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22 марта, 20:16

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Emails to Rahm Emanuel raise questions about dozens of possible lobbying vio…

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Emails to Rahm Emanuel raise questions about dozens of possible lobbying violations.

17 марта, 02:02

Rural voters lose in Trump’s budget plan

The rural voters who turned out in droves to elect President Donald Trump would be some of the biggest losers under the new White House budget.The spending blueprint calls for a deeper cut to the Agriculture Department — 21 percent — than to just about any other agency. Trump would slash programs that invest in rural infrastructure, target rural public radio and demolish food-aid programs that farmers rely on to buy their products. Rural voters flocked to Trump and his promises to roll back environmental regulations and overhaul Obamacare, block illegal immigrants and put blue-collar Americans back to work. They applauded his nods to farmers on the campaign trail. While many of those promises are in the budget, some are reading the cuts affecting farmers and rural communities as a sign from the White House that middle America isn’t a priority. “Rural America elected Trump. His message to rural America is, ‘I don’t care,’” said Dee Davis, founder of the Center for Rural Strategies, a Whitesburg, Ky.-based nonpartisan group that advocates for rural communities. “It’s building a firewall between a promise made and a promise kept,” Davis said. USDA would take a $4.7 billion hit to its discretionary budget, trimming it to just $17.9 billion. It’s unclear exactly where those cuts would fall, though the White House has named some specific targets. The plan calls for the elimination of the Rural Business and Cooperative Service — a loan program criticized by the conservative Heritage Foundation — that costs $95 million a year, but is credited with spurring millions more in economic activity, and a water and wastewater loan and grant program, which costs nearly $500 million and largely helps rural communities. It would ax the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education program, a popular, bipartisan program that feeds more than 2.2 million people in need abroad, costing taxpayers about $195.5 million. The White House said there’s a lack of evidence the program is “being effectively implemented to reduce food insecurity.” Programs aimed at helping rural communities in other parts of the government would also be slashed under the plan. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which helps seniors and other low-income Americans with their heating bills, would be eliminated at HHS, as would the Federal Aviation Administration’s funding for commercial service to rural airports, and programs at USAID that buy farmers’ crops and send them abroad as food aid. The Interior Department’s budget would be hit with 12 percent cuts, a move that could threaten programs that drive spending in rural communities, conservation groups said.While the budget blueprint doesn’t touch food stamps, the country’s largest nutrition program, because that falls under mandatory funding, it would decrease the funding available for other USDA feeding programs. Feeding programs are considered important for rural communities for two reasons: They give assistance to millions of Americans who struggle to buy groceries for their families, much like low-income Americans in cities, and they also help ensure steady demand for the food that farmers sell. For example, the administration calls for $6.2 billion for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, a federal nutrition program aimed at pregnant women and young children that now covers half of all infants born in the United States. That program received $6.6 billion in fiscal 2016, the last budget year available. The White House noted that the funding level is expected to cover all eligible beneficiaries, but anti-hunger advocates worry the reduction would limit access to those in need down the road. The proposal comes as rural America is struggling with higher unemployment rates and a devastating opioid epidemic. One in four children in rural America are living in poverty. One in five live in a household that sometimes struggles to put food on the table. The proposed cuts are so dramatic they’ve also caught the ire of key farm-state Republicans, some of whom have strongly supported the president. “The president’s proposed budget reduction for agriculture does not work,” Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) a member of the Agriculture Committee and chair of the Appropriations agriculture subcommittee, said in a statement. “Given the challenging times in the farm patch — from low commodity prices to natural disasters — we need to prioritize and maintain our agriculture budget. While we support more funding for our military and defense, we must maintain support for our farmers and ranchers.” House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway (R-Texas) also raised concerns about the cuts because of the current downturn in the agricultural economy. U.S. farmers and ranchers are struggling, he said, and Congress has to be careful not to exacerbate the problem. As a result of those concerns, farm-state Republicans are quick to point out that the budget is merely a wish list from the president and that Congress will have final say in what 2018 funding looks like. “This is the White House’s vision document, and what we are going to do is propose ours, too,” Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) told reporters Thursday. “Budgets are documents that are not appropriations, they are not authorizations...I’m no more scared than I was when President Obama offered spending priorities that were not conducive to farmers.” The budget makes it clear that the Trump administration doesn’t understand how the government works in rural America, said House Agriculture ranking member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), pointing to the cuts to the USDA’s water and wastewater loans as an example. While the administration called them duplicative, Peterson argued the financing is the only way small towns can update their water system. In Kentucky, for example, some communities are told at times that their water is not clean enough to even wash their cars. In other parts of the country, local water systems are overloaded with nitrates and other contaminants with little money or infrastructure to deal with the problem. “County offices are already understaffed and further cuts would mean private organizations would be tasked with helping navigate farm programs,” Peterson added. “Again, it’s a general lack of understanding what really takes place in rural America.” Funding for agricultural data collection at the National Agricultural Statistics Service and Economic Research Service also are on the chopping block, along with the number of staff in offices across the country who deploy loans and grants to farmers and local projects."The president's first budget request misses the mark entirely when it comes to the needs of rural America," said Greg Fogel, policy director at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, a group that represents small- and mid-size farm groups. "He is targeting these detrimental cuts right at the people who helped bring him to the White House – America's farmers, ranchers, and rural communities.” In a statement, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said: "Budgets are a reflection of your priorities, and now we know exactly what this administration’s priorities are. They would cut after school programs, airport security, transit system improvements, affordable housing, education and community services across the board – including for pregnant women and new moms who need assistance. They would make deep cuts to economic development funds that benefit every city and town in the country. They would cut community services from meals on wheels to public health to workforce training. Instead of spending $4 billion on a wall that we don't need, the administration should be building bridges and roads across America."

16 марта, 02:03

Wherever Trump goes, his gang of aides stays close by

Preoccupied with proximity, the president's senior staff have developed an unusual habit of crowding into meetings and joining trips.

12 марта, 15:07

Attempts to honor Obama legacy generate fury

Is it too soon for an Obama state holiday in Illinois?

