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What Joe Biden’s Opponents Are Saying About Him On The Campaign Trail | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

What Joe Biden’s Opponents Are Saying About Him On The Campaign Trail | Velshi...

It may be Biden’s first day officially on the campaign, but his Democratic opponents are not holding back. Former Deputy Director of Speechwriting for the George W. Bush Administration, Peter Wehner, and former campaign manager for Hillary Clinton Robby Mook…

Faith and politics — a dish best served separately?

Faith and politics — for many, the two powerful identities are inseparable. But the former deputy director of speechwriting for President George W. Bush cautions not to mix the two together too firmly. Peter Wehner, who also served in the Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations and is now a senior fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, may have made himself known on the conservative side of the aisle, but he keeps an open mind about politics in relation to his Christian faith. “God does not have a political party.” Wise and welcome words from Pete Buttigieg, from his CNN town hall event last night. Those who claim otherwise are turning their faith into a political instrumentality, and sometimes a political weapon. — Peter Wehner (@Peter_Wehner) April 23, 2019 The political world is not a simplistic system in which one party is entirely moral and the other entirely immoral, according to Wehner. In reality, he stated, if Jesus came to America today, “he would find things that are problematic in both parties, and probably some things to praise in both parties.” Wehner’s own Christian principles, such as the belief in the dignity of all human beings, have led him to be a conservative — but he acknowledged that this could always be a misinterpretation on his part. “I say that [my faith has led me here], I hope, with some degree of humility and modesty, because I may well be wrong,” he said. “It’s very very dangerous to hold onto the view that, ‘My way is the Christian way, or my way is the way that Jesus would end up, and if you disagree with me, you’re on the opposite side of Christianity and of Jesus,'” Wehner said. That said, Wehner does not want people to keep faith and politics completely separate, but to make sure that they do not weaponize religion.

Valerie Plame May Run for Congress in 2020

The Story: Valerie Plame, the former CIA spy who first came to broad public attention in 2003 when the George W. Bush administration was trying...

Pelosi says Trump using 9/11 images for ‘political attack’

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has weighed in on the most recent controversy involving Rep. Ilhan Omar, retweeting video edited to suggest that the Minnesota Democrat was dismissive of the significance of the Sept. 11 attacks. Trump on Friday tweeted, “WE WILL NEVER FORGET!” Omar’s remark has drawn criticism largely from political opponents and conservatives. Omar told CAIR in Los Angeles that many Muslims saw their civil liberties eroded after the attacks, and she advocated for activism. “For far too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen and, frankly, I’m tired of it, and every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it,” she said in the March 23 speech, according to video posted online. “CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.” CAIR was founded in 1994, according to its website, but its membership increased dramatically after the attacks. Many Republicans and conservative outlets expressed outrage at Omar’s remarks. “First Member of Congress to ever describe terrorists who killed thousands of Americans on 9/11 as ‘some people who did something,'” tweeted Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas. The retired Navy SEAL lost his right eye in 2012 in an explosion in Afghanistan. She tweeted a quote from former President George W. Bush shortly after the attacks, when he said: “‘The people — and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!” “Was Bush downplaying the terrorist attack?” Omar tweeted. “What if he was a Muslim.” Several of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates condemned Trump’s tweet.

American Meritocracy Is a Myth

Worse yet, the top 0.1 percent has cornered about 20 percent of it, up from 7 percent in the mid-1970s. In fact, applicants from families in the top 1 percent are now 77 times more likely than in the bottom 20 percent to land in an elite college, and 38 of those schools admit more kids from families in that top percentage than from the bottom 60 percent. Individuals, companies, and organizations can, for instance, give money to political action committees (PACs) and Super PACs. PACs face no monetary limits on their independent efforts to shape elections, though they can’t accept corporate or union money or take more than $5,000 from individuals. They raised $1.6 billion and spent nearly $809 million. Nearly 78 percent of the money they received came from 100 donors. They, in turn, belonged to the wealthiest 1 percent, who provided 95 percent of what those Super PACs took in. It devoted $15 million to lobbying in 2018—and that’s not counting its campaign contributions, using various channels. Compared to other democracies, the United States appears to be in a league of its own when it comes to money’s prominence in politics. (Super PACs spent another $350 million to help Romney and $100 million to back Obama.)

