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Politics thread - Enter at your own risk! Warning… Bullcrap inside (Read 411,539 times)
Joey
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Re: Politics thread (ssc!!) - Enter at your own risk! Warning… Bullcrap inside
Reply #4300 - Apr 11th, 2019 at 8:56pm
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<  ----------------- Some Guy  ?!   ..... !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   :







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" Story of the Year "

DANIEL HENNINGER MARCH 06, 2019





" The great political challenge of our time is sorting out what matters from what’s just chatter. The din of distracting statistical noise is overwhelming. A Democratic governor named Inslee announces he’s going to run for the U.S. presidency on one issue—climate change. Days later, the real president delivers a speech of immeasurable length to a conference of conservatives about pretty much everything rattling around in his head. The new week dawns with a Democratic House committee chairman named Nadler demanding that 81 of the president’s “associates” provide him with a document dump.

Serious people would like to believe something real in politics is going on. The good news is . . . something is.

This past weekend, The Wall Street Journal published a series of stories titled “Inside the Hottest Job Market in Half a Century.” As far as I’m concerned, this jobs record is the story of the year. The Journal’s articles transformed a year of economic data into the new daily reality of getting paid to work in America.

“All sorts of people who have previously had trouble landing a job are now finding work,” the Journal reported. “Racial minorities, those with less education and people working in the lowest-paying jobs are getting bigger pay raises and, in many cases, experiencing the lowest unemployment rate ever recorded for their groups. They are joining manufacturing workers, women in their prime working years, Americans with disabilities and those with criminal records, among others, in finding improved job prospects after years of disappointment.”

Example: A 23-year-old woman, Cassandra Eaton, a high-school graduate and single mother who was working for about $8 an hour at a day-care center in Biloxi, Miss., is doing now what previously would have been unimaginable. She’s an apprentice welder making $20 an hour at a shipyard in Pascagoula.

The unemployment rate for high-school dropouts, a status many depressing books and studies show puts one close to the bottom of the barrel for getting ahead in America, is 5%. Their median wages the past year rose 6%.

An ex-con named James O. Wilson, who got a job in 2017 with FedEx in Indianapolis, is today making more than $16 an hour, has a house and a wife, and says, “I want FedEx to say, ‘Do you have any more people like him?’ ”

Let’s cut to the chase. From left to right, socialist or conservative, most of a nation’s political debates are ultimately about one thing: making life better for people. Whatever else that may mean, it first requires giving people something to do with their daily lives—work, a job. Which is to say, aspiration and opportunity.

If what has happened inside the U.S. labor market the past two years doesn’t qualify as the point of all this effort, those of us in and around politics might as well pack it in.

A great value of the Journal’s articles on the historic top-to-bottom jobs market is that for most people this establishes a baseline of observable, undeniable reality.

“Most people,” however, does not include large swaths of the professional political class. Because the jobs story overlaps almost precisely with the policies of a U.S. presidency occupied by you-know-who, the reality outside their windows must be denied.

Start with the Democrats, whose response to the new jobs market borders on the comical: Create a new top personal tax rate of 70%, a higher corporate tax rate, a circa-1933 jobs program doing things for the environment and free health care. If none of that works, impeach the president.

It’s no surprise that Mike Bloomberg, a Democratic capitalist, chose not to compete with the crew running for the party’s presidential nomination, while former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, one of the great job creators of his generation, shuns the Democrats to run as an independent.

More interesting is the internal debate among conservatives and Republicans.

In recent years, a group know as Reformicons has argued that the Reagan-era policy mix of tax cuts, deregulation and economic growth is no longer relevant to the needs and anxieties of the U.S. middle class. Instead, their policy alternatives include targeted government interventions, such as wage subsidies, to supplement middle-class incomes. These ideas are often associated with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

One notices that most of the Reformicon arguments emerged from 2014 to 2016—before the Reagan-era, supply-side policies of the Trump presidency were passed into law or implemented. In 2019, the idea that tax reductions, public-sector deregulation and growth are no longer relevant to the needs of the middle class is provably and demonstrably false.

It requires a remarkable degree of obtuseness to stare at the policy success of the past two years and pretend it hasn’t happened. Democrats are doing exactly that. Conservatives should pocket the Trump presidency’s Reaganesque policies for massively matching job producers with job seekers. There is plenty left for them to do without trying to reinvent the wheel."
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...&&&&D.J. Jazzy Joe and the Fresh Prince of Boca Raton !™&& *** " VICTORY !!!! " ***...
 
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Re: Politics thread (ssc!!) - Enter at your own risk! Warning… Bullcrap inside
Reply #4301 - Apr 12th, 2019 at 8:46am
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Re: Politics thread (ssc!!) - Enter at your own risk! Warning… Bullcrap inside
Reply #4302 - Apr 12th, 2019 at 10:40am
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Some Guy wrote on Apr 12th, 2019 at 8:46am:
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“What rap did that was impressive was to show there are so many tone-deaf people out there,” he says. “All they need is a drum beat and somebody yelling over it and they’re happy. There’s an enormous market for people who can’t tell one note from another.” - Keef
 
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Re: Politics thread (ssc!!) - Enter at your own risk! Warning… Bullcrap inside
Reply #4303 - Apr 12th, 2019 at 4:59pm
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Happy Friday Trump nuggets....

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Re: Politics thread - Enter at your own risk! Warning… Bullcrap inside
Reply #4304 - Apr 15th, 2019 at 9:24pm
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<  -------------- Some Guy  ?!  ... !!!!!    :   






http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/trump_administration/pre...





" Daily Presidential Tracking Poll .  "


Tuesday, April 16, 2019








" The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows that 52% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. Forty-eight percent (48%) disapprove.

The latest figures include 37% who Strongly Approve of the job Trump is doing and 40% who Strongly Disapprove. This gives him a Presidential Approval Index rating of -3. (see trends).

