The Justice Department deleted language about press freedom and racial gerrymandering from its internal manual

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The Justice Department deleted language about press freedom and racial gerrymandering from its internal manual

First, the background: Since the fall of last year, the DOJ has been making changes to its manual for prosecutors.
What is it? It’s called the US Attorneys’ Manual, which is a bit of a misnomer — federal prosecutors in US attorney offices across the country use it, but so do other Justice Department lawyers.
Sounds important. Yep. It communicates high-level statements about department policies and priorities. It also includes practical guidance to prosecutors on how to do their jobs.
So what happened? A section called “Need for Free Press and Public Trial” is out. The language about limits on prosecutorial power has been toned down. References to the DOJ’s work on racial gerrymandering are gone.
Did anything else change? Alongside the big changes, some tiny alterations, too: long paragraphs were split up, citations to repealed laws have been removed.
What does the DOJ say about the changes made? A spokesperson said they don’t comment on specific changes, but told us the manual is meant to be a “quick and ready reference,” not a list of every constitutional right and every law in the country.
Is this normal? The last major update to the manual was in 1997. The DOJ says it’s been a while since it’s been reviewed and updated.
What happens next? Notice will go out when the review is done

Source BuzzFeed

Trump did attend the 2018 White House Correspondents Dinner

Trump did not attend the 2018 White House Correspondents Dinner, instead holding a rally in rural Michigan to steel himself before watching staffers who went in his place get brutally roasted.
But what if he did have the guts to go? Stephen Colbert’s “Our Cartoon President” imagined just that scenario, sending cartoon Trump to sing a song for his favorite reporter, Maggie Haberman.

Our Cartoon President addressed honorees and attendees representing the White House press corps. The White House Correspondents’ Association dinner featured appearances by cartoon Rachel Maddow, cartoon Wolf Blitzer and cartoon White House Correspondents’ Association president Margaret Talev, as well as senior White House officials cartoon Stephen Miller and cartoon Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Cartoon Trump also serenades New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman.

Full video of Michelle Wolf’s savage and hilarious White House routine

Comedian Michelle Wolf took no prisoners as the host of the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner, a journalism awards presentation that has morphed into a star-studded gala.
Not only did she roast Sarah “Cousin Huckabee” Sanders so brutally that analysts feared the president’s spokesperson would get up from the head table and storm out, she mocked the president’s over-inflated claims of wealth by pointing out that he might be “Idaho rich” but till a joke to New York’s elite.
She even earned a reaction from much-mocked former spokesman Sean Spicer—the guy who started his White House career by blatantly lying about the president’s inauguration crowd and once hid in the bushes to avoid questions—who deemed her routine “a disgrace.”

Watch the full video of Wolfe’s hilarious, savage and controversial routine below.

House Passes Deutch Bill to Punish Iran for Hostage-Taking, Human Rights Abuses

 Moments ago, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Iran Human Rights and Hostage-Taking Accountability Act (H.R. 4744), legislation introduced by Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22), Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, and Congressman Michael McCaul (TX-10), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.

This legislation states that Congress stands with the people of Iran in their desire for basic freedoms, and it provides the Trump Administration with the tools necessary to hold Iranian government officials responsible for human rights violations, corruption, and censorship. Moreover, it holds the Iranian regime accountable for taking Americans hostage and prioritizes working with our allies to enforce sanctions against those responsible for this despicable practice.

"The radical Iranian regime continues to deny its people even basic rights. But instead of taking care of its people, this regime would rather finance terrorist groups seeking to kill Israelis and destabilize Syria and the region," said Congressman Deutch. "This is not the behavior of a nation that respects international law and fundamental human rights.

"The despicable practice of taking Americans and other foreigners hostage must end. Those responsible for failing to help in the case of my constituent, Bob Levinson, will be held accountable. With this vote, my colleagues in Congress are standing firmly with the Levinson family in demanding the safe return of Bob, the longest-held American in history, and holding the Iranian government responsible for what amounts to kidnapping and taking hostage Americans.

Click the image below to watch Congressman Deutch's floor statement.


A total of 534 union members voted no confidence, while 94 said they had confidence in the sheriff.
About 1,300 deputies are represented by the union.
Two other unions, including one that represents the largest number of BSO employees, have expressed their support for the sheriff.

