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President Trump Suggests the Senate Should Invoke the Nuclear Option to Stop the Government Shutdown

21 January, by Alana Abramson[ —]

President Donald Trump on Sunday proposed that the Senate change its voting procedures to pass a spending bill to end the current stalemate that has resulted in a federal shutdown.

The federal government partially shut down at midnight on Jan. 20, after the Senate failed to pass a short term spending bill, also known as a continuing resolution. In keeping with Senate procedures, the bill needed 60 votes to pass — the necessary number to overcome a filibuster — and only received 50. Five Republicans voted against the bill, which was largely blocked by the 44 Senate democrats who opposed it on the grounds that it did not include a solution on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).
Invoking the nuclear option that Trump suggested would require the Senate to have a simply majority to pass a bill. Under Senate rules, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could introduce a motion for this to happen, but it would have to be approved by a majority of the Senate. This could be unlikely; the current composition is 51 Republicans and 49 Democrats (this includes two independents who caucus with the Democrats). Republicans could only lose two votes, and five Republicans have already voted against the short term resolution.
Both parties have invoked the nuclear option before. In 2013, then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid used it to confirm three of President Barack Obama’s judicial nominees to a federal appeals court, preventing filibusters on executive appointments. In 2017, McConnell invoked it for the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, thereby ending filibusters for Supreme Court nominees.
McConnell’s office did not immediately respond to request for comment about the tweet.

 

 

 


Jim Rodford, Kinks and Zombies Bassist, Dies at 76

21 January, by Associated Press[ —]

(LONDON) — Former Kinks bassist Jim Rodford has died after a fall. He was 76.

The Zombies, the group Rodford had played with since 1999, confirmed the death of the British musician on their Facebook page Saturday.

Zombies co-founder Rod Argent says his cousin and longtime bandmate was a “magnificent bass player.”

Rodford joined The Kinks in 1978, touring with the group and playing on its later albums. Ray Davies, The Kinks’ co-founder, tweeted that Rodford was “an integral part of the Kinks later years.”

Argent also highlighted Rodford’s commitment to music in St Albans, north of London, where he lived his entire life.

Argent says “Jim’s life was dedicated to music. He was unfailingly committed to local music – an ever present member of the local scene in St. Albans.”


At Least 18 Dead in Kabul Hotel Siege

21 January, by RAHIM FAIEZ/AP[ —]

(KABUL) — A Taliban assault on the Intercontinental Hotel in Afghanistan’s capital killed at least 18 people, including 14 foreigners, and pinned security forces down for more than 13 hours before the last attacker was killed on Sunday, with the casualty toll expected to rise.

The heavily-guarded luxury hotel is popular among foreigners and Afghan officials. Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said the 18 killed included 14 foreigners and a telecommunications official from the western Farah province who was attending a conference.

“11 of the 14 foreigners killed were employees of KamAir, a private Afghan airline,” said Danish. KamAir also put out an announcement saying some of their flights were disrupted because of the attack.

Ukraine says one of its citizens was killed in the attack. Vasyl Kyrylych, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, announced the death of the Ukrainian citizen in a brief statement on Twitter, without providing further details. Afghan officials did not identify the foreigner killed in the attack.

Ten other people, including six from the security forces, were reported wounded and more than 150 people, including 41 foreigners, were rescued from the hotel, Danish said.

The Taliban claimed the attack, which began around 9 p.m. Saturday, saying five gunmen armed with suicide vests targeted foreigners and Afghan officials. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the insurgents initially planned to attack the hotel Thursday night but postponed the assault because there was a wedding underway and they wanted to avoid civilian casualties.

The attack unfolded almost six years after Taliban insurgents launched a similar assault on the property, which is not part of the Intercontinental chain of worldwide hotels.

The Interior Ministry said a private firm assumed responsibility for securing the hotel around three weeks ago. The ministry says it is investigating how the attackers managed to enter the building.

During a press conference, Danish said that early investigations show that six insurgents entered the hotel from the northern side and stormed its kitchen. Two attackers were killed by Special Forces on the 6th floor of the hotel.

“We need to complete our investigation, but our initial reports show that the attackers were moved in to the hotel,” said Danish.

