Tag Archives: Retreat

Democrats refuse to retreat on Trump legal issues despite Mueller disappointment

Democrats refuse to retreat on Trump legal issues despite Mueller disappointmentHouse committee chairs call on attorney general William Barr to send them full Mueller report by 2 April Jerrold Nadler, the House judiciary committee chairman, has has announced he will summon the attorney general, William Barr, to testify. Photograph: Craig Ruttle/AP As Donald Trump declared victory following the conclusion of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, Democrats showed no signs of backing down from the numerous legal questions encircling the president and his associates. The completion of the highly anticipated Mueller report prompted an intense debate in Washington over how to proceed as Democrats said a summary of its findings by the attorney general, William Barr, “raises as many questions as it answers”, even though it probably laid the issue of collusion with Russia firmly to rest. Since taking control of the House of Representatives in January, Democrats have launched an onslaught of investigations into the president, his administration and his family business. It thus came as an undeniable blow to Democrats that Mueller’s report did not find that the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow to swing the 2016 election, or produce a more definitive conclusion on whether the president himself engaged in any criminal activity. But as Trump and his allies seized on the account to falsely claim “total exoneration”, Democrats signaled the legal and political battle lines were far from settled, especially when it came to Barr’s decision not to pursue the obstruction of justice issue. Jerrold Nadler, the chairman of the House judiciary committee, announced he would summon Barr, who was confirmed as Trump’s attorney general earlier this year, to testify on Capitol Hill as Democrats seek more answers from the conclusion of the nearly two-year federal investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. In light of the very concerning discrepancies and final decision making at the Justice Department following the Special Counsel report, where Mueller did not exonerate the President, we will be calling Attorney General Barr in to testify before @HouseJudiciary in the near future.— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) March 24, 2019 In a four-page letter to Congress, Barr said Mueller’s report did not find criminal collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow during the 2016 presidential election but was inconclusive on the question of whether the president obstructed justice. “It’s a shame that our country has had to go through this,” a defiant Trump said Sunday. “To be honest, it’s a shame that your president has had to go through this.” Democrats nonetheless demanded the release of the full Mueller report, while suggesting Barr’s summary could not be trusted given his prior criticisms of the special counsel investigation. “The fact that Special Counsel Mueller’s report does not exonerate the president on a charge as serious as obstruction of justice demonstrates how urgent it is that the full report and underlying documentation be made public without any further delay,” the Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. “Given Mr Barr’s public record of bias against the special counsel’s inquiry, he is not a neutral observer and is not in a position to make objective determinations about the report.” Democrats took particular issue with the claim by Barr and Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, that Mueller’s evidence was insufficient to prove Trump had obstructed justice. The special counsel examined several actions by Trump in considering the question of obstruction, including his firing of the former FBI director James Comey, public and private attempts to pressure the former attorney general Jeff Sessions, and role in misleading the public about a meeting between his campaign and a Russian lawyer during the campaign. In a joint statement, the Democratic chairmen of the House intelligence, judiciary and oversight committees called for the complete release of Mueller’s report and “all underlying documents”. “It is unacceptable that, after Special Counsel Mueller spent 22 months meticulously uncovering this evidence, Attorney General Barr made a decision not to charge the president in under 48 hours,” the chairmen said. “The special counsel’s report should be allowed to speak for itself,” they added. On Monday evening, six Democratic House committee chairs, including the chairmen of the intelligence and judiciary subcommittees, sent a letter to Barr requesting that he send them the full Mueller report by 2 April. They also asked Barr to start transmitting the evidence underlying the report to the relevant committees. Barr has not made clear how much of the report he intends to make public, teeing up a potentially major dispute that may ultimately be settled in the courts. By a tally of 420-0, the House voted overwhelmingly last month in favor of making the Mueller report public. But even as they seek a full accounting of Mueller’s investigation, Democrats have sought to temper expectations of impeachment – a subject that has polarized the American public. The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, has on multiple occasions thrown cold water on what several Democrats refer to as “the I-word”, leaving it to voters at the 2020 ballot box to determine Trump’s fate. Some strategists said the initial read of the Mueller report may have lifted the burden of impeachment from Democrats’ shoulders, enabling them to focus instead on drawing a policy contrast to Trump as he seeks re-election next year. “I think Democrats need to allow the investigations to continue while focusing on the rest of their legislative agenda,” said Jim Manley, a Democratic strategist who served as an aide to the former Senate majority leader Harry Reid. “It’s pretty clear impeachment is not in the cards, at least not right now.” To impeach Trump, Democrats would need not just a majority in the House but also a two-thirds vote in the Republican-led Senate to convict – an outcome as unlikely as ever before given the widespread support Trump enjoys from members of his own party. Polling has found Americans largely split on whether Trump should be impeached. There are countless other legal perils looming over Trump’s presidency, however, that remain unresolved and which Democrats are likely to focus on. Among them are hush money payments to women claiming affairs with Trump and attempts by the president and his allies to cover them up. In public testimony on Capitol Hill last month, Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen directly implicated the president in the hush money payments – a violation of US campaign finance law – while also accusing Trump of various other criminal acts. Those allegations are being investigated by prosecutors of the southern district of New York and increasingly a subject of the inquiries launched by House Democrats. “Reading the coverage today one would assume that the release of the Mueller report ended the criminal investigations into Trump his inauguration, his business, and his foundation,” Dan Pfeiffer, a former senior adviser to Barack Obama, tweeted. “It didn’t. He still has more criminal exposure than all the other presidents combined.”



