News from the note…
A round up of the day’s news that might be of interest to you.
This is an OPEN THREAD, folks. Chat about any of the stories listed, share links to stories that caught your eye today, and generally have a good time discussing whatever you want.
As authorities examine clues, they are also finding more questions to answer.
One key question authorities are puzzling over is why none of the apparent bombs detonated, a second law enforcement source said, raising questions about the skill and motive of the bombmaker.
This person said either the bombmaker was good enough to ensure none would go off and never intended them to explode or it was poorly constructed. Authorities consider the bombs to be potentially destructive because of the presence of what is believed to be pyrotechnic powder.
Though it appears they were handled through the postal system — and thus jostled and moved — without triggering any explosion.CNN
The FBI’s counterterrorism team is leading the investigation and has classified it as a domestic terror matter, the law enforcement official said. That classification is based on the absence of other information and could change.
Special counsel Robert Mueller appears to be locked in a dispute with a mystery grand jury witness resisting giving up information sought in the ongoing probe into alleged Trump campaign collusion with Russia.
It’s unclear exactly what the two sides are fighting over, but the case appears to resemble a separate legal battle involving an associate of Trump ally Roger Stone, Andrew Miller, who is fighting a Mueller subpoena. Miller’s lawyers are using the case, slated to be argued at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals early next month, to mount a broad legal assault on Mueller’s authority as special counsel.Politico
In the more shadowy case, which involves an unknown person summoned before a grand jury this summer, the D.C. Circuit on Monday set a separate round of arguments for Dec. 14.
The son of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi has left Saudi Arabia, a source close to the family told CNN. Salah bin Jamal Khashoggi, a dual US-Saudi citizen, had previously been unable to leave Saudi Arabia after his passport was restricted by the kingdom some months ago.
Salah Khashoggi is the eldest son of The Washington Post columnist who Saudis officials now admit was killed in a pre-meditated murder executed by a squad of men with close ties to the country’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Initially, Saudi Arabia denied all knowledge of Khashoggi’s fate.
On Tuesday, the Crown Prince and his father King Salman were pictured shaking hands with the stone-faced younger Khashoggi at an investment conference in Riyadh.CNN
Kansas election officials are reviewing text messages claiming to be from President Donald Trump and telling residents that their early votes hadn’t been recorded, as Democratic leaders worried Thursday that they were part of efforts to “steal” a close governor’s race.
State Elections Director Bryan Caskey said the Kansas secretary of state’s office received 50 or 60 calls about the texts Wednesday, mostly from the northeastern part of the state. Caskey said the office is trying to determine whether the texts broke a law before determining what to do next.
One text says “Your absentee ballot is ready. Remember to vote for Pres. Trump’s allies.” A follow-up text says, “This is President Trump. Your early vote has NOT been RECORDED on Kansas’s roster.” It urges the voter to confirm his or her polling place.AP
President Donald Trump on Thursday unveiled a plan to overhaul how Medicare pays for certain drugs, attacking “foreign freeloaders” that he says have driven up costs in the U.S. The bold move addresses a Trump campaign pledge to lower drug prices, just days before the tightly contested midterm elections in which health care is playing a pivotal role.
Trump outlined the details in a speech at HHS Thursday afternoon, his first address at the health department. The proposal, first reported by POLITICO, still needs to be refined and put through a federal rule-making process.
The proposal would bypass Congress by using a pilot program to test three ways to lower the costs of drugs — including negotiating for some drugs directly administered by doctors to keep them in line with the far lower prices paid in many other countries, where governments often take an active role in setting prices. The proposal applies only to drugs administered in doctors’ offices and outpatient hospital departments — medicines like cancer treatments and injectable treatments for rheumatoid arthritis or eye conditions. It won’t affect most prescriptions purchased by patients at pharmacies.Politico
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday that President Trump “could not have been more presidential” when he was addressing the string of attempted bomb attacks targeting prominent Democrats.
Trump on Wednesday initially responded by retweeting Vice President Pence, who condemned the actions and called the acts “cowardly” and “despicable.” Trump added in sharing Pence’s tweet, “I wholeheartedly agree!”
“Let’s not get lost in who is responsible for this heinous act,” Sanders said in an interview Thursday morning on “Fox & Friends.” “It is the person who made and sent these suspicious packages.”
The White House on Wednesday called the perpetrators “cowards” and promised to punish those responsible.The Hill
The New York attorney general’s office and lawyers for President Donald Trump’s charitable foundation are set to face off in court Thursday over the state’s civil lawsuit that alleges the charity violated campaign finance laws and abused its tax-free status.
In State Supreme Court in Manhattan, a judge is set to hear oral arguments in the Trump team’s effort to dismiss the lawsuit, which was filed in June.
The suit alleges that the Donald J. Trump Foundation and its directors — including Trump, his sons Eric and Donald Jr. and his daughter Ivanka — violated federal and state charities law with a “persistent” pattern of conduct that included unlawful coordination with the 2016 Trump presidential campaign.
At times during the presidential race, the lawsuit alleges, for example, Trump campaign staffers were permitted to direct the charity’s expenditures, and in certain cases those expenditures appeared to benefit groups that were politically valuable to the then-candidate.CNN
From The News Blender:
Analysis on the false flag theory: Pipe Bomb Lies
Latest updates on the suspicious packages: Day 3: FBI Confirms More Suspicious Packages Update with Official Press Conference