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brooklynite's Journal
brooklynite's Journal
October 16, 2019

Turkey Advances on Kobani in Latest Broken Promise

Source: Foreign Policy

Turkish-backed forces advanced on the Kurdish-held border town of Kobani on Wednesday, despite Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s commitment to U.S. President Donald Trump that he would not attack the location.

As the situation in northern Syria dissolves into chaos, Turkey’s move into Kobani reflects just the latest broken promise Turkish officials have made to their U.S. counterparts in recent weeks. Kobani is a symbolically significant city that the Kurdish-led fighters recaptured from the Islamic State in 2015, in one of the longest and bloodiest battles of the campaign against the militant group.

“Erdogan told Trump he would not go to Kobani. He immediately broke all his promises on the size and scope of the operation,” a senior U.S. administration official told Foreign Policy. “I think they played us the whole time.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, said late Tuesday on Twitter that any Turkish attack on Kobani would be a major escalation. “I am certain Congress and the Administration will hold Erdogan personally responsible for any atrocities committed in and around Kobani,” he added.

Read more: https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/10/16/turkey-advances-kobani-syria-erdogan-trump-sdf-promise/

October 16, 2019

Andrew Yang Hosts #AskAndrew 10-Hour Marathon Q&A - Unmoderated and Honest

NEW YORK — Andrew Yang will host an unprecedented marathon online Q&A on Friday, October 18, 2019. He will answer questions live for 10 hours, splitting time between a multiplatform livestream and posting answers online using channels including Twitter’s new Q&A service.

Yang built the beginnings of his campaign on long-form interviews, a format that allows for comprehensive and thoughtful answers that focus on solutions to our problems instead of soundbites. While there are sure to be lighthearted moments, Yang expects to discuss serious issues related to the economy, LGBTQ equality, the environment, health care, the opioid crisis, and education, among other topics raised by voters.

The Q&A will run from 10am through 8pm ET. Participants can access the Q&A from Yang2020.com or the campaign’s channels on Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, and YouTube. Questions can be submitted at Yang2020.com.


October 16, 2019

David Shulkin: Our First Trump Tower Meeting Was a Job Interview Unlike Any Other

“We have to fix this thing. It’s a mess. Do you think we can fix it?”

“We’ve been making big improvements on the wait times. We’ve developed same-day access, and we’re getting more veterans —” He cut me off again.

“I want our veterans to get the best.” Then he repeated, “They really created a mess here. Can we fix it?”

Once again, I assured him that I was committed to doing just that.
 Trump ruffled through a few papers on his desk and then looked up. “The VA’s an important place, but there are some good ones and some bad ones. But I’ll tell you what’s messed up. They come back with PTSD. You know what’s really bad? They come back and their wives or girlfriends didn’t wait for them.”

I swallowed.

Trump paused for a moment and then looked up as if actually seeing me for the first time. “You know, you don’t really fit the bill. The generals . . . now they fit the bill. But can they fix health care?”

October 16, 2019

Defense Secretary Mark Esper will no longer comply with impeachment inquiry

Source: NBC News

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Mark Esper will not comply with a subpoena from House Democrats related to their impeachment inquiry, according to a letter sent Tuesday to Democratic leadership from the Department of Defense.

In the letter to the chairmen of the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees, the Pentagon cites a “number of legal and practical concerns” as their reason for not complying. They include the House not officially voting to authorize an impeachment inquiry and that some of the information the House is requesting “appears to consist of confidential Executive Branch communications that are potentially protected by executive privilege.”

This is a shift from just days ago when Esper indicated he was willing to work with Democrats on the inquiry.

Democrats are investigating whether President Donald Trump improperly withheld military aid for Ukraine as leverage to compel Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate former vice president Joe Biden, a potential rival of Trump’s in the 2020 election.

Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry/defense-secretary-mark-esper-will-no-longer-comply-impeachment-inquiry-n1067226

October 16, 2019

Dems Torn Over How Much to Punish Rudy Giuliani for Ignoring Subpoena

Source: Daily Beast

House Democrats are torn over how to respond after Rudy Giuliani gave them the equivalent of a massive middle finger on Tuesday, telling them he would completely ignore the subpoena that they served him for documents related to his expedition to dig up dirt in Ukraine on the Bidens in order to benefit President Trump.

To some Democratic lawmakers, the idea of Trump’s personal attorney skating by without a punishment while the courts decide whether he has to comply with their subpoena is infuriating. And it dredges up bad memories of their struggles to hold Trump administration officials to account for ignoring subpoenas over Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. In response, they want Giuliani to feel some pain, either personally or financially.

“You don’t get to say no to a congressional subpoena,” said Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT), who serves on the House Intelligence Committee, which is spearheading the impeachment inquiry. “That’s not a thing. That is a crime. He’s gonna show up, or he’s going to get fined, or he’s going to go to jail.”

