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Look Who's Talking!

Daily Kos Michigan Feed - 20 min 24 sec ago

When is enough — enough?  In the case of Donald Trump, a human being of excessive delusions of grandeur, there is no end to what he will claim, all at the same time that he accuses the media of putting out ‘fake’ news.  Well, let’s take a look at who’s talking, Mr. Trump!

How far back do we have to go to identify the ‘lies’ that Donald Trump has made a part of his talking points when addressing his rally troops?  We could start with his claim that he knew hundreds of people who were killed in the 9/11 attacks.  There is no one individual he has ever named that was a friend who died in these attacks, based on the Daily Beast’s request that he name one, which was ignored.  There were numerous funeral masses held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, only six blocks from Trump Tower, yet he was never seen at any of these masses or for that matter at any funeral services for the 343 lost firemen.  He even made a similar claim to Sarah Palin being able to see Russia from her house — “Many people jumped and I witnessed it, I watched that. I have a view — a view in my apartment that was specifically aimed at the World Trade Center.”  That claim is also unlikely to be true.

Probably the next bogus news that Donald Trump reiterated in the Spring of 2011 was that then President Barrack Obama was not born in the United States.  After years of doubling down as the main provocateur of birtherism, with nonsense claims that his investigators were uncovering information in Hawaii that would prove his claim, in September, 2016, Mr. Trump admitted that the President was born in the United States.  This was an ugly, hurtful lie that was intended to delegitimize the authenticity of Barrack Obama’s place in history as the first African American President, yet many of Trump’s followers continue to believe what he claimed for years instead of his  statement that negated those years of false claims.

Never mind all the false claims he made to those who would vote for him, which will most likely never come to fruition, such as how he will build a wall along the Mexican Border and get Mexico to pay for it, as well as that he will bring the coal industry back.  Those have not been proven to be false claims, but they are also unlikely to ever see the light of day, despite all his rhetoric, for reasons that are becoming apparent as he issues his executive orders.  Mexico refuses to pay for it and Congress will not authorize payment, estimated to cost in the billions of dollars.  With tracking and natural gas being the flavor of the day for American energy generation, coal isn’t coming back.  

So let’s jump to Trump’s opening day statements when he announced he was running for President.  He focused on those coming across the boarder illegally from Mexico — “ When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”  By his own calculations when he won the election, he clarified that he would go after the million or so dangerous criminals, which amounts to less than 10% of the total estimate for illegals here (over 14 million).  Thus, his claim that “some, I assume, are good people” was a racist lie meant to appeal to the ugliest instincts of those who voted for him, making it seem that the majority of the illegals were “bringing crime” and that they were “rapists.”  Law enforcement estimates indicate that the number of criminals in the ‘illegal’ communities is less than those in the average American population!

Looking at another of Donald Trump’s campaign lies, remember when he claimed he would never settle the Trump University lawsuits?  All it took was an electoral victory to change that statement into fiction, as he then settled those cases for some $25 million.  Let’s move on to his victory and inauguration.  

When Donald Trump realized that he didn’t win the popular vote, he turned the narrative in two directions to diffuse the idea that a lack of the popular vote takes away his mandate.  First he claimed, if he would have campaigned in California and other places, he would have won the popular vote.  The simple logic of this notion defies any advantage to Donald Trump, as had he campaigned elsewhere to gain votes in California, etc., then he would have lost the votes he would have gained by campaigning in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, probably giving the electoral victory to Hillary Clinton!  Then, to certify his claim that he probably did win the popular vote, he alleged that there were some three million illegal immigrants that had voted in the election, all for Hillary Clinton — without one iota of proof!  Let’s wait for his ‘investigation’ to see the truth of that fish story.

Regarding the inauguration crowds, Donald Trump can’t handle the truth that Barrack Obama had bigger crowds at both of his inauguration events.  The pathetic display of Sean Spicer lecturing the press with pictures and claims that Trump’s was the biggest inauguration spectacle ever, only proved the lie that they were attempting to perpetrate.  Washington, DC is home to a largely black population, so to cite those inaccurate Metro statistics of ‘number of rides’ was of no consequence to prove that white was bigger than black, as those people were able to walk to the events.  The crowd of the next day’s protest was arguably even greater than that for Donald Trump’s inauguration, to further humiliate a person who is so fixated on the size of things.

Then we have the lie of his false claim at a recent press conference about how he had the largest electoral victory since Ronald Reagan, which an NBC reporter called him out about and Trump’s paltry response was that he was given the statistics by someone and assumed they were accurate.  Yet, even after having this pointed out to him, he continued to make the same flat out lie of a claim at his Melbourne, FL rally a few days later.  How can this man call out the media as the purveyor of FAKE NEWS, when he is the King of FAKE NEWS?

Just today, he tweeted again about how Russia is just a FAKE NEWS story “put out by the Dems, and played up by the media, in order to mask the big election defeat and the illegal leaks!”  If there was nothing to the so called FAKE NEWS story that is Russian hacking into the American election process, why wouldn’t Donald Trump want it to come out by an unbiased non-media investigation (Congress or the intelligence community)?  Protesting against any such investigation — and having his Chief of Staff contact the FBI to get them to claim it was ‘fake news’ — just makes it appear more and more that there is something to hide.  There are some in the know about what’s out there who claim it is going to be bigger than Watergate.  Let’s wait for the smoking gun!

The most disturbing aspect of these truths is that many of Trump’s followers don’t know fact from fiction unless it comes from the mouths of their favorite FOX News commentator, or the likes of Rush Limbaugh.  Sadly, the truth meter for Mr. Limbaugh is not a gauge of reliability, as in his first book, Limbaugh claimed that the pharmaceutical companies were the best example of capitalism at its finest, citing their greater than 40% return on investment as evidence.  When it came time to feed his opiate addiction, that same Mr. Limbaugh, did not patronize those companies he praised to get his drugs, choosing rather to purchase them from the black market to get a better discount and evade the capitalistic system he lauded so much in his writings.  Based on this one episode, how can anyone trust anything that Limbaugh claims to be true?    

Categories: Local and Michigan Blogs

Here's Everything Going Down At The 2017 Oscars

Huffington Post News - 35 min ago

The 2017 Oscars are underway! 

All of your favorite celebrities have gathered in one place, looking glamorous and ready to celebrate the year in film.

We never know what’s going to happen on Hollywood’s biggest night: Will Stacey Dash appear? Will Jennifer Lawrence fall? Will we ever stop hearing about how great “La La Land” is? 

Keep up with all the happenings at Sunday night’s ceremony with live updates below:

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

How Opponents Sank A GOP Bill To Sell Off Federal Land — And What They Learned

Huffington Post News - 1 hour 10 min ago

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WASHINGTON — Perhaps it was lingering outrage from the election. Or it could have been the explicit language of the bill, which called for the “disposal” of millions of acres of “excess” federal lands.

Whatever the driving force, the backlash to legislation from Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) that would have sold off 3.3 million acres of public land in 10 Western states was swift and fierce. Outrage erupted on Facebook and Twitter, advocacy groups urged supporters to bombard their congressional representatives’ phone lines, and a petition opposing the sale or transfer of public lands drew tens of thousands of signatures. 

Less than two weeks after introducing the controversial bill, Chaffetz pulled it, citing concerns from his constituents. Advocates fighting to protect public lands celebrated it as a victory.

“The first takeaway is that the squeaky wheel still gets the grease,” said Land Tawney, the president and CEO of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, a Montana-based nonprofit dedicated to protecting public lands and preserving America’s tradition of hunting and fishing.

That Chaffetz could be swayed on this issue is notable. The chair of the House Oversight Committee has shown little backbone in his dealings with the Trump administration, opting not to pursue an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s ties to Russia. Nor has he seemed to care much about what his voters think, claiming that paid, out-of-state protesters had infiltrated the crowd of angry constituents at a February town hall. 

It was hunting and fishing advocates, however, who finally managed to get to Chaffetz. But Tawney and other public land advocates who rallied against his measure recognize that while they won this fight, the war is far from over. And they are prepared to stand firmly against what they view as a threat to national heritage. 

For Tawny, a fifth-generation Montanan, access to land is as important as the guns he hunts with in the field. “This issue is our second Second Amendment,” Tawney said. “Any attack on public lands is a non-starter for us.”

The political battle over federal lands is nothing new. But with President Donald Trump in the White House and Republicans in control of both chambers of Congress, the GOP has a golden opportunity to make its move. On day one of this Congress, Republicans approved a rules change making it easier to sell off large swaths of the more than 640 million acres of land the federal government owns, including national parks. The change fits snugly into the party’s 2016 platform, which called for transferring control of federal lands to states and opening public lands for increased oil and mineral production.

Then came Chaffetz’s unambiguous bill to sell off several million acres of land he said had “been deemed to serve no purpose for taxpayers.” 

Chaffetz had introduced the measure every year since 2010, but this time was different ― he had a unified Republican government and a clear party platform to back him up.

The introduction on Jan. 24 provoked outrage from conservationists, hunters, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts, who have labeled Chaffetz an “anti-public lands congressman.” 

Alan Rowsome, senior government relations director for The Wilderness Society, compared the bill to “driving a locomotive over the American people and our wild natural heritage.” 

In a Facebook Live video on Jan. 27, titled “Call to Arms #publiclandowner,” Tawney urged anyone and everyone who cares about public lands to “show up in spades and fight” against Chaffetz, to call their own representatives and to recruit others. He also offered a warning for the Utah legislator. 

You’ve kicked a hornet’s nest and the army is amassing,” Tawney said in the video. “And I will put my money on the people every single time.” 

