<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - Politics]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/politics http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.png NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.com en-us Fri, 28 Aug 2015 05:47:15 -0400 Fri, 28 Aug 2015 05:47:15 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Clinton Says Biden Has 'Very Difficult' Decision]]> Thu, 27 Aug 2015 08:16:08 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_697432409813.jpg

Hillary Clinton pledged to run her campaign as usual, in spite of speculation about Vice President Joe Biden joining the race.

Clinton said Biden has a "very difficult decision" to make about the 2016 presidential run. She reiterated that she has "a great deal of admiration and affection" for the vice president, but wants him to make the right choice for him and his family following his son Beau Biden's death earlier this year. 

"He has to do what he has to do but I'm just going to continue with my campaign," Clinton said in Iowa Wednesday. 

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA['I'm Not a Bully': Trump Defends Ejecting Anchor]]> Wed, 26 Aug 2015 17:57:15 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_865379311727-ramos-trump-iowa.jpg

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump wrangled with Univision anchor Jorge Ramos over his immigration policies in an extended — and occasionally personal — exchange, leading to the journalist's temporary removal during a news conference in Iowa Tuesday night.

In an interview on NBC's "Today" show Wednesday Trump said Ramos was "totally out of line last night" and that he was "ranting and raving like a madman."

Ramos, the Miami-based anchor and journalist for the prominent Spanish-language network, was ejected from the event after attempting to engage with the GOP front-runner as he recognized another reporter.

“Sit down, you weren’t called,” Trump told him. “Go back to Univision.”

Ramos proceeded to question Trump on his proposal to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants. As the two spoke over one another in a testy back-and-forth, Trump's security detail approached the Mexican-American journalist and escorted him out of the room.

"You cannot build a 1,900-mile wall," Ramos continued on his way out.

The exchange prompted several reporters to ask Trump about the incident. The real estate mogul said, “You can’t just stand up and scream,” noting that Ramos spoke out of turn.

On Wednesday, Trump told "Today's," Matt Lauer, "I was asking and being asked a question from another reporter. I would have gotten to (Ramos) very quickly. He stood up and started ranting and raving like a madman."

Lauer asked Trump why he lets people get under his skin, and suggested that his renewed feud with Fox News host Megyn Kelly reflects badly on him.

"I'm not a bully," he said about public perceptions. "In fact, I think it's just the opposite way."

Trump said he proved that point when Ramos was eventually allowed to return to the presser. 

Trump called on Ramos to ask a question.

“Good to have you back,” Trump said before Ramos fired a series of questions on the billionaire’s controversial immigration policies.

"Your immigration plan, it is full of empty promises," Ramos began. "You cannot deny citizenship to children born in this country."

"Why do you say that?" Trump replied. "Some of the great legal scholars agree that's not true."

Citizenship for infants born in the United States is guaranteed by the 14th Amendment, and changing that would require amending the Constitution.

Ramos later asked Trump about the feasibility of building a wall extending the length of the U.S.-Mexico border. The real estate mogul responded that he’s a “builder,” adding that it is more complicated to build a “building that’s 95 stories tall.”

"We'll have a border, and we'll have a wall. And the wall's going to have a big beautiful door where we can let in people," Trump said.

The National Association for Hispanic Journalists condemned Trump for letting Ramos be ejected for what its president said was simply trying to hold the GOP candidate accountable to his own prior statements.

"Mr. Ramos was doing what journalists have done for decades – asking questions!" said Mekahlo Medina, a KNBC reporter serving as president of the NAHJ, in a statement posted to the organization's website.

Trump is in Iowa to host a 'Make America Great Again' rally at the Grand River Center in Dubuque.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Sherwood's Notebook: Everything Just Feels So Shaky]]> Wed, 26 Aug 2015 07:42:18 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/dc-flag-shutterstock_206336772.jpg

There are some big things:

The worldwide stock market. Public safety here and many other areas. Transit systems here, in New York and elsewhere. Politics? Take your pick. Hillary’s campaign or Trump’s GOP surprise rise? Sports. The woeful ’Skins or the start-and-stop Nats? 

And, there are some little things:

Summer is over. Noisy leaf blowers are revving up. And vodka sales are falling (but prices aren’t).

The list is not exhaustive, but you get the point. It seems like there is a surfeit of bad news.

We were feeling wrung out from all this until we went to the National Zoo on Monday for NBC4 to check out the new panda cubs that were born over the weekend.

