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Mike Pence Skipping CNN On Sunday Show Circuit

Vice President Mike Pence will hit the Sunday show circuit this weekend, with stops on NBC’s “Meet the Press, ABC’s “This Week,” CBS’s “Face the Nation,” and “Fox News Sunday.”

But CNN’s “State of the Union” is noticeably missing from what would otherwise be a “full Ginsberg,” a term for when a newsmaker appears on all five major public affairs programs. 

A White House spokesman told The Huffington Post the administration “offered multiple guests for State of the Union and they declined.”

But Pence wasn’t one of them, according to a CNN spokeswoman. Instead, the White House offered presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway, CNN said. The network declined that offer. 

The Trump White House has notoriously bad relations with CNN already. And the decision to make Pence available to CNN’s Sunday show rivals, but not CNN itself, is likely an extension of what Politico recently reported as a “freezing out” of the network. The White House hasn’t provided any administration officials for “State of the Union” since Jan. 8, an absence the show’s host, Jake Tapper, has noted on the air. 

The freeze doesn’t appear solid. On Wednesday, Sebastian Gorka, a former Breitbart News editor who’s now deputy assistant to the president, appeared on Tapper’s weekday afternoon show, “The Lead.” And the White House offer of Conway as a substitute guest shows CNN is no longer getting shunned on Sunday mornings. 

But Pence’s unavailability suggests the animus remains. Tapper last sat down with Pence on Dec. 6 on “The Lead,” an interview in which the CNN host repeatedly pressed the vice president about why Trump’s transition team had sought security clearance for Michael G. Flynn, the son of national security adviser Michael T. Flynn. 

The younger Flynn, who had served as a top aide to his father, had sparked controversy at the time by helping to fuel the bogus “pizzagate” conspiracy theory. A day before his interview with Pence, Tapper had privately tried to get Flynn Jr. to stop lending credence to the baseless story on Twitter. 

On “The Lead,” Tapper said Pence was “downplaying” Flynn Jr.’s role in the transition and questioned the decision to seek a security clearance for him. 

I want to move on to other issues, but I’m afraid I just didn’t get an answer, which is where you aware that the transition had put in for a security clearance for Michael Flynn, Jr.?” Tapper asked.

Tapper again pressed the issue. “I’m sorry, it’s just that you’re not answering the question, which is were you aware that the transition team had put in for a security clearance?” he asked.

Since then, CNN has grown as a target of Trump’s routine attacks on the media. At a Jan. 11 news conference, Trump refused to take a question from CNN correspondent Jim Acosta, a day after the network reported that top U.S. intelligence officials had briefed the then-president elect on an unverified dossier claiming he’d been compromised by Russian intelligence.

Trump called CNN ― which did not publish the contents of the 35-page dossier ― “fake news,” along with BuzzFeed, which did publish it. Trump has continued calling CNN “fake news,” including at a Wednesday event honoring Black History Month.

On Friday morning, Tapper tweeted that CNN hasn’t been hurt by Trump’s attacks. 

And CNN had its best year ever in 2016. #protip: People in power attacking media providing tough coverage actually helps those outlets. https://t.co/PdH6wOzLaJ

— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 3, 2017

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House (Anti)Science Panel Preps ‘Making The EPA Great Again’ Hearing

This story was originally published by Fusion and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
On Tuesday, the House Science, Space and Technology Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing titled “Making the Environmental Pr…

Leftover Obama Refugee Deal With Australia Draws Questions

In mid-November, just after Donald Trump was elected president, the outgoing Obama administration reached an agreement with Australia to resettle hundreds of refugees to America…. Read More

The post Leftover Obama Refugee Deal With Australia Draws Questions appeared first on The Daily Signal.

McCain: Mexico Paying for Border Wall ‘Not a Viable Option’

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 08: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) listens as Army Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command, testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee March 8, 2016 in Washington, DC. Military leaders testified on recent events around the globe and budgeting decisions for the coming fiscal year. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Friday on CNN’s “At This Hour” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said Mexico paying back the United States for a border wall is “not a viable option.” Partial transcript as follows: MCCAIN: If you only build a wall, only a wall, without using technology individuals and drones, observation, et cetera, you’re not going to secure the border. REPORTER: Obviously he’s talking about having Mexico pay for it. Do you think that’s a viable option? MCCAIN: No. REPORTER: Why do you say that? MCCAIN: Because it’s not a viable option. REPORTER: Taxpayers could be left with the bill. MCCAIN: Taxpayers are paying a lot of money right now, one of the biggest problems we have is the enforcement of existing law. Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

22 Gifts Your Dude Will Actually Want For Valentine’s Day

The special guy in your life deserves a little somethin’ special on Valentine’s Day, not just a box of chocolates and a pair of Hershey’s Kisses boxers. 
To help you find something as unique as your boo, we’ve rounded 22 gi…

Parents Create Teachable Moments At Immigration Protests

The74Million.org is a non-profit education news site, devoted to telling the stories of schools, teachers, parents and America’s 74 million kids.

