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NY Times Reporter: Male Hillary Clinton Staffers Directed Sexist Comments at Me

In an upcoming book, New York Times reporter Amy Chozick relays multiple examples of sexism she faced while covering the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign. While Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns, and One Intact Glass Ceiling will not be available until April 24, a Washington Post review shares some of Chozick's revelations and even outs one of the accused male staffers by name. The Post‘s Carlos Lozada relays that while Chozick refers to Clinton's female staffers by name in the book, she refers to Clinton's male press staffers anonymously as "The Guys," giving them nicknames like Brown Loafers Guy, Policy Guy, and Original Guy, the worst of the bunch. "The Guys constantly mess with Chozick, magnifying her self-doubts," Lozada writes. "‘I don’t care what you write because no one takes you seriously,' Outsider Guy says. They suggest that a Times colleague is leaking her story ideas to a competitor at Politico and that more-experienced reporters in her newsroom will steal away her assignment." At times, the scorn from The Guys was overtly sexist. "They ask if there are any other Times reporters, preferably male, that they could talk to instead of her," Lozada relates. Lozada goes on to call out the rhetoric from Original Guy as particularly sexist. "The undercurrent of sexism spills over when Chozick and Original Guy spar over whether a prior conversation can go on the record, and he randomly paraphrases a crude line from ‘Thank You for Smoking,' a 2005 film in which a reporter sleeps with a lobbyist for information. ‘I didn’t know I had to say it was off the record when I was inside you,' Original Guy smirks." "The words hung there, so grossly gynecological," Chozick writes in the book. But the Post book critic notes Chozick shows her hand when she reveals Original Guy was the Donald Trump stand-in in Clinton's debate prep, which at the time was reported to be longtime Clinton press staffer Phillipe Reines. "Hmmm, wherever will Hillary find a manipulative, sometimes-charming, often hilarious, possible sociopath?" Chozick jokes about Reines' role as Trump. Chozick also talks about a Clinton faith advisor who "exhibited generally creepy behavior" and how she "tried to ignore his rubbing up and down my back." Most likely this is a reference to Burns Strider, who Clinton refused to fire in 2008 despite multiple allegations of sexual harassment (a story that was broken by Chozick). The post NY Times Reporter: Male Hillary Clinton Staffers Directed Sexist Comments at Me appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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DNC Files Lawsuit Alleging Trump Campaign, Russia, WikiLeaks Conspired in 2016 Campaign

The Democratic National Committee on Friday filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit alleging the Trump campaign, the Russian government, and WikiLeaks conspired to interfere in the 2016 presidential campaign to tilt the election in favor of Donald Trump. The DNC filed the complaint in federal district court in Manhattan, alleging top officials in the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government and its military spy agency to torpedo Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and to help Trump by hacking the Democratic Party's computer networks and leaking stolen emails found there, according to the Washington Post. The case asserts that the Russian hacking campaign—combined with Trump associates' contacts with Russia and the campaign's public cheerleading of the hacks—amounted to an illegal conspiracy to interfere in the election that caused serious damage to the Democratic Party. Senate investigators and prosecutors for special counsel Robert S. Mueller III are still investigating whether Trump associates coordinated with the Russian efforts. Last month, House Intelligence Committee Republicans said they found no evidence that President Trump and his affiliates colluded with Russian officials to sway the election or that the Kremlin sought to help him—a conclusion rejected by the panel's Democrats. The president has repeatedly rejected any collusion or improper activity by his campaign. This week, he referred again in a tweet to the "phony Russia investigation where, by the way, there was NO COLLUSION (except by the Dems)." Suing a foreign country may present legal challenges for the Democrats, in part because other nations have immunity from most U.S. lawsuits. The DNC's complaint argues Russia is not entitled to the protection because the hack constituted a trespass on the party’s private property. "During the 2016 presidential campaign, Russia launched an all-out assault on our democracy, and it found a willing and active partner in Donald Trump's campaign," DNC chair Tom Perez said in a statement. "This constituted an act of unprecedented treachery: the campaign of a nominee for president of the United States in league