"Where you can find almost anything with A Click A Pick!"
Go to content














US Monthly Headline News September 2019 Page 3

The president has done more than any politician in living memory to fan the flames of ethnic and racial antipathy and nurture a culture of bigotry.
By Peter Wehner Contributing editor at The Atlantic and senior fellow at EPPC
We don’t know, and we may never know, how much President Donald Trump’s rhetoric influenced the white supremacist in El Paso who allegedly killed 22 people. What we do know is that Trump has done more than any politician in living memory to fan the flames of ethnic and racial antipathy and nurture a culture of bigotry. A generation from now, when historians look back at the defining features of the Trump era, among the most prominent will be his dehumanizing rhetoric—the cruelty and virulence, the pulsating hate, the incitements to violence, and the effort to portray his targets as alien invaders, unworthy of dignity and respect, even subhuman. It began at the dawn of his 2016 presidential campaign, when he described the undocumented workers coming across the border from Mexico as mostly rapists and drug dealers. It continued during the campaign, when Trump unleashed an attack on Gonzalo Curiel, a district-court judge presiding over a fraud lawsuit against Trump University, calling Curiel a “hater” who was being unfair to him because the judge is “Hispanic,” because he is “Mexican.” (Curiel was born in Indiana.) The Republican speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, referred to this as “the textbook definition of a racist comment.” Trump claimed that Democrats want unauthorized immigrants, “no matter how bad they may be, to pour in and infest our Country.” And Trump’s closing argument leading up to the 2018 midterm election was that Central American migrants seeking asylum in the United States constituted “an invasion of our country.” Trump’s rhetoric of dehumanization set the stage for his policy of separating children from their families at the southern border. And it created the conditions that, earlier this year, as Vox’s Aaron Rupar wrote, “turned the idea of shooting migrants and asylum seekers who try to cross the southern border into a punchline.” At this point only the truly devoted and the truly deceived can deny what is playing out. Donald Trump is doing as president what George Wallace did as governor of Alabama—using words to incite feelings of revulsion and detestation toward “the other,” men and women who are the “wrong” race or the “wrong” ethnicity. For Wallace, the primary targets were black people; for Trump, the primary targets have been both Hispanic and black. (“The two greatest motivators at [Dad’s] rallies were fear and hate,” Wallace’s daughter Peggy Wallace Kennedy recently said. “There was no policy solution, just white middle-class anger.” And she hears echoes of that in Trump’s rhetoric."I saw daddy a lot in 2016,” she said, adding that “they both were able to adopt the notion that fear and hate are the two greatest motivators of voters that feel alienated from government.”) more...

It’s doubtful even Alexander Hamilton believed what he was selling in “Federalist No. 68.”
by Garrett Epps
Before we get to the Electoral College, can we talk about Alexander Hamilton? As a political figure, Hamilton was volatile, mercurial, choleric, vindictive, conniving, disloyal, and incontinent; those personal flaws eventually led to his death in a duel with Aaron Burr. We remember him because he was also smart, creative, dashing, and decisive. And if you’d had a case in front of a New York court, he’d have been the lawyer to hire. Brilliant doesn’t do justice to his advocacy skills. But an advocate is what he was. If he were a car salesman today, he could convince you that you really don’t want the backup camera in your family minivan, because this baby here knows not to back into walls. It’s in that context that we should read his panegyric, from “Federalist No. 68,” to the “mode of appointment of the chief magistrate of the United States” by the electors, a “small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, [who] will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations.” The electors, he assured us, will be “men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice.” more...

By Kevin Liptak and Kaitlan Collins, CNN
(CNN)The pine-shaded cabins at Camp David have hosted secret peace summits between Middle Eastern leaders and high-stakes gatherings of major heads of state. For President Donald Trump, the mountainside retreat offered visions of another diplomatic coup: clandestine talks between US, Afghan and Taliban officials that could end America's longest war. Even opposition from within his own national security team, including Vice President Mike Pence, could not deter Trump from pressing forward with his plan to host Taliban leaders at the rural presidential getaway. Trump eventually scrapped the event after a Taliban car bomb killed a US soldier and 11 others last week. But that decision came after heated debate within the administration over the venue for the summit -- an outgrowth of larger, more substantial disagreements over the wisdom of negotiating with the Taliban at all. The talks have pitted Trump's hawkish national security adviser John Bolton against the nation's chief diplomat, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, whose agency has led negotiations with the Taliban over the past 10 months. Coloring the debate is Trump's long-stated desire to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan after almost two decades of war. The President has insisted he fulfill his promise to bring more US soldiers home, but like his predecessors is finding few easy solutions to ending the war. It was the Friday before Labor Day when Trump convened a meeting in the Situation Room with his closest national security advisers to discuss the status of peace talks with the Taliban. He was supposed to leave the next day for a trip to Poland, but had scrapped it the night before to stay back and monitor an approaching hurricane. more...

Accepting the reality about the president’s disordered personality is important—even essential.
By Peter Wehner Contributing editor at The Atlantic and senior fellow at EPPC
During the 2016 campaign, I received a phone call from an influential political journalist and author, who was soliciting my thoughts on Donald Trump. Trump’s rise in the Republican Party was still something of a shock, and he wanted to know the things I felt he should keep in mind as he went about the task of covering Trump. At the top of my list: Talk to psychologists and psychiatrists about the state of Trump’s mental health, since I considered that to be the most important thing when it came to understanding him. It was Trump’s Rosetta stone. I wasn’t shy about making the same case publicly. During a July 14, 2016, appearance on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, for example, I responded to a pro-Trump caller who was upset that I opposed Trump despite my having been a Republican for my entire adult life and having served in the Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations and the George W. Bush White House. “I don’t oppose Mr. Trump because I think he’s going to lose to Hillary Clinton,” I told Ben from Purcellville, Virginia. “I think he will, but as I said, he may well win. My opposition to him is based on something completely different, which is, first, I think he is temperamentally unfit to be president. I think he’s erratic, I think he’s unprincipled, I think he’s unstable, and I think that he has a personality disorder; I think he’s obsessive. And at the end of the day, having served in the White House for seven years in three administrations and worked for three presidents, one closely, and read a lot of history, I think the main requirement for president of the United States … is temperament, and disposition … whether you have wisdom and judgment and prudence.” more...

And Bob Weinstein told his brother that his 'misbehavior' 'brought shame' on the family
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
(Newser) – Harvey Weinstein's brother knew about his "misbehavior" and urged him to get help two years before the movie mogul's downfall, according to a new book from two New York Times journalists who helped expose Weinstein's sexual misconduct. "You have brought shame to the family and your company through your misbehavior," Bob Weinstein wrote in a memo published in She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement. "Your reaction was once more to blame the victims, or to minimize the misbehavior in various ways. If you think nothing is wrong with your misbehavior so in this area then announce it to your wife and family." Bob Weinstein, his brother's business partner in Miramax and The Weinstein Company, told authors Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey that he saw his brother's problem as sex addiction and was eventually "worn out" by his efforts to intervene, Variety reports. more...

The president appears committed to destroying the very idea of facts.
By Peter Wehner Contributing editor at The Atlantic and senior fellow at EPPC
Like many writers I know, I’ve had a passion for words for almost as long as I can remember. I’ve admired those who use words well, who have shaped my imagination and given voice to things I wanted to express but didn’t feel like I adequately could. That is why they have to be protected against assault and degradation. At an early age I recognized their power to convey deep emotions and longings, knowledge and understanding, hopes and fears. “Words can be polluted even more dramatically and drastically than rivers and land and sea,” one of my favorite writers, Malcolm Muggeridge, once wrote. “Their misuse is our undoing.” Eventually, we all come to understand that words are the means by which we teach and inspire, defend truth, and seek justice. (Those of us of the Christian faith don’t consider it an accident that the first sentence in the Gospel of John is, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”) So words have extraordinary power—in our daily lives most of all, but in politics as well. Democracy requires that we honor the culture of words. The very idea of democracy is based on the hope that fellow citizens can reason together and find a system for adjudicating differences and solving problems—all of which assumes there is a shared commitment to the integrity of our public words. If you believe words can ennoble, you must also believe they can debase. If they can elevate the human spirit, they can also pull it down. And when words are weaponized by our political leaders and used to paint all opponents as inherently evil, stupid, or weak, then democracy’s foundations are put in peril. Which brings us to the dismal, demoralizing Donald Trump era. more...


By Brakkton Booker at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C.
The U.S. Coast Guard says all four crew members missing after a cargo vessel overturned early Sunday in waters off the coast of Brunswick, Ga., are alive and that rescue crews are working to get supplies to them. The Miami-based Coast Guard's 7th District Southeast said in a tweet around 12:45 p.m. ET Monday: "All 4 #GoldenRay crew members are confirmed alive. Conditions unknown. Response crews will drill a hole to deliver supplies." Hours earlier, the Coast Guard had said on Twitter that rescue workers were making extraction plans after making contact with those still trapped aboard the Golden Ray, a 656-foot vehicle carrier. The message included short videos of salvage crews appearing to puncture the hull of the ship. more...

The messages shared with The Daily Beast cast additional light on the circumstances that preceded McCabe’s firing from the FBI.
by Betsy Woodruff
For months, a huge question has hovered over Washington’s legal community: Would the Justice Department charge former acting FBI director Andrew McCabe with a crime? In the wake of a New York Times report that his lawyers met with the deputy attorney general about the DOJ’s investigation of McCabe, many suspect charges could be coming. And the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office has scrutinized allegations that McCabe was not candid with FBI investigators about his role in a news story concerning the FBI’s probe into the Clinton Foundation. Now, emails reviewed by The Daily Beast cast additional light on the circumstances that preceded McCabe’s firing from the FBI. They show that one FBI official felt the need to clarify to then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that the FBI’s internal investigation into McCabe’s behavior wasn’t being slow-walked. And they show that former director of national intelligence James Clapper urged FBI Director Chris Wray to shield McCabe from being fired. They also show that in the weeks before the 2016 presidential election, McCabe shared more information about his media contacts with then-FBI Director James Comey than was previously known. McCabe has sued the Justice Department over his firing. The issues these emails shed light on—whether he deserved to be fired and whether the FBI handled the decision correctly—are sure to be front and center if the lawsuit goes to trial. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a government watchdog group, obtained the emails through FOIA litigation and shared them with The Daily Beast. They are also available in the FBI’s FOIA vault. CREW’s litigation is ongoing. more...

