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An in-depth look at finding and keeping love in Northern Virginia

Westlake Legal Group edom-seifu-in-yellow-blazer An in-depth look at finding and keeping love in Northern Virginia Women tips single Romantic romance Politics political party political parties men love issue Love January cover discussion dating scene dating dates date Culture Features Culture cultural reads cover story Couples
Edom Seifu, 28, has experience in the dating scene of the DC region. (Photo by Christin Boggs Peyper)

Looking for Love

Fun fact: The DC region has the highest population of single people in the entire country. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to find a great date.

It’s not your imagination. There are more single people living in the DC metro area than anywhere else in the country. In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 70% of the adult population is single—that’s 20% higher than any other region in the country. The DC metro area also has the highest percentage of adults under the age of 40—76.6% of men and 76% of women—who have never been married, according to the U.S. Census.

So, why is it so hard to find a date in the DC metro area?

Two reasons, says Amber Artis, vice president of matchmaking at LUMA Luxury Matchmaking: It’s a transient city and a highly educated city where people are laser-focused on their careers.

It’s also a small city where it’s easy to bump into the same people. “People come to me and express that DC is a small city, so they know everyone here and keep running into the same type of person over and over again,” says Callie Harris, senior matchmaker and client experience manager at Three Day Rule, a matchmaking company.

Edom Seifu, 28, is familiar with these frustrations. After graduating from the University of Virginia in 2014, she moved back to Alexandria, where she grew up, and then ended a long-term relationship. For the past five years, she has been trying to date in DC, with mixed results.

Seifu finds dating apps like Tinder and Coffee Meets Bagel slightly off-putting. “My first couple of encounters was some random compliment that seems meaningless and that is a huge turnoff,” says Seifu, who works at a management consulting firm. “It’s hard to make witty banter with someone you’ve never met. I’d rather meet in person for coffee or drinks.” But, that might never happen if you’re using a dating app because, according to Pew Research Center, one-third of the people who use online dating apps have never actually gone on a date with someone they met on those sites.

Seifu is open to meeting someone through friends but worries that “mixing friendship with dating gets messy.” She also tried speed dating but found there were more women than men at the event and she had to sit out for three of 20, four-minute speed-dating rounds. She also didn’t meet anyone she wanted to date.

There is a common belief—fueled by a 2015 article in The Atlantic’s CityLab—that there are more single women than men in the DC metro area. According to that article, there are 65,000 more single women than men in DC.

Michael Karlan, president of Professionals in the City, the company that runs the speed-dating event that Seifu attended, disagrees with this blanket assessment and says it depends on the age group. For instance, he says, events for men in their 20s often attract more single men than women. “If you’re a 21- to 23-year-old woman, you have a wide range of guys you can date,” Karlan says. “But guys in that age range are pretty limited because older women don’t want to date you and women your age are being pursued by older men.” Professionals in the City has 200,000 members in the DC area, Karlan says, and it’s fairly evenly split across gender.

One of the advantages to dating in DC is few people are actually from this area. When you move to other cities, like New York City and Los Angeles, you will meet people who are surrounded by friends they’ve had since high school, Karlan says. “That’s not the case in DC,” he says. “Everyone is looking to meet new people.”

Crossing Party Lines

Political affiliation has always been on the dating radar in this town. But in the age of Trump—and extreme partisan politics—it’s become a dating deal breaker.

It’s not uncommon for DC singles to spend their 20s and 30s focused on their careers or pursuing an advanced degree, and then suddenly realize, as they’re about to turn 40, that they haven’t given much thought to their personal lives, says Amber Artis, vice president of matchmaking at LUMA Luxury Matchmaking.

It’s also not uncommon for people to leave the DC area after five or 10 years, so Artis sometimes matches DC residents with someone living in New York City or Philadelphia, especially if they aren’t planning on making DC their home.