with a hostile foreign power to bolster its own chance to win the presidency." The suit, which seeks millions of dollars in compensation to help offset damage the DNC claims was caused by the hacks, does not name Trump as a defendant, but instead targets multiple campaign aides who the organization believes to be affiliated with Russia. The list of aides includes Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr.; his son-in-law, Jared Kushner; his campaign chairman, Paul Manafort; and Manafort's deputy, Rick Gates. Special prosecutors last year brought a case against Manafort and Gates, and in February they charged the two for money-laundering, fraud, and tax evasion. Manafort pleaded not guilty, and Gates pleaded guilty to conspiracy and lying to the FBI. The DNC lawsuit also names as a defendant the Russian military intelligence service, the GRU, which the U.S. accuses of orchestrating the hacks, as well as WikiLeaks, which publicized the DNC's stolen emails, and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the Post reported. The DNC lawsuit argues that the Russian government and the GRU violated a series of laws by orchestrating the secret intrusion into the Democrats' computer systems, including statutes to protect trade secrets, prohibit wire tapping, and prevent trespassing. The party said the Trump defendants committed conspiracy through their interaction with Russian agents and their public encouragement of the hacking, with the campaign itself acting as a racketeering enterprise promoting illegal activity. The complaint was filed on behalf of the party by the law firm of Cohen Milstein. The suit contains previously undisclosed details, including that the specific date when the Russians breached the DNC computer system: July 27, 2015, according to forensic evidence cited in the filing. The post DNC Files Lawsuit Alleging Trump Campaign, Russia, WikiLeaks Conspired in 2016 Campaign appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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RNC Sets Another Fundraising Record, Raises $13.9 Million in March

The Republican National Committee (RNC) set another non-presidential year fundraising record by raising $13.9 million in the month of March. The haul, which was announced Friday, brings the group's total fundraising numbers for the first quarter of 2018 to $39 million, according to The Hill. Ronna Romney McDaniel, the chairwoman of the RNC, expressed the fundraising numbers proved the first two years of the Trump administration were successful in positively impacting the lives of everyday citizens. "Another month of record-breaking fundraising confirms what many in the mainstream media are ignoring: Americans are doing better under Republican leadership," McDaniel said. "Our country has more jobs, a growing economy, and higher wages, thanks to President Trump and Republicans in Congress," she added. The announcement comes on the heels of McDaniel promising the RNC would spend upwards of $250 million to maintain Republican control in the House of Representatives. To date, the group has raised $171.6 million for the 2017-2018 election cycle. The DNC, meanwhile, has struggled to raise money and even had to take out a $1.7 million loan in February, pushing its total debt to over $6 million. The RNC ended March with $42.9 million cash on hand. The post RNC Sets Another Fundraising Record, Raises $13.9 Million in March appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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RNC Sets Another Fundraising Record, Raises $13.8 Million in March

The Republican National Committee (RNC) set another non-presidential year fundraising record by raising $13.8 million in the month of March. The haul, which was announced Friday, brings the group's total fundraising numbers for the first quarter of 2018 to $39 million, according to The Hill. Ronna Romney McDaniel, the chairwoman of the RNC, expressed the fundraising numbers proved the first two years of the Trump administration were successful in positively impacting the lives of everyday citizens. "Another month of record-breaking fundraising confirms what many in the mainstream media are ignoring: Americans are doing better under Republican leadership," McDaniel said. "Our country has more jobs, a growing economy, and higher wages, thanks to President Trump and Republicans in Congress," she added. The announcement comes on the heels of McDaniel promising the RNC would spend upwards of $250 million to maintain Republican control in the House of Representatives. To date, the group has raised $171.5 million for the 2018 election cycle. The DNC, meanwhile, has struggled to raise money and even had to take out a $1.7 million loan in February, pushing its total debt to over $6 million. The RNC ended March with $42.9 million cash on hand. The post RNC Sets Another Fundraising Record, Raises $13.8 Million in March appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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Menendez Dismisses Heitkamp’s Support for Pompeo: She’s Focused On ‘Agriculture’

