Global Women’s Issues would have “dire consequences for millions of people, as well as our global standing”.
Donald Trump plans to strip all funding from a State Department bureau that promotes the rights of women...

Publisher: NYTimes

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26 Apr 2017

Judge Blocks Trump Effort to Withhold Money From Sanctuary Cities

A federal judge in California on Tuesday temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s efforts to withhold funding from cities that limit  their cooperation with federal immigration enforcement, another setback for President Trump in what is shaping up to be a long season of litigation surrounding the clash between the White House and so-called sanctuary cities.
A federal judge in California on Tuesday temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s efforts to withhold funding...

Publisher: Mother Jones

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26 Apr 2017

Trump White House Refuses to Give Key Flynn Documents to Congress

The White House is refusing to provide congressional investigators  with some of the documents they're requesting as part of an investigation into potential Trump campaign connections to Russia, and whether former national security adviser Mike Flynn disclosed payments  from Russian companies when applying for his security clearance. The news comes as Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) announced Tuesday that Flynn might have broken the law by failing to disclose the foreign payments on official documents filed as part of the security clearance review process.
The White House is refusing to provide congressional investigators  with some of the documents they're...
26 Apr 2017

Trump’s Tax Plan: Low Rate for Corporations, and for Companies Like His

Most analysts say the notion that Mr. Trump’s tax cuts will pay for themselves is unrealistic. A Tax Foundation analysis  concluded this week that, on its own, a 15 percent corporate tax rate would reduce federal revenue by about $2 trillion over a decade. To make up for those losses without raising taxes elsewhere, the economy would  have to become 5 percent larger.
Most analysts say the notion that Mr. Trump’s tax cuts will pay for themselves...
25 Apr 2017

Are Richard Burr’s financial ties to Russian oil why he’s holding up the Trump-Russia investigation?

Over the past few days various reports have surfaced asserting that Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr is sabotaging his own committee’s investigation into Donald Trump’s Russia scandal by refusing to sign off on vital documents. It’s led some to ask if Burr is strategically trying to protect Trump and/or Russia. Now comes the revelation that Burr has an investment in an oil drilling company that partners with a major Russian oil company.
Over the past few days various reports have surfaced asserting that Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr...
25 Apr 2017

Members of Congress Demand Trump Provide Legal Justification for Syria Attack

Nearly three weeks after ordering a cruise missile attack against one of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s airfields, Donald Trump has yet to explain how that was legal without congressional authorization. Two Democratic members of Congress are demanding that Trump offer some sort of legal justification beyond off-the-cuff remarks from  administration officials.
Nearly three weeks after ordering a cruise missile attack against one of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s...
25 Apr 2017

7 Baffling Moments From Donald Trump’s AP Interview

President Donald Trump lied about his policy accomplishments, interrupted himself, and went off on a series of incoherent rants during a recent interview with The Associated Press’ Julie Pace.
President Donald Trump lied about his policy accomplishments, interrupted himself, and went off on a series of...

Publisher: NYTimes

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25 Apr 2017

As North Korea Speeds Its Nuclear Program, U.S. Fears Time Will Run Out

Behind the Trump administration’s sudden urgency on North Korea lies a stark calculus: that the country is capable of making a nuclear bomb every six or seven weeks. “People have put blindfolds on for decades, and now it’s time to solve the problem,” Mr. Trump said. He made his remarks after a Sunday night phone call on North Korea with Xi Jinping, China’s president, who urged Mr. Trump to show “restraint” with North Korea, according to a Chinese television report.
Behind the Trump administration’s sudden urgency on North Korea lies a stark calculus: that the country is capable of...
25 Apr 2017

Donald Trump to turn off EPA’s data service, one of government’s most important websites

Donald Trump is to shut down one of the government's most important data services. The Environmental Protection Agency's Open Data Web service – which stores information on climate change, life cycle assessment, health impact analysis and environmental justice – is to have its funding removed and will no longer be in operation, according to people working  on the plan. A pop-up on the site appears to confirm the shutdown, with  anyone visiting the Open Data page told that the site will not be operational from Friday.
Donald Trump is to shut down one of the government's most important data services. The Environmental Protection...
25 Apr 2017

John Oliver destroys assumption Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are moderating forces on Donald Trump

Oliver says Ms Trump’s political promises lack substance and she consistently fails to hold her father to account. The comedian argued the frequently voiced belief the President’s eldest daughter and his son-in-law, who are now both unpaid White House advisors, had a great deal of clout behind the scenes had little concrete basis.
Oliver says Ms Trump’s political promises lack substance and she consistently fails to hold her father to account. The...

