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Obama’s defense chief doesn’t see big changes in Iraq campaign

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Ash Carter, who until January was U.S. defense secretary, said on Tuesday he did not see major changes in the campaign against Islamic State since President Donald Trump took office, amid accusations the U.S. military may be relaxing rules protecting civilians.

“I don’t see overall major changes and I certainly hope they stay on the path that we set because I think that’s the right path,” Carter said at a forum at Harvard University, in his first public address since leaving the post.

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Carter declined to speculate about the investigation into an explosion in Mosul believed to have killed scores of civilians, even as he stressed the importance of probes of such incidents. The U.S. military has acknowledged a possible role in the incident but also says Islamic State could be to blame.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart and Idrees Ali; Editing by Bill Trott)


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The Trump murder video is no joke: It’s an encouragement to ramp up the violence

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Donald Trump is not a “friendly fascist.” Unlike Ronald Reagan, the prototype for that concept, Trump does not pretend to be harmless. He does not offer up fake smiles and a cheerful nature, or display empathy and human concern for others, feigned or otherwise.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Donald Trump is direct, obvious and public in his threats against democracy, the Constitution and the rule of law. Trump and his movement are working to destroy America’s multiracial democracy through appeals to a mythic past that will “Make America Great Again.” In practice this means undoing all the social progress and democratic reforms of the last century or more and returning to a society where white people — rich white male Christians, in particular — are fully in control over all aspects of American society for all time.

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Fox & Friends hosts deflated after legal analyst shoots down latest GOP impeachment talking point

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The hosts of "Fox & Friends" on Thursday appeared disappointed when legal analyst Andrew Napolitano gave them unfortunate news about the White House's latest objections to House Democrats' impeachment inquiry.

Specifically, Napolitano addressed the letter sent to Congress by White House counsel Pat Cipollone, which claimed that the executive branch did not have to comply with any subpoenas of documents until the House formally voted to open an impeachment inquiry.

"The Republicans changed the rules when John Boehner was the Speaker of the House allowing each individual committee to issue subpoenas without a House-wide vote," he explained. "So those subpoenas are valid, and those people who resist them, ignore them, who put them in a drawer, do so at your peril."

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Nancy Pelosi goes there: Trump’s White House ‘meltdown’ is a sign he’s cracking under pressure

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We’ve reached the season where faithful viewers are forced to quit the series. If this were a Tom Clancy novel, it wouldn’t be believable. Day 1,000 of the Trump presidency has jumped the shark.This article first appeared in Salon.

“I think now we have to pray,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters upon returning to Capitol Hill from the White House late Wednesday. Along with other Democratic leaders from Congress, Pelosi had earlier walked out of a White House meeting after what she described as "a very serious meltdown on the part of the president.”

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