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Democratic lawmakers slam Rep. Omar over ‘deeply hurtful and offensive’ Israel comments

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Democratic lawmakers slam Rep. Omar over ‘deeply hurtful and offensive’ Israel comments

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., is facing a growing rebuke from members of her own party for allegedly anti-Semitic remarks that colleagues are calling “deeply hurtful and offensive” to Jewish Americans.

In perhaps the most striking response, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on which Omar sits put out a stern statement condemning her remarks on Monday.

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“Anti-Semitism in any form is unacceptable, and it’s shocking to hear a Member of Congress invoke the anti-Semitic trope of ‘Jewish money,’” Engel, D-N.Y., said.

This followed Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., a prominent Jewish lawmaker and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, saying: “It is deeply disappointing and disturbing to hear Representative Ilhan Omar’s choice of words in her exchange with a journalist yesterday, wherein she appears to traffic in old anti-Semitic tropes about Jews and money. Her words are deeply hurtful and offensive, particularly as they build on a previous comment she made about Jews ‘hypnotizing’ the world in support of Israel.”

Omar, who became the first Somali-American woman elected to Congress in November, touched off the controversy when she responded to a tweet by journalist Glenn Greenwald criticizing House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., for urging action against Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., for allegedly anti-Semitic remarks.

Greenwald accused McCarthy of targeting Omar and Tlaib for their public criticisms of Israel, to which Omar responded, “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby,” quoting a 1997 song by Puff Daddy. She then doubled down when challenged by Batya Ungar-Sargon, the opinion editor of The Forward newspaper.

“Would love to know who @IlhanMN thinks is paying American politicians to be pro-Israel, though I think I can guess,” Ungar-Sargon tweeted. “Bad form, Congresswoman. That’s the second anti-Semitic trope you’ve tweeted.”

In response, Omar tweeted “AIPAC!” referring to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which has been accused of agitating for a conflict with Iran.

Omar’s tweets have since been widely condemned by fellow Democrats — including former first daughter Chelsea Clinton, who said she planned to reach out to the freshman lawmaker, and some Jewish members of Congress.

“For nearly two weeks, Rep. [Omar] has avoided meeting with me to discuss why anti-Semitic tropes like these are hurtful to so many Americans,” Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., tweeted. “There is absolutely no place for this rhetoric in Congress — or anywhere.”

Rep. Max Rose, D-N.Y., also called the comments “deeply hurtful.”

The Anti-Defamation League, meanwhile, called on House leadership to take action in response to Omar’s comments.

“Unfortunately, making insensitive statements toward the Jewish community is not new for Rep. Omar. These tweets are part of a disturbing pattern of behavior that must end,” ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt said in a statement. “… Strong bipartisan support for Israel is not a result of money or lobbying. Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and a strong American ally in a strategically important region.”

From the Republican side of the aisle, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel on Monday called for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to remove Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Omar has not backed down. She told Chelsea Clinton over Twitter that she would be happy to talk to her and that “[w]e must call out smears from the GOP and their allies.”

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“I believe we can do that without criticizing people for their faith,” Omar added. “I look forward to building an inclusive movement for justice with you.”

The Minnesota lawmaker has also taken to retweeting a number of posts voicing support for her and suggesting the allegations of anti-Semitism go too far.

“Equating [Omar and Tlaib’s] criticism of Israel to Steve King’s long defense of white supremacy is obscene (McCarthy said it’s worse),” Greenwald tweeted. “In the US, we’re allowed to criticize our own government: certainly foreign governments. The GOP House Leader’s priorities are warped.”

Greenwald’s tweets came after McCarthy called Friday for taking action against Omar and Tlaib for their comments.

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On Monday, McCarthy alleged that Democratic leaders have abdicated their responsibility and vowed that Republicans would press ahead.

“House Democrat leadership continues to be silent as Americans from both sides of the aisle condemn this rhetoric and pattern of behavior. In the face of that abdication of leadership, Republicans will take action this week to ensure the House speaks out against this hatred and stands with Israel and the Jewish people,” he said in a statement.

Fox News’ Samuel Chamberlain contributed to this report. 

