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February 13, 2019

Trump: ‘I’m Not Happy’ With Deal, but New Shutdown Unlikely

AP – “I have to study it. I’m not happy about it,” Trump told reporters at the White House about the tentative funding deal, which would need to be passed by the Democratic-led House and Republican-controlled Senate and signed by him.

President Donald Trump expressed displeasure on Tuesday with a deal by congressional negotiators on border security spending that offered no funds for his promised U.S.-Mexican border wall, but did not reject it outright and indicated he did not expect another government shutdown.

Trump, who triggered a 35-day closure of about a quarter of the federal government with a December demand for $5.7 billion from Congress to help build the wall, said he has yet to decide whether to support the agreement reached on Monday night by key Democratic and Republican lawmakers.

Funding for the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department and a host of other agencies is due to expire on Friday under the stopgap spending measure passed last month by Congress to end the longest federal shutdown in U.S. history.

Poll: Pro-Choice Americans Overwhelmingly Oppose Late-Term Abortion

The Federalist – “A new poll by the non-partisan firm YouGov found that two out of three Americans who self-identify as “pro-choice” oppose abortion in the third trimester, abortion the day before an infant is born, and removing medical care for a viable infant.

This national survey was conducted the first week of February, just two weeks after New York state passed its controversial bill allowing abortions until birth, and Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam endorsed infanticide.

See the Poll here.  

Fmr. Trump Lawyer Says Mueller Probe Will Clear Trump

John Dowd, who once headed Donald Trump’s legal team, is predicting the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller will clear the president.

Dowd made his comments to ABC News in an interview for an episode of “The Investigation,” a new podcast centered on Mueller’s probe.

“I know exactly what (Mueller) has,” Dowd said. “I know exactly what every witness said, what every document said. I know exactly what he asked. And I know what the conclusion or the result is.” He added: “There’s no basis. There’s no exposure. It’s been a terrible waste of time.”

Dowd resigned in March 2018 saying he “loves the president.”

Listen to the Podcast here.

McConnell Calls for a Vote on Green New Deal

AP – The Senate will vote on the Green New Deal, a moonshot plan by Democrats to combat climate change, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday, announcing a move designed to force Senate Democrats — including a cast of presidential candidates — into a political bind.

The plan, initially championed by freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, calls for a New Deal-style mobilization to shift the U.S. economy away from fossil fuels such as oil and coal and replace them with renewable sources such as wind and solar power. Republicans have mocked it a progressive pipedream that would drive the economy off a cliff and lead to a huge tax increase, calling it evidence of the creep of “socialism” in the party.

The upcoming vote — which has not yet been scheduled — will “give everybody an opportunity to go on record,” McConnell said.

Prosecutor: El Chapo Conviction Is ‘Victory for the American People’

The Daily Beast – Richard Donoghue, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, praised the Tuesday conviction of notorious drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman as a “victory for the American people.”

“It is a sentence from which there is no escape and no return,” Donoghue said, according to CBS News. “His conviction is a victory for the American people who have suffered so long and so much while Guzman made billions pouring poison over our southern border.”

Guzman was found guilty Tuesday on all ten of the charges against him, drawing his months-long New York trial to a close after six days of jury deliberation. The charges include conspiracy to commit murder, manufacturing and distributing cocaine and heroin, and engaging in a criminal enterprise. He now faces life in prison.

February 11, 2019

Trump: Dems Behaving ‘Irrationally’ on Border Security

Republicans and Democrats are not communicating and the prospect of getting a deal by Friday’s deadline seems to have derailed over wall discussions.

President Donald Trump hit back at Democrats Sunday evening after congressional talks over border security funding hit a snag, raising the chance of a new government shutdown.

“The Border Committee Democrats are behaving, all of a sudden, irrationally,” Trump tweeted. “Not only are they unwilling to give dollars for the obviously needed Wall (they overrode recommendations of Border Patrol experts), but they don’t even want to take murderers into custody! What’s going on?”

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., told “Fox News Sunday,”  that Republicans don’t want to offer concessions on ICE enforcement.

“I think the talks are stalled right now. I’m hoping we can get off the dime later today or in the morning, because time is ticking away, but we’ve got some problems with the Democrats dealing with ICE, that is detaining criminals that come into the U.S. and they want a cap on them,” Shelby said. “We don’t want a cap on that, ” said Sen. Shelby, who is leading the negotiations.

LA Times: CA Gov. Newsom Pulling Nat. Guard from Border With Mexico

The LA Times reports that “Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday will order the removal of roughly 360 National Guard members from California’s southern boundary with Mexico, repudiating President Trump’s characterization of a recent influx of Central American refugees and migrants as a national security crisis.”

