Month: February 2017

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Conway says she gets 'different set of questions' on TV


Kellyanne Conway charged Thursday that she gets a different kind of attention and is asked different kinds of questions than other people in the White House.

Conway told Fox News Thursday morning that her weeklong break from TV interviews could be chalked up to focusing on her work and trying to get her family settled in Washington. She also alluded to a special kind of attention placed on her.

“The questions for me are different than for some of the other people here,” Conway said. “I do feel there is a different set of questions for me.”

Conway, the White House counselor who was the center of a blitz of media profiles around the time of Trump’s inauguration and has been one of the most visible faces of the new administration, said she feels like the media spotlight has turned against her in recent weeks.

“It’s a ‘build you up to tear you down’ kind of town,” she said. “That’s OK. I’m focused on why we’re here.”

Conway pointed to Trump’s press conference last week as proof that she doesn’t need to be on TV often. “He’s his own best messenger,” she said.

She pointed to his upcoming speech at CPAC as proof that he’s a different kind of president that can take his message right to the people.

Conway said she expected Trump to roll out some more policy proposals at that speech and next week in front of Congress, which would be greeted by his Republican base.

“President Trump represents a realignment of the movement as well, and I think he’ll receive a hero’s welcome,” she said about the CPAC speech.

VA secretary: Some employees are 'going to be fired'

Also from the Washington Examiner

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin pledged Thursday to fire VA workers who need to be fired in order to ensure the troubled agency can deliver on its promise to veterans.

“Watch us,” Shulkin said in a Fox News interview with Pete Hegseth. “People who don’t show up to work, who do cocaine and are watching porn at work are going to be fired, because I’m not going to tolerate it, and they’re going to be out of our system.”

The VA has been criticized heavily over the past few years for only firing a handful of people involved in the healthcare scandal, which involved the systematic delay of medical care to veterans across the country.

Less than a dozen people were fired over the last two years, but many were allowed

02/23/17 7:24 AM



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Mnuchin: Tax reform by August


Newly-installed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that the administration’s goal is to pass tax reform before August, setting an aggressive timeline for pushing through legislation.

“We want to get this done by the August recess,” Mnuchin said in an interview on CNBC. He said tax reform was the No. 1 priority for improving U.S. economic growth.

Citing consensus on the broad outlines of a tax plan with Senate and House Republicans, Mnuchin suggested that the eventual legislative product would be a “combined plan.”

The Trump administration has said that it would produce a plan in a matter of weeks.

Mnuchin said Thursday that the focus of the plan would be on middle-class tax reductions, simplification, and business competitiveness.

Trump’s campaign proposal, however, called for major high-end tax cuts. Mnuchin has indicated an interest in seeing any tax rate cuts for high earners offset by taking away deductions.

Mnuchin said he is “looking closely” at the House GOP’s plan to adjust taxes at the border, which has upset retailers and introduced some divisions within the party. There are “some very interesting aspects of it, some concerns about it,” he said. The administration is reaching out to businesses directly to learn more about it, he said.

Asked whether the tax reform would lose revenues for the federal government, Mnuchin responded that the Treasury would analyze the plan using the assumption that tax reform would accelerate growth and generate new revenues to make up for tax cuts.

“My guess is that our growth assumptions will be higher than what they use to score the plan,” he said, referring to Congress’ scorekeepers. Trump’s campaign plan contemplated losing trillions over 10 years in revenues.

VA secretary: Some employees are 'going to be fired'

Also from the Washington Examiner

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin pledged Thursday to fire VA workers who need to be fired in order to ensure the troubled agency can deliver on its promise to veterans.

“Watch us,” Shulkin said in a Fox News interview with Pete Hegseth. “People who don’t show up to work, who do cocaine and are watching porn at work are going to be fired, because I’m not going to tolerate it, and they’re going to be out of our system.”

The VA has been criticized heavily over the past few years for only firing a handful of people involved in the healthcare scandal, which involved the systematic delay of medical care to veterans across the country.

Less than a dozen people were fired over the last two years, but many were allowed

02/23/17 7:24 AM



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Yes, really. A reporter asked the White House about the Oscars.


The White House press secretary sometimes faces really tough and prodding questions from the press corps. Sometimes he doesn’t.

The following question is an example of the latter.

“Sunday night, will the president be watching the Oscars?” the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Debra Saunders asked Wednesday during a White House press briefing with Sean Spicer.

