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Social Justice Warriors Celebrate Politically Correct Version of ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 17:58

This Christmas season, social justice warriors have taken serious issue with Frank Loesser’s 1944 hit song “Baby it’s Cold Outside.” Some have even decided to champion a new, more politically correct version of the tune.

Songwriters Lydia Liza and Josiah Lemanski have developed their own version of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” a version that is more “fit” for today’s outrage culture.

While they initially wrote the song in 2016, it’s now gained more traction due to the recent debate over the original song.

In Liza and Lemanski’s updated “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” instead of a man trying to woo a woman into staying with him longer — the man is essentially apathetic to the whole situation.

For example, a few of the lines read, “I really can’t stay (Baby, I’m fine with that). I’ve gotta go away (Baby, I’m cool with that). This evening has been (I’m hoping you get home safe).”

At one point, the man even says he will get the woman’s coat for her — so he helps her leave sooner.

Although this seems to completely change the premise of the song, those on the Left have been praising it.

Most notably, The Current, a radio station owned by Minnesota Public Radio, argued it “loved” the new version of the song.

The station said that the duo “revised the lyrics to emphasize the importance of consent in sexual relationships.”

In fact, the station even invited Liza and Lemanski into the studio live to perform the tune.

However, not everyone is pleased with the song.

While that performance on The Current has over 700,000 views on YouTube, the video itself has 11,000 dislikes compared to just 5,500 likes.

One YouTube user commented, “This is why Trump won,” a reference to President Donald Trump’s opposition to political correctness.

Another user added, “1944: ‘Baby, it’s Cold Outside.’ 2017: ‘Baby, Get Out of My House.’ Well done, feminism.” The comment has over 600 up-votes.

Another comment with over 900 likes reads, “This is the garbage that results when a deranged ‘social movement’ attempts to rewrite history.”

The original version of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” has recently received passionate defenses — from actor William Shatner to Deana Martin, daughter of actor Dean Martin.

A handful of radio stations have begun banning the song, but some have reversed their bans after listeners have shown support for the tune.

For more on the controversy around “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” check out the video below:

Tom Joyce is a freelance writer from the South Shore of Massachusetts. He covers sports, pop culture, and politics and has contributed to The Federalist, Newsday, and other outlets.

The post Social Justice Warriors Celebrate Politically Correct Version of ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ appeared first on LifeZette.

Ocasio-Cortez, 29, Should Be Able to Run for President, Argues This Group

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 17:32

Liberal political website Vox is getting accused of jumping the shark after publishing an appeal to “fix the Constitution ASAP” so that 29-year-old incoming Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez can run for president – claiming “there’s no time like the present to start working to abolish arbitrary qualifications.”

Wednesday’s lengthy piece, “It’s ridiculous that it’s unconstitutional for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to run for president,” declared that everyone from immigrants to recent college grads should be eligible.

Vox co-founder and senior correspondent Matthew Yglesias wrote that “phenomenon” Ocasio-Cortez “is the biggest star in the Democratic Party,” and therefore it is “completely ridiculous” that the Constitution makes anyone under the age of 35 ineligible to run for president of the United States.

“There’s nothing wrong with old people per se, but essentially everyone has lost a step or two both mentally and physically by their mid-70s,” Yglesias wrote. “The really awful thing about being old is that you just keep getting older over time.”

Even Ocasio-Cortez pushed back on the premise: “How about … no,” she wrote. “Sometimes political media is too fixated on personalities instead of policies. The whole country JUST went through an exhausting midterm election. We need a break.”

How about… no.

Sometimes political media is too fixated on personalities instead of policies.

The whole country JUST went through an exhausting midterm election. We need a break.

Can we instead talk about healthcare, a living wage, legalizing cannabis, GND, & other issues? https://t.co/JoiNmsgNTH

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) December 13, 2018

“This is truly Vox’s jump the shark moment. Not exactly sure how you can claim to be anything other than pure parody when you are publishing pieces like this. I guess they believe, wrongly, that all publicity — even negative publicity — is good,” conservative strategist Chris Barron told Fox News.

Related: Conway Slams Ocasio-Cortez for Spewing Nonsense About John Kelly

NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck told Fox News that Vox is “supposed to be knowledgeable and explain things to the masses” but “always finds a way to baffle people by showing that they’re the ones who struggle with basic facts and trying to explain things.”

“Vox is quickly becoming a parody of itself and this fantasy of wanting her to be president even though she hasn’t been sworn in yet is ludicrous,” Houck said.

“At least Barack Obama had served in the state Senate and then the U.S. Senate for a few years and could have claimed to have had some experience in office,” Houck also said.

Yglesias argued that “young is better than old” and suggested America would be better off with Ocasio-Cortez than an older candidate such as Bernie Sanders, 77, or the 76-year-old Joe Biden.

“We’re sitting here in the winter of 2018 talking about filling a presidential term that won’t start until 2021 — with an inevitable reelection campaign in 2024 for a term that wouldn’t end until early 2029,” Yglesias wrote.

Yglesias noted that people even younger are often “trusted with life-and-death situations in a huge array of contexts” such as having children and serving in the military.

It’s silly to arbitrarily rule out one of the most talented players due to age, writes @mattyglesias. https://t.co/aa2LHutoYQ

— Vox (@voxdotcom) December 13, 2018

“The constitutional prohibition on people under the age of 35 serving as president is just one of these weird lacuna that was handed down to us from the 18th century but that nobody would seriously propose creating today if not for status quo bias,” he wrote.

Yglesias even argued that her “AOC” nickname works in her favor.

“Is having a nickname a sign that you would exercise good judgment in the Oval Office? Absolutely not. But it’s proof positive that she’s an honest-to-goodness political superstar, and it’s clear that’s what many Democrats are looking for in 2020,” he wrote.

The argument for changing the presidential requirements is among a host of ideas being floated on the Left for major constitutional overhauls in response to President Trump’s administration and, most recently, the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Yglesias tweeted that “AOC should run for president and dare the Supreme Court to stop her.” His message was met with an onslaught of criticism online.

“It’s amazing someone gives you a paycheck,” one user wrote, while another added, “I get that you don’t like old people, but you’re going to be one someday, so maybe lay off the hatred for now.”

The argument for changing the presidential requirements is among a host of ideas being floated on the Left for major constitutional overhauls in response to President Trump’s administration and, most recently, the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Critics have floated packing the Supreme Court, overhauling the Electoral College and considering term limits on the high court in response.

Brian Flood covers the media for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter at @briansflood. This Fox News piece is used by permission.

Read more at Fox News:
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The post Ocasio-Cortez, 29, Should Be Able to Run for President, Argues This Group appeared first on LifeZette.

Samantha Bee Attacks Conservatives, Calls Fox Nation ‘Substance-Free Propaganda’

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 15:52

Controversial late-night comedian Samantha Bee (pictured above left) is no fan of Fox News’ new streaming service, Fox Nation.

The subscription service includes content from Fox hosts and regulars such as Laura Ingraham, Jeanine Pirro, Tomi Lahren, and Tyrus from “The Greg Gutfeld Show.”

Yet Bee — with apparently nothing better to talk about — spent part of her Wednesday night show going after the streaming service.

“It’s like television, Grandpa, but you get it on the smaller screen that you use for writing racism on Facebook,” she said, referring to the older viewers who watch Fox News. Fox Nation is meant to capitalize on Fox’s younger viewers and to expand on that demographic.

Bee referred to a story in The New York Times that called Fox Nation “Netflix for conservatives.”

“Which means it’s for people who like Netflix but wish its World War II documentaries weren’t so mean to the Nazis,” Bee said.

The comedian then did something truly odd and desperate: She picked out specific moments from Fox Nation shows and aired them without context.

One person she targeted was Fox News host Jeanine Pirro, who does “10 Minute Justice” for Fox Nation.

Bee played a clip in which Pirro took on the migrant caravan and said, “Are you people stupid? And don’t give me this racism nonsense. We fought a Civil War to make sure we put an end to the stain of racism and slavery in our nation; we’re not racist.” She then said Americans were the real “victims” when it came to illegal immigration.

“It’s like ASMR [autonomous sensory meridian response] for sociopaths,” Bee joked in response. ASMR videos are a viral trend; people use sensitive microphones to eat food or make other noises that are considered to be pleasant to people’s ears.

Bee also went after “10 Minute Justice” for not being exactly 10 minutes long in each and every episode.

The comedian — clearly straining — also targeted any hosts who even mentioned the idea of a “war on Christmas.” She also criticized Tomi Lahren for defending Melania Trump’s red Christmas decorations at the White House.

“Yes, we shouldn’t look down on their tree color, that’s what skin color is for,” Bee said.

The comedian ultimately concluded about Fox Nation, “It’s just pure, substance-free propaganda squirted right down your slobber hole.”