Mumtaz Ahmad, a provincial telecommunication employee for Helmand province who survivor the attack said “I was on my way from my room toward the reception, when I the elevator door opened, I saw two-armed suicide bombers. People were escaping and the attackers were firing at them.”

Afghan security officials confirmed that 34 provincial officials were gathered at the hotel to participate in a conference organized by the Telecommunication Ministry.

A fire broke out at the hotel as the fighting raged, and the sound of explosions could be heard throughout the standoff. Live TV footage showed people trying to escape through windows on the upper stories.

Capt. Tom Gresback, spokesman for NATO-led forces, said in a statement that Afghan forces were leading the response efforts. He said that according to initial reports, no foreign troops were hurt in the attack.

Neighboring Pakistan condemned the “brutal terrorist attack” and called for greater cooperation against militants. Afghanistan and Pakistan routinely accuse each other of failing to combat extremists along their long and porous border.

Afghan forces have struggled to combat the Taliban since the U.S. and NATO formally concluded their combat mission at the end of 2014. They have also had to contend with a growing Islamic State affiliate that has carried out a number of massive attacks in recent years.

In the northern Balkh province, insurgents burst into a home where several members of a local pro-government militia were gathered late Saturday, leading them outside and killing 18 of them, said Gen. Abdul Razeq Qaderi, the deputy provincial police chief. Among those killed was a tribal leader who served as the local police commander, he said.

In the western Farah province, a roadside bomb killed a deputy provincial police chief and wounded four other police early Sunday, according to Gen. Mahruf Folad, the provincial police chief.

The Taliban claimed both attacks.

In the western Herat province, a roadside bomb struck a vehicle carrying 13 civilians, killing all but one of them, said Abdul Ahad Walizada, a spokesman for the provincial police chief. No one immediately claimed the attack, but Walizada blamed Taliban insurgents, who often plant roadside bombs to target Afghan security forces.


SNL Actors Break Character in ‘What Even Matters Anymore’ Sketch

21 January, by Jennifer Calfas[ —]

Saturday Night Live took an unusual turn this weekend when actors broke the fourth wall during a gameshow sketch that posed the question: “What even matters anymore?”

It began with Saturday night’s host Jessica Chastain playing gameshow host Veronica in what she said was a “show where I tell you something our president did or said, and you have to tell me: Does it even matter anymore?”

The first question Chastain poses: “The president refers to African countries as ‘poo-poo holes’ and says all Haitians ‘have AIDS.’ Does it even matter anymore?”

“That’s really bad,” responds a contestant played by Kate McKinnon. “That has to matter, yes.”

“Actually it does not matter,” Chastain responds. “Zero consequences and everyone just moves on.”

As the skit goes on, Chastain’s character grows more frustrated. Does it matter that President Donald Trump reportedly had an affair with a former porn star and paid her “to shut up” about it? No, Chastain corrects another contestant. And if Trump were to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller? That wouldn’t matter either, she says.

Finally, she asks contestants to write down what would matter — as she drinks directly from a bottle of white wine. She eventually breaks down in tears.

“Jessica,” Kate McKinnon says.

“It’s Veronica,” Chastain clarifies. “Veronica Elders.”

“Jessica,” McKinnon continues. “You don’t have to do this.”

“Yeah, Jessica we know you’re upset about the way our country’s going, but you can’t just build a whole set and make us pretend to be contestants,” Cecily Strong, who was playing another contestant, says.

The sketch then ends with the contestants giving Chastain a hug — “because she really needs it.”

Watch the sketch below:


The People Who Started the Shutdown Don’t Know How to End It

21 January, by Philip Elliott and Nash Jenkins[ —]

It wasn’t just Democrats in Congress who complained about President Donald Trump Saturday. It was also Republicans, who grumbled just as loudly that they were not sure who in the White House was negotiating to end a partial government shutdown.

Which Trump was it: The ultimate deal-maker eager to deliver what eluded his predecessors from both parties or the firebrand who rode a hardline immigration stance to power? As with so many other moments of consequence for his presidency, it seemed the last person to speak with Trump determined his position.

For the President, it was not how he anticipated spending the one-year anniversary of his inauguration.

The White House’s budget director and legislative liaison made the rounds at the Capitol. Its press secretary called lawmakers “losers.” The chief of staff seemed to reverse his boss’ compromises with Senate Democrats and protect the President’s right flank. Trump, surrounded by protesters outside the White House gates, was trolling them on Twitter and raging that Congress was not bending to his will.

