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Politics – Politics, News, Polls, Economy, Wellbeing, and World

David Brooks: Trump Has Been Able To Manipulate Mueller Probe Into A Soap Opera Benefiting Himself

PBS NEWSHOUR: Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week's news, including President Trump calling off his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the outcome of Tuesday's primaries for Democrats and the effects of the president stirring controversy with claims of FBI spying on his campaign. Brooks praised Trump for walking out on the North Korea peace talks and for his ability to exert pressure by doing "everything in public." Brooks said he sympathized with the attempt of a breakthrough with the isolated nation and that Trump is ...
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Trump slaps

Trump slaps ‘phony’ label on aide’s comments in White House-arranged call

By bgriffiths@politico.com (Brent D. Griffiths) President Donald Trump slammed the New York Times Saturday for using “phony sources” in a story citing a White House official – but the comments the paper referred to came from a formal background briefing attended by multiple news organizations and widely reported.Trump appeared to be responding to a Times story about his on-again, off-again plans for a June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.. “The Failing @nytimes quotes ‘a senior White House official,' who doesn't exist, as saying ‘even if the meeting were reinstated, holding it on June 12 would be ...
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Trevor Noah: “Madness” To Compare Jokes About Obama To Trump; Trump “Ripe For Comedy”

CNN: In an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, comedian Trevor Noah says that to compare writing jokes between the Obama and Trump administrations would be "madness." He also called it a "false equivalency" and that Trump is a "gift to comedy. CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN: You didn't spare President Obama, the satirical side of your tongue. TREVOR NOAH, 'DAILY SHOW' HOST: Right. AMANPOUR: How different is it whaling on him compared to whaling on Donald Trump? NOAH: Oh, I mean, to try and compare the two would be not just false equivalency, but absolute madness. Anyone who tries to compare them ...
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A Quiet Place’s sound designers on building its very loud silence

By Todd VanDerWerff “Viewers are not used to a stripped-down environment, where they can hear themselves breathing or crunching on popcorn.” Few horror movies have gripped moviegoers this year quite like A Quiet Place, director John Krasinski's tale of a world where making too loud a noise will lead to your death at the claws of strange creatures with super-sensitive hearing. The movie has gained a reputation as a “silent” one, but of course it's not; it just has a minimum of spoken dialogue (though it contains plenty of subtitled dialogue carried out via American Sign Language). The soundtrack of ...
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White House still a go on planning trip for North Korea summit

White House still a go on planning trip for North Korea summit

By lwoellert@politico.com (Lorraine Woellert) White House press secretary Sarah Sanders reaffirmed Saturday that a White House advance team will head to Singapore for a planning meeting in preparation for a potential June 12 summit there with North Korea. President Donald Trump has signaled repeatedly that he's open to proceeding with the historic sit-down despite sending a blunt letter North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Thursday apparently calling it off.“The White House pre-advance team for Singapore will leave as scheduled in order to prepare should the summit take place,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Saturday morning.Kim ...
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North and South Korean Leaders Hold Surprise 2nd Summit

By Kim Tong-Hyung SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in met for the second time in a month on Saturday, holding a surprise summit at a border truce village to discuss Kim's potential meeting with President Donald Trump, Moon's office said. Kim and Moon met hours after South Korea expressed relief over revived talks for a summit between Trump and Kim following a whirlwind 24 hours that saw Trump cancel the highly anticipated meeting before saying it's potentially back on. Moon, who brokered the summit between Washington and... ...read more ...
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Trump welcomes American held in Venezuela to the White House

Trump welcomes American held in Venezuela to the White House

By bgriffiths@politico.com (Brent D. Griffiths) President Donald Trump on Saturday welcomed American hostage Josh Holt and his family to the White House after their release from Venezuela, telling the Utah native that "you've gone through a lot, more than most people could endure." Flanked by his wife, Thamy, and daughter, Marian, who had also been held in Venezuela, Holt became emotional as he thanked a number of officials and politicians gathered in the Oval Office for securing his release."I'm just overwhelmed with gratitude for you guys for everything you've done," Holt said, "... for thinking about me and caring about ...
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Ireland votes to repeal abortion ban in historic referendum

By Zack Beauchamp Friday's vote paves the way for legal abortion in the overwhelmingly Catholic country. The 8th Amendment to Ireland's constitution is one of the most draconian abortion restrictions in the developed world. Irish voters just decided to repeal it. While votes are still being counted as of Saturday morning, two exit polls showed a huge margin — roughly 70-30 — in favor of repeal. Though exit polls are not always accurate, it is widely seen as implausible they could miss by enough for the amendment to stay in place. A leading anti-repeal group, Save the 8th, has conceded ...
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Week 53: Trump Goes Spy Hunting and Gets Skunked

