K-12 Gender Identity Standards Surprise Some Washington Parents

K-12 Gender Identity Standards Surprise Some Washington Parents

Kelsey Harkness /

“I don't know if you remember being in fourth grade or not but, my gosh, can my kids be kids for a little while first?” Washington state mom Kaeley Triller Haver says of new gender identity standards in the schools. (Photo: Kelsey Harkness/The Daily Signal)

“I don’t know if you remember being in fourth grade or not but, my gosh, can my kids be kids for a little while first?” Washington state mom Kaeley Triller Haver says of new gender identity standards in the schools. (Photo: Kelsey Harkness/The Daily Signal)

Kaeley Triller Haver is no stranger to the transgender bathroom debate. After being sexually assaulted as a child and going public with her story, the single mom from Washington state now opposes shower, locker room, and bathroom policies that she believes leave her and her daughter vulnerable and unsafe.

So earlier this month, when she found out that Washington public schools quietly adopted a new set of health education standards that include teaching kindergartners about gender expression and identity, Triller Haver was shocked she wasn’t involved.

“The only way I found out was through a Facebook post,” Triller Haver told The Daily Signal. “Not really the way any parent should discover information this critically important to their child’s life.”

“The curriculum,” she said, “starts in kindergarten. And my daughter will be in kindergarten this year. So that’s great.”

The changes prompted an “outcry from thousands of parents across the state,” a spokesman for a conservative think tank says.

Washington adopted new gender identity guidelines in March as part of the state’s updated health and physical education standards. The state agency responsible for the guidelines said they were made available to the public for review, and provided The Daily Signal with examples where it solicited comment.

None, however, pointed to the addition of gender identity guidelines—instead referring to the proposal broadly as the state’s new “Physical Education Standards.”


We’re collecting public comments on WA Health and Physical Education Standards: http://bit.ly/1QGockM  http://ow.ly/i/gqWMg 

Perhaps that’s why the guidelines went unnoticed by both parents and the media, until Peter Hasson, a reporter for The Daily Caller, stumbled upon them while doing research for a different story.

After his article was published, parents and citizens of Washington voiced outrage, with some even writing on Facebook that they removed their children from the state’s public school system altogether.

“Pulled my child out of school for next year because of this nonsense and made sure I let our local school district and the OSPI know why,” Renae Purdy wrote on Facebook, referring to the Office of the Superintendent for Public Instruction. “If we ban together, homeschool our kids, and put in enough complaint calls they will have to change these policies. They need to stick to teaching academics and leave personal issues to be taught at home!”

(Photo: Facebook)

(Photo: Family Policy Institute of Washington/Facebook)

Another, who identified herself on Facebook as Neilene Hodneland DeBoise, wrote:

(Photo: Family Policy Institute of Washington/Facebook)

(Photo: Family Policy Institute of Washington/Facebook)

In recent months, transgender bathroom policies have been trumpeted by President Barack Obama’s administration, which in March sent a letter to public schools nationwide mandating they allow transgender students into sex-segregated facilities based on their gender identity.

Because of her past experience with sexual abuse, Triller Haver now argues against this policy and in favor of keeping bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers separated by biological sex.

Washington state’s new gender identity guidelines map out specific “standards” for each grade level to achieve. These include teaching kindergartners that “there are many ways to express gender,” defining sexual orientation to fourth-graders, and describing to fifth-graders “how media, society, and culture can influence ideas regarding gender roles, identity, and expression.”

The purpose, a press release states, is to “provide the guidance to teach, reinforce, and apply all of the state’s learning goals.”


“I don’t know if you remember being in fourth grade or not but, my gosh, can my kids be kids for a little while first?” Triller Haver asked.

The guidelines also include a glossary defining gender as “A social construct based on emotional, behavioral, and cultural characteristics attached to a person’s assigned biological sex.”


To some, this is a welcome change. Responding to the new policies online, one Facebook user who identifies herself as Brenna Searle, wrote:

I didn’t transition until my 30s because I literally had ZERO context for what I was going through. It’s all well and good to say ‘leave it to the parents’ but my parents were well-meaning people who had no way to inform me it was even an option. We need education to keep young trans children from mental health issues and suicide[,] from not knowing who they are or who they were meant to be.

(Photo: Family Policy Institute of Washington/Facebook)

(Photo: Family Policy Institute of Washington/Facebook)

Others, like Triller Haver, say that teaching the subject of gender identity to kindergartners encroaches on parents’ rights.

“It’s not age appropriate,” she said. “It’s not science or math, it’s ideology. And that’s not appropriate for the government or anyone to take taxpayer money and force parents into conversations they’re not ready to have with their kids.”


The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, which is the authority on public education in the state, adopted the health and physical education standards in March. According to a memo issued by Superintendent Randy Dorn, his office “collaboratively” developed the standards “with teachers, administrators, subject matter experts, state and national associations, and stakeholders in health and physical education” starting in September 2014.

It is unclear whether schools are required to adopt the gender identity guidelines.

According to the document, the standards are “required elements of instruction.” Page 2 reads:

The Washington state learning standards are the required elements of instruction and are worded broadly enough to allow for local decision-making. Outcomes provide the specificity to support school districts in meeting each standard in each grade level. Depending on school resources and community norms, instructional activities may vary.

On Page 10, the guidelines specifically address grade-level goals:

By implementing grade-level outcomes, educators will help students meet the learning standards. All districts, schools, and educators in Washington state are expected to implement the state learning standards for all students. However, educators should use their own understanding of their students to make adjustments to teaching activities as needed.

However, Nate Olson, communications director at the state’s Office of the Superintendent for Public Instruction, said the standards aren’t mandatory. In an interview with The Daily Signal, he called the standards “best practices.”

“If districts want to teach the topic of self-identity, what our teachers did is come up with grade-level suggestions for a bunch of different topics,” Olson said.

Whether gender identity is a required subject is in some ways irrelevant, argued Zachary Freeman, director of communications at the Family Policy Institute of Washington, a conservative think tank. Freeman said:

State law compels school districts to follow the standards and outcomes of [the Office of the Superintendent for Public Instruction], and [that office] can reject a district’s curriculum if it doesn’t meet their standards.

Moving Forward

Because of “outcry from thousands of parents across the state,” Freeman said, the superintendent’s office “says it will be clarifying the language in the standards to make it clear that schools are not required to teach students about these topics.”

Olson confirmed to The Daily Signal that the superintendent’s office will  correct “an inconsistency” in the standards to make clear the topic of gender identity is not required.

Freeman argued any correction is beside the point.

“The fact that [gender identity] appears on the documents at all shows clearly that there is some sort of agenda being promoted.”

That agenda, Triller Haver said, is the reason she would home-school or send her daughter to private school if she were financially able to afford those costs.

“I feel like I’m basically being held hostage,” she said. “My kids have to go to school, I have to go to work, I don’t have a lot of options.”

Olson, speaking for the state superintendent’s office, apologized to parents who “did not hear about this until it was too late.”

“The process was no different than the adoption for any other standards that we’ve adopted or revised,” he said. If a parent is upset about the learning goals,  he said, “I would encourage them to go to their local school board and say ‘I don’t agree with this.’”

Triller Haver said she believes the better route for schools to follow is adhering to anti-bullying programs that are already in place.

“Standard anti-bullying programs and curriculums that are not specific to gender should be more than enough to cover it,” she said, adding:

You treat all people with compassion, you treat all people with dignity and respect, and you teach children that there are going to be different people who behave and believe different things, and that all of them are entitled to value and dignity, regardless of how they present. But that doesn’t mean you need a whole curriculum based on gender.

