Happy Sunday from SXSW: Trump tries to boost Saccone in Pennsylvania, as Elizabeth Warren does a round of Sunday shows

Driving the Day SPOTTED: KELLYANNE CONWAY holding court at the BLT Prime at the Trump Hotel Saturday night. Pic http://bit.ly/2tC2wo8 -- TRUMP’S WEEK AHEAD: Monday: The Houston Astros come to the White House. Tuesday: Trump is in California. Wednesday: Trump is in Missouri. Thursday: Trump hosts the Prime Minister of Ireland at the White House, and goes to the Capitol for the St. Patrick’s Day lunch. Story Continued Below ELENA SCHNEIDER and BRENT GRIFFITHS with a Moon Township, Pennsylvania dateline: “President Donald Trump got business out of the way quickly Saturday night – urging voters to elect Republican congressional candidate Rick Saccone, who’s locked in an unexpectedly tough special election battle in Pennsylvania – before turning to the main subject of the night: himself. “Trump touted his tax reform plan, his new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports and his newly announced plan to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, while slamming the news media – including calling NBC host Chuck Todd a ‘son of a bitch.’ The president also talked about his desire to impose capital punishment on drug dealers, describing a discussion with Singapore's president about that country’s hardline approach.” http://politi.co/2Fr4IUV -- IF YOU’RE KEEPING TRACK AT HOME, the RNC dropped another nearly $18,000 on phone calls opposing Conor Lamb yesterday. THE SCORECARD -- WHO HAS SPENT WHAT: NRCC: $3.5 million. CLF: $3.3 million. RNC: $1.2 million. America First Action: $1.1 million. Conor Lamb: $3 million. DCCC: $312,500. PHIL RUCKER (@philiprucker): “The president of the United States is heaping praise on North Korea’s dictator and China’s ‘president for life,’ but is attacking the free press and personally disparaging American journalists.” … JOSH ROGIN (@joshrogin): “Trump says Japan is ‘very happy with what I'm doing’ on North Continue Reading

CUOMO’s Cynthia Nixon Meltdown — DE BLASIO wants his wife on the payroll — CLINTON headlines infrastructure conference

By Jimmy Vielkind in Albany and Laura Nahmias in Manhattan, with Daniel Lippman Imagine what will happen if Cynthia Nixon actually declares her candidacy.Story Continued Below Gov. Andrew Cuomo spent Wednesday in a tizzy, struggling to respond to the rising smoke around the “Sex and the City” star’s potential primary against the Democratic governor. He announced a new campaign to push for his women’s agenda. He wrote a letter on gun control to Donald Trump. Today, he’ll talk about voting rights with U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota), and on Friday he’ll appear with Al Gore. The point on each is the same: I’m the established progressive, and you noise-making lefties should pipe down. At one point Cuomo tried to attack Nixon directly, questioning whether her celebrity would mean anything. He tried to make a joke about Vladimir Putin, when asked if he thought that Mayor Bill de Blasio — a friend to both Nixon and the pair of political operatives she’s been speaking with — was playing the part of a Scooby Doo villain in the process. Only Cuomo cackled. But in the governor’s mind, it seemed clear that the mayor is the loudest noise-maker. So he lashed out, saying de Blasio’s record on issues like homelessness is “repugnant” and that he, son of Mario Cuomo, is the true progressive in town. Nixon, all day, said nothing. IT’S THURSDAY. Happy International Women’s Day! Got tips, suggestions or thoughts? Let us know ... By email: [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected], or on Twitter: @JimmyVielkind, @nahmias, and @dlippman. WHERE’S ANDREW? In Albany and New York City, doing a conference call with Amy Klobuchar. WHERE’S BlLL? Hosting a town hall alongside his wife Chirlane McCray with high school students on gun violence, and later, attending and delivering remarks at a Women’s History Month celebration at Gracie Mansion The Continue Reading

Steve Bannon: ‘China, Persia, and Turkey’ Forming ‘New Axis’ That’s ‘Confronting the Christian West’