Sen. Bob Menendez (D., N.J.) dismissed fellow Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp's (N.D.) support for CIA Director Mike Pompeo to become the next secretary of state during a CNN interview on Friday, saying she was focused on other things like "agriculture." Host Kate Bolduan asked how Senate Democratic opposition to Pompeo's nomination would affect the upcoming talks between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. "What is worse, Mike Pompeo as secretary of state, or Donald Trump walking into a meeting with Kim Jong Un without a secretary of state at his side?" Bolduan asked. "I don't accept the proposition that it has to be either-or," Menendez said. "When that meeting is set is strictly up to the president unless Kim Jong Un is going to dictate when it happens. So he could nominate a new secretary of state that would have the confidence of Congress—" "That is definitely not going to happen within the time period that we're talking about," Bolduan interrupted. "He could … The problem is, then I would have to accept a secretary of state who falls far below the desirable qualifications to be the secretary of state," Menendez said. Menendez said it was a "red herring" to say a meeting without a fixed date is the reason to approve Pompeo, who couldn't get bipartisan support. Bolduan then asked Menendez about Heitkamp's support for Pompeo, which she announced Thursday. "What do you say to Heidi Heitkamp?" Bolduan asked. Menendez appeared to dismiss Heitkamp's view and said her focus is on other issues like agriculture, unlike his focus on foreign policy. "Everybody makes their own judgment. She's not a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. I don't think that's where her focus is," he said. "Where is her focus then?" Bolduan asked, laughing. "Agriculture, and other issues that I think are incredibly important to her state and to the country," Menendez said. "But as someone who spent 26 years in Congress, in the House and the Senate, sitting on the Foreign Relations Committee of each house, I am focused like a laser beam on what foreign policy should be and what it means to our country in terms of national security." Another male colleague of Heitkamp, Sen. Ben Cardin (D., Md.) appeared to dismiss Heitkamp's support for Pompeo by also saying she is not on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Menendez's comments were reminiscent of former Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley's (Iowa) flippant reference in 2014 to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) as a "farmer from Iowa" who "never went to law school." Braley went on to lose his Senate election race that year to Sen. Joni Ernst (R., Iowa). The post Menendez Dismisses Heitkamp’s Support for Pompeo: She’s Focused On ‘Agriculture’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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Amnesty, Abortion, and Big Spending: Inside the Left’s Policy Playbook

Mass amnesty, trillions in Medicare spending, and publicly funded abortion are just some of the ideas in a set of policy proposals that a left-leaning policy group gave to Democratic bigwigs this past week. These and other proposals were provided to Democratic taste-makers, and obtained by the Free Beacon, at the 2018 Democracy Alliance fall conference held this week in Atlanta. Attendees received copies of Everyone's Economy, a report from left-leaning public policy organization Demos. The organization is chaired by Amelia Warren Tyagi, daughter of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), and funded by liberal billionaire George Soros. The brief's stated goal is to outline "an economic agenda that places both race and class at the forefront," while responding to the populist appeals of President Donald Trump. Many of its proposals conspicuously benefit Democratic constituencies, with questionable gain for or outright harm to others. Central to Demos's policy priorities is a massive expansion of federal welfare spending. Everyone's Economy explicitly backs Sen. Bernie Sanders's (I., Vt.) Medicare for All plan, which is slated to cost $1.4 trillion per year. Demos claims it can save $476 billion by cutting "administrative waste" from private insurers and a further $116 billion by allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices directly. Demos would also expand federal welfare programs such as SNAP and TANF, even as their rolls are already overextended. And it would increase Social Security spending by more than $48 billion per year by adding a benefit increase of $65 per person per month. All of this spending would contribute to an already-enormous welfare state. Economist Nicholas Eberstadt has estimated government transfer payments, now in the trillions annually, have expanded twelve times over since 1960, eclipsing all other government spending. Analyst Brian Riedl determined the entirety of the $82 trillion deficit America is projected to accrue, "comes from the Social Security and Medicare shortfalls and their resulting interest costs." Demos's Medicare for All proposal provides services regardless of citizenship status, meaning America's 11 million illegal immigrants might receive federally funded coverage. That would not be the only benefit to that group, however. Everyone's Economy calls for immediate legal status for illegal immigrants, with an eight-year path to citizenship. It would also remove legal barriers to reentry upon deportation, and pass a "clean" DREAM Act, all "without compromising on aggressive enforcement or ‘border security.'" 