Month: December 2016

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Jill Stein serves Trump 'humble pie' for his New Year's Eve tweet


Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein served up some “humble pie” to Donald Trump after the president-elect sent out a New Year’s Eve tweet which included a dig at his political rivals.

“Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do. Love!”, Trump wrote Saturday morning.

Hours later, Stein replied to Trump’s message with a Twitter tirade.

“It takes a special kind of person to lose the popular vote and boast about it,” Stein said. “Might want to check your sources on those ‘wins’ and ‘enemies,’ she added, with a hashtag for fake news.

Stein went on to knock the president-elect for efforts by his supporters to block her recount efforts in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, and condemned Trump’s “phony” promise to bring jobs back to the United States.

Stein also offered a plug to the “Occupy Inauguration,” a movement which she has thrown her support behind. The multi-day rally in Washington, D.C., will begin on Jan. 20, Inauguration Day, and according to the group’s website participants will be “calling for unity to stand against the oligarch and demand representation for the people.”

Stein ended her string of Trump-related tweets by giving a nod to a message from “Kid President,” who said to Trump, “You could’ve just said ‘Happy New Year’. Or nothing. Sometimes nothing is good too.”

On Democrats and media finally recognizing Russia as a threat: Welcome to the party, pal

Also from the Washington Examiner

Politicos and pundits ridiculed former Mitt Romney for saying Russia is “our number-one geopolitical foe.”

12/31/16 6:13 PM

“This is how you do it, @realDonaldTrump. BTW, happy new year!”, Stein said.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story had an inaccurate headline. The Washington Examiner apologizes for the error.

Judge blocks Obama's transgender mandate

Also from the Washington Examiner

The rule, blocked by a preliminary injunction, was slated to into effect Jan. 1.

12/31/16 5:45 PM

Judge blocks transgender mandate

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The rule, blocked by a preliminary injunction, was slated to go into effect Jan. 1.

12/31/16 5:45 PM



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Judge blocks Obama's transgender mandate


A Texas judge has temporarily blocked the Obama administration’s new requirements for transgender care, granting a preliminary injunction Saturday to several states and religious health organizations suing over the rules.

The rule, which was slated to go into effect Jan. 1, says that doctors can’t refuse to provide medically necessary health services within their scope of practice because of a patient’s gender identity. It doesn’t explicitly require doctors to perform gender transition services, but it says providers can’t refuse services they already provide based on discrimination.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas temporarily blocked the requirements at the request of Texas, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Arizona and Mississippi along with the Franciscan Alliance and several other religiously affiliated organizations.

Judge Reed O’Connor wrote that the rule contradicts existing law and “likely violates” the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The Becket Fund, which is representing the states and organizations, said the decision ensures doctors won’t be required to act against their best medical judgement or violate their religious beliefs.

“The government has no business forcing private doctors to perform procedures on children that the government itself recognizes can be harmful and exempts its own doctors from performing,” said Becket Fund senior counsel Lori Windham. “Today’s ruling ensures that doctors’ best medical judgement will not be replaced with political agendas and bureaucratic interference.”

The Catholic Benefits Association, which represents more than 700 Catholic employers, including many hospitals, also filed a lawsuit in federal court Dec. 28 in an effort to get its members exempted from the rule.

The rule stems from the nondiscrimination section of the Affordable Care Act, which the Obama administration has defined to include a prohibition on discriminating on the basis of gender identity. Insurers and providers who don’t comply risk paying a hefty fine and losing their Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.

Supporters of the requirement say it’s necessary to ensure transgender Americans can get the healthcare they need.

Jill Stein serves Trump 'hump pie' for his New Year's Eve tweet

Also from the Washington Examiner

“It takes a special kind of person to lose the popular vote and boast about it,” she said.

12/31/16 4:56 PM

The administration wrote in its final rule that the requirement is consistent with the way other federal agencies are treating transgender people, referring to guidance from the Department of Education this year that schools should allow students to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity, not biological sex. The Supreme Court plans to hear challenges to that policy next year.

Taiwan president to visit US in 2017

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It is unclear whether she will visit with President-elect Trump.

12/31/16 4:43 PM



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Jill Stein serves Trump 'hump pie' for his New Year's Eve tweet


Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein served up some “humble pie” to Donald Trump after the president-elect sent out a New Year’s Eve tweet which included a dig at his political rivals.

“Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do. Love!”, Trump wrote Saturday morning.

Hours later, Stein replied to Trump’s message with a Twitter tirade.

“It takes a special kind of person to lose the popular vote and boast about it,” Stein said. “Might want to check your sources on those ‘wins’ and ‘enemies,’ she added, with a hashtag for fake news.

Stein went on to knock the president-elect for efforts by his supporters to block her recount efforts in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, and condemned Trump’s “phony” promise to bring jobs back to the United States.

