election

Another Win For Gays For Trump!
Log Cabin Republicans Endorses President Trump for Reelection in 2020

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Washington, D.C. – Log Cabin Republicans (LCR), the nation’s oldest and largest organization of conservative LGBTQ Republicans and their allies, announces its endorsement of Donald J. Trump for reelection for President of the United States in 2020.

After consulting with over 50 chapters in 21 states, the national Board of Directors of Log Cabin Republicans voted to endorse President Trump. Simultaneously releasing an opinion editorial in the Washington Post, the following organization officers make these statements:

“Log Cabin Republicans is proud to endorse Donald J. Trump for reelection as President. He has delivered on his commitment to govern from a place of inclusion, and he has addressed significant policy areas important to our community. President Trump’s commitment to end the spread of HIV/AIDS in 10 years and his initiative to end the criminalization of homosexuality internationally are bold yet achievable goals of great importance of the LGBTQ community. His policy agenda has benefited not just LGBTQ individuals but all Americans, and for that, he deserves four more years of leadership in the Oval Office.”

Robert Kabel – Chairman, Log Cabin Republicans

“We are excited to work with our colleagues at the Trump for President campaign and the Republican National Committee to be a part of the President’s reelection campaign. Our strong relationship continues to ensure that our distinct voice is represented in the GOP and that our community’s interests are heard and respected at the highest level. LGBTQ equality is a bipartisan effort and we will continue to work to elect Republican candidates who share our values.”

Jill Homan – Vice-Chairman, Log Cabin Republicans

“The radical left continues to distort President Trump’s record and mischaracterize his policy agenda. Log Cabin Republicans stands against their campaign of disinformation, demonization and the usual scare tactics employed to keep the LGBTQ community hostage in the Democratic Party. Starting early, Log Cabin Republicans will bring together the diverse spectrum of conservative LGBTQ individuals to inform and activate in advance of the 2020 general election, and provide a space for disenfranchised independents and Democrats to learn about the inclusive conservatism in the Republican Party.”

Charles T. Moran – Board Member & National Spokesman
Log Cabin Republicans is the nation’s premier Republican organization representing LGBT conservatives and straight allies. For 40 years we have been the voice for an inclusive Republican Party with state and local chapters nationwide, a full-time office in Washington, D.C., a federal political action committee and state political action committees.
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A federal judge on Thursday rejected four motions from former Trump associate Roger Stone contesting his indictment on obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and other charges, adding that Stone has “no one but himself to blame” for having to stand trial in November. Jackson concluded Stone was not targeted for political reasons, noting that 11 other individuals were indicted by Mueller’s request for making false statements to Congress. In order to prepare for trial, Jackson also ruled Thursday that Stone’s lawyers would be allowed the see the “bulk” of the redacted material in Mueller’s report, CBS News reported. That information was previously withheld as not to affect ongoing prosecution of the case, Jackson said. The redacted statements will not be made public.

In a 56-page ruling Thursday, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson wrote Stone had

“no one but himself to blame”

for his indictment, clearing the way for his trial to begin as scheduled Nov. 5. Stone filed four motions to have his indictment scrapped, arguing that he was unfairly singled out during former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election due to his outspoken support for President Trump.

The judge also noted other Trump associates and family members who were not indicted after Mueller’s investigation despite their very public conservative views and open support for President Trump, Politico reported.

Stone was accused of obstruction of justice, witness tampering and lying to Congress under oath in an effort to mislead the House Intelligence Committee and the FBI about alleged dealings with WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential election, Politico reported.

“When he chose to take credit for the WikiLeaks release and to tantalize the public with hints that he had inside information about more to come, he chose to place himself directly in the vortex of the issues that became the focus of multiple law enforcement, counterintelligence, and congressional investigations,”

Jackson wrote.

Presidents aren’t required by law to release their tax returns. Nevertheless, between 1974 and 2012, every president but Gerald Ford has made a voluntary release of the tax returns they filed while in office. Ford released no complete returns, but released 10 years of summary data including gross income, taxable income, major deductions, and taxes paid.

This tradition of voluntary tax return disclosure ended in 2017, when President Trump declined to release any personal tax information. Trump has offered various reasons for keeping his returns private, but he has frequently insisted that he won’t make a release while his returns are being audited by the IRS.