“And if there is a Meryl Streep kind of moment, how do you think, he will, you think this happens?” Saunders added, referring to a moment earlier this year when the noted actress condemned the president during one of Hollywood’s many awards shows.

As the reporter spoke Wednesday, counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway reportedly buried her head in her hands.

Spicer, for his part, merely laughed at the question, asking, “Why do I think what happens?”

Saunders clarified, asking what should people expect from the White House this weekend should an actress or actor publicly criticize the president.

“I don’t know, it is a free country,” Spicer said. “Hollywood is known for being rather far to the left in its opinions. I have to be honest with you. I think the president will be hosting the Governors Ball that night. Mrs. Trump looks forward to putting on a phenomenal event, and the first lady has put a lot of time into this event that’s going to occur welcoming our governors to the capital.”

“I feel like that is where the president and first lady are going to be focused on Sunday night and so we will go from there,” he added.

Olympic bid offers Trump a symbolic chance at 'winning again'

Also from the Washington Examiner

President Trump may have an opportunity to attract the Olympics to the U.S. for the first time in decades.

02/23/17 12:11 AM

Oof.

I get that the culture wars sell, and that readers are more than likely to click on a political story if there’s a sexy Hollywood angle to it. And, yes, the president himself seems to be a little obsessed with the Oscars.

But come on, man.

White House press briefings are already largely useless affairs. Let’s work to remedy that, and not work in the other direction. Also, don’t indulge the president in his weird obsessions.

White House, VA split on anti-Trump tweets

Also from the Washington Examiner

The issue has come up as more tweets have emerged in which senior-level VA officials have mocked Trump.

02/23/17 12:01 AM



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White House, VA split on anti-Trump tweets


A major split has emerged between President Trump’s White House and the Department of Veterans Affairs over whether VA employees should be allowed to tweet out anti-Trump messages.

The issue has come up as more tweets have emerged in which senior-level VA officials have mocked Trump on Twitter, posted stories that put Trump in a bad light, and compared his victory to the rise of fascism.

A senior speechwriter for the VA who remains in the agency under Trump went so far last year to say that after Trump’s election, he hasn’t “felt this bad since 9/11, and I was in the Pentagon.”

On Wednesday, the White House told the Washington Examiner that administration officials want all federal employees to support Trump and his policy goals.

“Employees of the Trump administration should support President Trump and his agenda to improve the lives of all Americans,” a White House spokesman said.

But on the same day, the VA told the Washington Examiner that they would not be pushing their workers to publicly support Trump. Instead, the VA is allowing their employees to say whatever they like, as long as it isn’t done during work hours.

“Like other federal employees, VA employees have a constitutionally protected right to freedom of speech in their private lives, including during non-duty hours (e.g., lunch break),” the VA’s Office of General Counsel said. The VA offered no other answers to questions about whether VA workers have been warned not to tweet against Trump, or whether there would be any repercussions for doing so.

That split could quickly test the limits of what the White House is willing to accept. The Trump administration has already fired a few people after the discovery of anti-Trump opinions that were expressed during last year’s election.

Examples of anti-Trump opinions seem to be piling up at the VA. The VA’s comment about its Twitter policy was a response to questions about a public outreach official who was found to be tweeting against Trump ever since he was elected.

Olympic bid offers Trump a symbolic chance at 'winning again'

Also from the Washington Examiner

President Trump may have an opportunity to attract the Olympics to the U.S. for the first time in decades.

02/23/17 12:11 AM

Tim Lawson, who hosts the VA’s podcasts, said in the hours after the November election that he wasn’t ready to accept Trump, and retweeted other tweets that accused Trump of lying. But a VA spokesman said Lawson’s supervisor believes that “whatever personal opinions he has in no way affect his ability to do his job.”

Other examples have emerged since last week. Ed Ledford, a top speechwriter at the VA, tweeted “welcome to the world of fascism” after Trump won the election. He also compared Trump’s victory to 9/11:

Brandon Fureigh, who works as a senior adviser for strategic engagement at the VA, tweeted in December, “I despite what this man is doing to our country,” according to an archived copy of his tweet.

CPAC a chance for Trump to show unified White House

Also from the Washington Examiner

White House officials say their presence at CPAC shows Trump’s ongoing desire to maintain a dialogue.

02/23/17 12:01 AM

Fureigh’s Twitter account has since been blocked to the general public.

