Day: February 8, 2017

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Warriors' Stephen Curry says Trump is an 'ass'


The reigning MVP in the NBA says President Trump is not an “asset” to the country, as Under Armour’s CEO has described the commander in chief.

Instead, Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry says the president is an “ass.”

“I agree with that description, if you remove the ‘et’” from asset,” Curry told Mercury News on Wednesday.

Curry is butting heads with Kevin Plank, whose company the Warriors player is a well-known endorser. Plank was included in a group of businessmen who met with Trump during his first week in office to discuss adding and retaining manufacturing jobs in the U.S.

Curry said he was surprised to see Plank endorse Trump.

“I spent all day yesterday on the phone,” Curry said, “with countless people at Under Armour, countless people in Kevin Plank’s camp, my team, trying to understand what was going on and where everybody stood on the issue. Based off the release that KP sent out this morning, and what he told me last night, that’s the Under Armour that I know. That’s the brand I know he’s built and one that, as of Wednesday afternoon, is something that I’m standing on.”

Curry said Plank has informed him the “asset” comment was meant in regard to Trump’s potential to do good for American businesses, not a show of support for the president’s remarks on every social or policy issue.

“It’s a fine line but it’s about how we’re operating,” Curry said, “how inclusive we are, what we stand for. He’s the President. There are going to be people that are tied to them. But are we promoting change? Are we doing things that are going to look out for everybody? And not being so self-serving that it’s only about making money, selling shoes, doing this and that. That’s not the priority. It’s about changing lives. I think we can continue to do that.”

Still, Curry says he will monitor Under Armour’s policies to make sure they do not change to something he does not support.

Melania Trump announces White House social secretary

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Niceta Lloyd will help Melania Trump with the planning and execution of social events at the White House.

02/08/17 6:14 PM

“If there is a situation where I can look at myself in the mirror and say they don’t have my best intentions, they don’t have the right attitude about taking care of people,” Curry said. “If I can say the leadership is not in line with my core values, then there is no amount of money, there is no platform I wouldn’t jump off if it wasn’t in line with who I am. So that’s a decision I will make every single day when I wake up. If something is not in line with what I’m about, then, yeah, I definitely need to take a stance in that respect.”

Black Caucus members storm Senate floor to protest Sessions

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Group of roughly 10 House members marched onto the Senate floor to draw attention to their opposition.

02/08/17 2:04 PM



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The origins of the Senate's Rule 19 that Mitch McConnell used to silence Elizabeth Warren


WASHINGTON — A fistfight on the Senate floor involving two Southern “gentlemen” gave rise to Rule 19, the arcane Senate directive that Republicans used more than a century later to silence Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren. GOP lawmakers rebuked Warren Tuesday night for speaking against colleague and Attorney General-nominee Jeff Sessions.

She was silenced for reading the letter that Coretta Scott King wrote three decades ago criticizing the Alabama senator’s record on race. Senators barred Warren from speaking on the Senate floor until Sessions’ confirmation vote.

Conduct unbecoming

Rule 19 states that senators may not “directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another senator or to other senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a senator.”

It states that when, in the opinion of the presiding officer, a senator violates that decorum, the presiding officer “shall call him to order and … he shall take his seat.”

Raucus history

In the Senate, where men are referred to as “gentleman” and women are called “gentle lady,” the rule stems from a notorious 1902 incident in which two South Carolina lawmakers got into a fistfight on the Senate floor. According to the Senate historian’s office, Sen. John McLaurin raced into the Senate chamber and said fellow Democrat Ben Tillman was guilty of “a willful, malicious, and deliberate lie.”

Tillman — a fiery populist who had earned the nickname “Pitchfork Ben” for threatening to bring a pitchfork to prod then-President Grover Cleveland to act on the economy — spun around and punched McLaurin squarely in the jaw. The Senate “exploded in pandemonium as members struggled to separate both members.” The fracas ended, “but not without stinging bruises both to bystanders and to the Senate’s sense of decorum,” according to an account on the historian’s office website.

White House lists 24 terror suspects who previously came to U.S. from countries banned by Trump

Also from the Washington Examiner

The White House on Wednesday afternoon released a list of 24 terror suspects who previously entered the U.S. from the seven countries named in President Trump’s Jan. 27 executive order.