2. Are all presidents’ tax returns audited by the IRS?

Since 1977 the Internal Revenue Manual has required that every tax return filed by a sitting president or vice president be subject to an audit. According to IRS officials at the time, the new policy was established “in the interest of sound administration” and in light of “everything that has happened in the past.”

While Trump may be unwilling to release presidential tax returns currently under audit, that’s a prudential decision, not a legal one. There’s no legal bar to releasing returns that are under examination. In fact, every president from Jimmy Carter through Barack Obama released tax returns that were “under audit,” since those returns — generally released publicly within hours of being filed with the IRS — were slated for automatic audit under the IRM.

3. Do presidents release tax returns covering every year they are in office?

Not exactly. Typically, presidents have released tax returns that they filed while actually holding office. That means the first return filed and released by a new president has covered the year before his inauguration. Similarly, returns covering the last year of a president’s final term haven’t typically been released since they were filed after that president had left office.

Typically, presidents have released tax returns that they filed while actually holding office. President Bill Clinton is the exception to that rule, since his joint returns filed after his presidency were then released by Hillary Clinton when she made her 2008 bid for the Democratic nomination.

4. Why did presidents begin to make voluntary disclosures of tax returns in 1974?

The tradition of voluntary tax return disclosure began with a scandal. In 1973 journalists discovered information suggesting that President Richard Nixon had taken large, hard-to-defend deductions on his individual tax returns. After months of media speculation (based chiefly on documents that came to light in an unrelated court case), someone at the IRS leaked information from the president’s returns confirming that he had paid just $792.81 in federal income taxes for 1970 and $878.03 for 1971 — despite having an income of more than $200,000 each year.

To help quell the ensuing uproar — which occasioned Nixon’s oft-quoted insistence that “I am not a crook” — the president decided to make a public release of his tax returns for 1969, 1970, 1971, and 1972. That tax disclosure was the first made by a sitting U.S. president. (While running for president in 1952, Dwight D. Eisenhower disclosed a few key elements of his tax history, but no complete returns.)

Ford, Nixon’s vice president, didn’t release complete tax returns after taking office in the wake of Nixon’s resignation. Ford released a nine-year summary of his tax data when running for president in 1975 and 1976. But starting with Carter, every president through Obama has made an annual disclosure of the tax return he filed during each year in which he held office.

5. Which presidential returns are available in the presidential tax returns archive? Do you have them all?

The archive includes returns disclosed by every president from Nixon through Obama, with the exception of Ford. (Since Ford released only summary tax data, the archive includes a summary.)
The archive doesn’t include any complete presidential tax returns filed by Trump, because he has opted not to release them. However, it includes Trump’s Form 1040 for 2005, which was leaked to the DCReport.org website and later published widely. In a statement, the White House confirmed the accuracy of key figures from this 2005 partial return.

The archive includes returns filed by Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman. Those returns weren’t released during either president’s lifetime, but were later made available by their respective presidential libraries.

6. Which vice presidential and candidate tax returns are available in the archive

The archive includes returns filed by Vice Presidents Dick Cheney, Joe Biden, and Mike Pence. For Cheney, all but one of the returns (filed jointly with his wife) are incomplete, consisting of only a Form 1040. In 2001 the Cheneys released only a press statement summarizing their 2000 return. Returns filed by Pence were released while he was running in the 2016 election. Because Pence has released no returns since taking office, the last return available in the archive is for 2015. Like Trump, Cheney has cited ongoing audits as an explanation for his refusal to release later returns. Returns filed by Vice Presidents Walter Mondale, George H.W. Bush, and some by Al Gore aren’t in the archive. The returns, however, were publicly released by those officials while they held office. They are unavailable now, and we hope to add them to the archive eventually.

For primary candidates and major party nominees, we have returns (or return portions) covering the 2012, 2016, and 2020 election cycles.

7. How many tax returns do candidates typically release?

The number of returns released by presidential candidates varies widely, from a low of zero (Donald Trump) to a high of 33 (Jeb Bush). There is no “typical” or “standard” number of released returns, since disclosures have varied dramatically even within an election cycle.

