Bedminster (United States) (AFP) - Maybe it was the beautiful sunset, or the crowd of tough-looking men cheering his name, or even some reassurance from secret polling, but Donald Trump did not sound like a president who risks humiliation in less than 80 days.Standing on the steps of his luxury golf clubhouse in Bedminster, New Jersey, Trump addressed supporters from the New York Police Department union, as it announced its endorsement.And with the practiced enthusiasm of a real estate magnate who spent a lifetime selling shiny dreams, he offered them electoral fantasy.He told them he was not ...
Susan Collins now says she won't comment on Brett Kavanaugh until after he renders his decision on Roe
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has been under the spotlight this week after Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh telegraphed that he would be open to overturning the precedent established by Roe V. Wade.
On Wednesday, Collins deflected when asked about Kavanaugh's comments during hearings in the Mississippi abortion law case this week by saying she hadn't seen his remarks.
On Thursday, Collins was asked again about Kavanaugh's remarks and replied that she'd only read press accounts of what he said.
And, according to Huffington Post reporter Igor Bobic, Collins had no desire to talk about them any further.
"Collins says today she read 'some of the press accounts' but has not yet reviewed the oral arguments from SCOTUS on abortion," Bobic writes on Twitter. "Also says she won't be commenting until after the decision is rendered, which may not happen until next summer."
During Kavanaugh's contentious 2018 Senate confirmation hearing, Kavanaugh told Collins directly that he believed Roe v. Wade was settled precedent.
However, at Wednesday's hearing, Kavanaugh repeatedly suggested he saw no issue with overturning established precedent.
"If we think that the prior precedents are seriously wrong, why then doesn’t the history of this court’s practice... tell us that the right answer is actually a return to the position of neutrality?" he asked at one point, according to Slate's Mark Joseph Stern.
Trump wanted Biden's infrastructure bill to fail so much he was working the phones to stop any Republican votes
A Washington Post profile on Alaska Rep. Don Young (R) revealed that former President Donald Trump was so desperate to kill the infrastructure bill under President Joe Biden that he was working to phones to stop the funding.
Trump spent the majority of his presidency attempting to pass his own version of the bill, with enthusiastic support from Democrats. The idea of "infrastructure week" became a punchline during the presidency, wrote the New York Times in 2019. Trump then torpedoed his years-long effort for an infrastructure package in 2019 because the Democrats were investigating him for his call with Ukraine where he demanded a "favor" for aide.
It was previously reported that Trump was working to kill any Democratic negotiations with Republicans. Trump then began publicly criticizing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for even entertaining the idea of the vote.
A Politico report in July said that Republicans were privately encouraging Trump to tone down his opposition and even consider supporting the effort, which would have allowed him an opportunity to take partial credit in getting the conversation rolling.
But as the vote came close, Trump begged with his allies to kill the effort, allowing Democrats to argue that Trump wants the country to fail. Trump has teased that he may run for president in 2024 and if elected he could have attempted an "infrastructure week" again, so it's unclear if that was his thinking.
"Rep. Don Young knew the call would not end well, as the Alaska Republican forcefully rejected Donald Trump’s plea to oppose the more than $1 trillion infrastructure legislation," the Post report said. "How did the former president take the news?"
“Not well,” Young told the Post, noting that the good news is that there wasn't any shouting. “I think his policy is just so good. Just shut up — that’s all he has to do. He’s not going to. I know that.”
Only 13 Republicans in the House were willing to support the bill, and Trump has pledged to punish them with primary challenges and an effort to bring them down in 2022. The 13 Republicans, however, seem to be taking the bet that by the midterm election Trump will forget about his opposition and be onto another fight.
Meanwhile, however, the Republican Party is in crisis as Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) desperately clings to his only hope of becoming the Speaker of the House. While the GOP majority leader was able to control his caucus with donations from lobbyists, PACS and corporations, many of those members, like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), can raise their own funds and don't need the help from the GOP leadership. If she can help raise more money for the caucus, she could ultimately end up being more powerful than McCarthy next year.
Milan's central train station plays host from Friday to a "World of Banksy", featuring reproductions of provocative works by the British street artist in something akin to their original real-world settings.
The elusive artist's murals these days exchange hands for millions, notably the famous "Girl with Balloon" which was sensationally shredded and sold under a new name, "Love is in the Bin", for a record £18.8 million ($25.4 million) in October.
But the aim of the show in the northern Italian city is to make works by Banksy -- whose identity is said to be known only to a handful of friends -- again accessible to a wide audience.
"Most of his works have been destroyed, covered up, stolen, sold, so they are no longer directly visible to the public," the curator of the exhibition, Manu De Ros, told AFP.
More than 130 murals and silkscreens are on show in the train station until February 27, set on backgrounds created by young graffiti artists and students that hark back to their original surroundings.
"We have reproduced the walls on which Banksy painted, the bricks, concrete, the dirt of the roads, the pollution," De Ros said.
The exhibition is ticket-only and in a closed off area, but some noise from the train station filters through, giving visitors a sense of the streets on which the works first appeared.
There are reproductions of classic works like "Flower Thrower", showing a masked protester hurling a bunch of flowers that first appeared on a wall in Jerusalem, as well as more recent pieces.
There is "Aachoo", a sneezing lady who appeared at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, or another on the wall of a former British jail that once held playwright Oscar Wilde, depicting a prisoner escaping with a typewriter.
De Ros said he hoped it would cause some of the thousands of people who pass through the station each day to stop and think.
And what does the artist think?
"Banksy never directly authorizes exhibitions that he doesn't organize himself, that's a rule, but neither does he prohibit them. He doesn't stop us," the curator said.
"This allows us to believe, perhaps a little presumptuously, that the work we do is appreciated. This also allows Banksy to spread his message even more widely."
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