Other VA officials have been less direct in their criticism of Trump, but have been retweeting messages that oppose Trump. Kayla Williams, director of the VA Center for Women Veterans, has retweeted messages that oppose Trump’s immigration ban, and on Nov. 9, she retweeted a message saying women should get their IUDs now before Trump ends contraceptive coverage:

Those messages seem to be at odds with the message delivered by White House spokesman Sean Spicer on Wednesday. He said all federal employees should be on board with the changes President Trump is looking to pursue.

“No matter what position you have, whether it’s the lowest or the highest in the White House or in a department or agency, we should be making sure that people who are coming in as appointees of the President support the President’s agenda,” he told reporters. “We are going to ensure that people who are political appointees share the vision and agenda that the president campaigned on and is implementing.”

Because Spicer’s vision hasn’t been realized at the VA yet, close watchers of the VA are anxious for Trump to quickly bring in his own people and recast the sprawling, scandal-prone department to his liking.

Pete Hegseth, an Army veteran and veterans advocate who was considered as a candidate to lead Trump’s VA, told the Washington Examiner that the anti-Trump tweets pouring out of the VA show an “arrogance” that needs to be corrected.

“It is complete and utter hubris. It’s arrogance,” said Hegseth.

“These examples are a demonstration of the depth of the swamp and the extent to which the civil service bureaucrats are entrenched in siding with the unions,” he said. Hegseth added they also indicate many in the VA could seek to block or delay the reforms Trump proposes for the agency.

“There is a reason to think they will work against him,” he said.

Reforms aside, there’s also a growing fear that the anti-Trump sentiment at the VA could distract from the VA’s main mission: provide healthcare to veterans.

“When people make it personal instead of about the policy, they take the attention away from legitimate veterans’ issues,” said Scott Davis, a well-known whistleblower and VA official in Atlanta.



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Sessions, DeVos explain removal of Obama's transgender school guidelines


After a report that Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos had a disagreement over removing the protection guidelines President Obama put forth for transgender students, the two came together Wednesday to do just that.

In a statement, Sessions, the former Republican senator, wrote of the DOJ’s duty “to enforce the law.”

“The prior guidance documents did not contain sufficient legal analysis or explain how the interpretation was consistent with the language of Title IX. The Department of Education and the Department of Justice therefore have withdrawn the guidance,” Sessions said.

It was reported that Sessions had been strongly for the move before it was officially released Wednesday night, putting him at odds with DeVos.

DeVos had been uncomfortable with removing the transgender student guidelines left by the Obama administration, according to the New York Times.

However, the two departments eventually came together to remove the guidelines after President Trump chose to go with Sessions’ preference.

In her statement, DeVos similarly alluded to “several legal questions” left by the Obama guidelines. She also cited a federal injunction issued last summer that prevented the Education Department from enforcing part of the guidelines.

“Thus there is no immediate impact to students by rescinding this guidance,” she explained.

Sessions said going forward, Congress, state legislatures and local governments “are in a position to adopt appropriate policies or laws addressing this issue.”

Olympic bid offers Trump a symbolic chance at 'winning again'

Also from the Washington Examiner

President Trump may have an opportunity to attract the Olympics to the U.S. for the first time in decades.

02/23/17 12:11 AM

DeVos echoed those sentiments, calling the issue one “best solved at the state and local level.”

After removal of the Obama-era guidance on Wednesday, public schools are no longer mandated by federal law to allow transgender students to use the restroom that matches their gender identity.

In a statement, the Human Rights Campaign called the decision “disgraceful.”

“These transgender students simply want to go to school in the morning without fear of discrimination or harassment. The consequences of this decision will no doubt be heartbreaking. This isn’t a ‘states rights’ issue, it’s a civil rights issue. Children deserve protection from bullying no matter what state they live in. Period,” said HRC President Chad Griffin.

A coalition of civil and human rights groups, including the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund said the removal of the guidelines has “sent a deeply troubling message to students that the administration will not stand up for students’ civil rights.”

White House, VA split on anti-Trump tweets

Also from the Washington Examiner

The issue has come up as more tweets have emerged in which senior-level VA officials have mocked Trump.

02/23/17 12:01 AM

Some conservative groups applauded the move as one that will protect families and children.

“Today’s announcement fulfills President Trump’s campaign promise to get the federal government out of the business of dictating school shower and bathroom policies,” said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins in a statement.

“The federal government has absolutely no right to strip parents and local schools of their rights to provide a safe learning environment for children.”