Even the number of returns released by major party nominees has differed widely.

Tax Returns Disclosed by Major Party Nominees, 1976-2016
1976 1
Jimmy Carter
0 (summary data)
Gerald Ford
1980 5
Jimmy Carter
1
Ronald Reagan
1984 11
Walter Mondale
5
Ronald Reagan
1988 5
Michael Dukakis
14
George H.W. Bush
1992 12
Bill Clinton
18
George H.W. Bush
1996 19
Bill Clinton
30
Robert Dole
2000 8
Al Gore
9
George W. Bush
2004 20
John Kerry
13
George W. Bush
2008 7
Barack Obama
2
John McCain
2012 11
Barack Obama
2
Mitt Romney
2016 24
Hillary Clinton
0
Donald Trump
Sources: Contemporaneous media coverage; Julie Jennings, “Memorandum: Federal Tax Returns Disclosed by Selected Nominees for President and Vice President Since 1916,” Congressional Research Service (Jan. 30, 2019); Ryan Kelly, “Chart: Presidential Candidates’ Tax Returns,” Roll Call (Oct. 21, 2016).

Disclosures have also varied considerably in their completeness. While all major party presidential nominees through the 2012 election released complete (or nearly complete) returns, several candidates in 2016 chose to release only their Form 1040, omitting other required elements of their tax returns, including various schedules and forms.

8. What happened to the tradition of voluntary disclosure?

The voluntary tradition of tax return disclosure — by candidates, nominees, vice presidents, and presidents — was strong until 2016. President Trump’s decision to keep his tax returns private was the most serious challenge to this tradition, but it wasn’t the only one. The decision in 2016 by several candidates in both parties to release incomplete returns was a break with the usual practice of full disclosure. Moreover, while numerous candidates opted for a partial release in 2016, Cheney had already set a precedent for limiting annual disclosures to just a Form 1040.

9. Can Congress compel disclosure?

Whether Congress can compel disclosure of presidential (and vice presidential) tax returns remains to be seen. A law enacted in 1924 empowers key leaders of the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees to request tax return information from Treasury, including individual returns filed by just about anyone. Such a request doesn’t necessarily involve public disclosure of the requested information, and indeed, the law requires lawmakers to treat that material confidentially. But the law also gives lawmakers a procedure for making that information public should either committee decide, after a formal vote, that disclosure is warranted.

The Ways and Means Committee is seeking tax returns filed by Trump, as well as returns from several of his businesses and related audit and administrative materials developed by the IRS. To date, Treasury has declined to provide that information, and the standoff seems likely to find its way to a courtroom sometime soon.

The law requires lawmakers to treat tax return information confidentially. But the law also gives lawmakers a procedure for making that information public should either committee decide, after a formal vote, that disclosure is warranted.

In a related development, the House passed legislation in March that would require presidents, vice presidents, and major party nominees for both offices to publicly disclose 10 years of tax returns. The legislation is awaiting action in the Senate.

10. Where else can people find presidential tax returns?

Tax Analysts maintains the largest database of publicly available tax returns released by American national politicians.

In theory, tax returns released by specific presidents and vice presidents should be available in the various presidential libraries scattered around the country. In practice, it can be difficult to retrieve those returns, because their sensitive nature often causes them to be flagged for special security screening. Getting that screening done can take considerable time, given staffing shortages at presidential libraries.

The story for candidate and nominee returns is even worse. Because those returns have typically been released by campaigns, not government agencies, official archiving practices don’t apply. Some released returns can still be found online through various news organizations, which occasionally host returns on their own websites.

For the most part, however, candidate returns tend to disappear from public view once the voting is done; technically public, they become effectively private.

CNN has been forced to admit the unthinkable about former Special Counsel Robert Mueller after his congressional testimony last week was nothing short of a total a disaster.

The left-leaning media outlet published a piece on Monday detailing how Mueller’s hearing being a dud could severely harm several of the top 2020 Democratic presidential candidates.

In fact, Mueller’s testimony was such a disaster for Democrats that CNN has admitted that impeachment is all over.

