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Facebook and Twitter plan new ways to regulate political ads

Facebook and Twitter announced plans Thursday to increase transparency of political campaign ads, changes aimed at preventing foreign manipulation of the coming midterm elections.  Facebook said it would begin including a “paid for” label on the top of any political ads in the United States. Clicking on the label will take people to a page where they can view the cost of the ad and...
NRA host calls for legislation to limit reporting on mass shooters. Then he says he didn’t mean it.

NRA host calls for legislation to limit reporting on mass shooters. Then he says he didn’t mean it.

In the days after a shooter killed 10 people at a Texas high school, National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch joined a chorus of conservatives in spotlighting a subject to blame that didn't involve guns.  "The media has got to stop creating more of these monsters by oversaturation," Loesch said on the NRA's television station, echoing remarks she made after the Parkland shooting...
GOP immigration rebels push ahead despite Trump veto pledge

GOP immigration rebels push ahead despite Trump veto pledge

House advocates for moderate immigration policies stood at the cusp of forcing votes on bills that would give young undocumented immigrants a pathway to U.S. citizenship — even as President Trump threatened to veto any legislation that did not hew to his hard-line views.  Backers of a rare procedural maneuver that would spark an immigration debate against the wishes of House Republican...
Meddling by Kushner and Sessions drove federal prisons director to quit

Meddling by Kushner and Sessions drove federal prisons director to quit

When Jared Kushner hosted a high-profile summit meeting on federal prison reform at the White House last Friday, some in attendance noticed that the man who was ostensibly in charge of the federal prison system, Mark S. Inch, a retired Army major general, was nowhere in sight.  Only Kushner and a few others knew that Inch, a genial former military police commander appointed to oversee the Federal...
Read Trump’s letter to Kim Jong Un canceling North Korea summit

Read Trump’s letter to Kim Jong Un canceling North Korea summit

President Donald Trump on Thursday sent a letter to the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, canceling their highly anticipated summit on June 12 to discuss denuclearization.  The following is the text of that letter, as released by the White House.  —  His Excellency Kim Jong Un Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Pyongyang ...
White House lawyer’s presence at briefings on FBI’s Russia source roils lawmakers

White House lawyer’s presence at briefings on FBI’s Russia source roils lawmakers

Justice Department and intelligence community leaders conferred twice with top Republican and Democratic lawmakers Thursday, hoping to defuse a partisan conflict over the FBI's use of a confidential source to aid the investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia.  After hours of discussion, though, there seemed to be little in the way of resolution. Instead, the meetings...
Canceling of Trump-Kim meeting upends Asia but could help China

Canceling of Trump-Kim meeting upends Asia but could help China

President Donald Trump’s decision Thursday to cancel his planned summit meeting with Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s leader, will disappoint some allies in Asia, hearten others — and perhaps put China in the strongest position of all.  Trump’s announcement put the brakes on disarmament negotiations that had been hurtling ahead at an unprecedented pace. Instead of a meeting...
North Korea says it is ready to talk to US ‘at any time’

North Korea says it is ready to talk to US ‘at any time’

North Korea says it is willing to go ahead with a summit between leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump "at any time," striking a conciliatory tone just hours after Trump's abrupt decision to cancel the meeting because of the "tremendous anger" coming out of Pyongyang.  The statement, from Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye Gwan, highlighted how the North Korean officials...
Courting Kim and coming up short highlights the limits of Trump’s me-first diplomacy

Courting Kim and coming up short highlights the limits of Trump’s me-first diplomacy

At the core of President Donald Trump's foreign policy is a belief that he can use his personal charisma to charm his way to world peace.  The collapse Thursday of the planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shows the limits of Trump's me-first approach to diplomacy.  Trump's letter to Kim canceling the meeting on North Korea's nuclear program neatly summed up his view. In it...
White House commitment to summit ended as spontaneously as it began

White House commitment to summit ended as spontaneously as it began

The historic nuclear disarmament summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un — the one that Trump thought might earn him the Nobel Peace Prize — crumbled nearly as quickly as it came together, in a sudden and startling decision Thursday morning by the American president.  Inside the White House residence, the first alarm sounded about 10 p.m. Wednesday...
Trump’s gamble hits reality check with North Korea

Trump’s gamble hits reality check with North Korea

President Donald Trump attempted a revolutionary approach to North Korea — a gamble that negotiating prowess and deal-making charm in a face-to-face meeting with Kim Jong Un could accomplish what no American president or diplomat had dared to attempt in the 65 years since an uneasy armistice settled over the Korean Peninsula.  It was a bold and innovative approach, and one worth trying...
Thousands of military civilian jobs in Ohio at risk

Thousands of military civilian jobs in Ohio at risk

The U.S. House passed a defense spending bill Thursday that could impact nearly 6,000 civilian defense jobs in Columbus and 2,600 in Cleveland. The impact of the proposal on the Dayton region and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, meanwhile, would be negligible. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said the House GOP plan “would not have a direct personnel...
Air Force could have more say in Wright-Patterson hospital’s future under bill

Air Force could have more say in Wright-Patterson hospital’s future under bill

An Ohio congressman has added an amendment to a defense policy bill that would give military services like the Air Force more of a say in the potential closure or cuts in services at medical facilities, a spokesman says. U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Troy, added the amendment as part of the fiscal year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, which passed the House on Thursday in a 351-66 vote. The...
Senate panel votes to name federal courthouse in Dayton for Judge Rice

