Vote To Federally Legalize Marijuana Planned In Congress

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF FORBES)

 

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Vote To Federally Legalize Marijuana Planned In Congress

A key congressional committee plans to hold a historic vote on a bill to end the federal prohibition of marijuana next week, two sources with knowledge of the soon-to-be-announced action said.

The legislation, sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and set aside funding to begin repairing the damage of the war on drugs, which has been disproportionately waged against communities of color.

Those programs—such as job training and legal aid for people impacted by prohibition enforcement, loans for small cannabis businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals and efforts to minimize barriers to licensing and employment in the legal industry—would be paid for with a new federal five percent tax on marijuana sales instituted under the bill, and some of them would be administered by a new Cannabis Justice Office in the Department of Justice.

The proposal, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, would also provide for resentencing and expungement of records for people previously convicted of cannabis offenses and would shield immigrants from being denied citizenship status over marijuana.

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It currently has 55 cosponsors, all but one of whom are Democrats.

A Senate companion is being led by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), a 2020 presidential candidate, though it has not yet been scheduled for action in the GOP-controlled chamber.

Wednesday’s planned Judiciary Committee vote on the far-reaching cannabis reform legislation—which hasn’t yet been officially listed but is expected to be announced on Monday—comes about two months after the full House overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan bill to increase marijuana businesses’ access to banks.

Politico reported on Saturday that Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), who is not a member of the panel, vaguely mentioned upcoming committee consideration while speaking at a conference in Southern California.

The congresswoman reportedly didn’t clarify that the legislation would be formally “marked up,” or voted on, a detail that sources shared with Marijuana Moment in recent days. A Judiciary Committee spokesperson hasn’t responded to several inquiries about the pending vote.

The planned action on the bill, which would also block federal agencies from denying public benefits or security clearances over marijuana use, follows a hearing a Judiciary subcommittee held in July that examined the connection between marijuana legalization and racial justice.

The markup will provide the opportunity for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to file amendments to the bill, and could shed further light on an emerging divide between cannabis reform supporters who feel it is essential to address past drug war harms and equity in the cannabis industry immediately and those who believe it makes more sense to advance more limited, states’ rights-focused legislation that could stand a better chance of advancing through the Senate and to President Trump’s desk.

Those tensions surfaced both during the Judiciary hearing this summer as well as in the lead up to the House floor vote on the cannabis banking legislation. Some pro-legalization groups went so far as to ask leadership to delay the scheduled vote on the financial services bill because they took issue with what is seen as an industry-focused proposal moving ahead of one containing restorative justice provisions such as the MORE Act.

In response to those concerns, top Democrats such as Nadler and House Minority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) pledged that while they were moving ahead with the banking vote, they also saw the importance of following up by advancing more comprehensive cannabis legislation.

Advancing the MORE Act or a similar rescheduling proposal through committee and onto the House floor would make good on that pledge.

It’s less certain how the Senate would react to House passage of a far-reaching bill to end federal marijuana prohibition. Some advocates believe that only a more modest proposal to exempt state-approved cannabis activity from federal prohibition stands a chance in the Republican-controlled body.

That bill, the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act, would not formally deschedule marijuana under the CSA and doesn’t include measures aimed at ensuring equity in the legal industry for communities most harmed by the drug war.

President Trump has voiced support for the less far-reaching bill, which is led by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Cory Gardner (R-CO).

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Louisiana Democrat, Gov. John Bel Edwards, Keeps Seat Despite Trump’s Opposition

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NPR NEWS)

 

Louisiana Democrat, Gov. John Bel Edwards, Keeps Seat Despite Trump’s Opposition

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards talks to media in Shreveport, La., Thursday. Saturday, Edwards, a Democrat, beat out Republican Eddie Rispone, who President Trump endorsed.

Gerald Herbert/AP

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, held on to his seat Saturday after a tough challenge from his Republican opponent, Eddie Rispone, a wealthy businessman and political newcomer who President Trump supported.

