Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Politics

President Barack Obama to bring economy message to Florida

President Barack Obama will travel to Jacksonville on Thursday and deliver remarks at the Port Authority as part of a series of events scheduled to focus on the economy, the White House announced Monday.

The larger trip, which was announced last week shortly after the president spoke about racism in the wake of the not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial, is intended as part of a nationwide campaign aimed at emphasizing the administration's attempt to build the economy by boosting the middle class. But in Florida, the president's remarks also are likely to be viewed in the context of the racial issues festering since the Zimmerman verdict.

At his surprise visit to the White House briefing room last week, Obama called on states such as Florida to re-examine "stand your ground" laws and he invoked concerns that the laws may "encourage the kinds of altercations, confrontations and tragedies as we saw in the Florida case, rather than defuse potential altercations."

Since then, dozens of protesters continue a sit-in outside Gov. Rick Scott's Tallahassee office, demanding the Legislature convene a special session to repeal the "stand your ground" law and address the disparities in sentencing for black teens. The governor and legislative leaders have said they oppose changing the law and refuse to call a session.

Obama will begin his "focus on the economy" tour in his home state of Illinois where he will deliver a major address at Knox College in western Illinois on Wednesday, the White House said.

Obama believes Washington "has taken its eye off the ball on the most important issue facing the country,'' said White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer in an email Sunday. The president will "lay out his vision for rebuilding an economy that puts the middle class and those fighting to join it front and center,'' he said.

Pfeiffer bashed the infighting that has paralyzed progress in Congress saying, "instead of talking about how to help the middle class, too many in Congress are trying to score political points, refight old battles and trump up phony scandals."

But Pfeiffer's comments supplied a convenient opening for the Republican Party of Florida, which launched an "Eye Off the Ball" series on its website Monday to chide the president.

"We, too, have noticed the president's lack of leadership on the economy," said Susan Hepworth, RPOF spokeswoman. The party has posted a mock-up of the president throwing a football and suggesting his speaking tour is "a Hail Mary pass on the economy."

Comments
Obama, Biden and Trump make late pushes in Alabama Senate race

Obama, Biden and Trump make late pushes in Alabama Senate race

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ó National political leaders, a Hollywood actress and a retired basketball star made last-ditch efforts to woo voters in the Alabama Senate race Monday, as the candidates gave their final arguments in a pivotal special election that ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
PolitiFact: Looking back at the Trump teamís falsehoods of 2017

PolitiFact: Looking back at the Trump teamís falsehoods of 2017

President Donald Trump made many inaccurate statements in 2017. His White House team seems to be following in his footsteps when defending him. Some of Trumpís staffers have made the argument that it is valid to use inaccurate facts to bolster larger...
Updated: 3 hours ago
PolitiFact: Notable misstatements about Donald Trump from 2017

PolitiFact: Notable misstatements about Donald Trump from 2017

President Donald Trump’s words can be at odds with reality, a fact we’ve documented again and again during his first year in office. His claim that the Trump-Russia investigation is a "made-up story" earned Trump our 2017 Lie of the Year....
Updated: 3 hours ago
Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority plays beat the clock on GOP tax bill

Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority plays beat the clock on GOP tax bill

TAMPA ó With the Republican tax bill poised to eliminate the opportunity, the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority on Monday said it had refinanced a big chunk of its debt to save money in the future.The authority borrowed $152 million from the bo...
Published: 12/11/17
Alabama Senate race, unlikely nail biter, races to finish line

Alabama Senate race, unlikely nail biter, races to finish line

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ó In a blur of television ads, conflicting polls and presidential tweets, Doug Jones and Roy Moore raced Monday to make their final pleas in Alabamaís special election for the Senate, with both candidates focused on turning out their...
Published: 12/11/17
As tax plan gained steam, GOP lost focus on the middle class

As tax plan gained steam, GOP lost focus on the middle class

The GOP tax plan on the cusp of becoming law diverges wildly from the promises President Trump and top advisers said they would deliver for the middle class ó an evolution that shows how traditional Republican orthodoxy swamped Trumpís distinctive br...
Published: 12/10/17

Same income, but not taxes, in GOP plan

In most places, a dollar is a dollar. But in the tax code envisioned by Republicans, the amount you make may be less important than how you make it.Consider two chefs working side by side for the same catering company, doing the same job, for the sam...
Published: 12/09/17
Updated: 12/10/17
Democrats fighting math and history in Alabama

Democrats fighting math and history in Alabama

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ó Renegade Republican Roy Moore may be plagued by scandal, but it will take more than that to convince the voters of 44th Place North to show up for Democrat Doug Jones on Tuesday. In a state where Democrats are used to losing, the m...
Published: 12/09/17
 ĎHe believes passionately that the liberal left and the media are out to destroy himí: A look inside Trumpís day-to-day

ĎHe believes passionately that the liberal left and the media are out to destroy himí: A look inside Trumpís day-to-day

WASHINGTON ó Around 5:30 each morning, President Donald Trump wakes and tunes into the television in the White Houseís master bedroom. He flips to CNN for news, moves to "Fox & Friends" for comfort and messaging ideas, and sometimes watches MSNBCís "...
Published: 12/09/17
PolitiFact's 2017 Lie of the Year: Russian election interference is a 'made-up story'

PolitiFact's 2017 Lie of the Year: Russian election interference is a 'made-up story'

A mountain of evidence points to a single fact: Russia meddled in the U.S. presidential election of 2016. In both classified and public reports, U.S. intelligence agencies have said Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered actions to interfere with ...
Updated: 1 hour ago