Mornings on the Mall 03.13.19

Cal Thomas, Isaias Medina, Washington Post’s Matt Zapotosky and White House’s Adam Kennedy joined WMAL on Wednesday!

Mornings on the Mall

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Hosts: Mary Walter and Vince Coglianese

Executive Producer: Heather Hunter


  • Pregnant woman sick of having her lunch stolen at work gets the culprit FIRED by revealing incriminating pictures during an interview – but do YOU think the food thief deserved to go? (Daily Mail) — Odds are if you work in an office you’ll have had an item of food go missing from the communal fridge at some stage during your career. But one pregnant woman, believed to be from the US, has told how she reached breaking point after her lunch started going missing on a daily basis. Eventually the thief was caught after she begged management to install cameras – and it turned out to be a middle-aged female employee on three times her salary who was in line for a promotion. But instead of stepping up, she ended up being shown the door after her brazen thieving was exposed. Taking to the Reddit thread Am I the A**hole, the mother-to-be explained how her husband is a chef and makes her lunch every day.’I need to eat well because I’m naturally thin/underweight, I’m still breastfeeding my toddler, and I am pregnant,’ she wrote. When her lunch started getting stolen, she began labeling it in the hope it would deter the thief – to no avail. She went on: ‘Eventually I put a note on the fridge that said: “Please stop taking my food. I am pregnant and breastfeeding and this is negatively affecting my health.”‘ When that failed, the woman sent an email to the entire office asking whoever was taking her food to talk to her privately as her husband would make them lunch too, provided they pay for the meal.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, several people took her up on her husband’s generous offer, and she ended up making a side business out of it. However, the thief remained silent and continued to nick her lunch. ‘My lunches are always in specific bowls, unlike the lunches others had from my husband, in disposable containers,’ she said.

5am – D         BirthStrikers: meet the women who refuse to have children until climate change ends. (The Guardian) — A movement of women have decided not to procreate in response to the coming ‘climate breakdown and civilisation collapse’. Will their protest be a catalyst for change? As soon as Blythe Pepino got together with her partner Joshua two years ago, she felt “this overwhelming urge to create a family with him”, she says. “I think it was the fifth day after having met him, I said: ‘I’ve got to meet your parents.’ He was like: ‘You’re mad.’” Then, late last year, she attended a lecture held by the direct action group Extinction Rebellion, which set out starkly the catastrophic reality of the changing climate. That galvanised Pepino, an activist and musician (she is the former singer of Vaults, now Mesadorm), to do research of her own and, eventually, to have a series of sad conversations with Joshua. “I realised that even though I wanted to have a family at that point, I couldn’t really bring myself to do it,” she says. “I had to say to him: ‘I don’t know if I can do this, considering what we know – if there isn’t a political will to fix this, we really don’t stand much of a chance.’” Pepino, who turns 33 today, found that other women – especially those in climate-conscious circles – were struggling with the same question, but were “too afraid to talk about it” for fear of judgment or ridicule. The US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gave voice to their concerns last month, pointing to the increasingly dire scientific consensus and widespread government inaction: “It does lead young people to have a legitimate question: is it OK still to have children?”

5am – E         Lisa Page transcripts reveal details of anti-Trump ‘insurance policy,’ concerns over full-blown probe. (Fox News) — House Judiciary Committee Republicans on Tuesday released hundreds of pages of transcripts from last year’s closed-door interview with ex-FBI attorney Lisa Page, revealing new details about the bureau’s controversial internal discussions regarding an “insurance policy” against then-candidate Donald Trump. Page first entered the spotlight in December 2017, when it was revealed by the Justice Department inspector general that she and then-FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok exchanged numerous anti-Trump text messages. The two were involved in the FBI’s initial counterintelligence investigation into Russian meddling and potential collusion with Trump campaign associates during the 2016 election, and later served on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team. Among their texts was one concerning the so-called “insurance policy.” During her interview with the Judiciary Committee in July 2018, Page was questioned at length about that text — and essentially confirmed this referred to the Russia investigation while explaining that officials were proceeding with caution, concerned about the implications of the case while not wanting to go at “total breakneck speed” and risk burning sources as they presumed Trump wouldn’t be elected anyway. Further, she confirmed investigators only had a “paucity” of evidence at the start.


6am – A/B/C FBI: Parents paid up to $6.5M for guaranteed admission. 50 People Charged In Sweeping College Admissions Bribery Scam. Hollywood actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were charged along with nearly 50 other people Tuesday in a scheme in which wealthy parents bribed college coaches and insiders at testing centers to get their children into some of the most elite schools in the country, federal prosecutors said. Authorities called it the biggest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the U.S. Justice Department. “These parents are a catalog of wealth and privilege,” Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said at Boston federal court in announcing the $25 million bribery case against 50 people in all. At least nine athletic coaches and 33 parents were among those charged in the investigation, dubbed Operation Varsity Blues. Dozens, including Huffman, were arrested by midday Tuesday.

