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Federal judge brings Trump’s border wall funding to a screeching halt

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It appears as though President Trump may have to find an alternative way to fund at least part of his much-touted souther border wall.

As reported in The Hill, Federal Judge David Briones ruled in favor of Border Network for Human Rights and El Paso, Texas, in effect blocking the president from allocating Pentagon funds toward building the controversial wall. Plaintiffs in the case argued that the president’s attempt to do so was both beyond Trump’s executive authority and that his designation of the border crisis as emergency failed to meet the criteria outlined in the National Emergencies Act.

Judge Briones, a Clinton-era appointee certainly agreed, writing: “After due consideration, the Court is of the opinion that a declaratory judgment and permanent injunction shall be granted in Plaintiffs’ favor.”

Democrats were quick to celebrate, especially Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, claiming the ruling was a win for separation of powers, and the authority of the law: “This injunction is a win for the rule of law and should serve as a warning to Republicans in Congress and the Trump administration that the power of the purse – given exclusively to Congress by the Constitution – cannot be usurped.”

The Trump administration responded by filing a motion for an administrative stay, which the judge quickly shot down for “lacking compelling reasons,” and encouraged the defendants to turn to the Fifth Circuit regarding further legal endeavors.

“Today’s order affirms that the President is not a king and that our courts are willing to check him when he oversteps his bounds,” celebrated Kristy Parker, a lawyer for the plaintiffs in the case.

Although undoubtedly a defeat for the president, the ruling narrowly applies only to the funds Trump sought to allocate from the Pentagon. Even so, this is sure to be only one of many wall-related ruling during the remainder of the 45th president’s time in the White House.

Source: The Hill

Written by Red Blue Divide editorial staff.

Clint Eastwood doubles down as furious journalists want his new film boycotted

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Amid swirling criticism from the media, Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood is standing firmly behind his new film “Richard Jewell.”

As reported in The Wrap, the heated controversy surrounds the movie’s portrayal of the late journalist Kathy Scruggs, whom the film portrays as someone who capitalized on her sexuality for professional gain. On screen, the former Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter allegedly exchange sex with FBI agent Tom Shaw (portrayed by Jon Hamm of “Mad Men”) for tips regarding the FBI’s investigation into Richard Jewell as a potential suspect for the Centennial Olympic Park bombing at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.

Needless to say, many journalists are unhappy with the manner in which Eastwood’s film portrays Scruggs.

Mark Joseph Stern of Slate was particularly incensed, as evidenced by his reaction on Twitter:

Even as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has hired well-known Hollywood lawyer Martin D. Singer in an attempt to get the film’s producers to acknowledge the “artistic license” used to portray Scruggs, Eastwood is not backing down.

According to the Daily Mail, Eastwood responded to the film’s critics: “I think the Atlanta Journal (sic) probably would be the one group that would be sort of complexed about that whole situation because they are the ones who printed the first thing of there being a crime caused by Richard Jewell. And so they’re probably looking for ways to rationalize their activity,” the Hollywood icon continued. “I don’t know for sure. I haven’t ever discussed it with anyone from there.”

Controversy or not, Eastwood’s desire to bring Richard Jewell’s life to the big screen has been five years in the making, and the director is very proud of his recent effort: “… We’re telling our story. And I think I think we did a really good job.’

Sources: The Wrap, Daily Mail

Written by Red Blue Divide editorial staff

Trump campaign’s controversial strategy sends Don Lemon over the edge: “What the hell…”

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CNN host Don Lemon could hardly contain his outrage over the Trump campaign’s latest strategic mixture of politics and pop culture.

Appearing on the @TrumpWarRoom Twitter page, this online arm of the Trump campaign posted a satirical video portraying the president as the “Avengers” super-villain Thanos, whereby he simply causes Nacny Pelosi and company to disappear into thin air:

As reported by The Hill, the indignant CNN host raged: “What are we, in junior high school? “Like what the hell? What is this? Like what — what? I cannot believe that I’m even having to report this on the news.”

Lemon’s rage seemed to stem mostly from what he perceived to be the president’s irreverent treatment of House Democrats and their overall impeachment effort. The CNN personality explained: “History won’t record this meme stupid crap, but history will record this: The seriousness of what is happening, that today is the day that the House of Representatives in the United States of America introduced articles of impeachment against President Donald J. Trump, the president of the United States of America, for committing high crimes and misdemeanors. A big deal and lots to discuss.”

The @TrumpWarRoom Twitter page remained unfazed by Lemon’s outrage, and in fact decided to tweet the host’s outrage with a mocking caption:

Jim Starlin, who created the Thanos character in over 45 years ago, said he felt “violated” by the president’s use of his creation, and that Trump’s “infantile ego” must take pleasure in being compared to a “mass murderer.”

