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Pelosi: Trump hosting the G7 at his own resort is “completely out of the question”

Westlake Legal Group p-1 Pelosi: Trump hosting the G7 at his own resort is “completely out of the question” Trump The Blog resort pelosi New York Post National murdoch Geraldo Rivera g7 fox doral appropriations

I take it this is her way of threatening to block appropriations for the G7, although I’m not sure how that would work. Normally Congress would just hand the executive branch a bunch of money for the event and the president would handle the arrangements, including the choice of locale, right? Is Pelosi suggesting that some sort of condition will be attached to the appropriation barring it from being used at a Trump property?

If so, that’ll set us up for a fun news cycle next year when Trump decides to ignore that condition and hands the money to Trump National Doral anyway.

Silver lining, I guess: If Pelosi succeeds in roadblocking funding for the G7, Dems can’t impeach Trump on emolument grounds for awarding himself the event.

She hit Trump for his G7 choice last night on Twitter too, citing Andrew Napolitano’s segment on Fox Business to support her case. At long last — Fox/Pelosi synergy. Fox isn’t the only Rupert Murdoch property that’s criticizing Trump today for awarding himself a no-bid contract, either. The New York Post has an editorial out titled, “Move the summit, Mr. President.” (“[V]oters expect and deserve clear signs that their president is working for them — not promoting himself.”) I think he will end up moving it. The grief he’s getting and will continue to get for it over the next eight months just isn’t worth it to him.

But it’s worth something. WaPo looked at Trump National Doral’s business fortunes over the last few years and realized why Trump is keen to drum up some interest in the property.

The summit will also come to Doral at a particularly good time — June, when Miami is steamy and its business usually drops off sharply. In 2017, the hotel reported that June was its second-slowest month, with just 38.3 percent of its rooms occupied. Only August, at 31.1 percent, was slower…

“They are severely underperforming” other resorts in the area, tax consultant Jessica Vachiratevanurak, who had been hired by Trump, told a county official last year in a bid to lower the property’s tax bill. Vachiratevanurak said the club’s net operating income — a key figure, representing the amount left over after expenses are paid — had fallen by 69 percent as of 2017

In recent years, Doral has turned to Trump’s political allies to replace some of its lost revenue. This past weekend, for instance, it hosted a pro-Trump group called American Priority. Shown at that event was a violent video depicting Trump shooting, stabbing and beheading members of the media and some Democratic opponents, according to the New York Times.

Times are tough for the business, probably due to some patrons disassociating themselves from Trump for political reasons, so logically the resort has tried to leverage Trump’s political allies to offset the losses. Hosting the G7 is just a grander international version of that strategy. Ideally for Trump, the prestige associated with the event will wear off some of the resort’s stigma among anti-Trump Americans and the Doral’s bookings will increase afterward. Unless Pelosi blocks it, of course.

But maybe Trump isn’t fully committed to the idea. The mayor of Doral told WaPo that he hadn’t a word about this until Mick Mulvaney mentioned it on television, never mind that accommodating thousands of guests and security details for many world leaders will be a logistical challenge for the city. Possibly Trump sent Mulvaney out there to announce it as a trial balloon, to see what sort of pushback he’d get. If people rolled their eyes but otherwise ignored it on grounds that it’s just another case of the president being grubby, full speed ahead. Time to call the mayor. If instead there was an outcry, which there has been, he’ll scrap it. I think he’ll scrap it.

Of course, it’s also possible that Trump has (or had) every intention of hosting it at Doral and just didn’t think to let city officials know. Why not surprise ’em later?

He’s gonna scrap it. If a Trump buddy like Geraldo is willing to go on the president’s very favorite news show on his very favorite network to criticize him over his decision, Trump will recalculate.

The post Pelosi: Trump hosting the G7 at his own resort is “completely out of the question” appeared first on Hot Air.

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And then there were two: New WSJ/NBC poll has Biden and Warren breaking from the pack as Harris collapses

Westlake Legal Group d And then there were two: New WSJ/NBC poll has Biden and Warren breaking from the pack as Harris collapses wsj warren The Blog primary poll o'rourke nbc National harris democratic biden beto

This is a big deal if it’s part of a trend, and maybe it is. After all, it was just a week ago that Elizabeth Warren pulled 26 percent in a YouGov poll, her best total ever. Now here she is again breaking into the mid-20s with Bernie Sanders a distant third in the mid-teens.

Is this now a two-way race?

Because increasingly it feels like a two-way race.

Biden fans will find solace in the fact that he kept pace with Warren’s surge, losing just one net point to her since July. But read the fine print here. When we combine first- and second-choice totals for the candidates (and we should since the race is still heavily in flux at this early point) we find Warren at the head of the pack, not Grandpa Joe.