The East Coast protests started haphazardly enough Saturday afternoon. Washington, D.C., residents started gathering at Dulles International Airport around the same time New Yorkers were trekking to JFK’s international terminal — rallied by Facebook Live videos and social media posts that decried President Trump’s new executive order temporarily banning travelers from seven majority-Muslim countries, including Syrian refugees, from entering the United States.

It was a few dozen, then a few hundred. Then a few thousand spread out across the country, as spontaneous demonstrations popped up further west — notably at Chicago O’Hare International Airport and San Francisco International Airport.

Within hours, a full slate of Sunday protests had also been announced,  going viral on Twitter as people encouraged their followers to turn out the following day. Boston’s Copley Square, New York City’s Battery Park, D.C.’s Pennsylvania Avenue, and, of course, the airports: Philadelphia at 2 p.m., Chicago at 6, Los Angeles at 5, Boston at 7, Seattle at 5, JFK all day.

(More updates on student protests — sign up for The 74 newsletter)

If Saturday evening’s protests were notable for their speed and spontaneity, Sunday’s protests were notable for the complexion of the crowds. Cutting across races, nationalities, and age groups, uniting those who have birth certificates with green card holders, Americans took to the streets on Sunday.

And for many, it was a family affair.

I love how many ppl are bringing their kids to these protests. These will be good memories for those kids to have.

— Andy Richter (@AndyRichter) January 29, 2017

At several airport actions Sunday, the sidewalks were dotted with kids  — some grown, some small — as parents turned a peaceful protest into a teachable moment: about citizenship, community, and free speech. In particular, the protest at Los Angeles International Airport saw families turn out in force. Several kids spoke about their own immigrant experience with parents or family members who came to the U.S. to start a new life.

If you attended or livestreamed protests over the weekend, and either brought a child or saw kids in attendance, we’d love to hear more about your experience. E-mail us at info@the74million.org. (Sign up for The 74 Newsletter to get notified about new reporting)

Below, a few of the sights and sounds of students taking part in the Los Angeles protests — as well as a few other images from across the country:

Emad, 6 years old, protesting with his family, refugees from Afghanistan who came to US in 1987 & live in Riverside #laxprotest #NoBanNoWall pic.twitter.com/bkeaKnMX8F

— jen yamato (@jenyamato) January 30, 2017

I love my Teacher! She is Muslim!
NoBan! NoWall! LAX now! #NoBanNoWall #laxprotest #MuslimBan pic.twitter.com/VDSugeyGsg

— Reza Caviani (@rcaviani) January 29, 2017

Many political kids at today’s LAX protest. You gotta love this Hamilton kid. #NoBamNoWall pic.twitter.com/INAzIrSjgH

— Lisa Bloom (@LisaBloom) January 30, 2017

this little kid at the protest today was so cute. he was holding balloons that said “Refugees Welcome Here” pic.twitter.com/YS9dzXg8mw

— ivan (@Ivanibr) January 29, 2017

The youth – look at this kid yell with his heart. #laxprotest #resist pic.twitter.com/7nvDHhk9id

— Tchaiko Omawale (@tchaiko) January 30, 2017

Nine-year-old Emory read this sign out loud to me at the #laxprotest. She was also at the #WomensMarch. pic.twitter.com/MYiiVYFsOl

— Sanika Bhargaw (@sbhargaw3) January 29, 2017

Just ran into a @scscholars DACA kid at the protest. Stand strong.

— Alex Rubalcava (@AlexRubalcava) January 29, 2017

My batgirl here to show her support #NoBanNoWall #resist #laxprotest pic.twitter.com/FrZNqcW7xb

— Martin Ponce (@martinponce767) January 29, 2017

My son & I will stay home, but we’re sending our sign & his dad over to #LAX to #Laxprotest against the #MuslimBan pic.twitter.com/OHcfKw6uRX

— Yan Sham-Shackleton (@YanShamS) January 29, 2017

Thanks for the help on the sign kids! Off to #laxprotest #NoBanNoWall #nomuslimban pic.twitter.com/L500WM1Xot