Statement From Broward County Sheriff Israel 
"I am accountable to the citizens of Broward County. My job is to continue to do the job I was elected to do, which is to ensure the safety of Broward County's 1.9 million residents. I will not be distracted from my duties by this inconsequential IUPA union vote, which was designed to extort a 6.5 percent pay raise from this agency. Those who purportedly voted in this straw ballot reflect only a small number of the 5,400 BSO employees. The unions representing the vast majority of our employees solidly support the leadership of this agency."

Six most bonkers moments of Trump’s interview with “Fox & Friends.”

President Donald Trump on Thursday called in to “Fox & Friends” for an interview— and things went completely off the rails right from the beginning.
During the interview, Trump spent most of the time angrily ranting about people who have treated him unfairly while also making potentially damning admissions that could harm his own attorney, Michael Cohen.
Below are the six most bonkers moments of Trump’s interview with “Fox & Friends.”
1.) Trump said he decided to call into Fox News as a gift to first lady Melania Trump for her birthday. When asked by Fox hosts if he gave Melania anything else besides doing a Fox interview to celebrate her birthday, Trump replied that he “didn’t get her so much… I got her a beautiful card.”
2.) Trump ranted about Senate Democrats obstructing his nominees after Ronny Jackson, his pick to be secretary of Veterans Affairs, withdrew his name. Trump said that Jackson, who has been accused by multiple people of drinking on the job and fostering a toxic work environment, had an “unblemished record.” He also said that “top of the line people” were “leaving their jobs” to come work for his administration, but fumed that Democrats were throwing up roadblocks to their confirmations.
3.) Trump admits he stayed overnight in Moscow during the 2013 Miss Universe pageant. Former FBI Director James Comey alleged in his contemporaneous memos that Trump told him allegations involving him and Russian prostitutes couldn’t possibly be true because he didn’t stay overnight in Moscow during his trip there in 2013. Trump fumed that “of course I stayed in Russia overnight” — although he again denied that there was any collusion between his campaign and the Russian government.
4.) Trump throws his own lawyer, Michael Cohen, under the bus. In the most stunning part of the interview, Trump said that most of Cohen’s work isn’t as an attorney, but as a private businessman. Trump also said he had “nothing” to do with Cohen’s private business interests and claimed that Cohen only performs a “tiny little fraction” of the legal work done on his behalf. These statements could potentially undermine Cohen’s claims that all documents seized in an FBI raid on his office should not be admissible evidence because they fall under attorney-client privilege.
5.) Even Fox News host Brian Kilmeade tells Trump to not watch so much cable news. During a long rant about the “unfair” treatment he receives in the mainstream press, Kilmeade interjected and said, “I’m not your doctor, Mr. President, but I would recommend you watch less of them.” “I don’t watch them at all!” Trump replied, before going into detail about a CNN show that he watched on Wednesday night.
6.) Trump went on a nonsensical rant about the Department of Justice being against him. Trump fumed that the DOJ was not investigating the alleged crimes of his political enemies, which prompted host Steve Doocy to tell him that “It’s your Justice Department!” Trump said that he does not want to get involved with the DOJ because of the Mueller “witch hunt” that’s being conducted against him. He then complained about the Mueller probe.
“I have a phony cloud over my head that doesn’t exist!” the president complained.
Watch the full interview below:




Tuesday afternoon, Ch. 10's Bob Norman reported a story that misrepresented the truth.  Despite being presented with the facts, station News Director Bill Pohovey doesn't believe a correction is needed as the statements were attributed to IUPA Union President Jeff Bell; however, we want the public to know the full story.

CLAIM: "In roughly one year's time, a private company pumped nearly 6,000 gallons of Broward Sheriff's Office gas paid for by taxpayers into its own vehicles -- and now that dubious expenditure is fueling a no-confidence vote by patrol deputies in an effort to help push Sheriff Scott Israel out of office."
Sheriff Scott Israel contends the only reason IUPA Union President Jeff Bell is pushing a vote of no confidence is in an effort to extort a 6.5 percent raise from the sheriff, as they are currently in contract negotiations.