And, in fact, some DC residents—particularly men—will actually ask to be matched with someone who lives in New York City because they don’t want to marry, as one client said, “a buttoned-up career woman who is politically inclined,” says Lisa Clampitt, founder of Lisa Clampitt Matchmaking.

Think pantsuit-wearing Hillary Clinton versus former fashion model Melania Trump.
“They want to date someone who isn’t as political, business-savvy and conservative,” Clampitt says. “They think looking to New York City will give them more international, fashionable and sexy choices.” Most of these men, Clampitt says, are over 40 and want to date younger women.

Regardless of age, politics has become the No. 1 deal breaker for romance in DC—even more of a turnoff than smoking, Artis says. Ten years ago, politics wasn’t a core dating value like career, religion and finances, but since 2016, politics has become a value matchmakers screen for, Clampitt says.

And it’s not just Democrats avoiding Trump supporters. Even Republican women are telling Artis that they can’t date a Trump supporter. That could be another reason DC men want to date women from New York City. “In DC, it’s hard to find people who don’t care about politics,” Clampitt says. “In New York City, you can find people who don’t care.”

In fact, Michael Karlan, president of Professionals in the City, says singles’ events specifically geared to Republicans typically have a stronger turnout than those for Democrats. Republicans are harder to find in a city like DC, which tends to be more progressive and liberal, he says. “You can find a Democrat anywhere in the city.”

Even if you find someone who does share your love of politics, Clampitt recommends avoiding the topic, especially on a first date. “There is nothing less romantic,” she says.

Westlake Legal Group couple-cheersing-at-dinner An in-depth look at finding and keeping love in Northern Virginia Women tips single Romantic romance Politics political party political parties men love issue Love January cover discussion dating scene dating dates date Culture Features Culture cultural reads cover story Couples
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8 Tips for a Great Date

“I always tell people you can be your own matchmaker, you just have to keep your eyes open,” says Amber Artis, vice president of matchmaking at LUMA Luxury Matchmaking. Here, Artis and other dating experts share their best advice for dating success.

1. Dress like you’re going on a date
Leave your work persona at work when you’re meeting someone for a date and wear something festive, says Lisa Clampitt, founder of Lisa Clampitt Matchmaking. Leave the pantsuit at home.

2. Talk about feelings, not facts
Don’t treat a date like a job interview. Instead of asking your date about their career or where they live, ask them more engaging questions, such as, “What was the craziest vacation you ever went on?” or “Tell me about a life-changing moment,” Clampitt suggests. If someone starts telling you about their career, ask them if they like what they do and why, says Michael Karlan, president of Professionals in the City.

3. Know your story
No one likes awkward silences on the first date, so Karlan recommends having a few anecdotal tales about yourself that you can share if the conversation slows down. Keep in mind, if you bring up a topic and the discussion gets boring or runs its course, don’t be afraid to change the topic, he says.

4. Don’t just talk, engage in an activity
Sitting down for lunch or coffee feels too much like another meeting. Instead, go somewhere and do something together—ax throwing, an art opening, a walk through a neighborhood. When you participate in an activity together, you engage on a different level and that activity can make you feel more flirtatious and curious, Clampitt says.

“Coffee dates are something we do with our co-workers and friends when we’re catching up,” says Callie Harris, senior matchmaker and client experience manager at matchmaking company Three Day Rule. “They aren’t romantic.”

5. Say yes more often
Just being more open to opportunities will help you meet more people. Make eye contact and smile more, Artis says. “Say yes more than you say no,” Harris says. Agree to go to events, let your friends introduce you to their friends, go on a blind date.

6. Meet people face-to-face
While apps and online dating are a great way to meet new people, it’s important to meet people in real life. “A lot of people get comfortable being behind a cell phone but aren’t as comfortable face to face,” Karlan says. Don’t try to flirt by text message with a woman you just met because your intentions might be misconstrued, Artis says.

7. Find your tribe
Find someone you want to date through activities you enjoy, Artis says. “If you’re not a party person, don’t go to a bar,” she says. “Think about the type of person you see yourself with and where you might find that person.”

