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President Donald Trump fired back at critics of his administration’s response to an outbreak of coronavirus Sunday, insisting that the White House has a “perfectly coordinated” and “finely tuned” planed to handle the virus, which has killed around 3,000 people worldwide, but only 19 in the United States.

“We have a perfectly coordinated and fine tuned plan at the White House for our attack on CoronaVirus,” Trump tweeted early Sunday morning. “We moved VERY early to close borders to certain areas, which was a Godsend. V.P. is doing a great job. The Fake News Media is doing everything possible to make us look bad. Sad!”

Concerns about the virus have ramped up in recent days, amid an ongoing outbreak in Washington state — the result of mismanaged spread in a nursing home that affected the population most vulnerable to coronavirus, the elderly — and news that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still does not have enough tests to begin widespread coronavirus screening.

Incidents of the virus also spiked in new states over the weekend; New York governor Andrew Cuomo was forced to declare a “state of emergency” there after 89 people tested positive for the virus, including a dozen people in Manhattan. The New York outbreak appears to be the result of a single individual who defied orders to self-quarantine after coming into contact with the virus at a tony ski resort in northern Italy, where the virus is running rampant.

But, Trump says, the White House’s coronavirus team, lead by Vice President Mike Pence, is abreast of the situation.

“The president visited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta on Friday and encouraged people not to panic as cases around the world continue to climb and the virus’ effects on the economy and travel is roiling global markets,” the New York Post reported Sunday.

“It will end. People have to remain calm,” Trump said during a press conference following the visit.

On Saturday, the mainstream media turned its fire on the Trump Administration, though, accusing the White House of “fueling the coronavirus outbreak” (Politico) through mismanagement and an “an atmosphere where the judgment of his staff is that he shouldn’t need to know” about direct measures to addresss the crisis. Those stories, though, largely quote anonymous staffers — “current and former” Trump Administration aides — and do credit Trump for taking early, decisive action, shutting down travel to coronavirus-affected areas in China.

Most media outlets point to comments Trump made Friday, suggesting that passengers on a cruise ship “marooned off the coast of California,” some of whom have tested positive for the virus, should remain at sea.

“Do I want to bring all those people off? People would like me to do it,” Trump said. “I would rather have them stay on, personally.”

The statement was regarded as “cruel,” but Trump appeared to be alluding less to keeping official American coronavirus numbers down and more to preventing the spread of the disease. Passengers from another infected ship, the Diamond Princess, were successfully quarantined, but some of those who served and worked with passengers and crew who disembarked the ship in California eventually became infected, spreading the disease across northern California.

Ultimately, Pence and his team made the decision to have the ship land at a “non-commercial” dock in California where passengers could be treated and quarantined.

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Daily Wire: President Trump Fires Back At Media: Coronavirus Response Has Been ‘Perfectly Coordinated’

President Donald Trump granted clemency to eleven people Tuesday in what mainstream media outlets are calling a “clemency spree,” but many are ignoring the several women — including women of color — who were granted relief from long prison sentences, in pursuit of headlines tying Trump to “corruption” and “white collar crime.”

Trump did, of course, grant commutations and pardons to several high-profile individuals, including former governor Rob Blagojevich, former New York police commissioner Bernard Kerick, financier Mike Milken, and pro-football Hall of Famer Edward DeBartolo, Jr.

But while media focused on creating a common thread tying these commutations and pardons together in an effort to, it seems, connect them back to Trump campaign operative Roger Stone’s ongoing trial, the media missed several other pardons and commutations granted to women who took minor roles in criminal enterprises yet received major Federal prison sentences.

Angela Stanton received a pardon, at the behest of Alaveda King (neice of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.), after serving “a 6-month home confinement sentence for her role in a stolen vehicle ring.” After doing her time, Stanton went on to become an advocate for former inmates, pioneering “re-entry” programs for those returning to the workforce from a stint in prison,” focusing on the critical role of families in the process,” according to the White House’s official statement on the matter.

Trump, it seems, built on his earlier criminal justice reform initiatives in deciding to commute the sentences of several other women, including Crystal Munoz, who served her time with Alice Marie Johnson — the woman found herself free after forging a friendship with Kim Kardashian West who, subsequently, took her case to the White House. Johnson came to consider Munoz “one of her prison daughters,” she told The Associated Press, and urged the President to grant her the same mercy he’d granted Johnson.