She added, “On top of that, it’s a great way for Fox to squeeze some extra bucks from all the olds who sign up but forget to unsubscribe.”

Check out the clip from Samantha Bee’s program below:

The post Samantha Bee Attacks Conservatives, Calls Fox Nation ‘Substance-Free Propaganda’ appeared first on LifeZette.

How Clint Eastwood and Toby Keith Teamed Up for a New Movie

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 15:42

Clint Eastwood’s latest movie, “The Mule,” is the story of a man who spends his twilight years running drugs for a Mexican cartel — and tries his best to escape the clutches of the authorities.

It’s certainly a challenging subject matter — one based on a true story — and Eastwood has an artistic vision like no other at the age of 88. But the filmmaker recruited some help from some other major artists to help tell his newest story.

Related: Clint Eastwood’s Latest Film — and the Stunning True Story Behind It

On top of an incredible cast that includes Bradley Cooper, Laurence Fishburne, Taissa Farmiga, Michael Pena, Allison Eastwood, Dianne Wiest, and Andy Garcia, “The Mule” also contains an original song by country music legend Toby Keith.

Keith’s new song, “Don’t Let the Old Man In,” was actually inspired by a conversation the musician had with Eastwood while the two were golfing together.

Right before Eastwood was set to begin work on “The Mule,” Keith asked what project the filmmaker would be taking on next.

Eastwood told him he would be both acting and directing in “The Mule.”

This was on the heels of Eastwood’s last film, “The 15:17 to Paris,” released earlier this year.

Shocked by the “Dirty Harry” star’s ability to keep up with such demands of the job at an advanced age, Keith asked Eastwood how he did it.

“‘I get up every day and I don’t let the old man in,’” Keith recalled Eastwood saying, according to Newsweek.

Keith added, “And I’m like ‘Whoa, that sounds like a song.’”

It’s fitting that the tune would then end up in “The Mule,” the film at the center of that conversation between the two artists.

“Don’t let the old man in. I want to live me some more. Can’t leave it up to him. He’s knocking at my door,” sings Keith, 57, at the start of his song.

The tune is one of Keith’s most impressive. And the poetic work fits well with The Mule,” a movie Eastwood and screenwriter Nick Schenk (“Gran Torino”) have peppered with points and questions about redemption, regrets, family, pride, and moral lines.

Most of what comes out of Hollywood today is a regurgitation of old things — or franchise extensions built more to sell toys and appeal to international audiences than to challenge or entertain in any meaningful or long-lasting way.

Eastwood always manages to be an exception to the rules of modern Hollywood, as he takes on complicated and true stories that stick with audiences long after the credits roll.

With “The Mule,” he’s managed to put together not just an original movie but to inspire some original music, too.

Let’s hope Eastwood keeps up the good fight and doesn’t let that “old man in” for a long, long time. He’s a storyteller we desperately need right now.

Check out Toby Keith’s “Don’t Let the Old Man In” song below:

The post How Clint Eastwood and Toby Keith Teamed Up for a New Movie appeared first on LifeZette.

Batman Actor Recalls His ‘Entertaining’ Meeting with Donald Trump

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 15:19

Actor Christian Bale (pictured above left), best-known for his role as Bruce Wayne and Batman in Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy, recently recalled the time he met Donald Trump — and admits he found the president amusing.

The two met in 2011 while Bale was at Trump Tower in Manhattan filming a scene for “The Dark Knight Rises,” the final chapter in his Batman trilogy.

Bale recalled the odd meeting with the future president while at the red carpet premiere of “Vice,” an upcoming film in which he stars as Dick Cheney, the former vice president.

“He [Trump] said, ‘Come on up to the office,’” recalled Bale. “I think he thought I was Bruce Wayne because I was dressed as Bruce Wayne. So he talked to me like I was Bruce Wayne and I just went along with it, really. It was quite entertaining. I had no idea at that time he would think about running for president.”

“The Dark Knight Rises” used exterior shots of Trump Tower as the headquarters for Wayne Enterprises (the character Bruce Wayne’s company).

The character of Bruce Wayne is that of a billionaire whose parents are killed in a mugging when he is young. He later fights crime in the fictional city of Gotham. Other actors to have played the part include the late Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, and Ben Affleck.

The president showed support for Bale’s Batman film on Twitter when it came out in 2012.

“’Dark Knight Rises’ is projected to gross over $180 million this weekend. Remember to watch for Trump Tower!”

Dark Knight Rises is projected to gross over $180 million this weekend. Remember to watch for Trump Tower!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 18, 2012

“The Dark Knight Rises” ended up having a domestic opening weekend of $160.9 million.

It would end up grossing $448.1 million.

Its international total was much higher — at $1.1. billion.

Trump later showed support for the comic book franchise when Bale left and the controversial Ben Affleck was chosen to take over.

“Everyone should calm down. @BenAffleck is going to do a great job as Batman,” Trump tweeted in 2013.

Affleck has starred as Bruce Wayne/Batman in a total of three films, the last of which was 2017’s “Justice League.”

Despite having a seemingly pleasant meeting with Trump, Bale has made it clear he is not a fan of the man anymore.

During the same interview in which he told the story of meeting Trump, he also later referred to him as “Individual No. 1.”

This is a reference to how the president is thought to be identified in documents from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

“And this story is part of how we got to be here, with that ‘Individual-1’ being president,” said Bale.

For more on Bale’s meeting with Trump, check out the video below:

Tom Joyce is a freelance writer from the South Shore of Massachusetts. He covers sports, pop culture, and politics and has contributed to The Federalist, Newsday, and other outlets.

The post Batman Actor Recalls His ‘Entertaining’ Meeting with Donald Trump appeared first on LifeZette.

Trump Will Not Throw a Christmas Party for the Media This Year

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 15:14

Exclusive: President Donald Trump has canceled the White House holiday party for the media, making the decades-old tradition a victim of his increasingly contentious relationship with major news organizations.

The annual Christmas-season gathering was a significant perk for those covering the White House, as well as other Washington reporters, anchors and commentators, and New York media executives would regularly fly in for the occasion. At its peak, the invitation-only soirees grew so large that there were two back-to-back events, one for broadcast outlets and one for print organizations.

Related: Why We Must Still Fight the Liberal War Against Christmas

Journalists who attended the events, which featured a catered buffet of lamb chops, crab claws and elaborate desserts, got to roam the decorated mansion with a spouse or other family member, a friend or a colleague, adding to the invitation’s allure.

But the biggest fringe benefit was the picture-taking sessions, in which the president and first lady would patiently pose with guests and briefly chat with them in front of a Christmas tree, with the White House sending out the photos — copies of which were invariably sent home to mom. This would take a couple of hours, with long lines snaking across the building’s first floor.

Bill Clinton even posed for pictures with journalists days after he was impeached.

The White House made no announcement that it was dropping the press party. The president and first lady threw such a gathering last December but did not pose for pictures. Trump made a brief appearance with his wife and offered a few welcoming remarks.

Top White House officials, especially the communications staff, routinely circulated at these media parties and often talked shop. Last year, chief of staff John Kelly held forth with reporters for at least 15 minutes, making informal remarks that turned into a mini-press conference.

The decision is hardly shocking, given Trump’s constant attacks on “fake news” and the overwhelmingly negative coverage of him and his administration. In recent weeks, the White House pulled the credentials of CNN’s Jim Acosta after he refused to give up the microphone at a news conference and restored his pass only after the network filed a lawsuit.

Trump has also twice refused to attend the White House Correspondents Dinner, a tony media awards dinner attended by every president since Richard Nixon.

While dropping the media party, the White House is in the midst of a full panoply of other parties this holiday season. Selected media people generally favorable to Trump, including a few Fox News hosts, have made those guest lists.

Some critics questioned whether those who cover or comment on the White House should engage in such socializing, but few turned down the invitations.

When Democrats have been in the White House, more liberal commentators have gotten invitations, while more conservative pundits have shown up during Republican administrations.

Some critics questioned whether those who cover or comment on the White House should engage in such socializing, but few turned down the invitations.

Many Trump supporters who view his coverage as unfairly harsh will undoubtedly welcome the president’s decision to exclude the media establishment, at least for this year.

Howard Kurtz is a Fox News analyst and the host of “MediaBuzz” (Sundays 11 a.m.). He is the author “Media Madness: Donald Trump, The Press and the War Over the Truth.” Follow him at @HowardKurtz. Click here for more information on Howard Kurtz.  This Fox News opinion piece is used by permission.

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The post Trump Will Not Throw a Christmas Party for the Media This Year appeared first on LifeZette.

Why We Must Still Fight the Liberal War on Christmas

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 14:04

When he was running for president and as president, Donald Trump promised to dispense with the politically correct “Happy Holidays” and bring back the words “Merry Christmas” — not only to the White House, but to all of America.