61 percent of Americans believe current border security is "inadequate." Demos also backs ending any federal agreement with local and state authorities to detain illegal immigrants: in other words, a nation-wide sanctuary city policy. It would further support mandating defense counsel in all civil proceedings (under current law, defense counsel is only required in criminal proceedings). In practice, that would mean every deportation proceeding becoming an intractable legal battle, contributing to the enormous immigration court backlog. Many economists think low-skilled immigration actively reduces the wages of low-skilled Americans, a fact not accounted for in Everyone's Economy labor proposals. Considered instead is a recently popular far-left proposal: a federal jobs guarantee. Floated by left-leaning groups like the Center for American Progress and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a jobs guarantee would make the government the "employer of last resort," providing employment to "anyone who applies with demonstrated need." Demos admits the project would cost around $750 billion annually, but contends that would be made up for with additional tax revenue and reduced safety net enrollment, though it did not explain how taxing wages paid by the government would increase tax revenue. Prominent left-leaning policy analyst Matt Bruenig has questioned a jobs guarantee, especially for its proponents' inability to pin down where, exactly, jobs would come from. A job guarantee is not the only proposal that would notably alter the labor market. Like other left-leaning organizations, Demos backed a $15 federal minimum wage, currently $7.25. It also proposes raising the minimum wage for tipped workers to $15 (currently $2.13). Economists argue increasing the minimum wage will exclude young, elderly, low-skilled, and disabled workers from the market, whose labor is valued below that wage level. A majority of a panel of economists interviewed by the University of Chicago either thought the $15 minimum wage would raise the low-skill employment rate or were at least unsure of its effect. Demos would also like to see the end of right-to-work laws, presumably over the objections of the 71 percent of Americans who supported them as of 2014. Public employee unions, which are overwhelming supporters of liberal groups and Democrats, would be strengthened under Demos’s plan, to the detriment of students and taxpayers. Demos’s labor union funders, including the SEIU and UFCW, would benefit from the dues they would by law receive. Young people, who consistently lean left, are a further target of Demos's largesse. Everyone's Economy calls for free community college nationwide, and free state college for anyone whose family earns under $125,000 per year. A similar plan from Sanders's presidential campaign was projected to cost approximately $75 billion per year. Federal Pell Grants would also be substantially expanded, even though a Federal Reserve study showed that Pell Grants likely drove the well-above-inflation increase in the cost of college over the past three decades. Cheaper college may unintentionally exacerbate the already overwhelming student debt crisis. Americans currently have about $1.4 trillion in outstanding student debt, the overwhelming majority of which is held by the federal government. Demos's plan would provide debt relief and allow students to discharge their debt in bankruptcy proceedings, but fails to analyze how this change and its concurrent effect on the government's balance sheet would impact the economy. Analysts have already called the student debt bubble "dangerous," comparing it to the glut of mortgage debt held by the government which precipitated the Great Recession. The trillions of dollars Demos proposes to spend will of course be compensated for by a slate of new taxes. Everyone's Economy calls for an increase in the estate tax; taxes on individuals making over $1 million annually and an expanded capital gains tax; a roll back of the Republicans' historic corporate tax cut; and imposing Sanders’s beloved financial transaction tax. While happy to bring the tax hammer down on the wealthy and corporations, Demos's proposals roll back a tax reform that affected blue states' tax base. Everyone's Economy would bring back the SALT deduction, which allows individuals to deduct their state and local tax burdens from their federal income taxes. The states which most frequently took advantage of the