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Тимоти Майкл Кейн
25 мая, 18:31

Senators make new push to rein in Trump's military powers

As President Donald Trump increasingly flexes the might of the military he now controls, the Senate is reviving efforts to claw back some of that authority from the White House. Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) are joining forces to reintroduce an Authorization of the Use of Military Force against the Islamic State and other terror groups, aiming to assert more congressional power over the post-9/11 war on terror. Elsewhere in the Capitol, Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) are unveiling legislation Thursday that would halt a small portion of offensive weapons sales to Saudi Arabia in what Trump’s White House has touted as a $110 billion deal.The bipartisan efforts aren’t new. Flake and Kaine pushed for an AUMF debate two years ago after President Barack Obama sent lawmakers his own draft of military authorization amid the conflict in Syria. And last fall, Paul forced a vote on a separate arms sale to the Saudis in Obama’s final months in office.But the renewed efforts show real appetite among Democrats and Republicans to rein in some of the new president’s authority on matters of war, which came into focus with Trump’s missile strikes in Syria last month after a chemical weapons attack that killed dozens, including children.Trump earned broad praise for the strikes from Capitol Hill, but lawmakers also warned against escalating military action abroad without first getting the approval of Congress. The White House has operated under war resolutions passed by Congress in 2001 and 2002.“When I voted in 2001 to authorize military force against the perpetrators of the Sept. 11 attacks, I had no idea I would be authorizing armed conflict for more than 15 years and counting,” Flake said Thursday. “It is past time for Congress to voice its support for the war against ISIS, something many military officers and diplomats working to defeat ISIS have advocated for, and for Congress to reassert some of the authority it has abdicated over the years.”Flake and Kaine’s proposed AUMF would repeal the existing war resolutions; explicitly authorize force against ISIS, al Qaeda and the Taliban; and sunset after five years. It also includes several measures that would exert congressional oversight over the White House, including more power for lawmakers to determine what can be considered as being “associated” with the three terror groups and to expand military action beyond Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Somalia. “It’s our constitutional duty in Congress to authorize military action,” Kaine said. “Yet we’ve stood silent as administrations have stretched the 2001 AUMF far beyond its original purpose.”Meanwhile, the odd couple of Paul and Murphy are again promoting their efforts to block an administration’s arms sale to Saudi Arabia, which Paul announced he would do earlier this week. The duo failed in a similar effort to disapprove of a Saudi arms sale by the Obama administration last year, though they won bipartisan support, and Murphy predicted their numbers would grow as they take on an estimated $500 million portion of Trump's multi-billion-dollar deal.Paul warned that offensive weapons sales to Riyadh risk involving the U.S. in a Middle East "arms race" that amounts to engagement in a war without formal congressional authorization. Saudi Arabia's military intervention in Yemen's civil war, escalated in an effort to check its regional foe Iran, has raised major humanitarian concerns amid thousands of civilian deaths."[W]e still haven’t clarified whether we’re at war with ISIS," Paul told reporters, welcoming the opportunity "to have an overall discussion about the Middle East, which has been lacking here — about Saudi Arabia's involvement in Yemen." Both Paul and Murphy indicated they plan to force a disapproval vote, using authority given by a 1976 law that gives privileged status to Senate resolutions objecting to arms deals.The Obama administration canceled plans to sell the same offensive weapons to Saudi Arabia that Trump is now proceeding with, Murphy noted to reporters, adding "There are no strings attached to this arms sales ... and thus these munitions we are selling to the Saudis will be used to increase humanitarian catastrophe on the ground."

Выбор редакции
24 мая, 00:00

Democrats Need to Talk to the Middle Class

Tim Kaine, USA TodayWhile Democrats are quite unified and generally in step with the American public on social issues, we lag on the one issue that most people deem most important.

16 мая, 11:30

DNC Chair Tom Perez to Meet With Pro-Life Democrats

The outreach follows controversy and questions over whether Democrats who oppose abortion are welcome in the party.

16 мая, 00:05

Communists Lead Illegal Alien March In TX

Infowars Reporter Millie Weaver goes to an Anti-SB4 Migrant Mothers March in Austin, Texas on Mothers Day to interview attendees. A small group of event leaders identified Infowars Reporter Millie Weaver and made it their mission to stalk her the entire march while telling the attendees not to talk to her. One of the stalkers was identified as a Travis County Precinct Chairman of the Democratic Party that can be seen in pictures on the internet with Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine. Other local communist party members appeared to be in attendance at the march which had the majority of its protestors dressed in red while chanting “Si Se Puede” and “La Raza”. The main protest organizations that participated in the march appear to be George Soros funded and have allegedly been linked to violent anti-Trump protests in Berkeley and San Diego, California. Help us spread the word about the liberty movement, we're reaching millions help us reach millions more. Share the free live video feed link with your friends & family: http://www.infowars.com/show Follow Alex on TWITTER - https://twitter.com/RealAlexJones Like Alex on FACEBOOK - https://www.facebook.com/AlexanderEmerickJones Infowars on G+ - https://plus.google.com/+infowars/ :Web: http://www.infowars.com/ http://www.prisonplanet.com/ http://www.infowars.net/ :Subscribe and share your login with 20 friends: http://www.prisonplanet.tv http://www.InfowarsNews.com Visit http://www.InfowarsLife.com to get the products Alex Jones and his family trust, while supporting the growth of our expanding media operation. [http://bit.ly/2dhnhbS] Biome Defense™ [http://bit.ly/2bnEj91] Bio-True Selenium™ [http://bit.ly/1WYw8jp] Vitamin Mineral Fusion™ [http://bit.ly/1QYBNBv] Joint Formula™ [http://bit.ly/1nNuR3r] Anthroplex™ [http://bit.ly/1ljfWfJ] Living Defense™ [http://bit.ly/1Iobcj2] Deep Cleanse™ [http://bit.ly/1DsyQ6i] Knockout™ [http://bit.ly/1Kr1yfz] Brain Force™ [http://bit.ly/1R5gsqk] Liver Shield™ [http://bit.ly/1cOwQix] ProstaGuard™ [http://bit.ly/1mnchEz3] Child Ease™ [http://bit.ly/1xs9F6t] WinterSunD3™ [http://bit.ly/1L3gDSO] Ancient Defense™ [http://bit.ly/1EHbA6E] Secret-12™ [http://bit.ly/1txsOge] Oxy Powder™ [http://bit.ly/1s6cphV] Occu Power™ [http://bit.ly/1rGOLsG] DNA Force™ [http://bit.ly/1nIngBb] X2 Survival Shield™ [http://bit.ly/1kaXxKL] Super Female Vitality™ [http://bit.ly/1mhAKCO] Lung Cleanse™ [http://bit.ly/1mGbikx] Silver-Bullet - Colloidal Silver™ [http://bit.ly/1xcoUfo] Super Male Vitality™ [http://bit.ly/1z5BCP9] Survival Shield - Nascent Iodine™ [http://bit.ly/1o4sQtc] Patriot Blend 100% Organic Coffee™ [http://bit.ly/1iVL6HB] Immune Support 100% Organic Coffee™ All available at - http://www.infowarsshop.com/ INFOWARS HEALTH - START GETTING HEALTHY BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE - http://www.infowarshealth.com/ Newsletter Sign up / Infowars Underground Insider : http://www.infowars.com/newsletter The Alex Jones Show © copyright, Free Speech Systems .LLC 1995 - 2017 All Rights Reserved. May use for fair use and educational purposes

15 мая, 21:24

Corey Stewart's Lost Cause

The GOP candidate for Virginia governor bet that a fusillade of pro-Confederate tweets would get him attention—and funding.