8. January is ripe for dating
The busiest time for singles’ events at Professionals in the City is between New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day, Karlan says. “People make New Year’s resolutions to meet someone, and people don’t want to be single on Valentine’s Day.”

This post originally appeared in the cover story of our January 2020 print issue. For more content surrounding life in Northern Virginia, subscribe to our newsletters.

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AOC Blames the California Wildfires on “Climate Change,” but the Internet Isn’t Having It

Westlake Legal Group AlexandriaOcasioCortez-June2019-620x317 AOC Blames the California Wildfires on “Climate Change,” but the Internet Isn’t Having It Wildfires Politics Green New Deal Front Page Stories environment democrats Climate Change Climate California AOC Allow Media Exception Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., listens during questioning at a House Oversight and Reform committee hearing on facial recognition technology in government, Tuesday, June 4, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

There’s a pattern with New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. A natural event happens — it doesn’t matter much what kind of event it is — and her immediate reaction is to blame it on “climate change.” It’s a knee-jerk reaction that was, frankly, worn to death by climate alarmists before her like Al Gore and Bill Nye.

On Monday, AOC sent out a tweet blaming the wildfires ravaging parts of California right now on “climate change,” stating that this is what “climate change” looks like and even throwing in a hit on the un-scientific nature of the Republicans for good measure.

Naturally, it ended with a time frame for us to fix it and a promotion of the Green New Deal.

“This is what climate change looks like,” tweeted AOC. “The GOP like to mock scientific warnings about climate change as exaggeration. But just look around: it’s already starting. We have 10 years to cut carbon emissions in half. If we don’t, scenes like this can get much worse.”

The problem with this statement is that California wildfires aren’t anything new. In fact, Capital Public Radio has a visual timeline that shows just how wildfires have hit California dating back well before the 1950s. Like any natural disaster, wildfires are worse in some years than they are others.

This picture below shows an accumulated map of wildfires that date back to 1878 all the way up to 1950.

Westlake Legal Group Capture-3 AOC Blames the California Wildfires on “Climate Change,” but the Internet Isn’t Having It Wildfires Politics Green New Deal Front Page Stories environment democrats Climate Change Climate California AOC Allow Media Exception Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

The idea that humans are causing wildfires due to their effect on the planet is incredibly shaky.

While many of AOC’s online group of trained seals applauded and cheered her blatant attempt at agenda promotion, much of the internet wasn’t having her scaremongering.

The point made here is pretty clear. Wildfires and California go hand in hand. They have them so frequently that it’s a wonder they don’t name their sports teams after it.

Regardless, AOC’s tweet has shown us that she’s willing to stand on the ashes of people’s homes and lives in order to paint the GOP with the blame as well as pushing her pet project, which is pretty disgusting in and of itself. Your life burning down in front of you matters little. It’s all a political prop to her.

Disgusting.

 

The post AOC Blames the California Wildfires on “Climate Change,” but the Internet Isn’t Having It appeared first on RedState.

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ISIS Issues Statement About al-Baghdadi’s Death

Westlake Legal Group isis-group-with-flag-sm-620x310 ISIS Issues Statement About al-Baghdadi’s Death U.S. Military Terrorism statement Politics ISIS Front Page Stories Featured Story donald trump Allow Media Exception Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

After it was announced that the United States military had killed the founder and leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, its supporters issued a statement that essentially equated to shrugging off their leader’s death.

According to the Washington Examiner, Middle East Media Research Institute, a terrorism monitoring group, found the statement on various social media outlets where the terrorist group was free to post. In it, ISIS noted that their ideology and quest doesn’t come at the behest of one man, but a creed shared by many:

“Even if it is true, this is the main reason all of the jihad fighters set out for — martyrdom. The Messenger of Allah, may the blessing of Allah be upon him — died,” said a prominent media operative in the pro-ISIS online community. “The jihad will not stop when a certain person dies, even if he was the caliph himself.”

