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Warren Speaks at Native American Conference, Still Insists She’s Part Native American

Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) on Wednesday made a surprise appearance at the National Congress of American Indians, delivering a speech in which she insisted that she is in fact part Native American. According to a transcript of the speech obtained by the Boston Globe, the potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate attacked President Donald Trump for his continued use of the insult "Pocahontas" to mock her claimed ancestry, which has never been documented. "Our country's disrespect of Native people didn't start with President Trump," she said. "It started long before President Washington ever took office." Warren admitted that "you won't find my family members on any rolls, and I'm not enrolled in a tribe," but continued to insist that she is part Native American, and that her parents had to elope because of her mother's supposed ancestry. "My mother's family was part Native American. And my daddy's parents were bitterly opposed to their relationship. So, in 1932, when Mother was 19 and Daddy had just turned 20, they eloped," she said. Warren concluded the speech by saying that every time someone brings up her claimed ancestry, she talks about the larger Native American community instead. "I'm here today to make a promise: Every time someone brings up my family's story, I'm going to use it to lift up the story of your families and your communities," she said. The post Warren Speaks at Native American Conference, Still Insists She’s Part Native American appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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Eric Bolling: Trump Has ‘Empathy and Compassion’ About Opioid Crisis

Former Fox News host Eric Bolling said Wednesday that Donald Trump has "empathy and compassion" about the national opioid crisis, revealing that the president called him on Thanksgiving to express support following the death of his 19-year-old son. Bolling appeared on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" to discuss the importance of fighting the opioid crisis and to share his personal tragedy of losing his son, Eric Chase Bolling, who passed away in September while a student at the University of Colorado-Boulder. The Boulder County Coroner in Colorado revealed in October that the cause of death was an accidental overdose of marijuana, cocaine, and multiple opioids. Bolling told "Morning Joe" co-hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough that Thanksgiving was a "really bad" time for him, describing what it felt like to see his deceased son's empty chair and the turkey on the table. The former Fox News host then said that Trump called him to say that he knew it was Bolling's first holiday without his son and that he was thinking about him. "He cares about this issue. The guy has empathy and compassion for this and I think that matters," Bolling said. "Think about if 64,000 people died from a food-born illness or something in the water. We would be up in arms to try and figure out what's going on." "I think this is the time to save some lives, and I hope I'm here helping people to become aware," added Bolling, who said he is helping the White House with an opioid awareness program. Bolling, who was fired by Fox News shortly before his son's accidental overdose, concluded the segment by praising his son for his love of animals and people. The former host said his son was socially active, but noted he witnessed an extreme personality change in the last couple weeks before he died, which he said may have been a warning sign that he was experimenting with harder drugs. In addition to Trump, Bolling said that Scarborough was one of several media and political figures who called to check in on him after his son's death. Bolling is set to visit the White House later on Wednesday to meet with Trump and the opioid epidemic commission. Trump last week signed a bipartisan budget deal that includes $6 billion to combat the opioid crisis. The post Eric Bolling: Trump Has ‘Empathy and Compassion’ About Opioid Crisis appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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Two of California’s Largest Labor Unions Endorse Feinstein’s Dem Primary Opponent

