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Spicer: ‘A lot’ for Trump administration to be proud

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As the benchmark of the Trump administration’s first 100 days in office approaches, so does the looming midnight weekend deadline when many agencies within the government are due to run out of money unless Congress adopts a continuing resolution.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Monday championed the number of accomplishments Trump has achieved in his first 100 days and gave assurance that health care reform and securing funds for a border wall are the president’s top priorities, but could not guarantee the government will not shut down at the end of the week.

“When you look at the totality of what we’ve accomplished … it is unbelievable what he has been able to do,” Spicer said Monday in defense of the president’s record.

The American Health Care Act was the only one of 10 bills Trump promised to send to Congress in his 100-day pledge to voters that had actually been submitted, but it never came to a vote. It remains a work in progress, as does tax reform and more.

Trust the government? Maybe you shouldn’t. Read the details in “Lies the Government Told You,” by Judge Andrew Napolitano.

CBS News Correspondent Major Garrett argued that the president has conspicuously failed at fulfilling the promises he made during the campaign considering “there is there is no explicit funding for the wall and no healthcare reform to repeal Obamacare.”

Spicer shot back, highlighting numerous other legislative accomplishments.

“There is a lot that I think we feel very proud that we have gotten done and taken care of,” Spicer said. ” You look at the immigration piece in particular, border crossing is way down, the number of executive orders and pieces of legislation that the president has signed – I think we feel very proud by what we’ve been able to accomplish to the promises he’s made to the American people.”

Government funding runs out at midnight Friday and speculation is buzzing around Capitol Hill about a possible government shutdown because Democrats have promised to refuse Trump’s request for money for some of his priorities, like the border wall with Mexico.

Spicer said he is “very confident” Congress would pass a spending bill to avoid a government shutdown this week, but cautioned that there are no guarantees.

“I can’t guarantee – but I think that the work that [Budget Director] Mulvaney and others have made in these negotiations has been very positive,” Spicer warned. “They feel very confident that that won’t happen.”

CNN’s Jim Acosta accused President Trump of being hypocritical for promising during the presidential race that Mexico would pay for the border wall.

“Why is there even discussion about shutting down the government over paying for the wall? Isn’t Mexico supposed to pay for the wall?” Acosta charged.

Spicer said that Trump has been clear we “need to get the funding going” first.

“We feel very confident that the government is not going to shut down,” Spicer assured. “The president has been very clear in the past about the fact – in order to get the ball rolling on border security and the wall he was going to have to use the current appropriations process but that promise would be kept as far as the payment of it.”

Acosta contended that a border wall is no longer necessary in light of the fact that border crossings are down.

A border wall is more efficient, Spicer explained.

“Just because you have a couple of good months or year, you want to take prudent long term steps,” the press secretary said. “If you are coming in through our southern border you have taken a lot of steps so far that has deterred border crossing. But this is a permanent step that will extend beyond his presidency. Eight years from now the next president will have that wall in place to make sure that it doesn’t continue.”

The president has said the wall is the top priority when it comes to the spending bill, tweeting out earlier Monday, “The wall is a very important tool in stopping drugs from pouring into our country and poisoning our youth and many others).

“If the wall is not built, which it will be, the drug situation will NEVER be fixed the way it should be! #BuildTheWall,” Trump tweeted.

Trump tweeted that Mexico would “eventually” be paying for the wall.

Democrats have said that they won’t approve any money to building a border wall. In fact, the minority leader Nancy Pelosi in the House over the weekend said that she thinks a border wall is a sign of weakness.

While media outlets all across the country are discussing President Trump’s first 100 days, he has called the benchmark “ridiculous.”

Spicer ceded during the briefing that the first 100 days an “artificial number that gets thrown” when the reality is the president has “4 years in [his] first term and 8 years for two terms” to accomplish his goals, goals toward which he already is making great strides.

“When you look at the number of pieces of legislation and executive orders, business confidence, the place of the U.S.’ role in the world, there’s a lot of accomplishments that have occurred and we feel very good about what we’ve done as we head up to this first 100 days,” he said. “But I think you are going to continue to see a lot of actions and a lot of results, going into the second hundred days, the third hundred days.

