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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 84)

Furor over Trump pardons as frustrated Barr weighs quitting

Westlake Legal Group image Furor over Trump pardons as frustrated Barr weighs quitting Howard Kurtz fox-news/columns/media-buzz fox news fnc/media fnc article 9c128302-786c-507e-afa7-809e7e77a29e

Donald Trump and his attorney general seem headed for a confrontation, just as the president is declaring himself the nation’s “chief law enforcement officer” and handing out controversial pardons.

As the Washington Post reported, and others have confirmed, William Barr “has told people close to President Trump — both inside and outside the White House — that he is considering quitting over Trump’s tweets about Justice Department investigations”—that’s according to three administration officials.

BLOOMBERG PLAYS DEFENSE AS THE MEDIA TRUMPET OPPO RESEARCH

Whether the leak suggests that Barr is reaching his breaking point or is just pushing back against his boss, the press is playing this as a high-noon showdown. After the AG said Trump’s constant tweets about Justice Department cases was making it “impossible” for him to do his job, the president tweeted again, pushing for a new trial for his convicted pal Roger Stone. (Barr’s department argued the opposite in court.)

While Barr’s spokeswoman says he has “no plans” to quit, that was a weak denial–you don’t have plans until you do it—that didn’t address what he’s been telling people. Trump told reporters he does indeed make Barr’s job harder, but he needs to use social media because it gives him a “voice” that the press denies him. (The press gives him plenty of voice, of course, but it’s not unfiltered.)

Sources told the Post that “Trump considers highlighting what he sees as misconduct at the FBI and Justice Department as a good political message.” This dovetails with my theory that his overriding goal is to appear strong—whether it’s against DOJ or the Dems, intel agencies or Iran—and let others debate the fine print.

If you take a step back, the president has been beating up on a whole bunch of people whose job is to enforce the law (Mueller, Comey, McCabe, Sessions, Judge Amy Berman Jackson) and defending a number of folks who have been convicted of crimes (Stone, Mike Flynn, Paul Manafort). And that list grew longer with the latest pardons and commutations.

SUBSCRIBE TO HOWIE’S MEDIA BUZZMETER PODCAST, A RIFF OF THE DAY’S HOTTEST STORIES

The New York Times called it a day when “the president asserted his dominance over a justice system that had long sought to insulate itself from political pressures.”

Rod Blagojevich, the former Democratic governor of Illinois who now calls himself a “Trump-o-crat,” is getting the most attention. The impeached ex-governor walked out of prison yesterday after the president commuted his 14-year sentence, with eight years served. Blago was once a contestant on “Celebrity Apprentice,” and Trump saw his wife pleading his case on Fox.

Blagojevich famously tried to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat after the 2008 election. “I’ve got this thing and it’s f***ing golden,” he declared in a wiretapped conversation. He wouldn’t give it away for “nothing.” Is there anything that strikes more at the heart of our system than that?

The president, criticized by some Illinois Republicans, tweeted that Blago “did not sell the Senate seat.” Yeah, because he got caught.

By the way, Blagojevich was also convicted of such offenses as shaking down the head of a children’s hospital for a $50,000 contribution in exchange for millions in funding for pediatric doctors to treat sick kids.

Trump also pardoned Michael Milken, the onetime junk bond king—I covered his indictment, brought by Rudy Giuliani—who did tremendous damage to the banking system. But he has turned into a major philanthropist, especially in cancer research. And he pardoned former New York police commissioner Bernie Kerik, a Giuliani associate, who was convicted of tax fraud and lying to White House officials.

It’s certainly fair game to criticize Trump for going outside the DOJ system and relying on friends and allies of those convicted. But the tone is out of proportion considering that other presidents have used (or abused) that constitutional power.

Bill Clinton pardoned his half-brother Roger, as well as Marc Rich, a financier who, outrageously, had fled the country.

George H.W. Bush pardoned six of his Reagan administration colleagues caught up in the Iran-contra scandal, including ex-Pentagon chief Caspar Weinberger as he was about to go to trial.

Barack Obama commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning, who leaked an avalanche of classified military secrets and endangered American lives, after seven years.

But those were largely treated as isolated incidents, while the press is linking the Trump pardons to a wholesale assault on the criminal justice system.

Westlake Legal Group image Furor over Trump pardons as frustrated Barr weighs quitting Howard Kurtz fox-news/columns/media-buzz fox news fnc/media fnc article 9c128302-786c-507e-afa7-809e7e77a29e   Westlake Legal Group image Furor over Trump pardons as frustrated Barr weighs quitting Howard Kurtz fox-news/columns/media-buzz fox news fnc/media fnc article 9c128302-786c-507e-afa7-809e7e77a29e

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Joe Biden’s closing debate remarks interrupted by immigrant-rights protesters

Westlake Legal Group AP20051119383436 Joe Biden's closing debate remarks interrupted by immigrant-rights protesters fox-news/us/immigration fox-news/politics/elections/presidential-debate fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox news fnc/politics fnc c1760096-d53d-5470-aad9-1925484cb34b Brie Stimson article

Protesters shouting “You deported three million people,” interrupted former Vice President Joe Biden’s closing remarks during the Democratic debate in Las Vegas on Wednesday night.