“The announcement comes just one day before the governor delivers his first State of the State address Tuesday, setting the stage for Newsom to counter Trump’s State of the Union address from last week.”

Virginia Democratic expected to introduce impeachment resolution against Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax

According to CNN, the impeachment resolution introduced would be the first step in the removal process. The process begins in the House and if it passes with a majority vote, it moves to the Senate where they will hold a trial to determine if Fairfax will be removed.

Meanwhile, Virginia’s embattled lieutenant governor has called for an investigation in the Sexual assault allegations that have been made against him.

Two women have made allegations against Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax.

Over the weekend, Fairfax continued to strongly deny the claims, and issued a statement saying he had never sexually assaulted anyone. Lt. Gov. Fairfax also made it clear that he has no intentions of resigning.

Email From Roger Stone’s Wife Details ‘Terrifying Morning’ of Arrest

Roger Stone’s wife Nydia calls the morning of her husband’s arrest “the most terrifying thing I have ever experienced.”

Nydia Stone said that she woke up the morning of the raid only when two FBI agents burst into their bedroom and demanded she get out of bed at gunpoint. 

She said she was them marched out to the street barefoot wearing only a night gown, where she had to stand next to her handcuffed husband.

Mrs. Stone sent out an email over the weekend describing the pre-dawn raid on their house in Ft. Lauderdale last month.

The email was also a fundraising letter urging the public to contribute to her husband’s legal defense fund.

Attorney: National Inquirer Never Tried to Blackmail Bezos

Elkan Abromowitz, an attorney for American Media Inc. chief executive David Pecker, said on Sunday, that the National Enquirer never committed or even tired extort or blackmail the Amazon CEO by threatening to publish intimate photos of Bezos and his mistress.

Bezos claims AMI threatened to publish the explicit photos of him unless he stopped investigating how the Enquirer obtained his private exchanges with former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez. Bezos also says AMI wanted him to publicly declare that the Enquirer’s coverage of him was not politically motivated.

The Daily Beast reports that Michael Sanchez, “the brother of Jeff Bezos’ mistress, Lauren Sanchez, supplied the couple’s racy texts to the National Enquirer, multiple sources inside AMI, the tabloid’s parent company, told The Daily Beast.”

“Another source who has been in extensive communication with senior leaders at AMI confirmed that Michael Sanchez first supplied Bezos’ texts to the Enquirer.”

February 8, 2019

Jeff Bezos Accuses National Inquirer of Extortion

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos published an on-line essay Thursday – accusing that The National Enquirer of blackmail and extortion. Bezos claims the publication threatened to publish nude photos of him unless he called off an investigation aimed at finding out how his intimate text messages were leaked to the tabloid. The texts ultimately ended Bezo’s marriage.

Bezos, who is also owner of The Washington Post, detailed his interactions with American Media Inc. in an extraordinary blog post Thursday on the Medium.com website.

After the tabloid published a story about his extramarital affair last month, Bezos ordered a team of private investigators to get to the bottom of how the Enquirer obtained risque texts between the executive and former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez. Since then, there’s been a public relations battle.

Rep. Matt Gaetz Talks About Border, At Gun Control Hearing

The House Judiciary Committee held its first hearing on gun control in eight years on Wednesday. Democrats are pushing a bill aimed at strengthening background checks for retail and private gun sales. The bill is known known as H.R. 8.

But During the hearing REP. Matt Gaetz, (R-FL), says illegal aliens are a bigger threat than people buying guns without background checks.

“H.R. 8 would not have stopped many of the circumstances I raised, but a wall, a border on the southern barrier may have and that’s what we are fighting for,” Rep. Gaetz said as members of the attendees groaned.

Several parents, who lost children during the mass shooting a Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL last year. One father who lost his son — and tired to shout down Gaetz.

According to NPR, This led to protests in the hearing room by the fathers of two Parkland shooting victims, Manuel Oliver and Fred Guttenberg. Gaetz responded by asking for their removal. The public is not allowed to comment during congressional hearings, and the two were given a warning.

Democrats also did not allow Rep. Steve Scalise, (R-LA) to speak on the topic, even though he was a victim of gun violence himself. Rep. Scalise was shot and wounded at congressional baseball game in 2017.

NC Gov. Roy Cooper On Climate Change On Capitol Hill

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper says the United States needs to do more to fight climate change. This week, Govs. Cooper Charlie Baker of Massachusetts testified before a House committee hearing focused on the economic and personal impact of climate change on states like North Carolina. Gov. Cooper specifically mentioned the impact from Hurricanes Florence and Matthew.

