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Pelosi says Trump is a 'potty-mouth' after 'beyond disgraceful' comments about Biden

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 21:07

During a call, Pelosi said Trump comments on "Joe Biden last night was so far beyond the pale” after Trump said Biden "understood how to kiss Barack Obama’s ass."

The Latest: US Syria outpost vacated after coming under fire

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 20:45

U.S. officials say an American outpost in northeastern Syria has been vacated after coming under fire from Turkish artillery. Turkey says it didn't target the U.S. outpost but was responding to fire from Kurdish groups nearby. The Pentagon says U.S. troops in Syria came under artillery fire from the Turks on Friday, in an area where Turkey knows Americans are present.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan Resigns

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 20:01

Win McNamee/GettyKevin McAleenan has resigned from the Trump administration just six months after taking over as Acting Homeland Security Secretary. President Trump announced McAleenan’s departure in a series of tweets late Friday, saying McAleenan wanted to “spend more time with his family and go to the private sector.” “Kevin McAleenan has done an outstanding job as Acting Secretary of Homeland Security. We have worked well together with Border Crossings being way down,” Trump wrote. “Congratulations Kevin, on a job well done! I will be announcing the new Acting Secretary next week. Many wonderful candidates!” In a statement of his own, McAleenan thanked Trump for the opportunity to serve at DHS. “With his support, over the last 6 months, we have made tremendous progress mitigating the border security and humanitarian crisis we faced this year,” he wrote.According to CNN, McAleenan submitted his resignation on Friday despite some White House officials attempting to talk him out of it. His exit comes just a few weeks after he vented frustrations in an interview with The Washington Post, saying it has been “uncomfortable” to lead the agency when he has no control over “the tone, the message, the public face and approach of the department in an increasingly polarized time.”McAleenan, who took over the position in April after Kirstjen Nielsen was ousted, was never nominated by Trump to permanently serve as DHS chief. Despite winning praise within the administration for expediting the construction of border barriers along the southern border and playing a key role in the Trump administration’s controversial family separation policy—which he later conceded “went too far”—McAleenan has largely been seen as a figure who never really blended into Trumpworld. Less than a week before his resignation, he was heckled and shouted down while speaking at an event at Georgetown University. Protesters held up signs reading, “Hate is not normal,” and shouted the names of migrant children who died in U.S. government custody. McAleenan left the event without finishing his speech.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

Man sentenced to death for Texas attack that killed 6

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 19:53

Jurors sentenced Ronald Lee Haskell after deliberating for little more than four hours. The jury had to choose between life in prison without parole or a death sentence. Haskell killed the couple and four of their children in the living room of their suburban Houston home in 2014.

Nobel snub no obstacle in Greta Thunberg's climate quest

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 19:15

Hours after judges passed her up for the Nobel Peace Prize, Greta Thunberg stood before a cheering throng, insisting once again that something must be done about climate change -- and fast. "We as young people are tired of constantly being betrayed by those who are supposed to work for our greater good," the 16-year-old Swedish activist told hundreds of supporters gathered in an outdoor ampitheater in Colorado's largest city, Denver. "We are here because we care about the future, about what we one day will leave after us," Thunberg, clad in a cream-colored jacket with her hair in her trademark braid, said to thunderous applause.

Beto Proposes to Oppress Church with State

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 18:32

Beto O’Rourke’s presidential campaign is within the margin of error of non-existence, but in his failure he has found a purpose: expressing the Democratic id. His latest bid for left-wing love came at a CNN forum on gay rights, where he said that churches that oppose same-sex marriage should have to pay taxes.Religious organizations, like secular non-profits, are exempt from taxes because we do not want government to inhibit a thriving civil society. Abolishing the exemption only for religious groups that do not toe the progressive line would be an outrageous oppression of church by state.Other candidates have not yet echoed O’Rourke. But the crowd applauded. And his position has not come out of nowhere. President Obama’s solicitor general suggested to the Supreme Court that the tax exemption of religious colleges that oppose same-sex marriage might have to be revisited. Six of the presidential candidates, including leading contender Elizabeth Warren, have co-sponsored the “Equality Act,” which specifically states that religious believers could not invoke the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to ask to escape its new restrictions on private conduct. It would be the first congressional limitation of the religious-freedom law since it was enacted, nearly by acclamation, in 1993. Several of the candidates have also endorsed another piece of legislation that is specifically directed at shrinking the reach of that law.If other Democrats are refraining from adopting O’Rourke’s stance, then, it is for contingent reasons of prudence rather than lasting ones of principle. The contemporary Democratic party is a threat to the first freedom mentioned in the Constitution.