I have no doubt he meant it.

In a nation where upwards of 80 percent of our citizens are Christian and a majority of non-Christian citizens are not remotely offended by the words “Merry Christmas,” President Trump felt he had to take a stand against the liberal war on Christmas.

He has, but we are still losing … badly.

The reason is quite simple. Decades ago, conservatives, Republicans, Christians, and anyone against the insanity of political correctness ceded the three major megaphones of our nation to the far Left. Those megaphones were the media, entertainment, and academia.

Once the far Left seized absolute control of those megaphones, they went to work on their wish list to change the cultural, political and moral makeup of our nation.

High atop that list was the total removal of Christ from Christmas and the transformation of one of the holiest days of the year into a secular holiday.

Studies from the Pew Research Center and others have found they are succeeding beyond their wildest dreams.

While a large majority of Americans still celebrate Christmas in one way or another, according to Pew, most now emphasize the religious elements of Christmas less and less and few are bothered by that change.

If you still believe you have the right to say “Merry Christmas” — or even more shocking — are one of those “deplorables clinging to your guns and religion” who deeply believe Christ has to be part of Christmas, you have but a few years to change the tide.

Several years ago I met with a number of ministers and priests to talk about the fact that so many people are walking away from their faith, are being intimidated into not saying “Merry Christmas,” or both.

To a person, they felt that to reverse that alarming trend, we had to reclaim some of the media, entertainment and academic high ground and once again share the true meaning of Christmas and why Christ is the only reason we have a Christmas Day.

I took their words to heart and decided a small step was better than no step. Why not try and write a story that incorporated all the basic messages of Christmas, which would appeal to the widest possible secular audience, while inserting strategic reminders as to why Christ has to be part of Christmas?

The novel I created — “The North Pole Project: In Search of the True Meaning of Christmas” — focused on a hedonistic multi-billionaire who had everything material possession in life … but nothing. No faith, no love. No meaning.

As he realized that truth and contemplated the worst, his minister brother suddenly called and talked him back from the abyss. He did so by reminding his billionaire brother that the only time he remembered him truly happy in life was when they were poor and lived on an Army base with their military parents. As an eight-year old boy, he would collect old soda bottles to turn in for money so he could buy Christmas presents for children on the base who were less fortunate than himself.

“Become that person again,” the minister brother begged him. “Become Santa Claus all over again and in the process, reclaim your faith and save yourself.”

As the story evolves, the multi-billionaire does reconnect with his faith — and then stands upon it as the rock-solid foundation for the good he intends to do for the rest of his natural life.

For the multi-billionaire, his sole mission becomes to bring joy to desperately poor and forgotten children the world over — “God’s children.”

Men and women are “saved” by this unique project while they and hundreds of others band together to help tens of thousands of children from multiple nations.

To do so, the literal-minded billionaire is struck with an ingenious way to create a real Santa’s workshop at the North Pole. It’s a solution he believes to be an epiphany.

The story also incorporates subplots of 10 adults from around the world who are trying to overcome or survive some of life’s most distressing challenges. Men and women are “saved” by this project while they and hundreds of others band together to help tens of thousands of children from multiple nations.

The ultimate message of this simple book is that no matter our status in life, if we help someone in need — be it a relative, a colleague, a neighbor, a stranger, or especially a child — that is the best Christmas present we ourselves could ever receive.

And for that, I say, “Merry Christmas and God Bless us, everyone.”

Douglas MacKinnon is a former White House and Pentagon official and author of the novel “The North Pole Project – In Search of the True Meaning of Christmas.”

The post Why We Must Still Fight the Liberal War on Christmas appeared first on LifeZette.

Democrats Deny These Immigration Truths

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 13:35

Congressmen and senators are supposed to be fighting for the American people, their constituents. But when Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer pounced on the president at the Oval Office on Tuesday, for whom exactly were they fighting?

Both the Senate and the House oath of offices are nearly identical. They begin like this: “I do solemnly swear or affirm that I will support and defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.”

Related: Pelosi and Schumer Used to Care About ‘Our Poorest Citizens’ Before Prioritizing Illegal Immigrants

At this point, are we even sure that Chuck and Nancy took the oath? I have a news flash for the dynamic duo: When migrants illegally cross our borders, whether they come to work or to collect welfare, using false documents, whether they come to deal drugs or join murderous gangs that are already here, this does constitute a foreign enemy action.

That’s why Trump was so clear at the end of that Oval Office exchange on Tuesday. He understands the threat, and he wants to answer it. He told Chuck Schumer to his face that he would be proud to shut down the government over border security. It’s that important for him.

But the Democrats are determined to block Trump’s efforts to fortify the border. You can see them recoil at any border wall talk. Here are the facts. The Democrats are willing to sell out the country, law and order be damned, in order to deny Trump a victory over the wall.

A few years ago, they were all for fortifying the border, but not now. Of course, if we had a media that publicized actual facts on illegal immigration and other immigration issues, rather than obsessing 24/7 about Michael Cohen or focusing on a few really sympathetic people in Tijuana, we would have a lot more Democrats feeling the pressure on this issue from the voters.

A new Gallup world poll found that nearly 160 million people around the world want to emigrate to the United States — 160 million. I bet it’s more than that. Naturally, the U.S. is the top destination for immigrants; 21 percent of them would like to come here permanently. How are we supposed to deal with that kind of demand for access to our shores? Obviously we can’t absorb half of our current population.

Or is that actually what the Democrats want? After all, that would be an entirely new country.

The pragmatic position here is simple. There must be an orderly, legal process, one that protects the interests of the American people first, when it comes to immigration. Most Americans, I really think, have no idea of the true cost of illegal immigration. Again, the media will not report it.

Let’s look at health care. Even though illegals are forbidden access from federally funded health care, Forbes magazine estimates that 3.9 million uninsured illegals receive about $4.6 billion in health services from the federal government, federal taxes. And $2.8 billion from state and local taxpayers goes to illegal immigrants. And $3 billion from higher payments by insured Americans. In other words, you are paying it because your costs are jacked up.

All told, Americans cross-subsidize health care for unauthorized immigrants to the tune of $18.5 billion a year. Now with that money, we could build a triple wall with all sorts of cool stuff on it along the border. Come on, $18.5 billion?

The president knows well that our loose asylum laws — which is another issue — the catch and release policy, and chain migration, have also acted as magnets and that has ballooned our illegal immigrant population. Once in country, they place an enormous stress on local law enforcement. As I said, health care providers and our schools — resources that should be benefitting Americans and legal immigrants — this money should be spent on our people and the people who have respected our laws to come here and not on noncitizens who are illegally present.

According to government data released Tuesday, in President Trump’s first fiscal year in office, more than 2,304 people were arrested for either employing illegals or working illegally in the country. That’s a 700 percent increase from the previous fiscal year. This is all a direct result of Trump’s authorizing ICE to investigate all crime committed by or with illegal immigrants and not just focusing on the most serious cases.

Now, Democrats are going to say, “Why is the government arresting hardworking immigrants? They are just seeking a better way of life.” Well, this is a simple, twofold answer. One, they are not here legally. Two, and just as important, they are taking jobs that hardworking Americans do not have access to.

We cannot incentivize corporations to use cheap labor, giving them an unfair advantage and destroying other company’s abilities to compete. The crackdown also, by the way, sends a message to the next wave of illegals: You, too, will be deported if you try to come here and work without permission, and of course, collect all those benefits along the way. So, don’t even try.

Now, my friends, this is Christmas time. And although the country is doing better — a lot better — under Trump, many Americans are still hurting, particularly those entering the workforce for the first time, single mothers and people without college degrees, many of whom happen to be black and Hispanic. They don’t have groups, by the way, like Pueblo Sin Fronteras or Centro Sin Fronteras working on their behalf, filing cases on their behalf.

Let’s hope that Trump is successful before Christmas in getting the wall funded. And let’s hope Congress finally gets its act together and remembers the meaning of that oath that they all took.

Of course, the competition from cheap illegal labor harms their chances of employment. Who is going to advocate their cases?

Democrats used to claim that they cared about our poorest citizens, the little guy. But this year, Chuck and Nancy seem more like the Grinch, making promises to the illegals. Sure, give all the goodies to the illegals and leave the poor and the working class to pick up the bill. And by the way, take their tree, without so much as a lump of coal in their stockings.

Let’s hope that Trump is successful before Christmas in getting the wall funded. And let’s hope Congress finally gets its act together and remembers the meaning of that oath that they all took. Otherwise, the Grinch may get his way or her way.

This Fox News opinion piece is used by permission; it’s adapted from Laura Ingraham’s “The Angle” monologue from “The Ingraham Angle” on Dec. 12, 2018. Laura Ingraham is the host of Fox News Channel’s (FNC) “The Ingraham Angle” (weeknights 10 p.m. ET). She joined the network in 2007 as a contributor. 

