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The stuff you won't see in the liberal media (click "Replies" for top stories)
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Beckwith

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Border wall funding passes House

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Trump's border wall concept includes solar arrays

Breitbart is reporting that the Republican-led House has voted to make a $1.6 billion down payment for President Donald Trump's long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The vote was 230-196. Republican leaders avoided voting directly on the divisive issue Thursday. Instead, they tucked the wall provision into a broader procedural vote.

Trump promised at nearly every rally and campaign event that Mexico would pay for the wall. Mexico said no, and U.S. taxpayers will have to provide the money.

Democrats said they might have defeated the wall if they'd been given a chance. It's unpopular with more moderate Republicans and those representing districts with large immigrant communities.

Money for the wall is part of a broader $788 billion spending bill funding defense and veterans programs.



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Beckwith

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Obama delivers a new slap at Trump

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David Martosko (DailyMail) is reporting that Barack Obama delivered a extended, vicious coded critique of his successor Donald Trump without naming him, saying -- in Canada -- that America could descend into "extreme nationalism and xenophobia and the politics of us-versus-them."

Obama bashed the rise of "extreme nationalism and xenophobia and the politics of 'us-versus-them'" -- a clear slap at Trump in the language of American liberals.

Obama seemed to characterize Trump's "America First" philosophy as an abandonment of international institutions warning against the belief that "what's good for me and my immediate people is all that matters, everybody else is on their own" and "we're going to have to replace fear with hope."

Obama drew laughter with a thinly veiled kick at the Trump administration's famous embrace of "alternative facts," saying that America in the less than 20 weeks since he left office has suddenly devolved into a place "where we don't just have disagreements based on our opinions, but now people are just disagreeing on facts."

"And we're in an environment where we are only accepting information that fits our opinions, instead of basing our opinions on the facts that we receive. And evidence and reason and logic."

You mean like the debunked climate change scam, Barry?

Obama defended the Paris climate accord, saying that "even with the temporary absence of American leadership it will still give our children a fighting chance."

'We have to sustain our alliances. We have to help other countries with their own development," he said.

The alternative, Obama suggested, would see anti-democratic forces swooping in to fill the voids left by globalist cooperation.

He said the result could be "intolerance and tribalism and organizing ourselves along ethnic lines."

Wow! A double header!

Obama, the "Great Divider" is angry that Trump cancelled his Paris Accords, the socialist agreement meant to plunder the U. S. Treasury in order to send billions to third-world countries.


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Beckwith

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Democrats are slow-rolling Trump Cabinet appointees

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Byron York (WashingtonExaminer) is reporting that Republicans, both in the incoming Trump administration and on Capitol Hill, are growing increasingly angry with Senate Democrats' efforts to slow the confirmation of Trump nominees. GOP lawmakers and staff often point out that the Senate confirmed seven Obama nominees -- secretaries of agriculture, education, energy, homeland security, interior, veterans affairs and a budget director -- on Inauguration Day 2009. Now, Democrats are saying they might -- might -- allow the confirmation of two Trump nominees on Friday.
 
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is accusing Republicans of trying "to jam through Cabinet nominees in a way that hides their views from the American people." Schumer wants more extensive -- read longer -- committee hearings for Trump nominees, and without them, he said, "then [Republicans] should be prepared for that debate on the floor -- extensive debate."
 
On Thursday, Schumer said Democrats might allow Inauguration Day votes on Secretary of Defense-designate James Mattis and Secretary of Homeland Security-designate John Kelly. So where Obama had seven, Trump will have two.
 
In light of an ongoing Democratic blockade, the new administration is taking pains to assure Americans that the government will keep working after noon Friday, stressing something called "beachhead teams" and "continuity of government."

What will actually happen at federal departments and agencies when Obama political appointees leave and there's no one to replace them? What if there is an emergency? And even if there is no urgent event, what about day-to-day operations?
 
Vice President-elect Mike Pence announced Thursday that there are 536 Trump "beachhead team members" ready to head into the departments and agencies of the federal government at noon Friday. (They will succeed the so-called "landing teams" who worked with those departments during the transition period.) The beachhead teams are basically short-term, Trump-chosen staff. "Those individuals are able to work in the various departments as temporary officials for 120 days," incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Friday. "Until the secretary or administrator or director is confirmed, they are unable to make a permanent appointment."
 
The importance of the beachhead teams, Spicer stressed, is not to enact the Trump agenda but to ensure the government continues to function without a hitch. "Continuity of government is if there's an attack or some kind of weather incident that occurs where each of our departments have to be called into action to support the American people," Spicer explained. "We're ready to go. Make no mistake, we're ready to go on Day One."
 
The vast majority of workers in the federal government are career workers who stay on the job from administration to administration. But there are about 4,000 political positions that are filled by the president.
 
Spicer made a distinction between continuity of government, which is important from the first minute of the new administration, and acting on the Trump agenda, which will be accomplished by Trump appointees. Only Wednesday did Trump announce the last of his 21 Cabinet nominees. There are hundreds of other positions at the top levels of various departments and agencies that have to be filled. Many have to be confirmed by the Senate. Very, very few names have been announced for those positions.

Spicer said the president-elect is now turning his attention to that. "The president wanted to make sure the entire Cabinet was locked and loaded before getting to the deputy level," Spicer said. Now, "you'll see a lot of that activity at the lower level."
 
But still there is that Democratic roadblock in the Senate. There's no doubt Schumer and his colleagues can delay confirmations. But as the Senate gears up into regular order, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can start to push nominations through on the strength of the Republicans' 52-seat majority. Democrats can slow the process, at least for a while, but they can't stop it.



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Beckwith

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History will be made tomorrow

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"Horrified" Obama staffers tearfully leave the White House

Start at item #78 today . . .

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Yahoo is reporting that they line up near the Oval Office, down the hallway toward the Cabinet Room, trailed by their spouses and young kids in their finest clothes. When it's their turn, the White House staffers enter for a few private moments with President Barack Obama, a photo and a farewell hug from the boss.

There's a mass exodus underway this week at the White House. As Obama holds his last news conference Wednesday, his staff is busy packing up their offices and turning in their BlackBerrys. For some who joined Obama's team right out of college, it's the end of the only professional experience they've ever known.