The move marks a turnaround for President Trump who in April said that he supported the right of transgender people to “use the bathroom they feel is appropriate.” Candidate Trump even invited Caitlyn Jenner to use whichever bathroom at Trump Tower she wanted.



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'Impeachment' talk flies at DNC chair debate


The seven candidates for chair of the Democratic National Committee laid out their plans to lead the political party, including impeaching President Trump – a rallying cry even House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has said is not yet warranted.

One of the top contenders in the race, Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., cited examples of actions Trump has taken in his first month in office that are worthy of being fired as commander in chief.

“I think that Donald Trump has already done a number of things which legitimately raise the question of impeachment. On day one, he was in violation of the emoluments clause,” Ellison said during a CNN town hall on Wednesday evening.

“It’s not just about Donald Trump. It’s about the integrity of the presidency,” said Ellison, known for his progressive stances as a Democratic lawmaker. “So yeah, I think we need to begin investigations not to go after Donald Trump, but to protect our Constitution and the presidency of the United States – to make sure that nobody can monetize the presidency and make profit off it for their own gain.”

Tom Perez, former labor secretary during President Barack Obama’s second term, said Trump’s “far-right agenda” is moving the country backward and offered to turn the U.S. in the right direction by unleashing a national strategy to give all Democrats the ability to affect public discourse.

“I lost my voice going all over the country and what I’m saying to people is ‘my voice may be crackly now, but when we take over by implementing this 50-state strategy and making sure the Democrats have a voice, that is how we return the power to the people,'” Perez said, his voice faltering throughout his remarks.

Perez has previously called for progressives to “hit him [Trump] between the eyes with a 2-by-4 ” and treat him in the same way Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell responded to the Obama administration.

Rock the Vote’s former president Jehmu Greene echoed Ellison’s sentiment of removing Trump from office, a call only three national lawmakers have raised to date.

“When he commits an impeachable offense, the Democratic Party has to be that last line of defense for your Constitution and for this country,” Greene said. “So I am on the side of holding him accountable.”

Olympic bid offers Trump a symbolic chance at 'winning again'

Also from the Washington Examiner

President Trump may have an opportunity to attract the Olympics to the U.S. for the first time in decades.

02/23/17 12:11 AM

Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Ind., said liberals must focus on real issues and keep the focus somewhat off of Trump.

“Donald Trump has gotten to be like a computer virus in the American political system. He ties up our minds and processing power with these equations that don’t have solutions and brain overheats and breaks down,” Buttigieg said. “Yes, we have to take the fight to him, but we can’t let him dominate our imagination.”

The DNC will hold a vote among its 447 members at its annual gathering in Atlanta on Saturday.



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Kellyanne Conway: 'Looking at houses and schools' kept me off TV


White House counsel Kellyanne Conway denied a CNN report that she was “sidelined” from speaking on behalf of President Trump on television during an appearance on Fox News late Wednesday.

“No, I’m not. Somebody’s trying to start trouble,” Conway told Fox News host Sean Hannity during a pre-taped interview at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md.

“About 5 percent of what I’m asked to do in this White House counselor role is TV. I think that’s about right because he’s the president now and he’s his own best messenger.”

Conway pointed to Trump’s recent rally in Orlando and a 77-minute press conference last Thursday, which was received by some media outlets as more contentious than previous presidents’ briefings.

Conway also defended her occasional absence from the press as the result of being busy with her responsibilities as a mother. For example, over the past few days Conway has been absent from the TV circuit after saying last week that former national security adviser Mike Flynn had the “full confidence” of Trump despite the adviser’s being terminated later that week.

“I don’t think I have to explain myself if I’m not going to go on TV if I’m out with four kids looking at – for three days – looking at houses and schools. A lot of my colleagues aren’t trying to figure out how to be a mother of four kids, I assure you,” Conway added.

She also said her steady TV presence may have blocked other personalities from getting their time with the media, prompting them to go after her.

“There are some people, I think, trying to get in my way. I’ve also gobbled up a lot of people’s TV opportunities,” Conway said.

Olympic bid offers Trump a symbolic chance at 'winning again'

Also from the Washington Examiner

President Trump may have an opportunity to attract the Olympics to the U.S. for the first time in decades.

02/23/17 12:11 AM



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Conservatives must remember conservatism


As the Conservative Political Action Conference comes to town, the Right — conservative activists, commentators, talk-radio hosts and Republican politicians — should keep actual conservatism at the front and center of their minds.

