I'm guest hosting this morning on WMAL with Rick Fowler.
— Kerry Picket (@KerryPicket) January 1, 2020
Mornings on the Mall
Wednesday, January 1, 2020
Hosts: Rick Fowler (WMAL’s Saturday Morning Host) and Kerry Picket (Senior Campaign Reporter for The Washington Examiner)
Executive Producer: Heather Hunter
John Gizzi, Gordon Chang, Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer and guest hosts Rick Fowler and Kerry Picket joined WMAL on Wednesday!
5am – A/B/C INTERVIEW – John Gizzi – White House correspondent, Newsmax – discussed 2020 politics and more.
5am – D/E Washington Examiner’s senior campaign reporter KERRY PICKET explains the various issues impacting Biden’s campaign:
- Joe Biden says he would consider a Republican for his running mate. Exeter, New Hampshire (CNN)Joe Biden told voters in New Hampshire on Monday that he would consider choosing a Republican as a running mate, but added, “I can’t think of one right now.” Biden discussed the possibility after a woman told the former vice president that if he is the nominee, he will “have to pull out all the stops.” “Our 21-year-old son said the other night, ‘I wonder if Joe Biden would consider choosing a Republican as a running mate,” the woman added. “The answer is I would, but I can’t think of one now,” Biden replied. “Let me explain that. You know there’s some really decent Republicans that are out there still, but here’s the problem right now … they’ve got to step up.”
- BIDEN’S LEARN TO CODE MOMENT:
- “Anybody who can go down 3,000 feet in a mine can sure as hell learn to program as well.” Former VP Joe Biden has a “learn to code” moment after saying workers should transition so the economy can shift away from fossil fuels.
- FLASHBACK: Joe Biden: “yes” willing to sacrifice hundreds of thousands of blue-collar jobs for green new deal policies.
- TWEET: Saagar Enjeti @esaagar: Seriously between this and Biden affirmatively saying he’s willing to sacrifice millions of blue collar jobs in favor of green regulation he seems intent on recreating Hillary’s greatest hits
- TWEET: Saagar Enjeti @esaagar: Biden 2020: I played a pivotal role in shipping your jobs overseas, sending your sons to die in war, and devastating your community. I would do it all to the Nth degree if you let me back in the White House. Now learn to code.
6am – A MORE WARREN FIBS: ‘Furious’: Elizabeth Warren’s brother rips senator for calling their father a janitor. (Washington Examiner) David Herring, brother of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, said he is “furious” to learn the Massachusetts Democrat called their father a janitor on the campaign trail. “According to a family friend, David has disagreed with the way Warren calls herself the daughter of a janitor as she describes the work he found after losing a job as a salesman after his heart attack,” the Boston Globe reports. Speaking with a family friend, Herring was adamant that his father was a maintenance worker, not a janitor. “My Dad was never a janitor,” he told the Globe. Warren has referred to her father as a maintenance man in the past but has used the term “janitor” while on the campaign trail.
- Elizabeth Warren claimed her father was a janitor to appeal to blue collar Americans. Now her brother is furious because he claims their father WAS NEVER A JANITOR. Maybe Elizabeth meant her father was 1/1024th janitor?
6am – B/C Trump impeachment has ‘greatly increased’ chances of president’s re-election, says Democrats’ Gabbard. (The Independent) — ‘This is going to be a disaster for our country,’ says would-be presidential candidate. Impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump will increase the chances of a comprehensive Republican victory in the 2020 election, a candidate for the Democratic nomination has claimed. Tulsi Gabbard faced criticism for being the only Democrat not to vote in favour of Mr Trump’s impeachment in the House of Representatives earlier this month – instead recording herself as “present”. Now in a campaign video, Ms Gabbard has claimed that – far from rebuking the president – that same vote will spur him on to victory in 2020. “The house impeachment of the president has greatly increased the likelihood that Donald Trump will remain the president for the next five years.” She said it was unlikely the Republican-controlled Senate would remove the president from his post. Any vote to the remove the president would require a two-thirds “super majority” of senators to support the measure – ensuring the move is impossible unless 20 Republicans and two independents join the Democrats in the vote.
6am – D U.S. troops fired tear gas on Wednesday to disperse pro-Iran protesters who were gathered outside the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad for a second day. Dozens of pro-Iranian militiamen and their supporters had camped out at the gates of the embassy in Baghdad where they stayed the night, a day after they broke into the compound, trashing a reception area and smashing windows in one of the worst attacks on the embassy in recent memory. The U.S. Marines guarding the embassy fired tear gas as more crowds arrived and after the protesters lit a fire on the roof of the reception area. Smoke rose from the building. The protesters are angered by deadly US airstrikes that targeted an Iran-backed militia over the weekend, killing 25 fighters. On Tuesday, dozens of Iraqi Shiite militiamen and their supporters broke into the U.S. Embassy compound in , smashing a main door and setting fire to a reception area in one of the worst attacks on the embassy in recent memory. President Donald Trump blamed Iran for the attack and Defense Secretary Mark Esper later announced the immediate deployment of an infantry battalion of about 750 soldiers from the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to the Middle East. He did not specify their destination, but a U.S. official familiar with the decision said they will go to Kuwait.
