Britain on Critical Alert, Russians Recruit

Critical Alert: A British man of Libyan descent is believed to have been the suicide bomber at an Ariana Grande concert Monday night in Manchester, England. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility.

Police say they found the identification of Salman Abedi, 22, whose parents immigrated from Libya. He lived 3.5 miles from the arena where he blew himself up at the end of the concert. The bomb was packed with nuts, bolts, and nails.

The concert audience included a lot of young people. One of the 22 people killed was an eight-year-old girl.

The entire country is on a “Critical” terror alert. Prime Minister Theresa May said, “it is a possibility we cannot ignore that there is a wider group of individuals linked to this attack.”

President Trump said, “So many young beautiful innocent people, living and enjoying their lives murdered by evil losers in life. I won’t call them monsters because they would like that term.”

The Russia House: As Russian hackers tried to influence the US election last year, the CIA noticed suspicious communications between Russian government officials and associates of the Trump presidential campaign, according to testimony before a House committee yesterday by former CIA Director John Brennan.

He said, “I know what the Russians try to do. They try to suborn individuals and try to get individuals, including US individuals, to act on their behalf, wittingly or unwittingly.”

Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy tried to get Brennan to say he saw no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Brennan: “I saw information and intelligence that was worthy of investigation by the bureau to determine whether or not such cooperation or collusion was taking place.”

Gowdy: “What was the nature of the information?”

Brennan: “As I said Mr. Gowdy, I think that this committee has access to the type of information that I’m alluding to here. It’s classified and I’m happy to talk about it in classified session.”

Trickle Down: The Trump administration has released its proposed budget that cuts taxes and predicts the government will grow its way out of the revenue loss with 3 percent annual growth. Both conservative and liberal economists say there isn’t enough information in the budget plan to explain how it would defy economic gravity.

Growth was 2.6 percent in 2015, but only 1.6 percent last year.

It’s an old Republican belief that cutting taxes will spur spending and growth. It’s been done before and has not worked.  The nonprofit Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimated that the federal debt would rise by $5.5 trillion over the first ten years.

Trump’s budget plan … keep in mind it is not likely to be enacted by Congress — would cut food stamps by 29 percent; children’s health insurance 19 percent; Medicaid 17 percent; unemployment insurance 12 percent.

Fox Retracts: Fox news has retracted a story that linked the murder of a young member of the Democratic National Committee with the email hacking of the Hillary Clinton campaign. Seth Rick, 27, was shot in the back near his Washington home last July. Fox reported that the killing may have been in retaliation for sharing DNC emails with WikiLeaks.

The retraction puts the network at odds with one of its biggest remaining stars, Sean Hannity, who has drummed on the Rich story and said on his radio show that he has retracted nothing

The Obit Page: Roger Moore, one of a string of actors who have played agent 007 James Bond in the movies, has died at age 89. Moore was 45 when he took on the job and had the longest run from 1973 with “Live and Let Die” and winding up in 1985 with “A View to a Kill.”

The subject of who has been the best Bond is likely to set off a bar room argument. Sean Connery set the mark as the suave, sexy killer with a dry sense of humor. Daniel Craig gave it a blunt brutality. George Lazenby was forgettable. Moore took over at a time when the producers went campy with unlikely stunts, corny jokes, and clumsy sexual innuendo.

The NY Times critic A.O. Scott writes that for just those reasons, Moore was the best Bond. “He is a cartoon superhero in evening wear, a man whose mission is to embody — and, therefore, to transcend — a secondhand, second-rate age, to be cool and clever in a world determined to be as lame and dumb as possible.

Nobody did that better than Roger Moore.”


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Page Two

Jaw Meet Floor

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Small President

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Cuba Diaries

Sunday, March 13, 2016

An Alphabet of Maladies

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Healthcare Confusion Act

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Freedom from Speech

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Too Big to Fire

Friday, June 19, 2015

More Probable Than Not

Thursday, May 14, 2015

It's Been Said

" 'The enemy of the people,'" was what the president of the United States called the free press in 2017 ... It is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies. It bears noting that so fraught with malice was the phrase 'enemy of the people,' that even Nikita Khrushchev forbade its use, telling the Soviet Communist Party that the phrase had been introduced by Stalin for the purpose of 'annihilating such individuals' who disagreed with the supreme leader."
Arizona republican Sen. Jeff Flake speaking on the floor today.

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