POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

The Latest: Whaaa and worse? Senate allows babies in chamber

AP POLITICS - 18 hours 52 min ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on a Senate resolution to allow members' babies in the chamber (all times local): 2018-04-18T14:44:00-04:00 2018-04-18T18:44:45-04:00

Airmen fired, demoted over dinosaur puppet video

CNN POLITICS - 18 hours 55 min ago
The US Air Force is making it clear that dinosaur puppets have no place in its "time-honored" military traditions -- levying tough punishments against three members of the Tennessee Air National Guard involved in a viral video depicting a reenlistment ceremony.

Mattis, Qatar’s Defense Minister Discuss Mutual Security Interests

(USA) DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE - 19 hours 8 min ago
Defense Secretary James N. Mattis welcomed Defense Minister Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah of Qatar to the Pentagon to reaffirm the strategic security partnership between the United States and Qatar.

Trump: "Irreversible' denuclearization from Kim Jong-un, North Korea required

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 19 hours 15 min ago

President Trump said Wednesday night that he's eager to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to negotiate his "irreversible" abandonment of nuclear weapons.

"I will be meeting with Kim Jong Un in the coming weeks to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," Mr. Trump said at a ...

Trump says Pompeo "got along really well" with Kim Jong Un

AP POLITICS - 19 hours 18 min ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Wednesday that his CIA chief "got along really well" with Kim Jong Un during a secret meeting in North Korea, holding up the highly unusual talks as a reason to confirm Mike Pompeo as secretary of state. 2018-04-18T14:11:00-04:00 2018-04-18T18:11:02-04:00

House panel moves to curb food stamps, renew farm subsidies

AP POLITICS - 19 hours 18 min ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — A bitterly-divided House panel Wednesday approved new work and job training requirements for food stamps as part of a five-year renewal of federal farm and nutrition policy. 2018-04-18T14:19:00-04:00 2018-04-18T18:19:31-04:00

Kentucky editorial roundup

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 19 hours 19 min ago

Summary of recent Kentucky newspaper editorials:

___

April 12

Lexington Herald-Leader on lawmakers and sexual harassment:

Who paid and how much were the most important questions raised by a confidential sexual harassment settlement that divided Kentucky Republicans and gave the legislature a black eye.

Investigators for the Legislative Ethics Commission ...

Trump's assessment of the political views of Californians is incorrect

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - 19 hours 22 min ago
People who live with the policies he opposes generally support them.

Trump says Stormy Daniels sketch is of a 'nonexistent man'

REUTERS POLITICS - 19 hours 28 min ago
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday said a man portrayed in a sketch released by porn star Stormy Daniels, who she said warned her to stop discussing her claims of a sexual encounter with Trump, does not exist.

Sticking point on Trump-Kim talks: Location, location, location

CNN POLITICS - 19 hours 34 min ago
As top national security officials continue to work behind the scenes to prepare for an audacious one-on-one meeting between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, a key sticking point has emerged: where to hold the talks.

Parkland parents urge steps to improve school safety

AP POLITICS - 19 hours 35 min ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — Parents of students who died in the Parkland, Florida, school shooting are calling for a range of steps to prevent gun violence, including measures to "harden" schools to minimize attacks and to identify potential shooters before they act. 2018-04-18T13:57:00-04:00 2018-04-18T17:57:28-04:00

Ex-Playboy model settles lawsuit over alleged Trump affair

AP POLITICS - 19 hours 35 min ago
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former Playboy model who said she had an affair with President Donald Trump has settled her lawsuit with a supermarket tabloid over an agreement that prohibited her from discussing the relationship. 2018-04-18T14:08:00-04:00 2018-04-18T18:08:48-04:00

Texas tussle stretches Senate map

FOXNEWS POLITICS - 19 hours 36 min ago
Hold on tight.

IRS overhaul passed by House

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 19 hours 37 min ago

The House moved Wednesday to force an overhaul on the IRS, voting to press the tax collection agency to become more customer-friendly — just a day after the agency suffered a deeply embarrassing computer outage on the day taxes were due.

The IRS said it got the systems up and ...

Speed Must Accompany Innovation, Pentagon Official Tells Senate

(USA) DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE - 19 hours 38 min ago
The United States military has plenty of innovators, but it doesn’t have much time, the new undersecretary of defense for research and engineering told a Senate Armed Services subcommittee.