“I’m sure there are things you learn in the job, but I think he’s very proud of what he has set out to do and the progress that we have made,” he added.

Trust the government? Maybe you shouldn’t. Read the details in “Lies the Government Told You,” by Judge Andrew Napolitano.

 

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Caitlyn Jenner: ‘No big advantage’ for trans men in women’s sports

Fox News' Tucker Carlson (left) and 'Caitlyn' Jenner (right)

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson (left) and ‘Caitlyn’ Jenner (right)

Caitlyn Jenner – the retired Olympic gold medal-winning decathlete formerly known as Bruce Jenner – claims biological males who join women’s athletic teams have “no big advantage” when they fiercely compete with females in weightlifting, brutally tackle girls on the football field, blow past other women on the race track or even deal powerful knockout punches to ladies.

Jenner, a 67-year-old transgendered woman who began transitioning two years ago, appeared as a guest on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Monday. It was Carlson’s first show in the 8 p.m. Eastern time slot previously held by former Fox host Bill O’Reilly.

Watch Carlson’s interview with Jenner: 

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During the interview, Carlson referenced the case of transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard, who was born a man, winning the Australian international women’s competition March 19. Hubbard, 39, lifted 591 pounds, nearly 20 pounds more than the woman who won the silver medal by lifting 572 pounds.

Hubbard was one of the transgender athletes in WND’s big list of headline-making transgender athletes crashing the world of women’s sports.

Transgender Lauren Hubbard, born a man, wins the Australian international women's competition March 19 after lifting 591 pounds (Photo: 1 News Now)

Transgender Lauren Hubbard, born a man, wins the Australian international women’s competition March 19 after lifting 591 pounds (Photo: 1 News Now)

American icon Bruce Jenner raised his arms in victory after crossing the finish line during the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal.

American icon Bruce Jenner raised his arms in victory after crossing the finish line during the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal.

Carlson observed: “A transgender woman just won a major weightlifting title. Some people said, well, this is someone who has a massive physical advantage over the other entrants in that contest. It seemed like a real thing to me.”

The National Collegiate Athletic Association and Olympics have instituted policies allowing transgender athletes to compete on teams that correspond with genders with which they identify, provided the athletes undergo a year of hormone replacement therapy.

Jenner replied: “The Olympic Committee is way ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to dealing with identifying transgender issues in competing. Back when I was competing in the ’70s, all the women had saliva tests to make sure their in their DNA they were female. We had the East German women and the Soviet women and all that kind of stuff. Well, since then, there has been a lot of gender non-conforming. We don’t quite know where they fit into the athletic world. And the Olympic Committee has done 20 years of studies on issues of hormone levels of whether you need gender confirmation surgery, what can you do as a trans person to be able to compete as your authentic self. And they’ve come up with guidelines. If you meet those guidelines, you can compete. And obviously this woman did.”

“Do you think it’s fair?” Carlson asked the former Olympian.

“Yes, I think it’s totally fair,” Jenner said. “If the Olympic Committee thinks it’s fair, I’m fine with it. Yes, because there’s no big advantage.”

'Caitlyn' Jenner behind the scenes before the big interview with Tucker Carlson on April 24 (Photo: Twitter/Tucker Carlson)

Caitlyn Jenner behind the scenes before the big interview with Tucker Carlson on April 24 (Photo: Twitter/Tucker Carlson)

But Carlson responded, “In that case, there’s a big physical advantage.”

As WND reported, Ohio University biological sciences lecturer Chris Schwirian confirmed that most males have a physical advantage over women: “Faster men’s times for 100 to 800 meters are mostly due to men, on average, having greater muscle mass – and a larger portion of it is fast-twitch, which allows them to generate greater force, speed and anaerobically produced energy. At all distances beyond 800 meters, the main reason for the gap is men’s higher aerobic capacity [VO2max], on average, which is due to their typically having less body fat, more hemoglobin and muscle mass, and larger hearts and lungs than women.”

