Day: May 11, 2017

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MELISSA FRANCIS: This Mother's Day, give yourself the ultimate luxury gift: a break


There’s so much joy when we become moms. The feeling we’ve never loved so completely and so selflessly. The delicious hugs and sweet, quiet whispers meant only for us. The cuts and scrapes only we can kiss to make better.

They are all divine. Eat them all up! But be warned. There’s another less fun surprise awaiting moms. I call this: Mom’s Perma Guilt. I have tried to tell new moms to brace themselves because they are about to feel guilty all the time. Every waking (and sleeping) moment. 

As a mom who works outside the home, I feel guilty when I’m running to the set because I’m missing Miss Stacy’s Tuesday Two’s ballet class.

When I’m running baths and taming cowlicks, I feel guilty about what I left unfinished at my office.  And I feel guilty about what I could be doing better everywhere! 

When I open my purse at work only to find my first grader’s permission slip (due that morning) still folded inside, I beat myself senseless. I’m a terrible mom! 

When I duck out of the office to pick up my 10-year-old son from karate, leaving a dozen work messages unreturned, another self-flogging. I’m a terrible employee! 

Then there’s the washer with the errant soap tray that comes flying at my face when I try to add the detergent. Every time I douse myself with sticky blue liquid, the floral-scented bath reminds me that I haven’t called anyone to fix that machine either. Bad human being!

Not too long ago I was sharing (whimpering about) this with a group of moms. We were sitting at yet another choral or clarinet or banjo concert at school waiting (150 years) for our kids to take the stage. I was using the free second not to breathe and relax but to check the work emails that were multiplying like rabbits on my iPhone (and I was feeling guilty about having left work early, obviously).

When I shared my Mom Perma Guilt theory, one mom had an instant tear of commiseration, while another mother quickly told me I’d left out a whole brand of guilt I didn’t know existed. She said: “I feel guilty that I don’t work and my husband has all the pressure to pay every bill!” Another piped in: “I feel guilty that I only work part time!  I blew so much on a degree… why?” The list went on. And don’t leave out Dad (Father’s Day is right around the corner).  My husband is tortured by the same I-can’t-be-in-two-places-at-once guilt just like me.

It’s exhausting! To me this proves we are all way too hard on ourselves (another way I’m failing). 

So I propose that this Mother’s Day we give ourselves the ultimate in luxurious gifts: a break. And while we are at it, give every mother you know one, too. 

Forgive yourself. Have a laugh with the mother next to you (and don’t mention that she has grape baby-yo in her bangs.) Because when we are constantly beating ourselves to a pulp about what we aren’t doing, we miss the joy that’s right in front of us every day: the love, pleasure, and laughter that come from the messy imperfect lives we are so blessed to have.

Melissa Francis is the host of “After the Bell” on Fox Business Network weekdays at 4pm ET. Her new book is “Lessons from the Prairie.” Facebook: MelissaFrancisFOX,Twitter @MelissaAFrancis. Click here for more.



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Conway on Anderson Cooper's eye-roll: I face sexism often in TV interviews


White House counselor Kellyanne Conway reacted this morning to an interview she did Tuesday night in which CNN host Anderson Cooper noticeably rolled his eyes.

Cooper had brought Conway on his show to discuss President Trump’s decision hours earlier to fire FBI Director James Comey.

Cooper rolled his eyes when Conway offered her response to the show playing soundbites in which Trump praised Comey on the campaign trail last year.

Conway said this morning on “Fox & Friends” she encounters sexism often when she goes on TV for interviews, recalling how Hillary Clinton’s campaign complained of facing sexism by voters.

Conway asked whether Clinton or a spokesperson for a Democratic president would have ever faced such treatment. 

“Can you imagine rolling your eyes, having a male anchor on a network roll [his] eyes at Hillary Clinton, a female representative spokeswoman for President Obama or President Bill Clinton? I think not,” said Conway.

She also reacted to reports that the White House did not have a messaging strategy ready to go when the Comey firing was announced. 

According to Politico, the president became “enraged” at the negative coverage and the fact that no one was defending his decision. 

Conway said when the president looks at “most shows,” he sees panels skewed heavily against him, sometimes by a 6-to-1 ratio.