CLAIM:  "…BSO union chief Jeff Bell, who is overseeing the vote, said the gas giveaway is more evidence that the sheriff is unfit for office and that Gov. Rick Scott should remove him from his post for incompetence and neglect of duty."
Jeff Bell first raised questions about the NAPA fuel usage in late 2015, and his questions were immediately addressed.  His concerns were satisfied, as he went on to endorse the sheriff for reelection six months later. (See letter of endorsement
CLAIM:  "The BSO gave Napa Auto Parts, which has a contract to deliver parts to BSO's fleet, access to its gas tanks…"
In December 2015, Col. Jack Dale told Jeff Bell the Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue fleet has a contract with NAPA Auto Parts to pick up parts at area locations and supply parts to their fleet. This allows mechanics to work on getting emergency vehicles back in service quickly, an idea adopted from a similar contract with the City of Miramar. The contract requires BSO to cover the fuel costs. It's more cost-effective for NAPA to use BSO's fuel as it is acquired at a bulk rate. (See NAPA Auto Parts Contract)
CLAIM: "…public records obtained by the union show that the company was responsible for taking 5,786 gallons of publicly financed gas from BSO pumps in about a year's time."
If NAPA gets fuel from a commercial station, BSO would be responsible for the retail price plus up to a 10 percent administrative fee. In this fuel usage breakdown, you will note the total fuel cost since November 2014 is $6,047.45 (that's for more than three years).

 CLAIM: "Bell said the BSO told him the company was given free BSO gas as a way to offset the cost of the contract, but the union chief said the practice is unsound for a number of reasons and opens up the potential for abuse."
A review of the fuel usage was found to be consistent with the amount of work done for BSO.
Again, per the contract, BSO is responsible for the fuel cost. NAPA has one BSO issued gas card that is assigned to one NAPA vehicle and restricted for use at BSO fueling sites. It is not a take-home vehicle for NAPA representatives and it is parked at a BSO fleet facility overnight. (See section 10 of the NAPA Auto Parts Contract)

CLAIM: "Bell said deputies first discovered that the BSO was allowing Napa to use the BSO gas tanks months ago. He said he personally sat down with Israel to voice his concern about the practice and was told it would stop. Then earlier this month, a deputy spotted a NAPA truck back at the BSO pump behind the gates at Station 32 near the airport pumping gas and took photographs to prove it."
Again, nothing has changed since Dec. 2015 when Jeff Bell first inquired about the gas usage. In April 2016, BSO received a request for records pertaining to the NAPA contract and fuel usage.  After BSO responded to the request, the union did not inquire further on this issue.

BSO Join us on the National Day of Prayer

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On Columbine Anniversary, Rep. Deutch Calls for Review of NRA Political Spending

Today, on the anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting in 1999, Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22) sent a letter to the Committees on Ways and Means and Oversight and Government Reform urging for the Chairmen and Ranking Member to investigate whether the National Rifle Association of America (NRA) violated federal election law by funding its political activity with foreign donations.

"Today marks 19 years since the massacre at Columbine High School, another tragedy on an American calendar dotted with mass shootings in our schools, our movie theaters, our churches, at concerts, at our workplaces, and in our streets.

"In roughly the time since the Columbine shooting, the National Rifle Association has spent a total of $203.2 million on political activities, including: $144.3 million in outside expenditures, $45.9 million in lobbying, $11.4 million in candidate contributions, and $1.68 million in contributions to political parties and leadership PACs.

"Congress cannot sit by while gun corporations use their profits to pour millions of dollars into elections to stop progress toward common-sense gun laws.

The letter can be accessed here and is included below.

Dear Chairman Brady, Chairman Gowdy,
Ranking Member Neal, and Ranking Member Cummings:

In the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the American people have shown the highest level of support for strengthening America’s gun laws in decades. Recent reports have indicated that the National Rifle Association of America (NRA) has dramatically increased its online advertisements to influence this urgent national debate and frustrate any efforts to make our communities safer that may also negatively impact gun sales. Unfortunately, some of this activity has included mocking and attacking my constituents, the student-survivors of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Beyond this outrageous and mean-spirited behavior, serious questions arise as to whether the NRA’s political activity is inappropriately funded by foreign donations. Senator Ron Wyden, Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, questioned the NRA’s internal policies in correspondences with John C. Frazer, Secretary and General Counsel of the NRA (attached).

According to news reports, both the Federal Election Commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have opened investigations into possible improper donations to the NRA from Russian nationals that were used to support Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016. The NRA’s responses to Senator Wyden have shifted over the past three months, revealing multiple donations from Russian nationals and residents, including contributions from Alexander Torshin, who was recently sanctioned by the United States.