RAICES Action, an immigrant rights group, took credit for the protest in a Twitter post that referenced the Obama administration’s deportation record.

BLOOMBERG UNDER SIEGE AT CHAOTIC DEBATE DEBUT, AS WARREN ATTACKS FIELD IN BID TO REVIVE CAMPAIGN

The demonstrators also shouted “No kids in cages!” and “Don’t look away!” before they were removed from the theater, Vox reported.

“We disrupted the Democrat debate tonight because candidates have consistently refused to address the immigration crisis, and it’s simply not good enough,” the group said in a statement, according to The New York Times.

“We understand not everyone will agree with this form of protest, but we do this as a last resort: Thousands are locked in detention centers, over 60,000 who came here for asylum were sent back to Mexico under MPP, and they’re gutting over refugee programs. This is a humanitarian crisis.”

The group was among several organizations that wrote an open letter to the candidates before the debate, arguing the debates are ignoring the issue of immigration, The Times reported.

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For the first time last week, Biden said it was a “big mistake” to deport more than a million people without criminal records.

“We took far too long to get it right,” the former vice president said in an interview with Univision’s Jorge Ramos.

Immigrants’ rights protesters have interrupted Biden and other candidates at previous debates as well, The Times reported.

Westlake Legal Group AP20051119383436 Joe Biden's closing debate remarks interrupted by immigrant-rights protesters fox-news/us/immigration fox-news/politics/elections/presidential-debate fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox news fnc/politics fnc c1760096-d53d-5470-aad9-1925484cb34b Brie Stimson article   Westlake Legal Group AP20051119383436 Joe Biden's closing debate remarks interrupted by immigrant-rights protesters fox-news/us/immigration fox-news/politics/elections/presidential-debate fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox news fnc/politics fnc c1760096-d53d-5470-aad9-1925484cb34b Brie Stimson article

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Joe Biden’s closing debate remarks interrupted by immigrant-rights protesters

Westlake Legal Group AP20051119383436 Joe Biden's closing debate remarks interrupted by immigrant-rights protesters fox-news/us/immigration fox-news/politics/elections/presidential-debate fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox news fnc/politics fnc c1760096-d53d-5470-aad9-1925484cb34b Brie Stimson article

Protesters shouting “You deported three million people,” interrupted former Vice President Joe Biden’s closing remarks during the Democratic debate in Las Vegas on Wednesday night.

RAICES Action, an immigrant rights group, took credit for the protest in a Twitter post that referenced the Obama administration’s deportation record.

BLOOMBERG UNDER SIEGE AT CHAOTIC DEBATE DEBUT, AS WARREN ATTACKS FIELD IN BID TO REVIVE CAMPAIGN

The demonstrators also shouted “No kids in cages!” and “Don’t look away!” before they were removed from the theater, Vox reported.

“We disrupted the Democrat debate tonight because candidates have consistently refused to address the immigration crisis, and it’s simply not good enough,” the group said in a statement, according to The New York Times.

“We understand not everyone will agree with this form of protest, but we do this as a last resort: Thousands are locked in detention centers, over 60,000 who came here for asylum were sent back to Mexico under MPP, and they’re gutting over refugee programs. This is a humanitarian crisis.”

The group was among several organizations that wrote an open letter to the candidates before the debate, arguing the debates are ignoring the issue of immigration, The Times reported.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

For the first time last week, Biden said it was a “big mistake” to deport more than a million people without criminal records.

“We took far too long to get it right,” the former vice president said in an interview with Univision’s Jorge Ramos.

Immigrants’ rights protesters have interrupted Biden and other candidates at previous debates as well, The Times reported.

Westlake Legal Group AP20051119383436 Joe Biden's closing debate remarks interrupted by immigrant-rights protesters fox-news/us/immigration fox-news/politics/elections/presidential-debate fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox news fnc/politics fnc c1760096-d53d-5470-aad9-1925484cb34b Brie Stimson article   Westlake Legal Group AP20051119383436 Joe Biden's closing debate remarks interrupted by immigrant-rights protesters fox-news/us/immigration fox-news/politics/elections/presidential-debate fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox news fnc/politics fnc c1760096-d53d-5470-aad9-1925484cb34b Brie Stimson article

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Mardi Gras parade accident in New Orleans results in death of woman: report

A woman was run over and killed Wednesday night while trying to pass between two sections of a Mardi Gras parade float in New Orleans, according to a report.

The unidentified woman died around 9 p.m., a few blocks from the start of the parade, according to FOX 8 New Orleans.

LOUISIANA GIRL, 12, ABDUCTED FROM HOSPITAL BY GRANDMOTHER WITH GUN: DEPUTIES

The accident involved float No. 21, described as a double-decker design decorated with hot air balloons and flowers, NOLA.com reported.

Floats that followed No. 20 were halted, according to a Twitter message from NOLA Ready, the city’s emergency-preparedness site.

Richard Anderson, 42, a visitor from the Monroe area and one of several eyewitnesses, said it appeared the woman tried to walk between the two sections of the tandem float when she was run over.

