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Trump takes stage at rally in El Paso, Texas
(12 Feb 2019) RESTRICTION SUMMARY: AP CLIENTS ONLY POOL - AP CLIENTS ONLY El Paso, Texas - 11 February 2019 1. US President Donald Trump enters and waves to supporters 2. SOUNDBITE (English) Donald Trump, US President "I am very, very thrilled to be here in the great state of Texas, right on the banks of the legendary Rio Grande, where by the way, I don't know, you heard, right? Today, we started a big, beautiful wall right on the Rio Grande. Right smack on the Rio Grande. I love this state and I love the people of this state. We've had a great romance together, you know that, it's been a great romance." 3. Wide of Trump 4. SOUNDBITE (English) Donald Trump, US President "Last week, I was honoured to stand in the House chamber to deliver the State of the Union. And I asked both parties to come together to choose greatness for America. Since taking office two years ago, our economy is now the hottest economy anywhere on Earth. Our military, which desperately needed funding, we went 700 billion and 716 billion is more powerful than ever before. That was not a good situation it was tired and depleted. Our great warriors were not taken care of. Now they're taken care of again the way they should. And America is winning again. Isn't that nice?" 5. Wide of Trump STORYLINE: US President Donald Trump headed to the Texas border on Monday to argue his case that walls work as Democrats and Republicans in Washington reached an agreement in principle to avoid another government shutdown. Trump kicked off rally in El Paso on Monday night saying construction had started on a barrier on the Rio Grande, which separates the US and Mexico. Republicans were desperate to avoid another bruising shutdown. They tentatively agreed to far less money for Trump's border wall than the White House's $5.7 billion wish list, settling for a figure of nearly $1.4 billion, according to congressional aides. That means 55 miles of new fencing - constructed through existing designs such as metal slats instead of a concrete wall - but far less than the 215 miles the White House demanded in December. The fencing would be built in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. =========================================================== Clients are reminded: (i) to check the terms of their licence agreements for use of content outside news programming and that further advice and assistance can be obtained from the AP Archive on: Tel +44 (0) 20 7482 7482 Email: [email protected] (ii) they should check with the applicable collecting society in their Territory regarding the clearance of any sound recording or performance included within the AP Television News service (iii) they have editorial responsibility for the use of all and any content included within the AP Television News service and for libel, privacy, compliance and third party rights applicable to their Territory. Find out more about AP Archive: Twitter: Facebook: Google+:​ Tumblr:​​ Instagram: You can license this story through AP Archive:


Open thread for night owls: Survivor recalls ’81 massacre that Trump’s Venezuelan envoy downplayed

Nelson Rauda at the Daily Beast writes—Her Family Survived the El Mozote Massacre. Now She’s Fleeing El Salvador’s Gangs:

Marta Maritza Amaya was seated at the back of the bus, gazing through the window at the sunset over the green mountains of Morazán, in northern El Salvador. It was March 2017. Back in the 1980s this poor area was a war zone, ruled by the Revolutionary People’s Army (ERP in Spanish).

Marta’s bus stopped at the detour to Arambala village. It was here, in December 1981, that Salvadoran troops—trained and funded by the U.S., which backed the ruling junta—headed down that very detour in the direction of El Mozote, Marta’s hometown.

Back then, leftist guerrilla troops roamed clandestinely in almost of all the towns in northern Morazán. An army operation—allegedly to capture the guerrilla radio station, Radio Venceremos, and other military targets—turned into the worst massacre of the Salvadoran civil war. At El Mozote and other nearby villages, 988 civilians were killed; at least 553 of the dead were minors and at least 433 were children no older than 12. Four of those kids were Marta’s older brother and sisters.

The cover-up of the massacre at El Mozote still reverberates decades later. This past week, Representative Ilhan Omar reminded the U.S. Congress of the role that Elliot Abrams played in the aftermath of the slaughter, when he called early claims of the killing “communist propaganda.” To this day, Abrams, President Donald Trump’s new special envoy for Venezuela, hasn’t recanted his claims. To be fair, Abrams was just one more gear in a U.S. government machine that chose to overlook human-rights violations in El Salvador as part of its Cold War ideological crusade.

All these years after the massacre, there are still people looking for their family members. On Feb. 14, judge Jorge Guzmán and Dr. Silvana Turner conducted an exhumation to seek the remains of María de la Paz Pereira, 32, her husband, and her five children. The expedition was prompted by the discovery by farmers of old clothes and some bones. Mrs. Turner, a member of the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team, concluded that the bones were of animal, not human, origin, and that there was no point in digging them up, despite the presence of the clothes and shoes.[...]