The document lists 24 refugees and other immigrants from Somalia, Sudan, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Syria and Libya who entered the U.S. in the last eight years and were later arrested by U.S. law enforcement officials on terrorism charges after being admitted.

The seven countries are Muslim-majority nations. Critics have alleged the Trump administration targeted those countries in a move of religious discrimination. The White House’s release of the list was meant to push back against those attacks as proof the 90-day suspension of immigration is

02/08/17 6:04 PM

The Senate censured both men and added to its rules the provision that survives today as part of Rule 19.

Selective enforcement

Enforcement of Rule 19 has been rare, and the historian’s office wasn’t sure when it was last enforced.

Some longtime Capitol observers recalled a 1988 dispute between Sen. John Heinz, R-Pa., and Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas. Heinz said Gramm broached Senate protocol with caustic remarks. Gramm withdrew the language in question. There was no official rebuke.

Heinz was also involved in a 1979 dispute with fellow Republican Sen. Lowell Weicker of Connecticut. After heated words, the two men shook hands and no further action was taken.

Ryan would block Trump effort to lift Russia sanctions

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02/08/17 6:03 PM

Democrats cited more recent statements that appeared to violate Rule 19, but in which no action was taken:

• In 2015, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said McConnell “looked me in the eye” and “told every Republican senator … a simple lie.”

• In 2016, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., lambasted the “cancerous leadership” of then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

Fight continues:

Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. had engaged in a “tear-jerking performance” that “belongs at the Screen Actors Guild awards” as he opposed President Donald Trump’s travel ban on some Muslim countries. No rebuke followed.

Other Democratic senators read from King’s letter in the Senate chamber Wednesday after Warren was told to sit down. No one was punished.

Black Caucus members storm Senate floor to protest Sessions

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Group of roughly 10 House members marched onto the Senate floor to draw attention to their opposition.

02/08/17 2:04 PM



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Niece of MLK: Coretta Scott King would agree Sessions has done some 'good work'


The niece of Coretta Scott King believes King would have thought Alabama GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions did some “good work” in his time as a U.S. attorney and a senator in order to help further the cause of civil rights.

Alveda King said on Fox Business Network on Wednesday that a letter sent by Scott King in the 1980s criticizing the Alabama senator might not reflect how she would feel about Sessions today if she was still alive.

“Aunt Coretta was a very reasonable woman and she, with integrity, would have noted that he had done some great work in fighting against discrimination…she had very strong opinions and concern for all Americans and perhaps people all of the world,” King said, “and I believe certainly that if she could look at the record of Sen. Sessions today, with integrity, she would say ‘well he has worked to prosecute the Ku Klux Klan, he has worked to desegregate public schools.'”

King, a conservative supporter of President Trump, called her aunt a “reasonable woman” who wanted to make peace with people she disagreed with.

She said Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren reading Scott King’s letter on the Senate floor slamming Sessions for using his power as a U.S. attorney to hinder civil rights progress was a “bait and switch.”

“It’s almost like a bait and switch, stir up their emotions, use the name King, and my name is Alveda King, play the race card…it is not dividing my family at all,” she said, “we are taking a look at many things Ms. Coretta Scott King said, Martin Luther King Jr said, my dad Reverend A.D. King, but my family, we are peace makers, we bring people together … we do not divide people.”

White House: Trump defending Ivanka from Nordstrom 'attack'

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Nordstrom dropped Ivanka Trump’s fashion line following pressure from a left-leaning campaign.

02/08/17 2:23 PM



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White House: Trump was defending Ivanka from Nordstrom 'attack'


President Trump’s tweet about Nordstrom’s decision to drop a clothing line designed by his daughter was intended to defend her against attacks and not to boost her business, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Wednesday.

“I think this was less about his family business than an attack on his daughter,” Spicer said. “For people to take out their concern about his actions or his executive orders on members of his family, he has every right to stand up for his family.”

Trump took to Twitter earlier Wednesday to argue that the retail chain had treated his daughter Ivanka “so unfairly.” The official government account for the president later retweeted the swipe at Nordstrom’s, stoking speculation that Trump may have run afoul of ethics restrictions on promoting his family’s business interests.

