Trump’s “S**T FOR BRAINS;’’ FBI’s Early Warnings of His Possible Collusion with Russia
President Trump continued to embarrass America by calling Haiti and African nations “shithole countries,’’ comments that United Nations Human Rights Council – and many others – deemed ‘’racist.”
The council’s spokesman Rupert Colville said Trump’s comments were “shocking and shameful.”
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, one of the first foreign journalists to arrive in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake that killed up to 220,000 people, launched an impassioned defense of the Caribbean nation and said its people had “been through more, they’ve withstood more, they’ve fought back against more injustice than our President ever has.”
The New York Daily News offered its opinion with a cover that declared Trump has “S**IT FOR BRAINS.’’
FBI’s Early Warnings of Trump’s Possible Collusion with Russia; Mueller Wants to Interview Trump
U.S. Sen. Diane Feinstein, a California Democrat, released more than 300 pages of testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, which included testimony from Glenn Simpson, a former newspaper reporter and the founder of Fusion GPS. Read more from Simpson’s testimony here.
The lengthy transcript was released over the objections of Republicans, who have been sharply critical of Simpson’s firm, Fusion GPS.
“The innuendo and misinformation circulating about the transcript are part of a deeply troubling effort to undermine the investigation into potential collusion and obstruction of justice,” Feinstein said in a statement. “The only way to set the record straight is to make the transcript public.”
Trump’s lawyers have been allegedly working with FBI investigators regarding a possible interview by special counsel Robert Mueller with the president as part of the inquiry into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election.
Imagine being paid to make sure Trump doesn’t incriminate himself…
Meet the Army Veteran Who Was Purged from Ohio Voter Rolls
Army Sgt. Joe Helle shared his story of being purged from the voter rolls after returning home from stints in Iraq and Afghanistan. In a Columbus news conference, Helle explained the challenges that service members face who want to vote and he did so on on the eve of oral arguments in Husted vs. A. Philip Randolph Institute – a case that will decide whether Ohio’s purge policies are constitutional.
After Helle went to vote and was told to cast a provisional ballot, he learned from his local board of elections that he had been unregistered and removed from Ohio’s voter roll due to supposed inactivity.
“I was sitting there in the board of elections office crying,” Helle said. “To be a veteran, go serve my country for so long, to come home and be told that I cannot exercise one of the fundamental rights that I went and defended is ridiculous. It is wrong in every single way and it needs to stop.”
Read Helle’s full story here.
In addition to taking part in the Columbus event, Helle headed to the Washington, D.C., to participate in an event outside the U.S. Supreme Court. He confronted Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, who oversees one of America’s most restrictive purge policies.
You can watch the exchange here:
ECOT, Ohio’s Chronically Failing Online Charter School, Could Close Very Soon
Heather Moran-Kuhling was crushed to hear her 3rd-grade son’s school could close next week. And like many ECOT parents and students, she is now scrambling to figure out what comes next.
“My heart breaks for the students,” said the Cincinnati mom, who home-schooled her son, and previously his older brother, while they were enrolled in the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow.
The younger boy, Carter, has attention deficit issues making it difficult for him to learn in a traditional classroom setting.
“At home we may go 12 hours but I give him the breaks he needs,” she said. “I’ve looked at other online schools but I’m not sure what I’ll do.”
For now, Moran-Kuhling and others connected to the online school wait with more questions than answers.
For starters, can ECOT, the state’s largest charter school, avoid closure by either keeping the Educational Service Center of Lake Erie West as its sponsor, or finding some other arrangement?
ECOT’s options may be limited.
A modification to the contract between Lake Erie West and ECOT signed in April 2017 says if the school is not renewed due to lack of fiscal management, the school must close permanently and “the school shall not enter into a contract with any other sponsor.”
A charter school must have a sponsor to operate. Apryl Morin, executive director of Lake Erie West, declined to speculate what ECOT could do to salvage the relationship but is willing to look at its proposal.
