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Flynn mystery: Sometimes the quiet one has the most to say

(CNN)When Michael Flynn goes into federal court on Tuesday to be sentenced, there will be little suspense but much mystery. It is all but certain that Judge Emmet Sullivan will not sentence Flynn to prison. But weighty questions — about Flynn’s motivation for lying to the FBI and his usefulness as a cooperating witness to special counsel Robert Mueller — will hang over the proceeding. In addition to the lenient sentencing guideline, Flynn’s attorneys argue in their sentencing memo for a no-jail sentence based primarily on Flynn’s lifetime of military…

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In Taiwan, the DPP’s loss is China’s gain and a setback for the US

Hong Kong (CNN)The major defeat for Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in Saturday’s local elections has profound consequences for regional stability and great power politics. The defeat in Kaohsiung is particularly traumatizing for many DPP supporters, as it has been a DPP stronghold for over two decades. Indeed, the main support base for the DPP traditionally lies in southern Taiwan. Due to magnitude of the defeat, President Tsai Ing-wen resigned as chairwoman of the DPP. The DPP defeat reveals widespread dissatisfaction with the ruling party, and a major cause…

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Mohammed bin Salman’s global rehabilitation is underway

First, with baby steps as he visits the United Arab Emirates, his closest allies in the Gulf region. But his ambition, as ever, is huge and impetuous. His current tour is expected to take him to the G20 summit of the world’s most powerful leaders in Buenos Aires next week. President Donald Trump will also be there. Bin Salman’s strategy isn’t just about rehabilitating himself so he can one day be King; it is also about ensuring that his ambitious Vision 2030 to modernize Saudi Arabia can be fully realized.…

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Michelle Obama reveals key difference between her husband and Trump

(CNN)You could write an encyclopedia about the ways in which Barack Obama is different from his successor, Donald Trump. On Saturday, Michelle Obama provided a more concise explanation for what distinguishes the two presidents from one another: Obama put country first; Trump puts himself first. Then she shared two key lines that summed up her husband’s guiding philosophy on why he avoided going “low” in response to his critics: “The president isn’t the president for his own ego. The president is the president for the entire country.” That, my friends,…

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‘Who are those guys?’ The artistry of William Goldman

(CNN)When we watch movies, we’re tempted to take what they say in one ear and out the other because we’re there to look more than listen. When in “Butch Cassidy,” Sundance (Robert Redford) confesses that he can’t leap into a river from a high cavern because he can’t swim, Butch (Paul Newman) laughs and says, “Are you crazy? The fall will probably kill ya!” (Of course, they jump.) And whatever else you want to say about “Butch/Sundance” (that year’s highest-grossing film despite mixed reviews), you have to believe that a…

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Melania Trump’s dangerous move

(CNN)By all accounts, Mira Ricardel has not made a lot of friends in the Trump administration. A key member of national security adviser John Bolton’s team, she was brought in in April to help him shake up the national security staff. In the past, she had butted heads with Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, and chief of staff John Kelly is reportedly not a fan, two former White House officials told the Washington Post. WH aide to exit after Melania pushed for ouster The once private dispute between the first…

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Praying for peace at 16: It will be 2 years till I’m heard at the ballot box

(CNN)What is peace? And I pray when I’m hiding in a closet during a school lockdown. The lights are shut off, and the room is silenced, and 4,000 thoughts are spinning through my head — and I’m sitting there, praying that my parents will not have to bury me. I pray for peace. But I’ve been here before and I’ve prayed. When praying didn’t work, I walked out of school. When walking out didn’t work, I spoke up. When speaking up didn’t work, I sang. When singing didn’t work, I…

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Donald Trump forfeited the moral authority of his presidency from day one

(CNN)President Donald Trump forfeited the moral authority of the presidency from his first day in office. The issue has not been that Trump doesn’t know about this important presidential role — for our commander in chief to stand as a guide during times of crisis — but rather it has never been of interest to him. For Trump, the presidency is a raw tool he has used to achieve political power, and the office is a partisan bludgeon to keep the other side on the defense. The presidency is about…

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Trump, the Saudis, and America’s disastrous ‘enemy of my enemy is my friend’ strategy

(CNN)“He’s a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch.” President Franklin Delano Roosevelt is said to have been talking about Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza. It was 1939, and you can imagine him, cigarette and martini in hand, making the case for realpolitik in a world hurtling toward world war. The alliance worked when it came to killing Hitler and his Third Reich. But then came the Yalta Conference and a too-casual carving up of the continent, which left Eastern Europe under Soviet-controlled tyranny for the next…

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Women are the future of the Democratic party

(CNN)In the lead-up to the midterm elections, a new CNN poll offers some good news for Democrats — thanks to women. In other words, any impending Democratic victory will likely be thanks to women. But we aren’t just voting. A record number of us are running for office this year. Female donors are giving more money than ever to midterm races. We are working on campaigns, door-knocking, fundraising, and showing up at marches and protests. Join us on Twitter and Facebook And finally, the Democratic Party needs to support women…

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Want to learn about consent? Ask a porn star

(CNN)Tasha Reign, a porn star, is exactly what American boys need right now. Join us on Twitter and Facebook If you don’t like the idea of Reign teaching your son about consensual sex, she gets it. But she urges parents- especially fathers — to drop the macho act and tell their sons it’s okay to ask a young woman questions in the heat of the moment. “Before each act, ask if it’s okay,” she told me. Put simply: Can I kiss you? Do you mind if I hug you? Do…

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GOPer: Six ways the media can regain lost credibility

(CNN)In the past few weeks, we’ve seen the editorial pages lock arms in organized opposition to President Donald Trump, the host of “Meet the Press,” Chuck Todd, call for a more aggressive approach to reporting, and The New York Times give precious space to an anonymous “insider” attack on the White House. 1. Focus on policies, not personalities Whatever the day, even during important hurricane coverage, much of the conversation still centers on Donald Trump. And Trump is particularly adept at ensuring the media reacts to his whims, rather than…

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The question Bob Woodward’s book doesn’t answer

(CNN)Bob Woodward’s “Fear: Trump in the White House” is a runaway hit. The book has captured many of the Washington headlines since parts of it leaked out last week, and on Tuesday, its first day on sale, it sold more than 750,000 copies. Why is this happening? The answers have less to do with the President than with everything that surrounds him. These are questions that demand the historian’s interest in context rather than the reporter’s thirst for detail. The questions need to start with the Republican Party, which has…

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Anonymous ‘resistance’ is weak tea compared with standing up to Nixon

(CNN)If Richard Nixon were alive today, he probably would not agree that “President Trump is facing a test to his presidency unlike any faced by a modern American leader.” Leading with this sentence, the anonymous “Steady State” op-ed that appeared in The New York Times this week followed that declaration with assuring, but also vague, examples of resistance inside the Trump administration that conflated concerns over some of the President’s policies with his affinity for authoritarianism. The figures who said no to President Richard Nixon, on the other hand, did…

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Spear phishing has become even more dangerous

(CNN)The continued prosecution of “all the President’s men” does little to stop the Russians from attempting to influence America’s upcoming midterm elections. And reports from Missouri to California suggest they are already looking for our cyber weaknesses to exploit. Just last week, Microsoft blocked six fake websites that were likely to be used by the same Russian intelligence unit responsible for the 2016 DNC hack to spear phish American targets. But the internet is vast and there are many more fundamental weaknesses still available to exploit. Take the URLs with…

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