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The post Democrats Deny These Immigration Truths appeared first on LifeZette.

Pelosi, Schumer ‘Used to’ Care About ‘Poorest Citizens’ Before Prioritizing Illegal Immigrants

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 04:45

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) “used to claim that they cared about our poorest citizens” — but now they “seem more like the Grinch making promises to” illegal immigrants, Fox News host Laura Ingraham said Wednesday night on “The Ingraham Angle.”

Schumer and Pelosi met on Tuesday with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office to discuss whether or not they could reach a budget agreement before federal funding expires and a government shutdown commences.

Reporters and cameras captured the first 15 minutes of the contentious meeting, as Trump passionately demanded full border wall funding — and the Democrats adamantly rejected that.

“If we don’t get what we want one way or the other … I will shut down the government,” Trump said.

“I am proud to shut down the government for border security because the people of this country don’t want criminals with lots of problems and drugs pouring into the country,” he added.

Ingraham specifically pointed to a Forbes article from February noting that Americans “cross-subsidize health care for unauthorized immigrants to the tune of $18.5 billion a year.”

“Now with that money, we could build a triple wall with all sorts of cool stuff on it along the border. Come on — $18.5 billion?” Ingraham said. “The president knows well that our loose asylum laws — another issue, the catch and release policy, chain migration — have also acted as magnets, and that has ballooned our illegal immigrant population.”

“Once in country, [illegal immigrants] place an enormous stress on local law enforcement, as I said, health care providers, and our schools — resources that should be benefitting Americans and legal immigrants,” Ingraham added. “This money should be spent on our people and the people who respected our laws to come here — not on noncitizens who are illegally present.”

Ingraham lamented that Democrats like Schumer and Pelosi “used to claim that they cared about our poorest citizens, the little guy. But this year, Chuck and Nancy seem more like the Grinch making promises to the illegals.”

Related: ‘No Downside to Securing Our Border,’ Says Homan

“Well, sure — give all the goodies to the illegals and leave the poor and the working class to pick up the bill,” Ingraham continued. “Let’s hope that Trump is successful before Christmas in getting the wall funded,” she added, “and let’s hope Congress finally gets its act together and remembers the meaning of that oath that they all took.”

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R), who served as vice chairman of Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, told Ingraham there are “three major losers when we have unbridled illegal immigration right now.”

“The first, as has been mentioned, is the American worker, because not only are those jobs taken, you also have wage depression,” Kobach said. “Secondly, the taxpayer. The total amount, net — even if you take into [account] the taxes illegal immigrants pay — the total amount that we taxpayers are on the hook for every year is over $100 billion, if you get state expenditures and federal expenditures.”

“Let’s hope Congress finally gets its act together and remembers the meaning of that oath that they all took.”

“And then the third category of people who lose are the victims of the thousands upon thousands of illegal alien-committed crimes and, as President Trump pointed out in that discussion yesterday, there is the terrorism risk, as well,” Kobach added.

“So we have a very real cost in terms of our security, our jobs and [our] tax burden.”

For more, check out the video below:

The post Pelosi, Schumer ‘Used to’ Care About ‘Poorest Citizens’ Before Prioritizing Illegal Immigrants appeared first on LifeZette.

Melania Trump in a Fox News Interview: ‘It’s Very Important’ We Support Our ‘Brave’ Military

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 04:07

First lady Melania Trump flew in a V-22 Osprey aircraft to visit members of our nation’s military and their families on the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier on Wednesday and spent time as well at bases in Virginia and Washington, D.C.

At the conclusion of her military visits, she sat down with host Sean Hannity of Fox News for an exclusive interview that aired on “Hannity” on Wednesday night, in which she addressed the challenges of her job, the media spotlight, and her relationship with her husband, President Donald J. Trump.

“It’s very important we support them. [The] holidays are coming. Not many of [the servicemen and women] will be with their families,” said Melania Trump. “So for me, it’s very important to show them that the president and I and the country — we are behind them.”

The interview took place on the Navy’s nuclear-powered USS George H.W. Bush, on which 3,000 military members are currently serving, the first lady said.

“I do what I think is right,” she said about her actions as first lady and about the attention she gets from the media. “I know I will get the criticism — from the public or from the media — but I will do what is right and what I feel is right for the country and for the people.”

She also told Hannity the most challenging aspect of her role as first lady involves dealing with “opportunists using my name or my family name to advance themselves.”

Among the groups of opportunists she named were comedians, journalists, performers, and book authors.

Though she said the opportunists’ actions hadn’t hurt her personally, “the problem is they’re writing history and it’s not correct,” she said.

She noted that both her role in the fashion business and now her job as first lady require a “thick skin.”

The media like “to focus on the gossip,” she said, adding she’d prefer they focus on “substance” and “what we do, not just about nonsense.”

She doesn’t have much time to watch the news, she said.

Instead, she focuses on her duties as first lady.

“I think my husband is doing an incredible job,” she said, adding the country as a whole was doing the “best ever,” and that she would like to see the pattern continue through a second term.

That does not mean, of course, that she and the president always agree, she said, adding that she offers her husband “advice” and her “honest opinion” about certain things.

“Sometimes he listens, sometimes he doesn’t,” she said with a smile.

“We had a great chemistry from day one,” she said about meeting and dating her future spouse.

She described her husband as a “fighter” and praised his business acumen, his patriotic determination to make America successful, and his ability to connect with people.

That does not mean, of course, that she and the president always agree, she said, adding that she offers her husband “advice” and her “honest opinion” about certain things.

“He’s fighting for America and the American people every day.”

“He wants to govern the right way, and sometimes it’s tough because he could see that the media wants to bash and focus on negativity.”

Earlier in the day, before her interview with Hannity, Melania Trump visited Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling outside Washington and Joint Base Langley-Eustis (JBLE) in Hampton, Virginia.

In hangar 789 at JBLE, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan introduced the first lady, who addressed U.S. Air Force servicemen and local school children, according to a release from JBLE.

Thanks @JBLEnews for the great reception today! I had the honor of introducing @FLOTUS and meeting some remarkable @USAirForce Airmen and @USArmy Soldiers. @JBLE holds strategic importance to the @DeptofDefense, providing mission-ready air power all over the world. pic.twitter.com/lBUdbWIFcD

— Dep Sec of Defense Pat Shanahan (@DepSecDef) December 12, 2018

Later, she flew to the USS George H.W. Bush to meet U.S. Navy sailors.

“We are off to visit some of our brave men & women in uniform today & thank them for their service. I’ll be visiting Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Joint Base Langley-Eustis & the #USSGeorgeHWBush aircraft carrier today. Looking forward to meeting everyone! #USA,” she tweeted on Wednesday morning.

The tweet featured a short video taken from the cockpit of the specialty aircraft.

We are off to visit some of our brave men & women in uniform today & thank them for their service. I’ll be visiting Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Joint Base Langley-Eustis & the #USSGeorgeHWBush aircraft carrier today. Looking forward to meeting everyone! #USA pic.twitter.com/XrYsFyItJJ

— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) December 12, 2018

“Wonderful to be in Hangar 789 with many service members & their families at @JBLEnews! Our prayers remain with all those serving overseas this Christmas. God Bless you all! #USA,” the first lady tweeted Wednesday evening, showing several photographs of her visit with service members and their families at Joint Base Langley-Eustis.

Check out these tweets — then see the video right below them of the Melania Trump interview.

Wonderful to be in Hangar 789 with many service members & their families at @JBLEnews! Our prayers remain with all those serving overseas this Christmas. God Bless you all! #USA pic.twitter.com/MkCeZlB23k

— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) December 13, 2018

An incredible day spending time with our men and women in uniform on USS George H.W. Bush. Thank you for your sacrifice & service! #USA pic.twitter.com/WWncNQfiMj

— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) December 13, 2018

#Highfives all around! @FLOTUS met with local school children with style!@YCSD pic.twitter.com/zcsiDrghPa

— JB Langley-Eustis (@JBLEnews) December 12, 2018

Thank you Melania for visiting our troops during the Holiday season, we love and support you every step of the way (even though the media won't tell you) were here for you and our beloved President !

— Jonathan Batturs (@JonathanBatturs) December 12, 2018

Best FLOTUS ever! Thank you!

— Shelly Hall (@Shellzshellz) December 12, 2018

And check out this video:

Michele Blood is a Flemington, New Jersey-based freelance writer and regular contributor to LifeZette.

The post Melania Trump in a Fox News Interview: ‘It’s Very Important’ We Support Our ‘Brave’ Military appeared first on LifeZette.