Some Republicans marveled that the focus for many leaders in the party was on shifting blame and scoring wins, not finding a way to reopen the government.

“Enough is enough,” said Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a lead negotiator in the immigration talks that are central to the crisis. “The idea of letting this continue to fester is unacceptable.”

The White House, meanwhile, remained unwilling to incorporate protections for the roughly 800,000 young people who were brought to the country illegally as children. Democrats have conditioned their votes to fund the government on protections for those young people, known as Dreamers. Trump last year ended temporary protections for those individuals and told Congress to pass a replacement.

On Saturday, top White House officials optimistically called it “a tangential issue.”

“The White House position remains the same: we will not negotiate the status of 690,000 unlawful immigrants while hundreds of millions of tax-paying Americans … are held hostage by Senate Democrats,” White House legislative director Marc Short told reporters on Saturday. “We hope Senate Democrats will yield.”

But the rhetoric didn’t invite compromise. “It’s like a two-year-old’s temper tantrum,” Short said.

The White House budget director Mick Mulvaney insisted all talk of the funding lapse should be branded “Schumer Shutdown,” after Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer. “It has that nice little ring to it, doesn’t it?” Mulvaney said, again arguing that talks with Schumer were fruitless. “At what point does it even become profitable to continue to work with someone like that?”

But if Republicans hope to reopen the government, the White House will need to work with Schumer and his caucus, where retreat was not an appealing option as Day One of the shutdown unfolded. Schumer’s top deputy, Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, briefed House Democrats on Saturday morning behind closed doors. From outside, cheers were audible, signaling a compromise was unlikely.

“The President created this challenge on September 5th,” Durbin told TIME outside the Capitol in the early hours of Saturday morning as he prepared to make his way home after a long night. It was on Sept. 5 that Trump declared an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, that protected many of the Dreamers.

“The Republican-controlled House and Senate have not produced a single bill to respond to this,” an exhausted Durbin said. “The President put the fates of these young people in doubt, and we have a responsibility to do something to help them.”

That call to action was echoed throughout the day as lawmakers marveled how a program Trump backed as late as last week suddenly was the sticking point.

“The only way out of this is for the President to take ‘yes’ for an answer,” said Schumer, who met with the President for 90 minutes over cheeseburgers late Friday afternoon. Schumer thought he was close to an off-ramp and indicated he could convince his colleagues to give the President some of the money needed for his border wall.

Frantically, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell phoned the White House urging the President to stand firm against any deal shorter than four weeks and to void any hopes of compromise with Schumer. He also phoned House Speaker Paul Ryan and urged him to hold the line against compromise.

At the White House, advisers told the President that the Democrats’ offer was only for one year of border building, not the whole costs. That, for the moment, talked him away from dealmaker and back toward his hardline stance.

White House chief of staff John Kelly phoned Schumer on Friday to tell him that a short-term deal was not possible under these conditions.

“Negotiating with President Trump is like negotiating with Jell-O,” Schumer fumed from the Senate floor midday Saturday.

“What happened to that President? He backed off at the first sign of pressure,” Schumer said, casting the President as a choke artist — a gamble that could provoke Trump.

Republicans continued to shove blame on the Democrats. They accused their colleagues across the aisle of placing politics above the health and well-being of American children, since the failed spending package contained funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which lapsed in September. They rejected the notion that their own party — which controls both chambers of Congress, and which has failed to bring CHIP to the floor in the four months since it lapsed — bore any responsibility.

“Bottom line, this was a clean bill, and it… is so obvious that they are putting the Obama legacy ahead taking care of children and supporting our troops,” Republican Rep. Evan Jenkins of West Virginia told TIME.

Speaking to reporters in the Capitol on Saturday, other House Republicans held their ground. Throughout this entire process — the tentative progress towards an immigration deal last week; the negotiations of a spending bill after that progress collapsed — these lawmakers had been the biggest hurdle to compromise. Unlike their more moderate colleagues in the Senate, a powerful faction of conservatives in the House is rigidly opposed to a bipartisan solution on DACA, preferring instead a hardline bill that would restrict immigration and amplify domestic enforcement.