“We did a lot of crying and a lot of praying together for things to change for us,” Johnson said.

Munoz gave birth in Federal custody, while awaiting trial on charges of “conspiring to distribute [marijuana].” She was sentenced to 20 years in prison despite contending that “her only role was drawing a map others allegedly used in moving the drugs from Mexico to Texas.” The AP reports that Munoz received ineffective counsel at her trial and suffered dire consequences.

Tynice Nichole Hall also received a commutation Tuesday, releasing her from an “18-year sentence for allowing her apartment to be used to distribute drugs,” after serving more than 14 years, according to the White House. “While in prison, Ms. Hall has completed a number of job-training programs and apprenticeships, as well as coursework towards a college degree. In addition, Ms. Hall has taught prison educational programs to other inmates.”

And then there’s Judith Negron who, the AP reports, “had been serving 35 years at a Florida prison for health care fraud, conspiracy and money laundering when she was released Tuesday.” Negron’s own prison warden wrote a letter to the president in support of granting Negron clemency.

The White House pushed these names into the spotlight Tuesday night, but few media outlets seemed to pick up on them, and when they did, they scoffed at their inclusion. The Associated Press, who did report on Munoz and Negron, even accused the Trump White House of trying to distract from more high-profile pardons and clemencies.

“But Trump also commuted the sentences of several women with more sympathetic cases to balance out the men convicted of corruption,” they said.

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Daily Wire: IGNORED: Trump Grants Commutations To Several Women In Need In ‘Clemency Spree,’ Media Focuses On ‘Corruption’

Former Vice President Joe Biden may be pushing on to South Carolina and Nevada, but the big money donors bankrolling his presidential campaign are reportedly considering closing their checkbooks, according to the New York Post.

“Joe Biden’s disastrous results in Iowa and New Hampshire have spooked Democratic donors who are preparing to jump ship and throw their money behind someone else — even as his campaign vowed Wednesday that the best is yet to come,” the outlet reported Thursday. “New York heavyweight donors raising money for Biden are alarmed by the former vice president’s fifth-place finish in the New Hampshire primary and are privately wondering whether he can make it to Super Tuesday on March 3.”

Biden was never expected to win either Iowa or New Hampshire; Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) did well in both states in 2016 and was expected to duke it out with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), not Biden, for those delegates. But Biden was not supposed to finish fourth in either contest, putting him at a severe disadvantage going into Nevada, South Carolina, and the Super Tuesday states (where a full third of all Democratic National Convention delegates are up for grabs).

At this point, Biden is hanging on to a narrow, one-point lead in Nevada, and beating Sanders handily in South Carolina, but he’s losing to the Vermont socialist in nearly half of the Super Tuesday contests, leaving him struggling to justify why he remains in the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination — even to those donors who were once solidly behind the former Delaware Senator.

“There’s a great deal of concern,” a Biden bundler in New York told the Post. “It wasn’t expected that he would perform great in Iowa or New Hampshire. But we did not anticipate that he would fare this poorly. It was a significant decline.”

A major donor told CNBC on Wednesday that Biden still has time to prove himself, but it’s running out,“[e]ven if we stay active for the next two races after another big loss, I suspect the remaining air will leak out of the balloon before Super Tuesday.”

Biden tried to curb the disappointment in a speech on Wednesday in New Hampshire, but Politico reports that even his staff is getting scared that the campaign is now too far down the road toward failure.

“This is horrendous. We’re all scared,” a Biden adviser told the Washington, D.C. based outlet, per the NY Post. “I think we’re going to make it to South Carolina. I know we’re supposed to say we’re going to and we’re going to win. But I just don’t know.”

In addition to his losing record, Biden now faces the looming threat of former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg who has become a significant factor in the race for the Democratic nomination, thanks to his $300 million-plus ad buy. In a shock poll released last week, Bloomberg was even with Biden nationally, and that’s attracting the attention of Democratic donors: “Even before this setback, Biden has struggled to raise money this election cycle. It’s hard to see how he raises the money to propel him forward. I know a lot of people who are with Bloomberg.”