Trump mounts last-minute push to thwart Democratic governor in Louisiana

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 17:30

President Donald Trump traveled to Louisiana Friday for an eleventh-hour mission to stop the state's Democratic governor — one of the few statewide Democrats in the Deep South — from winning a second term. If that has the makings of an awkward spectacle, blame Louisiana’s open primary system. Candidates from both parties, including incumbent Gov. John Bel Edwards, are running in Saturday's primary.

More hazing complaints hit Ohio University, leading to the suspension of the marching band, 3 sororities, a professional fraternity, and all social fraternities

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 17:21

After suspending all its social fraternities for hazing allegations, Ohio University received complaints against sororities and the marching band.

Tens of thousands evacuated as California wildfires rage

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 17:08

Much of California was on high alert Friday as wind-driven wildfires tore through the state's south, forcing the evacuation of tens of thousands of people and destroying multiple structures and homes. Fire officials said an 89-year-old woman died in Calimesa, about 70 miles (115 kilometers) east of Los Angeles, when fire swept through a trailer park overnight after the driver of a garbage truck that caught fire dumped his burning load nearby. Another man in his 50s died Thursday night from cardiac arrest as he spoke with firefighters battling the so-called Saddleridge brush fire in the San Fernando Valley, about 20 miles north of downtown Los Angeles, fire officials said.

Trump's stonewalling could speed up impeachment

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 16:36

Democrats believe they have enough evidence to impeach Trump, in the form of a whistleblower complaint and a partial transcript of a phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump asked Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son.

The Latest: Pritzker board member resigns amid senator probe

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 16:29

An appointee of Illinois Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker has stepped down from the Illinois Tollway board after he was mentioned as part of a federal investigation into a state senator. Cesar Santoy resigned Friday at Pritzker's request after an unredacted search warrant released Friday indicated that authorities sought information involving Santoy and his architectural firm Studio Arq.