Senate panel votes to name federal courthouse in Dayton for Judge Rice

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has passed a bill to name Dayton’s federal courthouse after Judge Walter H. Rice. The move was the first official action on the designation, and now goes to the full Senate. The building at 200 W. Second Street has not had a name since it opened. Rice was appointed to the federal bench in June 1980 by President Jimmy Carter. He served as chief...
Ohio House turns over ex-Speaker Rosenberger documents to FBI

Ohio House turns over ex-Speaker Rosenberger documents to FBI

The Ohio House turned over documents held in a state office tower to the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday — the same day agents searched former speaker Cliff Rosenberger’s house in Clarksville and a nearby storage unit in Wilmington. “Many of the documents were former Speaker Rosenberger’s personal effects,” said Ohio House GOP spokesman Brad Miller in a written...
House OKs $182M Wright-Patt expansion, military pay raise

House OKs $182M Wright-Patt expansion, military pay raise

The House has passed a $717 billion defense policy bill that would give the military a 2.6 percent pay hike, the largest in nine years and allow for a major expansion at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The bill OKs a massive $182 million expansion of the National Air and Space Intelligence Center at the base, one of the largest expansions in history. The bipartisan 351-66 vote sends the measure to...
Congress moves to revamp laws to combat sexual misconduct in its ranks

Congress moves to revamp laws to combat sexual misconduct in its ranks

Congress moved closer Wednesday to revamping its laws on sexual harassment and other workplace misconduct after Senate negotiators unveiled a compromise plan that would prohibit controversial taxpayer-funded settlements.  Under the new proposal, lawmakers would be personally liable for any settlements from their own misconduct, similar to the version passed by the House in February, and it would...
Trump administration warns Democratic-led states are skirting GOP tax law

Trump administration warns Democratic-led states are skirting GOP tax law

The Trump administration said Wednesday that it will propose new regulations for a provision in the Republican tax law that disproportionately raises taxes on residents in Democratic-led states, suggesting that federal officials will move to block attempts to circumvent the tax overhaul.  In a notice, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service said they will issue regulations for...
Trump appears on 'Fox and Friends,' talks MS-13, immigration, North Korea in taped interview

Trump appears on 'Fox and Friends,' talks MS-13, immigration, North Korea in taped interview

President Donald Trump discussed MS-13, immigration, North Korea and the NFL’s new policy on national anthem protests in an interview that aired this morning on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends.” On a possible summit with North Korea: “If that happens, it’ll be a great thing for North Korea. Most importantly, it would be a great thing for the world,” Trump...
Five lessons from this week’s primaries

Five lessons from this week’s primaries

Five lessons from this week's primaries:    For nearly three months, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee reeled from its decision to dump opposition research on Laura Moser, an activist who moved home to Houston from Washington to run for a newly competitive House seat. It backfired in the district, as Moser's fundraising surged, and she won a slot in the May 22 runoff. ...
In reversal, Giuliani now says Trump should do interview with Mueller team

In reversal, Giuliani now says Trump should do interview with Mueller team

President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani switched gears Wednesday, saying that he would prefer the president grant an interview to special counsel Robert Mueller's office and that a decision would be made within "the next couple weeks."  "I guess I'd rather do the interview. It gets it over with it, it makes my client happy," he said. "The safe course you hear every...
Trump’s cryptic China tweet threatens another course change on trade

Trump’s cryptic China tweet threatens another course change on trade

President Donald Trump has sent outraged tweets and combative tweets and happy tweets and tricker tweets (covfefe). There have been tweets in all capital letters and with multiple exclamation points. There have even been tweets that seemed to threaten a preemptive nuclear strike.  But there haven't been many tweets like the one Trump sent Wednesday morning, where he was both cryptic and subtle...
Mueller targeted flows of money to Israeli social-media company

Mueller targeted flows of money to Israeli social-media company

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team has asked about flows of money into the Cyprus bank account of a company that specialized in social-media manipulation and whose founder reportedly met with Donald Trump Jr. in August 2016, according to a person familiar with the investigation.  The inquiry is drawing attention to PSY Group, an Israeli firm that pitched its services to super-PACs and other...
Trump violates First Amendment by blocking Twitter users from feed, judge says

Trump violates First Amendment by blocking Twitter users from feed, judge says

Apart from the man himself, perhaps nothing has defined President Donald Trump’s political persona more than Twitter.  It was through the @realDonaldTrump account on the social platform that Trump kick-started what once seemed like a long-shot presidential bid and mobilized his electoral base.  Now that he is in the White House, he uses Twitter to announce policies, conduct diplomacy...
Kushner receives permanent security clearance, ending uncertainty over his status

Kushner receives permanent security clearance, ending uncertainty over his status

Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, now has a permanent security clearance and recently sat for six to seven hours of questioning by special counsel Robert Mueller's team on a wide range of topics including Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey, according to a person briefed on the matter.  The FBI's background check into Kushner's financial history and...
Fight to lead Ohio House leads to accusations of threats, bullying

Fight to lead Ohio House leads to accusations of threats, bullying

The battle to pick an interim speaker of the Ohio House took a bizarre turn Wednesday as accusations were made about threats, bullying and extortion. State Rep. Ryan Smith, R-Bidwell, who is vying to be speaker for the remainder of the two-year session and the next session starting in January, held an extraordinary press conference outside the House chamber accusing his opponent of intimidating staff...
U.S. Senate votes to expand health care options for veterans