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Daily Wire: Report: Major Donors Are About To Bail On Biden

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) appears to be scaling back further on her advertising after placing a disappointing fourth in the New Hampshire primary Tuesday night, calling the future of her campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination into question.

Warren needed a win in the Granite State to maintain any kind of momentum in her floundering presidential campaign and, by all accounts, failed miserably, netting an abysmal 9%, nearly 20 points off winner Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and ten points off upstart Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) who has recently overtaken Warren as the Democratic Party’s best hope for a female nominee.

With only Nevada and South Carolina to look forward to before Super Tuesday, Warren appears to be staring at the end of her effort to secure the White House, and her campaign is making desperate moves to raise her profile in the west before things get really dire.

According to Medium Buying, Warren is pulling ads from South Carolina and focusing that money on Nevada, in the hopes that she can stay alive through one more caucus.

The campaign will, instead, focus on radio and print ads in South Carolina, reaching a much smaller audience, but at a lower cost to the candidate, who is now outspending her fundraising, according to Bloomberg News. The Warren campaign is also looking to purchase ads in Maine, a Super Tuesday state, in the hopes that she can come out of the contest with at least some delegates, keeping her in the competition for just a little bit longer.

The outlook isn’t great: in South Carolina, Warren is polling in a distant fourth at 11%, per FiveThirtyEight, and in Nevada, she’s in third with 11%. Both of those polls, though, were taken before New Hampshire’s results and, more importantly, before Amy Klobuchar’s blockbuster debate performance last Friday. Klobuchar barely registers in either polls.

“After New Hampshire tonight, 98% of pledged delegates will still be up for grabs,” Warren’s campaign manager wrote in a sorrowful email to supporters Tuesday night, trying to look on the bright side of the New Hampshire loss. “And as the race consolidates after Super Tuesday, we expect the results to show that Elizabeth Warren is the consensus choice of the widest coalition of Democrats in every corner of the country.”

The campaign, HuffPost says, “asserts that its internal data shows Warren hitting or exceeding the 15% vote threshold necessary to receive delegates in more than two-thirds of the districts that will cast ballots on Super Tuesday, compared to 98% for Sanders and 96% for Biden.”

At best, though, that makes Warren a potential player in a brokered convention, not a “consensus” candidate. Her path to victory, even per her campaign manager, is convoluted.

“If the early states deliver mixed results for the field, and no seismic event shakes up the top three, the remaining viable candidates for the Democratic nomination as of Super Tuesday will be Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren,” he wrote. “In that three-way race, Elizabeth Warren is the candidate with the highest potential ceiling of support and the one best positioned to unite the party and lead the Democratic ticket to defeat Donald Trump.”

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Daily Wire: Elizabeth Warren Scales Back Advertising AGAIN As Campaign Flounders In New Hampshire

Cook County States Attorney Kim Foxx responded to news that an special prosecutor issued new charges against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, who allegeldy faked a hate crime back in January of 2019, by blaming “politics” and the “era of Donald Trump” for her office’s woes.

Special Prosecutor Dan Webb issued the indictment against Smollett late Tuesday, charging the actor with six “low-level felonies” according to the Chicago Sun-Times, after investigators, rehashing the evidence against Smollett, determined that he likely faked being the victim of a racist, homophobic attack early in the morning of January 19, outside of his apartment in Chicago’s tony Streeterville neighborhood.

Webb’s harshest words, though, weren’t for Smollett, but for Foxx’s office, which he feels gave Smollett special treatment despite the wealth of evidence linking Smollett to a series of crimes. The Cook County State’s Attorney allowed Smollett to walk free without standing trial, inking an unofficial “plea deal” with the actor that absolved him of the charges in return for sixteen hours of community service and $10,000, which Smollett had already submitted to the city as part of his bond.

The States Attorney’s office claimed the “deal” did not exonerate Smollett, but the actor treated it as evidence of his innocence.

But instead of taking responsibility for the mishap, Foxx lashed out at the prosecutor, accusing him of “James Comey-like” tactics, and suggesting that the new indictiment was the responsibility of her political rivals.