Edwards is the only Democratic governor in the Deep South and is not a typical Democrat. He’s a pro-Second Amendment gun owner who signed one of the country’s strictest anti-abortion bills this year.

This is the third and final gubernatorial election of 2019 and the second loss for President Trump who campaigned for all three candidates. The president was in Louisiana this week and framed the race as a personal referendum, urging voters to unseat Edwards.

About two weeks ago, Republican Tate Reeves won the open seat in Mississippi, but in Kentucky, Democrat Andy Beshear ousted Republican incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin.

Edwards’ second term may be a bitter pill for Trump who had much invested in this year’s elections ahead of his own election in 2020.

Republican Matt Bevin concedes defeat in Kentucky governor’s race

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Republican Matt Bevin concedes defeat in Kentucky governor’s race

(CNN)Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin conceded defeat on Thursday to Democratic state Attorney General Andy Beshear.

“We’re going to have a change in the governorship based on the vote of the people,” Bevin said at a news conference.
The concession comes after Bevin requested all 120 counties in the state recheck the results from last week’s gubernatorial election. That re-canvass showed Beshear still leading over Bevin.
Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes said in a statement that Beshear received 5,136 more votes than Bevin.
“I’m not going to contest these numbers that have come in,” Bevin said Thursday.
“I truly wish the attorney general well as the next governor of this state as he assumes these responsibilities,” Bevin said. Bevin said his team has already been working with Beshear’s and that he expects a smooth transition.
“I love the fact that we’re blessed to live in a nation where things do transition in ways that much of the world wishes they had,” he said.
Beshear said at a news conference he appreciated Bevin’s concession, which he noted came quickly after the re-canvass.
“The race is now officially over,” Beshear said, “which means we can look forward and we can move forward.”
Beshear was elected attorney general of Kentucky in 2015 and is the son of Steve Beshear, Bevin’s predecessor.
The governor-elect tweeted: “It’s official – thank you Kentucky. @GovMattBevin and his team have already begun a smooth transition. It’s time to get to work!”
A Democratic victory in Kentucky, a state Donald Trump carried by 30 percentage points in the 2016 election, could be seen as an ominous sign for the President heading into his 2020 reelection bid. The result shows that Trump wasn’t able to carry his preferred candidate over the finish line. Bevin had the strong backing of the President, and Trump held a rally in Lexington, Kentucky, the night before the election.
Bevin, elected governor in 2015, has faced backlash for seeking to undercut the state’s Medicaid expansion and calling teachers “selfish” and accusing them of a “thug mentality” when they protested after he threatened to cut their pensions.
Bevin requested a re-canvass after the results from last week’s election showed Bevin trailing Beshear by more than 5,000 votes.
The re-canvass began on Thursday morning. Unlike a standard recount of votes, a re-canvass is a reprint of the receipts from voting machines to check for reporting or clerical errors. After ballots are scanned, the machine tabulates those votes and prints out a receipt with the total.
During the re-canvass, those receipts were reprinted and checked again to make sure they were reported properly. It’s not uncommon for some clerical errors to occur during the initial vote tabulation.
Kentucky law does not allow for a recount in a gubernatorial general election, but a campaign may request a re-canvass of the votes with the secretary of state. There is no threshold or margin requirement for a re-canvass.
Bevin previously told CNN affiliate WKYT: “It’s not likely to change a lot numerically, but you have to go through this as a first step … to make sure the numbers that were written down and communicated are accurate.” He said his office is also preparing for Beshear to assume the governorship.
“There are very good odds, he could be the next governor — no question about it,” Bevin told WKYT. “Right now, he is numerically ahead and would seemingly be the next governor, and if that is corroborated and held up through this process, I’ll be his number one cheerleader.”
Representatives from both political parties and the media were allowed to be present for the re-canvass.

Author warns that Trump ‘will not exit quietly,’ even if defeated or impeached

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE USA TODAY NEWS)

 

‘Anonymous’ author warns that Trump ‘will not exit quietly,’ even if defeated or impeached

USA TODAY

The anonymous official who has written a scathing account of the presidency of Donald Trump suggests the president might refuse to leave office even if convicted in impeachment hearings or defeated narrowly in the 2020 election – and says Trump is preparing his followers to see either outcome as a “coup” that could warrant resistance.

