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On Hawaii vacation, Obama reads up on Reagan

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HONOLULU — US President Barack Obama is using his Christmas holiday in Hawaii to read up on former president Ronald Reagan, an icon for the resurgent Republicans he will face next year.

The president “is reading a biography right now on Ronald Reagan by Lou Cannon,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs wrote Friday on the micro-blogging website Twitter.

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Obama has taken an interest in the former president ahead of his return to a more deeply divided Washington next month, when the Republican opposition will assume control of the House of Representatives.

Reagan, who occupied the White House from 1981 to 1989, is revered by Republicans for his hard line towards the Soviet Union and his conservative fiscal reforms, which included cutting taxes and reforming the tax code.

He managed to pass a raft of legislation despite presiding over a divided government with Democrats in control of the House, a feat that Obama, despite occupying the opposite ideological pole, hopes to repeat.

Obama will face a similar divide in January, after a “shellacking” by Republicans in November that gave them a majority in the House and a bolstered presence in the Senate.

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Obama is spending the Christmas holiday with his family in his home state of Hawaii.

Next year the United States will mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Reagan, who passed away in 2004 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

This video is from the White House, broadcast Dec. 25, 2010.

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‘Smart rats jump a sinking orange ship’: Columnist predicts more Republicans will flee Trump

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New York Times contributing columnist Wajahat Ali predicted that more Republicans would likely flee President Donald Trump in the coming weeks.

Already, Trump's own officials, appointees, and staff are lining up to testify to the House committees, despite Trump saying they will not cooperate with any investigations.

"I believe smart rats jump a sinking orange ship, and if you don't believe me, you haven't paid attention to the last week," Ali told CNN's Don Lemon. In the past week, several of Trump's appointees have lined up to give a deposition or testify. Even outgoing Energy Secretary Rick Perry revealed in a Wall Street Journal interview, that Rudy Giuliani was to be the point person on all things related to Ukraine.

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CNN panel mocks the White House for promoting a photo of Trump looking ‘subservient’ to Pelosi

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The White House posted a series of photos of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Wednesday after their meeting, showing Pelosi being the only person in the room literally standing up to President Donald Trump. It was an image that baffled the mind of at least one CNN panelist as to why the Trump people would be promoting Pelosi.

According to reports from those who were in the room, the president flew off the handle after Pelosi quipped that it seems all roads lead back to Russia for this president. It was at that point that Trump called Pelosi a "third-grade politician," though presumably, he meant "third-rate," and the meeting broke apart.

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Max Boot calls BS on Republicans for trying to claim Syria is Nancy Pelosi’s fault because of impeachment

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President Donald Trump is conducting foreign policy like a 1980s television character, according to conservative Washington Post columnist Max Boot.

In a panel discussion about the letter Trump sent to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, Boot mocked Republicans for suddenly trying to claim that Trump's withdrawal from Syria was Speaker Nancy Pelosi's fault because of impeachment. It is unclear if Republicans are confessing the president is too distracted by impeachment to be making foreign policy decisions or if they are blaming Pelosi for military decisions.

"I mean there's a lot of really lame Republican talking points out there, Don," Boot said to CNN host Don Lemon. "But to suggest, as Rep. Liz Cheney and others have done that somehow Trump's inexplicable decision to give the Turks the green light to invade Syria — that was somehow the fault of Nancy Pelosi because of the impeachment process? What?"

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