Kamala’s Fake Lover: Jacob Wohl Told Me It Was for a Spike TV Show

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 16:27

Inept conservative operatives Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman held another bizarre press conference in Burkman’s driveway on Wednesday, this time to smear Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) with obviously fake allegations of an extramarital affair. And like past efforts to manufacture sexual claims against Trump foes—from Robert Mueller, to Pete Buttigieg, to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)—the Harris charade fell apart quickly. The pair’s bogus accuser—26-year-old Sean Newaldass—told The Daily Beast on Friday that he had no idea the event in which he alleged that he was in a romantic dalliance with the Senate was real. That’s because Newaldass had met Wohl and Burkman by replying to an ad posted on Craigslist seeking a “male actor” for “performance art.” When he showed up at Burkman’s Virginia home and delivered his lines alleging an affair, Newaldass was under the belief that the press conference was actually an audition for a Spike TV show. He said he had no idea that Harris was a politician. Indeed, he assumed she was a fictional person. “I thought I was acting for a role in a movie, like a role in a TV series,” Newaldass said. “I thought everything was staged, I’m thinking everyone is an actor.” Jacob Wohl Faked Death Threats Against HimselfNewaldass insists that he believed that everyone at the event, from Wohl and Burkman, to the reporters asking questions, and a heckler dressed as a corncob, were all actors. Wohl promised Newaldass $500 to appear at the event—money that Newaldass said he still has yet to receive.“I’m thinking this is going to be like The Office,” Newaldass said. “The Office has super dry humor.”Newaldass’s allegations are shocking even by Wohl and Burkman’s standards. The duo are known for hamfisted attempts to manufacture smears against political figures and for roping unwitting participants into their schemes. But they have never concocted a fake TV show in order to execute their plans before. As Newaldass realized Wednesday afternoon that the event was real, and that he was being treated as an outright liar on social media, he said he became afraid to leave his home.“To me, it was the most hurt I’ve ever received from anything in the world,” Newaldass said.Asked over Instagram direct message whether he had tricked Newaldass, Wohl responded with only a laughing-crying emoji. Burkman, a lawyer and lobbyist whose membership in the D.C. Bar was recently suspended over unpaid dues, didn’t respond to a request for comment. Jacob Wohl’s Bogus Warren Accuser Exaggerated His Military Service RecordThis isn’t the first time one of Wohl and Burkman’s fake accusers has turned on them. Their Mueller accuser, Carolyne Cass, failed to show up at a much-hyped press conference and later said Wohl and Burkman had made up the claims. College student Hunter Kelly, whose name Burkman and Wohl used to accuse Buttigieg of sexual assault, turned on the pair even faster than Cass, sending out mocking tweets about their press conference announcing his claims as it happened. Their missteps don’t end there. Wohl is set to be arraigned on a felony charge for unlawful sale of securities later this month in California.Newaldass said he first entered Wohl’s orbit by replying to the Craigslist ad, which makes no mention of politics, Burkman and Wohl, or Harris. Shortly after responding, according to Newaldass, he was contacted by Burkman and Wohl. The phone number that Newaldass said Wohl used to contact him is the same as a number Wohl has used in the past to text and make phones call to a reporter at The Daily Beast. On Tuesday night, Wohl and Burkman got Newaldass an Uber to Burkman’s home in Rosslyn, Virginia. Newaldass said he was told the house belonged to Spike TV, a network that no longer exists after parent company Viacom changed the channel’s name to the Paramount Network in 2018. “I was told, ‘This is the audition for a TV show that’s going to be on Spike,’” Newaldass said. “And I can be a personal trainer on the show, right?” Newaldass said Burkman and Wohl showed him the statement he would read on Wednesday , but described it as a “script.” Newaldass found the claims in the statement bizarre, but considered that he had seen similarly strange things in other movies and TV shows.“It’s hard for me to hold my laughs back because I’m like, ‘This is funny,’” Newaldass said. “What kind of comedy is this?” Burkman and Wohl later emailed him the “script,” according to Newaldass, but not without their signature ineptness. Newaldass initially received a statement from the pair making a series of different sexual allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden—apparently because Wohl or Burkman mixed up their smears and attached the wrong file to the email. After he asked Wohl for clarification, they sent the Harris statement instead. Newaldass began to practice what he thought would be his lines.Newaldass arrived at Burkman’s house around noon Wednesday, a few hours before the press conference. He said two other people—a singer and a purported minister who would perform a blessing at the press conference—were just as nervous as he was, preparing their lines as though they were getting ready for a performance. It wasn’t clear to Newaldass whether the other two people were also actors or similarly oblivious to what was actually happening, but the “minister” later told The Daily Dot that he was not actually a reverend and appeared “confused” about the event.As hecklers and a handful of reporters gathered on Burkman’s sidewalk, inside, Burkman and Wohl encouraged Newaldass by talking up his future Hollywood career. Newaldass said Wohl claimed to be a “director,” and both men encouraged him to sign the statement making allegations against Harris—a signature they would later use as proof that he really believed the claims.“They’re encouraging me like, ‘Man, you’re going to be a star, you’re a lead actor,’” Wohl said. Newaldass’s press conference devolved into farce almost as soon as it began, with a mystery man delivering an apparently fake cease-and-desist notice that Burkman claimed was from Harris’ campaign and Wohl threatening to spray hecklers with a garden hose. Newaldass read the statement to the crowd, convinced, he said, that Harris was a fictional character. “I’m completely oblivious to who this person is,” Newaldass told The Daily Beast.While Newaldass was able to read from his statement, he became confused when asked to answer questions from the crowd, since he thought he needed to read lines. In an interview later with a Daily Dot reporter, Burkman and Wohl repeatedly cut in whenever the reporter asked Newaldass a question.Newaldass said he left the event with promises from Burkman and Wohl for future opportunities in Hollywood, and even the prospect of an entire TV series and potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars. Newaldass began to think about how a role on a hit TV show would enable him to provide for his family financially.“So that’s what really sucked me in, thinking, ‘Man, I can take care of everybody,’” Newaldass said.When he got home afterwards, though, Newaldass said he slowly began to realize he had been tricked. His Instagram page filled up with accusations that he was a liar. Newaldass began to doubt Wohl and Burkman’s claim that they were just filming a show for Spike TV, and he became afraid to go outside.“I was scared out of my mind,” Newaldass said.Newaldass felt that he had embarrassed his family, and worried about what his family and friends would think of him. “The people that actually pay attention to this stuff are really judging me,” Newaldass said. Newaldass insists that he had never heard of Harris before the press conference. And on that front, he isn’t alone—12 percent of respondents in a Morning Consult poll this month said they had never heard of the senator. After researching Harris, Newaldass said he’s now likely to vote for her presidential bid. Newaldass said the ruse especially stings because, like Harris, Newaldass is of mixed Indian and Caribbean ancestry. “That’s what’s hurtful, because I’m hurting my own ethnicity,” Newaldass said.  Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