“You had people using words to describe the actions of the president himself that are just incomprehensible. And presumptive, of course, all the presumptive negativity,” she said.

Watch the full interview above.


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Senator wants 'mandated diversity' for Congressional staff


One of the U.S. Senate’s newest members is proposing to shake up the chamber by mandating “diversity” quotas for everything from staffs to committees.

A proposal by Nevada’s freshman Democratic senator, Catherine Cortez Masto, could mimic efforts in corporate America. Large companies across the country, particularly those in Silicon Valley, have been under intense pressure to hire more minorities.

Cortez Masto thinks it should be a Congressional priority, too.

“We should be mandating diversity in our committees, mandating diversity in our hiring practices, mandating diversity throughout the United States Senate,” Cortez Masto told the podcast Women Rule. “You just have to walk in the room and look at the Senators that are there — the 100 Senators, right? You could see the lack of diversity.”

UBER DIVERSITY REPORT SAYS 36 PERCENT OF EMPLOYEES ARE WOMEN

The senator said all members of Congress should make diversity a priority in hiring practices – whether it is staff members they are hiring for their office or staffers on Congressional committees.

Congressional legal experts say her proposal is almost identical to what many government agencies and private companies already do. One expert said that while he may not agree with it, why shouldn’t Congress be held to the same standard?

“This is obviously the outgrowth and natural conclusion of what’s going been on for a long time outside Capitol Hill,” said Professor John Eastman of Chapman University. “This is exactly what the 1964 Civil Rights Act said we cannot do, but we know that this is the way the law has nevertheless been applied throughout the rest of the country. So, why not hold the Congress to the same rules that apply to everyone else so the politicians can see the absurdity of it?”

FORCED DIVERSITY TRAINING BACKFIRES, CLAIMS HARVARD STUDY

Cortez Masto beat Republican challenger Joe Heck in a closely fought race last year to replace Harry Reid. Official exit polls showed there was an uptick in Hispanics who voted for Heck and President Trump when compared to 2012, though a decisive majority still voted Democrat.

Chapman and other political experts believe that aggressive diversity programs could backfire.

“The political leadership loves this stuff, but the rank-and-file tend to know it perpetuates discrimination and sometimes undermines their own successes because it feeds into the idea, ‘you just got this because you’re part of some kind of affirmative action program,’” Chapman said.

Cortez Masto, like many other elected officials from across the political spectrum, has been a vocal advocate for increasing diversity among elected officials and encourages minorities to run for political office.

But that does not mean, said her press secretary Sarah Zukowski, “that efforts to increase diversity should infringe on the democratic selection of Congressional members.”



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JUDGE NAPOLITANO: House didn't repeal ObamaCare, it endorsed it


Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives crafted a partisan compromise bill that endorsed and reinforced the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare. This was done notwithstanding claims to the contrary by President Donald Trump and the House Republican leadership, who want us to believe that this bill, if it becomes law, will effectively repeal and replace ObamaCare.

ObamaCare is a stool with four problematic legs. The constitutional leg is the premise that the federal government has the lawful power to regulate the delivery of health care. The legal leg is the premise that the federal government is obliged to provide health insurance to everyone in America. The economic leg commands that everyone in the U.S. purchase and maintain health insurance. And the Orwellian leg says that every physician in the U.S. shall retain all patient records digitally and that federal bureaucrats shall have access to all those records.

None of that is changed in the House-passed bill. Here is the back story.

The original ObamaCare proposal had the taxpayers foot everyone’s medical bills through a series of taxes, regulations and controls. That is the so-called single-payer system that former President Barack Obama dreamed of. It would have been much like the systems in place today in Great Britain, Canada and Australia, where one waits for months to see government-employed physicians who are stingy with government-owned medications and mired in red tape and long lines over government-financed medical procedures.

Even many of the Democrats who controlled both houses of Congress during Obama’s first two years in office were unable to accept that idea. In its place, they produced a 2,700-page piece of legislation, which candidate Trump vowed to dismantle — saying he favored a market-based, state-regulated system with no federal involvement, the kind we knew in the pre-ObamaCare era.

None of those goals is reached by the House-passed bill.

ObamaCare’s imposition of the federal government between all patients and their physicians was a radical departure from the traditional delivery of medical services in America. This was done with utter disregard to the constitutional constraints imposed upon Congress — whereby the regulation of health, safety and welfare was retained by the states — and by radically expanding federal power derived from the Constitution.

