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House to vote on anti-hate resolution, won’t address Omar

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House to vote on anti-hate resolution, won't address Omar

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On the roster: House to vote on anti-hate resolution, won’t address Omar – I’ll Tell You What: Peter returns! – Brown out – House Dems thinking big for 2020 – Yo quiero Uber

HOUSE TO VOTE ON ANTI-HATE RESOLUTION, WON’T ADDRESS OMAR
Fox News: “Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that Democrats plan to hold a vote in the House on opposing all ‘forms of hatred,’ after days of infighting within the caucus led to the revision of language in a resolution originally intended to condemn anti-Semitism. But Pelosi, during a press conference, said the resolution won’t single out Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, who provoked the outcry over comments seen as anti-Semitic. ‘It’s not about her,’ Pelosi said of Omar. ‘It’s about these forms of hatred.’ Text of the seven page resolution was released Thursday afternoon. It condemns anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim discrimination and bigotry against minorities as ‘hateful expressions of intolerance that are contrary to the values and aspirations of the United States.’ The resolution doesn’t mention Omar by name, but it says ‘imputations of dual loyalty threaten American democracy and have no place in American political discourse.’ …The resolution also references the 2017 white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, the 2015 murder of black congregants at a Charleston church and the 2018 murder of worshippers at a Pittsburgh synagogue. The resolution originated after Omar’s comments.”

This comes after many unforced errors – NYT: “More significantly, the battle overshadowed what was supposed to be a week when Democrats focused on the rollout of the For the People Act, or H.R. 1, a comprehensive government reform package intended to embody the party’s progressive policy response to Mr. Trump. While Democrats fought with one another, Republicans held news conferences, released videos and tried to define the centerpiece of the House Democratic agenda as an immoral giveaway to politicians. … Formulating a unified political message and enforcing party discipline have always posed challenges for House Democrats, who represent a broader demographic and political coalition than the Republicans they supplanted in last year’s midterm elections. … Message control has grown far more difficult since Democrats lost the majority in 2010, thanks to social media — which gives backbenchers like Ms. Omar the power to dominate the news cycle by pressing send on her cellphone.”

Republicans delight – Politico: “GOP leaders had been weighing whether to take their own action against Omar… But Republicans, who already successfully used procedural tools to rebuke Omar for using anti-Semitic tropes last month, are instead choosing to not respond right now, forcing Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to pick from a difficult set of options. ‘I would like to see what the Democrats are going to do,’ Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters Wednesday. ‘We’ve already led on this issue.’ …Republicans think their best strategy is to just let Democrats tear each other apart over the issue. And the GOP’s options are limited in the minority anyway: they likely can’t use procedural tools on the election reform bill to punish Omar, because it wouldn’t be germane. And forcing a vote on a censure resolution rebuking Omar could spark a nasty tit-for-tat with Democrats.”

Bernie, Warren, Harris stand with Omar – The Hill: “Presidential candidates on Wednesday defended Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) amid an avalanche of criticism over her comments slamming pro-Israel groups and politicians. … Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who is Jewish, expressed fear that a House resolution intended to rebuke Omar could hinder a larger conversation over U.S. support for Israel. … Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) wrote in a statement obtained by HuffPost that continued attention directed at Omar, one of the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress, puts her at risk of possible violence. … Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) later condemned reported threats against Omar and pushed back on the notion that criticizing Israel is inherently anti-Semitic.”

THE RULEBOOK: PRIDE GOETH…
“In the third place, those ties which bind the representative to his constituents are strengthened by motives of a more selfish nature. His pride and vanity attach him to a form of government which favors his pretensions and gives him a share in its honors and distinctions.” – Alexander Hamilton and James MadisonFederalist No. 57

TIME OUT: BLAGODARYU VAS, OLGA!
Time: “Russian mathematician Olga Ladyzhenskaya overcame personal and political hurdles and had a lasting impact on a range of scientific fields, from weather forecasting to cardiovascular science and oceanography. On Thursday Google celebrated her life and achievements with a Google Doodle on what would have been her 97th birthday. Ladyzhenskaya was best known for her studies on partial differential equations. … Ladyzhenskaya inherited a love for algebra from her father, a mathematician who came from Russian nobility. When she was 15 …her father was executed by the Soviet authorities, who called him an ‘enemy of the state.’ … Despite earning a place at Leningrad State University with her impressive school grades, Ladyzhenskaya was banned from attending because of her father’s ‘enemy’ status. …[S]he was eventually given spot at Moscow State University in 1943… In recognition of her impressive contribution to mathematics, Ladyzhenskaya was awarded the Lomonosov Gold Medal by the Russian Academy of Sciences in 2002.”