Two of California's largest and most vocal labor unions, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) of California and the California Nurses Association, endorsed Sen. Dianne Feinstein's (D., Calif.) Democratic primary opponent this week. The endorsements come at a particularly beneficial time for state Senator Kevin de León, a 51-year-old Democrat from Los Angeles, who announced his intention in October to challenge the 84-year-old Feinstein in the 2018 primary. De León, who has served as president pro tempore of the California State Senate since 2014, is running a progressive insurgency campaign to prevent Feinstein from being elected to a full fifth term. His progressive credentials, which include pushing California to adopt a $15 an hour minimum wage, strengthening environmental regulation in response to climate change, and protecting illegal immigrants and sanctuary cities, are likely to play well with an increasingly left-leaning Democratic base. Breaking: SEIU California endorses @kdeleon for U.S. Senate – a champion who has stood up for us and our California values again and again and now we are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder and endorse Kevin de León to be our next U.S. Senator.https://t.co/PlVF5oGmI1 — SEIU California (@SEIU_California) February 14, 2018 SEIU, which constitutes 700,000 members across California, said it endorsed de León because his leadership and understanding of the most "pressing challenges" facing people stands "in stark contrast with the dysfunctional political establishment in Washington, D.C." The union's endorsement reads like something one could expect seeing during a general election between a Republican and Democrat, rather than a race where a challenger is facing an incumbent of the same party. "Kevin de León is a leader who speaks up for California values. His leadership on the most pressing challenges facing California stands in stark contrast with the dysfunctional political establishment in Washington, D.C.," David Huerta, an executive board member of SEIU California, said in a statement. "He’s stood up for us and our California values again and again and now we are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder and endorse Kevin de León to be our next U.S. Senator." Feinstein has served in the U.S. Senate since 1992 and announced her reelection bid in early October, shortly before de León announced his intent to challenge. Her decision came despite calls from some in the party for new blood, but others said de León's campaign was "against the wrong person at the wrong time." De León took a shot at Feinstein when accepting SEIU's endorsement, seeming to imply California's senior senator was "just another party-line vote in Washington." He also called on Californians to "demand more of" their elected leaders because they currently lack "the political willpower to prioritize the [important] issues." "We must demand more of our elected leaders in Washington. Right now, it is clear they lack the political willpower to prioritize the issues we care on the floor of the U.S. Senate,"de León said. "It is time for new leadership that will fight tirelessly for fair and equal wages, a growing economy that generates good-paying jobs, and more opportunities for everyone … That’s why I won’t be just another party-line vote in Washington. Instead, I will be the outspoken activist Californians need on the issues they care about most." SEIU's announcement came on the heels of the the California Nurses Association's endorsement of de León's candidacy. The association, which represents 80,000 medical professionals across California, specifically cited the challenger's efforts to a pass legislation that would create a statewide single-payer health care system. "At a time when 15 million Californians still have no health coverage, or pay for premiums and still can’t afford to get the medical care they need, Kevin de León demonstrated outstanding political courage and leadership in shepherding passage of SB 562 in the California Senate," Malinda Markowitz, co-president of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United, said in a statement. Press Release: #Nurses Endorse @kdeleon for U.S. Senate https://t.co/d2DckW2CkU "At a time when millions of Californians still have no health coverage, Kevin de León demonstrated outstanding leadership in shepherding passage of #SB562 in the CA Senate."- @RNMarkowitz pic.twitter.com/Q29qba8ngK — California Nurses (@CalNurses) February 13, 2018 The California Nurses Association has a long history of supporting progressive candidates over more moderate, establishment Democrats. In 2016, the union endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the Democratic presidential primaries. The post Two of California’s Largest Labor Unions Endorse Feinstein’s Dem Primary Opponent appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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Lawmakers Turn to GROW to Avoid Pension Crisis