Excited visitors to the Zoo were bummed that they couldn’t see the new pandas except on a video stream. But just being close to the panda yards was almost good enough for some.

Zoo director Dennis Kelly told News4 it’s a sensitive time for the pandas, weighing only a few ounces and needing 24/7 attention and care.

“They’re struggling for food, they’re struggling for warmth,” Kelly told us near where 2-year-old Bao Bao was distracting the panda-hungry crowds. “And [mother Mei Xiang] is used to only raising one so we’re swapping them out. They’re doing OK, but it is a critical time.”

We were joined by Lynn Mento, who is just finishing her first month as executive director of the Friends of the National Zoo.

“You’re kind of like the pandas — you’re brand-new!” we told her. “Not a twin, but brand-new, yes,” she laughed.

We told her that if we were one of the elephants in the adjacent exhibit, we’d be jealous of all the panda attention. She acknowledged the imbalance, but said all the animals are important; it’s just that the pandas have become the face of the Zoo.

“There’s something so special about the pandas,” she said. “In fact, we are the only free zoo in the nation that has pandas.”

■ So when should you visit? If the new panda cubs survive the first few weeks, it still may be a while before you can see them other than on the panda cam. Go to the Zoo, but lower expectations.

“Actually, coming outside is three or four months away,” Kelly told us. “These cubs are so tiny right now. Their eyes aren’t open. They have no fur. They’ll grow quickly. But just like Bao Bao, they won’t be out for three or four months.”

■ And their names? It’s a tradition that cubs are not given names for several weeks, in part because they are so fragile at birth. But soon enough, if all goes well, the Zoo will announce a way for the public to help name the two cubs.

“We will come up with a fun, good way to name these cubs,” Kelly told us. “And you’ll hear about that in the next few weeks.”

We’ve written almost a whole column without writing “pandemonium.” But that’s what it’ll be when the line starts forming to see the new pandas. You might get a head start by joining FONZ. It has 35,000 households supporting private efforts at the Zoo, and it’s always looking for more.

■ Schools are open. Monday was another good day for the District besides the pandas.
Only minor glitches were being reported as nearly 50,000 public school students reported to class for the new year. It’s the highest enrollment in the past four years. The city also opened four new schools.

On Friday, D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson had appeared on the WAMU Politics Hour. As usual, she was excited about the new school year. But she also was mindful of the spike in violence that has unnerved so many in the city. She said school administrators and security personnel were briefed on community violence and were encouraged to be vigilant to keep the violence out of schools.

But more importantly, she said the school system was going to focus on positive things happening at the schools. There are new academic programs and new after-school activities. The system continues to improve school facilities. There still is uncertainty on what new private firm will provide school lunches and snacks, but the current operator has said it would not leave the system in the lurch.

Whatever its troubles, there is no doubt that the D.C. school system is not the place it was when Michelle Rhee took over in 2007. A lot has changed, and more change — a lot more — is needed. But Henderson and others say the city is on the right track. It’ll be up to the parents and guardians of our children to affirm that as the year unfolds.

■ What about D.C? A group called “The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation” is advocating that the section of 16th Street in front of the reopened Cuban Embassy be renamed in honor of slain human rights activist Oswaldo Paya.

We mean no disrespect to Paya, or the advocates. But many of the 650,000 people who live in the District of Columbia would like to suspend ceremonial renaming of streets until the citizens of this nation’s capital are given the basic rights of all other U.S. citizens. No more, no less. No more, no less.

Tom Sherwood, a Southwest resident, is a political reporter for News 4.

<![CDATA[Fox Chief Defends Kelly, Says Trump Should Apologize]]> Tue, 25 Aug 2015 19:49:25 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/trump-kelly-AP_511867665203.jpg

Fox News chief Roger Ailes said Tuesday that Donald Trump owes the network's Megyn Kelly an apology for an unprovoked Twitter attack that "is as unacceptable as it is disturbing," but Trump isn't backing down.

The Republican presidential front-runner-turned-TV-critic had welcomed Kelly back from a vacation Monday night by tweeting that he liked her show better while she was away. Trump said Kelly "must have had a terrible vacation" because "she's really off her game." He retweeted a message that referred to her as a bimbo.