Westlake Legal Group kreweparade-cropped-122am Mardi Gras parade accident in New Orleans results in death of woman: report Jack Durschlag fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/new-orleans fox news fnc/us fnc article 9e781041-43ce-5fc3-a863-9c2abdfd6b55

Emergency personnel work the scene after a person was run over and killed by a float in the Mystic Krewe of Nyx parade during Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020. (Associated Press)

Shortly after the accident, New Orleans police spoke with the driver of the float’s tractor’s driver, the report said. The float’s riders remained on board while the initial parts of the investigation took place.

New Orleans officials didn’t provide additional details about how the accident may have occurred.

The parade ended early following the death, the website reported.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell said at a news conference near the scene ending the parade early was the “proper thing to do.”

Nyx Captain Julie Lea offered her condolences to the victim’s loved ones, FOX 8 reported.

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“On such a a joyous night, this is obviously a tragic occurrence,” said Lea, through a spokesman. “The parade takes a back seat when something like this happens on the route. On behalf of the entire Krewe of Nyx, along with the city of New Orleans, we offer our most sincere condolences to the family and friends of the individual involved.”

During the same parade, another float honored Nancy Parker, the longtime FOX 8 anchor who died in a plane crash in August.

Nyx is the largest parade of the Mardi Gras season with 3,348 members and a total of 88 floats when counting the tandem floats as separate units the report said. An all-female krewe, its ridership has grown quickly since its founding in 2011.

Westlake Legal Group kreweparade-cropped-122am Mardi Gras parade accident in New Orleans results in death of woman: report Jack Durschlag fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/new-orleans fox news fnc/us fnc article 9e781041-43ce-5fc3-a863-9c2abdfd6b55   Westlake Legal Group kreweparade-cropped-122am Mardi Gras parade accident in New Orleans results in death of woman: report Jack Durschlag fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/new-orleans fox news fnc/us fnc article 9e781041-43ce-5fc3-a863-9c2abdfd6b55

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Alaska airman receives discipline for urinating in coffee maker: report

An Alaska-based airman was punished last week for reportedly peeing in an office coffee maker, according to a report.

The incident was reported in a newsletter written by the legal office of the Anchorage Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson on Feb. 13, although many of the details remained a mystery.

According to the newsletter, the Airman First Class violated two articles — one being Article 92, dereliction of duty, “for failure to refrain from urinating in the office coffee maker.”

WHAT ARE THE 5 LEAST POPULOUS US STATES?

<img src="https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2019/05/640/320/iStock-1142185864.jpg?ve=1&tl=1" alt="An Alaska based airman was reportedly punished for peeing in an office coffee maker, according to Task &amp; Purpose.
“>

An Alaska based airman was reportedly punished for peeing in an office coffee maker, according to Task &amp; Purpose.<br data-cke-eol=”1″> (iStock)

The airman also allegedly violated Article 86, absence without leave, for five days away from duty.

Due to his actions, the airman received a reduction to Airman Basic — the lowest enlisted rank in the United States Air Force (USAF). The airman also received a reprimand, although it was not clear what that entailed, according to Task & Purpose, a military-focused website.

AIR FORCE TO ALLOW UNIFORMED MEMBERS TO WEAR TURBANS, HIJABS, BEARDS IN NEW DRESS CODE UPDATE, OFFICIALS SAY

Five letters of reprimand were previously given to the airman, according to part of the newsletter, which was posted to the Air Force amn/nco/snco Facebook group.

The newsletter didn’t say if the previous reprimands were due to a lack of bladder control or poor judgment, although users replying to the post still had some fun making light of the alleged act.

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“It’s not about the money at this point, it’s about sending a message,” one user joked, referencing the famous Joker quote from “The Dark Knight.”

Westlake Legal Group iStock-1142185864 Alaska airman receives discipline for urinating in coffee maker: report fox-news/us/us-regions/west/alaska fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/us fnc dd1b06f5-8129-5008-8d7f-bee676c2631f David Aaro article   Westlake Legal Group iStock-1142185864 Alaska airman receives discipline for urinating in coffee maker: report fox-news/us/us-regions/west/alaska fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/us fnc dd1b06f5-8129-5008-8d7f-bee676c2631f David Aaro article

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Mary Anne Marsh: In fierce Democratic presidential debate, one winner and five losers

Westlake Legal Group image Mary Anne Marsh: In fierce Democratic presidential debate, one winner and five losers Mary Anne Marsh fox-news/politics/elections/presidential-debate fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/pete-buttigieg fox-news/person/michael-bloomberg fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/person/amy-klobuchar fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 4fc39ca6-b340-53f7-b910-c51a3ebd4694

Multibillionaire Mike Bloomberg landed in Las Vegas like a highly anticipated show on the Strip. But when he took to the stage with five competitors for the Democratic presidential nomination Wednesday night, their debate immediately became an Ultimate Fighting Championship match.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., landed the most blows and won the night. Warren would not be ignored or denied.