“The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office charged Jussie Smollett with multiple counts, and today the Special Prosecutor did the same,” Foxx’s spokewsoman claimed in a statement.

“What’s questionable here is the James Comey-like timing of that charging decision, just 35 days before an election, which can only be interpreted as the further politicization of the justice system, something voters in the era of Donald Trump should consider offensive,” Foxx said, referencing Comey’s eleventh hour decision to resuscitate an investigation into Hillary Clinton and her mishandling of classified information.

Foxx has made her opposition to Trump a hallmark of her re-election campaign, airing commercials touting her success in “standing up” to the administration on the issue of immigration. But, Webb pointed out in his report, her troubles go far beyond a difficult campaign to keep her office.

“In his letter, Webb said his investigators said the state’s attorney’s office was unable to show ‘documentary evidence’ that Smollett’s case was handled like similar low-level felony cases involving non-celebrity defendants, despite public statements from the office that the case was typical,” according to the Sun-Times. “Webb found that the case against Smollett was strong, and that the state’s attorney’s office provided no documentation that the evidence against Smollett had somehow eroded between his arrest and when the charges were dropped.”

And it’s possible Webb isn’t done with Foxx. According to the special prosecutor’s report, his team hasn’t finished investigating what, exactly, happened with Smollett’s case, and they have reached “no conclusions” on whether there was further wrongdoing on the part of Foxx’s office.

Last year, in a series of FOIA results obtained by various Chicago news outlets, Foxx herself was shown dicussing the Smollett’s case over text with a former aide to President Barack Obama, who was communicating with and on behalf of members of Smollett’s family, and that communication could come into play when the special prosecutor’s full report is released.

Smollett, meanwhile, will have to appear in court in Chicago on February 24th. He’s also due to make an appearance, soon, in a separate case related to his alleged hoax hate crime: the city of Chicago is suing Smollett to recover around $130,000 the Chicago Police Department paid out in overtime investigating Smollett’s case.

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Daily Wire: Chicago Prosecutor Responds To New Jussie Smollett Charges, Blames Donald Trump

The head of Puerto Rico’s emergency management agency is out of a job Sunday after residents of Ponce, one of cities hardest hit by the earthquakes that ravaged the island late last month, discovered a locked warehouse stuffed to the brim with emergency supplies delivered to help those affected by Hurricane Maria more than two years ago.

One resident of Ponce posted a video of the discovery to Facebook, showing a massive warehouse full of pallets upon pallets of bottled water, non-perishable food, diapers, baby formula, and emergency supplies, according to CNN. The video is now private, after the man who recorded it was threatened with repercussions from law enforcement, but the news network says the warehouse contained much-needed supplies that are still useful (and valuable) particularly now that Ponce is suffering from a second natural disaster.

The supplies were apparently delivered as part of a Hurricane Maria relief effort, back in June of 2018, and never distributed, though the (now former) head of Puerto Rico’s emergency management office says he was never instructed to give out the supplies, and then insisted, to media, that residents had full access to all items.

The governor of Puerto Rico, apparently, did not believe him.

“Carlos Acevedo, director of Puerto Rico’s Office of Emergency Management, was dismissed Saturday,” CNN says. “The governor appointed Maj. Gen. José J. Reyes, the adjutant general of the Puerto Rico National Guard, to replace him.”

“There are thousands of people who made sacrifices to bring aid to the south and it’s unforgivable that resources have been kept in a warehouse,” the governor added in a statement acknowledging Acevedo’s forced departure.

The Trump White House was criticized back in 2018 for its slow and ineffective response to Hurricane Maria, despite administration claims that thousands of workers and tens of thousands of pounds of supplies were airlifted to Puerto Rico as soon as it was safe.

The supplies never reached those in need and Puerto Ricans suffered for weeks, if not months. Recovery efforts only began in certain parts of the island in September of 2019, according to the Miami Herald — more than a year after Hurricane Maria (and just months before the island would again suffer a devastating natural disaster).

The problem seems to be poor management, at least in part. “After Hurricanes Irma and Maria pounded Puerto Rico, the federal government allocated more than $43 billion dollars for the recover,” the Miami Herald adds. “Of that money, only $21 billion has been “obligated” or earmarked for specific tasks, and only $14 billion has been disbursed — or less than 33 percent.”

