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On the roster: 5 guidelines to not be the American Putin needs you to be – Responsible plea anticipated from former high Trump aide – McConnell blunt: Odds say GOP will lose seats – Buying and selling companions prepared retaliations for trump tariffs – Snowboarding savant
FIVE RULES TO NOT BE THE AMERICAN PUTIN WANTS YOU TO BE
President Trump over the weekend had a lot recommendation for American voters, most of it including as much as the not-so-surprising thesis that he and his social gathering are good and his critics are dangerous.
Trump’s capability to shock, fascinate and inflame through Twitter shouldn’t be what it as soon as was. This relates each to the sameness of his materials and the diploma to which the medium has develop into such a warren of trolls that it takes fairly a bit to appall anymore. When Gallagher smashed his 10,000th watermelon, the seeds simply didn’t splatter like they used to.
However, in attacking Congress and legislation enforcement companies for his or her investigations into Russian meddling, Trump mentioned one thing undeniably true concerning the bigger subject: “They’re laughing their asses off in Moscow. Get good America!”
Except for his regular assaults on the FBI and congressional committees, Trump additionally denounced “social gathering hatred” in his tweet about these hypothetical hysterical, buttless Russians. Whereas Democrats is probably not keen to take recommendation about political hate from a man who drinks partisan vitriol prefer it was Carnation Immediate Breakfast, they need to.
And so ought to all of us.
The world won’t ever know precisely what number of votes Russian interference price Hillary Clinton in 2016, regardless that she and her erstwhile marketing campaign workers are sure they know leaked electronic mail hacks, troll farms and the like added as much as no less than the 80,000 votes by which she fell quick within the Higher Midwest.
That’s a comforting perception for them, little question. But it surely’s hardly a helpful dialogue. Barring credible proof of vote rigging or fraud — and possibly generally even within the face of such proof — candidates do higher by the nation to go away previous election outcomes up to now.
However on the overall Russian effort to see division, mistrust and chaos within the American political and electoral methods, the Kremlin bought great return on its funding.
Russian operatives didn’t have to do quite a lot of analysis to find what we’ve identified for a decade or extra: Reflexive, stubbornly indignant factions are ripping aside our tradition.
Neither is it laborious for Russians to seek out the problems about which it’s best to elicit the specified reflexes amongst People. Simply because it had been beneath the Soviet regime, problems with race and ethnicity are the obvious alternatives for goading us into damaging factions.
There’s a cause that the Russians had been posing as racists, black and white. It’s the rawest nerve in our system.
However maybe the subsequent greatest place to seek out People at their angriest and most unyielding is over firearms. Even getting People to agree on the phrases concerned is subsequent to unattainable, not to mention what sort of treatments to pursue for this plague of mass shootings.
Contemplating that that is precisely what our enemies need, wouldn’t essentially the most patriotic factor be to disclaim them one other simple victory? On the very least, shouldn’t we make it more durable for them? If realizing that Kremlin needs us to have a silly, damaging discourse, what else wouldn’t it take to persuade you that cruelty and incivility are harming our nation?
With that in thoughts, Halftime Report would submit some guidelines for individuals who could also be captivated with their concepts, however who’re additionally captivated with preserving this “final, greatest hope of earth.” Or, as one other president put it, “Get good America!”
1) Be beneficiant – One of many actual achievements of Russian mischief has been to exacerbate the pre-existing drawback of People doubting one another’s patriotism. On-line discussions now continuously embody counter accusations of customers being bots or Russian trolls. That’s a subsequent step after the already widespread claims that one’s ideological opponents are literally out to harm the nation. George W. Bush lied to invade and plunder Iraq. Barack Obama was a secret Kenyan bent on destroying America from inside. Trump is Putin’s puppet. Till somebody says or does in any other case, assume that they’ve the nation’s greatest curiosity at coronary heart – even when they’re going about it in a means you discover abhorrent. And be daring sufficient to reject these by yourself facet who assault the motives of others.