“Expectations were high among Democrats that former special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony on Capitol Hill Wednesday would be the spark they needed to persuade a skeptical American public that President Donald Trump had obstructed justice — and, perhaps, that impeachment was the right recourse for the President’s actions surrounding the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. It didn’t turn out that way,” reports CNN.

CNN went even further in explaining how much of a disappointment this is for Democrats.

“Mueller struggled mightily on the appearances front. He seemingly struggled to hear the questions asked of him. He struggled to find citations within his own report being using by members of Congress. He was halting in his responses and occasionally looked befuddled,” CNN added.

The CNN piece added: “While he seemed to rise to the task somewhat as the day went on, the perception of him as nothing short of the perfect prosecutor took a hit.”

It speaks volumes that Mueller’s testimony was so bad for Democrats that even CNN is admitting that impeachment is over.

Mueller’s testimony was nothing short of a total disaster for Democrats.

The ex-special counsel also made a few bombshell admissions that further proved President Donald Trump did not collude or obstruct justice.

During one exchange, Georgia Republican Rep. Doug Collins caught Mueller contradicting his own report.

Collins exposed Mueller for saying one thing in public, but another in his own Russia report.

Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh also called out Mueller for telling a lie about Attorney General William Barr.

Mueller told Barr three times that the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) precedent, which states that a sitting president cannot be indicted, had no impact on his decision to indict Trump.

But when he testified on Wednesday, Mueller tried his best not to admit that.

It seemed as if Mueller was afraid to admit that he never found evidence to indict Trump, but Limbaugh called him out.

And now CNN is admitting that impeachment is over and 2020 Democrats will have a hard time trying to explain the Russia hoax to voters.

“Leader McConnell doesn’t have to put the bills that we have proposed . . . or the bill the House has passed, there are bipartisan bills —and we can debate the issue,” Schumer added. “These pundits are lying, lying when they dismiss the work that has been done,” McConnell said, The Hill reported. “They’re lying when they insist I have personally blocked actions which, in fact, I have championed and the Senate has passed. They are lying when they suggest that either party is against defending our democracy.” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on Monday chided Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for complaining about becoming a victim of “modern-day McCarthyism” for blocking two election security bills last week. The comments followed McConnell’s fiery retaliation at critics, accusing them of “lying” and “modern-day McCarthyism” for targeting his block of the Democrat-supported election security measures. But Schumer challenged McConnell: “Prove them wrong.” “If Leader McConnell doesn’t like being criticized on election security, I challenge him: Let’s debate it on the floor with amendments,” Schumer said, The Hill reported. “I challenge him: support additional appropriations for states to harden their election systems. In both cases, Leader McConnell has not done that.” “There’s an easy way for Leader McConnell to silence the critics who accuse him of blocking election security: stop blocking it,” the Senate minority leader said, The Hill reported.

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Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., faces a challenge for re-election from a 30-year-old Massachusetts mayor campaigning on the House Ways and Means Committee chairman’s inaction on obtaining President Donald Trump’s tax returns, NBC News reported. “So, when you look at the timing here, we’re now very unlikely to see any result before the 2020 election, because Congressman Neal dragged his feet. We also have people in New York that have worked tirelessly to give the American people access to his New York state tax returns.” “I think his action is emblematic of a kind of leader, or lack thereof, that’s he’s been over the last 30 years,” Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse told NBC News about Neal’s authority to obtain President Trump’s state returns. Rep. Neal has held off using the New York state law to obtain his state tax returns because it might jeopardize the ability to obtain federal returns, according to the report. President Trump filed a federal lawsuit this week to block Rep. Neal from using the state law to obtain the federal return. “I know people here in western Massachusetts, and people around the country, are frustrated with the way in which he’s handled this issue from day one. I mean, Democrats took back the House, and it took [months] to put a letter together. I know it doesn’t take us that long to put letters together at City Hall when we have to look at legal issues. “It’s unfortunate that there are folks who aren’t living what he’s living, making statements and comments and Monday morning quarterbacking the situation,” a source told NBC News of Rep. Neal.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Amy McGrath, a Marine combat aviator who narrowly lost a House race to an incumbent Republican in Kentucky, has set her sights on an even more formidable target: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

McGrath, whose campaign announcement video in her House race showcased the viral power of social media to raise money and national profile, said Tuesday she will try to defeat one of the most entrenched officials in Washington in McConnell. But she sees him as vulnerable because of his lengthy tenure in Washington, his stance on healthcare, and his taut allegiance to the policies of President Donald Trump.