6am – D         INTERVIEW – CAL THOMAS – syndicated columnist – discussed antisemitism of the Democrats and

  • Cal Thomas wrote about “The Democrats’ Jewish problem” in Washington Times: In 2012, Ms. Omar tweeted: “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” The implication was that Israel and its backers are being manipulated to support the Jewish state. This old anti-Semitic trope will be familiar to anyone with a minimal understanding of the history of the Jewish people and the genocidal goal of their enemies. Yes, Ms. Omar apologized, but not until she got to Congress. This assumes her apology was more political, than sincere. Consider her appeal to “Allah.” Why would she, or any Muslim, disobey Allah?

6am – E         CNN’s Mary Katharine Ham Defends Tucker Carlson’s Non-Apology: ‘Outrage Mobs’ Aren’t Interested in Contrition. (Mediaite) — CNN political commentator and conservative blogger Mary Katharine Ham offered some rare words of support on the network’s air for Fox News primetime host Tucker Carlson Tuesday — as she defended Carlson’s non-apology for unearthed offensive comments. Appearing on CNN’s New Day, Ham argued that any contrition offered by the Fox News host would do little to placate his critics. “I do think he’s right when he says that if he apologizes, nothing ends, and nobody’s interested in his apology,” Ham said. “I think that’s true. I think that’s how outrage mobs operate.” Ham argued that while Carlson’s comments were offensive, re-litigating past remarks can be “corrosive.” “I wrote an entire book about how I don’t like coming for people’s heads, and people’s jobs because they say things people don’t like,” Ham said. “And I actually believe what I wrote. And I do think there’s another thing that’s corrosive in addition to people saying mean things. And it is the impulse to take people down, and to take people’s jobs for, [say], errant Facebook posts. Which is something that happens to real people, not just public figures.” Ham added, “Look, if it wasn’t a fireable offense for MSNBC ten years ago [where Carlson was employed at the time], it ain’t a fireable offense now,” Ham said.

6am – F         Flight returns to Saudi Arabia airport after mom left her baby in the waiting area. (Fox News) — The aviation crew operating a recent Saudi Arabian Airlines flight to Malaysia diverted the plane for quite an unusual reason: a passenger reportedly left her baby in the waiting area of the King Abdul Aziz International Airport. Over the weekend, flight SV832 from Jeddah to Kuala Lampur turned back after a woman alerted flight crew that she had left her child at the airport, Gulf News reports. Video footage of a recording titled “a passenger forgot her child at the airport” in Arabic has since been viewed over 850,000 times on YouTube — and sparked plenty of merciless “Home Alone” comparisons, too.  “May God be with us. Can we come back or what?” the pilot allegedly said to an air traffic controller in the minute-long clip, according to the outlet. “This flight is requesting to come back…a passenger forgot her baby in the waiting area, the poor thing,” the pilot detailed, adding that the woman “refuses to continue the flight.” “Ok, head back to the gate. This is totally a new one for us!” the operator replied, giving the flight crew official permission to turn around the aircraft.

7am – A         INTERVIEW – ISAIAS MEDINA – an international lawyer and former Venezuelan UN Diplomat

  • BIO: Isaias Medina III, Edward S. Mason fellow MPA/MLD candidate at Harvard University, is an international lawyer, humanitarian activist, counter-terrorism expert, former Venezuelan UN Diplomat at the Security Council. He publicly resigned to protest Human Rights violations and denounced more than 20 top officials including Maduro to the ICC, serving as a witness to the OAS. He is a strong advocate of the International Anticorruption Court
    • TOPIC: The United States is withdrawing all remaining diplomatic personnel from its embassy in Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, because of worsening conditions in the country, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said late Monday.  U.S. Runs Low on Options to Oust Venezuelan Ruler. WASHINGTON — Hours before he pulled American diplomats from Venezuela, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confronted the growing crisis in the country by blaming not only its embattled ruler, but also a broader menace: socialism. His diagnosis echoed President Trump’s line of attack against potential Democratic rivals in 2020, and there is little question that the far-left ideology of Venezuela’s government shares some responsibility for the dysfunction that has thrown the country into chaos. But Mr. Pompeo’s broadside against President Nicolás Maduro also obscured the fact that the United States had just about run out of options to achieve its goal in Caracas: a peaceful change of power. “Nicolás Maduro promised Venezuelans a better life in a socialist paradise,” Mr. Pompeo said on Monday. “And he delivered on the socialism part, which has proved time and time again is a recipe for economic ruin.” The United States has imposed sanctions to cut off Venezuela’s oil revenues and against banks, including one in Russia. It has canceled the visas of officials in the Maduro government and talked to nations about taking in others who might seek asylum or a safe haven. And it maintains that “all options are on the table” — even while assuring allies that military intervention, of the kind that the United States has had a long and ugly history of carrying out in Latin America, is not really being considered. But Mr. Maduro remains, to the surprise of many in the Trump administration.

