A proposed bicycle tax in Washington is a good idea, claimed Washington state Republican Ed Orcutt, because the two-wheeled vehicles wind up emitting more carbon dioxide than cars due to riders' "increased heart rate and respiration." You end up "giving off more CO2 if you are riding a bike than driving in a car," Orcutt said. "You can't just say that there's no pollution as a result of riding a bicycle." Orcutt, who conceded he had not "done any analysis" on his claim, later backed down, calling his statement "over the top." Samantha Rollins
President Trump's speech in West Virginia on Monday to the Boy Scout Jamboree was unusual, and in some regards, kind of shocking. On Tuesday, The Late Show kicked off with a version that might send chills down your spine.
Stephen Colbert was bemused by Trump's baldly political, sometimes partisan speech, but maybe not by why Trump addressed the jamboree. "It's no surprise he went to the Boy Scouts — with all his scandals, he needs someone who's good at putting out fires," he joked. The Boy Scouts is a nonpartisan organization for boys and teens, but, of course, Trump "did his thing," Colbert sighed, beginning an annotated walk through the unorthodox address, from Trump bragging about the crowd size to his strange aside about being able to say "Merry Christmas" again, to his lighthearted threats to fire Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.
After dumping on the uncynical civic spirit of the Boy Scouts, Trump — who was never a Scout — began reciting the Boy Scout oath, but he stopped short at the word "loyalty," joking that he and America could use more of it. "We could use more loyalty," Colbert agreed. "For instance, that guy on stage just threatened to fire the guy he said was doing a good job. And then — as if Trump's insecurities and personal obsessions were not enough to pour poison into the ears of children — he told them this story." After Trump's tale of a ruined millionaire and his sex yacht, Colbert was... inspired. "Now that they've heard from the president, the Scouts have updated their oath," he said, putting on a neck scarf, holding up three fingers, and taking Trump's speech to its logical, absurd conclusion. Watch below. Peter Weber
Barbara Sinatra was still married to former Marx Brother Zeppo Marx when she started a relationship with Frank Sinatra, whom she wed in 1976, but he'd unsuccessfully hit on her in 1957, when he was drinking with his fellow Rat Pack pals at the Riviera casino in Las Vegas, where she was a showgirl. Barbara and Frank Sinatra's marriage lasted another almost 22 years, until the singer's death in 1998. In that time, they founded and raised millions for the Barbara Sinatra Children's Center, a nonprofit to help children who had been physically, mentally, or emotionally abused.
Barbara Sinatra died at her home in Rancho Mirage, California, on Tuesday, at age 90. John Thorensen, the director of Barbara Sinatra Children's Center, confirmed her death, which he attributed to natural causes. Barbara Sinatra was born in Bosworth, Missouri, in 1926; her butcher father moved the family to Wichita when she was 10, and she moved to California and became a model in the 1940s. She is survived by Robert Oliver Marx, her son from her first marriage, to singer Bob Oliver; his wife, Hillary; and a granddaughter, Carina Blakeley Marx. Peter Weber
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is 'just taking a little time off,' not quitting, his spokeswoman says
Rex Tillerson has never been the most energetic, popular, or accessible secretary of state, but when reporters noticed that his public schedule has not listed any public events or other information for a few days, or been incorrect, they asked State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert on Tuesday why the department isn't saying where Tillerson is or has been. "He does have the ability to go away for a few days on his own," she said, and Tillerson is "just taking a little time off" after his "mega-trip overseas" earlier this month to the G-20 summit, plus trips to Ukraine, Turkey, Qatar, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. "He's entitled to take a few days himself," Nauert said, though she wasn't sure why the schedule just said he was taking vacation days.
— CSPAN (@cspan) July 25, 2017
Nauert declined to say if Tillerson is happy at his job, but said that recent reports that he's considering quitting the Trump administration "false." "The secretary has been very clear he intends to stay here at the State Department," she said, adding that he "does, however, serve at the pleasure of the president, just as any Cabinet official would." Tillerson has reportedly clashed with the White House over its micromanaging of his policy and staffing decisions and the assignment of big parts of his portfolio to Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser. Trump has also contradicted him several times, and Tillerson is said to be angry over Trump's treatment of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
On Monday, CNN's John King reported that Tillerson's friends are suggesting he may step down before the end of the year, with one friend saying Trump's treatment of Tillserson is "becoming a death by one thousand little insults." You can watch King's short report on a Tillerson "Rexit" starting at the 3:25 mark. Peter Weber
Adrian McKinney II is only 9, but he already has his future planned: When he's an adult, he's going to be a CEO.
The Ohio resident got a taste for the executive life on July 10, when he was CEO for the day at the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. McKinney has sickle cell anemia, and last year, while recovering from a bone marrow transplant, Make-A-Wish sent his family to Hawaii. During the Make-A-Wish Gala earlier this year, McKinney met Doug Kelly, CEO of Make-A-Wish Foundation of Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. "I always wanted to be a CEO," McKinney told InsideEdition.com. "When I met him, he said, 'Have you been thinking about the future for your wish?' I said, 'Yes. I want your job.'"
