The big dollar targets for Democrats just so happen to include the four major states that went to Obama in 2012 and to Trump in 2016
One of the more voracious readers in recent presidential history, Obama will not have a traditional presidential library
The four-building, 19-acre “working center for citizenship,” set to be built in a public park on the South Side of Chicago, will include a 235-foot-high “museum tower,” a two-story event space, an athletic center, a recording studio, a winter garden, even a sledding hill.
In a break with precedent, there will be no research library on site, and none of Mr. Obama’s official presidential records. Instead, the Obama Foundation will pay to digitize the roughly 30 million pages of unclassified paper records from the administration so they can be made available online.
And the entire complex, including the museum chronicling Mr. Obama’s presidency, will be run by the foundation, a private nonprofit entity, rather than by the National Archives and Records Administration, the federal agency that administers the libraries and museums for all presidents going back to Herbert Hoover.
A GOP challenger approaches New Hampshire
Republican Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday he expects to make a springtime trip to New Hampshire as he weighs a 2020 challenge to Donald Trump — and accused the Republican National Committee of going to extraordinary lengths to shield the president from a potentially draining primary.
“Typically they try to be fair arbiters of a process and I’ve never seen anything like it and I’ve been involved in the Republican Party for most of my life. It’s unprecedented. And in my opinion it’s not the way we should be going about our politics,” Hogan, a popular two-term Maryland governor, said in an interview with POLITICO. “It’s very undemocratic and to say, ‘We’re in some cases not going to allow a debate, we may not have a primary…’”
The 62-year-old Hogan, who won reelection in liberal Maryland last year, has openly flirted with a primary challenge in recent weeks. The governor used his January inauguration speech to implicitly go after the president and to raise the specter of impeachment. He later met with conservative columnist and prominent Trump critic Bill Kristol, who has been seeking out a 2020 Republican primary challenger.
More chilling details about the white nationalist Coast Guard lieutenant who appeared to be planning a killing spree
At his detention hearing, prosecutors said that Hasson spent $14,000 a year on arms and equipment to prepare for an attack and that he read manifestos of several mass attackers, including the Unabomber and the Virginia Tech shooter.
Hasson called for “focused violence” to “establish a white homeland,” prosecutors said in court filings. It’s unclear whether Hasson had a specific date for an attack, but the government said he had been stockpiling weapons for at least two years.
During the raid this month, law enforcement officers seized 15 firearms and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition from his residence in the suburbs just north of Washington.
As recently as Jan. 17, Hasson created a list of “traitors” and targets in a spreadsheet while reviewing various broadcast news sites from his work computer, court filings show. The list included people prosecutors believe to be Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), CNN reporter Don Lemon and nearly two dozen others.
Official condemnation for the sordid role Alexander Acosta played in the Jeffrey Epstein child-sex case
A judge ruled Thursday that federal prosecutors — among them, U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta — broke federal law when they signed a plea agreement with a wealthy, politically connected sex trafficker and concealed it from more than 30 of his underage victims.
U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra, in a 33-page opinion, said that the evidence he reviewed showed that Jeffrey Epstein had been operating an international sex operation in which he and others recruited underage girls — not only in Florida — but from overseas, in violation of federal law.
“Epstein used paid employees to find and bring minor girls to him.,’’ wrote Marra, who is based in Palm Beach County. “Epstein worked in concert with others to obtain minors not only for his own sexual gratification, but also for the sexual gratification of others.’’
Instead of prosecuting Epstein under federal sex trafficking laws, Acosta, then the U.S. attorney in Miami, helped negotiate a non-prosecution agreement that gave Epstein and his co-conspirators immunity from federal prosecution. Epstein, who lived in a Palm Beach mansion, was allowed to quietly plead guilty in state court to two prostitution charges and served just 13 months in the county jail. His accomplices, some of whom have never been identified, were never charged.
A new Congressional election is on the way in North Carolina
Judge imposes strict gag order on Roger Stone, who likes to talk
A worst New York nightmare comes true — though reportedly it was wood under the tracks, not the track itself
This guy was crowd-funding his legal bills
Roger Stone goes with the “I’m an idiot” defense in trying to explain an Instagram post that juxtaposed the judge overseeing his case with what appeared to be crosshairs
The Massachusetts lawsuit against the Sackler family keeps uncovering more and more damning information
In May 1997, the year after Purdue Pharma launched OxyContin, its head of sales and marketing sought input on a key decision from Dr. Richard Sackler, a member of the billionaire family that founded and controls the company. Michael Friedman told Sackler that he didn’t want to correct the false impression among doctors that OxyContin was weaker than morphine, because the myth was boosting prescriptions — and sales.
“It would be extremely dangerous at this early stage in the life of the product,” Friedman wrote to Sackler, “to make physicians think the drug is stronger or equal to morphine. … We are well aware of the view held by many physicians that oxycodone [the active ingredient in OxyContin] is weaker than morphine. I do not plan to do anything about that.”
“I agree with you,” Sackler responded. “Is there a general agreement, or are there some holdouts?”
For the first time in Gallup’s polling, a majority of black respondents say black-white relations are somewhat or very bad
Sean Spicer switches sides
Surprise, surprise: Sean Spicer is now officially a member of the mainstream media. The former White House press secretary has signed a contract to serve as a special correspondent for syndicated newsmagazine show Extra.
“When they pitched this to me, I said, ‘Yeah, I love the idea,’” Spicer told The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday.
Spicer, who famously tangled with television reporters during his stint in the White House, is beginning with a special series that focuses on the personal lives and views of D.C. insiders, including some of his former Trump administration colleagues.
The Trump administration is making it more difficult to become a citizen. Probably not coincidentally, wait times to do so have soared.
The time that aspiring Americans must wait to be naturalized is now almost twice as long, 10 months, as it was two years ago. In Las Vegas, where the office has a particularly large backlog, applicants could wait 31 months.
The delays come as the Trump administration tightens scrutiny of applications, diverts staff from reviewing them and introduces proposals likely to make it more difficult, and cumbersome, for green-card holders to qualify and complete the process.
The administration’s move to tighten restrictions on immigration have awakened many longtime permanent residents to the fact that a green card does not shield them from deportation. It has also compelled many to seek citizenship in order to cast a ballot, with hundreds of thousands of immigrants poised to become potential voters ahead of the 2020 election.
Chicago PD superintendent laments the gap in coverage between Smollett case and everyday violence
“I just wish that the families of gun violence in this city got this much attention because that’s who really deserves the amount of attention that we’re giving to this particular incident.”
The teachers strike movement hits Oakland
A murder in Indiana is looking increasingly like an anti-Muslim hate crime
An incident that was initially reported as a fatal road rage shooting has shined an even brighter light on potential hate crime legislation in Indiana. Mustafa Ayoubi, a Carmel native and Indiana University graduate, was killed Saturday. His friends say it was because of his Muslim faith.
Witnesses told investigators that Dustin Passarelli, 33, yelled slurs about Islam just moments before he shot Ayoubi to death in an apartment complex parking lot.At least two shots struck Ayoubi, 32, in the back, court records said. The man yelled: “You are followers of Muhammad,” and “Muhammad is a pedophile,” Usman Ashraf, a friend of Ayoubi who witnessed the shooting, told IndyStar.
This incident comes as Indiana lawmakers debate a new hate crimes law. Indiana is one of a handful of states without such a law.
Chicago police tell reporters that Jussie Smollett orchestrated attack