Trump intensifies feud with Pelosi by calling off her trip abroad | US news | The Guardian

Donald Trump has dramatically escalated his feud with House speaker Nancy Pelosi amid the US government shutdown by canceling her previously undisclosed trip abroad and denying her the use of a military aircraft to visit American troops in Afghanistan.

Hours after Pelosi said Trump had been “silent” in response to her request, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders posted a letter from Trump to the House speaker postponing her travel.

“Due to the shutdown, I am sorry to inform you that your trip to Brussels, Egypt and Afghanistan has been postponed,” the president wrote. “In light of the 800,000 great American workers not receiving pay, I am sure you would agree that postponing this public relations event is totally appropriate.”

He added: “It would be better if you were in Washington negotiating with me and joining the Strong Border Security movement. If you would like to make your journey flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative.”


Source: Trump intensifies feud with Pelosi by calling off her trip abroad | US news | The Guardian


Congress Vows To Investigate Evidence That Trump Told Cohen To Lie To Congress : Buzzfeed News

The House Intelligence Committee will investigate the revelation that President Donald Trump ordered his longtime personal attorney to lie to Congress about a potentially lucrative real estate project in Moscow.

On Thursday, BuzzFeed News reported that in 2017, Trump directed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about when negotiations to build a Trump Tower in the Russian capital ended and to obscure then-candidate Trump’s involvement in the discussions surrounding the project.

“The allegation that the President of the United States may have suborned perjury before our committee in an effort to curtail the investigation and cover up his business dealings with Russia is among the most serious to date,” committee chairman Adam Schiff said in a statement. “We will do what’s necessary to find out if it’s true.”

Cohen has pleaded guilty to lying to House and Senate Intelligence committees about the Trump Moscow deal, and Schiff has already said the committee would like to re-interview him when Democrats reopen the committee’s shuttered Russia probe. Cohen misled lawmakers to “minimize links between the Moscow Project and Individual 1,” an individual believed to be Trump, “in hopes of limiting the ongoing Russia investigations,” according to Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Other Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee agreed that the new revelation about Trump’s involvement in the Moscow project and Cohen’s testimony should be investigated as part of the panel’s reinvigorated Russia inquiry. Democrats, who won control of the House and its committees in November, plan to restart the probe in the weeks ahead after Republicans shuttered it last year.


Source: Congress Vows To Investigate Evidence That Trump Told Cohen To Lie To Congress : Buzzfeed News

Thousands more migrant kids separated from parents under Trump than previously reported : NBC News

WASHINGTON — Thousands more immigrant children were separated from their parents under the Trump administration than previously reported and whether they have been reunified is unknown, according to a report released Thursday by the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services.

The report found a spike in immigrant family separations beginning in the summer of 2017, a year prior to the “zero tolerance” policy that prosecuted immigrant parents who crossed the border illegally while holding their children separately in HHS custody. The families separated under zero tolerance were represented in a class action lawsuit, where a federal judge ordered that the government reunify them.

However, the government had no such order to reunify children separated prior to “zero tolerance.” Some may have been released to family or nonrelative sponsors, but it is not known how many have been reunified.

HHS officials did not keep track of whether children they were releasing from their custody had been separated from their parents at the border or whether they crossed the border without a parent.


Source: Thousands more migrant kids separated from parents under Trump than previously reported : NBC News

Mitch McConnell begins to feel the heat for government shutdown at home |

Federal workers’ protests outside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office in Lexington, Ky. are raising questions about how long the Republican leader can continue his support of President Trump in the face of the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.

Government workers from the Federal Medical Center, U.S. Penitentiary in Lexington and the Federal Correctional Institution of Manchester assembled outside McConnell’s office this week to protest the shutdown, according to local CBS affiliate WKYT. The protesters made it clear that their objective was for McConnell, and Congress overall, to vote to re-open the government.

“They don’t even know if they can make it to work, yet they’re required to work,” Jerry Jackson Jr, a union president in Big Sandy, told the network.

“What do we pay now? Do we pay the mortgage, do we save gas money to get to work, what do we do? Do we buy the groceries? So now the times are starting to get tough,” Stephen Creech, a union president in Manchester, also observed.

Joseph Gerth of the Louisville Courier-Journal made it clear in a recent editorialthat he viewed McConnell’s support for Trump as a capitulation.

What is outrageous is McConnell won’t put any pressure on Trump to sign the bill that he voted for in December and that Trump supported before radio talk show hosts howled about it.

God forbid the Republican McConnell even consider overriding the veto of a president of his own party.

While there is little question that many Kentuckians are outraged about the shutdown, that won’t necessarily hurt McConnell’s political career in the state.


Source: Mitch McConnell begins to feel the heat for government shutdown at home |

Former Bush official Richard Painter: ‘Substantial chance’ Trump is being blackmailed by Putin |

President Donald Trump has fulfilled almost all of Vladimir Putin’s dreams and plans to expand the global power of Russia by diminishing the power, respect and influence of the United States.