"Megyn Kelly represents the very best of American journalism and all of us at Fox News Channel reject the crude and irresponsible attempts to suggest otherwise," said Ailes, the Fox News Channel chairman. "I could not be more proud of Megyn for her professionalism and class in the face of all of Mr. Trump's verbal assaults."

Trump, in a statement, said he disagreed with Ailes and that he doesn't think Kelly is a quality journalist. "Hopefully in the future I will be proven wrong and she will be able to elevate her standards to a level of professionalism that a network such as Fox deserves."

In a news conference later Tuesday in Dubuque, Iowa, Trump again refused to apologize to Kelly, saying, "She should probably apologize to me, but I just don't care."

Trump has been attacking Kelly ever since her tough questioning of him during the first GOP presidential debate, seen by 24 million people on Fox on Aug. 6. A day after the debate, he said Kelly had "blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever."

That led to a private, clear-the-air conversation between Ailes and Trump two weeks ago, but that clearly hasn't led to peace.

In his tweets, Trump repeated his contention that Kelly, host of a prime-time Fox News show and one of the network's biggest stars, was sent on an unplanned vacation that ended Monday. Fox said her time off had been scheduled long before the debate. Trump also tweeted that Kelly was afraid to confront a guest, Dr. Cornel West, and that she had "no clue" on immigration.

Ailes again backed Kelly for her questioning during the debate, which he said was tough but fair.

"Donald Trump rarely apologizes, although in this case, he should," Ailes said. "We have never been deterred by politicians or anyone else attacking us for doing our job, much less allowed ourselves to be bullied by anyone and we're certainly not going to start now."

Some of Kelly's Fox colleagues also came to her defense. Bret Baier, who moderated the debate with Kelly and Chris Wallace, tweeted that "this needs to stop." Brian Kilmeade said on "Fox & Friends" that Trump's comments bothered him personally.

"We are all friends with Donald Trump, but he is totally out of bounds reigniting that fight," Kilmeade said. "I don't know if he's trying to get ratings out of that or poll numbers, but he's not going to be successful."

Photo Credit: (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
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<![CDATA[Trump Doubles Down on Building Border Wall at Ala. Rally]]> Fri, 21 Aug 2015 23:01:14 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-484797712-Trump-Alabama-Rally.jpg

Thousands of people showed up to hear Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump speak at an Alabama rally Friday, in which the business tycoon vowed, "we're going to make America better than it's ever been." 

The crowd filled about half of the 43,000-seat Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, NBC News reported. It was a hot night, and humid. Trump looked upwards and joked: "If it rains I'll take off my hat and prove, I'll prove, once and for all, that its mine," while stroking his hair.

Trump repeated his tough stance on immigration, vowing "we're going to build a wall," and saying Congress could end the guarantee of being granted citizenship upon being born within the U.S.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Trump Poses With Bald Eagle for Time Magazine]]> Thu, 20 Aug 2015 17:20:39 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/212*120/Trump-Time-Cover.jpg

GOP frontrunner Donald Trump posed with a bald eagle at his New York City office for a spread in this week’s issue of Time magazine.

The 27-year-old eagle, named uncle Sam, was flown in from Texas and brought to the 25th floor of the Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan.

Trump appears on the cover of the magazine under the headline "Deal with it.”

In an interview with the publication, Trump sounded off on undocumented immigrants, Hillary Clinton’s email controversy, and taxes.

When pressed on how feasible it would be to remove undocumented immigrants from the U.S., he did not detail specifics but said, "it'll all work out."

“It’s called management,” Trump said. “Politicians can’t manage; all they can do is talk. It’s called management. And we’ll do an expedited system. Because I agree with you, there are some very, very good people here who they are here illegally. But they are illegal.”

He also discussed the controversy around Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server at the State Department.

“She’s going through something that for me, for me is Watergate,” Trump said. “Her only hope is that because the prosecutors are Democrats she doesn’t get prosecuted. That’s the only hope she’s got.”

Trump also said that as president, he may decide to change laws around taxes. 

“Well I’m thinking about it but I have a problem because I may want to switch taxes around,” Trump said. “I want to save the middle class.”

Trump’s Time magazine cover issue hits newsstands Thursday.

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<![CDATA[Corn Maze Honors Gov. Hogan in Maryland]]> Fri, 21 Aug 2015 12:03:57 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/hogan-maze-chopper.jpg

A Maryland farm has constructed a massive corn maze outlining a portrait of Gov. Larry Hogan to benefit the American Cancer Society, WTOP reported.

