Florida Governor Rick Scott Won’t Attend CNN Town Hall on Florida School Shooting

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This coming Wednesday, CNN will hold a televised town hall event on the recent horrific mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The live event, which will be held at BB&T Center, will include classmates of the victims, parents, and members of the community. CNN also invited prominent Florida lawmakers and politicians to take part in the town hall.

While Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) have all confirmed that they will attend the forum, the state’s Republican governor has told CNN he won’t be there.

“With only two weeks left of our annual legislative session, Governor Rick Scott will be in Tallahassee meeting with state leaders to work on ways to keep Florida students safe, including school safety improvements and keeping guns away from individuals struggling with mental illness,” Gov. Rick Scott’s office told CNN.

According to CNN, President Donald Trump has also declined the network’s invitation.

Following the deadly shooting, Parkland student Cameron Kasky said Scott had the blood of the 17 people who died on his hands.

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HBO drops Mark Halperin project after sexual harassment allegations

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HBO has dropped its upcoming movie deal with Mark Halperin following allegations of sexual harassment.

HBO drops Mark Halperin project after sexual harassment allegations

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“HBO is no longer proceeding with the project tied to the untitled book co-authored by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann on the 2016 Presidential election,” the network said in a statement, according to CNN. “HBO has no tolerance for sexual harassment within the company or its productions.”

Halperin, an NBC senior political analyst and frequent guest on “Morning Joe,” said Thursday that he would “step back” from his role after five women accused him of sexually harassing them while at ABC News.

“I now understand from these accounts that my behavior was inappropriate and caused others pain,” Halperin said in an apology statement to CNN.

NBC said in a statement that it finds the CNN report and allegations “very troubling.”

“Mark Halperin is leaving his role as a contributor until the questions around his past conduct are fully understood.”

The allegations include sexual overtures to lower-ranking employees, kissing without consent and grinding up against three women while pressing an erection against them.

Halperin’s bestselling book about the 2008 election, “Game Change,” was adapted by HBO into a film starring Julianne Moore and Ed Harris.

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‘You’re a race-baiter!’: Watch Trump advocate lose her sh*t in bonkers CNN screaming match

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3 CNN journalists behind retracted Russia-Trump story resign

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Three journalists, including the executive editor of a new investigative branch, have left CNN following the recent retraction of a story on an alleged Congress investigation into a “Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials.”

Report author Thomas Frank and two senior CNN Investigations Unit figures resigned over the story. Investigations Unit editor Eric Lichtblau and Lex Haris, CNN Investigations executive editor, who was building a team that includes notorious Russia-hawk Michael Weiss, both resigned.

“In the aftermath of the retraction of a story published on CNN.com, CNN has accepted the resignations of the employees involved in the story’s publication,” CNN stated.

The Russia-related article quoted “a single anonymous source,” and was to be examined by “fact-checkers, journalism standards experts and lawyers” before being presented to the public. Haris, Lichtblau, and Frank failed to follow “some standard editorial processes,” a CNN internal investigation concluded.

“This breakdown in editorial workflow disturbed the CNN executives who learned about it,” CNN correspondent Brian Stelter said.

The resignations of the three men, who are experienced journalists, “are likely to come as a surprise to colleagues.” Lichtblau was awarded a Pulitzer Prize, and Haris had been working at the company since 2001 and was the executive editor of CNN Money before joining the investigative unit.

“On Friday, CNN retracted a story published by my team. As Executive Editor of that team, I have resigned,” Haris said.

CNN, however, has not concluded that “the facts of the story were necessarily wrong,” saying that “the story wasn’t solid enough to publish as-is,” the correspondent said, citing people involved in the investigation.

Following the journalists’ departures, US President Donald Trump’s son, Donald Trump, Jr., called the story “the biggest fake news scandal in the network’s history,” and called on the company’s president, Jeff Zucker, to admit the story was fake.

“Maybe Jeff Zucker should do an on-camera press briefing about CNN’s fake news scandal before the White House does any more of them,” he told Breitbart News.

Wow, CNN had to retract big story on “Russia,” with 3 employees forced to resign. What about all the other phony stories they do? FAKE NEWS!

The story claimed that the Senate Intelligence Committee was investigating ties between several figures in the Trump camp and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). The article mentioned a meeting between Trump’s ally and financier, Anthony Scaramucci, and the CEO of the RDIF, Kirill Dmitriev, claiming that the investigators wondered if they had discussed lifting US sanctions against Russia at the World Economic Forum in Davos last year. Both sides denied speaking on the topic, while Scaramucci told CNN that there was “nothing there.” The news company had to apologize to the financier.

Following the scandal, a report emerged on BuzzFeed, saying that all Russia-related articles will be under “new publishing restrictions.” BuzzFeed cited a leaked email which prohibits publishing “any content involving Russia” before showing it to the executive editor of CNN Money, Rich Barbieri, and Vice President of Premium Content Video Jason Farkas.

In wake of story retraction, CNNMoney exec editor sends memo to staff mandating all “Russia-related content” must be cleared by him or VP

From RT
Posted by The NoN-Conformist

Who’s Really in Charge of the United States Government?

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The administration’s flip-flopping on North Korea is only the latest incident to raise this question.

Official Washington, especially its Republican elements, is telling itself a comforting story about the Trump administration.

Senator John McCain summarized the story to CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday.

“Sometimes it’s important to watch what the president does rather than what he says.” The senator added: “[Trump is] surrounding himself with an outstanding national security team. I can’t guarantee to world leaders that he will always listen to them, but he has so far.” (You can watch the whole interview here.)