6am – E NORTH KOREA RELATIONS: North Korea signals end of nuclear-test suspension, promises ‘new’ weapon. Kim also appeared to leave the door open to diplomacy, suggesting that tests would only resume if Washington did not change its policies. (NBC News / Jan. 1, 2020, 7:22 AM EST) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he sees no reason to continue his self-imposed moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests, warning the world will soon see “a new strategic weapon” unveiled by his country in the near future. However, in the comments published Wednesday, Kim also appeared to leave the door open to diplomacy, suggesting that tests would only resume if Washington did not change its policies. North Korea has suspended nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests since an unprecedented flurry of activity in 2017. But during that time, negotiations that Washington hoped would lead to Kim giving up his nuclear arsenal have fallen apart. In the comments released Wednesday, Kim complained that his country’s suspension of nuclear and ballistic missile tests had been repaid by the U.S. holding military drills with South Korea and imposing more sanctions on his isolated country. He said that “under such conditions” there was “no ground” to continue suspending tests. “This is chilling our efforts for worldwide nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation,” he said. The remarks were made at a four-day meeting of his Workers’ Party’s Central Committee and reported by North Korea’s state-controlled news agency, KCNA. Late Tuesday, President Donald Trump urged Kim to stick to an agreement signed at a historic summit in Singapore in June 2018. It was the first time sitting leaders from these historical enemies had met in person, but their agreement for North Korea to “denuclearize” was widely criticized by experts as vague to the point of being almost meaningless. “Look, he likes me, I like him, we get along,” Trump said at a New Year’s party at Mar-a-Lago. “But he did sign a contract, he did sign an agreement talking about denuclearization … I think he’s a man of his word so we’re going to find out, but I think he’s a man of his word.” Previously, North Korea had threatened to deliver a “Christmas gift” to the U.S. — raising the possibility of another weapons test. On Tuesday, Trump said, “I know he’s sending out certain messages about Christmas presents and I hope his Christmas present is a beautiful vase. That’s what I’d like, a vase.”
6am – F CNN’s Don Lemon Shows Off His New 2020 Tattoos on NYE. (Mediaite) – CNN’s Don Lemon had another eventful night hosting part of his network’s New Years Eve special, but his co-host, Brooke Baldwin, was very skeptical of his claim that he rang in the new year by getting tattooed. As Lemon and Baldwin hosted CNN’s New Year programming from Nashville, the former repeatedly told his colleagues that he was dealing with some pain, even while repeatedly teasing an announcement to come later on. When the time came, Baldwin said she had “no idea” what was happening as Lemon took off his jacket and rolled up his sleeves. “Did you seriously get a tattoo?” Baldwin asked. “I might have,” Lemon answered. After Lemon unfolded the band on his arm, Baldwin saw #Lemon2020 inked on there. She quickly accused Lemon of getting a fake tattoo, saying “no, it is not” real despite his insistence otherwise. Baldwin repeatedly asked her producers to fill her in on the situation as Lemon started to reveal an identical tattoo on his other arm. Lemon claimed he was taking painkillers to deal with the pain, but Baldwin wouldn’t buy it, telling her colleague he’s “full of it.”
7am – A KERRY’S WASHINGTON EXAMINER STORY ABOUT GUNS IN VIRGINIA — SEEING A RISE IN GUN SALES AND CASH SALES: (Washington Examiner) — As incoming Virginia state lawmakers prepare to debate and pass new gun control bills, one local Northern Virginia firearms store owner says sales of guns, magazines, and ammunition have skyrocketed 200 percent and more of his customers are paying in cash. “This is the largest Christmas and November, December that we’ve had, basically, since Trump has come on board. The only other person that was a better salesman right now is when we had President Obama,” Jerry Rapp, owner of SpecDive Tactical, told the Washington Examiner. He explained, “And every time he turned around, he was going to ban something or make something illegal. But even that isn’t even close to the amount of sales we’re selling right now of magazines, of guns, of every kind of gun from pistol rifle shotguns to AR platforms… ammo–we can’t keep it in stock.” Since Democrats took the majorities of both chambers in Virginia’s state legislature last month, gun control proposals that include bans on “assault style” weapons, restrictions on magazine capacity, universal background checks, and restrictions to one gun a month purchases have all been brought forth. Virginia freshman Democratic Rep. Jennifer Wexton, who previously served in the state legislature in the upper chamber, has proposed legislation in Congress to use credit card data to track gun purchases. While the bill will likely not get past the House on Capitol Hill, news about her idea appears to have made it to Virginia firearms customers. According to Rapp, more of his clients, who say they are concerned about privacy issues, are purchasing with cash as opposed to using their credit cards since the election in November. “There is an upswing on buying by cash right now. We’re depositing a lot of cash.”