Regular updates are posted Monday through Friday at 9:30 a.m.  Eastern (sign up for free daily email update).

Now that Gallup has quit the field, Rasmussen Reports is the only nationally recognized public opinion firm that still tracks President Trump's job approval ratings on a daily basis. If your organization is interested in a weekly or longer sponsorship of Rasmussen Reports' Daily Presidential Tracking Poll, please send e-mail to beth@rasmussenreports.com .   "





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« Last Edit: Apr 16th, 2019 at 9:38am by Joey »  

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Re: Politics thread - Enter at your own risk! Warning… Bullcrap inside
Reply #4305 - Apr 15th, 2019 at 9:30pm
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<  -----  Nanky  ?!   .... !!!!!   :







https://www.arcamax.com/politics/mod/davidignatius/s-2196814?fs





" Does Assange merit First Amendment protection? "


David Ignatius on Apr 12, 2019






" WASHINGTON -- Is Julian Assange a journalist? The Justice Department sidestepped that question in its indictment of Assange. But his case is still certain to stir a debate about whether the WikiLeaks founder deserves protection under the First Amendment.

Assange was arrested in London Thursday, as U.S. prosecutors unsealed an indictment accusing him of conspiring with Chelsea Manning to hack a Pentagon computer in 2010 to obtain secret documents that WikiLeaks hoped to publish.

The indictment skirts First Amendment issues by focusing on Assange's alleged attempt to help Manning crack a password and gain special "administrative-level privileges," an effort that proved unsuccessful. But the underlying "purpose and object of the conspiracy" was "so that WikiLeaks could publicly disseminate the information on its website," prosecutors said.

Assange's supporters describe his arrest and proposed extradition to America as an attack on press freedom. But there's some skepticism about that claim, even from several of the country's most prominent defenders of the First Amendment.

"When you read the indictment, it doesn't look like anything that turns on whether Assange is or is not a journalist," said Bruce Brown, the executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, in an interview Thursday. "No newsroom lawyer would tell a reporter it's OK to do what's alleged in the complaint -- to help a source break a password and hack a computer."

Assange's lawyer, Barry Pollack, countered that his client deserves to be treated as a journalist. He said in a statement that while the indictment alleges a conspiracy to commit computer crimes, "the factual allegations ... boil down to encouraging a source to provide him information and taking efforts to protect the identity of that source."

Pollock amplified his comment in an email: "I do not find the question of whether he is a journalist a tricky one. Mr. Assange publishes truthful information that is of public interest. I think that is a pretty good definition of 'journalist.'"

Actually, the federal legal meaning of what constitutes journalism is all but nonexistent. Garrett Epps, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Baltimore, describes it as "a strange twilight zone in terms of the Constitution," because the Supreme Court has never clearly explained who gets the Bill of Rights freedom afforded to "the press."

"The courts haven't extended any protection to journalists that they haven't extended to the public at large," explained Jameel Jaffer, director of the Knight First Amendment Institute. "This is in part because extending special protections to journalists would require the court to say who's a journalist and who isn't."

Assange's information-dumping actions make some First Amendment lawyers queasy. "There is a fundamental difference between someone who shines a spotlight on classified information and someone who turns on all the lights," said David Kendall, who represented President Clinton during his impeachment hearings and Hillary Clinton during the 2016 email investigation.

Because Assange hasn't shown "calibrated judgment" about what information to share with readers, he isn't acting as a journalist, Kendall told me. As for the prosecutors' allegation that Assange facilitated Manning's hacking of classified information, Kendall added: "People in the press typically are not burglars."

Lincoln Caplan, a Yale Law scholar who has written widely about journalism, said in an interview that there's an important distinction between "curating" information, as reporters do, and "dumping" it, as has often been WikiLeaks' practice.

An intriguing footnote to the Assange case is that as part of a failed plea-bargain negotiation with the Justice Department in 2017, he offered to help vet some highly classified CIA files that WikiLeaks was publishing in a document dump known as "Vault 7." As I wrote last September, this "risk mitigation" discussion collapsed after WikiLeaks revealed some especially sensitive CIA hacking techniques.

Assange could argue that the 2017 offer showed that he was sensitive to national-security concerns. Similarly, he could point to his cooperation with The New York Times and other news organizations that edited and vetted WikiLeaks files before publication.

Complicating this case is WikiLeaks' role in disseminating documents hacked by Russian intelligence from Democrats during the 2016 presidential campaign, where Assange appeared to be a tool of Russian meddling to support Donald Trump.

Assange wants to fight his case under the banner of press freedom. His problem is that the Justice Department has drawn its indictment carefully enough that the issue is theft of secrets, rather than their publication. That's why so many press advocates seemed to be distancing themselves from Assange after the news broke Thursday. "

========

Follow David Ignatius on Twitter: @IgnatiusPost.
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...&&&&D.J. Jazzy Joe and the Fresh Prince of Boca Raton !™&& *** " VICTORY !!!! " ***...
 
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Re: Politics thread - Enter at your own risk! Warning… Bullcrap inside
Reply #4306 - Apr 15th, 2019 at 9:41pm
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Some Guy wrote on Mar 4th, 2019 at 10:30am:








<  --------------- Another Friday Evening    ..................  Another Night of  ................ Wait for it !!!!!!!   .......   :







That is right .   THAT IS RIGHT !!!!!!   : 




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*****  " DRINKING WITH Xi :     "  Xi  May Flowers / Spring  ' Steely  ' Edition     !!!!!!!  "   *****






Hello Me Stonesian Brothers and Sisters    





       “ I  Stepped Up On The Platform !   ….. The Man Gave Me the News !   …...  He Said ,  ‘ You Must Be Joking Son   --- Where DID You Get Those Shoes ?  ‘  “ 



     Hello Me Stoneslings    ---  Well , I have seen them on the television  , the movie show ; They say the times are changing but I just do not know .
What Joey ?!   …..  Johnny Carson ?!   ….  Larry Hagman ?!   ……  The 1970’s  ?!    …. Sure those things are gone forever  :  Over a Long Time Ago   .
But with Sir Mick Jagger on the mend we get The Rolling Stones  :  A nice  ‘  taste  ‘  of what it means to be a professional  --  Nothing Fusty Here !