the Washington office of the superintendent of public instruction or
OSP I is the authority when it comes to public education in our state
they set the education standards for local school districts and administer
testing to ensure that students are learning the concepts they’re supposed
to be taught in March OSP i released its 2017 health and physical education
standards for Washington’s public schools
the standards include on controversial topics like germs nutrition and exercise
but this year
OSP I included some new topics that have parents up in arms
beginning in 2017 Washington will introduce gender expression
gender identity and sexual orientation into the elementary school curriculum
under these outcomes children will begin learning about gender expression in the
kindergarten and first grade in third grade students will learn about gender
the idea that every individual can choose their gender regardless of their
biological sex
fourth-graders age 10 and 11 will be taught about different sexual
orientations and by fifth grade students will be taught how to prevent HIV
while these standards may be shocking perhaps the worst part is that OSP i
adopted these new standards without properly notifying parents
when parents and media raised questions OSP I hid behind a wall of ill defined
terms for example on page 10 of the health and physical education standards
it clearly says all districts schools and educators in washington state are
expected to implement the state learning standards and outcomes for all students
however when asked OSP I told parents and reporters that the gender expression
gender identity and sexual orientation items were merely recommended best
practices not mandates they told parents that local school districts get to write
their own curriculum which is true
they just didn’t mention that the school districts are required to build their
curriculums using OSP I standards
you can liken this to spi saying you can buy any color car you want as long as
it’s black but there has been some progress last week
OSP I admitted an inconsistency in their standards document and vowed to make
changes to the semantics but regardless of what changes they make the healthy
youth act which was passed by the washington legislature in 2007 says OSP
I can reject any curriculum that is not compatible with the state’s sexual
education standards and surprise the state said standards require the
teaching of gender identity sexual orientation gender expression and gender
it is clear that washington state intends to teach your children about
gender expression
gender identity sexual orientation and HIV prevention
perhaps most troubling however is the fact that they appear willing to do it
behind your back
even if the new standards document were only recommended best practices and not
mandates the government is still recommending the taxpayer dollars be
used to teach impressionable elementary aged children about gender identity and
same-sex attraction
are you okay with that when asked if it was unreasonable for parents to assume
OSP I could include topics such as gender identity and sexual orientation
in their curriculum review
OSP is communications manager responded quote it’s not unreasonable to assume it
but it won’t be done in other words we can teach them that if we want to but we
won’t just trust us
call your legislators and let them know how you feel you may have never paid
attention to the race for the superintendent of public instruction
before but now you have a reason to our kids are not a social experiment and
they don’t belong to the government
this is actually meant for the Family Policy Institute in Washington
0: 00the oficina de Washington del superintendente de instrucción pública o
0: 09OSP que es la autoridad cuando se trata de la educación pública en nuestro estado
0: 13Y establecer las normas de educación para los distritos escolares locales y administrar
0: 17testing para asegurar que los estudiantes están aprendiendo los conceptos que se supone
0: 20to ser enseñado en marzo OSP i dio a conocer su 2017 de la salud y la educación física
0: 25standards para las escuelas públicas de Washington
0: 28Los estándares incluyen en temas polémicos como gérmenes nutrición y el ejercicio
0: 33 Pero este año
0: 35OSP que incluye algunos de los nuevos temas que tienen los padres en pie de guerra
0: 38beginning en 2017 Washington va a introducir la expresión de género
0: la identidad y la orientación sexual 43gender en el plan de estudios de la escuela primaria
0: 48under estos resultados los niños comenzarán a aprender acerca de la expresión de género en el
0: 52kindergarten y el primer grado de los estudiantes de tercer grado aprenderán sobre el género
0: 57identity
0: 58the idea de que cada individuo puede elegir su género, independientemente de su
1: el sexo 02biological
1: 04fourth grado 10 y 11 años se les enseñará sobre diferentes sexual
1: 08orientations y por estudiantes de quinto grado se les enseñará cómo prevenir el VIH
1: 13while estas normas pueden ser chocante quizás la peor parte es que i OSP
1: 17adopted estas nuevas normas sin padres notificar adecuadamente
1: 21Cuando los padres y los medios plantearon preguntas OSP Me escondí detrás de una pared de mal definido
1: 26terms por ejemplo, en la página 10 de la salud y los niveles de educación física
1: 32it dice claramente todas las escuelas de los distritos y educadores en el estado de Washington son
1: 37expected para aplicar las normas estatales de aprendizaje y los resultados para todos los estudiantes
1: 42however cuando se le preguntó OSP me dijo a los padres y los periodistas que la expresión de género
1: 47gender elementos de identidad y la orientación sexual se recomienda simplemente el mejor
1: No 52practices mandatos dijeron a los padres que los distritos escolares locales empiezan a escribirse
1: 57their propio plan de estudios que es cierto
1: 59they simplemente no mencionó que se requiere que los distritos escolares para construir su
2: 02curriculums utilizando estándares OSP I
2: 05you puede comparar esto con spi diciendo que usted puede comprar cualquier coche color que desee, siempre y cuando
2: 10IT de negro, pero ha habido algunos avances la semana pasada
2: 13OSP que admitió una inconsistencia en su documento de estándares y se comprometió a hacer
2: 18changes a la semántica pero independientemente de qué cambios hacen que el sano
2: 22youth acto que fue aprobada por la legislatura de Washington en 2007, dice OSP
2: 27I puede rechazar cualquier plan de estudios que no es compatible con el estado de sexual
2: normas 31education y sorprender al estado dijeron normas requieren la
2: 36teaching de identidad de género expresión de género de orientación sexual y de género
2: 40roles
2: 41it es claro que el estado de Washington tiene la intención de enseñar a sus hijos acerca
2: Expresión 44gender
2: 46gender identidad de orientación sexual y prevención del VIH
2: 50perhaps más preocupantes sin embargo es el hecho de que parecen dispuestos a hacerlo
2: 53behind la espalda
2: 55even si el nuevo documento de normas sólo se recomendaron las mejores prácticas y no
2: 59mandates el gobierno sigue recomendando los dólares de los contribuyentes sean
3: 03used para enseñar a niños de primaria impresionables acerca de la identidad de género y
3: atracción 08same sexo
3: 09are usted de acuerdo con eso, cuando se le preguntó si no era razonable que los padres asumen
3: 14that
3: 14OSP pude incluir temas como la identidad de género y orientación sexual
3: 18en su revisión curricular
3: 20OSP es gerente de comunicaciones respondió cita no es razonable suponer que
3: 25 Pero no se llevará a cabo en otras palabras, podemos enseñarles que si queremos, pero nos
3: 31won’t sólo confía en nosotros
3: 34call sus legisladores y hacerles saber cómo se siente puede que nunca han pagado
3: 38attention a la carrera por el superintendente de instrucción pública
3: 40before pero ahora usted tiene una razón para que los niños no son un experimento social y
3: 46they no pertenecen al gobierno
3: 47this es en realidad significaba para el Instituto de Política Familiar en Washington

More ESTABLISHMENT Republicans ditch Trump, conclude he cannot win

More ESTABLISHMENT Republicans ditch Trump, conclude he cannot win

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More Republicans ditch Trump, conclude he cannot win
Donald Trump takes the stage at Gilley&#39;s in Dallas yesterday.&nbsp;(Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)</p>

Donald Trump takes the stage at Gilley’s in Dallas yesterday. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)


Donald Trump will hold a fundraiser tomorrow in the Arizona house where Barry Goldwater announced his 1964 presidential campaign. Ahead of the event, Philip Rucker called the late senator’s widow to ask what she thought of the presumptive Republican nominee.

“Ugh or yuck is my response,” Susan Goldwater Levine said. “I think Barry would be appalled that his home was being used for that purpose. Barry would be appalled by Mr. Trump’s behavior — the unintelligent and unfiltered and crude communications style. And he’s shallow — so, so shallow.’”

Levine said she generally finds Trump’s candidacy “crazy and inappropriate”: “I can’t believe we are doing this as a country,” she said of Trump. “Barry was so true to his convictions and would never be issuing these shallow, crude, accusatory criticisms of the other party or the other person.”

Robert and Karen Hobbs currently own the property. They do not know Trump but agreed to host the event out of loyalty to the Republican Party. “I’m not sure that Trump is conservative, but he’s who our nominee is,” Hobbs told Rucker.

Barry Goldwater (James K.W. Atherton/The Washington Post)</p>

Barry Goldwater (James K.W. Atherton/The Washington Post)

— The chairman of the House Energy and Commerce committee, Fred Upton, said that Trump has “gone off the track.” The Michigan congressman said he has no plans to endorse Trump “or anyone in this race.” “I’m going to stay in my lane,” he said during a radio interview, according to The Detroit News.

— Richard Armitage, who served as George W. Bush’s Deputy Secretary of State, announced he will vote for Clinton. “[Trump] does not appear to be a Republican, he doesn’t appear to want to learn about issues,” he told Politico. “So, I’m going to vote for Mrs. Clinton.”

— Charles Krauthammer says Trump how shown over the past month that he cannot and will not change. “It’s no accident that Trump’s poll numbers are sliding,” he writes in his column today.  Michael Gerson, meanwhile, decries Trump’s flawed character in his column and argues that it is a far worse problem than the first-time candidate’s lack of self-discipline.

— “At this point, I just can’t do it,” John Kasich said on “Morning Joe.” “But we’ll see where it ends up … I’m not making any final decisions yet.”

— Several more companies have announced this week that they are steering clear of the Republican convention in Cleveland: Wells Fargo, UPS, Motorola, JPMorgan Chase, Ford, and Walgreens Boots Alliance all said they will not be participating despite years of previous support — joining Coca-Cola, Microsoft and a host of others refusing to join in Trump’s coronation. (Bloomberg)

— Even Trump’s core supporters are angry with him. Several allies publicly rebuked him yesterday for trying to prevent suspected terrorists from being able to buy guns. Jeff Sessions, Trump’s point man on the Hill, declared that congressional Republicans should not take cues from The Donald on the subject. “We’re a co-equal branch of government,” the Alabama senator said.

Donald Trump, Ed Koch&nbsp;and Roy Cohn attend the Trump Tower opening in October 1983.&nbsp;(Photo by Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images)</p>

Donald Trump, Ed Koch and Roy Cohn attend the Trump Tower opening in October 1983. (Photo by Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images)

— Best read of the morning: “The man who showed Trump how to exploit power and instill fear.From Robert O’Harrow Jr. and Shawn Boburg: Trump was a young developer anxious to leave his mark on New York. “Roy Cohn was a legendary New York fixer, a ruthless lawyer in the hunt for new clients. They came together by chance one night at Le Club, a hangout for Manhattan’s rich and famous. Trump introduced himself to Cohn … and sought advice: How should he and his father respond to Justice Department allegations that their company had systematically discriminated against black people seeking housing? It was 1973, and the start of one of the most influential relationships of Trump’s career. Cohn soon represented Trump in legal battles, counseled him about his marriage and introduced Trump to New York power brokers, money men and socialites. He also showed Trump how to exploit power and instill fear through a simple formula: attack, counterattack and never apologize.” Trump prized Cohn’s reputation for aggression. When frustrated by an adversary, Trump used to reportedly pull out a photograph of Cohn, asking, “Would you rather deal with him?”

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Bernie Sanders won’t drop out, but vows to work with Clinton

— Bernie Sanders pledged to help defeat Trump but made no mention of endorsing Hillary Clinton during a heavily-promoted, live-streamed address to his supporters last night. John Wagner calls it a concession-style speech – without a concession. He profusely thanked his supporters. He said he looked forward to working with Clinton to advance key issues. And he urged like-minded followers to run for state and local offices. “The major political task that we face in the next five months is to make certain that Donald Trump is defeated and defeated badly,” the Vermont senator said, speaking from Burlington. “And I personally intend to begin my role in that process in a very short period of time.”

“Election days come and go,” he added. “But political and social revolutions that attempt to transform our society never end.” (Read the transcript here.)

Aides said that more than 218,000 people watched the 23-minute address. It came two nights after his sit-down with Hillary at the Washington Hilton, which was described by both campaigns as “positive.”

Bigger picture, Bernie has given up on trying to wrest the nomination from Hillary. He’s focused solely on platform concessions at this point. “Aides said Sanders has not been lobbying superdelegates,” Wagner reports. “Nor does Sanders have any immediate plans to do that.”

And the party apparatus continues falling in line behind Clinton:

  • She has taken over the Democratic National CommitteeThe campaign picked Brandon David, 38, who formerly served as national political director for the Service Employees International Union, to be the DNC’s chief of staff and oversee the party’s day-to-day operations. (Abby Phillip)
  • The AFL-CIO formally endorsed HRC, with promises to launch “a sophisticated, ground campaign” on her behalf. (Wagner)

Tributes and candles are left for&nbsp;Jo Cox in London. (Reuters/Stefan Wermuth)</p>

Tributes and candles are left for Jo Cox in London. (Reuters/Stefan Wermuth)

— The man accused of brutally murdering British MP Jo Cox yesterday reportedly has ties to a U.S.-based, neo-Nazi group. From Griff Witte and Karla Adam: Tommy Mair, 52, had longstanding ties to a U.S.-based neo-Nazi organization and, in the past, had ordered a how-to guide for assembling a homemade gun. “According to documents obtained by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the U.S.-based organization that tracks extremist groups, Mair was a long-time supporter of the National Alliance, a once-prominent white supremacist group. In 1999, Mair bought a manual from the organization that included instructions on how to build a pistol, the center said. Cox was shot by a weapon that witnesses described as either homemade or antique. In all, Mair sent $620 to the group’s publishing imprint. Mair also had reportedly subscribed to a South African magazine published by the White Rhino Club, a pro-apartheid group.” He reportedly called out “Britain first!” during and after the attack, invoking the name of a far-right group that stages provocative anti-Muslim demonstrations. The group denied involvement in the event.