Publisher: Politico

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24 Apr 2017

Obama’s hidden Iran deal giveaway

By dropping charges against major arms targets, the administration infuriated Justice Department officials — and undermined its own counterproliferation task forces. “They didn’t just dismiss a bunch of innocent business guys,” said one former federal law enforcement supervisor centrally involved in the hunt for Iranian arms traffickers and nuclear smugglers. “And then they didn’t give a full story of it.”
By dropping charges against major arms targets, the administration infuriated Justice Department officials — and...
23 Apr 2017

Surgeon general is removed by Trump administration, replaced by deputy for now

Vivek H. Murthy was a holdover from the Obama administration. A physician, Murthy, 39, is a longtime believer that gun violence is a public-health issue, a view that stalled his nomination in the Senate  for more than a year and probably did not align him well with the current administration. He took office in December 2014, and in an interview with The Washington Post four months later, he did not back off those views.
Vivek H. Murthy was a holdover from the Obama administration. A physician, Murthy, 39, is a longtime believer...

Publisher: NYTimes

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23 Apr 2017

Trump Reaches Beyond West Wing for Counsel

Relationships have always been President Trump’s currency and comfort, helping him talk his way into real estate deals over three decades in New York. Those who know him best say that his outer confidence has always belied an inner uncertainty, and that he needs to test ideas with a wide range of people.
Relationships have always been President Trump’s currency and comfort, helping him talk his way into...

Publisher: Independent

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22 Apr 2017

Donald Trump has ‘dangerous mental illness’, say psychiatry experts at Yale conference

Donald Trump has a “dangerous mental illness” and is not fit to lead the US, a group of psychiatrists has warned during a conference at Yale University.Mental health experts claimed the President was “paranoid and  delusional”, and said it was their “ethical responsibility” to warn the  American public about the “dangers” Mr Trump’s psychological state poses to the country.
Donald Trump has a “dangerous mental illness” and is not fit to lead the US, a group of psychiatrists has warned...

Publisher: Vanity Fair

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22 Apr 2017

Dow Chemical Donates $1 Million to Trump, Asks Administration to Ignore Pesticide Study

Chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion are a group of pesticides that are a big money-maker for Dow Chemical, with the company selling approximately 5 million pounds of chlorpyrifos in the U.S. each year. Studies  by federal scientists have found that chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion are harmful to almost 1,800 “critically threatened or endangered species.” Luckily for Dow, the E.P.A. is now run by climate-change skeptic and general enemy of living things Scott Pruitt, who last month said he would reverse “an Obama-era effort to bar the use of Dow's chlorpyrifos pesticide on food after recent peer-reviewed studies found that even tiny levels of exposure could hinder the development of children's brains.” Plus, Dow Chemical C.E.O. Andrew Liveris is good buddies with President Donald Trump.
Chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion are a group of pesticides that are a big money-maker for Dow Chemical, with the...
22 Apr 2017

House Oversight Committee calls on Trump’s business to prove he’s not violating the Constitution

Days after a lawsuit accusing President Trump of violating the Constitution’s “emoluments clause” added more plaintiffs,  the House Oversight Committee is requesting the Trump Organization turn  over documents detailing what processes Trump’s business has implemented, if any, to make sure the president isn’t profiting from foreign governments who want to curry favor with him.
Days after a lawsuit accusing President Trump of violating the Constitution’s “emoluments clause” added more...
22 Apr 2017

Trump sparks confusion, danger of war in Korea tinderbox

Donald Trump’s latest moves toward North Korea are “dangerous” and sow confusion in a tense geopolitical scenario, says veteran Korea analyst Daniel C Sneider. Trump’s recent declaration that he ordered a US carrier strike group to race toward Korea when there was no such force in the vicinity undercuts American credibility and increases the possibility of a misstep, said Sneider, associate director of research for Stanford University’s Walter H Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center.
Donald Trump’s latest moves toward North Korea are “dangerous” and sow confusion in a tense...