It wasn’t just in Utah, either. On Jan. 30, more than 1,000 people turned out for a pro-public lands rally in Helena, Montana. Two days later, hundreds of demonstrators — Republicans and Democrats — converged on the state capitol in New Mexico.

Kayje Booker, state policy director for the Montana Wilderness Association, told HuffPost that the turnout at their rally was double what organizers were expecting. And while the Chaffetz bill was among the talking points, the rally’s main purpose was to demonstrate the level of bipartisan support for public lands protection. 

“At no point were we like, ‘We’ll have a rally and Chaffetz will pull his bill,’” she laughed. 

But on Feb. 2, the congressman did just that. In an Instagram post including a photo of Chaffetz dressed in hunting camouflage, he noted that he is a “proud gun owner, hunter and love our public lands.” While defending the bill’s land sales, he acknowledged that “groups I support and care about fear it sends the wrong message.”  

I hear you and HR 621 dies tomorrow,” he wrote.

I am withdrawing HR 621. I'm a proud gun owner, hunter and love our public lands. The bill would have disposed of small parcels of lands Pres. Clinton identified as serving no public purpose but groups I support and care about fear it sends the wrong message. The bill was originally introduced several years ago. I look forward to working with you. I hear you and HR 621 dies tomorrow. #keepitpublic #tbt

A photo posted by Jason Chaffetz (@jasoninthehouse) on Feb 1, 2017 at 9:06pm PST

It’s not clear whether it was one specific group or the collective outcry that pushed Chaffetz to have a change of heart. But the bill and its subsequent death appear to have given advocates new energy.

In an interview with the Outdoor Industry Association, Tania Lown-Hecht, communications director for Outdoor Alliance, another public lands advocacy nonprofit, said the success in defeating Chaffetz’s bill is “a great bellwether.”

“It tells us that people are paying good attention to policy right now and they are not afraid to share their voices, often loudly and passionately,” she said.

Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), who slammed Chaffetz in a statement on Feb. 1, told HuffPost that Chaffetz’s decision to withdraw the measure just nine days after introducing it came as a shock — a welcome one. What was not surprising, he said, was the public’s volatile reaction to the measure.  

“A lot of people who maybe didn’t take this threat very seriously in the past suddenly woke up and went, ‘Wow, my national forests that I hunt, jog, camp on — that could go away,’” Heinrich told HuffPost. “I don’t care whether you’re an independent, a Democrat or a Republican, if you live in the West, chances are that’s a big part of your life.”

Brad Brooks, the Idaho deputy regional director of The Wilderness Society, echoed that sentiment. People from all walks of life, and from both sides of the aisle, had a visceral reaction to the “bold,” “in-your-face” language, he told HuffPost. And the bill, he said, became a kind of “unifying rallying cry” for protecting public lands.

Advocacy groups are now reflecting on their win and turning their focus to other proposals. It’s unlikely Republicans will stop writing bills to sell or transfer federal lands, although they may opt for less brazen, more subtle language in the future.

Topping advocacy groups’ current list of targets is HR 622, another Chaffetz measure, which seeks to “terminate the law enforcement functions of the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management” and hand over authority to local departments. 

Heinrich described that proposed bill as “a gift to poachers and drug runners.”

Chaffetz’s office did not respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

Booker said conservationists now face a new opportunity and challenge: maintaining the current level of engagement and enthusiasm. “The energy is there, the momentum is there,” she told HuffPost. “But then how do you harness that for a series of actions?”

Sportsmen are also ready to hold lawmakers accountable, Tawney said.

“I don’t think they’ll be fatigued with this issue,” he said.

Brooks stressed the importance of remaining vigilant to prevent the privatization of some of America’s most cherished protected areas: “I think that people know we’re not messing around anymore when it comes to anti-public lands bills in Congress.” 

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

Dozens Of Gravestones Toppled, Broken At Philadelphia Jewish Cemetery

Huffington Post News - 1 hour 28 min ago

Numerous headstones have been knocked over and broken at a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia in an apparent act of vandalism.

Aaron Mallin told ABC 6 that he discovered what had happened on Sunday, when he went to Mount Carmel Cemetery to see his father’s grave. He said he hopes the culprits were “just some drunk kids” but that it was hard to believe it wasn’t a targeted attack because so many headstones had been pushed over. Dozens of the grave markers had been affected and police are referring to the incident as vandalism, according to the outlet. 

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) called the vandalism a “cowardly, disturbing act” Sunday afternoon, stressing the importance of finding the perpetrators.

The vandalism of Jewish headstones at a Phila. cemetery is a cowardly, disturbing act. We must find those responsible and hold accountable.

— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) February 26, 2017

The Anti-Defamation League and the Anne Frank Center both condemned the act.

We are appalled to see the desecration of another Jewish cemetery. These attacks need to end now:

— ADL (@ADL_National) February 26, 2017

More Jewish gravestones were found vandalized today, this time in...

— AnneFrankCenter(US) (@AnneFrankCenter) February 26, 2017

The incident comes just days after vandals in Missouri caused widespread damage at a Jewish cemetery in University City, toppling at least 100 headstones. Local authorities are investigating the incident but have said they have no indication that the act was a hate crime.

Both acts of vandalism occurred amid upticks in anti-Semitic threats and acts of hate in Philadelphia and across the country this year. The FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice are investigating a series of vandalisms at synagogues in the city, Philly Voice reports.

At least 69 bomb threats have been called into 55 different Jewish community centers in the U.S., although all have been deemed hoaxes. The number of reported anti-Semitic hate crimes in New York City is double what it was at this time last year, jumping from 13 to 28, Politico reports.

After repeated calls to address the apparent wave of hate in the U.S., President Donald Trump said on Feb. 21 that anti-Semitism was “horrible” and “it’s going to stop and has to stop.”

The Anne Frank Center, however, said Trump’s comments were insufficient and condescending. The group called Trump’s administration anti-Semitic, citing the White House’s failure to mention Jews in its Holocaust remembrance statement and the fact that Trump did not address to the threats that Jewish community centers were receiving around the country soon enough.

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

Trump Transition Official: 'Religious Freedom' Order Is Still Coming

Huffington Post News - 1 hour 50 min ago

Former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, who has served as domestic policy chair of President Donald Trump’s transition team, told me in an interview on SiriusXM Progress that the controversial “religious freedom” order that leaked to the press a few weeks ago is very much on the way, even though White House officials had played it down. 

Earlier this month, The Nation’s Sarah Posner reported on the draft order, which would allow exemptions for those who oppose same-sex marriage, premarital sex, abortion, and trans identity, among many other things: 

The four-page draft order, a copy of which is currently circulating among federal staff and advocacy organizations, construes religious organizations so broadly that it covers “any organization, including closely held for-profit corporations,” and protects “religious freedom” in every walk of life: “when providing social services, education, or healthcare; earning a living, seeking a job, or employing others; receiving government grants or contracts; or otherwise participating in the marketplace, the public square, or interfacing with Federal, State or local governments. 

At the time, Trump administration officials claimed the draft was among hundreds of draft orders circulating within the administration. ”We do not have plans to sign anything at this time but will let you know when we have any updates,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a White House spokesperson, told ABC News at the time.

But Blackwell, a senior fellow at the Family Research Council (deemed an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the Southern Policy Law Center), said in our interview at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) over the weekend that the order is far from dead. He also confirmed that the former director of Family Research Council’s Center for Religious Liberty, Ken Klukowski, had “actually structured” the draft order as a legal advisor to Trump’s transition team. Klukowski, who is now a senior attorney at the Liberty First Institute and a Breitbart contributor, is one of the lawyers “in the process of redrafting it,” Blackwell said, hinting that the original order may have been perceived as being too vulnerable to a legal challenge.

“In the final analysis, what we want is an executive order that will meet the scrutiny of the judicial process,” he explained. “If there is no executive order, that will disappoint [social conservatives]. But a good executive order will not. So we’re still in the process.” 

Blackwell envisions the “anchor concept” of the order as one that will allow people with devoutly religious beliefs to turn away LGBTQ people in the course of business.

“I think small business owners who hold a religious belief that believes that traditional marriage is between one man and one woman should not have their religious liberty trampled upon,” he explained. “I would imagine that that will be, strongly and clearly, the anchor concept [of the order].” (In an interview with me at the Republican National Convention in 2008, Blackwell had explained that he doesn’t view LGBTQ people as a class of people who are discriminated against, but rather sees homosexuality as a “compulsion that can contained, repressed or changed.”) 

Asked for comment about Blackwell’s statements at CPAC, Klukowski said that “because it’s been publicly disclosed by people on the transition team that I worked on the transition,” he was “not at liberty to speak about” the order specifically.

“More broadly and as a private citizen [however],” Kuklowski added, “on the president and religious liberty: The president said when he was a candidate that there is a war on Christianity in America. And as someone who is a religious liberty lawyer who frequently represents the evangelical and Catholic communities in this country, that’s exactly the sort of language that most people in that situation use. There has been unprecedented hostility against people of devout faiths in recent years. So the problem is there. It’s been clearly defined. The president is aware of it.”

Kuklowski said there are several routes to securing “religious liberty,” including the “single most important thing,” which is putting constitutional “originalists” on the federal courts and on the Supreme Court. And he said that Trump, who promised he’d put originalists like the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the high court, “is keeping that promise” with the nomination of Neil Gorsuch, who is also an originalist.