“He will not exit quietly – or easily,” the author, self-described as a senior administration official, writes in A Warning, a book that builds on an explosive op-ed by the same unnamed author last year. USA TODAY obtained an early copy of the book.

“It is why at many turns he suggests ‘coups’ are afoot and a ‘civil war’ is in the offing. He is already seeding the narrative for his followers – a narrative that could end tragically.”

From ‘Anonymous’:Read key excerpts from inside Trump White House on Putin, Pence, Hillary

As the House of Representatives prepares to open public impeachment hearings Wednesday, the book also says that Trump ordered aides more than a year ago to pursue a “deliberate and coordinated campaign” to obstruct an impeachment inquiry and other congressional investigations. House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff has said he is considering obstruction of Congress as a possible Article of Impeachment.

The book’s author is identified only as “a senior official in the Trump administration,” and its forthcoming publication has created a firestorm over both its depiction of a dysfunctional president and the decision by the writer to remain anonymous.

Cover of "A Warning" by an anonymous senior Trump administration official.

“The coward who wrote this book didn’t put their name on it because it is nothing but lies,” White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said.

Many of the disclosures echo news stories that have portrayed the president as impulsive, sometimes uninformed and regularly willing to defy established norms. There is already no shortage of books by Trump critics, including former FBI director James Comey and others who have served in his administration, that raise questions about the president’s fitness for office.

But The New York Times op-ed in 2018 and the new book, being published next Tuesday by Twelve, have commanded enormous attention because the author had an inside view, often participating in small White House meetings where crucial decisions were made.

The author portrays himself or herself as sharing some policy views with Trump and initially having a positive if wary view of the possibilities of his presidency.

The author says the intended audience for A Warning isn’t those who closely follow politics but rather those who don’t, particularly voters from across the country who were drawn in 2016 to Trump’s promise to shake up the establishment.

Dropping Pence from the ticket?

The book says that Trump “on more than one occasion” discussed with staffers the possibility of dropping Vice President Mike Pence before the 2020 election.

“Former UN ambassador Nikki Haley was under active consideration to step in as vice president, which she did not discourage at first,” the author writes, saying some advisers argued that putting Haley on the ticket would help the president bolster his support among female voters.

In an interview Friday with USA TODAY, Nikki Haley dismissed out of hand the suggestion that she might replace Pence. In her new book, With All Due Respect, Haley offers a generally positive portrait of Trump, and the president rewarded her with a friendly tweet urging his millions of followers to buy a copy.

Pathway of impeachment:How it works, where we are

“Anonymous” depicts Trump as impatient, immoral, cruel, even dangerous as he rejects the limits placed on presidents by Congress and the courts.

As the 2018 midterm elections approached, the book says, the White House counsel’s office began to develop a “contingency plan” to shield the administration if Democrats gained control of Congress, and with that the ability to launch investigations and issue subpoenas. New lawyers were hired and internal procedures revamped, the author writes.

“The goal wasn’t just to prepare for a barrage of legislative requests,” the book says. “It was a concerted attempt to fend off congressional oversight. When Democrats finally took the House, the unspoken administration policy toward Capitol Hill became: Give as little as possible, wait as long as possible. Even routine inquiries are now routed to the lawyers, who have found unique ways to say “We can’t right now,” “Give us a few months,” “We’re going to need to put you on hold,” “Probably not,” “No,” and “Not a chance in hell.”

Trump impeachment inquiry:Early findings and how Republicans are opposing them

The author says the administration’s refusal to comply with congressional requests and even subpoenas “go beyond standard practice and have turned into a full block-and-tackle exercise against congressional investigators across an array of Trump administration controversies.”

On the president’s actions with Ukraine, now the heart of the impeachment inquiry, the author writes that the idea Trump was trying to battle corruption abroad – rather than gain some partisan political advantage at home – was “barely believable to anyone around him.”