On average, men have longer and larger bones, which gives them mechanical advantages over women, since they have greater leverage, increased height and larger frames to support muscle. Their bones are also more dense, and they have tougher ligaments, making them less prone to sports injury.

But Jenner wouldn’t have it.

“Well, we’re not going to get into all that kind of stuff,” he responded. “That has nothing to do with it.”

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Jenner also talked about his conservative political views during the interview, including the fact that he voted for President Donald Trump:

I never actually came out and outwardly supported Trump. The media did that for me. I am on the Republican conservative side, and he wound up being our candidate, so certainly I was going to vote for him. He looked like he would be pretty good on all LGBT issues, which is important. My loyalties do not lie with Donald Trump. My loyalties do not lie with the Republican Party. My loyalties, and what I’m fighting for, is the community, the LGBT community and in particular the trans issues that are out there. … So that’s where my fight is. I thought Trump would be pretty good, but he’s kind of disappointed me in the first 100 days on those issues.

Jenner also recently opened up in his new memoir, “The Secrets of My Life,” about his struggles with thoughts of suicide and three failed marriages. Jenner does use his former name, Bruce, in his book, according to the Associated Press.

Jenner appeared on Carlson’s show only one day after it was revealed the conservative street artist Sabo created disturbing posters of Stephen King’s evil clown from the horror classic “It,” except the clown images featured Jenner’s face. Sabo’s posters and fake advertisements were erected outside Fox studios before the Carlson appearance.

In one of the ads, located on bus benches, Jenner’s head can be seen inside a dark sewer drain, where the “It” clown, known as Pennywise, lives. “Tonight on Tucker Carlson: IT,” the text says. “Based on a novel reality.”

(Photo: Sabo)

(Photo: Sabo)

Jenner’s head is shown atop Pennywise’s body in another poster featured behind glass at several bus stops. The poster reads: “IT on Ticker Carlson tonight.”

(Photo: Sabo)

(Photo: Sabo)

The artist, Sabo, is known for his art ridiculing Hollywood stars. in November 2016, he captured nationwide attention when he poked fun of leftist celebrities who vowed they’d leave the country if Donald Trump became president. The following are some of his fake realtor ads he posted around Los Angeles.

Sabo-realtor-ads

 

In 2015, Jenner told ABC News’ Diane Sawyer that when he was a child of about 8 or 9 years old in the late 1950s, he first began wearing dresses from his mother’s and sisters’ closets.

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“I would say I’ve always been confused with my gender identity since I’ve been this big,” Jenner said.

'Caitlyn' Jenner after transition (left) and Bruce Jenner before transition (right)

‘Caitlyn’ Jenner after transition (left) and Bruce Jenner before transition (right)

Jenner erupted into fame with his 1976 victory in the Olympic decathlon at Montreal’s Summer Games. The winner of the event is popularly given the title of “World’s Greatest Athlete.”

The accomplishment was also a symbolic victory for the U.S. over the U.S.S.R. in the Cold War.

Jenner described in later interviews how he had been living in a $145-a-month apartment and driving a car he bought for $175 when he instantly became a millionaire by signing an agreement to promote Wheaties.

Jenner starred in a commercial in 1978 that showed his athletic performance then cut to him pouring himself a bowl of cereal. A box of Wheaties bearing his image sits front and center.

“I really worked hard getting ready for that day,” Jenner says. “I put in a lot of years, and put away a lot of Wheaties. Because a complete breakfast with Wheaties is good tasting and good for you.”

Jenner served as the spokesman for Wheaties from 1977 to 1979. He later worked in several movies and briefly played a role in the television show “CHiPS,” about the California Highway Patrol.

Jenner made headlines in 2015 for growing out his hair, shaving his Adam’s apple and wearing nail polish.

The father of six and stepfather to four later became known for his links to the Kardashian clan after his marriage to Kris Kardashian in 1991 and the family’s rise to stardom on reality television. Jenner and Kris Kardashian divorced in 2013 after 22 years of marriage.