SALT deduction were reliably Democratic strongholds; the Sacramento Bee estimated that the end of SALT will cost Californians $12 billion in 2019. Lastly, Demos proposes to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding of abortion, and which if repealed would potentially provide government funds to millions of women seeking abortions. Everyone's Economy would instead implement abortion coverage through Medicaid and "champion legislation that limits religious and so-called moral carve-outs for employers." The post Amnesty, Abortion, and Big Spending: Inside the Left’s Policy Playbook appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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Democracy Alliance Descends on Atlanta to Plot ‘Course for Progressive Power’

ATLANTA — Prominent Democrats such as Terry McAuliffe and DNC chair Tom Perez attended the latest Democracy Alliance meeting this week in Atlanta, where party officials and liberal groups met behind closed doors with the millionaires and billionaires they rely on to fund the effort to regain "progressive power." There was no visible media presence at the group's secretive four-day conference at the luxurious InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta, which was described by the group as "an upscale urban retreat" in the "city's most prestigious neighborhood." The conference again featured only off-the-record events closed to members of the media. There was, however, a strong security presence at the hotel, where attendees were instructed to be careful with all conference materials and to dispose of conference documents only in specially identified secure recycling bins. As an extra precaution, and a departure from the group's November conference in California, attendees were given an abridged "Agenda at a Glance" sheet to carry around in their nametags as an alternative to carrying around the full conference agenda. The Washington Free Beacon obtained both the abridged and the full agenda. The main agenda for the conference, "Charting the Course for Progressive Power," shows that some of the big names such as Democracy Alliance founder George Soros, whose attendance at the last meeting was revealed by the Free Beacon, stayed away from the Atlanta meeting, though Soros groups such as the Open Society Foundation were present. Top party operative David Brock was also not seen at this week's meeting, though groups he leads such as Media Matters and American Bridge were present to brief attendees. 2018 Democracy Alliance Spring Conference Agenda by Washington Free Beacon on Scribd The message from Democracy Alliance leadership was that the movement has to avoid getting "too confident" and should "double down" on spending ahead of the 2018 midterms. "Despite the possibilities on the horizon, we can't get too confident," wrote Democracy Alliance president Gara LaMarche and chairman John Stocks in a welcome letter. "We need to double down on our commitments to break through the noise in November." The Democracy Alliance operates by recommending liberal organizations to wealthy alliance partners, who are each obligated to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year on supporting the approved groups such as the ACLU, the Women's March, Priorities USA, Media Matters for America, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, and Indivisible. According to the alliance's participation guidelines, the group "strives to create a safe place for progressive funders and movement leaders to meet and discuss issues of common interest and develop relationships through dialogue and networking." The conferences serve as an opportunity to recruit new partners, for existing partners to discuss how to best allocate their money, and for groups to strategize how to best work together "to build a more progressive future." DNC chairman Tom Perez, who headlined two events at the conference, appeared with members of his senior leadership team at an afternoon panel Tuesday to discuss what was underway at the cash-strapped DNC. Later that day, Perez appeared at an evening networking dessert reception with members of the alliance. A pamphlet titled, "A New DNC," was prepared for the party organization's presentation to donors. Other panels included discussions on "engaging donors of color" where new research and plans were presented for a "collaborative working group to engage high net worth donors of color." The findings presented to those in attendance included donor interviews, network case studies, and a report titled, "The Apparitional Donor: Understanding and Engaging High Net Worth Donors of Color." A number of current and prospective state attorneys general who are "advancing a progressive agenda by leveraging the power of politics, policy, and litigation" also took part in the secretive conference. Mark Herring, the attorney general of Virginia; Karl Racine, the attorney general of the District of Columbia; Josh Shapiro, the attorney general of Pennsylvania; Josh Stein, the attorney general of North Carolina; and