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Boehner and Cantor summon Obama to meeting before jobs speech

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House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) wrote President Barack Obama a letter Tuesday, Congress’ last day of recess, requesting that he meet with Republican leadership prior to his planned jobs speech to Congress Thursday.

The letter focuses on Republican-led job efforts and what Boehner and Cantor frame as the Democratic failures to contribute to job creation. For example, attached to the 1,500-word letter is a list of initiatives passed by the Republican-controlled House that have not been considered by the Democratic-majority Senate.

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Obama recently accused Republicans of being the roadblocks, saying that the delay was due to “the refusal by some in Congress to put country ahead of party…that’s what we have to change.”

In their letter, the Republicans stressed that compromise would be needed for economic growth.

“While we each sincerely believe that our own policy prescriptions for economic recovery are what is best for the country, neither of us is likely to convince the other in a manner that results in the full implementation of those policies,” the letter read in part. “While it is important that we continue to debate and discuss our different approaches to job creation, it is also critical that our differences not preclude us from taking action in areas where there is common agreement. We should not approach this as an all or nothing situation.”

Boehner and Cantor then offer several examples of Republican ideas that the White House could choose to implement.

“Obviously achieving bipartisan agreement on these and other initiatives requires more than just one side declaring a proposal to be ‘bipartisan,'” the letter reads. “It requires that we work together. As such, we would suggest that prior to your address to Congress you convene a bipartisan, bicameral meeting of the Congressional leadership so that we may have the opportunity to constructively discuss your proposals.”

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Previously, Obama had planned his address to Congress for Wednesday, the same time as the Republican presidential debate. In a letter, Boehner chose not to accept his invitation and suggested Thursday instead. The next day, Obama announced that he would address Congress Thursday.


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Melania Trump statue torched near her Slovenian hometown: report

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On Wednesday, The Daily Beast reported that a wooden statue of First Lady Melania Trump carved from a tree outside her hometown in Slovenia last year has been burned to the ground.

"The artist who had commissioned the sculpture, Brad Downey, had the statue removed on July 5," reported Madeline Charbonneau. "Downey, who is American but works out of Berlin, had hoped his statue of the first lady would create dialogue about American politics, given that Melania Trump is an immigrant married to a president who seeks to stem immigration. Though the investigation is still pending, Downey said he hopes to interview the perpetrators for an upcoming exhibition."

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FBI investigating Chinese businessman who bankrolled media company linked to Steve Bannon

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A Wall Street Journal expose revealed that a Chinese businessman is under investigation by the FBI after he used funds to bankroll a media company with ties to a former aide to President Donald Trump, Steve Bannon.

"Federal Bureau of Investigation national security agents in recent months have asked people who know both men for information on Mr. Guo’s activities, including the source of funds of a media company linked to him that hired Mr. Bannon in 2018 as a consultant, the people said," according to the Journal. "As recently as last week, the FBI met with one person familiar with the companies tied to Mr. Guo, the people said. The probe has been underway for more than six months, and prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s offices in Manhattan and Brooklyn have been involved.

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Lady Antebellum changed their name for racial sensitivity — now they’re suing the Black singer who already used the name

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In June, as the national conversation about racial justice in the wake of the George Floyd killing pushed many groups and organizations to examine the racial connotations of their brands, the country music group Lady Antebellum announced they were changing their name to "Lady A" to remove reference to the slavery period of Southern history.

There was just one problem: an African-American blues singer in Seattle, Anita White, already went by that name. Now, according to Pitchfork, the band is going to court for the right to use the trademark.

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