 

 

 

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Trump eyes Obamacare deal as ‘100 days’ nears

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After a humiliating defeat last month, the White House would like to pass an Obamacare repeal-and-replace bill this week, but the priority this time is to “get it done right,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters Monday.

Spicer said the White House will encourage House Speaker Paul Ryan and the House Republican leadership to move forward when “they feel confident that they have the votes.”

“We have been very clear from here, and I think the president has been clear in his comments that our goal is to get it done and get it done right, and to get it done to make sure that we have the votes,” he said.

Spicer said the White House is OK with a vote being scheduled this week or the next, or the week after.

“But I think we want to make sure that we’ve got the votes and we’re headed in the right direction before putting some kind of artificial deadline,” he said.

Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus and the moderate Tuesday Group appear to be in the final stages of striking a deal, the Daily Caller reported. An agreement brokered between HFC Chairman Mark Meadows and Tuesday Group Co-Chairman Tom MacArthur is expected to allow states to waive out of a number of Obamacare’s Title I regulations. Conservative House members contend it’s the only way to significantly reduce premiums while ensuring preexisting conditions remain covered.

President Trump has warned that if Republicans fail to reach a consensus, he might work with Democrats to craft a deal.

Meanwhile, the prospect of a government shutdown looms if the House fails to reach a budget agreement by Friday.

As WND reported, members of the House Rules Committee stayed behind at the beginning of the Easter recess to pass an amendment approved by members of the House Freedom Caucus, which was blamed by Trump and other Republican leaders for last month’s failure.

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On March 24, House Speaker Paul Ryan was forced to pull from the floor the repeal-and-replace plan promoted by President Trump after failing to garner enough support from his party, which controls both the House and the Senate. Efforts to compromise with the Freedom Caucus led to several moderate Republicans bailing out.

Just before the Easter break, the two Republican factions allegedly were close to an agreement, supported by the White House, to allow states to opt out of Obamacare’s provision to preexisting medical conditions, but the deal never materialized.

However, after the recess began, the Rules Committee passed an amendment supported by Freedom Caucus members that offers a variation of the high-risk pools plan proposed by House Speaker Ryan, which removes the costliest patients from the general insurance pool and creates a separate one supported by public funds. The Palmer-Schweikert amendment, named after House Freedom Caucus members Reps. Gary Palmer of Alaska and David Schweikert of Arizona, would set aside $15 billion for states to reimburse health insurance for covering costlier patients.

McConnell promised ‘root and branch’ repeal

House Freedom Caucus member Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., wrote Monday in a Washington Examiner op-ed that the American Health Care Act bill that was pulled last month “does not come close to fulfilling our promises.”

“It is far too complex, takes too long to explain, and requires multiple disjointed steps, instead of a straight clean path to repeal. It also relies on the audacity of an unelected bureaucrat to tell us, the people’s representatives, what we can and cannot do, rather than the other way around.”

When they were running for office last fall, House Republicans, Biggs emphasized, promised to repeal Obamacare, meaning it “would be completely gone, as if it didn’t exist.”

He recalled Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., promised Congress would repeal Obamacare “root and branch.”

With the budget deadline looming, Trump appeared to have the border wall higher on his priority list, indicating he was prepared to even expand Obamacare by offering to continue the crucial $7 billion in subsidies paid to insurance companies in exchange for funding the wall.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal last week, Trump said he might end the payments to insurance companies to cover low-income subscribers to force Democrats to the negotiating table. Some 7 million people, or 58 percent, of those who signed up for Obamacare coverage for 2017 qualify for the cost-sharing subsidies. Without the payments, insurance companies could raise rates across the board, making insurance unaffordable for many more people.

Michael F. Cannon, the Cato Institute’s director of health policy studies, charged providing the subsidies would reward illegal behavior, noting the Democratic Congress and President Obama never appropriated funding for the subsidies. But Obama issued the subsidies anyway, because Obamacare would have collapsed otherwise.

When the Republicans took over the House they sued the Obama administration for encroaching on Congress’ power of the purse. A federal judge ruled in the House’s favor, determining the payment of the cost-sharing subsidies is unconstitutional.