In terms of “administrative actions” such as an executive order, Kuklowski said there are “various types of actions” that Trump could take, and he referred to “federal law and federal programs” that the president could affect. (He acknowledged that state laws protecting LGBTQ people could only be overturned via the “federal judiciary,” again stressing the importance of putting originalists on the federal courts.)

“And I’m confident,” he continued, “that the president is showing ― much to the shock of many establishment people who said, ‘There’s no way this’ll happen’ ― that he keeps his promises, even when they’re things that an establishment player would never do. And I’m confident that he’s going to keep his promise when it comes to protection of religious liberty as well.” 

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

Mnuchin Vows No Cuts To U.S. Entitlement Programs — For Now

Huffington Post News - 2 hours 3 sec ago

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U.S. President Donald Trump’s first budget proposal will spare big social welfare programs such as Social Security and Medicare from any cuts, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in an interview broadcast on Sunday.

Mnuchin said Trump would also use a major policy speech to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night to preview some elements of his sweeping plans to cut taxes for the middle class, simplify the tax system and make American companies more globally competitive with lower rates and changes to encourage U.S. manufacturing.

Speaking on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures” program, Mnuchin, who has acknowledged that tax reform is his top policy priority, said the budget plan would not seek cuts to federal benefits programs known as “entitlements.”

“We are not touching those now. So don’t expect to see that as part of this budget, OK,” Mnuchin said of the programs, according to a transcript provided by Fox. “We are very focused on other aspects and that’s what’s very important to us. And that’s the president’s priority.”

Trump during his election campaign promised not to cut Social Security, Medicare healthcare for seniors nor Medicaid healthcare for the poor. Preservation of these programs, coupled with a middle-class tax cut, would aid the retirees and working class Americans who make up a significant portion of Trump’s political base.

In a transcript of the Fox News Channel interview, Mnuchin said Trump will be “touching on tax reform” in his speech. Mnuchin said the plan would cut the number of tax brackets and “create a level playing field for U.S. companies to be able to compete in the world.”

But Wall Street, which has sent stocks to record highs on anticipation of Trump’s tax cut plans, has grown impatient and could react negatively to a lack of substantive details about the plan in Trump’s speech, financial analysts said.

With both chambers of the U.S. Congress in Republican hands, Trump has the potential to enact major elements of his legislative agenda.

But divisions with the Republican Party over the approach on Obamacare and taxes could prove to be an obstacle. Some Republican lawmakers have urged Trump to lay out more specifics on his policy plans, saying that more White House engagement is needed to build momentum in Congress for his agenda.


Mnuchin offered little new information and said key tax plan elements were not yet settled. He said Trump was looking at a “reciprocal tax” that would help create more trade parity with other countries. Trump administration officials have complained that many countries charge value-added taxes on imports while exempting exports from taxation.

But Mnuchin again said he was still “studying very carefully” a House Republican border tax adjustment plan that would levy a 20 percent tax on imports to encourage more U.S.-based production and exports. That plan aims to raise more than $1 trillion in revenue over a decade to offset lower tax rates for businesses.

“There are certain aspects that the president likes about the concept of a border-adjusted tax, there are certain aspects that he’s very concerned about,” Mnuchin said.

He added that the Trump administration would work with the House of Representatives and Senate to craft “a combined plan that takes the best of all of this when we bring it forward.”

In a comment suggesting that Trump’s budget and tax plans may use aggressive revenue assumptions, Mnuchin said the administration “fundamentally believes in dynamic scoring,” a budget calculation method that assumes that a lower tax burden boosts revenues by encouraging economic activity.

The Congressional Budget Office has previously used mainly “static” scoring methods that assume very conservative economic effects of tax and budget changes. 

(Additional reporting by Lewis Krauskopf; Editing by Alan Crosby and Alistair Bell)

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

Democrats Must Overhaul Party, Attack Big Business, Bernie Sanders Says

Huffington Post News - 2 hours 20 min ago

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WASHINGTON, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Former U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Sunday urged a major overhaul of his party, calling for more aggressive efforts to court working-class voters and fight big businesses from Wall Street to the pharmaceutical sector.

Sanders, who spoke a day after Democrats chose Tom Perez, a veteran of former President Barack Obama’s administration, as their new party chairman, said it was also crucial for progressives to do more to mobilize grassroots supporters to take on Republican President Donald Trump.

“We need a total transformation,” the 75-year-old U.S. senator from Vermont said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“We need to open up the party to working people, to young people and make it crystal clear that the Democratic Party is going to take on Wall Street, it’s going to take on the greed of the pharmaceutical industry, it’s going to take on corporate America that is shutting down plants in this country and moving our jobs abroad,” he added.

Democrats are struggling to recover from an electoral rout in November in which they lost not only the White House, but both chambers of the U.S. Congress. Republicans won the governor’s office in 33 states, up from 31, and increased their dominance in state legislatures.

The unexpectedly strong challenge from Sanders, a Democratic socialist, to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary laid bare the fissures within the party.

Sanders’ calls to rein in big businesses echoed a campaign theme that energized his supporters during the Democratic primary.

Sanders had backed U.S. Representative Keith Ellison, a liberal from Minnesota, to lead the Democrats but threw his support behind Perez after Saturday’s vote. Perez promptly made Ellison his deputy after the election.

Trump seized on the result to reprise a favorite phrase from the presidential campaign, calling the race for Democratic National Committee chairman “totally rigged.”

“Bernie’s guy, like Bernie himself, never had a chance. Clinton demanded Perez!” he said in a Twitter post on Sunday.

Perez, who was labor secretary under Obama, promised to rebuild the Democratic Party and redefine its mission from the grassroots up.

“That’s what we have to do as Democrats, help elect people in statehouses, presidency, local government and everywhere in between,” Perez said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Democrats did not invest enough in their party infrastructure and grassroots organizing and ignored large swathes of rural America, Perez said in a round of television appearances.

Trump swept those areas and the Rust Belt region in the Midwest with his talk of bringing jobs back to America and renegotiating the trade deals many blamed for their loss.

Perez cited the angry town halls some Republican lawmakers have faced recently and said it was important for Democrats to harness that energy into the ballot booth. (Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu; Writing by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Caren Bohan)

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

Wife Of Kansas Shooting Victim Was Afraid Of Hate Crimes After The Election

Huffington Post News - 3 hours 6 min ago

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Sunayana Dumala says she spent nights lying awake after Donald Trump was elected president in November. She worried about the increasingly hostile climate toward foreigners ― people like her and her husband, who came to the U.S. from India.

Dumala’s husband, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, was fatally shot on Wednesday in a bar in Olathe, Kansas. Witnesses say a man yelled racial slurs and told the victim and his friend to “get out of my country.”

Dumala, who has since returned to India to be with her husband’s family, told the BBC on Saturday that she was fearful in the face of what she considered to be a growing hatred and intolerance toward foreigners. 

“I was like, ‘Srini, will we be safe in this country? I’m so worried. I think hate crimes will be more open now. Will it be safe for us to go to the mall? For us to go to [the] office?’” she said. 

Dumala said her husband hugged her and told her not to worry. 

We’ve read many times in newspapers of some kind of shooting happening everywhere. And we always wondered, how safe are we? Are we doing the right thing?
Sunayana Dumala

Kuchibhotla, a 32-year-old aviation engineer for Garmin, “loved America,” Dumala said. She described her husband as optimistic, loving and encouraging. He was driven to succeed in his field, and they were planning to start a family after buying what she called their “dream home” in Olathe.

Kuchibhotla had recently finished painting their living room, she said.

“My husband came to the United States with a lot of dreams in his mind. We made the United States our home,” Dumala said Friday at a gathering at Garmin’s U.S. headquarters in Olathe. “We’ve read many times in newspapers of some kind of shooting happening everywhere. And we always wondered, how safe are we? Are we doing the right thing?”

“He always assured me that only good things happen to good people,” she added. “Always think good. Always be good. And good will happen to you.”

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The night he was killed, Kuchibhotla was enjoying after-work drinks with his friend and co-worker, 32-year-old Alok Madasani, at Austin’s Bar and Grill.

Adam W. Purinton, 51, yelled racial slurs at the two Indian men and asked if they were in the country illegally, according to witnesses. Purinton was asked to leave, but later returned with a gun. He allegedly shot both men and Ian Grillot, a 24-year-old bar patron who tried to intervene.

Purinton was later charged with one count of first-degree murder and two counts of premeditated attempted murder. The FBI is investigating whether the incident was a hate crime. 

Trump hasn’t addressed the shooting. White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Friday that any loss of life is tragic, but that it was “absurd” to connect Trump’s stance on immigration to Kuchibhotla’s death. 

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

Walk AND Chew Gum...

Daily Kos Michigan Feed - 3 hours 13 min ago

This week The New York Times printed columns that seem to imply that the secret to resuscitating the beleaguered Democratic Party is to single-mindedly chase the rising demographics of the South and West and forget the Industrial Midwest where Trump eked out victories in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin and earned more substantial ones in Ohio and Iowa.  

The news from California, of course was great.  Hillary carried each of the thirty-nine districts now held by Democrats as well as seven of the fourteen still represented by Republicans.  Nearby Nevada flipped two seats our way along with both Houses of the State Legislature and an impressive new Latina United States Senator.   There were also encouraging favorable trends at the congressional district level in parts of Arizona, Texas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, and Virginia that bolster the cause for optimism.  

Our mindless Democratic campaign committees in Washington have never been known for strategic genius, so perhaps it is logical to raise the caution flag before we find ourselves careening pell mell in yet another senseless direction.

The most rational way to learn from the Democratic debacle in 2016 is to compare Clinton’s performance by Congressional District with that of Barack Obama in 2008 (recalculated to reflect the new post-2010 districts) as The Daily Kos website has done.  

