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‘Fire and Fury’ Author Michael Wolff Not New to Controversy Defends His Book

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Michael Wolff, the author of a new book that gives a behind-the-scenes account of the White House, defended his work Friday on “Today”, insisting he spoke with President Donald Trump on the record and calling the commander in chief “a man who has less credibility than, perhaps, anyone who has ever walked on earth.” (Screen-Capture/NBC News).

Michael Wolff, described by many as a man who doesn’t shy away from controversy has a new book out, and President Donald Trump is not a fan.

The book, already on the New York Times’ best selling list before it hit the shelves prompted Trump’s legal team to send cease-and-desist letters to Wolff and his U. S. publisher, Macmillan imprint Henry Holt & Co., in response to the new book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.

Trump, known for punching back when his character is under attack, is reportedly not happy with the unflattering picture of the White House administration’s first year in office.

The cease and assist letter calls on Henry Holt to halt distribution of the book, publication of which was originally set for Jan. 9 and has now been pushed up to Jan. 5.

In an attempt to silence Wolff, Trump’s legal team alleges that the book is libelous to the president.  The assertion in made because of the implications about the president’s mental health.

Trump’s attorney, Charles J. Harder, sent a similar letter to former White House strategist Steve Bannon, who set the media buzzing with quotes throughout the book peppered with very serious allegations—most notably a comment on a now-notorious meeting between a Russian lawyer and Donald Trump Jr. during the 2016 presidential campaign. “Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad s**t, and I happen to think it’s all of that,” Bannon purportedly told Wolff, “you should have called the FBI immediately.”

Bannon, who worked as the chief executive of Trump’s campaign and the White House chief strategist before he was fired last summer, is quoted in the book taking shots at Trump and people in his inner circle. Those quotes sparked a fierce response from Trump, who said Wednesday Bannon did not have much influence in the West Wing.

Amid the fall-out from the book, those unfamiliar the “Fire and Fury” author and perhaps cheering him on because he has in a sense, connected a few “political dots” are asking “Who is Michael Wolff?”

Wolff, 64 known throughout the media world, according to a recent “Has led an Internet venture, chronicled the New York media world and told the “inside story” of moguls like Rupert Murdoch — all the while making bold claims that, whether embraced or rejected, were impossible to ignore.”

Michael Wolff a man who doesn’t shy away from the limelight established himself as a no-holds controversial critic of the media culture that he’s immersed in seeming to relish all that comes with his role as a well-known columnist.

Having established himself as a man who takes on media challenges without flinching, it should come as little surprise to those aware of his style—Columnist and author Michael Wolff would ignite a media storm by setting social media abuzz with the leaked excerpts of his forthcoming book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.”

Wolff grew up in New Jersey often speaking of a future in media with a humble beginning as a copy boy at the New York Times—moving back and forth between the worlds of media and business.

In the early 1990s, Wolff launched a company structured to provide navigation techniques to the internet.  The guides or manuals initially in book form were later released online. Disputes with his investors, according to a Wired report at the time caused Wolff to resign from the company.

In the years following, Wolff has written about money and power and the intersection of media, specifically among New York’s elite, in four books and as a columnist for New York magazine, the Hollywood Reporter, Vanity Fair, and Newser, the news aggregator site he founded.

In speaking on his unsuccessful attempt to acquire New York magazine — a failed venture for which Wolff states he later felt “immense relief,” in an interview on the forum Big Think.  During the interview, Wolff said he no longer read New York, which could have been construed by some as a taste of “bitter grapes.”

Consistent in his portrayal of the media landscape, Wolff’s peppered words and the portrait of media titans have been unflinching. For example, in one of his interviews, he said New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd was an “angry” writer whose tone might be explained by anger at “her own women-who-love-too-much-weakness.” Not one to filter his words, reportedly when Newsweek was on a downward spiral in 2012, Wolff wrote of its chief, “What will happen to Tina Brown? And should we care?”

Many are wondering how the embattled author gained access to the White House and the president’s inner-circle to gather what detractors of the book are calling “salacious assertions” with little merit. The pressing question how did he do it without someone alerting President Trump?

Michael Wolff reportedly secured access to the White House—conducting more than 200 interviews from willing participants who may feel betrayed by the use of their names in the book.

The author quotes former Trump advisor Stephen K. Bannon as saying a meeting between Trump’s confidants and Kremlin-linked Russians was “treasonous,” and Katie Walsh, the former deputy chief of staff, as saying that working with Trump was like “trying to figure out what a child wants.”

With assertions that Trump’s inner-circle are not as loyal as perhaps the president expects of his team, the fall-out from the damaging information throughout the book—could cause a few heads to roll.

Confronting the issue at hand, Trump seeming cut ties to Bannon on Wednesday, saying he had “lost his mind,” and like clock-work as mention earlier in this report,  giving orders to his lawyers to stop the book’s release.

Meanwhile, Michael Wolff appearing to embrace the notion of having his book plugged across the media in such an extraordinary manner—took to Twitter telling his followers that “Fire and Fury” was No. 1 on Amazon.  He tweeted that he couldn’t be happier with the coverage of “Fire and Fury” in another tweet, giving accolades to John Cassidy with New Yorker.

Michael Wolff is back on the scene making headline news across the with reports and excerpts from his upcoming book — which as he pointed out is already a success on Amazon.

The White House and the president’s legal team are continuing the assault on Wolff’s upcoming book. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the book is “full of tabloid gossip” —noting that Breitbart News should consider firing Steve Bannon over comments he allegedly made in the book.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders conducts the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, DC. Sanders said on Tuesday that “only if your mind is in the gutter” could you interpret the president’s words as sexual innuendo. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Sanders faced an onslaught of questions during Thursday’s press briefing about “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.”