Warren flattened Bloomberg out of the gate using his own words against the former New York City mayor and he never recovered. As a result, voters got to see the real Warren, who was the front-runner last fall. And they saw the real Bloomberg, not the filtered one seen on paid TV ads and in social media.

BLOOMBERG UNDER SIEGE AT CHAOTIC DEBATE DEBUT, AS WARREN ATTACKS FIELD IN BID TO REVIVE CAMPAIGN

Warren’s strong performance helped her at a time when she needs it most and hurt Bloomberg so badly that he may not recover.

If you are a presidential candidate at this stage of the campaign and you aren’t helping yourself then you’re hurting yourself and losing ground. The other candidates on stage didn’t help themselves – and that means they hurt their prospects.

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There was one winner and five losers at the end of the debate – Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont; former Vice President Joe Biden; Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg; and Bloomberg, who turned out to be the biggest loser of all.

BIGGEST WINNER: Sen. Elizabeth Warren

With Bloomberg standing to her right Warren landed a left to the jaw with a shattering exchange using his own words about women against him. She then used his nondisclosure agreements, the stop-and-frisk tactic employed by police primarily against minorities when he was mayor, and his vast fortune estimated at more than $60 billion against him too.

Warren continued to hit Bloomberg by using his record as a weapon while she highlighting her own in stark contrast. Bloomberg was unable to respond effectively and his poor performance can’t be fixed by the hundreds of millions of dollars in ads he is buying.

But, that was just the start for Warren. She was determined to be heard and make her mark and she did just that.

Warren spent the debate drawing a sharp contrast with her opponents, making the case for herself for all to see, and laying out her plans. Most of all, Warren demonstrated once again that she could take on Trump and that may be the thing that helped her the most. That fiery Elizabeth Warren has been missing in debates and on the campaign trail of late and she came roaring back Wednesday night.

Warren comes out of this debate with a lot of momentum. If she can capitalize upon it then the results of three big contests from this Saturday to Super Tuesday will reflect it – and will put her back in race as the progressive capitalist.

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BIGGEST LOSER: Former Mayor Mike Bloomberg

Bloomberg’s performance was a disaster. He was not the Bloomberg of his ads in this debate – and that’s now a big problem for him. Spending hundreds of millions of dollars on ads has bought Bloomberg name recognition, good poll numbers and a pole position in the debate – but no amount of money can guarantee a great debate performance.

And that was the case Wednesday night. Voters will see clips of this performance on TV and read about it for days, and it will seriously hurt Bloomberg’s standing in the presidential nomination race.

Warren exposed the real Michael Bloomberg and it was not a pretty picture. It was Warren’s relentless challenge to Bloomberg on a host of issues – including his treatment of women who worked for him and his refusal to release them from nondisclosure agreements – as well as his treatment of people of color with his stop-and-frisk policy.

Bloomberg’s attempts to apologize and explain only made the situation worse. His apology came off as more about convenience than sincerity – and that will register with voters too.

Finally, Bloomberg also sounded a lot like President Trump when asked about releasing his tax returns, raising issues about his lack of transparency. Bloomberg leaned on the fact that he entered the presidential nominating race late, after a deliberate decision to skip the first four contests that require retail politics and the vetting he was experiencing during the televised debate.

By the time Bloomberg releases his tax returns, it will likely be after the Super Tuesday primaries March 3, after a big chunk of primary votes will have been cast. When you add the issue of his taxes to his treatment of women and people of color, Bloomberg will seem a lot more like Trump than the guy who can beat Trump to a lot of voters following his weak debate performance.

LOSER: Sen. Bernie Sanders

Sanders is the front-runner in the polls and in a close second place in the competition for delegates following the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, but he missed the chance to put this race away with a strong performance Wednesday night.

Instead, the self-described democratic socialist who represents Vermont was repeatedly questioned about his lack of transparency regarding his medical records, his recent heart attack and the cost of his “Medicare-for-all” plan. All this could hurt him.

Clearly, Sanders has decided it is better to take the heat than release his complete medical records in addition to letters he has provided from doctors. But the issue of transparency could hamper Sanders in the remainder of this race.

It wasn’t a bad performance by Sanders. He hit Buttigieg early in the debate – a smart move since Buttigieg is cutting into Sanders’ support among young voters.

Sanders also hit Bloomberg at points in the second hour of the debate. But that didn’t make up for the hits Sanders took early in the night.

The question is whether the lack of transparency by Sanders on several fronts takes hold and hurts him in future contests. We will find out in the next two weeks. If not, then Sanders could continue to add to his delegate count and that could give him an insurmountable lead when the results come in on Super Tuesday.

LOSER: Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg

Buttigieg is the leader in delegates at this early stage from his strong finish in Iowa and New Hampshire. He used the debate to land a few blows on Sanders, with whom he’s locked in a delegate fight. The former mayor also hit Klobuchar, who he is competing with for moderate voters.

While Buttigieg didn’t hurt himself that also means he didn’t help himself. We will see how that factors into the results of the Nevada caucuses Saturday, but the debate was a missed opportunity for him to solidify his status as the early front-runner in the delegate count.