The Latest: Missouri governor wants AG barred from probe

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 19 hours 38 min ago

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Latest on Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (all times local):

5:05 p.m.

Attorneys for Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens have asked a judge to block Attorney General Josh Hawley from any investigation or prosecution of the governor.

A filing in Cole County Circuit Court says Hawley ...

Labor and civil rights organizations call for EPA chief Scott Pruitt's ouster

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - 19 hours 42 min ago
The NAACP wants the EPA administrator to resign or be fired.

Utah lawmakers override 2 vetoes in balance of power dispute

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 23:56

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Utah lawmakers overruled the Republican governor on a pair of issues regarding separation of powers on Wednesday, deepening an intra-party tug-of-war in the overwhelmingly GOP state.

By a wide margin, the legislature voted to override vetoes issued by Gov. Gary Herbert in March and pave ...

U.S. states look to tax day to gauge fallout from federal tax law

REUTERS POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 23:55
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Taxpayer actions in response to sweeping federal tax changes passed by the U.S. Congress late last year will likely force states that tax personal income to tear up their revenue forecasts and start again.

Trump calls Stormy Daniels’s story of 2011 threat ‘a total con job’

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 23:53
The president for the first time tweeted about allegations made by the adult-firm actress, who says she was threatened in a Las Vegas parking lot.

DHS secretary declines to explain Trump's 'breeding' tweet

CNN POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 23:50
President Donald Trump's Homeland Security secretary declined to explain what the President meant by "breeding concept" in a tweet Wednesday morning, saying he was calling attention to a "very serious problem."

White House presses vulnerable Democrats to back State Dept nominee Pompeo

REUTERS POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 23:47
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House cranked up pressure on Wednesday on Democratic senators facing tough re-election fights to back secretary of state nominee Mike Pompeo, who looked increasingly likely to face a rare committee rejection before the full Senate can vote on his nomination.

Trump says Pompeo "got along really well" with Kim Jong Un

AP POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 23:45
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Wednesday that his CIA chief "got along really well" with Kim Jong Un during a secret meeting in North Korea, holding up the highly unusual talks as a reason to confirm Mike Pompeo as secretary of state. 2018-04-18T13:42:00-04:00 2018-04-18T17:42:36-04:00

NY official: Trump pardons can't be shield for state charges

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 23:40

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York state law must be clarified to ensure anyone pardoned by President Donald Trump may still be charged with violations of state law, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said on Wednesday.

Schneiderman, a Democrat who has emerged as a key figure in investigations related to ...

DoD’s Underfunded Maintenance Backlog Exceeds $116 Billion, Official Says

(USA) DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 23:40
The assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and environment said that the requested $10.5 billion in military construction and family housing programs in the president’s fiscal year 2019 budget request makes significant progress to recapitalize facilities, but it will not reverse the impacts of six years of sequestration.

Kris Kobach found in contempt of court in voting case

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 23:38

A federal judge ruled Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach in contempt of court Wednesday, saying he misled both election officials and voters despite the court’s orders laying out notices he was supposed to send to them about voting status.

Judge Julie A. Robinson cited Mr. Kobach’s “history ...

New York attorney general wants power to bypass Trump pardons

REUTERS POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 23:36
NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York's attorney general on Wednesday asked Governor Andrew Cuomo and state legislators to give him and other local prosecutors power to bring criminal charges against people pardoned by U.S. President Donald Trump.

EPA's Pruitt under spending probe; senators urge his ouster

REUTERS POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 23:30
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House budget office said on Wednesday it was probing whether a $43,000 soundproof phone booth installed for Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt violated the law, while dozens of Democratic senators called for him to resign over allegations of ethics lapses.

Missing ambassador, US Embassy in Germany pays for prof who compared Trump to ISIS

FOXNEWS POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 23:30
Officials at the U.S. Embassy in Germany hired a terrorism expert who has compared President Trump’s rhetoric to that of the Islamic State, for a speaking engagement back in February – in a move some lawmakers say is what you get when Congress fails to confirm an ambassador to one of the America’s closest allies.

Kansas secretary of state in contempt in voting case, judge says

FOXNEWS POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 23:30
A federal judge says Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach violated her order that some voters were eligible to cast a ballot while a lawsuit challenging a state law requiring proof of U.S. citizenship worked its way through the courts.

