Kansas, Georgia takeaway: Special elections results mixed in predicting future

Apr 22, 2017 16

Old-timers used to leaf through the Farmer’s Almanac to learn of prognostications for a blizzard churning around Valentine’s Day or to determine whether drenching rains would douse their fields come early May.

The Almanac’s soothsaying is said to rely on mathematical equations, tidal movements and the prevalence of sunspots.

Special elections are kind of like the political version of the almanac. Sometimes they unveil a lot about the upcoming political weather. Sometimes, not so much.

The former is why much of political Washington poured over the results in two House special elections of late. Pundits filleted and quartered every precinct and trend. These votes were the first barometer of the electorate since President Trump scored his stunning victory last autumn. It’s notable that these two Republican districts were even remotely in play.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo vacated his southern Kansas district when the Senate confirmed him as the nation’s top spook.

The district favors Republicans by 15 percentage points and Trump outpolled Hillary Clinton by 27 points there last fall. But the GOP suffers “brand” issues in Kansas. Fox was told in the days ahead of the race that it was “way closer than it should be.”

Coupled with the rocky fiscal policies of Kansas GOP Gov. Sam Brownback, the nation’s least-popular governor, the district was ripe for an upset.

Still, Kansas Treasurer Ron Estes defeated Democrat James Thompson by 7 percentage points.

Thompson tried to convert the election into a referendum on the president, but fell short. Trump placed last-minute robo-calls to voters. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the national organization devoted to sending Democrats to the House, didn’t play in the race.

Republicans viewed the victory as validation of Estes, and (with no offense to the congressman-elect), more importantly, Trump.

Democrats contended that even a good showing in the district underscored their argument that the GOP is wounded and the President is toxic.

Maybe. Maybe not.

Then there was the special election in Georgia for the seat formerly occupied by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

Price cruised to victory in the district last fall by 24 points before his resignation. But the president narrowly carried the district. The suburban, educated district in the Atlanta suburbs (and Georgia generally) has seen some Democratic trends in recent years.

Democrat Jon Ossoff secured a plurality of the vote, scoring just under 50 percent. But he needed an absolute majority to avoid a June 20 runoff. Republican Karen Handel finished second.

Again, two ways to read this.

Are Democrats making inroads on red turf? Or, did they blow their chance to win the seat outright and send Ossoff to Congress now in what observers would surely interpret as the first repudiation of the president? After all, Republicans captured most of the vote in the district, slightly outpolling Ossoff. It could be hard for Ossoff to prevail in a one-on-one contest against Handel.

Then again, should it even be this close?

There’s a theory that a perceived weakness predicts a GOP fragility across the board and could put the House in play next fall. That’s still a tall order as Democrats need to capture 24 seats to reclaim the House for the first time since January, 2011.

And don’t forget about Montana. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke resigned from Congress as the state’s at-large congressman. Montana sports a Democratic senator, and it wasn’t that long ago when Big Sky country featured two Democratic senators.

Missoula is the state’s largest city. A university town, Missoula features some left-wing leanings that offset the conservatism of Billings to the east. Democrat Rob Quist (a guitar-strumming cowboy) will face millionaire Republican Greg Gianforte on May 25 to succeed Zinke. A senior Republican source tells Fox, “We could lose Montana in a special election.”

Again, winning in Montana is a stretch for Democrats. But a win in Montana for Democrats would be big.

Unless it was just special circumstances driven by a special election. Small turnout. Bad weather. You name it.

In recent years, both parties focused on a number of House special elections and tried to portray them as electoral bellwethers.

In May 2008, Democrats capitalized on the public’s souring on the Republican Party and sent Rep. Don Cazayoux, D-La., to Congress in a special election over GOPer Woody Jenkins.

Democrats said the outcome accentuated energy on their side and rebuked President George W. Bush. And they predicted 2008 would be a Democratic year. After all, Democrats hadn’t held that deeply red district since 1974.