14 мая, 14:38

Abortion politics hound senators from both parties

Especially for two endangered lawmakers, there's no place to hide.

14 мая, 14:33

Senators hold back-channel talks on bipartisan Obamacare fix

Centrist members from both parties discuss a Plan B health care strategy in case the all-GOP effort crashes.

13 мая, 22:41

Trump Boasted About Helping 1 American Return From Egypt. He's Ignoring The Rest.

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); WASHINGTON ― Four weeks after loudly celebrating its own role in bringing home an imprisoned American aid worker from Egypt, the Trump White House has taken no steps to engage the families of three other detained Americans. Seventeen-year-old Ahmed Hassan of Pomona, New Jersey, has been held in overcrowded Egyptian facilities with adults since December. Ahmed Etwiy, 26, and Mustafa Kassem, 52, both from New York, have each been detained for nearly four years without receiving prison sentences. In early April, President Donald Trump personally spoke with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi about the case of imprisoned American aid worker Aya Hijazi, 30, who had been jailed for almost three years. An Egyptian court acquitted her weeks later, closing a case widely seen as an unsubstantiated witch hunt devised to boost Sissi’s image as a tough ruler independent of Washington. A U.S. military plane flew Hijazi home, and the Trump administration soon released photos of her in the Oval Office with the president and White House aides Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. Later that day, Trump boasted about the accomplishment via Twitter, in the form of a bizarre, self-congratulatory video set to the song “Proud To Be An American.” The three other detainees and their families grew hopeful, Hassan’s pro bono lawyer and relatives of Etwiy and Kassem told HuffPost this week. But they have since been disappointed. There’s no sign that the Trump administration is treating the remaining cases as priorities, they said. And a previously unreported May 2 State Department letter to Congress about Hassan’s case avoided answering the question of whether Trump mentioned him or the other detainees when he met with Sissi. “My expectations changed greatly,” Dr. Nagwa El Kordy, Etwiy’s mother, told HuffPost in an email. “Seeing Aya released after all this time gave me hope that the same can happen for my son. So far nobody from the Trump administration has contacted me. And the [American] embassy in Cairo hasn’t visited him for almost 3 months.” Praveen Madhiraju, an attorney for Hassan and the executive director of the nonprofit Pretrial Rights International, said the White House has not responded to multiple entreaties from Hassan’s family and lawyers ― including a letter the American teenager personally addressed to Trump. And Mustafa Hussain Ahmed, Kassem’s brother-in-law, said he had no idea how to even contact Trump’s team. He asked if HuffPost could connect him. The White House did not respond to a request for comment. Will Cocks, a spokesman for the State Department’s consular affairs bureau, said he could not comment on the three Americans’ cases because of “privacy considerations.” “We’re aware of media reports of U.S. citizens detained in Egypt,” Cocks wrote in a Friday email. “One of the most important tasks of the Department of State and U.S. embassies and consulates abroad is to provide assistance to U.S. citizens who are detained abroad.” “When a U.S. citizen is detained overseas, the Department works to provide all appropriate consular assistance... [which] may include attempting to ensure that the detained/arrested U.S. citizens receive a fair and speedy trial with the benefit of legal counsel; visiting detained/arrested U.S. nationals in prison to ensure that they are receiving humane treatment, including medical treatment if needed; facilitating communications with their families or others as they wish; and assisting with the transfer of funds from family and friends in the United States to pay for attorneys’ fees, food, and medicine while incarcerated,” Cocks went on. Representatives for the three jailed Americans say they are dealing with the challenges Cocks describes with only minimal U.S. government support. Hassan’s last appeals hearing, an opportunity for him to gain an early reprieve on his one-year sentence for challenging police officers who wanted to arrest his uncle, was meant to be on April 19. But authorities pushed it to July because, they claimed, not enough police officers were available to escort the 17-year-old to the courthouse. Etwiy and Kassem have been charged but not sentenced. Both have been in prison for nearly four years since being swept up in mass arrests during 2013 political protests. Etwiy has experienced depression and severe food poisoning, according to his mother; Kassem has had to wait up to two weeks for deliveries of the blood sugar control drug, NovoLog, that he uses to manage his diabetes, according to Ahmed, his brother-in law. Ahmed said the American consular visits were “useless” because officials told Kassem they could not be helpful beyond ensuring he does not die. The U.S. has maintained a close relationship with Egypt despite growing human rights concerns. At least 30,000 people have been arrested since the military took control in a Sissi-directed 2013 coup. Mass trials, beatings and solitary confinement have become common, and hundreds of prisoners remain behind bars long beyond legal limits on pre-trial detention. Human rights advocates say Egypt is experiencing the worst government repression in its contemporary history. Cairo claims the actions are necessary to combat terror, while outside analysts say Egypt is actually allowing the militant group known as the Islamic State to thrive. Estimates vary on how many Americans have been affected by the surge in state-sponsored violence. NPR reported a figure of 20 in April, but the Egyptian-American activist Mohamed Soltan, himself a former prisoner, told HuffPost this week that he thinks the number is now nine. The State Department refused to provide details. Egypt’s embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment. It’s unclear what Trump and his team are willing to do for these Americans. Soltan believes Egypt’s regime is more likely to respond to requests from Trump because of the personal praise he has showered on Sissi, one of the many authoritarian leaders Trump frequently mentions as favorite peers. The two presidents may see each other later this month when Trump meets with a group of Muslim leaders from around the world in Saudi Arabia. But the White House’s approach thus far does not suggest such personal requests are forthcoming. Hassan’s congressional representatives, Sens. Cory Booker (D) and Bob Menendez (D) and Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R) of New Jersey, sent Secretary of State Rex Tillerson a letter on April 25 inquiring about whether Trump or Tillerson had raised the young American’s case during meetings with Sissi earlier that month. On May 2, State Department official Joseph McManus responded to LoBiondo in a message the congressman’s office shared with those of the two senators. (No similar response was sent to Booker; Menendez’s office did not respond to a request for comment. Madhiraju, Hassan’s lawyer, said he was not aware of the contents of the message.) “We have been closely monitoring Ahmed’s case, including ensuring fair trial guarantees are respected,” McManus wrote in his letter to LoBiondo. McManus acknowledged that Egyptian authorities had delayed Hassan’s appeals hearing. “We have contacted Egyptian authorities to request an earlier hearing,” he wrote. He also said consular officials had visited the young American twice and requested a third visit. Hassan had not been moved to a juvenile facility because his family wanted him to stay at the police station where he was originally detained, McManus said. “We are in frequent contact with Ahmed’s family here and in Egypt,” he wrote. “During the consular visits mentioned above, Ahmed has not made any allegations of mistreatment during his incarceration... The family has told us they have regular access to him and that he has been treated fairly well. Ahmed’s father recently expressed concern to a consular officer about crowded and uncomfortable conditions at the police station, but told the officer he would confirm with Ahmed before for assistance to have him moved. If Ahmed requests a move during his next consular visit or through his father, we will contact the appropriate Egyptian authorities to facilitate that request.” The letter did not respond to the third question in the lawmakers’ original letter to Tillerson: “Did you or President Trump raise Ahmed’s case and those of other American citizens when President Sissi visited Washington in early April?” After being informed of the letter’s contents, Hassan’s attorney told HuffPost the State Department accurately described its efforts so far but that they were insufficient. “State’s first responsibility is to make sure one of ours has a fair trial and is treated humanely. If they are imprisoned unjustly, it’s then the President’s duty - both legal and moral - to demand their release,” Madhiraju wrote in a Saturday night email. Hassan “wasn’t able to speak with his attorney before trial. Etwiy and Kassem have been in jail for more than three years without trial. Monitoring their conditions is not enough.” Despite Trump’s talk of always putting America and Americans first, advocates believe more high-profile attention is necessary to really prompt a U.S. government push. “It’s important to note how crucial public opinion is in creating pressure on the administration to act more intentionally on behalf of these citizens,” Soltan and his sister, Middle East strategy consultant Hanaa Soltan, wrote to HuffPost. “Mohamed’s and Aya’s case both garnered quite a bit of attention before the administrations were moved to act on them as they did.” (The Obama administration lobbied for Mohamed Soltan’s release in 2015.) “Every case is a combination of factors, of sustained public and private engagement with the Egyptians at multiple levels from multiple actors. The strategy also depends upon what stage the case has reached in Egypt,” said Wade McMullen, an attorney for Hijazi, the freed aid worker, at the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights nonprofit. “President Trump and his administration deserve credit for personally engaging on Aya and [her husband] Mohamed’s case with President Sisi and other Egyptian officials. But a lot of people deserve credit for Aya’s and Mohamed’s freedom.” In a Wednesday email, McMullen cited the Egyptian legal team, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) and advocacy organizations and U.S. officials. For now, the other Americans remain behind bars. “Trump is spending his weekends golfing in Bedminster, N.J., while Ahmed will spend his 18th birthday in jail,” Madhiraju said, noting that Hassan’s birthday is on May 25 and that the president is legally required to make inquiries to any foreign government that unjustly detains an American.   Hassan described the conditions in his March letter to Trump. “I’ve been in jail in Egypt since December 1, 2016, and am laughed at and mistreated by the police here because I am American. Please help me,” he wrote. “I am in a jail cell with more than 20 adults. It is scary to be here with these people and the police... I am proud to be an American. I beg you to defend my right to be free.” CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misidentified Hanaa Soltan as a lawyer. She is a consultant focused on Middle East affairs who works closely with lawyers and advocates on issues like helping Americans detained abroad; she is not an attorney. -- 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.