Week 53: Trump Goes Spy Hunting and Gets Skunked

By jshafer@politico.com (Jack Shafer) Master table-turner Donald Trump is at it again, spinning the latest damning news from the Russia investigation and flinging it back at his critics to make him look like a victim, not a perp. This week's twirl of the table had Trump spinning his interpretive energies into “SPYGATE,” his racy label for the alleged “Criminal Deep State” conspiracy against him. Why call it Spygate? Trump, who lives for catchy buzz-phrases and slogans, told an ally he wanted “to brand” the informant as a spy, and that such language would leave a more lasting impression on the ...
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How a Tiny Kansas Town Rebooted Its Struggling Hospital into a Health Care Jewel

How a Tiny Kansas Town Rebooted Its Struggling Hospital into a Health Care Jewel

By Lisa Rab LAKIN, Kansas—No stoplight marks the entrance to Lakin, just a gas station, a Subway, and a Dollar General. On Main Street, a coffee shop owned by a Mennonite family stays open late once a week, but its storefront was the only one illuminated at 7 p.m. on a recent weeknight. According to one study, the 2,200 citizens of Lakin live in one of the ten most remote towns in the country. To reach it, you must drive through miles of straw-colored fields that stretch to the horizon in all directions. Ranches that aren't growing corn or wheat ...
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How the ‘Watergate Babies’ Broke American Politics

How the ‘Watergate Babies’ Broke American Politics

By John A. Lawrence For millions of Americans, from political analysts to readers confronting their morning newspapers, the dysfunction of today's Congress is a disturbing mystery. The majority, which controls the agenda and schedule of the House, seems riven with division; the leadership seems bereft of methods or muscle for enforcing discipline; distrust pervades relations with Senate colleagues, and the relationship with the White House, controlled by the majority's own party, is unpredictable and volatile. With the Republicans locked in seemingly intractable conflict with a minority focused on regaining power, the Congress has rarely been less productive or less well-regarded ...
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How Trump's Pardon of a Boxer Beat Obama to the Punch

By Clarence Page As President Donald Trump ended an almost-century-long campaign by granting a pardon to Jack Johnson, the unfairly convicted boxing champion, a question hung in many minds like a ghost: Why didn't President Barack Obama do it when he had the chance? If it slipped anyone's notice as to who was beating whom to the punch in honoring the first African American world heavyweight boxing champ, the current president was happy to remind us: "Congress has supported numerous resolutions calling for Johnson's pardon," said Trump in the White House ceremony. "... No President ever signed it,... ...read more ...
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Manafort

Manafort’s ex-son-in-law’s attorneys quit over unpaid bills and ‘lack of candor’

By jgerstein@politico.com (Josh Gerstein) Bankruptcy attorneys hired by Paul Manafort's former son-in-law Jeffrey Yohai are seeking to drop their representation of at least one of his businesses, citing unpaid bills and a 'lack of candor.'The move comes about a week after press reports that Yohai secretly entered a guilty plea earlier this year in a criminal case relating to financing for his real estate deals. The plea led to speculation that Yohai might be providing evidence to prosecutors working for special counsel Robert Mueller on two criminal cases against Manafort.In filings Friday in federal bankruptcy court, attorneys from the Torrance, ...
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The delectable possibility and bland reality of Sweetbitter

By Alissa Wilkinson As a novel, Sweetbitter used food as a salty, rich, and alluring metaphor for desire. But that got lost in translation. Early in the first episode of Sweetbitter, which premiered on May 6 on Starz, restaurant manager Howard (Paul Sparks) is interviewing wide-eyed Tess (Ella Purnell) for a backwaiter job. It's not a totally conventional interview — he asks her, for instance, what she's reading — but it seems appropriate that he asks Tess to name the “five noble grapes of Bordeaux,” something she can't do. Yet. That scene appears in both the show and the 2016 ...
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Vox Sentences: Harvey Weinstein in handcuffs

By Ella Nilsen Vox Sentences is your daily digest for what's happening in the world. Sign up for the Vox Sentences newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday, or view the Vox Sentences archive for past editions. Harvey Weinstein turns himself in to New York police; law enforcement in Ontario is searching for two suspects in a restaurant bombing. Special announcement: We have a new Netflix show, Explained. The first three episodes — on monogamy, the racial wealth gap, and gene editing — are out this week. Watch at netflix.com/explained. Harvey Weinstein finally goes to court Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty ...
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Nunes feels Russia probe blowback at home