Flag on the play? – Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions.

SCOREBOARD
Trump job performance 
Average approval: 
42.4 percent
Average disapproval: 53.2 percent
Net Score: -10.8 points
Change from one week ago: up 1.8 points 
[Average includes: Monmouth University: 44% approve – 52% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 38% approve – 55% disapprove; Gallup: 43% approve – 54% unapproved; IBD: 41% approve – 53% disapprove; NBC/WSJ: 46% approve – 52% disapprove.]

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**we now return you to our regularly scheduled political palaver**

I’LL TELL YOU WHAT: PETER RETURNS!
This week in Chris Stirewalt’s absence, Dana Perino’s husband Peter McMahon joins the podcast. They discuss the health care, the 2020 Democratic candidates and the upcoming Brexit votes. Plus, find out why Peter had to apologize to Dana. LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE HERE

BROWN OUT
WaPo: “Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio announced Thursday that he will not seek the presidency, a decision he said came after a tour of early primary states left him more confident that his party was focusing more on labor and workers than it had in 2016. ‘I will do everything I can to elect a Democratic President and a Democratic Senate in 2020,’ Brown said in a statement. ‘The best place for me to make that fight is in the United States Senate.’ Brown, 66, is the second Democratic senator to pass on a White House bid this week; Oregon’s Jeff Merkley had released a similar statement Monday. Both senators had hired staff in some early states and had begun to sketch out the argument that a populist Democrat with a record of winning white, working-class voters could break the coalition that narrowly elected Donald Trump.”

Biden for real, reportedly – NYT: “The pieces for a Joseph R. Biden Jr. presidential campaign are falling into place: His nucleus of advisers has begun offering campaign positions to seasoned Democratic strategists. They are eyeing a headquarters in Delaware or nearby Philadelphia and a launch date in the beginning of April. Mr. Biden’s family is on board — his wife, Jill, enthusiastically so. Mr. Biden has also been privately reaching out to a range of influential Democrats, including party donors, members of Congress and allies in the early primary states, to gauge their support. A pillar of organized labor, the International Association of Fire Fighters, is prepared to support him in the Democratic primary. And in recent weeks, Mr. Biden’s strategist, Steve Ricchetti, has called a handful of would-be candidates and their aides to signal that the former vice president is likely to enter the race and of late has been telling Democrats that he’s 95 percent committed to running, according to officials directly familiar with the discussions.”

Drucker: Haley’s path – WashEx: “Republican Nikki Haley is meticulously laying the foundation for a presidential bid in 2024, forming a nonprofit organization to sustain her political-rock-star profile while she builds a financial nest egg so her family can afford her political ambitions. Party insiders keeping tabs on Haley say the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations wouldn’t challenge her old boss, President Trump, in the 2020 primary. … With a coterie of advisers, Haley is choosing each step to maximize her notoriety and chart a course to the White House. Amid quiet maneuvering, Haley’s immediate priority is making money. … Haley in February launched Stand For America, a political nonprofit group, ostensibly to provide her a platform to influence national policy. … Stand For America provides Haley a mechanism to interact with the lawmakers, conservative thought leaders, grassroots activists, and major Republican donors she’ll need in her corner if she runs for president.”

HOUSE DEMS THINKING BIG FOR 2020
NBC News: “Fresh off a 40-seat pickup in 2018, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is launching its 2020 campaign on Thursday hoping to preserve and even bolster the party’s House majority. The DCCC, House Democrats’ official campaign arm, is making an initial multi-million-dollar investment, deploying 60 grassroots organizers — the largest number this early in the campaign season. In an interview with NBC News, DCCC Chair Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., acknowledged House Democrats currently hold a ‘fragile majority’ that needs protection. Still, she said the committee sees opportunities to expand its reach in traditionally Republican-leaning districts in states including Texas and Arizona. The DCCC’s paid grassroots organizers are being sent to 33 Republican-held or open districts and protecting newly elected Democrats in at least 14 states, Bustos said. Most will be based in middle class and upscale suburban areas that are diversifying, such as Orange County, California; Las Vegas and Minneapolis.”