Democrats were right. President Obama captured the White House, racking up 365 electoral votes. And the party piled on to their already substantial House majority, picking up an additional 21 seats.

But how about Don Cazayoux? Come fall, then Congressman and now Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., defeated Cazayoux, thanks in part to a third party candidate. That flipped the seat back to Republican control after a brief dalliance with Democratic representation.

November 2009 featured a bizarre, almost incomprehensible race in upstate New York to succeed former GOP Rep. John McHugh. Obama tapped McHugh to serve as Army secretary.

Former Rep. Bill Owens, D-N.Y., prevailed over conservative Doug Hoffman. Republican Dede Scozzafava dropped out of the race because she wasn’t conservative enough. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a Republican, played in the race, supporting Hoffman.

The campaign was the first federal election since Obama took office. Republicans argued that a GOP victory would prove the president and Democrats were on the ropes.

But Owens won, turning the district blue for the first time since 1873.

One would think the contest might demonstrate Democrats were faring well. As it turns out, the race meant little. Republicans handed Democrats their heads in the 2010 midterm elections, winning an astonishing 63 seats. Owens won a full term in November, 2010.

The next political weather vane arrived in the spring of 2010.

Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., died that February. His longtime district director and later Rep. Mark Critz, D-Pa., ran in a May special election against Republican Tim Burns.

Democrats had just approved ObamaCare that March. Republicans and the Tea Party movement were howling. The GOP predicted the race could serve as a signpost of things to come that fall. There were assertions that Republicans needed to win that seat to have a shot at flipping control of the House.

It didn’t work out that way. Critz vanquished Burns handily in the special election.

So much for litmus tests. Critz even hung on in the general election in the fall of 2010 — as Republicans rolled.

Rep. Keith Rothfus, R-Pa., defeated Critz in 2012.

Political observers cast their gaze on western New York in May 2011 after the abrupt resignation of then-Rep. Chris Lee, a Republican.

Lee sent a woman shirtless photos of himself, posing and flexing his muscles. Democrat and now-New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul edged out GOPer Jane Corwin to claim the seat.

The district is one of the most rural and conservative in the state. No Democrat had represented that district in Washington in four decades. Corwin struggled after backing a plan by then-House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to slash Medicare.

Democrats believed Hochul’s victory augured well for their effort to reclaim the House that fall. Democratic House candidates outpolled Republicans by 1.4 million votes nationally. Democrats cleaved the GOP advantage in the House that fall nearly in half. But the GOP retained control. Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., toppled Hochul 51 percent to 49 percent.

So what did these special elections reveal? Should they serve as the political version of the Farmer’s Almanac? They are simply snapshots in time at a given place — all complicated with individual local and national factors.

Frogs sometimes croak louder when a storm brews. Look for a dark, amber band on a woolly worm in the summer. That could mean a bad winter is in store. And we all know about the groundhog’s soothsaying in early February.

Special elections sometimes provide great clairvoyance as to what political trends are afoot. And often, they don’t.

Kansas, Georgia takeaway: Special elections results mixed in predict future

Apr 22, 2017 16

Old-timers used to leaf through the Farmer’s Almanac to learn of prognostications for a blizzard churning around Valentine’s Day or to determine whether drenching rains would douse their fields come early May.

The Almanac’s soothsaying is said to rely on mathematical equations, tidal movements and the prevalence of sunspots.

Special elections are kind of like the political version of the almanac. Sometimes they unveil a lot about the upcoming political weather. Sometimes, not so much.

The former is why much of political Washington poured over the results in two House special elections of late. Pundits filleted and quartered every precinct and trend. These votes were the first barometer of the electorate since President Trump scored his stunning victory last autumn. It’s notable that these two Republican districts were even remotely in play.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo vacated his southern Kansas district when the Senate confirmed him as the nation’s top spook.

The district favors Republicans by 15 percentage points and Trump outpolled Hillary Clinton by 27 points there last fall. But the GOP suffers “brand” issues in Kansas. Fox was told in the days ahead of the race that it was “way closer than it should be.”