“I will not go through every single page of the book, but there are numerous examples of falsehoods that take place in the book,” Sanders said, referencing a claim that President Trump did not know who former House Speaker John Boehner was.

“There are numerous mistakes. But I’m not going to waste my time or the country’s time going page by page and talking about a book that is complete fantasy and just full of tabloid gossip,” she said. “Because it is sad, pathetic. And our administration and focus will be more on moving the country forward.”

It’s not surprising that Trump and his legal team would frown upon the book and discredit Wolff.  Regarding whether Trump really wanted to be president — the Wolff book claims he did not — Sanders wrote that off as another falsehood.

“It is absolutely laughable to think that somebody like this president would run for office with the purpose of losing,” she said. “If you guys know anything, you know that Donald Trump is a winner. And he is not going to do something for the purpose of coming out on top and not coming out as a winner.”

Wolff, in an exclusive interview on “Today,” said that everyone he spoke to for the book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” offered the same description of the president.

 

@LeNoraMillen           01-05-18

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Health Care

Medicare Takes Aim at Medical Identity Theft: Protecting Seniors From Fraud

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Criminals are increasingly targeting people age 65 or older for personal identity theft. In 2014 alone, there were 2.6 million such incidents among seniors, according to the Department of Justice.

A growing offshoot of identity theft is healthcare fraud, which can result when someone unlawfully uses another person’s Medicare number. Medical identity theft can lead to inaccuracies in medical records, which in turn can result in delayed care, denied services and costly false claims.

That’s why Medicare works with the Department of Justice, taking aim squarely at would-be thieves. In the largest law enforcement action against criminals fraudulently targeting the Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare programs, 412 people around the country, including 115 doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals, were charged in 2017 with bilking U.S. taxpayers out of $1.3 billion.

New Medicare Card for 2018. (Video Courtesy of YouTube)

The next big fraud-fighting push is well underway — and its focus is protecting the personal information of senior citizens by removing their Social Security numbers from Medicare cards.

People with Medicare don’t need to take any action to get a new Medicare card. Beginning in April 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will mail out newly designed Medicare cards to the 58 million Americans with Medicare. The cards will have a new number that will be unique for each card recipient. This will help protect personal identity and prevent fraud because identity thieves can’t bill Medicare without a valid Medicare number. To help with a seamless transition to the new cards, providers will be able to use secure lookup tools that will support quick access to the new card numbers when needed.

Healthcare fraud drives up costs for everyone, but healthcare consumers can be an effective first line of defense against fraud. Follow these tips to help protect yourself:

Do

  • Treat your Medicare number like a credit card.
  • When the new card comes in the mail next year, destroy your old card and make sure you bring your new one to your doctors’ appointments.
  • Be suspicious of anyone offering early bird discounts, limited time offers or encouraging you to act now for the best deal. That’s an indicator of potential fraud because Medicare plans are forbidden from offering incentives.
  • Be skeptical of free gifts, free medical services, discount packages or any offer that sounds too good to be true.
  • Only give your Medicare number to doctors, insurers acting on your behalf or trusted people in the community who work with Medicare, like your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).
  • Report suspected instances of fraud.
  • Check your Medicare statements to make sure the charges are accurate.

Don’t

  • Don’t share your Medicare number or other personal information with anyone who contacts you by telephone, email or approaches you in person, unless you’ve given them permission in advance. Medicare will never contact you uninvited and request your Medicare number or other personal information.
  • Don’t let anyone borrow or pay to use your Medicare number.
  • Don’t allow anyone, except your doctor or other Medicare providers, to review your medical records or recommend services.
  • Don’t let anyone persuade you to see a doctor for care or services you don’t need.
  • Don’t accept medical supplies from a door-to-door salesman.

Learn more about how you can fight Medicare fraud at Medicare.gov/fraud, or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). You can also visit a local SHIP counselor, who can provide free, one-on-one, non-biased Medicare assistance.

With a common sense approach to protecting health information, senior citizens can be effective partners in fighting Medicare fraud.

 

Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

@LeNoraMillen       01-19-18

 

 

 

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Politics

Trump Children’s Health Insurance Tweet Contradicts White House Administration

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Washington (CNN) President Donald Trump contradicted his own administration on Thursday when he tweeted that funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program  (CHIP) should not be included in a short-term plan to fund the government.

Trump’s tweet sent on Thursday morning, seemingly undercut the “Stopgap Spending Bill,” leaving many confused at what could be construed as an “Anti-Chip” tweet.

Read more here

@LeNoraMillen     01-18-18

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Politics

What If a Government Shutdown Occurs? Five Things to Know

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The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base BARRIE BARBER/STAFF

The federal government faces a partial federal shutdown threat Friday without a $1.1 trillion appropriations spending budget or a temporary stopgap spending measure in place.

Here’s what could happen in the Miami Valley if a shutdown occurs:

FURLOUGHS: A Wright-Patterson Air Force Base spokesman said this week the base had not received guidance on what actions to take. But the last time a federal government shutdown occurred in 2013, thousands of Wright-Patterson civilian employees were furloughed temporarily. Among those exempted were police, fire, medical and airfield operations. Military service members remained on the job.

MUSEUM: The region’s biggest tourist attraction, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, would close until a funding deal is reached, according to a spokesman.

MAIL SERVICE: The U.S. Postal Service, which is considered self-funded, would continue operations, including home delivery and post offices, would stay open, a spokesman said.

DAYTON VA: The Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities would remain open. The VA operates on a two-year budget cycle, exempting the department from the latest funding skirmish in Washington.

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE: NPS sites in the Dayton region closed during the last shutdown in 2013. An NPS directive issued in September 2017, said parks would close if a lapse in federal government appropriations occurs.

Source: Dayton Daily News

@LeNoraMillen    01-18-18

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