Missing ambassador, U.S. Embassy in Germany pays for prof who compared Trump to ISIS

FOXNEWS POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 23:30
Officials at the U.S. Embassy in Germany hired a terrorism expert who has compared President Trump’s rhetoric to that of the Islamic State, for a speaking engagement back in February – in a move some lawmakers say is what you get when Congress fails to confirm an ambassador to one of the America’s closest allies.

These former intel professionals are running for office to check Trump

CNN POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 23:29
Former intelligence professionals angered by what they view as attacks on the intelligence community by President Donald Trump are channeling their grievances by running for office in 2018.

EPA Chief Sat in Coach When Not Flying on Taxpayer’s Dime 

VOICE OF AMERICA POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 23:26
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt flew in coach-class seats on at least two trips home to Oklahoma when taxpayers weren’t footing the bill, despite claims he needed to travel in first class at government expense because of security threats. Copies of Pruitt’s official schedule released this week following a public records request show flights made in August and October to Tulsa on Southwest Airlines, a budget carrier that doesn’t offer premium-class seats. The Associated Press reported earlier this month that an EPA official said the administrator sat in coach on personal flights to watch college football games using a companion pass obtained with frequent flyer miles accrued by Ken Wagner, a former law partner Pruitt hired as one of his senior advisers at EPA. The official spoke on condition of anonymity citing fear of retaliation. 'Unpleasant interactions' Pruitt's full-time security team still accompanied him on the trips to Oklahoma, with their travel expenses still borne by taxpayers. The EPA administrator has said the agency’s security officials determined that he should fly in first class during government trips following “unpleasant interactions” with other airline passengers.  Asked Wednesday about the records reviewed by AP, EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox said “the same security procedures are followed whether Administrator Pruitt is on official or personal travel.” Wilcox did not directly respond to why Pruitt didn’t need to fly in first class on the personal flights. Companion pass EPA ethics lawyer Kevin Minoli also confirmed for the first time that Pruitt flew on a companion pass during the personal flights, reimbursing Wagner for a $5.60 airline fee and half the cost of the adviser’s ticket. The agency did not disclose the original cost of Wagner’s ticket or whether he paid for it with frequent flyer miles. Minoli added that EPA ethics officials are now consulting with the Office of Government Ethics to determine “whether any additional steps needed to be taken to ensure full compliance with the ethics requirements.” Former Office of Government Ethics director Walter Shaub said Wednesday the companion tickets provided to Pruitt likely violated a federal prohibition that bars officials from accepting gifts from their subordinates exceeding $10. Shaub said the value of the gift is determined not by what Wagner actually paid for the ticket, but what the full market value would have been had the ticket been purchased with cash. “EPA’s discussion of the discounted price that the donor paid is disingenuous,'' said Shaub, who resigned last year after clashing with President Donald Trump on ethics issues. “In this case, EPA should look to see what Pruitt would have had to pay if he had purchased the ticket on the day that he accepted the gift of free airfare from his subordinate.” Under intense scrutiny Shaub said he expected his former colleagues in the Office of Government Ethics would advise Pruitt that it was inappropriate for him to accept the gifted airfare from an EPA employee and that he must repay Wagner at full market value. The cut-rate airfare is the latest ethical issue to ensnare Pruitt, who has been under intense scrutiny since it was first revealed last month that he had stayed last year in a bargain-priced Capitol Hill condo tied to a fossil-fuels lobbyist. The embattled EPA administrator and those around him are the subject of multiple investigations launched by government watchdogs and congressional committees looking into luxury travel expenses, outsized security spending and massive raises awarded to political appointees.

Why using Cardi B as a 'pro-life' symbol is disingenuous

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 23:22
The rapper's message that she chose to have a child when she wants isn't a “pro-life” message; it's arguably a “pro-choice” one.

White House slams report that Mattis urged Trump to ask Congress to approve Syria strikes

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 23:22

The White House shot down a New York Times report Wednesday that claimed Defense Secretary James Mattis tried unsuccessfully to persuade President Trump to get approval from Congress for last weekend's airstrikes against Syria.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called the reports "categorically false."

"As Secretary Mattis explained ...

Calif. Republican and allies want renewed immigration fight

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 23:21

WASHINGTON (AP) - A quiz: If a bipartisan majority of House members wants votes on a subject that gets sky-high public support, why do they seem likely to fail? And why are they pushing it regardless?