One of the first two reporters of the massacre was Raymond Bonner, a former marine who had become a journalist. Less than a month after the slayings, he wrote about them for The New York Times in an article that would rile Abrams, then Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs, and other thugs in the Reagan administration and spur them to howl and push to get Bonner booted. He was exiled from the Central American beat to the financial desk and he soon quit. From the Chicago Reader in 1993:

Bonner's most incendiary report described a "massacre of major proportions" in the hamlet of El Mozote: "In some 20 mud brick huts here, this reporter saw the charred skulls and bones of dozens of bodies buried under burned-out roofs, beams and shattered tiles. There were more along the trail leading through the hills into the village, and at the edge of a nearby cornfield were the remains of 14 young men, women and children. . . . The villagers have compiled a list of the names, ages and villages of 733 peasants, mostly children, women and old people, who they say were murdered by the Government soldiers. The Human Rights Commission of El Salvador . . . puts the number at 926."

Two days ago, this time in The Atlantic, Bonner, now 77, again wrote about the massacre, Abrams and others in the administration who had downplayed with vehemence the possibility that the Salvadoran army—partially funded and some of its officers specially trained by the United States—had committed this atrocity. Their stance was not too surprising given their vile policies throughout Central America. Almost exactly a year after the Mozote massacre, Reagan himself dropped into Honduras to meet the genocidal general who was then president of Guatemala, Efraín Rios Montt. He called him  “a man of great integrity'' and "totally dedicated to democracy” even though U.S. intelligence services knew full well that the man was overseeing the slaughter of thousands of Maya Indians at the time while receiving U.S. military equipment that Reagan had relabeled as civilian to get around a congressional ban. 

Bonner notes at the end of his piece: 

Inadvertently, Omar revealed that Trump may have picked the right man to implement his policy in Venezuela. As his record in El Salvador suggests, Abrams will say whatever is necessary to accomplish the administration’s will.

Indivisible’s list of Resistance Events & Groups




There’s no way to avoid seeing this DHS move as a treacherous betrayal of American democracy by President Trump. He’s inviting hostile foreign powers to invade our elections, the heart of our sovereignty. His oath of office meant nothing to him.

— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) February 17, 2019


On this date at Daily Kos in 2006—Cheney drank before shooting his pal:

In an exclusive interview with Fox News' Brit Hume this afternoon, Vice President Dick Cheney took full responsibility for shooting his hunting companion, who has until now been pictured as the guilty party. The interview will not aired in full until 6 p.m. but according to Hume, in summarizing the contents, the vice president remained "totally unapologetic" about the long lag in reporting the shooting to the public—and also said that he had consumed one beer at lunch that day.

Cheney must consume a virtual cocktail of drugs every day because of his heart condition. I wonder what kind of reaction throwing alcohol into the mix might have.

Any doctors in the house?

Update: Here's video of Hume talking about his interview with Cheney. You see, according to Cheney, they drank beer but no one drank beer:

HUME: He said he had a beer at lunch and that had been many hours earlier. And it was dusk, around 5:00 p.m., when this incident happened. And he said that, you know, they had lunch out in the field, a barbecue, and he had a beer. But you said you don’t hunt with people who have been drinking. He said no one was drinking. He said they went back to the ranch afterwards, took a break after that, and went out about 3:00 and so you’re four or five hours distanced from the last alcohol that he consumed. And he said no one was drinking, not he nor anyone else.

Monday through Friday you can catch the Kagro in the Morning Show 9 AM ET by dropping in here, or you can download the Stitcher app (found in the app stores or at, and find a live stream there, by searching for "Netroots Radio.”



Team Trump begins opposition research on his likely Democratic challengers

As of this moment, those surrounding Donald Trump are still presuming there will be a Donald Trump re-election campaign. This requires staffing up a new campaign operation, which will be a bit more of a challenge this time around, now that the majority of his previous top lieutenants are either in jail, under indictment, or otherwise caught up in the probe of Russian election hacking and related (and unrelated!) crimes.

It also requires doing a bit of research on who their likely Democratic opponent will be, presuming Donald does run again rather than holing up in a Russian embassy somewhere with his adult children and his tweetin' phone. According to Politico's sources, Trump's current advisers are now "compiling opposition research" on Democrats Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and Cory Booker, the trio that Team Trump believes to be the current frontrunners.