Nativity Scene Removed from Park After People Complained

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 03:35

A Nativity scene in a Woodland, Washington, park was removed Tuesday after city officials said they received complaints questioning the Christmas display’s presence on public land.

Officials said the Nativity scene — featuring a manger, baby Jesus, Joseph, Mary, the three wise men, an angel and several genuflecting animals — would be moved to a privately-owned vacant lot.

The decision came after the city’s attorney advised officials that keeping the display on public property was a violation of federal and state laws.

“I wouldn’t have chosen to do this, but it’s in the best interest of the city to do so,” Mayor Will Finn told Fox 12. “The feedback I’m getting is that it’s in a better spot.”

The Nativity scene itself is privately owned, Fox 12 reported.

The city had allowed it to be displayed at Horseshoe Lake Park for the past few decades, with Finn estimating the manger had been set up in the park every holiday season for the last 40 years.

In recent weeks, however, the city reportedly received several complaints about the religious scene. City Administrator Peter Boyce said he received at least five complaints since the display was erected earlier this month.

Among those who sent the city a letter was Marc McVey, who questioned if the manger’s presence on public grounds was legal.

“They responded to me today and said they moved it — it was a difficult decision, which I respect,” he told Fox 12. “Believe me, I’m not anti-religious. I think it’s great. I love this holiday season — I have a Christmas tree up myself, but it made me a little bit uncomfortable to have that on public land.”

Jenny Tingley, who had been able to see the Nativity scene from her home, said she was disappointed to see it moved.

“Our grandkids love it when they put little baby Jesus out,” she said. “I didn’t think it was offensive at all. I thought it added to the look of our town when it’s the holidays.”

The town is now receiving dozens of complaints from residents upset to see the Nativity scene removed from the park.

Boyce said Tuesday the town is now receiving dozens of complaints from residents upset to see the Nativity scene removed from the park.

In a statement, Finn said, “I personally see the Nativity as a symbol of Christmas and feel comfort when seeing it displayed. I’m also grateful for the community’s understanding of the difficult but important decision … This move … puts the Nativity in a more visible location within our city, while respecting the public nature of public property.”

Lucia I. Suarez Sang is a reporter for FoxNews.com. This Fox News piece is used by permission.

Read more at Fox News:
Stormy Daniels Ordered to Pay $292K for Trump’s Legal Fees
Greatest Christmas Gift I Can Think Of (Not What You Would Expect)
California Dem Says U.S. Would Win ‘Short War’ Against Gun-Right Advocates

The post Nativity Scene Removed from Park After People Complained appeared first on LifeZette.

Country Star Reba McEntire: ‘Not My Job’ to Talk Politics

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 00:13

Reba McEntire is one of the few modern celebrities who refuses to talk politics.

The 63-year-old country singer recently told ITK that talking politics has nothing to do with her job as an entertainer.

She said of speaking about political issues, “That’s not my job.”

Though she stays away from the subject matter, she said, she also doesn’t condemn celebrities who do get politically involved.

“That’s why it’s so great to live here in the United States of America,” she said. “You can vote in and you can say what you want to and you can choose not to say what you want to.”

It’s not the first instance in which McEntire refused to engage in politics.

In an appearance on “The View” last year, she explained that her decision to stay away from that arena is something she does out of respect for her fans.

She said when she is performing a concert, she is there “to entertain them [the fans], to take their worries away from them, so when they walk out, they can kind of have a little lift in their step and go, ‘Aw, that was such a great break from all the problems I have to deal with during daily life.’ So I’m not going to give them my political views.”

It’s a rare sentiment in an entertainment industry that seems to reward and celebrate diatribes at award shows and in interviews. The more someone insults the current president, the more applause that person gets from the industry.

Nearly every celebrity today is an amateur pundit — and these folks spend more time insulting their right-leaning fans than actually creating art.

McEntire is still an incredibly popular musician and it’s clearly partly because of her refusal to dabble in politics. Other popular celebrities who give the cold shoulder to political preaching include popular stars like Mark Wahlberg and Chris Pratt.

“A lot of celebrities did, do, and shouldn’t [talk about politics],” Wahlberg said about preachy celebrities last year.

McEntire is best known for songs like “Fancy” and “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia.” She has won three Grammy Awards and been nominated a total of 15 times.

McEntire also has an impressive acting career.

She has starred in beloved movies like “Tremors” and “The Little Rascals” and she even had her own successful sitcom for a number of years.

“Reba,” in which the country star played a freshly divorced mother of three, ran for a total of 125 episodes from 2001 to 2007.

For more on Reba McEntire, check out the video below:

The post Country Star Reba McEntire: ‘Not My Job’ to Talk Politics appeared first on LifeZette.

Farm Bill Sails Through Congress with Bipartisan Support

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 21:36

Congress passed the latest version of legislation covering national agricultural and food policies on Wednesday with overwhelming bipartisan support.

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 — a five-year, $867 billion bill — is the latest iteration of a program that stretches back to 1933.

The Farm Bill, as it is commonly known, provides assistance to farmers and people in poverty. The Senate first passed the legislation 87 to 13 on Tuesday before it moved along to the House — where it was approved 369 to 47.

“This bill takes a look at those pressures, takes a look at the stresses and strains across all of rural America, the economic development issues, the issues with just the practice of farming and ranching, and says, ‘Here are federal resources that we want to put against those problems, against the issue of farmers going out of business,'” House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-Texas), who introduced the bill, said minutes before the vote.

The Farm Bill comes after months of bipartisan discussions to draft a final version of the legislation.

House and Senate lawmakers formed a conference committee to bridge the differences between their versions of the bill on July 18.

The lawmakers eventually announced the final version of the proposal late Monday.

Related: GOP Helps Dems Kill Conservative Amendments to Farm Bill

President Donald Trump now needs to sign the bill before it can become law.

He expressed his support for it on Tuesday during an otherwise contentious meeting with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on funding for his proposed security wall along the southern border.

“The farm bill is moving along nicely,” Trump said during the meeting. “We think the farm bill is in very good shape. A lot of good things are happening with it, and our farmers are well taken care of. And again, that will be quite bipartisan and it will happen pretty soon.”

The legislation over the years has provided farmers with crop insurance, subsidies and loans. Disaster relief provisions apply generally and there are subsidies for specific agricultural industries.

The legislation has also been split with funding for food stamps as well, officially called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

“We think the farm bill is in very good shape. A lot of good things are happening with it, and our farmers are well taken care of,” said Trump.

This most recent iteration of the bill calls for a number of updates. It enhances assistance to farm producers who have a revenue or market value shortfalls, with increased flexibility for tracking and filing claims. It also increases farming loan programs, which allow crops to be used as collateral.

The bill also increases access to disaster relief programs and includes a measure that legalizes hemp. The federal government heavily regulates and restricts commercial use of hemp because of its relation to cannabis. But unlike its cousin plant, hemp can’t get people high. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) applauded the hemp provision as a big boost for the agricultural industry.

The SNAP component of the program is the most significant part. The Congressional Budget Office found that the last version of the law from four years ago mostly consisted of nutrition program funding at 80 percent.

The latest version doesn’t make too many changes, with the exception of some provisions to better combat fraud.

“Unfortunately this bill has become about more than supporting our farmers,” Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) said in a statement provided to LifeZette. “Too much of this bill is devoted to irresponsible food stamp distribution that fails to help people realize the dignity of work. I could not support this bill because it does not contain stronger work requirements for food stamps.”

The House also brewed some controversy in its procedural vote to establish the rules on how the bill would be debated.

A provision within the proposed rules prevents lawmakers from forcing a vote for the rest of the year on any resolution that attempts to cut off support for Saudi Arabia in Yemen.

It was narrowly passed after some backlash, 206-203.

“Does your congressman know what’s hidden in a procedural vote on the Farm Bill today?” Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) tweeted before the vote Wednesday.

“Does he or she care? To avoid a debate on whether the US should be involved in a war in Yemen, today our leadership will trick members into suspending the provisions of the War Powers Act.”

Check out this video:

The post Farm Bill Sails Through Congress with Bipartisan Support appeared first on LifeZette.

After Boy Is Bullied for His ‘Trump’ Name, Here’s What Happened

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 20:58

For two years, kids bullied young Joshua Trump of Delaware so relentlessly at school that soon the 11-year-old will be going by a different last name.

“They curse at him, they call him an idiot, they call him stupid,” said his mother, Megan Trump Berto, according to ABC7 in Los Angeles, California.

“He was getting ridiculed and bullied for the fact that his last name was Trump,” added his father, Bobby Berto.

The bullying apparently got so bad for Joshua — whose mother’s maiden name is Trump — that his parents pulled him out of grade school for a year, opting to homeschool him instead.

They hoped things would change for the better in middle school.