Her decision to enter the race represents a rare victory for Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, who has had difficulty persuading top-tier candidates in other states to take on incumbent Republicans with control of the Senate at stake.

The contest also will test the power of incumbency against a call for generational change, along with a measure of whether Trump’s popularity is transferable.

McGrath, 44, will almost certainly be able to raise enough money to mount a serious challenge to McConnell, 77, but she is still a decided underdog in a state that has not elected a Democrat to the Senate since Wendell Ford in 1992.

“I’ve been always somebody who stepped up to the plate when asked, when I felt like my country needed me, and this is one of those times,” McGrath said in an interview.

She is attempting to repeat her viral moment with a new video, one that leans hard on idealism while also attacking McConnell as the embodiment of a dysfunctional Washington.

“I felt like somebody needs to stand up to him,” McGrath said.

McGrath also reprises one element of her first video, pointedly noting that when, as a 13-year-old girl, she wrote to McConnell to make the case that women should be able to fly in combat, the senator never wrote back.

But her attacks on McConnell and his record carry risks because Trump remains highly popular in Kentucky, and McConnell has pushed through much of the president’s agenda and, perhaps more importantly, his nominees to federal courts, including Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

She said that Kentucky voters are not fans of either political party and they supported Trump in part because of his promise to “drain the swamp” in Washington, lower drug prices, and deliver a more effective alternative to the Affordable Care Act.

“Those things haven’t happened because of guys like Senator McConnell,” she said.

McGrath lost to Rep. Andy Barr by 3 percentage points in the 2018 midterm election, a race that she had been so confident of winning that she was working on her victory speech as the first returns came in.

She ran up comfortable margins in the heavily Democratic Lexington area, but Barr was able to win overwhelmingly in rural areas. Barr also benefited from a campaign appearance by Trump, rare for a House member. Former Vice President Joe Biden went to Kentucky to campaign for McGrath in what proved to be a failed effort to win back onetime Democrats in rural areas.

Trump also is expected to actively support McConnell and to try to muddy McGrath at least as much as Barr did.

In that race, McGrath, a Naval Academy graduate, foreswore negative attack ads against Barr while he and several outside groups supporting him spent millions of dollars labeling her as “too liberal” for Kentucky. McGrath, who must first win the Democratic nomination, would not show similar restraint against McConnell.

Democrats have prepared briefing books of more than 1,000 pages on McConnell, whose long record and ties to Washington interest groups provide ripe openings for attack. But he also can make the case that he has been able to use his power in Washington for the benefit of the state.

McConnell has in Kentucky a fiercely loyal team of political operatives who are known for hard-hitting campaigns that leave his opponents badly bruised.

Schumer worked hard to persuade McGrath to run against McConnell. Several other would-be recruits, including former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, declined his overtures, and others, like former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, passed on Senate races to run for the Democratic presidential nomination.

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How Many Times Do We Have To Warn Iran? Trump Says If He Is Forced To Do Something It’s Going To Be A Large Response.

After showing military restraint, Trump warns Iran in ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ interview
President Trump, after calling off a military strike on Iran following the downing of an American drone last month, delivered a stern warning to the regime during an interview with Fox News. Speaking exclusively with Tucker Carlson, Trump said he “built up a lot of See More great capital” after his decision — but said that means “if something should happen, we’re in a positionto do far worse by not doing it.” He quickly added, “But, hopefully, we don’t have to do anything.” The president’s comments on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” were made before it was reported on Monday that Iran has exceeded the threshold for the Islamic Republic’s low-enriched uranium stockpile agreed upon in the 2015 nuclear deal. But at a White House event on Monday, he said Iran was “playing with fire.”

During the “Tucker” interview, President Trump also shared his plans to combat rising homelessness and mental illness in America.