7am – B/C REPLAY: INTERVIEW – John Gizzi – White House correspondent, Newsmax – discussed 2020 politics and more.
7am – D 2020 NEWS AND THE LOOKS OF CANDIDATES:
- Beauty On The Ballot: Candidates’ Attractiveness Plays Role In Voters’ Decisions, Especially In U.S. Political scientist finds “effects of appearance more extreme” in the United States: “Up to eleven percentage points can be gained on account of appearance alone” for U.S. Congressional candidates. FREIBURG, Germany — Political researchers and pundits have long wondered if voters are more inclined to support a particular candidate based off of their physical looks and attractiveness. Now, two recent studies conducted in Germany are offering up an answer to this political conundrum. While looking good may sway some voters towards a particular candidate — especially for Americans, researchers say that actual policies and party affiliations ultimately make the biggest impact on voters’ decisions. The first study focused on the 2017 German federal election, and researchers concluded that candidates did in fact benefit from attractive looks, as well as appearing “competent” in photographs taken during the campaign trail. Overall, the model used for the study found that a candidate considered more attractive than his or her rival can enjoy an electoral advantage of up to 3.8 percentage points. “The positive aspect of attractiveness may be the strongest, however direct candidates who are rated as more competent also do significantly better than those who are seen to be less competent,” explains Dr. Sebastian Jäckle from the University of Freiburg’s Department of Political Science in a statement. Interestingly, Dr. Jäckle also notes that appearing more likable did not seem to induce any statistically significant advantage for candidates.
7am – E ANTISEMITISM AND DEMOCRATIC PARTY:
- NYC mayor Bill de Blasio blames Donald Trump and ‘hatred from Washington’ for the Hanukkah stabbings
- New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced a series of measures to tackle a “crisis” of anti-Semitic attacks, following a mass stabbing
- Mayor Bill de Blasio squared off Monday against his most famous predecessor, Rudy Giuliani, after the former two-term mayor charged that City Hall fiddled while a wave of anti-Semitic violence built. “Possibly the worst Mayor in NYC, de Blasio, has watched anti-semitism rapidly metastasize, like a cancer, & is too unconcerned or lazy to “nip it in the bud”,” Giuliani tweeted.
- THE SQUAD PRETENDS TO NOT BE ANTI-SEMITIC:
- Rashida Tlaib @RashidaTlaib: And folks still don’t see the connection with his words and how it ignites violence. He fuels people’s anger & misguided hate. Instead of leading with compassion, he simply gaslights and laughs about it.
- REACTION: The Federalist’s Erielle Davidson @politicalelle: You were the keynote speaker last month at a conference full of anti-Semites. Perhaps it’s YOU that is the problem.
- REACTION: Human Events editor Will Chamberlain @willchamberlain Replying to @RashidaTlaib: You wrote columns for Louis Farrakhan, @RashidaTlaib. Maybe sit this one out
- Ilhan Omar @IlhanMN: This is shocking and horrific—the latest in a shocking uptick in crimes targeting the Jewish community. We must all demand an America where no one is targeted because of their faith, race or ethnicity. Let love prevail.
- REACTION: Frank @FreshTakeFrank Replying to @IlhanMN: Translation: “Some people did something.”
- REACTION: Charlie Kirk @charliekirk11: In February Ilhan Omar tweeted “Its all about the Benjamins” pushing the anti-Semitic idea that Jewish people have dual loyalty. Democrats & the media endlessly defended her. Since then anti-Semitic attacks have rose 17%. If we want to combat anti-Semitism—root it out of Congress
8am – A INTERVIEW – LT. COL. TONY SHAFFER – a CIA trained former senior intelligence officer and president of the London Center for Policy Research
- U.S. troops fired tear gas on Wednesday to disperse pro-Iran protesters who were gathered outside the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad for a second day. Dozens of pro-Iranian militiamen and their supporters had camped out at the gates of the embassy in Baghdad where they stayed the night, a day after they broke into the compound, trashing a reception area and smashing windows in one of the worst attacks on the embassy in recent memory. The U.S. Marines guarding the embassy fired tear gas as more crowds arrived and after the protesters lit a fire on the roof of the reception area. Smoke rose from the building. The protesters are angered by deadly US airstrikes that targeted an Iran-backed militia over the weekend, killing 25 fighters. On Tuesday, dozens of Iraqi Shiite militiamen and their supporters broke into the U.S. Embassy compound in , smashing a main door and setting fire to a reception area in one of the worst attacks on the embassy in recent memory. President Donald Trump blamed Iran for the attack and Defense Secretary Mark Esper later announced the immediate deployment of an infantry battalion of about 750 soldiers from the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to the Middle East. He did not specify their destination, but a U.S. official familiar with the decision said they will go to Kuwait.