THE JUDGE’S RULING: SUCH TORMENT
This week Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano explains the president’s many “tormentors”: “While the world watched the pseudo-negotiations in Hanoi, House Democrats were conducting a public hearing, over the objections of their Republicans colleagues, about Trump’s alleged unlawful behavior before and while he was president. The sole witness at the hearings was Michael Cohen… While this was happening, Democrats and Republicans in the Senate were joining their House colleagues in opposition to the president’s expenditure of funds that Congress had expressly declined to authorize. … While all this was going on, The New York Times revealed that the FBI and the CIA declined to authorize a top-secret security clearance for the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner… The president has serious and powerful tormentors whom he cannot overcome by mockery alone.” More here.

PLAY-BY-PLAY
Sen. Chuck Grassley wants to see Trump’s tax records if House Dems obtain them – Reuters

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp faces House probe over election tactics – Roll Call

Schock can be redeemed – Chicago Tribune

Pergram: ‘Why Senate may not see new ‘nuclear option’ any time soon’ – Fox News

AUDIBLE: GOBBLE GOBBLE 
“I believe we can actually win elections against people who vote for this turkey.” – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell discussing his opposition to House Democrats’ campaign finance, elections and ethics overhaul called HR 1. The House is set to vote on this measure on Friday. 

FROM THE BLEACHERS
“Just a quick note to say that again this year I will be ‘unsubscribed’ from your Halftime report until after Easter. Please know that this should not be viewed as a commentary on your value in educating me with your knowledge and insights, nor your gift of putting words and sentences together so beautifully that I am often struck by your skill and eloquence in describing both the bizarre and mundane of today’s politics. I’m simply redirecting my focus for a bit. In that spirit I wish you, Brianna, and your families a blessed Lenten season and the real joy of Easter!” – Victoria Doyle, Salem, Ore.

[Ed. note: May the peace of the Lord be upon you and those you hold in your heart. As a Reform Protestant I have only lately come to love the rhythm of the liturgical calendar, but love it I do. I hope you find a deeper, better relationship with the God who made you in these 40 days. But don’t forget to re-subscribe!]   

“Have all the women who are against the president taking executive action for the ‘wall’ and let them talk to the mothers who have lost children because of the illegals getting into the country so freely.  The polls taken by you are flat out bewildering to me. You list a university result as if you didn’t know what the results were going to be? DOH! Your polls only tell me the outcome is what you want it to be!” – Michael Carter, Kenton County, Ky.

[Ed. note: I have been in your county, Mr. Carter; and not just Covington. And one of my dearest friends is from the county next door. And, other than the Reds, I love Cincinnati. My point being, I don’t know you, but I know your people. And in answer, I would challenge you to know and love your fellow Americans better. On most of the major questions that face our republic today, there are broadly popular ideas. Our two major parties benefit from perpetuating these anguishing issues rather than solving them. But that does not apply to us as individual citizens. As far as your skepticism of polls, I generally say “good.” But just make sure that you are as skeptical of the ones that say what you like as you are of the ones that don’t.]

“Greetings, In this note and on the podcast you have shared about the importance of passing on a proper Civics education that highlights the unique features and strengths of our system. You’ve also talked about ‘small r republicanism’ and its merits. I think often even in a regular semester-length civics class some of these more salient philosophical points are overshadowed by lots of mechanical facts about how a bill is created or how the representative counts for each state are calculated. While useful, I wonder if you could suggest a more focused high-school level resource that squarely addresses the primary philosophical foundations of our system – preventing tyranny, protecting individual freedom from the rule of the mob, balance of power, etc. I’m envisioning either a long essay or a book of a few chapters in length that a parent could review with their teenagers over one or two weekends. If you know of no such book, I kindly plead that you consider writing one. Thanks to you and Brianna for all the great work!” – Will Spurgeon, Owasso, Okla.