— “The killing was of the sort that has become all too common in the U.S. but is virtually unheard of in Britain: without warning, hyper-violent and ultimately, perhaps, inexplicable,” Griff and Karla write from London. “It claimed as its victim Cox, a widely respected 41-year-old member of the center-left Labour Party who won election last year after a career in humanitarian work and who was widely respected for her outspoken advocacy on behalf of refugees and civilians in Syria.” She was attacked outside a library near the city of Leeds.”

— This has shaken Britain to the core and prompted an outpouring of grief across the political spectrum. “It came as the country heads into the homestretch of a bitter campaign to determine whether to stay in the E.U., with a vote scheduled next Thursday. Both the pro- and anti-E.U. camps announced that they were suspending their campaigns at least until the weekend. Cox, who was a supporter of keeping Britain in the 28-nation bloc, was lauded Thursday by those on both sides of the debate.”


  1. Authorities are searching for a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner who disappeared after being transferred to Uruguay in 2014 and is believed to have slipped into neighboring Brazil. The incident will intensify friction between the Obama administration and Republicans as the president pushes to shutter the facility. (Missy Ryan)
  2. Obama is giving the military more control over the drone program, but the CIA will retain a role. (Wall Street Journal)
  3. The GOP-led House and Senate tacitly approved a 1.6 percent pay raise for federal employees by failing to take action to stop it. The arcane federal pay law requires that Congress legislate a figure by the end of the year. If it fails to do so, Eric Yoder explains, the White House recommendation will take effect.
  4. The Supreme Court ruled that the Department of Veterans Affairs must set aside more contracts to be filled by veteran-owned small businesses, a decision that will help them compete for billions in additional contracts awarded by the federal government. (Robert Barnes)
  5. Philadelphia’s City Council approved a 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened and diet beverages, the first such tax imposed in a major U.S. city.(Philly Inquirer)
  6. Three in 10 female undergrads at Georgetown University said they have experienced “sexual misconduct” since arriving at the school, mirroring similar results from nearly a dozen other prominent research universities in the U.S. (Nick Anderson)
  7. Walt Disney World is putting up new signs warning visitors about alligators,after a 2-year-old boy was drowned in an attack on its property. (Orlando Sentinel)
  8. White House officials are considering a proposal to expand a Hawaiian national monument to more than four times its current size, creating what would become the world’s largest marine reserve. (Juliet Eilperin)
  9. The Taliban now hold more ground in Afghanistan than at any point since 2001.(AP)
  10. Media mogul Sumner Redstone moved to oust five members of Viacom’s board of directors, deepening turmoil in his $40 billion empire amid a contentious legal battle over his mental state. (Wall Street Journal)
  11. Meat Loaf, the Grammy-winning singer, was rushed to the hospital after collapsing on stage during a concert in Edmonton last night. His condition is still unknown. (CBC News)
  12. A 94-year-old former Auschwitz guard who has been charged with more than 100,000 counts of accessory to muder is expected to receive a verdict today. He faces up to 15 years in prison if found guilty. (Boston Globe)
  13. Microsoft is breaking the corporate taboo on pot use this week, announcing new software that can track marijuana plants from “seed to sale.” The software is aimed at helping states that have legalized the drug to keep track of sales and commerce. (New York Times)
  14. Two small bush planes are flying to the South Pole this week in a high-stakes rescue mission to evacuate sick employees in the middle of the Antarctic winter.The mission is only the third of its kind. In 1999, a woman was forced to conduct her own chemotherapy and breast cancer biopsy until a thaw allowed her to get out. (Sarah Kaplan)
  15. A Canadian woman who was stalked by a wolf for 12 hours launched a risky plan of escape, leading the animal into the path of a mother bear in hopes that the two would attack each other. It worked! (CBC News)
  16. An American man committed suicide in a Taiwan courthouse after he was convicted of growing marijuana. When told he would receive a four-year prison sentence, the 41-year-old cried out: “I don’t want to live anymore!” before stabbing himself with a pair of scissors. (Peter Holley)

This girl was injured after an airstrike on&nbsp;the rebel-controlled city of Idlib, Syria, on Wednesday.&nbsp;(Reuters/Ammar Abdullah)</p>

This girl was injured after an airstrike on the rebel-controlled city of Idlib, Syria, on Wednesday. (Reuters/Ammar Abdullah)

— Dozens of State Department employees signed and submitted a memo early this week urging the Obama administration to adopt a more aggressive stance against the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad, including the use of military force. From Karen DeYoung: “The 51 signatories to the document, which was sent through the department’s internal ‘dissent channel,’ were largely mid-level diplomats based in Washington and overseas, including a Syria desk officer and the consul general in Istanbul … The memo calls on the administration to respond to the worsening humanitarian situation in Syria … with air attacks and other ‘stand-off’ weapons, fired from a distance without troops on the ground, to force Assad into U.S.-led negotiations to end the conflict. Much of the thrust of the document has been advocated inside the administration by Secretary of State John F. Kerry … President Obama has consistently resisted direct U.S. military involvement in the war.”


George W. Bush campaigns for Jeb in February in South Carolina. (Alex Holt for The Washington Post)</p>

George W. Bush campaigns for Jeb in February in South Carolina. (Alex Holt for The Washington Post)

— George W. Bush is hosting fundraisers for five Republican senators. The New York Times fronts a story this morning about “an unlikely savior” who might help save the upper chamber after eight years in the wilderness. In the weeks since Trump locked down the nomination, Bush has headlined finance events for John McCain and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire. “Next week, he will appear in St. Louis at a fund-raiser for Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri. And similar events are being planned for Senators Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Rob Portman of Ohio,” Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Martin report.

Friends say that the former president is ‘deeply’ bothered by Mr. Trump’s campaign message, especially his derogatory remarks about Muslims and immigrants.  While Mr. Bush has largely refrained from taking part in politics, he is motivated to try to shore up Republican control of the Senate, which he views as a force for stability at a chaotic time in politics, and to help those who reflect his more inclusive brand of conservatism. … Mr. Bush declines to praise or criticize either Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton in public settings. ‘My candidate lost,’ he tells audiences, referring to his brother.”

John McCain&nbsp;(AP Photo/Ralph Freso)</p>

John McCain (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

— John McCain said President Obama was “directly responsible” for the terror attack in Orlando due to his failure to combat the rise of the Islamic State terror group. From Mike DeBonis: The Arizona senator answered a question about the debate over gun control by citing Obama’s culpability for the attack through his foreign policy: “Barack Obama is directly responsible for it, because when he pulled everybody out of Iraq, al-Qaeda went to Syria, became ISIS, and ISIS is what it is today thanks to Barack Obama’s failures.” When pressed by a reporter on the claim that Obama was “directly” responsible, McCain reiterated his point — that Obama should not have withdrawn combat troops from Iraq. “He pulled everybody out of Iraq, and I predicted at the time that ISIS would go unchecked, and there would be attacks on the United States of America,” he said. “It’s a matter of record, so he is directly responsible.”

In a statement a few hours later, McCain said he “misspoke.” “I did not mean to imply that the President was personally responsible,” he said. “I was referring to President Obama’s national security decisions, not the President himself.”

Facing a serious primary challenge, McCain is “feeling the gravitational pull” of Trump. “Whether or not Trump wins the White House, he already has had a profound effect on American politics generally and the Republican Party more specifically,” says The Fix’sChris Cillizza. “McCain’s comments reflect that influence — whether the Arizona senator realizes it or not.”

His Democratic challenger, Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, said McCain has crossed “a dangerous line in comments that undermine our Commander in Chief on national security issues — at the very moment the president was in Orlando to comfort victims’ families.”

Obama arrives in&nbsp;Orlando. (Stephen M. Dowell/AP)&nbsp;</p>

Obama arrives in Orlando. (Stephen M. Dowell/AP)


— The owner of a Florida gun store said his employees called the FBI after Omar Mateen attempted to purchase body armor and ammunition: Gun store co-owner Robbie Abell said his workers had a “gut feeling” about Mateen when he came to the store four or five weeks ago. Mateen reportedly asked for level 3 body armor but was told the store did not carry it, Abell said. He then made a phone call and spoke in Arabic before asking for bulk ammunition, but employees “did not sell it to him.” Abell said they contacted the FBI directly. Law enforcement officials said they have so far not received any evidence of the contact. (CBS)

— Obama traveled to Orlando yesterday to meet with families of the victims, and he issued another call for stricter controls on assault weapons. From Katie Zezima, Ellen Nakashima and Mark Berman: While laying flowers at a memorial in downtown, Obama said the city was “shaken by an evil, hateful act,” saying that when he and Vice President Biden met with family members, their grief was indescribable. “The Vice President and I told them, on behalf of the American people, that our hearts are broken, too, but we stand with you and that we are here for you, and that we are remembering those who you loved so deeply,” Obama said. “Today, once again, as has been true too many times before, I held and hugged grieving family members and parents, and they asked, why does this keep happening? And they pleaded that we do more to stop the carnage.”

The president set aside his “soaring rhetoric,” delivering a speech that was brief, blunt, and starkly political. “This was a president who was fed up,” Greg Jaffe and Juliet Eilperin, our White House reporters, explain in an analysis. “His goal was not to inspire, but to demand change. ‘Those who were killed and injured here were gunned down by a single killer with a powerful assault weapon,’ Obama said. ‘The motives of this killer may have been different than the mass shooters in Aurora or Newtown. But the instruments of death were so similar.’”

— REALITY CHECK: The effort to pass new gun legislation after Orlando is poised to fail. No one expects any of the four measures coming up for a vote in the Senate Monday to pass. From Karoun Demirjian and Ed O’Keefe: “Trump said this week that lawmakers should find a way to bar terrorism suspects from obtaining guns and that he planned to meet with the nation’s top gun lobby to build support. At the same time, some Republicans and Democrats jumped at the chance to renew their efforts to reach compromise. But the effort didn’t go far.”