After calculating the winning or losing margins between the Democratic and Republican standard bearers by congressional district in both races, then ranking the former President’s performance in 2008 with Clinton’s last November, we find that the overwhelming majority of districts where Hillary’s performance exceeded that of Obama’s eight years earlier were in the southern and western states mentioned above, and that 96% of the fifty districts where her performance lagged his by the greatest margins were in the Midwest or in adjacent states like Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Kentucky.  

None of this of course was surprising considering the shellacking Clinton took in rural and blue-collar areas, but the Democratic Party would be making a major mistake to write off white working class voters in the Midwest and patiently wait for the magical demographics of 2040 to render it a genuinely competitive national party again.

The temptation is strong in Washington to use the 2016 election as a recovery model for the entire country instead of recognizing it for what it clearly was: an aberration election between two terribly flawed candidates.  Hillary was unable to credibly present herself as a candidate who favored campaign finance reform or someone who would take on Wall Street, fight the unfair trade deals so reviled in the Midwest, or check the oligarchs of the fossil fuels industry.  Remarkably, it was Donald Trump, not Hillary Clinton who spent the most time attacking the out-of-control and quite unpopular pharmaceutical industry that had so bedeviled the Clinton’s healthcare dreams a quarter-century ago.

It is fair to speculate that another Democratic candidate not so encumbered, might have been able to achieve the kind of success Obama had had in the two previous Presidential elections.  He twice carried six of the eight largest Midwestern states, missing a clean sweep of all eight in 2008 by less than five thousand votes.  

So as we fight to reclaim our historic strength in the Midwest, let’s look at those 2008 numbers as a floor and a place to start.  The explosive grassroots reaction to the Trump promises electoral opportunities we could only have dreamed about six months ago.

It won’t be easy, but let’s get to work.

Today, the Democratic Party is in ruins in two of the four large regions of our country.  Among the twenty-six Southern and Midwestern states, only three: Illinois, Minnesota, and Virginia can in any stretch of the imagination be fairly described as “Democratic” states and none of those three can even claim to have both a Democratic Governor and a Democratic State Legislature.  

Furthermore, as the 2020 Census looms on the horizon, Democrats must somehow reclaim Governorships in Florida, Georgia, Texas, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa, and Missouri and replace term-limited Democrats in Virginia, West Virginia and Minnesota to even have a place at the table in the next round of redistricting, so vital to winning the House of Representatives and state legislatures.  

In the twenty-six states of the South and West, only in Illinois is there any prospect whatsoever of actually controlling redistricting, and there only if Democrats can unseat an incumbent Republican Governor.

So what is the best route to rebuild a political party that has the ear of the American People perhaps more than it has had since the Nineteen-Sixties, but is weaker electorally at the local, State, and Federal levels than it has been since the Nineteen-Twenties?

I believe that the Democratic Party is capable of “walking and chewing gum” at the same time.  We can sustain and re-energize our proud war against discrimination of any kind even as we recommit to an all out battle against economic inequality.  And we should joyfully exploit the emerging demographic-driven advantages that Hillary Clinton exposed last year in the South and West even as our fight for economic justice helps us reclaim the Midwest.

Categories: Local and Michigan Blogs

The Father Of The SEAL Slain In Yemen Demands An Investigation

Huffington Post News - 3 hours 20 min ago

The father of the Navy SEAL killed in a botched Yemen raid last month wants an investigation into the White House-ordered operation that claimed his son’s life. 

Bill Owens, the father of Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens, the Navy SEAL who died in the operation, accuses the Trump administration of using his son as a political prop in an interview published Sunday in The Miami Herald.

“Don’t hide behind my son’s death to prevent an investigation,” he said of the mission, which was intended for servicemen to gather laptops, cellphones and intelligence about al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula but morphed into a fiery battle that killed Owens and several civilians.

“I want an investigation. … The government owes my son an investigation,” he told The Herald, adding that he couldn’t bear to meet President Donald Trump when he came to pay his respects as Ryan’s casket was carried off the military plane. 

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Earlier this month, White House press secretary Sean Spicer insisted that the raid was “highly successful” and snapped back at critics who argued that Trump should not have approved such a dangerous mission. 

“Anyone who undermines the success of that raid owes an apology to the life and service of Chief Owens,” Spicer said.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is among the detractors.

“I don’t believe you can call it a success,” he told reporters shortly before Spicer gave his remarks. 

White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders suggested Trump may be open to a White House investigation into the raid, which was the first high-risk military operation under his watch.

“I haven’t had the chance to speak with him directly about that, but I would imagine that he would be supportive of that,” Sanders told ABC on Sunday.

Read the full interview with the elder Owens at The Miami Herald.

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

Swedes Stumped By Swedish 'National Security Adviser' On Fox

Huffington Post News - 3 hours 58 min ago

Americans have left the Swedes scratching their heads — again.

Fox featured a Swedish “defense and national security adviser” on Thursday discussing the refugee situation in the country, but military and foreign affairs officials in Sweden had no idea who he was.

A man identified as Nils Bildt appeared on “The O’Reilly Factor” to link crime in Sweden to immigrants. “We are unable to socially integrate these people,” he said.

Sweden’s Defense Ministry and its Foreign Office told the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter that they didn’t know who Bildt was. 

“He is ... not in any way a known quantity in Sweden and has never been part of the Swedish debate,” Swedish Defense University professor Robert Egnell said in an email to The Associated Press on Saturday. Swedish officials, backed up by statistics, say that crime has been relatively flat for years in the country (and a fraction of U.S. crime) even though Sweden accepted record numbers of refugees in 2015. 

Egnell, who went to college with Bildt, said he moved to Japan over 12 years ago. Bildt is also known as Nils Tolling, according to the AP. Dagens Nyheter reported that he had served time in prison, according to The Washington Post, which Bildt denied.

So @FoxNews This is Nils G Tolling and he's not known in our circles as an expert. Not on National Security anyway.

— Johan Wiktorin (@forsvarsakerhet) February 24, 2017

Fox News is totally out of hand! First Nils Bildt and now this??

— Adam Friesendorff (@Farbrokado) February 24, 2017

Bildt founded a security consulting business with offices in New York, Brussels and Tokyo — but not in Sweden. His resume cites his work as a naval officer.

Sorry for any confusion caused, but needless to say I think that is not really the issue. The issue is Swedish refusal to discuss their social problems and issues,” Bildt said in a statement to Mediaite. Bildt said he is an “independent political adviser,” and that the description given to him on “The O’Reilly Factor” was chosen by Fox. 

The executive producer of “The O’Reilly Factor” told The Washington Post that Bildt had been recommended to the program and that he went through a “pre-interview.” 

Bildt’s appearance followed an uproar over President Donald Trump’s call at a rally last Saturday to “look at what’s happening last night in Sweden” as he mentioned European nations hit by terrorism. After stumped Swedish officials contacted the White House to find out what had happened, Trump clarified that he had been watching Fox the previous night and listened to a conservative filmmaker talk about rising crime rates and immigrants. Twitter went wild.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven scolded Trump, saying leaders should “take responsibility for verifying any information that we spread.”

Trump then attacked the “fake news” media for covering up problems with immigrants in Sweden. And he was emboldened after a riot broke out in a predominantly immigrant neighborhood following a drug arrest last Monday.

But Sweden’s Justice and Migration Minister Morgan Johansson again countered that the president should be “better informed about what the conditions really are here” before he speaks, Reuters reported. Johansson said that Sweden has “very, very few cases” of asylum seekers committing crimes.

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

Nick Kroll And John Mulaney Rip On Donald Trump At Spirit Awards

Huffington Post News - 5 hours 24 min ago

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Nick Kroll and John Mulaney, this year’s Independent Spirit Awards co-hosts, didn’t hold back during Saturday’s ceremony in Los Angeles.

The creative minds behind “The Oh, Hello Show” ripped on politicians and Hollywood stars during the film awards.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kroll said of White House chief strategist Steven Bannon, “The only reason he got that job is because he’s so hot!” Mulaney added, “Those chapped kneecaps!” before Kroll weighed in, “In this country, if you’re that sexy, you can get anything you want. Steve Bannon is so hot. He looks like Nick Offerman drowned.”

President Donald Trump also wasn’t immune to criticism. Kroll called out Trump’s decision to remove bathroom protections for transgender students, sarcastically noting that “transgender children in public schools have had it too good for too long.” Mulaney chimed in, “Hey, Trump, you and Robert Durst are both rich sociopaths from New York, but somehow Robert Durst is more likable.”

Per THR, the hosts also took aim at Mel Gibson, director of the Oscar-nominated “Hacksaw Ridge.”

“We like to think of these awards as the ones without Mel Gibson,” Kroll said of awards show, which honors indie films. “People wondered: How long would it take Hollywood to forgive someone for anti-Semitic, racist hate speech?”

“Eight years!” Mulaney said. “So look out for the 2024 Oscars, when the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award goes to Mr. Steve Bannon.”

The Spirit Awards honored some of the best independent films from the past year. “Moonlight” swept the ceremony with six wins. 

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

The Ultimate Deal: U.S. Presidents And The Allure Of Peace In The Middle East

Huffington Post News - 7 hours ago

Lee Schrader, United Nations University

“A lot of people tell me, really great people tell me, that it’s impossible … I have reason to believe I can do it.” So boasted Donald Trump about nothing less than the resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict as he prepared to take office late last year.

The language is blunt, but the pattern is familiar. A new U.S. administration, and yet another bout of diplomacy in the Middle East, underpinned by personal ambition and unrealistic assessments.