Teachers at Talley Middle School in Wilmington, Delaware, were made aware of the issues the boy faced in elementary school and tried their best to not use his last name when speaking with him, said Talley Middle School Principal Mark Mayer, according to WPVI.

Since when bullying became the norm for some people? Obviously, it's being viewed as a gateway to adult criminal activity at an educated level. How tragic! How to be smart while being a bully… https://t.co/1S0ww11Njj

— DeeDee (@deeedeeelicious) December 12, 2018

https://t.co/j9D3ErNAH4 this is horrible! what a sad world we live in. I feel so bad for this kid "hates himself, and he hates his last name, and he feels sad all the time," Megan added. "He doesn't want to live feeling like that anymore, and, as a parent, that's scary." #wtf

— Jim Boardman (@JimBoardman3) December 12, 2018

Boy bullied for having name Trump is example of why we should all be kinder https://t.co/E55Vu2VfNv pic.twitter.com/QA2DaGJpY7

— Delaware Online (@delawareonline) December 12, 2018

Yet the bullying continued.

It’s now affecting how Joshua feels about himself, said his parents, noted Newsweek.

“He said he hates himself, and he hates his last name, and he feels sad all the time, and he doesn’t want to live, feeling like that anymore, and as a parent that’s scary,” his mother told WPVI, the ABC affiliate in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

In the meantime, Joshua’s parents have met with the school multiple times about various bullying-related incidents, Brandywine School District public information officer Alexis Andrianopoulos told Newsweek.

The first meeting took place last week, but it was about incidents unrelated to Joshua’s last name.

The school has since accommodated the family’s request to switch Joshua’s bus. That’s where the bullying related to his name took place.

Talley, a public school, has also agreed to change Joshua’s last name from Trump (his mother’s maiden name) to Berto (his father’s last name) in the school’s system.

Five students at the middle school have also been also disciplined, according to WPVI.

It’s also working on a plan to provide him with extra support.

Five students at the middle school have also been also disciplined, according to WPVI.

Bullying is classified as a Level III offense, according to the Brandywine School District student code of conduct.

The section on bullying reads, in part, as follows: “Bullying is any intentional written, electronic, verbal, or physical act or actions against a student school volunteer, or school employee that a reasonable person, under the circumstances should know will have the effect of: 1.) Placing a student, school volunteer, or school employee in reasonable fear of substantial harm to his or her emotional or physical well-being or substantial damage to his or her property; 2.) Creating a hostile, threatening, humiliating, or abusive educational environment due to the pervasiveness or persistence of actions or due to a power differential between the bully and the target …”

Researchers, meanwhile, have a very specific definition of bullying, according to Psychology Today.

“Bullying involves deliberate, aggressive acts targeting a particular individual repeatedly, over time (although some researchers also count a single severe aggressive act), and it involves a power difference between the bully and the target. In other words the bully is bigger, stronger, tougher, or more socially powerful than the person being bullied, which makes it difficult or impossible for targets of bullying to defend or protect themselves.”

At the school district in question, “this year has been focused on relationship building and understanding each student’s story,” Andrianopoulos told Newsweek.

“Students meet in groups with school counselors every other week to receive valuable lessons on team building, relationships, social and emotional learning, and building connections with each other,” she added.

Elizabeth Economou is a former CNBC staff writer and adjunct professor. Follow her on Twitter.

The post After Boy Is Bullied for His ‘Trump’ Name, Here’s What Happened appeared first on LifeZette.

House Approves Block on Yemen War Vote That Was Hidden in Farm Bill Rules

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 19:55

House lawmakers approved on Wednesday a proposed set of rules governing the Farm Bill debate after it was revealed to obtain a provision that blocks votes on the Yemen conflict.

Lawmakers have quickly moved on the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 since the final version of it was released on Monday.

The Senate passed it on Tuesday before it moved along to the House for consideration.

Some lawmakers called out the unrelated provision in the proposed rules — but it still ended up narrowly passing 206 to 203.

Related: GOP Helps Dems Kill Conservative Amendments to Farm Bill

“Does your congressman know what’s hidden in a procedural vote on the Farm Bill today?” Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) tweeted before the vote on Wednesday.

“Does he or she care? To avoid a debate on whether the U.S. should be involved in a war in Yemen, today our leadership will trick members into suspending the provisions of the War Powers Act.”

The provision within the proposed rules would specifically prevent lawmakers from forcing a vote for the rest of this year on any resolution that attempts to cut off support for Saudi Arabia in Yemen.

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and Massie have been leading a coalition trying to push a vote to remove troops in Yemen.

Does your Congressman know what’s hidden in a procedural vote on the Farm Bill today? Does he or she care? To avoid a debate on whether the US should be involved in a war in Yemen, today our leadership will trick members into suspending the provisions of the War Powers Act. SAD! pic.twitter.com/PVziN9d2lP

— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) December 12, 2018

“I urge my colleagues to vote against the rule because the Republicans couldn’t help themselves and had to insert this Yemen issue into this rule,” Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said from the floor right before the vote.

“This issue has been going on for years. This is not a new phenomenon, what’s happening in Yemen. It is a tragedy that has gone on for years.”

Related: Freedom Caucus Kills Big-Spending Farm Bill

The Farm Bill comes after months of bipartisan discussions to draft a final version of the legislation.

President Donald Trump has expressed his support for the measure and is expected to sign if it gets to his desk. He said the bill was in good shape and farmers will be well taken care of; the House is expected to pass it Wednesday.

The legislation over the years has generally provided farmers with crop insurance, subsidies and loans.

Disaster relief provisions apply generally and there are subsidies for specific agricultural industries.

The legislation has also been split with funding for food stamps as well, officially called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Massie also tweeted this on Wednesday:

.@SpeakerRyan endangers the Farm billhttps://t.co/fkARvfCIp9

— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) December 12, 2018

By a vote of 206 to 203 congress just flushed our War Powers down the toilet. SAD!

— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) December 12, 2018

Check out this video:

The post House Approves Block on Yemen War Vote That Was Hidden in Farm Bill Rules appeared first on LifeZette.

Brzezinski Apologizes for Her ‘Wannabe Dictator’s Butt Boy’ Slur About Pompeo

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 19:48

MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski became engulfed in controversy on Wednesday when she faced accusations of homophobia for mocking Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as a “wannabe dictator’s butt-boy.”

Brzezinski (pictured above right) began by criticizing Pompeo (above left) for his reaction to the murder of The Washington Post’s Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey.

In particular, Brzezinski reacted to Pompeo’s recent interview on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” in which he denounced the “tragic” murder but emphasized that Saudi Arabia is still “an important ally” of the U.S.

Pompeo said “the Saudis have already paid the price. There are the folks who actually committed the murder, we’ve held accountable. We will continue to do that. No one underestimates how horrible this murder was.”

“I understand that [President] Donald Trump doesn’t care,” Brzezinski reacted. “But why doesn’t Mike Pompeo care right now?”

“Are the pathetic deflections that we just heard when he appeared on ‘Fox & Friends’ ― is that a patriot speaking or a wannabe dictator’s butt boy?” Brzezinski wondered.

The “Morning Joe” co-host’s slur came during a time when people have been digging into celebrities’ social media histories trying to find homophobic tweets or other offensive comments that are literally years old.

Brzezinski’s slur drew immediate backlash on social media as people accused her of homophobia.

Photographer and writer G.E. Anderson tweeted, “.@morningmika just asked if Mike Pompeo is a ‘wannabe dictator’s butt boy,’ as homophobic a term as I’ve heard on national morning television. @MSNBC tried and failed to censor it, and did not transcribe her remark in the closed captioning. #journalism.”

Related: ‘The View’ Decries the ‘Mob Mentality’ That Separated Kevin Hart from the Oscars

“I was with you, @morningmika, right up to the ‘butt boy’ comment. Try ‘toadie’ or ‘lackey’ or ‘stool pigeon’ or ‘a** kisser,’ or ‘traitor,’ but maybe don’t equate homosexuality with Mike Pompeo carrying water for the murderous regime in Saudi Arabia,” Anderson added.

.@morningmika just asked if Mike Pompeo is a “wannabe dictator’s butt boy,” as homophobic a term as I’ve heard on national morning television. @MSNBC tried and failed to censor it, and did not transcribe her remark in the closed captioning. #journalism pic.twitter.com/3zK7H8evjh

— G.E. Anderson (@g_e_anderson) December 12, 2018

I was with you, @morningmika, right up to the “butt boy” comment. Try “toadie” or “lackey” or “stool pigeon” or “ass kisser,” or “traitor,” but maybe don’t equate homosexuality with Mike Pompeo carrying water for the murderous regime in Saudi Arabia.

— G.E. Anderson (@g_e_anderson) December 12, 2018

NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik wrote, “This is bad.”

He also said, “Will require more from Brzezinski than a Twitterpology.”

