1:17 PM 3/30/2019 – Jumping into cow dung on a warm day in Tel Aviv | Germany’s Ambassador to U.N. compares Israel to Hamas | No Trump fingerprints doesn’t mean no crime

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Valley News – Column: No Trump fingerprints doesn’t mean no crime

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The old joke that absence of evidence is proof that the conspiracy is working is no longer a joke, and no longer old.
Attorney General William Barr’s summary of the Mueller report stated that it did “not establish that the President was involved” in collusion with Russia to interfere with the 2016 elections. This seems on first reading to be a fairly straightforward statement that the president was innocent of collusion. But what is this conclusion based on? The investigation into Russian collusion was impeded every step of the way by the president’s public actions, which may have prevented relevant facts from emerging.
The fact that Trump and his associates have been able to leave no fingerprints at the scene of the crime does not prove that no crime was committed, nor that he is innocent.
To many of us who have followed this story, Barr’s conclusion is incredible. Despite Barr’s statement to the contrary, there is a significant amount of circumstantial evidence that Trump and his associates worked with Russia to manipulate the 2016 presidential election. According to the Mueller report, the Russians made multiple attempts to contact the Trump campaign, and we know that at least Donald Trump Jr. was very eager to accept their aid when he responded to a request for a meeting to discuss “dirt on Hillary.” “I love it,” he replied. The result was the famous Trump Tower meeting of June 2016 in which the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr.; Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner; and his campaign manager, Paul Manafort, met with four Russian operatives. President Trump subsequently advised Trump Jr. to lie about the purpose of that meeting, stating that it was about adoption policy.
We know as well that a large number of Trump’s advisers, including Manafort and Michael Flynn, his national security adviser, had numerous meetings with Russian operatives before the election, and that they lied about those meetings. Manafort is also charged with giving Republican polling data to a Russian operative. This data could have been used by the Russians in their social media campaign to influence the 2016 election.
In addition to the secret meetings that Trump’s advisers had with Russians, we should add President Trump’s own secret meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin (five according to The New York Times), at which no American officials other than Trump were present, and in which the translator’s notes were confiscated.
So far, five associates of Trump have been convicted as a result of the Mueller investigation, while others are facing trial on charges related to the Russian investigation.
From the investigations, it is clear that the Russians wanted to work with the Trump campaign, and the Trump campaign wanted to work with the Russians, and they each had ample opportunity to do so. Eventually, we may know much more.
The case against Trump for obstruction of justice is equally compelling. The evidence for this starts with Trump asking the director of the FBI, James Comey to “let this go,” meaning the investigation of Michael Flynn. Ultimately, Flynn pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice relating to the Russian investigation. By then, however, Trump had fired Comey, publicly stating two times that he did so because of the Russian investigation. Add to this Trump’s frequent criticism of the Mueller investigation and his attempts to impede its work, most clearly by refusing to testify in person with Mueller’s investigators. And, add to this his dismissal of his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, related to Sessions’ recusal from oversight of the Russian investigation.
Finally, there is overwhelming evidence that Russia received benefits from the support given Trump in the 2016 election, including the relaxation of the Russian sanctions on some of Putin’s key associates; the weakening of a statement on Ukraine in the Republican Party campaign platform in 2016; Trump’s consistently siding with Putin, most notably his agreeing with Putin (in Helsinki) that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 election, despite the conclusions of the U.S. intelligence community. And, most important, Trump’s lack of support for NATO and the weakening of our ties with our traditional allies in Europe.
Barr’s report unfortunately leaves many of the most important questions raised by the specter of Russian interference in the 2016 elections unanswered. That is why Congress and the courts must continue to aggressively investigate these issues, and why the full Mueller report must be made public.
Alexander O. Boulton is a professor of history at Stevenson University.
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Jumping into cow dung on a warm day in Tel Aviv

