The VA's diversity chief wanted to condemn the KKK and neo-Nazis after Charlottesville. A Trump appointee said no.December 6, 2018
America's 5 highest income counties surround Washington, D.C.10:55 a.m.
The Favourite and Black Panther lead 2019 Critics Choice Awards
750 million people worldwide want to emigrate, but few want to welcome them10:39 a.m.
5 reasons Nick Ayers may have turned down the chief of staff job10:37 a.m.
Video shows NYPD officers violently tearing a baby from his mother's arms10:07 a.m.
The Time 'Person of the Year' shortlist is proof that 2018 was the longest year ever9:28 a.m.
Trump has made so many false claims that The Washington Post's fact-checker had to introduce a new rating9:22 a.m.
A few days after a group of white nationalists rallied violently against removing Confederate statues in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017, the Department of Veterans Affairs chief diversity officer proposed issuing a statement emphasizing that the VA forcefully condemns such a "repugnant display of hate and bigotry by white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the Ku Klux Klan," The Washington Post reported Wednesday night, citing emails obtained by the group American Oversight via FOIA request. The VA's chief communications official, John Ullyot, shot her down.
Ullyot is a political appointee of President Trump and veteran of his presidential campaign, and Georgia Coffey was the deputy assistant secretary for diversity and inclusion. Trump had declined to condemn the white supremacist protesters and blamed "many sides" for the violence that ensued, peaking with a white supremacist killing a couterprotester with a car. David Shulkin, the VA secretary at the time, had appeared to break with Trump, saying on Aug. 16 that he was "outraged" by the actions of the white nationalists.
On Aug. 17, Coffey emailed VA public affairs with a draft of her statement, saying a forceful condemnation was necessary because the VA workforce, which is 40 percent minorities, was unsettled by the Charlottesville violence. Ullyot said that after consulting with Shulkin, he wanted Coffey to remove some of the more incendiary language. Coffey wrote back that his edits would likely "dilute my message and fail to convey the sense of condemnation that I hope we all feel." She published the unedited statement under her own name in her office's monthly VA newsletter; VA officials removed it and reprimanded her, and she resigned soon afterward.
An anonymous person familiar with the dispute told the Post that "Ullyot was enforcing a directive from the White House, where officials were scrambling to contain the fallout from Trump's comments." A VA spokesman said there was no such directive from the White House. Read more at The Washington Post. Peter Weber
The swamp may be dirty, but it pays well.
The United States contains 3,142 counties, and the five of them with the highest median income levels are all in the Washington, D.C., metro area, the Census Bureau reports, using data from 2013 to 2017. They are Loudoun, Fairfax, and Arlington Counties in Virginia, as well as Falls Church City, Virginia, and Howard County, Maryland.
Of the 3,142 counties in the U.S., median household income declined in 222 counties (7.1%), while median household income increased in 521 counties (16.6%) when comparing 2013-2017 five-year estimates with 2008-2012 estimates. #ACSdata https://t.co/1AA3TZIWK2 pic.twitter.com/FD2FJT8MS7
— U.S. Census Bureau (@uscensusbureau) December 6, 2018
The lowest income counties tend to be found in the Southeast region, especially in rural areas. The Census Bureau lists McCreary, Bell, and Harlan Counties in Kentucky with Holmes County, Mississippi, and Sumter County, Alabama, as five of the lowest median income counties nationwide.
Yet another batch of awards nominees brings the Oscars' likely Best Picture list into even greater focus.
The 2019 Critics Choice Awards nominees, which are selected by the Broadcast Film Critics Association, were announced Monday morning. The group's Best Picture picks are Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, The Favourite, First Man, Green Book, If Beale Street Could Talk, Mary Poppins Returns, Roma, A Star Is Born, and Vice, per The Hollywood Reporter.
Based on how the awards season has been shaking out, don't be surprised if the Oscars' nominees for Best Picture are essentially this exact list; every one of the films here was nominated at the Golden Globes last week except for First Man. Since 2000, the Oscars' eventual Best Picture winner has been nominated at the Critics Choice Awards every single year, and the two groups often pick the same film.
The category of Best Actor consists of Christian Bale (Vice), Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born), Willem Dafoe (At Eternity’s Gate), Ryan Gosling (First Man), Ethan Hawke (First Reformed), Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody), and Viggo Mortensen (Green Book), while the Best Actress nominees are Yalitza Aparicio (Roma), Emily Blunt (Mary Poppins Returns), Glenn Close (The Wife), Toni Collette (Hereditary), Olivia Colman (The Favourite), Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born), and Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?).
The Favourite received the most nominations: 14, while the second most nominated film was Black Panther with 12. First Man also received 10 nominations after being mostly shut out at the Golden Globes. Read the full list of nominees at The Hollywood Reporter. Brendan Morrow
The Gallup survey found about 750 million people, 15 percent of the world's adults, said in the 2015 to 2017 polling period they would like to permanently move to another country. That's up from 13 percent in 2010 to 2012, though slightly lower than the 16 percent interest in 2007 to 2009. Interest in migration is on an upward trend in every region but Oceania and Asia, where it has held steady since 2010.