Federal judges rule against Trump in 3 cases on executive powers

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 16:23

The president's legal team was handed three courtroom defeats on Friday.

German suspect admits anti-Semitic attack, far-right motive

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 16:00

The German suspect in a deadly attack targeting a synagogue has admitted to the shooting rampage, confessing it was motivated by anti-Semitism and right-wing extremism, federal prosecutors said Friday amid government warnings of an "elevated" risk of further attacks. Stephan Balliet, 27, made a "very comprehensive" confession during an interrogation lasting several hours, said a spokesman for the federal prosecutor's office in Karlsruhe. Germany's Interior Minister Horst Seehofer warned meanwhile in a ZDF television interview that there was now an "elevated" threat of another anti-Semitic or terrorist attack saying around half of 24,000 suspected far-right extremists had an "affinity" with firearms and could engage in violence.

Could Chelsea Clinton run for a New York House seat?

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 15:58

“If you care about what’s happening in the world, you have to care about running for and holding elected office,” Chelsea Clinton said last year.

Ruling leaves Ohio ban on Down syndrome abortions on hold

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 15:47

A federal appeals court on Friday upheld a judge's decision to put on hold an Ohio law prohibiting doctors from performing abortions based on a fetal diagnosis of Down syndrome. The 2-1 ruling from a panel the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati said the law signed in 2017 by former Republican Gov. John Kasich is likely unconstitutional but didn't make such a declaration outright. The Ohio Attorney General's Office said the state will seek reconsideration by the full 6th Circuit.

California Democrats Spend Nearly $1 Million To Settle Harassment Suits Against Former Chair

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 15:39

Former chairman Eric Bauman cost the California Democratic Party more than $800,000 in a discrimination and sexual misconduct settlements, according to records reviewed by the Los Angeles Times.State and federal campaign finance filings show $378,348 in legal settlements for three lawsuits, filed by Alton Wang, William Rodriguez-Kennedy, and Kate Earley. In January, the trio filed against Bauman, and alleged that the abuse was “well-known and apparently tolerated” by other officials. The plaintiffs accused Bauman of unwanted touching and sexually explicit comments.“Our party is at its best when it lives up to our values. One of those values is treating people fairly,” current party chair Rusty Hicks told the Times in a statement. “We have reached an equitable settlement that begins the process of getting back to the work 9 million California Democrats expect from us.”Several other cases brought against Bauman by former party staffers remain active or pending. Bauman first took a leave of absence and then resigned last November following claims of misconduct toward staff members and activists. He said that he planned to seek treatment for alcohol abuse in a statement apologizing for his actions.“I deeply regret if my behavior has caused pain to any of the outstanding individuals with whom I’ve had the privilege to work. I appreciate the courage it took for these individuals to come forward to tell their stories,” Bauman said at the time. “Leading the California Democratic Party to historic victories has been the honor of a lifetime, and I look forward to continuing this important work upon the conclusion of the investigation and when my health allows.”More settlements could could severely hamper Democratic campaign funding during a cycle in which the party has seven vulnerable House seats to defend. California Democrats reported nearly $12 million in total funding in their latest campaign finance filings.

Rubio, Cruz ask Trump to keep Citgo in Venezuela opposition's hands

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 15:18

U.S. lawmakers including Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz wrote a letter to President Donald Trump this week requesting that he take executive action to prevent holders of Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA's bonds from seizing U.S. refiner Citgo. Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido earlier this year assumed control of Citgo - a PDVSA subsidiary whose three refineries process 750,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude - after Washington recognized him as the OPEC nation's leader, arguing socialist President Nicolas Maduro's 2018 re-election was a fraud.