The finals days of any president's administration are always bittersweet and heavy on nostalgia, as officials face the transition back to being "civilians" who will no longer have their hands on the nation's levers of power. Yet there's added sadness this time for Obama staffers who are mostly horrified by the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump.

"You're always aware that it's a special privilege to work there and not something to take for granted," said Nate Lowentheil, who worked on Obama's National Economic Council for the last three years. "It's particularly hard knowing the next wave of people coming are going to be working to reverse the things you were working to advance until your very last hour."

There were tears on the faces of some White House aides on Tuesday as press secretary Josh Earnest appeared in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room for his final press briefing — his 354th as press secretary, Earnest said. Even former staffers were invited to return to the White House witness Earnest's last round of jousting with reporters.

"I'm going to miss it," Earnest said. "It will take some getting used to seeing somebody else standing up here doing it."

"Or not," he added, in a nod to the prospect that Trump's team may make changes to the daily briefing.

In between closing out final projects and typing up reports on the work they've done, White House staffers are packing away their knickknacks, coffeemakers and photos. The boxes stack up in offices already vacated by staffers who have departed over the past few weeks.

By Thursday night, all must be gone to make way for Trump's team.

Before they leave the building for the final time, they'll go through a checklist that completes their formal separation from the White House: cell phones handed in, computers locked and papers properly filed to be archived. The last step, aides said, is the hardest: handing in the badge that provides access to the complex day or night.

Then they depart the building and make what for many is a jarring transition from 18-hour workdays and little personal time to unemployment. Lowentheil said that since his last day less than two weeks ago, he'd read three novels, slept 10-12 hours a night and, for the first time in years, didn't set a morning alarm.

Emails announcing a staffer's last day stream in at a faster and faster pace as Jan. 20 approaches. They share with colleagues a personal email address and cell phone number, a thank you and maybe a brief reflection on their time at the center of it all.

"It's been an honor to be a part of it. And yeah, I'm interested in what happens here. And I'll continue to follow it," Earnest said. "But I will be relieved to not have the burden to follow it as closely as this job has required over the last two-and-a-half years."

A few White House staffers have found new jobs already, but most are taking some time off to ponder next steps.

Some are going home to visit family they haven't spent much time with in years. One said he was spending two months driving across the country, unsure of what he'd do next. Others are taking long vacations to places like New Zealand and Iceland, unencumbered by the need to constantly check in with the office.

"This is the only world I've known," said Clay Dumas, who took time off from college to work for Obama's 2008 campaign, then interned at the White House before being hired four years ago. He said he was searching for a job that would allow him to continue advancing values and policies he worked on in the White House. "Whatever I do next will be a huge continuation of that."


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Beckwith

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"Horrified" Obama staffers tearfully leave the White House

Start at item #78 today . . .

pic123.jpg

Yahoo is reporting that they line up near the Oval Office, down the hallway toward the Cabinet Room, trailed by their spouses and young kids in their finest clothes. When it's their turn, the White House staffers enter for a few private moments with Barack Obama, a photo and a farewell hug from the boss.

There's a mass exodus underway this week at the White House. As Obama holds his last news conference Wednesday, his staff is busy packing up their offices and turning in their BlackBerrys. For some who joined Obama's team right out of college, it's the end of the only professional experience they've ever known.

The finals days of any president's administration are always bittersweet and heavy on nostalgia, as officials face the transition back to being "civilians" who will no longer have their hands on the nation's levers of power. Yet there's added sadness this time for Obama staffers who are mostly horrified by the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump.

"You're always aware that it's a special privilege to work there and not something to take for granted," said Nate Lowentheil, who worked on Obama's National Economic Council for the last three years. "It's particularly hard knowing the next wave of people coming are going to be working to reverse the things you were working to advance until your very last hour."

There were tears on the faces of some White House aides on Tuesday as press secretary Josh Earnest appeared in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room for his final press briefing -- his 354th as press secretary, Earnest said. Even former staffers were invited to return to the White House witness Earnest's last round of jousting with reporters.

"I'm going to miss it," Earnest said. "It will take some getting used to seeing somebody else standing up here doing it."

"Or not," he added, in a nod to the prospect that Trump's team may make changes to the daily briefing.

In between closing out final projects and typing up reports on the work they've done, White House staffers are packing away their knickknacks, coffeemakers and photos. The boxes stack up in offices already vacated by staffers who have departed over the past few weeks.

By Thursday night, all must be gone to make way for Trump's team.

Before they leave the building for the final time, they'll go through a checklist that completes their formal separation from the White House: cell phones handed in, computers locked and papers properly filed to be archived. The last step, aides said, is the hardest: handing in the badge that provides access to the complex day or night.

Then they depart the building and make what for many is a jarring transition from 18-hour workdays and little personal time to unemployment. Lowentheil said that since his last day less than two weeks ago, he'd read three novels, slept 10-12 hours a night and, for the first time in years, didn't set a morning alarm.

Emails announcing a staffer's last day stream in at a faster and faster pace as Jan. 20 approaches. They share with colleagues a personal email address and cell phone number, a thank you and maybe a brief reflection on their time at the center of it all.

"It's been an honor to be a part of it. And yeah, I'm interested in what happens here. And I'll continue to follow it," Earnest said. "But I will be relieved to not have the burden to follow it as closely as this job has required over the last two-and-a-half years."

A few White House staffers have found new jobs already, but most are taking some time off to ponder next steps.

Some are going home to visit family they haven't spent much time with in years. One said he was spending two months driving across the country, unsure of what he'd do next. Others are taking long vacations to places like New Zealand and Iceland, unencumbered by the need to constantly check in with the office.

"This is the only world I've known," said Clay Dumas, who took time off from college to work for Obama's 2008 campaign, then interned at the White House before being hired four years ago. He said he was searching for a job that would allow him to continue advancing values and policies he worked on in the White House. "Whatever I do next will be a huge continuation of that."



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Beckwith

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Schedule of events for Trump's inauguration

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French Press is reporting that the inauguration of Donald Trump as America's 45th president is the highlight of several days of pomp and circumstance in the US capital. Here's a look at the timeline of events.