Nordstrom dropped Ivanka Trump’s fashion line following pressure from a left-leaning campaign called “Grab Your Wallet” to convince major department stores to abandon the first daughter’s products in protest of her father’s policies.

“There is clearly a targeting of her brand. She is not directly running the company, but her name is still on it,” Spicer said on Wednesday. “This is a direct attack on his policies and [his tweet] is clearly an attempt for him to stand up for her because they have a problem with his policies.”

“There’s clearly efforts to undermine that name based on her father’s positions on particular policies that he’s taken,” Spicer added.

The White House press secretary rejected the suggestion that Trump had tweeted about his daughter’s company during his daily intelligence briefing. The tweet was done 21 minutes after the briefing was scheduled to start.

Black Caucus members storm Senate floor to protest Sessions

Also from the Washington Examiner

House lawmakers led by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee other Congressional Black Caucus members staged a protest against Sen. Jeff Sessions’ nomination to attorney general on the Senate floor Wednesday.

The group of roughly 10 House members, including the dean of the House, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., as well as Democratic Reps. Lacy Clay of Missouri, Hank Johnson of Georgia and Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, traveled to the Senate side of the Capitol and marched onto the floor in an effort to draw attention to their opposition to Sessions’ confirmation on civil rights grounds.

“Sen.

02/08/17 2:04 PM

Senate Dems allowed to read Coretta Scott King's letter on floor

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McConnell interrupted Warren’s remarks to say they were out of order, and in violation of Senate rules.

02/08/17 10:42 AM



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Hillary Clinton uses Warren's floor censure to urge supporters to 'persist'


"So must we all." (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton encouraged people to “persist” in the face of critics after Sen. Elizabeth Warren was silenced during a Senate debate over Sen. Jeff Sessions’s appointment as attorney general.

Clinton quoted words from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell during his motion to censure Warren during the debate, which have quickly become a rallying cry among feminists.

“She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted,” McConnell said.

Clinton quoted those words and added, “So must we all” before linking to a video clip of Warren’s speech.

Warren was attempting to read a letter from Coretta Scott King, the widow of Dr. Martin Luther King, written in the 1980s about Sessions, accusing Sessions of using his power as a U.S. attorney to work against civil rights. She had earlier read a statement from former Sen. Ted Kennedy on Sessions condemning his proposed appointment to the federal bench.

President Trump attacks judges after immigration court hearing

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“It would be so great for our justice system if they would … read a statement and do what’s right.”

02/08/17 10:45 AM

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'EASY D:' Trump urges court to restore travel ban


President Trump on Wednesday encouraged a federal appeals court to restore his temporary travel restrictions on people from seven countries with ties to terrorism, by tweeting that immigration from those areas presents a threat to security.

The White House has repeatedly argued that continuing to allow relaxed vetting for people entering the U.S. from countries covered under the ban could allow terrorists to exploit the system. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments from the Justice Department on Tuesday evening as the administration sought to overturn an injunction on the ban issued by a Seattle judge days earlier.

Trump’s use of the phrase “EASY D!” — an apparent shorthand for “easy decision” — quickly sparked a flood of social media jokes.

Senate Dems allowed to read Coretta Scott King's letter on Senate floor

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McConnell interrupted Warren’s remarks to say they were out of order, and in violation of Senate rules.

02/08/17 10:42 AM

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House conservatives press for speedy Obamacare repeal


Congress needs to repeal Obamacare by April without further delays, two top House conservatives said Wednesday.

Rep. Mark Meadows, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, said he would support a vote next month, but warned that Congress needs to move as fast as possible with repealing the Affordable Care Act.

“If it’s in March, I would be pleased with that,” Meadows told the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal webcast. “I think we’re working expeditiously.”

Heritage and members of the Freedom Caucus have been intensifying calls to repeal the healthcare law quickly. House and Senate committees are working on legislation, but they face a number of hard questions including how to handle the law’s subsidies and Medicaid expansion.

Some Republicans, particularly some in the Senate, have called for replacing the law the same time as it’s repealed. And some members are talking about repairing the law. But conservatives such as Meadows and former Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan are pressing for quick repeal of big parts of the law, without taking a lot of extra time to figure out a replacement plan.