Coupled with the rocky fiscal policies of Kansas GOP Gov. Sam Brownback, the nation’s least-popular governor, the district was ripe for an upset.

Still, Kansas Treasurer Ron Estes defeated Democrat James Thompson by 7 percentage points.

Thompson tried to convert the election into a referendum on the president, but fell short. Trump placed last-minute robo-calls to voters. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the national organization devoted to sending Democrats to the House, didn’t play in the race.

Republicans viewed the victory as validation of Estes, and (with no offense to the congressman-elect), more importantly, Trump.

Democrats contended that even a good showing in the district underscored their argument that the GOP is wounded and the President is toxic.

Maybe. Maybe not.

Then there was the special election in Georgia for the seat formerly occupied by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

Price cruised to victory in the district last fall by 24 points before his resignation. But the president narrowly carried the district. The suburban, educated district in the Atlanta suburbs (and Georgia generally) has seen some Democratic trends in recent years.

Democrat Jon Ossoff secured a plurality of the vote, scoring just under 50 percent. But he needed an absolute majority to avoid a June 20 runoff. Republican Karen Handel finished second.

Again, two ways to read this.

Are Democrats making inroads on red turf? Or, did they blow their chance to win the seat outright and send Ossoff to Congress now in what observers would surely interpret as the first repudiation of the president? After all, Republicans captured most of the vote in the district, slightly outpolling Ossoff. It could be hard for Ossoff to prevail in a one-on-one contest against Handel.

Then again, should it even be this close?

There’s a theory that a perceived weakness predicts a GOP fragility across the board and could put the House in play next fall. That’s still a tall order as Democrats need to capture 24 seats to reclaim the House for the first time since January, 2011.

And don’t forget about Montana. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke resigned from Congress as the state’s at-large congressman. Montana sports a Democratic senator, and it wasn’t that long ago when Big Sky country featured two Democratic senators.

Missoula is the state’s largest city. A university town, Missoula features some left-wing leanings that offset the conservatism of Billings to the east. Democrat Rob Quist (a guitar-strumming cowboy) will face millionaire Republican Greg Gianforte on May 25 to succeed Zinke. A senior Republican source tells Fox, “We could lose Montana in a special election.”

Again, winning in Montana is a stretch for Democrats. But a win in Montana for Democrats would be big.

Unless it was just special circumstances driven by a special election. Small turnout. Bad weather. You name it.

In recent years, both parties focused on a number of House special elections and tried to portray them as electoral bellwethers.

In May 2008, Democrats capitalized on the public’s souring on the Republican Party and sent Rep. Don Cazayoux, D-La., to Congress in a special election over GOPer Woody Jenkins.

Democrats said the outcome accentuated energy on their side and rebuked President George W. Bush. And they predicted 2008 would be a Democratic year. After all, Democrats hadn’t held that deeply red district since 1974.

Democrats were right. President Obama captured the White House, racking up 365 electoral votes. And the party piled on to their already substantial House majority, picking up an additional 21 seats.

But how about Don Cazayoux? Come fall, then Congressman and now Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., defeated Cazayoux, thanks in part to a third party candidate. That flipped the seat back to Republican control after a brief dalliance with Democratic representation.

November 2009 featured a bizarre, almost incomprehensible race in upstate New York to succeed former GOP Rep. John McHugh. Obama tapped McHugh to serve as Army secretary.

Former Rep. Bill Owens, D-N.Y., prevailed over conservative Doug Hoffman. Republican Dede Scozzafava dropped out of the race because she wasn’t conservative enough. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a Republican, played in the race, supporting Hoffman.

The campaign was the first federal election since Obama took office. Republicans argued that a GOP victory would prove the president and Democrats were on the ropes.

But Owens won, turning the district blue for the first time since 1873.

One would think the contest might demonstrate Democrats were faring well. As it turns out, the race meant little. Republicans handed Democrats their heads in the 2010 midterm elections, winning an astonishing 63 seats. Owens won a full term in November, 2010.