2) Be particular – There are a number of marches being deliberate for the approaching weeks meant to curb gun violence or mass shootings, together with one on Washington to be led by younger individuals who misplaced classmates in Florida. Demonstrations have been a great way to convey consideration to grievances in want of redress, however some are higher than others. Arguably, essentially the most profitable was for African American civil rights in 1963. One of many causes that march succeeded the place others failed was that Martin Luther King and different organizers had been there in help of a selected piece of laws, not a generic demand for enhancements. In the event you don’t have a selected goal, your platform will likely be written for you by opportunistic politicians and celebrities, to not point out your rivals. The identical goes for gun rights supporters: Say what you’d help and oppose, don’t simply wave away entire chunks of the talk with blanket dismissals.
three) Be private with out personalizing – We have now all fallen into the entice of lazy generalizations. When you find yourself tempted to say “Democrats” or “Republicans” or “liberals” or “conservatives” or “whites” or “blacks” or “Hispanics,” take a fast breath and keep in mind that none of these teams are monolithic on any topic, significantly gun management. It’s the mental and ideological variety amongst People that makes this nation and its politics so fascinating and fantastic. Whenever you disagree with a politician or pundit, don’t take that particular person’s phrases and put them within the mouths of hundreds of thousands of others. However watch out as you do to not fall in to advert hominem or tu quoque assaults that go after the person or his or her standing to pose questions. Keep on with the difficulty and the info.
four) Be ready – Everybody in America is free to specific themselves. That doesn’t imply everybody ought to. Do your analysis on a topic earlier than weighing in. Studying up won’t solely prevent embarrassment, but it surely would possibly assist you to truly persuade others. A few of our greatest experiences in coverage debates come from lastly seeing a subject in a brand new gentle after doing analysis.
5) Be brave – In case your concepts are good ones, they won’t solely stand as much as scrutiny and analysis, but in addition to introduction of concepts. Learn from information and opinion shops throughout the ideological spectrum for the sake of not simply having the ability to “know what the enemy is considering” but in addition to check your individual assumptions. Apart from your love to your God (if relevant), your loved ones and your nation, many of the remainder of it’s considerably topic to negotiations and circumstances. Strive on another moccasins and stroll round for some time. It’s going to, on the very least, make you empathetic towards the folks yelling at you.
We’ll all fall wanting these targets, in all probability even inside at the present time. However we additionally know that our intention is progress, not perfection. Be merciful with your self, simply as you’re along with your fellow People.
But when we will discover a approach to begin denying our enemies what they need – folks too indignant to control themselves and a authorities unable to reply to essentially the most urgent issues of our time – we may also discover we’re making the nation a greater, happier place.
Heck, if we went to the Moon to spite the Soviets, possibly we may present just a little love to one another for the sake of sticking to the Putinists.
THE RULEBOOK: DON’T DOUBT DEMOCRACY
“The method of election affords an ethical certainty, that the workplace of President won’t ever fall to the lot of any man who shouldn’t be in an eminent diploma endowed with the requisite .” – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 68
TIME OUT: WASHINGTON GAVE THEM THE BUSINESS
Comfortable Presidents Day, America! Do you know about George Washington’s pre-presidential prowess as a land speculator? Library of Congress: “Washington’s lifelong curiosity in land hypothesis is illustrated within the struggle over bounty lands promised to the veterans of the Virginia Regiment who fought with him within the French and Indian Struggle…. In 1754, Lieutenant Governor Dinwiddie issued a proclamation designed to encourage enlistment within the native militia for the conflict in opposition to the French. Along with their pay, those that enlisted in Lieutenant Colonel George Washington’s fledgling Virginia Regiment had been supplied a share in 200 thousand acres west of the Ohio River. … Out of a complete of 64,071 acres apportioned on the map, 19,383, or roughly 30 %, had been patented in Washington’s identify. In a 1794 letter to Presley Neville, Washington mentioned that these lands had been “the cream of the Nation wherein they’re; that they had been the primary alternative of it; and that the entire is on the margin of the Rivers and bounded thereby for 58 miles.”
Flag on the play? – Electronic mail us at HALFTIME[email protected] with
your suggestions, feedback or questions.
Trump job efficiency
Common approval: 40.6 %
Common disapproval: 54.2 %
Web rating: -13.6 factors
Change from one week in the past: up 1.6 factors
[Average includes: Fox: 43% approve – 55% disapprove; Gallup: 40% approve – 57% disapprove; Marist College: 38% approve – 54% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 40% approve – 55% disapprove; Monmouth University: 42% approve – 50% disapprove.]
Management of Home
Republican common: 40.four %
Democratic common: 50.2 %
Benefit: Democrats plus 9.eight factors
Change from one week in the past: unchanged
[Average includes: Marist: 49% Dems – 38% GOP; Monmouth University: 47% Dems – 45% GOP; ABC/Post: 51% Dems – 39% GOP; CNN: 51% Dems – 41% GOP; Pew: 53% Dems – 39% GOP.]
