If Trump isn’t hiding anything, why all the covering up?

Jennifer Rubin, The Washington Post Published 11:28 am, Thursday, March 8, 2018 READ ANOTHER OPINION Impeachment might not be the wisest course11:49 AM If Trump isn't hiding anything, why all the covering up?11:28 AM Three potential calamities for Trump - aside from Mueller10:47 AM Here's how we know Joe Biden is serious about 202010:43 AM Just when you think you've caught up and digested the latest scandal news from the White House, along comes more evidence suggesting a significant effort to cover up actions, which if perfectly appropriate, should not require so many people to behave in such a shady fashion. First, we have evidence that President Donald Trump talked to witnesses who have provided information to the special counsel, something surely his attorneys told him not to do for fear of raising even the appearance of witness tampering. The New York Times reports that Trump asked former chief of staff Reince Priebus about his testimony, inquiring whether investigators were "nice." More problematic, he at one point insisted to White House counsel Donald McGahn that he had never told McGahn to fire special counsel Robert Mueller and that McGahn should correct a Times story to that effect. McGahn told Trump he most certainly had told him to fire Mueller. Is this evidence that Trump has serious memory issues (or an extraordinary capacity for self-delusion), or was he telling McGahn how to recall events, in essence instructing him as to the official storyline? These interactions (depending on how you interpret the McGahn conversation) may not be illegal, but they raise serious questions. "This was an obviously inadvisable move by the president, even if it didn't cross over to obstruction of justice," former Justice Department spokesman Matt Miller tells me. "But does anyone really think these are the only two people who Trump has asked about their testimony? There's a pattern here of Trump constantly meddling with this Continue Reading

Woodland Park schools closed again Thursday, as school threats a growing concern

0 View Comments Schools, all athletic fields and other property again will be closed Thursday in Woodland Park School District RE-2, spokeswoman Stacy Schubloom said Wednesday. Activities also are canceled Thursday, she said. The latest school threat in the Pikes Peak region was deemed credible by Woodland Park police, leaving three elementary schools, a middle school and a high school standing empty Wednesday and now again on Thursday. "The investigation is advancing, because it is continuing we decided to close the district again tomorrow," Schubloom said. "As always, student and staff safety remains a top priority for our district." Related: Elementary student accused in threat at school - second in a week for Widefield schools Lost educational time will be made up through extending the school day or adding days to the school year, Schubloom said. District officials closed all five RE-2 schools after graffiti written last Friday on a girl's bathroom wall at the high school referenced Wednesday as the day of action. Cmdr. Jim Halloran, spokesman for the Woodland Park Police Department, said the investigation continues, so he could not provide details. Police were regularly patrolling around school property Wednesday, he said. The Woodland Park Police Department is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the identification of the person responsible. Tipsters can call the police department at 687-9262 or the anonymous Safe-2-Tell hotline at (877) 542-7233. Numerous threats have been made against schools in the area, from Air Academy High to Widefield High to Peyton Junior/Senior High and even an elementary school since the Feb. 14 mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla. What's up with the escalation of threats in potential copycat behavior is the million dollar question for law enforcement, parents, students and the community. "Does it keep happening because students want attention and feel they're getting their 15 minutes of fame? Is it Continue Reading

The Spousal Report: 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar Review

Full Car Details More Reviews You are looking at something as rare as rain in Southern California: a can’t-miss hit in a long-established vehicle segment. Styled to look like the more expensive Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, priced to directly compete with the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class, and outfitted with as much luxury and technology as your budget can withstand, the 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar could easily become the company’s most popular SUV. To understand why, you must understand the potential buyer’s mindset. Image is what matters most, and the Velar delivers at what could be considered a bargain price. Instantly appealing to aspirational buyers who can’t quite close the financial gap between their income, savings, assets, and the true object of their desire (a “real” Range Rover), this stylish new Velar is a perfect substitute while they continue climbing social and financial ladders. Beneath its svelte skin, the Velar shares much of its mechanical hardware and technological software with the Jaguar F-Pace. Naturally, to credibly slot into the Land Rover lineup, the Velar must demonstrate a modicum of off-roading capability, and it certainly does though perhaps not to the extent of say, it’s more utilitarian sibling, the Discovery. But that’s OK, you see, because Velars are unlikely to tackle much tougher terrain beyond speed bumps in lengthy valet lines. Daily News Autos editor Christian Wardlaw and his wife, contributing writer Liz Kim, are married with children. They live in Southern California, too, right over the mountains from Malibu, where Velars were already proliferating like prairie dogs as of the first of the year. To assess this new Range Rover’s capabilities within its natural habitat, they spent a week driving one in R-Dynamic SE P250 trim, and loaded with options. The cost came to $73,300 (including the destination charge of $995), which is about halfway between Continue Reading