The Israel-Palestine issue is the graveyard of U.S. peacemaking. Littered with previous political initiatives, resolutions, maps, and plans, the “peace process” is a long history of struggle and disappointment.

Indeed, the longevity of the conflict explains both the allure and the folly of high-profile peacemaking. It seems impossible to solve, and that is what’s so appealing about trying.

One state or two?

While recently hosting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump made global headlines by declaring his openness to accepting either a two or one-state solution. Observers were quick to note that he had appeared to upend a long-held US position, but this conclusion is premature.

First, it’s possible that Trump’s statement was an attempt to increase his leverage and to maximise his flexibility in future negotiations. This would fit the pattern seen in his approach to the One China policy, where he questioned the status quo in an attempt to create bargaining chips.

Second, the language Trump used was ambiguous to the point of emptiness. Without stating a clear preference in either direction, he noted only that he was “happy with the one that both parties like.” Of course, if the parties to the conflict could find a solution they both liked, there would be no need for foreign intervention.

Indeed, a real risk is that the Trump administration intends to sidestep the peace process entirely and to focus on bolstering Israel instead. Trump hinted at a “much bigger” and “more important deal” involving Arab states and Israel, designed to hedge against Iranian influence in the region.

In the past, Arab states have made resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a condition for normalizing their relationship with Israel. If that commitment were to be dropped, then Israel would be free to establish a web of bilateral economic and security arrangements with its neighbors. This would boost the Israeli economy and significantly improve its strategic position.

In theory, this might give Israel the confidence it needs to cede territory it controls back to the Palestinians. But by this stage, they would have little motivation to do so.

The Palestinians would have no regional allies, no control over their borders or access to revenue streams, and no leverage besides a return to violence. This would be met by further Israeli incursions into Gaza or the West Bank, and further restrictions on movement and access.

Worse than a one state solution would be if the Palestinian limbo were to be made permanent by a risk-averse Israel and a disinterested Trump administration.

Learning from past experience

Even if Trump intends to pursue a more traditional approach to resolving the conflict, based on agreed formulas and negotiations between the two sides, the challenges are immense.

Historically, the role of the U.S. has been to act as a bridge between the parties, providing assistance and guarantees that allow them to move towards painful and politically costly compromises. This role requires sustained and deep engagement with the details of the conflict, and an acute understanding of the regional political dynamics that constrain both parties.

For a string of U.S. presidents, this has also been fraught with difficulties. And crucially, the determining factors have often been outside of US control.

President George H.W. Bush hosted a regional forum to build progress towards bilateral negotiations, but lost his re-election bid to Clinton soon after. Clinton inherited and attempted to shepherd the Oslo process, but was ultimately thwarted by his own electoral clock and by his negotiating partners.

The violence that followed the breakdown of Oslo convinced President George W. Bush that engagement was not worthwhile. When his position changed, he became consumed by efforts to remove Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, and then by efforts to reform the Palestinian political realm. By the end of Bush’s presidency, the Israelis had withdrawn from Gaza, the Palestinians had become geographically and politically split between Gaza and the West Bank, and another round of negotiations had failed.

Much of the Obama Presidency was sidetracked by violence in Gaza, efforts to re-start some semblance of negotiations between the parties, and an increasingly problematic US-Israeli relationship.

For American presidents, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is both inescapable and incredibly difficult to navigate. No variable in the conflict remains constant. Leadership dynamics on all sides are constantly shifting, making the alignment of political interests incredibly fragile.

President Clinton dealt with three Israeli Prime Ministers, one of whom, Yitzakh Rabin, was assassinated for his involvement in the peace process. President Bush also dealt with three, one of whom, Ariel Sharon, became incapacitated due to illness and later died.

While President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu share the conservative side of the political spectrum, history demonstrates that this alone will not produce results.

A way forward?

The Trump administration has presented itself as anti-establishment and unorthodox. It has justified appointing individuals who lack direct experience with their portfolios by citing their business or other experience as equivalent.

As a result, the United States now has a president, a secretary of state (Rex Tillerson) and an ambassador to Israel (David Friedman) who all lack first-hand experience negotiating peace agreements.

While fresh eyes may see new potential paths, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not a business deal. It is an incredibly complex and historically rooted dispute between fractured and unstable parties. Even small symbolic signals can ignite violence and overreactions from sub groups on both sides unwilling to consider the notion of negotiations, let alone compromise.

More often than not, novice peacemakers have repeated the mistakes of their predecessors and wasted valuable time, a commodity in short supply.

While there is no template for “solving” the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, several core issues are unavoidable.

Any peace initiative must find a way to address Palestinian political and geographic division, including years of violence and in-fighting. It must include a strategy for containing absolutists on both sides – including regional resistance – and insulate the political process from their efforts to spoil progress.

It must also address Israeli security and identity concerns, but also acknowledge and support Palestinian aspirations for independence and self-governance. The initiative must find a way to bolster leaders on both sides, satisfy diasporas and political lobbyists, divide assets, and engage with notions of justice and history.

This isn’t impossible, just highly improbable. It is also urgently needed.

I am not arguing that the Trump administration is doomed to fail. Predictions are a fool’s errand in this region. But leadership in the peace process requires a steady hand, attention to detail and a healthy dose of humility.

President Trump should be mindful of the many talented peacemakers that have preceded him, and advance with caution. This conflict is deeply fraught, and breaking new ground also carries a greater risk of spectacular failure.

To make matters worse, the allure of the ultimate deal can be blinding.

Lee Schrader, JSPS-UNU Postdoctoral Research Fellow, United Nations University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

White House Refuses To Guarantee People Won't Lose Health Insurance From Repeal

Huffington Post News - 7 hours 20 sec ago

WASHINGTON ― White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to assure Americans on Sunday that anyone currently covered under the Affordable Care Act would not lose their coverage under President Donald Trump’s health care plan.

Sanders repeatedly dodged the question on ABC’s “This Week,” saying Trump had promised to repeal Obamacare and replace it “with something that’s better.”

Host George Stephanopoulos pressed Sanders on why, if Trump was so intent on replacing the law with something better, the White House couldn’t guarantee that everyone currently with insurance wouldn’t lose it. Sanders said it was “a goal” to make sure people didn’t lose coverage, but she stopped short of saying people would be able to keep their current insurance, or would even be offered similar plans.

“We cannot survive under the current system,” Sanders said. “We have to make a massive overhaul to the health care system in America, because it is simply just not sustainable, and everybody agrees with that.”

“There is nobody that argues that we’re on a track that we can maintain,” she continued. “So we’re looking at every possible way to do exactly that: repeal a terrible, failed system and replace with something better.”

When Stephanopoulos pressed again whether that meant Trump wouldn’t sign a replacement bill that would cause people to lose coverage, Sanders said she wouldn’t “speak specifically for the president on that topic.”

“What I can say is he’s made it a high priority and a No. 1 focus that we make sure that people that have insurance continue their insurance, particularly those in the highest need,” she said.

A consulting firm told governors Saturday that the Republican plan to replace Obamacare could lead to millions losing their health coverage, with many people covered under the Medicaid expansion suddenly unable to afford health insurance.

When he was running for president, Trump told “60 Minutes” in 2015 that everyone would win from his health care replacement.

“I am going to take care of everybody,” Trump said. “I don’t care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now.”

More recently, in January, Trump vowed “insurance for everybody,” but congressional Republicans have taken to guaranteeing “access” to health care, rather than health care itself, meaning if individuals have the money to pay for insurance, they can get it.

According to the presentation given to governors on Saturday, the effect of the GOP replacement bill would be huge insurance enrollment losses and greater budget pressure on states to make up the loss in federal money for programs like the Medicaid expansion.

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

The Bernie Wing Is Starting To Make Its Peace With Tom Perez

Huffington Post News - 7 hours 34 min ago

ATLANTA ― When the final results of the Democratic National Committee chair race were announced, the throngs of activists in the hall to support Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison were livid. There were boos and at least one cry of “bullshit!” 

For several minutes afterward, as the DNC officials were making procedural announcements, several dozen Ellison supporters in green “Keith for DNC” T-shirts drowned them out with the cheer: “Party for the people, not big money!”

But a moment later, Tom Perez, the former labor secretary who won the top post on Saturday, stunned the audience by nominating Ellison to the new position of deputy DNC chair. Ellison immediately accepted and encouraged his supporters to unify behind Perez’s chairmanship.

“We don’t have the luxury to walk out of this room divided,” Ellison told the crowd.

The two men had been plotting contingency plans for weeks, according to sources from the Ellison and Perez campaigns. When the votes came in on the second ballot, Perez offered Ellison the deputy chair slot.

Ahead of Saturday’s vote, prominent Ellison backers warned that his defeat would encourage progressive activists to take their energy outside of the party. By offering Ellison the new post, Perez may have prevented immediate, irreparable damage to the party’s activist base. But he will have to demonstrate that this new partnership is more than titular if he hopes to stave off intraparty carnage. 

“I appreciate that Perez recognized that there was a big bridge that he had to start building,” Nebraska Democratic Party Chair Jane Kleeb said, referring to the deputy chair appointment.

“It’s meaningful if Keith is able to make it meaningful and if that vote means that it’s a full-voting officer, and if the full-voting officers are going to mean something. They haven’t meant something in years before,” said Larry Cohen, a DNC member and former president of the Communications Workers of America.

Progressive activists who backed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the last presidential primary saw Ellison’s candidacy for DNC chair as a chance to secure a foothold in the party that they had been denied in 2016. In the days immediately following the general election, Democratic establishment figures like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) endorsed Ellison with an eye toward welcoming Sanders activists into the fold.