Thursday, January 19

10:35 am -- Performances begin at Lincoln Memorial. "Voices of the People," the first act of a day-long public concert, will feature groups such as the DC Fire Department Emerald Society Pipes and Drums, the Republican Hindu Coalition, high school marching bands, choirs and baton twirlers.

3:30 pm to 4 pm -- Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in honor of the nation's veterans.

4 pm to 6 pm -- Trump will deliver remarks during the second act of the concert at Lincoln Memorial, dubbed the "Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration." The event, broadcast live nationally, will be headlined by country stars Toby Keith and Lee Greenwood and feature a fireworks finale.

Trump is expected to spend Thursday night at Blair House, the presidential guest residence across the street from the White House.

Friday, January 20

Morning -- Trump, Pence and their families are expected to attend services at St. John's Episcopal Church, just steps from the White House.

Afterward, Barack and Michelle Obama welcome Trump and his wife Melania to the White House for morning tea. The two couples will then travel together to the Capitol by motorcade.

9:30 am -- Inauguration ceremony begins on the west front of the Capitol with musical performances.

Attendees will include members of Congress, Supreme Court justices, diplomats and the public. Former presidents Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton will attend, as will Trump's election opponent Hillary Clinton.

Former president George H.W. Bush is in frail health and will not be present.

Sixteen-year-old soprano Jackie Evancho will sing the national anthem. The Rockettes dance troupe will also be performing, at a time yet to be announced.

11:30 am -- Opening remarks. Religious leaders will offer the invocation and readings.

Pence will be sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Noon -- Trump will recite the oath of office, administered by US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. He will use president Abraham Lincoln's inauguration Bible, as well as the Bible that Trump's mother gave to him at his Sunday school graduation in 1955. Afterward, Trump will deliver his inaugural address.

12:30 Ceremony ends.

Afterward, in keeping with tradition, Trump and Pence will attend the Congressional Lunch in the Capitol.

3 pm to 5 pm -- Inaugural parade. The newly minted president and vice-president make their way 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) along Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House, trailed by some 8,000 parade participants. They will include members of all US military branches, as well as high school and university marching bands, equestrian corps, first responders, veteran groups and even a tractor brigade.

7 pm to 11 pm -- Trump, Pence and their wives will make appearances at three official inaugural balls, two of which will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and the other at the National Building Museum. A number of semi-official and unofficial balls also will take place throughout the city.

Saturday, Jan 21

10 am to 11 am -- Trump and Pence attend the interfaith National Prayer Service, held at the Washington National Cathedral.



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Cultural fascism -- liberals' death threats and racial slurs force acts to cancel Trump Inaugural shows

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Kristinn Taylor (GatewayPundit) says several performers backed out of performing at Trump inaugural events after receiving death threats, racial slurs and threats of boycotts and criticism by liberals enforcing cultural fascism on the entertainment industry.

The latest to cancel, Bruce Springsteen cover band the B-Street Band, announced it was canceling a long-planned (since 2013) contracted appearance at the Garden State Presidential Inaugural Gala on January 19 in Washington, D.C. following thousands of critical emails by liberals and comments by E Street Band members.

The B-Street Band's cancellation follows the weekend announcement by Broadway singer Jennifer Holliday who canceled her performance at a pre-inaugural concert at the Lincoln Memorial on January 19 after receiving death threats and being called racial slurs by liberals. Holliday released a groveling, self-critical public letter of apology for initially agreeing to perform.

The cancellations came as TMZ reported record labels are blocking artists from performing at the Trump inauguration celebrations.

Donald Trump's Inaugural Committee is having trouble booking singers for the Inaugural, and TMZ has learned one of the big problems is that record labels are putting the squeeze on their artists.

Sources connected with Inauguration preparations tell TMZ … some performers have either agreed or tentatively agreed to sing at various inaugural balls but in some cases their record labels put their corporate foot down and said "no way."

The Daily Mail reported over the weekend that blind singer Andrea Bocelli canceled singing at Trump's inaugural after receiving death threats.

When blind tenor Bocelli announced he would not sing at this Friday's celebration, it was widely reported it was because fans had said they would boycott his concerts and records.

But a source said the 58-year-old had been determined to 'press ahead' and sing but had pulled out on the advice of his security team after receiving threats to his life.

A source close to Bocelli, a friend of Trump's, said: 'Andrea is very sad to be missing the chance to sing at such a huge global event but he has been advised it is simply not worth the risk."

Rolling Stone spoke to B Street Band leader Will Forte about the band's change of heart.

Will Forte, the group's 63-year-old keyboardist, manager, agent and publicist, among other roles, was telling the band about the "thousands of emails from both sides" he had received after news broke that the group would be playing the Garden State Presidential Inaugural Gala on January 19th as part of Donald Trump's inauguration. "We're standing out in the storm right here," he told the band. "We gotta get out of the storm."

…"We felt that we had to make it known that we didn't want to seem disrespectful, in any way, shape or form, to Bruce and his music and his band," Forte says. "I don't want to upset them. We owe everything to him and our gratitude and respect to the band is imperative above all else. It became clear to us that this wasn't working and we just had to do what we thought was the right thing to do and that was to pull out."

The group had played the gala twice before to little controversy for Obama and signed a contract for this year's gig in 2013, long before the presidential nominees were decided. But this year was different.

"As time went by, the complexity of the situation became real immense and intense," Forte tells Rolling Stone. "The band was caught in a hurricane. We didn't see this coming, of course."

Springsteen never weighed in on the controversy, but Garry Tallent, the E Street Band's founding bassist, tweeted, in response to news of the B-Street band's appearance, "Please tell me this is more fake news. Or at least a joke." Steven Van Zandt, the group's outspoken guitarist, tweeted of the B-Street Band, "Nice guys. Met them. I wouldn't say right or wrong. Up to them. But it's naive to think one can separate Art and Politics. Art IS Politics."

The Wrap reported on Holliday's abrupt decision to cancel.

Jennifer Holliday has canceled her appearance at Donald Trump's inauguration event next week, calling her decision to perform a "lapse of judgement."

In an open letter, provided exclusively to TheWrap, the "Dreamgirls" star apologized to the LGBT community, saying she was "uneducated on the issues that affect every American at this crucial time in history and for causing such dismay and heartbreak to my fans."

The Tony and Grammy winner came under fire from some of her fans on Friday after it was announced that she was set to perform at a concert as part of Trump's inauguration festivities.