Publisher: korea times

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22 Apr 2017

US President, VP ignorant of Korea’s sensibilities?

With many Koreans still aggravated by U.S. President Donald Trump's controversial comment that "Korea used to be a part of China," his closest business partner, Vice President Mike Pence, has jangled  their nerves again. During a Tuesday meeting with  Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Pence called the body of water  between the Korean Peninsula and Japan the "Sea of Japan." The name has been a long-standing point of conflict between Seoul and Tokyo, which the former has promoted as the "East Sea."
With many Koreans still aggravated by U.S. President Donald Trump's controversial comment that "Korea...
22 Apr 2017

Winning! Trump, GOP Congress Are 0-4 On Major Campaign Pledges

Republicans may now hold the House, the Senate and the White House, but their failure to mobilize early and follow through on long-held campaign pledges has political observers wondering: can a unified GOP government actually govern?
Republicans may now hold the House, the Senate and the White House, but their failure to mobilize early and follow...
22 Apr 2017

With Gorsuch’s Vote, Supreme Court Allows Arkansas to Execute Ledell Lee

On Thursday night, Arkansas executed Ledell Lee—the state’s first  execution in 12 years. Lee’s final plea to the U.S. Supreme Court was rejected by a 5–4 vote. Justice Neil Gorsuch cast the deciding vote allowing Lee to die. It was his first recorded vote cast as a justice of the court. Lee insisted upon his innocence from the day of his arrest through the night of his execution. He implored Arkansas to let him take a DNA test and compare the results to DNA collected at the scene of the murder he allegedly committed, but the state refused.
On Thursday night, Arkansas executed Ledell Lee—the state’s first  execution in 12 years. Lee’s final plea to...

Publisher: NYTimes

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22 Apr 2017

‘A Shortage of Coffins’ After Taliban Slaughter Unarmed Soldiers

They looked like Afghan Army soldiers returning from the front lines, carrying the bodies of wounded comrades as part of the ruse.Dressed in military uniforms, a squad of 10 Taliban militants drove in two army Ford Ranger trucks past seven checkpoints. They arrived inside northern Afghanistan’s largest military installation just as hundreds, perhaps thousands, of unarmed soldiers were emerging from Friday Prayers and preparing for lunch.For the next five hours, the militants went on a rampage, killing at least 140 soldiers and officers in what is emerging as the single deadliest  known attack on an Afghan military base in the country’s 16-year war.
They looked like Afghan Army soldiers returning from the front lines, carrying the bodies of wounded comrades as...

Publisher: NPR

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21 Apr 2017

Mary McCord, Longtime Department Of Justice Lawyer, Is Leaving Her Job In May

Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary McCord told staff this week she is leaving to pursue other opportunities. McCord has led the probe into Russian election meddling. Mary B. McCord has served at the highest levels in the national security unit, either as its leader or chief deputy, for the past three years. A longtime federal prosecutor based in Washington, McCord easily won the confidence of both career lawyers and her supervisors inside the Justice Department.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary McCord told staff this week she is leaving to pursue other opportunities. McCord...

Publisher: Vox

Author:

21 Apr 2017

Trump wants to make it easier to drill in national parks. We mapped the 42 parks at risk.

It’s no secret that oil and gas companies are on the hunt for new places to drill. But the quest for more fossil fuels could heat up in places you might not expect: our national parks. With President Donald Trump’s executive order on energy, federal agencies are now reviewing all rules that inhibit domestic energy production. And that includes regulations around drilling in national parks that, if overturned, could give oil and gas companies easier access to leases on federal lands they’ve long coveted. Weaker regulations could mean oil and gas pollution and spills in pristine national parks.
It’s no secret that oil and gas companies are on the hunt for new places to drill. But the quest for more fossil fuels...