“‘Repair’ implies there’s something worth fixing,” Jordan said. “I start from the premise that healthcare gets better and costs less when Obamacare is gone. It’s not fixable. It needs to be gone.”

Police organizations can't wait for Atty. General Jeff Sessions

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Sen. Jeff Sessions is on the verge of achieving the ultimate personal vindication.

02/08/17 12:41 AM



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Democrats demand Trump 'respect' federal judges


Fifty House Democrats introduced a resolution Tuesday calling on President Trump to respect federal judges, and warned that bad-mouthing them from the White House will undermine the public’s confidence in them.

The resolution from Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said Trump’s attacks against judges go against “longstanding tradition” and undermine the “principle of judicial independence.”

The resolution noted that as a candidate, Trump said Judge Gonzalo Curiel was a “total disgrace” and opposed Trump in a case related to Trump University because of his “Mexican heritage.”

Trump also called Judge James Robart a “so-called judge” last week after Robart put a stay on Trump’s executive order on immigration. The resolution noted that legal scholars, senators and others have criticized Trump, and called on Trump to respect the Judicial Branch.

“[A]ttacks against the judiciary, as an institution, threaten to weaken public confidence in the courts as a fair and impartial arbiter of the law,” the resolution said.

“[W]hether or not one agrees with the substance of a particular judicial decision, it is inappropriate for sitting presidents, or other government officials, to engage in ad hominem attacks against a judge, or otherwise place political pressure designed to undermine the independence of that judge,” it found.

Read Nadler’s resolution here:

Liberal groups file lawsuit to block Trump's deregulation order

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Advocacy groups say the “two-for-one” order is unconstitutional and “irrational.”

02/08/17 11:14 AM

Police organizations can't wait for Atty. General Jeff Sessions

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Sen. Jeff Sessions is on the verge of achieving the ultimate personal vindication.

02/08/17 12:41 AM



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Trump returns to criticism of court system: It's 'so political'


President Trump is broadening his attack on the U.S. judiciary, suggesting that the federal court system has become “so political” because judges have allowed their decisions to be clouded by personal biases.

Justice Department attorneys were grilled by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals late Tuesday night as they argued against a restraining order that has blocked the administration from implementing Trump’s executive order on immigration. Trump, speaking at a conference of police chiefs on Wednesday, said he listened to the oral arguments and was frustrated by the notoriously left-leaning court’s line of questioning.

“I mean, it’s so sad when you read something so perfectly written and so clear to anybody and then you have lawyers — I watched last night in amazement and I heard things that I couldn’t believe,” Trump said.

He continued, “I don’t ever want to call a court biased, so I won’t call it biased and we haven’t had a decision yet. But courts seem to be so political and it would be so great for our justice system if they would be able to read a statement and do what’s right.”

The Ninth Circuit is expected to rule soon on whether the federal judge’s order preventing enforcement of Trump’s immigration ban is permissible, after listening to nearly two hours of oral arguments Tuesday night and vigorously questioning the Justice Department attorney’s arguments in favor of the president’s directive.

During his remarks on Wednesday, Trump quoted excerpts from a 1952 statute that gives the president sweeping authority on immigration-related matters, claiming that he acted entirely within the law.

“You can be a lawyer or you don’t have to be a lawyer. If you were a good student in high school or a bad student in high school, you can understand this,” the president told the roomful of law enforcement officials.

He added, “It’s really incredible to me that we have a court case that’s going on so long … we’re in an area where let’s just say they are interpreting things differently than probably 100 percent of the people in this room.”

Trump’s criticism of the court system came just as the dust was settling over his decision to attack the Seattle-based judge who issued the restraining order to halt implementation of his travel ban.

Senate Democrats allowed to read Coretta Scott King's letter on Senate floor

Also from the Washington Examiner

McConnell interrupted Warren’s remarks to say they were out of order, and in violation of Senate rules.

02/08/17 10:42 AM

“The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned,” he had tweeted last Friday.

Police organizations can't wait for Atty. General Jeff Sessions

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Sen. Jeff Sessions is on the verge of achieving the ultimate personal vindication.

02/08/17 12:41 AM



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