Pew's report, meanwhile, found a majority in 27 nations would prefer to maintain or lower the number of immigrants permitted to come to their country. Spain was the only nation polled in which more than a quarter of respondents said more immigrants should be allowed to move in, though the United States was a close second at 24 percent.
— Pew Research Center (@pewresearch) December 10, 2018
Concern about emigration is also high, Pew found, with a 27-nation median of 64 percent saying "people leaving their country for jobs in other countries is a very or moderately big problem." These emigration worries were around 80 percent or higher in Greece, Spain, Hungary, Italy, Tunisia, Argentina, and Mexico. Bonnie Kristian
In an embarrassing public rejection, President Trump's reported
Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff, Nick Ayers, was reportedly Trump's only choice to replace Kelly to the point that an announcement of his selection had been drafted, The New York Times reports. But on Sunday, Ayers said he would not take the job and would instead return home to Georgia.
So why did Ayers turn down what should be a highly-desired job? Here are some possible explanations.
1. The Times and CNN report that Trump asked Ayers to commit for two years, but he was only willing to take the job on an interim basis. When they couldn't agree on a timeline, Ayers decided to decline. CNN notes that Ayers has young kids, and thus didn't want to stay in the White House until 2020.
2. Conservative columnist John Podhoretz speculates that Ayers wanted to avoid being in the White House during the impending wave of Democratic investigations and possible indictments, per Talking Points Memo. Politico reports that Ayers plans to run for office in Georgia, and perhaps he sensed that staying on staff amid such chaos could only hurt those chances.
3. Similarly, The Washington Post reports that Ayers was "skeptical of taking the job based on the challenges" his predecessors, Reince Priebus and Kelly, faced. Kelly and Trump reportedly stopped speaking in recent days.
4. The Times reports that Ayers, whose net worth is more than $12 million, may have wanted to avoid "scrutiny of his personal finances." Ayers is now reportedly going to make a whole lot of money running a pro-Trump Super PAC.
5. Finally, The Times' Maggie Haberman writes that Ayers was essentially being used by those opposed to Kelly to push him out of the job, and "toward the end, he may have realized that." Brendan Morrow
A video published on Facebook shows a group of New York City police officers violently yanking a baby away from his mother while attempting to arrest her at a social services office in Brooklyn. The clip was uploaded Friday and gathered more than 200,000 views over the weekend, prompting a police department review of the incident and outrage from local political leaders.
The encounter reportedly began when Jazmine Headley, 23, sat on the floor in the office waiting room because all the seats were filled. "The security guard, I guess she came over and told her she couldn't sit there. So she's like, 'Where am I going to sit?'" said Nyashia Ferguson, who captured the footage. "She was like, 'What is the crime? What did I do wrong?'" Ferguson added. "And then it just escalated."
In the video, Headley is seen on the floor, desperately holding on to her 1-year-old son while a group of about five officers and guards try to restrain her and pull her child away. "They're hurting my son!" she shouts as the waiting room crowd protests. One officer takes out a yellow stun gun, waiving it at bystanders and pointing it at Headley's face.
Headley was ultimately arrested and charged with resisting arrest, criminal trespass, obstructing governmental administration, and, incredibly, acting in a manner injurious to a child. Her mother said as of Sunday she was still in jail and had not been allowed to see her son.
Watch the disturbing video below. Bonnie Kristian
In case there was any doubt that 2018 has lasted approximately 200 years, take a look at the Time "Person of the Year" shortlist. It is ... exhausting:
— Michael Calderone (@mlcalderone) December 10, 2018
Remember the North Korea summit, a few short lifetimes ago? Or the Royal Wedding, which feels like a distant, hazy dream? And how about March for Our Lives, which either took place in March or the Paleoarchean Era (both seem equally plausible)?
There is only one takeaway from all this: Make 2019 the year of the nap. Jeva Lange
When President Trump makes a false claim, he doesn't just do so once or twice. He repeats it over and over again, even after being corrected.
Nobody knows that better than the fact-checkers at The Washington Post, who have meticulously examined virtually every one of the president's claims and in November found that he made more than 6,000 false statements since being inaugurated. This has inspired the Post to introduce an entirely new rating for their fact-checker section, which normally operates on a one-to-four Pinocchio scale: the Bottomless Pinocchio.
This, the Post explains, is a rating given out to "politicians who repeat a false claim so many times that they are, in effect, engaging in campaigns of disinformation." In other words, it's for Trump, who the Post writes is "not merely making gaffes or misstating things" but is "purposely injecting false information into the national conversation."
In order to receive a Bottomless Pinocchio, a politician must repeat a claim that has received a rating of three or four Pinocchios at least 20 times. Don't be surprised to see Trump rack up the Bottomless Pinocchio ratings, considering according to the Post, 14 of his false statements - one of which has been repeated 87 times - already qualify. Read more about the new rating at The Washington Post. Brendan Morrow