Congress’ favorite constitutional hook upon which to hang its regulatory hat has been the commerce clause. After more than a half-century of letting Congress characterize nearly any human activity as commerce — and thus regulable federally — the Supreme Court in 1995 required that only those behaviors that constitute or support a truly commercial transaction can be reached by the feds. The professions — medicine, law, architecture, engineering, university teaching, for example — though one pays for them, had never been considered to be commercial in the sense that they could be federally regulable, until ObamaCare came along.

None of this is changed in the House-passed bill.

Under ObamaCare, the federal government took over the regulation of health care from the states with a one-size-fits-all metric administered by faceless bureaucrats. I say faceless because when you go to your doctor today, she or he may need the approval of a federal bureaucrat to perform a procedure for you — a bureaucrat the doctor will never see, only read via a laptop.

None of this is changed in the House-passed bill.

ObamaCare also established the duty of the federal government to provide health insurance for every American. No law before ObamaCare ever attempted that ambitious unconstitutional improbability. When the Supreme Court accepted a constitutional challenge to the Social Security system, it ruled that the system consisted of taxing and spending — but created no legally binding obligation on the part of the federal government to spend in the future. Stated differently, under ObamaCare, the feds can take your money that they have promised you they will spend on your health care and spend it as they see fit.

None of this is changed in the House-passed bill.

The individual mandate in ObamaCare requires that every person in America have health insurance. It also requires employers of more than 50 people to provide health insurance for all employees who work for those employers for more than 30 hours a week. The failure to provide or maintain a health insurance policy by employers or individuals triggers the imposition of a tax by the IRS.

Under the House-passed bill, your employer no longer has to provide you with health insurance, but you must still maintain your own health insurance. Instead of paying the IRS if you let your coverage lapse, you have to pay a $3,000 annual penalty to your insurance carrier — once you do sign up — for every year you lacked coverage.

What kind of a repeal is that?

And the faceless bureaucrats still reign. The House-passed bill permits the feds to decide whether your doctor is treating you in a manner consistent with the availability of government resources and to administer ObamaCare’s thousands of minute politically driven regulations.

By definition, ObamaCare will soon be a failure because it causes the expenditure of more money than it takes in. Eventually, it will have no cash. But Barack Obama may have subtly succeeded in changing the landscape of thinking about federal involvement in health care. For those who believe that the Constitution means what it says, it was disheartening to see President Trump and so many Republicans in Congress who once defended the free market now assume that all Americans want the feds to care for them and that somehow the Constitution permits it.

Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton rarely agreed on principles of government. But they did agree that when the public treasury becomes a public trough and the people recognize that, the people will send to the federal government only those who will bring home the biggest piece of the federal pie. The House-passed bill was produced by federal government representatives who manifest that.

That’s the same federal government that can’t deliver the mail.

Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is the senior judicial analyst at Fox News Channel. 



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Nicole not a Giada fan…


Well, we know one person who won’t be watching the new season of “Food Network Star.”

During a visit to “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on Wednesday, Giada De Laurentiis failed to impress Nicole Kidman with her recipe for focaccia bread pizza — and we know this because the “Big Little Lies” actress told the celebrity chef she wasn’t really a fan.

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De Laurentiis, who was visiting “Ellen” to promote the 13th season of “Food Network Star,” began her cooking segment by teaching DeGeneres and Kidman how to make arancini balls out of leftover risotto. Things seemed a bit jumbled from the start — De Laurentiis and DeGeneres were keen to embrace the “ball” jokes that popped into their heads — but the segment didn’t really go off the rails until the celebrity chef shared her idea for a clementine and fennel focaccia.

As the three women were preparing the pizza dough, De Laurentiis could barely be heard shouting instructions to DeGeneres and Kidman over the audience’s laughter. At one point, De Laurentiis even says, “It’s a good thing this isn’t live,” presumably because the segment wasn’t going as she planned.

She then makes the mistake of reminding DeGeneres that they both share an affinity for anise seeds, which prompts a confused DeGeneres to wonder aloud whether she’s talking about anuses.

Soon after, De Laurentiis flat-out remarks that the cooking demo “is not going the way I was hoping.”