13 мая, 22:32

Top Obama Aide Endorses Tom Perriello In Virginia Governor's Race

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); Valerie Jarrett, who served as a senior adviser to former President Barack Obama for the duration of his presidency, endorsed former Rep. Tom Perriello in Virginia’s hotly contested Democratic gubernatorial primary race. Jarrett made the announcement on Twitter Saturday, praising Perriello’s vote for the Affordable Care Act as a freshman congressman from a conservative district in central Virginia. Perriello went on to lose his reelection bid amid a backlash to the law that fueled a Republican takeover of the House of Representatives. Care abt the healthcare debate? @tomperriello stood up for #ACA when it mattered most. That's political courage - we need it more than ever.— Valerie Jarrett (@ValerieJarrett) May 13, 2017 The Perriello campaign confirmed that the tweet represented an official endorsement of his candidacy. Perriello thanked her for the endorsement. Thank you, Valerie! Was proud to stand w/ Pres. Obama to pass ACA—and I'll stand up to fight #AHCA & ensure Virginians have access to care. https://t.co/VACG8A5xWK— Tom Perriello (@tomperriello) May 13, 2017 Jarrett was a close confidante of Obama’s from Chicago long before he became president. She joined Obama in lobbying Democratic National Committee members to elect former Labor Secretary Tom Perez as chairman in his successful race against Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison in February. As a member of Congress, Perriello distinguished himself for his support of Obama’s agenda despite living in a district that was increasingly hostile to the then-president. He went on to head the Democratic-aligned Center for American Progress action fund and serve in the Obama administration State Department.  Jarrett’s use of the phrase “political courage” appears to be a reference to Obama’s speech last week upon accepting the Profile in Courage award at the John F. Kennedy Library on Sunday. He dedicated the award to the Democrats in Congress who lost their elections after voting for the ACA, commonly known as Obamacare. “These men and women did the right thing,” Obama said. “They did the hard thing. Theirs was a profile in courage.”  Perriello, 42, is campaigning as a defender of the law in the wake of the recent House vote to repeal the ACA. In an advertisement released moments after the House passed the repeal legislation, Perriello stands in front of an ambulance being crushed in a compactor symbolizing GOP attempts to overturn health reform. Speaking over the loud noise of the compactor, he touts his vote for Obamacare as a congressman and promises to prevent a figurative ambulance-crushing scenario in Virginia. But Perriello’s vote for Obamacare is fraught with controversy as well. He was one of 64 House Democrats to support the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, a measure that would have prohibited Obamacare subsidies from being available for insurance plans that cover abortion. The amendment temporarily held up the landmark law before an alternative compromise replaced it. Since launching his gubernatorial campaign, Perriello has expressed “regret” for the decision to back Stupak-Pitts, claiming it was based on a promise to constituents to oppose federal funding for abortions. He now supports repealing the Hyde Amendment, the law barring federal funding for abortions. The more uniformly pro-abortion rights record of Perriello’s opponent, sitting Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, 57, earned the endorsement of NARAL Pro-Choice America. Northam, a pediatric neurologist and Army veteran, helped lead the fight against a Republican-led trans-vaginal ultrasound proposal in the Virginia legislature. He has also fought to implement the ACA in Virginia, advocating for the expansion of Medicaid and the creation of a state-run Obamacare insurance exchange. Jarrett’s endorsement is a significant pickup for Perriello, who has cast himself as the progressive favorite in the contentious primary. The lieutenant governor is not without his own controversial health policy record, however. He twice voted for former President George W. Bush, a staunchly anti-abortion Republican who appointed two Roe v. Wade opponents to the Supreme Court. (He has said he was not following politics closely at the time.) And as a state senator in 2011, he called health care a “privilege” in a debate with an opponent, even as he defended measures to make it more affordable. (He has since said he believes “affordable health care” is a “right.”) Notwithstanding these complexities, Jarrett’s endorsement is a significant pickup for Perriello, who has cast himself as the progressive favorite in the contentious primary. Northam has the support of virtually the entire Democratic establishment in Virginia, including Gov. Terry Mcauliffe, and Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine. He was viewed as a shoo-in until Perriello jumped into the race in January in a move inspired by President Donald Trump’s election. Perriello has since picked up endorsements from top progressive leaders such as Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), along with Our Revolution, the nonprofit successor to Sanders’ presidential campaign.  Perriello and Northam are now neck-in-neck in the polls ahead of the June 13 primary. The general election is Nov. 7. The current frontrunner in the Republican primary is Ed Gillespie, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee. This article has been updated throughout. -- 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.

12 мая, 11:50

In Afghanistan, Trump Is Poised to Re-Escalate a Hopeless War

Barely anyone in the United States is paying attention.