The next political weather vane arrived in the spring of 2010.

Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., died that February. His longtime district director and later Rep. Mark Critz, D-Pa., ran in a May special election against Republican Tim Burns.

Democrats had just approved ObamaCare that March. Republicans and the Tea Party movement were howling. The GOP predicted the race could serve as a signpost of things to come that fall. There were assertions that Republicans needed to win that seat to have a shot at flipping control of the House.

It didn’t work out that way. Critz vanquished Burns handily in the special election.

So much for litmus tests. Critz even hung on in the general election in the fall of 2010 — as Republicans rolled.

Rep. Keith Rothfus, R-Pa., defeated Critz in 2012.

Political observers cast their gaze on western New York in May 2011 after the abrupt resignation of then-Rep. Chris Lee, a Republican.

Lee sent a woman shirtless photos of himself, posing and flexing his muscles. Democrat and now-New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul edged out GOPer Jane Corwin to claim the seat.

The district is one of the most rural and conservative in the state. No Democrat had represented that district in Washington in four decades. Corwin struggled after backing a plan by then-House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to slash Medicare.

Democrats believed Hochul’s victory augured well for their effort to reclaim the House that fall. Democratic House candidates outpolled Republicans by 1.4 million votes nationally. Democrats cleaved the GOP advantage in the House that fall nearly in half. But the GOP retained control. Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., toppled Hochul 51 percent to 49 percent.

So what did these special elections reveal? Should they serve as the political version of the Farmer’s Almanac? They are simply snapshots in time at a given place — all complicated with individual local and national factors.

Frogs sometimes croak louder when a storm brews. Look for a dark, amber band on a woolly worm in the summer. That could mean a bad winter is in store. And we all know about the groundhog’s soothsaying in early February.

Special elections sometimes provide great clairvoyance as to what political trends are afoot. And often, they don’t.

March on Science rallies take aim at climate change skepticism, proposed budget cuts

Apr 22, 2017 19

March on Science rallies are being help across the country Saturday in response to what organizers and attendees see as increasing attacks on science.

“When scientists were told on January 25 to be silent, this rally was conceived,” poet Jane Hirshfield told a rain-soaked crowd at a rally near the Washington Monument, footsteps from the White House that President Trump took over on January 20.

Hirshfield was preceded on stage by New Wave star Thomas Dolby, who sang his 1982, techo-influenced hit “She Blinded Me with Science.”

Trump critics see the president’s proposed cutbacks at the Environmental Protection Agency and his administration’s skepticism about what is causing climate change and related issues as threats to science.  

However, organizers say the march is political but not partisan — promoting the understanding of science and defending it from attacks, including a proposed 20 percent cutback at the National Institutes of Health.

“It’s not about the current administration,” said co-organizer and public health researcher Caroline Weinberg. “The truth is we should have been marching for science 30 years ago, 20 years, 10 years ago. … The current (political) situation took us from kind of ignoring science to blatantly attacking it. And that seems to be galvanizing people in a way it never has before.”

The rallies, coinciding with Earth Day, are being held in more than 500 cities worldwide including New York and Geneva.

Marchers in Geneva carried signs that read, “Science — A Candle in the Dark” and “Science is the Answer.”

In London, physicists, astronomers, biologists and celebrities gathered for a march past the city’s most celebrated research institutions. Supporters carried signs showing images of a double helix and chemical symbols.

The protest was putting scientists, who generally shy away from advocacy and whose work depends on objective experimentation, into a more public position.

Signs and banners readied for the Washington rally reflected anger, humor and obscure scientific references, such as “No Taxation without Taxonomy.”

Taxonomy is the science of classifying animals, plants and other organisms.

Scientists involved in the march said they were anxious about political and public rejection of established science such as climate change and the safety of vaccine immunizations.