“We have weathered two so-called 500 year floods and three of them within 20 years,” Gov. Cooper said, adding, “It is not too late but it soon maybe.”

Coopers comments come on the same day NOAA and NASA released data that showing that 9 of the 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 2005.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez: Green New Deal a “Statement”

Congressional Democrats like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are rolling out the “Green New Deal” to fight climate change. It calls for the abolition of fossil fuels. But Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez says the “Green New Deal” isn’t quite ready to become a law.  The Freshman Democrat from the Bronx, recently told NPR that – her version — is more like a “statement” – than an actual bill proposal.  Meanwhile, house  Speaker Nancy Pelosi has named nine Democrats to the newly formed Select Cmte on Climate Change.

But, AOC, as she calls herself on twitter, didn’t make the cut.

Former NYT Exec Editor Jill Abrams facing accusations of plagiarism

Jill Abrams, the former executive editor of the New York Times Jill defends her new book – “Merchants of Truth” – and herself against plagiarism charges.

Vice News Correspondent Michael Moynihan, took Abrams to task on twitter, posting images with passages from Abramson’s book along side passages from other publications and even a master’s thesis. Some of them, looked identical.

This week on Fox News Abramson said “All I can tell you is I certainly didn’t plagiarize in my book.”She said everything is referenced in the foot notes of the book.

Gucci, Adidas Apologize for Black History Month Mishaps

Both Gucci and Adidas are apologizing for fashion faux pas and bad timing. dGucci recently caught heat for releasing a $890 black-knit women’s women’s sweater with a turtle neck that can be pulled over your face. It includes red lips around an opening for the mouth. Social media users say it’s too similar to blackface imagery.

Gucci quickly apologized and removed the item from all on-line and retail stores.

Meanwhile – Adidas is in hot water because they released a pair of all-white shoes – to honor the Harlem Renaissance movement and Black History Month. But when someone pointed out that all white shoes for black history month — didn’t make sense.Adidas pulled $180 sneakers off the shelves and said they “did not reflect the spirit or philosophy of how Adidas believes we should recognize and honor Black History Month.”

February 7, 2019

Pres. Trump, Sec. Pompeo Tell Anti-ISIS Coalition Members to Step Up

President Trump joined Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington Wednesday to touted the success of the U.S. led coalition’s fight against ISIS. Secretary Pompeo urged U.S. partners to redouble their efforts, saying that defeating ISIS was generational responsibly.

President Trump said, “It should be formally announced sometime probably next week that we will have 100 percent of the caliphate.”

Members of the 79 country anti-ISIS coalition were at the State Department discussing strategy after President Trump’s decision to pull American forces from Syria. Pompeo says the troop withdrawal is only a tactical decision and that America will continue the fight.

Billionaires Spar Over Tax Breaks

Michael Bloomberg thinks Jeff Bezos got way too many tax breaks to open Amazon’s new H-Q in Brooklyn.

Tuesday in Manhattan, the former Mayor cheered Amazon’s decision to move to New York, but also included that he “didn’t think they needed” the tax incentives, according to the New York Post.

Bloomberg says Amazon would have come to Brooklyn anyway – because of it’s deep pool of tech talent.

Other left-leaning politicians have also criticized current Mayor Bill DeBlasio for giving away to much to Amazon.

Gladys Knight Not Concerned About Career, After Super Bowl National Anthem

Gladys Knight says he’s not worried about her career after singing a rousing version of the National Anthem at the Super Bowl.

CNN’s Don Lemon recently asked the legendary singer and civil rights icon about the Anthem controversy stirred up by kneeling NFL players like Colin Kaepernick, and if singing the Star Spangled Banner at the Super Bowl would cost her professionally.

Knight responded, “You know what? Nothing good comes easy,” adding, ”I grew up with the national anthem we used to sing it before school, we used to say prayers before school – and we just don’t have that any more.”

Trump’s Boyhood Home For Sale, Again

President Trump’s boyhood home is up for sale in Queens – again. The Wall Street Journal reports that the home comes with a “Life Size Cutout” of the president. There’s also a sign in one of the bed rooms that reads President Donald J. Trump was likely conceived here – by his parents – Fred and Mary Trump. The house is about 2,500-square-feet. The Journal describes it as a “modest, yellow Tudor-style home.”

Right now, it’s on the market for $2.9 million, which is a steep increase from when the home last sold two years ago for $2.1 Million.