Yujing Zhang is acting as her own attorney during the federal trial on accusations she lied to a Secret Service agent and trespassed at President Donald Trump's Palm Beach club.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The trial of a Chinese businesswoman charged with lying to a Secret Service agent and trespassing at President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club bogged down Monday before jury selection over her lack of underwear, the latest bizarre moment in a case that has been filled with them. Before the potential jurors were brought into the courtroom, Yujing Zhang told Judge Roy Altman that she was wearing brown jail garb instead of civilian clothing because she had not been provided any underwear. Defendants generally wear civilian clothing during trials to not prejudice jurors against them. After some discussion about which agency was supposed to provide Zhang with underwear, she was taken to a holding cell and changed into a copper-colored blouse and khaki slacks found in her hotel room after her March arrest. Zhang is acting as her own attorney during the federal trial, much to Altman's frustration. He again tried Monday to change the 33-year-old Shanghai consultant's mind as he did during every pretrial hearing since she fired her public defenders in June and urged her to let them try the case. When he demanded that she answer yes or no, she went into a long monologue in Mandarin. Altman cut her off before it could be translated and she finally said she didn't want them. more...

By Glenn Kessler
September 9 at 7:42 AM
“I did make a bad judgment, trusting the president saying he was only doing this to get inspectors in and get the U.N. to agree to put inspectors in. From the moment ‘shock and awe’ started, from that moment, I was opposed to the effort, and I was outspoken as much as anyone at all in the Congress and the administration.” — Former vice president Joe Biden, in remarks during the second Democratic presidential primary debate, July 31 President George W. Bush “got them in, and before we know it, we had a ‘shock and awe.’ Immediately, the moment it started, I came out against the war at that moment.” More than 16 years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, former vice president Joe Biden continues to struggle with explaining his 2002 Senate vote that gave President George W. Bush the authority to launch the war. He has suggested that he was misled by Bush, believing the war authorization vote was simply a means to strengthen diplomacy. more...

The legal threat against independent redistricting commissions, explained.
By Richard L. Hasen
Reformers hoping to rein in partisan gerrymandering have a big idea that’s caught on in several states: handing the redistricting power over to an independent commission, rather than politicians in the legislature, as Michigan’s electorate voted to do last year. But now, Michigan Republicans have filed a lawsuit to try and strike that commission down. And they’re using a longshot legal argument that could put similar bodies in other states at risk, too, with serious implications for the next round of state and congressional redistricting after the 2020 Census. Back in June, the Supreme Court in Rucho v. Common Cause held that federal courts could not get involved in policing partisan gerrymandering under the United States Constitution because there were no “judicially manageable” standards to separate out permissible from impermissible consideration of political party in drawing district lines. So the Court upheld egregious gerrymanders helping Republicans in North Carolina and Democrats in Maryland. Reformers hoping the courts would block legislators from drawing overly partisan maps were despondent after the Rucho ruling. After all, state legislators are not apt to redistrict themselves out of a job. But Chief Justice Roberts, writing for the Court, pointed to Congress, state supreme courts, and state redistricting commissions as potential other avenues for dealing with the problem of state legislatures drawing districts to benefit themselves and their party. more...

By Doug Criss, CNN
(CNN) - The Twitterverse lit up Monday morning over model Chrissy Teigen's response to an attack from President Donald Trump, an exchange that was heated even by the standards of his routine social media fights. The spat began when the President, apparently venting about a town hall on criminal justice reform that aired on MSNBC Sunday night, tweeted that he and other Republicans should be getting more credit for signing the First Step Act into law. The legislation, signed back in December, includes measures that allows thousands of federal inmates to leave prison earlier than they otherwise would have, eases some mandatory minimum sentences and gives judges more leeway in sentencing, among other things. It had support from lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle and received personal attention from Trump's son-in-law and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner. "I SIGNED IT INTO LAW, no one else did, & Republicans deserve much credit. But now that it is passed, people that had virtually nothing to do with it are taking the praise," the President tweeted late Sunday night. Then Trump went after singer and activist John Legend (who appeared in the MSNBC town hall) and his wife Teigen. "Guys like boring musician @johnlegend, and his filthy mouthed wife, are talking now about how great it is - but I didn't see them around when we needed help getting it passed," the President wrote. Teigen fired right back with a colorful insult of her own. "(L)ol what a p**** a** b****. tagged everyone but me. an honor, mister president," she tweeted. By Monday morning, Chrissy Teigen, #TeamChrissy and #filthymouthedwife were all trending on Twitter. Legend criticized the President, too -- without the profanity -- by tweeting, "Imagine being president of a whole country and spending your Sunday night hate-watching MSNBC hoping somebody -- ANYBODY -- will praise you." Anthony Scaramucci, Trump's former communications director who has now disavowed the President, on Monday called the spat between Trump and the celebrity couple "despicable." more...

BBC - A US Congressional committee is investigating President Donald Trump in connection with a potential conflict of interest over military spending at a Scottish airport near his golf resort. The House Oversight and Reform Committee says expenditure at Prestwick airport has "increased substantially" since Mr Trump came into office. The debt-ridden airport has been fighting off closure. It is said to be integral to the Trump business, which is also loss-making. The committee's accusations are detailed in a letter to the Pentagon - which is dated to June but was only revealed on the Politico website on Friday. The letter requests access to all communications between the US Department of Defense and Trump Turnberry, as well as any related financial records. According to various reports in the US media, the department has not yet complied with the demands. It has also not commented directly, and neither has the Trump Organisation. What does the letter say? The letter - signed by the Democratic committee chairman Elijah Cummings - was addressed to then-acting Secretary of Defence Patrick Shanahan. Citing Defence Logistics Agency (DLA) records, it said the US military had made 629 fuel purchase orders at the airport, totalling $11m (£9m), since October 2017. It also alleges that certain military personnel have been offered "cut-price rooms" and free rounds of golf at the Trump Turnberry resort. It continued: "Given the president's continued financial stake in his Scotland golf courses, these reports raise questions about the president's potential receipt of US or foreign government emoluments in violation of the US Constitution and raise other serious conflict of interest concerns." more...  

BBC - The US Air Force has ordered a review of its guidance on overnight accommodation for flight crews. The move follows revelations that some have been staying at one of President Donald Trump's Scottish golf resorts. There has been an increase in the number of US military flights stopping at Prestwick Airport, Scotland, near the resort, since he took office. A US Congressional committee is investigating Mr Trump for a potential conflict of interest. Air Force chiefs have "directed Air Mobility Command [AMC, which oversees all Air Force transport around the world] to review all guidance pertaining to selection of airports and lodging accommodations during international travel", according to a statement given to the Politico website, The US Air Force said its crews had obeyed all the rules, but said "lodging at higher-end accommodations, even if within government rates, might be allowable but not advisable". It also explained the increased use of Prestwick airport in the last four years because of a number of key factors, including longer operating hours and standardisation of routing locations. "Between 2015 and 2019, AMC Total Force aircraft stopped at Prestwick a total of 936 times (*659 overnight stays), including 95 (*40) in 2015, 145 (*75) in 2016, 180 (*116) in 2017, 257 (*208) in 2018 and 259 (*220) through August 2019," the statement added. The Air Force has not said how many of its staff have stayed at the president's resort. Democrats and critics argue such stays might enrich the president at taxpayers' expense as crews who land at the airport then go on to stay at the nearby Trump Turnberry resort. The House Oversight and Reform Committee says expenditure at Prestwick airport has "increased substantially" since Mr Trump came into office. The debt-ridden airport 34 miles (55km) from Glasgow has been fighting off closure. It is said to be integral to the Trump business, which is also loss-making. more...

By Ewan Palmer
John Legend has jokingly suggested that Melania Trump is too "occupied" with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to pay any attention to her husband following Donald Trump's late night tirade against him and his wife Chrissy Teigen. The multiple Grammy-winning singer was responding to Trump's criticism of Legend and his "filthy mouthed wife" after he appeared on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt to discuss criminal justice reform in the U.S. The president appeared irate about not getting credit for passing the First Step Act into law in December 2018. The First Step Act reduces mandatory minimum sentences in certain cases, as well as helping inmates reintegrate themselves into society following their release. More than 3,000 inmates were freed from prison due to good behavior after the act was signed, a move which was highly praised following years of scrutiny about the country's justice system. "When all of the people pushing so hard for Criminal Justice Reform were unable to come even close to getting it done, they came to me as a group and asked for my help. I got it done with a group of Senators & others who would never have gone for it," Trump wrote in a series of tweets on September 8. more...

By Deirdre Walsh
Lawmakers are back on Capitol Hill on Monday after an extended summer recess with a short window to tackle major legislative priorities before the 2020 presidential campaign takes center stage. Republicans and Democrats in the Senate and House need to approve spending bills to avoid another government shutdown. They also hope to make progress on policy debates that have been languishing for months: the White House is pushing Congress to ratify a new trade deal with Mexico and Canada, and leaders want to show voters they are serious about proposals to lower health care costs. A string of mass shootings in August that left more than 50 dead also added a contentious debate about gun control measures to the fall agenda. But the ongoing battle royal between President Trump and House Democrats about investigations into his administration and increasing calls for his impeachment make bipartisan cooperation a tall order in a divided Congress. Here's an overview of what Congress plans to address this fall: more...

By Paul LeBlanc, CNN
Washington (CNN) - A Republican member of the House Armed Services Committee on Sunday assailed President Donald Trump's now-canceled plan to host Taliban leaders at Camp David for secret peace talks around the 18th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, stating, "I do not ever want to see these terrorists" on US soil. "As we head into the anniversary of 9/11, I do not ever want to see these terrorists step foot on United States soil. Period," Rep. Michael Waltz of Florida told CNN's Fredricka Whitfield on "Newsroom." Waltz's comments come one day after Trump tweeted that he invited Taliban leaders to Camp David for secret peace talks this weekend but canceled the meeting after the Taliban took credit for an attack in Kabul that killed a dozen people, including an American soldier. Trump has long sought to withdraw the US from its longest war, but his revelation on Saturday night that he was considering holding talks with the Taliban at Camp David -- a storied retreat where presidents have famously secured peace accords -- was striking, especially coming so close to the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Waltz said Sunday that among his top concerns over Trump's invitation was the Taliban "declaring this a victory." "The Taliban have shown zero desire for peace. There's no ceasefire that they've agreed to. In fact, they've ramped up their attacks. We talked about the American soldier that just came home this morning in a coffin," he said. "So I just have a lot of concerns. I'm urging the President to walk away from this deal as it stands," he added. Along with Waltz, Republican Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger also publicly criticized the talks, with Kinzinger tweeting that Taliban leaders should "NEVER" be "allowed in our great country." When pressed by CNN's Jake Tapper earlier Sunday over criticism of the invitation to host Taliban leaders just days from the 9/11 anniversary, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo only offered that the US has "made real progress" toward peace talks. "It's not just about commitments. We have to see them be able to deliver it. We have to have proof that it's delivered. When we get to that point, when American national security interests can be protected I am confident President Trump will continue the process of trying to get what he has talked about since his campaign -- a reduction of our risk level and the cost to the American people both in terms of life and treasure there in Afghanistan." more...