U.S. Senate votes to expand health care options for veterans

The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed a VA Health bill Wednesday that would expand the private health care options for veterans, extending and streamlining the current VA Choice program and providing $5.2 billion for that program. Both Sens. Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman voted for the bill, which embraces increased flexibility, allowing veterans to seek private provider options if VA centers within...
New, updated voting machines could be coming for Ohio voters

New, updated voting machines could be coming for Ohio voters

A bill that would provide nearly $115 million to counties to help upgrade aging voting equipment, reimburse election boards for more recent machine purchases and set up a unified purchasing and leasing program through the Secretary of State passed a Statehouse panel Wednesday. The measure approved by the House Finance Committee already passed the Ohio Senate. It is in limbo for when the full House...
Gov. John Kasich to address graduates of Harvard Kennedy School

Gov. John Kasich to address graduates of Harvard Kennedy School

Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich is delivering the spring graduation address at the Harvard Kennedy School. The former presidential candidate addresses the school of government’s class of 2018 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Wednesday. Kasich’s focus on national policy issues since losing his 2016 presidential bid has fueled speculation that he’s positioning himself to challenge President...
ACLU sues over Ohio’s congressional districts

ACLU sues over Ohio’s congressional districts

The ACLU has filed a constitutional challenge to Ohio’s congressional map, using Republican Gov. John Kasich’s statements opposing gerrymandering as ammunition. A suit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati challenges district maps in effect through 2020 for “an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander” that violates voters’ rights to democratically select...
FBI raids home of former Ohio House Speaker Rosenberger

FBI raids home of former Ohio House Speaker Rosenberger

Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation are searching former Ohio House speaker Cliff Rosenberger’s house in Clarksville and at a storage facility in Wilmington this morning. “We are conducting law enforcement activities in those areas,” said FBI spokesman Todd Lindgren. He declined further comment. Agents dressed in khakis and navy blue polo shirts and wearing gloves and...
When it comes to Trump, men and women remain far apart

When it comes to Trump, men and women remain far apart

The evidence continues to pile up. When it comes to Donald Trump, there's a big difference between men and women.  Yes, many women voted for Trump in 2016 and continue to support him as president almost without reservation. They are women like Janelle Lutgen, whom I met during intermittent travels through counties in the Midwest over the past year-plus. She's a Republican official in Iowa and...
Manafort accuses Mueller prosecutors of smearing him with leaks

Manafort accuses Mueller prosecutors of smearing him with leaks

Lawyers for Paul Manafort accused prosecutors working with Special Counsel Robert Mueller of smearing their client through unflattering media accounts that originated with illegal grand jury leaks.  The lawyers on Monday urged U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis to hold a hearing focusing in particular on communications involving Andrew Weissmann, one of the Mueller prosecutors, with The Associated...
House members response on Parkland gun policy agenda shows party divide

House members response on Parkland gun policy agenda shows party divide

A student walked into Santa Fe High School outside Galveston, Texas on Friday and began shooting his classmates, murdering eight students and two teachers.  The horrific shooting comes at a time of increased focus on gun policy issues nationwide, brought to the forefront by survivors of another school shooting in Parkland, Florida, just three months ago.  Following that shooting, a group...
Schumer calls for removal of North Korean leader’s face from commemorative coin

Schumer calls for removal of North Korean leader’s face from commemorative coin

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., called on the White House on Tuesday to remove an image of Kim Jong Un from a coin meant to commemorate the planned summit next month between the North Korean dictator and President Donald Trump.  Schumer's call, made via Twitter, came a day after media reports surfaced about the design of the "challenge coin," which features likenesses...
Cohen’s partner in businesses pleads guilty in deal, and will aid inquiry

Cohen’s partner in businesses pleads guilty in deal, and will aid inquiry

A significant business partner of Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, has agreed to cooperate with the government as a potential witness, a development that could be used as leverage to pressure Cohen to work with the special counsel examining Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.  Under the deal reached with the New York attorney general’s office...
Can parents be charged for failing to keep their guns locked up?

Can parents be charged for failing to keep their guns locked up?

Authorities in Texas were quick to identify the owner of the pistol and shotgun used to kill 10 people at Santa Fe High School on Friday — they had been bought legally by the suspect’s father, the police said.  Less clear was how the suspected gunman, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, came to possess the weapons, raising questions about whether anyone else could be held responsible for the massacre...
Bannon condemns Mnuchin’s trade truce as China giveaway

Bannon condemns Mnuchin’s trade truce as China giveaway

Former Trump political strategist Steve Bannon condemned a weekend truce in the U.S. trade dispute with China as a capitulation, signaling dissatisfaction among the president's allies.  Bannon targeted Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs banker, for his role in the trade talks. President Donald Trump "changed the dynamic regarding China but in one weekend Secretary...
Trump says U.S. reconsidering ZTE penalties as “favor” to Xi

Trump says U.S. reconsidering ZTE penalties as “favor” to Xi

President Donald Trump said his administration is reconsidering penalties on Chinese telecommunications maker ZTE Corp. as a personal favor to the country's president, Xi Jinping.  "The president asked me to look into that," Trump told reporters at the White House on Tuesday. He said there is no deal yet to reduce U.S. penalties that have caused the company to suspend its business,...
Ohio may ban sexting by anyone under 19; set up teen diversion program