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is hoping to head off a looming union pension crisis by expanding options for retirement benefits. On Tuesday evening, Reps. Phil Roe (R., Tenn.) and Donald Norcross (D., N.J.) introduced the Give Retirement Options to Workers (GROW) Act, which would allow multiemployer pensions to transition from traditional defined benefit plans—in which fixed payments are delivered to retirees—to a hybrid that combines existing plans with 401(k)-style defined contribution plans, in which workers and employers contribute money to investment accounts. Roe said the reform is needed to preserve pension systems for future generations of workers. "In a time of financial uncertainty, it is crucial that we give workers more flexible and sustainable options for creating stable retirement security," he said in a statement. "The GROW Act offers a fiscally responsible way forward, and this structure will enable pensions to maintain fiscal solvency in the future." Multiemployer pension plans differ from those offered in other traditional blue-collar industries. While Ford is solely responsible for the retirement benefits of its employees, workers in the construction, truck driving, or shipping industries, for example, may handle contracts for numerous employers over the course of their careers. Employers in those industries pool their resources together to finance the benefits of those workers. Those plans face massive uncertainty today, as the number of companies contributing to those plans have dwindled. When a rival company closes, it is up to the remaining employers to cover the difference, saddling smaller pools of businesses with larger burdens to keep retirement plans above water. The future of multiemployer pension plans has already shown signs of turning into a crisis as the Baby Boomer generation moves closer to retirement. In 2014, the Obama administration signed a measure allowing pension plans to cut benefits with approval from federal regulators. In 2016 and 2017, members of Teamsters Local 707 in New York and Ironworkers Local 17 in Ohio had their benefits slashed after their pension funds ran out of money. The Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation, a federal agency funded by user fees rather than taxpayers, had to step in to provide relief. The PBGC, however, is on the path to bankruptcy within the next decade if not sooner. The Teamsters Central States Fund, which has teetered close to insolvency following the Great Recession, has obligations that could drain the entire PBGC if it goes bust. Rep. Norcross, Congress's only electrician and a former union negotiator, has made pension relief a priority over the past two years. He has championed the Butch-Lewis Act, a staple of the Democrats' economic agenda designed to win back blue-collar workers who supported President Donald Trump in 2016. Butch Lewis would establish a legacy fund within the PBGC and allow the Treasury Department to make loans to struggling systems to maintain benefit levels. Norcross said the GROW Act seeks to prevent currently healthy plans from reaching the same death spiral as Teamsters Local 707 and Ironworkers Local 17. "The GROW Act creates a sustainable structure for multiemployer plans that workers can choose," Norcross said in a statement. "The GROW Act offers another tool in the toolbox for workers to grow their retirement savings in the future—and complements plans in Congress to honor our commitments to workers who are currently owed pension payments." The bipartisan measure won the applause of both industry and labor groups when Roe and Norcross introduced the concept at a January press conference. Both the AFL-CIO's North American Building Trades Union (NABTU) and the Association of General Contractors, which represents mostly non-union construction companies, endorsed the plan. Michael Scott, executive director of the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans, said keeping existing plans alive is vital, saying the retirement benefits supported "13.6 million American jobs" and contributed "$158 billion in federal taxes and more than $1 trillion" to gross domestic product in 2015. Scott said existing plans have been hampered by regulation and leave plans unattractive to employers who would otherwise join pension pools. "The bipartisan GROW Act strengthens and modernizes the multiemployer pension system for the future at a time when the stakes could not be higher," Scott said in a statement. "The GROW Act will help safeguard this economic engine by better protecting workers' retirement security, and providing greater certainty and stability to employers in the multiemployer system." Roe emphasized the legislation will not pose a threat to existing pension benefits. Workers who have participated in defined benefit systems will still receive them, while future workers will be enrolled in the hybrid system. Pension plans applying to switch to the hybrid model will also be required to demonstrate their fiscal health before receiving approval. "This new plan protects the benefits workers earned under a traditional multiemployer plan, and offers stability by eliminating the uncertainty and volatility currently in the multiemployer system," Roe said. The post Lawmakers Turn to GROW to Avoid Pension Crisis appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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The Price of Eating Healthy