By Hayley Dixon, Nassau David Millward, US Correspondent Colin Maximin
More than 23 of Sidney Poitier’s family members are feared missing in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, the actor’s nephew as said. Jeffrey Poitier,66, said that they were still waiting for news from the relatives, including his sister Barbara and his adult children in Freeport, Bahamas. The family is one of hundreds desperately scrabbling to locate their loved ones a week after the category 5 hurricane wreaked devastation across the islands. In some cases entire families were missing. "We still couldn't find any, nor have we heard from them," Mr Poitier said late last week. "We are still looking for and waiting for them to appear soon. It has us all worried. We are trying to reach out to them using every means available to us but we are not hearing anything. We are deeply worried." More than 500 Bahamians belong to the extended family of Sidney Poitier, the acclaimed actor who was born in Miami to Bahamian parents and who grew up in the Bahamas. more...

By Avi Selk
MOBILE, Ala. — The city stands. The grocery stores are fully stocked, the Home Depot has no lack of generators, tarps and plywood, and it’s business as usual at the Waffle Houses. Boaters on the Mobile River have been urged to caution — only because a group of manatees were spotted frolicking nearby. The highway south runs past unsunk boats and unbroken masts all the way to the mouth of the Gulf of Mexico, where resort-town general stores report no panicked runs on supplies — not now and not a week ago, when Trump first claimed Alabama would likely be slammed by Hurricane Dorian. “We had some little card things out — says how to be prepared. That’s about all we had,” a cashier at the Ship & Store on Dauphin Island said on a cloudless Saturday afternoon. “Do you need your receipt?” But it’s always calmest in the center of a storm, sometimes even political ones. The rest of the United States is basically the eyewall: an ever-widening vortex of outrage and bureaucratic retaliations whirling around Trump’s false weather reports. His first, in a Sept. 1 tweet, warned that Alabama was one of the states that “will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated” by the hurricane — which by then was swerving away from the state. The tweet caused Alabamians to call the National Weather Service en masse, which caused the agency’s Birmingham office to rebut Trump and late-night comedians to write jokes. This in turn caused the White House to double down — disseminating outdated or doctored weather forecasts in an attempt to prove Trump correct, culminating Friday when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration publicly chastised its own forecasters for telling Alabamians they were safe. more...

By Josh Saunders For Dailymail.com
Jeffrey Epstein's former lawyer Alan Dershowitz has been filmed confronting protesters at his book launch as they chanted 'shame' and 'we stand for Jane Doe.' The 81-year-old faced protest signs and loud verbal condemnation for representing the sex offender in 2008, as he entered West Tisbury library in Massachusetts. The high-profile attorney defended Epstein when he pleaded guilty to one count of procuring prostitution from a girl under 18. At the time he was sentenced to 18 months in prison, some of which was served on probation under house arrest until 2010. He met the activists on the steps of the library, who carried signs including 'Brilliant lawyers defend the victims, not the rapists' and '14 or 15 is not the age of consent anywhere or anytime.' Footage of the verbal clash showed Dershowitz, who was wearing a t-shirt with the word 'peace' on it, getting angry with his adversaries.  One sign read 'We Stand For Jane Doe,' which is the name used female victims of sex crimes and other wrongdoing when their identities are not disclosed in court. In one part of the video, Dershowitz agreed with one woman who asked him if he thought Epstein was a 'terrible man,' saying 'yes.' He later stated that as a lawyer who believed in the first amendment and a person's right to a 'good defense,' he would represent any of the protesters at the event. Dershowitz said: 'If the police tried to remove you I would defend your right to free speech, unlike you not defending my right to free speech.' As he tried to argue that it was unfair for him to be put in the position further chants of 'shame' drowned him out. Inside a conference room of the library he was launching his book 'Defending Israel: The Story of My Relationship with My Most Challenging Client.' The environment there sharply contrasted with angry scenes outside, according to the Martha's Vineyard Times. Dershowitz claimed that in today's society defending Israel on college and university campuses had become 'very challenging.' He claimed to have been protested against on school grounds in Germany, New Zealand and Israel, even before representing Epstein. more...


By Daniel Politi
In between a series of tweets about a canceled secret meeting with Taliban leaders and another about “Leakin’ Lyin’ James Comey,” President Donald Trump sent out a tweet that baffled much of the internet. The commander in chief continued his obsession with the forecasts for Hurricane Dorian by sharing a bizarre cat video late Saturday night. The video makes it seem like it is Trump who is holding a laser pointer and distracting a cat labeled CNN in front of a Hurricane Dorian forecast map. Oh and Yakety Sax is playing in the background. The video appears to have originally been shared by an account that frequently shares Trump memes. Trump didn’t include a caption to the video, but the original caption read, “Live look at CNN.” Trump’s bizarre tweet came almost a week after he made the now infamous claim that Alabama could see a significant impact from Hurricane Dorian. That led the National Weather Service’s Birmingham office to contradict the president that subsequently descended into what has become known as Sharpiegate. Earlier, Trump criticized the New York Times for a story on the issue, saying he would love to stop talking about it but the media won’t let him. “I would like very much to stop referring to this ridiculous story, but the LameStream Media just won’t let it alone,” Trump wrote. “They always have to have the last word, even though they know they are defrauding & deceiving the public.” more...

By Daniel Politi
The House Judiciary Committee is getting ready to vote as early as Wednesday to formalize the impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump. The resolution that will be up for a vote is set to lay out the procedures that will be used in the investigation with the goal of deciding by the end of the year whether to recommend articles of impeachment to the full House of Representatives. Although the probe has really been ongoing, the vote this coming week would set to increase the “officialness” of the investigation, a source tells Politico. At the very least, the vote would clear up the confusion in Democratic circles about whether the impeachment proceedings has actually been launched. The investigation “is expected to follow the precedent set in 1974 over the committee’s procedures during then-President Richard Nixon’s impeachment proceedings,” CNN reports. To that end, the resolution will allow the House Judiciary Committee to hold hearings that have different rules from regular hearings because the panel is considering impeachment. For example, committee staff counsels would be allowed to question witnesses and allow more time for these questions. As Democrats return to Washington with impeachment on the brain this week, they’re also set to broaden the investigation to go beyond the findings of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia election meddling. The New York Times explains: more...

By Chris Nichols
During a climate town hall on CNN this week, Democratic presidential candidate and California Sen. Kamala Harris vowed to take on Big Oil and other powerful interests when they "profit off of harmful behaviors" such as burning fossil fuels. In answer to a direct question, she claimed she already did that as California’s attorney general. "So, Senator Harris, what would you do? Would you sue them? Sue Exxon Mobil?" asked moderator Erin Burnett. "I have sued Exxon Mobil," Harris replied. Did she? Environmental groups questioned her response. We decided to fact check it. Our research: We found Harris’ office investigated Exxon in 2016 over allegations it lied to the public and its shareholders about the risk to its business from climate change. The Los Angeles Times detailed that probe in a January 2016 news article. It said Exxon rejected the allegations. But there’s no public record, and nothing that Harris’ campaign could provide, to show she filed a lawsuit against the company.  more...   

The fast food industry's latest trend is offering vegetarian takes on old standards, with none of the health benefits of vegetables.
By Erika Nicole Kendall
The impossible isn’t in any sandwich — it’s in changing the American perspective on meat.
Fast-food restaurants across the country are embracing a meat-free mentality nowadays, with several big brands adding meatless sandwiches to their menus. Burger King was among the first to do so, partnering with plant-based burger brand Impossible Foods to create the Impossible Whopper. Many other brands since then have announced that they will be followed suit. Subway said they are introducing plant-based meatballs from Beyond Meat to create the Beyond Meatball Marinara Sub. White Castle’s Impossible Slider, Carl’s Jr.’s Beyond Famous Star, The Cheesecake Factory’s own Impossible Burger, Del Taco’s Beyond Meat tacos and now KFC’s Beyond Chicken are all meat-free options here now or forthcoming for the person looking to grab something a little healthier on the go. The challenge here is that these offerings aren’t actually any healthier. The Impossible Whopper, for instance, not only has comparable caloric and fat levels as its meat-based counterpart, but it has more salt per serving; the Del Taco options are comparable. The Impossible Slider has more calories, more fat and more sodium than the meaty original (before you add cheese to either). In fact, when you start to compare all of these offerings to their meat-based counterparts, you realize it’s the same story no matter what brands you’re talking about — you might possibly save a few calories or carbs, but you'll probably get way more salt. more...

By Chris Nichols
During a climate town hall on CNN this week, Democratic presidential candidate and California Sen. Kamala Harris vowed to take on Big Oil and other powerful interests when they "profit off of harmful behaviors" such as burning fossil fuels. In answer to a direct question, she claimed she already did that as California’s attorney general. "So, Senator Harris, what would you do? Would you sue them? Sue Exxon Mobil?" asked moderator Erin Burnett. "I have sued Exxon Mobil," Harris replied. Did she? Environmental groups questioned her response. We decided to fact check it. Our research: We found Harris’ office investigated Exxon in 2016 over allegations it lied to the public and its shareholders about the risk to its business from climate change. The Los Angeles Times detailed that probe in a January 2016 news article. It said Exxon rejected the allegations. But there’s no public record, and nothing that Harris’ campaign could provide, to show she filed a lawsuit against the company.  more...  

By CNN Newsource
Montoursville, Pennsylvania — A couple in Lycoming County is facing theft charges after their bank accidentally deposited more than $100,000 into their account. State police say Robert and Tiffany Williams of Montoursville spent most of the money on items ranging from an SUV to a race car. State police say the couple living at a home on Cypress Street in Montoursville got themselves into hot water after spending money that wasn't theirs. Investigators say Robert and Tiffany Williams had $120,000 deposited into their account at BB&T on May 31 through a mistake by a teller. But instead of contacting the bank about the deposit, the couple allegedly spent most of the money in two and a half weeks, between June 3 through the 19th. more...

Police near Minneapolis shot and killed a driver following a chase after he apparently emerged from his car holding a knife and refused their commands to drop it.
Associated Press
RICHFIELD, Minn. (AP) — Police near Minneapolis shot and killed a driver following a chase after he apparently emerged from his car holding a knife and refused their commands to drop it. The chase started in Edina and ended in Richfield with officers shooting the man, Brian J. Quinones, who had streamed himself live on Facebook during the chase. Police responded after Quinones ran a red light and wouldn’t pull over, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. According to emergency dispatch audio, Quinones continued running through red lights in Richfield. After police forced the car to stop, Quinones got out holding what appears in the video to be a large knife in his left hand. In the dispatch audio, officers can be heard yelling, “Drop the knife. Drop the knife.” Shots can then be heard before they say, “Shots fired. Shots fired.” Quinones seemed calm and expressionless during the chase, sometimes glancing in the rearview mirror. Just before the livestream, he posted on Facebook, “So sorry.” more...