10 марта, 23:48

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Sean Spicer, 3/10/2017, #21

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room 1:44 P.M. EST MR. SPICER:  Happy Friday.  Good to see you all.  Good afternoon.  Two more days until the work week is over -- (laughter) -- full attribution to Rahm Emanuel for that one.   As many of you know, today is day 50 of President Trump's administration.  We have a lot to talk about and a lot that's gotten done.  I also want to acknowledge that today is also Brian's birthday, so happy birthday to Brian.  I'll let you guys celebrate amongst yourselves afterwards. In just these first 50 days, the President has taken many key steps towards delivering on the pledges he made to the American people as a candidate.  He has jumpstarted job creation not only because of his executive actions, but through the surge of economic confidence and optimism that has been inspired since his election.  President Trump knows exactly what businesses need to thrive and grow, therefore adding well-paying and steady jobs to the market. Obviously, we're very pleased to see the jobs report that came out this morning.  It's great news for American workers.  During the first full month of the Trump presidency, the economy added 235,000 new jobs and the unemployment rate ticked down to 4.7 percent.  Notably, we also saw significant growth in the construction, manufacturing and mining sectors.  The unemployment rate ticked down and labor force participation rate ticked up, showing that even as more people are reentering the job market due to the economic optimism that I spoke about, businesses are continuing to grow and create new jobs.   The President looks forward to continuing his work with the private sector to clear roadblocks to key infrastructure projects, withdraw from job-killing trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and slash the bureaucratic red tape that makes additional hiring difficult for American businesses. He has taken action to ensure the safety and security of the United States homeland, its borders and its people.  He has proposed great rebuilding of our nation's military, following a full review of our military readiness and supported by a $54 billion budget increase.  He's implemented new protections to prevent people from coming into our country that seek to do us harm.  As a result of the presidential memorandum that he signed on January 28th, the President has received a plan to defeat ISIS, designed by the Secretary of Defense and the national security team. Just as he has promised during the campaign, he has made enforcing our nation's immigration laws a top priority, signing executive orders that start work on a Southern border wall, that enhance the public safety of Americans through ordering the strong enforcement of immigration laws that are already on the books, halting funding to jurisdictions in the United States that don't comply with federal immigration rules, and directing the Department of Homeland Security to hire a combined 15,000 new officers and agents to support the system and protect the nation. He's outlined an aggressive legislative agenda that includes tax reform that brings relief to small business and the middle class, a massive commitment to infrastructure investment that will generate jobs and rebuild our nation, and repealing and replacing Obamacare.  In fact, just this week, he began working with Congress directly on repealing the worst parts of Obamacare and replacing it with the American Health Care Act.  And this particular legislation is just one prong in the President's comprehensive approach to reforming our healthcare system.   The administration is also taking additional steps to stabilize health insurance markets and start bringing down costs for the millions of Americans that have been affected by Obamacare, such as stabilizing insurance markets through regulatory reform, including the ability to purchase insurance across state lines, providing individuals and families with lower access -- with access to lower-cost options by loosening the restrictions on the financial structure of plans offered through the Obamacare exchanges. And finally, the President is committed to working with Congress on additional legislation that won't be subject to the budget reconciliation process, that will allow the purchase of health insurance across state lines; that will streamline the process of the FDA to bring down the cost of critical medicine; to allow for the expansion of health savings accounts to allow more Americans to use their funds for more healthcare costs -- healthcare-related costs, and so much more. There's a one-page factsheet that lays out the three prongs of the President's plan to repeal and replace.  All Americans can see that one-pager that's available at WhiteHouse.gov/RepealAndReplace.  Feel free to download it and share it this weekend. This administration is already looking forward to all that we've been planning to accomplish in the days and weeks ahead.  You should have a document outlining in each of your email boxes of the President's major actions during these 50 first days.  We've made it available to the public as well at WhiteHouse.gov. In terms of the schedule for his 50th day in office, the President will be having a series of meetings and calls, moving even further along on some of the most significant campaign promises that he made to the American people. After receiving his daily intelligence briefing this morning, the President led a healthcare discussion with key House committee chairs.  The President thanked and congratulated the chairs on successfully ushering the American Health Care Act through the first phase of the legislative process.  He noted that he was pleased to see the bill pass through both committees -- the Energy and Commerce committee, and the Ways and Means committee -- with unanimous Republican support. They discussed working together on additional legislation to further work towards turning healthcare into a system that works for every individual and family and business.  Together, the President and Republicans in Congress will act decisively to keep their promise to the American people.  In attendance at the meeting, including the Vice President, were Congresswoman Black, the chair of the House Budget committee; Congressman Brady, the chair of the House Ways and Means committee; Congressman Walden, the chair of the House Energy and Commerce committee;  Congresswoman Foxx, the Chairman of the House Education and Workforce committee; and Chairman Goodlatte of the Judiciary committee. In addition to this Hill outreach, senior officials at the Department of Health and Human Services have met with the American Medical Association to discuss the bill, and will be meeting with additional stakeholders in the coming days.  The President is committed to making the system better, and that includes making sure his team hears feedback from all interested groups in pursuit of a more affordable and accessible healthcare. This afternoon, the President had a call with President Abbas, the Palestinian authority.  We’ll have a readout of that call soon.  The President had lunch with Secretary of State Tillerson, and this afternoon the President will meet with Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Dr. Ben Carson.  He looks forward to discussing HUD’s mission to create strong, sustainable, and inclusive communities with quality, affordable housing, especially the ways in which we can partner with the private sector to come up with innovative solutions to turn our public housing system around and empower our struggling communities. Looking ahead to the weekend, the President will spend this weekend here at the White House in a series of meetings with his team.  The Vice President’s office has already announced the details of his trip to Louisville, Kentucky, where he will participate in listening sessions with small businesses and job creators throughout the community, and then, joined by Governor Bevin, will hear from local small businesses. The Vice President will discuss the President’s economic agenda, especially the repeal-and-replacement aspects of Obamacare, and how it will reduce the burden on small businesses.  He will then conclude with formal remarks at the Trane parts and distribution center.  Also coming up, Judge Gorsuch confirmation hearings will begin on March 20th.  Yesterday, the American Bar Association reported their committee determined that, by unanimous vote, Judge Gorsuch was given a “well-qualified mark for the Supreme Court.”  The President looks forward to seeing Judge Gorsuch receive a speedy and fair hearing, and an up-and-down vote on the Senate floor. Finally, the President’s weekly address is out.  It discusses Women’s History Month and his plans to repeal and replace Obamacare.  It aired this morning on Facebook Live.  It is now available to watch on YouTube and whitehouse.gov.  Obviously, I encourage everyone to go check it out. And with that, I’d be glad to take your questions.  John Roberts. Q    I was going to say, your pin is upside down. MR. SPICER:  John Roberts always helping with the fashion tips.  (Laughter.)  Q    It’s still upside down. Q    You wanted -- is that a distress call, Sean? (Laughter.)  MR. SPICER:  Appreciate that. Q    House of Cards promo.  MR. SPICER:  Thank you, no.  There’s no promo.  (Laughter.)  John, now on to your questions.  (Laughter.)  But thank you. Q    Our involvement of sending rangers and Marines into Syria marks a dramatic change in our presence on the ground there, and I’m wondering, how much autonomy is the President giving General James Mattis to involve U.S. forces on the ground in Syria? MR. SPICER:  A U.S. Marine artillery unit and a team of rangers have recently positioned in Syria to provide a combined joint task force, Operation Inherent Resolve, the commander, the agility to expedite the destruction of ISIS in Raqqa in particular.  The exact numbers and locations of the forces are still a sensitive order to protect the location of the forces, but there will be approximately an additional 400 enabling forces deployed under existing authorities for a temporary period to enable our Syrian partnered forces to accelerate the defeat of ISIS, specifically in Raqqa. I think, as I’ve mentioned before, one of the things that the President has ensured is that the commanders have the flexibility to do what they need to fulfill the mission.  The President is obviously, as Commander-in-Chief, made aware and signs off on all of those missions, but at the end of the day, it’s going to up to the generals to execute their mission to make sure that we continue to defeat ISIS and protect the nation. Q    Now our involvement there really sort of complicates the whole picture because we’re aligned with the Kurds, but then at the same time, a NATO ally, Turkey, sees the Kurds as the enemy.  And then there’s what happens with Russia and its involvement with the Syrian government.  So the big problem with Iraq was we never planned for the day after. MR. SPICER:  Right. Q    So what are the plans for the day after here when Raqqa falls?  Who occupies it? MR. SPICER:  Well, one of the things that I mentioned in the script that is part of what the President has done during his first 50 days is issue an executive order on January 28th for the Secretary of Defense to submit a comprehensive plan in consultation with the joint chiefs and other members of the national security team to defeat ISIS.  That is part of that plan. And so I think you are seeing a comprehensive approach to not only how we’re going to engage in Syria, but the total defeat and elimination of ISIS.  So that is part of an ongoing process that the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and others have been involved in, in briefing the President. Q    But does the President have an idea of who should occupy Raqqa?  Should it be Kurkish forces?  Should it be a coalition?  Should American forces stay there? MR. SPICER:  I think that as we devolve that plan I’ll have more for you on that.  I think you’ve already killed one-question Friday, but we’re going to get back to it. Jon Karl, one-question Friday. Q    Okay, I’ll make it one.  Sean, the chair and ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee have asked the Justice Department to turn over any information that they have that there was any wiretapping of President-elect Trump, candidate Trump at Trump Tower.  If there is no evidence that any wiretapping took place, will the President apologize to President Obama for making such a serious charge? MR. SPICER:  Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.  I think it’s important to see where that goes, and I don’t want to prejudge their work at this time. Jim. Q    But if there’s no evidence, I mean, what’s he -- MR. SPICER:  But I think you’re asking, well, what if there’s evidence?  I’m not going to get into a series of hypotheticals, prejudging the outcome of a report or an investigation that hasn’t occurred yet.  I think once that’s done, we’ll respond appropriately. Jim. Q    Thank you, Sean.  Senator Cory Gardner was reported by Politico yesterday to have said he doesn’t believe that a $14-billion wall along the Mexican border is the best way to provide border security.  Does the White House see support for the border wall weakening in Congress? MR. SPICER:  No.  The President was very clear that was something that he campaigned on and promised the American people as an effort to both protect our national security and our economic security, and he’s going to fulfill that pledge.  