Cory Booker unveils plan to ‘virtually eliminate immigrant detention’
Sen. Cory Booker, trying to jolt his 2020 presidential campaign, is unveiling a comprehensive plan to “virtually eliminate immigrant detention” and expand protections for illegal immigrants through executive order — bypassing Congress entirely — “on day one of his presidency.” The aggressive proposal comes as polls consistently have shown Booker trailing many fellow Democrats in the White House race, including Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Although several of his rivals already have announced similar proposals and even endorsed decriminalizing border crossing entirely, Booker’s plan was unique in focusing on the immigrant detention facilities that have attracted national attention in recent weeks.

Booker’s plan comes as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is facing a lingering political backlash from liberal House Democrats over his role in the passage of a bipartisan border bill last week, which saw House Speaker Nancy Pelosi forced to back down from a push to include restrictions on immigration enforcement. It also comes amidoutrage over claims made by U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., that women at a southern border facility are being forced to drink “out of toilets.” U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officials have strongly denied AOC’s allegations.

Report: Nike dropped Betsy Ross-themed Fourth of July sneaker after Colin Kaepernick complained
Just don’t do it. That was the message ex-NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick delivered to Nikeover the planned release of a USA-themed sneaker, which featured a Betsy Ross flag on the heel, according to a report. Nike nixed the released of the Air Max 1 USA after having already sent the sneakers to retailers because the protesting quarterback said he felt the use of the Betsy Ross flag was offensive and carried slavery connotations, sources told The Wall Street Journal.

Accused Navy SEAL’s fate in jury’s hands
Jurors will begin their first full day of deliberations in the court-martial of a decorated Navy SEAL accused of murdering a wounded ISIS war prisoner in Iraq. Jury deliberations started Monday following closing argumentswhere military prosecutors said Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher’s words and actions proved he murdered a member of the Islamic State terror network in May 2017. The defense argued the prosecution’s case had “huge gaping holes” and that Gallagher was a subject of “fixation” by military prosecutors. “They started with a conclusion … [and] … ignored everything that didn’t fit,” Timothy Parlatore told the jury of five Marines and two sailors during his closing argument.

Charlie Kirk launches GOTV campaign to enlist 1 million ‘Students for Trump’ in 2020
Conservative activist Charlie Kirk is launching a massive get-out-the-vote campaign Tuesday aimed at identifying and enlisting 1 million student supporters of President Trump ahead of the 2020 election. The “Students for Trump” campaign will look to target students on more than 300 campuses, in what Kirk describes as the biggest operation of its kind. “This is the most aggressivevoter identification GOTV program targeting students on college campuses for a Republican president ever,” Kirk told Fox News.

TUNE IN: Charlie Kirk will appear on “Fox & Friends” today at 6:30 a.m. ET

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Is Joe Biden a Racist?

Harris puts Biden’s race record on trial in Round 2 of Dem primary debate
Democratic presidential primary front-runner Joe Biden ran into a formidable challenge at Thursday night’s debate from U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, who tapped into her prosecutor toolbox to put his race record on trial following the controversy over his comments on segregationist senators. In perhaps the most heated momentof the night, Harris told Biden she doesn’t believe he is a “racist” but See More considers his recent comments about being able to work with segregationist senators early in his career “hurtful.”

Biden has said he disagreed with the senators on segregation, but was still able to work with them in the Senate. But that explanation did not deter Harris during Thursday’s debate. “You worked with them to oppose busing,” Harris said, referring to efforts to limit orders for school desegregation by busing. In an emotional moment, she told her own story of being bussed as a little girl in California. Biden fired back that Harris’ comments were a “mischaracterization of my position across the board.”

Biden, though, mostly kept his focus on the candidate he really wants to face — President Trump. He repeatedly invoked the name and record of his popular running-mate Barack Obama and brushed back swipes at his age from long-shot candidate Rep. Eric Swalwell,who repeatedly called on him to “pass the torch.” It’s unclear whether the clash with Harris might damage Biden — considering most prior controversies have not dinged his poll numbers — or simply give Harris some needed momentum.

Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders avoided any direct clash with Biden. He spent much of the night defending his big-government agenda against questions from moderators and criticism from more centrist leaning – and lower-polling – candidates. Several rivalstook issue with some of Sanders’ socialistic policies, like “Medicare-for-all” and free college tuition. South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg broke with Sanders in saying while he supports free college for children of low and middle income, “I just don’t believe it makes sense to ask working-class families to subsidize even the children of billionaires.”