The potential use of foreign donations for NRA political activities intended to sway the gun violence policy debate in its favor is troubling. Today marks 19 years since the massacre at Columbine High School, another tragedy on an American calendar dotted with mass shootings in our schools, our movie theaters, our churches, at concerts, at our workplaces, and in our streets. In roughly the time since the Columbine shooting, the National Rifle Association has spent a total of $203.2 million on political activities, including: $144.3 million in outside expenditures, $45.9 million in lobbying, $11.4 million in candidate contributions, and $1.68 million in contributions to political parties and leadership PACs. Congress cannot sit by while gun corporations use their profits to pour millions of dollars into elections to stop progress toward common-sense gun laws.

I share Ranking Member Wyden’s concerns. In light of the NRA’s refusal to provide additional information to clarify its responses to Senator Wyden’s specific questions regarding the sources of donations to various funds used for political activity, the disclosure or non-disclosure of those sources, the transfer of funds among various accounts, and the use of various NRA accounts to pay for political activities, it is clear that Congress must conduct its own investigations. The oversight of the NRA’s political activities, its foreign contributors, and the broader issues of abuse of tax-exempt status and compliance with disclosure requirements fall within the jurisdiction of your committees.

I urge the Committees on Ways and Means and Oversight and Government Reform each schedule hearings to examine these issues. Your attention to these matters is necessary to protect our elections from foreign influence, end the undue influence of dark money, and stop potentially improper political activities intended to stop much needed congressional action to stop gun violence.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.


Ted Deutch

Statement from President and Mrs. Obama on the Passing of Former First Lady Barbara Bush

Barbara Bush was the rock of a family dedicated to public service, and our thoughts and prayers are with both Presidents Bush and the entire Bush family tonight. We’ll always be grateful to Mrs. Bush for the generosity she showed to us throughout our time in the White House, but we’re even more grateful for the way she lived her life – as a testament to the fact that public service is an important and noble calling; as an example of the humility and decency that reflects the very best of the American spirit. She’ll be remembered for passing those American values on to her children, her grandchildren, her great-grandchildren – and to the countless citizens whom she and George inspired to become “points of light” in service to others.  

A new poll found that Americans think fired FBI director James Comey is “more believable” than President Donald Trump

A new poll found that Americans think fired FBI director James Comey is “more believable” than President Donald Trump, and support the expansion of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
By a 16-point margin, 48-32 percent, Americans find Comey more believable than Trump, according to an ABC News-Washington Post poll. The poll comes as Comey embarks on a press tour for his bombshell book revealing the gritty details of his ouster from the FBI by Trump, at the dawn of the Russia investigation.
And while Comey’s personal favorability rating is weak (30% favorable, 32% unfavorable), Americans disapprove of Trump’s decision to fire Comey by a 14-point margin, 47-33.
Meanwhile, Mueller — who’s leading the investigation into the Trump campaign’s Russia ties — receives majority support from Americans to expand his investigation into the president’s business activities. That’s worth remembering the next time a pundit declares ‘the American people want to see an end to this investigation!’
Per ABC:
The public by a broad 69-25 percent supports Mueller’s initial thrust, to investigate possible collusion between Trump campaign officials and Russian government attempts to influence the 2016 election. Support extends to half of conservatives and more than four in 10 Republicans.
Backing for Mueller’s work goes further: Americans by 2-1, 64-32 percent, also support his investigating Trump’s business activities. And by 58-35 percent, a 23-point margin, they support investigators’ latest apparent direction, looking at allegations that Trump’s associates paid hush money to women who say they had affairs with him.

SNL Brings in Ben Stiller AND Robert De Niro for Epic Michael Cohen-Mueller Showdown

