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JUST DON’T SEND HER BACK! … "Hillary Clinton appointed chancellor of Queen’s University in Belfast," via WAPO: Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton has been appointed chancellor of Queen’s University in Belfast, a largely ceremonial role in which she is expected to serve through early 2025 … According to the university, the role includes three main duties: presiding at degree ceremonies, serving as an ambassador for the school and advising its leadership …
While Hillary Clinton did not play a direct role in fostering the 1998 Good Friday accord that eased the decades-long sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland, she has garnered awards for her work in helping to solidify support for the reconciliation effort.
CASTRO SELF-DEPORTS … "‘It simply isn’t our time': Julián Castro ends presidential bid," via POLITICO: "I’ve determined that it simply isn’t our time," Castro said in a video, citing "the circumstances of this campaign season." …
Castro is the latest candidate of color to end their presidential campaign, following Sen. Kamala Harris’ exit last month, and his departure is sure to revive concerns about diversity in the Democratic primary—he was extremely vocal in criticizing the way minority candidates are covered and treated on the day that Harris dropped out.
PALLING AROUND WITH TERRORISTS … "Barack Obama welcomed leader of US embassy attack to the White House," via DAILY MAIL: Hadi al-Amiri was Iraq's minister of transport under then-Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and stood in the Oval Office as part of Maliki's delegation on a visit to the White House in December 2011 …
The 65-year-old, who was of "grave concern" to lawmakers as Obama's guest in 2011, stood at the forefront of riots which prompted Donald Trump to deploy 750 Army paratroopers on Wednesday, with another 4,000 on standby.
BINDERS FULL OF ??? … "Joe Biden’s Senate Papers Will Remain Locked Up For 2020," via HUFFPOST: Joe Biden’s papers from his Senate days could have gone online on Dec. 31. But they didn’t. And it doesn’t seem like the documents, which could offer valuable information on his record, are going to be available to the public before the 2020 election.
Biden donated his senatorial papers, which cover the period from 1973 to 2009, to the University of Delaware in 2011.
BIDEN LETS HIS SOUL GLO …
LOVE DOESN’T PAY THE BILLS … "Democrat Marianne Williamson lays off campaign staff nationally, including NH," via WMUR: Marianne Williamson, who has been campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination on a message of love and has been urging voters to "join the evolution," has laid off her entire staff in New Hampshire and nationally, sources close to the campaign confirmed to WMUR on Thursday …
As of Tuesday, the sources said, Williamson’s campaign, in fact, had no staffers on board.
SAYONARA … "Iran’s Gen. Soleimani killed in airstrike at Baghdad airport," via AP: Gen. Qassim Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, was killed in an airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport Friday, Iraqi television and three Iraqi officials said.
The strike also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, or PMF, the officials said.
Their deaths are a potential turning point in the Middle East and are expected to draw severe retaliation from Iran and the forces it backs in the Middle East against Israel and American interests.
FAKE JOBS AMERICANS WON’T DO? … "Thousands of foreign students in U.S. on student visas may have ‘worked' for fake companies," via NBC NEWS: Many students, schools, and employers use the program legitimately, as intended. But a recent federal prosecution revealed the potential for fraud, with a defendant admitting in court papers she had provided false employment records for nearly 2,700 students.
IF ONLY THEY WERE PALESTINIANS … "More than 100 Uyghur graveyards demolished by Chinese authorities, satellite images show," via CNN: China appears to have been destroying traditional Uyghur cemeteries for several years as part of what critics describe as a broader, coordinated campaign to control Islamic beliefs and Muslim minority groups within its borders.
In a months' long investigation, working with sources in the Uyghur community and analyzing hundreds of satellite images, CNN has found more than 100 cemeteries that have been destroyed, most in just the last two years. This reporting was backed up by dozens of official Chinese government notices announcing the "relocation" of cemeteries.
MEDIA SEARCHING FOR THE REAL MOTIVE … "Media Struggles to Explain Recent Wave of Anti-Semitic Attacks Without Blaming Jews, Trump," by WFB’s Andrew Stiles: The recent spate of anti-Semitic attacks in the New York area has confounded media outlets, the natural inclination of which is to blame such outbreaks of anti-Semitism on Donald Trump and his white nationalist supporters. Unfortunately, from the media's perspective, the suspects in these recent attacks targeting Jews were neither white nor supporters of Donald Trump.
The NBC News affiliate in New York, for example, has been roundly criticized for an article published Thursday that appears to suggest that Jewish communities are partly to blame for rising anti-Semitic violence in suburban areas that have seen an influx of Jews.
REVERED LEADER FOLLOWS AUSTERE RELIGIOUS SCHOLAR TO HIS GRAVE … "CNN Anchor Compares Iranian Terror Boss to French Resistance Leader," by WFB’s Graham Piro: "Soleimani is—it's difficult to convey how revered he is in Iran. Imagine the French Foreign Legion, at the height of the French empire. This guy is regarded in Iran as a completely heroic figure, personally very brave," CNN host Fareed Zakaria said.
"I was trying to think of somebody, and I was thinking of de Gaulle, although he became the leader of the country," [Anderson] Cooper said.
COKED-UP, ANOREXIC STARLETS STILL GETTING WHAT THEY ORDERED … "Golden Globes 2020 Menu Will Be Entirely Plant-Based for the First Time Ever to ‘Focus on Sustainability’," via US WEEKLY: "If there’s a way we can, not change the world, but save the planet, maybe we can get the Golden Globes to send a signal and draw attention to the issue about climate change," HFPA president Lorenzo Soria said in a statement to the Associated Press …
This change means that the Chilean sea bass that was on the menu up until about two weeks ago has been replaced with a more environmentally friendly main course consisting of king oyster mushrooms. The dish will be cooked and presented to call scallops to mind, though there won’t actually be any fish on the plate. Instead, the mushrooms will be served with wild-mushroom risotto, roasted baby purple and green Brussels sprouts, globe carrots, and pea tendrils.
THE AYATOLLAHS PLAY THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME … "Trump Calls the Ayatollah’s Bluff," by WFB’s Matthew Continetti: The successful operation against Qassem Suleimani, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, is a stunning blow to international terrorism and a reassertion of American might. It will also test President Trump's Iran strategy. It is now Trump, not Ayatollah Khamenei, who has ascended a rung on the ladder of escalation by killing the military architect of Iran's Shiite empire. For years, Iran has set the rules. It was Iran that picked the time and place of confrontation. No more.
Reciprocity has been the key to understanding Donald Trump. Whether you are a media figure or a mullah, a prime minister or a pope, he will be good to you if you are good to him. Say something mean, though, or work against his interests, and he will respond in force. It won't be pretty. It won't be polite. There will be fallout. But you may think twice before crossing him again.
DAYS SINCE JOE BIDEN DID A SUNDAY SHOW: 1,118. Come back, Joe!
"You know who really doesn’t have it? Joe Biden." —Former President Barack Obama
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