Publisher: BBC News

Author:

21 Apr 2017

US accuses Iran of ‘alarming provocations’ amid nuclear tensions

The US secretary of state has accused Iran of "alarming ongoing provocations" aimed at destabilising the Middle East and undermining America's interests."An unchecked Iran has the potential to travel the same path as North Korea and to take the world along with it," Rex Tillerson said. The US has ordered a review of the Iran nuclear deal, although it admits Iran is complying with its commitments.
The US secretary of state has accused Iran of "alarming ongoing provocations" aimed at destabilising the...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

20 Apr 2017

Exxon Mobil Seeks U.S. Sanctions Waiver for Oil Project in Russia

Exxon Mobil is pursuing a waiver from Treasury Department sanctions on Russia so it may drill in the Black Sea in a venture with the Russian state oil company Rosneft, a former State Department official said Wednesday. An oil industry official confirmed the account. The waiver application was made under the Obama administration, the  officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity, and the company has not dropped the proposal.
Exxon Mobil is pursuing a waiver from Treasury Department sanctions on Russia so it may drill in the Black Sea in a...
20 Apr 2017

Former staffer confirms Jason Chaffetz is under FBI investigation

One day after Jason Chaffetz announced out of nowhere that he won’t be seeking reelection to Congress in 2018 and that he won’t be running for any other office, he followed it up today by hinting that he may not even finish his term. Now comes a report that one of Chaffetz’s own former staffers is confirming that Chaffetz is under FBI investigation, and that it’s going to become public before much longer.
One day after Jason Chaffetz announced out of nowhere that he won’t be seeking reelection to Congress in 2018 and...

Publisher: Spiegel

Author:

20 Apr 2017

Germany Seeks to Explain Trade Surplus to Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump has said it is "very unfair" that Germany sells more products in the United States than vice versa. Now German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble is traveling to the U.S. with a paper obtained by DER SPIEGEL. The message: Trade surpluses aren't really a problem.
U.S. President Donald Trump has said it is "very unfair" that Germany sells more products in the United States than vice...

Publisher: Al Jazeera

Author:

19 Apr 2017

‘Deadly US air strike in Syria hit peaceful mosque’

US forces failed to take necessary precautions before launching a lethal drone strike in northern Syria last month that hit a mosque full of worshipers, three separate investigations have revealed. Research by Human Rights Watch (HRW), London-based Forensic Architecture and open-source investigative unit Bellingcat reveal that US air strikes hit a western Aleppo mosque on March 16, killing at least 38 people and injuring dozens of others.
US forces failed to take necessary precautions before launching a lethal drone strike in northern Syria last...
19 Apr 2017

Atom-smashing scientists are unnerved by harsh Trump budget

Researchers say the U.S. needs federal science dollars to compete with China. President Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget outline, released last month, envisions a dramatically smaller federal investment in science and medicine, while boosting spending on the military and reserving billions for a wall on the Mexico border. The budget blueprint includes cuts to agencies that have traditionally enjoyed bipartisan support, such as the National Institutes of Health. The proposed cuts have added some urgency to the March for Science, which is expected to draw tens of thousands of people Saturday in Washington and in cities around the country.
Researchers say the U.S. needs federal science dollars to compete with China. President Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget...
19 Apr 2017

Betsy DeVos is wasting no time screwing over student borrowers.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has been sending some chilling signals lately about how she plans to deal with America’s $1.3 trillion  student debt burden. On at least two separate ocassions now, her department has scrapped Obama-era reforms that were designed to protect borrowers from being gouged or misled by the companies responsible for collecting their loans. All told, DeVos seems less interested in protecting former students than in protecting the predators that have fleeced them for profit.
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has been sending some chilling signals lately about how she plans to deal with...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

19 Apr 2017

Ivanka Trump’s Global Reach, Undeterred by a White House Job

The president’s daughter, now a White House adviser, has filed 173 foreign trademarks in 21 countries, as well as in Hong Kong and the European Union. Even though many of her trademark applications were filed long before she took her government job, they could be decided on by foreign governments while she works in the White House, creating ethical issues with little precedent. While trademarks do not directly confer financial gains, they protect the use of logos and other intellectual property, making them valuable tools for companies looking to build new ventures or expand existing operations.
The president’s daughter, now a White House adviser, has filed 173 foreign trademarks in 21 countries, as well as in...
19 Apr 2017

The Nerve Agent Attack that Did Not Occur

Analysis of the Times and Locations of Critical Events in the Alleged Nerve Agent Attack at 7 AM on April 4, 2017 in Khan Sheikhoun, Syria. Analysis using weather data from the time of the attack shows that a small hamlet about 300 m to the east southeast of the crater could be the only location affected by the alleged nerve agent release. The hamlet is separated from the alleged release site (a crater) by an open field. The winds at the time of the release would have initially taken the sarin across the open field. Beyond the hamlet there is a substantial amount of open space and the sarin cloud would have had to travel long additional distance for it to have dissipated before reaching any other population center.
Analysis of the Times and Locations of Critical Events in the Alleged Nerve Agent Attack at 7 AM on April 4, 2017 in...