In addition, Buttigieg and Klobuchar had a number of exchanges in their fight for moderate voters. In fact, Klobuchar cost Buttigieg a win in New Hampshire and that dynamic is unlikely to change after Wednesday night’s debate. It was a good but subtle strategy on a night that called for stronger performance by Buttigieg to accelerate his momentum in this race.

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LOSER: Sen. Amy Klobuchar

Klobuchar’s last strong debate performance helped her raise $12 million in badly needed campaign contributions and go from the back of the pack to win third place in the New Hampshire primary.

But the senator from Minnesota didn’t deliver that kind of performance Wednesday night. Instead, we saw the Klobuchar of previous debates rather than the star performer of the last debate that gave her the momentum and most undecided voters in the last 72 hours of the New Hampshire primary campaign.

Klobuchar’s challenge will be to convince Nevada voters and a national audience that her performance wasn’t a one-hit-wonder.

LOSER: Former Vice President Joe Biden

Biden’s sights may be set on the Feb. 29 South Carolina primary – where he is counting on strong support from the large number of African-American voters – but he needed to roll the dice to deliver a strong performance Wednesday night to look like a winner.

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Instead, Biden did nothing to help himself. He looked like a tourist in Las Vegas rather than someone who should own the stage. Biden did little if anything to reassure voters he’s the best one to take on Trump or stem his slide in the polls. And that’s more bad news for Biden in this race.

Nevada voters began early caucusing this week and when we see results of their caucuses Saturday we will have a stronger indication of where the Democratic nomination battle is headed.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY MARY ANNE MARSH

Westlake Legal Group image Mary Anne Marsh: In fierce Democratic presidential debate, one winner and five losers Mary Anne Marsh fox-news/politics/elections/presidential-debate fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/pete-buttigieg fox-news/person/michael-bloomberg fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/person/amy-klobuchar fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 4fc39ca6-b340-53f7-b910-c51a3ebd4694   Westlake Legal Group image Mary Anne Marsh: In fierce Democratic presidential debate, one winner and five losers Mary Anne Marsh fox-news/politics/elections/presidential-debate fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/pete-buttigieg fox-news/person/michael-bloomberg fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/person/amy-klobuchar fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 4fc39ca6-b340-53f7-b910-c51a3ebd4694

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Buttigieg suggests that ‘maybe’ Bloomberg ‘should step aside’ over campaign memo

Westlake Legal Group mayorpete-mayormike-split-149am Buttigieg suggests that ‘maybe’ Bloomberg ‘should step aside’ over campaign memo Peter Doocy Paul Steinhauser fox-news/politics/elections/presidential-debate fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/politics fox-news/person/pete-buttigieg fox-news/person/michael-bloomberg fox-news/person/amy-klobuchar fox news fnc/politics fnc article 57d80ffb-7bb2-58b6-8292-d860506c2d51

LAS VEGAS – Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg joined 2020 nomination rival Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota in slamming a memo by Michael Bloomberg‘s campaign that called for Buttigieg, Klobuchar and former Vice President Joe Biden to drop out of the race so Democrats could consolidate around the former New York City mayor as the moderate alternative to populist Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

“If he thinks there’s gotta be one alternative to Bernie Sanders, I suppose we could find common ground on that. Maybe he should step aside and the person who has the most delegates move on,” Buttigieg, a former mayor of South Bend, Ind., told Fox News in the spin room following Wednesday night’s prime time Democratic debate in Nevada.

The Bloomberg campaign memo emphasized that “if Biden, Buttigieg, and Klobuchar remain in the race despite having no path to appreciably collecting delegates on Super Tuesday (and beyond), they will propel Sanders to a seemingly insurmountable delegate lead by siphoning votes away from [Bloomberg].”

BLOOMBERG REPEATEDLY COMES UNDER ATTACK AS 2020 DEMOCRATS TANGLE IN LAS VEGAS

Sanders is soaring in the polls after basically tying Buttigieg in the Iowa caucuses and winning last week’s New Hampshire primary. Biden – the onetime unrivaled front-runner in the race – has seen his poll numbers swoon after disappointing fourth- and fifth-place finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire.

The memo was released hours before Bloomberg faced off against the Democratic White House rivals for the first time.

Taking aim at the billionaire business and media mogul during the debate, Klobuchar insisted she would not “step aside.”

“I’ve been told many times to wait my turn and to step aside, and I’m not going to do that now,” she said.

Klobuchar was asked about the memo in an interview with Fox News after the debate.

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“I don’t think that’s really the way to make friends and influence people,” she said of Bloomberg’s campaign. “You’re trying to lead a party and that means bring in people with you. And I was just shocked.

“I am literally the one who said he should be on the debate state,” she added. “To see that memo this morning just made no sense.”