It was Fat Tuesday. So why on earth was I having lunch at a health-food restaurant? True Food Kitchen in Fairfax styles itself as a "health-driven, seasonal restaurant merging nutrient-rich ingredients with a flavor-forward menu that rotates regularly to let guests experience great-tasting ingredients at the peak of their freshness." Sounds great—I'm all about flavor forward (does anyone prefer flavor backward?). Still, it was the day before Lent. I should've been at Shake Shack with my Double SmokeShack bacon burger, cheese fries, and a black & white hand-spun milkshake (a mere 2,315 calories!). But I was dragged out there by two very health-conscious coworkers who were not only concerned for my well-being, but also intent to prove I could leave a health-food restaurant fully satisfied. I had my doubts. True Food's principles are based on the work of Dr. Andrew Weil and the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. As explained on the restaurant's website: "This diet—not so much a ‘diet' in the ever-trendy weight loss variety—encourages simple changes in eating habits to avoid and counteract chronic inflammation: a root cause of heart disease, many cancers, Alzheimer's disease and more. It is a way of selecting and preparing foods based on science that can help people achieve and maintain optimum health over their lifetime." Chronic inflammation also causes gout, and I've had my share of flare ups. My doctor, however, has decided to discontinue my anti-gout medication based on the assumption I am leading a healthy life and maintaining a sensible diet. How wrong she is (see Shake Shack fantasy above). In any event, an anti-inflammatory lunch couldn't hurt. True Food Kitchen is a large and airy space with a funky, crunchy vibe. I twice got the whiff of pot smoke. But the server was friendly and helpful, and we ended up with a variety of dishes. For starters, we had Kale Guacamole (in need of more salt), Tataki (slightly seared raw albacore), and Edamame Dumplings (with a rich and creamy, almost polenta-like filling). For the main course, I went pure health-nut and ordered the Teriyaki Quinoa Bowl with tofu, broccoli, heirloom carrot (note the singular), bok choy, mushroom, brown rice, avocado, and toasted sesame. As for the beverages: My colleagues Rae-Lyn Ziegler and Emily Ferguson both tried the Carrot Turmeric Tonic. I, on the other hand, opted for the Health-Ade Kombucha* with cranberry and pomegranate. It was my first time trying this "bubbly probiotic tea," so I was a bit wary. After all, there are warnings on the bottle for those pregnant or breast-feeding. In addition, it says on the bottle, "Due to fermentation, this product may contain a trace amount of alcohol and small pieces of culture." Emily said she and her friend once made their own Kombucha. The process sounded like something out of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The overall meal was flavorful (or flavor forward!) and filling. The vegetables were crisp—an American preference whereas the French like their veggies soft. Yet I didn't feel the way I do when I have a large steak and a few martinis or when I hit the buffet in our office lobby (what I affectionately call "the trough"). I did not have to roll myself out of the restaurant. Instead, I felt good about myself. As our former first lady would say, "Let's move!" But my main entrée and Rae-Lyn's Grass-Fed Steak Tacos were both $17. Emily's Poke Bowl was $22. My Kombucha was $7.50. The Carrot Turmeric Tonics are $5 a pop. The bill came to over $100. Sure, it would be great if more people led healthier lives, but sadly this would be a meal many families would have to save up for. I can't imagine opening this place in, say, my hometown of Toms River, N.J. (whereas the town's Buffalo Wild Wings is thriving). "If I had a billion dollars," I began to say, but Rae-Lyn completed my sentence: "You'd eat here every day." She added, "It's how celebrities eat." Indeed. I can't live on True Food everyday (maybe once a month?). And I'm definitely not doing Keto or a juice cleanse. So maybe just common sense. There's a passage in Tolstoy's Anna Karenina (1877) where we learn how Count Vronsky keeps in great shape: On the day of the races at Krasnoe Selo, Vronsky had come earlier than usual to eat beefsteak in the officers' mess of the regiment. He had no need to be in strict training, as he had very quickly been brought down to the required weight of one hundred and sixty pounds, but still he had to avoid gaining weight, and he avoided starchy foods and desserts. Sounds good to me. In fact, dinner that night was at the Palm with my wife. And I did have a beefsteak. After all, it was Fat Tuesday. *Make no mistake—Kombucha is the Next Big Thing. As Michael Ruhlman explains in Grocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in America, "Kombucha is a hip drink, in large part because it hits three top consumer hot buttons—it is probiotic, organic, and vegan—and it's shown phenomenal growth throughout the country (more than $500 million annually in 2015). Heinen's carries five or six brands. Their sales of the tea went from $294,000 in 2014 to nearly $900,000 in 2016." The post The Price of Eating Healthy appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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New York Times Fires Editorial Board Member Hours After Hiring Her

