Monday, February 19, 2018
Politics

State of the Union guests include billionaire's secretary

notebook

Guests include Billionaire's secretary

Among this year's guests was Debbie Bosanek, longtime secretary for billionaire Warren Buffett. President Barack Obama frequently cites Buffett's complaint that the nation's tax code is unfair because he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary. Other guests included:

• Laurene Powell Jobs, wife of late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs

•Former astronaut Mark Kelly, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' husband.

• Adm. William McRaven, the Navy SEAL who commanded the risky, top-secret raid that killed Osama bin Laden. McRaven now heads the military's Special Operations Command.

• Joan Milligan of Orlando, who refinanced her home through the Home Affordable Refinance Program

Obama taking his ideas on the road

For the next three days, the president will promote his ideas from the speech in five states key to his re-election bid. Today he'll visit Iowa and Arizona to promote ideas to boost American manufacturing; on Thursday in Nevada and Colorado he'll discuss energy; and in Michigan on Friday he'll talk about college affordability, education and training.

Cabinet officers to visit Florida

Several Cabinet secretaries and their deputies plan at least six stops in Florida this week to help push the president's proposals.

Today, Education Secretary Arne Duncan is to visit Tallahassee Community College for a town-hall meeting and later meet with Gov. Rick Scott. Thursday, he will be at Pembroke Pines Charter High School, near Miami.

Also Thursday, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan plans to visit the University of Florida to discuss local and regional food systems, and on Friday she visits farmers markets in Lake City and Jacksonville.

Also Friday, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood plans to visit Tampa to tout the administration's infrastructure development efforts.

Well, while I have you on your feet

Ah, the bait and switch. President Obama got Republicans to their feet when he told a story that sounded as if it was taken straight from their playbook, the New York Times wrote. He said his administration got rid of a regulation that forced dairy farmers to spend money proving that they could contain a milk spill, because somehow milk had been classified as an oil. "I'm confident a farmer can contain a milk spill without a federal agency looking over his shoulder," he said to the approving cheers of Republican lawmakers who relish stories of government bureaucrats run amok. But then he turned the tables before they could take their seats. "But I will not back down from making sure an oil company can contain the kind of oil spill we saw in the gulf two years ago," he said. "I will not back down from protecting our kids from mercury pollution, or making sure that our food is safe and our water is clean."

Comments
President Trump expresses support for senators’ gun bill

President Trump expresses support for senators’ gun bill

President Donald Trump signaled support for one piece of gun control legislation on Monday, five days after a mass shooting at a Florida high school left 17 people dead and scores injured."The president is supportive of efforts to improve the federal...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Do Trump’s alleged affairs even matter?

Do Trump’s alleged affairs even matter?

One of the quotes from the 2016 presidential campaign that has stuck with me came from an unidentified Donald Trump supporter who shared his appraisal of the "Access Hollywood" tape on an episode of Showtime’s "The Circus."Having heard Trump boast on...
Published: 02/18/18
Survivors of deadly school shooting lash out at Trump

Survivors of deadly school shooting lash out at Trump

PARKLAND, Fla. — Students who escaped the deadly school shooting in Florida focused their anger Sunday at President Donald Trump, contending that his response to the attack has been needlessly divisive. "You're the president. You're supposed t...
Published: 02/18/18
Trump adviser: Russian meddling ‘incontrovertible’

Trump adviser: Russian meddling ‘incontrovertible’

MUNICH — President Donald Trump’s national security adviser said Saturday there was "incontrovertible" evidence of a Russian plot to disrupt the 2016 U.S. election, a blunt statement that shows how significantly the new criminal charges leveled by an...
Published: 02/17/18
Prominent Republican donor issues an ultimatum

Prominent Republican donor issues an ultimatum

A prominent Republican political donor demanded on Saturday that the party pass legislation to restrict access to guns, and vowed not to contribute to any candidates or electioneering groups that did not support a ban on the sale of military-style fi...
Published: 02/17/18
Hundreds rally against gun violence in downtown St. Pete

Hundreds rally against gun violence in downtown St. Pete

ST. PETERSBURG — A red heart-shaped balloon rose above crowd of several hundred people that had gathered at Williams Park on Saturday evening to mourn Wednesday’s school shooting in Broward County and to protest gun violence.Below the balloon, signs ...
Published: 02/17/18
Divided Congress unable to act on guns, immigration despite public pressure

Divided Congress unable to act on guns, immigration despite public pressure

It’s been five years since the guns and immigration debate collided at the same time on Capitol Hill. This time, the results were even more unproductive.In early 2013, weeks after a gunman killed 20 students and six educators at an elementary school ...
Published: 02/17/18
Stormy Daniels does Tampa: 10 minutes of dancing, then $20 a photo

Stormy Daniels does Tampa: 10 minutes of dancing, then $20 a photo

TAMPA — Well, that was fast.Adult film actress Stormy Daniels made her first appearance at Thee Dollhouse on Friday evening, the first of several shows planned this weekend at the Tampa strip club.She took the stage about 7 p.m. dressed in a pink, fl...
Published: 02/16/18

3 things we just learned from the indictment of 13 Russians in the Mueller investigation

We have the first indictment in Robert Mueller’s investigation that actually has to do with Russian meddling in the 2016 election. The special counsel on Friday indicted 13 Russians in connection with a large-scale troll farm effort aimed at influenc...
Published: 02/16/18
Under fire, Kelly overhauls White House clearance procedure

Under fire, Kelly overhauls White House clearance procedure

NEW YORK — Under pressure over his handling of abuse allegations against a top aide, White House chief of staff John Kelly on Friday ordered sweeping changes in how the White House clears staff members to gain access to classified information, acknow...
Published: 02/16/18