Recovery efforts were further hampered by corruption. The FBI is now investigating whether a pay-to-play scheme existed across the island in the wake of Hurricane Maria, with local governors who paid bribes to government officials receiving the earliest and best aid (and, in some cases, allegedly keeping supplies for themselves). Officials even tried to bribe Federal Emergency Management Agency workers for plum contracts to repair the failing electrical grid and water systems (in some cases, it seems, they may have been successful).

To control corruption, the U.S. government placed severe restrictions on how aid money could be spent, further slowing down recovery efforts. And then there’s instances like the one that took place Saturday — sometimes, the aid just didn’t get anywhere.

The supplies in Ponce are being distributed to those in need, the government says.

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Daily Wire: Warehouse Filled With Hurricane Maria Supplies Discovered Years Later In Puerto Rico

Newsweek has fired the reporter who wrote a blindingly inaccurate story about President Donald Trump’s Thanksgiving plans, according to the Washington Examiner, but the outlet is refusing to admit it committed its own mistakes in greenlighting and posting the faulty piece.

On Thanksgiving, Newsweek reporter Jessica Kwong, who covers the Trump family for the magazine, wrote a story then-titled, “How is Trump spending Thanksgiving? Tweeting, golfing and more.” The “more” included a secret visit overseas to serve a Thanksgiving dinner to Americans serving in Afghanistan, but Kwong’s original piece didn’t include the trip, even though, by the time the story hit both the internet and social media, photos and narrative from Trump’s mission abroad were readily available, at least

“Hours after the president’s trip was announced, Newsweek edited Kwong’s story and added a note at the bottom of it. The beginning of the story now focuses on the president’s trip and his speech to the troops, while the new headline reads, ‘How is Trump spending Thanksgiving? Tweeting, golfing — and surprising U.S. troops in Afghanistan,’” the Examiner reports.

The note at the end of the story reads, ‘This story has been substantially updated and edited at 6:17 p.m. EST to reflect the president’s surprise trip to Afghanistan. Additional reporting by James Crowley.” There is no mention of Kwong’s very serious mistake.

Kwong also corrected her story on social media, Tweeting, “Trump headed to Afghanistan to surprise U.S. troops on Thanksgiving… Deleting this tweet because it was written before knowing about the president’s surprise visit to Afghanistan-an honest mistake. Story has already been updated, as shown in the screenshot.”

The President was quick to pounce on the “fake news” story, tweeting that he believed Newsweek had gone out of business.

Newsweek told the Examiner that they terminated Kwong: “The story has been corrected, and the journalist responsible has been terminated…We will continue to review our processes and, if required, take further action.”

“The next day, [writer Jessica] Kwong reached out to the editor on duty and relayed the president’s latest actions, after which the story was published,” the Examiner reported. “When the president’s trip to Afghanistan was announced, that editor then decided to assign another reporter to write a new story about it but neglected to update Kwong’s original piece in a timely manner.”

Kwong said on Twitter that she’d been assigned the story on Wednesday and filed it early Thursday. She says she had no control over when it posted, and appeared to blame her editors at Newsweek for both accepting the story and making it public without checking on its validity.

Donald Trump, Jr., the President’s son, was unconvinced that it was merely a comedy of errors on Newsweek’s part, even if both Kwong and the paper say the whole ordeal was an “honest mistake.”

‘It wasn’t an ‘honest mistake’ you tried to dunk on Trump and ended up dunking on yourself because you couldn’t resist. Notice how there’s never been a story that broke in Trump’s favor & had to be corrected the other way? These aren’t mistakes, they are a very consistent pattern,” he tweeted.

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Daily Wire: Newsweek Fired Reporter Who Wrote Inaccurate Story About President Trump’s Thanksgiving Plans

Top Republicans — and even some Democrats and members of the media — now believe Democrats may pull back on officially impeaching the president, particularly as polls haven’t borne out a clear advantage for Democratic candidates.

After two weeks of impeachment hearings, which yielded little in the way of evidence that the president most definitely offered Ukraine a “quid pro quo” agreement trading an increase in foreign aid for an investigation into “corruption” involving former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is left with a choice: call off the impeachment and look weak or keep going and risk failure at the ballot box.