But the book provides no significant new information or insights into that episode.

‘Get Out of Jail Free’ cards

The author’s agent, Matt Latimer, said the author didn’t take an advance payment for the book and plans to donate a substantial amount of the royalties to nonprofit organizations that encourage government accountability and an independent press.

Among other allegations, the book says:

  • Several top advisers and Cabinet-level officials last year discussed a mass resignation, “a midnight self-massacre,” intended to call attention to what they saw as Trump’s questionable and even corrupt behavior. “The idea was abandoned out of fear that it would make a bad situation worse.”
  • If a majority of the Cabinet called for Trump’s removal under the rules of the 25th Amendment, Pence would have been willing to go along with them. But the author provides no evidence to back up that assertion, and Pence in recent days has strongly denied it.
  • Trump told officials that, if they took illegal actions on his behalf, he would give them presidential pardons. “To Donald Trump, these are unlimited ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ cards on a Monopoly board.”
  • Trump was “particularly frustrated that the Justice Department hasn’t done more to harass the Clintons.” The president suggested to his first Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, that he might “un-recuse” himself from the Mueller inquiry into Russian election interference, presumably so he would feel free to order a more aggressive inquiry into Trump’s 2016 opponent. “You’d be a hero,” the president told him.

KENTUCKY GOV. MATT BEVIN ACCUSES SECRETARY OF STATE OF FRAUD AFTER SHE DECLARES HE LOST THE ELECTION

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NEWSWEEK)

 

KENTUCKY GOV. MATT BEVIN ACCUSES SECRETARY OF STATE OF FRAUD AFTER SHE DECLARES HE LOST THE ELECTION

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin has accused Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes of fraud for announcing the results of the election live on CNN, and continues to refuse to concede a race that he lost by less than half of a percentage point, says The Hill.

Tuesday night, Bevin lost to Democrat Andy Beshear in a hotly contested race, which was enough to cause him to declare he wouldn’t concede the race, then called for a re-canvassing of voters.

“Kentucky sadly—and it’s not unique to Kentucky—but there’s more than a little bit of history of vote fraud in our state,” Bevin told reporters, adding that his campaign was working on “getting affidavits and other information that will help us to get a better understanding of what did or did not happen.”

He added that there were reports of Kentucky voters being “incorrectly turned away from various voting booths around the state.”

Bevin also accused Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Secretary of State, of committing fraud by announcing the election results live on CNN, mentioning that she is currently the subject of a special state prosecutor’s investigation for allegedly misusing voter records.

“The fact that our secretary of state was on national TV … it was an interesting choice of places for her to go while the roll was being tallied, the votes were being tallied and to call an election,” he said.

“For her to try to jump the gun on this and interject herself into this, it’s something that’s being looked into,” he continued.

Matt Bevin
Accusing the Secretary of State of fraud for announcing election results on CNN, Matt Bevin held firm on his accusation that voter irregularities were the reason for his loss on Tuesday night .JOHN SOMMERS II/GETTY

“This is from a woman, with all due respect to her, is not exactly rock solid as it comes to following the letter of the law,” he said.

“She’s currently under investigation for misuse of voter files herself. Her father has already been convicted of multiple—I think 10—different federal charges related to election fraud specific to her race,” he added.

Grimes is at the center of two legal cases, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. In one case, Jared Dearing, executive director of the State Board of Elections, has alleged that Grimes’ office illegally obtained the state’s voter registration database and did illegal searches of it.

In the other, Grimes filed a suit alleging that a new law stripped her office of its power over the State Board of Elections. She claims the law made it a misdemeanor for her office to search the database.

Her father, Jerry Lundergan, served as a Democrat in the Kentucky House of Representatives and the chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party. In 1989, he was convicted of a felony charge of improperly using his influence, however, that conviction was later thrown out by an appeals court. Last year, he was indicted for making illegal campaign contributions to his daughter during her 2014 race to unseat Sen. Mitch McConnell.

The recanvassing work will be done by November 14, said a board of elections member. The Kentucky State Board of Elections will meet on November 21 to certify the election results.