He’s already started to work with the Department of Homeland Security on both the plans, and the funding mechanism and the bidding and the RFP process will roll out slowly -- or shortly, I should say.  But that’s a pledge that he intends to maintain. John Bennett. Q    Sean, a lot of action on the Hill of course with healthcare lately, but April 28th is right around the corner, government funding expires.  Given that during the transition period you guys asked for a short-term CR so you could weigh in once you were in office, what’s the White House doing right now to avoid a shutdown?  I talked to some sources, they couldn’t point to specific talks.  So what’s the state of play there? MR. SPICER:  Well, Director Mulvaney is going to release his budget on the 16th.  That’s the first step in working with them to get the budget under control.  We’re approaching $20 trillion of our debt, and I think we need to get spending under control.  And so part of funding the government goes hand in hand with keeping track of what we’re spending it on and how we’re spending it on, what our priorities are.  We’ve begun that passback process that we talked about internally within the executive branch.  Director Mulvaney has had several conversations with members on the Hill on both sides, and he’s going to continue to have them.  I know the Vice President has been actively engaged as well. But to your question, I mean, that’s part of the process.  We need to release a budget first about what our priorities are for the coming fiscal year, and then make sure that we do what we can going forward.  But this goes hand in hand with that. Q    -- finish out the current fiscal year, so does the -- MR. SPICER:  I understand.  That’s fiscal year ’17, but I think they go hand in hand.  I think you need to close out FY17 and then I think our budget lays out where we want to go in FY18.  And I think once we have a handle on FY18, we can start to backfill 2017. Q    -- a specific ask, you want cuts for the rest of ’17? MR. SPICER:  I’m not going to -- I appreciate -- we’re not having that discussion here. John Gizzi. Q    Thank you, Sean.  And I will honor the one-question Friday.  The President has said in the past the he welcomes compromise, and they’re open to compromise on the immigration legislation that’s coming up.  This morning when she spoke at the Christian Science Monitor press breakfast, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that she would like to see the comprehensive immigration package that passed the Senate but was stopped in the House brought back, and that was her version of a compromise on immigration.  What’s the administration’s position on what former Speaker and Minority Leader -- MR. SPICER:  I think you’re referring the Gang of Eight bill, correct? Q    That’s correct. MR. SPICER:  I think the President’s been very clear during the campaign trail that that’s not a bill that he supports.  But he looks forward to engaging with members to find a way forward to fix our broken immigration system. That bill in particular I think is a nonstarter.  It was a nonstarter when it came out the first time.  I think it continues to be a nonstarter.  But the President recognizes that the system is broken and that he wants to work with Congress to fix it. Hunter. Q    Thank you, Sean.  Does the White House believe there’s such a thing as the deep state that’s actively working to undermine the President?   MR. SPICER:  Well, I think that there’s no question when you have eight years of one party in office that there are people who stay in government who are affiliated with, joined, and continue to espouse the agenda of the previous administration.  So I don’t think it should come as any surprise that there are people that burrowed into government during eight years of the last administration, and may have believed in that agenda and what to continue to seek it.  I don’t think that should come as a surprise to anyone. Q    And will the Director of the CIA or the DNI have a presidential mandate to seek these people out and fire them or purge them from the government? MR. SPICER:  That’s not part of the CIA’s mandate under any circumstances, so I don’t know on that.   Blake. Q    Sean, thanks.  The DNC just put out a statement a little while ago saying it is President Obama who deserves the credit for the February jobs numbers.   MR. SPICER:  I’m sure they did. Q    My question to you, how much do you feel that President Trump should be credited for that, and how would you characterize the economy that President Trump was handed over by President Obama? MR. SPICER:  Look, numbers are going to go up and down.  We recognize that.  But I think there’s no question when you look at the CEOs that hire people and the CEOs that have talked about the investment that they want to make in America -- you can look back over the last several administrations, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen the number of CEOs and businesses come out and talk about investments and continuing investments and the expansion of investments or hiring based on the vision and agenda of an administration the way they have in this one. And so it's not just a question of what we believe.  I think if you look at the automakers, the other manufacturers, and, frankly, some of the service industries that have come out and talked about the investment that they're going to make, or the continuation of a project that they had going, or the movement of one -- of a manufacturing plant or job investment -- those speak for themselves.  It's not a question of what we believe.  I think it's a question of the commitment that U.S. manufacturers and job creators and businesses are making because they want to buy into the President's agenda and vision for creating a more tax and regulatory business-friendly environment to grow here.  And I think that those speak for themselves. Q    Do you believe, though, that he's had -- that the policies already have had an impact on them? MR. SPICER:  Absolutely.  Look at the confidence indexes.  They're all going to the top.  I think the stock market has generated over $3 billion of additional wealth since he was elected.  There are several economic indicators that show signs of strength because of the President's vision and agenda.  And I don't think that that's any secret. I mean, when you talk to the economists, when you talk to business leaders, they have confidence in the President's agenda that it will yield for a more favorable business climate to hire more Americans, to expand the manufacturing based in America, to make us more competitive around the globe.  And so I do believe that.  But I don't think it's a question of what I believe or what the administration believes.  I think if you look at what outside economists and what business leaders do, they confirm that.  Eamon. Q    Thanks, Sean.  In the past, the President has referred to particular job reports as "phony" or "totally fiction."  Does the President believe that this jobs report was accurate and a fair way to measure the economy? MR. SPICER:  Yeah, I talked to the President prior to this, and he said to quote him very clearly -- "They may have been phony in the past, but it's very real now."  (Laughter.) Sara. Q    Thanks, Sean.  Could you clear up what appears to be some tension between what you said yesterday about when the administration or the President was made aware of General Flynn's foreign lobbying ties and the AP reporting today that the transition team was informed of Flynn's potential need to register? MR. SPICER:  So there's a big difference between when he filed, which was the other day -- two days ago -- and what happened then.  What the AP is reporting, just so we're clear, is that a personal lawyer of General Flynn's contacted a transition lawyer and asked for guidance on what he should or should not do.  The lawyer was instructed that that wasn't the role of the transition, and that it was up to the personal lawyer to work with the appropriate authorities or subject matter experts to determine what was appropriate and what was not appropriate in terms of filing. But this was a personal matter.  It's a business matter.  It's not something that would be appropriate for a government entity to give someone guidance on when they should file as an individual -- as a private citizen.   That was the guidance that was given, which is consistent with what should be done.  And so I don't think it should be a shock to anybody that if you asked a government lawyer what you should do in your private capacity as a citizen, they're going to tell you you should consult experts in that area to determine what you should or should not do. Q    That advice was -- the transition was aware of that advice, why wasn’t that then -- was the President made aware that that recommendation had been given to his national security advisor? MR. SPICER:  Well, wait a minute, Sara.  There are tons of individuals that consult with the lawyers and with ethics experts and say, I own this stock, will I have to sell it?  I own a business.  I own this house.   And for the most part, they're given guidance as to, hey, go seek professional help, consult with this entity, consult with a lawyer.  It’s almost like asking someone for tax advice, calling -- and what you will -- if you call the IRS and say, hey, I want to know what I should do this, they will tell you to consult a tax attorney.   That's not the job of a government official, is to tell you what you should or should not do in your capacity as a private citizen.  And so that's a vastly different scenario that any -- whether you -- regardless of what department you call in government, if you call the Department of Education and ask them about education standards, they’ll probably refer you to a local entity or to a teacher if you're asking about your own child.  That's not why government officials -- they're very clear about the line between private action and government action. Jordan. Q    Thanks, Sean.  Does the President agree with House conservatives that the sunset date for the Medicaid expansion should be moved up to the end of next year?  MR. SPICER:  Well, I think the bill that is before the House right now, the reconciliation piece -- and again, I cannot reiterate it enough -- is part of a three-prong process. But the current process does several things.  Number one, it’s the first time that you're going to have a full addressing of an entitlement like this in decades.  It is actually a very, very good thing for conservatives when you look at how we're going to address Medicaid and an entitlement that many conservatives have fought for years need to be addressed. But that being said, the President has also been very clear through all of the discussions -- and I’ve commented on that throughout the week -- that as he meets with members of Congress and outside groups, that if someone has got an idea that can make this legislation more accessible, give more choice to the American people, drive down costs, make it more patient-centric, he wants to listen to it. But I think right now that's where the bill stands.  We're going to continue to listen and work with members of the House and then eventually the Senate.  And so I don't want to prejudge where -- the process itself.  But the bill was crafted in a way that I think represents the President’s thinking and in a -- very smart way of addressing entitlements and going forward. Francesca. Q    So just to put a pin in it, the President is willing to negotiate on the sunset of the expansion of Medicaid? MR. SPICER:  Right.  Right now the date that's in the bill is what the President supports.  He is willing to listen to individuals on different aspects of the bill that might make it -- that might achieve the goals that he set out.  But it’s not a question of negotiation.  We have a date in the bill, and that's the date in the bill. But I think as the bill continues to work its way through the House -- and that goes for Speaker Ryan, he’s got members that are approaching him with ideas and I’m sure he’s listening to them as well.   Senator McConnell is probably dealing with the same issue in the Senate.  And that's the way that the process is going to work.  And I’ve made it very clear since the get-go that this process is going to be one where we're going to take the best ideas, we're going to listen to individuals and try to make sure that we achieve the goals that the President has laid out and the principles that he has laid out. Francesca. Q    Thank you, Sean.  Piggybacking off John and John, at a breakfast this morning -- the same one he referenced -- Nancy Pelosi also said, "It couldn't possibly be true" of the President's allegations against the former President, "because that is not how our system works."  She also said "Obama would not do that" and "it would be a waste of time" for the House Intelligence Committee to investigate that allegation.  Does the White House have any evidence to refute House Minority Leader and former Speaker Pelosi's claim?  And could you explain why the President hasn't asked the FBI chief about this directly? MR. SPICER:  I think we spoke very clearly about what we'd like to happen last Sunday and I'm going to reiterate it:  We believe that the House and Senate intelligence committee have the appropriate forum and process and staff to look into this matter and report back. Q    Sean, on Flynn.  Can you say that the President was informed at all about this arrangement?   