Near the end of the six-minute segment, DeGeneres picks up a piece of the pre-made focaccia pizza and tears off a chunk with her front teeth. It becomes clear that the crust is a little tougher than she expected, and she plays up her exaggerated chewing motions to the audience’s delight.

“Why do I even do a cooking segment?” joked a visibly frustrated De Laurentiis. “I don’t even know why I bother!”

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Finally, Kidman offers her opinion of the pizza. “I know you’re not meant to criticize, but it’s a little tough,” she said before spitting it into a napkin.

“Nicole, it’s been sitting there for, like, five hours!” De Laurentiis, who had chided Kidman’s lack of cooking skills earlier in the segment, says with a laugh. “I hate doing these things for that reason.”

To her credit, though, De Laurentiis took their criticisms in stride, and even managed to plug the season premier of “Food Network Star” — which airs June 9 — before DeGeneres cut to a commercial.

Somehow, we don’t imagine Kidman wrote that down in her calendar.



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Retreat has pot-infused food


What do you want from a vacation? Sun, the chance to sample some local food and drink, and maybe a bit of sightseeing?

Well, one Californian vacation company is offering something that is very different from your traditional vacation: a five-day “experiential cannabis retreat.”

The founders of the Cannabliss retreat in Ojai, California, claims that pumping guests with the drug from morning till night will help to awaken the spirit and expand the mind.

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Guests will be fed cannabis-infused meals and take part in cannabis-influenced activities like yoga and painting.

In addition to cannabis, they will also take part in ceremonies with cacao, kava kava, and other “conscious awakening herbs.”

The retreat’s founder, Sari Gabbay, said: “This is not just a smoke-weed-and-do-yoga type of retreat.”

“We are creating the ultimate experience using cannabis and other mood-enhancing, mind-expanding plant medicines that will bliss you out, expand your mind and teach you more about yourself.”

IS SMOKING POT DURING PREGNANCY SAFE?

Activities on offer during the retreat that will be “complemented” with cannabis include meditation, canvas painting, hiking, drum circles, sound baths, psychedelic black light yoga and dance parties.

There will also be cannabis-tasting pairings catered by the company GrassFed, who specialize in pop-up cannabis social dining experiences.

Guests on the retreat will each be given a vaporizer so that they can inhale different strains of cannabis during every meal, according to LA Weekly.

Breakfast will feature strains of the drug that boost the energy, at lunchtime guests will take a version of the drug designed to aid creativity and in the evening they will inhale a cannabis that aids sleep.

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Packages on the retreat cost from $1,010 per person for two people in single beds in a tent and up to $1,212 per person for a private room with either a king or queen-sized bed.

While the use, possession, and sale of cannabis is still illegal under federal law, individual states are allowed to pass laws that decriminalize the drug for recreational or medical use, which California has done.

First published in The Sun



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Hilton flips out in court


Conrad Hilton, the hotel heir whose famous siblings include Paris and Nicky Hilton, just can’t seem to stay out of trouble.

On Wednesday, he made headlines for loosing control and making gestures caught on camera in court during his arraignment. TMZ reports he uttered that the goings on in court were “So f–king gay,” but his words were not picked up by the microphone.

His latest court appearance in connection to claims he violated a restraining order his ex-girlfriend has against him by trying to break into her home.

In this most recent case, Hilton is being represented by Robert Shapiro, the famous lawyer involved with O.J. Simpson case.

Hilton chose not to enter a plea and was released on $90,000 bail and ordered to report to a hospital in Texas.

This is far from the famous heir’s first brush with the law.

Here are some of the most-disturbing Conrad Hilton headlines through the years:



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Trouble at 'Live' already?


Kelly Ripa is not over the moon about ABC acquiring “American Idol” after announcing Ryan Seacrest as her new “Live” co-host.

“She doesn’t want a repeat of the Michael Strahan situation. It’s like ABC is once again diluting the attention on ‘Live.’ She wants to make sure her show is Ryan’s first priority, not ‘Idol,’ ” a source told us.

On Tuesday, ABC announced it was reviving the hit talent-competition show a year after it completed a successful 15-season run on Fox.

The network has yet to announce Seacrest as the host. A source close to the media mogul said he’s still mulling it over. And although Seacrest played dumb about the “Idol” announcement on-air, insiders told us the gig is a big part of his deal.