Stein also offered a plug to the “Occupy Inauguration,” a movement which she has thrown her support behind. The multi-day rally in Washington, D.C., will begin on Jan. 20, Inauguration Day, and according to the group’s website participants will be “calling for unity to stand against the oligarch and demand representation for the people.”

Stein ended her string of Trump-related tweets by giving a nod to a message from “Kid President,” who said to Trump, “You could’ve just said ‘Happy New Year’. Or nothing. Sometimes nothing is good too.”

Taiwan president to visit US

Also from the Washington Examiner

It is unclear whether she will visit with President-elect Trump.

12/31/16 4:43 PM

“This is how you do it, @realDonaldTrump. BTW, happy new year!”, Stein said.

Dems attack, demand Sessions recusal

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DNC cites report accusing the senator of neglecting to provide details of years as U.S. attorney.

12/31/16 12:08 PM



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McCain to spend New Year's Day in Ukraine


Sen. John McCain, center left, poses with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko center, Sen. Lindsey Graham, center right, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar pose for a photo with the Ukrainian marines. (Mikhail Palinchak/Presidential Press Service, Pool Photo via AP)

Sen. John McCain plans to welcome in the New Year with Marines in the Ukraine, where he’s been issuing a string of harsh criticism against Russia for trying to interfere with the U.S. election.

“Spending #NewYearsEve w/brave Ukrainian Marines at a forward combat outpost – we stand w/ them in their fight against #Putin’s aggression,” the Arizona Republican tweeted on Saturday. McCain is in Ukraine with a handful a couple of other senators, including Sen. Lindsey Graham.

McCain, who chairs the Senate’s Armed Services Committee, called the Kremlin’s interference in the U.S. elections process an “act of war” on Friday. After the Obama administration announced sanctions against Russia for its cyber warfare, McCain panned the move as being long overdue and urged the administration to beef up the sanctions even more.

“When you attack a country, it’s an act of war,” McCain said on a Ukrainian TV channel, according to Reuters. “And so we have to make sure that there is a price to pay, so that we can perhaps persuade the Russians to stop these kind of attacks on our very fundamentals of democracy.”

Both the FBI and the CIA have agreed that Russia intervened in the 2016 election in part to help President-election Trump win the White House. McCain’s committee will hold a hearing on Thursday about foreign cyberthreats to the U.S.

Dems attack, demand Sessions recusal

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DNC cites report accusing the senator of neglecting to provide details of years as U.S. attorney.

12/31/16 12:08 PM

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Trump ditches press for golf


President-elect Trump left his press pool behind on Saturday for a game of golf at his club in Jupiter, Fla.

Reporters seemed to be caught off guard by the last-minute trip, according to pool reports. Trump spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham told the Associated Press that not even she or other aides were aware that Trump had made the half hour trip from his Mar-a-Lago estate where he’d been spending the holidays.

“We are in the home stretch of this transition period and don’t anticipate any additional situations like this between now and inauguration,” Grisham said in a statement. “We hope this one incident doesn’t negate all the progress we have made and look forward to continuing the great relationships we have built.”

The press, which are typically allowed to follow the sitting president wherever he goes, didn’t learn of the golf trip until a club member posted a photo on Twitter of Trump playing Saturday morning and said he was accompanied by about two dozen Secret Service agents.

According to Grisham, the president-elect arrived back at Mar-a-Lago at about 3:10 p.m. local time.

Trump has left his press pool behind on other occasions, including for a dinner with his family in Manhattan shortly after his election. His staffers appear aware of the frustration he’s caused reporters, recently allowing them more access at Mar-a-Lago and providing more information about his meeting schedule.

Dems attack, demand Sessions recusal

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DNC cites report accusing the senator of neglecting to provide details of years as U.S. attorney.

12/31/16 12:08 PM



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Planned Parenthood asks court to preserve its Medicaid funds in Texas


Planned Parenthood has asked a federal judge to block Texas from cutting its Medicaid funding. Above, Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Planned Parenthood has asked a federal judge to block Texas from cutting its Medicaid funding, a move that would strip the women’s healthcare and abortion provider of millions of dollars.

The group filed an injunction Friday asking U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks to stop the state from following through with an announcement earlier this month that it would halt its Medicaid payments as early as Jan 21. The action is part of a lawsuit Planned Parenthood filed last year against Texas.

“Courts have unanimously prevented these terminations and agreed that preventing Medicaid enrollees from obtaining care from the qualified provider of their choice violates federal law,” Planned Parenthood wrote in its request for an injunction.

Texas is one of several states trying to defund Planned Parenthood in the wake of undercover videos from abortion foe David Daleiden showing how some of its clinics provided aborted fetal tissue for medical research. But courts have blocked Arkansas, Alabama, Kansas and Mississippi from excluding the group from Medicaid reimbursements, saying they can’t single out specific health providers that are qualified to serve low-income Americans.

Planned Parenthood says it would be forced to reduce health services for about 11,000 low-income women in Texas should it lose access to Medicaid funds.