But when asked if her colleagues would be amenable to an immigration compromise, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, the fourth-ranking House Republican, demurred. “The first order of business is to get the government funded,” she said. “We need more time [on immigration] — and that should not be used to put the country through this shutdown.”

There were whispers of disagreement among Republican leaders on the Hill. Reports indicated McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan were not on the same page; aides to each disputed those reports strongly.

Yet, there are limits to how much McConnell can unilaterally do. Spending bills have to start in the House, and it’s not clear Republicans in both chambers were of the same mind, or where the President might be on a final compromise. Ryan has a rowdy caucus to manage, McConnell will need Democratic votes to reach the 60-vote threshold to fund the government, and the President has proven unpredictable.

For his part, McConnell sought a way out of the crisis that didn’t hinge on the President’s consistency. He offered a possible deal to reopen the government through Feb. 8 — or so — and fund a health insurance program for poor kids for six years in exchange for a pledge that talks will resume on an immigration deal that would protect Dreamers. The three-week funding bill is a one-week reduction from the proposal that failed late Friday, a difference that seemed to make no difference to Democrats, especially if promises from the President were in the mix.

“This President just does not have a reputation for telling the truth,” said Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of California.

As the Democrats huddled to discuss their options, they looked up to see split-screen coverage of a stand-still Capitol and scores of women marching against Trump’s agenda. Any skittishness about the decision to shutter government melted as they saw the grassroots activists filling streets from San Diego to New York. Republicans are worried they could lose their majorities in the House and maybe the Senate in this fall’s elections, and maintaining this energy among liberal activists is crucial.

“All I can tell you is there are a lot of meetings going on. I just came from one,” Sen. Angus King, a Maine independent, told TIME on Saturday afternoon as he walked down a hallway in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. The building was quiet and seemingly empty. “I don’t think I’d say I’m optimistic, but I’d say that everyone wants to get to a positive result.”

Republicans, too, were clearly frustrated. Against long odds, Ryan had cobbled together enough votes for a one-month funding plan by promising the most conservatives lawmakers a vote on a hardline immigration plan that has little chance of clearing the House, let alone find support in the Senate.

“We do some crazy things in Washington but this is utter madness,” the Speaker said, brimming with frustration. He later sent that observation to his email list.

It echoed McConnell’s pre-shutdown pique. Even as the government was hurtling toward running out of cash, the top Republican in the Senate said he wasn’t sure what it would take to get the the President’s sign-off. “I’m looking for something that President Trump supports,” he said. “And he’s not yet indicated what measure he’s willing to sign.”

In fact, some in the President’s negotiating team told lawmakers to pitch a Homeland Security outline of immigration demands. Hardliners inside the White House said the list was incomplete, and the President seemed to side with them. That effectively undercut Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, a close Kelly ally, and sent everyone back into a chaos so familiar after a year of the Trump presidency.

That left many White House aides and their Republican counterparts on the brink of rage and undercutting each other in meetings. “How do we win against Congress if we can’t even agree among ourselves? We can’t even figure out what a win looks like,” a frustrated White House staffer said. “No one here knows how this ends.”


‘It’s a Women’s Wave Coming.’ The Women’s March Is Turning Into a True Political Force

21 January, by Charlotte Alter[ —]

Dixie O’Connell’s older brother cast a write-in ballot for Mickey Mouse in the 2016 presidential election. Fifteen months later, O’Connell marched in the 2018 New York Women’s March with a sign that said, “I’m pissed.”

She couldn’t vote in 2016, but O’Connell is already doing everything she can to cancel out her brother’s throwaway ballot. She and her friends, Kaitlyn Viola and Briana Taddeo, both 17, plan to march whenever they can, make phone calls for candidates, and encourage their older relatives to vote responsibly. And this November, they’ll be showing up to the polls. “I’m definitely going to vote,” says O’Connell, who canvassed and phone banked for Bernie Sanders during the 2016 election, “even if I don’t have a candidate I strongly believe in.” (Taddeo, who will still be 17 in November, plans to convince her homebound grandmother to vote in her stead.)

One year after the Women’s March became the largest single-day protest in U.S. history, O’Connell and her friends represent the movement’s new direction: Doing anything and everything to wrestle control of Congress from a Republican Party that has largely worked to advance President Trump’s agenda. An unprecedented surge of Democratic women are running for office this year, but that’s just the crest of the “Pink Wave.” In interviews with some of those among the estimated 120,000 people who marched in New York City Saturday, a pattern emerged. If they’re not running, they’re organizing. If they’re not organizing, they’re donating. If they’re not donating, they’re voting. Nobody is doing nothing.

