Some Sessions allies hope White House allows graceful exit
By ERIC TUCKER and JONATHAN LEMIRE
Monday, October 29
WASHINGTON (AP) — Sensing that Jeff Sessions’ days at the Justice Department may be numbered, some of his supporters want the White House to allow for a graceful exit for an attorney general they believe has dutifully carried out the administration’s agenda even while enduring the president’s fury.
It seems unlikely that efforts to soften a possible dismissal after the Nov. 6 midterm election would find sympathy in the White House, where President Donald Trump’s rage remains unabated over the attorney general’s recusal from the Russia investigation. A hand-picked successor could theoretically oversee the rest of the probe in place of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
But some supporters say they hope that if and when Sessions is replaced, his record as senator and attorney general will be recognized and not overwhelmed by Trump’s attacks, or that the administration will at least respect the Justice Department by guaranteeing a smooth transition.
A scenario advocated by at least one Sessions ally, former Cincinnati Mayor Ken Blackwell, would allow him to remain on the job until January and be permitted to resign on his own then rather than be fired immediately after the midterms. Blackwell said allies have made their case to administration officials that Sessions has successfully pushed the president’s core priorities, including on illegal immigration, and deserves some sort of recognition from the White House that “he has more than a passing grade.”
“It is not unknown, from anyone from John Kelly to Jared Kushner, that there is a base of support,” said Blackwell, referring to Trump’s chief of staff and son-in-law. “A portion of that base is ready to continue advocacy for his service.”
Newt Gingrich, a former Republican House speaker who is close to the White House and calls himself a longtime “admirer” of Sessions, said he would be open to serving as an intermediary if asked between the White House and Sessions supporters.
“He deserves a graceful exit. His career deserves a strong conclusion,” said Gingrich, who called Sessions “a strong conservative who has done strong work at the Department of Justice.”
Sessions, who has publicly acknowledged the president’s displeasure, has plowed forward with the conventional duties of the job, including a regular calendar of events and announcements. On Friday, he spoke first at the Justice Department news conference announcing the arrest of a mail-bomb suspect in Florida.
The president, though mindful that Sessions remains popular among much of his base, would seem unlikely to sign off on a plan to extend Sessions’ time in office, according to a White House official and an outside adviser familiar with Trump’s thinking but not authorized to publicly discuss private conversations. Trump has repeatedly had to be talked out of firing Sessions before November and has signaled to allies that he wants to make sweeping changes at the Justice Department once the midterms have concluded.
He told The Associated Press this month that he was “not thrilled” with Sessions but made no commitment to dismiss him.
If Trump were to wait, it would not be out of deference to Sessions, but rather because the White House would be managing the fallout from the midterms and preparing for a pair of presidential overseas trips in November, according to the official.
Sessions’ decision to recuse remains his original sin in Trump’s eyes. Trump has fumed that Sessions has not done more to protect his personal interests and has vented about what he sees as Sessions’ failure to get a handle on immigration and his lack of emphasis on combating transnational criminal organizations.
Cameron Smith, a former Sessions Senate aide, said, “The idea that this gets better — they stand next to each other and sing common praises — I just don’t see anybody looking at that seriously.”
After being berated by Trump over the recusal decision last year, Sessions offered his resignation, but it was rejected. He has been widely viewed as determined to stay in the job because he believes in Trump’s agenda, which largely mirrors his own interests, and reluctant to leave a job for which he gave up a Senate seat.
For more than a year, Trump has repeatedly polled advisers as to whether he should fire Sessions. Some of his closest aides, including attorney Rudy Giuliani, have counseled him not to do so, at least not yet.
The case that Sessions’ protectors outlined to Trump largely consists of three components:
— Firing Sessions, a witness in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of obstruction of justice, would add legal peril to his standing in the Russia probe.
— Doing so would anger the president’s political base, which Trump cares deeply about, especially before the midterms.
— A number of Republican senators would rebel against the treatment of a longtime colleague and potentially not hold confirmation hearings for a replacement if the GOP holds onto the Senate.
Blackwell, the Sessions friend, said conservatives are divided between those who support firing him immediately and those who regard him as loyal to their cause, protective of their ideals and propelling Trump’s agenda. Gingrich, for instance, calls the recusal “inexcusable” even as he professes admiration for Sessions.
The ground appears to have softened recently after some influential Republicans, including Sen. Lindsey Graham, suggested Trump would have the right, after the elections, to select a replacement he trusted.
Smith said one way Trump could enable a respectful exit would be for the White House to craft a smooth succession plan and allow Sessions to be part of the process.