“Scientists find it appalling that evidence has been crowded out by ideological assertions,” said Rush Holt, a former physicist and Democratic congressman who runs the American Association for the Advancement of Science. “It is not just about Donald Trump, but there is also no question that marchers are saying ‘when the shoe fits.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

March for Science rallies take aim at climate change skepticism, proposed budget cuts

Apr 22, 2017 16

March for Science rallies are being help across the country Saturday in response to what organizers and attendees see as increasing attacks on science.

“When scientists were told on January 25 to be silent, this rally was conceived,” poet Jane Hirshfield told a rain-soaked crowd at a rally near the Washington Monument, footsteps from the White House that President Trump took over on January 20.

Hirshfield was preceded on stage by New Wave star Thomas Dolby, who sang his 1982, techo-influenced hit “She Blinded Me with Science.”

Trump critics see the president’s proposed cutbacks at the Environmental Protection Agency and his administration’s skepticism about what is causing climate change and related issues as threats to science.  

However, organizers say the march is political but not partisan — promoting the understanding of science and defending it from attacks, including a proposed 20 percent cutback at the National Institutes of Health.

“It’s not about the current administration,” said co-organizer and public health researcher Caroline Weinberg. “The truth is we should have been marching for science 30 years ago, 20 years, 10 years ago. … The current (political) situation took us from kind of ignoring science to blatantly attacking it. And that seems to be galvanizing people in a way it never has before.”

The rallies, coinciding with Earth Day, are being held in more than 500 cities worldwide including New York and Geneva.

Marchers in Geneva carried signs that read, “Science — A Candle in the Dark” and “Science is the Answer.”

In London, physicists, astronomers, biologists and celebrities gathered for a march past the city’s most celebrated research institutions. Supporters carried signs showing images of a double helix and chemical symbols.

The protest was putting scientists, who generally shy away from advocacy and whose work depends on objective experimentation, into a more public position.

Signs and banners readied for the Washington rally reflected anger, humor and obscure scientific references, such as “No Taxation without Taxonomy.”

Taxonomy is the science of classifying animals, plants and other organisms.

Scientists involved in the march said they were anxious about political and public rejection of established science such as climate change and the safety of vaccine immunizations.

“Scientists find it appalling that evidence has been crowded out by ideological assertions,” said Rush Holt, a former physicist and Democratic congressman who runs the American Association for the Advancement of Science. “It is not just about Donald Trump, but there is also no question that marchers are saying ‘when the shoe fits.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Trump replaces Obama appointee US Surgeon General Murthy

Apr 22, 2017 17

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, an Obama appointee, has been replaced by the Trump administration.

“Today, Dr. Murthy, the leader of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, was asked to resign from his duties as Surgeon General,” the Department of Health and Human Services said Friday.

Murthy was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2014 as the country’s top doctor.

HHS also said Secretary Tom Price thanked Murthy, the first Indian-American to become surgeon general, for helping the administration with its transition efforts, and that he would continue to serve on the corps.

The administration has named Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams, who was Murthy’s deputy, as acting surgeon general.

Murthy faced some opposition from the National Rifle Association and other conservatives during his Senate confirmation hearings because a group he helped start, Doctors for America, supported gun control.

“While I had hoped to do more to help our nation tackle its biggest health challenges, I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to have served,” Murthy, the country’s 19th surgeon general, posted Friday on his Facebook page.

Trump lawyer told Carter Page to 'cease' calling self adviser, as Russia concerns intensified

Apr 22, 2017 19

Donald Trump’s legal team was trying to distance the president from international businessman Carter Page in the aftermath of the 2016 White House race, amid mounting questions about Russia influencing the outcome, according to a letter obtained by Fox News.  

Attorney Don McGahn told Pace in a December 2016 letter to “immediately cease” saying he is a Trump adviser and to stop suggesting he was more than a short-lived advisory council member “who never actually met with the president-elect.”

Page’s communications were being wiretapped by the FBI at least since last summer because the federal government had reason to believe he was acting as a Russian agent, as first reported by The Washington Post.