Ben Stiller lampooned Michael Cohen tonight as Saturday Night Livetook on the Trump lawyer after his office was raided by the FBI.
The cold open begins with Jeff Sessions and Mike Pence at the Department of Justice, talking about how the raid is the latest bit of bad news for the Trump Administration. Cohen eventually arrives and gives them the full details on why they ought to be worried after how much stuff federal agents took from him.
“I have an entire hard drive that’s just labeled ‘yikes,’” the lawyer said.
Cohen is eventually told to go down the hall…and he ends up walking into a room where Robert Mueller is waiting for him with a lie detector. Who played Mueller? None other than Stiller’s old co-star, Robert De Niro.
As the interview got underway, Mueller asked Cohen about everything from Stormy Daniels, to the golden showers tape, to whether he’s ever threatened anybody. Don’t worry, there were plenty of Meet the Parents references, not the least of which came when the special counsel scolded Cohen for complaining about the violation of his rights.
“You listen to me, you little weasel,” Mueller said, “I don’t know what rights you think you have. You broke the law, and now we’re going to catch all of you little Fockers, you got that?”
Oh yeah, and they brought back the famous “I have nipples” bit.
Watch above, via NBC
[Image via screengrab]

Source Mediate

Listening Party! MSD Voices Against Gun Violence

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Contact Vikki Ho-Shing 954-249-8863
or Dr. Rosalind Osgood 954-261-4398

Ranking Member Deutch Statement on Syria Strikes

Ranking Member Deutch Statement on Syria Strikes
(Washington) Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22), Ranking Member of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, issued the following statement after President Trump ordered missile strikes against Syria:

"The Syrian people have suffered for seven long years under the Assad regime’s ruthless attacks, with last week’s horrific use of chemical weapons tragically only the most recent. The use of chemical weapons cannot be tolerated, and tonight’s missile strikes reportedly targeting Assad’s chemical weapons infrastructure are a direct response to the Assad regime’s egregious violation of international law and an attempt to deter future use of chemical weapons.

"The Administration must now finally put forward a comprehensive strategy for responding to the Syrian crisis. This strategy must address the regional threats posed by Russia’s political and military cover to Syria and Iran’s efforts to entrench itself in Syria in order to destabilize the entire region.

"Tonight’s strikes also raise the urgent need to pass a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force. Congress must reassert its Constitutional authority with respect to the use of military force.

"The people of Syria have been suffering under Assad’s barrel bombs and besiegement for seven years. As we address the strategic threats, including the use of chemical weapons, we must also continue to address the ongoing humanitarian crisis that plagues the people of Syria."

Bipartisan Members Condemn Anti-Semitic Attacks on Stoneman Douglas Students

Today, Representatives Ted Deutch (FL-22), Nita Lowey (NY-17), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27), and Eliot Engel (NY-16), four Co-Chairs of the Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Anti-Semitism, issued the following joint statement after multiple reports of anti-Semitic attacks directed at students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida:

It is shameful for anyone to attack students – especially survivors of gun violence  with anti-Semitic slurs and Nazi comparisons. Policy differences are never an excuse for anti-Semitism. We condemn anti-Semitism in all its forms and reject any inappropriate evocation of the Holocaust or comparison to Nazis.

Rep. Deutch Statement on Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day

 Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22), a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council and Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Anti-Semitism, issued the following statement commemorating Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah):

“On this Yom HaShoah, we solemnly remember the six million Jews who were slaughtered during the Holocaust and the attempted extermination of centuries of European Jewish heritage.

"More than 70 years after the Holocaust, Jewish communities still face deep-seated hatred and deadly violence around the world. Tragically, Jews still experience anti-Semitism, from petty vandalism to violent attacks, including last month’s horrific murder of a Holocaust survivor in France.

Holocaust education is still deeply relevant and necessary to teach our children how hatred and indifference can lead to systematic genocidal murder. Commemorating Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Yom HaShoah, keeps this history alive and reminds us to combat anti-Semitism in all its forms, wherever it may appear. Our government shares this obligation, and I urge President Trump to quickly appoint a new Special Envoy to combat global anti-Semitism.
"Part of Holocaust remembrance is also speaking out when atrocities happen to other communities in other parts of the world. Whether Syrians under attack by chemical weapons and barrel bombs, or the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya people, we must push ourselves as individuals and a nation to speak out and take action to prevent genocide. This serious responsibility to act when our conscience demands it falls to all of us."

Is Trump losing part of his Base, Older, white, educated voters

Older, white, educated voters helped Donald Trump win the White House in 2016. Now, they are trending toward Democrats in such numbers that their ballots could tip the scales in tight congressional races from New Jersey to California, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll and a data analysis of competitive districts shows.
“The real core for the Republicans is white, older white, and if they’re losing ground there, they’re going to have a tsunami,” said Larry Sabato, a University of Virginia political scientist who closely tracks political races. “If that continues to November, they’re toast.”