Muslim Anti-Extremist Maajid Nawaz on Maher; Talks Lawsuit Against Southern Poverty Law Center

Anti-radical Muslim activist Maajid Nawaz appeared on Friday's broadcast of HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher to talk about the threat of jihadists and Islamist sympathizers in Europe, how "well-meaning liberals" hurt the cause for peaceful Muslims, and his lawsuit against the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for labeling his cause a hate group. Nawaz dubbed their attacks on him as "poverty of expectations" (referencing 'bigotry of low expectations'). Nawaz said "well-meaning liberals," usually white males, don't allow for him to criticize his own religion. He questioned why doesn't he have the right to criticize his own religion. He said ...
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Tyson lobbyist wounded in baseball shooting is discharged from hospital

Tyson lobbyist wounded in baseball shooting is discharged from hospital

By clima@politico.com (Cristiano Lima) Matt Mika, the Tyson Foods lobbyist who was one of five victims injured during the shooting at a congressional baseball practice last week, was discharged from the hospital Friday, according to a statement released by his family. “Our family is pleased to report that Matt has been discharged from George Washington University Hospital,” Mika's family said in the statement. Mika, the director of government relations for Tyson's D.C. office, was sent to the Washington hospital after suffering multiple gunshot wounds to the chest when a lone gunman fired on the June 14 practice. Mika required surgery, ...
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Vox Sentences: Jobs, jobs, jobs (are still moving to Mexico)

By Ella Nilsen Vox Sentences is your daily digest for what's happening in the world, curated by Ella Nilsen. Sign up for the Vox Sentences newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday, or view the Vox Sentences archive for past editions. Boeing and Carrier announce layoffs; East Coast subway riders suffer through repairs; Saudi Arabia gives Qatar a set of ultimatums. Deal or no deal Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images President Donald Trump got bad news this week as two companies at which he had made high-profile visits to promise new jobs months earlier announced layoffs. Within days ...
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Justice Department, FBI seem at odds over budget

Justice Department, FBI seem at odds over budget

By jgerstein@politico.com (Josh Gerstein) The firing of FBI Director James Comey isn't the only thing top Justice Department officials and FBI leaders disagree about at the moment. They also don't see eye to eye about something else always of great import in Washington: money. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe have presented starkly different views to Congress about how President Donald Trump's budget would impact the FBI's operations. To hear McCabe describe it, Trump's budget would require significant belt-tightening across the law enforcement agency. “It will certainly impact us in many ways. It is a ...
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The GOP’s one-man fire brigade

The GOP’s one-man fire brigade

By ejohnson@politico.com (Eliana Johnson) Karen Handel wasn't the only big winner in Tuesday's special election. Republican operative Corry Bliss, who heads the super PAC officially blessed by House GOP leadership, arguably had just as much riding on the outcome.He had never managed a House race before he took the helm of the Congressional Leadership Fund, which poured more than $10 million into the recent special elections. But now Bliss is coming off four straight victories, and he's credited with quelling Republican fears that President Donald Trump will drag down the party's prospects in the 2018 midterm elections. “He's on a ...
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What If Donald Trump Doesn't Sink the Republican Party?

By David Harsanyi What if Republican voters who don't particularly like President Donald Trump are also able to compartmentalize their votes? What if they dislike Democrats more than they do the president? What if, rather than being punished for Trump's unpopularity, local candidates are rewarded for their moderation? This would be a disaster for Democrats. And Tuesday's runoff election in Georgia's 6th District shows that it might be possible. Now, had Jon Ossoff come out ahead of Karen Handel, the coverage would have painted this as a game-changing moment: a referendum on conservatism itself, a harbinger of... ...read more Read ...
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NASA just debunked Gwyneth Paltrow’s latest snake oil

By Julia Belluz Goop tried to use space science to sell bogus stickers. NASA wasn't having it. Gwyneth Paltrow's latest lifestyle snake oil is so bad, NASA was forced to debunk it. Paltrow's lifestyle website Goop — the same site that brought you jade vagina eggs and overpriced vitamins — is now peddling a product called Body Vibes, wearable stickers that purport to “promote healing” and “rebalance the energy frequency in our bodies.” Goop.com “Wearable stickers that rebalance the energy frequency in our bodies have become a major obsession around Goop HQ.”These stickers, which cost $60 for a pack of ...
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Palmieri: Obama officials