The U.S. intelligence community says Russia meddled in the race, in which Trump upset Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, but found no evidence of vote tampering.

FBI Director James Comey recently acknowledged the agency has been investigating the issue.

And top congressional committees are also expected to intensify their probes as members return from break to Washington next week – three days after Fox News obtained the letter.

“You were merely one of the many people named to a foreign policy advisory committee in March of 2016 — a committee that met one time,” McGhan, now White House counsel, also wrote in his letter to Page. “You never met Mr. Trump, nor did you ever ‘advise’ Mr. Trump about anything. You are thus not an ‘advisor’ to Mr. Trump in any sense of the word.”

McGhan is an international financier who specializes in Russia’s oil and gas markets and once worked in Moscow.

He has acknowledged being among those who talked with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at last summer’s Republican National Committee convention, where Trump won the GOP presidential nomination.

Fox News’ John Roberts contributed to this report. 

Senators seek data on Americans caught up in surveillance

Apr 22, 2017 13

A Democratic privacy advocate and libertarian-minded Republican are asking the nation’s top intelligence official to release more information about the communications of American citizens swept up in surveillance operations.

The request by Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon and GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky adds to a chorus of calls for more transparency about how intelligence agencies use and share communications to, from and about Americans.

The two want to know more about how agencies handle these communications as well as data about the number of Americans affected. They also want to make public the procedures on how intelligence about members of Congress is disseminated.

There are still “holes in the public’s understanding of how U.S. person information — collected pursuant to different authorities and by different agencies — is handled,” they wrote.

The senators’ Friday letter to Dan Coats, director of national intelligence, comes as lawmakers gear up for debate over the reauthorization of one of the government’s key surveillance programs, which expires at the end of the year. Programs authorized by Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act target foreigners, but domestic communications are sometimes vacuumed up as well. They were first revealed to the public by Edward Snowden, who leaked files from the National Security Agency.

Critics who want the law reformed worry that agencies use the foreign intelligence collection tool too loosely and sometimes in connection with domestic law enforcement investigations.

Intelligence officials have tried to allay concerns saying that any domestic communications collected are incidental to the targeting of foreigners.

They say Section 702 allows the government to target non-U.S. citizens reasonably believed to be located outside the United States and bars the government from targeting a foreigner to acquire the communications of an American or someone in the U.S. But they say intelligence agencies are authorized under Section 702 to query communications made with Americans in certain, approved cases.

Lawmakers seeking reforms could gain momentum from the investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential election. President Donald Trump recently made an unsubstantiated claim that his conversations were wiretapped. There also is controversy surrounding intercepts that revealed former national security adviser Mike Flynn’s communications with the Russian ambassador.

The House intelligence committee probing Russian activities made a request for similar information earlier this year.

The House committee has scheduled a closed-door hearing for Tuesday with FBI Director James Comey and Adm. Mike Rogers, the head of the National Security Agency. That same day, former CIA Director John Brennan, former National Intelligence Director James Clapper and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates are to testify at an open hearing.

Trump to unveil tax cut he says could be biggest ever

Apr 22, 2017 24

President Trump on Friday said businesses and individuals will receive a “massive tax cut” under a tax reform package he plans to unveil next week.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Trump said the plan will result in tax cuts for both individuals and businesses. He would not provide details of the plan, saying only that the tax cuts will be “bigger I believe than any tax cut ever.”

The president sais the package will be released on “Wednesday or shortly thereafter” — just before his 100 day mark in office. He will face opposition in Congress as the possibility of a government shutdown by the end of the month lingers.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin initially set a goal of getting tax reform passed by August, but that deadline has slipped. Mnuchin now says the administration still hoped to get a bill passed well before the end of the year.

Mnuchin on Thursday said economic growth from proposed tax cuts would come close to $2 trillion over 10 years.

Steve Forbes, in an interview on Fox Business’ “Your World With Neil Cavuto,” said Trump is doing the right thing by aggressively pushing for tax cuts.