Publisher: Mashable

Author:

19 Apr 2017

Why Trump’s latest speech is a big deal for Silicon Valley

Tech companies have a lot at stake. The United States admits 85,000 people into the country each year on H-1B visas, 20,000 of whom are graduate student workers. But Trump says companies exploit the system to the disadvantage of American workers.
Tech companies have a lot at stake. The United States admits 85,000 people into the country each year on H-1B visas,...
18 Apr 2017

Intel community chatter: Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell caught red handed in Trump-Russia scandal

Over the weekend, credible leaks from the U.S. intelligence community have sprung afoot, ranging from Donald Trump and three advisers being caught on tape admitting to treason with Russia (link) to Rudy Giuliani trying to cut a deal against Trump (link). Now comes chatter that GOP leaders Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell may have been nailed as well.
Over the weekend, credible leaks from the U.S. intelligence community have sprung afoot, ranging from Donald...
18 Apr 2017

The Domestic Conspiracy That Gave Trump The Election Is In Plain Sight

Information presently public and available confirms that Erik Prince, Rudy Giuliani, and Donald Trump conspired to intimidate FBI Director James Comey into interfering in, and thus directly affecting, the 2016 presidential election. This conspiracy was made possible with the assistance of officers in the New York Police Department and agents within the New York field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. All of the major actors in the conspiracy have already confessed to its particulars either in word or in deed; moreover, all of the major actors have publicly exhibited consciousness of guilt after the fact.
Information presently public and available confirms that Erik Prince, Rudy Giuliani, and Donald Trump conspired to...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

18 Apr 2017

Trump’s Unreleased Taxes Threaten Yet Another Campaign Promise

As a candidate, Mr. Trump declared that he understood America’s complex tax laws “better than anyone who has ever run for president” and that he alone could fix them. But it is becoming increasingly unlikely that there will be a simpler system, or even lower tax rates, this time next year. The Trump administration’s tax plan, promised in February, has yet to materialize; a House Republican plan has bogged down, taking as much fire from conservatives as liberals; and on Monday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told The Financial Times that the administration’s goal of getting a tax plan signed by August was “not realistic at this point.”
As a candidate, Mr. Trump declared that he understood America’s complex tax laws “better than anyone...
17 Apr 2017

Energy Secretary Rick Perry wants to know if solar is eroding the electricity supply

The solar industry may only have 60 days to prove it’s not destroying the electric supply of the United States, or Energy Secretary Rick Perry will start dismantling its federal infrastructure, returning the United States to its rightful place as the world’s leading 19th century energy producer.
The solar industry may only have 60 days to prove it’s not destroying the electric supply of the...
17 Apr 2017

Intel source: in Russia scandal, Rudy Giuliani has now flipped on Donald Trump after all

Last week we brought you the story of how Rudy Giuliani is in so much legal trouble that he’s been trying to get a deal in exchange for flipping on Donald Trump, but that the FBI rejected it because its Trump-Russia investigation is so far along that it doesn’t need his help (link). But now equally proven intel sources say that Giuliani has cut a deal after all, and is cooperating with law enforcement against Trump.
Last week we brought you the story of how Rudy Giuliani is in so much legal trouble that he’s been...
17 Apr 2017

McMaster: US Prefers Action ‘Short Of A Military Option’ In North Korea Response

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster on Sunday said that President Donald Trump's administration would prefer "to take action short of armed conflict" in response to North Korea's military actions. McMaster said on ABC's "This Week" that the United States is considering "a range of options" but would prefer to "avoid the worst."
National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster on Sunday said that President Donald Trump's administration would prefer "to...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