[Ed. note: Mr. Spurgeon, I will quote your cousin, Charles, back to you: “The Lord gets his best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction.” Now, I’m no Baptist, but I recognize wisdom when I see it. And what will be required of our fallen, angry nation is to aspire once again to the greatness that our forebears once knew. When, this week 154 years ago, our greatest president summoned us to “malice toward none and charity toward all” we were considerably more hateful with each other than we are today. But when I pray every day for my country, I pray for the peace that surpasses all understanding. And I truly, truly believe it is possible. As far as books go, I would recommend that anyone past seventh grade got ahold of whatever Richard Brookhiser they can. Dig in, and when the first one is done, pick up the next one.]

“Chris, I saw your presentation about your book on CSPAN.  Not only are you wise and insightful, you are a missionary among the heathen. I loved your statement that we should not look for meaning for our lives in politics. Although you didn’t mention our Creator by name, it was clear you were talking about Him as the source of our meaning and safety. I grieve that so many people in politics who profess to be Christians exhibit behavior exactly the opposite of the Savior.  Keep up your good work, in political analysis and in gently spreading the Word.” – Cecelia Sessom, San Angelo, Texas

[Ed. note: Oh my goodness! Thank you! I have met the heathens and they are us. I am a professing Christian, but our civic and social needs do not demand any particular faith. What we need is virtue. How you make, get and administer that virtue is entirely your business. I am obliged to help and sustain you as my fellow American. But you are not obliged to worship my God to qualify whatever meager ministrations I might provide. Faith is the most important and most private part of our lives. Those who use it against their brothers and sisters are quite obviously missing the point.]

Share your color commentary: Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.

YO QUIERO UBER
The Takeout: “…Uber published its 2019 Lost & Found Index, which as you might guess, is a breakdown of what and when people forgot stuff (mostly phones) in the cars of strangers last year. … There are some other truly strange items in that list, including an eight-week-old Chihuahua, a bird, and a fish tank containing both water and a fish… A few of the other, more unusual food and food-adjacent items on the list: A salmon head, a ‘medium sized medical marijuana pipe’, a propane tank, a tray of eggs, a Thanksgiving ham and some Italian sausage, ‘a special pizza costume’, two pieces of wedding cake, ‘limited edition Chance the Rapper Starbucks gift card’ and a ‘piece of parchment paper with sap on it.’ Uber also helpfully notes that Sunday is the day people are most likely to forget entire cakes in someone else’s car…”

AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“In the course of his presidency, Obama has gone from an almost magical charismatic figure to an ordinary politician. Ordinary. Average.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) in an interview with Der Spiegel magazine.

Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.

Politics

Clarence Thomas makes rare intervention during Supreme Court arguments

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Clarence Thomas makes rare intervention during Supreme Court arguments

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas surprised court watchers on Wednesday when he made a rare intervention in court arguments — asking a question in a case where a death row inmate is challenging his conviction and sentence.

Thomas, who is the only African-American and the only Southerner on the court, asked his rare question toward the end of arguments in a case involving a black Mississippi death row inmate, Curtis Flowers, who was tried six different times for the 1996 murders of four people in a furniture store.

CLARENCE THOMAS BACKS TRUMP’S CALL FOR CHANGING DEFAMATION LAW TO EASE SUITS AGAINST MEDIA

Flowers’ lawyers claims a white prosecutor had a history of impermissibly using jury strikes to exclude African-Americans from the jury.

The Associated Press reported that a clear majority of the court appeared “troubled” by the actions of the prosecutor — District Attorney Doug Evans — in the prosecution of Flowers.

Thomas asked if Flowers’ lawyers in the case had made similar decisions, and the race of any struck jurors. Lawyer Sheri Lynn Johnson said three white jurors were excused by Flowers’ lawyer.

According to The Washington Post, two of Flowers’ trials were hung, and convictions in three others were overturned because of misconduct by Evans.

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But the Mississippi Supreme Court upheld his 2010 conviction, despite Evans striking five of six black jurors, arguing that Evans had race-neutral reasons for the strikes.