Here's some help: It's the politically loaded issue of helping "Dreamer" immigrants. And it's ...

Missouri governor banks on public backing in not resigning

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 23:20

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Accused of sexual and political misconduct, Republican Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is defying calls to resign from top lawmakers in his own party while instead banking on steady support from the voters who backed his populist campaign against "corrupt insiders" and "career politicians."

Greitens' unwavering ...

Karen McDougal, Playboy Playmate, let out of secrecy deal over alleged Donald Trump affair

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 23:18

One of the women who signed a non-disclosure agreement preventing her from speaking about a purported affair with Donald Trump has been let out of her secrecy deal.

Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model, reached the agreement Wednesday with American Media Inc., the parent firm of the National Enquirer.

Los Alamitos, California, sued by residents for opting out of sanctuary law

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 23:16

SANTA ANA, Calif. — Residents sued the tiny Southern California city of Los Alamitos on Wednesday to challenge a vote by elected officials to exempt the community from a state law that limits police collaboration with U.S. immigration authorities.

The American Civil Liberties Union and other immigrant rights advocates said ...

Service Members Seeing First Fruits of Army Acquisition Changes

(USA) DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 23:16
Army Undersecretary Ryan D. McCarthy visited Fort Belvoir, Va., to see the results of the service’s new modernization strategy. Program Executive Officer Soldier sponsored the visit.
A soldier from Program Executive Office Soldier shows off the new enhanced binocular night-vision goggles helmet during a demonstration at Fort Belvoir, Va.

EPA corrects reports about bulletproof tires and bullet-resistant seat covers for Pruitt

FOXNEWS POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 23:15
The Environmental Protection Agency is correcting the record, claiming news reports about bulletproof tires and bullet-resistant seat covers to protect its embattled chief Scott Pruitt at government expense were inaccurate.

Eric Holder hints at 2020 presidential run with important New Hampshire appearance

FOXNEWS POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 23:15
Speculation about a potential presidential run for former Attorney General Eric Holder has heated up after he announced he would speak at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics’ annual “Politics & Eggs,” an event that many former candidates once attended.

Barbara Bush's 'heroic act' saved my life nearly 60 years ago, Texas woman says

FOXNEWS POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 23:15
For years, Donna Abert Andrich has held onto a letter addressed to Barbara Bush.

House committee votes against Marsy's Law amendment

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 23:11

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - A proposed constitutional amendment designed to bolster the rights of New Hampshire crime victims will head to the House floor without the backing of lawmakers on two key committees.

A joint panel made up of lawmakers from the House's committees on criminal justice and judiciary voted ...

Delaware "red-flag" gun measure poised for final vote

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 23:11

DOVER, Del. (AP) - A "red flag" bill that allows authorities to seize guns from a person deemed by a mental health provider to be a danger to themselves or others is poised for a final vote by Delaware lawmakers.

The measure, which passed the House unanimously last month, cleared ...

Top Democratic operatives are trying to figure out how to go after Trump in the midterms

CNN POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 23:08
A group of Democratic operatives and top pollsters are trying to answer a question ahead of the midterm elections that perplexed the most seasoned minds in politics in 2016: How can Democrats break through the Donald Trump-dominated conversation?

9th Circuit appoints special prosecutor against Sheriff Joe Arpaio

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 23:04

A federal appeals court said this week it will appoint a lawyer to argue that former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio's contempt of court conviction should remain on his record despite President Trump's pardon.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that since the federal Justice Department is supporting both ...

Trump cites 'very big deficit' with Japan during Abe visit

AP POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 23:03
PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump said Wednesday during a second day of talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that he wants to see "free, fair and reciprocal trade" between the two countries and a whittling away of the trade deficit. 2018-04-18T12:38:00-04:00 2018-04-18T16:38:30-04:00

Georgia editorial roundup

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 22:56

Recent editorials from Georgia newspapers:

___

April 14

The Augusta Chronicle says Georgia is in a good place with its legislators:

"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies."

- Groucho Marx

There's a campaign-style bumper sticker making the ...

Florida editorial roundup

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 22:55

Recent editorials from Florida newspapers:

___

April 12

Miami Herald says the state needs to heed recommendations to combat rising sea levels:

When it comes to sea-level rise, it has long been known that Miami Beach is Ground Zero for whatever dystopian scenario the inundating waters could bring. And that ...

