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Last Build Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2017 20:33:09 -0600

Copyright: Copyright 2008

Trump Pauses on Jerusalem Embassy Plans, Acts on Trade398666

2017/01Mon, 23 Jan 2017 20:33:00 -0600

President Trump is taking a new look at his campaign vow to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, his spokesman said Monday. Separately, Trump took at least one step to withdraw the United States from trade accords Monday, and he invited congressional leaders from both parties to the White House in the evening to try to speed confirmation of his Cabinet nominees and iron out policy differences with House and Senate Republicans. As he began his first week in office, the president placed his promised embassy relocation on pause after hearing from Arab allies and regional...

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Updating Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" for the Trump Era

2017/01Mon, 23 Jan 2017 12:08:10 -0600

Commentary "Money doesn't buy you class!" the young women at the line's center chanted in righteous unison, their arms interlocked with those of 20 or so other young men and women to block the public way. "Racists!" Others yelled. "Rapists!" "You should be ashamed!" they yelled at the men in tuxedos (many rented) and women in long dresses and heels, some unwisely bare-shouldered in the 40-degree weather, whom the protesters forced out of buses and cars to walk and climb over barriers to our destination, which was the -per-person "Freedom Ball" at the inauguration of America’s 45th...

Inauguration Recap; Cabinet Fight; Conservatism Reboot; a Song and a City

2017/01Mon, 23 Jan 2017 08:11:06 -0600

Good morning. It’s Monday, January 23. If you thought the 2016 political year was contentious, the last three days have demonstrated that 2017 won’t be much different. Stepping outside the world of partisan politics for a moment, it was 55 years ago today that Tony Bennett went to a recording studio and made a record of a song he’d sung for the first time a month earlier at a hotel ballroom in California. The song was “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” I’ll explain the unlikely provenance of this iconic tune -- a love song to a city -- in a moment. First....

Cabinet Fight Previews Tough Road Ahead in Senate398526

2017/01Mon, 23 Jan 2017 21:08:58 -0600

Senators argued bitterly over Cabinet appointments in the hours following President Trump taking the oath of office, with some Republicans suggesting Democrats were having a “temper tantrum” about the election outcome. Several Democrats, meanwhile, blocked Trump’s nominee for CIA director from swift confirmation despite overwhelming support, pushing for a more thorough debate. The spat Friday capped an acrimonious beginning to the new Congress and set a potentially hostile tone of partisanship as Republicans’ took control of Washington, signaling potentially lengthy...

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Barack Obama's Legacy398394

2017/01Sun, 22 Jan 2017 14:53:59 -0600

In December 1958, Jacob Javits, a freshman senator from New York, wrote an essay for Esquire magazine about racial progress in this country. Set four decades into the future—a United Nations summit in San Francisco in the year 1999, to be precise—Javits’ piece sketched out a scenario leading to an African-American president: The keynote address the U.N. delegates were most anxious to hear was by the head of the host country’s delegation, an African-American secretary of state about to resign and run for president. “Although he was the first member of his minority...

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Seven Truths for Democrats

2017/01Sun, 22 Jan 2017 07:23:17 -0600

The ongoing contest between the Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders wings of the Democratic Party continues to divide Democrats. It’s urgent Democrats stop squabbling and recognize seven basic truths: The Party is on life support. Democrats are in the minority in both the House and Senate, with no end in sight. Since the start of the Obama Administration they’ve lost 1,034 state and federal seats. They hold only governorships, and face 32 state legislatures fully under GOP control. No one speaks for the party as a whole. The Party’s top leaders are aging, and the back bench...

The Peaceful Transfer of Power -- and Its Enemies398356

2017/01Sun, 22 Jan 2017 15:08:17 -0600

Commentary We mouth the formulaic words but reflect too little on the political miracle that is the peaceful transfer of power. The enormous authority entrusted to the president shifts from someone who leaves office voluntarily, without a bullet fired, to another who assumes office by oft-repeated constitutional procedures. These powers quietly transfer from one party to another, from one set of policies and preferences to another, and often from one section of the country to another. The same political miracle that occurred Friday happened a few weeks earlier in the House and Senate, when newly elected...

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In Trump Era, a Chance to Reboot Conservatism398117

2017/01Sun, 22 Jan 2017 20:45:58 -0600

By his flamboyance, crudity, and eclectic priorities as well as by his explicit statements, President Donald Trump has made it clear that the Republican Party is not identical to conservatism. That has always been true of the modern GOP dominated by Ronald Reagan’s long shadow. But the 2016 divergence was of unprecedented proportions. Grumblings from within the conservative movement about Republican candidates’ deviation from the litmus test du jour are common. Yet never before had a critical mass of eminent conservative intellectuals, policy experts, political operatives, and...