Ohio may ban sexting by anyone under 19; set up teen diversion program

A bill that would ban sexting by anyone under age 19 and require courts to set up diversion programs for young offenders was approved by an Ohio House committee Tuesday night. Sexting is so rampant that many teens are finding troubles beyond their years in courts struggling to cope with the modern phenomenon. One study showed almost 15 percent of teens have sent a sext and nearly a quarter have received...
Ohio closer to allowing dogs on restaurant patios statewide

Ohio closer to allowing dogs on restaurant patios statewide

Restaurant owners and not public health officials would decide whether to allow dogs on outdoor patios and porches under a bill that passed an Ohio Senate panel Tuesday. State Sen. Bill Coley, R-West Chester, sponsored the bill. Coley, who likes to take his sheepdogs Wilby and Elwood with him on vacations, out to dinner and around town, said last month of the restaurant owners: “They know what...
Area Congressmen Jordan, Davidson won’t back farm bill

Area Congressmen Jordan, Davidson won’t back farm bill

Rep. Jim Jordan says he has no intention of voting for a farm bill until House Republicans have fulfilled campaign pledges to tackle immigration reform. “I ain’t going to vote for a farm bill until we figure out what we are going to do on immigration, plain and simple,” Jordan said during a press availability with House conservatives Tuesday. He said House Republicans have &ldquo...
Military base water safety questions remain as fight for study continues

Military base water safety questions remain as fight for study continues

A bipartisan group of congressional lawmakers have called on the U.S. EPA leader to release a chemical pollution study that reportedly shows lower threshold levels for groundwater contamination that could impact more than a hundred military bases, including Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, but the head of the agency said he doesn’t have the authority to release the study. U.S. Rep. Mike Turner...
Ohio step closer to having ‘Stand your ground’ gun law

Ohio step closer to having ‘Stand your ground’ gun law

A controversial bill to give armed Ohioans the right to “stand your ground” in public places such as parks, roads or stores moved out of a House committee on Tuesday. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican who now supports what he calls common sense gun control, has promised to veto the bill if it reaches his desk. House Bill 228 cleared the House Federalism and Interstate Relations Committee...
Ohio looks to decide what police body, dashboard video is public

Ohio looks to decide what police body, dashboard video is public

An Ohio House panel passed a bill Tuesday that would change which dashboard camera and police body camera videos are public and when police can withhold them from release. “This bill protects privacy rights, while also providing transparency and accountability for those involved. As new technology is utilized, we must continue to protect our citizens and my bill takes measures to ensure that...
Ohio House delays vote to pick new House speaker

Ohio House delays vote to pick new House speaker

House Republicans in Ohio again brought their decision on former House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger’s successor to a halt, calling off a scheduled vote that’s needed before any more laws can be made. The official reason for canceling Tuesday’s vote on an interim speaker was too few lawmakers could attend. However, there were also rumblings that the impasse that kept Republicans from...
More than 100 tea party leaders push for Jim Jordan as speaker

More than 100 tea party leaders push for Jim Jordan as speaker

More than 100 Tea Party leaders have sent an open letter to Rep. Jim Jordan urging him to immediately declare himself a candidate for speaker. “You must take the lead,” read the letter, signed by Tea Party and ultra-conservative leaders including Ed Meese, who was attorney general for President Ronald Reagan, Jenny Beth Martin, the chairman of the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund and Eunie...
Democrats’ newest midterm pitch: A crackdown on corruption

Democrats’ newest midterm pitch: A crackdown on corruption

Democrats plan to highlight allegations of corruption surrounding the Trump administration — and a legislative agenda to prevent future abuses — as they continue rolling out their party platform ahead of November's midterm elections.  The first planks of the "A Better Deal" platform, released last year, focused on the party's economic agenda. Now, with questions about pay-to-play...
Trump to meet S. Korea’s Moon amid signs that partnership is faltering on N. Korea

Trump to meet S. Korea’s Moon amid signs that partnership is faltering on N. Korea

President Donald Trump will meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the White House on Tuesday amid signs that his close partnership with Seoul in brokering a historic nuclear deal with North Korea's Kim Jong Un is faltering.  Moon's top aides presented Trump in March with the invitation from Kim to hold the unprecedented summit, an offer Trump accepted on the spot. But Moon's visit to...
Mexican candidates take hard line on Trump

Mexican candidates take hard line on Trump

The four candidates to be president of Mexico called each other liars and hypocrites. They slung demeaning nicknames. They lobbed accusations about each other's alleged corruption and pampered families.  But if there was one thing that the candidates agreed on in a debate Sunday night, it was President Donald Trump.  The candidates charted a similar course: Each said he would demand respect...
Xi Jinping can make or break any deal between Trump and Kim

Xi Jinping can make or break any deal between Trump and Kim

President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un will meet next month to negotiate a deal that could avert nuclear war. But the ultimate success of any agreement hinges on someone else: China's President Xi Jinping.  As North Korea's largest trading partner, China's enforcement of United Nations sanctions helped bring Kim to the negotiating table while also shielding his regime from Trump's warnings of...
Blankenship says he will make a third-party run for Senate in West Virginia