Senators urge ouster of EPA's Pruitt, office probes pricey booth

REUTERS POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 22:54
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House budget office said on Wednesday it was probing whether a $43,000 soundproof phone booth for Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt violated the law, while dozens of Democratic senators called for him to resign over allegations of ethics lapses.

Parkland parents urge steps to improve school safety

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 22:52

WASHINGTON (AP) - Parents of students who died in the Parkland, Florida, school shooting are calling for a range of steps to prevent gun violence, including measures to "harden" schools to minimize attacks and to identify potential shooters before they act.

Max Schachter, whose son Alex was among 17 people ...

‘People don’t realize’: Trump and the historical facts he wants you to know

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 22:51
The history lessons suggest that perhaps the nation is witnessing the president’s education in real time.

California Editorial Rdp

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 22:50

April 18

Los Angeles Times on the Supreme Court delivering a victory for due process for deportees:

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled in a case from California that if a law is deemed to be so vague that it is impossible for the government to use it to impose ...

Billionaire backs Feinstein challenger in US Senate race

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 22:46

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California billionaire Tom Steyer endorsed state Sen. Kevin de Leon on Wednesday in his uphill challenge to U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

Steyer's backing could bring an influx of cash de Leon badly needs to increase his name recognition. But right now he has no "concrete plans" ...

US admitted just 44 Syrian refugees in last 6 months

CNN POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 22:45
As President Donald Trump and his national security team debate their futuret plans for Syria, one element of US policy is patently clear: The administration is not willing to accept large numbers of Syrian refugees fleeing the brutal civil war in the country.

White House looking into EPA's Pruitt spending, Mulvaney says

CNN POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 22:41
The White House will look into oversight reports on Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said on Wednesday.

New Quinnipiac poll shows tight Texas Senate race between Ted Cruz and Beto O'Rourke

CNN POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 22:39
A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday shows a tight race in Texas between Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Beto O'Rourke for Cruz's Senate seat.

DoD Must Be More Agile in Technology Development, Official Says

(USA) DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 22:36
The undersecretary of defense for research and engineering told lawmakers of the House Armed Services Committee that the Defense Department must embrace a more agile approach to technology development to keep pace with rapidly evolving adversaries.
A U.S. Marine poses with a drone during Urban Advanced Naval Technology Exercise 2018 at Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Eric Schneiderman, New York AG, seeks authority to prosecute despite presidential pardons

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 22:33

The attorney-general of New York wants to be able to bring state charges against people who've received presidential pardons, citing President Trump and accusing him of recklessness.

Eric Schneiderman asked the leaders of New York state government in a letter Tuesday to change the state's double jeopardy law, which says ...

California City Sued Over ‘Sanctuary’

VOICE OF AMERICA POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 22:30
Residents sued the tiny Southern California city of Los Alamitos on Wednesday to challenge a vote by elected officials to exempt the community from a state law that limits police collaboration with U.S. immigration authorities. The American Civil Liberties Union and other immigrant rights advocates said the lawsuit was filed in Superior Court in Orange County. It contends the city of 12,000 people cannot choose which state laws to follow and which laws to ignore, and that the actions of Los Alamitos leaders are wasting taxpayer money and scaring immigrants from attending church services. “You can't hurt people in your community so you get airtime on Fox News,” said Jessica Karp Bansal, litigation director for the National Day Laborers Organizing Network and a lawyer for plaintiffs. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the group Los Alamitos Community United and a local pastor and an attorney. It came after Los Alamitos leaders voted to exempt the community from California's so-called immigrant sanctuary law, which limits police collaboration with federal deportation agents and aims to keep immigration enforcement out of public schools. Mayor Troy Edgar said he had not seen the lawsuit and would be limited in what he could say about pending litigation. Messages seeking comment left at Los Alamitos City Hall were not immediately returned.  The lawsuit follows a spate of actions by Republican elected officials in at least a dozen California cities and in the state’s Orange and San Diego counties in recent weeks on the “sanctuary” law. Most have voted to lend support to a U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit filed last month against California or passed resolutions stating their position. Los Alamitos, however, voted to adopt a local ordinance to exempt the city from California’s law, which immigrant advocates say could erode community members’ trust in local police and dampen attendance at church and community events. California’s Democratic legislature passed the state law last year in response to President Donald Trump’s calls for more deportations and a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. The opposition has been largely in Orange County cities but has recently expanded to others. It comes as Republicans aim to hold onto four key congressional seats in this year’s elections in Orange County, a region of 3.2 million people that was long considered a GOP stronghold but voted for Hillary Clinton over Trump in the 2016 presidential election. 