The set of beliefs and principals that animate conservatism is at risk of being obscured — perhaps even displaced — by vulgar provocation, tribal rather than principled opposition to the Left, the demands of entertainment and partisan fealty to a Republican president.

If these elements take over and drown out conservative philosophy, ideas, and policies, they will inflict harm not only on conservatism but on the Right in general and on the Republican Party and President Trump in particular. And that would be bad for the country.

CPAC’s agenda demonstrates the battle over the future of the movement. On one hand, there’s Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke, the black Democrat and Fox News regular whose schtick is an almost comical law-and-order toughness. On another panel, Hillsdale College’s erudite president, Larry Arnn, whose beliefs spring from serious philosophical soil and are nourished by constant intellectual inquiry, speaks on “the Roots of Conservatism.”

One panel title discusses college “snowflakes,” while another analyzes various indices that measure human flourishing. Milo Yiannopoulos, a libertine professional provocateur, was slated as a principal speaker to discuss campus free speech. But he was disinvited and now attorney Casey Mattox of the non-profit public-interest law firm, Alliance Defending Freedom, will speak on the topic.

A big tent is great. But the volume and bombast of the entertainers and liberal bashers could crowd out conservatism. This isn’t a CPAC problem, but a problem that the entire Right must guard against.

Battling the Left is necessary work for conservatism, but it can’t become its heart. The appeal of celebrities willing to tear mercilessly into the Left is clear, but also dangerous, especially as some of those chosen to do so never bothered to ground themselves in real conservatism. If conservatism defines itself mainly as being against the Left, if it pulls up its philosophical roots and does not adhere to its real values, it could doom itself to radicalism.

“[A]ll experience hath shewn,” the Declaration of Independence states, “that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

That is, custom, tradition and established institutions are there for a reason. These things can be corrupted and sometimes need to be smashed. But as our wars in Iraq and Libya have shown, smashing established evils often invites new and worse evils.

Olympic bid offers Trump a symbolic chance at 'winning again'

Also from the Washington Examiner

President Trump may have an opportunity to attract the Olympics to the U.S. for the first time in decades.

02/23/17 12:11 AM

The conservative resistance to gender theory, to reshaping culture through unchecked immigration, and to common core education are, or at least ought to be, rooted in something besides a dislike of the Left. It needs to be rooted in the idea that timeless institutions, venerable cultures and previous generations contain wisdom that is not necessarily obvious on the surface, particularly in an increasingly deracinated culture.

Conservatism, at some level, needs to be about conserving.

Lord Acton’s maxim that “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” is an insight grounded in centuries of experience, that lies at the foundation of government.

Limited government is a central principle of conservatism in acknowledgment of this wisdom. An unshackled government will abuse its power and trample the natural rights of the individual.

Conservatives can be forgiven for delighting in the sight of Congress, the White House and most governorships in GOP hands. But if they respond by wanting “our” politicians to have more power, they are abandoning the idea of limited government.

White House, VA split on anti-Trump tweets

Also from the Washington Examiner

The issue has come up as more tweets have emerged in which senior-level VA officials have mocked Trump.

02/23/17 12:01 AM

Conservatism is needed to restrain overreaching executives of no matter what political or ideological stripe. Trump, like any other president — certainly President Barack Obama before him — needs conservatism to temper him.

These are days, with the Left in la la land and Republicans with so much power, when conservatism will be easy to forget. But these are also days when, more than ever, it needs to be remembered.



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Olympic bid offers Trump a symbolic chance at 'winning again'


Now that the contest to host the 2024 Olympic Games has narrowed to just two cities, President Trump may have an opportunity to notch an international achievement that eluded his predecessor: attract the Olympics to the U.S. for the first time in decades.

Los Angeles and Paris became the final two cities in contention to host the 2024 games on Wednesday, when Budapest announced it was withdrawing its bid from the International Olympic Committee. Members of the IOC will vote on a host city in September.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer told the Washington Examiner that he believes Trump “would be very supportive” of Los Angeles’ efforts to host the 2024 Olympic Games. The president has already backed the city’s bid in a phone call to the head of the IOC, Thomas Bach, that was reportedly arranged by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti more than a month before the inauguration.

But mounting a successful plea for the Olympic Games proved impossible and costly for former President Barack Obama, who tried in vain to convince the IOC to choose Chicago as the site of the 2016 games.