Westlake Legal Group mayorpete-mayormike-split-149am Buttigieg suggests that ‘maybe’ Bloomberg ‘should step aside’ over campaign memo Peter Doocy Paul Steinhauser fox-news/politics/elections/presidential-debate fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/politics fox-news/person/pete-buttigieg fox-news/person/michael-bloomberg fox-news/person/amy-klobuchar fox news fnc/politics fnc article 57d80ffb-7bb2-58b6-8292-d860506c2d51   Westlake Legal Group mayorpete-mayormike-split-149am Buttigieg suggests that ‘maybe’ Bloomberg ‘should step aside’ over campaign memo Peter Doocy Paul Steinhauser fox-news/politics/elections/presidential-debate fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/politics fox-news/person/pete-buttigieg fox-news/person/michael-bloomberg fox-news/person/amy-klobuchar fox news fnc/politics fnc article 57d80ffb-7bb2-58b6-8292-d860506c2d51

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5 Takeaways From The Nevada Democratic Presidential Debate

The Democratic presidential candidates didn’t come to the debate Wednesday in Las Vegas to be nice.

The feistiest debate of the 2020 presidential election cycle came three days before the Nevada caucuses, and it’s understandable why. The first two contests of the primary race, in Iowa and New Hampshire, were a wash. And in two weeks, a third of all the delegates in the Democratic primary will be decided in one day, likely sealing the fate of most of the candidates in the race.

There were six presidential candidates on the debate stage in Nevada: former Vice President Joe Biden, billionaire media mogul Michael Bloomberg, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). Each one still sees a path to the White House, but the clock is ticking.

It was Bloomberg’s first Democratic debate. The former Republican New York City mayor made it on the debate stage after the Democratic Party changed the qualification rules to focus more on poll numbers instead of grassroots donations (Bloomberg is self-funding). From the get-go, the other Democrats on the stage made it clear Bloomberg wasn’t getting a first-timer’s free pass.

“So I’d like to talk about who we’re running against: a billionaire who calls women ‘fat broads’ and ‘horse-faced lesbians’ — and, no, I’m not talking about Donald Trump. I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg,” Warren said in her first remark of the night. 

But then again, the candidates weren’t giving any of their fellow competitors a free pass either. Warren went after just about everyone on stage — twice over. Buttigieg seemed to have it out for Sanders and Klobuchar. And Biden and Sanders took their turns punching at Bloomberg, like the rest of them.

Here are five takeaways from Wednesday’s debate:

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John Locher/ASSOCIATED PRESS Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) try to get in their time at the Democratic presidential primary debate Wednesday in Las Vegas.

Bloomberg took a punch. And another punch. And then another one. And another one.

People of color, women and his exorbitant wealth: the three areas of Bloomberg’s record that came under attack Wednesday night. And the attacks were unrelenting and from every direction.

Sanders got to take the first swing at Bloomberg: He went after Bloomberg’s record on police policy when he was New York mayor. Namely, the stop-and-frisk policy, the directive to police to stop, question and search suspicious people that disproportionately targeted Black and brown teenagers. It increased sevenfold under Bloomberg’s tenure from 2002 to 2013.

“Mr. Bloomberg had policies in New York City of stop-and-frisk that [targeted] African American and Latino people in an outrageous way,” Sanders said. “That is not how you’re going to grow voter turnout.”

Warren and Biden took their turns. They hit Bloomberg on stop-and-frisk and his record with women. Over the past several decades, 64 women have brought forward nearly 40 sex discrimination and sexual harassment lawsuits against Bloomberg and his company. Women at Bloomberg LP have reportedly been bound by nondisclosure agreements (NDAs), which Bloomberg refused to break when pressed on the debate stage.

“He has gotten some number of women ― dozens, who knows ― to sign nondisclosure agreements, both for sexual harassment and for gender discrimination in the workplace,” Warren said. “So, Mr. Mayor, are you willing to release all of those women from those nondisclosure agreements, so we can hear their side of the story?”

Biden pressed on the NDA issue further.

“Look, let’s get something straight here. It’s easy. All the mayor has to do is say, “You are released from the nondisclosure agreement,” period,” Biden said. “You think the women, in fact, were ready to say I don’t want anybody to know about what you did to me? That’s not how it works. The way it works is they say, look, this is what you did to me, and the mayor comes along and his attorneys said, I will give you this amount of money if you promise you will never say anything. That’s how it works.” 

Bloomberg should have expected these hits. His record with communities of color, his wealth, and his record with women have all come under intense scrutiny in the last week. Yet he appeared unprepared on all fronts. He was muted in his defense of stop-and-frisk policies. He chalked up the harassment complaints to “maybe they didn’t like a joke I told,” refusing to free the women at his companies from the NDAs they’d signed, and didn’t have an answer for why he has yet to release his tax returns other than to say he’s working on it.

“Remember, I only entered this race 10 weeks ago,” Bloomberg said. “All of my associates here have been at this for a couple of years.”

That only opened him up to further attack.

“That’s right, we have,” Buttigieg jumped back. “Engaging with voters and humbling ourselves to the backyards and diners.”

Elizabeth Warren came ready to fight.

Westlake Legal Group 5e4e16052300003103ddcafc 5 Takeaways From The Nevada Democratic Presidential Debate

John Locher/ASSOCIATED PRESS Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) wasn’t the only one to take a jab at debate stage newcomer Mike Bloomberg, but she hit him early and hard.

No one was holding back, but Warren was in a particular fighting mood, and it was a notable shift from past debates.