“Al-Baghdadi although influential is but one person, the term Caliphate that ISIS promotes is not a temporary idea whereby if one person dies the whole term or ideology ends,” said another posting on a pro-ISIS Telegram channel. “Al-Baghdadi is not the first Jihadi leader to be killed if the news is verified, before him influential figures such as Bin Laden, Al-Zarqawi, Abu Omar Al-Baghdadi, Al-Muhajir, Al-Adnani, Al-Shishani were all killed, it didn’t stop anything neither it changed the situation in the ground.”

“What the impure Crusaders do not understand with regard to the Muslims’ creed, especially that of the jihad fighters, is that jihad in its entirety is not founded on men, but on creed,” said another post. “The Islamic State shall remain, it shall disturb the lives of the infidels and punish the apostates.

Aside from the announcement that al-Baghdadi was killed by detonating an explosive vest as U.S. troops moved in, President Donald Trump had a message for ISIS of his own, namely in telling them how their leader died.

“He died like a dog, he died like a coward. He was whimpering, screaming and crying,” Trump said. “And frankly, I think it’s something that should be brought out, so that his followers and all of these young kids that want to leave various countries, including the United States, they should see how he died.”

Trump told the press that he and his staff are considering releasing the video of the raid against the ISIS leader, and perhaps we can see this for ourselves this weekend.

(READ: Trump: “We’re Thinking About” Releasing Video Of Raid On Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Over The Weekend)

The post ISIS Issues Statement About al-Baghdadi’s Death appeared first on RedState.

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Watch: NSA Adviser Shuts Down Chuck Todd on Why Russia Was Notified in Advance of ISIS Raid

Westlake Legal Group trump-fist-620x317 Watch: NSA Adviser Shuts Down Chuck Todd on Why Russia Was Notified in Advance of ISIS Raid white house washington D.C. Syria Social Media Russia robert o'brien republicans Politics North Carolina NBC News National Security Middle East Media journalism Front Page Stories Front Page Foreign Policy Featured Story Featured Post donald trump democrats Culture Congress Chuck Todd Allow Media Exception

President Donald Trump gestures towards members on the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019, after returning from United Nations General Assembly. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

You’d think everyone would have been elated at the news, but the national media and Democrats including Obama loyalists and former Obama officials were some of the saddest, angriest people in the aftermath of the news of the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi over the weekend.

After the news broke, the mainstream media wasted no time in latching on to a Democratic talking point about how Trump had informed Russia about the raid in advance but not Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

NBC News’ Chuck Todd was just one of many journos who saw something sinister behind Trump’s decision to notify Russia in advance of the raid and “thank Russia first” afterwards, and he let National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien know it on Sunday’s “Meet the Press”:

CHUCK TODD: The president said that there were a number of folks that helped. He thanked Russia first. He thanked the Kurds last. Should we read into that?

ROBERT O’BRIEN: No I don’t think you should read into that. I think what the president talked about is that it was a very dangerous mission for our troops. And the president made a courageous decision to send them far into enemy territory at night, a long range helicopter raid. It was a courageous decision of the president. But it was incredible bravery and skill of our men and women in the armed forces and the intelligence community that executed the mission flawlessly. But they had to fly over areas where there was significant anti-aircraft capability, the Syrians, the Russians, the Turks, others. So I think we appreciated the fact that our helicopters and our planes weren’t molested. The Kurds played an important role in the operation. And we’re grateful for the Kurds and for the SDF and our allies there.

When Todd again pressed O’Brien on the Russia angle, the NSA adviser patiently explained again why Russia played a crucial role and deserved thanks, even though they were not an ally of the United States:

CHUCK TODD: On a policy front, Russia. Are they an ally of the United States in this fight in ISIS? And are they an adversary of the United States in this situation with Ukraine? How would you describe it?

ROBERT O’BRIEN: Well, let me just make it very clear, Russia is not an ally of the United States. The president doesn’t believe that. I don’t believe that. I think there’s anyone —

CHUCK TODD: First country he thanked today.