Palmieri: Obama officials ‘made the best decisions they could’ on Russia hacking

By Jake Lahut Jennifer Palmieri, Hillary Clinton's former communications director, said on Friday that the Obama administration "made the best decisions they could" when deciding when to publicly disclose evidence that Russian officials tried to interfere with the 2016 election.Palmieri's comments came after the release of an investigation by The Washington Post revealed how former President Barack Obama and his aides wrestled with when to release the highly sensitive intelligence, because they feared being accused of trying to influence the election themselves."And you know, I know that the Obama White House is in a very difficult situation, and they made ...
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Intelligence officials worry State Dept. going easy on Russian diplomats

Intelligence officials worry State Dept. going easy on Russian diplomats

By awatkins@politico.com (Ali Watkins) Intelligence officials and lawmakers are concerned that the State Department is dragging its feet in implementing a crackdown on Russian diplomats' travel within the U.S., despite evidence that Moscow is using lax restrictions to conduct intelligence operations.The frustration comes amid bipartisan concern that the Trump administration is trying to slow down other congressional efforts to get tough on Russia. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told a House committee last week that a new Senate sanctions package designed to punish Russia for its interference in the 2016 election would limit Trump's “flexibility” and impede possible U.S. “dialogue” ...
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Gowdy Will Defer to Mueller, Intel Panel on Russia Probes

By James Arkin Rep. Trey Gowdy, the newly minted chairman of the House oversight committee, said he will likely not probe directly Russia's interference in the 2016 election or the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, hoping to avoid conflicting with investigations conducted by the Department of Justice special counsel or other congressional committees. Gowdy became chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee last week, replacing Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who plans to retire from Congress at the end of this month. Gowdy said Friday that he would cede priority of potentially criminal... ...read more Read more here: Gowdy ...
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Make 2017 Last Year Again

By Windsor Mann President Trump is running for president for the first time again. On Wednesday night, he held a campaign-style rally in Cedar Rapids. It was so campaign-like that campaign staffers were there, it was in Iowa, and people listened to a Lee Greenwood song on purpose. President Nixon gave a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars during Watergate for the same reason that Trump gave his in Iowa: He knew he wouldn't get booed. Just as Nixon found an ally in America's silent majority, Trump found 6,000 of them in downtown Cedar Rapids, and they were far ...
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Man Bun Ken, viral knife polishing, and dark times at Tumblr: a week in internet culture

By Aja Romano The floor is a tired Twitter joke structure, and other online lessons. The internet mostly didn't devolve into a political firestorm this week, which makes it a fairly good week as far as 2017 has gone. Of course, if you were employed at Mattel, maker of Barbie, you might feel differently, since internet denizens expended a great deal of energy skewering your newly rolled-out lineup of modern, ethnically diverse Ken dolls. And if you were Jeff Bezos, well, the internet really didn't hop on board with Amazon's Whole Foods acquisition. But in general, we turned to memes ...
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The Passing of the Pelosi Era

By Patrick Buchanan In the first round of the special election for the House seat in Georgia's Sixth District, 30-year-old Jon Ossoff swept 48 percent. He more than doubled the vote of his closest GOP rival, Karen Handel. A Peach State pickup for the Democrats and a huge humiliation for President Trump seemed at hand. But in Tuesday's final round, Ossoff, after the most costly House race in history, got 48 percent again, and lost. If Democratic donors are grabbing pitchforks, who can blame them? And what was Karen Handel's cutting issue? Ossoff lived two miles outside the district and ...
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Can Heitkamp Win Again in Red North Dakota?

By David Byler If you were to ask nearly any political analyst or forecaster which Democratic senators are most vulnerable in 2018, Heidi Heitkamp would almost certainly be on their lists. The North Dakota lawmaker, elected by a narrow margin in 2012, has been performing a delicate balancing act: trying to work well with her co-partisans while keeping the electorate of her heavily Republican home state happy. So it's worth asking -- when we talk about vulnerable Senate incumbents, why does Heitkamp's name keep coming up? There's a simple way and a complex way to think about this -- both ...
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Amyloid and Alzheimer's