UPDATED Wednesday, 10:30 A.M.: The New York Times fired journalist Quinn Norton on Tuesday night, just hours after announcing that she joined the newspaper's editorial board as its lead technology opinion writer. Social media users quickly flagged Norton's use of racial and homophobic slurs on Twitter, as well as her publicizing friendships with neo-Nazis. "Despite our review of Quinn Norton's work and our conversations with her previous employers, this was new information to us," the Times‘ editorial page editor, James Bennet, said in a statement. "Based on it, we've decided to go our separate ways." Below is the original story on Norton's hire, before she was fired: The New York Times announced Tuesday that Quinn Norton has joined the newspaper's editorial board, before saying hours later that it is investigating the journalist for past tweets in which she used slurs and discussed her friendships with neo-Nazis. The Times‘ press office said the paper is "delighted to announce" Quinn will be its "lead opinion writer on the power, culture, and consequences of technology." "We're excited to have Quinn to help our readers understand what's possible and what's sensible, and where we're all headed," the announcement read. Twitter users quickly flagged Norton's past controversial tweets, including ones in which she said that she is "friends with various neo-Nazis"—though she clarified that she has "never agreed with them"—and used various slurs. In October 2014, when a Twitter user asked Norton whether she is friends with neo-Nazis, the journalist responded that she is indeed. @onekade i have been friends with various neo-nazis in my time, yes. i have never agreed with them, and i've been clear on that. — Well that was fun. (@quinnnorton) October 2, 2014 Norton then said there is a chance the neo-Nazis who she knows will not hurt minorities because she is friends with them. @onekade I think there is even a chance they won't do those things so much because I am their friend. — Well that was fun. (@quinnnorton) October 2, 2014 Last November, when asked whether she is friends with Andrew "Weev" Auernheimer, a notorious neo-Nazi and white supremacist, Norton wrote that she says his views are "dumb every time we talk." something i tell him is dumb every time we talk. — Well that was fun. (@quinnnorton) November 17, 2017 HuffPost noted that, in another tweet from last year, Norton wrote, "Weev is a terrible person, & an old friend of mine. I've been very clear on this. Some of my friend are terrible people, & also my friends." Norton has also used the word "n—er" on Twitter several times and previously said that, "as far as I'm concerned, no one is a terrorist." RT @johnperrybarlow: If God had meant a nigger to talk to our schoolchildren, He would have would have made him president. Oh, but wait.. Um — Well that was fun. (@quinnnorton) September 4, 2009 @EatingMyPeaz at this point, as far as I'm concerned no one is a terrorist, in exactly the same way no human being is a nigger. — Well that was fun. (@quinnnorton) October 31, 2013 Beyond racial slurs, Norton has frequently used slurs to refer to homosexual people. @VizFoSho you are laying waste to your own fucking ideals, you shit eating hypersensitive little crybaby fag — Well that was fun. (@quinnnorton) July 27, 2013 @VizFoSho look, fag, you're going to have to walk a far mile to offend me, and you fucking know that — Well that was fun. (@quinnnorton) July 27, 2013 Outside of Twitter, Norton has also publicized controversial opinions. In an article published in December 2013 titled "The Morality of John Rabe: Honor and Choice in Times of Genocide," Norton wrote that Rabe, a Nazi Party member who died after World War II, "is my personal patron saint of moral complexity." It is unclear whether the Times knew about Norton's tweets before hiring her. Hours after the Times publicized its latest hire, the paper confirmed that it is investigating Norton for her past tweets, according to HuffPost. "We are very concerned about the tweets that are circulating today and are looking into the matter," a Times spokesperson said. In a blog post about her hiring, Norton said she is "as surprised as you are." "I haven't tried to make myself look more professionally acceptable, more conventional, or any of that, for the benefit of my new employer," she wrote. "I plan to just be me, and bring my ideas to the table. I hope those ideas help." "And if that doesn't work out, no harm no foul." The post New York Times Fires Editorial Board Member Hours After Hiring Her appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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Katie Couric Apologizes for Olympic Gaffe, Netherlands Let It ‘Slide’