Thomas’ last questions in a case  were in 2016, and that was his first intervention in a decade. He has said previously that he relies on the written briefs and believes his colleagues interrupt too much.

Fox News’ Bill Mears and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Politics

Trump says he doesn’t mind if public sees Mueller’s Russia probe report

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Trump says he doesn't mind if public sees Mueller's Russia probe report

U.S. President Donald Trump talks to reporters as he departs on travel to Ohio at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he does not mind if the public is allowed to see the report that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is preparing about his investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and any possible links to the Trump campaign.

Mueller is expected to send his report to Attorney General William Barr soon.

Reporting by Steve Holland; Writing by David Alexander; Editing by Tim Ahmann

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Politics

Cindy McCain shares hateful message she received about her family, late husband, after latest attack from President Trump

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Cindy McCain shares hateful message she received about her family, late husband, after latest attack from President Trump

Cindy McCain shared a hateful message she received on Facebook from a stranger the same day President Donald Trump continued his attacks on her late husband, John McCain.

McCain, 64, posted a screenshot of the disgusting comment she was sent by a stranger, identified in the picture as “Tiffany Nicole.”

“I want to make sure all of you could see how kind and loving a stranger can be. I’m posting her note for her family and friends could see,” McCain wrote in a tweet accompanying the image.

The sender called McCain a vile name, labeled John McCain as “traitorous” and “warmongering.” The poster also mocked Meghan McCain’s appearance and said she hopes “The View” co-host “chokes to death.”

DONALD TRUMP’S FEUD WITH McCAIN FAMILY ESCALATES: ‘I WAS NEVER A FAN’

Just hours before McCain posted the message on Twitter, President Trump took another shot at John McCain.

“I was never a fan of John McCain and I never will be,” Trump told reporters at the White House, during a meeting with Brazil’s visiting president.

The comments came after Meghan McCain, who on Monday tore into the president during an emotional segment on “The View,” went back on the offensive on social media. The 34-year-old shared a Toronto Star cartoon on Instagram showing her late father’s military medals side-by-side with a collection of pacifiers under the heading “Donald Trump.”

Later in the night, Meghan McCain responded to Trump’s most recent attacks by tweeting, “As my father always used to say to me – Illegitimi non carborundum,” which means “Don’t let the b–tards grind you down.”

MEGHAN MCCAIN SLAMS DONALD TRUMP IN EMOTIONAL ‘THE VIEW’ SEGMENT: ‘HE WILL NEVER BE A GREAT MAN’

Trump has repeatedly tweeted about John McCain in recent days, falsely claiming the late senator graduated “last in his class” at Annapolis and slamming his role in the Russia investigation.

“So it was indeed (just proven in court papers) “last in his class” (Annapolis) John McCain that sent the Fake Dossier to the FBI and Media hoping to have it printed BEFORE the Election. He & the Dems, working together, failed (as usual). Even the Fake News refused this garbage!” Trump tweeted Sunday morning.

On Saturday, the president responded to reports McCain and an associate had shared with the FBI and various media outlets the unverified dossier alleging that Moscow held compromising information on Trump.

“Spreading the fake and totally discredited Dossier ‘is, unfortunately, a very dark stain against John McCain.’ Ken Starr, Former Independent Counsel,” Trump wrote.

MEGHAN McCAIN HAS SHARP RESPONSE TO TRUMP’S JOHN MCCAIN DOSSIER TWEET

New York, NY - 2017: (L-R) Senator John McCain, Meghan McCain on 'The View', a visit for Meghan McCain's birthday, Monday, October 23, 2017. (Photo by Heidi Gutman /ABC via Getty Images)

New York, NY – 2017: (L-R) Senator John McCain, Meghan McCain on ‘The View’, a visit for Meghan McCain’s birthday, Monday, October 23, 2017. (Photo by Heidi Gutman /ABC via Getty Images)

“He had far worse ‘stains’ than this, including thumbs down on repeal and replace [of the Obama-era Affordable Care Act] after years of campaigning to repeal and replace!”

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Trump has made a practice of attacking McCain, even after the former Arizona senator’s death in August of last year.

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