17 Apr 2017

Pence Talks Tough on North Korea, but Adds a Sweetener

Vice President Mike Pence warned North Korea on Monday not to test American resolve, but he also raised the possibility that the Trump administration could pursue talks. The message, delivered by Mr. Pence on a visit to South Korea that included  a stop at the demilitarized zone that divides the Korean Peninsula,  showed that the administration, while talking tough, was not ruling out negotiations.
Vice President Mike Pence warned North Korea on Monday not to test American resolve, but he also raised the...
17 Apr 2017

Trump Voters in a Swing District Wonder When the ‘Winning’ Will Start

One after another, the gamblers totter along the twisting walkway, bathed in artificial purple light — burdened, at least occasionally, by the instinct that they should have known better. Usually, this pathway outside Parx Casino is reserved for self-flagellation, a  private lament at the last hundred lost. But lately, as with most any gathering place around here since late January — the checkout line, the liquor store, the park nearby where losing lottery numbers are pressed into the mulch — patrons have found occasion to project their angst outward, second-guessing a November wager.
One after another, the gamblers totter along the twisting walkway, bathed in artificial purple light — burdened,...
16 Apr 2017

Trump’s CIA Director Pompeo, Targeting WikiLeaks, Explicitly Threatens Speech and Press Freedoms

Trump’s CIA Director stood up in public and explicitly threatened to target free speech rights and press freedoms, and it was almost impossible to find even a single U.S. mainstream journalist expressing objections or alarm, because the targets Pompeo chose in this instance are ones they dislike – much the way that many are willing to overlook or even sanction free speech repression if the targeted ideas or speakers are sufficiently unpopular.
Trump’s CIA Director stood up in public and explicitly threatened to target free speech rights...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

16 Apr 2017

With Trump Appointees, a Raft of Potential Conflicts and ‘No Transparency’

President Trump is populating the White House and federal agencies with  former lobbyists, lawyers and consultants who in many cases are helping to craft new policies for the same industries in which they recently earned a paycheck.
President Trump is populating the White House and federal agencies with  former lobbyists, lawyers and consultants...

Publisher: BuzzFeed

Author:

15 Apr 2017

How Russia Hacked Obama’s Legacy

The story of the Obama administration’s cautious response to the Russian  campaign has been widely told, but the question of how and why the administration chose to downplay and downgrade Russian aggression has remained largely mysterious, shadowed by self-justifying public statements by the administration and strident accusations from their enemies.
The story of the Obama administration’s cautious response to the Russian  campaign has been widely told, but...

Publisher: Al Jazeera

Author:

15 Apr 2017

Russia, Syria and Iran warn US against further strikes

As he hosted his Iranian and Syrian counterparts in Moscow on Friday for a trilateral meeting focused on the Syrian civil war, Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, said similar attacks would have "grave consequences not only for regional but global security".
As he hosted his Iranian and Syrian counterparts in Moscow on Friday for a trilateral meeting focused on the Syrian...

Scott Pruitt calls for an ‘exit’ to the Paris accord, sharpening the Trump administration’s climate rift

President Trump’s top environment official called for an “exit” from the historic Paris agreement Thursday, the first time such a high-ranking administration official has so explicitly disavowed the agreement endorsed by nearly 200 countries to fight climate change.
President Trump’s top environment official called for an “exit” from...
15 Apr 2017

Trump to discontinue Obama policy of voluntarily releasing White House visitor logs

The Trump administration announced Friday that it would discontinue former president Barack Obama's policy of voluntarily disclosing the names of most visitors to the White House complex, citing “grave national security risks and privacy concerns.” Watchdog groups sued the Trump administration in a bid to continue the practices of the previous White House.
The Trump administration announced Friday that it would discontinue former president Barack Obama's policy of...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

14 Apr 2017

18 Syrian Fighters Allied With U.S. Are Killed in Coalition Airstrike

An airstrike by the American-led coalition fighting the Islamic State killed 18 Syrian fighters allied with the United States, the military said on Thursday. The strike, on Tuesday in Tabqah, Syria, was the third time in a month that American-led airstrikes may have killed civilians or allies, and it comes even as the Pentagon is investigating two previous airstrikes that killed or wounded scores of civilians in a mosque complex in Syria and in a building in the west of Mosul, Iraq.
An airstrike by the American-led coalition fighting the Islamic State killed 18 Syrian fighters allied with the United...