ANDY COHEN WARNS RYAN SEACREST ABOUT KELLY RIPA

“This isn’t some spur-of-the-moment deal. It’s a part of his move to ABC,” said the insider. “It’s a no-brainer. He took the job for ‘Idol’ and to host ‘Live.’ It’s the only way ABC could pay him enough money to come over. They’ll have to announce it before upfronts,” where networks present upcoming shows.

“That’s untrue. He does not have a deal with ‘Idol,’ ” Seacrest’s rep commented. “He’s in conversations. His ‘Live’ deal was made independent of any ‘Idol’ discussions. His priority is ‘Live With Kelly and Ryan’ and his radio show.”

Sources have told us it’s been a rough week for Ripa, but others insist she’s “100-percent onboard” with Seacrest and “Idol.”

“Kelly is in the loop. She had approval over the co-host, so Ryan was her first choice. It was a very calculated decision by the network and by her. Everyone is thrilled. They’ve known each other 15 years . . . They really are friends,” an insider said.

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Another insider said “Idol” will air Sunday nights to accommodate Seacrest’s schedule, which also includes hosting his daily radio show.

“He’s not going to do anything to jeopardize ‘Live.’ He has a long-term commitment to the show. He’s excited to be living in New York, and this is a big deal for him,” the source said. Ripa’s rep told us she’s as excited as Seacrest, “It’s all false. She’s been fully in the loop.”

An ABC spokesperson added, “Everything is categorically not true.”

This article originally appeared in the New York Post’s Page Six.



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'HE'S A SHOWBOAT' Trump: Comey’s fate was sealed before DOJ letter


President Trump on Thursday called fired FBI Director James Comey a “showboat” and “grandstander” who Trump intended to fire regardless of any recommendation from the Justice Department.

Trump, speaking to NBC News, gave his first in-depth remarks since the stunning ousting of Comey on Tuesday evening.

“Look he’s a showboat, he’s a grandstander,” Trump said. “The FBI has been in turmoil. You know that, I know that. Everybody knows that. You take a look at the FBI a year ago, it was in virtual turmoil – less than a year ago. It hasn’t recovered from that.”

Trump said he had planned to fire Comey for some time, but “there’s no good time to do it by the way.”

Comey was terminated after Trump received a written recommendation from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Comey’s direct superior. That memo cited Comey’s mishandling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s secret email server as the primary cause for a loss of confidence. But Trump said Thursday that Rosenstein’s document wasn’t what weighted the scale against Comey.

“I was going to fire regardless of recommendation,” Trump said.

Trump again repeated his assertion, contained in the letter firing Comey, that the former FBI head had told Trump on three separate occasions that he was not personally under investigation regarding any possible collusion with Russian officials.

“And I’ve heard that from others,” Trump said.

He went on to detail the occasions when Comey told him he was in the clear.

“I had a dinner with him, he wanted to have dinner because he wanted to stay on,” Trump said. “…And I said, ‘I’ll consider we’ll see what happens’…And at that time he told me, ‘You’re not under investigation,’ which I knew anyway.”

Said Trump: “In one case I asked him…He said: ‘You are not under investigation.’”



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Snake hunter gets big paycheck after catching longest snake of the season


Dusty “The Wildman” Crum, an orchid grower during the day but champion python hunter in his spare time, captured the biggest snake of South Florida’s Water Management District’s (SFWMD) current python eradication yet.

The snake caught is a whopping 16 feet and 10 inches long. This will be quite the payday for Crum. SFWMD pays hunters $8.10 an hour, but depending on the size of the snake presented, additional payments are made. For example, there is an on-the-spot per payment of $50 for pythons measuring up to 4 feet and an extra $25 for each foot measured about 4 feet.  That lands a good $375 into Crum’s pocket.

The snake caught has been the biggest for this current round of hunting, but it certainly is not the biggest ever. The local record was a snake measuring at about 18 feet, two inches in length and weighing about 160 pounds. Crum’s snake weighed 130, which is still extremely terrifying. 

Snake hunting has become a serious business, with there being thousands of these pythons in the Everglades. And they are very invasive, as they terrorize raccoons, rabbits, birds and even alligators.

Click here for more from Fox 35. 



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