ROBERT O’BRIEN: Look, there are times when our interests overlaps with the interests of Russia. Last night it overlapped. We didn’t want Russian air defense missiles being shot at our men and women who were executing this raid. And, and so last night — and they don’t like ISIS, as the president pointed out. Last night, our interests overlapped with Russia. When our interests overlap with Russia, there’s no reason we shouldn’t work with them. Russia is not an ally of the United States and look Russia presents a great danger to the United States. And something we keep an eye on every single day.

Watch O’Brien calmly teach Foreign Policy 101 to Todd below:

And to be perfectly clear, per Trump Russia was not notified of the specific mission:

“We spoke to the Russians. We told them we are coming in. They said, ‘Thank you for telling us,’” he said. “We told them we thought they would be happy. They hate ISIS as much as we do. You know what ISIS has done to Russia. They did not know the mission but they knew we were going over an area where they had a lot of firepower.”

In spite of the LSM and Democratic concern trolling about what Russia knew vs. what Pelosi and Schumer knew, it was just a great weekend all around for the dedicated men and women of the U.S. military. Job well done, y’all.

——-
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 16+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –

The post Watch: NSA Adviser Shuts Down Chuck Todd on Why Russia Was Notified in Advance of ISIS Raid appeared first on RedState.

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Trump: “We’re Thinking About” Releasing Video of Raid On Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Over the Weekend

Westlake Legal Group DonaldTrumpAPphotoJune2019-620x317 Trump: “We’re Thinking About” Releasing Video of Raid On Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Over the Weekend Video U.S. Military Terrorism raid Politics military ISIS Front Page Stories Featured Story donald trump Allow Media Exception Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

President Donald Trump walks across the South Lawn as he arrives at the White House, Sunday, June 30, 2019, in Washington. Trump returns from a visit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea as well as the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Donald Trump has some good news for people who love watching terrorists get what they deserve.

According to The Hill, Trump said that you may be able to view the video of the raid that claimed the life of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the founder and leader of ISIS, this weekend:

“We’re thinking about it. We may,” Trump told reporters Monday when asked about the prospect of releasing the footage at Andrews Air Force Base. “We may take certain parts of it and release it, yes.”

Trump described the raid in northwest Syria in great detail when announcing al-Baghdadi’s death in an address on Sunday morning. Trump said he watched much of the raid in the Situation Room, likening it to “watching a movie.”

“We had a great weekend for our country. We captured a man that should have been caught a long time ago,” Trump told reporters Monday before departing for a speech in Chicago.

“It was an amazing display of intelligence and military power and coordination, getting along with people,” Trump continued.

According to Trump, the terrorist leader died screaming and whimpering, detonating an explosive vest killing himself and his children. Later tests confirmed that the body was, in fact, al Baghdadi.

As my colleague, Nick Arama, reported, not only did the U.S. troops get the ISIS leader, they also got his spokesman, Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajir. Needless to say, it’s been a day of ISIS scalp gathering, with now its head and its mouth taken out in the course of a day.

According to the Washington Examiner, ISIS issues a defiant statement after the death of their leader:

“Even if it is true, this is the main reason all of the jihad fighters set out for — martyrdom. The Messenger of Allah, may the blessing of Allah be upon him — died,” said a prominent media operative in the pro-ISIS online community. “The jihad will not stop when a certain person dies, even if he was the caliph himself.”

“Al-Baghdadi although influential is but one person, the term Caliphate that ISIS promotes is not a temporary idea whereby if one person dies the whole term or ideology ends,” said another posting on a pro-ISIS Telegram channel. “Al-Baghdadi is not the first Jihadi leader to be killed if the news is verified, before him influential figures such as Bin Laden, Al-Zarqawi, Abu Omar Al-Baghdadi, Al-Muhajir, Al-Adnani, Al-Shishani were all killed, it didn’t stop anything neither it changed the situation in the ground.”