Still, the debate also made clear how Democrats have moved to the left on issues relating to immigration. All 10 Democrats raised their hands when asked if their government health care plan would cover illegal immigrants. Pollster Frank Luntz summed it upthis way on “The Ingraham Angle” on Thursday: “This is not your parents’ Democratic Party.” Click here for former Clinton strategist Mark Penn’s list of winners and losers from Thursday night’s Democratic debate.

Trump likes what he saw in the Democratic debate from afar
At one time, some pundits were predicting that Democrats could defeat President Trump and the Republican Party on health care. However, thanks to the Democratic Party’s stance on health care for illegal immigrants, Trump and Republicans are feeling very confident. While attending the G-20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, the president said Democratic White House contenders’ willingness to extend government health care to illegal immigrants in America will get him reelected. Trump tweeted: “All Democrats just raised their hands for giving millions of illegal aliens unlimited healthcare. How about taking care of American Citizens first!?” He then added: “That’s the end of that race!”

Friends of missing Utah student spot activity on Instagram account
The search for missing Utah student Mackenzie Lueck has taken a peculiar twist. Friends of Lueck told Fox News that they noticed activity on her Instagram account on Wednesday and turned the information over to authorities. Lueck’s personal Instagram account liked a page called “fatherless,” around noon, and her friends quickly took screengrabs to document the activity and turn over to police. The @fatherless handle had more than 47,000 followers as of early Friday but was following only 15 accounts — not including that of Lueck.

The 23-year-old woman was last seen meeting an unknown individual around 3 a.m. June 17 at a park in Salt Lake City after being dropped off by a Lyft driver. She hailed the ride after flying in from Los Angeles – where she had attended her grandmother’sfuneral. While the Lyft driver has been cleared, police searched the Salt Lake City home of the man they said is a “person of interest”for about 19 hours the past two days. Police said they are also looking for a mattress and box spring removed from the home last week.

Iraqi general: Accused Navy SEAL did not stab ISIS prisoner
The Iraqi general at the scene of an alleged murder of an Islamic State prisoner in Iraq in 2017 testified in a deposition video played in court Thursday that Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher never stabbed the teenage detainee. In a recording made earlier this month, Maj. Gen. Abbas al-Jubouri testified he never saw Gallagher stab the detainee in the neck. Gallagher served alongside Abbas’ unit in an advise-and-assistcapacity in Mosul. Abbas told the defense lawyer if had he witnessed improper conduct from SEALs, he would have taken action. Last week, a Navy SEAL, Special Operator 1st Class Corey Scott, testified that Abbas’ unit tortured, raped and murdered prisoners. Scott said he killed the ISIS prisoner by putting his thumb over the detainee’s breathing tube in order to save him from falling into the hands of Abbas’ unit.

France highly motivated in Women’s World Cup showdown with Team USA
The United States has its ranking and its trophies, and that’s all the motivation France needs. The Americans face the French on Friday night at the Women’s World Cup, a match that’s been described as a final in the quarterfinals. It really has it all: The defending champions against the upstart hosts. The City of Lights. A sellout crowd. “They’ve got a great trophy cabinet and we still have everything to prove,” French captain Amandine Henry said. The only downside? The country is in the midst of a heat wave and temperatures are expected to soar into the 90s, although a 9 p.m. local time start should bring some cooling. France is seeking to become the first nation to simultaneously hold the men’s and women’s World Cup trophies. (The men won last year in Russia.) The United States already has three FIFA Women’s World Cup trophies, most of any nation.

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2020 Dems take shots at Trump And They Are All Blank! Ready For A Reload?

2020 Dems take shots at Trump, clash over policy proposals during Round 1 

The first primary debate of the 2020 presidential election season saw cracks of daylight emerge in a Democratic field that has largely played to the progressive base,with the candidates clashing sharply over controversial policies like “Medicare-for-all” and calls to decriminalize illegal border crossings — while taking ample shots at See More President Trump in the process. Staking out the left flank of the party Wednesday night in Miami were Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. — the highest-polling candidate in the first debate batch — and long-shot Bill de Blasio, the New York City mayor. They were the only candidates to raise their hands when asked who’s willing to give up their private health insurance for a government option. Warren went on to staunchly defend 2020 rival Sen. Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare-for-all” plan.