This is bad. Will require more from Brzezinski than a Twitterpology. https://t.co/GoTKn23wrl

— David Folkenflik (@davidfolkenflik) December 12, 2018

Radio host Larry O’Connor tweeted, “Mika Brzezinski (called Sec State “butt boy”), Alec Baldwin (called photographer “c***sucker”), Joy Reid (years of homophobic statements on her blog and Twitter), All employees in good standing at @nbc and @NBCNews.”

Mika Brzezinski (called Sec State "butt boy")
Alec Baldwin (called photographer "c***sucker")
Joy Reid (years of homophobic statements on her blog and Twitter)

All employees in good standing at @nbc and @NBCNews

— Larry O'Connor (@LarryOConnor) December 12, 2018

MSNBC host Joy Reid found herself in the middle of a firestorm in 2017 and 2018 for homophobic blog posts she wrote from 2007 to 2009.

Although Reid apologized and insisted she has “evolved” since then, she also claimed that her blog may have been hacked because she didn’t remember writing some of the offensive posts.

But MSNBC didn’t nix Reid.

Media Research Center (MRC) Vice President for Business and Culture Dan Gainor tweeted, “Hey @MSNBC, isn’t this anti-gay? Oh yeah, you don’t care about that because you still employ @JoyAnnReid.”

Hey @MSNBC, isn't this anti-gay? Oh yeah, you don't care about that because you still employ @JoyAnnReid | Disgusting Mika Brzezinski Slimes Pompeo as "Wannabe Dictator’s Butt Boy" https://t.co/adzumSsbrH

— Dan Gainor (@dangainor) December 12, 2018

Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean tweeted, “This apology isn’t good enough. Not a simple oops moment. It’s deeply disturbing.”

This apology isn’t good enough. Not a simple oops moment. It’s deeply disturbing.

— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) December 12, 2018

Brzezinski responded directly to Anderson’s criticism and ultimately apologized on Twitter for using the slur without apologizing specifically to Pompeo.

She did, however, apologize to Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who appeared on the segment.

“Totally agree with you — SUPER BAD choice of words … I should have said ‘water boy’… like for football teams or something like that … Apologize to @SenatorDurbin too! SO SORRY!” Brzezinski wrote.

Totally agree with you -SUPER BAD choice of words .. I should have said “water boy”… like for football teams or something like that.. apologize to @SenatorDurbin too! SO SORRY! https://t.co/zIqsGdK3Tk

— Mika Brzezinski (@morningmika) December 12, 2018

Check out Brzezinski’s remarks in the video clip below:

The post Brzezinski Apologizes for Her ‘Wannabe Dictator’s Butt Boy’ Slur About Pompeo appeared first on LifeZette.

Incoming Attorney General in New York Vows to Take Down Trump

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 18:18

New York Attorney General-elect Letitia James (D) wants President Donald Trump to know that she “will use every area of the law to investigate” him “and his business transactions and that of his family” in the hope of unearthing illegal activities.

Trump Tower, located in Manhattan, served as both the president’s campaign headquarters and the Trump Organization’s headquarters.

The president will face a slew of new investigations into his conduct, his family business and more come January when the Democrats officially take the majority in the House.

And James (pictured above right), who will be the first African-American and woman to serve as New York’s attorney general, spoke with NBC News for an article published on Tuesday. She said she plans to investigate “anyone” in Trump’s circle who could have violated state laws.

“We will use every area of the law to investigate President Trump and his business transactions and that of his family as well,” James said bluntly. “We want to investigate anyone in his orbit who has, in fact, violated the law.”

The NBC News piece noted this of James, by the way: “She’s also enlisting help from some prosecutorial heavy hitters, like former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, as a part of her transition to help her identify important hires for her office with an eye on bringing in experts for its Trump-related investigations.”

It also said that “the White House, Trump Organization, an attorney representing the company, and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani did not respond to requests for comment.”

James campaigned heavily on swamping Trump and his family with investigations — including any potential illegal business and real estate dealings related to Trump’s finances, the infamous Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian official, government subsidies Trump received, alleged Emoluments Clause violations, and dealings with the Trump Foundation.

The incoming state attorney general made thwarting and targeting Trump a central component of her campaign.

James also said she’d work on passing laws that would allow New York officials to pursue state charges against any individuals Trump may or may not pardon.

“I think within the first 100 days this bill will be passed,” James predicted. ”It is a priority because I have concerns with respect to the possibility that this administration might pardon some individuals who might face some criminal charges, but I do not want them to be immune from state charges.”

James claimed that “taking on President Trump and looking at all of the violations of law I think is no match [for] what I have seen in my lifetime.”

Related: The Nine Most Hyperbolic Reactions to the Trump-Cohen Allegations

She also praised special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into allegations of collusion between Trump campaign officials and Russians during the 2016 president election.

Mueller is “doing an excellent job,” James insisted. ”I think he’s closing in on this president … and his days are going to be coming to an end shortly.”

“I believe that the president of these United States can be indicted for criminal offenses, and we would join with law enforcement and other attorneys general across this nation in removing this president from office.”

The incoming New York attorney general appeared on a NowThis News video on YouTube in September; and in that, she offered even harsher words for Trump and called for his impeachment.

“It is important that everyone understand that the days of Donald Trump are coming to an end,” James claimed. “I believe that this president is incompetent. I believe that this president is ill-equipped to serve in the highest office of this land, and I believe that he is an embarrassment to all that we stand for.”

“He should be charged with obstructing justice,” James continued. “I believe that the president of these United States can be indicted for criminal offenses, and we would join with law enforcement and other attorneys general across this nation in removing this president from office.”

Check out James’ video below:

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Stacey Abrams of Georgia: ‘Yes, I’m Going to Run Again’

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 17:27

Stacey Abrams may have lost the Georgia gubernatorial race this year, but she doesn’t think her political career is over.

“Yes, I’m going to run again,” Abrams said when asked during Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Next Gen summit Tuesday, adding.

“Stay tuned!”

She said she hasn’t yet decided what office she’ll seek next because she wants to avoid making “decisions out of anger.” She also said the next job should have a “mission” that aligns with her skillset.

“I care about policy,” Abrams said. “I’m driven by a commitment to justice, to ending poverty, to addressing social needs and using public policy as a tool to improve the lives around us.”

Abrams, who had hoped to make history as the first black governor of Georgia and first female black governor of any state, lost November’s gubernatorial election to Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

The race was one of the most closely watched gubernatorial contests nationally in the 2018 midterm elections. It was also marked with drama and intrigue as Democrats, including Abrams, raised concerns of voter suppression.

Abrams has famously declined to officially concede the election and said she would not call Kemp the legitimate governor-elect. On Tuesday, Abrams said she refused to concede the race “because words matter.”

“For me, concession — there’s a legal and moral nature to conceding. It means you’ve accepted something is right, that it is just, that it is proper,” Abrams said. “What happened was not just. And it’s not about whether I get to be inaugurated as governor; it’s about thousands of people who were denied the right to vote in the most remarkable democracy ever put on this earth.”

“So, yes, [Kemp] is going to become the governor. Yes, for four years he will be responsible. But no, I do not concede that what happened to me and to others,” she continued. “I will not accept that that is true and a good and proper thing.”

As secretary of state, part of Kemp’s duties included the responsibility of “the administration of secure, accessible, and fair elections,” according to his website.

He touted Georgia’s so-called “exact match” law, which flags discrepancies between voter registrations and official identification documents. If there are any differences — such as a missing hyphen — voters had to clear the matter up with a state official before voting.

But those restrictions were estimated to affect only approximately 3,000 voters — far short of the nearly 55,000-vote margin that Kemp obtained on his way to victory.

Despite the loss, Abrams said she considered her race to be “successful” because of her campaign’s ability to “turn out voters who had never been engaged” in politics before.

He also resigned as secretary of state shortly after the election.

Despite the loss, Abrams said she considered her race to be “successful” because of her campaign’s ability to “turn out voters who had never been engaged” in politics before, pointing specifically to African-Americans and younger voters.

An attorney, Abrams was the first black leader in the Georgia state House, having previously served as the minority leader.

She is also an award-winning romance novelist, penning eight books under the nom de plume Selena Montgomery.

And see this video:

Fox News’ Gregg Re contributed to this Fox News report, which is used by permission.

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College Slammed for Expelling Student Over Alleged Rape Without Questioning Key Witnesses

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 17:15

The University of Southern California will have to overturn the expulsion of a student accused of rape because the school investigators did not question central witnesses and couldn’t locate “physical evidence” to determine the validity of the allegations, a California appeals court ruled on Tuesday.

The court said the accused student was denied a fair Title IX proceeding, because in addition to investigators apparently not being interested in interviewing the witnesses, their testimonies about the alleged nonconsensual anal rape were riddled with “inconsistencies” and raised questions whether the perceived blood they saw in the accuser’s apartment was actually paint.