NBC’s Katie Couric issued an apology for suggesting during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games opening ceremony that the Dutch use ice skating as a primary means of transportation. Couric said the Netherlands "has lots of canals that can freeze in the winter. So for as long as those canals have existed, the Dutch have skated on them to get from place to place, to race each other and also to have fun." Her comments drew criticism on Twitter, causing the Netherland Embassy weigh in on the issue, Page Six reports. "Hi @katiecouric, please come visit the Netherlands. We’d love to show you all the innovative ways the Dutch get around , & are building the future of transportation. Of course, we can also visit our famous skating rinks. Let’s break the ice!" the Netherland Embassy tweeted. "You just can’t make this up," Dutch citizen Jos Duijvestein tweeted. "NBC opening ceremony coverage. Katie Couric talks about why The Netherlands is so good at speed skating as The Netherlands enters the stadium. And this folks is why Americans are less bright about the rest of the world as they spread fake news!" You just can't make this up. NBC opening ceremony coverage. Katie Couric talks about why The Netherlands is so good at speed skating as The Netherlands enters the stadium. And this folks is why Americans are less bright about the rest of the world as they spread fake news! pic.twitter.com/7YC5deTl2w — Jos Duijvestein (@JosDuijvestein) February 10, 2018 Monday evening, Couric congratulated the Netherlands on its medal count and apologized for her comments, tweeting "my apologies for being on thin ice for my comments." "Congrats #Netherlands on your count so far!" She tweeted. "My apologies for being on thin ice for my comments re: skating on canals. I was trying to salute your historical passion for the sport but it didn’t come out that way! I’d to visit again & celebrate your success! " Dutch Ambassador to the United States Henne Schuwer‏ also weighed in, encouraging Couric to hold to her word and revisit the country. "Please do come to the Netherlands @katiecouric. And when () you do, I’ll be glad to host you in Amsterdam and show the historic canals." Schuwer said. In the end, the Dutch Embassy accepted Couric's apology, saying they would let it "slide." "We’re letting it slide @katiecouric and apologies accepted! Enjoy the rest of the Winter Olympics (with hopefully more Dutch medals). We’d love to help you visit the Netherlands to talk about where we’ve been and show you where we’re going. Just say when, and we’ll be there!" the tweet read. We’re letting it slide @katiecouric and apologies accepted! Enjoy the rest of the Winter Olympics (with hopefully more Dutch medals). We’d love to help you visit the Netherlands to talk about where we’ve been and show you where we’re going. Just say when, and we’ll be there! https://t.co/qD5SIqHS9l — Netherlands Embassy (@NLintheUSA) February 13, 2018 The post Katie Couric Apologizes for Olympic Gaffe, Netherlands Let It ‘Slide’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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Son of American Imprisoned in North Korea Asks Olympic Viewers Not to Forget His Father

As the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, dominate news coming from the Korean peninsula, the son of an American professor is asking the world not to forget the plight of his father and two other U.S. citizens who are imprisoned in North Korea. Sol Kim asks in a recent Facebook video that Olympic viewers stand in solidarity with the three imprisoned Americans by raising three fingers whenever cheering for an American athlete at the games. He also suggests that social media users add the hashtag #USA3 to any posts about the Olympic Games. JOIN US in a sign of solidarity at the Opening Ceremonies and throughout the #Olympics by raising 3 fingers whenever you cheer on our American athletes and by using the hashtag #USA3 throughout the games. pic.twitter.com/fQeMAb1JGu — Free USA 3 (@freeusathree) February 7, 2018 "As you gather with your family and friends to watch the Olympics, will you remember my dad?" Kim asks in the video. "My dad was arrested last April in North Korea, and we don't know what has happened to him." "Please help spread the word so that my dad and these