Beto O’Rourke, the one-time media darling in the crowded Democratic field who has watched his poll numbers wilt in recent months, looked to regain much of his lost momentum on Wednesday night. While he was among a handful of candidates who gave some responses in Spanish, he repeatedly found himself on the receiving end of swipes from rivals, especially former Housing Secretary Julian Castro.

Among the candidates looking for breakout moments, Castro may have come the closest with his controversial call for the decriminalization of illegal border crossings, challenging his fellow presidential hopefuls to agree to repeal the section of the Immigration and Nationality Act that applies. He called out O’Rourke by name for not supporting his proposal, saying, “I think you should do your homework on this issue. If you did your homework on this issue you would know that we should repeal this section.” Discussing the heartbreaking photo that emerged this week of a migrant father and toddler daughter who drowned trying to cross the Rio Grande, Castro said it “should piss us all off.”

President Trump, who was on his way to Osaka, Japan, for the G-20 Summit, watched at least the first half-hour of Wednesday’s debate, tweeting a one-word verdict of the event: “BORING!” He later swiped at NBC News and MSNBC for technical difficulties that marred part of the telecast.

Despite their differences on major issues, the candidates – especially Warren — rallied to downplay economic successes and growth under the Trump administration. “It’s doing great for a thinner and thinner slice at the top,” Warren said of the economy.The Trump campaign and Republican National Committee rapid response team, though, sent email blasts and tweets “fact-checking” and defending the president’s economic record and the creation of “6 million jobs” since Election Day 2016.

Biden, Sanders to share the stage, more fireworks expected in Round 2

The second round of the first Democratic primary debate will take place in Miami on Thursday and will feature the current frontrunner, former Vice President Joe Biden, and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on the same stage. The debate will also include these eight candidates: U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado; South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg;U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Kamala Harris of California; Colo. Gov. John Hickenlooper; U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell of California; author Marianne Williamson; and businessman Andrew Yang

Ahead of G-20 Summit, Trump vows more tariffs on China if no deal is reached
Before leaving for the G-20 Summit, President Trump, in an exclusive interview with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Wednesday, vowed to impose additional tariffs on China if a trade deal is not reached. “When tariffs go on in China, we are taking in billions and billions of dollars,” Trump said. “We never took in 10 cents — now you have another $325 billion that I haven’t taxed yet. It’s ripe for taxing — for putting tariffs on.” Trump is expected to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday to discuss trade between the world’s two largest economies. The result could have broad implications for the markets and the global economy.

Although it’s “possible” to reach a good deal, Trump said his “plan B” may include a 10 percent tariff on the remaining “$600 billion” worth of Chinese goods. Besides Xi, Trump’s agenda in Osaka includes sit-downs with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkey’s Recep Teyyip Erdogan, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Germany’s Angela Merkel and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Woman recalls falling ill in Dominican Republic, says doctor flagged possible poisoning

A Canadian woman who stayed at a Bahia Principe resort in the Dominican Republic in 2016alleges that she fell critically ill after being exposed to a strong chemical odor in her room, and that she has battled multiple health problems ever since. Tina Hammell told CNN that the smell in her room at the Grand Bahia Principe Punta Cana resort woke her and her husband from a nap. Hammell is one of several people who have come forward to tell reporters about having fallen ill — sometimes requiring hospitalization — while at a resort in the Dominican Republic. After she and her husband returnedhome to Ontario, doctors told her that she may have been poisoned by something in the Dominican Republic.

Possible new clue is search for missing Utah college student

Salt Lake City police reportedly served a search warrant Wednesday at a home connected to the disappearance of a missing Utah college student, reports said. Mackenzie Lueck, 23, was last seen June 17 near a Salt Lake City park after she was dropped off by a Lyft driver. The University of Utah student was returning from her grandmother’s funeral in California. Assistant Chief Tim Doubt said there is a “nexus” between the home and Lueck’s disappearance, but he did not say if anyone has been arrested, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. The Lyft driver, who was cleared as a suspect, told police he dropped off Lueck around 3 a.m. at Hatch Park, where another car was waiting for her.

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