By Robert A. Vella

Here’s today’s news:

Michael Cohen

The Senate Intelligence Committee has issued a subpoena for President Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen to testify about their relationship.  The House Intelligence and Oversight committees are expected to do the same following yesterday’s announcement that Cohen won’t testify unless Congress takes action to stop Trump and legal spokesperson Rudy Giuliani from making public threats against his family.  Cohen’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, said today that his client would comply with the subpoenas but demanded that both chambers of Congress pass resolutions of censure against the president.  See:

Senate panel subpoenas Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former personal lawyer

House Democrats To Subpoena Michael Cohen And Make Him Testify

Michael Cohen adviser Lanny Davis wants Trump censured by Congress for ‘witness tampering,’ as president blasts ‘bad lawyer’

Trump’s ego

After Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi informed President Trump yesterday that he will not be allowed to give his State of the Union speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives while the federal government remains shutdown, he acquiesced and stated that he’ll postpone his speech until the shutdown ends because the stage presented by speaking before a joint session of Congress was too important to give up.  You see, it’s all about Trump’s ego;  and, perhaps this is the key to ending the government shutdown.  House Democrats are working on a continuing budget resolution which would increase border security funding by the amount the president has demanded, but does not include appropriations for his border wall.  Although this solution isn’t what Trump has been demanding, it does give him an escape route out of the worsening predicament he alone has created.  See:

President Donald Trump Postpones State Of The Union Until Shutdown Ends

House Democrats to offer new border security proposals — but no wall

John Kelly joins former secretaries in call to end DHS shutdown

Opinion polls

From:  AP-NORC poll: 6 in 10 Americans blame Trump for shutdown

WASHINGTON — A strong majority of Americans blame President Donald Trump for the record-long government shutdown and reject his primary rationale for a border wall, according to a new poll that shows the turmoil in Washington is dragging his approval rating to its lowest level in more than a year.

Overall, 34 percent of Americans approve of Trump’s job performance in a survey conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. That’s down from 42 percent a month earlier and nears the lowest mark of his two-year presidency. The president’s approval among Republicans remains close to 80 percent, but his standing with independents is among its lowest points of his time in office.

From:  More Americans now see Mueller probe as justified, CBS News poll finds

More Americans think the Russia investigation is justified than say it is politically motivated, the first time that’s happened in CBS News polling. Still, Republicans continue to take the President’s view on the matter, and a majority of Americans — including most Democrats — think Democrats in Congress should focus more on getting their own agenda passed than trying to investigate the president.

Fifty percent of Americans now think the Russia investigation is justified, while just 45 percent think it is politically motivated. As recently as November, a slight majority of Americans felt the investigation was politically motivated.

Khashoggi probe

From:  U.N. executions expert says to lead international inquiry on Khashoggi

GENEVA, Jan 24 (Reuters) – The United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions told Reuters on Thursday she will travel to Turkey next week to head an “independent international inquiry” into the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi, a columnist for the Washington Post and a critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed and dismembered by Saudi agents at its consulate in Istanbul on Oct 2, provoking an international outcry.

Uninsured rate

From:  Uninsured rate under Trump surges to highest level since ‘Obamacare’ began

WASHINGTON – The percentage of American adults without health insurance surged upward in 2018, reaching levels not recorded since before President Donald Trump took office, according to a new national survey that revealed widespread coverage losses over the past two years.

At the end of 2018, 13.7 percent of U.S. adults were uninsured, up from 10.9 percent at the end of 2016, when President Barack Obama was completing his second term.

The new number represents the highest uninsured rate since the beginning of 2014, when the Affordable Care Act began providing billions of dollars in aid to help low- and middle-income Americans get covered, according to the survey by Gallup.

The new report also indicates that some 7 million American adults have likely lost or dropped coverage since 2016.

Age bias ruling

From:  Age bias law does not cover job applicants: U.S. appeals court

(Reuters) – A divided U.S. appeals court on Wednesday dealt a setback to older job applicants, saying they cannot invoke a federal law against age bias in employment to challenge hiring policies they believe have a discriminatory impact.

In an 8-4 decision, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago said the “plain language” of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), which forbids discrimination against people 40 and older, showed that Congress intended that law to cover current employees, not outside job applicants.

The decision reversed a 2-1 ruling last April by a panel of the same court.

6 thoughts on “In the News: Michael Cohen, Trump’s ego, Opinion polls, Khashoggi probe, Uninsured rate, Age bias ruling

    • Xena and I have been discussing that. Yes, Cohen could file a criminal complaint in New York state where Trump has no arbitrary federal immunity. He could request a cease-and-desist order, a restraining order; and, he could file harassment and threat (i.e. intimidation) charges against him and his legal mouthpiece Giuliani.

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