January Contreras, who is running for attorney general of Arizona, were all in attendance. Liberal billionaire Tom Steyer also updated attendees on his "Need to Impeach" campaign. Much of the work, however, was done outside of meeting rooms and during networking sessions, which were prioritized at this year's conference. Most of the networking took place at the InterContinental's Bourbon Bar, where, for example, Wendi Wallace, Planned Parenthood's political outreach director, filled in longtime Democracy Alliance partner Billy Wimsatt on her group's revamped data operation. Wallace told Wimsatt she would introduce him to Deirdre Schifeling, Planned Parenthood's executive director, who could provide more detail on how the group's canvassers were rating voter enthusiasm to create more impactful voter files. Elsewhere at the Bourbon Bar was former Hillary Clinton aide Brian Fallon, who was at the conference to introduce donors to a new group he is launching, telling a table of other guests his plans to "crash" a Monday night dinner hosted by Terry McAuliffe on winning 2018 gubernatorial races. Also sitting at the bar were two women with a Washington Free Beacon report on overheard comments made by teachers' union president Randi Weingarten about strike plans in Puerto Rico, with one of the women commenting, "I need a drink." Upstairs at the InterContinental's 21st floor club lounge environmental lawyer Jay Halfon briefed a Colorado anti-fracking activist on how to most effectively combat the oil and gas industry efforts to drill in Boulder. The agenda includes participation guidelines telling attendees they're "entitled to the expectation that their conference experience and their identity should remain confidential." It asks everyone to "refrain from leaving sensitive materials in public spaces" and to "respect the privacy of others in attendance." The alliance, which had to set new sexual behavior standards at its fall donor conference in California, again had to remind participants to not "subject others to unwanted sexual advances, coercion or bullying of a sexual nature" or explicitly or implicitly promise rewards in exchange for sexual favors at the gathering. The post Democracy Alliance Descends on Atlanta to Plot ‘Course for Progressive Power’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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‘Diamond and Silk’ to Testify Before House Judiciary Committee on ‘Social Media Filtering’

The flamboyant video blogging duo of "Diamond and Silk" will testify before the House Judiciary Committee next week as part of a "hearing to examine social media filtering and policing practices." The House Judiciary Committee announced: On Thursday, April 26, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing to examine social media filtering and policing practices. This hearing will focus on what metrics social media platforms use to moderate content, how filtering decisions are made, and whether viewpoints have been silenced on some of the most popular and widely used platforms. Diamond and Silk will take part in the third panel, alongside Corynne McSherry—the Legal Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation—and News Media Alliance CEO David Chavern. Lynnette "Diamond" Hardaway and Rochelle "Silk" Richardson are fervent Donald Trump supporters known for their enthusiastic boosting of the White House and evisceration of its critics. They recently claimed their videos were censored by Facebook as "unsafe," and their plight was brought up several times by Republican lawmakers during last week's Capitol Hill appearances by Mark Zuckerberg. Although Diamond and Silk claimed Facebook didn't reach out to them to correct what Zuckerberg called an "enforcement error," multiple reports showed emails proving Facebook did in fact try to contact the pair. One of the lawmakers to bring up Diamond and Silk to Zuckerberg was Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R., Tenn.), who will testify in the first portion of Thursday's hearing. The post ‘Diamond and Silk’ to Testify Before House Judiciary Committee on ‘Social Media Filtering’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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Clinton on Losing 2016 Election: ‘They Were Never Going to Let Me Be President’