Ed Meese, a Reagan administration attorney general and Sessions friend, said he wasn’t thinking about Sessions’ departure because “I don’t want to see him fired at all.”
“I think he’s taken it with grace,” Meese said of Sessions’ response to Trump’s anger. “What he is recused from is less than 1 percent of the department and he has done an outstanding job in everything he’s done in the department.”
On Twitter follow Eric Tucker at https://twitter.com/etuckerAP and Jonathan Lemire at https://twitter.com/JonLemire .
AkzoNobel Celebrates 130 Years of Manufacturing in Columbus with Special Event; Awards $10,000 to St. Stephen’s Community House
Ceremony features Company’s Global CEO, Mayor Andrew Ginther & Other Community Officials
WHAT: AkzoNobel, a leading provider of specialized coatings in the United States and around the world, celebrates 130 years of manufacturing operations in Columbus, Ohio with a special event.
Columbus City Councilmember Jaiza Page will present AkzoNobel with a Resolution that honors, recognizes and celebrates AkzoNobel’s 130 years of innovation, manufacturing excellence and contributions to the community of Columbus.
AkzoNobel will award a $10,000 Community Program grant to St. Stephen’s Community House. Founded in 1919, the nonprofit organization serves the Linden area and 11 surrounding zip codes of Columbus to strengthen families and empower the community by serving 22,000 individuals annually.
CEO Thierry Vanlacker is available for interviews.
WHO: AkzoNobel global CEO Thierry Vanlancker and the company’s Columbus
workforce will welcome distinguished guests:
· Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther
· Councilmember Jaiza N. Page
· Department of Development Director Steve Schoeny
· Department of Development Deputy Director Quinten Harris
· Department of Neighborhoods Director Carla Williams-Scott
· Project Manager of Neighborhood Transformation Strategies Nick Bankston
· St. Stephen’s Community House CEO Marilyn J. Mehaffie
WHEN: Monday, October 29
AkzoNobel Columbus Manufacturing Site
1313 Windsor Ave., Columbus
AkzoNobel has a passion for paint. We’re experts in the proud craft of making paints and coatings, setting the standard in color and protection since 1792. Our world class portfolio of brands – including Dulux, International, Sikkens and Interpon – is trusted by customers around the globe. Headquartered in the Netherlands, we are active in over 150 countries and employ around 35,000 talented people who are passionate about delivering the high-performance products and services our customers expect. For more information please visit www.akzonobel.com.
About City of Columbus, Ohio
The City of Columbus is the 14th largest city in the United States with a population of 879,170 residents. The Columbus economy is balanced with a combination of education, technology, government, research, insurance and health care entities as major employers within the region. Columbus is gaining nationwide recognition for its historic neighborhoods, booming downtown arts and sporting districts, open attitude and a noticeably affordable quality of life. Learn more about the City of Columbus at columbus.gov/development/Economic-Development/.
About St. Stephen’s Community House
Founded in 1919, St. Stephen’s Community House serves the Linden and 11 surrounding zip codes of Columbus, OH. St. Stephen’s Community House commits to strengthening families and empowering the community by serving 22,000 individuals annually through six core service areas, Childcare, Family Services, Senior Services, Youth Services, Neighborhood Services, and Urban Farm Project AquaStar. For additional information, please visit saintstephensch.org.
About the OhioHealth Food and Nutrition Center
As one of the few walk-in choice food pantries in Columbus, St. Stephen’s Community house is able to empower families by giving them the space to pick foods that match their likes, dietary needs or religious beliefs in a grocery store setting. Since 2017, the OhioHealth Food and Nutrition Center served 900 families every month.
Nor’easter to blast East Coast with rain, wind, coastal flooding and mountain snow
A potent and disruptive nor’easter with gusty coastal winds, drenching rain and high-elevation snow will evolve this weekend. Since the coldest air will be on the way out as the storm moves up, wintry precipitation is likely to be mainly limited to the northern tier.
AccuWeather Global Weather Center – October 25, 2018 – A storm from the South will evolve into a potent and disruptive nor’easter with gusty coastal winds, drenching rain and high-elevation snow this weekend.
“Fast forward motion of the storm may limit the worst weather conditions from Friday night to Saturday night,” according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Dombek.
However, that can have quite a miserable and soggy effect on area high school and college football games.
How much snow will fall and where will it target?
In terms of snow, since the coldest air will be on the way out as the storm moves up, wintry precipitation is likely to be mainly limited to the northern tier.
“Accumulating snow is not likely over most of the central Appalachians,” according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brian Wimer.
“However, there may be a few wet snowflakes mixing in over the crest of the ridges after the heavy part of the storm has passed on Saturday night and Sunday,” Wimer said.