The New York Times reported this week that during the past year Donald Trump repeatedly and in private expressed the desire to withdraw the United States from the NATO alliance. Beyond an almost heretofore unthinkable betrayal of one of the most successful alliances in modern history — and one founded by the United States after World War II to counter the influence and power of the former Soviet Union in a war — such a move could be seen as surrendering Europe to Vladimir Putin and Russia.

This is one more example of Donald Trump’s behavior that validates the logic and reasoning behind the counterintelligence investigation opened by the FBI in 2017, in order to determine whether the president of the United States, is actually a Russian asset.

This may all seem unimaginable. However, a nightmare scenario where a foreign country could buy (or otherwise install) an American president to do its bidding was anticipated by the framers of the Constitution.

Is Donald Trump an agent of Russia? What impact is the revelation that Donald Trump may be a foreign asset having on members of the FBI and those others charged with protecting the United States from foreign threats? How was the “emoluments clause” and the Constitution’s requirement that the president be a “natural-born citizen intended as a protection against foreign control of the United States government? With the mountains of public evidence that Donald Trump is doing the bidding of Putin, why are both Democrats and Republicans reluctant to remove him from office?

In an effort to answer these questions I recently spoke with Richard Painter. A longtime Republican until his recent decision to quit the party, Painter was White House chief ethics counsel under George W. Bush and is a frequent political commentator and analyst on CNN, MSNBC and other news networks. He is also a professor of corporate law at the University of Minnesota and the author of several books, including “Getting the Government America Deserves.


Source: Former Bush official Richard Painter: ‘Substantial chance’ Trump is being blackmailed by Putin |

Trump Violates Law by Taking Putin Notes | by People’s Action

The Washington Post has reported that Trump “has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details of his conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, including on at least one occasion taking possession of the notes of his own interpreter, and ordering the linguist not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials.

As a result, U.S. officials have said there is no detailed record, even in classified files, of Trump’s face-to-face interactions with the Russian leader at five locations over the past two years.

This is unprecedented in Presidential history, and truly chilling. After all, fourteen U.S. intelligence agencies have already concluded that Russia interfered with the 2016 elections, and Trump and his campaign is under investigation for possible conspiracy and obstruction of the probe.

Without a written record, there is no way for the American public, Robert Mueller, or even top Trump national security advisors to know what he discussed with Putin on multiple occasions, what promises he may have made to the Russians, or even what instructions he may have received from Putin.

A Legal and Constitutional Violation

Trump presumptively violated the law and the Constitution by keeping or destroying his interpreter’s notes, or indeed if he failed to have notes of meetings with Putin and other foreign leaders taken and preserved.

The Presidential Records Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 22) requires the President to retain all “documentary material” he or his office receives or creates which “relate to or have a direct effect upon the carrying out of constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties of the President” and to promptly deposit them with the National Archivist. If Trump personally kept the translator’s notes, or worse, destroyed them, instead of turning them over to the National Archivist, he presumptively broke this law.

The Presidential Records Act also mandates that the President take all necessary steps to assure that the “activities, deliberations, decisions and policies that reflect the performance of the President’s… duties are adequately documented… and… preserved.”

Trump’s failure or refusal to have notes taken and archived documenting his meetings and calls with Putin and other foreign leaders likely violates this part of the law.


Source: Trump Violates Law by Taking Putin Notes | by People’s Action

‘I was screaming for help but people looked away’

Unfortunately many people are ignorant of issues around disability, as they see the disability, but not the person.

They believe they are caring, but have no understanding of how care should be offered.

No one should assume that care is required, without contacting the person concerned. Just because a person has a disability does not mean their feelings and other senses are disabled also.

Everybody, no matter who they are wish to retain their own independence and therefore everyone should be respectful of others.

Before you act, think and consider how to proceed for no one should touch another without the expressed permission of that persons. This is also extended to any aids or adaptions that the person may have.

It is assault to make contact with a person without their permission and the act of touching a persons wheelchair or any other items of theirs is also assault, which is deemed a criminal act or should be as it is abuse

Do not ignore people, but treat them as you, yourself would wish to be treated, for you do not know the person like they know themselves.

The act of touching is further compounded when they are telling you not to do what you have done without their expressed permission.

They are not in the wrong, you are.

Ignorance is never any excuse.

Govt Newspeak

Photo shows Carrie-Ann, William and Ann, who spoke to the BBC about their experiences
The BBC spoke to Carrie-Ann Lightley, William Peace and Ann Webster about strangers trying to push their wheelchairs.

A tweet by a woman detailing how a stranger took control of her wheelchair has prompted other people to share similar stories and support.

In the tweet Bronwyn Berg recounts how passers-by didn’t intervene despite her “screaming for help”.