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And Then I Cried397352

2017/01Sat, 21 Jan 2017 12:37:07 -0600

I made it through election night, and the morning after, and the endless portmortems. I kept reminding myself of what Hillary Clinton said at the final debate about respecting the outcome of the election. I listened to a lot of music. When, late at night, I would finally break down and read about the endless conflicts of interest or the appointees committed to destroying the departments they hope to run, I would remind myself that there just might be two Republican Senators who would not necessarily say "How high?" when the new president said, "Jump," and even that President Donald Trump...

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Trump's Foreboding Address and Ominous 'Hour of Action'398315

2017/01Sat, 21 Jan 2017 12:34:09 -0600

WASHINGTON -- After every major Trump speech or event, the person I was before it seems desperately naive. I have been a consistent Trump critic, but my expectations are never quite low enough. Some of us approach Inauguration Day with a kind of democratic reverence. Its customs encourage the love of country. The best inaugural addresses offer historical context, emphasize shared values, encourage engaged citizenship, express goals worthy of a great nation, and at least attempt to wrap it all up in a neat package of rhetorical ambition. For Donald Trump, who lives in an eternal now, Inaugural...

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Our Early Investments Defined Us: Initial United States Priorities

2017/01Sat, 21 Jan 2017 05:04:06 -0600

This month, a new government convenes in Washington with a mandate to dismantle the last eight years of unprecedented legal and regulatory expansion that has killed job opportunities for countless Americans. The Obama Administration has inserted the federal government into every corner of our professional and personal lives. Now is the time to peel back the 80,000+ pages of regulations, and billions of accompanying costs, which are stifling job markets and private enterprise and encroaching on our personal and professional freedom. At this critical juncture, we might reflect on the priorities...

Women's March Erects a Pro-Life Barrier398223

2017/01Sat, 21 Jan 2017 10:14:28 -0600

As a young woman living in Washington, D.C., I could easily attend the Women’s March on Saturday if I wanted to. Except that I am not invited, despite my unambiguous status as a member of the female sex. That’s because I am pro-life. As the organizers of the march made clear in a statement earlier this week, the Women’s March’s on Washington “platform is pro-choice” and “has been since day one.” “We look forward to marching on behalf of individuals who share th[at] view,” they went on, and stated that the since-revoked partnership...

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Mr. Trump Comes to Washington398294

2017/01Fri, 20 Jan 2017 23:44:36 -0600

Donald J. Trump, a thrice-married real estate developer, business executive, reality television star and natural showman, assumed office Friday as the 45th president of the United States. It was a day featuring traditional courtesies and customs, an unusually combative inaugural address, parades and protests, and the installation of a glamorous new first family in the White House. Along with Donald and Melania Trump, the family contingent included daughters Ivanka and Tiffany, sons Donald Jr., Eric, and Barron, along with son-in-law Jared Kushner and various Trump grandchildren. They...

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Trump's Clenched Fist Address398269

2017/01Fri, 20 Jan 2017 15:50:05 -0600

WASHINGTON -- This will be the presidency of the raised fist, not the outstretched hand. Inaugural addresses are traditionally occasions of inclusion and healing. In that transformative moment, the new president sheds a partisan identity and assumes the mantle of national leader, president of and for all the people. If any new president should have sounded that soothing note, it was President Trump. If any nation needed to hear it, it was America today. The state of our union is dangerously frayed. The country is in a volatile and fragile condition that requires attending to, not ignoring....

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First Ladies Club Adds Its Newest Member in Melania Trump398273

2017/01Fri, 20 Jan 2017 15:25:22 -0600

Melania Trump joined a highly exclusive club on Friday – the one comprising first ladies of the United States. It’s a varied bunch of women – and, yes, it’s still only women – who have stood beside the president of the United States. Wives, daughters, and in-laws have played the role of the first lady of the land. Melania Trump is only the second immigrant to join the sisterhood. And she has, thus far, approached the role with caution. There have been no announcements of staff for her – no chief of staff, no communications director, no social secretary....

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In Trump's Address, Echoes of a Turbulent Campaign398266

2017/01Fri, 20 Jan 2017 15:18:33 -0600

President Donald J. Trump promised Americans Friday that their lives will improve and the country will prosper because “the people became the rulers of this nation again.” Under gray skies and amid a light rain, Trump pledged to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States in a setting of majesty at the U.S. Capitol that calmed, if just for a few moments, the fierce political turbulence represented on the stage. Trump and his wife, Melania, sat within feet of Hillary Clinton, the candidate Trump defeated after a cliffhanger ending that shocked many Democrats....

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From President to Citizen Obama: A Mixed Legacy398189

2017/01Fri, 20 Jan 2017 11:38:23 -0600

President Obama’s spokesman barely paused this week when asked what his boss was doing on a rainy afternoon, days before beginning the second half of a still-young life. The president, Press Secretary Josh Earnest said, was working, talking, moving ahead with initiatives to the final hour of his term. Behind the scenes, aides and advisers throughout the West Wing tossed their mementos, photos and binders into government-issued moving boxes. Trash bins filled. Desk surfaces emptied, and bare shelves beckoned for dust rags. Into the cartons went spare neckties, extra shoes, and...