 

The post Trump: “We’re Thinking About” Releasing Video of Raid On Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Over the Weekend appeared first on RedState.

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Media and “Experts” Wonder Whether Killing Al-Baghdadi Actually Helps ISIS

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The machinations of the mainstream media since the successful killing of ISIS caliph Al-Baghdadi have been something to behold.

My colleague Nick Arama shared some initial reactions in a piece yesterday morning. I think reported on CNBC’s John Harwood, who was essentially losing his mind trying to hand wave away the operation as anything positive. It’s something to behold.

Of course, the next logical evolution was a bunch of “experts,” who’ve managed to get just about everything wrong in the last two decades, to tell us how killing the terror leader is actually a bad thing.

Yeah, I’m sure having their leader be hunted down and blown up is a real green light for recruitment. This is the kind of nonsensical tripe that passes as “expert” thought in the beltway and that has led to so much frustration about foreign policy among normal Americans.

And here’s Obama’s Ambassador to Qatar with a galaxy brain take.

Because otherwise, terrorists would have laid down their arms or something. I mean, if a guy is about to go behead someone, clearly giving his terrorist leader a proper burial is going to sway him to take up knitting.

Compound this kind of laughable analysis with the results of the foreign policy people like Shell Smith helped push and you begin to see why things have been such a mess post 9/11. People sitting in classrooms and think tanks coming up with military strategies is a recipe for disaster. It’s how you got people like Max Boot at the forefront of disasters.

Then there was the media’s reaction. Here’s CNN’s Jake Tapper, unbiased journalist extraordinaire, pondering whether we are helping ISIS by killing Al-Baghdadi.

“Lastly, what do you make of the president’s — he painted a very vivid picture of al Baghdadi dying a very cowardly death, which I don’t doubt for a second, ISIS fighters are very cowardly,” Tapper began. “He talked about al-Baghdadi detonating his vest, killing his three children while he did so. I don’t doubt it, they’re monsters, but is there any concern on your part because now there is a question what ISIS will do in response to this move, in response perhaps to the president’s rhetoric. Does that concern you at all in terms of galvanizing or motivating ISIS terrorists?”

What a brilliant question from the intrepid reporter.

It’s also completely dumb. Al-Baghdadi was the caliph. He was the “authority” holding the caliphate together. Not just any Muslim can be that, as there has to be some kind of claimed lineage from previous caliphs. Killing him undeniably hurts ISIS and in noway results in some kind of positive recruitment tool. That doesn’t mean their ideology or all isolated attacks go away, but as a caliphate, ISIS is officially dead.

There’s also the fact that our cooperation with Syria and Turkey here further forms a bulwark against a possible resurgence. ISIS is in a land with no allies and there is little pathway to resurgence.

It would have been really simple for our foreign policy establishment and media to admit these facts. Instead, for purely political reasons, they’ve got to try to spin this as a loss or at least muddy the waters. It’s pathetic.

The post Media and “Experts” Wonder Whether Killing Al-Baghdadi Actually Helps ISIS appeared first on RedState.

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A Total Disgrace: Trump Gets Booed at World Series Game, Fans Chant, ‘Lock Him Up’

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Photo Credit: Screen Shot
https://twitter.com/NinaHarrelsonTV/status/1188628430289551360

 

I suppose it was to be expected. After all, President Trump had ventured right into the heart of enemy territory.

On Sunday night, the President and First Lady Melania Trump attended Game 5 of the World Series between the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros at Nationals Park.                        .

When an image of Trump’s box flashed up on the video screen, fans broke into a full-throated round of boos, and followed with a chant of “Lock Him Up.”

It was a pathetic display, and a total disgrace.

WUSA9 reported that the Lerner family, the principal owners of the Nationals, concerned about being put into the position of having to decline an invitation to join the President, called on MLB last week to intervene. Classy.

According to Fox News, Jim Crane, the owner of the Astros, stopped by Trump’s box to greet the President and First Lady.