AAA: Cold Temps Sap Electric Car Batteries

The AAA has now confirmed what many electronic car owners figured out last week during the polar vortex. The batteries in their electric cars don’t function the same way when the temperatures plummet.According to the Associated Press, “the study of five electric vehicles by AAA also found that high temperatures can cut into battery range, but not nearly as much as the cold. The range returns to normal in more comfortable temperatures.

February 5, 2019

State of the Union: What to Watch For

The Washington Post reports that Melania Trump has invited a child named Joshua Trump to the SOTU, because he “has been bullied in school due to his last name.”

The president who famously said that he “alone” could fix issues facing the country, will give his second State of the Union address Tuesday, addressing members of Congress who — it turns out — are necessary for getting anything done at all.
The speech is coming two weeks later than originally scheduled after a partial government shutdown and partisan stalemate that brought all previous plans to a halt.

  1. Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi will sit over President Trump’s shoulder all night.
  2. This will be Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s first State of the Union.
  3. Other guests include an undocumented migrant, and trans-gender service member.

The New York Times reports that “For Trump, the State of the Union Is a Spectacle, and He Is Ready for It”: “After spending part of the weekend at Mar-a-Lago, his club in Palm Beach, Fla., working on the speech, Mr. Trump spent two hours going over it with Stephen Miller, his chief policy adviser, in the Oval Office, according to his private schedule.

“He also spent time on Monday practicing in the Map Room with a handful of senior administration officials. He was expected to do another teleprompter-and-lectern practice session there on Tuesday, with his aides giving him notes.

Meanwhile in Virginia…

*Lt. Gov. Denounces Sexual Assault Allegations

*Gov. Northam, Others Eyed in Leak of Allegations

*Gov. Northam Remains Defiant as Calls For His Resignation Grow

According to the New York Times, ”Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of Virginia Denounces Sexual Assault Allegation as a ‘Smear'”: Fairfax “emphatically denied on Monday a woman’s claim that he sexually assaulted her in 2004, suggesting at one point that Gov. Ralph Northam’s supporters were trying to block his ascent to the governorship at a moment when Mr. Northam is besieged by demands that he resign over charges of racism.

“‘Does anybody think it’s any coincidence that on the eve of potentially my being elevated that that’s when this smear comes out?’ Mr. Fairfax told reporters surrounding him in the rotunda of the state Capitol about whether he believes Mr. Northam, a fellow Democrat, was behind the accusation’s coming to light.

“He softened his suggestion as he left the Capitol Monday night, telling reporters he had ‘no indication’ that Mr. Northam was responsible. But in the same conversation, Mr. Fairfax hinted that Levar Stoney, the mayor of Richmond and a potential rival to Mr. Fairfax for the 2021 Democratic nomination for governor, may have played a role — praising the acumen of a reporter who inquired whether Mr. Stoney might have been responsible.

“Asked if he had any involvement in leaking the claims of assault, which first surfaced Sunday night on a right-wing website, Mr. Stoney said, ‘The insinuation is 100 percent not true, and frankly it’s offensive.’”

Meanwhil Northam has resisted the mounting calls for his resignation amid controversy surrounding his racist yearbook page and at this point, he has “no choice” but to remain in office, argued Chris Stirewalt on Fox News.

Trump’s Inauguration Committee Under Scrutiny

According to ABC News, New York prosecutors are seeking records from the Trump inauguration committee. ABC, citing “sources,” reports that, “Prosecutors in New York’s Southern District have subpoenaed documents from President Donald Trump’s inauguration committee,” adding that, “even as the special counsel probe appears to be nearing an end, another investigation that could hamstring the president and his lawyers is widening.”

ABC News also reports that, “prosecutors are seeking documents and records related to the committee’s donors to the massive inauguration fund, according to sources familiar with the request. Prosecutors also are seeking information on attendees to the events surrounding the inauguration, including benefits to top-level donors such as photo opportunities with Trump, sources said.”

And according to the New York Times, ”only one individual was named as part of the subpoena’s demand for documents: Imaad Zuberi, a former fund-raiser for President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton who was seeking inroads with Mr. Trump, and whose company, Avenue Ventures, gave $900,000 to the inaugural committee. The subpoena also seeks documents related to his company.”

ISIS Fighters ‘Lying Low, Not Defeated’

The AP reports that “U.S. officials fear IS fighters are lying low, not defeated.”President Donald Trump is expected to declare near-total triumph over the Islamic State group in Syria in his State of the Union address, but U.S. defense officials are increasingly fearful that the militants are simply biding their time until the Americans leave the battlefield as planned. IS militants have lost territory since Trump’s surprise announcement in December that he was pulling U.S. forces out, but military officials warn the fighters could regroup within six months to a year after the Americans leave.