But then, other forces in the establishment converged to counter Ellison’s bid. Aides to then-President Barack Obama reportedly encouraged Perez to enter the race. Several top Obama administration figures continued to call DNC voting members on Perez’s behalf until the very end, according to a DNC member with knowledge of the matter.

While most Perez backers denied that their support for him reflected a particular policy or ideological preference in advance of the vote, those considerations clearly played a role in the last-minute vote wrangling on Saturday.

“We had a sense ― and I think this is what a lot of folks had a sense ― that this would shift the party too far to the left,” said Jay Jacobs, a New York DNC member who whipped votes for Perez in the second round.

Democratic Senate leaders, meanwhile, are pleading with Sanders to direct grass-roots protest energy toward Republicans, rather than Democrats deemed insufficiently progressive. That could prove complicated now that the party rejected those same activists’ preferred candidate in the DNC race.

Cohen, board chair of Our Revolution, the political action committee Sanders set up to continue the work of his presidential campaign, said he was not sure yet how the army of independent-minded Sanders and Ellison supporters would interpret Ellison’s defeat. 

“The issue is: Are activists going to feel like this is their party? The proof of that will be in the days ahead. I’m hopeful that it will,” Cohen said.

If the grass-roots activists present in Atlanta were any indication, however, there is still much work to be done to earn their trust. Justin Smith, a digital organizer with Democracy Spring, which seeks to end the influence of big money in politics, was among the Ellison activists chanting after his loss.

“The DNC chose a candidate that is not calling to break with big money, that is not backed by the grass-roots of the party, and we wanted to make that known,” Smith said of the chants. “It’s important for folks in certain positions to make sure that they bring folks together and talk about unity and I think it’s important for the grass-roots to continue to raise their voices.”

He didn’t make much of Perez naming Ellison deputy DNC chair. But rather than walk away from the party, Smith simply plans to keep the pressure on it to become more accountable to activists like him.

“The next fight is making sure that Perez does continue to devolve authority to the grass-roots and to the states, to make sure that he does what Keith promised to do,” he said.

Martese Chism, a board member of the National Nurses United ― one of the most progressive American labor unions ― traveled from Chicago to support Ellison with her union. She was furious.

“The DNC voting members crushed us again like they did with Bernie. They didn’t listen to the people, they didn’t even listen to the applause in the room,” Chism said.

Chism said she will remain active in efforts to resist Trump’s agenda, but she is more likely to focus her energy on groups like Our Revolution than the Democratic Party.

“They want to keep the status quo and they want the left to follow them ― I don’t know what we’re going to do,” she said.

Chism was unimpressed with Ellison’s appointment as deputy chair.

“It’s just a made-up title,” she said. “You think giving him a little title is going to please us? It’s not. It’s a slap in the face.”

For some DNC members, the crowds of boisterous Ellison supporters were a turnoff.

“I don’t think that Keith was helped by the people in the back of the room. I heard from numbers of people, particularly after it was over, that the nastiness, just the over-the-top ― was turning off a number of people,” Jacobs said.

Ellison’s defeat was not the only humiliation for progressives on Saturday. The DNC members rejected a resolution introduced by California DNC member Christine Pelosi that would have reinstated Obama’s ban on lobbyist donations to the DNC. Worse still, Democrats arguing against the measure made it sound like the party could not survive without corporate patronage.

The resolution will now go to the DNC’s executive committee, where Perez will have the opportunity to put it up for a vote.

As a candidate, Ellison promised to make sure a measure reinstating the ban was seconded and debated by the DNC’s executive committee. Perez did not make a comparable commitment.

“Perez has to commit to that,” said Kleeb, the Nebraska Democratic Party chair. 

Kleeb, a longtime environmental leader who assembled a coalition of progressives and ranchers to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline in Nebraska, also wants Perez to take a firm stance against the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. Perez had failed to answer her persistent inquiries on whether he would oppose the pipeline projects, according to Kleeb.

“That is a big issue with the progressive base. And I think he needs to say that he was wrong on TPP,” she said, referring to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. “So there are a lot of things that Perez has to do to show that he stands with the progressive base of the party who are the most motivated and out on the streets right now.”

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

Pelosi: Sessions Should Recuse Himself From Investigation Into Trump-Russia Ties

Huffington Post News - 8 hours 2 min ago

WASHINGTON ― Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Sunday gave her most direct call yet for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to remove himself from an investigation into President Donald Trump and his campaign’s ties to Russia.

“The attorney general must recuse himself,” Pelosi said on ABC’s “This Week.”

“You have seen a flurry of activities that are completely inappropriate,” Pelosi said. “Encouraging lawmakers, encouraging intelligence officials to say that something is one way or another. Let’s have the investigation and find out the truth.”

Pelosi was referring to recent reports about the Trump White House enlisting intelligence officials and key lawmakers, like House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) ― the lawmaker who would normally hold a congressional investigation into this matter ― to counter the narrative about Russian interference and inappropriate ties to the Trump campaign.

Republicans have repeatedly deferred questions about Russia and Trump to the intelligence committees in Congress and the Department of Justice.

But considering Sessions’ role in the Trump campaign, Pelosi and other Democrats want a special, independent investigation outside of the DOJ. And given Nunes’ ties to the campaign, as well as his apparent willingness to take direction from the White House, congressional Democrats are doubting the ability of their Republican counterparts to seriously look into the matter.

DOJ ethics guidelines prohibit employees from being involved in investigations in which they have a “personal or political relationship with any person or organization substantially involved in the conduct that is subject of the investigation or prosecution, or who would be directly affected by the outcome.”

Responding to questions about how appropriate it would be for someone like Sessions, who was so involved in the Trump campaign, to oversee an investigation into the Trump campaign, White House deputy press secretary Sarah Sanders said Congress had the power to investigate these questions, and any probe into Trump and Russia would start with Congress and the intelligence committees.

“We’re extremely confident that whatever review, they’re all going to come to the same conclusion that we had no involvement in this,” Sanders said.

But, again, Nunes himself is looking incapable of an impartial investigation, and Democrats believe the matter rises above a normal congressional inquiry.

Pelosi noted that there are now more than 100 Democrats ― “plus one Republican” (Walter Jones of North Carolina) ― calling for an outside commission into Trump’s “personal, political, and financial” ties to Russia, and she renewed her call for Congress to pass a bill establishing that investigation.

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

John Kasich Admits Protesters Are Affecting Obamacare Debate

Huffington Post News - 8 hours 43 min ago

WASHINGTON ― Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) implored congressional Republicans to change tack on an Obamacare repeal by cutting out conservatives and working with Democrats to preserve coverage for millions of Americans ― and he admitted that the raucous town halls across the country are influencing the debate.

“There’s going to be a problem in the House of getting anything out of there that still provides coverage to people,” Kasich told “Face the Nation” host John Dickerson. “That’s why the Republicans have to reach out to some of the Democrats.”

Kasich mentioned that there were some conservatives in the House who were trying to get rid of the entirety of Obamacare.

“And that’s not acceptable when you have 20 million people, or 700,000 people in my state [using Obamacare], because where do the mentally ill go?” Kasich asked. “Where do the drug addicted go?”

Kasich is a proponent of the Medicaid expansion, which allowed states like Ohio to offer Medicaid to a broader range of people (including individuals making roughly $16,000 a year). Conservatives have already indicated they won’t vote for an Obamacare repeal that preserves the Medicaid expansion, while some Senate Republicans have indicated they won’t support a repeal that removes the expansion. That has left the GOP in a bind, and Kasich thinks the answer is to turn to Democrats.

Kasich also said he thought protests were affecting Republicans.

“Look, I don’t understand everything that’s going on with these town halls, but ... I think it’s having an impact from the standpoint of ‘Hey, people are watching,’” Kasich said. “I don’t think they mind reform, but don’t take everything away.”

On Saturday, governors were briefed about the GOP replacement plan, with the expectation that millions could lose coverage.

Kasich reiterated that he didn’t want to kick 20 million people off of health care, and that this debate was bigger than a political argument.

“At the end of the day I’m going to stand up for the people that wouldn’t have the coverage if they don’t get this thing right,” Kasich said. “And I happen to believe that the best way to get this right over time is for actually both parties to work together.”

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

The First 100 Lies: The Trump Team's Flurry Of Falsehoods

Huffington Post News - 8 hours 47 min ago

To say that President Donald Trump has a casual relationship with the truth would be a gross understatement. He has repeatedly cited debunked conspiracy theories, pushed voter fraud myths, and embellished his record and accomplishments. The barrage of falsehoods has been so furious that journalists have taken to issuing instant fact-checks during press conferences and calling out false statements during cable news broadcasts.

All presidents lie, but lying so brazenly and so frequently about even silly factoids like his golf game has put Trump in his own category. His disregard for the truth is reflected in his top aides, who have inflated easily disproved figures like the attendance at his inauguration and even cited terror attacks that never happened.

The Huffington Post tracked the public remarks of Trump and his aides to compile a list of 100 incidents of egregious falsehoods. Still, it is likely the administration has made dozens of other misleading and exaggerated claims.