Hogan revealed his cancer diagnosis June 22, and recently announced on Facebook that 95 percent of his stage III non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is gone.

The owners of Lawyer's Farm in Frederick County, Maryland, lost their father to cancer, according to their website, and dedicated this year's maze to Hogan.

The maze design includes other Maryland themes such as the shape of the state itself, Black-Eyed Susans, the Maryland flag, an Oriole and the hashtag #HoganStrong, which emerged on Twitter after the governor announced his diagnosis.  

The maze, with more than seven miles of trails, opens Sept. 19, WTOP reported.

The farm will hold a donation day Nov. 1, when all proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society. Last year, the farm generated nearly $12,000 for the American Brain Tumor Association.

Photo Credit: Chopper 4]]>
<![CDATA[The Week Ahead: Will Trump Top latest Poll?]]> Fri, 21 Aug 2015 18:58:03 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20141205+The+Week+Ahead.jpg

The Week Ahead with Andy Gross: New NBC/Marist poll is released, GOP candidates criss-cross country trying to get traction against Trump, Congress takes aim at Iran deal -- and an important programming note.

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<![CDATA[Sherwood's Notebook: One Bright Note in August]]> Wed, 19 Aug 2015 05:32:16 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/214*120/AP_600637768699.jpg

Say what you will about the month of August, there was a good reason to be out in the heat on Monday.

Legendary singer and social activist Stevie Wonder pulled off a “pop-up” concert that was publicized only a few hours before it began on East Capitol Street near RFK Stadium.

Social media lit up, and thousands high-tailed it to the site.

Wonder played a half-dozen-song set and took a few questions from the crowd. He urged everyone to vote and avowed that every person with a gun is responsible for what that gun does.

“It is true that guns do kill people,” he said. “But without people using them, it wouldn’t happen. Everyone is accountable for whatever bullet they shoot from any gun, wherever they do it.”

But the social call to action was only part of the concert that had people — including Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson — up and dancing. The pop-up event also was promoting Wonder’s “Songs in the Key of Life” concert tour that stops at the Verizon Center Oct. 3.

Erik Moses, who runs the city’s Events DC operation, said the city was given only 48 hours’ notice of the concert and that Wonder’s staff asked that it not be publicized until just before the event. Moses said there would have been 10,000 people had the word gotten out earlier.

Moses says he and Mayor Muriel Bowser are intent on erasing the city’s image as a difficult, bureaucratic place to hold such events.

“If you’re a brand, a musician or a promoter,” Moses told NBC4, “we’re going to help you do it.”

■ Crime fears. One thing not helping the city’s image is the recent spike in homicides. Mayor Bowser last week sent out a letter to District citizens reassuring them that she is concerned about it. Gunfire has claimed the lives of innocent bystanders whose only wrongdoing was that they were in the wrong place.

On Monday, Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier held her second news conference in a week to assert that police are aggressively reacting to the homicides.

Apart from the legitimate concern of the mayor and the chief, they also are anxious to be “seen” doing something. It’s all very nervously similar to the news conferences of the 1990s when homicides topped 400 a year. The city is nowhere near that kind of violence, and the mayor personally and politically wants to make sure it never is.

■ Reports R Us. You can be sure of one thing in this world: Governments like to issue reports.
We now can add Mayor Bowser to that list.

Arriving in snail-mail boxes last week was a 14-page, glossy “6 Month Progress Report” of the still-new Bowser administration.

How much did this laudatory missive cost? How many were published? The mayor’s office says about 80,000 reports were printed at a cost of about $40,000. “Transparency and accountability will be the hallmarks of this Administration,” the report declares, “because the government belongs to our residents.”

The report, not surprisingly, is long on praise.

And truth be told, even many critics of Bowser, or those who were just lukewarm on her, grudgingly acknowledge that she has seized the reins of government pretty well despite some bumps here and there.

A lot of the report naturally is table-setting for things to come. Some of the report acknowledges progress that had begun before her term started (like the overall fiscal health of the city and its government).

■ The Gray reports. When Mayor Vincent Gray was leaving office, his administration published a laudatory “final report” on his term in office. Although essentially jettisoned by the current administration, it lives on within the Mayor Vincent C. Gray (public figure) Facebook page.

Mayor Gray also had set up a bureaucratic system of publicly “grading” the various agencies. And his administration issued other reports on “sustainability” and related “One City” goals and achievements.