It's handing over information about past antitrust cases.
Jon Fingas
Google has confirmed that it's one of the targets of the Justice Department's review of competition in tech. The search firm has revealed that DOJ officials asked it to provide information about "past investigations," with an SEC filing also referencing the request. It expected state attorneys general to make similar demands in the future, and planned to work "constructively" with regulators.This doesn't mean the DOJ expects to find wrongdoing. The review is largely intended to reexamine tech companies' dominance in light of evolving market conditions. It comes just days after a reported plan for a multi-state antitrust investigation, though, and it may not be so fortunate on that front. There's simultaneously little doubt that Google is anxious about potential regulatory action. It opened its response to the DOJ inquiry by claiming that Google services "create more choice," support "thousands" of jobs and businesses and pouring money into research projects that "spur innovation." Google knows that officials could demand drastic changes (such as undoing acquisitions and splitting up the company), and it wants to dissuade those attempts by portraying itself as an essential part of American society. more...

Don't just start Social Security without a plan. You could be costing yourself thousands of dollars.
by Kailey Fralick
You pay into Social Security throughout your working life and you understandably can't wait to start getting money back from the program when you're older, but too many people rush to sign up for benefits as soon as they turn 62 without considering the consequences. This might be the best move for some people, but if you expect to live into your late 80s or 90s, you're shortchanging yourself by signing up as soon as you're eligible. When you begin claiming Social Security affects your benefits: You become eligible for Social Security at 62, but you don't have to start claiming benefits right away. In fact, during so could hurt you in the long run. The Social Security benefit formula bases your check size on your average indexed monthly earnings (AIME) during your 35 highest-earning years. But if you'd like to receive this amount, you must wait until your full retirement age (FRA) to begin claiming. This is 66 or 67 for today's workers. more...

By Melissa Alonso and Dakin Andone, CNN
(CNN) - Four crew members remain unaccounted for after a cargo ship began "listing heavily" off the coast of Georgia on Sunday morning, according to a news release from the US Coast Guard.
The vessel -- the 656-foot Golden Ray -- was reported to be leaning on its left side, or port side, around 2 a.m. in St. Simons Sound, Capt. John Reed, commander of the Coast Guard Sector Charleston, said at a news conference. Crews from the Coast Guard and other agencies responded and rescued 20 of the 24 crew members before a fire on board forced them to stop, he said. The Coast Guard said the ship is carrying vehicles. The Golden Ray lies on its side in St. Simons Sound on Sunday. "As smoke and flames began to appear our crews, along with the Glynn County heavy rescue team, assessed that the situation was too risky to further go inside the vessel to attempt to locate the four individuals who remain missing at this time," Reed said. The black smoke emanating from the ship has since ceased, Reed said. "But we are unable to determine specifically without going inside whether the fire has been completely extinguished," he added. Officials are working to stabilize the leaning vessel, he said. Once that's done, rescue efforts will continue. "The other outcome could be that it may be deemed more appropriate to go ahead and right the vessel and de-smoke and de-water before we are able to actually get in there and locate the four individuals," Reed told CNN's Fredricka Whitfield in an interview Sunday. more...

By Richard Winton, Matt Stiles, Mark Puente
In a significant expansion of the investigation into the Labor Day boat fire that killed 34 people, the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the U.S. Coast Guard served warrants Sunday at the Santa Barbara headquarters of Truth Aquatics seeking training, safety and maintenance records. Agents also searched two other boats belonging to the company, including one similar to Conception, a 75-foot vessel that burned and sank early Monday morning as it was anchored off the coast of Santa Cruz Island. Truth Aquatics is a dive boat operator that offers water and scuba outings. Investigators took photos and boxes during the search, which is part of the ongoing probe into the incident, said Lt. Erik Raney with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office. No arrests were made. “I see it as par for the course,” he said. “You can only do so much with your basic investigative efforts, and at some point you have to use a search warrant as the means to collect information.” more...

To ethics lawyers, the most extraordinary aspect of the daily merging of President Trump’s official duties and his commercial interests is that it has now become almost routine.
By Eric Lipton and Annie Karni
WASHINGTON — At a table in the lobby bar of the Trump International Hotel this week, the final details of a black-tie, 40th anniversary gala for the Concerned Women for America were being worked out by the conservative group’s staff. There was the contract with the president’s hotel to be reviewed. And there was also unfinished business with the White House — logistical issues posed by two guests from the administration, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and most important, the status of the video message and letter from President Trump himself that the group wanted for the dinner. “That is the gold standard,” said Kenda Bartlett, Concerned Women for America’s executive director. “If we can get that, the rest of this is just dressing.” Staying at the Trump hotel or hosting an event in one of its ballrooms is hardly a guarantee of getting something in return from the Trump administration, or even getting on Mr. Trump’s personal radar. But many people like Ms. Bartlett have learned that it also does not hurt. more...

By Chandelis Duster and Paul LeBlanc, CNN
Washington (CNN)Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford will launch a longshot primary challenge for the 2020 Republican nomination, he announced Sunday, giving President Donald Trump another Republican challenger as he runs for reelection. "I had planned to announce that back home this week. We had a hurricane come visit us on the coast of South Carolina so that sort of disrupted plans on that front," Sanford said in an interview on "Fox News Sunday." "But I am here to tell you now, that I am going to get in." When asked why he was running, he said because "I think we need to have a conversation on what it means to be a Republican," adding that he thinks the Republican Party has lost its way on "a couple different fronts." He becomes the third Republican to mount a primary challenge against the President. In April, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld officially entered the race, and last month, former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh announced his candidacy. Sanford, discussing what was then a potential candidacy, told CNN's Brianna Keilar in July there has been "no discussion of debt, deficit and government spending in Washington these days," and that those issues would be a focal point of his campaign were he to run. However, although Sanford has been a frequent critic of Trump, he has said he would back the President instead of a Democrat. Faces long odds: Sanford, who has been privately considering whether to run since leaving office in January, faces long odds in his bid against Trump, whose approval rating among Republicans has consistently been around 90%. His decision to challenge Trump comes after losing his primary race last year for South Carolina's 1st Congressional District where he failed to find support in the state's Republican Party as a vocal critic of the President. In a campaign-style video released last month, Sanford warned of "a big storm coming" if the issues of debt, the deficit or government spending aren't prioritized. "I just got through watching two Democratic debates that offered little more than a long laundry list of new political promises that we can't afford," Sanford says. "I listen to the President, who rules out action on the very things that drive our debt and spending." America, he added, is "in the most precarious financial position" and "not dealing with it could crush our economy, it could wipe out whatever we've saved, it could even destroy our republic." more...

By D'Angelo Gore
Ads posted on Facebook from a committee working to reelect President Donald Trump claim that Democrats are calling for the Second Amendment to be repealed. To support the claim, the Trump campaign pointed to statements by a few state lawmakers and one candidate for U.S. Senate. The ads, however, could lead some viewers to believe this is a position of Democrats in Congress or those running for president. It’s not. We’ve written about literally accurate but misleading claims before: Statements that are true but omit information to leave a misleading impression. This type of deceptive advertising is similar. It takes the position of a few outlier politicians and presents it in a way that can lead viewers to believe this is the general position of the party. “Democrats have finally admitted what they truly want: a repeal of the Second Amendment,” says one version of the ads, which were visible to specific Facebook users in many states, including swing states such as Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania. “It’s up to the American people to stand strong and defend our freedoms.” Another ad says, “Democrats have been telling us that they only want ‘gun control.’ But the truth is finally out. Some are now proudly calling for a REPEAL OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT. We cannot let a few loud talking heads on the Left drown out the voices of the American people.” Facebook’s “Ad Library” shows the ads were posted from Trump’s official account on Sept. 2 and Sept. 4, just days after the latest deadly mass shooting in Midland and Odessa, Texas. They were paid for by the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, a joint fundraising committee run by Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee. (That joint committee has paid to run ads making a similar claim before, including in 2018.) Some of the recent ads include images of Trump, while others include short videos set to music. They all encourage supporters to add their names to a petition to defend the Second Amendment, which the Supreme Court decided in 2008 “protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.” But we’re not aware of Democrats in Congress or running for president who are calling to scrap the Second Amendment, and the Trump campaign didn’t identify any. more...

Two of these three states should be billion-dollar cannabis markets by 2024.
By Sean Williams
Pardon the cliche, but the marijuana industry is budding before our eyes. Even though cannabis sales have existed behind the scenes for decades, we're beginning to see the impact of how big a legalized marijuana industry could be. Last year, legal global sales sprouted to $10.9 billion, which more than tripled worldwide legal weed revenue from 2014. Looking ahead, sales could quadruple by the time 2024 rolls around. Although the entire world is an opportunity for the cannabis industry, it's the United States that happens to be the crown jewel. Despite estimates varying wildly on Wall Street, one constant is that the U.S. will run circles around other countries when it comes to total sales. To date, 33 U.S. states have given the green light for physicians to prescribe medical marijuana to patients for select ailments. Additionally, 11 states have given the all-clear for recreational consumption, with eight states – Washington, Colorado, Oregon, California, Nevada, Massachusetts, Maine, and Alaska -- currently selling adult-use marijuana in licensed retail dispensaries. What happened with the other three recreationally legal states, you ask? Well, as you're about to read, sales should begin fairly soon. more...