Westlake Legal Group 1-3 And then there were two: New WSJ/NBC poll has Biden and Warren breaking from the pack as Harris collapses wsj warren The Blog primary poll o'rourke nbc National harris democratic biden beto

Who’s leading in voter enthusiasm, you ask? Right, Warren again. Back in March, just 20 percent of Democrats said they were enthusiastic about her as nominee. Today 35 percent do. The trends for Bernie and Biden are in the opposite direction, with enthusiasm for Sanders dipping from 28 to 25 percent since March and enthusiasm for Joe sliding all the way from 33 percent to 23. Dems are going to find themselves in quite a spot if Biden ekes out the nomination on “electability” grounds despite no one getting excited for him while Warren has to settle for second place despite galvanizing the base.

The divide among white voters is especially interesting since, as Liam Donovan notes, Iowa and New Hampshire are almost entirely white. Warren is surging ahead among white college grads but Biden remains in front with working-class whites. Who wins that death struggle in the early states?

Another race-related development worth nothing: Warren has now crept into second place among black Democrats. It’s a very distant second to Biden, just 13 percent compared to his 49, but if she starts taking chunks of his base he’s finished.

And speaking of finished. Although it’s not news that her polls have slipped significantly since July, the fact that she’s now down to a dismal five percent here suggests that Officer Harris has retired from the 2020 force. She’s now fifth when candidates are measured by their first- and second-choice totals behind Pete Buttigieg, and it seems perfectly plausible that she’ll have been passed by Andrew Yang the next time NBC polls the race. This poll is no outlier either: The last three surveys tracked by RCP had her at six, four, and six points. Imagine being a millionaire liberal who’s been approached by Harris for your support. What could she possibly say at this point to convince you to cut her a check instead of Warren or Biden or even Sanders? Hopefully this poll will kickstart the “Harris is a surprisingly weak, cynical, inauthentic candidate” takes in the media, because she really is all of those things and more attention should be paid to it.

One last point. There’s a running debate among politics nerds about whether Bernie is hurting Warren or Biden more by remaining in the race. You might think the answer is obvious — he’s hurting Warren because they’re both far left and some of his voters would surely be with her if he dropped out. But Bernie also appeals to older working-class white voters, the same people who gravitate to Grandpa Joe. Not all voters are ideologues. For some, if they can’t get the geriatric socialist nominated for president, they’ll take the geriatric centrist. I mention all that because this graph from NBC’s story about the poll caught my eye:

Westlake Legal Group n-2 And then there were two: New WSJ/NBC poll has Biden and Warren breaking from the pack as Harris collapses wsj warren The Blog primary poll o'rourke nbc National harris democratic biden beto

Clearly Bernie does seem to be hurting Warren more than Biden right now. Given the reports today of dissension within the ranks of Team Sanders, you wonder if some Berniebros will begin grudgingly leaning him on this fall to do the right thing and endorse Warren if there’s further separation between the two in polling.

Oh, almost forgot: Now that we have two separate post-debate polls showing Beto O’Rourke’s numbers stuck in the toilet, I think we can safely conclude that last week’s gun-confiscation stunt was a bust.

In lieu of an exit question, via Jeff Dunetz, here’s the Trump campaign’s new tribute to the mental health of the Democratic frontrunner, who’s probably not really the frontrunner anymore at this point.

The post And then there were two: New WSJ/NBC poll has Biden and Warren breaking from the pack as Harris collapses appeared first on Hot Air.

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Wait, what? Trump endorses … Ben Sasse?

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Who’s more annoyed by this, Trumpers or anti-Trumpers?

One Trump fan on Twitter tried to cope with the news last night by suggesting that POTUS was using reverse psychology in endorsing a longtime critic. Reportedly he endorsed one Republican House member last year out of spite, because that congressman was from a battleground district and had tried to distance himself from Trump before the midterm elections. Trump refused to allow him that distance, punishing him instead with the rhetorical equivalent of a hug. Maybe he was doing the same thing to Sasse!

But … Sasse isn’t from a battleground. He’s from blood-red Nebraska and is facing a primary challenge. Trump’s endorsement is a godsend to him by signaling to Trumpers there that they shouldn’t give Sasse the Mark Sanford treatment in the primary. POTUS has all but singlehandedly ensured Sasse’s reelection by bestowing his blessing.

I can’t wait for them to campaign together.