But the party’s leadership is increasingly convinced that its Ukraine-focused impeachment inquiry is getting results—and that going after Giuliani with threats of contempt of Congress would turn a success into a show that unnecessarily muddies the waters.

Read more: https://www.thedailybeast.com/house-democrats-torn-over-how-much-to-punish-rudy-giuliani-for-ignoring-subpoena?ref=home

October 16, 2019

Irish PM says Brexit issues remain, EU sources report 'standstill'

Source: Reuters

BRUSSELS/DUBLIN (Reuters) - Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Wednesday that last-ditch talks between the European Union and Britain had so far failed to resolve issues standing in the way of an amicable Brexit, with EU sources reporting a “standstill”.

Difficulties centred on trade and the status of the Irish border, although the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, was quoted as saying he was optimistic about a deal.

“There is a pathway to a possible deal but there are many issues that still need to be fully resolved,” Varadkar said in a speech. “I do think we are making progress but there are issues yet to be resolved and hopefully that can be done today.

“But if it’s not, there is still more time. October 31 is still a few weeks away and there is the possibility of an additional summit before that if we need one ... Although time is running short, I am confident that (Ireland’s) objectives can be met.”

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu/irish-pm-says-brexit-issues-remain-eu-sources-report-standstill-idUSKBN1WV0NI

October 16, 2019

U.S. security chief 'heaped pain' on grieving parents of UK teen: lawyer

Source: Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Donald Trump’s national security adviser heaped pain and grief on the parents of a British teenager killed in a car crash by trying to hold a meeting at the White House between them and a U.S. diplomat’s wife who was involved, the parents’ lawyer said.

Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn were invited to a surprise meeting with the U.S. president at his office on Wednesday where they were further shocked to learn that Anne Sacoolas, the American woman involved in the fatal crash, was in the building.

Mark Stephens, the lawyer for Charles and Dunn, said national security adviser Robert O’Brien had the idea of overseeing a coming together of the families before they would then hug in front of an assembled media.

“(O’Brien has) heaped grief and pain on the family by making them go through this but not allowing them to get the closure they need by talking to Mrs Sacoolas before they can go onto the grieving stage,” Stephens told BBC radio on Thursday.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-usa-crash-parents-idUSKBN1WV1BQ

October 16, 2019

What way Yang's new "big surprise" promised for last night's debate?

I was at dinner and didn't have a chance to watch.

October 16, 2019

Cash crunch splits Dem field


Two-thirds of the Democratic presidential candidates spent more than they raised in the last three months and have dwindling cash reserves — a serious warning sign for their viability heading into the expensive chase for votes in Iowa and other early states.

Among the candidates in the red last quarter was Joe Biden, who ended September with less than half the cash on hand, $9 million, of any of his top rivals. And while most other candidates have even less in their bank accounts, which could force some of them from the race before Iowa, the former vice president is set to be seriously outspent in the advertising and organizing battles that will soon ramp up in the first caucus state.

While Biden still polls at or near the top of the Democratic field, his finances lag significantly behind Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg, who are sitting on nearly $83 million collectively and each spent the summer building up cash. Kamala Harris also has narrowly more campaign cash in the bank than Biden, though she is also carrying nearly $1 million in debt from deferred payments to consultants and lawyers.

The financial edge enjoyed by Sanders, Warren and Buttigieg is already translating into tactical advantages: Warren paid salaries to over 600 staffers over the summer, while Sanders approached that number, dwarfing the rest of the field. Buttigieg dropped $4.7 million on just digital ads last quarter, while also airing TV ads in Iowa and New Hampshire.
October 15, 2019

Third time was not the charm: Rudy Giuliani's latest divorce is bitter, expensive and very public

Washington Post

In the “What on earth happened to Rudy Giuliani?” sweepstakes, there are plenty of entries but no winners. Everyone wants to know why “America’s Mayor” became President Trump’s favorite consigliere.

Here’s one factor: He’s in the midst of a very bitter, very expensive, very public divorce. (A moment of silence, please, for the death of romance — especially when there’s no prenuptial.) Perhaps the contentious end of his third marriage is a distraction?

Absolutely not, Rudolph W. Giuliani tweeted last week, writing that The Washington Post stooped “so low as to actually ask me about my pending divorce, to see if it affects my work. It doesn’t.”

Giuliani’s private life has been splashed across New York tabloids for decades, and the lawyer representing his estranged wife thinks Giuliani is concealing money while working pro bono for President Trump. As a central figure in the Ukraine impeachment scandal, the exact nature of Giuliani’s clients and income is of interest to more than divorce lawyers.

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Name: Chris Bastian
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