A fight with Trump over his border wall, however, could fracture the Democratic caucus.
By SARAH FERRIS and HEATHER CAYGLE
Democrats say they’re no longer willing to throw cash to President Donald Trump for his border demands. But they still can’t escape making a deal with Trump — a scenario that could divide the caucus over exactly how far to take their fight against the president. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) are preparing to rebuff Trump’s requests for additional wall money this month as payback for Trump’s summer of hard-line immigration moves — a position that’s in contrast to the billions of dollars that Democrats have handed over for border fencing and security since the start of Trump’s term, according to half a dozen lawmakers and aides. The end result of the border wall fight, however, could be another deal with Trump that triggers a fierce backlash within the Democratic Caucus, as Pelosi and her leadership team remain wary of aggressive tactics that would catapult the government into yet another shutdown. And the border battle is just one of many divisive issues Pelosi and her deputies will confront this month, including action on guns after a spate of mass shootings and fallout from the impeachment push that gained significant traction within the caucus over the break. “The reality is, this fall is a critical period,” Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) said of the caucus’s lengthy to-do list, which could also include stalled legislation on health care and trade. “Spending an extended period of time with my constituents, it’s pretty obvious they just want us to get this stuff done.” more...


by Daniel Chaitin
Attorney General William Barr is calling for an end to nationwide injunctions, which have become recurrent obstacles in the way of President Trump's agenda. With the frequency of judges' orders blocking the enforcement of federal laws and policies on the rise, Barr's op-ed in the Wall Street Journal escalates the Justice Department's fight to check this facet of the judicial branch's power. Nationwide injunctions, he wrote, "create an unfair, one-way system in which the democratically accountable government must fend off case after case to put its policy into effect, while those challenging the policy need only find a single sympathetic judge." Barr alluded to the framers of the Constitution, asserting they never intended the courts to "act as a 'council of revision' with sweeping authority to reach beyond concrete controversies and rule on the legality of actions taken by the political branches." The rising number of injunctions have affected both Democratic and Republican administrations, but opponents of the Trump administration have accelerated the use of the procedural device. Barr said there were only 20 national injunctions during the eight-year Obama administration, while there have already been roughly 40 in the two-and-a-half years Trump has been in office. "Shrewd lawyers have learned to 'shop' for a sympathetic judge willing to issue such an injunction," Barr said. "These days, virtually every significant congressional or presidential initiative is enjoined — often within hours — threatening our democratic system and undermining the rule of law." Last year Barr's predecessor, Jeff Sessions, released a memo to DOJ litigators with guidelines for arguing against the issuance of nationwide injunctions that halt executive branch actions as legal battles play out in the courts. Among the injunctions handed down in the Trump era include those targeting a travel ban on Muslim-majority countries and restrictions on transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military. more...

Geobeats
Eric Trump’s attempt to call out a Washington Post reporter appears to have backfired, with many on social media trolling him and expressing support for the reporter. The criticism began after the president’s son tweeted a letter sent by the Post’s David Fahrenthold to a Trump Organization employee offering different ways he could be reached with information, even anonymously. Eric Trump then commented pointedly: “These are the tactics used by the @WashingtonPost. @JeffBezos – you should be very proud.” more...

State attorneys general are opening the latest inquiries into the companies’ practices as government scrutiny grows. Attorneys general in a number of US states are opening antitrust investigations into Facebook, New York’s attorney general, Letitia James, announced on Friday. A separate inquiry into Google is expected to be announced Monday. The new investigations mark yet another blow to the major tech players, which have faced increasing scrutiny from the government – most prominently an antitrust investigation by the Department of Justice. The investigations could open up big tech firms to legal actions, , as Microsoft faced 20 years ago. It could even result in breaking up companies, as a number of presidential candidates have called for in recent months. Here’s what you need to know. more...

By Linette Lopez
The markets have been a whipsaw, the US economy has slowed down, and one report suggests that US companies may have shed 10,488 jobs because of the trade war between the US and China — a trade war that has worsened over the last few weeks. So the two sides have laid down their arms and agreed to a ceasefire in hopes of "creating the conditions" that will make it possible for discussions to resume in October. Unfortunately those talks, should they ever occur, will achieve little aside from temporarily calming financial markets. Donald Trump's trade war is a trade war that cannot be won.  The reality is that from the start the objectives of Donald Trump's trade war have been at odds with one another, making it impossible for his administration to construct a deal that one might consider a win for US markets. What's more, throughout this process, Trump's conflicting demands and brutish tactics have put Chinese President Xi Jinping in a position where he and his administration cannot concede. So we had better hope this ceasefire lasts beyond Trump's next tweet storm, because it's about as good as things are going to get.  Why Trump can't win Before we get into any of this, let's remember that China has three demands that the US must meet in order to end the trade war.
   1) That the US respect China's national sovereignty.
   2) That the US remove all tariffs it has imposed since the beginning of the trade war.
   3) That the US cease demanding that China buy an unrealistic amount of goods from the US.
Remember number 3, because it's the one that's really messing things up here. And of course it's the one Donald Trump is obsessed with. more...

By Caroline Kelly and Kylie Atwood, CNN
(CNN) - President Donald Trump said Saturday that Taliban leaders were to travel to the US for secret peace talks this weekend but that the meeting has been canceled and he's called off peace talks with the militant group entirely. Trump tweeted that he scrapped the meeting after the Taliban took credit for an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, that killed a dozen people, including an American soldier. Inviting Taliban leaders onto American soil is an unprecedented move and a significant development in America's longest running war just days from the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It comes after Trump said as recently as late last month that he is planning to withdraw thousands of US forces from Afghanistan but will keep 8,600 troops in the country at least for the time being. It's not clear if Trump's Saturday night announcement will impact that plan. "Unbeknownst to almost everyone, the major Taliban leaders and, separately, the President of Afghanistan, were going to secretly meet with me at Camp David on Sunday," Trump tweeted Saturday night. Trump claimed that before traveling to the US on Saturday evening, "Unfortunately, in order to build false leverage, they admitted to......an attack in Kabul that killed one of our great great soldiers, and 11 other people." "I immediately cancelled the meeting and called off peace negotiations," Trump added. more... - Is Trump lying as he did when he said China called, but China did not know about it or the wall that Trump said Mexico would pay for. more...

By Tamara Keith
Bill Weld and Joe Walsh are running for president. Mark Sanford is considering it. All are Republican former elected officials with little chance of winning. But, it seems, that isn't their only goal. "Every time a president has had an opponent within their own party ... that president has gone on to lose the general election," Weld, the former governor of Massachusetts, said in an interview with NPR's Morning Edition. Trump's opponents are well aware of this history and are hoping for a repeat of what happened to one-term presidents like George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford. Each faced a major primary challenger from within their own party and each went on to lose re-election. President Trump's campaign and allies also know this history and are working to leave as little daylight for these challengers as possible. At the state level, that means moving to change the rules and even eliminate or scale back Republican primaries and caucuses. On Saturday, the Republican Party in South Carolina voted to scrap its GOP presidential primary, while in Kansas and Nevada, the GOP voted to replace their presidential nominating caucuses in 2020 with an internal party process. Similar action is expected in Arizona later this month. The Trump campaign did not respond to numerous requests for comment, but has tried to downplay and distance itself from the state party moves. "They're more worried than they let on," said Bill Kristol, a #NeverTrump Republican who is trying to encourage primary challengers. "If you are confident, if you're Donald Trump, if these are just minor irritants, you know what, you beat them all, you crush them all in the primaries and everyone says, 'Wow, look how strong Donald Trump is,' " Kristol said. "If you're shutting down primaries, you're a little nervous about how the dynamic of these primary challenges could go." Kristol's hope is that one of these long-shot candidates starts to gain traction — or that someone else gets into the race with an even better chance — and that somehow, Trump is denied the nomination. Kristol readily admits "that's unlikely." So a secondary goal is to bruise Trump enough to hurt his chances come November 2020. more...

Now the layover is part of a broader House inquiry into military spending at and around the Trump property.
By NATASHA BERTRAND and BRYAN BENDER
In early Spring of this year, an Air National Guard crew made a routine trip from the U.S. to Kuwait to deliver supplies. What wasn’t routine was where the crew stopped along the way: President Donald Trump’s Turnberry resort, about 50 miles outside Glasgow, Scotland. Since April, the House Oversight Committee has been investigating why the crew on the C-17 military transport plane made the unusual stay — both en route to the Middle East and on the way back — at the luxury waterside resort, according to several people familiar with the incident. But they have yet to receive any answers from the Pentagon. The inquiry is part of a broader, previously unreported probe into U.S. military expenditures at and around the Trump property in Scotland. According to a letter the panel sent to the Pentagon in June, the military has spent $11 million on fuel at the Prestwick Airport — the closest airport to Trump Turnberry — since October 2017, fuel that would be cheaper if purchased at a U.S. military base. The letter also cites a Guardian report that the airport provided cut-rate rooms and free rounds of golf at Turnberry for U.S. military members. Taken together, the incidents raise the possibility that the military has helped keep Trump’s Turnberry resort afloat — the property lost $4.5 million in 2017, but revenue went up $3 million in 2018. “The Defense Department has not produced a single document in this investigation,” said a senior Democratic aide on the oversight panel. “The committee will be forced to consider alternative steps if the Pentagon does not begin complying voluntarily in the coming days.” The Pentagon, Air Force and White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. On previous trips to the Middle East, the C-17 had landed at U.S. air bases such as Ramstein Air Base in Germany or Naval Station Rota in Spain to refuel, according to one person familiar with the trips. Occasionally the plane stopped in the Azores and once in Sigonella, Italy, both of which have U.S. military sites, the person added. But on this particular trip, the plane landed in Glasgow — a pitstop the five-man crew had never experienced in their dozens of trips to the Middle East. The location lacked a U.S. base and was dozens of miles away from the crew’s overnight lodging at the Turnberry resort. Had the crew needed to make a stop in the U.K., Lakenheath Air Base is situated nearby in England. The layover might have been cheaper, too: the military gets billed at a higher rate for fuel at commercial airports. One crew member was so struck by the choice of hotel — markedly different than the Marriotts and Hiltons the 176th maintenance squadron is used to — that he texted someone close to him and told him about the stay, sending a photo and noting that the crew’s per diem allowance wasn’t enough to cover food and drinks at the ritzy resort. The revelation that an Air Force mission may have helped line the president’s pockets comes days after Vice President Mike Pence was pressed about his decision to stay at Trump’s property in Doonbeg, Ireland, despite its location hundreds of miles away from his meetings in Dublin. The Oversight Committee is also investigating Pence’s stay at the resort. more... - Trump is using our tax dollars to prop up his businesses.

By Andrew Freedman, Colby Itkowitz and Jason Samenow
Nearly a week before the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration publicly backed President Trump over its own scientists, a top NOAA official warned its staff against contradicting the president. In an agencywide directive sent Sept. 1 to National Weather Service personnel, hours after Trump asserted, with no evidence, that Alabama “would most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated,” staff was told to “only stick with official National Hurricane Center forecasts if questions arise from some national level social media posts which hit the news this afternoon.” They were also told not to “provide any opinion,” according to a copy of the email obtained by The Washington Post. A NOAA meteorologist who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution said the note, understood internally to be referring to Trump, came after the National Weather Service office in Birmingham contradicted Trump by tweeting Alabama would “NOT see any impacts from the hurricane.” The Birmingham office sent the tweet after receiving a flurry of phone calls from concerned residents following Trump’s message. The agency sent a similar message warning scientists and meteorologists not to speak out on Sept. 4, after Trump showed a hurricane map from Aug. 29 modified with a hand-drawn, half-circle in black Sharpie around Alabama. “This is the first time I’ve felt pressure from above to not say what truly is the forecast,” the meteorologist said. “It’s hard for me to wrap my head around. One of the things we train on is to dispel inaccurate rumors and ultimately that is what was occurring — ultimately what the Alabama office did is provide a forecast with their tweet, that is what they get paid to do.” more... - Trump has corrupted the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to support his lies.