(Excerpt of Holliday's letter):

…In light of the information pointed out to me via the Daily Beast article on yesterday, my only choice must now be to stand with the LGBT Community and to state unequivocally that I WILL NOT PERFORM FOR THE WELCOME CONCERT OR FOR ANY OF THE INAUGURATION FESTIVITIES!

I Sincerely apologize for my lapse of judgement, for being uneducated on the issues that affect every American at this crucial time in history and for causing such dismay and heartbreak to my fans.

Please know that I HEAR YOU and I feel your pain. The LGBT Community was mostly responsible for birthing my career and I am deeply indebted to you… You have loved me faithfully and unconditionally and for so many years you provided me with work even though my star had long since faded…"

In a follow-up interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Holliday said she had been called various racial slurs and been encouraged to kill herself.

What type of feedback have you been hearing since the announcement went out yesterday morning?

It's amazing because I'm not a person that gets a lot of attention or that seeks a lot of attention. And I've spent all day yesterday and all last night reading all the terrible things that people were saying about me.

And even being called by my own black people a "n-er," a "house n-er," "c-n, "Uncle Tom," people suggesting I should kill myself, a "traitor," all kinds of things. It was very frightening and very alarming and overwhelming, as well, to see those kinds of things about you. It'd be different if I'm out there all the time trying to make headlines or something."

Update: TMZ reported Monday evening that Holliday canceled after she and her family were targeted with death threats:

But we've learned when her agent contacted the Inauguration Committee, he said the reason was death threats. We're told the LGBT concerns were not even mentioned.

A rep for Holliday told TMZ Monday … both the death threats and the LGBT reaction were factors in her decision.

The rep tells us, "It was all of those things. She wasn't scared to perform. She didn't want to put her family at risk based on the death threats and she also didn't want to offend the LGBT community which was especially upset that a past ally would perform on a program with President-Elect Donald Trump."

Just a little reminder of who the REAL NAZIs are.



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Trump team considers moving press corps -- reporters alarmed

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Michael M. Grynbaumjan (NewYorkTimes) is reporting that in the 1890s, journalists covering the president were forced to stand vigil outside the White House fence, querying visitors for scraps of information and appealing for audiences with presidential aides.

Today's reporters are concerned that President-elect Donald J. Trump could send them back into the past.

The White House press corps was stunned on Sunday by reports of a proposal by the Trump administration to eject reporters from their home in the West Wing -- a move that, if carried out, would uproot decades of established protocol whereby journalists are allowed to work in the White House close to senior officials.

Reince Priebus, Mr. Trump's incoming chief of staff, appeared to backpedal on the idea after it was reported by Esquire magazine, saying that only the location of the press briefing room was being discussed and that the administration was merely considering a larger area to accommodate the hundreds of journalists seeking to cover Mr. Trump.

But for jittery Washington reporters, it was yet another salvo from an administration that has shown an unusual willingness to berate and belittle the news media, at the behest of a president-elect who has floated the idea of rolling back libel protections and, in a volcanic appearance last week, refused to take questions from CNN after it ran a story he did not like.

The sense of alarm was clear last week when more than 100 reporters showed up to a routine meeting of the White House Correspondents' Association. The group, which promotes reporters' access to presidential administrations, pledged to be vigilant about responding to any erosion of press freedoms. "We are all in this together," said Jeff Mason of Reuters, the group's president.

Since the 1970s, reporters from broadcast, print and radio outlets have worked in small cubicles on the former site of a West Wing swimming pool. The reporters can walk, without a security escort, to the offices of White House press aides and the press secretary to check in on developments or to pick up the latest gossip.

It was not clear on Sunday whether the administration's idea to relocate the White House press corps might extend to evicting reporters from their office space. "That hasn't been determined," Mr. Priebus told Chuck Todd on NBC's "Meet the Press." Later, on ABC's "This Week," Mr. Priebus said, "The only thing that's been discussed is whether or not the initial press conferences are going to be in that small press room."

Few presidents relish sharing their home with reporters who are responsible for questioning their every move. But journalists have been granted space in the White House since the William McKinley administration, and their presence is seen as a potent symbol of a president's willingness to be held to account.

Sean Spicer, the incoming White House press secretary, issued a statement on Sunday that did not address the issue of a dedicated work space. "While no decisions have been made, there is enormous interest in covering Donald Trump," he wrote. "The current briefing room only has 49 seats, so we have looked at rooms within the White House to conduct briefings that have additional capacity."

In a two-hour meeting on Sunday, Mr. Mason told Mr. Spicer that it would be "unacceptable to evict reporters from their work space. Mr. Spicer did not appear to disavow such a plan, only agreeing to discuss any changes ahead of time. "We object strenuously to any move that would shield the president and his advisers from the scrutiny of an on-site White House press corps," Mr. Mason wrote in an email.

Mr. Trump's communications team has pledged to shake up the status quo, inviting nontraditional journalists, including talk radio hosts and conservative bloggers, to the West Wing and prohibiting television coverage of daily press briefings, an idea that is supported by some former press secretaries of both political parties.

Mr. Spicer denounced the news media last week at a news conference, describing CNN and BuzzFeed News as "sad" and "pathetic" for reporting on unverified allegations about Mr. Trump and Russia.

But initial discussions between the White House press corps and the new administration have been described as diplomatic, with Mr. Trump's team pledging to retain reporters' access to the president's motorcade and his flights on Air Force One.

Bob Schieffer, a longtime CBS News anchor who has covered eight presidential administrations, said he was not surprised to see tensions between a new president and the news media.

"They're not the first administration that's come to office thinking they can control every single word that's said about them," he said in an interview. "It's their call, they can do what they want to do, and if the public puts up with it, they'll continue to do it that way."

But, he added: "If they think they're not going to get the same intense coverage, they've been smoking something."



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Don't kid yourself -- Donald Trump is winning

Matthew Cooper (Newsweak) says it would be easy to see the Trump-Obama transition as a mess for the president-elect. He continues to face criticism for his extraordinary breach of traditional financial disclosure norms, not only  failing to release his taxes but making only the cursory moves toward separating himself from his businesses. Trump has had to contend with an imbroglio over an  unconfirmed dossier assembled by his political opponents. His  poll numbers are low for a president-elect, with only a minority Americans thinking his transition is going well. The mainstream media is shocked, shocked that many of Trump's cabinet nominees oppose some of his policies, like a return to waterboarding and building a wall with Mexico.