     Such was the mood Friday Evening when Emperor Xi , His entourage and myself met up for Premium Guinness Pints at The Brazen Head .
As  ‘ Senior ‘  VIP Hostess Erin can attest  , a lively exchange was in the air . The Emperor arrived into town earlier in the afternoon for a late
Lunch / early Dinner at some fancy Midtown Restaurant with Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger   -- How these cats go unnoticed is quite
remarkable even for a smaller mid-sized Midwestern City . Still , Xi was in a jovial mood as he regaled Christy , Erin  , Heather and myself with
amusing , captivating and beguiling tales coupled with engaging , delightful  and charming narratives of the continuing adventures of his two brand new
Lil’ Pet Panda Cubs :  “ Tessio “ & “ Clemenza “  .  I asked Emperor Xi , “ Why did you select those two names ? “   ;  His response :  “ Not My Choice   -- I would
have preferred ‘ Hyman ‘ and ‘ Roth ‘  but my wife has not seen The GodFather [ Part  II  ]  ……….. YET !!!!  “

     Soon it was time to get down to business . As the “ GOILS “ poured another round of fine Guinness Pints and Irish Car Bombs  (  .. and then left the room )
The Emperor informed me that a brand new United States / Chinese Trade Deal is very , VERY close to being locked down and he legitimately questioned me
about The Upcoming Biden Candidacy’s Strength .  Xi Brayed  ,  “  Is the Former Vice President really going to be the 2020 Democratic Standard Bearer ?  “   
I replied (  … with my typical Kissingerian conversational prose )  ,  ..   :  “  We MUST Entertain the Possibility !  “   I also informed Emperor Xi that as soon as the deal
is signed , sealed and delivered the U.S. Stock Market is going to Skyrocket to unprecedented heights  ; since the general economy is already healthy
and ALWAYS follows the market we should be in Perfect ( PURRFECT ) 2020 Re-election Form   --- regardless of all those Former President Obama loyalists
gravitating towards the Former V.P.   “  In fact “  , I chortled ,  “ This new trade deal will be so friggin huge that nobody will be able to defeat The Great Man   --
President Donald J. Trump ( “ PRECIOUS “  Leader !  )  . “    Xi chuckled and then tittered :  “  Soon there will be TWO of us who are ‘ President – For  - Life .  ‘  “   

     With that Emperor Xi and myself High - Fived each other ,  Christy  ‘  straddled  ‘  the bar and shot out confetti whilst the Emperor’s Entourage obediently stood on their   
chairs  / barstools  --  cheering loudly & clapping their hands in thunderous , THUNDEROUS applause and bellowing  &  caterwauling  in sheer delirious intoxication .   
It was at EXACTLY that moment when ‘ Senior ‘  VIP Hostess Erin arrived  ,  grabbed Xi’s  “  Hog  “  and the two of them disappeared into the Robert Emmet Room
not to be seen again for THREE DAYS & NIGHTS   …. * Whew !  ………….. *  What a WOMAN !!!!  :  Never FUSTY !   ……. Indeed !  *




    








***********     … “  I LOVE YOU ALL !!!!!!!!!!!  “   ….  Heading to Sedona , AZ for The Easter Break 
  .... See You in MAY !!!!!!  *****************












...













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« Last Edit: Apr 16th, 2019 at 3:29pm by Joey »  

...&&&&D.J. Jazzy Joe and the Fresh Prince of Boca Raton !™&& *** " VICTORY !!!! " ***...
 
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Re: Politics thread - Enter at your own risk! Warning… Bullcrap inside
Reply #4307 - Apr 15th, 2019 at 10:14pm
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<  ------------- GIMMEKEEF   ?!  ... !!!!!!!   :







https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/04/opinion/vietnam-war-con-thien.html




VIETNAM '67

" A Little Piece of Hell "

By Don North




" It was known to local missionaries as “the Hill of Angels,” but to the occupying Marines, Con Thien was a little piece of hell. Just two miles south of the Demilitarized Zone, it was a barren, bulldozed plateau of red dirt 525 feet high and ringed with barbed wire, studded with artillery revetments and crisscrossed with trenches and sand bag-covered bunkers. To the east stretched the “McNamara Line,” the 2,000-foot-wide “barrier” ordered by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, which the Marines had cleared and sowed with seismic and acoustic sensors and minefields.

The Marines at Con Thien were the human equivalent of a tripwire, there to block North Vietnamese ground incursions. In reality, the men became a sitting target for scores of North Vietnamese artillery pieces, which rained down shells on their positions 24 hours a day. Between February 1967, when they arrived, and their departure two years later, 1,419 men were killed and another 9,265 wounded; more than 7,500 North Vietnamese were killed and an unknown number wounded.

At Con Thien in 1967, American commanders failed to recognize that loyalty should flow downward as well as upward. The commanders’ loyalty should have been to their Marines facing the North Vietnamese Army as much as to their superiors in Washington. American Marines died in droves at Con Thien; they deserved better of their commanders.

I covered some of the fiercest fighting, in the summer of 1967, as an ABC News correspondent. Ironically, perhaps, some of the bloodiest engagements came on and around July 4. My team — our cameraman, Nguyen Van Quy; our sound man, Nguyen Xuan De; and myself — didn’t want to go, but it’s the assignment we drew. My weeks spent at Con Thien revealed, to me at least, some fundamental truths about the Vietnam War: that our soldiers and Marines fought bravely; that the North Vietnamese were relentless; and that our military and political leaders had committed us to a war we couldn’t win, and prosecuted it in the most inept way possible.