“A Defense Department watchdog report released Monday warned of just such a possibility. The Islamic State group ‘remains a potent force of battle-hardened and well-disciplined fighters that “could likely resurge in Syria’ absent continued counterterrorism pressure,”‘ the report from the inspector general said.”

Beto’s Back

Former Congressman and Democratic Senate Candidate Beto O’Rourke returns from five weeks away from the political spot light Tuesday. Sort of, the loser of the 2018 Texas Senate race, has been sharing a lot of personal details on social media. 

Tuesday, O’Rourke will join Oprah Winfrey for a highly anticipated interview.

February 4, 2019

Poll: Trump Shouldn’t Declare Emergency to Build Border Wall

Two-thirds of Americans oppose President Donald Trump declaring a national emergency if Congress doesn’t offer up the funds he wants to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border, a CBS News poll released Sunday shows.

Most survey respondents — 73 percent — also said they want Trump to continue negotiating while keeping the government open, rather than forcing another shutdown when funding expires again in mid-February. A congressional committee is trying to reach an agreement on border security after the record 35-day government closing ended Jan. 25.

Pentagon: 3750 More Troops Head to U.S. Border

The Associated Press reports that the he Pentagon will send send 3,750 more troops to the U.S.-Mexico. According the the Pentagon, the troops will construct another 150 miles of concertina wire and provide other support for Customs and Border Protection.

The additions will bring the total number of active-duty troops on the border to 4,350.

Last week, Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan said he provided estimates for the next phase of a military mission that has grown in size and length. Critics have derided it as a political ploy by the White House as President Donald Trump seeks billions to build a border wall.

FL Sen. Rick Scott: “So Much Hatred” in Washington D.C.

There’s “so much hatred” on Capitol Hill that it’s getting in the way of reaching a compromise on border wall funding that’ll avoid another partial government shutdown, Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., said Sunday.

In an interview on NBC News’ “Meet The Press,” Scott said politics has to be taken out of the equation if there’s to be a deal by the Feb. 15 deadline.

“There’s so much hatred up there right now and people aren’t working together,” he lamented. “We’ve got to stop and say ‘let’s act in the interest of the American public’ instead of ‘how do I win the next election.'”

Va Gov. Northam: Could He Be Impeached?

During a news conference over the weekend, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam strongly denied being either of the two people in a racist photo on a page of his medical school yearbook. One of the subjects in the photo appeared in blackface, the other was wearing a Klu Klux Klan robe and mask. According the the Virginia Pilot, Gov. Northam refused to resign, “despite a mounting number of legislators and members of the public calling upon him to do so.”

According to Virginia’s Constitution, governors can be impeached for “malfeasance in office, corruption, neglect of duty, or other high crime or misdemeanor” by the House of Delegates, with the state Senate then empowered to vote on the impeachment. It would take a vote of two-thirds of the Senate to remove an impeached governor.

“George Allen’s bid for re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2006 collapsed after he called a campaign worker for his opponent a racial pejorative. Corey Stewart’s defense of Confederate memorials alienated some voters in his bid last year for the Senate,” The Pilot reported.

Congrats to the Pats!

Boston Globe Photos: Patriots Celebrate with their families

February 1, 2019

Rep. Ilhan Omar Calls for Tax Hikes: “We’ve had it as high as 90 Percent”

During an interview with Yahoo News, Rep. Ihan Omar, D-Minn., says “The one percent must pay their fair share.”

“There are a few things that we can do,” Rep. Omar said.

“One of them, is that we can increase the taxes that people are paying who are the extremely wealthy in our communities. So, 70 percent, 80 percent, we’ve had it as high as 90 percent. So, that’s a place we can start.”

Rep. Omar is just the latest Democrat to call for extremely high taxes on the wealthy. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., has also called for a top marginal income tax rate of 70 percent.  Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have also called for increased taxes on the rich.

Rand Paul gets $580,000 Settlement

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul was awarded more than $580,000 in damages and medical expenses on Wednesday in his lawsuit against the neighbor who tackled him and broke several of his ribs in a dispute over lawn maintenance.

A jury in Bowling Green, Kentucky, deliberated less than two hours before delivering the award to the Republican lawmaker who had been attacked while doing yard work at his Kentucky home.

Paul had testified during the three-day trial that he feared for his life as he struggled to breathe after Rene Boucher slammed into him in their upscale Bowling Green neighborhood in late 2017.

The jury awarded $375,000 in punitive damages and $200,000 for pain and suffering, plus $7,834 for medical expenses.