Multiple polls taken last week reveal that the impeachment hearings are having their most marked effect on independents, who are supporting the impeachment in ever-declining numbers, leaving moderate Democrats at risk of losing their seats and Democratic presidential contenders at a loss going into 2020.

The Hill reports Sunday that “public opposition to impeachment has some Republicans … voicing skepticism that Speaker Nancy Pelosi will go through with a vote on impeachment.”

Even President Donald Trump expressed skepticism, telling Fox News late last week that he doesn’t expect to face any true impeachment trial.

“I think it’s very hard for them to impeach you when they have absolutely nothing,” he said.

Pelosi hasn’t guaranteed a vote, but not taking one will put her in hot water with progressives and activist voters, who have been waiting since January 20 of 2017 to impeach Trump. She also runs the risk of handing Trump a major victory in his battles against a “witch hunt” right before he hits the campaign trail.

But polls show voters aren’t enthusiastic about impeachment, and a subsequent multi-state media push from Republicans ripping vulnerable Democrats for supporting Pelosi’s crusade has those same moderate Democrats reportedly begging the Speaker to halt the process.

Worse still, the media is now fretting that the impeachment hearings weren’t the slam dunk Democrats are saying they were and it will cost them support.

The New York Times reports that the hearings lacked the damning evidence Democrats like Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) promised, partly because the White House pushed back on Schiff’s claims and released primary sources to refuse Schiff’s version of events, and partly because, the Times says, the hearings featured no witnesses with first-hand accounts of the president’s malfeasance.

Lawmakers haven’t interviewed Rudy Giuliani, the president’s lawyer, even though he emerged as a key figure in inking any supposed deal with Ukrainian legislators. They haven’t interviewed Vice President Mike Pence or former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, both of whom were mentioned in testimony. They haven’t interviewed former White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney or even former senior White House official John Bolton.

They also haven’t interviewed the whistleblower.

“Democrats have opted for expeditious over comprehensive,” the Times says, sadly, “electing to complete their investigation even without filling in major gaps in the story.”

The Dems’ strategy in clipping testimony is, of course, carefully crafted to prevent the White House from mounting any kind of defense and to keep Republicans from cross-examining important witnesses.

If impeachment goes forward, the White House will be able to put on any witnesses they choose in a Senate trial, and that defense will be well-timed for the president, who will be on the campaign trail just as the trial is kicking off.

For now, Dems are staying the course, the Hill says.

“The hearings were nearly flawless and extremely damning for the president,” one Democrat aide told the Hill. “While no decision has been made to proceed with impeachment, the key facts are uncontested and not proceeding at this stage will be called a ‘total exoneration’ by the president.”

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Daily Wire: Will She Do It? Insiders Predict Pelosi May Not Go Through With Impeachment After Hearings

Around 100 students walked out of West Linn High School in Oregon last week in protest of the school’s decision to allow a Chick-fil-A food truck to sell chicken sandwiches during one of the school’s football games, among other microaggressions they said were making LGBT students feel “unsafe.”

“West Linn High School’s Gay-Straight Alliance organized the walkout and says the current culture at the school is not safe for LGBTQ+ students. They posted to Instagram saying students are being harassed in sports games and in classrooms,” local news station KATU reported.

The Chick-fil-A food truck was, apparently, the most egregious example of harassment, but a transgender student’s car was also vandalized with the word, “queer.”

“We walked out to show our student pride,” Billie Henderson, the student whose car was targeted, told the local public ration station. “To show that despite everything we’ve been through, we are still proud of who we are, and we won’t back down and we won’t make exceptions for anyone.”

“A group of counterprotesters also walked out of classes wearing “Make America Great Again” hats and waving American flags and Chick-fil-A bags,” the Washington Times reported.

The school’s public information officer, Andrew Kilstrom, could not confirm any specific incidents of harassment but said that there have been issues in the past, and the school continues to work to promote a culture of inclusion.

“The West Linn-Wilsonville School District takes all matters of school safety seriously, and diligently investigates and addresses all potential safety concerns,” he added. “That includes bullying or cyberbullying.”

