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Jose Garcia

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Member since: Fri Dec 2, 2016, 01:17 PM
Number of posts: 1,813

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Le Pen Spotted at Trump Tower During Unannounced New York Visit

Source: Bloomberg

French National Front leader Marine Le Pen was spotted at Trump Tower during an unannounced visit to New York less than four months before France’s presidential election.

An aide to Le Pen, who leads in the latest opinion poll for the presidency, declined to comment on her reason for being in the lobby of the building on Thursday. Le Pen waved off reporters when approached.

Donald Trump had no plans to meet with Le Pen, according to an aide to the president-elect, who asked not to be identified without authorization to speak publicly. Neither is she on Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon’s schedule, a person familiar said. Le Pen’s campaign chief of staff, David Rachline, said earlier that she was making a private visit to New York.

“It’s not on her public agenda,” Rachline said in a text message exchange, when asked if she planned a meeting with Trump or officials close to him. “We don’t communicate about private visits.”

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-01-12/le-pen-in-new-york-for-unannounced-visit-during-french-race

S.D. legislators vote down ban on sexual contact with interns

Source: The Hill

South Dakota lawmakers have blocked a proposed rule that would have banned sexual contact between legislators and their young interns and pages.

State Sen. Stace Nelson (R), who sponsored the proposed ban, told fellow legislators the rule is necessary to prevent a repeat of an ugly incident from 2007, when a member of the state Senate was censured after being accused of fondling an intern.

“There’s been events in history that indicate these rules should have been put in stone and they haven’t,” Nelson told the Joint Committee on Legislative Procedure, according to the Argus Leader. “This is a rule we brought forth to address this so that there is no gray area.”

Those who voted against the proposal said inappropriate sexual advances are already banned under state rules. The committee voted to defer the proposal for more than a month, a step that effectively kills the idea.

Read more: http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/313956-sd-legislators-vote-down-ban-on-sexual-contact-with-interns

Trump team takes credit for Amazon hiring spree

Source: The Hill

President-elect Donald Trump's transition team hailed Amazon's plans to hire 100,000 new workers in the U.S. on Thursday and claimed Trump played a part in the tech giant's move.

"The president-elect was pleased to play role in that decision," incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer said during a transition call.

Spicer cited Trump's December meeting with tech leaders, including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

Amazon was not immediately available for comment.

Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/technology/313953-trump-team-takes-credit-for-amazon-hiring-spree

Bernie Sanders: I see areas where I can work with Trump

Source: Politico

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders extended an olive branch Thursday to President-elect Donald Trump, offering to work with the incoming Republican administration on infrastructure and trade policy.

“I don’t think it makes sense to say, ‘No, we’re not gonna work in any way in any form with the Trump administration,’” Sanders told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “Trump has talked appropriately about a collapsing infrastructure: our roads, bridges and water systems. If he is prepared to work with us on rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure and creating millions of jobs and doing it in a way that doesn’t privatize our infrastructure or give tax breaks to billionaires, yes, let’s work together.”

In a break with his party, Trump has proposed a $1 trillion infrastructure spending plan, a proposal Democrats have expressed a willingness to work with him on. And, despite Sanders' progressive positions on the left and Trump's hard-line views on the right, both espoused similar views on trade.

Sanders credited the president-elect for talking about what he referred to as America’s “failed trade policy” on the campaign trail, particularly NAFTA and trade relations with China.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/bernie-sanders-can-work-with-trump-233532

Anti-Defamation League blasts Trump for invoking 'Nazi Germany'

Source: The Hill

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Wednesday condemned President-elect Donald Trump for invoking Nazi Germany in his criticism of the U.S. intelligence community, arguing his comments trivialize the Holocaust.

"The President-elect’s use of Nazi Germany to make a political analogy is not only an inappropriate comparison on the merits, but it also coarsens our discourse and diminishes the horror of the Holocaust,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement Wednesday.

“ADL always has maintained that glib comparisons to Nazi Germany are offensive and a trivialization of the Holocaust,” he said. “It would be helpful for the president-elect to explain his intentions or apologize for the remark.”

Trump initially made the comparison Wednesday morning on Twitter, apparently enraged by news reports that intelligence officials briefed him on an unverified dossier claiming the Russians had collected salacious information on him.

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/313821-anti-defamation-league-blasts-trumps-comparison-of-us-to-nazi

Hoyer: Dems 'wary' of giving waiver to Defense pick without testimony

Source: The Hill

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) suggested Wednesday that Democrats would oppose granting an eligibility waiver to Donald Trump's pick to head the Pentagon unless the nominee testifies before a key committee beforehand.

Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis would need a congressional waiver to lead the Defense Department because he hasn't been out of uniform for at least seven years, as the law requires.

Reps. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and Adam Smith (D-Wash.), who head the House Armed Services Committee, had requested Mattis's testimony ahead of the waiver vote, only to be denied by Trump's transition team.

"It is my understanding that Mr. Thornberry is not happy about that, [and] I know Mr. Smith is not happy about it," Hoyer told reporters Wednesday in the Capitol.

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/house/313805-hoyer-dems-wary-of-giving-waiver-to-defense-nominee-without-testimony

Schumer to Trump, Tillerson: Back new Russia sanctions

Source: The Hill

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is urging President-Elect Donald Trump and his top Cabinet picks to publicly support tougher sanctions against Russia for meddling in the White Houser race.

"I am very concerned that, thus far, the President-elect, Mr. [Rex] Tillerson and Sen. [Jeff] Sessions have not endorsed these tough new sanctions," Schumer said Tuesday of Trump's picks to run the State and Justice departments, respectively.

Ten senators—spearheaded by Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.)—introduced new sanctions against Russia on Tuesday for the election hacking and ongoing conflicts in Syria and Ukraine. Schumer is urging Republicans to bring up the legislation "promptly."

Schumer pointed to Tillerson's comments on Russia, sanctions and Iran during his confirmation hearing Wednesday as "troubling signs of things to come."

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/313800-schumer-to-trump-tillerson-back-new-russia-sanctions

IRS: Fewer paid ObamaCare penalty in 2015

Source: The Hill

Fewer people paid a penalty for not having health insurance in 2015 than the year before, according to new data from the IRS.

About 6.5 million Americans paid an average penalty of $470 when they filed their income taxes in 2015, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in a letter to members of Congress.

That's 20 percent fewer than in 2014, when 8 million taxpayers paid the penalty.

The IRS in total collected $3 billion in penalties from those who didn't have coverage in 2015.

Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/313750-irs-fewer-paid-obamacare-penalty-in-2015

Bill Nelson campaigning for Stephen Bittel

UPDATE--Bill Nelson just made official what most people already knew: "I have known Stephen Bittel for over 30 years and believe he will be an extraordinary Chair of the Florida Democratic Party. Stephen has been a dedicated advocate for the principles of the Democratic Party for many years and is a leader who has the smarts and heart to unite the party in addition to implementing plans that will help rebuild the party from the ground up. While there are several qualified candidates in this race, I am convinced that Stephen is the right person to chair the Florida Democratic Party, he has my full support and I ask that you join me in this effort.”

Messy,heated campaigns for chairman of of the Florida Democratic Party are as common and predictable as love bugs smooshed on your windshield in May and September. But as long as most living Floridians have been alive the ultimate winner winds up being the man or woman preferred by the party establishment --- which usually means U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and, more recently, also U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. In Florida it's as predictable as Bill and Grace Nelson waving campaign signs in traffic in the days before election day.

This year, Nelson and DWS are backing Democratic mega donor Stephen Bittel of Miami, and we hear Nelson has been making some persuasive phone calls lately to help put in place a party chairman he fully trusts as he heads into a tough reelection cycle. That helps explain why the more than 20 officers, and club and caucus presidents of the Hillsborough Democratic Executive Committee are now backing Bittel. So is Florida House Democratic Leader Janet Cruz of Tampa, a longtime friend of Bittel rival Alan Clendenin.

“The Hillsborough DEC Executive Steering Committee is proud to support Stephen Bittel for Florida Democratic Party Chair. Bittel brings a lifetime of support for progressive causes and helping elect Democrats in Florida and around the country,” said Hillsborough DEC Chair Ione Townsend in a statement.

more: http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics/bill-nelson-campaigning-for-stephen-bittel/2309110

Perez wants in-house cybersecurity expert at DNC

Source: The Hill

Labor Secretary Tom Perez wants the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to have an in-house chief cybersecurity officer.

“I think this office should report directly to the chair," Perez, a top candidate to become the next chairman of the DNC, told Politico on Wednesday.

"And, among other responsibilities, have them proactively monitor the DNC for attacks and breaches."

Perez added he thinks it's equally important to make sure the chief cybersecurity officer works with all of the committee's state partners.

Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/313711-perez-wants-in-house-cybersecurity-expert-at-dnc
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