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Obama Spoke at Boeing Retreat After Firm Gave Millions to Library Fund

Obama Spoke at Boeing Retreat After Firm Gave Millions to Library FundGeorge W. Bush addressed the group last year, said people familiar with the matter. Obama dropped in on the leadership sessions while traveling back to the mainland from his year-end holiday in Hawaii, and Arizona’s top-notch golf courses were part of the allure. The former president waived his speaking fee for the informal address, said Katie Hill, Obama’s spokeswoman.



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Trump wounded by border wall retreat in deal to end shutdown

Trump wounded by border wall retreat in deal to end shutdownPresident Donald Trump, who famously vowed to negotiate big deals in the White House, came out of a government shutdown battle on Friday politically wounded and outmaneuvered by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi. With Americans exasperated over the 35-day shutdown’s impact on everyday life, including air travel, Trump finally gave in and agreed to reopen the government until Feb. 15, without getting the $ 5.7 billion he had demanded for a border wall. “Perhaps he lost the short-term battle,” one senior administration official said.



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Stocks, oil prices retreat; pound down on eve of Brexit vote

Stocks, oil prices retreat; pound down on eve of Brexit voteLondon (AFP) – Stock markets and oil prices retreated Monday, while the pound faltered on the eve of the UK parliament's crucial vote on Brexit.



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Trump's Retreat On Guns Is The World’s Least-Shocking Surprise

Trump's Retreat On Guns Is The World’s Least-Shocking SurpriseWASHINGTON ― Democrats cheered. Following last month’s Parkland school massacre in Florida, Trump held a remarkable meeting with a bipartisan group of senators at the White House, where he talked up proposals aimed at curbing gun violence. The president expressed support for ideas backed by Democrats, like universal background checks and raising the minimum age to purchase an assault-style weapon.



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The Republican Message At The GOP Retreat: 'This Is Fine'

The Republican Message At The GOP Retreat: 'This Is Fine'White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. — Congressional Republicans came to The Greenbrier resort for their annual retreat to rally around an election-year agenda and convince themselves that their electoral problems aren’t really that daunting.



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Trump tells GOP retreat he's ready for Mount Rushmore

Trump tells GOP retreat he's ready for Mount Rushmore“We’ve fulfilled far more promises than we’ve promised,” the president said to an annual gathering of Republican members of Congress. “I call it promises plus.”



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Trump tells GOP retreat he's ready for Mount Rushmore

Trump tells GOP retreat he's ready for Mount Rushmore“We’ve fulfilled far more promises than we’ve promised,” the president said to an annual gathering of Republican members of Congress. “I call it promises plus.”



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Explosion on Iranian oil tanker forces rescue team to retreat

Explosion on Iranian oil tanker forces rescue team to retreatBy Josephine Mason and Yuna Park BEIJING/SEOUL (Reuters) – Rescue crews were forced to retreat from a stricken Iranian oil tanker in the East China Sea on Wednesday following an explosion on the ship as a fire raged for a fourth day after a dramatic collision. The blast happened on board the tanker in the afternoon after rescue crews were dousing the ship with foam in an attempt to put out the fire, China’s Transport Ministry (MOT) said in a statement on Wednesday. The cause and damage to the tanker from the incident were not clear.