Another longtime Trump critic who was facing a Sanford scenario himself next year before he quit the party couldn’t resist snickering at the news:

That’s why Sasse landed the Trump endorsement. He *used to be* an outspoken Trump critic. But since the 2016 election, when he refused to support the president, he’s gone the Mike Lee route, gradually dialing back his criticism until it’s all but disappeared. He’s still more willing than most to take a shot at Trump, in fairness; it’s just that he does it sporadically now and usually in the form of low-key press releases that no one reads. His final surrender came a few months ago when he voted against a bill to stop Trump from claiming emergency authority to fund the border wall, then concocted an embarrassing excuse blaming his vote on Pelosi for not going far enough in trying to curb presidential power. Anti-Trumpers were watching that vote closely to see if Sasse would dare cross Trump in a meaningful way or if his willingness to check the president was limited to snarky tweets.

We got our answer. So did the president, who rewarded Sasse last night. Critics accused Sasse at the time of having gone native in Washington, caring more about keeping his seat than keeping his principles about doing things by the book constitutionally. In hindsight it’s hard to read his vote any other way. It’s also a reminder, though, that Trump is more strategic towards some of his critics than he’s often given credit for. He held back on promoting a primary challenger to Sasse, doubtless in the hope that keeping him dangling would buy the Nebraskan’s silence whenever he’s tempted to criticize POTUS. It worked. It reminds me a bit of the (alleged) understanding between Trump and John Kelly: Kelly keeps his mouth about Trump so long as Trump is in office and Trump in turn has nothing but polite things to say about John Kelly. That’s the art of the deal. Sasse has learned.

Those who used to admire him are letting him have it today for agreeing to that deal:

For Sasse, the past several months have represented something akin to surrender in the war for the soul of modern conservatism. More significant than his voting record is the evolution in Sasse’s tone about Trump and his increasingly long periods of silence. He’s gone to apparent pains not to be perceived as a Never Trumper or to become a face of the Republican resistance, mostly by flying below the radar and not speaking out against the president on Fox News. His once prolific personal Twitter account has been dark since May. He rarely engages with reporters seeking comment on the story of the day in the corridors of the Capitol.

During the first year of the Trump presidency, Sasse was often snarky about Trump’s apostasies. His office has released fewer such statements to the press over time, increasingly avoiding the president by name unless it’s a compliment. Last year, Sasse blasted Trump’s tariffs as “dumb.” Back home during the August recess, he was quoted by small-town papers speaking in a more cautious and measured way about the trade war. Sasse also didn’t speak out after Trump tried to bring the Taliban to Camp David on the eve of the 9/11 anniversary, for example, nor as the president fired fellow hawk John Bolton.

It was almost exactly one year ago today that Sasse admitted he thought about leaving the Trump-era GOP every single morning. A very quiet year later, he has the official Trump endorsement. Tim Miller wonders how Sasse reckons with that:

I bet he tells himself that playing ball with Trump is, in its own strange way, the best thing he can do for Conservative Principles. If he goes the Amash route and turns his back on Trump, he’ll certainly be primaried and might very well lose. Result: A Trump stooge ends up taking Sasse’s seat in the Senate and suddenly there’s even less resistance to POTUS in the chamber than there was before. With Sasse there, at least Nebraska’s vote might *conceivably* be used to check Trump in a big spot when he needs checking.

Except … that big spot already came and went in the border-wall matter and Sasse voted Trump’s way. So what’s really the difference between having him and a more forthright Trump stooge in the seat? With Sasse you at least get some half-hearted rhetorical gestures towards limited government, I suppose.

It bears remembering today that Sasse’s entire “brand” as a politician is that he doesn’t like being in the Senate. He’s a scholar at heart, a guy who writes books about social problems like loneliness which legislation can’t easily reach. He chatters endlessly in pox-on-both-their-houses fashion about gridlock and petty partisanship in the chamber. He’s not relegated to a career as a lobbyist after his Senate career either: He has attractive options in academia available to him potentially. Why would he want a second term when he hasn’t seemed to enjoy his first term, has few options (or inclination, seemingly) to move major legislation in an era when Congress is dominated by party leadership, and has to reconcile himself to post-tea-party Trumpism as a governing model as the price for keeping his seat? The answer can only be pure prestige, I think. You sacrifice whatever you need to sacrifice to keep a Senate seat, period.

The post Wait, what? Trump endorses … Ben Sasse? appeared first on Hot Air.

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The Media Has A Narrative To Tell, But More And More It Is Becoming Fiction

Westlake Legal Group EricaThomasEricSparkes-620x345 The Media Has A Narrative To Tell, But More And More It Is Becoming Fiction News National media bias Media journalism Georgia Front Page Stories Featured Story fake news Erica Thomas bias Allow Media Exception

Ga. State Rep. Erica Thomas (D) and Georgia resident Eric Sparkes (D). Screen grab via WSB-TV.