Several delegates to the Republican convention said they will take steps next month to make the party platform’s more pro-gun. Some even threatened to withhold support for Trump if he continues to call for new laws. Wendy Day, a GOP delegate from Michigan, said that many of her party colleagues were startled to see Trump “turn left when it came to the Second Amendment. I think that surprised and angered a lot of people.”

— This is happening against the backdrop of rising public support for new laws: 61 percent of Americans now support stricter gun controls in the U.S., according to a new NBC/SurveyMonkey poll, while 38 percent remain opposed. Six in 10 said they support a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons, while 38 percent are opposed.

— The Post’s Fact Checker gives Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) three Pinocchios for his claim that states with “reasonable” firearm limitations have less gun crimes and homicides: The data Murphy was referring to (a 2013 National Journal chart) calculates the number of gun-related deaths by including all gun deaths, including homicides, suicides, accidental gun deaths and legal intervention involving firearms, Glenn Kessler explains. “We removed suicides from the totals and reran the numbers – and in some cases, it made a huge difference. Half of the 10 states with the lowest gun-death rates turn out to be states with less-restrictive gun laws.”

— “Despite prayers for the Orlando victims, few expect advances in gay rights.” From Katie Zezima in Orlando: “The fight over gay rights in Florida has been contentious for a decade and flared anew earlier this year. For months after the Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal nationwide, Florida’s law barring it remained on the books and the heavily Republican legislature failed to take up legislation to ditch it. Nadine Smith, executive director of Equality Florida, the state’s largest gay rights advocacy organization, said the shooting has laid bare the fact that many elected officials still do not support equality for gay men and women.” “People say there are stages of grief,” Smith said. “Today, I am feeling angry.”

A man draped in the U.S. flag&nbsp;protests outside Trump&#39;s&nbsp;rally in Dallas.&nbsp;(Stewart F. House/Getty Images)</p>

A man draped in the U.S. flag protests outside Trump’s rally in Dallas. (Stewart F. House/Getty Images)


— Trump appeared in D.C. yesterday for a deposition. The businessman filed a $10 million breach of contract suit against Chef Geoffrey Zakarian after he terminated plans to open a restaurant in the remodeled old Post Office Building. He says that it is justified because Trump called Mexican immigrants drug dealers and rapists. (Keith L. Alexander and Jonathan O’Connell)

— Then he flew to Dallas and celebrated his one-year anniversary as a candidate. From Sean Sullivan, Jamie Thompson and Jenna Johnson: At a rally in a well-known honky-tonk, Trump reflected on his unexpected rise. “As he entered (Gilley’s Club), Trump said he saw ‘thousands and thousands’ of his fans stuck outside the venue, and he wanted to ‘wade in and hug them and kiss them,’ but was held back by the Secret Service … Trump lamented that the new gig also comes with a higher level of scrutiny from the press.”

The mogul outlined his plans for an unconventional Republican convention in Cleveland: Instead of having “boring politicians talk and put everyone to sleep,” he said there will be a “winner’s night” featuring “champions” that have endorsed him.

— The value of being there –> The Guardian’s Matthew Teague reports on an eerie and disheartening scene he witnessed at a Trump rally earlier in the week. “Before Trump came on stage, an announcer asked – as is customary at Trump rallies – that supporters identify any protesters to security and shout ‘Trump! Trump! Trump!’ until the dissenters were removed. There were protesters, and their presence was particularly obvious in the smaller, dimly-lit venue. When security escorted them out through the emergency exits, the opened doors shot rays of sunlight across the theater. The suspicion of protesters reached a point at which Trump supporters were informing on each other for not being ‘real’ supporters. One woman pointed security toward a couple sitting quietly in their seats. ‘Them,’ she mouthed. The couple seemed baffled and denied to a security agent that they were anything but genuine Trump admirers. He waved them toward the exit and said, ‘Let’s go.’ Afterward the informer, who declined to give her name, grinned as onlookers congratulated her. ‘I heard one of them say ‘Never Trump’,’ she said. ‘And one held up three fingers, like this.’ She held up her hand in a Boy Scout salute. What did the three fingers signify? ‘I have no idea,’ she said.”

— Trump’s empire could be called many things, but “diverse” is not one of them. AnAP investigation finds a dearth of African Americans in senior positions: There are few, if any black executives in the upper ranks of the Trump Organization, and other minorities at that level are “scarce.” Former executives say they cannot recall a single black vice president-level executive at Trump’s headquarters during their combined tenures at the Trump Organization ranging from 1980 to late in the past decade. Reviews of information posted by Trump and family members, as well as Trump’s acknowledgements thanking executives in his books also fail to identify any senior black employees past or present. Other black former employees said the absence of minorities among Trump’s top lieutenants was “striking.” (Read more here.)

— Trump’s fundraising continues to be in disarray, several of his bundlers told Fox Business: “People are having a hard time writing checks for this guy,” said a major Trump bundler involved in organizing a Dallas reception that took place yesterday. “If they write a check they’re holding a tissue while they’re doing it.” Texas oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens said he would like to raise money for Trump but complained that “he still doesn’t know what super PAC he should be giving to.”

— “Trump Accused of Using His Charity as a Political Slush Fund,” from The Daily Beast’s Tim Mak and Andrew Desiderio: “The foundation is accused of violating rules prohibiting it from engaging in politics—prompting ethics watchdogs to call for public investigations. On numerous occasions this year, Trump’s campaign work and his foundation work have overlapped—putting himself at risk for penalties and his charity at risk of being shut down. Trump is listed as the president of the foundation in the charity’s annual disclosures, and his children are all listed as directors. Foundations like theirs are exempt from paying taxes and as such are barred from engaging in political causes.”

  • Trump handed out multiple Foundation checks to charities at campaign rallies in early primary states.
  • In 2013, the Trump Foundation donated $25,000 to a political organization supporting Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi—a prohibited action which the foundation failed to report on its disclosures.

— The Clinton Presidential Library is preparing to release behind-the-scenes photos of Trump meeting with Bill Clinton in 2000, at a fundraising event held at a Trump Tower apartment in New York. The goal is to undercut some of his attacks on WJC’s character. (Politico)

Whether the next president is Trump or Clinton or someone else entirely, Paul Ryan and fellow House Republicans believe that president should have less power.From DeBonis: “The fourth installment in the six-part House GOP agenda, focused on the Constitution, was unveiled by Ryan and other Republican leaders Thursday. The new 22-page proposal is aimed at reining in what Republicans call the ‘fourth branch’ of government, the executive bureaucracy, to which Congress has ceded significant powers over the course of decades. ‘I would argue this is the most important of our agenda,’ Ryan said at the event. ‘Because won’t be able to fix our safety net, we wouldn’t be able to rebuild our military or pare back the red tape until we put the people back into the driver’s seat.’”

Asked how confident he is that Trump would respect the constitutional separation of powers if elected, Ryan said: “You can’t make this up sometimes … I’ll just say we represent a separate, but equal, branch of government … We’re going to fight for those rights on behalf of our citizens so that we remain a self-governing people.”

— More than a month after Ted Cruz dropped out of the race, a super PAC that supported his bid is cutting checks to his staffers: Trusted Leadership PAC is currently paying some half-dozen staffers who served as senior aides on Cruz’s presidential campaign, including former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, political adviser David Sawyer and Texas state director Tyler Norris. The group has primarily focused on the upcoming convention in Cleveland, hoping to pass a set of rules to govern the 2020 primary calendar, when Cruz would like to run again. (Politico)


Clinton campaigns&nbsp;in Virginia.&nbsp;(Melina Mara/The Washington Post)</p>

Clinton campaigns in Virginia. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

— “Russian Hackers Targeted Hillary Clinton Campaign Google Accounts.” From Forbes Magazine’s Thomas Fox-Brewster: “Clinton’s private email server has attracted the attention of foreign hackers and American regulators alike. But now her campaign crew’s Google email has been targeted by hackers thought to be working for the Russian government … In the last three months, the same group that allegedly breached the DNC in April has been trying to take control of Gmail accounts of staff working for Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign … Targets included those running Clinton’s communications and organizing her travel, which Forbes believes includes Kristina Schake and Nick Merrill, as well as the director of speechwriting Dan Schwerin.” The stings appeared to take the target through to a fake Google login page. As soon as staffers provided login credentials, the Russian crew would log in and access all the data in the Google account. Online records for hillaryclinton.com indicated the official Clinton campaign used Google Apps. Clinton’s staff would, therefore, have signed into their email via a Google login looking much like the spoofed pages.

— Clinton’s new ads, to run in all the major battleground states, will highlight the themes of “togetherness” and unity.” One will showcase her tenure as First Lady.


— Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) said nobody from the Trump campaign has reached out to her and she is not being vetted. “I think they would’ve reached out by now,” she told The Des Moines Register’s Jason Noble.

— Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) told NBC that he is “not being vetted” by the Clinton campaign. 

The Wall Street Journal says Sanders is not being vetted either. Laura Meckler and Colleen McCain Nelson reported that the campaign is “actively looking” at Warren. “Other prospective candidates include Labor Secretary Tom Perez; Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro; Sens. Tim Kaine of Virginia, Sherrod Brown of Ohio and (Booker); Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and Reps. Xavier Becerra of California and Tim Ryan of Ohio, several Democrats said.”


Michael Bennet&nbsp;(Nigel Parry/For The Washington Post)</p>

Michael Bennet (Nigel Parry/For The Washington Post)

— The Sunday Magazine has a long, glowing profile of Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), calling him “the can-do senator in a can’t-do Congress.” From Steven Pearlstein: “In an era of ideological polarization and hyper-partisanship, he is a pragmatic centrist whose instincts run to bipartisan compromise. In the shouting match that American politics has become, he’d rather listen than talk, steering clear of the national media. In a capital seething in self-importance, his is the rare ego that does not precede him into the room. And at a time when politicians get ahead by being nasty, superficial and glib, Bennet gets by, as one Republican staffer put it, by being ‘the most affable and knowledgeable guy in the room.’ Bennet is the anti-Trump, the anti-Cruz — but also the anti-Hillary, straightforward and authentic. In many ways, he is a throwback to a bygone era, an optimist with impeccable establishment credentials who finds himself miscast for today’s politics of anti-establishment anger and resentment. Whether he is able to survive the vitriol of this year’s election and find a constructive role to play in Washington offers a test of whether there is still a place in American politics for talented, experienced leaders more interested in governing than winning.”