Former Breitbart News Executive Chairman and White House Chief Strategist Stephen K. Bannon is warning of a “new axis” of powers that will confront “the Christian West.” In an interview with GQ Magazine, Bannon described an axis of superpowers that the world has yet to see, saying the alliance against western nations is an evergrowing threat to the United States and its allies.Bannon says: BANNON: What we’re seeing today is China, Persia, and Turkey—three ancient civilizations—coming together to form a new axis. It’s confronting the Christian West and also a big part of Islam that is tied to the West. You’re starting to see this form every day like in the 1930s. You’re starting to see it crystallize more and more. [Emphasis added] … We’re going to have our hands full right now with China, Iran, and Turkey. Turkey’s supposed to be an ally. Bannon told GQ that the new project he has been working on since leaving Breitbart News will take on the issue of China and the economic threat the country is to the U.S. GQ: Are you going to make a push to advance this idea of a “new axis”? How do you plan to do that? BANNON: Absolutely. In this new entity that I’m setting up, part of it is—weaponizing ideas maybe is too strong a term—but getting ideas out there. One is economic nationalism, one is populism, one is this world that “America first” is coming into. And certainly I’ll be arguing this, or just pointing to the facts. [Emphasis added] The new project Bannon is working on, he tells GQ, is coming “sometime this spring or this summer” and will be a “promulgation of ideas” designed to bring likeminded groups together on the fixture of economic nationalism. President Trump’s administration is set to follow through on its commitment to go after China for alleged currency manipulation; dumping Continue Reading

Art at the fairs, in the galleries: A January guide

By Charles Desmarais Updated 3:08 pm, Wednesday, January 10, 2018 window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-5', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 5', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-8', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 8', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); Photo: Brian Gross Fine Art Image 1of/8 CaptionClose Image 1 of 8 Leo Valledor, “Ezistance” (1986) Leo Valledor, “Ezistance” (1986) Photo: Brian Gross Fine Art Image 2 of 8 Ramekon O’Arwisters’ “Mending #16” is part of his new series of crochet built around broken pottery, on view through Feb. 10. Ramekon O’Arwisters’ “Mending #16” is part of his new series of crochet built around broken pottery, on view through Feb. 10. Photo: David Schmitz, Patricia Sweetow Gallery Image 3 of 8 Ramekon O�Arwisters, "Mending #18" (2017) Ramekon O�Arwisters, "Mending #18" (2017) Photo: David Schmitz, Patricia Sweetow Gallery Image 4 of 8 Sculptures by Dan Herschlein and drawings by Alexandria Tarver in a show opening Saturday, Jan. 13. Sculptures by Dan Herschlein and drawings by Alexandria Tarver in a show opening Saturday, Jan. 13. Photo: Et Al., Etc. Image 5 of 8 Image 6 of 8 A 2017 photograph by Ryan McGinley from his exhibition “Paradiso,” opening at Ratio 3 gallery on Saturday, Jan. Continue Reading

The Ride of Their Lives

Rodeo bulls, like the boys who dream of riding them, are unpredictable creatures. They can start out shy and skittish, then suddenly turn ornery. They’ll lie down in the chute one day and try to gore you the next. The most dangerous bull ever ridden, by some accounts, began as a scrawny yellow calf in 1988. Half Charolais and half Brahman, he was still long and bony at age three, but liable to turn fat and ungainly if his breeding held true. His owner, Phil Sumner, named him J31—he wasn’t sure the bull would live long enough to earn a real name. Sumner took him to a few scrubgrass rodeos in northern Oklahoma, but didn’t see much fight in him. “I was thinking, Dude, you’re going to have to step up your game plan or you’re going to be going to McDonald’s,” Sumner told me. Then one Sunday afternoon at a small arena outside of Okeene, Oklahoma, something in the bull snapped. The kid who was riding him got his hand caught in his rope. He was flopping around on J31’s back, trying to dismount, when the bull suddenly went crazy beneath him. He leaped up and spun around, bucked forward and kicked back, his legs so high behind him that he almost flipped end over end. By the time the boy pulled free, the bull had nearly gone over the fence. “It just freaked him out,” Sumner said. Animals, as a rule, don’t like to have other animals on their backs. They find it strange and distressing—an attack or a violation, an act of dominance. This hasn’t kept us from trying to ride them, of course. Horse, mule, donkey, camel, llama, yak, and elephant—the bigger the animal, the more likely we are to climb on top of it. People have sat on ostriches, orcas, alligators, and water buffalo, straddled giant tortoises, and set toddlers on St. Bernards. Their mounts may try to shake them off at first, but the contest is an unequal one, and they tend to knuckle under eventually. Some even learn to like Continue Reading

