Author: Peter Boykin
“There is nothing racist in stating plainly what most people already know, that Elijah Cummings has done a terrible job for the people of his district, and of Baltimore itself. Dems always play the race card when they are unable to win with facts. Shame!” he tweeted Sunday. Cummings’ district is about 55% black and includes a large portion of Baltimore. The city has struggled with violent crime, with more than 300 homicides for four years in a row. It has crumbling infrastructure and a police department under federal oversight. Trump’s comments drew swift condemnation from Democrats over the weekend, including some of the party’s presidential candidates. Statements from a spokesman for Maryland’s Republican governor and from the lieutenant governor defended Cummings’ district and its people. Trump on Saturday lashed out at Cummings, claiming his Baltimore-area district is “considered the worst run and most dangerous anywhere in the United States.” President Donald Trump on Sunday defended his controversial remarks aimed at Rep. Elijah Cumming and called the Baltimore lawmaker a racist. “If racist Elijah Cummings would focus more of his energy on helping the good people of his district, and Baltimore itself, perhaps progress could be made in fixing the mess that he has helped to create over many years of incompetent leadership. His radical ‘oversight’ is a joke!” he added.
- President Trump downplays last week’s missile tests by North Korea.
- He said the missiles were ‘short-range,’ commonly used by many countries, and therefore did not pose a threat to the U.S.
- President Trump says his working relationship with Chairman Kim Jong Un, remains in good condition and the tests were not carried out in bad faith against the U.S.
- Trump said the incident would not interfere with U.S. North Korea negotiations.
Looks like North Korea successfully test-fired two short-range missiles in an apparent warning to South Korean military warmongers, according to a photo provided by the North Korean government on July 25, 2019, showing a test of a missile launch in North Korea. (The content of this image is as provided and cannot be independently verified.)
Kim Jong Un supervised a test of a new-type tactical guided weapon that was meant to be a “solemn warning” about South Korean weapons introduction and it’s rival’s plans to hold military exercises with the United States.
“They are short range missiles and my relationship is very good with Chairman Kim and we’ll see what happens. But they are short range missiles, and many people have those missiles”
“He didn’t say a warning to the United States. I can tell you that. he didn’t say a warning to the United States” – President Trump
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Federal prosecutors claim Roger Stone used a “The Godfather Part II” reference to advocate for a witness to lie and motioned to use a clip from the movie as evidence in the trial of the one-time Trump campaign adviser.
“The relevant scene is important context for understanding Stone’s references — including what Stone intended to communicate to the witness and how Stone would have understood the witness’ likely understanding of those messages,” Friday’s motion read.
The evidence will be used to help prove alleged witness tampering “with Person 2” via a text message that read “Start practicing your Pantagele [sic],” according to prosecutors.
“The movie clip makes clear that in his communications with Person 2, Stone used the name ‘Frank Pentangeli’ and the lines spoken by that character to persuade Person 2 to behave as Frank Pentangeli did in the movie, i.e., to falsely tell a congressional committee that he did not have knowledge of incriminating information that could lead to perjury charges,” the motion argued.
“The movie clip shows the jury the image that Stone intended to evoke in Person 2’s mind when he sent those communications. To not show the clip at trial would deprive jurors of significant context for understanding critical messages in this case.”
In “The Godfather Part II,” Pentangeli was to testify about his involvement in organized crime but changed his mind and denied any knowledge of Michael Corleone’s crime family when the mob boss entered the hearing.
“The Post camped outside City Hall and called dozens of city workers and the best they could come up with was a story about a few eyerolls. That’s because City Hall continues to deliver for New Yorkers.” Some City Hall staffers think Mayor Bill de Blasio’s run for the White House is a “joke” and that he “can’t win,” the New York Post reported. “It’s a joke,” one unnamed aide told the news outlet. “The chances seem so low,” that unnamed staffer said. “If we saw a clear shot for winning or polling higher, I think it would make more sense.” A spokeswoman for the mayor, Freddi Goldstein, responded: Another unnamed source told the Post “the look is not great” when de Blasio was in Iowa during a July 13 blackout that hit a large swath of Manhattan’s West Side. “He probably should have come back a little faster.” “I think that he knows that he can’t win. It’s just a lot of eye-rolling . . . He’s doing it because he’s got a big ego and needs to prove something, and I don’t think he’s going to quietly go away and become an adjunct professor at Hunter.” Ahead of the second Democratic presidential candidates’ debate, and just months after his announcement, “multiple” staffers mock and are baffled at the bid, according to the Post.
Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., faces a challenge for re-election from a 30-year-old Massachusetts mayor campaigning on the House Ways and Means Committee chairman’s inaction on obtaining President Donald Trump’s tax returns, NBC News reported. “So, when you look at the timing here, we’re now very unlikely to see any result before the 2020 election, because Congressman Neal dragged his feet. We also have people in New York that have worked tirelessly to give the American people access to his New York state tax returns.” “I think his action is emblematic of a kind of leader, or lack thereof, that’s he’s been over the last 30 years,” Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse told NBC News about Neal’s authority to obtain President Trump’s state returns. Rep. Neal has held off using the New York state law to obtain his state tax returns because it might jeopardize the ability to obtain federal returns, according to the report. President Trump filed a federal lawsuit this week to block Rep. Neal from using the state law to obtain the federal return. “I know people here in western Massachusetts, and people around the country, are frustrated with the way in which he’s handled this issue from day one. I mean, Democrats took back the House, and it took [months] to put a letter together. I know it doesn’t take us that long to put letters together at City Hall when we have to look at legal issues. “It’s unfortunate that there are folks who aren’t living what he’s living, making statements and comments and Monday morning quarterbacking the situation,” a source told NBC News of Rep. Neal.
“We [Delawareans] were on the South’s side in the Civil War,” Biden is quoted as saying during a campaign speech he delivered in Alabama.
Delaware was a border state during the Civil War and supported slavery at the time.
The Biden campaign responded with a statement to Rolling Stone that labeled President Donald Trump a “racist maniac.”
On top of that Biden also bragged to others about how he was given an award by former Alabama Gov. George Wallace, a high-profile racist during his day.
“As a young Senator, Joe Biden declared that if George Wallace — an unhinged, racist maniac — became the presidential nominee of his party, he would support Gerald Ford,”
“If more GOP leaders had a scintilla of that same courage in 2016, they wouldn’t be debasing themselves this very minute by defending another unhinged, racist maniac.”
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Newt Gingrich said Thursday that the public feud between freshman congresswomen and Nancy Pelosi is a result of “bitter differences” between the two and that the House Speaker needs to realize she’s “the grandmother” in the conflict.
Tensions have reached a boiling point between Pelosi and newcomer Democrats in the House such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The New York congresswoman has made clear that she believes Pelosi is “singling out” progressive women of color like herself, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., after Pelosi reportedly told Democrats to approach her personally about issues instead of airing out disagreements on Twitter.
During a Thursday morning appearance on “America’s Newsroom,” the former Speaker of the House said that Ocasio-Cortez’s argument is a “classic comment by the hard left.”
“Everything becomes either an attack on women, but since Pelosi is a woman, it has to be women of color,” Gingrich said. “The key thing here is very simple. We have now seen a group of genuine radicals who are way outside any reasonable position, and their public spokesperson is AOC.
“They have a deep bitter difference with Nancy Pelosi, who is an old-time liberal, representing an establishment, which these people, several of these people beat Democratic incumbents, so they come in as the opponents of the very things that Nancy Pelosi stands for,” he continued.
Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter on Tuesday to address the conflict, slamming “sexist” Republicans who have dubbed their disagreement a “catfight.”
“The reason [Republicans] find it so novel &exciting is bc the GOP haven’t elected enough women themselves to see that it can, in fact, be a normal occurrence in a functioning democracy [sic],” she wrote.
Gingrich added that he respects Pelosi and acknowledged that she is in a “hard place” balancing her own viewpoints with those of an increasingly progressive House. He also argued that the Speaker should recognize the part that a generational gap plays in the disagreement.
“Nancy Pelosi has to recognize — and I recognize my own age — that she is the grandmother,” he said. “She is yelling at these young members, and they are here thinking you are two generations older than me. Why am I supposed to listen to you?” he continued.
Those resisting Pelosi are still a relatively small number in the wider context of House members, but Gingrich said that the Speaker will have a “much bigger problem” if that number begins to grow.
Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to the reporting of this story.
Billionaire Tom Steyer, a former hedge fund manager, wants to “break the corrupt stranglehold that corporations have on our government” and take on President Donald Trump in 2020.
“To me the biggest question facing the United States is not what we should do, but how are we going to break the corrupt stranglehold that corporations have on our government,” Steyer said.
He added: “For the last 10 years, I’ve been trying to push power back to the people of the United States.
Steyer, who will reportedly spend $100 million of his own funds on his campaign, said his candidacy is “not about the money.” He maintained it is aimed at “trying to retake the government.”
“This is about retaking the democracy from the corrupt corporate power that is determining what happens in Washington, D.C.”
Meanwhile, Steyer’s campaign to impeach Trump will continue under new leadership during his presidential bid.
National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow Thursday praised Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, for her questions to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, saying he would give her “high marks” and saying he’d like to meet with her to discuss economics.