"They were never going to let me be president." That's what two-time failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton told her campaign manager, Robby Mook, on election night in November 2016 after he broke the news that she could not win, according to a new book. The Daily Beast obtained a copy of New York Times reporter Amy Chozick's new book—Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns, and One Intact Glass Ceiling, which will be released on Tuesday—and highlighted key excerpts from it, including one about election night in 2016. Chozick describes how Clinton's campaign team was distraught when they realized they were not going to win. "Of all the Brooklyn aides, Jen Palmieri had the most pleasant bedside manner," Chozick writes. This made Palmieri, Clinton's communications director, the designated "deliverer of bad news" to Clinton. But she told Mook there was no way she could be the person to tell Clinton that she could not win the election. So Mook, who was "drained and deflated," went down the hall to Clinton's suite to deliver the bad news. "‘I knew it. I knew this would happen to me …' Hillary said, now within a couple of inches of his face," Chozick writes. "‘They were never going to let me be president.'" Clinton and some former campaign aides have spent the last 18 months rehashing the election and blaming several factors for their loss to Donald Trump. In her 2016 campaign memoir, What Happened, released last September, Clinton blamed Russia's election meddling, former FBI director James Comey, and numerous other external factors for her defeat. The post Clinton on Losing 2016 Election: ‘They Were Never Going to Let Me Be President’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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Chuck Schumer Wants to Legalize It

Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) on Friday morning announced his intention to introduce legislation to decriminalize marijuana federally. "Today, I am formally announcing my plan to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. It's time we allow states, once and for all, to have the power to decide what works best for them," Schumer wrote on Twitter. Schumer's official announcement followed a Thursday night interview with Vice News, in which he discussed his legalization agenda. The sexagenarian Senator also signed a bong for the news site, which has attained a marijuana-laced reputation with articles like "The Best Weed Strains for Mind-Blowing Sex." Schumer's bill would remove marijuana from the federal drug schedule, a list of regulated substances created by the Controlled Substances Act and administered by the Drug Enforcement Agency. Marijuana is currently a schedule one drug, meaning it is considered both to have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. This harsh scheduling has been continuous since the list was first created in 1971. The designation puts marijuana alongside drugs like heroin, LSD, ecstasy, and Quaaludes. Critics argue that marijuana's schedule one status has limited scientists' ability to research its potential medical uses, preserving its schedule one status. There are nonetheless some proposed applications: An FDA panel on Thursday floated a cannabis-derived anticonvulsant. If approved, that drug might also affect marijuana's schedule one status. In addition to de-scheduling, Vice reported, Schumer's bill would provide funding for woman- and minority-owned marijuana businesses, preserve federal authority to regulate marijuana-related advertising (as with alcohol and tobacco products), and provide funding for marijuana research. Schumer cited incarceration for marijuana possession as a reason for his change of mind. Only about 3 percent of all state prisoners are incarcerated for possession of any drug—less than one percent are incarcerated for possession of marijuana specifically. Schumer noted on Twitter that 80 percent of federal-level and 60 percent of state-level drug offenders are Latino or Hispanic. He did not distinguish marijuana offenders from others convicted of drug offenses, nor did he disclose that 97.3 percent of federal drug offenders are incarcerated for trafficking. Schumer also pointed to the rate of marijuana arrests as an argument for legalization, claiming based on 2010 data that half of all drug arrests in the U.S. were for marijuana. The Washington Post, using FBI data, estimated that there were just under 600,000 marijuana arrests in 2016. Those arrests accounted for about 37 percent of the total number of arrests for drug abuse violations. Notably, while state-level legalization of marijuana reduces overall marijuana arrests, racial disparity in arrests persists. Eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational use of marijuana in some way. Despite his overstatement of its impact, Schumer's bill is likely to be politically popular. Recent Gallup polling found that 64 percent of Americans support legalization. That includes 51 percent of Republicans, the first time that Gallup has found majority support for legalization in the GOP. At least one prominent Republican has attracted recent headlines for a change in thinking on marijuana. Former House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) announced last week that he had joined the board of one of the nation's largest cannabis dispensaries, and intends to work to shift federal medical marijuana policy. Boehner claimed to have never smoked marijuana. Schumer told Vice that the same was true of him. But, when asked if he would, the Senate majority leader added, "Maybe, I'm a little old, but who knows?" The post Chuck Schumer Wants to Legalize It appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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