And yet...Trump is getting what he wants. It's unlikely any of his cabinet nominees will be rejected by the U.S. Senate. The most endangered among them, Rex Tillerson, the ExxonMobil CEO that Trump wants to be secretary of state, is more likely to prevail than not. Jeff Sessions, the Alabama senator who has been nominated to be attorney general, has no Republican opponents in the U.S. Senate, despite ferocious criticism from mainstream civil rights groups. Other nominees have had cordial hearings and avoided gaffes. Retired Gen James "Mad Dog" Mattis was well received by the Senate Armed Services Committee as was  Retired Gen. John Kelly by the Committee on Homeland Security. They will easily become defense secretary and Homeland Security secretary, respectively.  CIA Director nominee Mike Pompeo was well received.

Dr. Ben Carson had seemed like a weak link in the nomination process, what with his bringing zero policy experience to the job of secretary of Housing and Urban Development. But he was given a gracious reception by the senators grilling him. His toughest  questioning from Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts senator, wasn't really that tough. She asked if he could assure the country that no HUD monies would go to any Trump-owned entity. He said he couldn't. She made a larger point that no one knows what a Trump-owned entity is since he hasn't released his taxes. Then they shared a moment: Each cheering the other for efforts to remove lead paint from public housing, a problem in thousands of units, especially older ones such as in Warren's home state. That's not exactly a rough ride.

The New York Times and  The Washington Post noted that the nominees took issue with some of Trump's enunciated positions. But some of this was poorly reported.  Trump has already backed away from his proposed ban on Muslims entering the country and has replaced it with "extreme vetting" of those from countries with a history of terrorism. So it was no surprise when Sessions and others didn't back the Muslim ban.  Kelly expressed "high confidence" in the intelligence that Russia was behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee but Trump himself, albeit weirdly and belatedly, now shares that opinion. In other words, the differences between what his nominees stated and what Trump has stated isn't as great as had been implied.

Besides, that matters only if you believe that Trump has a fixed, rigid set of beliefs. That's not at all clear. He's  vowed not to touch Medicaid and Social Security repeatedly during the campaign but his Health and Human Services secretary nominee,  Tom Price, has different notions about those entitlements. Trump's position on the Mexico wall, perhaps his best known plank, has always had a certain fluidity. The New Yorker has acknowledged that natural barriers from mountains to rivers protect much of the border.  Trump never said every inch of the border would get a Great-Wall-of-China style brick-and-mortar wall. If he replaces fencing with a wall in some parts of the border he's going to claim victory.

More importantl than getting his nominees, Trump is on his way to getting what he wants. Much has been made about how the Affordable Care Act is hard to unwind. And that's true. Some  20 million Americans have gained insurance through the exchanges and Medicaid expansion. The rules barring denial of coverage for preexisting conditions and other popular measures would be hard to eliminate. Big Pharma and insurance companies have learned to live with and profit from Obamacare. But the  ACA can be chipped away at and eventually made unrecognizable. The House will join the Senate in laying a path to repeal by making it filibuster proof. Any number of things can be done to weaken the act, from lowering the penalty for not buying health insurance to cutting the Medicaid subsidies and so on. Yes, suddenly pulling all benefits away is unworkable. But it's entirely likely that over the next couple of years, there will be significant changes. Plans which are considered too weak under the current law because they don't provide enough benefits may pass muster.

On any number of other issues, Trump is likely to get enough of what he wants to claim victory. There won't be an Obama-style plan for infrastructure but there will be more spending on it, as Trump promised during the campaign. He is making big changes to how the U.S. manages international trade. It may not be the hyper protectionism hinted at during the campaign but he's putting  trade hawks in place at key positions and will pull the U.S. from the already  moribund Trans-Pacific Partnership. Can  Trump get tax cuts through a Republican Congress? Asked and answered.

Trump will have legislative defeats. His bluster will backfire at times. His  Meryl Streep and Hillary Clinton tweets are petty but they're also discounted in the public mind. At some point he'll dis the equivalent of the  Khans, the Gold Star family he sparred with over the summer. But he looks poised for a lot of victories, despite critics underestimating him, which, come to think of it, sounds pretty familiar.


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Donald Trump purges Obama appointees and lashes out at critics ahead of inauguration

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David Lawler (UK/Telegraph) is reporting that Donald Trump has embarked on an unprecedented purge of government officials appointed by Barack Obama in a bid to wipe the slate clean ahead of his inauguration.

Scores of presidential appointees, from ambassadors in far flung capitols to two nuclear security chiefs to the head of Washington's National Guard, will be leaving their posts on Friday at noon, having received unexpected orders to do so, just as Trump takes office as one of the most unpopular and scandal-ridden incoming presidents in history.

While his recent predecessors were swept toward inauguration day on a tide of goodwill, Mr. Trump has jolted from scandal to intrigue and back again, lashing out at his critics on Twitter and rarely appearing in public.

Just 44 per cent of Americans approve of how he has handled his transition to the presidency, compared to 83 per cent for Barack Obama, 61 per cent for George W Bush and 68 per cent for Bill Clinton, according to Gallup.

The inaugural platform will provide Mr. Trump with an opportunity to turn a new page. Sean Spicer, his press secretary, says the inaugural address will "be very visionary and lay out where he wants to take his country".

Kellyanne Conway, a top aide, has said it will echo his post-election pledge to be a president who stands for all Americans.

That message may be undermined offstage. The Secret Service and FBI are preparing to impose a $100 million "ring of steel" around Washington on the day amid fears of clashes.

An unprecedented number of protesters are expected to descend on the US capital, with a historic Women's March set to take place the next day.

And amid conflicts with his own party and even members of his incoming Cabinet, dozens of high-level government employees have found themselves unexpectedly ousted.

For Major General Errol Schwartz the notice was especially harsh. He has been responsible for security at inauguration day festivities since 2008 and will be forced to step down just as the 45th president's are getting under way.

"My troops will be on the street," he told the Washington Post. "I'll see them off but I won't be able to welcome them back to the armory."