— Steve Sobel (@steve_sobel) January 29, 2017

#laxprotest pic.twitter.com/54jV5ZviFf

— Lil Ego™ (@EricGolstonII) January 30, 2017

This brave girl showed up at #laxprotest Your voice and courage are needed. No child should live in terror and fear. #NoBan #NoBanNoWall pic.twitter.com/6GohzQf2Y1

— Jane Edith Wilson (@JaneEdithWilson) January 29, 2017

Another weekend, another kid, another protest, another sign. This time with my oldest at UIUC airport. #NoBan #BanBannon pic.twitter.com/IwiRz8XNAy

— Marianne Alleyne (@Cotesia1) January 29, 2017

There’s a child pit at this protest! pic.twitter.com/U3i8kf3fI5

— Jim (@deathmtn) January 29, 2017

My friend’s kid made his own sign for the protest in providence, today. #NoBanNoWall pic.twitter.com/m95jD24jQM

— Nicholas Kole (@FromHappyRock) January 29, 2017

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Why Naomie Harris Almost Turned Down ‘Moonlight’ Role

Naomie Harris says she initially “didn’t want to play a crack addict” in “Moonlight.”

In an interview with The Telegraph, Harris opened up on why she was apprehensive to take on the role of the main character’s mother, Paula. The role earned Harris a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nod.

Harris’ character suffers from drug addiction and is a single mom to a young boy named Chiron. Throughout the film Chiron struggles with discovering his identity in the impoverished neighborhood of Liberty City, Miami.

“I feel that there are enough negative portrayals of women in general, and black women in particular,” she said. “I grew up with this really strong mother – really intelligent, powerful, independent – and I’ve always admired her. She was part of a group of strong, powerful women as well. I very rarely saw those women represented then. So I initially said no to the role.’”  

The British actress previously told “CBS This Morning” that she overcame preconceived notions about the character after watching YouTube interviews with crack users and meeting a woman who struggled with crack addiction.

She went on to tell The Telegraph, that she’s very pleased to have discovered the nuances of Paula’s character traits.  

“The more layers I have to hide under as a character, the happier I am,” she said. “So with Paula in ‘Moonlight,’ despite the tortuous journey to get to her, once I found her was incredibly comfortable on set. Because she is so far removed. She is like the polar opposite to me.”

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Obamacare Sign-Ups Through Healthcare.Gov Fall Slightly

More than 9 million people signed up for insurance through healthcare.gov this year, the Department of Health and Human Services announced on Friday.

The number is slightly lower than last year’s enrollment figures, and HHS, now under Trump administration management, was quick to point out that this year’s markets featured premiums that were, on average, substantially higher than last year’s.

Implication: The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is already starting to falter on its own.

But the difference between this year’s and last year’s enrollment figures is small ― just 400,000 people. And a drop-off in the final two weeks of enrollment, during which the Trump administration yanked some last-minute advertising, accounts for nearly all of that total.

Implication: The Trump administration tried to undermine Obamacare, and had at least some success.

Whatever the explanation for the slight drop-off, one thing is clear: A significant number of Americans are relying on the Affordable Care Act for their health insurance. Repealing the law puts their coverage into jeopardy.

According to the final HHS figures, 9.2 million people signed up for an insurance plan in the 38 states that use healthcare.gov. That’s down from 9.6 million who signed up last year.

The figures do not include the statistics from states that run their own markets and websites ― and handle their own outreach efforts. Two of those states, New York and Washington, have already reported more sign-ups than last year.

Last fall, when the Obama administration was in charge, officials predicted that enrollment through healthcare.gov states would also increase this year. And as of early January, sign-ups were in fact running ahead of last year’s pace.

But in the final week of open enrollment, when interest typically surged, the Trump administration canceled much of the outreach the Obama administration had planned. Paul Demko of Politico reported that spending on television ads plummeted to $250,000 a day, down from $1 million. 

https://t.co/glEwLdPkfq tv ads plummeted in final days of open enrollment: from $1 mil per day to less than $250k https://t.co/1SBdvV2I89

— Paul Demko (@pauldemko) February 1, 2017

At the time, a Trump administration official defended that decision as an effort to spend government money more efficiently. “We aren’t going to continue spending millions of taxpayers’ dollars promoting a failed government program,” the spokesperson said.

Former officials from the Obama administration challenged that argument, pointing to research that suggested outreach efforts had worked and boosted enrollments ― particularly among young and healthy customers, whom insurers need in order to keep plans financially stable.

Those are precisely the people who tend to sign up at the last minute. 

“Final sign-ups are down from last year, after being up as of a few weeks ago,” Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, told The Huffington Post. “There was a much smaller surge in enrollment in the final week than last year. The only thing that really changed was the pulling of ads, which likely ended up depressing enrollment.”

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.