But now, Trump is indicating a willingness to continue the payments.

“Think about what this would mean. Republicans are unanimous that President Obama violated the U.S. Constitution by spending billions of dollars without a Congressional appropriation. If Republicans respond by just appropriating that funding themselves, they will be rewarding illegal behavior,” Cannon wrote. “If Republicans fund Obamacare’s cost-sharing subsidies, they will encourage future presidents to spend money illegally, because they will be telling future presidents that they can get away with it.”

Sally C. Pipes, president, CEO and fellow in health care policy at the Pacific Research Institute, believes Congress should end the reimbursements to bring Democrats back to the negotiating table.

“Obamacare’s exchanges are on a fiscally unsustainable path. Scrapping the subsidies will only hasten their inevitable demise — and force Republicans and Democrats to work together to replace the law with something actuarially sound now, before the exchanges’ finances worsen further,” she said. “As an added bonus, ending the subsidies would represent a win for the Constitution.”

If Trump ends the payments, he’ll be abiding by the Constitution, Pipes argued further.

“Insurers may consequently leave the exchanges and thus accelerate the collapse of the individual insurance market,” she wrote. “But such an implosion is unavoidable. After all, according to Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini, the market is already in a ‘death spiral.’”

The Washington Examiner pointed out that while congressional Republicans have little desire to prop up Obamacare, the subsidies “flow to perhaps hundreds of thousands of Americans who live in districts represented by Republicans considered soft targets for the Democrats in 2018.”

“Republicans wanting Obamacare to collapse might be a good talking point in 2017, but it will be disastrous at the ballot box for us in 2018,” a former House GOP aide told the Examiner.

‘About to get worse’

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, warns that Obamacare is “about to get worse before Congress repeals it,” pointing out a tax on health insurance that was delayed until after the 2016 election likely will take effect in 2018 if it isn’t further delayed Friday.

When the tax begins to bite, he said, premiums will soar even higher, recalling that while Obama promised voters his law would decrease premiums by $2,500 a year, they instead went up by nearly $5,000.

“Insurers are already beginning to price their plans for next year so any delay must happen soon,” Norquist said. “Congress can and should immediately act to delay the tax for one year.”

The 4 percent to 6 percent tax is levied on insurance companies for every health plan sold in America, with the exception of coverage provided by firms that self-insure their employees.

Industry sources have said that insurance companies would immediately pass on the cost of the tax to consumers in health plans being priced for sale later this year for coverage in 2018.

Republican sources on Capitol Hill told the Washington Examiner Monday that there are no plans to delay implementation of the tax in a government funding bill.

“It’s not on the table for negotiation,” a senior House Republican aide familiar with the budget talks said.

The Examiner pointed out, “Zero congressmen will have to pay this tax.”

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Americans say ‘enough’ to helping needy around world

Money

A new poll shows that Americans, by a narrow margin, are saying “enough” to helping needy people around the world.

According to a new study released Monday from Pew Research Center, 31 percent of Americans want to decrease spending for programs that help the needy.

Twenty-nine percent say the government should spend more, and 38 percent say leave it the same.

They also believe the nation should cut its spending on the State Department and its embassies.

But except for those two categories, and with the nation facing a staggering nearly $20 trillion in debt, Americans want the government to increase spending for veterans, education, highways, Medicare, health care, scientific research, military, environment, anti-terrorism, Social Security and even to help the needy inside the U.S. and the nation’s unemployed.

“Police State USA: How Orwell’s Nightmare Is Becoming Our Reality” chronicles how America has arrived at the point of being a de facto police state, and what led to an out-of-control government that increasingly ignores the Constitution. Order today!

Overall, and in a reversal from the last eight years, 48 percent of Americans now want a bigger government providing more services, while 45 percent want a small government providing fewer services.

The change comes as President Trump approaches his 100th day in office.

“This marks the first time in eight years that as many Americans have expressed a preference for a bigger as a smaller government,” the Pew report said. “Support for bigger government has increased 7 percentage points since last September, when more said they preferred a small government offering fewer services (50 percent) than a bigger government providing more services (41 percent).”