Where gusty winds accompany the wet and clinging snow for a time, trees may come down, which can block secondary roads and cause power outages well away from the coast.
The most likely areas for a few inches of slush seem to be eyeing the high ground of northwestern Maine, northern New Hampshire the middle of Vermont and northeastern New York state.
About AccuWeather, Inc. and AccuWeather.com
More than 1.5 billion people worldwide rely on AccuWeather to help them plan their lives, protect their businesses, and get more from their day. AccuWeather provides hourly and Minute by Minute™ forecasts with Superior Accuracy™ with customized content and engaging video presentations available on smartphones, tablets, free wired and mobile Internet sites, connected TVs, and Internet appliances, as well as via radio, television, and newspapers. Established in 1962 by Founder, President and Chairman Dr. Joel N. Myers — considered the “father of modern commercial meteorology,” the nation’s most respected source on the business of meteorology having been named “the most accurate man in weather” by The New York Times, and one of the top entrepreneurs in American history in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Encyclopedia of Entrepreneurs — AccuWeather also delivers a wide range of highly customized enterprise solutions to media, business, government, and institutions, as well as news, weather content, and video for more than 180,000 third-party websites.
Download the AccuWeather app today and follow AccuWeather on Facebook and Twitter for the most up-to-date forecasts and warnings, news and information surrounding breaking and spring weather. Visit www.AccuWeather.com for additional information.
The Green Wave That Wasn’t
By Erin Mundahl
Forget the #BlueWave — what happened to the green one?
Last fall, green strategists predicted that a backlash against Trump administration environmental policies could help put Democrats back in control of Congress. As the campaign season nears its end, though, the green vote looks less like a wave and more like a puddle.
Polls show that even though fewer voters have confidence in President Donald Trump’s environmental policies than in President Barack Obama’s, it’s not motivating them to vote. This is bad news for groups like the Environmental Voter Project, which has spent the last two years attempting to find hidden “climate voters.”
“Large numbers of latent climate voters have always existed — with as many as 20 million registered voters listing environmental issues as one of their top priorities — but historically, few of them turn out on Election Day,” Nathaniel Stinnett, the founder and executive director of the Environmental Voter Project, said late last year.
At the time, Stinnett predicted that “with the Trump administration explicitly denying the scientific consensus around climate change” environmentalists might finally be convinced that voting was important. Instead, races appear to be focusing more on economic issues, rather than environmental ones.
This is especially apparent in Colorado, where a ballot measure that would severely curtail fossil fuel development has received little support even from mainstream green groups. Initiative 97 would require that oil and gas wells be set back 2,500 feet from homes and schools, an increase from the current requirements of 500 feet from homes and 1,000 feet from schools. Enacting the law would leave 80 percent of non-federal land in the state off-limits to development, costing the state an estimated 100,000 jobs.
The measure was pushed by a fracking watchdog group called Colorado Rising, but it has received little funding or support from national environmental groups like the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters.
“Big Green’s anti-fossil fuel agenda crashed and burned out west. They’ve seen the polling. Sure, they are pouring millions of dollars to back their preferred candidates, but they aren’t expecting any of the candidates to advocate for shutting down domestic energy production,” says Matt Dempsey, opinion editor of the Western Wire.
He explains that while the ballot initiative has received support from far-left groups like 350.org, it hasn’t been supported by the big, mainstream environmental players. Instead, the focus is shifting to candidates. Even liberal mega-donor Tom Steyer has stopped sending money to the League of Conservation Voters in favor of making small, but public donations in support of individual candidates.
In Colorado, Democrat Jared Polis is running for governor on a platform to convert the state to renewable energy by 2040, but he’s had to balance economic issues as well. At an event earlier this year, he told a state industry group that he “can’t ignore” the effect the oil and gas industry has had in making Colorado’s economy the envy of the nation.
And in Minnesota, a state that has long leaned blue but is trending purple, environmental issues are threatening to fracture the Democratic coalition.
Minnesota’s Democrat-Farm-Labor party has historically had a strong base of support in the Iron Range in the state’s northeast corner, but the party’s recent resistance to reopening the area’s mines has made key districts competitive.
“Rank-and-file Democrats and unions in northern Minnesota are seeing that the Democratic Party has left them,” says Kent Kaiser, a political communications professor in Minneapolis. “The people who live in the Iron Range and like their hunting and fishing and want development are seeing the contrast with tourists (from Minneapolis) who want to commune with nature.”
He sees this as a tardy continuation of rural America’s shift to the right.
“We have seen that for years there has been a dichotomy in the state, where Democrats need votes from greater Minnesota, so the green movement keeps quiet during the campaign and lobbies the representatives hard after the elections,” Kaiser said.