Rosie O’Donnell’s ex-wife, Kelli Carpenter, set to remarry next spring to cabaret singer Anne Steele

Recently married Rosie O’Donnell has moved on from her 2009 divorce – and so has her ex-wife Kelli Carpenter. Carpenter exclusively confirms to [email protected] that she will walk down the aisle with her new partner, cabaret singer Anne Steele, on June 1, 2013. “We’re going to have a picnic barbecue backyard wedding” in Rockland County, the co-founder of R Family Vacations tells [email protected], adding that the couple is “keeping it family-friendly and small.” That’s perfect, because Carpenter tells us her four children with O’Donnell “will participate in the ceremony.” PHOTOS: OTHER SAME SEX STAR COUPLES The entrepreneur has joint custody of her adopted children with her ex of five years – Parker, Chelsea and Blake – as well as their daughter Vivienne, whom Carpenter gave birth to after artificial insemination. But Kelli says she has no plans for more kids: “We are so done!” While all of O’Donnell’s young flock will be on hand at the 80- to 90-person ceremony, the former talk show host won’t. “She’s not coming to the wedding,” Carpenter says, but adds that she’s still on “good terms” with O’Donnell, who secretly married Michelle Rounds on June 9 in a private ceremony. Carpenter first met Steele when the singer was performing on one of her company’s cruise ship tours 10 years ago and started dating her 21/2 years ago. Neither woman has bought a dress yet, but the honeymoon is set for Mykonos, Greece. We doubt Rosie will be miffed at not receiving an invite to the spring nuptials. In January, O’Donnell told Piers Morgan that she didn’t know if it “would feel right for either of us [for Carpenter to be at Rosie’s wedding] and the same when she and Anne get married. I don’t think it would be right for me to be there.” "I am very happy for her - the Continue Reading

Gaffe-prone RNC chairman Michael Steele tells committee he’s running for the position again

Republicans aren't quite done with their gaffe-prone party chairman Michael Steele yet.Politico.com. "I believe the worst thing we can do now is to look backwards."NBC News reported, the RNC is left tapped out on its $15 million credit line going into the 2012 presidential election. By contrast, in 2008 they had $4.8 million.Los Angeles S&M club. He also dropped $18,500 to redecorate his office because it was "way too male for me," the Washington Post reported.Rush Limbaugh "incendiary" and urging supporters to help put Nancy Pelosi in "the back of the bus."Greenland, which is covered in ice, it was once called Greenland for a reason, right? Ok? Iceland, which is now green."He also told GQ magazine that a woman's right to choose was a state by state decision, much to the party's cringing and told the Washington Times that he would put forward an "off the hook" effort to make the party seem more "hip-hop" following the election of the first black president.Later in his tenure, as Tea Partiers joined into the gaffe-fest that seemed to follow him around, Steele was quick to defend them."Meet the Press" in October. "Lord knows I'm familiar with foot in mouth disease."Republicans haven't been as forgiving.The loudest calls for him to step down came after he called the war in Afghanistan a "war of Obama's choosing." At the time, William Kristol and other top Republican figures including Liz Cheney called for his resignation.Republicans have also been vocal about their loss of confidence in their chairman.At the Republican Governors' meeting in Novemeber, the Republican Governor Association Chariman Haley Barbour said he was looking for new leadership.Politico.RNC committee political director quit his post and wrote a five-page letter slamming Steele's management of RNC finances and leadership during the election, the Huffington Post reported.Saul Anuzis, who lost to Steele in 2009, Reince Priebus of Wisconsin and former Ambassador Anne Wagner.Maria Cino, a former Bush Continue Reading

Outgoing Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele’s 10 best gaffes