McCain’s caution about Trump’s future actions should be worrying enough. But even his assurances about the present ought to be deeply worrying.

The basis for McCain’s Sunday interview was the latest reversal in Trump foreign policy. It’s a bad and troubling story leading up to a supposedly happy ending—but in reality, the ending is not happy at all.

Let’s back up a bit.

To counter the North Korean nuclear missile program, the United States and South Korea are deploying U.S. missile defenses in the peninsula. The parties have agreed that South Korea will contribute the ground for the system; the U.S., the weaponry. The first elements of the missile defense took up positions in March, after four years of sometimes difficult discussions. High on the list of difficulties:

The defense system does a lot more good for Japan and the United States than for South Korea. Those two allies are overwhelmingly concerned with North Korean missiles. The South Koreans, by contrast, must worry about the bombardment of their capital, Seoul, by old-fashioned artillery, which North Korea has massed near the demilitarized zone in numbers that could inflict nuclear-level damage. Meanwhile, the new missile-defense system annoys China, by compromising China’s own missile force. From the U.S. and Japanese point of view, annoying China is a feature: It raises the price to China of its support for the North Korean nuclear program. But from the South Korean point of view, annoying China is more danger than help. China is South Korea’s most important trading partner. Maybe even more important, as much as they fear North Korean aggression, South Korean leaders fear even more a North Korean collapse that might thrust sudden responsibility upon them for feeding tens of millions of impoverished North Koreans. The income gap between North and South is much larger than that between the former East and West Germanies.

So … complicated. And into all this complexity stumbled President Donald Trump.

After his Mar-a-Lago meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping, Trump stoked South Korean nationalism by seemingly endorsing Chinese claims to historic overlordship of the Korean peninsula. He later worsened things by claiming that the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson was navigating toward Korea at a time when it was in fact thousands of miles away, heading in the opposite direction. “What Mr. Trump said was very important for the national security of South Korea,” Hong Joon Pyo—one of the two leading candidates in South Korea’s May 9 presidential election—told The Wall Street Journal. “If that was a lie, then during Trump’s term, South Korea will not trust whatever Trump says.”

Then, on Thursday, in an interview with Reuters, Trump denounced the U.S.-South Korea trade deal as “unacceptable” and threatened to  terminate it. In that same interview, he demanded a revision of the missile-defense agreement too. “I informed South Korea it would be appropriate if they pay. … That’s a billion-dollar system.”

By Sunday, cooler heads seem to have prevailed. The South Korean president’s office released a statement claiming that National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster had confirmed that the U.S. would abide by the existing agreement on paying for the defensive system. Under the “watch what the president does, not what he says” rule, everybody should now relax.

Except for two things:

1) Sunday’s words, if more responsible than Thursday’s, remain still just words. Actions usually take longer than words. If the president’s words are not guides to the president’s policy, then Americans and the world will have to live under excruciating uncertainty as they ponder whether this time the president is to be believed or not.

2) McMaster’s Sunday statement continues a pattern whereby the president says something outrageous—and is then seemingly over-ruled by the general who heads the National Security Council, the ex-general who heads the Department of Homeland Security, or the ex-general who heads the Department of Defense.

Through the first two months of this administration, we saw this pattern play out with regard to NATO, Russia’s pro-Trump interference in the presidential election, immigration policy, and many other areas.

Under the traditional American system, the president is supposedly supreme over his appointees, especially his uniformed appointees. It’s ominous if this president’s policy ignorance and blurted provocations invite his generals to set themselves up as his keepers. Who’s really in charge of the government of the United States? That question resonates louder and louder every day.

By David Frum/TheAtlantic

Posted  by The NON-Conformist

For the good of the party: It’s time for Donna Brazile to go

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For the good of the party: It's time for Donna Brazile to go

Image: Getty

It’s time for Donna Brazile to go.

Like Debbie Wasserman Schultz before her, Brazile has lost credibility as an honest broker at the Democratic National Committee. The DNC chair should be evenhanded — but, thanks to leaked emails, Brazile’s cover is blown.

At the same time that Brazile was publicly claiming to be neutral in the fierce Clinton-Sanders primary battle, she was using her job as a CNN political analyst to give the Clinton campaign advance notice of questions that would be asked during a CNN debate between the two candidates.

Yet Brazile seems tone deaf about her integrity breach — just as the Democratic Party establishment has been tone deaf about the corrosive effects of servicing Wall Street and wealthy contributors.

As the Washington Post reported a week ago, “Donna Brazile is not apologizing for leaking CNN debate questions and topics to the Hillary Clinton campaign during the Democratic primary. Her only regret, it seems, is that she got caught.”

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Opinion: Pope’s apology on sex abuse still doesn’t cut it

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Pope Francis speaks during the feast-day Mass on a one-day trip to the Calabrian region of Italy on Saturday, June 21. The Pope spoke out against the Mafia's "adoration of evil and contempt for the common good," and declared that "mafiosi are excommunicated, not in communion with God.'

Image: Getty

After meeting Monday with six victims of sexual abuse by clergy members, Pope Francis apologized for the crimes committed against them and begged forgiveness “for the sins of omission on the part of church leaders who did not respond adequately to reports of abuse.”

Apologies are all well and good, but this one brings to mind two trite but true sayings: “Too little, too late” and “Actions speak louder than words.” Unfortunately, Francis has more to do so that future popes won’t have to keep saying “I’m sorry” for these crimes and the Catholic Church’s cover-up.

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