Mike Pence, Jared Kushner, Reince Priebus, Jeff Sessions and Trump at riskAnalysis: Flynn pleads guilty but signs are Mueller has bigger fish to fryBy agreeing to cooperate with federal prosecutors in a deal announced on Friday, former national security adviser Michael Flynn won for himself protection from further prosecution. That protection could conceivably extend to his son, Michael Flynn Jr, who once worked for his father. Related: ‘Guilty, your honor’: Michael Flynn, who led the ‘lock her up’ chants, enters his plea Continue reading…

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Today is officially Thanksgiving.  The Thanksgiving Day 2017 Proclamation issued last week by President Trump sets the date.  It also recounts the history of the holiday and then goes on, in part, to say:Today, we continue to celebrate Thanksgiving with a grateful and charitable spirit.  When we open our hearts and extend our hands to those in need, we show humility for the bountiful gifts we have received.  In the aftermath of a succession of tragedies that have stunned and shocked our Nation — Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria; the wildfires that ravaged the West; and, the horrific acts of violence and terror in Las Vegas, New York City, and Sutherland Springs — we have witnessed the generous nature of the American people.  In the midst of heartache and turmoil, we are grateful for the swift action of the first responders, law enforcement personnel, military and medical professionals, volunteers, and everyday heroes who embodied our infinite capacity to extend compassion and humanity to our fellow man.  As we mourn these painful events, we are ever confident that the perseverance and optimism of the American people will prevail….  We also offer a special word of thanks for the brave men and women of our Armed Forces…. As one people, we seek God’s protection, guidance, and wisdom, as we stand humbled by the abundance of our great Nation and the blessings of freedom, family, and faith.

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Agreeing with a decision last month by a D.C. federal district court (see prior posting), yesterday in Stone v. Trump, (D MD, Nov. 21, 2017), a Maryland federal district court issued a preliminary injunction against President Trump’s ban on transgender individuals serving in the military.  The court said in part:President Trump’s tweets did not emerge from a policy review, nor did the Presidential Memorandum identify any policymaking process or evidence demonstrating that the revocation of transgender rights was necessary for any legitimate national interest. Based on the circumstances surrounding the President’s announcement and the departure from normal procedure, the Court agrees with the D.C. Court that there is sufficient support for Plaintiffs’ claims that “the decision to exclude transgender individuals was not driven by genuine concerns regarding military efficacy.”Going beyond the D.C. decision, the court found that plaintiffs have standing to challenge the ban on military spending for sex reassignment surgery and enjoined the Sex Reassignment Surgical Directive as well as the Retention and Accession Directives, pending final resolution of the lawsuit. Washington Post reports on the decision.

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Kashmir flashpoint

A small market town in Kashmir has become a haven for foreign militants, say India’s security forces.

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