— ZIGNAL VISUAL: Social media was talking way more about Oprah Winfrey’s endorsement of Hillary, made during an interview with Entertainment Tonight, than Sanders’s non-concession. Here is Clinton’s word cloud for yesterday, via our analytics partners at Zignal Labs:

After McCain blamed Obama for Orlando, Twitter erupted:

Shortly before the senator walked back his comments, the Trump campaign circulated the story:

A look at Trump rally fashion:

Trump said the LGBT community is starting to like him:

The RNC chairman pushed back on stories about tension between his staff and Trump’s, writing in the style of Trump:

One response:

From the chief strategist on John Kasich’s campaign:

A Cruz aide responded to Trump holding a rally today in Houston, where he lives:

An AEI scholar replaced state names with countries of equivalent GDP:

Patricia Arquette was on Capitol Hill:

Frank Underwood — erm, Kevin Spacey — received an honorary knighthood:


“White classmates pulled black girl by the neck with a rope, lawsuit alleges,” from The Guardian: “The parents of a 12-year-old black girl have sued her Texas school after a group of white classmates allegedly wrapped a rope around her neck and ‘violently jerked’ her to the ground, leaving burns in her skin that are documented in graphic photos included in the complaint. The incident, which reportedly left the girl with a “severe and painful” rope cut on her neck, has brought national attention to Live Oak classical school, a largely white private school in Waco, Texas, that has been accused of having a history of bullying problems.”


“Harvard Law Grad With ‘Cognitive Impairments’ Sues After Failing Bar Exam Twice,” from the Daily Caller: “A graduate of Harvard Law School is suing New York’s bar examination board, claiming a promising legal career was derailed because she wasn’t given enough special treatment on the bar exam. Tamara Wyche claims that ever since sustaining a head injury in an ATV accident in 2009, she has suffered from a host of cognitive problems that seem as though they would make it very difficult to be an effective lawyer. Despite her troubles with reading, thinking, and remembering, Wyche says she would have had an excellent legal career if she’d simply received proper accommodations from the New York State Board of Bar Examiners the first two times she sat for the New York bar exam.”


On the campaign trail: Trump is in Houston.

At the White House: Obama meets with Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, then travels to Carlsbad, New Mexico, and Yosemite Valley, Calif.

On Capitol Hill: The Senate meets at 11 a.m. for a pro forma session. The House is out.


Brendan Cox released a poignant statement after his wife was murdered in Britain: “Jo believed in a better world, and she fought for it every day of her life with an energy, and a zest for life that would exhaust most people. She would have wanted two things above all else to happen now, one that our precious children are bathed in love and two, that we all unite to fight against the hatred that killed her. Hate doesn’t have a creed, race or religion, it is poisonous.”


— Sunshine returns just in time for the weekend! The Capital Weather Gang forecasts: “Showers may persist into the morning, but they aren’t as heavy as the rain we saw at times last night and it should be tending to wind down on the early side. Sunshine then tries to break out strongly by midday into afternoon, helping push high temperatures into the mid-70s to near 80 in the sunniest of spots.”

— The Nationals beat the Padres 8-5, and Bryce Harper homered.

— The first major Metro rail shutdown is set to begin Saturday, resulting in “major service reductions” for Blue Line commuters traveling in and out of the city.Transportation officials are urging carpool and teleworking as options to combat an expected flood of drivers on the road. (Paul Duggan)

— A Baltimore prosecutor accused a police detective of “sabotaging” investigations related to the death of Freddie Gray, accusing him of fabricating notes to suggest that the state’s medical examiner believed the manner of death was an accident rather than a homicide. The heated exchange came in the chaotic sixth day of the trial of Baltimore Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., who drove the police van in which Gray suffered a fatal spine injury in 2015. (Derek Hawkins and Lynh Bui)

— The International Spy Museum is moving to L’Enfant Plaza in 2018: Construction has already begun on the new museum, a trendy, 140,000-square-foot building located eight blocks south of its current location. Check out a digital rendering here.


Cavs fans sang a moving rendition of the national anthem:

Love this: @cavs have their fans sing the national anthem unaccompanied, and it’s pretty moving.

Seth Meyers is standing by his Trump ban:

Seth Stands by His Trump Ban

Last month, speaking in the House of Commons, Cox (the murdered British MP) gave an impassioned speech on the plight of Syrian refugees and civilians:

Murdered British politician Jo Cox: ‘Sometimes all it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing’

Watch Obama’s statement on Orlando:

President Obama Delivers a Statement in Orlando

Democrats are preparing to take on Marco Rubio if he announces for Senate next week. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee will release this new web video today to highlight the scores of votes and committee hearings Rubio missed while pursuing the presidency, the repeated pledges he made during that campaign not to return to the Senate and his vote in December against a Democratic proposal to bar suspected terrorists from purchasing guns:

Failed Us

(Mike DeBonis has more.)

Yesterday’s 202 had several examples we found of Rubio talking about his frustrations and inability to set the agenda in the Senate. American Bridge 21st Century, the liberal group that had trackers following the senator throughout the primaries, tracked down several additional instances and created a 2.5-minute compilation. Many of these could appear in attack ads:

Marco Rubio Is Running For Senate?

Politifact walked through the some of the biggest falsehoods from the year of Trump (click for video):

Check out this footage of a massive wave hitting a resort in Bali:

Dramatic video emerges of tidal waves hitting resort island of Bali

Kid President delivered a message to dads for Father’s Day:

Kid President’s Important Message to Dads #DadGoals

Don’t forget to get something for Dad before Sunday…and have a great weekend!


The Cloakroom – making appropriations for the Department of Defense

The Cloakroom – making appropriations for the Department of Defense

United States Congress Seal - Old Guard Audio

United States Congress Seal – Old Guard Audio




June 15, 2016




Ordering the Previous Question on H. Res. 783 — “Providing for further consideration of the bill (H.R. 5293) making appropriations for the Department of Defense for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2017, and for other purposes.” – ADOPTED 239 – 183


H. Res. 783 — “Providing for further consideration of the bill (H.R. 5293) making appropriations for the Department of Defense for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2017, and for other purposes.” – ADOPTED 240 – 185


Jackson Lee (D-TX) – Amendment No. 1 – Increases funding for Military Personnel, Navy by $2 million and to reduce the amount made available for the same account, by $2 million. – ADOPTED BY VOICE

Lujan Grisham (D-NM) – Amendment No. 3 – Increases funding for Air Force Research, Development, Test and Evaluation by $7 million to support the development of beam directors and adaptive optics, including deformable mirrors and high efficiency and high temperature diodes, that provide enabling technology for the development of high energy laser weapon systems. Decreases funding in the Operations and Maintenance for the Army by $1 million, decreases funding in the Operations and Maintenance for the Navy by $3 million, and decreases funding in the Operations and Maintenance for the Air Force by $3 million. – WITHDRAWN

Hartzler (R-MO) – Amendment No. 4 – Increases funding for Army Ammunition Procurement by $20,000,000. – ADOPTED BY VOICE

Meehan (R-PA), Boyle (D-PA) – Amendment No. 5 – Reduces and then increase, the amount in the Operations and Maintenance Defense-Wide fund by $7,000,000 to offer health screenings in communities near formerly used defense sites with contaminated groundwater. – WITHDRAWN


En Bloc #1: Amendments no. 7, 47, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, and 73 – ADOPTED BY VOICE

Paulsen (R-MN) – Amendment No. 6 – Increases funding for Defense Production Act purchases by $25 million for Strategic Radiation Hardened Microelectronics Trusted Foundry Sustainment. – ADOPTED BY VOICE

Zinke (R-MT), Schweikert (R-AZ), DeLauro (D-CT), Lummis (R-WY), Cramer (R-ND) – Amendment No. 8 – Appropriates $80,000,000 for the UH-1N Replacement Program, offset with $50,000,000 from the Office of the Secretary of Defense and $30,000,000 from the Washington Headquarters’ Services accounts. – ADOPTED BY VOICE

Gibson (R-NY), Tonko (D-NY) – Amendment No. 10 – Reduces the Aerostat Joint Project Office funding by $1 million and increases the Weapons and Munitions Advanced Technology funding for extended range cannon artillery by $1 million. – ADOPTED BY VOICE

Langevin (D-RI), Conaway (R-TX), Lamborn (D-CO), Garamendi (D-CA), Nugent (R-FL) – Amendment No. 11 – Appropriates $29,800,000 to Navy programs for the development and demonstration of advanced technologies, including high energy lasers and the Electromagnetic Railgun for naval weapon systems. – ADOPTED BY VOICE

Forbes (R-VA), Wittman (R-VA) – Amendment No. 14 – Strikes Sec. 8055, which prohibits the Department from modifying the command and control relationships between U.S. Fleet Forces Command and the U.S. Pacific Fleet. – ADOPTED BY VOICE

Nadler (D-NY) – Amendment No. 15 – Strikes sections 8097 and 8098 related to the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. – NOT OFFERED

Peters, Scott (D-CA) – Amendment No. 18 – Strikes the prohibition of funds to enforce section 526 that restricts Federal Agencies from entering into contracts to buy alternative fuels that are more polluting than conventional fuels. – REJECTED BY VOICE

Duncan (TN) – Amendment No. 20
– Reduces the funding level for the Afghanistan Security Forces Fund of $3,448,715,000 by $448,715,000 to $3,000,000,000 and transfers that money for deficit reduction. – WITHDRAWN

Buck (R-CO) – Amendment No. 23 – Prevents DOD from partnering with private organizations to create or expand national heritage asset areas in southeast Colorado. – ADOPTED BY VOICE

Hudson (R-NC) – Amendment No. 28 – States no funds in this act may be used to transfer a detainee at Guantanamo Bay to any other location. – ADOPTED BY VOICE

Reichert (R-WA), McCaul (R-TX), Ratcliffe (R-TX), Smith, Jason (R-MO) – Amendment No. 35 – Ensures no funds shall be used to implement President Obama’s Executive Order 13688 limiting the donation of surplus federal equipment to state and local law enforcement as part of the DOD’s Excess Property Program (1033 program). – ADOPTED BY VOICE