Preparing to narrate Mr. Trump's parade down Pennsylvania Avenue will be Steve Ray, a local announcer and outspoken Trump supporter. He will replace Charlie Brotman, who had served as the official announcer at every inauguration since 1957 and said he got the "shock of his life" when Mr. Trump's aides told him he was out of a job.

The Telegraph has that last part wrong.

Tyler Durden (ZeroHedge) has more on the "police chief" story:

"It doesn't make sense to can the general in the middle of an active deployment," rages D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) after Maj. Gen. Errol R. Schwartz, who heads the D.C. National Guard and is an integral part of overseeing the inauguration, has been ordered removed from command effective Jan. 20, 12:01 p.m., just as Donald Trump is sworn in as president.

As The Washington Post reports, Maj. Gen. Errol R. Schwartz's departure will come in the midst of the presidential ceremony, classified as a national special security event -- and while thousands of his troops are deployed to help protect the nation's capital during an inauguration he has spent months helping to plan.

"The timing is extremely unusual," Schwartz said in an interview Friday morning, confirming a memo announcing his ouster that was obtained by The Washington Post.

During the inauguration, Schwartz would command not only the members of the D.C. guard but also an additional 5,000 unarmed troops sent in from across the country to help. He also would oversee military air support protecting the nation's capital during the inauguration.

"My troops will be on the street," Schwartz, who turned 65 in October, said, "I'll see them off but I won't be able to welcome them back to the armory." He said that he would "never plan to leave a mission in the middle of a battle."

Schwartz, who was appointed to head the guard by President George W. Bush in 2008, maintained the position through President Obama's two terms. He said his orders came from the Pentagon but that he doesn't know who made the decision.

D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) blasted the decision to remove Schwartz, especially on Inauguration Day.

"It doesn't make sense to can the general in the middle of an active deployment," Mendelson said. He added that Schwartz's sudden departure would be a long-term loss for the District. "He's been really very good at working with the community and my impression was that he was good for the Guard."

Unlike in states, where the governor appoints the National Guard commander, in the District that duty falls to the president.



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President Trump Inauguration -- calendar of events

Sundance (ConservativeTreehouse) is reporting that the "Make America Great Again" Welcome Celebration will take place following Voices of the People and will be broadcast live to the nation from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

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Click image for schedule

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Ethics director apparently using office to slow down Trump cabinet appointees

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Randy DeSoto (WesternJournalism) is reporting that the director of the federal Office of Government Ethics -- a Barack Obama appointee and campaign contributor -- is being accused of playing politics to delay the confirmation of President-elect Trump's cabinet appointees.

"The way the Obama administration is acting in its final days reminds one of a wounded beast in its death throes. It knows it has been turned out of office but it is doing its level best to damage the incoming administration to the greatest extent possible," Red State contended in a story published over the weekend.

Ethics director Walter Shaub, Jr. sent a letter Saturday to Senate Democrats charging Republicans with creating a confirmation schedule that has "created undue pressure on OGE’s staff and agency ethics officials to rush through these important reviews."


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House passes bill granting Mattis waiver

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Juliegrace Brufke (DailyCaller) is reporting that the House passed a measure granting retired Marine Gen. James Mattis the eligibility to serve as the secretary of the Department of Defense Friday in a 268-151 vote. 

The bill provides an exception to the law barring former service members who have been out of uniform for less than seven years for serving in the role.

Without the waiver, Mattis would have been ineligible, having retired from the Marine Corps in 2013.

The Senate passed similar legislation early Thursday morning in a 81-17, with a sizable number of Democrats supporting the bill.

While he has largely received bipartisan praise, a number of House Democrats said they would not vote for the measure since they were unable to vet him in the lower chamber.

"My concerns are not with the exceptional qualifications and decades of honorable service of Gen. Mattis," Rep. Susan Davis of California said on the House floor ahead of the vote. "But I am opposed to a process that has made this House irrelevant."

The measure is separate from the confirmation vote in the upper chamber, which is expected to

Mattis will likely be confirmed on Inauguration Day, assuring he will be in his role for the start of the new administration.



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Journalist warns Dems against the "deep state" that has waged "open warfare" on Trump

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Frieda Powers (BizPacReview) says journalist Glenn Greenwald warned Democrats about the danger of going along with the "open warfare" that government agencies are waging against President-elect Donald Trump.

"There really is, at this point, obvious open warfare between this unelected but very powerful faction that resides in Washington and sees presidents come and go, on the one hand, and the person that the American democracy elected to be the president on the other," Greenwald said Thursday on Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight."

He expounded on an article he wrote in The Intercept in which he said the "deep state" of American government agencies and military intelligence have effectively gone to war with Trump "using unverified claims," while Democrats cheer them on.

"Their most valuable instrument is the U.S. media, much of which reflexively reveres, serves, believes, and sides with hidden intelligence officials," Greenwald wrote. "And Democrats, still reeling from their unexpected and traumatic election loss as well as a systemic collapse of their party, seemingly divorced further and further from reason with each passing day, are willing -- eager -- to embrace any claim, cheer any tactic, align with any villain, regardless of how unsupported, tawdry and damaging those behaviors might be."

Greenwald told Carlson why Democrats' support of the intelligence agencies that are undermining Trump is "dangerous."

"I think it is quite dangerous if we start thinking about submitting to rule by these unelected, "deep state" overlords. I think it's the antithesis of democracy," he said, pointing to President Dwight Eisenhower's warning to Americans in his farewell address about the threat of rising power from the "military-industrial complex."

Though Greenwald is not a supporter of Trump, he believes the current subverting of the president-elect in an attempt to delegitimize his presidency is simply playing with fire.

"There are things Donald Trump is going to do that are quite bad and I want to see Democrats focus on those in a cogent, reasoned way and not cheer and root for the CIA to use their dirty tactics to undermine the president that just got elected," he said.



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"Bikers for Trump" vow to defend Trump inauguration -- form a wall of protection

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Jim Hoft (GatewayPundit) is reporting that Chris Cox, Bikers for Trump founder, joined Stewart Varney on Friday to discuss plans for next week’s Inauguration.

Bikers for Trump announced plans to protect Trump and Inaugural attendees. Cox says the bikers will "form a wall of meat" if needed.