CNN
Lawmakers are furious after the Trump administration announced that the money to pay for President Donald Trump's border wall is going to come from diverting billions from military construction projects. CNN's Alexander Marquardt has the details. more...

By David Morgan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, criticized for an unorthodox impeachment probe of President Donald Trump, is poised to vote next week on a resolution to formalize the investigation, a person familiar with the matter said on Saturday. The panel has rebranded what was originally an oversight probe of Trump’s presidency as an “impeachment” investigation, with the aim of deciding by the end of the year on whether to recommend articles of impeachment to the full House. As early as Wednesday, committee members could vote on a measure that would better define the investigation, according to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The committee’s current impeachment approach has been criticized by Republicans for avoiding a precedent set during impeachment inquiries against former President Richard Nixon and former President Bill Clinton. In those cases, inquiries were formally authorized by the full House. This time, Democrats have steered clear of a House vote that could prove risky for Democratic freshmen from swing districts where impeachment is unpopular with voters. more...

By Brian Stelter, CNN Business
(CNN) - The editor of the Washington Post says President Trump's latest insults against two Post reporters are "unwarranted and dangerous."
Trump tweeted on Saturday morning that reporters Philip Rucker and Ashley Parker "shouldn't even be allowed on the grounds of the White House."
The comment suggested that Trump is still thinking about booting reporters from the White House, even though the administration has lost twice in court after stripping press passes from others. Trump frequently blasts the Post and its owner, Jeff Bezos, which is a testament to the newspaper's exclusive reporting and agenda-setting power. His most recent complaints were prompted by a story titled "Trump's lost summer: Aides claim victory, but others see incompetence and intolerance." Rucker and Parker's article came out on Sunday evening and said some "Trump advisers and allies" felt like the president's summer was defined by "self-inflicted controversies and squandered opportunities." The article included multiple on-the-record sources and a bevy of examples. The White House press office has pushed back forcefully, with a web video and an op-ed that tried to tout Trump's recent accomplishments and events. Trump pushed back personally on Saturday morning, calling Rucker and Parker "nasty lightweight reporters" who publish "DISGUSTING & FAKE" reporting. In reality, the reporters are widely respected inside and outside the Post. Rivals from other papers spoke up in their defense on Saturday. Peter Baker, the chief White House correspondent at The New York Times, said they're "two of the absolute best. Smart, insightful and fearless. Read everything they write." The Post's executive editor Marty Baron responded to Trump by saying the paper is "immensely proud to have these two superb journalists on staff. Philip Rucker and Ashley Parker have consistently demonstrated their integrity in covering the White House. We stand fully behind them and their important work." Baron added, "The president's statement fits into a pattern of seeking to denigrate and intimidate the press. It's unwarranted and dangerous, and it represents a threat to a free press in this country." more...

By Matt Egan, CNN Business
New York (CNN Business) - Wall Street's favorite fortuneteller is telling an ominous story about the fate of America's economy. The chance of a recession in the United States over the next 12 months climbed to 38% in August, according to a New York Federal Reserve model updated on Wednesday. The closely-watched model, based on the US Treasury yield curve, is up sharply over the past year, now standing at the highest level since the Great Recession. Economists and analysts get worried long before this recession prognosticator reaches 100%. That's because the NY Fed model never reached 50% before the last three recessions, including the 2008 meltdown. "Anything over 30% is very bad," said Nicholas Colas, co-founder of DataTrek Research. "A lot of things have to go right to avoid a recession. We need a trade deal." The yield curve measures the gap between long and short-term bond rates. During normal times, it's more expensive for the government to borrow for a long time than shorter durations. But that relationship has been flipped upside down lately. So-called inversions have occurred before previous recessions. That's why sophisticated investors pay very close attention to the NY Fed recession forecast. "The Fed model has become the rock star of this year's batch of economic indicators," said Colas. "Everyone either looks at that model or they've back-engineered their own version of it." more...

By Jason Samenow and Andrew Freedman
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s decision to back President Trump instead of its own scientists on the question of whether Alabama was at significant risk from Hurricane Dorian has led to widespread outrage in the broader weather community. Weather forecasters inside and outside the government and former leaders of NOAA and the National Weather Service have spoken out against the NOAA action. Late Friday afternoon, NOAA released a statement siding with Trump’s Sept. 1 assertion that Alabama “would most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated” by Hurricane Dorian, even after its own National Weather Service office in Birmingham had accurately tweeted: "Alabama will NOT see any impacts from #Dorian.” The unsigned NOAA release, attributed to an agency “spokesperson,” specifically rebuked the Birmingham office, stating it “spoke in absolute terms that were inconsistent with probabilities from the best forecast products available.” Many critics say NOAA’s decision to back Trump is putting politics before facts and undermining forecasters’ ability to carry out their mission to protect life and property, while eroding public trust. They also worry about how the statement will affect Weather Service forecasters’ morale. Three former NOAA heads have expressed this concern. Kathryn Sullivan, a former NASA astronaut who ran the agency under President Barack Obama, said that throughout NOAA’s history, the agency — including its political appointees — has committed "to not let any political factors sway the scientific credibility and clarity of Weather Service forecasts and warnings.” She stated: “The anonymous and disingenuous statement NOAA tweeted out is a major breach of scientific integrity that damages the NWS and stains the agency’s leadership.” Jane Lubchenco, who preceded Sullivan as NOAA administrator under Obama, told Capital Weather Gang via email: “This looks like classic politically motivated obfuscation to justify inaccurate statements made by the boss. It is truly sad to see political appointees undermining the superb, life-saving work of NOAA’s talented and dedicated career servants.” more... - Trump has corrupted the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to support his lies.

An investigation into the spending comes as Trump faces questions over his officials patronizing his properties.
By Riley Beggin
The House Oversight Committee is investigating military spending at an airport near a Trump property in Ayer, Scotland, as well as visits to that property by service members, in the latest of a growing number of inquiries into government expenditures that seem to financially benefit President Donald Trump and his businesses. The military has spent $11 million on fuel alone at the Prestwick Airport near Trump’s Turnberry resort since fall of 2017, Politico reported. And reporting by the Guardian found the airport has provided discounted rooms and complimentary rounds of golf at the Trump resort for some US military members. The expenditures are unusual given buying fuel from Prestwick Airport costs the government (and, ultimately, taxpayers) more than refueling at military bases, such as the nearby Lakenheath Air Base in England. And the stays at Trump resorts are equally as unusual and costly, as Politico’s Natasha Bertrand and Bryan Bender note in their account of the experiences of five Air National Guard troops who stayed the Turnberry resort this year while on a mission to Kuwait: One crew member was so struck by the choice of hotel — markedly different than the Marriotts and Hiltons the 176th maintenance squadron is used to — that he texted someone close to him and told him about the stay, sending a photo and noting that the crew’s per diem allowance wasn’t enough to cover food and drinks at the ritzy resort. The spending captured the attention of the House Oversight Committee, and in June, it sent the Pentagon a letter demanding an explanation. The Department of Defense, however, has refused to turn over any documents to investigators. Trump has been under scrutiny since the beginning of his presidency for refusing to divest his interests in his businesses. And as recently as last week, when it was reported Trump suggested Vice President Mike Pence stay at one of his hotels during a visit to Ireland, the president has been accused of using his office to enrich himself. more... - Trump is using our tax dollars to prop up his businesses.

By Tom Boggioni
In yet another scorching column for the Daily Beast, GOP consultant Rick Wilson used Donald Trump’s obsession with maintaining he was correct about Hurricane Dorian hitting Alabama as evidence that he gone completely off the rails and into his reality. According to Wilson, “That bellowing you hear from the Oval Office may sound like the rantings of a kooky slowcoach accidental president of limited cognitive abilities. You could ascribe it to his obsessions and twitching, reflexive rages over even the slightest correction or disagreement as an act. We could blame it all on whatever slurry of toupee worms, mental illness, creeping dementia, tertiary syphilis, scurvy, and windmill cancer occupies his wee noggin, but it’s so much more, and it’s so much worse.” Noting what has become known as “Sharpiegate,” after the president was busted for altering an official weather map to make his point about Alabama, Wilson said it is evidence of the president’s decline. “Trump has entered the eccentric dictator phase of his presidency, so strap in,” he warned. “From Stalin to Mao to Mugabe to Pol Pot to Saddam to Trump’s sleepover bestie Kim Jong Un, Donald’s defining emotion is not contempt, but envy. These men enjoyed the life of power, wealth, control and freedom from accountability that fills Trump’s political spank bank.” Wilson also noted Trump’s often-expressed desire to stay in office in perpetuity, writing, “Trump’s joking references to a third term are growing in number and intensity, and some part of his rat-nest consciousness is thinking, “I bet I could get away with it.” The 2020 efforts to kill off the Republican primary to clear the field for Trump are a preview. I mean, why bother with elections when there’s so much winning going on? ” Then he brought the hammer down. more...

By Frank Rich
Some Washington reporters have begun to observe that, in the face of lagging economic indicators, North Korean progress on missile tests, GOP retirements in Congress, and other setbacks, Donald Trump’s ever-more-erratic outbursts over the past month are a sign that he feels his presidency is in danger in the run-up to 2020. Are they right? America’s First Baby is certainly acting like someone put him in the corner. To call Trump erratic right now is a compliment. He makes Roseanne Barr look like Theresa May. Just when you think he is going to let go of Sharpiegate after five days and concede that there was never (as he said) a “95 percent chance probability” that Hurricane Dorian would hit Alabama “very hard,” he’s at it again, summoning a Fox News reporter to the Oval Office to try to enforce his fantastical meteorology. His tweet storm is threatening to outlast the actual storm. What’s next? Will he send Al Roker to Guantanamo? Will he lavish emergency aid on Alabama, perhaps to bolster the campaign of whichever Republican is anointed to take down Democratic Senator Doug Jones in 2020? Or — to repurpose a Jonah storyline from Veep — will he show up an hour late for a public event and insist that everyone else has it wrong because daylight saving time has already ended? Trump could become the first president ever to be publicly corrected by both the National Weather Service and the timekeepers at the U.S. Naval Observatory. Of course Sharpiegate is only one offering in the past week or so’s 24/7 repertory of White House Looney Tunes. Not even another mass killing in Texas could distract our president from a public feud with his long-ago fellow NBC primetime star Debra Messing, of Will & Grace. There’s also the bagatelle of his tweeting out a classified surveillance photo of an Iranian missile site, yet another in an endless series of moves to undermine American intelligence agencies. But there may be more of a method to the madness of Trump’s “congratulations” to Poland on the 80th anniversary of the German invasion. Far from being one of his typical displays of utter historical and geopolitical ignorance, this tweet may have been a heartfelt expression of his genuine conviction that there are “very fine people on both sides” when Nazis launch a blitzkrieg. more...