GUILTY PLEA EXPECTED FROM FORMER TOP TRUMP AIDE
LA Instances: “A former high aide to Donald Trump‘s presidential marketing campaign will plead responsible to fraud-related costs inside days — and has made clear to prosecutors that he would testify in opposition to Paul Manafort, the lawyer-lobbyist who as soon as managed the marketing campaign. The change of coronary heart by Trump’s former deputy marketing campaign supervisor Richard Gates, who had pleaded not responsible after being indicted in October on costs just like Manafort’s, was described in interviews by folks aware of the case. ‘Rick Gates goes to vary his plea to responsible,’ mentioned an individual with direct data of the brand new developments, including that the revised plea will likely be offered in federal courtroom in Washington ‘inside the subsequent few days.’ …Robert Mueller is heading the prosecutions of Gates and Manafort as a part of the wide-ranging investigation into Russian meddling within the 2016 election and whether or not Trump or his aides dedicated crimes earlier than, throughout or for the reason that marketing campaign.”
Manafort accused of financial institution fraud’ by Mueller workforce – Fox Information: “Particular Counsel Robert Mueller and his authorized workforce say they’ve uncovered extra ‘financial institution fraud’ and different ‘felony conduct’ by Paul Manafort, former Trump marketing campaign supervisor, in response to courtroom paperwork obtained by Fox Information. The allegations are a part of negotiations between Mueller’s workforce and Manafort’s legal professionals to permit their consumer to stay free on $10 million bail. … The doc signed Friday by Mueller’s workforce is in response to Manafort legal professionals’ persevering with efforts to current a bail package deal — primarily primarily based on Manafort’s actual property holdings — to maintain their consumer out of confinement and permit him some freedom to go away his Northern Virginia residence.”
Bob Casey warns in opposition to releasing Russia report close to midterms – WashEx: “Sen. Bob Casey, D-Penn., believes it will be a mistake for particular counsel Robert Mueller to launch his remaining report on Russian interference within the 2016 election close to the autumn midterm elections. … ‘I don’t assume we’ll know anyplace close to the total story till [Mueller] points his report,’ Casey mentioned in an interview with John Catsimatidis in New York. ‘I don’t know if that report will likely be within the spring or the summer time.’ Casey cautioned that when it is the summer time and nearer to the autumn midterms, ‘I feel it’s a mistake for him to launch it late. I feel it is best to wait till after [the election].’”
Grassley: Trump ought to inform Putin to ‘butt out’ of US elections – The Hill: “Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) demanded Saturday that President Trump inform Russian President Vladimir Putin to ‘butt out’ of U.S. elections. ‘The following time President Trump that you just discuss to Putin inform him to butt out of our elections give up the cyber warfare interference in our democracy,’ Grassley wrote on Twitter. Grassley’s tweet got here after particular counsel Robert Mueller unsealed indictments in opposition to 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities on Friday for his or her alleged roles in an effort to disrupt and affect the 2016 presidential election.”
Trump allies push for pardons in Russia probe – Politico: “President Donald Trump’s supporters are issuing more and more daring requires presidential pardons to restrict the [Mueller] investigation’s affect. ‘I feel he needs to be pardoning anyone who’s been indicted and make it clear that anyone else who will get indicted can be pardoned instantly,’ mentioned Frederick Fleitz, a former CIA analyst and senior vp on the conservative Middle for Safety Coverage. The pleas for mercy primarily prolong to the 4 former Trump aides who’ve already been swept up within the Russia probe: former marketing campaign supervisor Paul Manafort, former deputy marketing campaign supervisor Rick Gates, former nationwide safety adviser Michael Flynn and former marketing campaign overseas coverage adviser George Papadopoulos. However they don’t cease there. ‘It’s sort of merciless what’s happening proper now and the president ought to put these defendants out of their distress,’ mentioned Larry Klayman, a conservative authorized activist. ‘I feel he ought to pardon everyone — and pardon himself.’”
Former Russian troll says indictment of 13 ought to embody ‘lots of’ – Day by day Beast: “When Lyudmila Savchuk learn the U.S. federal grand jury indictment of 13 Russians accused of interfering within the the 2016 U.S. elections and different crimes, together with financial institution fraud and identification theft, she was dissatisfied. All of these named by particular counsel Robert Mueller had been related to the Web Analysis Company, additionally identified by its notorious sobriquet the Troll Manufacturing facility. Savchuk used to work there, and Mueller’s listing, she mentioned, ought to embody lots of of individuals. ‘I’m tremendous excited to see the indictment, however for now 13 trolls seems like a joke,’ Savchuk advised The Day by day Beast on Sunday, after she learn and studied the 37-page doc.”