The group first filed suit against Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott last year, when he sought to exclude it from the list of qualified Medicaid providers because it provides abortions.

Dems attack, demand Sessions recusal

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DNC cites report accusing the senator of neglecting to provide details of years as U.S. attorney.

12/31/16 12:08 PM

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Trump says he's 'proud' of Don Jr. in birthday baby post


President-elect Trump wished his eldest child, Don Jr., a happy birthday on social media Saturday.

On Instagram, Trump said he is “proud” of his 39-year-old son in a post that includes a picture of Trump appearing with his son as a baby. The picture was first shared by Don Jr. himself, who said, “Pretty sure this is @realdonaldtrump and me years ago today.”

The president-elect also wished his “many enemies” a happy New Year on Twitter earlier on New Year’s Eve.

Dems attack, demand Sessions drop out

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DNC cites report accusing the senator of neglecting to provide details of years as U.S. attorney.

12/31/16 12:08 PM



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Bernie Sanders 2016 ad 'happiest,' 'most hopeful,' study says


When it came to inspiring people with optimism in what was often a bitter campaign year, an ad produced by Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders claims the title for most hopeful.

A new study by two political science professors showed campaign ads throughout the year to a group of people to gauge their reaction.

It found that Sanders’ ad, published at the start of 2016, generated the strongest feeling of optimism in people who viewed it.

“By far, Mr. Sanders’s ‘America’ was the ad from 2016 that made … raters the happiest and the most hopeful,” UCLA political science professor Lynn Vavreck wrote Friday in the New York Times. She said that almost 80 percent of viewers claimed the ad “made them at least a little bit happy and hopeful in the week it debuted — including over half of the Republicans who saw it.”

Vavreck conducted the study with John Geer, a Vanderbilt University political scientist.

The Sanders ad, titled “America,” showed images from both rural and urban parts of America and of Sanders greeting enthusiastic supporters. Simon and Garfunkel’s “America” plays over the images.

Dems attack, demand Sessions drop out

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DNC cites report accusing the senator of neglecting to provide details of years as U.S. attorney.

12/31/16 12:08 PM



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Dems attack, demand Sessions drop out


The Democratic National Committee is calling on Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., to recuse himself from his nomination for U.S. attorney general following a report that he has withheld information that the Senate will need to decide on whether to confirm him.

The report, produced by progressive groups, accused Sessions of neglecting to provide “major details from his years as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, from 1981 to 1993; as attorney general of Alabama, from 1995 to 1997; and as a first-term U.S. senator, from 1997 to 2002,” according to the Huffington Post.

Sessions omitted the information from a questionnaire submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which “requires complete documentation of employment history, published writings, interviews and speeches, among other things.”

The DNC released a statement Saturday attacking Sessions and calling for him to recuse himself from consideration for attorney general.

“Jeff Sessions has fiercely argued in the past that omitting information isn’t just wrong, that it may also be illegal,” said DNC Communications Director Adam Hodge. “So what does he do once he’s nominated to be the Attorney General? He omits information from his dark past, particularly when he was deemed too racist to be a federal judge. Based on his own reasoning, and in keeping with Senate tradition, Sessions must recuse himself from voting on his own nomination.”

Sessions was an early supporter of President-elect Trump. He has been accused over his political career of holding racist sentiments that critics say should disqualify him from the attorney general position.

DNC calls for Sessions to recuse himself from AG nomination

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Cites a report accusing the senator of neglecting to provide details of years as U.S. attorney.

12/31/16 12:08 PM



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Wall Street Journal reporter released by Turkish authorities


Turkish authorities on Friday released an American reporter that was detained for nearly three days for allegedly violating publication laws in the country.

The reporter, Dion Nissenbaum of the Wall Street Journal, was detained more than two days ago by Turkish police and was separated from his wife and baby son.

“While we are relieved that Dion was released unharmed after nearly three days, we remain outraged at his peremptory detention, without any contact with his family, legal counsel or colleagues,” Gerard Baker, editor in chief of the Journal, said in a statement.

The Journal’s report on the matter said, “A person familiar with the matter said [Nissenbaum] was held for allegedly violating a government ban on publication of images from an Islamic State video.”

The Turkish government has cracked down on press freedom, jailing reporters within the country and has “has closed more than 100 domestic media outlets,” according to the Journal.

Nissenbaum said that while detained, he was not permitted contact with his employer, family nor lawyers. The Journal reported that he was otherwise “treated well” and “comfortable.”

Nissenbaum took to Twitter on Saturday to thank people for their well wishes and said he will soon be headed back to the U.S.

DNC calls for Sessions to recuse himself from AG nomination

Also from the Washington Examiner

Cites a report accusing the senator of neglecting to provide details of years as U.S. attorney.

12/31/16 12:08 PM

Obama: I won't leave on Jan 20

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The president promises to be there “every step of the way” to ensure “progress.”

12/31/16 6:00 AM



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