By Jesse Byrnes and Tal Axelrod
President Trump lashed out at a pair of Washington Post reporters early Saturday, ratcheting up the White House's feud with the journalists over their coverage of the Trump administration. Trump went after The Post's Philip Rucker and Ashley Parker in a tweet, calling them "two nasty lightweight reporters" and suggesting that they be barred from the White House grounds. The president wrote that the reporters "shouldn’t even be allowed on the grounds of the White House because their reporting is so DISGUSTING & FAKE." The White House didn't immediately respond to a request for further information. Trump's tweets came a day after two top White House officials penned an op-ed in The Washington Examiner criticizing The Post for a Sept. 1 article describing "what some Trump advisers and allies characterize as a lost summer defined by self-inflicted controversies and squandered opportunities." Stephanie Grisham and Hogan Gidley, the White House press secretary and deputy press secretary, respectively, wrote that The Post refused to cite the majority of Trump’s accomplishments from a list of 26 that was provided. The White House officials accused Rucker and Parker of having “pushed their own personal political narrative that President Trump had a ‘lost summer’ of squandered opportunities and few accomplishments.” They specifically cited Trump's historic meeting with Kim Jong Un in North Korea as well as his push for a trade deal with Japan as examples that the reporters did not include. more...

It is a shameless lie: Guns will not save the day — they will kill us
Lucian K. Truscott IV
We don’t have more automobiles than people in the United States of America. We don’t have more televisions than people. We don’t have more radios than people. We don’t have more cell phones than people. What we do have is more guns than people. A recent report published by the Small Arms Survey in Geneva, Switzerland, found that there are more than 393 million firearms owned by civilians in this country. We have a population of 326 million. That means there are 120.5 firearms for every 100 American citizens, according to the Washington Post. It’s a fact. If every single person in the United States possessed a gun, including babies, elderly people and the infirm — even including those hospitalized and on their deathbeds — there would still be 67 million guns left over.  Sixty-seven million. The number of guns owned by civilians is an outrage, a profanity, a sign that this country has lost its collective mind. But not to the National Rifle Association it isn’t. Not to the Gun Owners of America, another major gun lobby organization with over two million members, which is frequently critical of the NRA for being too soft on gun rights. These well-funded lobbies for gun manufacturers and gun owners have long taken the position that what we need is more guns, not less. They say that more guns equal less crime, despite FBI statistics that show conclusively that violent crime, and especially crimes involving firearms, is higher per capita in areas of the country with more guns. You need guns to defend yourself and your property, these groups tell us. If more people had more guns, criminals would be less likely to commit crimes because they wouldn’t know who was armed and ready to defend themselves. more...

Joey Garrison, USA TODAY
BOSTON — Jasiel Correia II, the already embattled mayor of Fall River, Massachusetts, was arrested Friday on new federal extortion charges for allegedly operating a scheme to help marijuana vendors get approval to operate in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes. Prosecutors say Correia agreed to sign non-opposition letters in return for significant six-figure payments from four marijuana vendors looking to open businesses in the city of nearly 90,000 about an hour's drive south of Boston. The letters are required to obtain a license to operate a marijuana business in Massachusetts, where cannabis is legal. Correia, 27, appeared in Boston federal court Friday afternoon and pleaded not guilty. "I'm not guilty of these charges," he told reporters afterward, standing next to his attorney outside the courthouse. "I've done nothing but good for the great city of Fall River, me and my staff, and my team. I'm going to continue to do great things for our citizens." The Democrat mayor also is accused of extorting $3,900 in cash and a $7,500-to-$12,000 "Batman" Rolex watch from a property owner in exchange for activating the water supply to his building. In addition, federal prosecutors say Correia demanded his chief of staff give him half of her $78,700 salary in return for appointing her and allowing her to keep her city job. Four others, including the former chief of staff, Genoveva Andrade, also were charged with federal crimes. more...

By Robert Barnes and Seung Min Kim
Some justices ascend to the Supreme Court quietly, deferring to their elders and biding time before venturing out too far to offer their own views of the law. Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, on the other hand, appears to have been shot from a cannon. At his inaugural oral argument in April 2017, President Trump’s first choice for the Supreme Court asked 22 questions. In the term just completed, Gorsuch wrote more dissents than any other justice and typed out a whopping 337 pages of opinions. Again, more than anyone else. Along the way, he has established himself as one of the court’s most conservative justices and a reliable vote for Trump initiatives that have reached the Supreme Court — the travel ban on those from mostly-Muslim countries, adding a citizenship question to the census form and allowing a ban on transgender service in the military to go into effect. He has shown a willingness to overturn precedent and an impatience with more reticent colleagues. More than anything, he has displayed a supreme confidence that his originalist approach to the law is the most disciplined and principled way to go about his job as a justice. “I’m all in, and I wanted to explain that,” Gorsuch said in a recent interview in his chambers. He was referring to “A Republic, If You Can Keep It,” a book he has written that goes on sale Tuesday. The title is from Benjamin Franklin’s reported comment when asked what kind of government the Founding Fathers would propose. It is a collection of essays, speeches, past opinions and ruminations on civics, civility and the art of judging. “I decided I wanted to say something about the Constitution, the separation of powers and the judge’s role in it,” Gorsuch said in the interview. At his confirmation in 2017, he said, “I was surprised by just some basic misunderstandings about the separation of powers.” more...

By Dakin Andone and Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN
(CNN) - Jury selection is expected to begin Friday in the case of a former Dallas police officer who faces a murder charge after she shot and killed a man in his own apartment last September, according to CNN affiliate KTVT. Amber Guyger shot and killed Botham Jean, an unarmed black man, after entering his apartment, believing that it was her own, according to police. Guyger's defense team has requested a change of venue for the trial, citing "prejudicial" and "inflammatory" media coverage. But earlier this week, the judge ruled that a decision would not be made on that request until it was determined whether a jury could be selected in Dallas County, KTVT reported. Guyger, who is white, was off-duty at the time of the shooting, which occurred one year ago on Friday. Still in uniform, she parked her car at her apartment complex and went to what she believed was her apartment, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. She did not realize she was on the wrong floor. The door was slightly ajar as she tried to use her key, which has an electronic chip. When she opened it, the inside of the apartment was almost completely dark, the affidavit says. Guyger described seeing a large silhouette and believed there was an intruder. She drew her firearm and issued verbal commands, the affidavit says. But Jean, who was in his own home, did not heed them. Guyger fired two shots, hitting Jean once in the torso, the affidavit says. The officer called 911 and rendered aid to Jean. But it wasn't until she turned on the lights and was asked for her address that Guyger realized she was in the wrong apartment, she told police. "I thought it was my apartment," Guyger told the 911 dispatcher repeatedly. Jean, who was 26, died later at a hospital. more...

By Brooke Seipel
A federal judge in Texas has threatened to put prison officials in uncooled cells after they failed to comply with an order to keep some prisoners in air conditioning at facilities known for topping 100 degrees. U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison made the threat during an emergency hearing in Houston on Friday, The Texas Tribune reported. The outlet reported that the judge appeared visibly frustrated, rubbing his forehead and furrowing his brow during his exchange with attorneys. “It seems the most obvious sanction is pretty straight forward,” he said at the hearing. “We ought to have prison officials in prison at the same temperature.” The hearing stems from a lawsuit filed by inmates from the William Pack prison in 2014 over temperatures in 75 units that don't have air conditioning. The lawsuit against the Texas Department of Criminal Justice links the high temperatures and lack of air conditioning to the deaths of nearly two dozen prisoners since 1998, with one death reportedly caused by heat in 2018 — though state officials debate the cause of death in that case. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice has reported 56 prisoners and employees suffering heat-related illnesses in 2019 alone. The agency asserts that number shows an improvement from 2018, which saw 71 heat-related illness incidents in the prison facility. more...

By Ryan Pickrell
A US Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt II accidentally fired off a rocket outside of the designated firing range in Arizona on Thursday. The attack aircraft, assigned to the 354th Fighter Squadron from the 355th Wing, "unintentionally" released an M-156 rocket while on a training mission, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base said in a statement. The M-156, according to CBS News, is a white phosphorous projectile used to mark targets. The rocket landed in the Jackal Military Operations Area, located about 60 miles northeast of Tucson, Arizona.  The Air Force says that no injuries, damages, or fires have been reported.  Thursday's incident, which is currently under investigation, is the second time in a little over two months an A-10 has accidentally opened fire in an area where it wasn't supposed to do so. At the start of July, an Air Force A-10 out of Moody Air Force Base in Georgia accidentally dropped three training bombs over Florida after hitting a bird. The three BDU-33s, non-explosive ordnance designed to simulate M1a-82 bombs, fell somewhere off Highway 129 near Suwannee Springs in northern Florida. more...

By Hansi Lo Wang
A federal judge is allowing a New York-led coalition of 15 states and other groups to defend the Census Bureau in a lawsuit brought by Alabama, the New York state attorney general's office said Friday. Alabama is challenging more than 200 years of precedent in how the federal government divides up congressional seats — using population counts that include unauthorized immigrants. The decision by U.S. District Judge R. David Proctor of Birmingham, Ala., who has yet to file a formal court ruling after a hearing on Friday, raises the profile of this census lawsuit, which was once overshadowed by the more-than-yearlong legal battle over the Trump administration's failed attempt to add a citizenship question to 2020 census forms. Attorneys for the coalition, headed by the New York state attorney general's office, say they were prompted in part to intervene by comments in July from U.S. Attorney General William Barr that raised questions about whether the Trump administration would fully defend the bureau in the lawsuit. "We are intervening in this case because the federal government is failing its obligation to represent the American people, and this lawsuit deserves a robust defense," New York State Attorney General Letitia James said Friday in a written statement. "We will continue to fight to ensure that every person residing in this country is counted — just as the framers intended." more...


CNN
Faced with a time crunch ahead of the 2020 election season, the House Judiciary Committee is broadening its investigation beyond special counsel Robert Mueller's findings as lawmakers confront lingering hurdles over impeaching President Donald Trump. CNN's Manu Raju reports. more...