We can pretty much guarantee that, as far as the saga of Erica Thomas goes, the coverage has officially ended.

Yesterday, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported that a witness had come forward saying it was Thomas who verbally attacked Eric Sparkes and that she is the one who said “Go back where you came from.” It could very well be that, for lying to the police, Thomas could become the next Jussie Smollett, but it is more likely that this quietly goes away.

Thomas’s story, however, is a story that has become all-too-familiar in the last three years. The media, which has experienced a sudden revival in its urge to question authority and hold it accountable, has lept on every narrative that has proven just how bad Donald Trump is for our country and how toxic his presence has been.

CNN had to retract an entire story filled with made-up accusations about Trump associates. BuzzFeed has not retracted a story saying Michael Cohen told the special counsel Trump ordered him to lie to Congress, but Mueller’s office flat-out denied it and the claim appeared nowhere in Mueller’s report. Those two stories are no longer referred to by anyone, instead having been completely wiped from the memory of most in our media.

As soon as it was revealed that the kids from Covington Catholic did not stop a Native American man and verbally assault him, the story disappeared. People remember the division that came with Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, but few recall the number of frankly laughable accusations made by activists and pushed by attention-seeking media figures like Michael Avenatti. We conveniently that certain outlets reported on intelligence dossiers that were outright salacious tabloid fodder at best.

All of this has been put out since Trump took office, all with the underlying narrative of “Trump Is Toxic, Part One Thousand” and all had one trait in common: They were too good to be true.

It would have been absolutely perfect to the narrative had a bunch of Catholic school white boys wearing MAGA hats berated a person of color. It would have been outstandingly convenient if the pee tape were real. It would have just beautifully fit if Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted a number of women and the accusations came out right as he was up for nomination to the Supreme Court.

Too perfect. Every last story.

Our media operates under the theory of Agenda Setting. In the communications world, the theory is that mass media’s job is to set the agenda, the discussion points for the day, and that the rest of the media world would follow, trickling down until it was in the homes of every American who consumed the news. This theory, as it is practiced, assumes that CNN and the Washington Post and New York Times will start the day with what they feel is the most important topic of the day and everyone would follow.

To an extent, this theory does hold true. People on the left see the headlines and, usually, nod in agreement that this is truly the important thing to focus on. What they are really agreeing on is the angle with which the story is written – most aggressive is the angle that every story somehow, some way ties to Trump – and they will share the links approvingly.

People on the right, then, see the angle and they say “Why are you looking at it like this?” and they point out the obvious bias inherent in these angles (maybe, just maybe, Trump really has nothing to do with some of these issues, and maybe there isn’t always tumult in the White House whenever someone leaks something). So, writers and journalists on the right will then shift the focus of their audience to what they feel the priorities should be.

As you can guess, the result is the natural polarization of what the top stories should be and how they should be covered.

Erica Thomas’s story should not go away. It should be followed through until the end. She is a Democratic politician, a person in power, making her (theoretically) a person journalists should cover with scrutiny. That scrutiny, however, is far more likely to be saved for a time when a Republican does something similarly stupid.  Thomas should be out of a legislative job, and she should be encouraged by her party to just go ahead and sit it out for a long, long time. She won’t be, much like Virginia Governor Ralph Northam won’t be held accountable for wearing blackface and Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax won’t be for sexual assault allegations (those are two more stories that got nowhere near the coverage a Republican in similar situations would have gotten).

But, by all means, let us continue to run with stories that fit ever so neatly into preconceived notions, almost all of which have been debunked by this point because the reporting was sloppy. Journalists went into a story knowing how they wanted it to go and ignored key facts along the way that didn’t fit their ideas. It is journalistic malpractice, but it will keep happening with no real repercussions against anyone who commits these sins again (and again and again).

So, when you see journalists online getting mad over the term “fake news” being thrown around in a joking manner, remember that they themselves coined the term and then proceeded to literally write and promote stories that were actually fake news ever since. Until they learn their lessons from these stories, they will continue to earn the moniker for the remainder of Trump’s two terms.

The post The Media Has A Narrative To Tell, But More And More It Is Becoming Fiction appeared first on RedState.

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DCA and IAD among more than 300 airports to receive funding for improvements

Westlake Legal Group airports-reconstruction DCA and IAD among more than 300 airports to receive funding for improvements travel reconstruction News & Updates National IAD funding flights DCA airports airplane
© Rawpixel.com / stock.adobe.com

At the end of June, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced both Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles International will receive millions in funding from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The funding, amounting to about $11.6 million in total, is part of the FAA’s Airport Investment Program, which is a grant program that funds airport development projects to strengthen the nation’s aviation infrastructure. The collective funding granted in 2019 reaches $495 million and will be distributed on an as-need basis to over 300 airports in the United States.

