INTEL REPORT--Rock legend Bruce Springsteen says the United States is definitely not in its glory days with President Donald Trump in the White House.

Springsteen, in an Esquire interview posted Tuesday, called the president “dangerous” and said his divisive politics were a “crime.”

Trump “has no interest in uniting the country, really, and actually has an interest in doing the opposite and dividing us, which he does on an almost daily basis,” the “Born to Run” singer told the magazine. “So that’s simply a crime against humanity, as far as I’m concerned.”

In discussing his 1980 song “The Ties That Bind,” the 69-year-old multiple Grammy winner said the bonds of family and community can’t be broken ― and that applies to Trump.

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INTEL REPORT--Cigarettes and alcohol have long been the preferred gateway drugs for teenagers. And the consequences—particularly for alcohol—have been dire. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, alcohol plays a role in 4,358 deaths every year for people under 21. Meanwhile, teenage smoking contributes to early heart disease, the leading cause of death in America.

But the addiction landscape could be changing. According to new research published by professors at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, adolescents are increasingly trying pot before alcohol or cigarettes.

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INTEL REPORT--Asked how he would grade his presidency during a Sunday morning interview with Chris Wallace of Fox News, President Trump offered only the smallest amount of hesitation before giving himself top marks. 

“Look, I hate to do it, but I will do it, I would give myself an A-plus,” he answered. “Is that enough? Can I go higher than that?” 

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GUEST WORDS--Each year we celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November — we eat turkey, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes to commemorate the 1621 feast at which Pilgrims and Wampanoags peacefully gathered in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

And every year since, Americans have put aside their own family feuds and followed strict traditions to show their appreciation for everything they have. At least that’s the narrative most of us have been taught.

But as it turns out, Thanksgiving might not actually be as rich in objective historical context and deep-rooted traditions as we’d like to believe.

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INTEL REPORT--“The security and well-being of the United States are at greater risk than at any time in decades. America’s military superiority — the hard-power backbone of its global influence and national security — has eroded to a dangerous degree.” 

So begins a recently published assessment from the National Defense Strategy Commission on the state of the country’s national defense. The bi-partisan, congressionally empowered commission goes on to the paint a picture of a US military unprepared to meet the challenges of resurgent threats, one that would “struggle to win, or perhaps lose, a war against China or Russia.” Even such calamities as a Chinese invasion of Taiwan or a North Korea missile strike on South Korea may catch the US flat-footed. (As if to illustrate this point, the Russian military succeeded in jamming GPS signals during a major NATO military exercise in Norway today.) 

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WORLD WATCH--Last week I conducted a panel discussion about Turkey under the leadership of President Tayyip Erdogan. The day before the event, we were alerted that several of Erdogan’s stooges will await us to disrupt the event, and we feared that violence may erupt. Earlier in the morning, NYU received a letter from one of the Turkish dictator’s hawkish activists, warning that NYU should not hold such an event. We ended up hiring security guards to ensure our safety, right here in New York, from Turkish thugs operating at the behest of a despot who is leading his blind followers like sheep.

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INTEL REPORT--The scene could have been out of a movie: more than a dozen FBI agents striding out of elevators on the fourth floor of Los Angeles City Hall and descending on the office of Councilman Jose Huizar. 

By lunchtime Wednesday, federal investigators had served search warrants on Huizar’s City Hall suite, one of his field offices and his Spanish Colonial Revival residence in Boyle Heights, carrying boxes of materials from at least two of those locations.

The agents’ coordinated operation, described by neighbors and a handful of city employees, delivered a serious jolt to City Hall, which has not experienced such a flurry of investigative activity in more than a decade. 

The searches pose, at minimum, a serious political threat to Huizar, a City Hall veteran who is working to elect his wife, Richelle Huizar, to his Eastside council seat. (Read more.) 



Downey, CA Republicans Could Lose Up to Four More House Seats


California Republicans lost two House seats in Tuesday’s midterm election and could surrender more as tens of thousands of ballots are counted in four other contests that remain too close to call.

The party has an exceedingly small chance of holding the seats of Reps. Dana Rohrabacher and Jeff Denham, historical voting patterns suggest. Two other Republicans, Rep. Mimi Walters and Young Kim of Fullerton, hold thin leads over their opponents that could also vanish.  (Read the rest.)  






INTEL REPORT--A local Inglewood business, with close ties to Inglewood Mayor James Butts is under scrutiny by claims made by current employees.  Employees feared being identified in this 2UrbanGirls article out of fear of retaliation by the well-connected business owner Daniel Kash.   