Bikers for Trump posted an announcement of their plans for Inauguration week on Facebook.


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Bikers for Trump will be there.  They were on the news this morning. 
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Where are the Bikers for Trump? I thought they will be there at the Inauguration?  Oath Keepers, Veterans, etc...?
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The inauguration war

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David Horowitz (Breitbart) says according to Gallup, the average presidential honeymoon lasts seven months. This is a window when the losing party declares a partisan peace, allows the incoming president to pick his cabinet and launch the agenda his victory mandates. Presidential honeymoons are not only a venerable American tradition they are one of democracy's pillars. For generations they have been ceremonial supports for the peaceful transition of power, and the peaceful resolution of partisan conflicts.

Not this election year. There will be no honeymoon. This year even before Trump arrives in the Oval Office, the opposition cry has been Resist! Block! Reject! It is not just anti-American radicals like Michael Moore, who has indeed called for "100 days of resistance" to the Trump presidency, but by the leadership of the Democratic Party which has vowed to fight Trump's appointments, has attacked the election result as an expression of popular racism, attempted to discredit the Electoral College by falsely calling it a legacy of slavery, and even accused Trump of being a Russian agent, a pawn in the chess game of its dictator Vladimir Putin. It is a sad day for America when the world's oldest political party, whose name proclaims it a partisan of democracy, comes out in force as a saboteur of that same system.

Nor is all this simply a fit of Democratic absent-mindedness. Instead, it is the culmination of a long developing shift in Democratic Party politics, a shift symbolized by the current favorite to become its next leader. Keith Ellison is a Muslim radical who spent his formative adult years as a vocal supporter of the anti-Americananti-Semitic racist Louis Farrakhan. Ellison reflects the power of the Bernie Sanders radicals in the Democratic Party who according to recent Gallup polls now represent its majority, even though they lost a rigged primary election which would have made him the party's presidential nominee.

The face of this new Democratic Party was revealed during a seminal moment in the second Clinton-Trump presidential debate. It came when Trump turned to the cameras and said, "Hillary has tremendous hatred in her heart." He was referring to her now notorious statement that half of Trump's supporters belonged in a "basket of deplorables," which was followed by her iteration of those she had in mind: "The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic -- you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up."

What made this moment pivotal was that the slurs were not an idiosyncratic tic of the Democratic standard-bearer and leader of the party's "moderate" wing. They were the logical expression of the identity politics that had become the party's creed. If every political issue and conflict is reduced to a conflict of races, genders and ethnic origins this inevitably leads to the demonization of the opposition as racist, sexist … deplorable. It is this mentality that has swallowed the Democratic Party and caused it to view politics not as an art of compromise but as a war against the indecent and the irredeemable. There can be no more succinct summary of what the Democrats' rejection of the traditional presidential honeymoon is about.

Nonetheless, what was most significant in the presidential debate was Trump's readiness to confront Hillary to her face and describe her attack for what it was: hate. It was the kind of indiscreet character description that had become a signature reflex of Trump's campaign. Never before had one presidential candidate so bluntly confronted another. Never had any Republican dared to characterize a Democratic opponent in such damning moral terms before a national audience.

This why the attempt to reverse the election result, block Trump's appointments and cripple his agendas will fail. Other Republicans faced with such extreme attacks on their appointments would have thrown many of them under the bus. But Trump himself has been the target of such attacks from the outset of his campaign. The reason he has been so attacked has been his readiness to confront head on what is called "political correctness" but what is in fact a party line demonizing anyone who challenges it as a racist, sexist, Islamophobic -- deplorable.

This is the revolution that Trump represents. It will succeed or fail on whether the American people are ready to reject the racial, gender and ethnic divisiveness that has become the policy of the Democratic Party; whether they are ready to restore the American social contract that regards individuals on their merits, regardless of race, color or creed. In short it will succeed or fail on whether they are ready to make America great again.



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Trump I will have my security around the Traitor Obamas two fold.  If I were him, I would put a mannequin and just go to the swearing in myself.

I don't trust the Obama, Clinton or anyone tied to the past 20 years.

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Trump hands keys to the store to Donald Jr., Eric

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Keith Koffler (WhiteHouseDossier) is reporting that at the president-elect's first press conference since his election victory, Sheri Dillon, a tax controversy attorney at Morgan Lewis, said the incoming commander in chief will "completely isolate" himself from management of the Trump Organization and relinquish control of his multibillion-dollar business to his two grown sons and Allen Weisselberg, the company's current executive vice president," the Washington Examiner reported.

"I could actually run my business and do government at the same time, [but] I don't like how that looks," Trump said Wednesday, noting that he turned down a $2 billion deal with a developer in Dubai just this week.

Dillon said Trump will place his personal holdings in a trust prior to Inauguration Day and appoint an ethics adviser who will ensure he remains in compliance with laws against conflicts of interest.

Trump "will only know of a new deal if he reads of it in the paper or sees it on TV," she said. Dillon said the president-elect has no intention of selling the Trump Organization or turning it into a public company.

An attorney for President-elect Donald Trump said at a press conference Wednesday that profits from foreign governments at Trump Organization hotels will be donated to the United States Treasury.

Trump’s attorney Sheri Dillon addressed the emoluments clause of the Constitution which prohibits anyone holding office from receiving a gift from “any King, Prince, or foreign State.”



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Trump runs his own intel operation

The Daily Mail is reporting that President-elect Donald Trump, after growing suspicious that intelligence officials were leaking news about their classified briefings with him, says he conducted a sting operation to try to prove top spies were behind the leaks.

Trump revealed the extraordinary scheme to try to entrap the senior spies in a furious press conference where he suggested the intelligence community had been behind salacious and totally unproven allegations against him.

"I think it's pretty sad when intelligence reports get leaked out to the press. First of all, it's illegal. These are classified and certified meetings and reports," Trump said during a press conference at Trump Tower -- his first since getting elected.

Then he revealed the details of the stealthy sting he says he conducted on the nation's senior spooks.

"I'll tell you what does happen. I have many meetings with intelligence. And every time I meet, people are reading about it," Trump complained, possibly referencing reports on his classified briefings, which he has chosen not to receive daily.

"Somebody's leaking them out," Trump said, after inveighing against leaks generally.