Bevin’s opponent, Andy Beshear, has 49.2 percent (711,955 votes) to 48.9 percent for Bevin. A Libertarian candidate, John Hicks, received 28,475 votes, or 2.0 percent of the vote. Beshear’s margin of victory ultimately totaled 5,200 votes.

At a news conference held on Wednesday, Beshear said that he hadn’t spoken to Bevin about the recount but that he felt it was “time to move on” from the election, according to CBS News.

So, You Think Russia/Putin Only Interfered In The 2016 General Election, Really?

So, You Think Russia/Putin Only Interfered In The 2016 General Election, Really?

 

This letter to you today is just an opinion piece from my thoughts to your eyes, it is for the purpose of getting us all to think a little bit about the chances of, what if.  For those of you who do not know me I am a 63 year old Christian white guy who lives in the state of Kentucky. I believe my political leanings to be a registered Independent who has voted Republican and Democratic in the past but I honestly can’t see me ever voting for a Republican again because of them backing our current President. I consider myself to be a moderate, sort of right down the middle between being a Conservative on some issues and a bit Liberal on others. So, I don’t agree with either extreme to the left nor to the right. In 2016’s Presidential Election I voted for Gary Johnson, not because I thought he had any chance of winning but because I could not get myself to vote for either Hillary or Trump. I feel the same now as I did then, I could not get myself to vote for a person I totally believe to be a very intelligent, hate filled, habitual liar (Hillary) nor for a totally ignorant, hate filled, ego-maniac, habitual liar (Trump).

 

As most everyone whom has an I.Q. above 2 now knows that President Putin of Russia had his people interfering in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections in an effort to get Donald Trump elected as our 45th President. But I have a question that I would like for you to ponder, do you honestly believe that the Russians only screwed with the General Election in November of 2016? As over 20 U.S. State Election Boards also said that there is plenty of evidence that they were interfered with from the Russian Government. What I believe is that there is a very good chance that Mr. Trump did not win nearly as many of the State Republican Primaries as he was given credit for. He could never have been the Republican Nominee if he didn’t win enough of the Primaries. So, what if Trump via actual American votes did not win a lot of those Primaries that he was given credit for? Would John Kasich have been the Republican Nominee? Just as if the Democratic National Convention had not had the farce of so called “Super Delegates” I believe that Senator Bernie Sanders would have been the Democratic Nominee, not Hillary. Personally I believe that if Senator Sanders had been the Democratic Nominee that he would have beaten Mr. Trump in the November election. What I am saying is that I believe that the American voters totally got scammed in 2016 and to me it is looking like the Republican Party big wigs of today are bound and determined to make sure that we can have another Russian scam election in November of 2020.

 

Another side thought for you, something I just thought of while writing this letter to you. Thinking back to the 2016 General Election, it was a given that the Democrats would win the Congressional Elections but the question was by how much. A bigger question was how many Senatorial Seats would the Republicans lose to the Democrats. Turns out that the Democrats didn’t win near as many Congressional Seats as most Annalists thought they would and the Republicans actually picked up a few Senatorial Seats, not lose them. You know if a person wins the White House from one Party but the opposite Party rules both the House and the Senate the President will be vastly limited in getting anything his Party wants passed into law. So, how many Senate and Congressional Seats did the Republicans ‘win’ that they actually did not win with the American peoples votes? Looking at this issue through an “Independents” glasses it becomes obvious why the Republican Party’s Leadership isn’t concerned about “the Russians” interference. This letter is simply meant as ‘food for your thoughts’.

Are White Christians In The U.S. Racists Devil Worshipers (Followers)???

Are White Christians In The U.S. Racists Devil Worshipers (Followers)???

 

Well, that is quite a headline, one I never ever thought that I would write. Is it the truth though? All I can say to that is that I hope not. But, there are millions of people in this Country who say they are Christians but whom have never ever read a Bible. This does not shock me as I know for a fact that there are even Preachers who do not believe that the Bible is the ‘Holy Spirit Inspired Word Of God.’ So, even for many folks who do go to church regularly they have little faith if any about what the Bible is telling us all. So, if the Preachers aren’t teaching the Word of God to the people who are sitting in the Pews and the people aren’t studying the Scriptures regularly to find out if what their Preacher is saying matches up with what the Scriptures are saying there is no wonder that knowledge is lacking among the ‘Christian Base.’