Mr. Ten Percent: The Man Who Built — And Bilked — American Soccer

In the middle of 1989, suburban soccer dad Chuck Blazer had just lost his job, had no income, and was struggling with debt.But he did have a few things going for him: He was audacious, with a keen eye for opportunity; he was a splendid salesman; and he knew a vast amount about the world’s most popular sport. Not the fine points of on-field strategy — he’d never actually played the game — but rather the business of American soccer, which was, back then, woeful. Compared to baseball, basketball, and football, soccer was a starving runt. Multiple professional leagues had flopped. TV networks couldn’t even figure out how to fit commercials into the 90-minute, time-out-free games, and they rarely bothered to broadcast the sport. The United States national team hadn’t qualified for a World Cup in nearly 40 years.A quarter-century later, American soccer has become an athletic and economic powerhouse, due substantially to the contributions of Blazer. He helped win Major League Soccer’s first real TV contract, and just last month the MLS inked a $720 million TV deal. The U.S. national team, which he helped promote, is now a World Cup mainstay, ranked higher than powers such as France and the Netherlands. And more people in America are playing soccer than any team sport save basketball.Blazer’s influence wasn’t limited to these shores: He helped organize the Gold Cup, the Confederations Cup, and the Club World Cup, lucrative tournaments that improved the play of national and professional teams around the world. He also became the first American in almost half a century on the executive committee of FIFA, instilling a business-first culture in world soccer’s governing body and persuading it to take control of its own television rights, turning the money-losing organization into a profit machine.And Blazer? He has raked in more than $21 million from the sport, much of it paid to offshore shell companies. He flew around Continue Reading

Short Report: Stylish and sophisticated, the 2017 Cadillac CT6 is one of the best cars people don’t buy

Full Car Details More Reviews Johan de Nysschen is the president of Cadillac. He accepted the role in the summer of 2014 when the company’s new flagship luxury sedan, pictured above, was entering its final stages of development. The car was rumored to be called the ZTS, and would be slotted above the CTS and XTS, armed to battle vehicles such as the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. As Donald J. Trump might put it, the new ZTS was going to be tremendous for Cadillac. A winner, not a loser. Previously, de Nysschen served as the architect of Audi’s resurrection in the U.S., where he slowly and steadfastly rebuilt a damaged luxury brand into an A-list player. Infiniti needed that, and in 2012 hired him to do the same thing. He stayed long enough to move headquarters to Hong Kong and change every single vehicle name, resulting in confusion that persists today. (For the record, and given the ambitious product development plan de Nysschen set into motion for Infiniti, this was a smart move. Get over it, all of you G fans.) Cadillac needed de Nysschen’s expertise, too. It was sink or swim time for a company once known as the standard of the world. Cadillac needed a leader who could revive its credentials as a credible global luxury brand. It needed a person like de Nysschen. Immediately following the hire, Cadillac evacuated Detroit for New York City, setting up a new HQ in the greatest metropolis on the planet. De Nysschen also decided to change all of Cadillac’s names, but instead of doing this all it once, as Infiniti had, Cadillac is implementing the name changes with each model redesign or debut. The cars will be “CT-something” and the crossovers will be “XT-something.” The flagship Escalade won’t change, and based on the concept car that Cadillac brought to Pebble Beach this year, a new flagship vehicle similar in concept to the Audi A7 and called Continue Reading