MR. SPICER:  No, he was not. Q    The need to register as a foreign agent? MR. SPICER:  No. Q    And then did this set off any alarm bells with anyone? MR. SPICER:  No, just so we're clear, you wouldn't -- General Flynn filed with the Department of Justice two days ago.  How would anyone know that he was going to -- I mean, that's sort of like asking --  Q    What about the need to file? MR. SPICER:  That's up to his personal lawyer.  I mean, again, each person that goes through the process in government seeks counsel in many cases regarding the assets they own and the activities they conducted as to what they have to do or not do.  But this is something that -- it's like asking whether someone needed to file -- if they had a client, whether or not they have to file a lobbying disclosure form.  That's not up for us to determine.  That's up for them and their counsel to determine if they engaged in activities in the past or whatever it is.  Or if a doctor needed to go and up their certification, that is not up for the government to determine.  There are certain private citizens' activities that you conduct and you seek counsel on, or professional advice.  That's not up to the government.  And that's exactly how the system worked. Q    But how did that not raise a red flag?  I mean, you have an attorney calling --  MR. SPICER:  You already got your question, John.  We're doing one-question Friday. Q    But this is an important point. MR. SPICER:  No, it's not, John. Q    Because you have an attorney calling the transition saying that the person who is in line to be the national security advisor may need to register as a foreign agent.  And that doesn't raise a red flag? MR. SPICER:  No, it's not a question of raising a red flag, John.  It's a question of whether or not they gave them the advice that they're supposed to, which is, it is not up to them to make decisions as to what you need to do or not do.  As you know, there are certain activities that fall under each of these requirements as far as what the threshold is, what activities, who the funding source was, et cetera, et cetera.  It is not up to -- nor is it appropriate, nor is it legal -- for the government to start going into private citizens, seeking advice and telling them what they have to register or not.  That would be the equivalent of walking through someone's tax return and saying that's not a deduction that you should take, that is. That's why, when you contact these agencies, they will tell you, you should seek counsel or professional advice or expertise in whatever matter it is.  That is not up to them to determine, plain and simple. Glenn.  I called on Glenn -- John, we’re going --   Q    Moving beyond the legal question here. MR. SPICER:  Thank you. Q    Just to follow up with John, moving beyond the legal question here, this is an issue of judgment about who you guys wanted here in your administration.  There were published reports that your potential national security advisor had dealings with the government of Turkey, a controversial regime at this moment in time.  Congressman Cummings sent a letter to Mike Pence during the transition informing him of this and raising a red flag.  Mr. Pence was on television, I believe yesterday, saying twice that he had no knowledge of that letter. MR. SPICER:  That's right -- no, no, that's not -- hold on, it stop there.  No, no, hold on, before you accuse the Vice President of certain things --  Q    Yeah. MR. SPICER:  Now, what he said was that he was not aware of the filing, just so we're clear.  And he wasn't.  Thank you.  Go on. Q    But just in terms of the larger question here.  Forget about filling out forms and the legalisms here.  What does this say about the transition team's judgment about still appointing him as national security advisor when you had knowledge of this information? MR. SPICER:  No, but you're asking me -- forget about the legalisms.  That's what we ask people to do, is follow the law.  You can't forget about the legalisms.   Q    No, no. MR. SPICER:  No, no, that's what you said.  And what I'm saying is, that's what we did.  They consulted a lawyer, which everyone who had something of -- is advised to do.  That lawyer consulted the transition lawyer, who said, it is your job to consult the appropriate lawyers.   Q    I'm moving beyond the legal issues, I'm saying in terms of -- we're moving beyond the issue of the papers here.  We're talking about the judgment that the President, the Vice President and your team made to select this man as national security advisor when you had information that he had these dealings with Turkey.  Why did you guys still make that decision? MR. SPICER:  But it's a question -- what dealings are you referring to?  The fact that he had a client -- he was also the head of the department of -- the Defense Intelligence Agency, unbelievably qualified, 40 years in the military with impeccable credentials.  I mean, so what is it?  That he -- what exactly are you getting at?  Because so far, he has impeccable credentials, he had a stellar career in the military, widely respected, and I think for you to start to impugn his integrity --  Q    No, but Vice President Pence said that yesterday -- that he wouldn't have that --  MR. SPICER:  But again, but there was no disclosure at the time.  And the question is, is that if his counsel worked with whomever he worked with and determined that he didn't, that's up to him.  But it was up to him.  The burden is on the individual to seek the legal advice or professional expertise to decide what they have to file and not.  I mean, we could literally have a hypothetical question about somebody who made an inappropriate filing on their tax returns or another -- or a professional qualification.  At the end of the day when people present it with you, they are advised to seek expertise and counsel and legal advice about what's appropriate and what's not.  That is not -- it is not up to the transition attorney to go through someone's livelihood and determine what they need to see.  They were given the proper legal advice at the time, which was to seek expertise in that matter.  He had already obtained counsel, and that's --  Q    Let me just sort of clarify.  The transition officials were not overly concerned by his relationship with the government of Turkey? MR. SPICER:  It's not a question of overly concerned, Glenn.  The question is, did they provide him the avenue that they were supposed to, which is, did they tell him to seek counsel, and they did.  And that’s what’s supposed to happen.  That’s it, plain and simple. Yes. Q    Sean, I guess the question for you very simply would be then right now, does this raise concerns that there may be other members of this administration or other members that served in the transition that were or are currently lobbying on behalf of foreign governments right now that may be advising the President of the United States? MR. SPICER:  Look, I think we trust people to fill out the appropriate forms that they need to, and in this case -- Q    But that’s what betrayed -- MR. SPICER:  -- and the President acted accordingly back in the thing, and he made the right call then. Q    He may have been taking actions, though, he may have made the right call -- the national security advisor. MR. SPICER:  But you’re asking me -- this is -- look, this is like saying -- can you tell me that the executives at NBC News have gone through every single person’s and reporters background -- Q    They’re not the President of the United States. MR. SPICER:  No, no, I understand that.  But we trust people to fill out the forms that they’re required to do so in an honest and legal manner.  And in this case, he retroactively filed the forms that he was supposed to do, but we advised him to do what the legal and proper thing was, and that’s the right thing for this administration. So we did the right thing then, and we expect every employee to follow the law.  This President, when it comes to ethics and when it comes to lobbying, he instituted a five-year ban, he banned people -- he has ran on a commitment to drain the swamp.  He has been very committed to making sure that we institute high standards here and that we’re held to them. And so at the end of the day, when he found out that General Flynn had betrayed the trust of the Vice President back in the day, he let him go.  The President has high standards for everyone that works in this administration.   So the answer to your question is, if somebody does something that is not in keeping with the President’s standards that he’s set for every single person in the administration they will be let go. Q    So do you have full faith in all those people that are advising the President right now? MR. SPICER:  I believe that everybody has done what has legally been required of them, but I can’t tell you that every single person has done everything.  I can tell you the President has made clear to every person in this administration you are expected to live up to the high standards that he has set for them, and that if you don’t you will be dismissed. Q    Sean, the removal of South Korea’s President, what’s the reaction of the White House to it?  And also, we know that there will be a presidential election very soon in South Korea, and we know several leading candidates.  They prefer -- last confrontation was DPRK and also opposed the deployment of a THAAD system.  So does the White House looking to the impact of the election might bring? MR. SPICER:  Well, I believe they have to have an election within 60 days.  There’s an acting President who we have strong relationships with, and we will continue to work with South Korea.  They are both an ally and a friend in the region.  This is obviously an issue that we continue to keep up with on the developments there.  It’s a domestic issue in which the United States takes no position in the outcome of that election. It’s up to the Korean people and their democratic institutions to determine the future of their country.  The United States continues to be a steadfast ally, friend and partner to the Republic of Korea.  And that’s it.  Q    Obviously, you guys were excited about the jobs report but maybe a little too excited, both you and the President tweeting within an hour of the jobs data coming out, which is a violation of the federal rule.  So I’m wondering I guess both if there is counseling in you and the President’s future?  But also what you’d say generally to critics who say, the risk of doing this is politicizing what should be kind of nonpartisan -- MR. SPICER:  What I understand is that that rule was instituted to deal with market fluctuations.  I could be wrong, but I believe that’s why it was instituted.  I think tweeting out “Great way to start a Friday,” here are the actual numbers that you all have reported, is a bit -- I mean, don’t make me make the podium move.  (Laughter.)  I mean, honest to god, like, every reporter here reported out that we had 235,000 jobs, 4.7 -- there isn’t a TV station that didn’t go live to it.  So to tweet out “Great way to start a Friday,” I think, yes, the President was excited to see more Americans back to work.   I don’t think that’s exactly a market disruption.  I think that there’s a lot of excitement in this country when we look at the policies that the President has instituted to help put more Americans back to work. So I mean, I understand the rule, but let’s -- Q    The Obama White House, for instance, went out of their way not to comment in that hour-long period.  They would rearrange the President’s schedule around it.  It was something that they and previous -- MR. SPICER:  I get it.  And I think there’s a difference --  Q    -- going forward, yeah. MR. SPICER:  It’s not about commenting.  I think it’s one thing to give analysis and whatever; literally tweeting out great news.  I think, yes, we are excited that when the President and the rest of the team saw the news this morning, as reported on every television station, Twitter, the Internet and every major news site in the country and around the world -- we were excited to see so many Americans back to work. So I apologize if we were a little excited.  And we’re so glad to see so many fellow Americans back to work.  But that’s -- Ashley. Q    Sean, Congressman Cummings’ letter to the Vice President in November did lay out that General Flynn was being paid to lobby for Turkish interests during the campaign.  Why did that not raise a red flag to the Vice President? MR. SPICER:  It’s not a question of raising a flag.  Remember -- I think we keep forgetting something -- his attorney then went to a transition attorney who was told, you need to seek counsel on this and get further guidance.  That’s the job.  It’s not a question of “raise flags,” it’s not for us to adjudicate whether or not someone needs to file under the Lobbying Disclosure Act, the FARA Registration Act.  That’s not the job of a transition attorney.  It’s to tell them to seek additional counsel, or to explain to them where to find that information, not to tell them what to do or not to do. Q    But I’m asking about Vice President specifically -- not saying you should go to this attorney or giving legal advice, but why, when this information was brought to the Vice President’s attention, didn’t he raise questions, bring it to the President, look into it further? MR. SPICER:  Because I think it’s fairly simple to say why didn’t this occur.  We’re going through several people.  The answer is, did they seek the appropriate professional advice and counsel, and they did.  And that’s the answer. Alexis. Q    I have a healthcare question for you. MR. SPICER:  Oh, good.  (Laughter.)  