Blankenship says he will make a third-party run for Senate in West Virginia

Controversial former coal baron Don Blankenship said Monday that he is launching a third-party campaign for the Senate after losing in West Virginia's Republican primary, a decision that could complicate the GOP's efforts to keep its majority in the midterm elections.  Blankenship, who finished third in the Republican primary for Senate in West Virginia earlier this month, said in a statement...
They spoke Spanish in a Montana store. Then a border agent asked for their IDs

They spoke Spanish in a Montana store. Then a border agent asked for their IDs

In the small town of Havre, Montana, the Town Pump Convenience Store is about the only shop open after midnight. It was about that time last Wednesday when a pair of friends, Ana Suda, who was out of eggs, and Mimi Hernandez, whose daughter needed milk, walked into the store.  Suda does not recall what they discussed while they browsed the store, but she knows they conversed in Spanish. That...
Divisions within Trump team undercut quick trade victory with China

Divisions within Trump team undercut quick trade victory with China

By the time U.S. negotiators wrapped up high-level talks with a visiting Chinese delegation last week, President Donald Trump’s ambitions for a multibillion-dollar trade agreement had, for the time being, shriveled into a blandly worded communiqué without any dollar figures. It was not clear that the talks set a path to success.  Ceaseless infighting and jockeying for influence on...
Trump team’s Mueller strategy: Limit the investigation and attack the investigators

Trump team’s Mueller strategy: Limit the investigation and attack the investigators

Frustrated and impatient, fed up with waiting and eager to fight back, President Donald Trump has embarked on what amounts to a two-prong strategy to contain the threat and undercut the credibility of the escalating investigations targeting him and his associates.  The blizzard of Twitter messages combined with a string of public statements by his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, in recent days seemed...
By demanding an investigation, Trump challenged a constraint on his power

By demanding an investigation, Trump challenged a constraint on his power

When President Donald Trump publicly demanded that the Justice Department open an investigation into the FBI’s scrutiny of his campaign contacts with Russia, he inched further toward breaching an established constraint on executive power: The White House does not make decisions about individual law enforcement investigations.  “It’s an incredible historical moment,” said...
Trump’s charm and threats aren’t working on China. Here’s why.

Trump’s charm and threats aren’t working on China. Here’s why.

China has called President Donald Trump’s bluff.  Chinese negotiators left Washington this weekend with a significant win: a willingness by the Trump administration to hold off for now on imposing tariffs on up to $150 billion in Chinese imports. China gave up little in return, spurning the Trump administration’s nudges for a concrete commitment to buy more goods from the United States...
Ohio voters step closer to voting on payday lending reforms

Ohio voters step closer to voting on payday lending reforms

Consumer advocates are keeping the pressure on the payday lending industry by simultaneously pushing lawmakers to adopt reforms and going forward with a ballot effort. The advocates won approval Monday for their petition language from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. Once they clear the Ohio Ballot Board, they’ll be allowed to start gathering the required 306,000 valid voter signatures to...
Ohio board cancels plan to announce locations of medical marijuana stores

Ohio board cancels plan to announce locations of medical marijuana stores

State officials have canceled a Wednesday meeting to announce where dozens of medical marijuana dispensaries will be located across Ohio. The Board of Pharmacy was expected to name up to 56 dispensary licensees in 28 geographic districts.  The state received 376 dispensary applications. The meeting was postponed to give more time to gather some required information on applicants. The site announcement...
Best state for veterans? Ohio isn’t on the list

Best state for veterans? Ohio isn’t on the list

Ohio isn’t one of the best states for veterans, according to a new analysis. The average officer is only 45 years old — 42 for non-disability enlisted personnel — upon retirement from service, according to WalletHub’s new analysis. Military retirees deal with re-assimilation into civilian life, sometimes facing challenges with the job markets, homelessness, disabilities...
Local Congressman Jim Jordan could become one of most powerful D.C. players

Local Congressman Jim Jordan could become one of most powerful D.C. players

With the 2018 midterm elections months away, experts are eyeing two scenarios for House Republicans: One: they lose the House majority. Two: They keep the majority, but it shrinks. For U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, the first scenario is a nightmare. The second could make him one of the most powerful people in Washington. Jordan, who saw his two endorsed GOP candidates for Ohio U.S House seats fall in the...
Retherford says House dysfunction has lead to inaction in electing a new speaker

Retherford says House dysfunction has lead to inaction in electing a new speaker

State Rep. Wes Retherford has several opinions on the Ohio House’s inaction Tuesday in trying to name a new speaker. In a lengthy Facebook post, Retherford, R-Hamilton, said one lawmaker called his constituents “too clueless” to understand what’s going on in the Statehouse, the “dean” of the Republican caucus has treated most House lawmakers like children, and the...
Kushner tower, drowning in debt, gets lifeline with ties to Qatar

Kushner tower, drowning in debt, gets lifeline with ties to Qatar

The company controlled by the family of White House adviser Jared Kushner is close to receiving a bailout of its troubled flagship building by a company with financial ties to the government of Qatar, according to executives briefed on the deal.  Charles Kushner, head of the Kushner Cos., is in advanced talks with Brookfield Asset Management over a partnership to take control of 666 Fifth Ave...
‘Bigger than Watergate’? Both sides say yes, but for different reasons