“I think he’s recognized that if he doesn’t get this economy moving in a way that people visibly feel it, he and the Republicans are going to be in deep trouble next year,” Forbes said.

He added that Trump will have to push congressional Republicans to get the tax plan through as soon as possible, because even if it’s approved in the short-term, it will take time for Americans to truly feel its effects.

“When you make an investment, it doesn’t mean the building rises up the next day, or the factory rises up the next day, or the services are available the next day,” Forbes said. “It takes time to make these things happen. … Why aren’t they realistic about how the world works?”

In March, a Fox News poll found that 55 percent of participants believed they pay too much in taxes, The number was down from a record 63 percent in march 2015.

Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist said this week that he’s confident that tax reform will be passed despite recent delays.

Norquist said there is agreement between the White House and Republicans in the House and Senate. That includes cutting the corporate rate from 35 to 20 percent, while small businesses would go from 40 down to 25 percent, which he called “very important.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report 

Natanyahu issues stern warning on Iran in exclusive interview with Fox News

Apr 22, 2017 21

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday in an exclusive Fox News interview that the world cannot allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon.

Netanyahu theorized to Sean Hannity about what the outcome would be in a confrontation where an “Islamist terror state” has nuclear weapons. He warned of irreparable damage and said “we cannot allow that to happen.”

“If we are resolute in our policies, we can make sure that doesn’t happen,” he said.

Netanyahu made the comment a day after President Trump ripped into the deal struck by Iran, the U.S. and other world powers in 2015 and said “it shouldn’t have been signed.” Yet he pointedly stopped sort of telegraphing whether or not the U.S. would stay in.

“They are not living up to the spirit of the agreement, I can tell you that,” Trump said of the Iranians, though he did not mention any specific violations. Earlier this week, the administration certified to Congress than Iran was complying — at least technically — with the terms of the deal, clearing the way for Iran to continue enjoying sanctions relief in the near term.

Under the deal, brokered during the Obama administration, Iran agreed roll back key aspects of its nuclear program in exchange for relief from certain economic sanctions. Critics have said it’s unfathomable that the U.S. would grant sanctions relief to Tehran even as it continues testing ballistic missiles, violating human rights and supporting extremist groups elsewhere in the Middle East.

Netanahu told Hannity that his problem with Iran is not merely that it will violate the deal. He said if Iran does not violate the deal, in 12 years, it will “walks into unimpeded enrichment of uranium.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Netanyahu issues stern warning on Iran in exclusive interview with Fox News

Apr 22, 2017 15

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday in an exclusive Fox News interview that the world cannot allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon.

Netanyahu theorized to Sean Hannity about what the outcome would be in a confrontation where an “Islamist terror state” has nuclear weapons. He warned of irreparable damage and said “we cannot allow that to happen.”

“If we are resolute in our policies, we can make sure that doesn’t happen,” he said.

Netanyahu made the comment a day after President Trump ripped into the deal struck by Iran, the U.S. and other world powers in 2015 and said “it shouldn’t have been signed.” Yet he pointedly stopped sort of telegraphing whether or not the U.S. would stay in.

“They are not living up to the spirit of the agreement, I can tell you that,” Trump said of the Iranians, though he did not mention any specific violations. Earlier this week, the administration certified to Congress than Iran was complying — at least technically — with the terms of the deal, clearing the way for Iran to continue enjoying sanctions relief in the near term.

Under the deal, brokered during the Obama administration, Iran agreed roll back key aspects of its nuclear program in exchange for relief from certain economic sanctions. Critics have said it’s unfathomable that the U.S. would grant sanctions relief to Tehran even as it continues testing ballistic missiles, violating human rights and supporting extremist groups elsewhere in the Middle East.

Netanahu told Hannity that his problem with Iran is not merely that it will violate the deal. He said if Iran does not violate the deal, in 12 years, it will “walks into unimpeded enrichment of uranium.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report