However, Starlin concluded his reaction that “national nightmares,” even ones such as Donald Trump, eventually come to an end.

Source: The Hill

Written by Red Blue Divide editorial staff.

Too Much Info: Joy Behar asks Chris Christie intimate details about his sex life

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After today’s wild episode of “The View,” one cannot help but wonder if former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will ever again agree be a guest host on the daytime talk-show.

As reported in Decider, the show’s “Hot Topics” portion took a bit of a wild turn when the discussion turned sexual. More specifically, Joy Behar wanted to know whether or not Christie had ever been called the wrong name in the bedroom.

The discussion was sparked by co-host Whoopi Goldberg referring to a Reddit user who confessed her boyfriend dumped her after she called him by another man’s name while the two were engaging in sexual activity.

In response, Behar bluntly asked Christie: ““Has that ever happened to you, Governor?”

The former governor proved to be a good sport. Showcasing his good humor and improvisational inclinations, Christie didn’t miss a beat: “Listen, Joy. I’ve been having sex with the same woman for 33 years, and she remembers my name, thankfully.”

Christie seemed to be more at ease with the inquiry than say, co-host Meghan McCain, whose response can only be described as equal parts embarrassed, horrified, and offended.

“Oh my god!” McCain yelled. “Oh. my. god. That’s exactly what Mary Pat wants to just be known for,” McCain said sarcastically. “She’s a wonderful woman! First Lady of New Jersey!”

But Behar was just warming up. “So, she never yells out, “Governor Christie! Governor Christie!”? the comedienne persisted.

Christie continued to indulge Behar’s boldness. “Never, Joy, the formal title,” he responded.

“Alright, alright,” McCain interjected into the conversation, obviously trying to put an end to the sexual line of questioning.

This certainly wasn’t the first time Behar’s sexual banter shocked both her co-hosts and audience. As documented by Red Blue Divide, the controversial talk host recently made an oral sex joke in reference to Linda Tripp and Bill Clinton, which illicit similar surprise from those in the studio.

Source: Decider

Written by Red Blue Divide editorial staff

Michelle Obama discusses her great friendship with W. Bush: “Our values are the same”

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Former First Lady Michelle Obama is championing a message of political unity as she focuses her efforts on furthering the education of adolescent women across the globe via the Obama Foundation’s Girls Opportunity Alliance.

Amid her global educational mission, Obama discussed her bipartisan friendship with former President George W. Bush with none other than his daughter, Jenna Bush Hager. Speaking to the Today show host, Obama told Hager that, despite their obvious political differences, she probably has more common values than differences with the former president.

‘Our values are the same,” Obama noted. “We disagree on policy, but we don’t disagree on humanity. We don’t disagree about love and compassion. I think that’s true for all of us. It’s just that we get lost in our fear of what’s different.”

Given their status as both “former” occupants of the White House, Obama and W. Bush often find themselves at the same gatherings, such as the late Senator John McCain’s funeral. Obama even described the former two-term Republican president as “my partner in crime… we’re together all the time” at formal functions.

“I had the opportunity to sit by your father at funerals,” Obama told Bush Hager, where they bonded over “the highs and the lows,” their mutual conversations often involving anecdotes about their respective parents and children. They’ve also shared more light-hearted moments, such as the tradition whereby W. Bush provides the former first lady with a mint–a gesture first offered at McCain’s funeral and later at George H.W. Bush’s.

According to Obama, this unexpected friendship should serve as a model to anyone with strongly-held political beliefs, especially the younger generation that often seeks to silence one another’s beliefs rather than engage in dialogue.

“This generation coming up, I think they know more than what we did,” Obama observed. “While one can argue that social media is problematic, it’s also opening people up to new ideas, to each other, to parts of the world,” she continued. However, with this new access to information, the former first lady encouraged young people to “be more open-minded and secure in who they are so that they can welcome other people’s stories into the mix.”

“But,” she reasoned, “it has to begin with us.”

Sources: Today, Daily Mail

Written by Red Blue Divide editorial staff.

“A brat” – Environmental activist Greta Thunberg insulted by president of Brazil

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She may be Time Magazine’s youngest-ever “Person of the Year,” but this is unlikely to impress Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who referred to the 16-year-old climate activist as “a brat” the day before she received the prestigious designation.

Bolsonaro’s insult came in response to Thunberg’s claim that “indigenous people are literally being murdered” for trying to prevent deforestation in Brazil. The teen took to her Twitter account to try and raise awareness for her cause:

As reported in the New York Post, In response to Thunberg’s online post, President Bolsonaro told journalists “Greta said that the Indians died because they were defending the Amazon. “It’s impressive that the press is giving space to a brat like that.”

