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Three Big Things
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Pompeo nomination clears hurdle after another late GOP switch

Pompeo nomination clears hurdle after another late GOP switch

For the second time in a week, late decisions by a pair of GOP Senators provided the margin of victory for a nominee of President Donald Trump, as after fears of a rare confirmation rebuke, Republicans on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Monday got in line behind the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State, setting up a vote later this week for his confirmation in the full Senate. The key votes were delivered by Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) – who last week made a late switch to help salvage the nomination of Mr. Trump’s choice to run NASA – and by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who had talked for weeks that he would never vote to shift the CIA Director over to the post of Secretary of State. But after a late lobbying effort by President Trump, Paul stuck with the White House on Pompeo. Per source w/ knowledge: @POTUS called @RandPaul multiple times today. This may be the clearest personal role @POTUS has had in changing the outcome of a vote. (Pompeo.) — Lisa Desjardins (@LisaDNews) April 23, 2018 “I have changed my mind,” Paul said at a meeting of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Back in March when the President fired Rex Tillerson from the Secretary of State’s job, Paul had made clear he was not going to vote for Pompeo, worried the CIA chief was too set on excessively using U.S. military force around the world. Labeling Pompeo a “neocon,” Paul had said at the time that he would not vote for the CIA chief, worried that Pompeo was too much like the Republican Party that strongly backed with war in Iraq on Saddam Hussein. “I simply cannot support Pompeo’s nomination to be our chief diplomat,” the Kentucky Republican made clear. But after talks with Pompeo and the President, Paul gave in. The late changes saved the GOP from an embarrassing foreign policy setback for the President – at a time when he is hosting the French President, and will later in the week receive the German Chancellor. “He is extremely qualified for the position,” the President’s Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders argued for Pompeo, as she joined GOP Senators in reminding Democrats of the bipartisan votes for past Secretaries of State. “John Kerry was confirmed 94-3. Hillary Clinton was confirmed 94-2. Condoleezza Rice was confirmed 85-13. Colin Powell was confirmed unanimously by voice vote,” Sanders told reporters. The turn of events came hours after the President had blasted Democrats for delaying many of his nominees, by stretching out debate time on the Senate floor, leaving little time for work on legislation. Hard to believe Obstructionists May vote against Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State. The Dems will not approve hundreds of good people, including the Ambassador to Germany. They are maxing out the time on approval process for all, never happened before. Need more Republicans! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 23, 2018 While the President accurately nicked the Democrats for slow-walking many nominations on the Senate floor, certain high-profile choices like Pompeo, Jim Bridenstine for NASA, and Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell have been held up in the Senate not because of Democrats – but because of a lack of unity among Republicans. For example, Grenell’s nomination was sent to the Senate floor back on January 18. While Democrats did object to action in March, there has been no effort by Senate Republicans to hold a vote – which likely means there aren’t fifty votes for his nomination. When Monday began, that was in question for Pompeo as well, but the support of Paul, Flake, and a handful of Democrats, means the President will get his Secretary of State. “The President deserves to have a Secretary of State that agrees with him or her, in general, on a foreign policy direction,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), as he argued for Pompeo’s approval. There was a bit of irony, as Rubio last week had been one of the holdouts on the President choice to run NASA – a reminder, that with a 51-49 advantage in the Senate, and the absence of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Republicans can’t afford to lose more than one vote on anything in the U.S. Senate.

Hurricane exercises taking place at Naval Station Mayport

Hurricane exercises taking place at Naval Station Mayport

Naval Station Mayport is taking part in three weeks of natural disaster preparedness exercises, concentrating on the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season. The exercises will help train personnel on how to act and what to do in case a major hurricane develops. “How do we move ships, clear contractors and ship repair agencies out of the basin, so they don’t lose gear? How do we prepare the helicopters to fly them off and where do they go?”  These exercises will make sure those questions can be answered, providing personnel with a better ability to handle a real hurricane when the time comes, says Naval Station Mayport Emergency Manager Steve Millican. Millican says as many as 5,000 people at Naval Station Mayport have never been through this training before. He says the fictitious storm will originate just east of the Leeward Islands, then travel all the way up the eastern seaboard where it will make simulated landfall in the Virginia area, wreaking havoc in the heavily populated areas surrounding Washington, DC.   Also participating will be the U.S. Fleet Forces Command, headquartered in Norfolk, VA, and Washington, DC-based Commander, Navy Installations Command. Hurricane Exercise/Citadel Gale 2018 runs through May 11th. NAS Jacksonville will participate by reviewing and exercising heavy weather instructions and procedures and accounting for Sailors, Department of the Navy civilians, and Navy families in the affected regions. Millican says outside of immediate personnel and families, residents who live nearby can attend family preparedness event on May 22nd.  He hopes residents who live in hurricane-prone areas will take note of these exercises and be prepared themselves.