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Obama's Legacy; Trump's Speech; Medicaid Concerns; Oratory for the Ages

2017/01Fri, 20 Jan 2017 09:40:23 -0600

Good morning. It’s Friday, January 20, 2017, Inauguration Day. Shortly after noon, Donald J. Trump will stand on the west side of the U.S. Capitol, take the oath of office and deliver his inaugural address. It’s an anomaly of American politics that a speech so anticipated, and delivered amid such splendor and solemnity, should be so quickly forgotten – but that’s the usual case. Not always, though. At key inflection points in our history, Americans look to the inaugural address for guidance or perhaps reassurance. Ronald Reagan was the first president to use to the...

How Trump Won -- Conclusions398098

2017/01Fri, 20 Jan 2017 09:03:06 -0600

Analysis As a few observant readers have noted, one thing that has been missing entirely from this series is race. This is a bit odd, given that virtually all election analysis this cycle has focused on that aspect of Trump’s win. There are three reasons for this, the last of which leads to our conclusion. First, it’s been done. A lot. In fact, the lead writer here has probably written well over 100,000 words on demographic analysis. It seemed useful to offer a different perspective. Second, the impact of demographics is often overstated. For example, Democrats lost Colorado by 100,000...

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History and Hope Weigh Upon Inauguration Day398085

2017/01Fri, 20 Jan 2017 04:25:03 -0600

Commentary The nation comes together today to celebrate the American presidency, a most complex and contradictory office, but a most ingenious one nonetheless. It has endured for 228 years, peacefully passing, as of today, into the hands of 44 different men, some great and some not so great. Remarkably, it is the longest-running elective executive office in the world, other than the papacy. The presidency carries with it sweeping power, awesome influence and instant prestige. The president is viewed worldwide as the nation's most recognizable symbol, our national spokesman, agenda-setter, moral leader,...

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The Democrats' Fight Against School Choice Is Immoral397767

2017/01Fri, 20 Jan 2017 04:22:18 -0600

There's something perverse about an ideology that views the disposing of an unborn child in the third trimester of pregnancy as an indisputable right but the desire of parents to choose a school for their kids as zealotry. Watching President-elect Donald Trump's pick for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, answer an array of frivolous questions this week was just another reminder of how irrational liberalism has become. Democrats often tell us that racism is one of the most pressing problems in America. And yet, few things have hurt African-Americans more over the past 40 years than inner-city...

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The Anti-Inauguration398133

2017/01Fri, 20 Jan 2017 21:02:50 -0600

Tomorrow, the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration, some famous women will descend on Washington to march on it. In addition to Cher, about 200,000 other people are expected to participate in the Women’s March on Washington, with “sister marches” planned in more than 300 other cities, all united in their discontent and their confusion over what to do about it. The only problem is the timing. Protesting Trump’s inauguration after his inauguration is like preparing for Y2K in 2002, or converting to Christianity after the Second Coming—noticeably behind...

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Mnuchin Hammered by Dems for Failing to Disclose Assets398130

2017/01Fri, 20 Jan 2017 19:34:40 -0600

Treasury Secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin attempted to sell the Senate Finance Committee on Donald Trump's pro-growth tax plan, but was repeatedly dogged by questions Thursday about how he failed to disclose nearly 0 million in assets in his Senate questionnaire. But both Senate Republicans and Mnuchin made the case that it was his varied, if questionable, resume -- from director of OneWest Bank to his experience with foreign interest loopholes -- that made him the best person for the job. Sen. Richard Burr said that Mnuchin’s previous employments provide a “road map to a more...

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GOP Governors Worried About Obamacare Repeal398126

2017/01Fri, 20 Jan 2017 19:20:29 -0600

Lawmakers aiming to repeal Obamacare are facing cautions from some unlikely sources: Republican governors. On the eve of Donald Trump’s inauguration, nearly a dozen Republican state executives traveled to Capitol Hill to share with GOP senators their concerns about the impact repealing the health care law would have on the poorest beneficiaries in their states. More than a dozen Republican governors accepted, to varying degrees, federal funds offered under the Affordable Care Act to expand Medicaid coverage in their states. Among them: incoming vice president Mike Pence, who as governor...

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As the Briefing Room Turns397008

2017/01Fri, 20 Jan 2017 19:14:28 -0600

President-elect Donald Trump's transition team had been flirting with moving the daily White House press briefing from the West Wing to nearby quarters that could accommodate more journalists. The White House Correspondents Association registered its concern -- while not present in public sentiment, umbrage followed. By Thursday, Team Trump assured the media that Monday's press briefing -- the first daily briefing from the new Trump administration -- would indeed take place in the James S. Brady Briefing Room. It was another episode in which Trump played the media like a fiddle. The brouhaha...

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