Trump refuses to comment on whether Mueller report should be made public

By Josh Dawsey | The Washington Post

President Donald Trump declined to say Sunday whether he wants the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller III’s investigation made public, saying he would instead defer to the Department of Justice.

“Totally up to the attorney general,” Trump said. “That’s up to the attorney general. I don’t know. It depends. I have no idea what it’s going to say.”

William Barr, Trump’s nominee to be attorney general, has not said whether he plans to release information to the public — be it the report he receives from Mueller or a different summation of the report. Some Trump allies and aides fear the findings will be damaging, and the president’s lawyers have said they are crafting their own report to counter Mueller’s.

The president’s comments on the investigation, which acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said is wrapping up soon, came in a wide-ranging interview with CBS News. Among the highlights of the interview: The president said he is keeping another government shutdown on the table, outlined disagreements with top intelligence officials, argued that keeping troops in Iraq is vital to watching Iran, contended that having a Cabinet packed with interim secretaries is a plus for his administration and again attacked former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis by falsely saying he forced him to resign.

“I don’t take anything off the table. I don’t like to take things off the table,” he said, when asked to rule out a second partial government shutdown in 12 days, when the government again runs out of money. Trump endured a political shellacking during the last 35-day shutdown, according to public polls, with his approval rating dropping below 40 percent as he kept the government closed because Democrats would not give him more than $5 billion for a wall on the Mexican border.

He also referenced …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics


Letter: Alameda County water rate increase raises questions

Alameda County water rate
increase raises questions

Re: “Alameda County Water District proposing 8 percent rate hike over next two years” (Page B2, Jan. 19):

ACWD is proposing a rate increase of 4 percent for water rates and fixed service on March 1 followed by another 4 percent increase in 2020.

ACWD’s list of seven “cost control” actions, in its “Notice of Proposed Increase” provides no quantitative cost-savings data. The last bullet point qualitatively mentions “long-term” savings on health benefits costs for new hires. This statement is non-quantitative as well as inconsistent with the proposed rate increase, since the rate increase is for “today.”

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It is disingenuous to make such an inconsistent cost-savings proposal. As for the water shortage emergency stage rates, there is no mention of what other actions ACWD will also take besides charging higher rates to maintain revenue. ACWD does not list any planned actions with projected quantitative cost-reduction data in wages and benefits, for example, which is 40 percent of its budget. Will there be furloughs, reductions by attrition and wage reduction, for each stage of reduction in water demand?

Kirit Shah

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Source:: The Mercury News – Politics


Latest line: See who is our political winner, loser of the week

Big Soda

Citing free speech, a federal appeals court blocks a San Francisco ordinance requiring health warnings on ads for soda — a win for beverage companies and retailers who had sued to block the law.

Renewable energy companies

Looking to shed costs in bankruptcy, PG&E files court papers seeking authority to cancel billions in contracts with solar and wind farms, putting their credit ratings at risk.

Alex Padilla

New report shows secretary of state pushed ahead after being warned that DMV wasn’t ready to roll out its flawed “motor voter” plan last year. But in heavily blue California, it likely won’t hurt his future prospects.

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Latest line: Who is our political winner, loser of the week?

They said it: Working without pay for Uncle Sam

Latest line: Who is our political winner and loser of the week?

They said it: Who’ll build all those new homes?

…read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics


They said it: Judge gives PG&E a piece of his mind

“Does a judge turn a blind eye and let PG&E continue what you’re doing, let you keep killing people? Can’t we have electricity that is delivered safely in this state?”

— U.S. District Judge William Alsup, in a hearing last week in which he found that recent deadly wildfires linked to Pacific Gas & Electric’s equipment violated the utility’s probation terms from its conviction of safety violations in the lethal 2010 San Bruno gas pipeline explosion.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Politics


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