Take, for example, the McNamara Line. Secretary McNamara, ever on the lookout for clever, logical and arms-length solutions, floated the idea of the barrier in March 1966, at a meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. High-ranking officers pretended to take his myopic vision seriously, and construction began in April 1967.

But it had fatal flaws. For one, designed to block North Vietnamese incursions, it merely diverted the enemy around it. And because it wasn’t a physical barrier, it needed large numbers of ground troops to back it up. The result was that thousands of Marines sat within range of the North’s 135 millimeter artillery, which struck firebases and roving Marine patrols with deadly accuracy.

The North Vietnamese had no shortage of targets, but Con Thien was the biggest. Atop a prominent hill and stripped of forest cover, it was an easy mark. It also held strategic value: If the North Vietnamese captured it, the hill could have served as a launching pad for strikes on the key American staging area at Dong Ha. It held a symbolic value, too. The commander of the North Vietnamese forces, Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap, had defeated the French in a similar situation at Dien Bien Phu in 1954, and he was trying to replicate that victory along the DMZ.

My team and I reached the area in late June 1967, to find the Marines of the First Battalion, Ninth Regiment suffering from blazing heat and choking dust, from snipers and from constant threat of ground attacks. But what made duty at the outpost a special hell was the hail of artillery from North Vietnamese batteries tucked away in the hills north of the DMZ. The 135 millimeter guns were well camouflaged and sheltered in caves; the North Vietnamese quickly rolled out the artillery to fire, then just as quickly rolled them back to shelter. Although Americans retaliated with artillery and airstrikes, they were unable to stop the hundreds of shells that each day took a toll of Con Thien’s defenders.

On July 2, Marines from Alpha and Bravo companies began Operation Buffalo, a sweep in the area north of the base. Unfortunately, faulty reconnaissance and inadequate observation allowed an undetected North Vietnamese force to ambush the Marines. Eighty-six of Bravo Company were killed and 176 wounded; only 27 walked out of the battle unaided. Though an estimated 1,290 North Vietnamese were killed, by anyone’s definition, including that of the Marines, it was the enemy’s victory. The Marines acknowledged that it “was the worst single disaster to befall a Marine Corps rifle company during the Vietnam War.”

The fighting wasn’t over. The North Vietnamese were well aware of the Marines’ tradition of not leaving their dead behind, and they prepared for the Americans to return. On July 3, airstrikes and Marine artillery were directed to the battle area in preparation to retrieve the bodies. Marine reinforcements lifted off from the amphibious assault ship Okinawa, and early on the morning of July 4, Independence Day, they attacked on a six-company front to reach the dead. Marine Skyhawk attack aircraft laid down suppressing fire as our news crew joined the recovery operation.

As we slowly advanced with two battalions, it became obvious that the North Vietnamese had pulled out during the night. The bodies were spread over a wide area of low bushes. Two days lying in the blistering sun had bloated them and burned them black. Many of the bodies had been rigged with grenades, and almost all had been mutilated or desecrated. One dead Marine had his genitals cut off and sewn to his face, with a photo of his girlfriend stabbed to his chest.

Some members of the recovery teams wore gas masks as protection from the stench; other Marines retched and vomited. They placed the corpses in green rubber body bags and carried them to a clearing, where the remains were loaded on tanks. Personal effects were collected and placed in upturned helmets.

Many in the work party made it forcefully known they were not pleased that a TV news crew was accompanying them on a mission to reclaim their dead. We shot sparingly and from a distance so as not to upset them. In any event, those scenes could never be used in a news program.

The next morning, our ABC News crew entered the base at Con Thien itself. It felt like being at the heart of the war. We could look north across the Ben Hai River, which marked the 17th parallel, and see the North Vietnamese flag waving from a tall pole. We could look beyond the flag to see puffs of white smoke and hear the rumble of shells being fired in our direction, giving us about 20 seconds to find the nearest bunker.

Late in the afternoon, one of the Marine artillery pieces took a direct hit; its crew had not been able to retreat to a bunker in time. As rockets and shells continued to drop, an Army Special Forces medic jumped out of a bunker and joined a half-dozen Marines trying to save the life of a badly wounded comrade. They took turns pumping his chest to strengthen a weak pulse and giving him direct mouth-to-mouth resuscitation while shouting encouragement.

“C’mon, Sidell, you can make it, buddy! Don’t give up!” Lance Corporal Jimmy Sidell didn’t respond with either a gasp or a pulse as his Marine buddies worked on him for almost an hour.

Another shell hit with a deafening impact just a few yards away. Our film camera was blown off Nguyen Van Quy’s shoulder; Sidell’s buddies recoiled from the concussion, but never missed a beat pumping his heart. Finally, it was clear Sidell wasn’t coming back. Through sobs and curses, the Marines tied an identification label to his boot laces and carried him to a tank waiting outside the wire that would serve as his hearse.

I cried too, even as I tried a “standupper” to conclude my report. In New York, ABC News located Sidell’s parents in Atlanta and warned them the report of their son’s death would be on national TV the following evening.

It was clear that what motivated these Marines to endure the daily hell of Con Thien was not victory or satisfying the chain of command, but their strong devotion to one another. They would risk all to be worthy of their comrades.

It also became clear that the entire plan was a bad idea, especially for Marines. Broadly speaking, Marines are an offense-oriented organization. Building in-depth defenses is not their forte, especially questionable ones like the McNamara Line. Marine Corps generals complained that the barrier plan was a constant irritant. Holding static defensive positions prevented the Marines from conducting pacification programs and from attacking the enemy’s infiltration routes. Maj. Gen. Rathvon Tompkins, commander of the Third Marine Division, referred to the McNamara Line as “absurd.” Lt. Gen. Robert Cushman, the Marine commander in Vietnam, later admitted, “We just weren’t going out getting everyone killed building that stupid fence.”