 

Now the reason that I am writing this letter to you today. A Christian lady who has a Christian Blog recently decided to not read any material that I put forth on this blog is because I said that I hate Donald Trump. Technically I didn’t use the word hate, I said that “I loathe Him.” Really what I loathe is the person that he is, not his very Soul. I hate a lot of what he says and I do hate a lot of his actions as well. The young lady of which I speak of said the following about Mr. Trump and I quote “I believe that he is a very good man.” I have heard that from quite a few people since the Electoral College put him into Office and everyone of those folks have been white folks who consider themselves to be Christians.

 

Don’t get me wrong I loathe the person that Hillary Clinton chooses to be also and I am neither a Democrat or a Republican. I only thought that Hillary was an habitual liar until Donald Trump started talking and Tweeting BECAUSE THIS MAN is in a category all by himself when it comes to lying. Before the Vote back in 2016 I felt that the only two real choices that we the people really were given was to vote for one of the two habitual liars, Hillary or Donald. But, I also said that the main difference in them was that one was a very smart habitual liar (Hillary) and the other was a habitual liar that was a total idiot (Donald) and wondered which one would be the worst for our Country. I guess that would still be up for debate unless somehow Hillary ever becomes a President. (Hopefully that will never happen).

 

Now lets talk about Mr. Trump for a moment as he is the subject matter behind the title of this letter. Often the media uses the term ‘Trumps Base’. What they are referring to are the lower educated white Christians, especially here in the south-eastern states. This view point is from an ‘independent’s’ view, neither Republican nor Democratic. To say or believe that Mr. Trump is not a racists person is beyond unbelievable and reaches into the realm idiotic. But on this subject I will say that this is just my opinion and is not a ‘Scriptural’ indictment of the man. But now lets talk about Mr. Trump being a habitual liar, the worse that I have ever seen, even worse than my biological dad which I hadn’t thought was possible.  My question to the ‘Christian’ people who seem to adore Mr. Trump is, since Jesus says that Satan is the Father of all Liars then how can a Christian fall in behind Mr. Trump’s wagon of lies and Spiritual crimes? I know that some folks have come back with answers like “well I’m not voting for Hillary, or for any other Democrat.” Okay, but now that you have to be fully aware of what a total liar Mr. Trump is how come you haven’t decided to impeach him and find another Republican to root for? Have you decided that Mr. Trump is the Republican Party? To follow after an habitual liar is in fact to fall inline behind the Devil Himself. What I am saying is that ‘we the people’ must hold these politicians accountable for their words and their actions, not matter what political party they hang their hat onto.  If we are to weak to do so then we deserve to lose all of our freedoms and then later our Soul’s also and that reality folks, is indeed what will happen.

Beto O’Rourke releases trade plan that would end Trump’s China tariffs

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNBC NEWS)

 

Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke releases trade plan that would end Trump’s China tariffs

KEY POINTS
  • Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke releases a trade policy plan.
  • The Democratic presidential candidate proposes to end President Donald Trump’s trade war with China and crack down on Beijing’s anti-competitive practices without tariffs.
  • Democrats have called Trump’s trade policy reckless as they push to challenge him for the White House.
RT: Beto O'Rourke at NAACP 190724
Democratic U.S. Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke addresses the audience during the Presidential candidate forum at the annual convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in Detroit, Michigan, July 24, 2019.
Rebecca Cook | Reuters

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke released a trade plan Thursday that would end President Donald Trump’s tariffs on China and make various reforms meant to boost American workers.

The former Texas congressman’s proposal would toss out the White House’s tariffs on Chinese goods in exchange for Beijing scrapping duties on American products, according to his campaign. O’Rourke would also pursue changes to the World Trade Organization, measures to crack down on China’s alleged unfair trade practices and trade deals with stronger labor and environmental protections.