The opinion, first published by The College Fix, noted that the university was quick to decide to expel “John Doe” and ignored its own rules to request clothing and medical records from “Jane Roe.”

The USC case stems from an incident over four years ago after Doe and Roe met at an alcohol-fueled party, where students splattered paint on each other and where Roe behaved “very flirty” with men, according to the evidence reviewed by the appeals court, and ended up with Doe in her room later in the night.

Roe told Title IX investigator Kegan Allee that she blacked out and her memories of the incident are coming from her friend named Emily, according to The College Fix.

She said “there was blood on the sheets and mattress” and she was “covered in blood in her rectal area and on her thighs” in addition to paint.

Related: Conservative Students Still Self-Censor to Cope with Bias on Campus

“He was having sex with me but I wasn’t responding back. He flipped me over and pushed my head down … The only thing I remember saying was ‘condom’ because I was probably really nervous he wasn’t using one,” she said.

“The most vivid memory is the pain from the anal intercourse. I shouted from [the] pain. I’m pretty sure it was loud. There was aggression to make him stop.”

Roe reportedly messaged her friend saying she “was taken advantage of but it’s fine” and that “it happens.” She also called another friend about the encounter, though couldn’t say if she had “verbally consented.”

Doe’s friend Carter, meanwhile, said the accuser initiated the sexual encounter and his friend stopped after he thought she wanted to have anal sex.

The university suspended Doe based on the allegations, claiming he is “a clear and present danger” to the campus, even as the evidence such as her clothing from the night, medical records, and the used condom was not provided to the defense so it could test it independently.

The Title IX investigator ruled that Doe “knew or should have known, regardless of his own intoxication,” that the woman was “too drunk to consent to sexual activity.”

Allee added that even if the accuser did “appear” to consent to vaginal sex, she was nonetheless “too incapacitated” to consent.

The appeals court slammed the school for over-reliance on one of the interviewer’s written notes rather than trying to locate and record physical evidence of the alleged crime, stating “there was no physical evidence” to back the school investigator’s findings.

The ruling is the latest setback for the Obama-era directive on campus rape, named “A Dear Colleague Letter” that set the procedures for colleges that receive a sexual assault report.

The procedures include setting how long campus sexual investigations should take, what standards of evidence should be used, and prohibiting colleges from just sending a case to the police.

Education experts have long criticized the directive and standards used in the prosecution of sexual assault on campus, claiming the accused students often do not receive significant protections and due process rights – turning university investigations into so-called “kangaroo courts.”

Last month, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos unveiled the overhaul of the procedures, adding more protections for those who have been accused of assault and harassment. The proposed Title IX changes would limit the definition of sexual harassment and allow for the cross-examination of the accused by the accuser’s defense team.

The proposal also seeks to “clarify that in responding to any claim of sex discrimination under Title IX, recipients are not required to deprive an individual of rights that would be otherwise guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution; prohibit the Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) from requiring a recipient to pay money damages as a remedy for a violation of any Title IX regulation; and eliminate the requirement that religious institutions submit a written statement to qualify for the Title IX religious exemption.”

Multiple students have been clashing with universities, claiming they were punished despite not finding enough evidence.

Matt Boermeester, also of the University of Southern California, was accused of sexual misconduct under Title IX. He was suspended — just weeks before graduating — and barred from campus and contacting his girlfriend, the victim of his alleged sexual assault.

Michigan State University, meanwhile, charged a student with sexual harassment even though local authorities did not charge him with any type of crime.

The investigators found Boermeester guilty of the crime even as his girlfriend, Zoe Katz, denied the allegations. “Nothing happened that warranted an investigation, much less the unfair, biased and drawn-out process that we have been forced to endure quietly,” she said.

Michigan State University, meanwhile, charged a student with sexual harassment even though local authorities did not charge him with any type of crime.

Two students referred to as “Nathan and Melanie” in legal documents were already in a romantic relationship when Nathan put his hand under Melanie’s shirt. The accuser, who now identifies as a man, made a formal complaint to the university 16 months later for the “one-time, non-consensual touching.”

Melanie cited being transgender as the key reason for coming forward and claimed to fear encountering her ex-lover in the male bathrooms.

Fox News’ Caleb Parke contributed to this Fox News report, which is used by permission.

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Marines and Toys for Tots: A Priceless Family Program

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 16:30

The Marine Toys for Tots program is back. Every holiday season I look forward to seeing dedicated Marines dressed to the nines collecting toys to make sure every child has a new present at this time of year.

Toys for Tots has been “delivering hope since 1947.” The annual toy drive began when Marine Corps Reserve Major Bill Hendricks and his wife, Diane, while stationed in Los Angeles, wanted to deliver toys to families in need.

Not finding an existing organization that filled that need, they enlisted the help of other Marines in Major Hendricks’ unit. Toys for Tots had begun!

The commandant of the Marine Corps directed all Marine Reserve Sites to support the initiative in their area the following year. In 1991, the official Marine Toys for Tots Foundation was formed as a nonprofit organization.

Celebrities have also publicly supported the program over the years. Walt Disney, a friend of Major Hendricks, designed the official logo. Other celebrity champions have included five of the past six First Ladies of the United States and President Reagan.

Bob Hope was also an avid supporter and acted as the 1987 national honorary chairman.

The program’s website says 548 million toys have been distributed to support 251 million children. That’s right — 251 million kids have had something special to unwrap due to the generosity of corporate sponsors, the American public, and the USMC Reserve volunteers.

In a society that is (understandably) skeptical of how much of donations to nonprofit organizations go to those in need, Toys for Tots highlights their program/support ratio. Almost 97 percent of donated money and items goes directly to the program. The remaining 3 percent is spent to support the fundraising and administrative aspect of running a nonprofit.

But Toys for Tots draws attention to the fact that “not one donated dollar goes to salaries or any other manpower costs.”

How are they able to run such a wide-reaching organization without using any donations for salaries and employees? In steps the volunteer spirit of the United States Marine Corps Reserves.

What began out of the Hendricks’ desire to give back during the holidays has continued in that spirit.

Marine Reserve Units volunteer their time to collect toys and distribute them to those in need.

In recent years, specific initiatives have grown to further support those in need. The Toys for Tots Literacy Program provides books to children in need to help support them academically. The UPS Store has been a large partner in the initiative in the 10 years that it has been active. This year, The UPS Store has pledged $100,000 in donated books to schools, non-profits, and philanthropic groups around the country. The Literacy Program is supported by research done by the National Center for Children in Poverty, which shows the importance in access to books in the home.

“Providing children’s books to families will offer these children a fun way to close the reading gap and help improve their academic success,” says Toys for Tots.

The Marine Toys for Tots Native American Program makes sure that gifts are provided to Native American children. When the program began, Native American children in need often did not receive toys due to the logistics challenges of getting deliveries to the intended recipients. Tribal reservation police department volunteers would volunteer their own time and money to drive to California and pick up the toys.

Since 1980, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation supports the initiative by shipping directly to the Tribal reservations.

Even years later, recipients of toys remember the joy that the program brought to their family.

“Toys for Tots was the only reason I received a gift for Christmas each year as a child,” said Cindy from California. “I remember my dad waiting in line the whole day in order for me and my siblings to have something to open on Christmas.”

Similar messages of thanks come from all over the country. Gary from Maine said that he would have “three heartbroken kids” after he was laid off from his job right before Christmas.

“My children are my life,” he said. “I am ever so grateful that Toys for Tots exists.”

Volunteers and donors also offer testimonials on the benefit that the program has had for them. “After the death of my daughter and other personal crises, I felt down, alone and with no self-worth,” volunteer Effie said. Heading up the Toys for Tots distribution in her area helped her find herself again.

“Helping others and getting involved will change you and give you an appreciation for what you have,” she said.

Related: Forever the Unsung Hero of Christmas

She has been working with Toys for Tots and other nonprofits in her area for three years.

Amid the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it can be easy to lose sight of what is really important. We all get blinded by finding the perfect presents, making sure we fit in all of our holiday traditions, and visiting family and friends far and near. All of these things are great ways to celebrate the season, but I challenge everyone to take a page out of Major and Mrs. Hendricks’ book.

Amid the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it can be easy to lose sight of what is really important.

The desire to provide for those in need is a wonderful tribute to the giving spirit of the holidays. The let’s-get-it-done attitude that led them to begin a national movement perfectly embodies the determination of every United States Marine.

If you are interested in donating monetarily or through providing toys and books, you can find Ways to Donate on the Marine Toys for Tots website.

Those wanting to use the Toys for Tots program to provide a holiday gift to a child in their life can visit the Request a Toy page on the same website.

Check out this video:

This OpsLens piece is used by permission.

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