On the spot, Kelly told McKinney he could have his job for one day, and even took out a business card, crossed out his name, and replaced it with McKinney's. "It was pretty amazing," McKinney said. He showed up at the office on July 10 in his most professional suit and bowtie, gave a speech, accepted a donation, and led a staff meeting. He said he's thankful for Make-A-Wish, because the organization was there for him during his treatment, and his mother, Torie McKinney agreed. "To have Make-A-Wish come and make his wish come true not only one time, but two times, we're just grateful," she said. Catherine Garcia
At Emily Leehan and Joshua Newville's wedding in Ripley, New York, last weekend, the bride declared her love in front of friends and family not only for her husband, but also her new stepson, Gage.
Leehan has known Gage, 4, for two years, and she wrote two sets of vows: one for Newville and one for his son. "I want you to be safe and to try your hardest and to be a good person," she told Gage. "I know that you and I will butt heads, but I hope that with all my heart, that as you become a grown man, you will understand my methods and realize that I have only done what is best for you and that I love you." She went on to add, "I may not have given you the gift of life, but life surely gave me the gift of you."
Her words moved Gage to tears, and he kept going back and forth between Leehan, a senior airman in the Air Force, and Newville, a sergeant in the Marines, giving them tight hugs. Leehan told HuffPost his reaction "meant everything" to her. Catherine Garcia
Trevor Noah tries to explain just how crazy and reckless the Senate GOP's DIY health-care legislating really is
President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell managed to bring TrumpCare back from the dead, getting 50 Republicans senators and Vice President Mike Pence to agree to start debate on... well, some sort of health-care bill, Trevor Noah marveled on Tuesday's Daily Show. McConnell couldn't get 50 votes on any of the many GOP plans to repeal and/or replace ObamaCare, even his own, Noah said, so "then, I guess, Mitch McConnell smoked some weed and was like, 'You can't vote for a bill if you don't have a bill.'"
Now, the Senate is in the midst of a bizarro legislative process to revamp one-fifth of the U.S. economy, and everybody's health-care options, on the fly before Friday. "The new GOP plan is to reinvent the national health-care system by Thursday? I admire their optimism," Noah said. "And by the way, this isn't three real days, it's technically 20 hours of actual working time. Twenty hours, that's all they have. And 20 hours is not a lot of time to build a new health-care system — hell, I can't even build an Ikea bookshelf in 20 hours."
He tried to explain to Republican senators (and anyone else who's both confused and interested) what they are doing. Instead of trying to repeal and replace ObamaCare the normal way, through committee markups and hearings — "because you knew your ideas would die of exposure," he said — the Senate GOP "tried to write the bill in a 13-dude chamber of secrets," and when that failed, McConnell's "new plan is to throw the entire national health-care system out on the Senate floor, let everyone randomly spitball on what it should be, and then you hope that 51 of them agree by the end of the week."
"No one knows how that will turn out — nobody knows," Noah said. "The one thing we do know is Mitch McConnell is determined to pass something. How determined?" He imagined the conversation McConnell had to get John McCain, fighting brain cancer, to return to Washington to vote. Watch below. Peter Weber
In a 45-minute Oval Office interview with The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, President Trump said he hopes to tackle tax reform after health care, however that turns out, and then infrastructure; said he expects to declare Iran noncompliant with the nuclear deal in September, even if his advisers object; took aim again at Attorney General Jeff Sessions; and named his economic adviser Gary Cohn as a candidate for Federal Reserve chairman next year.
"He doesn't know this, but yes, he is," Trump said of Cohn, who was sitting in on the interview along with Ivanka Trump, White House Chief of Staff Renice Priebus, strategic communications director Hope Hicks, and new communications director Anthony Scaramucci. Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen is also "in the running to stay," he added. Trump said that Scaramucci would help quash the infighting and melodrama in the West Wing, which he characterized, apparently jokingly, as "White House stuff, where they're fighting over who loves me the most."
On tax reform, Trump said his priority is to focus on lowering the corporate tax rate to 15 percent and helping "the middle-income people in this country, who have gotten screwed." If any taxes are raised, "it's going to be on high-income people," he said, though, the Journal notes, Trump and his team have been "vague on significant middle-class provisions" in the tax overhaul, "while promising specific benefits for high-income households such as the repeal of the estate tax and alternative minimum tax."
Trump has been increasingly critical of Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia election-meddling and collusion investigation, and he argued to the Journal that this recusal was the reason Robert Mueller was appointed as special counsel. He declined to say if he planned to fire Mueller, which would be very controversial and which he cannot do directly, telling the Journal: "I have no comment yet, because it's too early. But we'll see. We're going to see." He also did not express much confidence in Sessions, saying that the former senator's early endorsement of him was because Trump was popular in Sessions' home state, Alabama, "so it's not like a great loyal thing about the endorsement."
Below, Associated Press White House reporter Jonathan Lemire recaps Trump's mounting public and private abuse of Sessions, reminds why it is so unusual, and runs down what Trump may do next, assuming Sessions refuses to step down voluntarily. Peter Weber