Goodbye
June 11, 2019

Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), the only Republican lawmaker to call for President Trump's impeachment, quit the House Freedom Caucus on Monday night. It was apparently an amicable split. "I have the highest regard for them and they're my close friends," Amash told CNN. "I didn't want to be a further distraction for the group." Amash helped found the Freedom Caucus but he hadn't been to a caucus meeting all year until Monday night, when he showed up at a board meeting to announce his departure. "It was a positive meeting," he said. "It wasn't negative."

The Freedom Caucus was formed in 2015 to push Republican leadership to pursue more conservative policies, but it has since become a club led by some of Trump's staunchest defenders. Amash nearly quit the caucus last year after it declined to criticize Trump for attacking and trying to unseat one of its members, Rep. Mark Sanford (S.C.). Sanford lost his primary to the Trump-backed opponent, and a Democrat ended up winning the seat in the general election. When Amash made his case for impeaching Trump last month, the Freedom Caucus voted to formally disagree with him but did not eject him from their ranks.

Amash, a 39-year-old libertarian, is still chairman of the lesser-known House Liberty Caucus, which traces its roots to former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). Peter Weber

December 30, 2018

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly formally leaves his post this Wednesday, Jan. 2, and he discussed his time with President Trump in an exit interview with the Los Angeles Times published Sunday.

Kelly described an administration in chaos on his arrival to the White House last summer. For example, Trump wanted to withdraw the United States from the war in Afghanistan, Kelly said, which "was a huge decision to make ... and frankly there was no system at all for a lot of reasons — palace intrigue and the rest of it." Pushing back on perceptions that Trump's decision-making is emotional and divorced from fact, Kelly said he kept Trump "fully informed" of the consequences of his choices.

He also spoke at length about immigration policy, faulting former Attorney General Jeff Sessions for the administration's court-halted policy of separating migrant children from their families at the border. "What happened was Jeff Sessions, he was the one that instituted the zero-tolerance process on the border that resulted in both people being detained and the family separation," Kelly said. "He surprised us."

As for Trump's promise to wall off the southern border, Kelly quibbled about terminology — "To be honest, it's not a wall" — but insisted a physical barrier is the recommendation of "salt-of-the-earth, Joe-Six-Pack" border patrol agents.

Working as Trump's chief of staff has been a "bone-crushing hard job," Kelly mused, "but you do it." Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney will do it next as acting chief of staff.

Read the full interview at the Los Angeles Times here. Bonnie Kristian

October 15, 2017

Movie producer Harvey Weinstein was expelled Saturday from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the premier film industry professional organization and host of the Oscars, amid mounting sexual harassment and rape allegations against the mogul. A special meeting of the 54-member board voted overwhelmingly to remove Weinstein, a decision with the sole precedent of the 2004 expulsion of an actor named Carmine Caridi for alleged copyright infringement.

"We do so not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues," the Academy said in a statement, "but also to send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over."

Weinstein has denied the accusations against him, which snowballed after investigations by The New Yorker and The New York Times. Bonnie Kristian

March 23, 2017

"Everyone believes that artificial or prerecorded calls — 'robocalls,' as they're known — are awful," writes Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chair Ajit Pai in a new piece at The Hill. "They're intrusive. They're unwanted." And they also may be on their way out.

As Pai notes, the FCC on Thursday will vote on a proposal to allow phone companies greater leeway to block calls from numbers they have reason to believe are spammy or scammy. The proposal is supported by 33 major carriers and phone manufacturers, including Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Apple, and Microsoft. It is expected to be approved.

This is not the first federal measure against unwanted marketing calls. The "Do Not Call" list helps Americans avoid live caller telemarketing, and a 2009 Federal Trade Commission rule prohibits all uninvited telemarketing robocalls. However, marketing robocallers skirted that prohibition using workarounds that typically involved fooling caller ID technology. As a result, Pai notes, "American consumers received an estimated 29 billion [robocalls] in 2016. That's about 230 calls for every U.S. household."

Editor's note: This article originally mischaracterized the purpose of the "Do Not Call" list. It has since been corrected. We regret the error. Bonnie Kristian

June 7, 2015

Deutsche Bank co-CEOs Anshu Jain and Jürgen Fitschen resigned Sunday, the Wall Street Journal reports. The moves follow the German Bank's $2.5 billion settlement for manipulation of interest rates on trillions of dollars worth of debt and the Britain subsidiary pleading guilty to fraud.

Jain will leave at the end of the month and Fitschen will stay on until next May. They will be replaced by John Cryan, a member of the bank's supervisory board. Julie Kliegman

May 31, 2015

Longtime CBS anchor Bob Schieffer, 78, wrapped up his final episode of Face the Nation Sunday after 24 years at the helm and about 50 years of reporting news.

"I'll be honest. I'm going to miss being in the middle of things, but the one thing I will never forget is the trust you placed in me and how nice you were to have me as a guest in your home over so many years," Schieffer said Sunday. "That meant the world to me."

CBS political director John Dickerson is slated to take over the hosting gig. Julie Kliegman

April 8, 2015

Veteran CBS journalist Bob Schieffer announced Wednesday he will retire this summer.

Schieffer, 78, has spent 46 years with CBS, and has anchored Face the Nation for 24. He shared the news at the annual Schieffer Symposium at his alma mater, Texas Christian University. "It's been a great adventure," he said. "You know, I'm one of the luckiest people in the world because as a little boy, as a young reporter, I always wanted to be a journalist, and I got to do that. ... I couldn't have asked for a better life or something that was more fun and more fulfilling."

The native Texan has interviewed every president since Richard Nixon, CBS News reports, moderated three presidential debates, and received eight Emmys, the overseas Press Club Award, the Edward R. Murrow Award, and several other accolades. During his announcement, Schieffer also thanked colleagues from his time in newspapers to today, saying, "I've never believed much in the self-made man theory; I think we all need a little help and I had a lot of help along the way." Catherine Garcia

March 16, 2015

American Horror Story's biggest star is officially moving on. In a panel at PaleyFest, Jessica Lange — who has starred in each of the FX horror drama's four seasons to date — will not appear in the show's upcoming fifth season, titled American Horror Story: Hotel.

"Yes, I'm done," said Lange. "We've had a great run here. I absolutely loved doing these four characters, and in all madness, I love the writers, and [series creator Ryan Murphy], and the insanity of shooting it."

In Lange's absence, the series is busily assembling an all-star cast, including Lady Gaga and Matt Bomer. Scott Meslow

See More Speed Reads