The husband of shooting victim Gabby Giffords is running for U.S. Senate.
By Associated Press
PHOENIX — The head of the Arizona Republican Party faced a backlash Friday after sending a fundraising email that said Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kelly, who rose to prominence when his wife was shot in the head, will be stopped "dead in his tracks." The email sent Thursday by Arizona GOP Chairman Kelli Ward highlighted Kelly’s advocacy for gun control, a cause the retired astronaut took on after his wife and then-U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords survived a 2011 shooting in Tucson that killed six and injured more than a dozen. "Support the Republican Party of Arizona today and, together, we'll stop gun-grabber Mark Kelly dead in his tracks," Ward wrote. Kelly is likely to be the Democratic nominee in one of the most closely watched contests of the 2020 election, which could help determine which party controls the Senate. Republican Sen. Martha McSally, who was appointed to the seat vacated by John McCain's death, is seen as vulnerable. Before her appointment, McSally was defeated last year in the race for Arizona's other Senate seat. "This dangerous rhetoric has absolutely no place in Arizona and is what's wrong with our politics," said Jacob Peters, a Kelly spokesman. "Mark Kelly is running for Senate to overcome this type of nasty divisiveness that does nothing for Arizonans." more...

By Caroline Kelly and Jim Acosta, CNN
(CNN) - Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would defend funding for a new middle school in his home state of Kentucky after it was selected as one of the military projects the Trump administration will delay in order to fund border wall construction. Secretary of Defense Matt Esper announced on Tuesday the list of projects impacted by the funding move, which would shift a little less than $1.8 billion from projects in 23 states and three US territories. The middle school was slated to receive $62.6 million in February 2020. "Senator McConnell recently talked to Secretary Esper regarding the issue and is committed to protecting funding for the Ft. Campbell Middle School project," a spokesman for McConnell said in a statement. The school is to be located on Fort Campbell, which covers 105,000 acres partly in Tennessee and partly in Kentucky. The base is home to the Army's fifth largest military population, including members of the 101st Airborne Division, known as the "Screaming Eagles." The Kentucky Republican voted to support Trump's national security declaration in March, which allowed the President to use military funding for border wall projects. The spokesman for McConnell blamed the delayed military construction projects -- a funding decision made by Trump to secure his long-sought-after funding for a border wall -- on Democrats. "Regrettably, Democrat opposition to secure our borders has now led to the potential delay of certain Military Construction projects," the spokesman added in a statement. "We would not be in this situation if Democrats were serious about protecting our homeland and worked with us to provide the funding needed to secure our borders during our appropriations process." more...

Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large
(CNN) - The retirements of two House Republicans on Wednesday is, on its face, not that big a deal. Sure, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin leaving after 21(!) terms is an interesting story. But neither Sensenbrenner's seat nor that of fellow retiring Rep. Bill Flores (Texas) are in any danger of flipping to Democrats -- given the clear GOP lean of both. But looks can be deceiving in life and in politics! The retirements of Sensenbrenner and Flores are not, in a vacuum, all that big a deal. But we don't live in a political vacuum. If you take a step back from the twin Republican retirements on Wednesday, you see that Republicans now have 14 House members heading for the exits after next November as compared to just four for Democrats. (California Rep. Susan Davis announced she wouldn't run again on Wednesday too!) And it's not just the raw number disparity between the sides that tells the story. Of the 14 Republicans leaving the House in 2020, only two are abandoning their House seats to run for statewide office -- either governor or senator. The rest are just, well, leaving. By comparison, at this point in the 2018 cycle, 14 House Republicans had announced they were leaving, but nine of the 14 were seeking other, higher offices. It doesn't take a political scientist to look at the GOP retirements (without other offices to run for) and conclude that being in the House minority with President Donald Trump in the White House just isn't a lot of fun. In fact, it's the worst of both political worlds. The House minority can do almost nothing to push an agenda or pass legislation. Much of the "success" is the House minority is winning relatively arcane procedural fights, battles that even a somewhat close observer of Congress has no clue are even happening. more...

By Tal Axelrod
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) said Friday he supports mandating background checks for gun sales between two strangers, sparking a debate with the National Rifle Association (NRA). Patrick, a staunch gun rights advocate, told The Dallas Morning News in an interview that while he opposes background checks for transfers of firearms among family members and between friends, he believes it is “common sense” to mandate the checks for sales between people who don’t know each other. “That gap of stranger to stranger we have to close, in my view,” said Patrick. “When I talk to gun owners, NRA members and voters, people don't understand why we allow strangers to sell guns to total strangers when they have no idea if the person they're selling the gun to could be a felon, could be someone who's getting a gun to go commit a crime or could be a potential mass shooter or someone who has serious mental issues.” “Look, I'm a solid NRA guy,” he added, “but not expanding the background check to eliminate the stranger to stranger sale makes no sense to me and ... most folks.” Patrick’s comments come in the aftermath of a spate of shootings, the deadliest of which occurred last month in El Paso, Texas, when a shooter killed 22 people with an assault rifle. The attacks have rekindled the national conversation around gun violence and reforms that could be passed in Washington to curb future violence. Democrats have pushed for a wide range of reforms, including universal background checks and an assault weapons ban, while Republicans have said they would not consider any reforms that don’t have the support of President Trump. more...

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported more than 200 cases of severe respiratory diseases potentially linked to vaping. The agency confirms at least one person has died from vaping-related illnesses. Government health investigators say they discovered a chemical – an oil derived from Vitamin E – found in samples of marijuana vaping products from patients all over the country who got sick after vaping. In a case that shows the potential dangers from vaping unknown or uncertain substances, an Illinois teenager talked with CBS News about his near-death experience. Adam Hergenreder, of Gurnee, Illinois has been hospitalized since last week. "I'm 18 years old. My lungs are like a 70-year-old's," he said. Hergenreder said he vaped with THC, the primary ingredient of marijuana. "I got it off a drug dealer." Correspondent Dean Reynolds asked, "You're buying it off the street from some guy that you don't really know, in retrospect do you think that was kind of dumb?"  "Yeah," he replied. "When you're addicted like that, I don't think that goes through your mind." Soon after, Hergenreder became feverish, started vomiting, and was gasping for breath. His mother, Polly, drove him to the hospital where he went straight to intensive care. "It's probably every parent's nightmare," she said. "And we couldn't make Adam better." "Did you ever think that your son might die?" Reynolds asked. more...

By Kyle Feldscher, CNN
(CNN) - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Friday disavowed a tweet from the National Weather Service's Birmingham, Alabama, office that had contradicted President Donald Trump's false assertion that Hurricane Dorian was likely to hit the state.
In a statement attributed to an unnamed NOAA spokesperson, the agency said Trump had been given information from August 28 until Monday that Dorian could impact Alabama. "From Wednesday, August 28, through Monday, September 2, the information provided by NOAA and the National Hurricane Center to President Trump and the wider public demonstrated that tropical-storm-force winds from Hurricane Dorian could impact Alabama," the statement read. "This is clearly demonstrated in Hurricane Advisories #15 through #41, which can be viewed on the center's website.
"The Birmingham National Weather Service's Sunday morning tweet spoke in absolute terms that were inconsistent with probabilities from the best forecast products available at the time." Dan Sobien, president of the National Weather Service Employees Organization, lambasted NOAA's characterization of events and defended the agency's employees. "Let me assure you the hard working employees of the NWS had nothing to do with the utterly disgusting and disingenuous tweet sent out by NOAA management tonight #NOAA," he tweeted Friday. It's the latest development in a story that has consumed Washington, even as the deadly hurricane slowly creeps up the East Coast. The storm began battering North Carolina and South Carolina on Thursday and made landfall in the Tarheel State's Outer Banks on Friday morning. Earlier in the week, Dorian killed at least 30 people in the Bahamas and left the island nation utterly devastated. The death toll there is expected to rise in the coming days, as hundreds are missing. more... - Trump has corrupted the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to support his lies.

By Richard Gonzales
The parent agency of the National Weather Service said late Friday that President Trump was correct when he claimed earlier this week that Hurricane Dorian had threatened the state of Alabama. The surprise announcement in an unsigned statement by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) essentially endorsed Trump's Sunday tweet saying that Alabama will "most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated." After the president's tweet, the National Weather Service, in Birmingham, Ala., responded with its own tweet, saying "Alabama will NOT see any impacts from #Dorian. We repeat, no impacts from Hurricane #Dorian will be felt across Alabama. The system will remain too far east." The NOAA statement takes the National Weather Service to task, declaring "The Birmingham National Weather Service's Sunday morning tweet spoke in absolute terms that were inconsistent with probabilities from the best forecast products available at the time." The surprise statement on Friday has left meteorologists around the country baffled and upset. "Some administrator, or someone at the top of NOAA, threw the National Weather Service under the bus," Brian McNoldy, a hurricane researcher at the University of Miami, told NPR. "The part that really smells fishy is that this is five days after that tweet by Trump," he added. "If the National Weather Service did issue a misleading or incorrect tweet, that would need to be amended or fixed in an hour or two." "I am very disappointed to see this statement come out from NOAA," Oklahoma University meteorology professor Jason Furtado told The Associated Press. He said the controversy over the president's tweets and the NOAA statement undermines public confidence in meteorologists. more... - Trump has corrupted the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to support his lies.

The New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow says paperwork indicates the accused sex trafficker “directed” a $2 million donation from Bill Gates to the lab.
By Allison Quinn
Scandal has been swirling around the MIT Media Lab because of its ties to Jeffrey Epstein, with the prestigious university apologizing for taking $800,000 from the accused sex trafficker and several researchers quitting in protest. But the outcry is about to get much louder after a bombshell report by The New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow that reveals the financial relationship was more deeply entangled than previously known—so much so that Epstein’s donations were kept anonymous and the lab ignored pushback from its staffers to keep the money rolling in. The report, which cites leaked emails and other records, appears to contradict lab director Joichi Ito’s recent claim that his decision to accept Epstein’s donations was simply an “error in judgement.” Among the biggest disclosures: more...

The Trump administration has issued two permits to import black rhinos. The Obama administration issued three starting in 2013
By Associated Press
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration says it will issue a permit to a Michigan trophy hunter to import the skin, skull and horns from a rare black rhinoceros he shot in Africa. Documents show Chris D. Peyerk of Shelby Township, Michigan, applied last year for the permit required by the Fish and Wildlife Service to import animals protected under the Endangered Species Act. Peyerk paid $400,000 to an anti-poaching program to receive permission to hunt the male rhino bull inside a Namibian national park in May 2018. The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists black rhinos as a critically endangered species, with about 5,500 remaining in the wild. Nearly half of those are in Namibia, which is allowed under international convention to permit five male rhinos a year to be legally killed by hunters. The specific subspecies Peyrek listed on his application, the south-western black rhinoceros, is listed as "vulnerable" by the IUCN, meaning it is at less threat of extinction than the rest of the species as a whole. Peyerk did not respond to a phone message on Thursday seeking comment. He is president of Dan's Excavating Inc., a large construction contractor in Michigan. The numbers of black rhinos have been increasing in recent years with stricter conservation management, but dozens are still illegally poached each year for their horns, which are sold on the black market for use in traditional Chinese medicine and as a status symbol. The horns are composed largely of the protein keratin, also the chief component in hair and fingernails. more...


Back to content