In a move that signaled she was apparently unfazed by the Brazilian president’s dismissal, Thunberg changed her Twitter profile to describe herself as a “pirralha,” which is Portuguese for “brat.” However, this change was short-lived on the activists account, as it was soon no longer visible.

In being named Time’s “Personal of the Year,” Thunberg beat out some heavy competition. President Trump (Time’s 2016 “Person”), American soccer star Meghan Rapinoe, the anonymous “whistleblower,” and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were all reported as among the finalists, according to Fox News.

In their profile of the activist, Time describes Thunberg’s humble beginnings before attaining worldwide notoriety: Thunberg began a global movement by skipping school: starting in August 2018, she spent her days camped out in front of the Swedish Parliament, holding a sign painted in black letters on a white background that read Skolstrejk för klimatet: “School Strike for Climate.”

Thunberg would eventually become a household name this past Summer, famous sailing across to Atlantic to champion her cause and excoriate world leaders for their inaction on climate/environmental related issues: “How dare you! You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words, and yet, I am one of the lucky ones,” she famously proclaimed.

Sources: Fox News, New York Post, Time

Written by Red Blue Divide editorial staff.

Lisa Page sues DOJ for ruined reputation, claims Trump left her needing therapy

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When Lisa Page first began her infamous affair with former FBI agent Peter Strzok, one can probably assume she never thought the extra-martial endeavor would eventually turn into something of a Republican Party talking-point. Nor would she have likely predicted that her text messages to Strzok would one day (allegedly) be read by reporters within the walls of the Department of Justice. And one can virtually guarantee that Page never initially contemplated that her private moments with Strzok would be referenced by the president of the United States at political rallies, on his Twitter account, and during numerous television interviews.

Here is just one such example:

Now that more than two years have passed since the Page-Strzok affair has become part of America’s political lexicon, the former FBI lawyer is suing the Department of Justice for damages incurred to her reputation and her “earning capacity,” according to a report in Fox News. She also is seeking compensation for child-care costs, data protection service, and noted that she had to undergo therapy “to cope with unwanted national media exposure and harassment” courtesy of President Trump.

The argument being made by Page and her team of lawyers is that the DOJ violated the Privacy Act. This was done, according to her attorneys, on December 12th, 2017 when a spokeswoman for then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions supposedly revealed the texts messages to reporters at the DOJ headquarters. (The DOJ had access to the text messages as part of an oversight investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email controversy). The filed complaint claims this was a “willful and intentional” act, done to “ensure” the affair and political leanings of Page and Strzok would become public.

Soon thereafter, national media outlets reported on the communication between Page and Stzrok, and news of their affair was filling headlines across the country.

As highlighted in the Daily Mail, the lawsuit suggests this leaking of information was strategic, as news of former national security advisor Michael Flynn’s guilty plea was then front and center in the media. President Trump and his allies then used news of the affair and bureaucratic bias as a means of attacking the legitimacy of the Mueller probe.

Regardless of the pending lawsuit’s outcome, the normally silent Page is no longer hiding her views from the public. She recently took to Twitter to celebrate the findings of Inspector General Michael Horowitz’ investigative conclusion:

Sources: Fox News, Daily Mail

We can certainly expect to hear more from Lisa Page in the future. In her very first post to Twitter earlier this month, with a link to her interview in The Daily Beast, page wrote: “I am done being quiet.”

Written by Red Blue Divide editorial staff.

Democrats are losing voters’ support over impeaching Trump – New poll

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As the impeachment drama rages on in Washington D.C. and reverberates throughout the country, President Trump can claim victory in that a majority of American voters do not want him impeached and removed from office, according to Quinnipiac University polling data.

The new survey revealed that a slim majority of registered voters (51%) oppose the Democratic Party’s effort to successfully impeach the president. While 45% do support the efforts of Speaker Pelosi and her colleagues, this is the first time Trump can claim majority support on impeachment since the inquiry was officially set in motion in late September, as noted in the New York Post.

Unsurprisingly, support and/or opposition regarding impeachment is largely a party-line matter: 95% of the GOP oppose the effort and 83% of Democrats support the effort. However, as reported in the Washington Times, the best news for Trump and his supporters probably lies with the fact that they also have majority support among independents (52%).

Amid news that the House Democrats have officially launched two articles of impeachment against the president, the latest data proves to be unfortunate timing for a political party whose number one priority seems to be removing Trump from office. In addition, Quinnipiac’s survey was conducted between Dec. 4th and 9th, during which time House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler was conducting his high profile hearings.

Despite all of the recent polling data, public hearings, heated political rhetoric, hour-to-hour news coverage, and seemingly endless partisan outrage, the fact remains: Barring something unforeseen, Democrats face an uphill battle when it comes to an impeachment vote in the United States Senate. Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham has promised to conduct a quick, no-nonsense trial that minimizes any further harm to the country.