7am – B         Romney Blows Out His Birthday Candles In The Weirdest Way. A tweet featuring a video showing the senator picking candles off his Twinkie birthday cake has gone viral. It’s Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah)’s birthday, and he can blow out his candles any way he wants.  The former Republican presidential nominee celebrated his 72nd birthday on Tuesday with a “cake” made of Twinkies, which he called his “favorite snack.”  “What I always wanted!” exclaimed Romney in a video featuring members of his Senate staff singing to him and carrying the festive dessert.  After the cake was put down on his desk, an excited Romney removed each candle individually, blowing them out one by one, indicating he’d get a wish for each.

7am – C         Cameras permitted inside courtroom during Jussie Smollett hearing. (PageSix) — Cameras will be allowed inside the courtroom for Jussie Smollett‘s next hearing in Chicago later this week, a judge ruled Tuesday. One still camera and one video camera will be allowed when the “Empire” star appears in court Thursday, Chief Cook County Criminal Courts Judge LeRoy Martin Jr. decided, according to the Chicago Sun Times. Smollett’s trial judge will decide whether cameras can be present for future hearings in the case, he added. Smollett’s attorneys didn’t object to the presence of media in the courtroom, saying there had been a lot of “false information spread” in the case, according to NBC Chicago. The embattled actor — who is accused of filing a false police report claiming he was the victim of a hate crime — attended Tuesday’s hearing, even though his presence was not required in the court. A spokeswoman for Smollett said he wanted to “show up and show respect to the court.” “He wants to hold his head up high, show confidence in his innocence,” Anne Kavanagh told NBC.

7am – D         INTERVIEW – MATT ZAPOTOSKY – Washington Post reporter

  • Matt Zapotosky covers the Justice Department for The Washington Post
  • FBI accuses wealthy parents, including celebrities, in college-entrance bribery scheme. (Washington Post) — The Justice Department on Tuesday charged 50 people — including two television stars — with participating in a multimillion-dollar bribery scheme that enabled privileged students with lackluster grades to attend prestigious colleges and universities. The allegations included cheating on entrance exams and bribing college officials to say certain students were athletic recruits when those students were not in fact athletes, officials said. Numerous schools were targeted, including Georgetown University, Yale University, Stanford University, the University of Texas, the University of Southern California and UCLA, among others. In Boston, U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling called it the largest-ever college admissions scam prosecuted by the Justice Department. Of the 50 people charged in the FBI’s Operation Varsity Blues, 33 were parents, officials said, warning that the investigation is ongoing and that others could be charged. The scheme was discovered accidentally by the FBI while working an unrelated undercover operation about a year ago, officials said. That tip led to a sprawling, nationwide corruption probe. “These parents are a catalogue of wealth and privilege,” said Lelling. “This case is about the widening corruption of elite college admissions through the steady application of wealth combined with fraud. There can be no separate college admission system for the wealthy, and I’ll add there will not be a separate criminal-justice system, either.” No students were charged because prosecutors said their parents were the scheme’s principal actors.


  • Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) asks Wells Fargo CEO Timothy Sloan: “Hypothetically, if there was a leak from the Dakota Access pipeline, why shouldn’t Wells Fargo pay for the clean up of it?” Sloan: “Because we don’t operate the pipeline, we provide financing”
  • AOC asks Well Fargo why they were involved in caging of children and Wells Fargo is confused.


8am – A         2020 NEWS:

  • Paul Ryan: Trump Will Lose in 2020 if Campaign About His ‘Personality.’ Former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said Monday that President Donald Trump could lose the 2020 presidential election if his “personality” is the central focus of his campaign. “The person who defines that race is going to win the race. If this is about Donald Trump and his personality, he isn’t going to win it,” Ryan said during a lecture in Vero Beach, Florida, according to DON JR RESPONDED: Donald Trump Jr. ‏ @DonaldJTrumpJr: Pretty rich. Mitt Romney’s failed 2012 running mate, the speaker who lied to us and didn’t deliver Wall funding (and then lost the house) gives advice on winning.
  • THE HILL Exclusive: Biden to run for White House, says Dem lawmaker. Former Vice President Joe Biden will run for president in 2020, a senior Democratic lawmaker told The Hill on Tuesday, a move that will shake up the crowded Democratic primary field and make him the clear front-runner for his party’s nomination against President Trump. “I’m giving it a shot,” Biden said matter-of-factly during a phone call with a House Democratic lawmaker within the past week — a conversation the congressman recounted to The Hill and interpreted as a sure sign that Biden will run in 2020. In the brief phone call, the former vice president asked if he could bounce some campaign strategy ideas off the lawmaker and invited the lawmaker to sit down with him in person in the near future. Biden also said he hoped to have the lawmaker’s support, something the lawmaker did not commit to.
  • Yesterday President Joe Biden says to applause at a firefighters convention: “I appreciate the energy you showed when I got up here… Save it a little longer, I might need it in a few weeks.
  • MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell asks Joe Biden of any reason why he wouldn’t run for president, he says: “I can’t think of any reason.”

8am – B/C     INTERVIEW – ADAM KENNEDY – White House Deputy Director of Communications and Deputy Assistant to the President — discussed the National Emergency/border security.

  • Senate will vote Thursday on bill to block Trump’s national emergency declaration. The Senate will vote Thursday on whether to block President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration, forcing Republicans to decide if they should check the White House’s flex of executive power. The Democratic-held House has already approved a resolution to terminate Trump’s action, which he aims to use to secure $3.6 billion to build his proposed border wall. The GOP-held Senate is expected to pass the measure, as at least four Republicans currently plan to support it. Those four GOP lawmakers joining with 47 Democrats will give the chamber the majority needed to pass it and send it to Trump’s desk. The president has threatened to veto the bill, and both chambers appear not to have the votes to reach the two-thirds majority needed to override Trump.
  • House Democrats introduce bill to offer 2.5 million immigrants chance at permanent status. (Vox) – The Dream and Promise Act would allow DREAMers to apply for legalization, and TPS holders to apply for green cards. House Democrats are teeing up their next major piece of legislation: an immigration bill that would allow as many as 2.5 million people to apply for legal status and put them on a path that could ultimately lead to US citizenship. The bill, HR 6 — called the Dream and Promise Act — combines the longstanding DREAM Act, a legalization bill for unauthorized immigrants who came to the US as children, with a proposal to allow some immigrants with temporary humanitarian protections to apply for permanent legal status. What unites the two groups of immigrants is that both have put down roots in the US, generally living here for more (sometimes much more) than a decade but without permanent status. “Living with uncertainty has defined most of my 16 years in the United States,” Jessica Garcia, a 21-year-old DACA recipient, said at a press conference Tuesday formally unveiling the bill.

8am – D         FBI: Parents paid up to $6.5M for guaranteed admission. 50 People Charged In Sweeping College Admissions Bribery Scam. Hollywood actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were charged along with nearly 50 other people Tuesday in a scheme in which wealthy parents bribed college coaches and insiders at testing centers to get their children into some of the most elite schools in the country, federal prosecutors said. Authorities called it the biggest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the U.S. Justice Department.

8am – E         Trump airs doubts about airplane tech after Boeing crashes. Washington (CNN) Add modern aviation technology to the list of technological advances the President of the United States distrusts. “Airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly,” President Donald Trump tweeted on Tuesday. “Pilots are no longer needed, but rather computer scientists from MIT. I see it all the time in many products. Always seeking to go one unnecessary step further, when often old and simpler is far better. Split second decisions are needed, and the complexity creates danger. All this cost for very little gain.” Trump’s tweets come days after a Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane crashed, the second time in months that the new airplane model has wrecked minutes after takeoff, killing all on board. The crashes have raised questions about the role of a new software system installed on the plane, but investigators have yet to reach a conclusion about the cause. The similar circumstances of both crashes have caused several countries and airlines to ground the 737 MAX 8 planes, but despite growing calls from US lawmakers to do the same — and Trump’s tweet on Tuesday morning — the Federal Aviation Administration has yet to follow suit.

Trump’s ‘Ludicrous’ New Tweet Has Chris Cuomo And Don Lemon Laughing And Singing. The CNN hosts taunted the president with a tune. Both Lemon and Cuomo pointed out that flying in the United States had never been safer, thanks to advancing technology.  “He knows what he’s doing once again,” Cuomo said. “He is tapping into this fear of the new because people feel they’re being left behind.”  Trump’s comments also harken to his “Make America Great Again” slogan. “When were we ever greater than we are today?” Cuomo asked.  Then Lemon interrupted him by singing the first line of “Those Were the Days,” the theme song to the hit 1970s TV show “All In The Family.”  And Cuomo couldn’t help but sing along




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