“Trade is not the problem — Trump is. His trade war has been a disaster for American farmers and workers — but it’s on us to offer a compelling alternative,” O’Rourke said in a statement Thursday.

Criticism of Trump’s trade policy from the jammed Democratic field has started to increase as concerns grow about the conflict with China dragging on economic growth. While some of the potential Democratic nominees have for years slammed U.S. trade deals as unfair to American workers — a stance that overlaps with Trump’s views — they have also called the president’s policies reckless and dangerous.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., among others, have released their own trade plans. They have broadly called for stronger labor and environmental standards in American trade deals. Many Democrats in Congress currently oppose Trump’s updates to the North American Free Trade Agreement because they worry it will not go far enough to protect workers and the planet.

Getting China to change its trade policy will prove difficult for any U.S. president, as Trump has learned. His administration has struggled to strike a trade agreement with Beijing even after putting tariffs on about $550 billion in Chinese products.

Here are some of the highlights of O’Rourke’s trade plan:

  • He says he would end Trump’s tariffs on China on his first day in office.
  • O’Rourke would push to make changes at the World Trade Organization to better deal with issues such as currency manipulation, labor standards, climate change and Beijing’s alleged unfair trade practices.
  • He would also take several steps to push China to change its behavior, such as potentially capping Chinese investment in some U.S. business sectors or limiting access that Chinese companies have to the U.S. financial system.
  • His plan would also include provisions to make labor groups more involved in trade negotiations and ensure companies protect workers’ rights to form unions.
  • It would get rid of a provision in the 2017 Republican tax law that critics say encourages companies to outsource, and invest more in programs to boost American manufacturers.

O’Rourke, who lost a close race for Sen. Ted Cruz’s seat in Texas last year, has struggled to gain a toehold in a field of about 20 presidential primary candidates. He has criticized Trump’s trade war with China more often than most of his rivals, particularly during campaign stops in Iowa. The first-in-the-nation caucus state relies heavily on agriculture.

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The Trumpian Idiot Strikes Again

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CBS NEWS)

 

Less than a day after President Donald Trump outraged many members of the Jewish community for his comments about their loyalty, he tweeted out the claim that Israeli Jews view him as the “second coming of God.”

In a series of tweets Wednesday morning, Mr. Trump quoted conservative radio host and known conspiracy theorist Wayne Allyn Root, who practically declared the president the Messiah during his show Tuesday night.

Quoting Root’s tweet, Mr. Trump shared the message that he is “the greatest President for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world,” that “the Jewish people in Israel love him like he’s the King of Israel” and even that “They love him like he is the second coming of God.”

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

“Thank you to Wayne Allyn Root for the very nice words. “President Trump is the greatest President for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world, not just America, he is the best President for Israel in the history of the world…and the Jewish people in Israel love him….

35.7K people are talking about this

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

….like he’s the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God…But American Jews don’t know him or like him. They don’t even know what they’re doing or saying anymore. It makes no sense! But that’s OK, if he keeps doing what he’s doing, he’s good for…..

27.8K people are talking about this

Mr. Trump said “Wow!” and thanked Root for the “very nice words.”

Root is a self-described “Jew turned evangelical Christian” and the author of a 2015 book titled “Angry White Male: How the Donald Trump Phenomenon Is Changing America,” which had a forward by now-indicted Trump associate Roger Stone.

Root is also known for promoting bogus right-wing conspiracy theories. He attended Columbia University while Barack Obama was also studying there, then later falsely claimed that Mr. Obama did not actually attend the school. More recently, he falsely said on Twitter that the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas, which killed 58 people, was an act of Muslim terrorism. The gunman was not Muslim and investigators were unable to determine a motive.

The latest tweets come a day after President Trump criticized “any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat,” saying it “shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.” Leaders in the Jewish community raised concerns that the president was promoting anti-Semitic stereotypes by casting Jews as disloyal. Such accusations have a long and disturbing history of being used against Jews, said Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League.