Her hits on Bloomberg were numerous and incisive, but on multiple occasions, Warren literally went down the line of competitors alongside her on stage, picking apart their campaigning styles, records and policy platforms.

“Mayor Buttigieg really has a slogan that was thought up by his consultants to paper over a thin version of a plan that would leave millions of people unable to afford their health care,” Warren said of his so-called “Medicare for All Who Want It” public option plan. “It’s not a plan; it’s a PowerPoint. And Amy’s plan is even less. It’s like a Post-it note, insert plan here.”

Warren later added Klobuchar’s plan was only “two paragraphs” to really drive the point home. 

She even took a jab — albeit a smaller one — at Sanders, whom she has often buddied up with on the debate stage. 

“Bernie has started very much — has a good start. But instead of expanding and bringing in more people to help, instead his campaign relentlessly attacks everyone who asks a question or tries to fill in details about how to actually make this work. And then his own advisers say, eh, probably won’t happen anyway.”

Warren has had a hard time finding her footing in the race. She had an epic rise in early fall of 2019, when her brand as the woman with the “plans” made her look like a favorite for the early contests in Iowa and New Hampshire. Then her support fled to other candidates, such as Buttigieg and Klobuchar. And her third- and fourth-place finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire, respectively, stifled any momentum she had in earlier months of campaigning.

Warren’s campaign made it clear that they see this primary process in the long term, and Warren herself made it clear that she’s not standing down.

Buttigieg and Klobuchar really don’t seem to like each other.

It’s been clear for a couple of debates that Klobuchar and Buttigieg have some sourness toward each other. Early on, Klobuchar questioned whether Buttigieg had the experience to hold the nation’s highest office. 

On Wednesday night, Buttigieg seemed to imply Klobuchar didn’t have the intelligence, highlighting a moment last week when the senator couldn’t name the president of Mexico.

“You’re staking your candidacy on your Washington experience,” Buttigieg said. “You’re on the committee that oversees border security. You’re on the committee that does trade. You’re literally in part of the committee that’s overseeing these things and were not able to speak to literally the first thing about the politics of the country to our south.”

“Are you trying to say that I’m dumb? Or are you mocking me here, Pete?” Klobuchar retorted. 

And that wasn’t the only tense moment between the two. 

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John Locher/ASSOCIATED PRESS Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) got into a dust-up with Pete Buttigieg over a gaffe last week about the name of Mexico’s mayor.

The “Medicare For All” fight you have definitely heard before isn’t going anywhere.

Like at every Democratic debate, the health care fight Wednesday was about “Medicare for All,” and, drum roll please, how the country can pay for it.

Buttigieg seemed most eager to pick this fight with Sanders, especially in light of recent news about the Culinary Workers Union — a powerful organizing force in Nevada that said it received harassing messages from Sanders supporters after signaling to its members that Medicare for All would be bad for them. 

“We can actually deliver health care without taking it away from anyone,” Buttigieg said. “And we can build a movement without having legions of our supporters online and in person attacking Democratic figures and union leaders alike.”

Buttigieg brought up the subject again later in the debate, focusing on the cost of Medicare for All. 

“He’s said that it’s impossible to even know how much it’s going to cost, and even after raising taxes on everybody making $29,000, there is still a multitrillion-dollar hole,” Buttigieg said.  

For close watchers of the debate, Buttigieg is repeating an attack that Sanders, and Warren, have confronted before. As proposed, Sanders’ Medicare for All plan, which would move all Americans to a single government-run health insurance program, is more generous than most private-sector plans. He has not identified a payment plan but instead cites a list of possible taxes he supports. And for unions with even stronger health care plans, Sanders has since said he would include a provision mandating companies with union-negotiated health plans to enter contract negotiations under the National Labor Relations Board.

Democrats have been in a seemingly never-ending debate about the appropriate future of health care in the United States. That fight doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

Bernie Sanders isn’t going anywhere either.

Sanders is a leading candidate. He’s rising in the polls. He looks poised to win the caucuses in Nevada and have a strong showing on Super Tuesday, March 3. 

Sanders faced some difficult subjects. He was met with familiar attacks on his health care plan and his self-proclaimed democratic socialism. And he was asked yet again to answer for angry online supporters. 

“We have over 10.6 million people on Twitter, and 99.9% of them are decent human beings, are working people, are people who believe in justice, compassion and love,” Sanders said. “And if there are a few people who make ugly remarks, who attack trade union leaders, I disown those people. They are not part of our movement.”

But Sanders was doing just as much of the attacking Wednesday. He came to the debate already a winner of a primary contest and with the momentum behind him.

Seeing how feisty the rest of the field was, it’s clear that some of the other candidates got that message, too: If things continue as they are, the race could consolidate around Sanders in a couple of weeks. 

Or it could be completely up for grabs.

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Coronavirus claims lives of 2 Diamond Princess passengers from Japan, health officials say

Westlake Legal Group image Coronavirus claims lives of 2 Diamond Princess passengers from Japan, health officials say fox-news/world/world-regions/japan fox-news/travel/general/cruises fox-news/travel fox-news/newsedge/health fox-news/health/infectious-disease/coronavirus fox-news/health/infectious-disease fox news fnc/health fnc db0da7a8-1a90-50ba-a080-6bbf596116c3 Brie Stimson article

Two passengers from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship docked off Yokohama, Japan, have died of coronavirus, Japan’s health ministry said Thursday.