- US Embassy security personnel fired rubber bullets at Baghdad protesters in second day of unrest. Updated 7:26 AM ET, Wed January 1, 2020 (CNN) Security personnel at the US Embassy in Baghdad fired tear gas and rubber bullets at hundreds of protesters on Wednesday, as demonstrations at the compound entered a second day. Protesters were seen trying to climb the embassy’s exterior walls, an eyewitness — who asked not to be named for security reasons — told CNN. Others said the protesters were hurling rocks at the building and trying to set fire to its walls and to the security booths at the main entrance.
8am – B/C BLOOMBERG PROPOSES A HIDEOUS CUBICLE MAZE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE’S EAST ROOM:
- Bloomberg mocked for vowing to turn White House East Room into an open office plan. (Fox News) – Former New York City mayor and 2020 hopeful Michael Bloomberg was blasted on social media over his campaign promise to turn the White House East Room into an “open office plan” as president. Bloomberg raised eyebrows on Twitter when he shared a photograph of himself in the middle of an open office plan from City Hall during his tenure as mayor, suggesting the White House will have an extreme makeover of its own if he wins in 2020. “As president, I’ll turn the East Room into an open office plan, where I’ll sit with our team,” Bloomberg tweeted. “I’ll use the Oval Office for some official functions – never for tweeting – but the rest of the time, I’ll be where a leader should be: with the team.” Critics slammed the tweet, calling it “horrifying.” “Being president, particularly with the national security responsibilities, is much different than running Bloomberg LP or NYC,” journalist Yashar Ali reacted. “Bloomberg 2020: Turn the White House into a @WeWork,” RealClearNews reporter Philip Wegmann joked. “Open offices are terrible for employee health, wellbeing, collaboration, and ‘productivity.’ They are not, as some like to claim, democratic or equalising,” writer S.E. Smith tweeted.
8am – C Cauliflower pizza was the No. 1 Grubhub order in America in 2019. (CNBC) – Food-delivery service Grubhub, owner of Seamless and other food related brands, released its Year in Food report, revealing the top orders placed on the company’s platform across the country in 2019. The majority of top foods ordered this year were vegetarian or vegan, Grubhub says (seven of the top 10 compared to three in 2018). Cauliflower pizza took the top spot overall, being the No. 1 order of the year and climbing up from seventh place in 2018. Spicy Brussels sprouts followed cauliflower pizza on the top 10 list, then portobello mushroom empanadas, black bean and sweat potato tacos and miso pork ramen.
8am – D INTERVIEW – GORDON CHANG – author of “Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes On the World” and “Losing South Korea” / Twitter handle: @GordonGChang
- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has expressed frustration over stalled nuclear negotiations and warned that his country will soon show to the world a new strategic weapon. Kim also says North Korea is no longer obligated to maintain a self-imposed suspension on the testing of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles. President Donald Trump has touted North Korea’s moratorium as a major diplomatic accomplishment. Kim gave no clear indication that a resumption of such tests was impending.
8am – E Marvel Studios President Says Trans Character Coming ‘Very Soon’ in Upcoming Film. (Breitbart News) — Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has announced that the billion dollar superhero movie machine is introducing a transgender person and a gay superhero in its upcoming properties. Feige announced the addition of the trans and gay characters to the Marvel cinematic universe at a Q&A at the New York Film Academy this week. During the Q&A, Feige was asked about plans to include a trans character, and the Marvel chief was enthusiastic over the idea. “Yes. Absolutely. Yes. Very soon. In a movie we’re shooting right now,” Feige exclaimed. Marvel has not revealed just what character in what movie will be its first trans character. But a group of next-generation heroes are already either before cameras or gearing up for filming. The flicks in the works include Black Widow, Eternals, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, Thor: Love and Thunder, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Black Panther 2, Blade and Tom Holland’s third Spider-Man film. But comics industry watchers assume that the most likely candidates for that trans character are The Eternals and the martial arts flick Shang-Chi. Indeed, The Eternals has already been noted for including a new gay superhero. Last year, Feige announced that the movie would include a gay character who is married. “He’s married. He’s got a family. And that is just part of who he is,” Fiege said at the D23 Expo. Marvel took criticism for claiming it had introduced a gay character in its blockbuster The Avengers: End Game, but when the film hit theaters, LGBTQ advocates were disappointed that the character was not one of the heroes or even an integral character, but instead was just a character who appeared in one scene.