‘Bigger than Watergate’? Both sides say yes, but for different reasons

President Donald Trump and his critics actually agree on something. If a column he read in a magazine is correct, he wrote on Twitter on Thursday, “this is bigger than Watergate!”  Never mind that he was thinking of something different than his adversaries when they use the same phrase. Trump was referring to what he deems a deep-state conspiracy to get him. His detractors are referring...
Show starring Avenatti and Scaramucci is being pitched to TV executives

Show starring Avenatti and Scaramucci is being pitched to TV executives

A television show featuring Michael Avenatti, the lawyer who is suing President Donald Trump on behalf of a pornographic film actress, and former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci was pitched to two cable networks in recent weeks, people briefed on the matter said Thursday.  Prominent television agent Jay Sures discussed with executives at CNN and MSNBC the concept of a program...
Responding to leaks, White House limits number of staff in daily meeting

Responding to leaks, White House limits number of staff in daily meeting

The White House communications office has canceled a large daily morning meeting in response to the leak of a joke about Sen. John McCain being close to death that a staff member made at one of those meetings, two people familiar with the matter confirmed Thursday.  The meeting, which brought together roughly 30 communications staff members from the West Wing, did not take place Thursday or the...
Trump joins push by allies to expose an FBI source

Trump joins push by allies to expose an FBI source

President Donald Trump's allies are waging an increasingly aggressive campaign to undercut the Russia investigation by exposing the role of a top-secret FBI source. The effort reached new heights Thursday as Trump alleged that an informant had improperly spied on his 2016 campaign and predicted that the ensuing scandal would be "bigger than Watergate!"  The extraordinary push begun...
Congressional candidates, not Mueller, could decide Trump’s future

Congressional candidates, not Mueller, could decide Trump’s future

For months, the political world has treated Robert Mueller as the arbiter of President Donald Trump’s fate: Hopeful Democrats have theorized about the damage Mueller’s investigation might inflict. Suspicious Republicans, led by Trump, have cast him as leading a “witch hunt.”  But this week Rudy Giuliani, the president’s lawyer, offered a bracing reminder that Mueller...
Yanny or Laurel? The Trump White House wants to know, too

Yanny or Laurel? The Trump White House wants to know, too

The Laurel vs. Yanny debate, which has sharply divided the American public this week, reached the highest levels of government on Thursday.  In a 45-second video posted on Twitter, President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and other White House officials weighed in.  And like the rest of the country, they were divided.  The debate in question refers to an audio clip that was...
Trump defends ‘animals’ remark, saying it referred to MS-13 gang members

Trump defends ‘animals’ remark, saying it referred to MS-13 gang members

President Donald Trump on Thursday defended his use of the word “animals” to describe dangerous criminals trying to cross into the United States illegally, saying that he had been referring to members of the brutal transnational gang MS-13 when he used language critics called inappropriate.  “I’m referring, and you know I’m referring, to the MS-13 gangs that are...
Recreational marijuana closer to Ohio ballot — but lots of work ahead

Recreational marijuana closer to Ohio ballot — but lots of work ahead

Legalized recreational marijuana is one small step closer to appearing on Ohio ballots in 2019. The Ohio Ballot Board certified a proposed constitutional amendment Thursday, according to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s office. The amendment was previously certified earlier this month by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. Ohio Families for Change is behind the effort to bring the matter...
Prospective Democratic presidential candidates put their ideas on audition

Prospective Democratic presidential candidates put their ideas on audition

Cory Booker. Sherrod Brown. Kirsten Gillibrand. Bernie Sanders. Elizabeth Warren. The former secretary of housing and urban development Julián Castro. And Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York.  All luminaries in the Democratic Party, all on the progressive side of the spectrum. And all potential presidential candidates who were road-testing their pitches on Tuesday at the Center for American...
How the FBI set out, in secrecy, on trail of Trump team

How the FBI set out, in secrecy, on trail of Trump team

Within hours of opening an investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia in the summer of 2016, the FBI dispatched a pair of agents to London on a mission so secretive that all but a handful of officials were kept in the dark.  Their assignment was to meet the Australian ambassador, who had evidence that one of Donald Trump’s advisers knew in advance about Russian election...
Critics fear Trump’s style eclipses substance on North Korea

Critics fear Trump’s style eclipses substance on North Korea

President Donald Trump's strategy on North Korea has played out in full public view over 16 months with dramatic, made-for-TV moments designed to focus global attention on his risky faceoff with dictator Kim Jong Un.  But as North Korean officials abruptly cast doubt this week on Trump's planned historic summit with Kim in Singapore next month, critics fear that a president determined to declare...
Top Trump trade officials still at odds after shouting match in Beijing

Top Trump trade officials still at odds after shouting match in Beijing

Two top trade advisers to President Donald Trump had an expletive packed-shouting match during their trip to Beijing earlier this month, three people familiar with the exchange said, part of an ongoing turf war that's dividing the team negotiating new trade arrangements with China.  The fight erupted when senior White House adviser Peter Navarro complained to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin...
Thousands of pages of congressional testimony shed light on 2016 Trump Tower meeting

Thousands of pages of congressional testimony shed light on 2016 Trump Tower meeting

As Donald Trump Jr. greeted his Russian-speaking guests in a conference room high atop Trump Tower in June 2016, he cut straight to the chase.  "I believe you have some information for us," Trump Jr. said to a Russian lawyer visiting from Moscow, according to one of the attendees.  Trump Jr. had been expecting dirt on Hillary Clinton provided as part of a Russian government effort...
Trump’s personal attorney solicited $1 million from government of Qatar

