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Journal Archives

Chris Christie: Michael Cohen is a tour guide for New York prosecutors investigating Trump

By Alex Pappas | Fox News

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says President Trump should be more worried about the prosecutors in New York than those working on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team, saying the Southern District of New York now has a “tour guide” in former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.

“Bob Mueller, I've said for nine months, is not the person to worry about. The person to worry about, the people to worry about, are the prosecutors in Manhattan,” Christie said on Fox News’ "Todd Starnes Radio Show" on Friday as he promotes his new book, “Let Me Finish.”

Referencing federal prosecutors with the Southern District of New York, Christie said: “they have no restriction on what they can look at. Bob Mueller has to stay within the four corners of Russia.”

“In Manhattan, they can look at his business, the can look at his personal life,” Christie said. “They can look at the inaugural, which they're doing. They have no restrictions on what they can look at and they have two tour guides now. They've got Michael Cohen and Rick Gates, the former executive director of the inaugural and his deputy campaign manager.”


SpaceX Set To Launch Critical Dragon Demonstration Mission Tonight

"This vehicle has to work."

ERIC BERGER - 3/1/2019, 5:00 PM

It's finally go time. For the first time since 2011 and the space shuttle's retirement, a rocket and spacecraft stand on a launch pad in Florida capable of blasting humans into space. Launch time is set for 2:49am ET (07:49 UTC) Saturday from Kennedy Space Center. NASA and SpaceX have worked toward this goal for nine years. It hasn't always been easy, but now here we are.

This particular Dragon won't carry humans, just a single mannequin named Ripley as an homage to Sigourney Weaver's iconic character in the movie Alien. Ripley will wear a flight suit and be well instrumented in order to determine conditions inside the spacecraft. "The idea is to get an idea of how humans would feel in her place basically," Hans Koenigsmann, the vice president of build and flight reliability at SpaceX, said at a news briefing Thursday.

Critical flight

NASA is taking few chances for this critical flight. Although SpaceX has flown a cargo version of the Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station since 2012, the crew variant of the spacecraft is entirely made over from the exterior solar panels to the interior life support system. When Dragon arrives at the space station, which it will on Sunday morning if the launch proceeds as scheduled, crew there will enter the vehicle with full oxygen masks. This is because Dragon's cooling system relies on freon, and there's presently no robust way to check for leaks.

This uncrewed flight must go off smoothly before NASA and SpaceX can proceed to crewed missions and end the space agency's dependence on Russian transportation to the station. So much must go right from start to finish. It will begin about an hour before Saturday morning's launch, when NASA will be closely watching the load-and-go fueling operations of the Falcon 9 rocket, which will occur with astronauts on board during crewed flights.


Damn, almost 3am? Not sure I'll be watching this live...


After 'Botch,' Walmart Moves to Keep Disabled Greeters

Associated PressMarch 1, 2019

Walmart endured more than a week's worth of bad publicity before announcing it would make "every effort" to find a role for disabled workers who had been threatened with job loss as the retailer gets rid of greeters at 1,000 stores.

Amid a fierce backlash, Greg Foran, president and CEO of Walmart's U.S. stores, said in a memo to store managers Thursday night that "we are taking some specific steps to support" greeters with disabilities. Several greeters were offered new jobs at their respective stores on Friday and accepted.

Advocates for the disabled said Walmart is making the right move.

"By rethinking their action, Walmart is now opening the door to actually help individuals realize their full employment potential," said Cheryl Bates-Harris, senior disability advocacy specialist at the National Disability Rights Network.

Walmart told greeters around the country last week that their positions were being eliminated in late April in favor of an expanded "customer host" role that involves not only welcoming customers, but also helping with returns, checking receipts to help prevent shoplifting and keeping the front of the store clean. The position requires hosts to be able to lift heavy weights, climb ladders and do other tasks.


Come on @rightie, don't disappoint me with what I can only anticipate your comments to be...

Foxs Chris Wallace Rails Against Trump: How Do You Side With Kim Jong Un Over the Warmbiers?

‘Why on earth would you side with Kim Jong Un over the Warmbier family and the sense of outrage?’

Justin Baragona
03.01.19 2:37 PM ET

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace blasted President Trump Friday for taking North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un at his word that he knew nothing about the circumstances that led to detained American college student Otto Warmbier’s death, calling it an “unforced error” on the president’s part.

In a press conference following his aborted second summit with the North Korean leader, Trump said Kim told him “he didn’t know about it, and I take him at his word.” The president added: “I don’t believe he would have allowed that to happen.”

Fox News co-anchor Sandra Smith noted Friday morning that Warmbier’s parents had released a damning statement on Trump’s remarks, pointing out that White House counselor Kellyanne Conway attempted to spin the president’s comments earlier on America’s Newsroom.

“This strikes me as a completely unforced error by the president and the White House,” Wallace asserted. “Why on an issue like this—there’s no question that Otto Warmbier was brutally tortured, basically killed by the North Koreans—why on earth would you side with Kim Jong Un over the Warmbier family and the sense of outrage?”