Trump, Abe will have joint news conference after 2 days of talks in Florida

CNN POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 22:28
President Donald Trump will take questions alongside his Japanese counterpart Wednesday evening after two days of intensive talks on North Korea and trade.

EPA chief sat in coach when not flying on taxpayer's dime

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 22:26

WASHINGTON (AP) - Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt flew in coach-class seats on at least two trips home to Oklahoma when taxpayers weren't footing the bill, despite claims he needed to travel in first class at government expense because of security threats.

Copies of Pruitt's official schedule released this ...

Playboy announces plans to party in Washington

CNN POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 22:25
In 2017, the first year of Donald Trump's presidency, the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner clearly had lost some of its luster. Not only did the President and first lady not attend the annual dinner at the Washington Hilton Hotel, many of the news outlets that held glamorous after-parties ditched DC as well. The 2018 WHCD evening was shaping up to look about the same in terms of parties and panache -- until Wednesday, when Playboy Magazine announced it would be throwing its first-ever WHCD bash.

Lame-duck Sen. Jeff Flake just showed how he still has some leverage

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 22:20
The Arizona senator is trying to use his leverage in a closely divided Senate to get what he wants.

Trump says 'good relationship' formed with North Korea

AP POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 22:20
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Wednesday confirmed that his CIA chief secretly met with Kim Jong Un in North Korea and said "a good relationship was formed" heading into the adversaries' anticipated summit. 2018-04-18T08:44:00-04:00 2018-04-18T12:44:03-04:00

Man pleads not guilty in June killing of Lincoln man

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 22:19

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The second of two men charged in the killing of another man in Lincoln over what police say was a drug debt has pleaded not guilty.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports that 36-year-old Paul Clark pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Lancaster County District Court to second-degree ...

David Hogg, sister Lauren Hogg sign book deal for 'NEVERAGAIN: A New Generation Draws the Line'

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 22:17

NEW YORK — Two students who survived the deadly mass shooting this year at a Florida high school have a book deal.

Siblings David and Lauren Hogg are working on "#NEVERAGAIN: A New Generation Draws the Line." Random House announced Wednesday that the book would come out June 5 and ...

Debt to the Penny for 04/17/2018

US TREASURY DEBT DAY-TO-DAY - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 22:15
Debt Held by the Public: 15,382,829,721,962.65
Intragovernmental Holdings: 5,695,471,529,022.77
Total Public Debt Outstanding: 21,078,301,250,985.42

White House presses vulnerable Democrats to back State Department nominee Pompeo

REUTERS POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 22:13
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House cranked up pressure on Wednesday on Democratic senators facing tough re-election fights to back secretary of state nominee Mike Pompeo, who looked increasingly likely to face a rare committee rejection before the full Senate can vote on his nomination.

Donald Trump calls out Rand Paul for his opposition to Mike Pompeo's nomination

CNN POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 21:51
President Donald Trump said Wednesday that Sen. Rand Paul has "never let me down," despite the Kentucky Republican's opposition to Trump's nominee for secretary of state, Mike Pompeo.

Eric Holder tells Trevor Noah he's not trying to 'gerrymander for Democrats'

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 21:50
Holder's national redistricting panel aims to put Democrats in statewide office to enact redistricting reforms.

Fresno State says Barbara Bush-bashing professor can be fired despite tenure

FOXNEWS POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 21:45
California State University's Fresno campus is investigating after one of their English professors tweeted she was "happy" former first lady Barbara Bush was dead just an hour after her passing was announced.

New York Gov. Cuomo gives parolees the right to vote in his state

CNN POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 21:43
All felons who have served their time will now have their right to vote restored in New York.

Barbara Bush's funeral will be attended by Melania Trump, Clintons, others

FOXNEWS POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 21:33
The funeral for former first lady Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at the age of 92, will be attended by many high-profile figures, including first lady Melania Trump and the Clintons.

Dozens of senators sign resolution urging ouster of EPA's Pruitt

REUTERS POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 21:29
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Dozens of Democratic U.S. Senators on Wednesday introduced a resolution calling for Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt to resign on allegations of ethics lapses.