Q    Aren’t you relieved. MR. SPICER:  That’s the appeal about it. Q    Would the President be willing to sign legislation -- is he flexible about the refundable tax credit portion of the House bill?  Would he be willing to sign legislation that avoided that particular provision?  Because, as you know, conservatives are concerned that that’s an additional entitlement. MR. SPICER:  I think that, more and more, as the President talks to members of Congress and outside groups -- number one, I think they’re excited to understand the totality of this, and I think he addresses this in the weekly address that you can at whitehouse.gov, that continues to explain the comprehensive aspect of this.  Our reconciliation piece, the administrative piece that Secretary Price will institute, and then the additional legislation -- buying healthcare across state lines, allowing small businesses to pool their things, allowing health savings accounts to expand, the streamlining of the FDA, going after medical malpractice -- all those things that bring costs down. But as I’ve noted before, I mean, people have to remember that if you get your healthcare through your employer, which the majority of Americans do, you are not taxed on that, your employer is not taxed on it.  It is fairly inadequate and unbalanced for small business owners, ranchers and farmers, sole proprietors to have to face a disproportionate tax burden because they’re not a big employer.  I think this is something that conservatives should be embracing, and I think the more that they understand the comprehensive nature of this, they are beginning to support more -- Q    So the President wants it to stay, the refundable tax credit provisions? MR. SPICER:  Oh, absolutely. Q    Okay. Q    Yes -- House Republicans that wrote a letter to the White House asking about why IRS Commissioner John Koskinen is still in his job.  Do you have any response to that? MR. SPICER:  I don’t.  I’d refer you to the Department of Treasury on that.  Yeah. Q    Thank you, Sean.  The other day, the President tweeted that, for the past eight years, during the Obama presidency, Russia “ran over” the United States and, in particular, picked off Crimea and added missiles, which the President described in his tweet as “Weak!”  Given that he seems to be focused on Crimea, at least as far as the tweet is concerned, will the President use the authority and funding granted him in the NDAA to send lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine, as has been called for by the House and Senate Armed Services Committee chairmans, and was in was in both party platforms, although the Republican language was watered down?  And if he’s not going to -- I did ask you this about several weeks ago when Senator McCain sent a letter asking for this -- if the President doesn’t want to do it, is that because he would rather focus his efforts with Russia on partnering to try to defeat ISIS? MR. SPICER:  Well, I think Ambassador Haley has noted at the U.N. that any attempt to undermine sanctions that currently exist because of the annexation of Crimea will remain in place until that issue is resolved.  I’m not going to -- the President, when it comes to his overall negotiating strategy, has made it very clear in a variety of circumstances that his philosophy is not one that says, “I’m going to tell you what I’m going to do.”  He holds his cards close to his vest to maximize his negotiating strategy. Q    But why does sending weapons to Ukraine have anything to do with sanctions? MR. SPICER:  I’m not going to get into the President’s negotiating strategy.  I will tell you that, as he continues to engage with the President of Russia and Secretary Tillerson -- Q    (Inaudible.) MR. SPICER:  I’m not.  We’re not -- Ryan, it’s your birthday.  You get a question. Q    Going back to -- my staff, we’ve got about several dozen emails on -- we talked to congressmen this morning who were getting these emails saying, if you’re going to repeal and replace Obamacare, why not give everybody what Congress and Senators get?  Can you address that, since Congress won’t? MR. SPICER:  Well, I think part of what we’re trying to do, we -- someone asked the other day about federal benefits.  Right now, a third of the counties around our country have one provider.  That’s not choice.  I think the President understands that very clearly, and that’s, frankly, why he’s pushing the American healthcare -- you know, why we’re doing this, is that so many Americans have no choice, and that he wants there to be greater choice and lower costs. By doing the stuff that we’re doing, especially the third prong of this -- allowing competition over state lines, taking the government mandates away from what they have to include -- that’s really going to institute more choice.  There will be more options.   If you remember, prior to Obamacare, you could go out on the open market and go from a variety of different options and tailor what you or your family needed based on the conditions that you sought or the deductible that you wanted.  And choice dried up with Obamacare.  I think that’s the point, though, is that if you want more of that kind of a system, then this is the bill and the legislation and the comprehensive approach that you should be supporting. Q    But specifically, the perception that somehow senators and congressmen get better care than the rest of us.  Can you address that? MR. SPICER:  Well, that’s what I -- yes, I think that’s why we’re trying to pass it the way we are.  We want more choice.  We want more competition.  We want lower costs.  The American people deserve a better healthcare system, and that’s what this President is pushing for. Margaret. Q    Sean, did the White House sign off on Secretary Tillerson’s decision not to take the press with him on what should be an important trip to Asia, and the growing North Korean threat?  And what are his marching orders?  You talked a lot about the flexibility the President has given to his generals.  What flexibility has he given for diplomatic initiatives to his Secretary of State? MR. SPICER:  As I mentioned at the beginning, the President is having lunch with Secretary Tillerson.  I know that the trip was one of the topics of discussion, and so I will try to follow up with that.   And with respect to the first part of the question, press is being invited to that trip.  They’re traveling commercially.  There is a press logistics component to make sure that they can get everywhere, that they’re given access to everything.  There’s a press conference -- Q    You can possibly to go to all three of those cities commercially to cover him in the way that -- MR. SPICER:  The plane that the Secretary is taking doesn’t accommodate that, but they have made accommodations for members of the press to cover everything.  And I know that -- Q    Is that something you advised to him? MR. SPICER:  No, we don’t get involved in the logistics for every Cabinet member’s trip.  I would advise you to touch base with the Secretary, with the State Department on this.  But I know that they have made aware of the concerns of some of your colleagues, and they are making accommodations in the future with respect to the size of the plane. But make no mistake about it, there is a logistics component to make sure that the press is welcome throughout the trip and at every stop, and that accommodations are taken care of, and there’s logistical support to do that.  There will be a press conference component as well. Q    Would you like, though, public diplomacy and this kind of important diplomatic initiative for this administration to be covered fully going forward? MR. SPICER:  I think it will.  I hope it will be covered fully. Q    And should they be -- reporters allowed to be on the place with the Secretary, as they have for many years? MR. SPICER:  And I think that, when appropriate, they can.  And again, there’s a big difference between making sure that we carve out X number of seats and making sure that we have transparency and openness in covering events.  They have logistical support for you all, to make sure that you have hotels.  There’s travel support.  There’s accommodations and filing centers.  I mean, at some point, this isn’t about blocking anybody.  They’ve gone above and beyond.  Not every plane can accommodate every member of the press. Q    You couldn’t get a bigger plane? MR. SPICER:  It’s not a question -- there’s an element of tax -- Q    Most Secretaries of State can accommodate that. MR. SPICER:  Thank you.  I understand that, and there’s an element of cost-savings at this point that the Secretary is trying to achieve.  But at the end of the day, there has been a press component to every stop of the Secretary’s trip.  He is doing everything he can to logistically support the press who wants to come and cover him, and they are being open to make sure that Secretary is available throughout the trip. Q    President Trump has been -- was very critical of German Chancellor Merkel on the campaign trail.  I was just wondering, how does the White House think that will affect the tone of the meeting on Tuesday, and what type of tone does the President plan to take? MR. SPICER:  I know that we did a bit of a readout earlier today on that.  There’s a lot of excitement on both sides of the ocean for this trip.  I know that we are looking forward to meeting with the Chancellor and her team, and I’ve talked to their folks over there and they’re very excited about coming over.  There’s a lot of trade and economic interests on both sides, and obviously there’s an element of national security that we share.   And so I will let the trip’s -- look forward to the readout, but there is a lot of excitement coming.  And I think the President looks forward to meeting with the Chancellor and discussing areas of shared national interest with her. Athena. Q    Just following up on all of this Flynn discussion.  I gather from today and yesterday, correct me if I’m wrong, I want to make sure I understand the answer to this question.  Are you saying the President was not aware that Lieutenant General Michael Flynn was acting as a foreign agent when he appointed him to be national security advisor? MR. SPICER:  Correct.  Well, and just remember, you wouldn’t know that until he filed.  He didn’t file until two days ago, so therefore, nobody would have known that because he hadn’t filed as a foreign agent until two days ago. Q    My understanding is that he had filed a lobbying disclosure with Congress in November. MR. SPICER:  Again, that’s different than filing a FARA request with the DOJ. Q    And one more question -- MR. SPICER:  Well, it’s one-question Friday.  (Laughter.)  Q    It’s very much attached to this. MR. SPICER:  All right. Q    The other question is, did Flynn disclose he was acting as a foreign agent in the security clearance review before he became NSA? MR. SPICER:  I don’t know the answer to that question.  That’s something that you should follow up with General Flynn on.   April. Q    Sean, I want to go back to the numbers.  When is it when a former President’s spillover ends and the new President stands on his own merit?  When does that happen? MR. SPICER:  Well, I think on January 20th at noon, you start to assume command of the government, and -- what specifically are you asking for?  Q    The numbers from jobs.  You’re taking -- MR. SPICER:  Well, I think that this is the first full month that encapsulates the President’s administration.  I think that’s a very telling number.  Look, and I get it.  These numbers are going to go up and down.  But I think for the first full month, we’re seeing the enthusiasm and spirit that so many business leaders have been drawn to, and that is exciting as a first month.  But I think this encapsulates a full 30 days of the Trump presidency, and so we’re going to continue to work forward with policies that will lower regulation and lower taxes, create a more business-friendly and entrepreneur-friendly business climate to allow the expansion of U.S. companies and grow U.S. jobs. Q    And lastly, over the last couple of weeks we’ve heard all the negatives -- well, not all the negatives, but a large portion of negatives about the Affordable Care Act, and how you’re looking to make it patient care.  So with that, are there any positives which you could articulate from ACA that will carry into possibly patient care? MR. SPICER:  I think children being able to stay on their plans to 26.  There’s a preexisting-condition piece.  But again, remember -- Q    That’s going to states, the way we understand it.  That’s subject to -- MR. SPICER:  No, no, no, but that -- you’re asking if there’s elements.  I think those are some things that -- and again, remember, there was some stuff that was part of the ACA that is stuff that Republicans had supported for a while as well.  I think this is making sure that this is the most effective and comprehensive healthcare policy that achieves the President’s goals. Q    So those are the only two?  Those are two -- MR. SPICER:  Yes.  You asked -- I don't know, April, I’m sure I could go through the bill and get back.  It’s very long, as you saw the other day.  It’s a thousand-page -- Q    -- pages versus -- MR. SPICER:  Nine hundred seventy four pages.  Very good. David Jackson. Q    The Palestinians are saying that President Trump invited President Abbas to the White House for a meeting very soon.  Can you confirm that? MR. SPICER:  I can.  Thank you guys very much.  Let’s end on a positive note.  Have a great weekend.  We look forward to seeing you.  Take care everybody.  Thank you. END  2:44 P.M. EST 