The last time the result was similar to the one this week, Pew said, was in October 2008, just before Barack Obama was elected.

The two sides aligned with the two major political parties, with 74 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents saying they want a smaller government. Among Democrats and their cohorts, 65 percent want a bigger government.

The survey contacted 1,501 adults April 5-11. A total of 375 were contacted on landlines, another 1,126 on cell phones.

By a margin of 75-3, Americans want more spending on veterans, 67-9 for more spending on education, 58-7 for highways, 51-9 for Medicare, 50-18 for health care, 48-12 for science, 46-20 for the military, 46-19 for the environment, 46-11 to anti-terror efforts and 46-6 for Social Security.

Democrats by a larger margin favor social program spending and Republicans pick military defense and anti-terror efforts as their top two priorities.

The study reveals that support for bigger government programs comes mostly from those ages 18-29 and 30-49, those with a high school diploma or less, those with less than $30,000 in income and those who self-identify as “liberal.”

“Those with family incomes of $75,000 or more are much less likely than those with lower incomes to say they’d prefer a bigger government that provides more services. Just about a third of those earning $75,000 or more (35 percent) say this, compared to 44 percent of those with family incomes between $30,000 and $75,000 and nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of those making less than $30,000 a year.”

“Police State USA: How Orwell’s Nightmare Is Becoming Our Reality” chronicles how America has arrived at the point of being a de facto police state, and what led to an out-of-control government that increasingly ignores the Constitution. Order today!

 

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The 1 stance you can’t have to be a Democrat

Presidential election loser Democrat Hillary Clinton

2016 presidential election loser Democrat Hillary Clinton

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez says all Democrats should line up in favor of abortion, and he calls the position “not negotiable,” a clarification for which pro-life groups are exceedingly grateful.

The issue arose after Perez publicly backed the pro-life Democratic Party nominee in the race for mayor of Omaha, Nebraska. After criticism from pro-choice forces, Perez released a statement insisting he and the party were not straying from their stance on abortion.

“Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health,” stated Perez. “That is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state.”

He added, “At a time when women’s rights are under assault from the White House, the Republican Congress, and in states across the country, we must speak up for this principle as loudly as ever and with one voice.”

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Democrats supporting abortion is nothing new, but even pro-life groups are a bit surprised that Perez would publicly such a blanket position for the party. A full 28 percent of Democrats say they oppose abortion.

“I think it’s a clarifying statement, but I think these are always good to really hammer home to the grassroots that there’s a huge disconnect here. There’s such an extreme disconnect about what Perez said and the way that rank-and-file Democrats act in their state legislatures and in the way that they vote,” said Susan B. Anthony List Communications Director Mallory Quigley.

But she appreciates Perez offering the real position of Democrats on abortion.

“He is the perfect chairman for a party whose platform says, ‘We support abortion on demand up until the moment of birth, paid for by tax dollars,’” Quigley told WND and Radio America.

Quigley also said Democrats are stifling candidates at the state and local levels because of abortion.

“At the state level, there are still a decent number of pro-life Democrats, but we see that they’re not moving up,” Quigley said. “There’s only less than a handful of pro-life Democrats in the House.”

Listen to the WND/Radio America interview with Mallory Quigley: 

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She said the pro-life Democrats, like Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., are buckling under the pressure to conform.

“Joe Manchin, who for a long time now has been the only reliable pro-life vote in the Senate, took a picture with Planned Parenthood supporters and said that he’s all in for Planned Parenthood,” Quigley said.

Some Democrats tried to soften the party line, at least semantically.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., claimed the Democrats had room for pro-life lawmakers. But the No. 2 Democrat in the upper chamber told CNN that room did not extend to actual policy.

“We need to be understanding of those who take a different position because of personal conscience, but as long as they are prepared to back the law, Roe v. Wade, back women’s rights as we’ve defined them under the law, then I think they can be part of the party,” Durbin said.

Quigley said that explanation and similar efforts by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., are really no different than what Perez said.