Embattled Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele abandoned his re-election bid Friday after four rounds of balloting left him far short of a second term. Steele, who just finished his first two-year term in the job, dropped out as four other hopefuls competed to become his successor. Steele, 52, urged his backers to give their support to GOP operative Maria Cino, who worked in George W. Bush's administration, but Reince Priebus, the head of the Wisconsin Republican Party, ultimately was elected after seven rounds of voting. The GOP's first black chairman received a standing ovation from the party regulars after pulling out of the race. His spotty two-year reign included huge victories by the GOP in the November elections, but for many, Steele is known more for his verbal gaffes than his electoral accomplishments. Let's take a look at some of the best. Thanks for the memories, Michael! October 2010: Uhh, remind me again, what's the minimum wage? Steele came under fire after admitting that he doesn't know what the federal minimum wage is. In an interview with MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell, Steele refused to rule out repealing or lowering the minimum wage. When pressed, the chairman couldn't cite the pay rate for America's lowest earners. "What is the minimum wage, Michael?" the host asked. "You really like the minimum wage, don't you?" Steele said, laughing. When O'Donnell said it was okay to say he didn't know what it was, Steele snapped and accused him of "trap playing." February 2009: You know what the GOP really needs? A hip-hop makeover! The RNC chairman told the Washington Times that he'll "surprise everyone" with an "off the hook" public relations campaign to update his party's image. "We want to convey that the modern-day GOP looks like the conservative party that stands on principles," he told the newspaper. "But we want to apply them to urban-suburban, hip-hop settings." When asked if the makeover Continue Reading

Megan Fox overload: Men getting tired of sexy ‘Transformers’ star, say guy-centric websites

It may seem unlikely, but the men of America are sick of Megan Fox. A dozen male-focused Web sites including AOL's men's lifestyle/humor site Asylum.com — as well as Ask Men, Just a Guy Thing and Double Viking — have sanctioned Aug. 4 as a Megan Fox media blackout day. Why the diss? All the editors feel the starlet has become a bit too overexposed — and they're not just talking about her fashion sense. Fox has appeared on the covers of Esquire, Empire, Maxim, GQ UK, Entertainment Weekly and Elle this year alone, plus she did heavy press for her role as Mikaela Banes in "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen." "You can have too much of a good thing," says AskMen.com's Editor-in-Chief James Bassil, who tells us, "We're joining in the media blackout and giving our readers a one-day reprieve from the woman we've been drowning in all summer." Jokes Doug Sheckler of on205th.com: "She needs to do more to earn our undying praise and affection. For instance, she hasn't even returned any of my calls this year asking for a date. What's up with that?" All kidding aside, most of the men do admit to still lusting after the actress, but are ready for Fox to pass the hot torch on to their other celebrity crushes. "Listen, we love Megan. She's responsible for driving more eyeballs to our sites — just by getting photographed walking down the street in a white T-shirt — than any other celeb alive," says Eric Rogell of TheBachelorGuy.com. But while he professes his love for the raven-haired beauty, he says he's ready for more diverse eye candy. "It's time to give another young actress a shot at the attention," he says. "We're taking a one-day break from covering Megan's latest nail polish color and instead promoting another 'Next Big Thing.'" So who is Fox's likely replacement? "My vote is for ["The Unborn" actress] Odette Yustman," says Rogell. "I call her 'The Poor Man's Megan Fox.'"Adrian Genrier seems a bit confused when it comes to Continue Reading

GOP chairman Michael Steele says talking to God keeps him from hurting critics

Republican party boss Michael Steele has had some interesting conversations with God lately about criticism lobbed his way by fellow GOPers."I ask God, 'Hey, let me show just a little bit of love, so I absolutely don't go out and kick this person's ass,'" he told GQ magazine. Steele, a former seminarian, may soon be praying to keep his job, too, after other comments he made in the interview seemed to challenge Republican orthodoxy. Asked if he thought women had a right to abortion, he said, "Yeah. Absolutely." And while he said he was opposed to gay marriage, he came out against a constitutional amendment banning it - as the GOP platform recommends for both gay marriage and abortion. "Just as a general principle, I don't like mucking around with the Constitution," he told the magazine. Steele later tried to walk back his comments, but still faced a backlash. Former GOP presidential contender Mike Huckabee ripped the "very troubling" interview. Other Republicans will certainly find much to chew on. Steele stood by his earlier comments that the GOP convention was "a sea of white people," saying it's "'cause we have offered [minorities] nothing." He said he left the seminary because, "I loved to party - still do." And he said homosexuality is not a "choice," and said he's unworried about gay priests who are celibate. But Steele proclaimed himself happy - if a bit surprised - to be atop the GOP. "I mean, who'da thunk it in 1963 that in 2009 two black men would sit on top of the political world of this country?" he said. "How friggin' awesome is that?" Join the Conversation: Continue Reading