Paul, R-Ky., later tweeted about the ruling, saying, “This lawsuit wasn’t about me. It was about all of us and what we find acceptable as a society. We need to send a clear message that violence is not the answer – anytime, anywhere.”

Politico: Mick Mulvaney Eyes Ross’s seat at Commerce

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney remains set on taking over as Commerce secretary, according to Politico, who first reported his interest in November.

Politico first reported that Mulvaney, also the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, was interested in the position last November, as rumors emerged that President Donald Trump has been dissatisfied with his current Commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross. 

“Ross has not done anything terribly wrong that caused distrust with the president. The president might not be happy with everyone all of the time, but what happens this week is often forgotten with no grudges held,” an unnamed former senior administration official told Politico. 
“Loyalty in this business is all you got, and Secretary Ross is loyal to the president. That is the difference between him and some of the other Cabinet members.

Trump’s Pressure on Venezuela’s Maduro Is a Big Hit with FL GOP

Vice President Mike Pence travels to Florida Friday to support “Venezuela’s new interim president Juan Guaido.   highlight the Trump administrations aggressive approach to the ongoing political crisis.”

Politico reports that the Trump administrations “aggressive approach to the ongoing political crisis,” also provides an opportunity to “open a door with Hispanic voters in a state that’s critical to the president’s reelection. The Hispanic vote here is far from monolithic: About 17 percent of Florida’s active registered voters are Hispanic, about a third of whom are estimated to be of Cuban-American descent and a third of Puerto Rican descent, followed by those whose families have roots throughout Latin America: Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Venezuela, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico.

Cardi B invited to speak to Iowa Democrats

Cardi B continues to flirt with national politics. 
The Bronx-born rapper was just invited to speak to Iowa democrats.

The Polk County Iowa Democrats tweeted, “As the center of the IA Caucuses, we have been honored to host Nancy Pelosi, Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards, Kamala Harris…” “…and many powerful women leaders. It only makes sense to invite Cardi B to a reception of her choice while she’s here in May.”Cardi B- caught a lot of people’s attention with her expletive-laden Instagram post criticizing Republicans for the government shutdown.

January 31, 2019

Trump Disputes Intel Chiefs on North Korea, Iran

President Donald Trump lashed out at his intelligence chiefs on Wednesday after they told Congress that North Korea is unlikely to dismantle its nuclear arsenal and that the Iran nuclear deal is working.

“Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!” Trump tweeted.

CNN reported that President Trump “seethed Wednesday morning as he watched the highlights of his intelligence chiefs testifying on Capitol Hill and singled out Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats by name during his morning rant, two people with knowledge of the outburst.”

At a hearing Tuesday, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said intelligence information does not support the idea that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will eliminate his nuclear weapons.

Democratic lawmakers serving on Congress’ intelligence committees accused Trump of undermining U.S. intelligence professionals.

EL Chapo’s Prosecutor: ‘Mountain of Evidence’ Proves Guilt

Friday could be the final day of the trial for notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.

Wednesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrea Goldberg described a horrific scene involving “El Chapo” and rival drug dealers during her closing arguments.

According to the USA Today, Goldberg told the jury that “Guzmán, backed by other alleged members of Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel, “leveled his rifle at one of the men, he cursed him, and he shot him,” Goldbarg said. After the second man was executed in the same manner, she said, Guzmán told his men to throw the bodies “into the fire.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, we have presented a mountain of evidence” that shows “the way that this defendant brought his drugs into the United States,” Goldberg told the jury.

Guzman is charged with 10 criminal counts, including selling drugs, laundering money and operating a continuing criminal enterprise. If convicted of the most serious charges, he could be sentenced to prison for life.

John Boehner Praises Trump, Bashes Immigration Hardliners

At an event in Marco Island Florida last night, former House Speaker John Boehner was asked about President Trump, and here’s what he said.

“Donald Trump, in my view, by and large, has done the right things, Boehner told the crowd”

Boehner also criticized immigration hard liners for the way they handled the shutdown. 
According to the Naples News – the former House Speaker said  when it comes to “legislative strategy –  the last place he would look is “talk radio”.

Boehner said, “the second last place he would look was the ‘knucklehead caucus’, who don’t know how to vote yes on anything. They did the president a total disservice.”

Foxconn Pivots from Manufacturing in Wisconsin

Taiwanese electronics company Foxconn now says it is shifting the focus of its Wisconsin plant away from blue-collar manufacturing jobs to research jobs.

Last summer, President Trump celebrated at the groundbreaking of the facility – and touted the comeback of American manufacturing.