“That’s not a pro-life position. It is not enough for the pro-life movement for you to say, ‘I personally wouldn’t have an abortion or encourage an abortion, but I’m not going to do a single thing to help a baby at 20 weeks or beyond, capable of living outside the womb, and I’m not going to protect that child from abortion.’ That is not a pro-life position,” Quigley said.

She added that the mild rebukes from Pelosi and Durbin are most likely just for public relations.

“What seems to be a disagreement is actually just a show to try to continue to obfuscate their abortion extremism because some people, like Pelosi and Durbin, know that it sounds better to allude to some sort of right to conscience in the Democratic Party, which of course is nonexistent,” Quigley said.

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With Republicans in charge of Congress and in the White House, Quigley is hopeful that this will be the year to move federal dollars away from Planned Parenthood and into community health centers that provide health care to women without performing more than 300,000 abortions per year. She also wants to see passage of the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban most abortions after weeks of pregnancy.

She said the shifting of money away from Planned Parenthood should happen through reconciliation on the health-care bill. However, with the 20-week ban needing 60 votes to advance in the Senate, Quigley suspects the GOP will need to pick up several seats in 2018 to push that bill over the finish line.

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O’Reilly goes public after Fox ouster: ‘You’re going to be shaken’

Former Fox News megastar Bill O'Reilly (Photo: Twitter)

Former Fox News megastar Bill O’Reilly (Photo: Twitter)

For the first time since his ouster from Fox News, Bill O’Reilly spoke out publicly Monday about the sexual harassment accusations that ended his career as the news network’s megastar host  – vowing that Americans will “be shaken” when they learn the “truth” about the whole affair.

Following a vacation from Fox News from which he never returned to his show, “The O’Reilly Factor,” O’Reilly hosted a podcast and mentioned his dismissal following numerous accusations by women of sexual harassment, charges that hurt the show’s advertising revenue. (Many readers had difficulty accessing O’Reilly’s podcast, as his website appeared to struggle with handling the online traffic.)

O’Reilly spoke only briefly of the scandal Monday, telling his podcast listeners:

I am sad that I’m not on television anymore. I was very surprised how it all turned out. I can’t say a lot, because there’s much stuff going on right now.

But I can tell you that I’m very confident the truth will come out, and when it does, I don’t know if you’re going to be surprised – but I think you’re going to be shaken, as I am. There’s a lot of stuff involved here.

Now, I can’t say anymore because I just don’t want to influence the flow of the information. I don’t want the media to take what I say and misconstrue it. However you, as a loyal O’Reilly listener, have a right to know, I think, down the lane what exactly happened. And we are working in that direction, OK?

O’Reilly was forced out after anchoring the network’s flagship show for two decades amid claims by a dozen women of sexual harassment. The complaints – detailed at the end of this article – range from staring, leering and grunting to inappropriate comments, and, in the case of his ex-wife, choking.

The New York Times reported earlier this month O’Reilly or Fox had paid out some $13 million to settle complaints by five women over the years.

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In a statement last week, O’Reilly called the accusations “completely unfounded.” O’Reilly’s complete statement, released Wednesday:

Over the past 20 years at Fox News, I have been extremely proud to launch and lead one of the most successful news programs in history, which has consistently informed and entertained millions of Americans and significantly contributed to building Fox into the dominant news network in television. It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today. I will always look back on my time at Fox with great pride in the unprecedented success we achieved and with my deepest gratitude to all my dedicated viewers. I wish only the best Fox News Channel.

Lisa Bloom, the lawyer for O’Reilly accuser Perquita Burgess, revealed the ultimate goal of going public with her client’s accusations: “The mission was to bring down Bill O’Reilly.”

As WND reported, sources say O’Reilly doesn’t want to leave television and is considering the possibility of doing a show elsewhere – with networks like Glenn Beck’s BlazeTV, One America News and Sinclair Broadcasting among those mentioned.

When it was announced that he would not be returning, O’Reilly was on vacation in Italy, where he met with Pope Francis.

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O’Reilly had recently re-signed a new contract with Fox that will pay him as much as $25 million for cutting him loose.