12 мая, 00:15

Democrat Running For Virginia Governor Once Called Health Care ‘A Privilege'

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); Virginia Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D), who is seeking the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, called health care “a privilege” during a debate six years ago, his opponent’s campaign revealed on Tuesday. Video of Northam in the 2011 debate, when he was running for re-election to the state Senate, shows him responding to a question asking whether he considers health care a “right,” or something best left to the “market or charity.” “I believe it’s a privilege,” Northam said in the video, circulated by former Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.), his rival in the gubernatorial primary. “And let me clarify that: If people can get up in the morning and go to work like I can, then it needs to be a privilege. They need to work for their health insurance, for their benefits. If they’re disabled, I will take the shirt off my back to help them.” Northam, a pediatric neurologist and Army veteran, now views “affordable health care” as a “right,” according to David Turner, a spokesman for his campaign. “Ralph Northam spent his life seeing patients as an Army doctor and a pediatrician, and he knows firsthand how important for people to be able to get the health care they need, when they need it,” Turner said in a statement. “He firmly believes that every American and Virginian has a right to affordable health care, and he believes it is the responsibility of government to make sure they do.” Turner also pointed to Northam’s advocacy for the expansion of Medicaid in Virginia, and co-sponsorship of legislation, as a state senator, that would have created a state-run Obamacare exchange in the state. In 2010, Northam was one of 17 state senators to vote against a bill getting rid of the individual mandate in Virginia. The revelation about Northam’s 2011 comments nonetheless lands a blow for Perriello, who has cast himself as the more progressive of the two candidates and emphasizes his support for health care reform in the wake of the House of Representatives’ passage of a controversial Obamacare replacement bill. In an advertisement released moments after the House passed the Trumpcare bill, Perriello stands in front of an ambulance being crushed in a compactor symbolizing GOP attempts to overturn health reform. Speaking over the loud noise of the compactor, he touts his vote for Obamacare as a congressman and promises to prevent a figurative ambulance-crushing scenario in Virginia. Perriello’s record on Obamacare, however, is not without its own significant blemish. In Congress, he voted for an amendment that would have prohibited insurance plans that covered abortion from receiving federal funding. The amendment temporarily obstructed the landmark bill’s passage, but was scrapped for an alternative compromise. Perriello has expressed “regret” for the vote, claiming he was honoring a promise to his constituents in his conservative central and Southside Virginia district. After failing to win re-election, largely thanks to his vote for Obamacare, Perriello went on to head the staunchly pro-choice Center for American Progress action fund. Perriello now supports repeal of the Hyde Amendment barring federal funds for abortion. As a gubernatorial candidate, he proposes insulating Virginia from a possible repeal of Roe v. Wade by amending Virginia’s constitution to make abortion an inviolable state-level right. For his part, Northam has a more pristine pro-choice legislative record, earning him the endorsement of NARAL Pro-Choice America. But he has admitted to twice voting for former President George W. Bush, who appointed two justices to the Supreme Court who oppose Roe v. Wade. Northam claimed he was not paying close attention to politics at the time. In a tight primary, where progressive bona fides have become a major source of contention, the dueling campaigns have offered a dizzying array of examples and counter-examples. On Tuesday, Northam’s team blasted out its own evidence of Perriello’s liberal heresies. It included the then-congressman’s 2010 boast that he voted with congressional Republicans 60 percent of the time, and 2009 comments in which Perriello played down his roots as a Democrat. Perriello spokesman Ian Sams hit back on Twitter with examples of Perriello’s pre-2009 involvement in Democratic politics. Here is @tomperriello, at 22, working for John Kerry's Senate race in '96.8 years later Northam opposed Kerry for POTUS to vote for Bush. pic.twitter.com/KO6UOAfr0T— Ian Sams (@IanSams) May 10, 2017 Northam, 57, enjoys the support of virtually the entire Virginia Democratic establishment, including Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine. He was a shoo-in for the Democratic nomination until Perriello, galvanized by President Donald Trump’s election, jumped into the race in January. Perriello, 42, who earned renown for embracing then-President Barack Obama’s agenda despite the political consequences during his brief stint in Congress, has brought the race to a virtual tie with his attempts to capitalize on anti-Trump energy among grassroots liberals. Northam has tacked to the left in response to the challenge, but Perriello is running on a more progressive platform. Perriello categorically opposes construction of two planned natural gas pipelines in Virginia, and refuses to take campaign contributions from Dominion Energy, the state’s largest power utility. Northam supports strict regulation, but has declined to come out against the pipeline projects. Those stances and others have won Perriello the endorsements of Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), as well as Our Revolution, the nonprofit successor to Sanders’ presidential campaign. The gubernatorial primary will take place on June 13, and the general election is on Nov. 7. The Republican front-runner is Ed Gillespie, former chairman of the Republican National Committee. -- 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.

11 мая, 11:00

Outraged Democrats Have No Clear Plan to Deal With Comey Dismissal

The party could attempt to hold up Senate business, but they aren’t unified around any one course of action.

11 мая, 01:15

Tim Kaine Cries At Health Care Hearing, Says GOP 'Couldn't Care Less' About People

WASHINGTON ― Senate Democrats held a “shadow hearing” on the American Health Care Act Wednesday to hear from Americans who would be affected by the GOP’s proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. One of the witnesses, whose daughter was born with Down syndrome, brought Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) to tears with her testimony.  “I remember standing at the mailbox with my tiny baby ― she was still under 10 pounds at 11 months old ― cradled in my arms, and opening an envelope from the children’s hospital with a bill inside for $64,000, more than my husband’s annual salary, for merely ‘renting’ the surgical room and equipment used during her heart surgery the month before,” said Cyndi Johnson, a math teacher from Bloomington, Indiana.   Johnson said that before Obamacare was in place, her out-of-pocket costs for her daughter’s health care needs were “spiraling with no end in sight.” She had to quit her job to care for her daughter full-time, and her family’s middle-class lifestyle was “slipping away.” Then, in 2010, her family was able to obtain health insurance through Obamacare that did not include a lifetime cap on medical expenses. If the cap were still in place, Johnson said, her daughter would have likely reached it by age 5, and the whole family would have lost health coverage.  “As a parent, absolutely nothing else matters when your child is sick,” Johnson said. “Your world shrinks and everything else just falls away. I would have sold my house, my car, done literally anything to keep my daughter healthy ― and no family should have to make that horrible choice.” Kaine and the other Senate Democrats at the hearing appeared deeply moved by Johnson’s testimony. “Mrs. Johnson, tears just started rolling down my face,” said the former vice presidential candidate. “The people who passed this law couldn’t care less what any of you think or what any of your experiences are.” “I can’t listen to you without hurting,” said Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.). House Republicans passed a health care bill last week that would allow employers to impose lifetime and annual caps on medical expenses. It would also roll back Medicaid benefits, which could strip health insurance from an estimated 24 million people, and prevent Medicaid recipients from going to Planned Parenthood for preventative health care, like birth control and cancer screenings. Gina Walkington, a constituent of House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), testified at the hearing that she might have died if not for Planned Parenthood discovering and removing pre-cancerous cells from her cervix 11 years ago. The 31-year-old mother of three said she was in college at the time and didn’t know where else to go for preventative health care she could afford.  “Had Planned Parenthood not been so easily accessible and affordable for me, my life may have turned out radically different,” she said. “Had I waited to get care, and had the cells continued to develop without my knowledge, I could have lost the ability to have children or even died.”  After the six witnesses told their stories, Senate Democrats slammed House Republicans for rushing their latest health care bill to a vote without holding any hearings on it. The House GOP threw a massive beer bash last week to celebrate passing their bill, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has put together a group of 13 men to write the Senate’s version.  “None of them know what the hell they’re doing to their country,” Booker said. “We just need more Americans to be willing to let folks know what this really means ― not in data, not in statistics, but real American voices.”  “This is the most pernicious, evil type of privilege that says ‘If a problem is not affecting me or my family, it’s not much of a problem,’” he added. “You can be damn well sure that if it was a congressman, and this would affect them or their spouse, they would not have passed this law.”  -- 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.

10 мая, 19:44

Kaine: 'This is a very dark day for the country'

Reacting to President Trump's firing of FBI director James B. Comey, senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said “the President is clearly petrified” by the investigation into Trump campaign ties to Russia.