By Susan Estrich Some years ago, my colleague and client Dr. Paul Aisen, an internationally recognized researcher of Alzheimer's disease and the director of the Alzheimer's Therapeutic Research Institute at USC, discovered that people with Alzheimer's all have elevated levels of the protein amyloid in their brains. Following this discovery, clinical trials targeted amyloid in patients with Alzheimer's disease, but those trials failed: Intervening after the disease has already resulted in significant degeneration of the brain did not work. Still, the relationship between AD and amyloid has become so... ...read more Read more here: Amyloid and Alzheimer's ...
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Trump's Embrace of Strongmen Betrays an American Ideal

By Michael Gerson WASHINGTON -- In 1983, President Ronald Reagan delivered his "Evil Empire" speech, which immediately offended Soviet leaders and the foreign policy establishment. (Reagan must have been equally pleased by both.) "I believe that communism is another sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages even now are being written," he said. "I believe this because the source of our strength in the quest for human freedom is not material, but spiritual. And because it knows no limitation, it must terrify and ultimately triumph over those who would enslave their fellow man." In a Siberian jail,... ...read ...
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Democrat Anger Is Helping Republicans

By Erick Erickson This past week, after spending $30 million, Democrats lost their fourth special election since Donald Trump became president. So convinced are Democrats that the president is toxic, they failed to realize that in many parts of the country they are toxic. For perspective, in November last year, the Democrat challenger to Congressman Tom Price received 38.3 percent of the popular vote in the sixth congressional district of Georgia. Jon Ossoff only improved that by 10 percent with $30 million. Democrats may say the race should not have been that close, but the reality is spending that much ...
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Pakistan just issued its first passport with a transgender category

By Lindsay Maizland It's a milestone for trans activists. Pakistan is one of the most conservative countries in the world, one that still considers homosexuality a crime, condones child marriage, and has attempted to legalize spousal abuse. That makes its decision to start issuing passports with a separate gender category, X, for transgender citizens all the more surprising. Pakistani citizens will now be able to self-identify with the third option, instead of just identifying with male or female. Trans Action Pakistan, an advocacy organization for Pakistan's transgender community, shared a post on its Facebook page saying that the president of ...
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With Health Care Bill, the GOP Is Mounting a Historic Heist

By Eugene Robinson WASHINGTON -- The "health care bill" that Republicans are trying to pass in the Senate, like the one approved by the GOP majority in the House, isn't really about health care at all. It's the first step in a massive redistribution of wealth from struggling wage-earners to the rich -- a theft of historic proportions. Is the Senate version less "mean" than the House bill, to use President Trump's description of that earlier effort? Not really. Does the new bill have the "heart" that Trump demanded? No, it doesn't. The devil is not in the details, it's ...
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5 things Trump did while you weren

5 things Trump did while you weren’t looking: Week 3

By dvinik@politico.com (Danny Vinik) The White House declared it “Tech Week,” inviting a group of CEO's to repair the administration's somewhat rocky relationship to the innovation industries. But for all intents and purposes, this turned out to be Healthcare Week in Washington.The Senate GOP's healthcare bill dropped with a bang on Thursday, drafted so secretly that even key Republican lawmakers didn't know what was in it. The bill so dominated the Washington news that even Trump's walk back of his Comey-tape threat got only a short ride in the spotlight.Whether Congress really gets a health care bill done is anyone's ...
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Puberty Suppression and FGM

By Froma Harrop Michigan is set to become the 26TH American state to join the federal government in criminalizing female genital mutilation, even as two Detroit area doctors and one of their wives await trial for inflicting the procedure on a number of young girls. FGM, which is common in some parts of Africa and the Middle East, involves using a razor to remove all or part of a girl's clitoris and parts of the vulva. By Western standards, this amounts to child abuse and criminal assault. FGM defenders claim that the practice makes girls feel "clean;" that it helps ...
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White House names Trump hotel employee to be chief usher

White House names Trump hotel employee to be chief usher

By nmccaskill@politico.com (Nolan D. McCaskill) First Lady Melania Trump announced Friday that Timothy Harleth will serve as White House chief usher, leaving his position at the Trump International Hotel to oversee a residence staff of more than 90 people farther down Pennsylvania Avenue.“I am so pleased that Timothy will be joining our team,” Trump said in a statement Friday. “He was selected because of his impressive work history and management skills. My husband and I know he will be successful in this vital role within the White House.”The White House said Harleth, who oversaw more than 110 employees as director ...
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McDonald’s in Saudi Arabia just swore allegiance to the new crown prince