Publisher: Al Jazeera

Author:

14 Apr 2017

Assad: Syria chemical attack ‘100 percent fabrication’

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said a suspected chemical weapons attack was a "fabrication" to justify a US military strike, AFP news agency reported.  In his first interview since the April 4 incident prompted a US cruise missile attack on Syrian forces, Assad insisted his army gave up all of its chemical weapons three years ago and that Syrian military power was not affected by the US strike.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said a suspected chemical weapons attack was a "fabrication" to justify a US military...
14 Apr 2017

British spies were first to spot Trump team’s links with Russia

Britain’s spy agencies played a crucial role in alerting their counterparts in Washington to contacts between members of Donald Trump’s campaign team and Russian intelligence operatives, the Guardian has been told. GCHQ first became aware in late 2015 of suspicious “interactions” between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents, a source close to UK intelligence said. This intelligence was passed to the US as part of a routine exchange of information, they added.
Britain’s spy agencies played a crucial role in alerting their counterparts in Washington to contacts...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

14 Apr 2017

China Warns of ‘Storm Clouds Gathering’ in U.S.-North Korea Standoff

China warned on Friday that tensions on the Korean Peninsula could spin out of control, as North Korea said it could test a nuclear weapon at any time and an American naval group neared the peninsula in a show of resolve.
China warned on Friday that tensions on the Korean Peninsula could spin out of control, as North...
14 Apr 2017

Foreign intel gives tape to FBI of Donald Trump’s kids engaging in criminal behavior

On a day in which reliable sources are pointing to the Trump-Russia investigation being so far along that arrests could come as soon as next week (link) and that Rudy Giuliani’s offer to flip is no longer even needed (link), another piece of the puzzle is now coming from an insider who has a tendency to be proven right about these things. The upshot: one or more of Donald Trump’s kids is about to go down.
On a day in which reliable sources are pointing to the Trump-Russia investigation being so far along that arrests could...
14 Apr 2017

I thought I was out: Middle East drawing US from Asia pivot

Sources in Washington recognize the desirability of continuing President Obama's "pivot" eastwards. But engagements in the Middle East threaten to complicate matters. There is only one nation that wins the more we bomb Syria – and it is clearly not the Syrian opposition or the innocent people who are dying there. And that is China,” explained a senior State Department official.”
Sources in Washington recognize the desirability of continuing President Obama's "pivot" eastwards. But engagements in...
14 Apr 2017

The Prodigal Son-in-Law: Jared Kushner And The Rise Of The Neo-Cons In The Trump Admin

How Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner May Have Influenced Trump's Sudden Reversal On US Policy Towards Syria. Taken at face value, the premise that the President bombed a sovereign nation because his daughter had an emotional reactions to photos of an unconfirmed tragedy seem patently absurd. However, the base assertion that Ivanka convinced her father to attack is likely true due to the strong connections she and her husband Jared Kushner share with a foreign government that has consistently supported regime change in Syria – Israel.
How Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner May Have Influenced Trump's Sudden Reversal On US Policy Towards Syria....
14 Apr 2017

Trump kids push for changes to White House policies to maximize profitability of Trump brand

There’s supposed to be a firewall between President Trump and the business he continues to own, which is being run by his his two adult sons. But there’s already been indications that firewall isn’t as firm as it should be. During a February interview with Forbes, Eric admitted that he plans to give his father quarterly financial updates about how Trump’s sprawling business empire is doing. And earlier this week, Donald Jr. told the Associated Press he “has spoken to his father more frequently in recent weeks.” A new Washington Post report citing 21 of Trump’s aides, confidants, and allies suggests that not only are Eric and Donald Jr. talking with their dad about his business, but they — along with Ivanka Trump and fellow White House staffer Jared Kushner — are exerting their influence to make sure his flagging presidency doesn’t destroy the family brand.
There’s supposed to be a firewall between President Trump and the business he continues to own, which is being run by...
14 Apr 2017

Trump Taps Salesman To Run Military Draft

Don Benton has a long record of controversies, but no record of military service. Late Monday night, when many Americans were in bed, President Donald Trump quietly announced his intention to nominate former Washington state senator Don Benton (R) to be director of the Selective Service System, which operates the nation’s military draft. This was when the problems first came to light.
Don Benton has a long record of controversies, but no record of military service. Late Monday night, when many Americans...
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