Polling shows that a majority of Jewish Americans identify as Democrats and did not vote for Mr. Trump in 2016.

Trump: King Of Israel?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES)

 

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Wednesday thanked a conspiracy theorist for saying Jews in Israel love the president “like he’s the King of Israel” and doubled down on his efforts to pit American Jews against one another, accusing Jewish voters of disloyalty if they voted for Democrats.

It was the second day in a row that Mr. Trump addressed Jews and loyalty, a theme evoking an anti-Semitic trope that Jews have a “dual loyalty” and are often more loyal to Israel than to their own countries.

“If you want to vote Democrat, you are being very disloyal to Jewish people and very disloyal to Israel,” Mr. Trump said Wednesday at the White House.

Speaking to reporters as he left the White House on his way to Louisville, Ky., to address a veterans group, Mr. Trump said his remarks were not anti-Semitic.

Earlier on Wednesday, Mr. Trump thanked the conservative radio host Wayne Allyn Root for lavishing praise on Mr. Trump for his successful diplomacy with Israel. Mr. Root is a one-time vice-presidential nominee for the Libertarian Party who now hosts a radio show on Newsmax TV and often promotes conspiracy theories.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

“Thank you to Wayne Allyn Root for the very nice words. “President Trump is the greatest President for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world, not just America, he is the best President for Israel in the history of the world…and the Jewish people in Israel love him….

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

….like he’s the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God…But American Jews don’t know him or like him. They don’t even know what they’re doing or saying anymore. It makes no sense! But that’s OK, if he keeps doing what he’s doing, he’s good for…..

23.5K people are talking about this

Broadcasting Mr. Root’s words to the president’s more than 63 million Twitter followers and repeating his provocative message to American Jews, Mr. Trump drew immediate accusations that he was fanning anti-Semitic views.

“It is the height of hypocrisy to use Christian theology to bully Jews and to push out some messianic complex — literally, it’s hard to think of something less kosher than telling the Jewish people you’re the king of Israel, and therefore, we should have some fidelity to you for that reason,” Jonathan Greenblatt, the head of the Anti-Defamation League, said Wednesday on CNN. “I don’t know if he’s read the Bible, but in the Old Testament, that’s not what we believe.”

Last week, lawmakers were outraged that Israel, with Mr. Trump’s approval, barred two Muslim members of Congress from making an official visit because of their support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which pressures Israel on Palestinian issues.

Mr. Trump has tried to make the two Democratic lawmakers, Representatives Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, the face of the Democratic Party after they made comments this year that were critical of American support of Israel. Though their views on Israel are far from representing the majority of the Democratic Party, Mr. Trump has seized on the divide and is trying to sell it to Jewish voters as a reason to support him.

Winning over Jewish voters would be a significant shift for Mr. Trump, as nearly 80 percent of Jewish Americans voted for Democrats during the 2018 midterm elections, according to the Pew Research Center.

Some of the president’s Jewish supporters defended Mr. Trump for the second day in a row.

The Republican Jewish Coalition said the organization takes Mr. Trump “seriously, not literally.”

In a Twitter post on Wednesday after Mr. Trump repeated his “loyalty” charge, the Republican Jewish Coalition wrote, “President Trump is pointing out the obvious: for those who care about Israel, the position of many elected Democrats has become anti-Israel.”

Representative Lee Zeldin of New York, a Republican who is Jewish, praised Mr. Trump for his support of the Jewish community and Israel. Mr. Zeldin said the president was right to push back on the “Omar/Tlaib wing of the Dem party.”

“He’s a fighter & wont back down. On these policy priorities, he’s correct,” Mr. Zeldin wrote in a tweet.

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, also addressed Jewish Republicans on Wednesday, with a different message.

“To my fellow American Jews, particularly those who support @realDonaldTrump: When he uses a trope that’s been used against the Jewish people for centuries with dire consequences, he is encouraging — wittingly or unwittingly — anti-Semites throughout the country and world,” Mr. Schumer wrote Wednesday on Twitter. “Enough.”

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