Trump did not throw the ceremonial first pitch, as that honor had already been bestowed upon a local chef before the President decided to attend the game. After witnessing the crowd’s reaction to the mere sight of him on the video screen, I’d say that was a good thing.

Go Astros!

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Al Franken comeback: “Return to national scene” at Politicon

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Disgraced former U.S. Senator Al Franken is trying to make a public comeback. What better way to test the waters than as a featured speaker at a political gathering in Nashville?

The fifth annual Politicon brought together political junkies from all stripes for what is nicknamed “Comic-Con of politics.” Simon Sidi, a former rock concert producer, organizes the event as he would a festival – a mix of political celebrities, public figures, and media personalities for panel discussions, interviews, and speeches. The two-day event is a mix of politics and entertainment. Franken was a headliner Saturday night.

The event works to further obfuscate the already ambiguous line between politics and entertainment and to embrace the full-on spectacle of politics. Sidi encourages fans to come see their “heroes” and “villains” duke it out on stage.

“It’s exactly like a festival,” he told Fortune. “I don’t come from a political world, I come from live entertainment and have been a political nerd for years. What we’re doing is pleasing ourselves, there’s no agenda we don’t expect people to sing ‘Kumbaya’ at the end. It seemed pretty obvious, and yet no one was doing it.”

“We’re not the Aspen Ideas Festival,” said Sidi. “We’re here for people who want to enjoy politics, which can sometimes be a bit of a pill.”

Franken, who resigned from office after accusations of inappropriate touching and sexual misbehavior surfaced from several women, used the opportunity as a part of his “redemption tour”.

“The president is an entertainer who won by exploiting the divisions in our country and spent his presidency dividing us more day after day. Anxious Americans on both sides have turned to the news and become more invested in one side or the other,” Franken said. “This weekend, political junkies will get to see and listen to some of their favorite and least favorite politicos, looking for drama, laughs, and maybe, maybe, some spectacle.”

Franken told those in attendance that he’s out of office but he still plans to speak his mind or something.

“I know a lot of you might be wondering what I’ve been up to,” Franken said at the event, which some nickname the “Comic-Con of politics.” “Well, when I left the Senate, I said that I was giving up my seat, but I wasn’t going to give up my voice … and I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to do that and how to best make a difference.”

“An Evening with Al Franken” allowed Franken to showcase his routine that was part stand-up comedy, impersonations of former Senate colleagues like Bernie Sanders and Chuck Grassley, a walk down memory lane, and the inevitable political hot takes of current events. As you would expect, he tore into President Trump.

“I’d like to turn now to the essential task before us, which assuming he’s in the White House a year from now, is defeating the sick, cruel, corrupt psychopath,” Franken said. “Now that’s just my opinion.”

“The thing about Donald Trump is in addition to being a compulsive liar, a serial conman, a white supremacist and just kind of a jerk, this guy … does not know what he is doing,” he added.

There is nothing new or fresh in any of that, is there? He checked all the usual boxes in criticism of the president – mentally unstable, liar, conman, white supremacist – it’s all there. I don’t know about you but I prefer comedians who are able to deliver some original material, not warmed-over talking points from every Democrat in office.

Franken didn’t exactly receive a lot of attention from attendees, if this photo on Twitter is any indication. There are a whole lot of empty seats in the Music City Center auditorium.

One person stood up and yelled at Franken before leaving the room.

There was one tense moment during the speech.

After Franken explained “that’s why I’m a Democrat,” one attendee yelled out “You’re also a liar, a fraud and a sexual predator.”Franken seemed unfazed. “Ah don’t go,” he joked as the man left the room. He paused and added, “I’m sorry it’s a serious accusation and i take it seriously,” before returning to his scripted remarks.

Franken’s appearance was featured prominently in advertising of the event.

The organizer was pleased to get Franken as a speaker.

The “Saturday Night Live” alum was part of a robust line-up of divisive speakers who headlined Politicon, including Sean Hannity, James Comey and Tomi Lahren.