Beyer (D-VA), Cartwright (D-PA), Bishop, Rob (R-UT), Jones (R-NC) – Amendment No. 38 – Prohibits Department of Defense funds from being used to for a public-private competition under the OMB Circular A-76, for work performed by DOD employees. – NOT OFFERED

Cartwright (D-PA), Jones (R-NC), Beyer (D-VA), Bishop, Rob (R-UT) – Amendment No. 39 – Requires that no funds be used to plan for, begin, continue, complete, process, or approve a public-private competition under the Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76. – ADOPTED BY VOICE

June 16, 2016


Yoho (R-FL), Conyers (D-MI), Lee, Barbara (D-CA) – Amendment No. 41 – Blocks funds from being used to engage in hostilities in Libya in contravention of the War Powers Resolution. – REJECTED BY VOICE

Grayson (D-FL) – Amendment No. 43 – Prohibits the intelligence community from subverting or interfering with the integrity of any cryptographic standard that is proposed, developed, or adopted by NIST. – NOT OFFERED

McSally (R-AZ), McCollum (D-MN), Pearce (R-NM) – Amendment No. 48
– Limits the Defense Department from using money to have musical military units perform in an official capacity for certain entertainment purposes in 10 USC 974, including dinners, dances, and social events. – ADOPTED BY VOICE


Barletta (R-PA) – Amendment No. 74 – (REVISED) Prohibits funding from being used to enter into contracts for the procurement of energy or fuel for military instillations if such energy or fuel originates from the Russian Federation. – ADOPTED BY VOICE


Smith, Adrian (R-NE) – Amendment No. 75 – Prohibits DOD from excluding meat from their Food Service Program Manual. – ADOPTED BY VOICE


Shuster (R-PA), Rogers, Mike (R-AL), Jones (R-NC), Cartwright (D-PA) – Amendment No. 2 – Restores 170 million to Army Operations & Maintenance (O&M) for the purpose of preventing a cut to depots and the Organic Industrial Base (OIB), offset with funds from Operations & Maintenance Defense-Wide and non-critical environmental restoration accounts. – REJECTED 205 – 216

Ellison (D-MN), Grijalva (D-AZ) – Amendment No. 9 – Reprograms already appropriated funds to create an Office of Good Jobs for the Department of Defense. – REJECTED 172 – 248


Rogers, Mike (R-AL), Garamendi (D-CA), Lamborn (R-CO), Gabbard (D-HI), Bridenstine R-(OK), Franks (R-AZ), Stefanik (R-NY), McSally (R-AZ), Nugent (R-FL), Hartzler (R-MO), Knight (R-CA), Shuster (R-PA), Young, Don (R-AK), Langevin (D-RI) – Amendment No. 12 – Adds additional funding for directed energy and other research and development at the Missile Defense Agency. – REJECTED 177 – 243
Quigley (D-IL), Blumenauer (D-OR), Garamendi (CA), Polis (CO), Smith, Adam (WA) – Amendment No. 13 – Decreases funding for the Long Range Standoff Weapon by $75,802,000 and increase the spending reduction account by the same amount. – REJECTED 159 – 261


O’Rourke (D-TX) – Amendment No. 16 – Strikes Section 8121, which prevents the use of funds for proposing, planning, or executing a new Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round. – REJECTED 157 – 263


Huffman (D-CA), McClintock (R-CA) – Amendment No. 17 – Strikes a provision of the bill requiring the Air Force to utilize specific energy sourced domestically within the United States as the base load energy for heating at U.S. defense installations in Kaiserslautern, Germany. – ADOPTED 268 – 153


Poe (R-TX), Gabbard (D-HI) – Amendment No. 19 – Cuts funding to Pakistan from $900 million to $700 million. – REJECTED 191 – 230


Sanford (R-SC), Brat (R-VA), Hastings, Alcee (D-FL) – Amendment No. 21 – Ensures that the Department of Defense retains its statutory authority to provide new military recruits a small cash voucher that they can use to purchase running shoes for training. – REJECTED 155 – 265

Buck (R-CO), Bridenstine (R-OK)  – Amendment No. 22 – Prohibits funds to implement Department of Defense (DOD) Directive 4715.21 on Climate Change Adaption and Resilience, requiring the Pentagon to prioritize climate change over national security. – ADOPTED 216 – 205


Byrne (R-AL), Miller, Jeff (R-FL), Fleming (R-LA), Brooks (R-AL) – Amendment No. 24 – Prohibits funds to be used to modify a military installation in the United States, including construction or modification of a facility on a military installation, to provide temporary housing for unaccompanied alien children. – ADOPTED 223 – 198

King, Steve (IA), Brooks (AL) – Amendment No. 25 – Ensures no funds are used by the Department of Defense to carry out or in response to the memorandum of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense Integration and Defense Support of Civil Authorities titled “Memorandum for Secretaries of the Military Departments Director, Joint Staff” and dated November 25, 2015. – ADOPTED 221 – 200

Gosar (R-AZ), Brat (R-VA), DesJarlais (R-TN), King, Steve (R-IA), Harris (R-MD), Weber (R-TX), Brooks (R-AL), Smith, Lamar (R-TX), Graves, Garret (R-LA), Babin (R-TX) – Amendment No. 26 – Prohibits funds from being used by this Act to enlist DACA aliens in the military, who are currently only considered eligible through the MAVNI program as a result of a September 2014 memo from the administration. – REJECTED 210 – 211

King, Steve (R-IA), Gosar (R-AZ) – Amendment No. 27 – Ensures no funds are used by the Department of Defense to enlist DACA youth in the United States military. – REJECTED 207 – 214


Lamborn (R-CO) – Amendment No. 29 – Prohibits the use of funds to survey, assess, or review potential detention locations in the United States to detain any individual presently detained at United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. – ADOPTED 245 – 175

Massie (R-KY), Jones (R-NC) – Amendment No. 30 – Blocks funding for DOD drug interdiction and counter-drug activities in Afghanistan. – REJECTED 48 – 372
Massie (R-KY), Lofgren (D-CA), Poe (R-TX), Amash (R-MI), DelBene (D-WA), Farenthold (R-TX), Lieu (D-CA), Nadler D-(NY), Pocan (D-WI), Conyers (D-MI), Jordan (R-OH), Butterfield (D-NC), O’Rourke (D-TX), Gabbard (D-HI), Labrador (R-ID), Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Issa (R-CA) – Amendment No. 31 – Prohibits warrantless searches of government databases for the communications of U.S. persons and prohibits government agencies from mandating data security vulnerabilities in products or services for surveillance purposes. – REJECTED 198 – 222

McClintock (R-CA), Fleming (R-LA) – Amendment No. 32 – Prohibits the Department of Defense from obligating or expending funds on certain green energy mandates found in various provisions of US Code and two Executive Orders. – ADOPTED 221 – 197

Mulvaney (R-SC) – Amendment No. 33 – Prohibits Overseas Contingency Operation funds found in Title IX from being used for anything other than a Contingency Operation as defined by United States Code. – REJECTED 112 – 306


DeSantis (R-FL) – Amendment No. 34 – Prohibits funds for any salaries or expenses for the offices of the Special Envoy for Guantanamo Detention Closure or the Principal Director, Detainee Policy. – ADOPTED 226 – 194


Rohrabacher (R-CA) – Amendment No. 36 – Prohibits funds in the bill from being used to provide assistance to Pakistan. – REJECTED 84 – 336
Walberg (R-MI), Jones (R-NC), Cohen (D-TN), Cicilline (D-RI), Massie (R-KY), Welch (D-VT), Rigell R-(VA), Nolan (D-MN) – Amendment No. 37 – Prohibits funds from being used by the Secretary of Defense to obligate or expend funds on Afghanistan Infrastructure Fund projects. – ADOPTED 218 – 201


Conyers (D-MI), Ellison (D-MN), Grijalva (D-AZ), Johnson, Hank (D-GA), McGovern (D-MA), Lieu (D-CA), Lee, Barbara (D-CA) – Amendment No. 40 – Blocks funds from being used to transfer or authorize the transfer of cluster munitions to Saudi Arabia. – REJECTED 204 – 216


Gabbard (D-HI), Welch (D-VT) – Amendment No. 42 – Prohibits funds appropriated under this act from being used to fund assistance authorized by Section 1209 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015. – REJECTED 135 – 283


McGovern (D-MA), Jones (R-NC), Lee, Barbara (D-CA), Amash (R-MI), Garamendi (D-CA) – Amendment No. 44 – States no funds may be obligated or spent for combat operations in Iraq or Syria unless an AUMF is enacted. – REJECTED 135 – 285


Lee, Barbara (D-CA), Jones (R-NC), Welch (D-VT) – Amendment No. 45 – Prohibits funding for the 2001 AUMF beginning on April 30, 2017. – REJECTED 146 – 274


Polis (D-CO), Lee, Barbara (D-CA) – Amendment No. 46 – Reduces the total amount appropriated by 1% excluding military personnel and the Defense Health Program account. – REJECTED 69 – 351


Final Passage of H.R. 5293 — “Making appropriations for the Department of Defense for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2017, and for other purposes.” – PASSED 282 – 138


H.R. 5471 — “To combat terrorist recruitment in the United States, and for other purposes.” – ON THE MOTION TO SUSPEND THE RULES AND PASS THE BILL – PASSED 402 – 15






3 People Behind the Effort to Remove Judge for Her Views on Marriage

3 People Behind the Effort to Remove Judge for Her Views on Marriage

From your OGA host – 4 people to add to your calamity prayer list.

Suggested daily prayer for these evil people: 

  • Pray the evil they do may be restricted
  • Pray they will receive divine justice! 
    • In the same manner, that these individuals sought earthly justice, we should seek divine justice as dispensed by our Holy God.
    • We can ask that divine justice is issued. We can still love the enemy while praying for our God to issue his justice for their evil acts.
  • For the False Prophets – Pray that God will swiftly bring on judgment 
    • 2 Peter 2:1-3 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.


  1. Ned Donovan, reporter
  2. Ana Cuprill, chairman of the Wyoming Democratic Party
  3. Wendy Soto, executive director of Wyoming’s judicial conduct commission
  4. Rev. Audette Fulbright, Unitarian Universalist Church of Cheyenne, WY

Ken McIntyre /

Tina Johnson, left, and Stacey Maloney kiss Oct. 21, 2014, to conclude one of Wyoming’s earliest same-sex marriages. The Rev. Audette Fulbright, far left, officiated at the Laramie County Courthouse in Cheyenne. (Photo: Michael Smith/Wyoming Tribune Eagle/Newscom)

Her cell phone rang while Judge Ruth Neely was hanging Christmas lights outside her home in Pinedale, Wyoming. She didn’t notice that she had missed a call until she went inside to untangle a string of lights.