But they followed orders, and they built and maintained the line at high cost. Engineer companies showed enormous courage working in daylight hours, in the open with heavy equipment, and suffered a higher percentage of casualties than the rifle companies at Con Thien.

Nevertheless, Gen. William C. Westmoreland, back in Saigon, was unsatisfied with the effort the Marines were putting into making the barrier work. In October 1967 he complained, “The barrier has not been accorded a priority consistent with operational importance.”

My team and I left on July 14, but we returned frequently, as the fighting kept up through the fall and into 1968. Eventually, Westmoreland’s successor, Gen. Creighton W. Abrams, adopted a more flexible position along the border, relying on airstrikes and long-range artillery to check incursions and closing many of the bases around Con Thien.

Fifty years later, I am reviewing my scripts from my days at Con Thien. I see now that the anger I felt at the misguided strategy and the compassion we felt for the Marines’ suffering were not fully expressed. My script should have been much clearer in saying that American strategy was not only flawed but resulted in an unnecessary waste of lives. I am reminded of an observation by Chris Hedges, a former war correspondent for The New York Times: “Reporters who witness the worst of human suffering and return to newsrooms angry see their compassion washed out by layers of editors who stand between the reporter and reader. The creed of objectivity and balance,” he wrote, “disarms and cripples the press and transforms reporters into neutral observers or voyeurs.”

Con Thien showed American Marines at their best and American political and military leaders at their worst. As the Marine historian Eric Hammel concluded, “Americans were bound by the moral poverty of their political leaders, and the North Vietnamese were bound by the intellectual inflexibility of their Communist doctrines. The soldiers of each side suffered mightily in the stalemate that ensued.” Anyone seeking glory in battle did not find it in the mud and heat of Con Thien, but those who seek tales of extraordinary valor need look no further. "



***************************************

Correction: July 6, 2017
An earlier version of this essay misstated a detail of the career of Gen. Creighton W. Abrams. He was Gen. William C. Westmoreland’s successor in the Vietnam command; he was not Robert S. McNamara’s successor as secretary of defense.
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Reply #4308 - Apr 16th, 2019 at 6:59am
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Re: Politics thread - Enter at your own risk! Warning… Bullcrap inside
Reply #4309 - Apr 16th, 2019 at 8:22am
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Some Guy wrote on Apr 16th, 2019 at 6:59am:



Papenfuss again!  LOL
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“What rap did that was impressive was to show there are so many tone-deaf people out there,” he says. “All they need is a drum beat and somebody yelling over it and they’re happy. There’s an enormous market for people who can’t tell one note from another.” - Keef
 
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Reply #4310 - Apr 16th, 2019 at 9:17pm
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<  ------- Some Guy ,  Can  We   " Call 'em "   or WHAT ?!  .... !!!!!!     .........  Our Hottie Wall Street Journal Reporter  -- Rebecca Davis O'Brien  --  is very good    ..........  and VERY Hot !!!!  ...... I even stole the word ' Fusty ' from her  Smiley    .......... I Love President Trump but Our Great Leader needs to be EXTREMELY Careful as we do not need another '  Woodstein  '  .    :










" A Wall Street Journal Pulitzer win brings pride — and relief — about their work exposing hush-money payments .  "







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https://www.poynter.org/reporting-editing/2019/a-wall-street-journal-pulitzer-wi...




" On the sixth floor of their midtown Manhattan offices, Wall Street Journal team members huddled around the Page One department, awaiting word about how their “Trump Hush Money” series fared in the 2019 Pulitzer Prizes. Their category, National Reporting, was about to be announced — when suddenly a cheer went up across the office, leaving them perplexed.

Then, their TV delivered the result, on a live-stream feed that, it turned out, was running 30 seconds behind: The Journal had won. The cheering spread floor-wide.

It was the last little mystery surrounding media-industry reaction to the Journal’s domination of the story of payments made to two women during the 2016 presidential election on Donald Trump’s behalf. The women — adult-movie star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal — had threatened to publicize, in one case via the National Enquirer, damaging reports of alleged extramarital affairs with the then-candidate. Strangely, in the staff’s view, the scoops hadn’t won any other journalism competitions leading up to the Pulitzers, although they had been cited as finalists in other prizes.

“I don’t know if it makes it sweeter” that their first prize was a Pulitzer, one of the lead reporters, Joe Palazzolo, told Poynter in a telephone interview shortly after the announcement. His head still ringing with “total jubilation,” as he described the office reaction, it seemed as if there had been no mystery at all.

In post-announcement conversations, investigative editor Michael Siconolfi, along with Palazzolo and fellow lead reporter Michael Rothfeld, shared their thoughts about the work that had gone into the hush-money coverage. It’s work they still are pursuing, they say, as investigations of potential election-related violations continue in the Southern District of New York.

“I give the reporters all credit; they were the beating hearts of all this,” Siconolfi said. “They took it upon themselves to conspire with each other to get to the bottom of each development. I’ve rarely seen reporters adopt that much camaraderie, being so respectful of each other, and generous with bylines and sources.”

Siconolfi pointed to three Journal domestic bureaus that shared heavily in the coverage through the many months of reporting. Rebecca Ballhaus led the pursuit of many Washington reporting angles. And in Boston, Mark Maremont contributed significantly, as did Alexandra Berzon in Los Angeles — both drawing on past experiences interviewing the president’s then-attorney, Michael Cohen. (Siconolfi said the reporters originally went by the informal name “Team Cohen” in the initial stages of working together.) Other major contributors in the New York bureau included Lukas Alpert, Jennifer Forsyth, Rebecca Davis O’Brien, Nicole Hong and editor Ashby Jones.

Palazzolo remembered the first 2016 whispers about payoffs to women coming to the Journal in a tip heard by his direct editor, Jones. And by 2018, each Journal exclusive tying payments closer to the president forced others to follow the Journal’s lead.