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Tel Aviv in March.  The locus of Israel’s modern bourgeoisie. Luxury stores.  Boutique patisseries.  Mothers pushing strollers carrying babies bedecked in designer clothes. I sit in a small, friendly café with my friend Alan Gill, discussing the essence of fundraising. What motivates us, the fundraisers?  What motivates donors? In the warm spring sunshine we discuss the meaning of life. Health and wealth. What is most important and what is less so.
The following day Alan emailed me an article by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, which proposed “meaning” as a key to happiness. Alan added: “Sagi, this is what we aspire to give donors: meaning.”
I thought of this email on Friday afternoon just before Shabbat, when my son Ari called from the army base where he would be spending Shabbat. “It was a good week, Abba,” he said, “very interesting.  We did maneuvers: assaults, flanking, covering fire. Lots of live fire exercises. We slept three to a pup tent, crammed together. The weather was decent, it only rained the last day. It was a beautiful area, wildflowers everywhere.  You and Ima should go for a bike ride there. But unfortunately a herd of cows was also there, enjoying blooming nature, so the place was covered in cow dung. During night exercises we kept stepping and jumping right into cow s–t.”  From his upbeat and nonchalant narration, Ari, 19, didn’t sound the least bit distressed by this.
“Ari,” I said, “let me read you something your brother sent me this morning.”
Guy, 25, who had finished his own military service less than a year earlier, had sent me an article he wrote about the trip he was currently enjoying in Jamaica with his American cousin Matan, 22.
Guy: “Matan and I sat on the branch of a bent palm tree, our feet buried in sand as white as snow, gazing on the blue waves breaking gently on the shore, talking about our different experiences of adolescence.”
Matan: “In college I had to swallow 10 live goldfish and run two miles with lit cigarettes in my mouth, to get into the Jewish fraternity.”
Guy: “In the army I had to navigate by myself many nights in the desert.”
Matan: “Man, you have no idea how tough football practice was!”
Guy: “Bro, tough practices?!  Have you heard of krav maga?”
Matan: “I’m working at IBM, then I’m going for my master’s.”
Guy: “You’ve already got a job and you’re thinking about your next degree?  I’ve only just taken the pre-college exam!”
“Ari, on the one hand you might be thinking about your U.S. friends from Bronfman Fellows or Yavne summer camp, debating which party to go to or what to do on spring break, while you’re jumping into cow dung and are confined to base over Shabbat.  On the other hand, there’s a time for everything. And when the day comes that you stand before the Throne of the Creator and He asks you what you have done for the Jewish people and for the State of Israel, what you are doing today will be considered to your merit.”
Israel’s next general election is approaching and, like every single election for the Knesset that I can recall, it is being described as “historic elections.”  But elections come and elections go.  Political leaders rise and fall.  And for us, it is worthwhile to remember that from the time our Patriarch Abraham declared that there is only one God, the situation of the Jewish people has never been better than it is today.  And it is so good, thanks to devoted Jews (and often non-Jews) in Israel and in the Diaspora, who consider it a privilege to contribute their share. Those who are willing to enjoy the flowers but also ready to jump right into the cow dung.
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Germany’s Ambassador to U.N. compares Israel to Hamas – Diaspora

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Germany's Ambassador to the UN, Christoph Heusgen

Germany’s Ambassador to the UN, Christoph Heusgen. (photo credit: REUTERS/AXEL SCHMIDT)
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NEW YORK – Germany’s best-selling newspaper Bild published a scathing editorial on Wednesday accusing the country’s UN Ambassador Christoph Heusgen of betraying Chancellor Angela Merkel’s security pledge to Israel by comparing the Jewish State to the terrorist organization Hamas.
The editorial, authored by Filipp Piatov, took Heusgen to task for comparing Israel’s security measures against Palestinian terrorists with Hamas rocket attacks.
In response to Heusgen’s statement that “Civilians must live without fear of Palestinian rockets or Israeli bulldozers,” the Bild journalist wrote: “After 130 missiles in a week, pure malice. Murderous rockets are not bulldozers. The Israeli government is not a terrorist militia. This comparison has nothing to do with the promise of Chancellor Merkel.
In 2008, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Israel’s Knesset: “For me as German chancellor, Israel’s security is non-negotiable.”
The Bild journalist wrote ”At the UN Security Council meeting, German UN Ambassador Christoph Heusgen compared Hamas rocket terrorism with the demolition of houses without a building permit – a means that Israel uses against buildings illegally built by Palestinians (but also Israelis).”
The journalist further noted that Heusgen’s parallel between Hamas and Israel came after “In recent days, the radical Islamic Hamas has fired more than 130 missiles at Israel… injuring seven people, including two small children.”
The US government, the European Union and Israel classify the Sunni Jihadi organization Hamas as a terrorist entity.
Piatov concluded his editorial: “When Islamist terrorists fire rockets at Israeli children,” the German government should be “crystal clear about standing on Israel’s side.”
Germany voted 16 times in 2018 to condemn the Jewish State at the UN.
In mid-March, the German parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of Merkel’s anti-Israel voting record at the UN. The vote in the Bundestag was from a total of 626 MPs participating. An eye-popping 408 voted to reject a pro-Israel resolution to urge Merkel to change her anti-Jewish state voting pattern while 155 urged its acceptance. A total of 63 MPs abstained.
Israeli diplomats have expressed to The Jerusalem Post over the last eight years their intense loathing of Heusgen because of his alleged anti-Israel activities.
A Wikileaks cable revealed in 2010 that Heusgen, who was Merkel’s foreign policy adviser at the time, urged the US to water down its opposition to the UN’s anti-Israel “Goldstone Report” in order to force Israel to freeze settlement construction.
Irish PM Varadkar Seeks To Strengthen Alliances In Europe Ahead Of Brexit

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Rep. Nadler Says Mueller Report Should Be Given To Congress Without Redactions | Hardball | MSNBC 

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From: msnbcleanforward
Duration: 07:52