The official Women’s March organizers have translated this motivation into a new strategy for 2018: Power to the Polls, a nationwide voter registration drive targeting first-timers in swing states ahead of the midterms. Marchers have created their own ways to expand their political impact, too.

“Last year we were all in shock, angry we didn’t do more, says Diane Johnson, a 59-year old New York City real state broker. “Now we know we can’t let this ever happen again.” Johnson says she is personally making sure everyone she knows is registered to vote. She’s also making regular donations to Emily’s List, which supports pro-choice Democratic women candidates.

Lisette Cheresson, a 33-year old festival organizer, said that after last year’s march, she began attending local Democratic party meetings and learning the inner workings of New York local government. Her friend Erica Duncan, a 28-year old designer, joined the campaign to repeal New York City’s “cabaret law,” which made it hard for local businesses to allow dancing in their establishments. Lauren Barkley, a 30-year old fashion student, said she has given money to so many different causes over the last year that sometimes after a night of drinking she’ll wake up to an email thanking her for her contribution to Planned Parenthood or the ACLU — “drunk donating,” she calls it.

“I don’t think any of this would have happened if Hillary had won,” Cheresson says. “We would have continued to live under the assumption that we had broken the glass ceiling, when in fact we had only cracked it.” She likens this possibility to the Obama presidency, “when people thought racism was over, and really it wasn’t.”

Kim Hall, 45, says participating in last year’s Women’s March helped her meet other like-minded women in Wilton, CT. When they noticed that a local candidate for school board had posted confederate flags on Facebook and called on Trump to “build a wall,” they started a publicity campaign, organized against her, and got local organizations to pull their endorsements. “It wasn’t inclusive, and it didn’t belong on our school board,” Hall says.

In many ways, this year’s anniversary March was a celebration of everything the women’s movement has done in the last year, from organizing calls to Congress to coalescing around the #MeToo campaign. And throughout the March, there was a sense of personal agency, a feeling that any one person could make a difference moving forward. “What you’re seeing is an emphasis on the fact that women can make a change in the midterms,” says Kathleen McNamara, a 64-year old grants writer carrying a sign showing a pink tidal wave. “It’s a women’s wave coming.”


Congressman Denies Allegation in Misconduct Claim He Settled

21 January, by Associated Press[ —]

(HARRISBURG, Pa.) — House Speaker Paul Ryan ordered an Ethics Committee investigation Saturday after the New York Times reported U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan used taxpayer money to settle a complaint that stemmed from his hostility toward a former aide who rejected his romantic overtures.

The story, published online Saturday, cites unnamed people who said the Republican Pennsylvania representative used thousands of dollars from his congressional office fund to settle the sexual harassment complaint the ex-aide filed last summer to the congressional Office of Compliance.

Ryan’s office said the allegations must be investigated “fully and immediately” by the House Ethics Committee and that Meehan should repay any taxpayer funds used to settle the case. Ryan’s office also said Meehan is being removed from the committee.

The Times did not identify the accuser and said she did not speak to the newspaper.

In a statement, the four-term congressman denied that he sexually harassed or mistreated the ex-aide. He also said he had asked congressional lawyers who handled the case to ask her lawyer to dissolve the settlement’s confidentiality requirements “to ensure a full and open airing of all the facts.”

“Throughout his career he has always treated his colleagues, male and female, with the utmost respect and professionalism,” says a statement from Meehan’s office. It does not say whether Meehan used taxpayer money to settle the case.

The accuser’s lawyer, Alexis Ronickher, rejected that. Ronickher said Meehan had demanded the confidentiality provisions and is trying to victimize her client twice by revealing the woman’s identity and litigating the case in the media.

She called it a “dirty political maneuver” and an effort to save his career by making it look like he’s being transparent. She also called the allegations “well-grounded” and “a serious sexual harassment claim.”

Ronickher also said the Ethics Committee investigation must include the fact that Meehan “knowingly breached confidentiality in his agreement by discussing the case and the terms of any potential settlement agreement.”