Not exactly going out on a limb with that one, so ... noted.

The strategy Team Trump is coalescing around is an unsubtle one, one in which any and all Democratic contenders will be declared "socialists" for proposing that the United States do a single damn thing for any of its citizens, regardless of specific plans or details. "Socialism" will be the bugaboo by which Trump's Republican defenders defend imprisoning refugee children, regularly obstructing justice, promoting white supremacist concepts and theories, and leading the nation's dumbest organized-crime ring. It will be "socialism" to not build a turgid monument to Trump's ego in the southern desert; it will be "socialism" to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions rather than leaving them in the woods as our ancestors intended; it will be "socialism" to propose that we save the state of Florida from going underwater, build transportation systems to match those of other top industrial nations, return to the same tax rates that the wealthy had to pay back when the first Star Wars movie came out, or suggest that it was improper for Trump's campaign manager to hand over internal polling data to Russian spies during an espionage campaign against the United States.

Donald Trump supporters are a simple people. They don't like nuance. They do like being absolutely terrified of secret conspiracies, scary immigrants, and Europe, so expect the next Trump campaign, like the last one and like every Fox News program on any evening after new indictments or Russia-related revelations have surfaced, to consist primarily of high-pitched shrieking noises.


House Judiciary Democrats Announce Investigation In Trump’s National Emergency | Hardball | MSNBC
House Judiciary Committee Democrats announced "immediate investigation" into President Trump's national emergency declaration. » Subscribe to MSNBC: MSNBC delivers breaking news and in-depth analysis of the headlines, as well as informed perspectives. Find video clips and segments from The Rachel Maddow Show, Morning Joe, Hardball, All In, Last Word, 11th Hour, and more. Connect with MSNBC Online Visit Subscribe to MSNBC Newsletter: Find MSNBC on Facebook: Follow MSNBC on Twitter: Follow MSNBC on Instagram: House Judiciary Democrats Announce Investigation In Trump’s National Emergency | Hardball | MSNBC


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez swiftly debunks newest conspiracy theory that her partner is on her payroll

If there’s one thing that unifies conservatives, it’s their endless quest to harass Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The freshman Congresswoman has a lot going for her: policies that actually make sense, a great social media presence, and a personality that people actually, well, like. For these reasons, it seems, people on the right can’t wait to bring her down. “Nude” pictures (allegedly) of her feet? Dancing in college? Having a nickname in high school? Scandal attempts she was, luckily, able to stomp out.

The latest attempt happened on Valentine’s Day. Like most of these faux scandals, it took off on Twitter, and that’s also where Rep. Ocasio-Cortez put it to rest. 

Here’s how it shook out.

A user identified as Luke Thompson on Twitter posted this tweet, along with a screenshot:


While you were having a nice Valentine's Day, @AOC decided to put her boyfriend on staff - drawing a salary on the taxpayer's dime. Nice to see her adapting to the swamp so quickly.

— Luke Thompson (@ltthompso) February 15, 2019


Trump administration tells taxpayers: Don’t worry, be happy about lower tax refunds

Tax refunds are down by 8.7 percent from this time one year ago, and people are not happy. No wonder—a lot of people count on their refund. Don’t worry, says the Trump Treasury Department. “Most people are seeing the benefits of the tax cut in larger paychecks throughout the year, instead of tax refunds that are the result of people overpaying the government.” It’s a good thing! “Smaller refunds mean that people are withholding appropriately based on their tax liability, which is positive news for taxpayers.”

Taxpayers … don’t seem to agree.

And one reason taxpayers don’t agree that this is such a great thing is that those larger paychecks throughout the year were consistently oversold by Republicans. Remember that school secretary whose paycheck bump amounted to about the cost of a Costco membership, which then-Speaker of the House Paul Ryan saw as something to brag about?

The wealthiest people, on the other hand, have lots to celebrate.