Kushner safety clearance in jeopardy because of Kelly’s new guidelines – WaPo: “White Home Chief of Employees John F. Kelly introduced Friday that starting subsequent week, the White Home will not permit some staff with interim safety clearances entry to top-secret data — a transfer that would threaten the standing of Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law. Kushner, a senior adviser to the president, has been capable of see among the nation’s most delicate secrets and techniques whilst his background investigation has dragged on for greater than a 12 months. White Home officers have privately mentioned issues that Kushner’s clearance faces obstacles … Among the many potential issues: repeated amendments that he needed to make to a type detailing his contacts with overseas officers. Two U.S. officers mentioned they don’t anticipate Kushner to obtain a everlasting safety clearance within the close to future.”
Halting election interference gained’t be simple for tech, consultants say – WSJ: “The US indictment handed down in opposition to three Russian corporations and 13 people reveals starkly how ill-prepared the tech giants had been for the kind of aggressive affect marketing campaign the Russians allegedly mounted. The small print additionally recommend it will not be simple to cease such ways within the run-up to the midterm election in lower than 9 months, say researchers who research social media. The indictment reveals that ‘there are many levers that get pulled in social media for the sake of manipulation, and a number of these levers aren’t even identified by the businesses themselves,’ mentioned Sam Woolley, an Oxford College analysis affiliate who has studied propaganda efforts on social-media platforms. Outdoors researchers say the businesses have not launched sufficient particulars about their anti-influence efforts to find out whether or not they are going to work.”
MCCONNELL BLUNT: ODDS SAY GOP WILL LOSE SEATS
Enterprise Insider: “Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnell does not sound too obsessed with his social gathering’s possibilities to take care of its slim majority in Congress. In an interview with The New York Instances revealed Saturday, the longtime Kentucky senator sounded pessimistic concerning the midterm elections developing later this 12 months. ‘The percentages are that we’ll lose seats within the Home and the Senate,’ McConnell mentioned. ‘Historical past tells you that, the fired-up nature of the political left tells you that. We go into this clear-eyed that that is going to be fairly a difficult election.’ … Though McConnell had beforehand appeared optimistic concerning the GOP’s possibilities and mentioned Republicans have ‘a fairly good map,’ he has since grown extra cautious. Since December, McConnell has reportedly been voicing his worries concerning the midterms in personal.”
Advises Trump to help Romney’s Senate bid – NYT: “Senator Mitch McConnell mentioned in an interview on Friday afternoon that President Trump ought to rally behind the Senate candidacy of Mitt Romney regardless of his blistering criticism in 2016, arguing that Mr. Romney’s potent bid was an illustration of the Republican Celebration’s enhancing fortunes coming into a difficult midterm marketing campaign. ‘I can’t think about that he’s not,’ Mr. McConnell mentioned when requested whether or not Mr. Trump was snug with Mr. Romney, who on Friday made official his long-expected candidacy for a Senate seat from Utah. ‘We don’t wish to lose the seat, and this seems to be like a fairly formidable candidate.’ … ‘He’ll are available in right here with a degree of nationwide identification and respect that may make him efficient from Day 1.’”
Romney backs higher background checks – IJR: “Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s Senate marketing campaign announcement got here with a name to presumably implement new gun management laws. … The Salt Lake Tribune reported that whereas making his first speech as a Senate candidate, Romney mentioned he’d help laws to ramp up the federal database for firearms background checks. ‘I feel we will’t simply sit and wait and hope for issues to get higher,’ he mentioned. ‘It’s unsuitable and unacceptable for kids in our colleges to concern for his or her lives.’ He defined that the difficulty is ‘very a lot in entrance of the nationwide thoughts’ … however added that federal laws is probably not the reply. ‘I’ve checked out federal laws however there’s no federal laws I’ve seen that might have prevented the assaults which have occurred,’ he mentioned. ‘I don’t help any of the federal laws that’s been on the market.’”
Trump slams Oprah as ‘insecure’, hopes to ‘expose’ her in 2020 – Fox Information: “President Donald Trump went after ‘very insecure’ Oprah Winfrey on Sunday, tweeting that he hopes to see her run for president so ‘she might be uncovered and defeated.’ ‘Simply watched a really insecure Oprah Winfrey, who at one level I knew very effectively, interview a panel of individuals on 60 Minutes,’ Trump tweeted Sunday night time. ‘The questions had been biased and slanted, the info incorrect. Hope Oprah runs so she might be uncovered and defeated identical to all the others!’ Winfrey appeared on CBS’ ‘60 Minutes’ main a dialogue with 14 folks from Grand Rapids, Mich.”