Mr. Kash has been able to leverage over $50,000 on the books donations to Mayor Butts to be awarded expedited permitting, reduction of city business taxes and lax inspections by local authorities of his $40 million-dollar operation. 

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INTEL REPORT--Sometimes I wish I could gather up all the women I’ve ever known, or encountered, and conduct this informal poll:

Raise your hand if you’ve ever behaved badly and blamed it on your period.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever acted helpless in the face of an unpleasant-if-not-physically-demanding task like dealing with a wild animal that’s gotten inside the house.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever coerced a man into sex even though he didn’t seem to really want it.

Raise your hand if you’ve thought you were at liberty to do this coercing because men “always want it” and should feel lucky any time they get it.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever threatened to harm yourself if a man breaks up with you or doesn’t want to see you anymore.

Raise your hand if you’ve been physically abusive with a male partner, knowing you’d be unlikely to face any legal consequences.

Raise your hand if you’ve lied about being on birth control, or faked a pregnancy scare, to see how a man would respond.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever manipulated a divorce or child custody dispute in your favor by falsely insinuating that a man has been abusive toward you or your child.

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INTEL REPORT--In tweets and campaign rallies in recent days, President Trump has returned to his signature cause of immigration, inveighing against drug traffickers and a caravan of immigrants.

Trump’s strategy makes perfect sense politically. He hopes to prod the Republican base to turn out in the midterms in November. One of the most effective ways to motivate political action is to stoke fears among your supporters.

Strikingly, however, public opinion data suggest that Trump has failed to convince the public on immigration and has even helped to turn the public against his positions — an effect that may grow stronger as his anti-immigration campaign intensifies.

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INTEL REPORT--A civil lawsuit was filed yesterday against Los Angeles City Councilmember Jose Huizar, as well as against the City of Los Angeles, by Mayra Alvarez, Huizar’s former Executive Assistant and Scheduler, alleging that Huizar harassed and retaliated against her for speaking out about some of his and his office’s practices that she believed violated local, state, and federal laws. (Photo above: Huizar at podium.) 

Mrs. Alvarez also alleges that Huizar demoted her following Mrs. Alvarez’s return from maternity leave, a violation of state and federal laws prohibiting employers from punishing working women on account of pregnancy and for taking time off to recover from delivery and bond with their newborn. 

The case was filed in the Central Division of the Los Angeles County Superior Court and assigned case number 18STCV01722. 

Mrs. Alvarez’s lawsuit comes on the heels of the disclosure in recent weeks of another complaint of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation filed against Huizar through the MyVoiceLA, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s new website for staffers, city commissioners, and others to report workplace bias, retaliation and sexual harassment.  Mrs. Alvarez’s lawsuit is unrelated to that complaint.  

Huizar was previously sued in 2013 for sexual harassment by another former staffer, Francine Godoy.


(Mrs. Alvarez is represented by Terrence Jones, a former Assistant United States Attorney.  Please direct all inquiries to Mr. Jones at (213) 863-4490,Terrence@JonesOnLaw.com.)




INTEL REPORT--We used to disparage someone by noting that their “ego is the size of Texas.” Does anyone say that about Trump? Yeah, no, Texas is tiny by comparison.
I can think of no one with a more vast lacuna between his abilities and accomplishments on the one side and his ego on the other.

A worldwide herculean effort finally produced the Paris Agreement as a moderate but highly necessary response to our fossil fuel profligacy and the climate chaos that has begun. Trump idiotically pulled out and the world is far worse off as an unhappy result. His deal? Pollute more, a lot more. We see more forest fires, more floods, more hurricanes and more intense hurricanes, rising seas, and more health issues from bad air. Thanks, Artful Dealer.

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INTEL REPORT--When I first heard of Bitcoin, it sounded like something out of a dystopian sci-fi novel. Digital, cryptographic, uncensorable money? It seemed such a radical idea, it couldn’t possibly belong in this decade. 

But if it did — if Bitcoin were to go mainstream — I was convinced it would lead to a massive geopolitical disruption, shifting the power relations between governments and their citizens. It would mean investing into Bitcoin would be like funding a revolutionary army. It would be so subversive, only a few crazy people would be willing to do it. 

Of course, I was wrong about every part of that. 

Grandmothers now own Bitcoin. And with a few notable exceptions (namely China and India), world governments have been surprisingly welcoming toward cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin is legal almost everywhere. 

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