Woman Accused of Killing and Dismembering Her Boyfriend May Have Done the Same Thing 10 Years Ago

20 January, by Lisa Marie Segarra[ —]

A Florida woman accused of killing and dismembering her boyfriend was just made a person of interest in a cold case from 10 years ago.

Nelci Tetley allegedly abused her boyfriend 55-year-old Jeffrey Albertsman for years before his bloody remains were found in July 2017, according to Daytona Beach Police Chief Craig Capri, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.

Just 10 miles away, the body of another man, Michael Scot Louis, was found in garbage bags along a bank of the Tomoka River in 2007, the Washington Post reported.

Tetley is already facing a first-degree murder charge in relation to the death of her boyfriend. His body was found in his home with a gunshot wound to the head and the chest, and his arms and legs were missing, the News-Journal reported. Albertsman’s arms and legs were found 20 miles away in a fernery.

A police report noted that the two cases were linked after it was observed that the manner of cutting the bodies was similar, according to the News-Journal.


See Photos From 2018 Women’s Marches Around the World

20 January, by Jamie Ducharme[ —]

A year after millions of women took to the streets in what may have been the largest single-day protest in U.S. history, the Women’s March returned for its second annual demonstration.

Marches took place Saturday in major U.S. cities, including New York City, Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, Seattle, Los Angeles and Chicago, as well as numerous communities throughout the country and world. In New York City alone, more than 120,000 people were interested in attending the 2018 event, according to a Facebook event made by its organizers.

Women’s March organizers also unveiled a new event in 2018: Power to the Polls, a kick-off for the group’s yearlong national voter registration tour. Power to the Polls is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 21, in Las Vegas.

Couldn’t make it to the 2018 Women’s March? See photos from demonstrations around the country and world here.


Trump’s First Year in Office Has Been a Can’t-Miss Drama

20 January, by Jonathan Lemire / AP[ —]

(WASHINGTON) — A bleak description of “American carnage.” A forceful rollback of his predecessor’s achievements. A blatant falsehood from the White House podium.

And that was just the first 24 hours.

In his first year in office, Donald Trump proved to be a singular figure, casting aside norms and traditions, fighting with Republicans and Democrats alike and changing how the nation and the presidency are viewed at home and abroad.

Seemingly each day spawned several can-you-believe-it headlines that would have defined a previous president’s term. But in the hyper-accelerated Trump news cycle, many were forgotten by the next morning.

Appropriate for a former reality TV star, Trump’s first year was can’t-miss drama, full of unforgettable characters, surprise casting changes and innumerable plot twists. It came against the backdrop of a deeply polarized nation, a looming nuclear threat, whispers about the president’s fitness for office and, for good measure, the shadow of the Russia investigation.

The reviews weren’t kind. Trump’s first-year approval rating stood at 39 percent, the lowest of any president. But viewers couldn’t look away.

“He is a compulsively watchable political character,” said Jon Meacham, presidential historian and biographer. “The country elected the most unconventional president in our history and he has proven to be just that. To me, the story of the first year is the atmospheric chaos that the president has created, sustained and perpetuated.”

Trump was the first president to be elected without any government or military experience. And from the first moments of Trump’s inauguration, it was clear that Washington had never seen anything like this before.

His inaugural speech was a dark pitch to the nation’s forgotten, suggesting a retreat from the world under the slogan of “America First.” It soon led to an uproar over the White House press secretary’s wild claims about the inauguration crowd size.

Soon, other crowds were the story.

Millions of people flooded streets around the globe for the “Women’s March” to protest Trump’s presidency. That set the template for the so-called #Resistance, which swarmed airports just days later when the White House suddenly announced its travel ban on visitors from several Muslim-majority countries.

There would be little attempt from Trump to bring those protesters into the fold. Despite losing the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes, the president forged forward as if elected with a sweeping mandate, aiming his policies directly at his base — with moves such as the rollback of environment regulations and civil rights protections — and blaming Democrats for any Washington failure.

Always eager to have a foe, Trump governed as he campaigned, and not just by incessantly reliving his 2016 election over Hillary Clinton. Trump frequently instigated fights and rarely let a slight go unanswered via his favorite weapon, his Twitter account.