The event, now in its fifth year, drew thousands of people ― Republicans, Democrats and everyone in between ― from across the country to its new location in Nashville. Politicon, previously held in Los Angeles, has become a forum for media pundits, current and former lawmakers and celebrities to discuss and debate politics in front of crowds of political junkies.

When asked why Franken was tapped as a keynote for the fifth annual event, co-organizer Simon Sidi said he’s wanted to book Franken as a panelist for years.

“I’ve always wanted to get Al here anyway just because you know he’s so great and people love him so much,” Sidi told HuffPost. “We’re happy to have him, very happy.”

From the empty chairs to the heckler interrupting his speech by pointing out that he is much of what he accuses President Trump of being, it looks like Al Franken has a lot of work to do. His road to a comeback may be longer than he thinks.

The post Al Franken comeback: “Return to national scene” at Politicon appeared first on Hot Air.

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President Trump: Al-Baghdadi “Died Like a Dog” When American Commandos Stormed His Hideout

Westlake Legal Group AP_17270622126277-620x305 President Trump: Al-Baghdadi “Died Like a Dog” When American Commandos Stormed His Hideout white house War Terrorism republicans Politics Front Page Stories Featured Story donald trump democrats Allow Media Exception Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

President Donald Trump gives thumbs up as he boards Air Force One as he departs Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Trump is en route to Indiana. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Yesterday, US Special Operations Forces carried out a raid that resulted in the death of the titular leader is ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. This is President Trump’s press conference on the event.

Big picture here is that regardless of the press release war, there is obviously coordination going on between the US and Russia and Syria and Turkey to eradicate ISIS so that they can get on with the serious business of killing one another.

This raid marks a stark departure from the Obama era of killing everything that moved with drone strikes. I’m not opposed to killing people who need it but you are always better off capturing senior people than killing them. While al-Bagdadi blew himself up, the raid site was exploited. Prisoners were taken. Documents and electronic devices seized. This will lead to a cascade of raids and attacks based on this information.

Strategically, this probably will be seen as the last gasp of ISIS. It was already nearly eradicated. Funding and volunteers were drying up. When al-Baghdadi was killed he was hiding in a city in a hostile area. Hardly the mark of someone who is about to make a comeback. I’ve never been convinced ISIS mattered, but if it once did, it no longer does.

This take by an Obama toadie is just bullsh**. This operation was possible because despite the press’s brainless jihad about Russia, sane people maintained a relationship with them that allowed US overflight to get our assault force in and out. That counts.

The circumstances of al-Baghdadi’s death–described as only Trump can describe things–is not going to help his cause

This, like taking out bin Laden, is a great publicity exercise but probably of limited import. Both al Qaeda and ISIS were on the run and on their last legs when their leaders were taken out. Both of their leaders were isolated and in hiding. They will both limp around for awhile longer but they are a spent force. But the good news about radical Islam is that there is always another transnational terrorist movement in the making, so we’ll be doing this same press conference again in a few years.

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The post President Trump: Al-Baghdadi “Died Like a Dog” When American Commandos Stormed His Hideout appeared first on RedState.

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BREAKING: Reports Say ISIS Leader Al-Baghdadi Has Been Captured or Killed

Not many details, but an operation in Syria has reportedly captured or killed Al-Baghdadi, who is the top leader in ISIS and has been on the run for years.

Rumors started swirling after Donald Trump dropped a cryptic tweet about an hour ago.

Some verified accounts on Twitter started to spread the news of an operation.

Now, we are getting some accounts claiming it is confirmed. You’d think Gilliam would have sources within the SEALs so his information is probably solid.

A major announcement is coming at 9am in the morning from the White House. You’d think it has to be Al-Baghdadi to warrant this kind of pomp and circumstance.

We’ll get final confirmation in the morning. It does appear likely though that the worst terrorist on the planet may have just been captured or killed.

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The post BREAKING: Reports Say ISIS Leader Al-Baghdadi Has Been Captured or Killed appeared first on RedState.

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