Lake Erie West told ECOT in a letter dated Wednesday that it plans to suspend its sponsorship of the school, citing concerns about the school’s deteriorating finances and lack of bonding for its treasurer, which is required by law.
Ben Marrison, spokesman for state Auditor Dave Yost, said it is unusual for a bond to be revoked midterm.
“This is concerning because bonding is a fundamental requirement of public officeholders in positions of fiduciary responsibility,” he said. “It appears the decision to revoke the bond with ECOT is based on ECOT’s financial position.”
In the letter, Lake Erie West said it makes more sense to suspend the school’s operation at the end of the semester on Thursday, rather than wait until March or April when ECOT runs out of money.
Policy Matters Study: Amazon Thrives as Its Workers Qualify For Food Stamps
A new report from Policy Matters Ohio shows that more than 700 Amazon employees, or more than 10 percent of its workforce in Ohio, receive food stamps. Zach Schiller, research director at Policy Matters, asked, “Why is this giant, successful company offering such limited pay and hours of work that many of its workers need help buying food?”
Many Ohio Dems Find Hope in Cordray-Sutton Team for Governor, Lt. Gov
Gubernatorial candidates Rich Cordray and Betty Sutton joined forces this week in an effort to create a unity ticket for Democrats. Former Congresswoman Sutton told reporters, “The truth of the matter is that nobody has done more to stand up for everyday Ohioans than Rich Cordray, and we are not afraid to take on the tough fights. We’ll take on the special interests that have been running things too long in Columbus.”
Only one ticket for Governor and Lieutenant Governor doesn’t have a woman – and it’s a Republican ticket. Read more about the lack of diversity in the Husted/DeWine pairing here.
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley withdrew from the gubernatorial race Friday and endorsed the Cordray/Sutton ticket.
Partisan Map-Making Loses in NC, but Ohio Republicans Want to Keep It Going in Buckeye State
A panel of federal judges struck down North Carolina’s congressional map on Tuesday, calling it unconstitutional because “Republicans had drawn the map seeking a political advantage,” according to The New York Times.
This was the first ruling from a federal court that blocked a congressional map because of partisan gerrymandering. Back in Ohio, while purporting to support a bipartisan map-drawing process for congressional districts, Ohio Republicans unveiled a plan that was anything but.
Their proposal is so bad that experts said it would result in an even worse plan than the lopsided one in place today. Read more about the Ohio GOP plan here.
Democracy fans, do not despair. An all-volunteer, citizen-led group is collecting the signatures needed to put true reform on the November ballot.
With Mandel Out of U.S. Senate Primary, Look Who’s Jumped In – Or Might Get In
After Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel’s sudden departure from the U.S. Senate race, Republicans are in a flurry to find a replacement candidate. It looks like they’ve landed on U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, who will exit the gubernatorial race and work to “promote President Trump’s agenda in Ohio.”
Sources say author J.D. Vance has not made any decision regarding the race but news reports say he might not be eligible because he is not an Ohio resident.
As Ohio’s Opioid Crisis Worsens, Mom Details Her Son’s Struggles In His Obituary
A Youngstown-area woman shared her family’s struggle with addiction that ultimately led to her son’s death. Cheryl Puskas wrote her 27-year-old son’s obituary, something she says no mother should ever have to do. Cheryl, along with her family, shared her son Jordan’s struggle with addiction in an effort to spread awareness about the need for a comprehensive approach to the public health crisis.
“If the awareness of addiction can help save at least one life, then Jordan’s life served a noble purpose,” Puskas told The Vindicator.
Cincinnati-area families took a creative approach to highlight the need to continue funding for CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Dubbing it the “Chips for CHIP” effort, local physicians and families baked chocolate chip cookies Wednesday morning to deliver to the local offices of U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot and U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman.
“The time is now for us to renew the CHIP program,” Dr. Ray Bignall, a clinical fellow in pediatric nephrology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, told WCPO.
“Children across our state are running the risk of losing their healthcare insurance within several weeks. There is really no room for error.”
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January 20: Women’s Marches across Ohio