Trump’s personal attorney solicited $1 million from government of Qatar

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, solicited a payment of at least $1 million from the government of Qatar in late 2016, in exchange for access to and advice about the then-incoming administration, according to several people with knowledge of the episode.  The offer, which Qatar declined, came on the margins of a Dec. 12 meeting that year at Trump Tower between the Persian...
Tillerson says ‘alternative realities’ are a threat to democracy

Tillerson says ‘alternative realities’ are a threat to democracy

Former secretary of state Rex Tillerson warned Wednesday that deceptive leaders and "alternative realities" are a threat to democracy, an implicit critique of his former boss, President Donald Trump.  In his first major address since leaving Washington after he was fired in March, Tillerson told graduates at the Virginia Military Institute to remember the importance of integrity and...
Mueller’s team told Trump’s lawyers the special counsel cannot indict a sitting president

Mueller’s team told Trump’s lawyers the special counsel cannot indict a sitting president

Special counsel Robert Mueller III's team told President Donald Trump's lawyers recently that prosecutors do not believe they can charge a sitting president with a crime under Justice Department guidelines, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani said Wednesday.  The special counsel's conclusion signals that it would be left to Congress to address any finding of wrongdoing by Trump in the investigation. Mueller's...
Trump wants to win Colorado and Minnesota in 2020. One is more likely than the other.

Trump wants to win Colorado and Minnesota in 2020. One is more likely than the other.

Shortly before the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump's communications adviser Jason Miller proclaimed that both Michigan and New Mexico were in play. In both states, Miller said, internal polls showed a "dead heat," and he predicted that campaigning in both places would spike.  In Michigan, of course, that prediction was borne out. Trump won the state by the skin of his teeth...
Trump’s pick to run Labor’s pension agency: Mitch McConnell’s brother-in-law

Trump’s pick to run Labor’s pension agency: Mitch McConnell’s brother-in-law

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump selected a Washington outsider to head the government agency responsible for paying back dissolved pensions.  That might be welcome news for Trump voters who want the president to fulfill a promise to "drain the swamp" and rid the capital of the politically connected.  Yet his nominee, Gordon Hartogensis, is well known to some of Washington's...
Just about everything is odd about Trump’s support of Chinese firm ZTE

Just about everything is odd about Trump’s support of Chinese firm ZTE

Just about everything is odd regarding President Donald Trump's recent tweet that he wants to help Chinese technology company ZTE Corp. "get back into business, fast" because its failure cost "too many jobs in China."  It's odd that Trump, who campaigned on saving millions of U.S. jobs, suddenly says he cares about a few thousand Chinese jobs.  It's odd that Trump, who...
Businesses race to Washington to sway Trump on China tariffs

Businesses race to Washington to sway Trump on China tariffs

Mary Buchzeiger describes herself as a proud Republican who was drawn to President Donald Trump’s business-friendly philosophy. But the president’s plan to impose sweeping tariffs on $50 billion of products from China now threatens to cripple an automotive supply business in Michigan that her father began and that she has spent years building.  “I’m angry, I’m frustrated...
‘That’s not what we do’: Republicans balk at confronting Trump over McCain smear

‘That’s not what we do’: Republicans balk at confronting Trump over McCain smear

For six days straight, Republican senators had publicly rallied to the defense of their longtime colleague battling cancer, Sen. John McCain, who was the target of a crass joke by a White House aide calling him irrelevant because "he's dying anyway."  But in a long luncheon Tuesday with President Donald Trump himself, none of the Senate Republicans in attendance brought up the McCain...
In aggressive advocacy for porn star, outspoken lawyer targets a Trump insider

In aggressive advocacy for porn star, outspoken lawyer targets a Trump insider

For more than a month now, the investigation of Michael D. Cohen, President Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, has been a spectacle, a garish pageant of money, sex and politics unfolding both in court and in the court of public opinion.  And if anyone can be thought of as the ringmaster in this noisy legal circus, it is Cohen’s chief nemesis, Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for...
Spike Lee blasts Trump at Cannes for his response to last year’s violence in Charlottesville

Spike Lee blasts Trump at Cannes for his response to last year’s violence in Charlottesville

Spike Lee blasted President Donald Trump for his remarks following last year's violence in Charlottesville in an expletive-laden, emotional speech at the Cannes Film Festival, where the director was promoting his new, racially charged movie, "BlacKkKlansman."  A white nationalist protest last August — along with a Black Lives Matter counterprotest — turned the sleepy Virginia...
Mueller wins as judge upholds his authority in Manafort case

Mueller wins as judge upholds his authority in Manafort case

Special Counsel Robert Mueller prevailed Tuesday when a judge turned down a request by former Trump campaign Chairman Paul Manafort to dismiss a federal indictment accusing him of money laundering and working as an unregistered foreign agent.  U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said Mueller didn't overstep his authority by charging Manafort with crimes unrelated to Russian election interference...
Parents of slain students in Florida announce they’ll run for school board

Parents of slain students in Florida announce they’ll run for school board

The scrutiny after the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, immediately fell on law enforcement’s failures to heed warnings about the confessed gunman’s troubling behavior and prevent him from carrying out his deadly rampage. It took weeks for the focus to turn in earnest on the shortcomings of another level of government that knew Nikolas Cruz well: the Broward County...
Does Washington need an anti-Trump hotel? This entrepreneur is betting on it.