other Americans are not forgotten," Kim says. North Korean authorities detained Kim's father, Tony Kim, also known as Kim Sang Duk, 59, at Pyongyang International Airport in April 2017 for alleged "criminal acts of hostility aimed at overturning the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea." Kim was teaching at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology at the time of his detainment. Since then, he has had no contact with his family. Kim—who had engaged in humanitarian work in the North, helping orphanages, according to the South Korean news agency Yonhap—joined two other Americans, Kim Hak Song and Kim Dong Chul, who also are imprisoned in North Korea on similarly vague charges. Kim Hak Song, 55, was detained in May on suspicion of committing "hostile acts" against the North Korean government, Fox News reported. He was in the country doing agricultural development work at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology's agricultural farm. Kim Dong Chul, 64, a businessman, was first arrested in October 2015 and later sentenced to hard labor for committing "offenses in a scheme to overthrow the socialist system" of North Korea. North Korean authorities claim that he publicly confessed to spying for South Korea and trying to spread Christianity in the North. All three Americans are imprisoned just miles from the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. The post Son of American Imprisoned in North Korea Asks Olympic Viewers Not to Forget His Father appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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Dems Distance Themselves From Bill Clinton in Attempt to Avoid Hypocrisy During 2018 Midterms

In the lead up to the 2018 midterm elections, many Democrats are focused on embracing the #MeToo movement and therefore see President Bill Clinton as being "too toxic" to campaign for Democratic candidates. The party has recognized the inherent conflict with embracing Clinton, who has faced multiple sexual assault allegations, while also embracing the #MeToo movement and working to rally women against President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress. Despite Clinton having had an active role in campaigns in the past, many Democrats do not want him getting involved in competitive races across the country, according to Politico. "I think it’s pretty tough," said Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D., Wash.), vice chair of the House Progressive Caucus and one of the leading voices in Congress speaking out against sexual harassment. "[His presence] just brings up a lot of issues that will be very tough for Democrats. And I think we all have to be clear about what the #MeToo movement was." After Democrats forced out Sen. Al Franken (D., Minn.) and Rep. John Conyers (D., Mich.) because of sexual misconduct allegations, they wanted to make sure they could draw a clear contrast with Trump, who has been accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct. Several Democrats acknowledged that creating such a distinction would be difficult if they invited Clinton to campaign with them. "I value the assets of what the Clintons can bring. He did a lot for Georgia when he was president," added Georgia Democratic Chair DuBose Porter, treading delicately. "He carried Georgia. The personal side that is now being highlighted, we’ll have to measure." Jayapal and Porter went on-the-record about Clinton, but several Democrats wanted to remain anonymous and therefore spoke more candidly and harsher about the possibility of Clinton campaigning. The were unwavering on the fact they did not want the former president to go to their states or discuss their campaigns. Many Democrats expressed the fear that if they did appearances with him while making the #MeToo movement a staple of their campaign, Republicans would call them hypocrites. Clinton made over 100 appearances during the 2010 midterms and was very active during the 2014 midterms, despite having more than twice the amount of losses as victories among Democratic candidates he endorsed. Two years earlier, former President Barack Obama nicknamed Clinton his "explainer-in-chief." With many Democrats already planning ahead for 2020, Clinton's likely absence from the campaign stump will increase the demand for high-profile surrogates like Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, who has been floated as a potential 2020 presidential candidate, and other 2020 hopefuls. Two-time failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will also participate in some targeted campaigning since her political action committee, Onward Together, will be involved in the 2018 midterms. A source familiar with Bill Clinton's plans pushed back against the narrative that Democrats are distancing themselves from the former president, noting he has received several