In order to ensure a speedy process, Senator Graham does not even wish to bother with subpoenaing Adam Schiff. To do so, according to Graham, would be to “participate” in something that will “destroy the country.”

Sources: Quinnipiac, New York Post, Washington Times

Written by Red Blue Divide editorial staff

Clint Eastwood’s latest film could be boycotted over controversial portrayal of journalist

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In the twilight of his career, legendary Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood may have made his most controversial film to-date with “Richard Jewell.”

Highlighting the the events surrounding the Centennial Olympic Park bombing at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia and the personal struggles and eventual vindication of the film’s namesake, Eastwood’s latest effort has incurred the wrath of the media — and one very powerful Hollywood lawyer.

Originally criticized by The Daily Beast as a “MAGA screed” that unnecessarily vilifies the government and media, critics of of “Richard Jewell” are now focusing their attention on the film’s controversial depiction of the late reporter Kathy Scruggs.

As reported in The Wrap, Eastwood’s new flick reportedly portrays the former Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter (played by Olivia Wilde) as essentially trading sex for inside information from FBI agent Tom Shaw (portrayed by “Mad Men” actor Jon Hamm) about the agency’s ill-fated investigation into Jewell as a suspect.

Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern typified the rage of some journalists with the following post to Twitter:

Amid the film’s controversy, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has turned to top Hollywood attorney Martin D. Singer, who has sent a threatening letter to journalist Marie Brenner (whose prior work for Vanity Fair served as source material for Eastwood’s film) and screenwriter Billy Ray. In it, Singer says the film “falsely portrays the AJC and its personnel as extraordinarily reckless…” The high-powered attorney then demands the filmmakers release a public statement describing the “artistic license” exercised in the move, before warning: “You … disregard this letter’s demands at your peril.”

Warner Bros., the production company behind Eastwood’s effort, is standing by its director and his work, as reported by Variety. In part, Warner Bros. said in a statement: “The film is based on a wide range of highly credible source material. There is no disputing that Richard Jewell was an innocent man whose reputation and life were shredded by a miscarriage of justice. It is unfortunate and the ultimate irony that the Atlanta Journal Constitution, having been a part of the rush to judgment of Richard Jewell, is now trying to malign our filmmakers and cast.”

If nothing else, the controversy surrounding “Richard Jewell” has a lot of people talking. How this will impact box office figures remains to be seen.

Sources: The Daily Beast, The Wrap, The Daily Beast, Variety

Written by Red Blue Divide editorial staff.

James Comey takes a victory lap following release of IG report, slams Barr as “Trump spokesman”

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Former FBI director James Comey appears to be resting easy after the release of Inspector General Michael Horowitz’ probe into the beginnings of the controversial Russia probe.

As reported by The Daily Mail, Comey’s celebratory reaction was posted to The Washington Posts’ webpage less than two and a half hours after the DOJ released the report, causing the British publication to point out: “It’s unclear whether he wrote it beforehand or afterward.”

Taking to Twitter, Comey posted a link to his piece in the Washington Post, proudly proclaiming: “So it was all lies. No treason. No spying on the campaign. No tapping Trumps wires. It was just good people trying to protect America.”

The fired former FBI chief and president Trump’s opponents rallied around the report’s conclusion that political bias did not underpin the origins of the 2016 investigation that surveilled then-candidate Trump’s campaign alleged ties to Russia. However, commentator Piers Morgan has cautioned Comey: “unless you’re absolutely 100% certain you’ve won something, it’s best not to hold a victory lap.”

After all, the report’s findings were not without harsh criticisms of the FBI’s tactics, particularly concerning the agency’s FISA warrant applications in connection to Carter Paige, a former Trump adviser. It is for this reason that Comey should be “shame-faced and apologetic” rather than celebratory and self-assured, according to Morgan.

Referencing Horowitz’ findings Morgan, writes: “His report cited a staggering 17 ‘significant inaccuracies and omissions’ in the four applications, which were made due to the FBI’s flawed belief that Page had been ‘collaborating and conspiring’ with the Russian government.”

In response to this, Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham boldly advised Page to “sue the hell out of the United States.

“Human beings make mistakes,” Comey wrote in reference to Horowitz’ findings of “inaccuracies and omissions.” The former FBI director also dedicated part of his op-ed to chastising what he perceives as the attorney general’s lack of professionalism, accusing William Barr of acting more like a “spokesman” for Trump rather than the leader of head of the DOJ.

Sources The Daily Mail, NBC News, The Daily Mail

Written by Red Blue Divide editorial staff.

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