And in New Hampshire, Democratic candidate for governor Molly Kelly is running on an aggressive environmental platform against incumbent Republican Chris Sununu. However, she has been very careful to avoid taking a position on a large-scale natural gas project called Granite Bridge that is supported by local unions and promises to lower utility costs for customers currently using heating oil. Environmental groups have made opposition to the pipeline their top priority, and yet every Democrat in the state Senate signed a letter of support for the project.
It looks like, in 2018, Bill Clinton’s campaign guru James Carville was right: It’s not the environment, it’s the economy, stupid. Climate issues continue to poll near the bottom of Americans’ priorities. Energy and development projects that bring jobs are still more important to voters than global warming.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Erin Mundahl is a reporter with InsideSources.com. Michael Graham contributed to this article.
Study: Smoke Alarms w/ Mother’s Voice are 3X More Likely to Wake Children
Smoke Alarms Using Mother’s Voice Wake Children Better than High-Pitch Tone Alarms
Including the child’s first name in the alarm message does not improve the effectiveness of the alarm
(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – When residential fires happen at night while people are sleeping, deaths are more likely to occur. Smoke alarms are important for preventing these deaths, yet many young children don’t wake up to traditional high-pitch tone alarms. In a study published online today in The Journal of Pediatrics, researchers in the Center for Injury Research and Policy and the Sleep Disorders Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital examined characteristics of four different smoke alarms to determine which ones worked best to wake children. They tested three alarms that used the mother’s voice in addition to a high-pitch tone smoke alarm commonly used in homes. The research included 176 children 5 to 12 years of age studied at a sleep research center in Columbus, Ohio.
The researchers found that a sleeping child was about 3 times more likely to be awakened by one of the three voice alarms than by the tone alarm. The alarms using the mother’s voice awakened 86-91% of children and prompted 84-86% to “escape” from the bedroom, compared with 53% awakened and 51% escaped for the tone alarm. The study also examined the effect of the different alarms on the amount of time it took the children to get out of (“escape” from) the bedroom. In a real fire, seconds can make a difference. If a child wakes up but takes too long to leave a burning building, serious injuries or death could occur. The median time to escape for the high-pitch tone alarm was 282 seconds – nearly five minutes – while the median times to escape for the voice alarms ranged from 18 to 28 seconds. Because the human brain responds differently to the sound of our own name, even during sleep, the researchers wanted to test whether including the child’s first name in the alarm message made a difference in alarm effectiveness. However, no significant differences were found between each pair of the voice alarms, regardless of whether the child’s name was included in the message.
“Children are remarkably resistant to awakening by sound when asleep,” said Mark Splaingard, MD, co-author of the study and director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “Children sleep longer and deeper than adults and require louder sounds to awaken than adults. For these reasons, children are less likely to awaken and escape a nighttime home fire. The fact that we were able to find a smoke alarm sound that reduces the amount of time it takes for many children 5 to 12 years of age to wake up and leave the bedroom could save lives.”
“These new findings put us one step closer to finding a smoke alarm that will be effective for children and practical for parents ,” said Gary Smith, MD, DrPH, lead author of the study and director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “This study confirmed that a maternal voice alarm is better than a traditional high-pitch tone alarm for waking children and prompting their escape under conditions typical of homes. It also showed that the mother’s voice was enough to be effective without using the child’s first name. This means one alarm could work for multiple children sleeping near each other in a home.”
The study focused on 5 to 12 year-olds because children younger than 5 years are regarded by the fire safety community as being too developmentally immature to reliably perform self-rescue in a home fire, and therefore must rely on adult rescue. Adolescents (older than 12 years) do not experience the same difficulty as younger children in awakening to a high-pitch tone smoke alarm.
Future research will include assessing the role of mother’s voice versus a generic female or male voice and also comparing the voice alarm with a low-pitch tone alarm. An alarm that is optimized for waking children will also be tested among adults. If the alarm is effective among all age groups, this would increase its practicality and use. The research team is committed to reducing fire-related injury and deaths among children old enough to perform self-rescue. The researchers urge all families to continue to use traditional smoke alarms as recommended while research continues.
The Center for Injury Research and Policy (CIRP) of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital works globally to reduce injury-related pediatric death and disabilities. With innovative research at its core, CIRP works to continually improve the scientific understanding of the epidemiology, biomechanics, prevention, acute treatment and rehabilitation of injuries. CIRP serves as a pioneer by translating cutting edge injury research into education, policy, and advances in clinical care. For related injury prevention materials or to learn more about CIRP, visit www.injurycenter.org.