According to the FAA’s most recent economic analysis conducted in 2014, civil aviation in the U.S. accounts for $1.6 trillion in total economic activity and supports nearly 11 million jobs. In Virginia and the District, the economic earnings reach nearly $5 million in total and support about 132 thousand jobs.

Reagan is set to receive $4.9 million to reconstruct airport aprons where aircrafts are packed, loaded, refueled and boarded, while Dulles will receive $6.7 million for reconstruction of an aircraft taxi lane between terminals, according to Athena W. Hernandez of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.

While a timeline, as well as what to expect of closures for the planned construction has yet to be announced, we will update readers as soon as information is released.

Want to stay up to date on all news affecting travel in the region? Subscribe to our semimonthly travel newsletter. 

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Trump: There’s a very interesting reason why Mike Pence mysteriously canceled his New Hampshire trip — which you’ll know in a few weeks

Westlake Legal Group mp Trump: There’s a very interesting reason why Mike Pence mysteriously canceled his New Hampshire trip — which you’ll know in a few weeks visit vice president Trump The Blog security pence New Hampshire National cancel

A follow-up to this headscratcher that only deepens the suspense. Mike Pence was on Air Force 2, ready to depart for New Hampshire on Tuesday for an event on opioids, when he was called back to the White House urgently. What was the emergency? Pence wouldn’t say. Neither would the White House. No one has leaked it to the media in the days since, which is uncharacteristic. Marc Short insisted cryptically at the time that it would be weeks before they’d be able to tell us. Now here’s the president acknowledging a “very interesting problem” that arose in New Hampshire — but he can’t tell us what it is either. Yet. W-w-w-what?

The Pence news broke right around the time news was breaking about 14 Russian sailors having died after their sub caught on fire, with Moscow being tight-lipped about the details. Was there an incident involving the United States that required the VP’s presence at a Situation Room meeting, maybe? Nope, says the White House. The issue with Pence was unrelated to national security. There was also news that morning that shots had been heard at Pease Air National Guard Base in … New Hampshire, where Pence was headed. Is that why the White House pulled the plug, because they got word before takeoff that Pence might be in danger? More from the New Hampshire Union Leader:

Last Tuesday, officials had said Pence’s cancellation was due to a “security” concern but Pence was never in any danger…

It was chalked up to an eerie coincidence last Tuesday when a short time after the Pence announcement, the Pease Air National Guard Base was placed on lock down for just over an hour after reports of gunshots being heard.

The coincidence was that the Pease airstrip was considered by law enforcement officials to be the backup location for Pence to land on Tuesday if for some reason they couldn’t use the intended arrival stop, a private commercial airstrip at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.

So maybe that explains it. The shooting started at Pease and the White House pulled the plug. Except … there was no shooting at Pease. It turned out to be a false alarm. Maybe Pence was called back before that became known, or out of an abundance of caution?

But if that’s the answer, why didn’t the White House just say that afterward instead?

And if there was a security issue, why didn’t local PD hear anything about it?

That was news to Salem Deputy Police Chief Joel Dolan, who said in an interview that if there had been a concern, local police would have been aware of it.

“We were not aware of any threats to the vice president or the facility,” Dolan said. “We would have known about it. It would have been addressed by us.”

Dolan said he was standing with Secret Service agents at about 11 a.m. when they received word that the vice president was not coming. Dolan said the agents, who conducted a sweep of the facility, seemed surprised, too.

Administration sources confirmed to WaPo that the issue with Pence was related to “a security concern in New Hampshire.” The Times added another detail in a story published a few days ago: “Multiple people … said it was related to the place Mr. Pence was scheduled to visit, the Granite Recovery Center, but they did not offer any details.” And the Union-Leader is interpreting what Trump and Short said about letting the public know in a few weeks to be a reference to criminal process, that everything might soon be made clear “in a court setting.” If that’s true then all signs point to there having been some sort of threat to the VP at the event which even Secret Service at the scene were unaware of. Maybe someone called in a bomb threat, the White House pulled the plug to be on the safe side, and now Trump and the rest of the administration are withholding comment lest anything they say be deemed prejudicial to the accused’s right to a fair trial. Seems like the likeliest explanation at this point, with a huge question mark remaining as to just how serious this threat was.

The post Trump: There’s a very interesting reason why Mike Pence mysteriously canceled his New Hampshire trip — which you’ll know in a few weeks appeared first on Hot Air.

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