10 мая, 02:54

Clinton campaign veterans condemn Comey firing: 'This terrifies me'

Veterans of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign have little love for James Comey, but they were quick to condemn President Donald Trump’s firing of the FBI director on Tuesday evening — as many renewed their calls for an independent investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.“Twilight zone. I was as disappointed and frustrated as anyone at how the email investigation was handled. But this terrifies me,” tweeted Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook. “If Members of Congress are patriots, they will call for a special prosecutor to take over this investigation and they will call for it now.”Clinton herself has repeatedly said Comey’s October letter on the investigation into the private email arrangement she used as secretary of state helped cost her the election. Comey sent it to update lawmakers on developments in the email probe. Days later, he acknowledged there was no new information and again closed the investigation, but Clinton allies say the damage was already done in many voters' minds.Comey did not disclose until much later that the FBI had also been scrutinizing potential contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia. U.S. officials have said Russia was behind the hack and subsequent leaks of emails from Democrats including Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta.The Trump administration indicated in documents released Tuesday that Comey's firing was tied to his handling of the Clinton email probe, an explanation Podesta dismissed."I don't think that on May 9, the president woke up and said, 'It's time fire Comey over Hillary Clinton's email,'" Podesta told POLITICO. "It's time for an independent investigation."None of Clinton's ex-aides defended Comey after his firing Tuesday, but they instead said his abrupt dismissal could impede the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. “I’m not shedding any tears for Comey personally — he hurt FBI’s reputation — but I do worry whether we ever get to the bottom of Russia now,” wrote Brian Fallon, the Clinton campaign’s national press secretary and a former Justice Department spokesman. “The only thing that could do more to erode faith in independence of FBI than Comey staying is Comey being fired. This is 100% political.”“The irony of Comey firing is that the man who helped make Trump president was the one guy who might well have also brought him down,” Fallon added.Neither Clinton nor current members of her personal staff weighed in Tuesday night — and former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama also stayed away — but other Democrats sought to spotlight the potential impact on the ongoing Russian investigation.“Trump firing Comey shows how frightened the Admin is over Russia investigation,” wrote Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, Clinton’s former running mate.Others said firing Comey crossed a clear line, pushing Trump into territory previously occupied by President Richard Nixon, who in 1973 fired a special prosecutor looking into the Watergate scandal.Christina Reynolds, a former Clinton communications aide, tweeted that Americans should pick up "One Man Against the World," a book about Nixon.“Dem response should be easy—call for independent investigation, remind voters of the last POTUS to fire someone while under investigation," Reynolds said.Annie Karni contributed to this report.

10 мая, 02:21

Democrats Say Comey Firing Proves Need For Special Prosecutor On Russia

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); Moments after news broke that President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, Democratic lawmakers renewed calls for a special prosecutor to investigate the president’s and his associates’ alleged ties to the Russian government.  The FBI and multiple congressional committees are investigating Russia’s interference with the 2016 presidential election and possible connections between the president’s campaign and Russian officials. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the FBI’s ongoing investigation, but Democrats have still demanded an impartial, independent inquiry into Russian interference and any role Trump’s team had in it.  Those calls got louder after Trump announced Comey’s firing, one day after the Senate held a hearing on potential collusion with Russia.  “The only way the American people can have faith in this investigation is for it to be led by a fearless, independent special prosecutor,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) during a press conference Tuesday evening. “If Deputy Attorney General [Rod] Rosenstein does not appoint an independent special prosecutor, every American will rightly suspect that the decision to fire Director Comey was part of a cover-up.” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who in February led calls for an independent investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s ties to Russia, said there’s “no doubt” that an independent special prosecutor should be appointed. The need for an independent special prosecutor is now crystal clear. https://t.co/gjxbPCbSqz— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) May 9, 2017 Ensuring credibility and faith in non-political FBI requires appointment of independent special prosecutor. #Comey— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) May 9, 2017 Many of Blumenthal’s Senate colleagues echoed his call: I've said it before and will again - we must have a special prosecutor to oversee the FBI's Russia investigation. This cannot wait. https://t.co/Z9eeGNLTzr— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) May 9, 2017 No more excuses: We need an independent special prosecutor to investigate the Trump Administration’s ties to Russia.— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) May 9, 2017 .@POTUS Only DOJ special counsel and an independent, bipartisan commission—like 9/11 commission—can get the full, unbiased answers Americans deserve— Tom Udall (@SenatorTomUdall) May 9, 2017 Now it's even more important that an independent special counsel is appointed to investigate the Russian interference in our elections. pic.twitter.com/WcoxtbfSyW— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) May 9, 2017 As did Republican Rep. Justin Amash (Mich.): My staff and I are reviewing legislation to establish an independent commission on Russia. The second paragraph of this letter is bizarre. https://t.co/wXeDtVIQiP— Justin Amash (@justinamash) May 9, 2017 Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), meanwhile, said Comey’s firing raises concerns over whether the FBI’s investigation would continue at all:  My statement on the removal of @FBI Director James Comey pic.twitter.com/w8BpVateeq— Senator Dick Durbin (@SenatorDurbin) May 9, 2017 Other lawmakers said the firing smacked of a cover-up, with some comparing the president’s actions to Richard Nixon’s 1973 purge of the Justice Department, including the special prosecutor investigating the Watergate scandal. (Trump previously drew comparisons to the so-called Saturday Night Massacre after firing acting Attorney General Sally Yates after she refused to defend his executive order banning immigration from certain Muslim-majority countries.)  President Trump’s dismissal of FBI Director Comey smacks of President Nixon's Saturday Night Massacre.— Martin Heinrich (@MartinHeinrich) May 9, 2017 Firing Comey has the foul stench of an attempt to stop an ongoing investigation into collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians.— Chris Van Hollen (@ChrisVanHollen) May 9, 2017 The firing of FBI Director Jim Comey at this time by Donald Trump is obviously very suspicious.— Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) May 9, 2017 This is not what an innocent person would do. Firing the guy investigating #RussianHacking -- without cause -- is consciousness of guilt. https://t.co/KZkci2XRqc— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) May 9, 2017 In America the truth always comes out, @realDonaldTrump.— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) May 9, 2017 This is Nixonian. Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein must immediately appoint a special prosecutor to continue the Trump/Russia investigation.— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) May 9, 2017 Comey firing part of a growing pattern by White House to cover-up the truth— Senator Tim Kaine (@timkaine) May 9, 2017 White House press secretary Sean Spicer had dismissed calls for a special prosecutor in February. “A special prosecutor for what? How many people have to say there is nothing there before you realize that there is nothing there?” Read more on Comey’s firing here. type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related Coverage + articlesList=59123897e4b05e1ca202d173,58167b1ee4b064e1b4b31cf7 -- 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.