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07 марта, 20:17

Rahm Emanuel Introduces 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial, Discusses Role Of Modern City

For Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago, the modern city is necessarily a place of inclusion and tolerance.

07 марта, 02:40

Chance the Rapper burns Illinois governor

CHICAGO — After declaring his talks with Gov. Bruce Rauner accomplished nothing, Chance the Rapper donated $1 million to Chicago Public Schools on Monday — wowing his large fan base and creating an epic public relations nightmare for the Republican governor.The three-time Grammy winner and one of the hottest up-and-coming rappers in the country announced he’d also match through his not-for-profit, Social Works, Inc. each corporate donation of $100,000 or more to the struggling school system by donating $10,000 to CPS high schools. (Watch the full news conference here).Chance, whose combined Instagram and Twitter following tops 7 million people, ripped into the governor after meeting with him on Friday. “The governor gave me a lot of vague answers in our meeting and since has called me over the weekend. Our talks were unsuccessful,” Chance said in a news conference live-streamed over Instagram and Periscope. “Gov. Rauner still won't commit to giving Chicago kids a chance without caveats or ultimatums.” Chance spoke from Westcott Elementary School in the city, which he said would be a recipient of $10,000 of the money. Chance noted that it’s well known that Chicago and its schools have been struggling. The city has been a frequent target of President Donald Trump who repeatedly marvels on Twitter over pervasive violence on the south and west sides. But Chance’s Monday actions also put a spotlight on the financial turmoil in which Illinois has been entrenched since Rauner has taken office. While the fight has pit the governor and the Democratic-controlled General Assembly in a standoff that has meant no budget for nearly two years, Chance used a large microphone to push responsibility for CPS’ immediate woes onto Rauner’s lap. Rauner has been on the hot seat after he vetoed a bill that would have provided $215 million in funding for schools in Chicago. The governor admitted in a recent Chicago Tribune Editorial Board interview that he was acting on emotion. But Rauner has also long said he wanted reforms coupled with more funding for schools and has balked at giving CPS a “bailout.” Rauner's office maintains he vetoed the funding package only after he believed Democrats were backing out of their end of the deal to make reforms in exchange for the money. The governor took the meeting with Chance on Friday, afterward reporting a friendly visit, while Chance said he was disappointed. On Monday, after Chance announced he was holding a news conference, the governor’s office, through memos leaked to various news outlets, scrambled to come up with funding alternatives. “The state of Illinois widened its unfair education funding further this year increasing funding for every teacher except in Chicago by $243 million and cutting funding in Chicago by $215 million,” Chance said on Monday, repeating a point often made by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CPS CEO Forrest Claypool. “Our kids should not be held hostage because of political position.”Chance closed his remarks saying: “Governor Rauner, do your job!”Chance is no stranger to politics. His father, Ken Bennett, held positions under former President Barack Obama and Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Ken Bennett also holds a position with Social Works, where the rapper said donations could be made.Later Monday, Rauner's office noted that he and his wife had donated some $7 million to Chicago schools in the past. “While the Rauners are passionate donors to our schools, individual contributions will never be enough to address the financial challenges facing CPS,” Rauner spokeswoman Eleni Demertzis said in a statement. “It would be helpful if CPS officials came to Springfield and joined in serious good faith discussions about the long-term stability of all of our schools.”

04 марта, 15:35

Meet the World’s Most Tremendous Trump Impersonator

John Di Domenico has been playing Trump since 2004. “I’ve never had an impersonation evolve so much—and he’s 70 years old! It’s crazy,” he says.

25 февраля, 15:25

Trump wages war on Chicago

The nation's third-largest city has become the place the president loves to hate.

25 февраля, 14:02

Trump's War On The Media Echoes 2009. But The Press May Find It Harder To Fight.