March Roars in Like a Lion: Millions to Endure Coast-To-Coast Snow, Then 'punishing' Blast of Record

Doyle Rice, USA TODAY Published 6:00 a.m. ET March 1, 2019 | Updated 12:21 p.m. ET March 1, 2019

March is definitely coming in like a lion over the next few days.

First, a winter storm will spread snow along a 2,500-mile path from Friday through Monday, all the way from California to Maine.

The snow will start late Friday in California and the central Rockies, then move into the central Plains and Midwest on Saturday, the Weather Channel said. By Sunday, the system will strengthen and spread snow from Missouri to New York State.

Some of the storm's heaviest snow is likely to fall when it reaches the Northeast late Sunday and into Monday.


Trump Defense Chief Cautions Turkey Over Russia Missile Purchase

• Shanahan says S-400 system and F-35 jet are ‘incompatible’
• Former Boeing executive says his job is to ‘get stuff done’

By Anthony Capaccio , Bill Faries , and Selcan Hacaoglu
March 1, 2019, 4:00 AM EST Updated on March 1, 2019, 10:33 AM EST

Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan said he’s working to persuade Turkey to drop plans to buy a Russian missile defense system, saying that would imperil prospects to sell the NATO ally the next-generation F-35 jet it’s helping to build.

Shanahan has spoken with his Turkish counterpart, Hulusi Akar, five times since becoming acting defense secretary on Jan. 1, he said in an interview Thursday in his Pentagon office. While some of those talks have centered on Syria policy as President Donald Trump seeks a “significant” drawdown of U.S. forces there, Shanahan said the S-400 missile defense system has also been a key topic.


Turkey has rejected a U.S. proposal to deliver one Patriot missile defense system by the end of 2019, which was conditional on Ankara abandoning the deal with Russia, two senior Turkish officials familiar with the talks said on Friday. The proposal didn’t include a loan agreement nor a technology sharing pact, a key Turkish demand, they said.

A U.S. official familiar with the negotiations said Turkey appeared to be looking for reasons to walk away from the U.S. deal. The U.S. has offered Turkey better terms on both pricing and co-production than Russia, in an effort to persuade it not to go through with the S-400 purchase, the official said.


U.S. Consumer Sentiment Unexpectedly Declined in Late February

By Alexandre Tanzi
March 1, 2019, 10:00 AM EST

U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly fell from an initial February reading and remained near the prior month’s two-year low, signaling that Americans haven’t quite shaken off the government shutdown and trade war.

The University of Michigan’s final February sentiment index was 93.8, below the preliminary reading of 95.5 and missing the 95.9 median forecast in Bloomberg’s survey of economists. The measure of current conditions weakened from the earlier reading to the lowest since November 2016 while expectations were lower than in the initial report.

Key Insights

•The report may signal consumption, which accounts for the majority of the economy, is poised for further moderation. A report Thursday showed fourth-quarter consumer spending grew at a 2.8 percent annualized pace, down from the prior period and below forecasts.

•Friday’s report showed 25 percent of all consumers reported worsening finances, the highest proportion recorded since Donald Trump was elected president, according to the report.

•The data contrast with other February sentiment readings that were more upbeat after the government shutdown ended and stocks rallied. The Conference Board confidence index jumped the most in three years while the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index’s monthly expectations gauge rose the most since 2008.


Hold the Revolution: Roberts Keeps Joining High Court Liberals

• Chief justice sides with inmate in death penalty ruling
• Court lies low after divisive Kavanaugh confirmation fight

By Greg Stohr
March 1, 2019, 4:00 AM EST

Chief Justice John Roberts is showing a new willingness to side with the U.S. Supreme Court’s liberal wing after the divisive confirmation fight over Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Roberts joined the liberals Wednesday in two rulings that left the conservatives in dissent. Most notably, he cast the deciding vote to order a new look at the mental competence of a death row inmate who says he can’t remember the crimes he committed.

The votes add to an unmistakable pattern, offering fresh indications that Roberts is in no hurry to oversee a conservative legal revolution. The chief justice has also joined 5-4 orders that blocked President Donald Trump from curbing bids for asylum at the Mexican border and stopped Louisiana from enforcing new abortion restrictions.

It’s too early to say whether the votes mark the beginning of a lasting shift, or merely a pause on the court’s anticipated move to the right after Kavanaugh’s confirmation to succeed the retired Justice Anthony Kennedy. Since being appointed in 2005 by Republican President George W. Bush, Roberts, 64, has established himself as a solid conservative, though usually one inclined toward incremental change.


Buchanan: Is the American Century Over For Good?

February 28, 2019 by Patrick J. Buchanan

Wake Up America - Share Pat's Columns! (allows full repost of columns)

Indulging its hatred of Trump is a preoccupation, an obsession of this capital city.

“Politics stops at the water’s edge” was a tradition that, not so long ago, was observed by both parties, particularly when a president was abroad, speaking for the nation.