Nunes feels Russia probe blowback at home

By dsiders@politico.com (David Siders) LOS ANGELES — Devin Nunes, the California congressman whose allegiance to Donald Trump has made him public enemy number one to many Democrats, is beginning to feel the heat back home.His little-known challenger is awash in cash from across the country as a result of Nunes' polarizing role in the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. An independent expenditure campaign has posted hostile billboards along Highway 99, the heavily traveled main road through Nunes' Central Valley district.On Wednesday, a report in the Fresno Bee linked Nunes to a winery that allegedly held a wild ...
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A Conspiracy of Idiocy

By Erick Erickson Many people love to concoct grand, elaborate conspiracies to explain the world around them. Instead of realizing they made bad decisions, it must have been some malevolent force out to get them. Instead of recognizing they are surrounded by incompetence, there must be some mysterious force pulling the strings working several steps ahead. Many people sleep better at night convinced of a malevolent conspiracy of sinister forces running government than realizing government is composed of incompetent bureaucrats protecting their turf. Wouldn't it reassure you to know your government functions at... ...read more Read more here: A Conspiracy ...
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As Scott hammers Venezuela, his campaign takes contribution from biggest buyer of its oil

As Scott hammers Venezuela, his campaign takes contribution from biggest buyer of its oil

By mdixon@politico.com (Matt Dixon) TALLAHASSEE — As Gov. Rick Scott hits the campaign trail trashing Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, he is accepting contributions from Valero Energy Corporation, a Texas oil refiner that is the biggest buyer of the country's oil.Scott's campaign took $5,000 last month from the company, which in recent months has purchased 200,000 barrels-a-day from Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., the country's state-run oil company. The company boosted its purchases from Venezuela ahead of U.S. sanctions that were imposed earlier this week after Maduro was reelected, according to Reuters. The donations have not been previously reported.Valero is the biggest ...
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NFL Stands Up for America

By Adriana Cohen The NFL is standing for America. It finally displayed leadership Wednesday, announcing that it has banned players from kneeling on the field while our national anthem is played. Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement, "This season, all league and team personnel shall stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem." Players can remain in the locker room while the anthem is played if they wish, Goodell said, but "if anyone is on the field and is disrespectful to the anthem or the flag, there would be a fine from the league against the team." ...
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The Commencement Speech You Never Hear

By Mona Charen My youngest son's college graduation ceremony was scheduled to be held outdoors. The invitation specified that it would be moved inside to the gym only in the event of "severe" weather. As it turned out, the day was unseasonably cold (low 50s) with occasional drizzle -- probably about as nasty as the weather gets in May without qualifying for severe status. Yet my husband and I huddled together in the stands of Franklin Field and wouldn't have missed it for the world. Ceremonies are important. We need markers for the milestones of our lives. They seal the ...
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Trump issues orders making it easier to fire federal employees

Trump issues orders making it easier to fire federal employees

By lwoellert@politico.com (Lorraine Woellert) President Donald Trump on Friday issued a series of executive orders to weaken the influence of government unions and make it easier for agencies to fire civil servants.The orders will standardize agency rules to make it easier and quicker to remove poorly performing employees. They also direct federal agencies to renegotiate their labor contracts and cap the amount of paid time that workers can take off to conduct union-related business.“The president is fulfilling his promise to promote more efficient government by reforming our civil service rules,” Andrew Bremberg, director of the president's Domestic Policy Council, told ...
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Popular Vote Plan Would Do More Harm Than Good

By Peter J. Wallison Since Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election with a majority in the Electoral College but only a minority of the popular vote, ideas for somehow reforming the presidential election system have received a lot of attention. One of the most successful of these is a plan—already adopted by the legislatures of 11 states (with 165 electoral votes)—to award all the electoral votes of these states to the winner of the national popular vote. The plan goes into effect when states totaling 270 electoral votes have aligned themselves with this initiative. Unfortunately, like most of... ...read ...
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Did the Obama Administration Spy on Trump Using Flimsy Evidence? Let's Find Out