Foxconn previously said it could invest as much as $10 billion in the project. Wednesday, the company was not willing to recommit to that number.

The Democratic Leader of the Wisconsin’s General Assembly, Gordon Hintz told the AP that Foxconn has overpromised and under-delivered – Every step of the way” adding — “This news is devastating for the taxpayers of Wisconsin.”

Republicans are blaming the new Democratic Governor Tony Evers.  Wednesday, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published a statement from Wisconsin’s, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said this: “We don’t blame Foxconn for altering plans in an ever-changing technology business. It’s also not surprising Foxconn would rethink building a manufacturing plant in Wisconsin under the Evers Administration. The company is reacting to the wave of economic uncertainty that the new governor has brought with his administration.”

Undocumented Former Trump Club Workers Meet Senators, One Will Attend State of the Union

CNN reported that a group of illegal immigrants, who worked at the Trump Bedminster property in New Jersey, met with New Jersey Sens. Cory Booker (D) and Bob Menendez (D).
The group of workers also met with Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.)

Of the illegal immigrants is Victorina Morales, who last month went public with allegations that the Trump Organization knowingly employed her and other immigrants without legal status.

Morales also claims the Trump Organization helped her and other immigrants ,who were in the country illegally obtain and keep employment.

Morales is also planning on attending President Trump’s State of the Union address.

The attorney representing one of the former employees has called for a federal and state investigation into the Trump Organization’s hiring practices.

The Washington Post reported on Saturday that about a dozen Trump Organization employees were abruptly fired earlier this month from Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County because they were found to be in the country illegally.

Eric Trump, one oaf the president’s sons and executive vice president of the Trump Organization, told The Washington Post on Tuesday that the expanded background checks will be used at all properties “as soon as possible,” starting with the company’s golf clubs.

January 30, 2019

Polar Vortex: Coldest Arctic Outbreak in Two Decades

According to Meteorologist Dr. Jeff Masters’s blog on Weather Undergound, “the culprit behind the cold blast is a lobe of the stratospheric polar vortex that is setting up shop across the Great Lakes, far south of its usual position.”

The Chicago Tribune reports that “schools are closed and several rail lines have suspended service.” Tens of thousands of people in the Chicago area are without power.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that residents are being urged to lower their thermostats to 60 degrees, to avoid straining the electrical grid.

President Trump: Congressional Negotiators ‘Wasting Time’

President Trump insists that funding for the border wall needs to be included in any deal on immigration reform and could be moving closer to declaring a national emergency.

Trump tweeted that if the group of Republicans and Democrats meeting on the issue don’t include it — “they are wasting their time.”

“I’m for whatever works, Sen. Mitch McConnell told reporters in Washington D.C., “which means avoiding a shutdown and avoiding the president feeling he should declare a national emergency.”

But the Senate GOP leader added, “Exactly how to do that, as you all know, has been quite challenging.

“Im for whatever works that prevents the level of dysfunction we’ve seen on full display here in the last month,” Sen. McConnell added.

Politico reports that “Senate Republicans May Block Trump from another shutdown.”

Utah Senator Mitt Romney told Politico, I don’t think we want to face another shutdown. And I certainly don’t think we want to have emergency action taken. So the president and Congress will have to come together.”

The Washington Examiners’ Susan Ferrechio points out that the “House, Senate committee is stacked against Trump’s border wall.”

“Democratic members of the 17-member conference committee are among the strongest opponents of funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border…”

Ferrechio also writes that some of the Republicans on the Committee like Richard Shelby and Shelly Moore Capito are…”much more interested in avoiding another shutdown that hurts them politically,” – than funding the Border Wall. 

2018 GA Gov. Runner-up Stacey Abrams to Give STOU Response

We are now just one week away from the State of the Union, and we now know who is going to be giving the Democrat’s response.

Stacey Abrams, who lost the Georgia Governor’s race in 2018 to Republican Brian Kemp, will follow President Trump’s nationally televised speech with one of her own, written to reflect the vision of the Democratic Party in 2019 and beyone.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports The speech will be a pivotal moment for Abrams, who narrowly lost last year’s gubernatorial race to Republican Brian Kemp and refused to formally concede the race, citing what she said was a vote marred by irregularities and his refusal to step down as the state’s top elections official.

Abrams was America’s first black female, in any state , to win a major party nomination is a governors race.

President Trump Accepted Nancy Pelosi’s new invitation yesterday to give the state of the Union next week, now that the government is back open.

More often than not, the person who delivers the response is remembered for what went wrong, not what they said…if they are remembered at all..