And Trump has been sharply critical of Obama’s failure to bring the Olympics to his home city.

“Do you remember when the president made a long, expensive trip to Copenhagen, Denmark, to get the Olympics for our country? And, after this unprecedented effort, it was announced that the United States came in fourth. Fourth place,” Trump said during a campaign event in April of last year, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Obama did indeed travel to Copenhangen in 2009 to present Chicago’s case to the IOC before members voted on the location of the 2016 games. Chicago was knocked out during the first round of voting held shortly after Obama’s speech, a result that was widely viewed at the time as an embarassment for the young administration.

On the campaign trail, Trump referred to Obama’s failed Olympic pitch as “totally incompetent.”

“The president of the United States making this trip, unprecedented, comes in fourth place. He should have known the result before making such an embarrassing commitment. We were laughed at all over the world as we have been many, many times. The list of humiliations go on and on and on,” Trump said.

White House, VA split on anti-Trump tweets

Also from the Washington Examiner

The issue has come up as more tweets have emerged in which senior-level VA officials have mocked Trump.

02/23/17 12:01 AM

Despite his criticism of the way Obama approached the Olympic issue, Trump may find the prospect of securing victory for Los Angeles difficult to resist.

Trump’s inaugural pledge to help America “start winning again” could find no more literal embodiment than winning an Olympic bid for America for the first time since 1990, when the IOC voted to select Atlanta as the site of the 1996 games.

And the months of preparation that precede the event would create thousands of jobs, fulfilling yet another of Trump’s most fundamental promises.

The 2012 Olympic Games in London created more than 100,000 jobs for local workers, while the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro lifted household incomes in the areas for years before the event and created 16,000 new jobs in the hotel industry alone.

Even so, critics contend that Olympic Games ultimately cost more than they generate in revenue, place undue burdens on local residents and leave behind giant stadiums that local sports teams can’t sustain on their own.

CPAC a chance for Trump to show unified White House

Also from the Washington Examiner

White House officials say their presence at CPAC shows Trump’s ongoing desire to maintain a dialogue.

02/23/17 12:01 AM

The highly symbolic nature of hosting the Olympics is still enough to entice cities around the world into competing for the chance to bring home the games.

But the realities of hosting are also stark enough to scare off cities, including Budapest, that can’t square the sacrifices with the symbolism.



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West Wing actor tells Ivanka Trump: 'F—- your shoes'


An actor from the acclaimed TV show “West Wing” blasted President Trump and a White House official on Twitter in the middle of the night in response to Ivanka Trump’s call for “religious tolerance.”

Bradley Whitford, who played White House deputy chief of staff Josh Lyman on the NBC drama, tweeted at 2:42 a.m. ET claimed the president and his advisers lack the values Ivanka Trump described in her message.

“Your father is a racist birther. Steve Bannon an anti-Semitic opportunist. You and your husband are enabling hatred. Fuck your shoes,” Whitford wrote, referring to Ivanka Trump’s clothing and accessories line.

A day and a half earlier, Trump, who converted to Judaism before marrying her husband, Jared Kushner, tweeted, “America is a nation built on the principle of religious tolerance. We must protect our houses of worship & religious centers. #JCC”

Trump’s message was in response to acts of vandalism at a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis on Monday. At least 170 headstones were knocked over and one or more suspects vandalized the property with anti-Semitic messages, according to the latest report accounting for damages.

Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday afternoon visited the Chesed Shel Emeth Society, touring the grounds with Republican Gov. Eric Greitens as part of a planned community clean-up event. The two cleared brush in one part of the cemetery after Pence made a public statement from the bed of a pickup truck.

“I must tell you the people of Missouri are inspiring the nation by your love and care for this place, for the Jewish community in Missouri and I wanna thank you for that inspiration, for showing the world what America is all about,” Pence said.

The vice president privately prayed with a rabbi before leaving.

Mark Sanford shoots down White House claim of 'manufactured' town hall crowds

Also from the Washington Examiner

“This wasn’t an artificial crowd. It wasn’t manufactured. It was real people with real concerns.”

02/22/17 7:23 PM

Pence is slated to speak at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual gathering in Las Vegas at the end of this week.

Liberals copy Tea Party tactics to protest Trump at town halls

Top Story

Just as the guide’s main authors envisioned, the Tea Party town hall shoe is now on the other foot.

02/22/17 6:50 PM



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