When Neely called back, the young man who answered identified himself as a reporter from the local newspaper. He told Neely he was doing a story on the administrative challenges of the recent legalization of same-sex marriage in Wyoming.

The two spoke for more than 20 minutes, reporter Ned Donovan told The Daily Signal, and then he asked the town judge whether she was “excited” about the prospect of solemnizing same-sex marriages.

“I will not able to do them,” Neely replied, according to the story Donovan later wrote. “We have at least one magistrate who will do same-sex marriages, but I will not be able to.”

Neely cited her religious belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.

The result of the interview Dec. 5, 2014, was a relatively short newspaper story, but it sparked an investigation of Neely’s fitness for office. A year and a half later, she is asking the Wyoming Supreme Court not to remove her from two separate judgeships—nor to enforce a fine of up to $40,000.

All this without a local citizen filing a complaint against the judge, who is active in her Lutheran church, and without her ever being asked to officiate at a same-sex wedding.

>>> Judge Faces Removal, $40K Fine Because of Her Beliefs About Marriage

As Pinedale’s full-time municipal judge, Neely, who is in her early 60s, isn’t authorized to solemnize marriages. As a part-time circuit judge in Wyoming’s Sublette County, her lawyers say, agreeing to officiate at a wedding was up to her—as it is for other circuit judges.

The potential removal of Neely from both jobs was set in motion by three key players: Donovan, who later would call for the judge’s removal; Ana Cuprill, Wyoming’s top Democratic official, who emailed the reporter’s story to the state Commission on Judicial Conduct and Ethics; and Wendy Soto, executive director of that state agency and a former board member of Wyoming Equality, a statewide LGBT rights group.

As The Daily Signal previously reported, Neely’s lawyers on April 29 asked the state’s highest court to reject the judicial commission’s findings that she had violated rules of conduct and should be removed from the bench in both full-time and part-time capacities.

The commission’s response to Neely’s appeal is due June 16.

Among other things, Neely’s lawyers insist the judge is protected by both the state and U.S. constitutions. Wyoming’s religious freedom guarantees, they note, are among the strongest in the nation.

How did a well-liked and respected judge with more than 20 years of service in a tiny town south of Yellowstone Park wind up defending her own religious freedom to decline a request—not yet made—to marry a same-sex couple?

It began that Friday in early December 2014 when Donovan, then a 20-year-old reporter for the Pinedale Roundup, called Neely’s cell phone.

“I truly care about all the people whose cases I preside over," Municipal Judge Ruth Neely says in an affidavit. (Photo: Town of Pinedale)

“I truly care about all the people whose cases I preside over,” Municipal Judge Ruth Neely says in an affidavit. (Photo: Town of Pinedale)

The Phone Interview

The Daily Signal assembled this sequence of events, based on documents in the case as well as a recent interview with Donovan:

When Neely returned his call, Donovan answered. Neely’s lawyers characterize Donovan as asking right off about the prospect of her officiating at a same-sex marriage. But Donovan insists he brought it up late in their interview.

Incorrectly assuming Neely was about to officiate at a gay marriage, Donovan told The Daily Signal, he posed the question that embroiled the judge in a fight to save her career.

Neely told Donovan that although religious beliefs precluded her from performing same-sex weddings, other local officials, as well as clergy, were willing to do so.

That same day, Ralph “Ed” Wood—a circuit judge as well as Pinedale’s town attorney of 17 years—performed the first same-sex marriage ceremony in Sublette County.

After answering Donovan’s questions, Neely testified, she began to think the reporter knew of her religious beliefs and intended to put them in a negative light.

Donovan, who says he is a Catholic and registered as a Republican in Sublette County, told The Daily Signal he may have had some idea from newsroom talk, but her religion wasn’t why he called the judge.

Neely called back the reporter about 20 minutes later, asking that he print only this response: “When law and religion conflict, choices have to be made. I have not yet been asked to perform a same-sex marriage.”

Reporter Ned Donovan, pictured in his Twitter photo.

Reporter Ned Donovan pictured on his Twitter account.

‘Happy Not to Publish’

Donovan, who never provided his version of events for the investigation, said he quickly consulted colleagues and a media lawyer about Neely’s request to take her earlier remarks off the record.

He called later to ask more questions, Neely said in an affidavit and offered not to publish a story if she would agree to perform same-sex marriages. Neely said she declined further comment.

“As she’d already indicated a desire to change her comments, I was happy not to publish if the new comments meant she had no opposition [to officiating],” Donovan told The Daily Signal. “Not that I tried to bargain [or] blackmail her.”

On Dec. 9, the Sublette Examiner—sister publication to the Pinedale Roundup—published Donovan’s article. The story appeared online with the headline “Pinedale Judge Will Not Marry Same-Sex Couples.”

The 15-paragraph story quoted some of Neely’s earlier remarks as well as her later, formal statement. It incorrectly reported that “all judges are required to marry those who meet the legal requirements.”

“Everyone is welcome to have religious beliefs, but they are inherently personal, especially if you hold public office,” Donovan told The Daily Signal of the newsworthiness of his story.

He said he personally supports gay marriage, but also supports the right of clergy not to officiate.

In a May 3 tweet, one of several from him on the case, Donovan described Neely’s plight as “hilarious”:

A Wyoming judge I wrote about, who was then dismissed, for refusing to solemnize same-sex marriages is appealing to the state Supreme Court

Will explain in more detail tomorrow. But it’s pretty hilarious.

As a municipal judge since 1994, Neely was appointed by Pinedale’s mayor and confirmed by the town council. Successive Pinedale mayors have said her religion doesn’t interfere with her work, according to court papers.

The Christmas Party

After reading the news story, Circuit Judge Curt Haws met with Neely and said he had yet to receive guidance through the state’s judicial system on the subject of same-sex marriage.

Readers of Donovan’s story included Cuprill, a Pinedale resident and county librarian who was then deputy chairman of the Wyoming Democratic Party.

Soon after, Cuprill said in a deposition, she attended a Christmas party at the Cheyenne home of Soto, executive director of the state Commission on Judicial Conduct and Ethics.

Anna Cuprill, chairman of the Wyoming Democratic Party, pictured on the party's website.

Ana Cuprill, chairman of the Wyoming Democratic Party, pictured on the party’s website.

Also at the party was Jeran Artery, chairman of Wyoming Equality, which advocates on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender residents.

At Artery’s request, Soto had served on Wyoming Equality’s board from 2011 to 2013. That LGBT advocacy role overlapped for more than a year with her top staff job at the Commission on Judicial Conduct and Ethics, which she joined in June 2012.

Trained as a paralegal, Soto lost a 2010 bid for clerk of the Laramie County District Court and the next year became president of the Laramie County Democratic Grass Roots Coalition.

According to depositions, Soto overheard Cuprill and Artery talk about the story on the Pinedale judge, approached Cuprill, and asked, “Do you know what I do for a living?” Soto handed the top Democrat official a business card and suggested she could file a complaint with her agency.

Soto asked Cuprill to email Donovan’s story to her. On Dec. 22, Cuprill did so. Later that day, Soto selected an investigatory panel of the Commission on Judicial Conduct and Ethics to review it. Cuprill did not file a complaint.

Investigation Begins

In addition to being a municipal judge, Neely had served as a part-time magistrate for Sublette County Circuit Court since 2001.

The day after Neely spoke with the reporter, Sublette County’s second same-sex marriage was solemnized by Stephen Smith, another part-time circuit magistrate, and former Pinedale mayor.

Smith is also the husband of Cuprill, who would become the top official of the state Democratic Party the following year.

No other same-sex marriage has occurred in the county since, according to court papers.

Cuprill has not responded to The Daily Signal’s request for comment. Donovan said he knows Cuprill through his involvement with the library but did not speak with her about his story on Neely. Donovan, who said he doesn’t know Soto, also tweeted this last month about the case:

That judge is now appealing to the Wyoming Supreme Court, claiming being forced to officiate these marriages violated her religious rights.

I’ve been reading all the court documents, and there’s some funny bits. One bit claims I’m “less than impartial”pic.twitter.com/9V9F47TnWY

View image on Twitter

On Jan. 6, 2015, the investigatory panel decided to begin a confidential probe. Nine days later, Haws, who had appointed Neely, discussed the inquiry with her and said he had decided to suspend her as a part-time magistrate while it continued.

Donovan later wrote two commentaries criticizing Neely for her religious beliefs about marriage. In the first, the reporter wrote that the judge’s faith-based position “cannot be accepted.” In the second, he wrote: “It is sad that Judge Ruth Neely is still in an office of responsibility.”

Donovan, who was born in London and has dual British-American citizenship, told The Daily Signal he took the reporting job in Wyoming to get experience at a local newspaper. He left Pinedale the month after the commission began its probe of Neely and returned to London, where he is a reporter for the Mail on Sunday.

Wendy Soto, executive director of Wyoming's judicial conduct commission, pictured in an image from her unsuccessful 2010 campaign for clerk of the Laramie County District Court.

Wendy Soto, executive director of Wyoming’s judicial conduct commission, pictured in an image from her unsuccessful 2010 campaign for clerk of the Laramie County District Court.


Donovan, now 22, stayed in touch with some Pinedale residents as well as the Examiner’s new editor, Stephen Crane.

In an affidavit, Crane said Donovan had urged him to continue to publish articles about Neely and wanted “to see [Neely] sacked.”

In a Feb. 7 letter to the commission, Neely specified that her “inability to solemnize same-sex unions does not arise from any prejudice or bias against people, but rather from sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage.”

During a teleconference, Feb. 18, a member of the investigatory panel said she was reluctant to allow Neely to resign “as a settlement” after the judge’s views had been published in the newspaper.

The panel decided to appoint an adjudicatory committee and hire a lawyer to begin formal proceedings against her.

Early on, a commission lawyer told Neely that the agency would not pursue the case if she would agree to resign both judgeships, never again seek judicial office in Wyoming, admit wrongdoing, and allow the commission to state publicly that she had decided to resign in response to a charge of judicial misconduct.

Neely refused.