"So I said, 'Maybe it's my office. Maybe my office'." Because I've got a lot of people -- maybe it's them?"

"What I did, is I said I won't tell anyone. I'm going to have a meeting, and I won't tell anybody about my meeting with intelligence," Trump continued.

He even shielded one of his closest aides from word of the meeting.

"Nobody knew -- not even Rhona, my executive assistant for years. She didn't know -- I didn't tell her. Nobody knew," Trump continued -- drawing laughter from collected family members and staff.

Having set the trap, Trump says the word leaked anyway.

"The meeting was held. They left, and immediately the word got out that I had a meeting. So, I don't want that. It's very unfair to the country. It's very unfair to our country what's happening," he said.


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Obama invites Trump to one final White House meeting -- "...a great moment..."

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Jack Davis (WesternJournalism) is reporting that Barack Obama will spend his final moments in the White House hosting the man he fought tooth and nail to keep from becoming elected.

Tom Barrack, chairman of the inaugural committee for President-elect Donald Trump, said Barack and Michelle Obama will abide by what has become a tradition and host Trump and his wife, Melania, on the morning of Jan. 20.

"They'll go to the White House, invited for coffee or tea, they'll spend … half an hour there or so, and then they'll go together," Barack said. "That's a great moment, that's a great moment."

Barack called the invitation "very gracious."

After their meeting, the Trumps and Obamas will ride together to Capitol Hill for the inauguration.

After Trump takes the oath of office to become the nation's 45th president, the Obamas will leave Washington without returning to the White House.

President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush hosted the Obamas when Obama was inaugurated in 2009.

The Jan. 20 meeting is part of the schedule of events that takes place beginning on Jan. 19, when Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence will lay a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery.

Later that day, a "Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration" concert will take place at the Lincoln Memorial.

Barack said that despite comments from many top entertainers that they would not perform at Trump's inauguration, the president-elect had a different plan from the start.

Obama will spend his final moments in the White House as president hosting the man he fought tooth and nail to keep from becoming elected.

Tom Barrack, chairman of the inaugural committee for President-elect Donald Trump, said the outgoing president and Michelle Obama will abide by what has become a tradition and host Trump and his wife, Melania, on the morning of Jan. 20.

"They'll go to the White House, invited for coffee or tea, they'll spend … half an hour there or so, and then they'll go together," Barack said. "That's a great moment, that's a great moment."

Barack called the invitation "very gracious."

After their meeting, the Trumps and Obamas will ride together to Capitol Hill for the inauguration.

After Trump takes the oath of office to become the nation's 45th president, the Obamas will leave Washington without returning to the White House.

President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush hosted the Obamas when Obama was inaugurated in 2009.

The Jan. 20 meeting is part of the schedule of events that takes place beginning on Jan. 19, when Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence will lay a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery.

Later that day, a "Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration" concert will take place at the Lincoln Memorial.

Barack said that despite comments from many top entertainers that they would not perform at Trump's inauguration, the president-elect had a different plan from the start.

"What we've done instead of trying to surround him with what people consider A-listers is we are going to surround him with the soft sensuality of the place," he said. "It's a much more poetic cadence than having a circus-like celebration that's a coronation."

"That's the way this president-elect wanted it," Barack said.

Trump will take the oath of office at noon Jan. 20. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the oath on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building.


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Huge majority supports swift confirmation of "originalist" Supreme Court judge

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Kevin Daley (DailyCaller) is reporting that a new poll finds a significant majority of Americans support the rapid confirmation of a Supreme Court justice who will interpret the Constitution according to its original meaning.

Eighty percent of participants in a new Marist poll said filling the vacancy on the Supreme Court should be an "immediate" or "important" priority for the new administration. The breakdown included 80 percent of Republicans, 53 percent of Independents, and 40 percent of Democrats who characterized a swift nomination as an "immediate" priority.

Fifty-two percent of respondents said they want justices to interpret the Constitution according to its original meaning, and not based on what they think the "Constitution means now." Forty percent of respondents disagreed with the proposition. Party affiliation reveals that 78 percent of Republicans, as well as 50 percent of Independents, favored the originalist approach. Only 30 percent of Democrats want the justices to apply an originalist model to constitutional interpretation.

Solid majorities of respondents identified religious liberty as a top priority for the high court, and 89 percent of participants, including 66 percent of Republicans, 55 percent of Democrats, and 51 percent of Independents characterize protecting religious liberty an "immediate priority." Sixty-five percent said a religious accommodation should prevail even if it conflicts with government laws.

"Majorities of Americans -- regardless of party -- have embraced religious freedom and have rightly rejected the false notion that it is something negative," said Carl Anderson of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic philanthropic group which commissioned the poll. "They overwhelming support the protection of our first freedom, the free exercise of religion."

The survey of 2,729 adults was conducted Dec. 12 through Dec. 19, 2016 by Marist with a margin of error of 1.9 points.



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Trump reveals he will return bust of Winston Churchill to the Oval Office

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Paddy Dinham (DailyMail) is reporting that a bust of Winston Churchill is set to be restored to the Oval Office by Donald Trump.  it was ripped out by Obama in "snub to Britain."

The figurine of Britain's war-winning Prime Minister -- who was half American and was the only person to be granted an honorary passport -- was taken out by Barack Obama in favour of a similar statue of Martin Luther King.

His decision to send the Churchill bust to the US Embassy in London caused outrage in Britain, with Boris Johnson labelling it a "snub to Britain" and suggesting it was because of Obama's "ancestral dislike of the British Empire."

But the president-elect was asked by the New York Times if he would bring Churchill back to the White House, he replied "I am, indeed, I am."

When it was revealed the Obama had removed Churchill, he explained in a press conference that he has a second one located in his private residence in the White House. He said:

"I see it every day, including on weekends, when I'm going into that office to watch a basketball game."

"The primary image I see is a bust of Winston Churchill. It's there voluntarily, because I can do anything on the second floor. I love Winston Churchill."

But the main bust is the one sculpted by Jacob Epstein and was given to George W Bush as a gift by Tony Blair, and was displayed throughout Bush's two presidential terms.

Trump initially outlined his plans to return it back in November, in a move that was welcomed by his close ally Nigel Farage, but confirmed his intentions again this week.



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