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How Going to a Naked Hot Springs Retreat Helped Me Accept My Breast Cancer Surgery Scars

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Having breast cancer at age 39 wreaked havoc on my body—and killed my sex drive too. After 69 blood draws, 22 chemotherapy infusions, 11 infections (staph, kidney, and yeast, to name just a few), and seven invasive surgeries (including reconstruction surgery for my breasts and a full hysterectomy), I felt like Frankenstein. I didn't have a left nipple. Both breasts rocked red, angry-looking scars. I literally couldn't feel large swaths of my chest and stomach, and I felt furious and sad about having my tubes tied. I'd experienced emotional trauma, mental fog, physical weakness, even the loss of my eyelashes. The end result? I was avoiding sex with my husband of 15 years.

Before cancer, our sex life was normal. But after cancer, I sometimes had trouble believing that I was still a sexual being. I assumed that my (awesome) spouse now viewed me as broken, ugly, or less-than. I sought out support groups, but still felt like I was waiting for the other shoe to drop, that my cancer would return at any moment.

I wasn't alone in feeling this way. Angel Wells, a 34-year-old I met through Bay Area Young Survivors (BAYS), a support group for young women living with breast cancer in the San Francisco area, had a similar experience. "Not only did breast cancer take one of my breasts, it broke my sexuality," she told me in an email. "I was completely unprepared for the pain and lack of sex drive, not to mention the strain on my relationship. I feel broken as a woman."

Ali Kent, 35, another BAYS member, said she, too, has struggled to get her sex life back on track. "The almost complete lack of sex drive, weight gain, and awful pain associated with sex now is unfair," she said.

RELATED: 14 Things Women With Metastic Breast Cancer Want You to Know

According to Karen Whitehead, a Georgia-based counselor who specializes in issues like cancer and life transitions, these are unfortunately not uncommon experiences for breast cancer survivors. "The scars from breast cancer can affect a woman's sense of sexuality and femininity, self-esteem, sex drive, desire for intimacy, and body image," she explained to me in an email. "It is not uncommon for women to feel defective or damaged in some way."

To try and rediscover my withered sexuality, I decided to visit a clothing-optional hot springs resort in Northern California. Today it's a non-profit retreat, but Sierra Hot Springs was once considered a sacred place by Native Americans. Situated next to a forest and alpine valley, it seemed like it would be a rustic, healing escape—and maybe it could help me come to terms with my new body.

When I arrived, I instantly felt worlds away from my normal urban routine of medical appointments, writing, cooking, and walking my dog. After checking in, I made my way to the main pool area, a gorgeous open-air dome with a hot tub and cold plunge baths. Butterflies, dragonflies, bees, and hummingbirds flitted through the tall trees.

The all-gender locker room was right next to the pool. Inside, two women were wearing bikini bottoms, but everyone else was completely nude. I wasn't ready for that just yet, though; in a move straight out of junior high, I quickly removed my cotton dress and underwear, rolled them up and placed them in a nearby wooden cubby, and draped a towel around my body.

Outside by the pool, I chose a lounge chair at the end of the row, wanting as much seclusion as I could get. The male-to-female ratio was about 50:50; there were naked bodies everywhere, but I felt self-conscious. No one else was missing a nipple, I noticed—I didn't even see any C-section scars. Not yet ready to bare my skin, I kept my towel tightly wrapped while I tried to read and enjoy the peace and quiet.

RELATED: 9 Things to Know Before Your First Mammogram

After a while, I noticed a woman in her 70s with her grey hair up in a bun. She walked slowly, with a soft smile, back to her chair from the hot tub. We didn't speak, but I felt a connection to her; surely, like me, she has faced challenges, and perhaps even illnesses of her own? And if she could walk around confidently, I could too, right? I longed for the peace she had in her own skin.

I finally got the strength to make my way to the hot tub, and let myself float and bob on my back with my breasts in the air. It was serene and freeing to look up at the sky while buoyed by water. Later, I tried to channel the older woman's confidence as I walked back to my chair. The wooden deck was warm, and I felt like I was finally ready to turn over on my back and let my breasts be free.

As I let the towel drop, I felt a fluttering in my belly, like I was about to get up and speak in front of a large group. But looking around, I realized that no one was looking at me. I sat back and enjoyed the feeling of the sun on my skin—scars and all.

 

Mary Ladd is currently the co-author of The Wig Report, a humorous graphic novel about hospitals, hair loss, and major illness.


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