  1. White House press secretary Sean Spicer falsely claimed the crowd on the National Mall was “largest audience to ever witness an inauguration.” (Jan. 21)

  2. Trump falsely claimed that the crowd for his swearing-in stretched down the National Mall to the Washington Monument and totaled more than 1 million people. (Jan. 21)

  3. As Trump fondly recalled his Inauguration Day, he said it stopped raining “immediately” when he began his speech. A light rain continued to fall throughout the address. (Jan. 21)

  4. During his speech at CIA headquarters, Trump claimed the media made up his feud with the agency. In fact, he started it by comparing the intelligence community to “Nazi Germany.” (Jan. 21)

  5. During his speech at CIA headquarters, Trump repeated the claim that he “didn’t want to go into Iraq.” He told Howard Stern in 2002 that he supported the Iraq War. (Jan. 21)

  6. During his speech at CIA headquarters, Trump said he had the “all-time record in the history of Time Magazine. … I’ve been on it for 15 times this year.” Trump had been featured on the magazine a total of 11 times. (Jan. 21)

  7. Trump claimed that his inauguration drew 11 million more viewers than Barack Obama’s in 2013. It didn’t, and viewership for Obama’s first inauguration, in 2009, was even higher. (Jan. 22) 

  8. Spicer said during his first press briefing that there has been a “dramatic expansion of the federal workforce in recent years.” This is false. (Jan. 23)

  9. While pushing back against the notion of a rift between the CIA and Trump, Spicer claimed the president had received a “five-minute standing ovation” at the agency’s headquarters. He did not. The attendees were also never asked to sit down. (Jan. 23)

  10. Spicer claimed that “tens of millions of people” watched the inauguration online. In fact, about 4.6 million did. (Jan. 23)

  11. Trump told CBN News that 84 percent Cuban-Americans voted for him. It’s not clear where Trump got that number. According to the Pew Research Center, 54 percent of Cuban-Americans in Florida voted for him. (Jan. 23)

  12. While meeting with congressional leaders, Trump repeated a debunked claim that he only lost the national popular vote because of widespread voter fraud. (Jan. 24)

  13. In remarks with business leaders at the White House, Trump said, “I’m a very big person when it comes to the environment. I have received awards on the environment.” There is no evidence that Trump has received such awards. (Jan. 24)

  14. In signing an executive memo ordering the construction of the Keystone pipeline, Trump said the project would create 28,000 construction jobs. According to The Washington Post Fact Checker, the pipeline would create an estimated 16,000 jobs, most of which are not construction jobs. (Jan. 25)

  15. Spicer said in a press briefing that Trump received more electoral votes than any Republican since Ronald Reagan. George H.W. Bush won 426 electoral votes in 1988, more than Trump’s 304. (Jan. 24)

  16. In remarks he gave at the Homeland Security Department, Trump said Immigration and Customs Enforcement and border patrol agents “unanimously endorsed me for president.” That’s not true. (Jan. 25)

  17. Spicer said during a press briefing that a draft executive order on CIA prisons was not a “White House document.” Citing three administration officials, The New York Times reported that the White House had circulated the draft order among national security staff members. (Jan. 25)

  18. In an interview with ABC, Trump again claimed he “had the biggest audience in the history of inaugural speeches.” False. (Jan. 25)

  19. Trump claimed during an interview with ABC that the applause he received at CIA headquarters “was the biggest standing ovation since Peyton Manning had won the Super Bowl.” It wasn’t even a standing ovation. (Jan. 25)

  20. In an interview with ABC, Trump attacked the Affordable Care Act and said there are “millions of people that now aren’t insured anymore.” Twenty million people have gained health coverage because of the law so far. The estimated 2 million people who did not qualify under the law received waivers that kept the plans going until the end of 2017. (Jan. 25)

  21. At the GOP retreat in Philadelphia, Trump claimed he and the president of Mexico “agreed” to cancel their scheduled meeting. Enrique Peña Nieto said he had decided to cancel it. (Jan. 26)

  22. At the GOP retreat in Philadelphia, Trump said the national homicide rate was “horribly increasing.” It is down significantly. (Jan. 26)

  23. On Twitter, Trump repeated his false claim that 3 million votes were illegal during the election. (Jan. 27)

  24. In an interview on “Good Morning America,” Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway said Tiffany Trump, the president’s daughter, had told her she was “not registered to vote in two states.” A local election official confirmed to NBC News twice that the younger Trump indeed was. (Jan. 27)

  25. Trump said he predicted the so-called “Brexit” when he was in Scotland the day before the vote. He was actually there the day after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. (Jan. 27)

  26. Trump claimed The New York Times lost subscribers “because their readers even like me.” The Times experienced a sharp uptick in subscribers after Election Day. (Jan. 27)

  27. Trump claimed two people were fatally shot in Chicago during Obama’s last speech as president. That didn’t happen. (Jan. 27)

  28. Trump claimed that under previous administrations, “if you were a Muslim you could come in, but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible.” In fact, almost as many Christian refugees were admitted to the U.S. as Muslim refugees in fiscal year 2016. (Jan. 27)

  29. Trump defended the swiftness of his immigration order on the grounds that terrorists would have rushed into the country if he had given the world a week’s notice. Even if terrorists wanted to infiltrate the refugee program or the visa program, they would have had to wait months or even years while being vetted to get into the country. (Jan. 30)

  30. The White House maintained that Trump’s immigration order did not apply to green card holders and that was “the guidance from the beginning.” Initially, the White House said the order did include green card holders. (Jan. 30)

  31. Trump said his immigration order was “similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months.” Obama’s policy slowed resettlement of refugees from Iraq, but did not keep them from entering the country. Moreover, it flagged the seven countries included in Trump’s order as places the U.S. considered dangerous to visit. (Jan. 30)

  32. Spicer said that “by and large,” Trump has been “praised” for his statement commemorating the Holocaust. Every major Jewish organization, including the Republican Jewish Coalition, criticized it for omitting any specific references to the Jewish people or anti-Semitism. (Jan. 30)

  33. A Trump administration official called the implementation of Trump’s travel ban a “massive success story.” Not true ― young children, elderly people and U.S. green card holders were detained for hours. Some were deported upon landing in the U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) even criticized the rollout as “confusing.” (Jan. 30)

  34. Spicer equated White House adviser Steve Bannon’s appointment to the National Security Council Principals Committee with Obama adviser David Axelrod attending meetings pertaining to foreign policy. Axelrod, however, never sat on the Principals Committee. (Jan. 30)

  35. Spicer said people would have “flooded” into the country with advance notice of Trump’s immigration order. Not true. (Jan. 30)

  36. Spicer insisted that only 109 travelers were detained because of Trump’s immigration order. More than 1,000 legal permanent residents had to get waivers before entering the U.S. An estimated 90,000 people in total were affected by the ban. (Jan. 30)

  37. Trump tweeted the false claim that “only 109 people out of 325,000 were detained and held for questioning.” (Jan. 30)

  38. Trump took credit for cutting $600 million from the F-35 program. But Lockheed Martin already had planned for the cost reductions for the next generation fighter plane. (Jan. 31)

  39. Trump accused China of manipulating its currency by playing “the money market. They play the devaluation market, and we sit there like a bunch of dummies.” According to The Washington Post, the United States is no longer being hurt by China’s currency manipulation, and China is no longer devaluing its currency. (Jan. 31)

  40. In defending the GOP’s blockade of Merrick Garland, Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Spicer said no president had ever nominated a justice “so late” in his term. It previously happened three times. (Jan. 31)

  41. Spicer repeatedly insisted during a press conference that Trump’s executive order on immigration was “not a ban.” During a Q&A event the night before, however, Spicer himself referred to the order as a “ban.” So did the president. (Jan. 31)

  42. White House officials denied reports that Trump told Peña Nieto that U.S. forces would handle the “bad hombres down there” if the Mexican authorities don’t. It confirmed the conversation the next day, maintaining the remark was meant to be “lighthearted.” (Jan. 31)

  43. Trump claimed that Delta, protesters and the tears of Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) were to blame for the problems over his travel ban. In fact, his administration was widely considered to blame for problems associated with its rollout. (Jan. 31)

  44. Trump said the Obama administration “agreed to take thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia.” The deal actually involved 1,250 refugees. (Feb. 1)

  45. Trump said the U.S. “has the most generous immigration system in the world.” Not really. (Feb. 2)

  46. Trump said the U.S. was giving Iran $150 billion for “nothing” under the Iranian nuclear deal. The money was already Iran’s to begin with, and the deal blocks Iran from building a nuclear bomb. (Feb. 2)

  47. Spicer called a U.S. raid in Yemen “very, very well thought out and executed effort” and described it as a “successful operation by all standards.” U.S. military officials told Reuters the operation was approved “without sufficient intelligence, ground support, or adequate backup preparations.” (Feb. 2)

  48. Spicer said that Iran had attacked a U.S. naval vessel, as part of his argument defending the administration’s bellicose announcement that Iran is “on notice.” In fact, a suspected Houthi rebel ship attacked a Saudi vessel. (Feb. 2)

  49. In his meeting with union leaders at the White House, Trump claimed he won union households. He actually only won white union households. (Feb. 2)

  50. Conway cited the “Bowling Green massacre” to defend Trump’s travel ban. It never happened. (Feb. 3)

  51. Conway said citing the nonexistent “Bowling Green massacre” to defend Trump’s immigration order was an accidental “slip.” But she had mentioned it twice prior to that interview. (Feb. 3)

  52. Trump approvingly shared a story on his official Facebook page which claimed that Kuwait issued a visa ban for five Muslim-majority countries. Kuwait issued a statement categorically denying it. (Feb. 3)

  53. Trump claimed people are “pouring in” after his immigration order was temporarily suspended. Travelers and refugees cannot simply rush into the U.S. without extensive and lengthy vetting. (Feb. 5)

  54. After a judge halted his immigration ban, Trump claimed that “anyone, even with bad intentions, can now come into the U.S.” Not true. (Feb. 5)