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); In October 2009, as the Obama White House felt besieged by what it viewed as advocacy journalism masquerading as “fair and balanced” news coverage, top aides to the president declared a de facto war on Fox News. On the morning of Oct. 18, David Axelrod, senior adviser to President Barack Obama, said that Fox would no longer be treated like other news organizations inside the walls of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. That same morning, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said the network was “not a news organization so much as it has a perspective.” What happened next was as important a development as the decision to wage the war itself. Fox News’ competitors rallied to its side, challenging the Obama administration’s claims about the network and then refusing to partake in a round of interviews with an administration official after Fox was excluded. It was a seminal moment of collective action by the Fourth Estate. And it worked. The White House backed down from its confrontation with Fox and the network’s executives and began charting a course of better understanding. Eight years later, the White House press corps faces a similar crisis point. The Trump administration on Friday excluded a number of prominent news outlets from a closed-door media “gaggle” that Press Secretary Sean Spicer conducted in lieu of a formal briefing. The barring of reporters followed weeks of unending broadsides that the president and his top aides have leveled against the press writ large and against certain television networks specifically, in which they’ve gone so far as to declare the media the “opposition party” and the “enemy of the American people.” The Associated Press and Time magazine boycotted Friday’s gaggle, while The Wall Street Journal said it would not go again under similar conditions. And one of Fox News’ most prominent anchors, Bret Baier, expressed solidarity with the excluded, echoing the sentiments of other anchors at his network, like Shepard Smith and Chris Wallace, who have criticized the Trump administration’s most recent anti-press rhetoric. Some at CNN & NYT stood w/FOX News when the Obama admin attacked us & tried 2 exclude us-a WH gaggle should be open to all credentialed orgs https://t.co/8Vjcs0KCPR— Bret Baier (@BretBaier) February 24, 2017 But not everyone at Fox News has shown a willingness to stand alongside the rest of the press corps as was done in 2009. Some at the network, in fact, have appeared to cheer Trump on. Prime-time host Bill O’Reilly suggested last week that the Obama White House’s attacks on his network in 2009 were unwarranted while Trump’s critique has merit. “It’s harder to run the country because these dishonest people are undermining the whole process,” O’Reilly said. “Fox & Friends” co-host Steve Doocy referred to the media as “the opposition party” on Monday morning, a phrase popularized by Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon. That night, host Sean Hannity told viewers the media had “declared war on President Trump and, by the way, in turn, you the American people who put him in office.”  And they don’t seem to be the only ones in the press sympathetic to Trump as he blasts their colleagues. The White House press corps now features pro-Trump blogs that seem perfectly happy to side against the press corps.  Gateway Pundit has talked about “trolling” the media along with covering the administration. And Breitbart News, a far-right, nationalist site that frequently targets the news media, has become a major player under this administration, with Bannon, its former chairman, in such a prominent role. Perhaps not surprisingly, Breitbart was invited into Spicer’s closed-door session, along with The Washington Times and One America News Network, two other conservative outlets whose stock has risen under the new administration and who recently have been called on first at briefings. All of this has left the press corps in a precarious position at a critical juncture. With Trump’s White House threatening access, it’s unclear whether the Fourth Estate will be able to muster the collective response that proved so effective in 2009. Back then, the Obama administration was lobbing similar, though hardly as incendiary, criticisms about the coverage it was receiving, from Fox News specifically. The network’s excessive promotion of conservative tea party protests in spring 2009, along with its perspective on administration policies, signaled to the president’s aides that it was approaching the administration in an overtly hostile manner. “I’ve got one television station that is entirely devoted to attacking my administration,” Obama said in June 2009. “That’s a pretty big megaphone. And you’d be hard pressed if you watched the entire day to find a positive story about me on that front.” What drove the Obama White House to try to marginalize Fox News wasn’t simply that the network leaned right, however. It was that the stories being promoted, such as the antics of the fringe New Black Panther Party, alleged corruption involving community organizing group ACORN and past radical statements from then-White House official Van Jones, were gaining traction in the national media. “There was a pipeline of stories coming from Fox News and then making it in the mainstream media outlets like the Post and the Times,” Dan Pfeiffer, a former top Obama adviser, recalled earlier this week. These stories, he said, were being treated as if “they were coming from other mainstream media outlets and given the journalistic scrutiny that would come in a story in The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal, when they weren’t.” What frustrated Obama officials even more was that Fox was promoting these stories during hours traditionally devoted to the day’s news. And at 5 p.m., on a daily basis, host Glenn Beck would amplify them further through his apocalyptic, yet entertaining, weaving of conspiracy theories. Beck would lay out his theories like a madman with a chalkboard. But he had an impact. He has been credited with prompting the Sept. 6, 2009, resignation of Jones after highlighting the past views and affiliations of the little-known environmental adviser. While the White House never tried barring Fox News from the briefing room, it declined invitations for Obama to appear on “Fox News Sunday” as he made the Sunday talk-show rounds in September 2009. “They are the biggest bunch of crybabies I have dealt with in my 30 years in Washington,” host Chris Wallace said in response. Later that month, Obama adviser Axelrod met privately at Washington’s Palm steakhouse with Roger Ailes, the famed Republican political operative and then chairman of Fox News, to try to hammer out the differences. But the fight escalated.   “We’re going to treat them the way we would treat an opponent,” Anita Dunn, the White House communications director, told The New York Times on Oct. 11. A week later, Axelrod and Emanuel reinforced the anti-Fox message on the Sunday shows, and Obama reportedly vented privately about the network the following day to opinionated competitors in one of his off-the-record gatherings with newspaper columnists and commentators such as MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. The press pushed back. On Oct. 20, Jake Tapper, then a White House correspondent for ABC News, asked Press Secretary Robert Gibbs during a morning gaggle to “explain why it’s appropriate for the White House to decide that a news organization is not one.” After a tense back-and-forth, Gibbs said it was simply the White House’s “opinion” that Fox News wasn’t a news organization. “I spoke up against it to the Obama staff both in front of others and behind the scenes, and on air when the State Department and Justice Department targeted James Rosen, because no government should get to say what is or isn’t legitimate or to discredit those doing their jobs responsibly ― that’s a way to undermine oversight,” Tapper recalled in an email to The Huffington Post.  Two days later, bureau chiefs from the major networks pushed back against the treatment of Fox News by declining to participate in collective coverage of a Treasury Department briefing with executive-pay czar Ken Feinberg. The administration eventually backed down, letting Fox News into the pool and giving the network a win it would tout on air. “What happened today, I think, was extremely important,” Fox News analyst Charles Krauthammer said on the evening of Oct. 22. “In trying to ostracize and demonize Fox, the administration needs complicity from other news organizations. Otherwise it won’t work. What happened today was other news organizations admirably, and on principle, standing up and saying, ‘No, if you are not going to include Fox, we’re not going to go.’ And that solidarity, I think, is important.” The following day, Gibbs called a top Fox News executive to set up a truce, according to Gabriel Sherman’s biography of Ailes and his creation and stewardship of Fox News. And after a week or so, the war with Fox News simmered down and the relationship eventually returned to the status quo. Looking back, Axelrod told HuffPost that he didn’t think the war on Fox News “was a particularly successful tactic.” Though the administration’s complaints may have been “justifiable,” he said, “declaring war on a network ― or in Trump’s case, all but one ― is not an effective tactic.” “Most responsible journalists recognize the danger when one organization, even Fox News, is out on a ‘list,’” he added. But other Obama veterans, including Pfeiffer, felt the Obama White House “had some success” in its mission of adding scrutiny to Fox’s coverage. “We were far from perfect. It didn’t solve all the problems. We felt enough progress made.” That the press corps responded the way it did wasn’t a surprise, Pfeiffer added. Back then, the media was operating under the same general customs and traditions that had been in place for decades. But now, Pfeiffer said, it is a “different era,” one more ripe for exploitation by a White House. Trump, he noted, can broadcast his own unfiltered messages through social media or choose from a growing stable of friendly outlets if mainstream news outlets boycott an event. “Theoretically, there’s a world where they could say, ‘None of us are going to cover if you don’t do this,’” he said. “But they won’t do that because the Trump folks could just live-stream it on Facebook or Fox will carry it or Breitbart.” As for reporters covering the administration, it means less leverage to combat the same basic problems. Eight years after he went to bat for Fox News as it was blacklisted from the White House, Tapper finds himself in their shoes. One of the most aggressive journalists covering the Trump administration, he and CNN have been singled out for ridicule and frozen out in general. The administration did not include the network in Friday’s briefing, and it has declined to book key officials on Tapper’s Sunday show. It’s an echo of 2009, Tapper noted. “I wouldn’t say the efforts to delegitimize are exactly the same, but the principle (or lack thereof) is: Discredit an entire ... credentialed organization (or multiple organizations, in President Trump’s case) based on a facet of the outlet’s coverage that he doesn’t like,” he said. It remains to be seen if it ends the same.  -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

24 февраля, 21:43

Chicago Police To Donald Trump: We Asked For Help And You Never Responded

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Despite President Donald Trump’s repeated criticism of Chicago’s rising homicide rate, the city’s police department says multiple requests for federal assistance have gone unanswered so far. The city’s superintendent of police, Eddie Johnson, called out the White House and Department of Justice on Thursday after Trump tweeted “Chicago needs help” in light of several fatal shootings. Johnson said violence in some Chicago neighborhoods was “unacceptable” but Trump’s administration had yet to provide support. “We’ve made requests to the White House and the Justice Department for them to support our work — from increasing federal gun prosecution to more FBI, DEA and ATF agents to more funding for mentoring, job training and more,” Johnson said in a statement. “We are still waiting for the administration’s response to our request.” Seven people shot and killed yesterday in Chicago. What is going on there - totally out of control. Chicago needs help!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2017 Trump brought up Chicago again Thursday during his keynote address at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland, but failed to mention what specific federal resources he would make available to the city’s police. “I’m also working with the Department of Justice to begin reducing violent crime,” Trump told the crowd. “I mean, can you believe what’s happening in Chicago, as an example? Two days ago, seven people were shot, and I believe killed. ... We will support the incredible men and women of law enforcement.” A few minutes later, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) blasted Trump for tweeting about Chicago instead of taking action. Yet again, I urge the Pres to stop tweeting&provide critical fed resources for econ development, mentoring&jobs to address Chicago violence https://t.co/YivjoX2Yjk— Senator Dick Durbin (@SenatorDurbin) February 24, 2017 Trump tweeted last month that he would “send in the feds” if Chicago didn’t “fix the horrible ‘carnage.’” The city’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, responded by saying he would welcome the help. “Send more FBI, DEA, ATF agents,” Emanuel said during a news conference earlier this month. “We don’t have to talk about it anymore. Just send them.” As crime continues to drop across most of the country, 2016 was Chicago’s deadliest year in nearly two decades. The city’s murder rate is now higher than those of Los Angeles and New York combined. Police officials point to gang-related shootings and ease of access to illegal firearms as the main culprits behind Chicago’s homicide problem. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding Trump’s plan to reduce violence in Chicago. How will Trump’s first 100 days impact you? Sign up for our weekly newsletter and get breaking updates on Trump’s presidency by messaging us here. type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related... + articlesList=589a1c57e4b040613139c232,58b04a86e4b0780bac288743,5862a733e4b0eb5864873b2a -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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09 февраля, 15:00

SO MUCH LOSING, THEY’RE GONNA GET TIRED OF LOSING: WaPo: Can Democrats get used to all the losing …

SO MUCH LOSING, THEY’RE GONNA GET TIRED OF LOSING: WaPo: Can Democrats get used to all the losing that lies ahead? President Trump has promised so much winning that people will get tired of it. But for Democrats, the question is whether they can stomach the amount of losing they’re in store for. Despite the […]

08 февраля, 19:22

RFK's son to run for Illinois governor

CHICAGO — Chris Kennedy, son of the late Robert F. Kennedy, has announced he's running for Illinois governor, ending months of speculation. "We can do better," Kennedy said in a video statement announcing his candidacy Wednesday.Kennedy is running against Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, who has been engaged in an epic fight with the state legislature, which has left the state without a budget for 19 months.Kennedy has increased his public profile since last spring and has publicly discussed the possibility of running for governor.

08 февраля, 14:04

Records show how Air Force nominee skirted lobbying restrictions

Wilson, who left Congress in 2009 and went to work the same month for Lockheed subsidiary Sandia Corp., says she didn't lobby herself.