Asked about the biggest breaks in the story, Rothfeld cited two.

“The first big break was getting information that it was Michael Cohen who had paid Stormy Daniels, because that was a direct link to Trump. The second big break was being able to link the president directly to the scheme — after he’d been denying it for months.”

The biggest lesson to the public from the stories, Rothfeld added, was that President Trump “had these secrets, and this was a tactic designed to deprive Americans of information during the campaign. And we felt it was newsworthy for people to know how they were operating. We got a lot of readers thanking us for the coverage,” while others criticized the Journal for sinking to the National Enquirer’s level of scandal-mongering.

He laughed, “Of course, it was the National Enquirer that was doing the opposite, in trying to keep it quiet.”

While the Pulitzer cited Journal stories starting in January 2018, Siconolfi noted that the first Journal exclusive had come before election day in 2016.

Elsewhere in the media — and from some voices at the Journal — there had been criticism of the paper’s overall Trump coverage, usually focusing on then-editor Gerard Baker, who was seen as soft on the president. Of course, the Journal’s ownership by Rupert Murdoch, since 2008, also made its reporting suspect in some eyes. (The controversy is covered well by Paul Fahri in the Washington Post.)  But Siconolfi, Palazzolo and Rothfeld all praised Baker, and his successor Matt Murray, for supporting the hush-money work. There never was any sense of push-back from Murdoch, Siconolfi said.

All three journalists expressed disappointment that fellow Journal reporter John Carreyrou’s 2018 book “Bad Blood” wasn’t among the finalists for General Nonfiction. That prize went to Eliza Griswold for “Amity and Prosperity,” about an Appalachian family dealing with environmental destruction from the oil fracking industry. One of the puzzles of recent years at the Journal has been why Carreyrou’s reporting in 2015 and 2016, exposing fraud at the highly touted medical diagnostics company Theranos, and the role of charismatic founder Elizabeth Holmes, hadn’t won a Pulitzer.

But Siconolfi said that disappointment briefly was forgotten yesterday — at least for the moment — in the celebration of the National Reporting prize. The newspaper’s intensive work to develop proof of secret payments during an election was “a historic moment in journalism,” he said. “And these reporters seized this moment and got everything out of it.”






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https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/20/opinion/hue-massacre-vietnam-war.html







" Learning From the Hue Massacre. "


By Olga Dror






" The Battle for Hue, part of the Tet offensive, started with an assault by communist forces in the wee hours of Jan. 30, 1968. The former imperial capital of Vietnam, Hue was defended by the Army of the Republic of (South) Vietnam, local militia units, the United States Marines and the United States Air Force. The core of the communist forces in Hue was the North Vietnamese Army with support from southern communist forces — the National Liberation Front, also known as Viet Cong, and from communist sympathizers, many of whom were former members of the defunct Struggle Movement, organized in Hue in 1965 by Buddhist monks and students, which had led the Buddhist Uprising that was suppressed by the ARVN in 1966. Many Struggle Movement activists fled to the mountains and joined the communists; during the Tet Offensive, they returned to Hue with the communists.

The fighting, which lasted until Feb. 24, was the largest urban engagement of the war. The communists lost an estimated 5,000 combatants, ARVN losses stood at around 400, and the Americans had 216 killed in action. Some 80 percent of the city of Hue was destroyed. But the battle toll also included the sufferings and deaths of civilians.

During the communist takeover, the southern communists and the N.V.A. forces organized so-called liberated zones, conducted indoctrination sessions, rationed food, conscripted youth for labor and combat, and identified enemies, and sometimes their family members, in the local population for denunciation and death. Former members of the Struggle Movement who had fled Hue in 1966 and returned with the communists in 1968 were intimately familiar with the city and became instrumental in marking people for execution.

Not only were government and military officials massacred, but so were innocent civilians, including women and children, who were tortured, executed or buried alive. After the battle, thousands of people were missing. People did not know where their loved ones were; they roamed the streets, searching, digging and finding bodies. The people of Hue even found corpses in the Citadel and around the emperors’ mausoleums outside of the city.

Within a few months, people started to find mass graves. The body count continued to rise with the discovery of more graves through the fall of 1969. By then, the total number of bodies unearthed around the city had risen to some 2,800, and kept rising. The massacre of unarmed civilians on such a scale left a deep scar in the memories of survivors.

In the decades since, the massacre at Hue has become a touchstone and a flash point for debates about the war, both within Vietnam and in the United States. It began a few months after the battle when Nha Ca, a well-known South Vietnamese writer, wrote an account of the battle, “Mourning Headband for Hue.” It was first serialized in a newspaper and then published as a book in 1969. On the eve of the Tet offensive, Nha Ca had come to her hometown Hue from Saigon for the burial of her father, and she remained there during the battle.

In the book, she described the atrocities committed by the communists, but also gave examples of their humanity. She showed the dark and bright sides of American and ARVN soldiers, creating a vivid picture of the terrible plight of the civilians. Describing the atrocities committed by the communists, she lamented the plight of her country, the fate of all Vietnamese who found themselves pawns in the power play between the communist and anti-communist blocs. This book was translated and published in English in 2014 (I provided the translation).

For many Vietnamese, “Mourning Headband for Hue” remains one of the key commemorations of the massacre and their loved ones. But not everyone sees it this way. When she wrote in 1969, Nha Ca called on her readers to share responsibility for the destruction of their country. But many former South Vietnamese disagree with her willingness to attribute to her compatriots a shared responsibility for the war, which they see as a result of communist aggression by the former North Vietnam.

While the discoveries of mass graves unfolded in Hue, the attention of Americans was diverted to the shocking domestic events of 1968: On March 31, President Johnson announced that he would not run for reelection; on April 4, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, an event that provoked days of rioting in American cities; on June 6, Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated; in August, violent clashes between police and protesters accompanied the national convention of the Democratic Party in Chicago; finally, the presidential campaign resulted in the election of Richard Nixon. The fate of the Hue victims did not break through these headlines.