■ A final word. So many words have been and will be written about Julian Bond. But it won’t be enough. Now, in the twilight of life for so many who made the Civil Rights Movement something worth capitalizing, Bond deserves our attention. He was not an infallible man, but he was an American who made making America better a life goal.

Just this past winter, he was sitting quietly with his wife, Pamela Horowitz, in the covered courtyard of the National Portrait Gallery/Smithsonian American Art Museum. The Notebook decided not to interrupt them and made our way to the nearby gift shop.

“What, you don’t speak now?” It was Bond, standing at the gift shop door. As an Atlanta native and reporter for The Atlanta Constitution, we had shared a casual acquaintance with Bond over several decades, one that sporadically continued in Washington. But he always unfailingly was polite and on point whenever we happened to meet. When the Notebook joined them at the courtyard table, Bond launched into a description of his plan to travel the civil rights road of the Old South and said we should come. But we opted instead for Cuba.

The Notebook loved and never will regret the trip to Cuba, a country possibly emerging into its own new era. Yet now, we will regret not taking that Julian Bond trip.

Tom Sherwood, a Southwest resident, is a political reporter for News 4.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Md. Gov. Hogan: 95 Percent of Cancer is Gone]]> Tue, 18 Aug 2015 21:28:07 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/11807520_1010483682329730_2317985246232861221_o.jpg

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan tweeted Tuesday 95 percent of his cancer is gone after chemotherapy.

Hogan told The Washington Post his progress since his diagnosis in June surprised his medical team.

The governor has been keeping busy and continues to appear publicly.

He is being treated at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore for B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Photo Credit: Larry Hogan
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<![CDATA[Walker Agrees with Trump on Ending Birthright Immigration]]> Mon, 17 Aug 2015 19:17:29 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/scott+walker+new.jpg

Scott Walker, the Republican governor of Wisconsin, said Monday that he agrees with Donald Trump's idea that the United States should end the practice of allowing children of undocumented immigrants who are born in this country to gain citizenship as a birthright, NBC News reported

Asked by msnbc if birthright citizenship should be ended, Walker replied: "Yeah, to me it's about enforcing the laws in this country. And I've been very clear, I think you enforce the laws, and I think it's important to send a message that we're going to enforce the laws, no matter how people come here we're going to enforce the laws."

Walker's comments came hours after front-runner Trump released an immigration plan that calls for the deportation of undocumented immigrants, the construction of a large wall along the border with Mexico, an increase in trade tariffs with Mexico and fees on NAFTA workers visas. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Sanders Draws Big Crowds at Iowa State Fair, Town Hall]]> Sun, 16 Aug 2015 01:12:11 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_331484957977.jpg

Bernie Sanders may not leave Iowa as popular as the pork chop on a stick or fried PBJ — but the Democratic candidate rolled into the Iowa State Fair to a crowd that wrapped around to the back of the soapbox stage to hear him speak on Saturday afternoon.

Earlier in the morning, the Vermont senator spoke at a town hall in Boone, a town about an hour outside of Des Moines.

Sanders called for expanding Social Security by lifting the cap on taxable income, creating a single-payer healthcare system, and pushed back against the government's use of an unemployment rate figure that does not include those who gave up on looking for work and those who are working part time but would like to work full time.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Trump: Undocumented Immigrants 'Have to Go']]> Sun, 16 Aug 2015 08:17:21 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_879695016320.jpg

Donald Trump would reverse President Obama's executive orders on immigration and deport all undocumented immigrants from the U.S. as president, he said in an exclusive interview with NBC's Chuck Todd.

"We're going to keep the families together, but they have to go," he said in the interview, which will air in full on NBC's "Meet the Press" this Sunday.

Trump said, to begin, "we have to" rescind Obama's executive order offering those brought to the U.S. illegally as children — known as DREAMers — protection from deportation, as well as Obama's unilateral move to delay deportation for their families as well.

The comments are certain to further inflame already fierce opposition from Latino activists and advocacy groups. They've been critical of Trump's candidacy from the start, when he kicked off his campaign with a speech that accused Mexico of sending "criminals" and "rapists" to the U.S.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Trump Calls Boston Mayor a 'Clown']]> Sat, 15 Aug 2015 09:57:34 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Donald-Trump-Michigan.jpg

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was back in New Hampshire on Friday after a recent poll showed his numbers in the state are slipping.