Tim Pawlenty posts video touting crackdown on benefits for illegal immigrants

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 21:25

Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty put up a new campaign video on Wednesday pledging to crack down on government benefits for those who do not qualify.

"It's time to stop hiding behind political correctness and enforce our laws," Mr. Pawlenty, Minnesota Republican, said in a video posted on his campaign ...

U.S. envoy to U.N. Haley says relationship with Trump is 'perfect'

REUTERS POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 21:23
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said her relationship with President Donald Trump was "perfect" amid friction between Haley and the White House.

Increasing Global Threats Call for Capabilities to Deter, Defend, Officials Say

(USA) DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 21:16
The undersecretary of defense for policy said before a House Armed Services Committee panel on strategic forces that in today’s increasingly complex and threatening environment, the Defense Department must sustain the capabilities needed to deter and defend against attacks on the U.S. homeland, its forces abroad and its allies and partners.
A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor is launched from the Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska in Kodiak, Alaska, during Flight Experiment THAAD (FET)-01 on July 30, 2017 (EDT). During the test, the THAAD weapon system successfully intercepted an air-launched, medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) target.

The Latest: Trump seeks fair trade in talks with Japan's Abe

AP POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 21:12
PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (all times local): 2018-04-18T11:09:00-04:00 2018-04-18T15:09:11-04:00

Senate votes to undo consumer bureau's auto guidance

REUTERS POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 21:04
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate voted 51-47 on Wednesday in favor of a resolution undoing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's 2013 guidance restricting how car dealers extend auto loans to consumers, in the latest move to weaken the agency.

Trump lawyer, U.S. prosecutors propose candidates to review seized files

REUTERS POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 21:02
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Federal prosecutors and lawyers for President Donald Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen have asked a judge to consider several candidates to review whether documents seized from Cohen in FBI raids are protected by attorney-client privilege.

Air Force Inspectors Comb Aircraft for Potential Problems

(USA) DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 21:01
Airmen from the 19th Maintenance Squadron’s nondestructive inspection shop at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., perform aircraft integrity checks using liquids and a variety of other methods to assist them in searching for cracks in aircraft parts and other imperfections.
An Airman looks at an aircraft part beside a black light.

Colin Powell says strength of Bush family came from Barbara

CNN POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 20:57
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell reminisced on his memories of the Bush family following former first lady Barbara Bush's death on Tuesday.

More Senate Democrats Oppose Pompeo for Secretary of State

VOICE OF AMERICA POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 20:52
More Senate Democrats have announced they oppose President Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of state, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, making it all but certain he will not have the Foreign Relations Committee's endorsement when the full Senate votes on confirmation, possibly next week. "His [Pompeo's] clear record of favoring military action over diplomacy is worrying," Connecticut Democrat Chris Murphy told reporters Wednesday. "I have faith that Secretary [of Defense James] Mattis is sober about the utility of military action abroad. I don't think the same of [National Security Adviser] John Bolton or Mike Pompeo." Murphy is one of 10 Democrats on the 21-member Senate Foreign Relations Committee. All have either formally announced they will vote against Pompeo or signaled they are leaning against supporting the nomination. "I will cast a NO vote for Director Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State," ranking Democrat Bob Menendez of New Jersey tweeted. "Director Pompeo did little to assuage my concerns about the administration's deafening lack of strategic vision for any of our major global challenges." Majority Republicans outnumber Democrats by one vote on the committee, but Kentucky Republican Rand Paul announced his opposition to Pompeo shortly after Trump nominated him last month, making an 11-10 committee vote opposing the nomination an increasingly likely possibility. Pompeo's Republican backers insist they remain confident of the ultimate outcome. "I'm not concerned," Arkansas Republican Tom Cotton said on a conference call with reporters. "Mike Pompeo will be confirmed as the next secretary of state." Last year, the Senate confirmed Pompeo to head the CIA by a 66-32 vote, with 15 Democrats backing the nomination. Republicans are betting at least two Democrats will vote to confirm him again, offsetting Paul's "no" vote and the likely absence of Arizona Republican John McCain. Cotton said he doubted moderate Democrats "who are facing re-election in states that our president [Trump] won by a landslide [in 2016] are going to oppose an obviously qualified nominee for whom they voted last year." At his confirmation hearing last week, Pompeo repeatedly stated his commitment to diplomacy and his intention to rebuild the State Department, which is weathering a record number of vacancies in the Trump era. The testimony did not sway Murphy, who indicated his concerns about Pompeo outweigh the latitude senators traditionally give to presidents to pick their team. "Tough call," the Connecticut Democrat said. "I do believe in deference to the administration. But I think when you're talking about matters of war and peace, it's OK to have a higher standard, a higher bar."

