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State of the Union Address Still In Shutdown Limbo

The annual tradition of the president delivering the State of the Union address from the floor of the House of Representatives is still in limbo with the ongoing government shutdown, with one prominent Democratic house member saying hosting the speech from the House chamber is “highly unlikely.” “It’s absolutely not clear about what this president’s intention is,” Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D., N.Y.) said to reporters in the Capitol. “But I can say that unless the government is reopened, it’s highly unlikely that the State of the Union is going to take place on the floor of the United States House of Representatives.” Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to President Trump, which,was widely seen more as political posturing and maneuvering over the shutdown. “Sadly, given the security concerns and unless government reopens this week, I suggest we work together to determine another suitable date after government has re-opened for this address or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union address in writing to the Congress on January 29th,” Pelosi wrote in the letter. Following the letter, Trump canceled a trip scheduled by Pelosi and other Democrats destined for Afghanistan and Belgium. The White House has no plans for delay. A report from the Hill noted that “on Tuesday, the White House asked the House Sergeant at Arms for a walk-through of the Capitol in preparation...

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WaPo Issues Correction About Native American Nathan Phillips Fighting in Vietnam

The Washington Post issued a correction on Tuesday to one of its stories that claimed Native American activist and veteran Nathan Phillips fought in the Vietnam War. “Earlier versions of this story incorrectly said that Native American activist Nathan Phillips fought in the Vietnam War. Phillips said he served in the U.S. Marines but was never deployed to Vietnam,” the correction reads. Phillips was at the center of a viral video that at first appeared to show a group of Covington Catholic high schoolers, many wearing “Make America Great Again” hats, taunting Phillips near the Lincoln Memorial. Reporters and individuals on social media rushed to judgment to condemn the behavior of the boys, especially that of Nick Sandmann. The image of Sandmann smiling a few inches away from Phillips led many to define the story as one of a privileged white teenager showing disrespect to a Native American. However, additional video and information reported in the subsequent days created a more complex picture. When the first video went viral, Phillips described himself as a Vietnam veteran in interviews with Vogue and the Detroit Free Press. Then in a CNN interview, Phillips described himself as a “Vietnam-times veteran,” making it unclear whether he ever served in Vietnam. Phillips was born in 1955. U.S. Marines left Vietnam in 1971, which would have made Phillips 16 or 17 years old at the time. Phillips states...

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Chris Matthews: Is Kamala Harris ‘Seen as African American?’

MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews asked on his show Tuesday night whether Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) “is seen as African American.” Harris announced this week she is running for president, putting her candidacy front and center in the 2020 conversation. Speaking to Democratic commentator Jamal Simmons in a clip flagged by Mediaite, Matthews led a discussion on the meaning and symbolism of Harris’ campaign and the quality of her rollout. “Ruth [Marcus], let me talk about this— Let me go to Jamal [Simmons] on this, I gotta go to Jamal on this, for obvious reasons,” Matthews said. Simmons critiqued Harris’ decision to have a campaign headquarters in Baltimore rather than her hometown of Oakland, but he went on to say she had strengths as a candidate. “She’s got a bio, she’s got a record, she’s a prosecutor with a heart, she’s had a lot to deal with keeping people out of recidivism,” Simmons said. “Is she seen as African American?” Matthews asked. “Is she seen as African American?” “Yes, I think she’s seen as African American,” Simmons replied, crediting her for making her announcement at her alma mater Howard University, a historically black college. “She’s really planting her feet in the African-American community, and I think she’s going to be a very strong candidate,” Simmons added. “Now, [New Jersey Sen.] Cory Booker is also going to do the same...

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Trevor Noah Mocks Gillibrand Over Backpedaling From Past ‘Racist’ Positions

“The Daily Show” mocked Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) on Tuesday over backpedaling from her past views on immigration that match the “racist” ones today of President Donald Trump. In a clip flagged by the Daily Beast, Host Trevor Noah did a segment on the apologies being levied by various potential and declared Democratic presidential candidates over past views, as they seek the 2020 nomination from voters who will put a premium on progressive purity. Gillibrand has some of the most explaining to do, given she once represented an upstate, conservative New York district and opposed amnesty, supported the deportation of illegal immigrants, strongly supported tougher border security measures, and called for English to be the country’s official language. CNN host Jake Tapper asked her on Sunday if Trump’s positions are “racist,” as Gillibrand has said, were they racist when she held them? Her response: “They certainly weren’t empathetic, and they weren’t kind, and I did not think about suffering in other people’s lives.” “Damn, Jake Tapper got her on that one,” Noah said. “It’s hard for her to say Trump’s policies are racist, but her identical policies were just unkind.” Noah also poked fun at her response that a trip to Brooklyn to meet with a Democratic congresswoman helped change her views on immigration. Gillibrand also said a trip to Brooklyn helped change her from having an “A”...

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Omar Defends Black Hebrew Israelites, a Hate Group, in Falsehood-Laden Tweet About Covington Teens

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) sent out a tweet filled with falsehoods Tuesday about the viral confrontation between Catholic high school teenagers and a Native American man last week, which also included a de facto defense of a racist hate group. Linking to a tweet by President Donald Trump criticizing “fake news” for their initial misleading reports on the Covington Catholic teenagers, Omar wrote, “The boys were protesting a woman’s right to choose & yelled ‘it’s not rape if you enjoy it.’ They were taunting 5 Black men before they surrounded Phillips and led racist chants. [Nick] Sandmann’s family hired a right wing PR firm to write his non-apology.” She also linked to a story decrying “white journalists” who were trying to correct the record. She deleted the tweet Wednesday morning, after the Washington Free Beacon asked her office to comment. While mainstream outlets had ignored her tweet as of Wednesday morning, other conservative outlets had picked up on it. Omar claimed the Covington Catholic teenagers, initially vilified for taunting Native American elder Nathan Phillips before more videos and reporting painted a different picture, “were taunting 5 black men,” when it was actually the other way around. The “black men” she referred to were the Black Hebrew Israelites, who can be seen on video shouting racist and homophobic insults at the teenagers near the Lincoln Memorial because many of them were...

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