By Rebecca Tan Burger King and Domino's scrambled to follow suit Fast-food chains rarely wade into politics. And then there's Saudi Arabia, where McDonald's and Domino's just pledged their allegiance to the country's new crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. Earlier this week, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud announced that he would be skipping over the man who was next in line to succeed him and appointing his own son, Salman, as crown prince. Salman's appointment has been received with mixed reactions: While many within Saudi Arabia are excited about the change that the 31-year-old prince might bring, administrators stateside ...
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There’s no evidence that immigrants hurt any American workers

By Michael Clemens The debate over the Mariel boatlift, economics' most famous immigration controversy, explained. Do immigrants from poor countries hurt native workers? It's a perpetual question for policymakers and politicians. That the answer is a resounding “Yes!” was a central assertion of Donald Trump's presidential campaign. When a study by an economist at Harvard University recently found that a famous influx of Cuban immigrants into Miami dramatically reduced the wages of native workers, immigration critics argued that the debate was settled. The study, by Harvard's George Borjas, first circulated as a draft in 2015, and was finally published in ...
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A majority of Americans now say they like Obamacare. That’s a first.

By Dylan Scott Half of Americans also said they would be better off if Obamacare remained the law of the land. Obamacare and Medicaid enjoy far more public support than the emerging Republican health care plan, according to a new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Republicans, including those in the Senate who will likely vote on their health care bill next week, have justified overhauling the 2010 health care law and Medicaid in part because they say the programs are unpopular and aren't working. But Americans seem to prefer the first two while being wary of the GOP's plan, ...
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Layoffs start next month at the Carrier plant Trump “saved” last winter

By Matthew Yglesias And the Ford Focus is moving to China rather than Mexico. Oops. The Carrier plant in Indianapolis that Donald Trump mentioned frequently on the campaign trail and famously returned to during the transition is preparing to lay off 600 manufacturing workers next month, according to CNBC's Scott Cohn, who observes that the “deal” Trump and then-Gov. Mike Pence struck to save the plant “is not living up to the hype.” The production work is shutting down, not because there isn't demand for the products but because the company has determined that it is more profitable to do ...
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The Outlook After the Special Elections

By Michael Barone The victory of Republican Karen Handel in the special election in Georgia's 6th Congressional District on Tuesday has discouraged Democrats and encouraged Republicans. Democrat Jon Ossoff won 48.1 percent in the special election's first round April 18, and Democrats had high hopes that they could take this House seat from the Republicans. But even with $30 million spent -- in what became the most expensive House race ever -- and with a turnout of 260,000 (more than the 210,000 who voted in the 2014 midterm), Ossoff won exactly 48.1 percent again. Not quite enough. Georgia's 6th District ...
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The Senate GOP

The Senate GOP’s backdoor Obamacare rollback

By dvinik@politico.com (Danny Vinik) Buried deep in the 142 pages of the Senate's new health care bill is an immense reform that could pave the way for a new rollback of parts of the Affordable Care Act—one that takes place state by state, rather than in Washington. Although the bill preserves most of the consumer protections written into the 2010 law, it also contains a provision that allows states effectively to waive many of them, and gives them a financial incentive to do so.The bill dramatically expands a policy built into Obamacare that lets states apply for waivers to loosen ...
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Jane Sanders Lawyers Up

Jane Sanders Lawyers Up

By Harry Jaffe Bernie Sanders was in the midst of an interview with a local TV reporter early last month when the senator fielded an unexpected question about an uncomfortable matter.“There's an implication, and from at least one individual, an explicit argument that when they called for an investigation into Burlington College that you used your influence to secure a loan from People's United—”The senator cut him off.Sanders is used to fielding softball questions from an adoring local press, but his inquisitor, Kyle Midura of Burlington TV station WCAX, had a rare opportunity to put him on the spot. Investigative ...
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It's Not About Trump, It's About His Voters

By Scott Rasmussen In Election 2016, Democrats seemed to assume that the unpopularity of Donald Trump would be enough to keep him out of the White House. It's true that most Americans viewed him unfavorably, but the same was also true of Hillary Clinton. Given such an unappealing choice, millions of voters decided that Trump was the lesser of two evils. In a series of 2017 special elections, Democrats have continued to make the same mistake. They look at the president's low job approval ratings and assume that simply opposing President Trump should be sufficient to win elections. That was ...
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