Despite the Attorney General’s timetable on the release of the Mueller report, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Congressman Jerry Nadler, is sticking to his demand that report be delivered to congress in full by next Tuesday.
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Rep. Nadler Says Mueller Report Should Be Given To Congress Without Redactions | Hardball | MSNBC

MPs vote against the Prime Minister’s divorce deal -BBC News

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From: bbcnews
Duration: 23:18

MPs have again rejected Theresa May’s EU withdrawal agreement on the day the UK was due to leave the EU.
The government lost by 344 votes to 286. It means the UK has missed an EU deadline to leave with a deal and delay Brexit until 22nd May.
So for now, 12th April is our Brexit day. Either we leave with no deal, or the Prime Minister asks Brussels for an extension – and it could be a long one.
Part of the BBC News at Ten’s Brexit coverage.

PBS NewsHour full episode March 29, 2019 

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From: PBSNewsHour
Duration: 52:54

Friday on the NewsHour, Parliament rejects Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal for a third time, perpetuating the UK’s deep divisions and uncertainty about what’s next. Plus: Courts weigh in on the political debate over health care, the violence driving Central Americans north, political analysis from Shields and Brooks and a singer-songwriter shares her personal experiences through music.
WATCH TODAY’S SEGMENTS:
News Wrap: Barr says he’ll release Mueller report in April
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STRQqW-1Kgg
After another failed vote, what’s next for Brexit?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UpboPJky5U
Why a federal judge turned down Medicaid work requirements
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2jWN-pftaox
Why families by the thousands are fleeing Honduras for U.S.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZECXFt5EiI
Shields and Brooks on Mueller report, Trump health care move
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BiLVPp7DuQ
Singer Patty Griffin on finding something ‘magical’ in life
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7ec5ga7jxA
Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG
Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour
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Trump Aide Who Cooperated: ‘Bad Things’ Coming In Mueller Report | The Beat With Ari Melber | MSNBC 

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From: msnbcleanforward
Duration: 12:52

Mueller witnesses Michael Caputo and Carter Page join Ari Melber exclusively to discuss the Mueller probe ending without any chargeable collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, as Attorney General Bill Barr pledges to release a redacted version of Mueller’s report by mid-April. Caputo reveals his view that there will “be some bad things” in the Mueller report relating to President Trump and obstruction of justice.
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Trump Aide Who Cooperated: ‘Bad Things’ Coming In Mueller Report | The Beat With Ari Melber | MSNBC

Tucker: John Brennan and Jim Comey disgraced themselves

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From: FoxNewsChannel
Duration: 06:13

Tucker: The left is obsessed with absurd hoaxes. #Tucker #FoxNews
FOX News operates the FOX News Channel (FNC), FOX Business Network (FBN), FOX News Radio, FOX News Headlines 24/7, FOXNews.com and the direct-to-consumer streaming service, FOX Nation. FOX News also produces FOX News Sunday on FOX Broadcasting Company and FOX News Edge. A top five-cable network, FNC has been the most watched news channel in the country for 17 consecutive years. According to a 2018 Research Intelligencer study by Brand Keys, FOX News ranks as the second most trusted television brand in the country. Additionally, a Suffolk University/USA Today survey states Fox News is the most trusted source for television news or commentary in the country, while a 2017 Gallup/Knight Foundation survey found that among Americans who could name an objective news source, FOX News is the top-cited outlet. FNC is available in nearly 90 million homes and dominates the cable news landscape while routinely notching the top ten programs in the genre.

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Mike Pence Rebuts Eric Holder’s MAGA Critique On MSNBC | The Beat With Ari Melber | MSNBC 

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From: msnbcleanforward
Duration: 05:51

Vice President Mike Pence trolled former Attorney General Eric Holder, after Holder had a broader conversation about voting rights and what makes “America great” with Ari Melber. Melber examines both sides of the debate and puts Holder’s comments in context, including his view that “at our best”, we “look at the uncertain future, embrace it and make it our own”.
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Mike Pence Rebuts Eric Holder’s MAGA Critique On MSNBC | The Beat With Ari Melber | MSNBC

What’s the Strongest Criticism of Bernie Sanders?

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From: MidweekPolitics
Duration: 07:48

–Audience Question: What’s the most legitimate and credible criticism of Bernie Sanders?
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Broadcast on March 29, 2019

Adam Schiff: Barr Memo Claim On Need For Obstruction Decision ‘Flimsy’ | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

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From: msnbcleanforward
Duration: 08:20

Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, talks with Rachel Maddow about Attorney General William Barr going beyond what the Special Counsel regulations call for by imposing himself on the release of Robert Mueller’s report.
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Adam Schiff: Barr Memo Claim On Need For Obstruction Decision ‘Flimsy’ | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC
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    Exclusive: Trump is eyeing ‘secondary sanctions’ on Venezuela that would hit companies from other countries who do business with Maduro’s government, national security adviser Bolton said

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