Then, even though in Hue local people continued to unearth corpses of missing people and the number of uncovered bodies was rising into the thousands, the news of another tragedy overshadowed Hue again. On March 16, 1968, less than a month after the events in Hue, American soldiers entered the hamlet of My Lai and killed between 300 and 400 of its inhabitants, including children, old men and women. When they found out in 1969, Americans were rightly appalled by the actions of their countrymen in Vietnam, and the My Lai victims and the American perpetrators pushed the Hue victims and the communist perpetrators out of the American media and, by extension, out of the attention of the American public and of world opinion.

To the extent that Americans paid any attention to the massacre, it was through a partisan, politicized lens. Douglas Pike, a journalist who joined the U.S. Information Agency in Vietnam and later as a State Department employee, was one of the first Americans to call attention to the massacre, and cited it as evidence of the dangers of a communist takeover of South Vietnam. Pike’s view was adopted by President Nixon and hawkish members of Congress to justify avoiding a sudden withdrawal from the war.

Antiwar politicians, in contrast, drew on the work of Gareth Porter, a political scientist and journalist, who argued that the killings in Hue were committed on a smaller scale than reported, merely acts of revenge by an army in retreat. Drawing on Porter’s work, Senator George McGovern accused the Nixon administration of using the events in Hue as a pretext to continue American involvement there. He went as far as to refer to the killings in Hue as the “so-called Hue massacre.”

Lack of attention to events in Hue continued after the war. Unlike the My Lai massacre, which is mentioned in most general books about the war and is analyzed in dozens of specialized books published from the 1970s to the present, the events in Hue have not received any serious study and have largely, if not completely, faded from American memory and scholarship.

The politicization of the Hue massacre extends beyond Vietnam and the United States. No mention of the massacre occurred in the Soviet press or in any other public forum in 1968 or in later years. The only concerned voice on the Soviet side came from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the Soviet dissident. The situation has not changed in the Soviet Union’s successor state of Russia.

In 2012, while giving a presentation on the Hue Massacre and Nha Ca’s account of it at an academic conference in Moscow, I was told that we must focus on the atrocities committed by Americans and by their South Vietnamese “puppets.” I expressed agreement that we must and will discuss American atrocities, but that we should not overlook what the other side did. No, I was told, the communists fought for the right cause and we must focus on the American perpetrators, an exchange that was reported in the conference’s proceedings. Out of 50 or so people in the room, no one voiced support for my view; later, it was related to me that there was no need for my “Western objectivity.”

As a historian, I’ve seen an odd confluence of American and Soviet/Russian academic perspectives on the massacres and a Soviet/Russian-American alliance, if not intentional, in accepting Hanoi’s version of the war. American scholarship has focused largely on either the American side of the war or the North Vietnamese perspective; either way, America’s erstwhile ally has been largely ignored. South Vietnam, whose many citizens fled Vietnam and found a new home in the United States, was pushed to the margins, if not completely off the pages, of postwar narratives, and meanwhile the former enemy was romanticized.

Putting the United States front and center as the only perpetrator of the war denies agency to the South Vietnamese who did not want to live under communists and who fought for this cause, and it simultaneously conceals the fact that expelling Americans was only the first step of bringing the South under the sway of the North. Hanoi always insisted that the unified Vietnam would be a socialist country. Thus, even in the context of the Cold War, it was a civil war between North and South Vietnam for the future of their states.

The American appropriation of the war translated even to the analysis and representation of atrocities and other wrongdoings. But without discussing the wrongs committed by all sides, no true reconciliation or study of history is possible. To be fair, the situation in the United States has started to change, however slowly, as a new generation of scholars trained in the Vietnamese language and having genuine interest in all sides of the conflict are developing the field beyond the America-centric focus.

This is a much-needed change for the Vietnamese sides as well. As the United States and Vietnam pursue their reconciliation agenda, it is incumbent on American scholars to probe more deeply the experience of southern Vietnamese during the war. Nor can reconciliation come from the victor’s syndrome as currently practiced by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam — namely, we won, so let’s celebrate our victory and put everything behind. It can come only through a dialogue and discussion of crimes committed by both sides.

Many Vietnamese in Vietnam and in the Vietnamese diaspora still want and need to mourn their loved ones lost in the Hue massacre. They cannot do it in Vietnam. During the war, North Vietnam and the communist forces in the South did not recognize the massacre and did not punish any of the perpetrators. Neither has postwar Vietnam recognized the massacre, preferring to ignore it or call it a fabrication. During commemorative events of the Tet offensive in Vietnam, the Hue massacre does not appear.

The monopolization of the “crime zone” by the United States contributes to modern Vietnam’s obliteration of the communists’ own wrongdoings. A sense of history is an important factor in forming a country and maintaining one’s identity, but many students in Vietnam dismiss the study of their own history, at least in part because they understand how limited they are in their access to documents and other resources and how constrained they are in their interpretations of it. This encourages distrust of the government, which will grow as more materials challenging the party-line version of history appear. I grew up in the Soviet Union, and I know firsthand how damaging it was for us to maintain a mandatory veneer in which we could not believe. Given technological advancements, Vietnam faces a more formidable task than did the Soviet Union in keeping its population at bay.

Reconciliation and inclusive historical narratives are also necessary for Americans. Many Vietnamese who lost their relatives in Hue and then lost their country are now an integral part of American society. Mourning what happened in Hue reminds us Americans of our self-absorption in how we think about our role in the war and our unwillingness to learn more about “others,” which even today haunts American policies toward other countries. "


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Hitting the newsstands a few minutes ago...


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Revvy, you are our personal Negrodamus.

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Coulda sworn Joey's going to participate in the White House Easter Egg Roll.