03 мая, 23:33

Big Tobacco In 2017: Full Steam Ahead

by Niv Sultan This week, the Justice Department moved to delay enforcement of rules the FDA finalized a year ago dealing with tobacco products like e-cigarettes, cigars and hookah tobacco. It’s been a busy time for big tobacco, as the victory came on the heels of a defeat for vaping (e-cigarette) companies: Sunday night’s omnibus budget bill reportedly did not include the proposed Cole-Bishop Amendment, which would have eased FDA regulations on e-cigarettes. “Congress delivered a victory for kids and public health by rejecting the Cole-Bishop Amendment and other proposals to weaken FDA oversight of e-cigarettes and cigars,” wrote Becky Wexler, a spokesperson for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, in an emailed statement. But Justice’s move for a delay in the rules’ enforcement, she wrote, is potentially dangerous. “The FDA made an overwhelming case for why these products need to be regulated when it issued its final rule last year, and no new facts have emerged to change that.” Reps. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) and Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.) have also introduced a stand-alone bill, the FDA Deeming Authority Clarification Act of 2017, with the same aims as the amendment. Arguing for the bill, Bishop and Cole have repeated a common talking point of proponents of vaping: That it helps wean smokers off cigarettes. Unmentioned was the fact that Cole ended the 2016 cycle at No. 10 among the tobacco industry‘s top recipients of campaign contributions, having raked in more than $33,000. Bishop received about half that, $16,000. Big tobacco’s favorite candidate of 2016 was, by far, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.). As a longtime senator from the nation’s top tobacco-producing state, Burr has been a reliable industry ally and has reaped the benefits; over the course of his two-decade career spanning both the House and the Senate, the tobacco industry has given him more than $689,000. Nine of the industry’s top 10 congressional recipients in the 2016 cycle were Republicans — and 83 percent of its contributions to candidates and party committees went to the GOP. In fact, the majority of tobacco contributions have consistently gone to Republicans since 1992. Favored Democrats have tended to be those from tobacco country, like Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner — they received about $31,000 and $26,900 in the 2016 cycle, respectively — who both represent Virginia, a premier tobacco-producing state. Big Tobacco was only modestly on-board with the Trump campaign. Altria Group and Reynolds American, the nation’s largest and second-largest producers of tobacco products, together gave the campaign less than $4,000. They must have had a change of heart after Election Day, though. For Trump’s January inauguration, Reynolds donated a cool $1 million through a subsidiary, while Altria coughed up $500,000. And the industry has other ties to the new administration: Prior to serving as acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s civil division, Chad Readler represented R.J. Renyolds while working at the law firm Jones Day; and FDA boss Scott Gottlieb used to be on the board of Kure, a vaping company. Perhaps sensing opportunity, the industry stepped up its lobbying efforts in the first quarter of 2017, spending more than $4.9 million, up about 9.3 percent from the same period in 2016. Altria has already poured $2.3 million into lobbying, and Philip Morris nearly $1.3 million. Both companies have e-cigarette outfits in addition to their more traditional fare; Altria has lobbied on Cole and Bishop’s bill, and Philip Morris on “modified risk” tobacco products — an FDA designation, rooted in the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009, that could benefit the marketing of vaping offerings, but has yet to be granted to any products. The industry’s lobbying outlays have been relatively modest since it spent nearly $73 million in 1998, the year the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement was entered. As part of the massive settlement, which regulated how cigarettes are sold and marketed, top cigarette manufacturers agreed to pay 46 states in connection to the costs of treating tobacco-related illnesses. The era of vaping, like the settlement, has called the tobacco industry’s reputation into question. In 2015, the CDC revealed some startling findings: From 2013 to 2014, e-cigarette use by middle and high school students tripled, and hookah smoking approximately doubled. Kids are smoking both e-cigarettes and hookah at increased rates — though the degree to which that is tied to the availability of flavors like gummy bears is difficult to prove definitively. Still, if ever there was a time for the industry to feel optimistic about getting some relief in Washington, this would seem to be it, with control of both Congress and the White House in GOP hands. The Justice Department’s stalling of FDA tobacco product regulations may be a sign of more good things to come — as far as big tobacco is concerned. “[O]ur hope is that the Trump administration dismantles this rule, as it is utterly unworkable in its current form,” wrote Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, which describes itself as a public health advocacy group, in an emailed statement. He added that it was unclear whether the measure was being re-evaluated or the administration was simply understaffed and needed more time. But lest vaping supporters feel doubtful about their chances on the Hill, there’s another piece of legislation on the table (along with Cole and Bishop’s bill). Last week, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) introduced the Cigarette Smoking Reduction and Electronic Vapor Alternatives Act of 2017, a bill that would relax the FDA’s approval process for e-cigarettes. Hunter received more than $16,500 from tobacco PACs in the 2016 cycle. -- 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.

30 апреля, 06:51

Virginia Democratic Candidate Backs Off Abortion Fight In Debate

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); FAIRFAX, Va. ― In the first Virginia Democratic gubernatorial primary debate on Saturday evening, Virginia Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam declined to attack former Rep. Tom Perriello for a controversial anti-abortion vote Perriello made in Congress. Instead, both candidates emphasized their staunch support for abortion rights, promising to push back against restrictions proposed by the Republican-controlled Virginia legislature. “I strongly support a woman’s right to choose. I have long supported Roe v. Wade and believe that it’s not enough just to ensure that that right exists on paper, but that there is meaningful and affordable access to that right,” Perriello said. As a member of Congress in 2009, Perriello voted for the Stupak amendment, which would have barred federal funding from the Affordable Care Act from going toward insurance plans that cover abortions. He has since expressed “regret” for the vote, claiming he was trying to keep a promise to his constituents in a conservative district. Northam didn’t bring up Perriello’s vote on Saturday, despite making it an issue on the campaign trail. Instead, he used the debate to tout his advocacy for abortion rights, including fighting a trans-vaginal ultrasound bill as a state senator in 2012. “There is no excuse that a group of legislators ― by the way, most of them are men ― should be telling women what they should and shouldn’t be doing with their bodies. That needs to stop in Virginia,” Northam said. David Turner, a spokesman for Northam’s campaign, said Northam may still bring up Perriello’s voting record in the remaining four debates. “If Tom Perriello is going to minimize Ralph Northam’s role in blocking trans-vaginal ultrasound, we’re going to discuss his role in voting for a bill that Planned Parenthood said at the time was tantamount to banning abortion coverage,” Turner said. Perriello has criticized Northam for voting twice for former President George W. Bush, a staunch foe of abortion rights who appointed two opponents of Roe v. Wade to the Supreme Court. Northam, a pediatric neurologist from Norfolk, claims he was not attentive to politics at the time and would have voted differently knowing what he knows now. The two contenders’ strong stance on abortion rights comes as the Democratic Party struggles over whether to tolerate deviations from its pro-choice platform. Last week, reproductive rights activists, led by NARAL Pro-Choice America, criticized the Democratic National Committee and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for embracing Heath Mello, a mayoral candidate in Omaha, Nebraska, who backed abortion restrictions as a state lawmaker. (Mello has since declared that he would protect reproductive rights as mayor.) DNC Chair Tom Perez responded to the uproar with a statement publicly disagreeing with Mello and reaffirming the party’s strong commitment to abortion rights. Perriello’s vote for the Stupak amendment has so far done little to undermine his status as the progressive favorite in the race. As a young congressman, he developed a reputation for supporting the agenda of then-President Barack Obama, despite the growing contempt for the administration in his district. Perriello, now 42, went on to head the Center for American Progress action fund and serve as a State Department special envoy to the Great Lakes region of Africa. Northam, 57, had all but locked up the Democratic nomination until the election of President Donald Trump inspired Perriello to jump in the race in January. The lieutenant governor enjoys the support of almost all of the Virginia Democratic establishment, including Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine. Perriello has also drawn national attention to the race, casting himself as the candidate best equipped to lead a state-level resistance to Trump’s policies. With hardline progressive positions like blanket opposition to the construction of oil and gas pipelines, he has attracted the support of high-profile progressives like Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). Northam has responded by tacking to the left and sprinkling his rhetoric with anti-Trump red meat. In his opening remarks, Northam declared that Virginians are both looking for someone willing to keep them safe and provide greater economic opportunities, as well as “someone who will stand up the narcissistic maniac on the other side of the Potomac River and not let him get near Virginia.” Perriello and Northam’s policy differences have blurred somewhat as the campaign has progressed. After Perriello came out in favor of gradually increasing Virginia’s minimum wage to $15 an hour ― the state currently abides by the federal minimum of $7.25 ― Northam followed suit. Yet Perriello’s agenda remains the more progressive of the two. He has proposed making pre-Kindergarten education universal in the state, as well as providing two free years of community college, paid for by a tax reform proposal that eliminates deductions for the wealthy. By contrast, Northam’s plan for free 2-year community college would require participants to dedicate two years to community service. The debate at Lanier Middle School on Saturday evening provided Perriello some opportunities to highlight these distinctions. Unlike Northam, Perriello has declined to accept campaign contributions from the mammoth, Richmond-based energy utility company Dominion. Dominion is hoping to construct the Atlantic Coastal pipeline, which Perriello opposes. Northam supports construction of the pipeline, but says he’s still for tough regulations. He sent a letter to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality backing a comprehensive review of the pipeline project’s environmental impact. In one of the tensest moments during the mostly genteel debate, Perriello pointedly asked Northam if he had consulted Dominion before sending the letter. “I’ve had a lot of discussions with a lot of different people, Tom,” Northam responded. “And I’m not gonna stand here on the witness stand with you and respond to what those discussions entail.” Most of the people in the audience appeared to have made up their minds as to whom they were supporting before the debate began, with many sporting stickers for their preferred candidate. “Ralph is the more appealing candidate because I feel like he understands Virginia very well given his experience and things that he’s done in state government already here. And I also feel like he has a unique perspective because he’s a veteran,” said Kia Thomas-Hamel, 42, of Fairfax, who is also a veteran. Northam has treated Thomas-Hamel’s son, who suffers from a rare neurological condition. Deep Sran, 45, came to the debate with two of his teenage students at the Loudoun School for the Gifted. Before the debate, he said he was undecided and leaning toward Perriello. Perriello’s performance not only won him over, it prompted him to donate to the campaign. “I was actually very impressed with Perriello in particular,” Sran said. “He’s talking about forward thinking when it comes to automation and consolidation.” The primary election will occur June 13. The most recent polling shows Perriello with a small lead. This article has been updated with perspectives from the audience of Saturday night’s debate. -- 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.

