Stopping stolen valor: Uncle Sam cracks down on bogus veterans charities
Operation Donate with Honor seeks to expose fraudulent fundraisers
For many donors, Help the Vets sounded like a great cause: The group said contributions would benefit disabled veterans by helping pay for medical care, assist with suicide prevention, even fund family retreats.
As it turned out, however, Help the Vets was a “sham charity” that primarily benefited its founder and president, Neil G. “Paul” Paulson, who raised $11 million over three years by misleading soft-hearted contributors, according to a complaint filed Wednesday by federal and state authorities.
Fed up with charitable scams that exploit public sympathy for veterans, the Federal Trade Commission struck back Thursday by unveiling Operation Donate with Honor, a sweeping campaign aimed at exposing scammers who tug at donors’ heartstrings with false promises of helping military personnel.
Trump: 'Ready to Go' With Tariffs on $500B of Chinese Imports
President Donald Trump has indicated that he's willing to hit every product imported from China with tariffs, sending U.S. markets sliding before the opening bell Friday.
In a taped interview with the business channel CNBC, Trump said "I'm willing to go to 500," referring roughly to the $505.5 billion in goods imported last year from China.
The administration to date has slapped tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods in a trade dispute over what it calls the nation's predatory practices.
Trump: China, EU 'Manipulating Currencies'
President Donald Trump doubled down Friday morning on his plan to impose massive tariffs on China and the European Union, tweeting that the United States should be on a “level playing field’’ with countries that have been “manipulating their currencies.”
Even US Intel Chief in the Dark about Trump-Putin Talks
Even Donald Trump's intelligence chief doesn't know what was said in the president's one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin this week in Helsinki.
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats was also unaware that Putin was being invited to Washington.
Coats made those surprise admissions Thursday in his first public comments since rebutting Trump's questioning of the U.S. intelligence assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.
Judge Jeanine Pirro and Whoopi Goldberg shout it out over 'Trump Derangement Syndrome'
Judge Jeanine Pirro sparked a yelling match Thursday with “The View” host Whoopi Goldberg with a comment about “Trump Derangement Syndrome.”
Ms. Pirro was on TV show to discuss her new book “Liars, Leakers and Liberals,” when she pointed at Ms. Goldberg to suggest she had “Trump Derangement Syndrome.”
The phrase has been used by President Trump and other conservatives to describe what they understand to be liberal hysteria over the president.
NFL freezes anthem protest policy
The National Football League put on hold Thursday its policy requiring players on the field to stand for the national anthem.
In a statement, the league said it was engaged in “confidential” talks with the NFL Players Association to resolve a grievance the union had filed last week against the league.
“In order to allow this constructive dialogue to continue, we have come to a standstill agreement on the NFLPA’s grievance and on the NFL’s anthem policy,” the NFL said in its statement. “No new rules relating to the anthem will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks while these confidential discussions are ongoing.”
Mueller reportedly grants Tony Podesta immunity to testify against Paul Manafort
Special counsel Robert Mueller has reportedly given a key Democratic operative immunity to testify against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.
According to Tucker Carlson, speaking Thursday evening on his Fox News program, Mr. Mueller has offered immunity to Tony Podesta, founder of the Podesta Group and brother of former Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.
Mr. Carlson also complained of a political double standard, repeating a claim he had made last October that Tony Podesta and the Podesta Group had committed at least some of those same offenses, such as not registering as foreign agents.
Sanctions law behind Putin's request to Trump for former U.S. officials
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s request to U.S. President Donald Trump for a joint investigation of former U.S. officials sought by the Kremlin for “illegal activities,” including a U.S. ambassador to Russia, is just the latest effort in a years-long campaign to undermine a U.S. law that imposes financial sanctions on Putin’s officials.
Putin and advocates for the Kremlin’s position had had no success with the campaign - until Trump became president. The Magnitsky Act of 2012 is the backdrop of Putin’s proposal to Trump at the Helsinki meeting earlier this week that the United States give Russian officials access to former U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, in exchange for allowing the FBI to question 12 Russian agents recently indicted for interfering with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Trump was receptive to the suggestion, calling it “an interesting idea.” That created a fire storm of criticism among Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike. But on Thursday, the White House reversed course with spokeswoman Sarah Sanders saying, “It is a proposal made in sincerity by President Putin, but President Trump disagrees with it.”
McConnell issues Supreme Court ultimatum
The Senate GOP leader is vowing to squeeze Democrats with a vote on Brett Kavanaugh right before the midterms if they don’t back down on their demand for documents.
Mitch McConnell has a warning for Democrats demanding copious documents on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh: Be careful what you wish for.
The Senate majority leader privately told senior Republicans on Wednesday that if Democrats keep pushing for access to upwards of a million pages in records from President Donald Trump’s high court pick, he’s prepared to let Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote slip until just before November’s midterm elections, according to multiple sources.
American flag burned outside U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters' L.A. office
A small crowd that gathered Thursday outside the Los Angeles office of U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-California, to counter an expected protest by a self-styled militia group burned an American flag taken from the back of a pickup truck. The incident happened after the far-right Oath Keepers group didn't appear at the office after saying it would rally against the congresswoman.
A group of counter-protesters there to support Waters were chanting "black power" and other slogans when the pickup approached.
The vehicle, occupied by two men who appeared to be white, was stopped by the crowd. Some marchers opened the doors and one grabbed the flag flying on a pole in the bed of the truck, which sped off.
Awash in a tsunami of trivia
The media is guilty of manifold sins, as God and everyone else know, but President Trump has misdiagnosed what’s wrong with the media. It’s not deliberate “fakery,” but a tsunami of too much news badly edited, if edited at all. We’re awash in information, much of it show-biz trivia that we don’t need.
Once upon a time there were newspapers with editors, old guys who brooked nothing that smelled like “opinion.” Some of them actually did wear green eyeshades, as in the movies, and very few of them looked like the suave Adolphe Menjou or Cary Grant in successive movie versions of “The Front Page.” The scruffy, boisterous Walter Matthau was believable in the 1970 version.
Editors in those days of the previous century were not there to make reporters feel good about themselves or to provide a safe space for earnest beginners in the trade. The reporters only rarely, try as they might, could even figure out the politics of the editor. Everybody was there to learn how to get the story right, and get it first, or have a good reason why not. Everybody was expected to be a skeptic — “if your mother tells you she loves you, check it out” — and exposure up close to the real world transformed more than a few into cynics.
It's 1933 in South Africa
A rising radical politician promises that he will bring the majority of his population out of poverty and depression by getting rid of an unpopular minority and redistributing their ill-gotten gains among the poor and downtrodden. He openly threatens ethnic cleansing to what he claims is the criminal race that has systematically oppressed his people for centuries.
The sitting national leader sees the rising popularity of this demagogue and adopts many of his arguments. If this sounds like Germany in 1933, it was — however, it is also South Africa in 2018.
In 1933, the target minority was Jews. Today, the intended victims in South Africa are white farmers. In both cases, the despised minority represented much of the nation’s prosperity. In both cases, the world has looked the other way.