West Linn High School noted that they did not approve of the walkout, though they do encourage students to speak their minds.

It’s not clear what prompted the Oregon school to invite Chick-fil-A to sell food on campus during sporting events, but the chicken sandwich chain has drawn protests from LGBTQ rights activsts across the country since 2012, when LGBTQ rights groups discovered that Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy is opposed to same-sex marriage and has donated to socially conservative organizations. Activists have staged protests against Chick-fil-A in a number of states, often to no avail. New store openings are typically marked by long lines and extended waits for the famous sandwich.

In some rare cases, activists have been able to prevent new Chick-fil-A locations from opening, typically in airports.

West Linn High School football boosters typically invite a number of vendors to sell food at football games over the course of the season, and the sports program receives a cut of the proceeds, the Washington Times reports. “The school said the Chick-fil-A food truck will remain at the football games throughout the season, but it will reconsider its vetting process moving forward.”

District staff, additionally, are working with the affected students to address their concerns.

The students do appear to have gotten at least temporary results with their walkout. The same local news organization, KATU, reported earlier this week that the Chick-fil-A food truck and and the company’s food cart were conspicuously absent from last friday’s sporting event.

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Daily Wire: Chick-Fil-A Food Truck Triggers Oregon Students, Sparks Walkout

Former Obama Administration official Julian Castro is laying off his campaign staff in both New Hampshire and South Carolina and shifting the focus of his bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination to Iowa and Nevada, according to a new report from Politico.

Castro reporteldy can no longer afford a significant presence in early primary states and notified his New Hampshire and South Carolina teams that they would no longer be needed Tuesday morning.

Politico’s source told the Washington, D.C.-based outlet that “the campaign will continue focusing on Iowa and Nevada with a $50,000 television ad buy in Iowa beginning Tuesday morning. The moves amount to a long-shot attempt to remain in the presidential contest in the hopes of catching fire before the first contests begin next February.”

It’s not a very likely scenario. Although Castro has been “instrumental” in shaping the policy debate among the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, according to Politico, he’s failed to capture the imagination of Democratic voters and, according to the pollsters at FiveThirtyEight, has never been able to clear 1% in any meaningful national poll.

Castro wasn’t even registering in New Hampshire polls and was at 1% in South Carolina, according to the most recent polling data. He’s at 1% in Iowa and at 1% in Nevada, where he’s hoping to capitalize on the high percentage of Hispanic voters (former vice president Joe Biden has a commanding eight-point lead over the next highest Democrat, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) in Nevada).

Castro is now well behind even upstart campaigns, like businessman Andrew Yang’s, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s, and spiritual guru Marianne Williamson’s.

News of the Castro campaign’s demise has been long in coming, though. As recently as last week, the campaign was sending out desperate fundraising emails, begging supporters to help him raise $800,000 in ten days so that he could continue to purchase ad time in key states, according to USA Today.

“I’m asking you to fight for me like never before,” read Castro’s email plea. “If I don’t meet this deadline, I won’t have the resources to keep my campaign running. I’m counting on your $5 in this critical moment.”

“This isn’t a fundraising gimmick — it’s the transparency and honesty I have promised you since I entered this race,” the letter continued. “The truth is, for our campaign, these debates have offered our only guaranteed opportunity to share my vision with the American people. If I can’t make the next debate stage, we cannot sustain a campaign that can make it to Iowa in February.”

Iowa is now fewer than 100 days away, but the next 100 days will be critical to any candidate who wishes to stay in contention for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination beyond the first week of February.

Castro is hardly the first contender to scale back his campaign. Former Texas Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke called it quits on his campaign over the weekend. New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand ended her bid in late summer. California Senator Kamala Harris has reportedly pulled back operations in early primary states to focus on Iowa, and is consolidating her Iowa staff in areas where she has the best chance to pick up potential caucus-goers.

Even some of the bigger names — Biden and Vermont senator Bernie Sanders — have cleared their calendars, though for Sanders, the problem isn’t financial, it’s physical. He had a heart attack last month.

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Daily Wire: Next? Julian Castro Lays Off Staff In Primary States Amid Campaign Struggles

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