Full Text Transcript and Video of President Trump’s Helsinki Press Conference

I am a firm believer in accessing the original (primary) source at all times; here is both a full-length video and an unedited transcript of this event. Reactions to President Trump’s statements can also be read/viewed.


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Recent/Updated CRS Reports on Supreme Court Nominations

If you want to know where the talking heads and wonks get a lot of their information, please look at these reports:

President’s Selection of a Nominee for a Supreme Court: An Overview; Supreme Court Nominations, 1789 to 2017: Actions by the Senate, the Judiciary Committee, and the President; Supreme Court Appointment Process: President’s Selection of a Nominee; and Supreme Court Nominations Not Confirmed, 1789 to the Present;President Trump Nominates Judge Brett Kavanaugh: Initial Observations,

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Online Primary Sources: Anglo-Saxon Charters

Charters are royal instruments that confer upon towns, institutions, or individuals certain rights and privileges along with concomitant obligations and duties. These documents form hierarchical relationships that span centuries and have survived societal upheavals in their many guises. Anglo-Saxon charters are among the earliest written sources we have concerning events in England during what can be justifiably called turbulent times. Think Danes, Viking raiders, Frisians, Norsemen, the occasional cross-border forays of Scotch and Welsh, not to mention the Irish. England during this time was not a united country but was divided into a multitude of separate entites; i.e. Wessex, Mercia, Northumbria, East Anglia to name but a few. Therefore these charters bear witness to this beginning of England.

The first systematic compilation of charters was undertaken by John Kemble, whose six-volume work – Codex diplomaticus aevi saxonici – was recognized for the remarkable work that it was. Over years, more charters were found, but there was never a complete re-inventory of these works until the 20th century with the publication of Peter Sawyer’s 1968 work Anglo-Saxon Charters: an Annotated List and Bibliography – a truly comprehensive catalog. However, despite the utility of both of these monumental works, they do have a drawback for the modern reader – Kemble’s, except for the introduction and headnotes, presents the charters in their original language of Latin while Sawyer directs researchers to the original Latin manuscripts whether in archives or printed facsimiles. This is not to fault either work because neither was designed to offer translations. But there is hope.

The Electronic Sawyer is a revised and expanded list of the 1968 guide that presents through its Browse feature multiple access points to the 1800+ charters listed, including translations of many of these manuscripts. These renderings allow us to more fully understand the machinations and power struggles that were endemic in England during this time frame. A very valuable resource.

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U.S. Immigration Policy

With all the confusing and contradictory pronouncements emanating from Washington, it would do all of us well to read A Primer on U.S. Immigration Policy from CRS. Reliable, verifiable data on immigration to this country can be found at Frequently Requested Statistics on Immigrants and Immigration in the United States.

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Was There Russian Interference in U.S. Elections?

The intelligence community was tasked with this investigation, and in January 2017, a declassified version of its report – Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections– was made public.  The classified version of this ICA (Intelligence Community Assessment) was given to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence for review; its report was recently published. Some of the conclusions reached:

“Russian efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election represent the most recent expression of Moscow’s longstanding desire to undermine the U.S.-led liberal democratic order, but these activities demonstrated a significant escalation in directness, level of activity, and scope of effort compared to previous operations1.

  • The Committee found that this judgment was supported by the evidence presented in the ICA. Since its publication, further details have come to light that bolster the assessment.
  • The ICA pointed to initial evidence of Russian activities against multiple U.S. state or local electoral boards. Since the ICA was published, the Committee has learned more about Russian attempts to infiltrate state election infrastructure, as outlined in the findings and recommendations the Committee issued in March 2018.”(4)


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Cryptocurrency Regulations

Of late, cryptocurrency has been a topic that one cannot avoid. The Law Library of Congress has issued a survey of how various countries oversee this exchange medium. A brief overview with links to enabling legislation and commentaries are provided for each entry; more detailed examinations of selected countries are found at its Regulation of Cryptocurrency in Selected Jurisdictions.

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2018 KIDS COUNT Data Book Now Available

This annual publication, utilizing government and non-government sources, gauges the well-being of this country’s children. As with previous iterations, there is slow progress in improving the various conditions in which children exist, whether it is the education sector, the health sector, or other socio-economic indicators. Of troubling concern to this authors of this work is the risk of undercounting during the 2020 census:

“The nation is at high risk of another sizable undercount of young children. Congress has underfunded the Census Bureau for the last six years, which has caused delays….”(12) In addition, the Bureau cancelled field tests in areas without good internet access and as the 2020 census will be done primarily online, the process will jeopardize an accurate count in communities of color where internet access is slow/limited. This coupled with the addition of a citizenship questions may further imperil a correct count.

Data is also available for individual states; here is New Jersey.


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