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“What rap did that was impressive was to show there are so many tone-deaf people out there,” he says. “All they need is a drum beat and somebody yelling over it and they’re happy. There’s an enormous market for people who can’t tell one note from another.” - Keef
 
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Why is the guy on left so disgruntled?
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Some Guy wrote on Apr 17th, 2019 at 3:23pm:
Why is the guy on left so disgruntled?




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" David Ignatius: How Xi overplayed his hand with America . "






https://www.omaha.com/opinion/david-ignatius-how-xi-overplayed-his-hand-with-ame...








" WASHINGTON — In the rebalancing of Sino-American relations that’s underway, the usual roles are reversed: China’s normally deft President Xi Jinping appears to have badly overreached in seeking advantage. And President Donald Trump, who often seems tone-deaf on foreign policy, is riding a bipartisan consensus that it’s time to push back against Beijing.

The two nations will probably make a trade deal soon, patching together a working relationship that has been frayed by a year of tariffs and economic brinkmanship. Experts predict an agreement that will boost U.S. exports to China, improve market access for American firms and reduce the power of Chinese state-owned enterprises — and offer some modest new legal protections for American companies whose commercial secrets have been plundered by Beijing for a half-century.

But as Xi jockeyed for position against America, many U.S. experts argue that he misplayed his hand. After decades of what was known as a “hide and bide” strategy of cautious cooperation, the Chinese leader moved to directly challenge American primacy in technology. This eventually triggered a sharp, bipartisan American response, which Trump has harvested.

“In an incredibly divided Washington, one of the only areas of agreement is that China policy needs to be less accommodating and more resolute toward Beijing,” says Kurt Campbell, who oversaw Asia policy in the Obama administration. He credits Trump for recognizing Xi’s weakness: “China is not yet ready to take on the U.S., and Trump recognizes this.”

The Chinese-American confrontation is partly a spy story, but very different from Cold War cloak-and-dagger escapades: China operates its espionage net partly through universities, research institutes and benign-sounding recruitment plans. Until recently, American companies often didn’t realize their pockets had been picked until it was too late.

China’s over-aggressive strategy dates to the 2008 financial crisis, which Beijing saw as “a strategic window of opportunity for China to become a global superpower,” according to Greg Levesque, managing director of Pointe Bello consultants. Using internal Chinese documents, he explained to a congressional commission how China targeted “key core technologies” in the West.

The “Thousand Talents Plan,” established by Beijing in 2008, sought to recruit “global experts,” in particular those with Chinese ancestry, to join what the plan’s website called “National Key Scientific and Technological Projects.” By 2014, says the website, more than 4,180 overseas experts had been recruited.

The strategy was formalized in a 2017 speech by Xi. “Made in China 2025” is a roadmap for dominating key technologies such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing and biopharmaceuticals. Xi mobilized China’s nominally private companies through an approach known as “Military-Civil Fusion.”

The system for recruiting overseas talent was explained by an article posted April 16, 2018, by a Communist Party organization at Wuhan University People’s Hospital, describing how cadres there created an “Overseas Talent Recruitment Station” at a gathering in Dallas of Chinese-American medical researchers.

A Wuhan party official told the Dallas group that he “hoped that more overseas talent would return to the motherland and develop” high-tech projects.

Bill Priestap, the FBI’s former head of counterintelligence, described the “Thousand Talents Program” in congressional testimony in December as an example of “nontraditional espionage.” He said the goal was “luring both Chinese overseas talent and foreign experts alike to bring their knowledge and experience to China, even if that means stealing proprietary information.”

The problem for the Chinese is that this “brain gain” effort was so aggressive it backfired. The New York Times reported this week the FBI has recommended denying visas to some Chinese academics suspected of having ties to Chinese intelligence. The Energy Department recently banned anyone involved in China’s talent-recruiting programs from working in DOE laboratories.

There’s blowback in the trade negotiations, too. Lorand Laskai of the Council on Foreign Relations noted last year that the Trump administration mentioned “Made in China 2025” more than 100 times in its Section 301 trade complaint against Beijing. China has stopped referring to the Thousand Talents Plan or mentioning award recipients, according to recent reports by Bloomberg News and Nature, respectively.

The Trump administration still doesn’t have a consistent, comprehensive strategy for dealing with China. Among other things, it lacks a coherent regional economic framework, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement that Trump scuttled. But now is the right time to confront China’s bad behavior, before Beijing gets any stronger, and Trump has the political wind at his back.

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http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/04/what-we-learned-from-william-barrs-press-...








" What We Learned From William Barr’s Mueller Report Press Conference . "









" Ninety minutes before a redacted version of the Mueller report was set to be delivered to Congress, Attorney General William Barr held a press conference to discuss Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference and, once again, offer his own summary of the special counsel’s report.

Barr said he will deliver a copy of the “public” version of the report to Congressional leaders at 11 a.m. A copy of the report will be posted to the Justice Department’s website shortly thereafter.

Barr began the presser by summarizing the Mueller report. While Russia sought to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, he said, they did “not have the cooperation of President Trump or the Trump campaign.”

He then moved to obstruction of justice. The report, Barr said, included 10 potential incidents of obstruction. He and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Barr said, determined that there was not enough evidence to establish obstruction.

Barr also seemed to be defending Trump’s lashing out at the investigation as a rational response to a president who felt under fire.

He added that because there was no collusion, Trump could not have obstructed justice.

Barr discussed the process of preparing the report for public and said no part were being redacted based on White House invocation of executive privilege. He also revealed something new. Trump’s lawyers were given a copy of the redacted report earlier this week.

Democrats took issue with the timing of Barr’s presser. In a press conference Wednesday evening, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler accused Barr of “waging a media campaign on behalf of President Trump.”

“Rather than letting the facts of the report speak for themselves, the attorney general has taken unprecedented steps to spin Mueller’s nearly 2 year investigation,” Nadler said. "
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Definition of redacted
: edited especially in order to obscure or remove sensitive information



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