Twitter post by @BergBronwyn: If you see a person in a wheelchair (especially a woman) being pushed by someone and she’s screaming Stop! No! Help! For the love of humanity help her!A guy grabbed my wheelchair today and just started pushing me, not a single passerby helped even though I was screaming for helpMs Berg’s tweet has received a huge reaction online, garnering nearly 65,000 likes and 20,000 retweets, with many people expressing their outrage and offering words of support, including Baroness Tanni 
Twitter post by @Tanni_GT: That is awful. And scary.Ms Berg wrote on Twitter that she was “most upset that no one helped,” adding “the way people looked away when I was calling for help makes me feel a lot less safe in the world”.

Many wheelchair users identified with the “horrifying” tweet, and were moved to share their experiences.

Photo shows Carrie-Ann Lightley in a gardenTravel blogger Carrie-Ann Lightley says she has experienced similar behaviour

Carrie-Ann Lightley…

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SEND children are being “traumatised” by not getting the help they need in schools

Watching the parliament TV broadcasts of the  SEN Inquiry has been an interesting affair, but yesterday’s brought tears of outrage to my eyes. More on that in a moment.

It was a roundtable event again, with school heads, teachers and SENCos giving their views to the Education select committee, led by Robert Halfon MP. As ever, it covered more than I have time for here, so I’m just picking up on a few areas.

At the start, MPs asked the teachers what benefits the new system had brought. One teacher said how it had put pupils more at the centre of the process where she was in Hampshire, something that also helps parents. Another spoke of increased co-production with parents (don’t you love those buzz words that we know could actually mean almost anything?)

But greater parental involvement didn’t please one of the witnesses, Jon Boyes, the Principal, of Herne Bay High School in Kent. Mr Boyes was not particularly impressed with greater empowerment of parents to help their children. As he put it, “85% of applications for EHCPs now come from parents, which is a fundamentally ridiculous change from where it was two or three years ago”.

He blamed the access to information (golly maybe even from us!) that means parents are more informed about the process and described that as a “double edged sword”. Some parents, he said, feel more in control, while others feel they’re banging their head against a brick wall.” Though he acknowledged that the parents who “know what they’re doing” (in applying for EHCPs) have more success than those who don’t, he didn’t look especially pleased about it.

But that’s not the thing that especially upset me, strangely enough. MP Emma Hardy, sat beside him, did look a little murderous I thought, but that may just have been my wishful thinking.

On the other hand, Penny Earl, Resource Provision Manager, Stoke Park Infant School, highlighting the pressure of performance tables, said that the 15% of children with SEN get “sidelined” by heads trying to please Ofsted. And that, she said, makes parents litigious to ensure their children get the help they need. Pretty much explaining to My Boyes exactly why parents feed the need to apply for EHCPs…


Source: SEND children are being “traumatised” by not getting the help they need in schools

Upskirting set to become criminal offence in spring with maximum two year prison term | Daily Mail Online

Taking pictures up a woman’s skirt is set to become a criminal offence in the spring – with perverts found guilty of doing so facing up to two years in prison.

Upskirting often sees perpetrators taking photographs or videos of a victim’s groin area from under their clothing, often without that person’s knowledge.

A new law which bans ‘upskirting’ passed its final legal hurdle today when it received its third reading in the Upper Chamber of the House of Lords.


Source: Upskirting set to become criminal offence in spring with maximum two year prison term | Daily Mail Online

Trump’s call-in to Fox News backfires, and he may have committed a felony in the process : Daily Kos

Donald Trump had a terrible weekend. The Washington Post reported that Donald Trump concealed the details of five meetings with Putin and that he even went so far as to physically take possession of interpreter Marina Gross’ notes, further instructing her not to speak to anyone about the contents of the meeting, not even senior White House or State Department officials. That’s rather damning behavior on the face of it. Why wouldn’t Trump want his closest national security advisers to be aware of the content of the discussion between him and Putin?

As media outlets worldwide blasted out this bombshell of a story, Trump turned to good ol’ reliably friendly Fox News in an attempt to take control of the media narrative and diminish the obviously damning news. He called in to speak with Fox host Jeanine Pirro, whose dedication to Trump rivals that of Sean Hannity. He was obviously expecting fluff questions, and Pirro delivered, but even then, he couldn’t help himself. When asked directly whether he was working for Russia, he just couldn’t bring himself to say no. Seeing the negative headlines that resulted over the past 24 hours, he addressed the issue when asked again this morning and finally said, “No, I never worked for Russia,” before berating the reporter for even asking the question. You can see this exchange below.

But, let’s get back to the Pirro interview, because he did something else remarkable during the call: He suggested that the Fox News host and other media look into Michael Cohen’s father-in-law. Here’s the full exchange between Pirro and Trump, discussing Michael Cohen’s upcoming public testimony before the House Oversight Committee. [Shout-out to Daily Kos community member KeithDB for the transcript and felony details; join the community discussion in his post here.]


Source: Trump’s call-in to Fox News backfires, and he may have committed a felony in the process : Daily Kos