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Mark Levin blasts Mueller report as ‘impeachment’ manual for House Dems and media

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Mark Levin blasts Mueller report as ‘impeachment’ manual for House Dems and media

The Mueller report is a 400-page, $35 million op-ed that amounts to an “impeachment report” for the liberal media and House Democrats, argued Mark Levin on his Sunday program, “Life, Liberty & Levin.” ‘

The Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s nearly two-year investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election found “no collusion” between President Trump and Russia. The Department of Justice released a redacted version of the report in two volumes on Thursday.

Levin called the result a “pathetic joke of a report” that established nothing the general public didn’t already know and its findings didn’t warrant a “special investigation.”

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“There’s no collusion, says the Special Counsel. That takes one sentence. It doesn’t take 200 damn pages. It doesn’t take $35 million dollars,” Levin said, referring to Vol. 2 of the report.

Despite the Democrats warning of a “Saturday Night Massacre” like President Nixon during Watergate, President Trump never asserted executive privilege to prevent documents or people around him from talking to Mueller. He was an open book,” Levin argued.

But after the report found no evidence of collusion, the Democrats, who had been discussing impeachment since the day after Trump was elected, pivoted to pinning obstruction of justice charges on the president, Levin said.

“This is an abuse of power by a prosecutor. This is the only prosecutor in the entire country who writes a report under justice department regulations, a report that is only supposed to go to the Attorney General, who then makes decisions about whether to release any of it. Or all of it, because there’s no requirement for this to be released at all,” Levin said.

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The Mueller report is, essentially, Levin argued, “an impeachment report” that was written for the “media and the “Democrats in the House of Representatives.”

“They wrote it for CNN, they wrote it for MSNBC. They wrote it for Nadler and Schiff and all the other reprobates. They wrote the report for them,” Levin said.

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Levin said the investigation “runs completely contrary to a civilized society” and a “constitutional system,” yet there is not a single Democrat member of the House of Representatives or “so-called news person” at any major outlet that appears to be concerned.

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Washington state could become first state to allow human composting

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Washington state could become first state to allow human composting

Washington state lawmakers on Friday passed a bill that would allow residents take part in “natural organic reduction” of human remains, citing in part research that said careful composted human remains could be safe for use in a household garden, reports said.

The Seattle Times reported that Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee’s office on Friday said he did not review the final legislation. Inslee– who is running for president— has been active on Twitter since the state Senate and House of Representative passed bill 5001, but did not mention the bill in any posts. The bill reportedly passed easily and had bipartisan support.

The report pointed out that the measure has been several years in the making. There was a trial that involved six backers who agreed to organic reduction. The results were positive and “the soil smelled like soil and nothing else,” the report said.

Troy Hottle, a fellow at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, told the paper that the method is as “close to the natural process of decomposition [as] you’d assume a body would undergo before we had an industrialized society.”

An NBC News report last year said the procedure could cost $5,500.

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“People from all over the state who wrote to me are very excited about the prospect of becoming a tree or having a different alternative for themselves,” Democratic state Sen. Jamie Pedersen told NBC.

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Ben Carson explains benefits of investing in ‘Opportunity Zones’ for areas facing economic challenges

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Ben Carson explains benefits of investing in 'Opportunity Zones' for areas facing economic challenges

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson spoke on “The Next Revolution with Steve Hilton” in an interview that aired Sunday about proposed new regulations aimed at making it easier for investors to take advantage of tax breaks for investing in “Opportunity Zones” in low-income areas.

“Policies have been pretty much aimed at putting people into programs,” Carson said, and now the Trump administration is trying to get poor Americans “out of the programs and self-sufficient.”

President Trump said last week that 8,700 neighborhoods across all 50 states and U.S. territories have received the Opportunity Zone designation and would be eligible for the federal tax incentives he’s proposed.

“The entire island of Puerto Rico is an opportunity zone,” Carson said.

“We are very concerned about the rural areas, too,” he added.

Trump’s proposed regulations were issued by the Treasury Department. They sought to clear up questions that were keeping some investors from using the incentives.

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The program was included in the $1.5 trillion tax cut legislation that Trump pushed through Congress in 2017.

The new Opportunity Zones were set up to enable private investors to re-invest profits into designated areas.

“They are going to invest that money somewhere,” Carson said.

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He noted private investors would do what they do because they “want to be successful.”

As White House officials have explained, investors in Opportunity Zones could get tax benefits by deferring their capital gains taxes invested in the zones until 2026. They also could receive discounts of up to 15 percent on capital-gains profits invested in the zones and would pay no capital-gains taxes on investments in the zones held for at least 10 years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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