Trump hosted a packed rally at Winnacunnet High School in Hampton Friday night. He also held an unexpected question and answer session before the event.

While at the rally, Trump didn't cover much in terms of specific policies, but his audience loved it.

"It's the summer of Trump," he said.

Trump described elected officials in Washington as "stupid leadership," then added that foreign leaders are "smarter, and sharper, and more cunning than our leaders."

Trump also turned on the Republican opposition.

"Nobody ever attacked me like Sen. Lindsey Graham. I mean, what he said. And he went from 1 percent to nothing," he said.

In classic Trump fashion, he attacked everyone, including Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.

"He's a clown, Marty Walsh. I don't even know who he is," he said. "This guy Marty Walsh, he spends all of this time and effort and money on an Olympic bid and then he goes out and, and he's talking about Ice Bucket Challenges. Get a real mayor."

He currently leads the GOP field in New Hampshire and nationally.

This is his first visit to the Granite State since last week's GOP debate and his controversial remarks about Fox News debate moderator Megyn Kelly.

Photo Credit: FILE - Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[The Week Ahead: Ohio’s Kasich Makes it a Sweet 16]]> Fri, 21 Aug 2015 19:01:20 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20141205+The+Week+Ahead.jpg

The Week Ahead with Andy Gross: Ohio Governor John Kasich enters the race, Obama is the first sitting president to visit Ethiopia, Jeb Bush campaigns in New Hampshire -- and happy birthday, Alex Trebek!

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<![CDATA[Trump's Video Juxtaposed Obama with 'Jihadi John']]> Fri, 14 Aug 2015 14:44:06 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_464150734673.jpg

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump posted a video on his Instagram account Thursday showing a masked ISIS executioner, accusing Democrats of "having fun" as foreign policy crises erupt around the globe.

The footage of "Jihadi John" — who featured in ISIS propaganda videos featuring the beheadings of Western hostages — and a scene from the deadly September 2012 attack at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was interspersed with a photo showing a smiling President Obama in a golf cart and video of Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton dancing amid confetti with her husband.

The words "politicians are having fun on our dime while the world is burning" conclude the video before Trump's campaign slogan is displayed. 

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Gore Not Considering 2016 Run, Source Says]]> Fri, 14 Aug 2015 08:19:41 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/al+gore+serious.jpg

Former presidential candidate Al Gore will not seek a presidential run in 2016 despite rumors to the contrary, a top Democratic Party source told NBC News. 

A BuzzFeed report Thursday claimed that Gore's supporters have begun trying to figure out whether there is a path for the former vice president in the race. But the top Democratic source told NBC News there was nothing substantive happening along those lines. 

Gore has faced speculation about a second presidential run since he lost the election to George W. Bush in 2000. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Immigrants Protest Maryland Policy Shift for Ex-Offenders]]> Thu, 13 Aug 2015 22:23:06 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000011525672_1200x675_504343108001.jpg An immigration battle is heating up in Maryland after Gov. Larry Hogan announced he will change state policies regarding undocumented people convicted of crimes. Protesters in Annapolis said Hogan's plan will tear families apart. News4's Chris Gordon reports.]]> <![CDATA[Joe Biden 'Calling Around' About 2016 Run]]> Thu, 13 Aug 2015 15:43:13 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-451068965.jpg

Joe Biden has been calling close friends to discuss the possibility of becoming a presidential candidate for the 2016 election, a longtime Democratic operative, and a source close to the vice president told NBC News. 

"I think he is doing the analysis and homework," the source who got a call from Biden said.

Aides are also "calling around" to Democratic operatives about a 2016 run.

Biden is not calling to ask "if" he should run, but saying, "I am thinking about it but I'm also thinking about Beau," the source said. Beau Biden, the vice president's oldest son and former Delaware attorney general, died in May after battling brain cancer.

The vice president would need to get through the grief of losing his son before running, however, he is not there yet, the source said.

<![CDATA[Sherwood's Notebook: Smile, You're on Pox Cam!]]> Wed, 12 Aug 2015 06:06:38 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/dcpolicecamera.jpg

Imagine this scenario.

An abusive spouse is attacking his or her partner.

Two or three minor children are cowering in the corner, fearful of something going on they don't understand. The children are crying, the spouse fears for his or her life.

A concerned neighbor calls police. They arrive, knock down the door and, after a brief struggle, arrest the abusive spouse. In the background, the children are screaming and the abused spouse is trying to console them.