The Japanese man and woman, both in their 80s, reportedly had existing chronic diseases. They were the first among the ship’s passengers to die from the disease, officials said.

Both passengers were removed from the ship last week and hospitalized.

QUARANTINED AMERICAN ON TESTING POSITIVE THEN NEGATIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS

Japan now has three coronavirus-related deaths.

The 621 confirmed coronavirus cases among the cruise ship’s 3,711 passengers represent the largest outbreak outside China. The Diamond Princess has been under a two-week quarantine since Feb. 5.

“COVID-19 is not 100 percent known, and a lot of people got infected on the Diamond Princess. Taking those factors into consideration, we believe taking extra caution will contribute to preventing the risk of future infections,” Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said of passengers allowed to leave the ship after testing negative for the virus. He urged them to stay home for two weeks.

Hundreds of Americans on the ship were evacuated by the State Department on Sunday and Monday, including several who tested positive for the virus but showed no symptoms. They are being quarantined for another 14 days at military bases in California and Texas, except for some who were removed to hospitals, including 13 moved to a quarantine unit at the University of Nebraska Health Center.

The Japanese government started removing passengers from the ship this week and by Wednesday at least 500 were off the ship.

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As of Wednesday evening, more than 75,700 have been infected and 2,128 have died. Of those, 16,465 have recovered, according to Worldometers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group image Coronavirus claims lives of 2 Diamond Princess passengers from Japan, health officials say fox-news/world/world-regions/japan fox-news/travel/general/cruises fox-news/travel fox-news/newsedge/health fox-news/health/infectious-disease/coronavirus fox-news/health/infectious-disease fox news fnc/health fnc db0da7a8-1a90-50ba-a080-6bbf596116c3 Brie Stimson article   Westlake Legal Group image Coronavirus claims lives of 2 Diamond Princess passengers from Japan, health officials say fox-news/world/world-regions/japan fox-news/travel/general/cruises fox-news/travel fox-news/newsedge/health fox-news/health/infectious-disease/coronavirus fox-news/health/infectious-disease fox news fnc/health fnc db0da7a8-1a90-50ba-a080-6bbf596116c3 Brie Stimson article

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Germany hookah shooting suspect found dead, authorities say, after 2 attacks leave 8 dead, 5 wounded

A suspect linked to two separate shootings in Hanau, Germany, that left at least eight people dead and five others wounded Wednesday was found dead in his home, along with another corpse, according to a report Thursday morning.

“The suspected perpetrator was found lifeless at his residential address in Hanau. Police special forces also found another corpse at the site. The investigations continue. Currently, there are no indications of further perpetrators,” German police said on Twitter.

The shootings took place around 10 p.m. Wednesday at two hookah bars in different parts of the city, according to local media and The Associated Press. 

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In the first incident, a suspect or suspects reportedly opened fire at a hookah bar in Hanau’s downtown, killing three people, DW.com, Deutsche Welle’s website reported. The suspects then allegedly drove to the Kesselstadt neighborhood and opened fire in a second establishment, killing five additional people.

The area was sealed off by authorities while special forces searched for the suspects, who were believed to have fled.

A dark vehicle was reportedly seen leaving the scene of the first shooting before the second shooting was reported at a different site.

Witnesses told police they heard eight or nine gunshots and saw at least one victim lying on the ground.

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Ali Mengücek, 49, who has lived in the area of the shooting for the past 40 years, said he was walking home with his two children when he saw four men – “all quite tall and fairly young,” perhaps 40 or under, the website reported.

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A special forces officer guards the road in front of a house that is searched through by police in Hanau, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. (Associated Press)

He said they were standing in groups of two, about 100 feet apart . He walked in between them, telling his two girls to pick up the pace.

“I live about 50 meters past where they were standing. When I got home and shut the door, then I heard the six shots. I believe this was six or seven minutes after I had walked past with my two little children. I then opened the window, people were running back and forth and screaming. Within about five minutes, police were on the scene,” Mengücek said.

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About two hours later he spotted ammunition on the road and reported it to the police.

Hanau is a city of 100,000 residents in the state of Hesse, some 15 miles east of Frankfurt.

Fox News’ Nick Givas and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group hookah-shooter-cropped-1235am Germany hookah shooting suspect found dead, authorities say, after 2 attacks leave 8 dead, 5 wounded Jack Durschlag fox-news/world/world-regions/germany fox-news/world fox-news/us/crime/mass-murder fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/world fnc article 799109d0-aa22-5353-b5e9-8fe33d54003f   Westlake Legal Group hookah-shooter-cropped-1235am Germany hookah shooting suspect found dead, authorities say, after 2 attacks leave 8 dead, 5 wounded Jack Durschlag fox-news/world/world-regions/germany fox-news/world fox-news/us/crime/mass-murder fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/world fnc article 799109d0-aa22-5353-b5e9-8fe33d54003f

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