By David Harsanyi If the Justice Department and FBI are, as we've been told incessantly over the past year, not merely patriots but consummate professionals incapable of being distracted by partisanship or petty Washington intrigues, why are Donald Trump's antagonists freaking out over the fact that an inspector general will assess whether political motivation tainted an investigation into the president's campaign? The American people should get a full accounting of what transpired during 2016. Isn't that what we've been hearing since the election? You believe President Trump is corrupt. We get it. But surely... ...read more Read more here: Did ...
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A federal judge in a climate change lawsuit is forcing oil companies to cough up internal documents

By Umair Irfan Two cities seeking damages from BP, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Shell, and ConocoPhillips can now demand documents. A federal judge wants the litigants in two high-profile climate change lawsuits against the five largest oil companies to make the case for whether he should consider the benefits of fossil fuels. He also wants the oil companies to start ponying up documents about their internal operations, which could contradict one of their key arguments in the case while also opening them up to new lines of attack. The suits, filed by the cities of Oakland and San Francisco, are seeking ...
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Is US Bellicosity Backfiring?

By Patrick Buchanan U.S. threats to crush Iran and North Korea may yet work, but as of now neither Tehran nor Pyongyang appears to be intimidated. Repeated references by NSC adviser John Bolton and Vice President Mike Pence to the "Libya model" for denuclearization of North Korea just helped sink the Singapore summit of President Trump and Kim Jong Un. To North Korea, the Libya model means the overthrow and murder of Libya strongman Col. Gadhafi, after he surrendered his WMD. Wednesday, North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui exploded at Pence's invocation of Libya: "Vice-President Pence has made ...
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Donald Trump and the Clash of Communities

By Paul Sracic As a political scientist, I've always preferred maps to polling data. Don't get me wrong, I think that well-conducted polls, when properly interpreted, provide valuable information about voter preferences. Maps, however, can provide clues to the more important question of why voters arrive at their choice. That's why I was so intrigued when I opened up “The Great Revolt,” the much talked about new book by Salena Zito and Brad Todd, and saw that almost every chapter began with a picture of a map. I like maps because geography offers important clues about the... ...read more Read ...
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Virginia Republican in Congress accused of using staff as “personal servants”

By Li Zhou It's been a bizarre week for Republican Rep. Tom Garrett. Virginia Rep. Tom Garrett treated aides in his office like “personal servants,” according to a report from Politico that details the lawmaker's use of staffers to complete daily chores ranging from chauffeuring his daughters to cleaning up after his dog. The story comes following a turmoil-filled week for the freshman Republican Congress member, whose chief of staff Jimmy Keady abruptly left on Tuesday evening, kicking off a bizarre back-and-forth about whether Garrett planned to run for reelection. Rep. Tom Garrett's bizarre speech today included a lengthy segment ...
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The Democratic Holiday

By Robert R. Garnett Chiefly observed as summer's kickoff, a weekend of auto racing, shopping, American flags, and grilling out – Memorial Day was originally dedicated to solemn remembrance of the nation's war dead. That's still the holiday's nominal purpose. It honors all kinds – well-to-do and hardscrabble, bright and dim, genteel and loutish. The only requirement, but a stern one, is dying in defense of the homeland. The discovery of the sunken wreckage of World War II casualty USS Juneau two months ago, far below the blue swells of the Coral Sea, offers poignant testimony... ...read more Read more ...
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5 things to know about Solo: A Star Wars Story

By Todd VanDerWerff Solo: A Star Wars Story is that Chewbacca is in it." src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/X_1XJ9f8BFBXJ_Gab7TJmSAo52Q=/702x0:7774x5304/1310x983/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/59743701/HS_090443_R.0.jpg">The look back at the early years of Han Solo is far more cohesive than its troubled production history would suggest. For a movie that lost its original directors midway through production, Solo: A Star Wars Story feels less like a Frankenstein's monster than it might have. Yes, it's hard to shake the sense that we probably didn't need a “young Han Solo” story, and the way it tries to walk the line between explaining how the roguish Han of the original Star Wars trilogy came ...
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Trump administration presents Capitol Hill with deal to rescue Chinese firm ZTE

Trump administration presents Capitol Hill with deal to rescue Chinese firm ZTE

By DPalmer@politico.com (Doug Palmer) The Trump administration has reached a deal that will put Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE back in business by rolling back severe sanctions put in place last month by the Commerce Department, according to a source familiar with the matter.The move to settle with the Chinese company removes a major barrier to U.S.-China trade talks as Beijing opposed a penalty that would have shuttered the firm by prohibiting U.S. suppliers from doing business with ZTE for seven years.It also comes a week before Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is scheduled to travel to Beijing to continue efforts to ...
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