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Over the course of his recent years at Fox, the show averaged 4 million viewers each night, making it the highest rated cable news television show ever.

O’Reilly’s departure from Fox also juggled the network’s primetime lineup. Fox News host Eric Bolling was given his own weekly show at 5 p.m., while company executives moved Tucker Carlson’s show to 8 p.m. and “The Five” to 9 p.m.

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Among the known complaints against O’Reilly:

  • In 2002, O’Reilly “stormed into the Fox newsroom and screamed at a young producer,” Rachel Witlieb Bernstein, who, not long after, “left the network with a payout.”
  • In 2004, O’Reilly, was sued for sexual harassment by 33-year-old Andrea Mackris, who formerly worked on “The O’Reilly Factor.” In 2004, the Smoking Gun published the text of the complaint filed by Mackris, who was then an associate producer at Fox News. Mackris also recorded O’Reilly trying to entice her into having phone sex. O’Reilly can be heard offering to rub her down with a “falafel,” and he was widely mocked by a stunned public not only for his sex talk, but for also confusing the food item with a “loofah” sponge. That lawsuit was settled in 2004 for $9 million.
  • The accusations weren’t limited to the workplace. The Daily Beast reported court documents show he “may have engaged in domestic violence” during a custody battle with former wife Maureen McPhilmy that started in 2010. Their daughter, years later as the dispute continued, “told a court-appointed forensic examiner that she witnessed O’Reilly ‘choking her mom,’” reports said.
  • Then comes 2011, when, the Times said, Rebecca Gomez Diamond, brought out conversations with O’Reilly she had recorded at a time when her contract was not being renewed. Diamond left the network with an unknown payout and was bound by a confidentiality agreement, according to the Times.
  • In 2015, it was attorneys for former Fox News anchor Laurie Dhue who claimed harassment, and the case was settled for more than $1 million.
  • At about the same time, the Times said, “Fox reached a $1.6 million settlement with Juliet Huddy, a regular guest on “The O’Reilly Factor.” Huddy’s lawyers alleged that O’Reilly pursued a sexual relationship with her in 2011.
  • Fox host Andrea Tantaros filed suit in 2016 claiming O’Reilly made sexually suggestive comments to her. Her lawsuit stated: “Fox News masquerades as defender of traditional family values, but behind the scenes, it operates like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency, and misogyny.”
  • This year, Los Angeles radio personality Wendy Walsh went public with her claim O’Reilly invited her to go to his hotel suite in 2013. Walsh said she was able to discuss her claim because she was not bound by a confidentiality agreement, as many women reportedly are, the AP reported.
  • In addition, last week Perquita Burgess alleged O’Reilly leered and grunted at her, and then called her “hot chocolate.” She reportedly called the 21st Century Fox hotline to formally report her claims, and also appeared on a television talk show with her lawyer, Lisa Bloom.
  • And former Fox News staffers Margaret Hoover, Alisyn Camerota and Kirsten Powers last week made accusations against O’Reilly as his vaunted place at Fox was collapsing. Reported the Daily Beast: “Former frequent O’Reilly Factor guest and Fox contributor Margaret Hoover described working to never be alone with O’Reilly, given his penchant for inappropriate behavior. Her CNN colleague Alisyn Camerota – a former host of ‘Fox & Friends Weekend’ – explained how sexual harassment at Fox ‘wasn’t the half of it.’ And Kirsten Powers, another ex-Fox Newser now at CNN, recalled complaining about O’Reilly’s lecherous behavior and being told to simply accept Bill as a relic of the old-school workplace.”

 

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Trump to create office to fire bad VA employees

(DAILYCALLER) — President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order Thursday establishing an office at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to discipline or fire incompetent employees or managers.

The executive order, likely to be signed Thursday according to a source with direct knowledge, will create an Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection.

The order “will help the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to discipline or terminate VA managers or employees who fail to carry out their duties in helping our veterans. The Office will also identify barriers to the Secretary’s authority to put the well-being of our veterans first,” according to the text obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

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