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Obama goes head-to-head with tea party activist

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DECORAH, Iowa — US President Barack Obama went head-to-head with a prominent conservative Tea Party activist, in a microcosm of a political clash that will play out in the 2012 election.

Ryan Rhodes, a leader of the group in Iowa, took on Obama during an open-air town hall meeting, which marked a moment of new intensity in the president’s campaign for a second term.

Rhodes shouted out that the president’s calls for more civility in politics had little chance of coming to pass after “your vice president is calling people like me, a Tea Party member, a ‘terrorist.'”

His question referred to media reports that Vice President Joe Biden made such a remark in a private meeting with House of Representatives Democrats at the height of a debt showdown earlier this month.

The clash came as Obama was intent on wrapping up the meeting in the shadow of a red country barn draped with an American flag, as the sun set on a rural corner of Iowa.

“I know it’s not going to work, if you stand up, and I asked everybody to raise their hand… I didn’t see you, I wasn’t avoiding you,” the president said, but later circled back to answer Rhodes’s question.

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“I absolutely agree that everybody needs to try to tone down the rhetoric,” he said, before going on to detail some of the more explosive charges that conservatives have laid against him.

“In fairness, since I have been called a socialist who wasn’t born in this country, who is destroying America and taking away its freedoms because I passed a health care bill, I am all for lowering the rhetoric.”

Obama and Rhodes later engaged in an animated conversation as he greeted supporters on a rope line after the event, and the activist later told reporters that he believed that Obama was indeed a socialist.

The president was on the first day of a three-state bus tour in which he is sympathizing with Americans dismayed and frustrated by the slow pace of the economic recovery and trying to repair his battered political standing.

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Rhodes backed winning candidate and Tea Party favorite Representative Michele Bachmann in last weekend’s Iowa Straw poll, and is regarded as a founder of the anti-big government movement in the state.

The Tea Party lacks a centralized national leadership but emerged in the 2010 congressional election cycle as a powerful influence on conservative Republican politics, with its message of low taxes and cutting spending.

The movement was also seen as a key driver of Republican leadership tactics in a debt showdown with Obama, and some Democrats accused Tea Party activists of holding the country hostage over raising the government’s borrowing limit.

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Pentagon gives senators classified briefing on UFOs reported by the Navy

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While it might sound like something out of "The X-Files," Navy pilots have been seeing UFOs, and U.S. Senators now want to know what's happening.

According to Politico, three more senators met with Pentagon officials for a classified briefing Wednesday about encounters pilots are having with unidentified aircraft. It seems the Pentagon is getting more and more requests by officials with high clearances to figure out what's happening.

The crafts are, at their most basic, nothing more than "unidentified aircraft," and while it isn't likely they're little green men, there are some senators who might have concerns about whether these UFOs are actually a foreign adversary.

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Wall Street Journal issues blistering editorial asking Trump what the point is of a second term

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In a blistering editorial, the Wall Street Journal is asking President Donald Trump what the point of a second term is since he hasn't done anything in his first term.

During his rally in Orlando Tuesday, Trump repeated the same tired lines and same tired policies from 2016. The "Promises Made, Promises Kept" slogan shown over the crowd, yet the supporters didn't understand the irony.

"The most striking fact of his speech was how backward looking it was," the editorial board said. "Every incumbent needs to remind voters of his record, Mr. Trump more than most because the media are so hostile."

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‘Crosses a line’: New York Times publisher unleashes on Trump for accusing paper of ‘treason’

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On Wednesday, New York Times publisher A. G. Sulzberger wrote a blistering editorial in the Wall Street Journal, saying that President Donald Trump's latest attack on his paper "crosses a line."

First it was the "the failing New York Times." Then "fake news." Then "enemy of the people," wrote Sulzberger. "President Trump's escalating attacks on The New York Times have paralleled his broader barrage on American media. He's gone from misrepresenting our business, to assaulting our integrity, to demonizing our journalists with a phrase that’s been used by generations of demagogues. Now the president has escalated his attacks even further, accusing the Times of a crime so grave it is punishable by death.

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