08 февраля, 04:23

Trump Repeats Huge Lie About The U.S. Murder Rate

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); President Donald Trump revived his thoroughly debunked lie about U.S. crime on Tuesday, claiming the national murder rate is nearing a 50-year high. “The murder rate is the highest it’s been in ... 45 to 47 years,” Trump told a White House gathering of county sheriffs from across the country. “I used to say that in a speech and everybody was surprised, because the press doesn’t tell it like it is.” Trump has repeatedly claimed crime is worse than the reality. During the campaign, he frequently said crime is out of control. Since his election, he’s said the murder rate is the highest in 45 years. Last month, he falsely said Philadelphia’s murder rate had increased when it actually declined. Recent FBI data shows the U.S. murder rate near its lowest in decades, with 5 homicides per 100,000 people in 2015. (Data for 2016 hasn’t been released.) A 2011 report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, which analyzes FBI crime data, shows the U.S. murder rate peaked in 1960 at 10.2 homicides per 100,000, dipping to 7.9 per 100,000 in 1984, and rising again in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The homicide rate hit 9.3 per 100,000 in 1994, before plummeting to 4.8 per 100,000 in 2010. White House counselor Kellyanne Conway defended Trump’s new false statement in an interview Tuesday on CNN. “I think he is relying upon data, perhaps for a particular area,” Conway told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “I don’t know who gave him that data.” The White House did not immediately return requests for additional comment. It’s possible Trump is confusing the overall murder rate with the percentage increase from 2014 to 2015. The 2015 rate showed the biggest one-year jump since 1971, roughly 11 percent. Rising violence in 10 major cities, including Chicago, Houston and Washington, accounted for one-third of the 2015 gain. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, the murder rate jumped 14 percent in the 30 largest U.S. cities from 2015 to 2016, with Chicago accounting for 44 percent of the increase. The jump doesn’t indicate a national crime wave, according to experts. “While there were 471 more murders in large cities in 2015 than 2014, more than half (260) of that increase occurred in just three cities: Baltimore, Washington and Chicago,” the Brennan Center’s Ames Grawert and James Cullen wrote in March. “Until we have more information, then, warnings of a ‘new nationwide crime wave’ are premature by several years and more than a few percentage points.” Trump has frequently pointed to Chicago violence in recent appearances. Last month, the president tweeted he would “send in the Feds” if “carnage” in the city didn’t decrease. In Tuesday’s session with sheriffs, Trump spoke of “so sad a situation” in Chicago. He hasn’t detailed any plans to allocate more federal resources for stomping out crime in the city. Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) said he would welcome help. “Send more FBI, DEA, ATF agents,” Emanuel said during a news conference last week. “We don’t have to talk about it anymore. Just send them.” How will Trump’s first 100 days impact you? Sign up for our weekly newsletter and get breaking updates on Trump’s presidency by messaging us here. type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related... + articlesList=588a5050e4b0024605fe924e,5862a733e4b0eb5864873b2a,5615dba5e4b0082030a12809 -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

01 февраля, 18:29

Let's Help Workers With A Green Jobs Program

President Donald Trump is right about one thing: we need a jobs program. I worked for Rahm Emanuel's Greencorps Chicago Youth while a graduate student. Greencorps was a jobs program that offered education, mentoring and practical work experience. What we did at Greencorps was amazing. We taught young people from Chicago about environmental engineering, climate change, urban agriculture and sustainability. Our flagship program trained disadvantaged Chicagoans for green jobs. The youth program mirrored this effort by placing our students in internships in Chicago's emerging green economy. What we were doing was admittedly small-scale but impactful. With the resources we now have to address climate change, we can train Americans to make money in what will be a worldwide clean energy infrastructure boom. It would be foolish not to do so. Not only would continued investment in energy advance basic science, but I think a scaled-up green jobs program could do wonders by putting marginalized people back to work, retraining others on the technology of the future and advancing a new wave of innovation. We could make America the world leader in the world economy's most profitable sector, energy, while enhancing our national energy security. The United States currently has all the technology it needs to plan for and then transcend the twilight of the fossil fuel energy economy. Now innovators are advancing clean energy and pollution mitigation technology at a rapid pace. But we need to speed it up. According to McKinsey, "By 2040, (renewables') US market share could be 18 percent, up from 13 percent in 2013." When the world is expected to surpass 25 percent renewable sourcing in 2018, we are laggards. Yet innovative scientists are currently making progress on one of the most difficult aspects of engineering a new energy economy, the storage problem. McKinsey reports, "The European Union is testing a project in Ireland in which a motorized flywheel can harness surplus energy from the grid, store it in turbines, and then release it on demand. The US Department of Energy's famous innovation lab, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, is funding a dozen storage-related projects. It is not far-fetched to believe these efforts will discover a variety of cost-effective solutions. The demand for time-shifted energy storage, according to McKinsey, could grow ten times by 2050; that kind of potential attracts innovation." In addition to directing more research dollars toward solving these hard problems, the incoming administration can go big on a green jobs program for everyday workers. We need to jump-start clean energy by enacting more feed-in tariffs, renewable portfolios and job training programs. All of these efforts will produce jobs quickly, and the jobs will last. Playing it safe on a green jobs effort is neither safe ecologically nor smart economically and will look bad in hindsight. In an article for Newsweek a few years ago, Bill Clinton wrote about the transformational nature of technology. He wrote, "When I was president, the economy benefited because information technology penetrated every aspect of American life. More than one-quarter of our job growth and one-third of our income growth came from that. Now the obvious candidate for that role today is changing the way we produce and use energy." Think Progress reported on some of Clinton's tangible, shovel-ready ideas: "Building retrofits have huge job-creating potential; a recent report suggests 'retrofitting 40% of the US building stock will create over 600,000 jobs by 2020.' This estimate is very similar to that of President Clinton (retrofitting the entire building stock will create 1,000,000 jobs)." Providing a robust jobs program could stimulate many millions more jobs in an energy sector that could add trillions of dollars of profit with clean tech. As Robert Browning wrote: "Man must pass from old to new, From what once seemed good, to what now Proves best; How could man have progression otherwise?" -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

31 января, 20:32

A GOOD START: Trump Halted $181 Billion in Regulatory Costs on First Day in Office. “On day one i…

A GOOD START: Trump Halted $181 Billion in Regulatory Costs on First Day in Office. “On day one in office, President Trump’s Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, signed a memo to all executive agencies imposing a regulatory moratorium,” wrote Sam Batkins, director of regulatory policy for the American Action Forum. “This may sound like an […]

30 января, 16:14

FAKE NEWS: Disappearing people to secret prisons? Hey, this is Donald Trump’s DHS, not Rahm …

FAKE NEWS: Disappearing people to secret prisons? Hey, this is Donald Trump’s DHS, not Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago Police Department. “Chicago police covertly detained more than 7,000 people at a secret interrogation warehouse straight out of a Bond movie — more than double the amount of prisoners originally believed to be held and grilled there, according […]

30 января, 04:39

Rauner sees 'serious concerns' with Trump's travel ban

CHICAGO — Amid criticism that he was silent while chaos erupted at area airports over the weekend, Gov. Bruce Rauner said on Sunday that “serious concerns” exist over President Donald Trump’s ban on travel from seven Muslim-majority countries, saying those concerns should be addressed in court.Rauner also said he opposed any ban that targeted a specific religion, but the carefully worded statement fell short of a full embrace or full rebuke of Trump’s policy. Instead, Rauner said he would like to see a “balance” of addressing national security concerns while remaining welcoming to immigrants. His remarks came as Democrats and labor groups blasted the Republican governor for attending a summit in Palm Springs, California, sponsored by Charles and David Koch even as protesters showed up in droves at O’Hare Airport, shutting down an area outside the international terminal at one point. While Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, state Attorney General Lisa Madigan and state Comptroller Susana Mendoza (all of whom are Democrats) repudiated Trump’s action on Saturday, Rauner’s office did not respond to a request for comment. On Sunday, however, his office released this statement: “Governor Rauner has always said we need to balance our tradition as a nation welcoming of immigrants and refugees with legitimate national security concerns to keep Americans safe from terrorism. The governor has been supportive of tightening the vetting process for Syrian refugees because of ISIS attempts to infiltrate refugee flows — but he's opposed to immigration bans that target any specific religion. "Serious concerns about the executive order have been raised. We urge swift resolution of these concerns through the courts to ensure we are a nation that is both secure and welcoming of immigrants and refugees.”In 2015, Rauner asked the White House to temporarily ban Syrian refugees from settling in Illinois. Rauner also asked the White House for “vetting information” regarding refugees seeking settlement in Illinois, according to the governor’s office, which added that the White House denied both of the requests. The Illinois Federation of Teachers blasted Rauner this weekend.“While children, refugees, and green card holders are being detained at our airports and Illinois is still without a budget, Bruce Rauner is one of only three Governors strategizing with the Koch brothers at a Palm Spring resort,” IFT President Dan Montgomery said in a statement.

29 января, 05:24

Protesters and lawyers scramble in response to Trump refugee order

The rush to respond added to the confusion spurred by the far-reaching executive order Trump signed on Friday.

21 марта 2016, 13:00

«Черный дом»: фильм о коррупции, запрещенный в США

Фильм «Черный дом», раскрывающий коррупционные схемы Госдепа США и лично Барака Обамы, был запрещен к показу как минимум на территории США. Однако картина все же стала доступна для массовой аудитории. По мнению изначально опубликовавшего его Дмитрия Пучкова, фильм должны посмотреть как за рубежом, так и в России. И для того, чтобы сделать картину более доступной, журнал «Политическая Россия» публикует фильм «Черный дом» с собственным дублированным переводом.

20 декабря 2015, 11:46

Scofield: Предвыборная кампания в США

Президент РФ Владимир Путин после большой пресс-конференции заявил журналистам: «Он [Дональд Трамп] яркий очень человек, талантливый, без всяких сомнений. Не наше дело определять его достоинства, это дело избирателей США, но он абсолютный лидер президентской гонки.