Trump’s 2020 Campaign: A Traditional Operation With a Wild-Card Candidate

“We won 306 to 223.” (Mrs. Clinton’s total was actually 232.) Advisers say privately that he has been distracted by the Mueller report, which he regards as a clear political victory, and has not focused on message for the coming months. As the campaign tries to build a traditional re-election operation, which officials often compare to President George W. Bush’s 2004 race, the tension may build between campaign officials and Mr. Trump, who trusts his gut above all else. “One of the differences is time. “It’s easy to build a beautiful operation,” said Robby Mook, the campaign manager for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 race. To staff the campaign, advisers have brought in a mix of new hires and veterans of the 2016 effort. The president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, meanwhile, is planning to play a large managerial role overseeing the campaign from the West Wing and speaks to Mr. Parscale multiple times a day. Mr. Stepien, meanwhile, has been focused on the delegate selection process and state chairman races in places like Massachusetts, Florida and Maine, to ensure that the Republican National Convention next year will be an uninterrupted celebration of the president. Mr. Parscale has discussed with Mr. Trump the potential advantages of targeting the Green New Deal, the ambitious Democratic proposal to combat climate change. The rally may still happen, people familiar with the plans said, but only because campaign officials insisted on it.

Trump announces Kelly Knight Craft as nominee for UN ambassador

President Trump on Friday announced Kelly Knight Craft, ambassador to Canada, as his nominee to become the next United States ambassador to the United Nations. Haley offered Craft her congratulations on Twitter following the announcement. "She’s done a great job representing us as @USAmbCanada and we know she’ll be a strong voice for America at the United Nations," Haley tweeted. “I am grateful to President Trump and Secretary [Mike] Pompeo for the trust they placed in me for considering me for the position of U.S. ambassador to the United Nations," Nauert said in the statement released by the State Department on Saturday. A State Department source told Fox News at the time that the confirmation process -- on top of traveling around the world and between Washington and New York to see family -- grew to be too much for Nauert. Craft was sworn in as the ambassador to Canada in September 2017 after being nominated to the position by Trump, according to her biography on the Embassy's website. "Ambassador Kelly Craft is a leader, entrepreneur, and philanthropist who has made community service and improving education the cornerstone of her career," her biography said. She has also served on the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees, and started a marketing and business advisory company, it said. Pompeo issued a statement saying he was "very pleased that President Trump has announced his intent to nominate Ambassador Kelly Craft to be our next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. "Ambassador Craft has been an outstanding advocate for America’s national security and economic interests in Canada and she is extremely well-qualified to do the same at the United Nations," he continued.

‘I did inhale’: How the politics of pot is changing

President George W. Bush is believed to have partaken in illicit drugs in his youth, though he always played coy about it. Now, less than 30 years after Clinton felt the need to qualify his drug use, presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., is not only unabashedly owning up to her own personal marijuana use, but is in full support of making it legal nationwide. “Half my family is from Jamaica, are you kidding me,” Harris said laughing, during a radio interview Monday. Whereas once policymakers decried marijuana as a gateway drug, Harris defended its use by saying, “it gives a lot of people joy.” “And we need more joy in the world,” she said. Like the legalization of gay marriage in the last decade, there’s been a swift societal reversal. The first states, Colorado and Washington, only changed their laws in 2012. When Clinton was in the White House, just about 25 percent of Americans thought marijuana should be legal for recreational use. With that much public support for it, candidates for president, especially on the Democratic side, all but have to come down on the side of legalization. And Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., whose state’s economy has benefited from legalization, is pushing legislation to ensure the federal government doesn’t interfere in states’ individual decisions. Trump even said last summer that he’d be likely to support Gardner’s legislation lifting the federal ban on pot.
Kavanaugh allegation evokes comparisons to Clarence Thomas

Abortion and the Votes on the Supreme Court

The Story: The US Supreme Court, on February 7, 2019, granted a request from the managers of an abortion...

Power politics exact steep price

You can waste a lot of time in speculation and argument on how we have come to such a ridiculous -- and dangerous -- moment, but one hopes that Congress finds a solution this week which makes sense of what has become a needlessly tangled situation. If he vetoes it, override the veto. Of course, that overlooks political reality. Our president would not react graciously to a defeat. His whole persona centers on a conviction that he must always "win." His fragile nature cannot handle such a public rejection. The Republicans are stuck. If they oppose Trump, they run a very real risk of losing to primary opponents. Meanwhile, the country’s attention has been diverted by accusations of racial insensitivity and sexual aggression in the state of Virginia involving the governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general. Such action would elevate the Republican leader of Virginia’s House of Delegates to the governor’s chair.