  55. Spicer said nationwide protests of Trump are not like protests the tea party held, and called them “a very paid AstroTurf-type movement.” Although Democrats have capitalized on the backlash against Trump by organizing, the massive rallies across dozens of cities across the country ―  which in some cases have been spontaneous ― suggests they are part of an organic phenomenon. (Feb. 6)

  56. During an interview with Fox News before the Super Bowl, Trump repeated his debunked claim of widespread voter fraud during the presidential election. There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud. Republican and Democratic state officials have said so, as have Trump’s own campaign attorneys. (Feb. 6)

  57. During an interview with Fox News before the Super Bowl, Trump repeated his false claim that he has “been against the war in Iraq from the beginning.” (Feb. 6)

  58. Conway said she would not appear on CNN’s “State of the Union” because of “family” reasons. CNN, however, said the White House offered Conway as an alternative to Vice President Mike Pence and that the network had “passed” because of concerns about her “credibility.” (Feb. 6)

  59. Spicer claimed CNN “retracted” its explanation of why it declined to take Conway for a Sunday show appearance. CNN said it never did so. (Feb. 6)

  60. Trump cited attacks in Boston, Paris, Orlando, Florida, and Nice, France, as examples of terrorism the media has not covered adequately. “In many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it,” he said at CENTCOM. Those attacks garnered wall-to-wall television coverage, as well as thousands of news articles in print and online. (Feb. 6)

  61. The White House released a more expansive list of terrorist attacks it believed “did not receive adequate attention from Western media sources.” Again, the list includes attacks that were widely covered by the media. (Feb. 6)

  62. Trump said sanctuary cities “breed crime.” FBI data indicates that crime in sanctuary cities is generally lower than in nonsanctuary cities. (Feb. 6)

  63. Trump claimed The New York Times was “forced to apologize to its subscribers for the poor reporting it did on my election win.” The paper has not issued such an apology. (Feb. 6)

  64. Trump claimed the murder rate is the highest it’s been in 47 years. The murder rate rose 10.8 percent across the United States in 2015, but it’s far lower than it was 30 to 40 years ago. (Feb. 7)

  65. Spicer explained that the delay in repealing Obamacare was a result of the White House wanting to work with Congress. Unlike during the Obama administration, he asserted, the legislature ― not the White House ― was taking the lead on health care. Various congressional committees worked on drafting multiple versions of the bill that would become the Affordable Care Act ― a lengthy process that took over a year. (Feb. 7)

  66. Trump accused Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) of misrepresenting “what Judge Neil Gorsuch told him” in response to the president’s attacks against the judiciary. Gorsuch called Trump’s tweets attacking federal judges “demoralizing.” A spokesman for Gorsuch confirmed the judge’s remarks. (Feb. 9)

  67. Trump has repeatedly said he doesn’t watch CNN. But he had to in order to see and offer and opinion on the network’s interview with Blumenthal. (Feb. 9)

  68. Former national security adviser Michael Flynn has said that phone calls he made to Russia prior to Trump’s inauguration were not related to sanctions. According to a Washington Post report, however, Flynn held private discussions with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, before Trump took office, suggesting that sanctions against Moscow would be eased by the incoming administration. (Feb. 9)

  69. Trump took credit for Ford’s decision not to open an auto factory in Mexico and instead expand its Michigan plant. The company said Trump was not responsible for its decision. (Feb. 9)

  70. Trump told a room full of politicians that “thousands” of “illegal” voters had been driven into New Hampshire to cast ballots. There is no evidence of such a claim. (Feb. 11)

  71. During an interview with ABC’s “This Week,” White House senior policy aide Stephen Miller falsely said the “issue of busing voters into New Hampshire is widely known by anyone who’s worked in New Hampshire politics.” Again, not true. (Feb. 11)

  72. Miller cited the “astonishing” statistic that 14 percent of noncitizens are registered to vote. The study the stat is based on has been highly contested. (Feb. 11)

  73. Trump said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was “cut off” on CNN for “using the term fake news the describe the network.” The senator was joking and he was not cut off. (Feb. 12)

  74. Trump accused the media of refusing to report on “big crowds of enthusiastic supporters lining the road” in Florida. There were a few supporters, but they were vastly outnumbered by hundreds of protesters. (Feb. 12)

  75. White House officials told reporters that Flynn decided on his own to resign. However, Spicer said during a press briefing that the president asked Flynn to resign. (Feb. 13)

  76. Trump denied in a January interview that he or anyone on his campaign had any contact with Russia prior to the election. However, The New York Times and CNN both reported that Trump campaign officials and associates “had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials” before Nov. 8. (Feb. 15)

  77. Spicer denied in a daily briefing that anyone on the Trump campaign had had any contact with Russian officials. (Feb. 15)

  78. Trump complained he “inherited a mess” upon being elected to office. The stock market is experiencing record highs, the economy is stable and growing, and unemployment is low. (Feb. 16)

  79. Trump disputed the notion that his administration is experiencing turmoil, telling reporters it is working like a “fine-tuned machine.” His poorly executed travel ban has been suspended by the courts, a Cabinet nominee was forced to withdraw his nomination, and Trump’s national security adviser resigned after less than four weeks on the job. (Feb. 16)

  80. Trump said his 306 Electoral College votes was the biggest electoral votes victory since Ronald Reagan. Obama got 332 votes in 2012. (Feb. 16)

  81. Trump said his first weeks in office “represented an unprecedented month of action.” Obama accomplished much more during his first weeks in office. (Feb. 16)

  82. Defending himself from charges of hypocrisy on the matter of leaks ― which he frequently celebrated when they pertained to his campaign opposition but now denounces ― Trump said that WikiLeaks does not publicize “classified information.” It does, often anonymously. (Feb. 16)

  83. Trump repeated his claim that Hillary Clinton gave 20 percent of American uranium to the Russians in a deal during her tenure as secretary of state. Not true. (Feb. 16)

  84. Trump said drugs are “becoming cheaper than a candy bar.” They are not. (Feb. 16)

  85. Trump said his administration had a “very smooth rollout of the travel ban.” His immigration caused chaos at the nation’s airports and has been suspended by the courts. (Feb. 16)

  86. Trump said the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is in “chaos” and “turmoil.” It is not. (Feb. 16)

  87. Flynn lied to FBI investigators in a Jan. 24 interview about whether he discussed sanctions with Russian officials prior to Trump’s inauguration, according to The Washington Post. (Feb. 16)

  88. Trump falsely suggested at a Florida rally that Sweden had suffered a terror attack the night before his speech. It had not, and Trump was likely referring to a Fox News segment on crime in Sweden. (Feb. 18)

  89. During his Florida rally, Trump repeated his false claim that the United States has already let in thousands of people who “there was no way to vet.” Refugees undergo the most rigorous vetting process of any immigrants admitted to the United States, often waiting upwards of two years to be cleared for entry. (Feb. 18)

  90. White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said in a “Fox News Sunday” interview that Trump “has accomplished more in the first 30 days than people can remember.” Obama accomplished much more during his first weeks in office. (Feb. 19)

  91. Trump said during his campaign that he would only play golf with heads of state and business leaders, not friends and celebrities like Obama did. Trump has golfed with world leaders like Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Most recently, however, he hit the links with golf pro Rory McIlroy, International Sports Management’s Nick Mullen and his friend Rich Levine. (Feb. 19)

  92. A White House spokesperson told reporters that Trump only played a “couple” of holes at his golf resort in Florida. A day later, as reports came out saying the president had played 18 holes with Mcllroy, the White House admitted he played “longer.” (Feb. 19)

  93. Trump said the media is “trying to say large scale immigration in Sweden is working out just beautifully. NOT!” Sweden’s crime rate has fallen in recent years, and experts there do not think its immigration policies are linked to crime. (Feb. 20)

  94. Spicer said Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) asked for a meeting with Trump at the White House. John Weaver, a former campaign aide of the governor, said the president asked for the meeting. (Feb. 21)

  95. Vice President Mike Pence called Obamacare a “job killer.” Overall, job growth has been steady since it was signed into law. And the number of unwilling part-time jobs has also gone down, contrary to GOP claims. (Feb. 22)

  96. Trump claimed that he negotiated $1 billion in savings to develop two new Boeing Co. jets to serve as the next Air Force One. The Air Force can’t account for that number. (Feb. 22)

  97. During a meeting with the nation’s CEOs at the White House, Trump claimed his new economic adviser Gary Cohn “paid $200 million in tax” to take a job at the White House. Cohn didn’t have to pay taxes, he had to sell more than $200 million of Goldman Sachs stock. (Feb. 23)

  98. Trump claimed there were “six blocks” worth of people waiting to get into the Conservative Political Action Conference to see him. People filled only  three overflow rooms. (Feb. 24)

  99. At CPAC, Trump said that Obamacare covers “very few people.” Nearly 20 million people have gotten health insurance under the law. (Feb. 24)

  100. At CPAC, Trump said companies like Intel were making business investments in the United States because of his election. The company planned their new investments before the election. (Feb. 24)

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

They were 15, going on 16 -

Berkley Information from Google News - 10 hours 4 min ago

They were 15, going on 16
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Detroit Zoo celebrates International Polar Bear Day - WXYZ

Berkley Information from Google News - 10 hours 57 min ago


Detroit Zoo celebrates International Polar Bear Day
The Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) is hosting free activities at the Detroit Zoo's award-winning Arctic Ring of Life to celebrate International Polar Bear Day and raise awareness of the conservation concerns facing this iconic species. Two events ...

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