Judge Imposes ‘Partial Gag Order’ On Roger Stone | Hardball | MSNBC
A federal judge on Friday issued a “partial gag order,” ordering Roger Stone to refrain from making any statements to the press “that pose a substantial likelihood of material prejudice to this case." » Subscribe to MSNBC: MSNBC delivers breaking news and in-depth analysis of the headlines, as well as informed perspectives. Find video clips and segments from The Rachel Maddow Show, Morning Joe, Hardball, All In, Last Word, 11th Hour, and more. Connect with MSNBC Online Visit Subscribe to MSNBC Newsletter: Find MSNBC on Facebook: Follow MSNBC on Twitter: Follow MSNBC on Instagram: Judge Imposes ‘Partial Gag Order’ On Roger Stone | Hardball | MSNBC


El Paso officials dispute Trump’s take on crime
(11 Feb 2019) People walking over the Paso del Norte Bridge linking this West Texas border city to Mexico can watch President Donald Trump's border wall getting bigger in real time. Workers in fluorescent smocks can be seen digging trenches, pouring concrete and erecting rust-colored slabs of 18-foot-high metal to replace layers of barbed wire-topped fencing along the mud-colored Rio Grande, which is usually little more than a trickle. Most of the more than 70,000 people who legally cross four city bridges daily — to shop, go to school and work — pay the construction in the heart of downtown no mind. But on a recent weekday, one man stopped and pointed, saying simply "Trump." In his State of the Union address, the president said a "powerful barrier" had cut crime rates in El Paso. He's holding a rally here Monday to show why he's demanding more than 100 miles of new walls, costing $5.7 billion, along the 1,900-mile border, despite opposition from Democrats and some Republicans in Congress. But many in this city of dusty desert winds and blistering salsa, bristle at the prospect of their home becoming a border wall poster child. Trump said barriers turned El Paso from one of the nation's most dangerous cities to one of its safest, but that's not true. El Paso, population around 800,000, had a murder rate less than half the national average in 2005, a year before the most recent expansion of its border fence. That's despite being just across the border from drug violence-plagued Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Many residents say El Paso embodies a cross-border spirit that transcends walls rather than proving more are needed. El Paso lays bare the mixed feelings the border inspires. Even native Beto O'Rourke, a former Democratic congressman now mulling a presidential run, says barriers are inevitable but that Trump's calls for an expanded wall are the "cynical rhetoric of war, of invasions, of fear." O'Rourke will help lead a Monday evening march opposing the wall with dozens of local civic, human rights and Hispanic groups at the same time Trump is holding his rally. Organizers expect thousands to turn out. For centuries, virtually nothing but an often easily wadable Rio Grande stood between the city and Juarez. But worsening economic problems in Mexico increased the flow of immigrants into the United States in the 1970s, prompting Congress to approved chain-link fencing here and in San Diego dubbed the "Tortilla Curtain." More barriers were added in the 1990s and 2006. Public reaction to the security measures initially was positive in some quarters because it helped reduce vagrancy and petty crime. But many residents now complain that Trump's demands have gone too far, making their home sound like a war zone and offending both them and people from Mexico. " Those who live near the wall say they see few people climbing the barriers now. In fiscal year 2017, about 25,000 people were apprehended in Border Patrol's El Paso sector, down from 122,000-plus in fiscal year 2006. Instead, those crossing illegally now tend to do so outside the city in desolate deserts where deaths from exposure have risen. Democrats argue that electronic sensors and patrols are a more effective answer for additional border security. Mayor Dee Margo told the AP he hopes to have time to explain to President Trump that the wall construction is not " panacea" but rather one of the tools that helped law enforcement keep crime levels low. Find out more about AP Archive: Twitter: Facebook: Google+:​ Tumblr:​​ Instagram: You can license this story through AP Archive:


Mueller Wins Roger Stone Gag Order, Moves To Sentence Manafort | The Beat With Ari Melber | MSNBC
Special Counsel Mueller drops the hammer on Paul Manafort, making a new push to ask a federal judge to sentence Manafort immediately, as a judge rules against Trump’s long-time advisor, Roger Stone, implementing a partial gag order in his case and the White House confirms Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, was interviewed by Mueller’s team. Mueller’s former Chief of Staff, John Carlin, tells Ari Melber that those who testify before Mueller should answer “truthfully and completely” and that they risk charges if they “intentionally state falsehoods”. » Subscribe to MSNBC: About: MSNBC is the premier destination for in-depth analysis of daily headlines, insightful political commentary and informed perspectives. Reaching more than 95 million households worldwide, MSNBC offers a full schedule of live news coverage, political opinions and award-winning documentary programming -- 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Connect with MSNBC Online Visit Subscribe to MSNBC Newsletter: Find MSNBC on Facebook: Follow MSNBC on Twitter: Follow MSNBC on Instagram: Mueller Wins Roger Stone Gag Order, Moves To Sentence Manafort | The Beat With Ari Melber | MSNBC