Does Washington need an anti-Trump hotel? This entrepreneur is betting on it.

On an overcast February afternoon, Katherine Lo glides into the lobby of a building under renovation at 12th and K streets Northwest in downtown Washington. "This is my favorite part of the whole hotel," Lo says, referring to her soon-to-open business and gesturing toward a small room off the lobby entrance. The space will become a glass-walled digital radio station, she says, where local...
House Democrat chastises Pelosi for ‘trivializing’ impeachment

House Democrat chastises Pelosi for ‘trivializing’ impeachment

A slow-burning Democratic argument about whether to pursue the impeachment of President Donald Trump continued to smolder on Monday, as Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, criticized House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi for "trivializing" the issue.  "President Donald Trump can be impeached, and should be impeached, for his hateful, hurtful and bigoted policies," said Green at a news...
Trump’s big campaign promise on drug prices wouldn’t have worked, HHS chief says

Trump’s big campaign promise on drug prices wouldn’t have worked, HHS chief says

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar Monday defended the Trump administration's blueprint to lower drug prices against charges that President Donald Trump has abandoned his popular campaign promise to use the government's bargaining clout to negotiate on behalf of Medicare.  Azar said during a briefing that instead of "trite, gimmicky political proposals" on direct Medicare...
Devastated by Trump’s win, Democrats count on Pennsylvania for a comeback

Devastated by Trump’s win, Democrats count on Pennsylvania for a comeback

Pennsylvania was President Donald Trump's proudest conquest in 2016, a state no Republican had won in a presidential election for nearly three decades and a victory he is still talking about.  But in both suburbs and rural areas this year, Democrats are mounting a comeback with implications not only for November's midterm elections but the 2020 presidential race — just as soon as they settle...
Scott Pruitt requested and received 24/7 security starting on his first day at EPA

Scott Pruitt requested and received 24/7 security starting on his first day at EPA

Scott Pruitt began receiving round-the-clock security from the moment he stepped foot inside the Environmental Protection Agency in February 2017, the agency's inspector general said Monday.  "EPA's Protective Service Detail began providing 24/7 coverage of the Administrator the first day he arrived," Inspector General Arthur Elkins wrote in response to inquiries from Democratic Sens...
Trump’s drug price retreat adds to list of abandoned populist promises

Trump’s drug price retreat adds to list of abandoned populist promises

President Donald Trump's announcement that he would not force drug companies to lower prices for older Americans marked at least the fourth populist economic promise he has abandoned since taking office.  Instead, his changes have frequently pivoted toward policies pursued by big companies and the wealthiest Americans, even though he vowed trouble for both during the 2016 campaign.  On Jan...
Trump’s ZTE tweet sows confusion before trade talks with China

Trump’s ZTE tweet sows confusion before trade talks with China

Senior U.S. officials struggled Monday to explain and act on President Donald Trump's abrupt decision to rescue Chinese telecom giant ZTE — a move that caught many of them by surprise.  ZTE said last week that it would shutter major operations after the United States announced punitive measures in response to the company's failure to comply with a settlement of charges for violating sanctions...
Pennsylvania’s primary: Congressional races to watch

Pennsylvania’s primary: Congressional races to watch

Today’s Pennsylvania primaries are the opening act in a drama that Democrats nationally are eagerly watching: Who will win under new congressional maps that undo a Republican gerrymander?  In January, the state Supreme Court redrew the boundaries of the state’s 18 districts to create a more politically level playing field. Analysts predict that as a result Democrats will probably...
Allies fume over Trump’s withdrawal from Iran deal but have few options to respond

Allies fume over Trump’s withdrawal from Iran deal but have few options to respond

America's three closest friends in Europe — Britain, France and Germany — are near-bursting with anger and exasperation at the United States. In a frenzy of meetings and phone calls among them over the past week, their leaders have tried to figure out what they can do about President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the nuclear agreement with Iran and his plans to impose sanctions on their...
Donald Trump may be the best thing that ever happened to George W. Bush

Donald Trump may be the best thing that ever happened to George W. Bush

George W. Bush received three standing ovations last week, the first for the mere mention of his name.  Bush was in town for the Atlantic Council's annual fundraiser, where he received the Distinguished International Leadership Award from the influential think tank. More than 800 guests from 70 countries — including former presidents, prime ministers and military leaders — gave the...
Voters assigned to wrong districts may have cost Democrats in pivotal Virginia race

Voters assigned to wrong districts may have cost Democrats in pivotal Virginia race

Last year's race for state delegate in Newport News, Virginia, went down in Virginia history for its razor-thin margin. Republican David Yancey won on Election Day by 10 votes; Democrat Shelly Simonds beat him by a single vote in a recount. Then, a judicial panel declared a tie, so officials picked a name out of a bowl to determine a winner, and it was Yancey.  Now, a review of voter registration...
Congressional challengers use bill backed by drug companies against incumbents

Congressional challengers use bill backed by drug companies against incumbents

As a drug and alcohol counselor and the mother of two young boys, Judy Herschel never considered running for political office. That was before Congress approved legislation in 2016 that hampered the Drug Enforcement Administration's enforcement efforts against the opioid industry.  In one month that summer, Herschel lost eight of her clients to opioid overdoses. She left her job and launched...
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