The police officers are wearing body cameras. The abusive spouse, the victimized spouse and the distraught children are all caught on police video.

Question: Should the police video of this domestic violence be subject to public disclosure under the city's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)?

Another possibility: A woman is raped in her home, or on a nearby jogging path. Police arrive and seek to find out what happened. Police cameras are rolling. Should a citizen or reporter have access to the video under FOIA? What if the victim is a well-known personality?

A third scenario: Police are tracking a stalker who attempts to break into the home of his obsession. In a violent takedown, the stalker is arrested on his victim's front porch. Is that police video subject to a FOIA request?

Abuse, sexual assault, stalking. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser believes such crimes, taking place on private property, should not be subject to FOIA requests from reporters or any uninvolved citizen. 

The Washington Post was first to report this week that Mayor Muriel Bowser has altered her stance from her original position that all video from body-worn police cameras should be exempt from public prying eyes. Under her revised plan, public behavior would be subject to the disclosure law.

Last spring, when Bowser proposed her 2016 budget, she and Police Chief Cathy Lanier insisted such video shouldn't be routinely available and that it would be a major cost to maintain and edit voluminous video files from thousands of police officers.

The mayor's modified position — explained in a memo — was good news to Ward 5 D.C. Council member Kenyan McDuffie, chair of the Judiciary Committee. But he's not sure the mayor's compromise goes far enough. McDuffie told NBC4 that police body cameras help, but "are not a panacea" to the wide public mistrust of police misconduct around the nation. He said such video can even protect officers from false charges.

McDuffie said on Monday that police cameras "are not a silver bullet to solving this [public trust] problem. But they are one step to getting us closer to making sure there's some transparency in law enforcement."

He added that the types of horrific scenes outlined above can routinely be caught on any citizen's phone and posted to the Internet within minutes. "Anyone with a camera phone can record something."

McDuffie got the council to block the implementation of police cameras in the city until he and the mayor work out the FOIA protocols. Under legislation passed by the council, the mayor can't begin the police camera program until the mayor and council agree on the FOIA rules that would become effective Oct. 1.

"We are a lot closer than we were two months ago," McDuffie told us. "We find ourselves still working out the details."

If the final agreement is anywhere close to what the mayor and McDuffie are discussing, the District could wind up with one of the most transparent video policies in the nation. In a statement to NBC4 Monday, Bowser said her team "has been working tirelessly to develop a set of policies that strike the right balance between privacy and transparency."

And McDuffie said requiring police body cams is not a one-way street to protect citizens. "One of the most important aspects of having a robust, body-worn camera is that the officers themselves are protected from false complaints."

McDuffie and the council are expected to hold a public hearing on any final agreement before it goes into effect.

■ A "harvest" update. Our column last week on hunting drew a variety of responses.

We received an email from "Mike" chastising us for misunderstanding hunting. "Like all hunters and conservationists (I'm also a member of the Izaak Walton League), we understand the importance of hunting to maintaining balance for wildlife," he wrote. He noted that if game hunting for food is a sport, so is a trip to the grocery store where the customer simply is separated from the meat preparation.

■ And the homeless? The National Park Service had some good and not-so-good news recently. It has decided that Franklin Square in downtown Washington needs a makeover. The park at 13th and K streets NW dates back to 1832. It's not really a square, but a large rectangle. And its formal name is "Franklin Park" and not "Franklin Square." But we digress.

The Park Service is working on plans with the District government and the Downtown Business Improvement District. They all say the spruce-up and tweaks to the historic park will be done in a way that "meets the diverse needs of neighborhood residents, workers and visitors without altering the historic character of the site."

The plan includes adding a cafe to help draw workers, passersby and tourists to the sprawling park, its fountain and its canopy of huge shade trees.

But nowhere in the news release is there mention of the hundreds of homeless people who populate the park by day and await charity food services that pull up curbside. What will happen to them? Where will they go? At this moment, it's not clear.

Tom Sherwood, a Southwest resident, is a political reporter for News 4.

<![CDATA[The Week Ahead: Walker Makes it Official]]> Fri, 21 Aug 2015 19:05:24 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20141205+The+Week+Ahead.jpg

The Week Ahead with Andy Gross: Wisconsin’s Walker joins the 2016 race, Obama celebrates Medicare and Medicaid, North Carolina voter ID trial starts -- and there’s a new cookie in town!

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