28 апреля, 23:54

How Democrats Got Mired In A Nasty Internal Battle Over Abortion

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); WASHINGTON ― National reproductive rights groups counted it as a major victory last week when the Democratic National Committee doubled down on its commitment to abortion rights amid anger at its support for Heath Mello, an anti-abortion candidate for mayor of Omaha, Nebraska. But the groups’ pointed criticism of DNC chair Tom Perez, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) for embracing Mello sparked a bitter public debate about the Democratic Party’s values ― one that continues to simmer, overshadowing the large crowds the party drew on its cross-country tour and muddying efforts to present a united front against President Donald Trump. Now even the DNC is clarifying that it never meant to suggest it would not back Mello or other anti-abortion Democrats. “Tom does not believe in litmus tests and he never said that he didn’t support pro-life candidates,” a DNC official told HuffPost. In fact, the DNC invested in Mello’s race and in “candidates up and down the ballot” in the May 9 general election through a contribution to the Nebraska Democratic Party, the official said. No one has escaped blame in the recent abortion spat, however. Depending on who you ask, Sanders and his campaign spinoff group Our Revolution blindsided the party by failing to unearth Mello’s history of supporting abortion restrictions; Perez sowed confusion in his rush to assuage NARAL Pro-Choice America, a leading reproductive rights advocacy group; NARAL adopted an unusually orthodox stance in a bid to undermine Sanders; or it was some combination of the above. That leaves Perez, who is just over two months into his term as DNC chair, with the difficult task of picking up the pieces ahead of the DNC’s first Unity Reform Commission meeting next week. The commission was formed precisely to hash out the sort of internecine conflicts that dogged the 2016 presidential primary and resurfaced with a vengeance in Omaha. “He’s planning to meet with folks from all sides of this issue,” the DNC official said of Perez. Tom does not believe in litmus tests and he never said that he didn’t support pro-life candidates. DNC official The problems arose when The Wall Street Journal reported last Wednesday that Mello, as a state senator, had co-sponsored 2009 legislation requiring abortion providers to offer to show women an ultrasound image of the fetus before undergoing the procedure. The reproductive rights news site Rewire subsequently reported that Mello co-sponsored a 2010 state law banning the vast majority of abortions at 20 weeks or later, and that in 2011, he voted to bar telemedicine to conduct abortions and to prohibit insurance plans on the Obamacare exchange from covering abortions. All of this information had already been out there: The votes were cast in public, after all. But Mello’s anti-choice record hadn’t come up when the DNC announced its plans to hold a rally for him in Omaha as part of Perez and Sanders’ “Come Together, Fight Back” tour weeks before. Or when Our Revolution, the successor organization to Sanders’ presidential campaign, endorsed Mello as well. Neither Sanders nor the DNC knew about Mello’s long anti-abortion record, people with knowledge of the matter said. The revelation took the national party by surprise the day before Sanders and Ellison, the deputy DNC chair, were due to speak at a rally for Mello. (Again, though, it shouldn’t have. This is Nebraska, and Mello’s vote on the 20-week ban made the tally in the state legislature 44-5.) Initially, Perez stood by the DNC’s decision to get involved in the race, telling the Journal that the DNC does not “demand fealty on every single issue.” And Sanders told the Journal that a victory for Mello would be “a shot across the board, that in a state like Nebraska a progressive Democrat can win.” It didn’t go unnoticed that Sanders described Mello as “progressive” despite Mello’s anti-abortion history. Then, the dams burst. Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, went on a tweetstorm hours after the Journal story appeared, lambasting Perez and Sanders for sending the message that Democrats can “shame women; we’ll support u anyway.” Hogue later issued a formal statement declaring that the DNC’s decision to “embrace and support [Mello]... is not only disappointing, it is politically stupid.” Hogue did not try to get in touch with the DNC before posting her tweets Wednesday night, according to a Democratic aide. NARAL did not confirm or deny that claim, noting only that it is in frequent contact with the DNC. (The DNC had hired John Neffinger, Hogue’s husband, as communications director after the November election, but in a widely anticipated move, Perez announced in April that he would not keep Neffinger on in that capacity. The party body still plans to employ Neffinger as a senior adviser for special projects.) Hogue’s tweets touched a nerve, with other top progressive players following NARAL’s lead. Daily Kos, a liberal site that has spearheaded efforts to fundraise for lesser-known Democratic candidates, withdrew its endorsement of Mello that Thursday, the morning after Hogue called out Sanders and Perez on Twitter. The Planned Parenthood Action Fund also weighed in. Without mentioning Mello by name, it issued a statement proclaiming that “women’s health is central to the progressive movement.” Thrust into a national controversy hours before he was slated to appear onstage with Sanders and Ellison that Thursday evening, Mello provided a statement to HuffPost clarifying that if elected mayor of Omaha, he “would never do anything to restrict access to reproductive health care.” Recently, Mello has cast votes that were consistent with some of Planned Parenthood’s priorities, including a vote to expand Medicaid in 2015. As a candidate, Mello touts his opposition to efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. In addition, his boosters note, Jean Stothert, the Republican incumbent Mello is challenging, is an even stauncher opponent of abortion rights. (None of the other candidates in the April 4 jungle primary were pro-abortion rights either.) Nationalizing this race had big risks and they’re not always gonna pay off. Chris Reeves, DNC committeeman Perez nonetheless responded to the uproar by staking out a much firmer stance against anti-abortion candidates after speaking with Hogue and Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards. “I fundamentally disagree with Heath Mello’s personal beliefs about women’s reproductive health,” Perez said in a statement following the Mello rally last Friday. “It is a promising step that Mello now shares the Democratic Party’s position on women’s fundamental rights. Every candidate who runs as a Democrat should do the same because every woman should be able to make her own health choices. Period.” The remarks, which won Perez praise from NARAL, were widely interpreted as a promise that the Democratic Party will only get behind candidates who support abortion rights. For his part, Sanders stuck by Mello, claiming the party could not afford to exclude anti-choice candidates. He was soon joined by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Democratic Sens. Dick Durbin (Ill.) and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), who all argued that there was room in the party for anti-abortion Democrats. Now that Perez’s tougher pronouncement looks like an outlier among Democratic leaders, the DNC is claiming that he never meant to take a different position in the first place and was merely reaffirming the party’s strong commitment to fighting for abortion rights. It’s not clear whether that clarification will help abate the criticism Perez has drawn for seeming to back away from a candidate at the first sign of controversy. Ticking off the names of Democratic leaders who expressed tolerance for anti-abortion Democrats following the Omaha rally, Nebraska Democratic Party Chairwoman Jane Kleeb lamented that Perez did not show similar judgment. He “got caught flat-footed and didn’t have a strong team around him yet and things didn’t get vetted,” Kleeb said.  