Any pre-inauguration talk of restraining his Twitter usage was soon forgotten. He used the 140-character — and later, up to 280 — bursts to target foes, traffic in conspiracy theories, salute the programming on Fox News, rattle Congress and unnerve world capitals. In March, he even made the unsubstantiated claim that his predecessor had wiretapped Trump Tower, and he labeled President Barack Obama a “bad (or sick) guy.”

The trail of tweets has roiled the capital for 12 months. Across Washington, phones would buzz with alerts anytime Trump tweeted. Republicans found themselves to be targets of Trump’s tweet just like Democrats, particularly when their efforts to repeal Obama’s health care law — a plan seven years in the making — failed not once, but twice.

Some tweets drew puzzlement; none more than the president’s late-night posting of the nonsensical word “covfefe.”

Some tweets challenged American institutions, full of criticisms of the media and the FBI. Others provoked outrage, as when he suggested that MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski had a face-lift or claimed that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., “would do anything” for a donation, an unsavory insinuation made at the height of the #MeToo movement.

The discussion about sexual harassment toppled many powerful men but, while Trump’s own accusers resurfaced, the White House never changed its story: The women were lying.

That was just one of many moments in which Trump appeared almost eager to foment divisions, including racial ones.

His political career was launched on the lie that Obama was not born in the United States, and this month, Trump was denounced for dismissing African nations as “shithole countries” when he urged a limit on immigration from that continent.

He dismissed Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., as “Pocahontas,” mocking her claims about being part Native American, while addressing a group of American Indians. More divisively, he blamed “both sides” for the violence between neo-Nazis and anti-hate group protesters that left one woman dead in Charlottesville, Virginia.

While Trump was rewriting the rules of behavior within the Oval Office, his agenda was largely lifted from the Republican playbook and his first year victories thrilled the GOP orthodoxy. He appointed conservative judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, rolled back business regulations, presided over a massive tax cut and, the White House argued, fostered an environment that freed the stock market to boom.

“2017 was a year of tremendous achievement (and) the achievements for our country, our people, and for our standing in the world have been very monumental,” Trump said at a Cabinet meeting last week, before offering a glimpse into how he views the presidency — as catnip for cable.

“I’m sure their ratings were fantastic. They always are,” he said.

Like any president, Trump faced crises during his first year.

Most ominously, North Korea escalated its nuclear weapons development program while Trump responded with unprecedentedly bellicose rhetoric. He warned of “fire and fury” that could wipe out Pyongyang. At the United Nations, he insulted North Korean leader Kim Jung Un as “Little Rocket Man.” Trump took to Twitter to suggest that his nuclear button was bigger than Kim’s.

The anniversary of his inauguration coincided with a government shutdown, and he scoffed that Democrats “wanted to give me a nice present.”

He traveled overseas four times, upbraiding traditional American allies at NATO for not paying enough, basking in the flattery of Chinese President Xi Jinping and touching a mysterious, glowing orb with Saudi King Salman.

His responses to domestic tragedies were uneven.

He paid tribute to the 58 victims of a shooting at a country music concert in Las Vegas, but made no effort to toughen gun control laws. When Hurricane Maria crushed Puerto Rico, leaving half the island without power for months, Trump feuded with a local mayor and, during a visit, distributed paper towels to survivors by shooting them like they were basketballs.

Befitting a man whose reality show ended with a firing each week, in Trump’s first year his administration’s upper-level officials have had a turnover rate of 34 percent, much higher than any other in the past 40 years. Gone were chief of staff Reince Priebus, chief strategist Steve Bannon, press secretary Sean Spicer and, after just 11 eventful days, communications director Anthony Scaramucci.

But the circumstances of two exits above all may define not just Trump’s first year in office, but those to follow.

National security adviser Mike Flynn was fired less than a month into the term for lying to Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with foreign officials. In May, Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, who had been leading the investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russian officials during the 2016 election.

That dismissal led to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller, whose probe into possible collusion and obstruction of justice has hovered over the White House. Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents and is now cooperating with Mueller. Trump himself may at some point be interviewed.

“We’ve never had a president who had such a chaotic first year. Every day is topsy-turvy and disorganized, the country has not been so divided since the Civil War and Trump thrives at being the bull that carries his own china shop around with him,” said Douglas Brinkley, presidential historian at Rice University. “He’s not like anything we’ve seen before and this is the question: What are the consequences going to be?”











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