Readers sound off on the Iran deal, dog euthanasia and synthetic pot

The damage Schumer has done Yonkers: I am very disappointed that Sen. Chuck Schumer has declared his opposition to the nuclear agreement with Iran. The deal worked out over two years by President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry guarantees that Iran’s progress towards developing a nuclear weapon is halted for at least 15 years — real progress from the present situation in Tehran. If Congress votes against this agreement, there will be very serious consequences. Iran will go back to finishing the construction of a nuclear weapon, and Israel and/or the United States will bomb its nuclear sites, starting another Middle East war, with dire consequences for the people there and assured growth of the forces of extremism in that region and throughout the world. With the exception of Israel, this agreement is supported by all the major countries in the world. Imagine the damage to American credibility if it is rejected in Congress. Who would support reimposing sanctions? Who would look to America for leadership in any new crisis situation? Republicans, without even one exception in either the House or the Senate, cannot find any positive in this carefully constructed peace deal. It is disappointing beyond words that Schumer has chosen to line up with them to kill an agreement that offers a real prospect for peace. And of course, the Republicans will trumpet his decision as proof that the Democratic leadership is divided, and that they have bipartisan support for killing Obama’s signature peace agreement. Gerry O’Shea A loathsome smear Flushing: To Voicer Andre Jones: Your comment that Sen. Chuck Schumer represents Israel and the Jewish people over American concerns is totally off-base. In all of Israel’s existence, not one single U.S. soldier was sent to battle for her. I can guarantee you that no son or daughter of any state in the United States will ever go to battle for Israel. Your statement smells of Continue Reading

DNR to give farms more input in some regulatory functions

Madison — State Department of Natural Resources officials said Wednesday they want to rely more on the work of consultants to draft environmental permits, including the manure handling practices of large-scale farms.The DNR will still write final permits, but will develop so-called "assurance programs" so they can rely more on the accuracy of information provided by private parties. The new approach on permits is part of a series of organizational changes officials say will make the agency more efficient at a time when its workforce has shrunk to a 30-year low.Other efforts include changes in law enforcement and property management responsibilities and a previously announced reassignment of a depleted science staff to specific units of the agency.DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp said the work reflects a 16-month makeover, prompted by dwindling agency resources and demands by Gov. Scott Walker and the GOP-controlled Legislature to run the department in a more business-like manner.The changes come as the DNR has been criticized by conservation organizations for what they see as lax enforcement of environmental laws since Stepp took over the agency in 2011.The Legislative Audit Bureau in June found backlogs in the DNR's wastewater program for factories, municipalities and large farms. It also found the agency issued a small percentage of violation notices for the cases reviewed.The audit also follows news reports of a drop-off in DNR enforcement activity in recent years, but Stepp cautioned the figures mask a greater willingness by the department to work with parties upfront to avoid violations in the first place.Stepp said the realignment of responsibilities won’t translate into weaker protections.“We’re not talking about changing standards — there are no regulation changes. That really needs to be emphasized here,” Stepp said. “There’s been some rumor mongering out there.“We Continue Reading

Donald Trump Jr. commits a crime against credibility

A few years ago, I recall watching an episode of the show "COPS" in which a woman approaches a police officer to report a serious crime. Evidently she had paid $20 to another woman, hadn’t received what she was promised, and asked the police to get it for her. Not surprisingly, the officer was reluctant to go retrieve her $20 worth of crack cocaine. (“I don’t sell crack,” the woman who took the money protested, outraged. “I’m a prostitute.”)It is with this level of sophistication that presidential son Donald Trump Jr. attempted to brush off reports of his attempt during the 2016 presidential campaign to collude with sources that may have been tied to the Russian government. But the more he attempts to clear his own name, the guiltier he looks.In fact, the very documents that Donald Jr. thought exonerated him actually condemn him beyond any reasonable doubt. For instance, on Tuesday, Trump Jr. issued a statement saying “the woman” with whom he met “was not a government official.” Yet the email chain that accompanied his statement clearly identifies Natalia Veselnitskaya as a “Russian government attorney.” While we’ve now learned she wasn’t officially tied to the Kremlin, the information Trump Jr. had at the time said she was.The 24 hours before and after Trump Jr.’s email dump were a cavalcade of buffoonery bolstered by a gaggle of useful sycophants. On Fox News host Sean Hannity’s show Tuesday night, Trump Jr. kept repeating the most puzzling part of his defense — that he was frustrated the Russian attorney didn’t offer any dirt on Clinton and that it was a “wasted 20 minutes” of his time.But this defense actually damns Trump Jr. even more. He clearly thought he was meeting with someone from the Russian government to receive damaging information on Hillary Clinton — he even said in an email that if the information was what he Continue Reading

