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Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Shares across Asia have taken a heavy beating after New York's Dow Jones index suffered its biggest drop in six-and-a-half years. A wild day for US markets on Monday caused panic to spread. At one point, Japan's Nikkei 225 share benchmark plunged by 7.1%, but recovered some of the losses to close 4.7% down. Wall Street's record-breaking loss also saw Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fall by 5.12%, with South Korea's Kospi losing 1.4%. In China, the Shanghai Composite Index lost 3.35% - or 116.85 points - while the Shenzhen Composite Index, tracking China's second exchange, plunged 4.44%, or 80.21 points. The slump means the Dow Jones has wiped out of all of its gains so far in 2018, following months of surges fuelled by optimism about the US economy, corporate earnings and the global outlook.

given a week that saw immense sturm und drang over Devin Nunes' memo -- a document that seems purposefully designed to obfuscate and muddy the waters around Mueller's investigation -- it seems worth asking the opposite question: What are the known knowns of the Mueller investigation, and where might it be heading? The first thing we know is that we know it is large. We speak about the "Mueller probe" as a single entity, but it's important to understand that there are no fewer than five (known) separate investigations under the broad umbrella of the special counsel's office -- some threads of these investigations may overlap or intersect, some may be completely free-standing, and some potential targets may be part of multiple threads. But it's important to understand the different "buckets" of Mueller's probe. read more

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Murder suspect Samuel Woodward routinely referred to himself on social media and in chat logs as a 'National Socialist' and 'antisemitic.' The suspect charged with the murder of Jewish-American college student Blaze Bernstein, Samuel Woodward, has ties to the neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division according to sources. According to ProPublica, the Atomwaffen Division is an armed white supremacist organization that espouses a neo-Nazi ideology and aims to overthrow the US government via terrorism and guerilla warfare. Woodward routinely referred to himself on social media and in chat logs as a "National Socialist" and as "antisemitic." One source who named Woodward as a member of the group is a former member of the organization. Woodward reportedly joined the organization in 2016 and later attended a 3-day basic training course in firearms and hand-to-hand combat in Texas. read more

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Candidates who who signed up to battle Donald Trump must get past the Democratic party first In his farewell address, President Barack Obama had some practical advice for those frustrated by his successor. "If you're disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself," Obama implored. Yet across the country, the DCCC, its allied groups, or leaders within the Democratic Party are working hard against some of these new candidates for Congress, publicly backing their more established opponents, according to interviews with more than 50 candidates, party operatives, and members of Congress. Winning the support of Washington heavyweights, including the DCCC -- implicit or explicit -- is critical for endorsements back home and a boost to fundraising. In general, it can give a candidate a tremendous advantage over opponents in a Democratic primary. read more

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Singer Neil Diamond, who turns 77 tomorrow, announced his retirement from touring due to his recent diagnosis of Parkinson's disease. The onset of the disease has made it difficult to travel and perform on a large scale basis but will allow Diamond to continue his writing, recording and development of new projects. Based on his doctors' advice, the third leg of Diamond's 50th Anniversary tour, set to land in Australia and New Zealand this March, has been cancelled. Diamond's hits include Song Sung Blue, Cracklin' Rosie and You Don't Bring Me Flowers. "It is with great reluctance and disappointment that I announce my retirement from concert touring. I have been so honored to bring my shows to the public for the past 50 years," said Diamond who added that he plans to remain active in writing, recording and other projects for a long time to come.


"at a time when the DCCC is increasingly wedded to congressional moderates. In somewhat of a reprisal of the Emanuel strategy, the DCCC is leaning on business-friendly Democrats to take back the House.

For the first time since 2006, the Blue Dog Coalition, the right-leaning Democratic group that prides itself on promoting socially conservative, business-friendly lawmakers, has worked with the DCCC to select the party's candidates for the 2018 midterms.

The new collaboration is a stunning reversal for a party that has seen a groundswell of support for progressive ideas -- such as a $15 minimum wage and single-payer health care -- that are staunchly opposed by the Blue Dog wing of the party. Operatives from the DCCC meet on a weekly basis with the Blue Dogs to discuss recruitment and how to best steer resources to a growing slate of centrist Democratic candidates, according to Politico.

"The DCCC recognizes that the path to the majority is through the Blue Dogs," Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., chair of the Blue Dog PAC, told Politico.

For party officials concerned about raising cash, Blue Dogs are a safe bet. Public disclosures with the Federal Election Commission show that the Blue Dog PAC is fueled by the biggest spenders on congressional campaigns on K Street, the term Washingtonians use colloquially to refer to a center of lobbyist shops. PAC money from the National Mining Association, AT&T, McKesson, Comcast, the National Restaurant Association, and other business interests have buoyed Blue Dog PAC coffers, which are spent recruiting and financing moderate Democrats."

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