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Good morning.  Today is Tuesday, April 7, and here are the stories I am watching.

Dems ready to hold Barr in contempt, Starr blasts leak of ‘whiny’ Mueller letter.

As Democrats scheduled a vote this Wednesday on whether to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress, former independent counsel Ken Starr sharply criticized the leak of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s letter following Barr’s summary of the Russia report. Details of the March 24 letter went public shortly before Barr testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week. Multiple news outlets reported that Mueller raised concerns about how Barr’s conclusions from the investigation were being portrayed. In an interview on “The Story with Martha MacCallum” on Monday, Starr called the release of the letter an “unforgivable sin” and said Mueller’s complaints were “whiny.” Wednesday’s scheduled contempt vote on Barr is based on the Justice Department’s failure to provide the full text of Mueller’s report by a Monday morning deadline.

MY TAKE: I find this stuff so boring.  Is anyone concerned about the border!

ALSO…Court battle over Trump’s tax records developing:
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has denied House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal’s request for President Trump’s tax returns, setting up a likely court battle. In a letter on Monday, Mnuchin said he’d relied on the advice of the Justice Department and concluded the request lacked a “legitimate legislative purpose.” Mnuchin’s decision is sure to set in motion a legal battle over Trump’s tax returns. The likely options available to Democrats would be to subpoena the Internal Revenue Service for the returns or to file a lawsuit.

MY TAKE: The Dems will get these returns one way or another.

ALSO…Trump pardons former Army lieutenant convicted of killing suspected al Qaeda terrorist
President Trump has pardoned a former Army lieutenant who was convicted in 2009 of killing an Iraqi prisoner suspected of being an Al Qaeda terrorist, the White House announced Monday evening. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders cited “broad support” for Michael Behenna, of Edmond, Okla., “from the military, Oklahoma elected officials, and the public” — including 37 generals and admirals, along with a former Pentagon inspector general — as the reason for Trump’s clemency grant. Sanders also said Behenna had been a “model prisoner” while serving his sentence. A military court originally sentenced Behenna to 25 years for unpremeditated murder in a combat zone. However, the Army’s highest appellate court noted concern about how the trial court had handled Behenna’s claim of self-defense, Sanders said. The Army Clemency and Parole Board reduced his sentence to 15 years and paroled him in 2014, as soon as he was eligible.


AXIOS is reporting….Florida is harnessing its increasingly diverse population to offset the perception that it’s the land of retirees and vacationers, Axios’ Kim Hart writes from Tampa:

The Sunshine State wants to change its “God’s waiting room” reputation by rebranding itself as a place where under-represented groups — people of color, immigrants and women — can thrive economically.
In Miami, more than half of the population was born elsewhere: Women lead some of the most important venture funds and startups.

The city’s tagline: “An ecosystem built by immigrants, led by women.”
Driving the news: The eighth “Rise of the Rest” bus tour, led by Revolution Chairman and CEO Steve Case, rolled through Florida and Puerto Rico last week, spotlighting startups and investments beyond traditional tech hubs.

Case told Axios that his mission is “ending the cycle of money flowing to the same kinds of people in the same kinds of places for the same kinds of ideas.” Florida, the third-largest state, got 1.3% of U.S. venture capital funding last year.

Just three states — California, New York and Massachusetts — attracted more than 75%. Less than 10% of VC funding went to women, and less than 1% to African Americans.

MY TAKE: Having spend nearly 3 months in Florida so far this year, guess what city I did not visit.  Yup, you guessed.  Florida is on its way to be like California and NY.  Maybe we try the Carolinas.

ALSO…In Arizona, a high school football player who has been in the U.S. since he was a toddler was in custody for possible deportation to his native Mexico, prompting a protest by classmates outside a sheriff’s office, AP’s Anita Snow reports: Thomas Torres is scheduled to graduate May 22 from Desert View High School in Tucson. Now, he is scheduled to appear in immigration court on that date. Why it matters: Torres’ detention is a stark example of the Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal immigration.

MY TAKE: Send him home.

WSJ reports… New Iran threats led to U.S. action. Unusually specific intelligence reports about fresh Iranian threats to American forces in the Middle East triggered a request by the U.S. military command in the region for assistance as a deterrent against possible aggression, officials said.

MY TAKE: I told you so.

ALSO…Google prepares privacy tools to restrict tracking on the web. After years of internal debate, Google could as soon as this week roll out a dashboard-like function in its Chrome browser that will give internet users more information about what cookies are tracking them and offer options to deter them.

MY TAKE: Google sucks.

ALSO…Program to relieve student debt proves unforgiving. More than a decade after Congress set up a way to erase student debt for people who hold public-service jobs, the system is in disarray. More than 73,000 people have applied for debt forgiveness as of March 31 of this year, according to Education Department data, but just 864 have had their loans erased.

MY TAKE: Go to trade school.


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  1. I know it feels like April on Long Island these last few days, but you’re a month behind Dennis. #DMLneedsmorecoffee

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