Congo gunmen kill 36 people at a bar in Burundi

BUJUMBURA, Burundi -- Armed men from Congo burst into a pub in the central African nation of Burundi and killed 36 people, an official said Monday. One wounded man said an attacker yelled: "Make sure there's no survivors." Burundi, a tiny nation still reeling from a civil war that killed more than 250,000 people, is awash in weapons but attacks like the one Sunday night are rare. Still, the region borders eastern Congo, which is wracked by violence from a myriad of rebel groups. Bujumbura province governor Jacques Minani said the attackers targeted the pub in Gatumba, west of Burundi's capital, after crossing the river from Congo. Survivor Jackson Kabura, who was shot in the stomach, said the men entered wearing military fatigues. "One of them said, 'kill them all, kill them all. Make sure there's no survivors,'" he said. Congolese military spokesman Col. Sylvain Ekenge said officials were "astonished" by reports that the attackers were believed to be from his country. He said the perpetrators are more likely to be rebels from Burundi's last rebel army, the Forces for National Liberation. He said Congolese forces had captured some of the Burundian fighters in Congo several months ago. "It is they who often attack Gatumba and its surroundings, even if Burundian authorities call them bandits, but in this forest there are (Burundian rebel) fighters," he said. For the past year there have been reports that the extremist Burundian Hutu rebel group, led by Agathon Rwasa, is operating in eastern Congo and may be preparing for war in Burundi. Burundi has suffered attacks on police which allegedly are linked to a renewed rebellion by the group. The U.N. mission in Congo has reported the presence of NLF fighters and bases in eastern Congo, and suggestions they may be allied with Rwandan Hutu rebels also operating there. The U.N. Group of Experts on the Congo in a November report quoted "multiple credible sources" on Continue Reading

WATCH: Hundreds protest Trump outside rally

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP – The anti-Donald Trump rally in a leafy park across the street from the New Jersey National Guard Armory where he spoke Thursday evening had a carnival-like feel.The hundreds of protesters came from all walks of life and represented a myriad of interests. For the most part it seemed to be all in good fun – a grown man in a Donald Trump Halloween mask, carrying on a satirical conversation with a group of union men.It was theater in the park. WATCH: Trump talks EgyptAir, slams Clinton at NJ rally“I’m going to give Chris Christie a good job!” bellowed the faux Trump.  “That’s my lap dog and when I’m elected, he’s going to be the door man at the Trump Plaza!”“Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…” yelled the union men in unison.It all seemed in good fun until the occasional, not-so-street savvy Trump supporter walked by the crowd into the rally with a Trump campaign sign.“Die (expletive)!” some in the crowd shouted with earnest vitriol.United States Marine veteran Jake Maier looked like the kind of man who one might expect to be a conservative voter in November. At 27, he stood confident and lean under a Marine Corps ball cap and a black T-shirt that read, “Iraq Veterans against the War.” READ: Trump in New Jersey minute-by-minute“I’m here because I’m protesting my governor,” Maier said, a Stirling resident. “As a New Jerseyan, not only has he totally abandoned the Muslim population at a time when violence against Muslims across the nation has doubled and tripled, he has also supported the most violent and vehement racist in Donald Trump. … Gov. Christie has betrayed 200,000 of his own constituents.”Elsewhere there was Andrea Bonnette of East Amwell, a retired elementary school teacher who is looking forward to opening her summer home in Ship Bottom next week.Over her lifetime, she has been at so many protests Continue Reading