Sheriff Joe rounding up a posse for one more run? – AP: “Former Vice President Joe Biden is tiptoeing towards a possible presidential run in 2020, even broaching the chance throughout a current gathering of longtime overseas coverage aides. Huddled in his newly opened workplace steps from the U.S. Capitol, Biden started a planning assembly for his new diplomacy heart by addressing the elephant within the room. He mentioned he was holding his 2020 choices open, contemplating it an actual chance. He insisted he had made no choice, and didn’t have to but, in response to 5 individuals who both attended the assembly or had been briefed on it by those that did.”
TRADING PARTNERS READY RETALIATIONS FOR TRUMP TARIFFS
Bloomberg: “Whereas U.S. metal and aluminum producers surged after the Commerce Division launched its suggestions for proscribing imports on Friday, a muted response among the many largest Asian metals shares suggests the worldwide affect will likely be unfold thinly — until U.S. motion prompts retaliation from its largest suppliers. Japan’s high steelmakers, Nippon Metal & Sumitomo Metallic Corp. and JFE Holdings Inc., and its largest maker of aluminum merchandise, UACJ Corp., all rose in Tokyo, whereas Posco, South Korea’s largest metal mill, fell barely. The reactions got here as President Donald Trump’s administration weighs tariffs as excessive as 53 % on metal and 23.6 % on aluminum. The proposals danger a sequence impact beneath which restrictions on U.S. imports encourage different nations to impose duties — high producer China has already warned as a lot — or divert shipments to different markets, SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. mentioned in a observe.”
Spending deal units deadline for resolution to ‘multiemployer’ pensions – NYT: “The sprawling settlement to spice up authorities spending reached by Republicans and Democrats this month quietly included a step towards defusing what could possibly be a monetary time bomb for 1.5 million retirees and lots of of corporations within the industrial Midwest and the South. The deal creates a choose congressional committee to craft what may successfully be a federal rescue of as many as 200 so-called “multiemployer” pension plans — wherein employers and labor unions band collectively to supply retirement advantages to staff. Many of those plans are hurtling towards insolvency within the coming decade, with advantages owed to retirees projected to swamp what the plans can afford to pay. The 16-member, bipartisan committee must provide you with an answer and laws by the top of November, which the total Senate would wish to vote on by the top of the 12 months.”
Goldman Sachs warns fiscal repercussions of tax cuts – CNBC: “Federal deficit spending is headed towards ‘uncharted territory,’ the agency mentioned on Sunday, suggesting that the Trump administration and Congressional Republicans might not have the ability to depend on the financial enhance of tax reform for very longer. Within the wake of an bold infrastructure plan and a funds that drew fireplace from nearly all sides, Goldman Sachs mentioned in a observe to shoppers that the federal deficit would attain 5.2 % of U.S. progress by 2019, and would ‘proceed climbing steadily from there.’”
Hatch apologizes for dismissing Rob Porter allegations – WashEx
Pruitt scraps Israel journey amid journey price backlash – Fox Information
Nuclear soccer brings about bodily altercation between John Kelly, Chinese language officers– Axios
GOP feeling warmth to move gun management after Florida taking pictures – WSJ
Invoice Clinton needs a say on launch of Lewinsky paperwork – CNN
AUDIBLE: **DIVES THROUGH NEARBY WINDOW**
“I am not going to dignify the query.” – Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to CBS Information when once more requested about an October report that he had referred to President Trump as a “moron.”
FROM THE BLEACHERS
“Many individuals fail to understand President’s Day was initially meant to have a good time George Washington’s birthday, however was moved to the third Monday of February due to the Uniform Vacation Act of 1968. I discover this disrespectful to Mr. Washington and completely symbolic of American laziness. Can we not have a good time a nationwide hero with out watering it down in favor of a three-day weekend? I’d help a vacation recognizing Abraham Lincoln as effectively.” – Sidney Lengthy, Cary, N.C.
[Ed. Word; Hear, hear!]
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NPR: “She went up the hill a snowboarder however got here down an Olympic champion skier. That is one approach to inform the story of Ester Ledecka, the Czech athlete who shocked the world — and herself — by profitable the ladies’s Tremendous-G race on the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. ‘How did that occur?’ she requested a cameraman on the backside of her run. Earlier than in the present day, Ledecka had been most well-known as a snowboarder — that is the place she’s had essentially the most success, together with world titles and a visit to the Sochi Video games in 2014. However she has refused to concentrate on one sport, and he or she began racing on the World Cup Alpine circuit two years in the past. … When requested for her response after seeing her identify flash on high of the leaderboard, Ledecka mentioned she thought, ‘This should be some mistake, that they’ll change the time for some others.’”
Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox Information. Dave Candy contributed to this report. Need FOX Information Halftime Report in your inbox each day? Enroll right here.