“I’m a supply-side conservative and so forth,” Kudlow told Fox News’ “Fox and Friends.”
“I want to note in the hearings yesterday with Fed Chairman Jay Powell it was Ms. AOC who asked him about the Phillips Curve.”
The economic theory represents the relationship between inflation and the unemployment rate, finding that when unemployment is high, wages increase slowly, but when it’s low, wages go up rapidly.
During a hearing on Wednesday, Powell largely agreed with Ocasio-Cortez when she said economists are concerned that the curve is “no longer describing what is happening in today’s economy,” and Kudlow said he agrees.
“By the way, that is my position,” said Kudlow. “That has been the president’s position. Strong growth doesn’t cause higher inflation and interest rates. It looks like the Fed is going to have to cut their rates.”
And, he added, “nobody in life is all good or all bad…I’ve got to give hats off to Ms. AOC. She kind of nailed that. I’m hoping she and I can sit down to talk supply-side economics very soon.”
He further noted that there was a large jobs number that came out last Friday, and the nation is in a “powerful prosperity cycle because of pro-growth policies on taxes, regulation, trade reform, energy and so forth. There is no stopping it.”
The Supreme Court is gearing up to decide next term whether states can ban students from using student-aid programs to attend religious institutions – an education dispute that could have major ramifications for the school choice movement.
The justices announced at the end of last month’s session that they will take up the case of Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue — which concerns whether states can ban student-aid programs that allow families to choose religious schools for their children. In December 2018, the Montana Supreme Court struck down a tax-credit scholarship program in the state, saying the program violated the state constitution’s “No-Aid clause” barring government money for religious schools because it had allowed students to use the money for that purpose.
“Every parent should have the right to choose where they send their kids to school,” Kendra Espinoza, one of the plaintiffs challenging the Montana decision, told Fox News.
Others see the case as an assault on the separation of church and state.
“The decision by the court to review the Montana case signals that the majority may be gunning for the strong provisions in most state constitutions that bar public school funds from going to religion or religious schools,” the Freedom from Religion Foundation, a liberal advocacy group, said in a June 28 statement.
Government money going to religious schools doesn’t necessarily violate the First Amendment, but appeals courts are split on whether excluding such schools from programs like Montana’s violates religious freedom.
The tax-credit scholarship program, passed in May 2015, gave Montanans up to a $150 credit for donating to private scholarship organizations, which helped students pay for their choice of private schools.
It’s similar to many programs across the U.S., and other states have proposed tax-credit scholarship programs but not passed them due to confusion about their legality.
FFRF attorney Patrick Elliott says the Supreme Court should leave decisions on these programs to state courts.
“I think this case involves interference with state rights,” he told Fox News. “States can adopt constitutional protections without federal interference.”
Espinoza said she enrolled her daughters in a private Christian school because she wanted a values-based education that would challenge them academically, but she has trouble paying for tuition and relies on scholarships. She planned to use Montana’s tax-credit scholarship program.
“I’ve been working two and three jobs just to make ends meet,” she said. “There was a question of whether I could afford it.”
But the Montana Department of Revenue said providing tax credits for donations that later help pay tuition at private schools amounts to indirect funding of religious education by the state, in violation of the “No-Aid clause” – also known as a Blaine Amendment. It made a rule preventing Espinoza or other religious school families from receiving the scholarships.
Espinoza and the libertarian Institute for Justice sued the department over that rule in December 2015, but the Montana Supreme Court invalidated the entire program last year. Espinoza’s lawyers say the program was voided simply because it afforded a religious option, and the U.S. Supreme Court should restore what the Montana legislature passed.
“The federal Constitution prohibits that kind of animus toward religion and the fact that animus is codified in the Montana Constitution in the Blaine Amendment only makes things that much worse,” Institute for Justice senior attorney Michael Bindas said.
Blaine Amendments originated in the 1870s when, as Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in a 2000 case, “it was an open secret that ‘sectarian’ was code for ‘Catholic.’” Thirty-seven states have Blaine Amendments today, but Bindas calls them, “vestiges of 19th century anti-Catholic bigotry.”
Espinoza’s lawyers also cite Trinity Lutheran, a Supreme Court case from 2017 that ruled Missouri couldn’t deny a church a grant to resurface its playground simply because it was a church.
But Elliott said Blaine Amendments don’t mention a specific religion and have operated without bias.
“No funding of religious education was something states decided early on because they didn’t want to have a religiously segregated school system,” he said. “Public schools are open regardless of religious background. That’s not always the case with private schools.”
If the justices reverse Montana’s decision, it could open the door to more scholarship and voucher programs across the U.S.
“This case has the potential to remove Blaine Amendments as a barrier to school choice throughout the country,” Bindas said.