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Obama: No to ‘legalizing prostitution, gambling, drugs and non-violent crime’

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Thinking squarely outside the box for solutions to heal the economy, a college student had a rather innovative and unorthodox idea idea for the president at his Friday jobs speech in Allentown, PA.

Following the speech, a second-year student asked Obama: “I was wondering if, maybe if, you checked out some of the statistics about legalizing prostitution, gambling, drugs and non-violent crime in order to stimulate some of the economy?”

The crowd chuckled and Obama smiled. “I have to say this, I appreciate the boldness of your question,” he replied.

Not leaving anyone hanging, he quickly declared: “That will not be my job strategy,” to laughs and applause from the attendees at Lehigh Carbon Community College.

“Part of what you’re supposed to do in college  is question conventional wisdom,” the president jested. “And so you’re doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing, which is thinking in new ways about things.”

Reports today revealed that November job-losses were the lowest in over a year at 11,000 — unemployment fell for first time in the Obama presidency, albeit marginally, from 10.2 to 10 percent. Obama deemed it a “hopeful sign” Friday.

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Later in the session, Obama expressed frustration at Congress’ often-sluggish pace on legislation, and slammed the GOP for what he deemed its over-usage of the filibuster.

“Congress works incredibly hard, but moves, well, deliberately,” he said, to laughter. “It takes time to get things done… The public thinks, What are these folks doing? Sometimes it gives you a headache, but that’s democracy. It’s not easy to get anything done, but it keeps us stable. But it’s frustrating.”

Hitting Senate Republicans for frequently using traditionally rare moves to slow down his agenda, he said: “You need 60 votes for everything, because now the opposition evokes the filibuster for everything.”

Watch the video of Obama’s exchange with the college student:

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Download video via RawReplay.com

Additional reporting by David Edwards

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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The View piles on Dem hopeful Marianne Williamson for ducking anti-vaxx questions: ‘You’re making people paranoid!’

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Panelists on "The View" hammered Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson for giving ambiguous answers about mandatory vaccinations.

The long-shot candidate has apologized for describing vaccination mandates as "draconian" and "Orwellian," saying she believes vaccines are important but understands public skepticism, and co-host Meghan McCain asked her to square those views with her advocacy for children.

"This sounds a lot like Trump, just so we're clear, this is his message," McCain said. "You're talking a lot about children of America, the children, how much you care about children, you also just came out as the anti-vaxxer candidate."

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Senate delivers stinging bipartisan rebuke to Trump — and blocks Saudi arms sales

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The Trump White House suffered a stinging defeat on Thursday when a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers voted to block sales of American arms to Saudi Arabia.

The vote in favor of blocking the arms sales received affirmative votes from all Senate Democrats, as well as votes from Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Susan Collins (R-ME), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Todd Young (R-IN).

Graham, who is usually one of President Donald Trump's staunchest allies, said he voted for the bill because he believed the United States could not ignore the behavior of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, as well as the Saudi government's killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

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UN Khashoggi report piles pressure on Saudi crown prince

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Saudi Arabia has sought to move on from the scandal triggered by journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murder, but a UN expert's report implicating its crown prince has heaped pressure back on the kingdom, analysts say.

UN special rapporteur Agnes Callamard's report, released Wednesday, insists there is "credible evidence" to warrant further investigation and financial sanctions against Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over Khashoggi's murder last October.

The 101-page document, which details the dissident's murder by Saudi agents at the country's Istanbul consulate, has cast a renewed spotlight on the case just as the de facto ruler appeared to be emerging from the scandal.

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