preliminary requests from campaigns for advice and events later in the year. The source said Clinton has had a few conversations with candidates but hasn't initiated calls or confirmed events because he wouldn't start evaluating political stops until late-summer or the fall, according to Politico. "President Clinton has been diligently working on his book. He’s also been focused on the work of his foundation," the Clinton source said. "So beyond a few requests for support and advice from a few candidates, he hasn’t spent much time on the midterms." "People call me all the time [to ask] if I can talk to him, put [their] requests in," said James Carville, the former Clinton strategist who remains close with him. Carville said he believes the former president will do some campaigning, but given Clinton’s age — 71 — and other factors, "it can’t be like it used to." But "there are people who want him, I promise you," Carville said. Several Democratic campaigns have already polled Clinton’s popularity in their races, weighing whether to take the risk of inviting him out. Others say they’d love to see him chip in, so long as he sticks to New York, at closed-door fundraisers for them where no photographs of them together are taken. "Depending on the audience, there will definitely be people … [who] will be uncomfortable," said Rep. Grace Meng (D., N.Y.). But there will also "definitely be people who want to see him." Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.), a longtime friend; financial beneficiary of the Clintons; and potential 2020 candidate, said in November that Clinton should have resigned from the White House in the 1990's following his extramarital relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. The post Dems Distance Themselves From Bill Clinton in Attempt to Avoid Hypocrisy During 2018 Midterms appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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MSNBC Host: South Koreans Found American Media’s Infatuation With Kim Jong Un’s Sister ‘Mind-Boggling’

"Morning Joe" co-host Willie Geist ripped American media outlets that wrote glowingly about Kim Jong Un's sister during her visit to South Korea for the Winter Olympics, saying South Koreans told him they found the press' fascination with her "mind-boggling." A variety of media outlets drew criticism for writing warmly about Kim Yo Jong, a director of propaganda for the rogue country, with several stories noting she smiled a lot as part of a "charm offensive." She is North Korea's propaganda and agitation director, playing a key role in the cult of personality around her brother's dictatorship. Despite this and North Korea's abysmal human rights record, CNN declared Kim Yo Jong was "stealing the show" at the Olympics, and Reuters penned a piece quoting analysts as saying North Korea was going for a "diplomacy gold medal." The New Republic‘s Jeet Heer called the North Korean charm offensive "surprisingly successful." The Washington Post did a piece on the comparisons of Kim to Ivanka Trump, and the New York Times had a story headlined, "Kim Jong-un's Sister Turns On the Charm, Taking Pence's Spotlight." "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough noted with disdain that a North Korean "mania" had swept some of the media, but he complimented Geist, who appeared live on the show from South Korea, for his tweet over the weekend pushing back. I can report South Koreans here in Pyeongchang are not as enthralled with Kim Yo Jong and the North Korean cheerleaders as it seems some media are back home. Something about N.K. killing, starving, & imprisoning its people while threatening South Korea with nuclear annihilation. — Willie Geist (@WillieGeist) February 11, 2018 "I'm not sure Americans grasp how quickly some of those pieces were circulating here at the Olympics," Geist said. "There were a couple of major outlets that were writing fluff pieces about Kim Jong Un's sister who'd come here, saying she's the new Ivanka Trump and all these odd comparisons they were making to someone who is the head of propaganda, was under U.N. sanction for helping to run North Korea's political prison program." Geist said South Koreans he spoke to couldn't believe Americans were "falling for this routine, because none of us are." He said they did understand some diplomacy needed to be conducted by South Korean president Moon Jae-in but they were left confused by the American media's fascination. "To see an ally, at least some members of the media, praising this woman, Kim Jong Un's sister, part of the dictatorship there, was completely mind-boggling to a lot of South Koreans," he said. The post MSNBC Host: South Koreans Found American Media’s Infatuation With Kim Jong Un’s Sister ‘Mind-Boggling’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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