Remember Sen. Marco Rubio’s water bottle moment  in 2013?

Last year, Rep. Joe Kennedy III gave the officially Democratic party response year, and many people are still trying to figure out why he was in a mechanics garage in front of a car that looked broken-down.

Democrats Want ‘God’ Removed From Oath

Democrats are pushing to eliminate a reference to God from the oath witnesses take in front of the House Committee on Natural Resources, Fox News reports.

Witnesses would be asked this question before testifying:

“Do you solemnly swear or affirm, under penalty of law, that the testimony that you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?”

The proposed change replaces the traditional phrase “so help you God” with the words “under penalty of law,” according to Fox News

TV Star Recovering after Homophobic Attack

Jussie Smollet, star of the hit TV show “Empire,” is now recovering in Chicago after an attack reportedly based on the the actor’s sexual orientation.

According to a website called Blast,”Chicago police now say during a follow-up interview with Smollett, he recalled the suspects shouting about “MAGA Country.”

Smollett also told police the suspect threw bleach in his face.  No one has been arrested yet, police continue to investigate.

Ex-Starbucks CEO Shultz: Howard Schultz: Dems, GOP Unable, Unwilling to Face Change

Neither political party has been willing or able to solve the many issues the United States is facing, meaning nothing will change unless an independent candidate is elected as president, former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said Wednesday, following up on comments that he is seriously considering a presidential campaign in 2020.

“I see for the last three or four or five presidential elections, only 8 to 10 battleground states are pretty much controlled or predicted going to be president,” Schultz told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“What if Republicans and Democrats lifelong are looking for (someone). They’re not going to vote for left-wing Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris and they don’t want to reelect Donald Trump.”

Schultz said he does not want to mount a campaign as a Democrat, as he does not affiliate himself with a party that has gone “so far left.””What we need is comprehensive tax reform,” said Schultz. “What we need is sensible solutions to immigration. All of these things can’t happen under the current environment.”

January 29, 2019

AP: Measles Outbreak Grows in Northwest US, 31 Cases Reported

The number of confirmed measles cases near Portland, Oregon grew to 31 on Friday – an outbreak boosted by lower-than-normal vaccination rates in what has been called an anti-vaccination U.S. “hot spot.”

Twenty-six of the confirmed patients had not been vaccinated against measles, and the vaccination status of four others who were infected is unknown. One child has been hospitalized. Authorities say nine additional cases are suspected.

Acting Attorney General: Muller Investigation “Close to Being Completed”

Acting attorney general Matthew G. Whitaker, who is now supervising Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel investigation said Monday that the investigation into Russian collusion and interference with the 2016 presidential election is nearing an end, reported the Washington Post.

Whitaker’s statement is “the first official acknowledgment that the probe ensnaring President Trump may soon reach a conclusion”, the Post said.

“I have been fully briefed on the investigation and I look forward to Director Mueller delivering the final report,” Whitaker said. “I am comfortable that the decisions that were made are going to be reviewed. . . . Right now, you know, the investigation is, I think, close to being completed.”

Catholic Leaders: Excommunicate NY’s Gov. Cuomo

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., celebration of the passage of a bill removing abortion from the state criminal code, has lead some high-level members of the Catholic Church to call for Cuomo’s excommunication.

After the signing the bill, Cuomo ordered state landmarks like One World Trade Center be lit pink in celebration, a move that upset many of his pro-life opponents.

“It goes way beyond Roe v. Wade in so many ways, so I don’t see it as something to celebrate,” Albany Bishop Edward Scharfenberger said in an interview on “Fox & Friends” on Saturday. “The kind of procedures that are now available in New York state, we wouldn’t even do to a dog or a cat…It’s torture.

Polls: Americans Unhappy with Trump, Pelosi, & Environment

*ABC News/Washington Post: Americans Not Happy with Trump, Pelosi

Nearly half of Americans have no confidence “at all” in President Donald Trump, and more than a third said they also don’t have confidence in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll released Monday.

The poll also found that Americans say Trump is under-performing when it comes to their expectations, with 50 percent saying they expected him to do a good job handling the deficit, but 33 percent said he is doing a good job with it.

*Gallup: Americans Unsatisfied with Environment

Satisfaction with the quality of the environment has hit an all-time low among Americans, with only 43% of respondents signaling they are pleased with the country’s handling of the issue, according to a Gallup poll published on Monday. 78% say they are satisfied with nation’s military and 68% they are satisfied with security from terrorism. Satisfaction with immigration levels is 34%, down from 40% in 2018, according to Gallup.

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