The tradition was enunciated by Sen. Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan in 1947, as many of the Republicans in the 80th Congress moved to back Truman’s leadership in the Cold War against Stalin’s empire.

The tradition lasted until the mid-1960s, when the left wing of the Democratic Party turned viscerally, and even violently, against the war in Vietnam and President Lyndon Johnson.

Republican Presidents Nixon, Reagan and Bush I, with the support of conservative Democrats, led America to final victory in the Cold War

Yet except for brief intervals, like the rallying around George H. W. Bush after the triumphant Gulf War of 1991 and George W. Bush after 9/11, true national unity has never been restored.

Were proof needed, this week provided it.

President Trump flew to Hanoi, Vietnam, to meet North Korea’s dictator. Subject of negotiations: Kim Jong Un’s nuclear weapons, including his missiles that may be able to reach our homeland.

How did the Democratic Party wish the commander in chief well on his mission for America?

During Trump’s first full day in Hanoi, a committee of Nancy Pelosi’s House held a public hearing featuring ex-Trump lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen, a convicted perjurer and felon who cut a deal with the prosecution for a reduced sentence.

The city loved it. Cable and network TV coverage went gavel to gavel. Cohen’s testimony crowded out the Trump-Kim summit and even news of aerial clashes between India and Pakistan, two nuclear powers that have fought three wars since independence, 70 years ago.

What were the headlines Trump came home to after refusing to lift sanctions on North Korea, in return for meager concessions Kim offered?

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“Cohen Paints Trump as Crooked” was the banner atop page one of The Washington Post. Cohen’s depiction of his old boss was boldly quoted above: “He is a racist. He is a con man. And he is a cheat.”

“Cohen Accuses Trump of Lies and Cover-ups” ran the page-one headline in The New York Times.

“Cohen Declares Trump a Racist, Cheat and Conman” read the huge headline in the Financial Times.

“Cohen Says Trump Guided Coverup” was at the top of page one in The Wall Street Journal.

Trump is denounced for calling media the “enemy of the people.” Yet that media, in news columns as well as editorials, routinely describes him as a racist, sexist, xenophobe, homophobe, Islamophobe and bigot.

Indulging its hatred of Trump is a preoccupation, an obsession of this capital city. Those headlines reveal not only the news judgment of the editors but the agenda of the elite who turn to them first every morning.

That agenda is the breaking of this president; his disgrace and fall; and, if impeachment proves not possible, his crushing defeat in 2020 and subsequent indictment. Our so-called Dreamers in Washington, D.C., look to the triumphal return to power of the establishment the American people threw out in 2016.

Yet the alliance that seeks to bring down Trump is formidable: deep-state leakers and media collaborators; the Democratic Party and House; most of America’s commentariat; and the cultural elites in the arts, academia and Hollywood.

How far beyond normal politics have the divisions in our society gone? As the Covington Catholic kids found out, wearing a MAGA hat is now seen as a racist provocation.

In the play unfolding, Cohen’s testimony to the House committee was scene one of act one.

Next comes the Mueller report, though it appears Robert Mueller and his team, after investigating for two years, have found no collusion between Trump and Vladimir Putin in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee or the Clinton campaign.

Hence, the hopes of Trump haters are being redirected to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. Subjects of investigation: the Trump Organization, the Trump Inaugural Committee, the Trump Foundation, the Trump family and any entity with which Donald Trump has been associated in 40 years.

Again, as the president is chief of state and head of government, he cannot be indicted. He must first be removed from the presidency. But to remove him, Democrats have to impeach him in the House and convict him in a Republican Senate.

If they cannot, they will have to defeat him at the polls.

In 1968, George Wallace of Alabama tore the Southern populist right out of the Democratic Party. Liberals Gene McCarthy, Robert Kennedy and George McGovern then savaged Vice President Hubert Humphrey from the left. The Grant Park rioters did the rest.

Nixon, leading a minority Republican Party, had a compelling argument: “If the Democrats cannot unite their own party, how can they unite the nation?”

Today, a watching world is asking: If you Americans are at war with yourselves over race, religion, morality, culture and politics, if you cannot unite yourselves, how can you unite the world? And around what?

Maybe the American Century is really over.

Russia Vows To Continue Support For Venezuela, Including With Aid

Date created : 01/03/2019 - 12:12

Moscow (AFP)

Russia will maintain its support for Venezuela's government, including with aid supplies, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday.

"Russia will continue to assist the Venezuelan authorities in resolving social and economic problems, including through the provision of legitimate humanitarian aid," Lavrov said at a joint press conference with Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez.

At the start of talks with Rodriguez in Moscow, Lavrov expressed Russia's "support and solidarity" for Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro in the country's political standoff.

"We are very closely cooperating and coordinating all our steps on the international arena," Lavrov said.

"This has acquired special significance now that Venezuela is facing a frontal attack and unabashed interference in its domestic affairs."

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