Colin Powell says Pompeo is 'amenable to changes' in his stances

CNN POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 20:50
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell called Secretary of State-designate Mike Pompeo a careful listener who may be open to changing some of his past positions in a Wednesday interview on CNN's "Inside Politics."

Impeachment to be key issue in midterm races: Poll

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 20:45

A new Marist poll out Wednesday shows that the question of impeachment could place a key role in how people vote in the midterm elections.

According to the survey, 47 percent say they would vote against a candidate who wants to impeach President Trump compared to 42 percent who ...

Arizona Legislature OKs ban on harassment secrecy pacts

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 20:40

PHOENIX (AP) - The Arizona Legislature on Wednesday gave final approval to a proposal allowing victims of sexual misconduct to talk to police or testify in a criminal case even if they signed a non-disclosure agreement as part of a civil settlement.

The proposal from Republican Rep. Maria Syms of ...

After failure to launch, Republican senator switches vote to save Trump's NASA nominee

CNN POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 20:39
The Senate deadlocked 49-49 for about an hour Wednesday on a vote to break a filibuster of Rep. James Bridenstine, R-Oklahoma, to be the next NASA administrator until Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, returned to the floor and switched his vote to yes.

Mother's anger over MP's Iraq Facebook posts

BBC POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 20:31
The mother of a soldier who died in Iraq criticises an MP who posed for pictures on Saddam's throne.

Louisiana senators work on compromise sexual harassment bill

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 20:29

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Senators have whittled down proposals to toughen Louisiana's policies against sexual harassment in government agencies to one compromise bill. And they removed language that could have hidden harassment allegations and investigation details from the public.

Three proposals seeking to enact anti-harassment training and policies across ...

California city sued over move to opt out of sanctuary law

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 20:29

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) - Residents are suing the tiny Southern California city of Los Alamitos following a vote by elected officials to exempt the community from a state law limiting police collaboration with immigration authorities.

The American Civil Liberties Union and immigrant rights advocates say the lawsuit was filed ...

Bipartisan Colorado immigrant driver bill advances

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 20:23

DENVER (AP) - Colorado lawmakers have advanced a bill to let unauthorized immigrants renew their driver's licenses online or by mail, overcoming objections that the licenses sanction illegal immigration.

Colorado has issued driver's licenses to unauthorized immigrant residents since 2014.

But the licenses must be renewed every three years, and ...

Who is Nikki Haley? 5 things to know about the US ambassador to the United Nations

FOXNEWS POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 20:10
Nikki Haley has been the ambassador to the United Nations since January 27, 2017.

Hillary Clinton's popularity has plunged since election, poll finds

FOXNEWS POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 20:06
Hillary Clinton, almost two years after she lost the 2016 election to President Trump, is less popular than ever, according to a poll released this week.

Freedom-of-information activist wins legal fight with county

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 20:05

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A Minneapolis freedom-of-information activist has claimed victory in his long-running legal battle to see emails from the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office pertaining to biometric technologies.

The Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday largely backed Tony Webster, who said the county violated Minnesota's open records law when ...

Largest maker of bump stocks will stop accepting orders

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 20:01

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The largest manufacturer of bump stocks, which allow semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly like automatic firearms, announced Wednesday that it will stop taking orders and shut down its website next month.

The announcement comes about a month after President Donald Trump said his administration would "ban" ...

Trump meets with Japan's PM

CNN POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 19:58

Missouri's top Republicans join calls for Greitens to step down

CNN POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 19:58
Missouri's top Republican legislators are calling for GOP Gov. Eric Greitens to step down from office following an accusation that he obtained a charity donor list without permission, the latest controversy to embroil Greitens, who has also been accused of sexual abuse.

What the Nikki Haley mess says about the increasingly likely Trump-Kim Jong Un summit

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 19:57
For the second month in a row, Trump has shown he can't stick to a foreign policy script.

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