Spokesman: George HW Bush hospitalized with blood infection

Spokesman: George HW Bush hospitalized with blood infection

Former President George H.W. Bush has been hospitalized in Houston with an infection, just after attending the funeral of his wife, Barbara, a spokesman said Monday. Jim McGrath said on Twitter that the 93-year-old Bush is 'responding to treatments and appears to be recovering.' He was admitted Sunday morning to Houston Methodist Hospital after an infection spread to his blood, McGrath said. Barbara Bush was laid to rest Saturday in a ceremony attended by her husband and former presidents Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, George W. Bush and their wives, along with current first lady Melania Trump. She was 92, and she and her husband had been married 73 years — the longest presidential marriage in U.S. history. The elder Bush uses a wheelchair and an electric scooter for mobility after developing a form of Parkinson's disease, and he has needed hospital treatment several times in recent years for respiratory problems. He attended the funeral wearing a pair of knitted socks decorated in blue, red and yellow books — a tribute to his late wife's work promoting literacy. McGrath wouldn't elaborate Monday night on the specifics of Bush's condition, saying additional updates would be issued 'as events warrant.' But he said the 41st president was eager to get well so he can get to his summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine. 'He's the most goal-oriented person on this planet,' McGrath said. Their son, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, indicated during his eulogy Saturday that his father had been hospitalized recently at the same time Barbara Bush was in the hospital for the last time. Those hospitalizations were not publicly disclosed at the time. 'I think Dad got sick on purpose so that he could be with her,' Jeb Bush said. First lady Melania Trump, who attended the funeral, sent her best wishes to the former president Monday evening. 'Sending healing thoughts of strength, along with prayers, for President George HW Bush tonight,' Melania Trump tweeted. On Friday, during the public viewing of Barbara Bush's casket, George H.W. Bush offered his hand to many of the around 2,500 people who walked through the church to pay their respects. A year ago this month, Bush spent two weeks in the hospital for treatment of pneumonia and chronic bronchitis, a constant irritation of the lining of tubes that carry air to one's lungs. Bush's doctors said chronic bronchitis is a condition more prevalent with age and can aggravate the symptoms of pneumonia. Bush was hospitalized for 16 days in January 2017 for pneumonia. During that hospital stay, which included time in intensive care, doctors inserted a breathing tube and connected him to a ventilator. He also was hospitalized in 2015 in Maine after falling at home and breaking a bone in his neck, and in December 2014 for about a week for shortness of breath. He spent Christmas 2012 in intensive care for a bronchitis-related cough and other issues. People in their 90s with Parkinson's disease are often at higher risk of pneumonia and other infections because their swallowing process can be compromised, said Dr. David Reuben, professor of geriatric medicine at the UCLA medical school in Los Angeles. 'And the stress of losing a loved one can weaken the immune system,' he said. Bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics, he said, while viral infections require other treatments. Infections that spread to the blood usually are not viral, however, he said. The prognosis for such a case would depend on a number of factors, including heart rate, blood pressure and oxygenation, Reuben said. 'The more of these parameters are abnormal, the more serious the case is,' he said. George Herbert Walker Bush served as president from 1989 to 1993. Born June 12, 1924, in Milton, Massachusetts, Bush also served as a congressman, CIA director and Ronald Reagan's vice president. ___ Associated Press reporter Terry Wallace contributed to this story from Dallas.

Authorities on Monday afternoon arrested a man suspected of stripping at a Waffle House in Antioch, Tennessee, early Sunday before opening fire on customers and employees, killing four people. Nashville police confirmed that authorities arrested suspected shooter Travis Reinking, 29, on Monday afternoon. He was earlier identified as the man suspected of killing Taurean C. Sanderlin, 29; Joe R. Perez, 20; Akilah Dasilva and DeEbony Groves, 21.  >> Read more trending news 
Authorities on Monday afternoon arrested a man suspected of stripping at a Waffle House in Antioch, Tennessee, early Sunday before opening fire on customers and employees, killing four people. Nashville police confirmed that authorities arrested suspected shooter Travis Reinking, 29, on Monday afternoon. He was earlier identified as the man suspected of killing Taurean C. Sanderlin, 29; Joe R. Perez, 20; Akilah Dasilva and DeEbony Groves, 21.  >> Read more trending news 
Authorities on Monday afternoon arrested a man suspected of stripping at a Waffle House in Antioch, Tennessee, early Sunday before opening fire on customers and employees, killing four people. Nashville police confirmed that authorities arrested suspected shooter Travis Reinking, 29, on Monday afternoon. He was earlier identified as the man suspected of killing Taurean C. Sanderlin, 29; Joe R. Perez, 20; Akilah Dasilva and DeEbony Groves, 21.  >> Read more trending news 
Authorities on Monday afternoon arrested a man suspected of stripping at a Waffle House in Antioch, Tennessee, early Sunday before opening fire on customers and employees, killing four people. Nashville police confirmed that authorities arrested suspected shooter Travis Reinking, 29, on Monday afternoon. He was earlier identified as the man suspected of killing Taurean C. Sanderlin, 29; Joe R. Perez, 20; Akilah Dasilva and DeEbony Groves, 21.  >> Read more trending news 
Pompeo nomination clears hurdle after another late GOP switch

For the second time in a week, late decisions by a pair of GOP Senators provided the margin of victory for a nominee of President Donald Trump, as after fears of a rare confirmation rebuke, Republicans on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Monday got in line behind the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State, setting up a vote later this week for his confirmation in the full Senate.

The key votes were delivered by Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) – who last week made a late switch to help salvage the nomination of Mr. Trump’s choice to run [More]