Chris Reeves, a DNC committeeman from Kansas, worries that Perez’s response could lead anti-choice Democrats, abundant in the Midwest, to conclude that they are not welcome in the party. “Nationalizing this race had big risks and they’re not always gonna pay off,” said Reeves, who is also a longtime Daily Kos writer. “Perez’s statement did not calm the situation, it confused it and kept the debate alive.” Indeed, the incident has sparked a boomlet of think pieces and social media commentary in some ways reminiscent of the Democratic presidential primary split between those who supported Sanders and those who supported former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Many liberal feminists ― such as Jill Filipovic, Sady Doyle, Emmy Bengtson and Rebecca Traister ― saw the Mello case as evidence of what they have long believed, that reproductive rights are a negotiable part of Sanders’ otherwise uncompromising economic-populist agenda. Sanders’ noncommittal attitude toward Jon Ossoff, a Democratic candidate in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District whose Republican opponent is an infamous anti-abortion activist, gave further fodder to these critics.   At an earlier stop on the Unity Tour, the Vermont senator made ambivalent comments about Ossoff. Sanders claimed he “did not know” if Ossoff is progressive, according to the Journal, while The Washington Post reported from the same interview that Sanders had flatly said the Georgia Democrat is “not a progressive.” (Sanders later clarified that he supports Ossoff and hopes he will win.) It doesn’t appear to have helped matters that Sanders recently endorsed former Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.) in the Virginia Democratic gubernatorial primary. As a congressman, Perriello voted for the Stupak amendment, a piece of legislation that would have barred federal funding from the Affordable Care Act from going toward insurance plans that cover abortions. Perriello now says he “regrets” that vote, but his opponent in the Democratic primary, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, has a more pristine record in support of abortion rights, and has used it as a club to beat Perriello. (Northam’s record, though, is sullied by his two votes for President George W. Bush, who was proudly anti-abortion and appointed multiple like-minded justices to the Supreme Court.) “What Bernie doesn’t seem to realize is that the abortion rights movement has really bucked up and gotten some tough ovaries in the last couple of years,” Virginia-based reproductive rights activist Erin Matson, who has criticized Sanders’ Perriello endorsement, told The New York Times. Ilyse [Hogue] doesn’t like me and she doesn’t like Bernie, so this is a chance for her to draw some bright line in the sand. Jane Kleeb, Nebraska Democratic Party chairwoman Meanwhile, progressive analysts more sympathetic to Sanders speculated that NARAL might be taking a tougher line against Mello than other anti-choice Democrats because the group wanted to stick it to Sanders. NARAL enthusiastically endorsed Clinton in the presidential primary, these critics noted, and it later approved of her running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), despite his personal “pro-life” views and past support of some anti-abortion policies. The organization also endorsed Ted Strickland’s 2016 Senate campaign, notwithstanding his vote to ban so-called partial-birth abortion in 2003, the same year NARAL gave him a 30 percent rating. Those questions intensified after the publication of an article in The Nation on Monday in which two Omaha-based reproductive rights activists supportive of Mello expressed frustration that national groups had failed to consult them. “Why are you creating a firestorm around Bernie Sanders endorsing Heath Mello when for Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine you created a big money PAC?” Winnie Wong, a co-founder of the group People for Bernie and co-author of the Women’s March platform, asked of NARAL. Kleeb, an early endorser of Sanders who sits on the board of Our Revolution, was less diplomatic. “Ilyse [Hogue] doesn’t like me and she doesn’t like Bernie, so this is a chance for her to draw some bright line in the sand,” Kleeb said. “And guess what? She didn’t win.” “Sadly, instead of focusing on the grassroots excitement and large turnouts that greeted Bernie, the Democratic establishment instead wants to continue the battles of the 2016 primary,” said a source close to Sanders. “Bernie, who has a 100 percent lifetime pro-choice voting record and is a strong supporter of Planned Parenthood, is being attacked because he endorsed the Democratic candidate for mayor who, like Vice Presidential nominee Tim Kaine, along with Senators Bob Casey, Joe Donnelly, and Joe Manchin, is personally pro-life,” the source went on. “In addition to the fact a mayor has virtually no impact on this issue, Mello has specifically committed that he ‘would never do anything to restrict access to reproductive health care.’” NARAL insists that it views Kaine differently than Mello because Kaine has demonstrated his evolution with a Senate voting record in support of abortion rights since 2013. Mello, by contrast, has thus far only made rhetorical promises to protect abortion rights if elected mayor, according to the group. Jodi Jacobson, editor-in-chief of Rewire, which was critical of Clinton’s decision to pick Kaine, wrote on Wednesday that the laws Mello helped pass “remain in place, and Mello has neither denounced them nor made clear whether he now understands why they are so damaging.” Hogue tweeted out Jacobson’s analysis approvingly. For everyone confused abt Mello's record, @Rewire_News has done an in-depth analysis to help clear up confusion. https://t.co/sYapMVrnyL— ilyse hogue (@ilyseh) April 26, 2017 “We drew attention to the Unity Tour stop in Nebraska, and the comments Party leaders made on it, because they collectively ― intentionally or unintentionally ― sent a message to women around the country that our fundamental rights were under question within the Party,” NARAL national communications director Kaylie Hanson Long said in a statement. “DNC Chair Tom Perez has since been extremely clear that he stands with the Democratic base (and the women who power it), which overwhelmingly believes in legal access to abortion care regardless of their personal views. We look forward to working together to elect candidates who support and advance those core values.” Virtually every party involved in the Mello episode made mistakes, according to Reeves ― including Our Revolution, whose behavior has raised questions about “how you get [the group’s] endorsement and what criteria they use to give it.” Our Revolution did not immediately respond to a request for more information about its endorsement criteria and Sanders’ role in the organization. “Heath Mello is the right candidate for Omaha,” Reeves told HuffPost in an email. “He was done an unfortunate disservice by having his race turned into a dispute between national groups that have probably spent very little time worrying about who is the Mayor of Omaha until 2 weeks ago.” Sign up for the HuffPost Must Reads newsletter. 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28 апреля, 12:04

The White House’s invisible man

Vice President Mike Pence has managed to stay out of the West Wing muck, but he’s also yet to score any remarkable wins.