This group @WYPastorsNet is comparing a judge punished for refusing to solemnize same-sex marriages to victims of the Holocaust?

@Ned_Donovan Quote actually reference to the Nazis systematic removal of the religious rights and free speech of Germany’s Christians.

‘Real Bias’

On Dec. 31, 2015, the adjudicatory panel concluded Neely violated the judicial rules, rejected her constitutional defenses, and referred the case to the full commission.

Six weeks later, the commission asked Neely if she would “publicly apologize” and “agree to perform same-sex marriages.”

The judge reiterated that she could not agree to do so because it would violate her religious convictions.

Seven days later, on Feb. 26, the commission formally adopted the adjudicatory panel’s findings and recommended that the Wyoming Supreme Court remove Neely from both judgeships.

It is this decision that Neely has appealed to the five-justice court. The commission’s response is due June 16.

“Because Judge Neely’s ability to perform marriages was entirely optional, nobody was going to be denied any civil marriage, which means the only victims here are an honorable judge, freedom of conscience, and tolerance for dissent,” Roger Severino, director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal.

In another tweet last month, Donovan referred to “fan mail from right-wing Christians”:

Meanwhile in Wyoming, I’m getting fanmail from angry right-wing Christians

‘Quite Shocked’

Neely’s lawyers declined to comment on the case to The Daily Signal, pointing a reporter to court documents.

Donovan told The Daily Signal that the first he heard of any action against Neely was last summer, when Cuprill, the state’s Democratic Party leader, told him to expect a call from a lawyer.

The commission canceled a scheduled interview with him, Donovan said, and he became aware of its recommendations only when the case went public earlier this year. In the days that followed, he saw himself vilified in various blogs.

“I’m still quite shocked that something I wrote two years ago is coming back in this way and everyone’s talking about it but me,” Donovan said. “I find it quite funny.”

“I’m surprised today at the storm that it has become.”

Ken McIntyre

Ken McIntyre, a 30-year veteran of national and local newspapers, serves as senior editor at The Daily Signal and The Heritage Foundation’s Marilyn and Fred Guardabassi Fellow in Media and Public Policy Studies. Send an email to Ken.

The Daily 202 – Scandal Laden – Vincent Gray, seemingly bent on revenge and redemption, is trying to follow Marion Barry’s path back to power.

The Daily 202 – Scandal Laden – Vincent Gray, seemingly bent on revenge and redemption, is trying to follow Marion Barry’s path back to power.

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Former mayor slays ex-protégé in comeback bid, showcasing D.C. as the land of second chances
Vincent C. Gray is back.&nbsp;(Photo by Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post)</p>

Vincent C. Gray is back. (Photo by Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post)

THE BIG IDEA: Vincent Gray, seemingly bent on revenge and redemption, is trying to follow Marion Barry’s path back to power.

Two years after losing reelection as the District’s mayor under a cloud of scandal, Gray last night defeated the woman he once handpicked to replace him on the city council. It’s most likely a stepping stone to a 2018 rematch with Mayor Muriel Bowser.

At his victory party, in a Baptist church, the 73-year-old’s voice broke and he raised a fist in the air. Three members of the council came to congratulate him.

Gray was never charged with a crime, and he denies wrongdoing. But six of his friends and associates pleaded guilty to various felonies related to the illegal funneling of $653,000 into a “shadow campaign” to boost his 2010 bid for mayor. Two witnesses told prosecutors that Gray knew about the money, according to court records. Gray’s campaign chairwoman had also raised concerned about an “off-the-books effort,” according to recently-unsealed court documents.

Council member Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7) and Mayor Muriel Bowser visited the Parkside neighborhood last week.&nbsp;(Photo by Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post)</p>

Council member Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7) and Mayor Muriel Bowser visited the Parkside neighborhood last week. (Photo by Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post)

— The drama in Ward 7 is almost Shakespearian.

Yvette Alexander, the councilwoman whom Gray just defeated, long defended him while others on the city council called for his resignation, and she said she was totally caught off guard by his decision to challenge her.

Gray’s ex-girlfriend, who cooperated with federal authorities during the investigation, vocally supported Alexander. She even held a fundraiser for her.

Adding to the intrigue: Gray did not need to run against his protégé. He conducted internal polling to test his viability in both the ward where he got his political start and for the District’s at-large council seat. The fact that he chose to run for the easier seat – which he could pick-up without needing to appeal to any of the white voters who broke decisively against him in 2014 – is telling.

The fight became a kind of proxy way between Gray and Bowser, who endorsed Alexander and donated top aides to help her campaign. Bowser was herself a protégé of former Mayor Adrian Fenty (who lost to Gray six years ago). As a city councilwoman, she was one of the first to call for Gray’s resignation when it emerged that he was under FBI investigation.

Gray outraised Alexander by collecting money from developers who he helped out as mayor, along with public employee unions, who he showered with generous benefit and pay increases. Alexander got money from developers who are more tied to Bowser.

Vincent Gray and Marion Barry converse in 2013. (Photo by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post)</p>

Vincent Gray and Marion Barry converse in 2013. (Photo by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post)

— Will Gray try to follow Barry’s path back to the mayor’s office?

In 1990, as mayor, Marion Barry was arrested in a sting by the FBI after being lured to a Washington hotel room by an ex-girlfriend who had become an informant. “Bitch set me up!” he famously said, on video, as he was placed under arrest.

After spending six months in a federal prison, Barry returned to D.C. Just like Gray, he challenged and defeated a former political ally on the city council, Wilhelmina Rolark. His slogan was: “He may not be perfect, but he’s perfect for D.C.”

Then two years later, in 1994, he sought a fourth term as mayor, winning the Democratic nomination with a plurality in a three-way race.

Gray last night opened the door to running for mayor in 2018. “It would be foolish for me to rule anything out,” he said. “I don’t know; we’ll see what happens.”

Barry offered sympathy for Gray’s plight when he campaigned for him during the 2014mayoral campaign, decrying the U.S. Attorney’s office and its tactics just months before his death.

Watch a 1-minute highlight from the undercover FBI footage of Barry smoking crack cocaine and then getting busted:

FBI video of undercover sting on Marion Barry

(Fun fact: The bust took place at the Vista Hotel, which is now the Westin DC City Center, at 1400 M St. NW.)

— Looking ahead to 2018: Last night was a repudiation of Bowser by voters east of the Anacostia River, and it bodes poorly for her reelection hopes. Three members of the D.C. Council lost reelection. All were allies of the mayor, including Vincent Orange and LaRuby May. “The only Bowser ally to survive was her handpicked successor from her home ward, Brandon T. Todd (Ward 4), who fended off three primary challengers,”Aaron C. Davis and Fenit Nirappil report.

Widening the aperture: F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote that, “There are no second acts in American lives.” Scholars agree that line is constantly misquoted and was intended ironically. Indeed, America is all about second acts.

As one of the voters who voted for Gray in Ward 7 told The Post, “To me, everybody has some skeleton in their closet.”

Ex-Gov. Mark Sanford, whose “hike” on “the Appalachian Trail” killed his presidential hopes, now represents South Carolina in the House.

Alcee Hastings was impeached as a federal judge in 1989 on bribery charges. Three years after the U.S. Senate removed him from the judiciary, he won a House seat in Florida. He’s now in his 12th term.

Newt Gingrich was ousted as Speaker of the House by fellow Republicans, only to return more than a decade later to run for president. Now he gets buzzed about as a possible VP pick by Donald Trump.

Sheila Dixon in April (Photo by Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun)</p>

Sheila Dixon in April (Photo by Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun)

Comebacks do not always work out.

Sheila Dixon resigned as mayor of Baltimore in 2010 as part of a plea deal to avoid jail time for embezzlement and perjury. She ran for mayor again this year but lost April’s Democratic primary, though by only 2,400 votes.

Anthony Weiner’s doomed effort to run for mayor of New York City after resigning his House seat for sending illicit pictures of his private parts on Twitter is the subject of a cringe-worthy, yet excellent, documentary now in theatres.

Former Providence, Rhode Island, mayor Buddy Cianci tried unsuccessfully in 2014 to get his old job back after serving five years on corruption-related charges. Ex-Louisiana Gov.Edwin Edwards, who spent eight years in the clink for a felony racketeering conviction related to the licensing of riverboat casinos, lost a U.S. House race the same year.

Former Rep. Jim Traficant (D-Ohio) was expelled from Congress in 2002 and spent seven years in prison for taking kickbacks. His 2010 comeback attempt failed.

— The saga for Gray is not completely over, and important questions remain unanswered by the ex-mayor. The contractor who financed the 2010 shadow campaign for Gray was supposed to be sentenced before the primary, but prosecutors pushed it back to August. As The Post’s Editorial Board explained, endorsing Alexander, the U.S. Attorney deciding not to indict Gray is not the same as Gray being exonerated: “There are now five people who claim Mr. Gray knew about this shadow campaign or who provide information that puts the former mayor close to the nexus of the operation. … The former mayor’s son is alleged to have facilitated illegal payments to campaign workers. An individual, believed to be Mr. Gray, is depicted as discussing how to distribute T-shirts that were later revealed to have been paid for by the shadow campaign and telling a campaign worker to be careful about putting information in email.”  This would all surely come up again in a 2018 mayor’s race…

Welcome to the Daily 202, PowerPost’s morning newsletter.
With contributions from Breanne Deppisch (@breanne_dep) and Elise Viebeck (@eliseviebeck) Sign up to receive the newsletter.


Bernie Sanders arrives at the Capital Hilton last night to meet with Hillary Clinton.&nbsp;(Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post)</p>

Bernie Sanders arrives at the Capital Hilton last night to meet with Hillary Clinton. (Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

— Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders met privately for more than 90 minutes last night, following Clinton’s victory in the D.C. primary. Both campaigns characterized the bilateral session as “positive” afterwards. Earlier in the day, the Vermont senator signaled he was still not ready to endorse Clinton, saying that he would continue to push for a “fundamental transformation” of the party at the convention in Philadelphia. Bernie ticked off several policy priorities and political changes he would like to see, including new DNC leadership, which he faulted for not bringing enough new voters into the party. “We’re going to be bringing somewhere between 1,900 and 2,000 delegates to Philadelphia, and let me tell you what they want,” he told reporters outside his D.C. campaign office. “They want to see the Democratic Party transformed.” He plans to host a live nationwide video address Thursday night to talk about how his “political revolution continues” — presumably after he is no longer a candidate. (John Wagner, David Weigel and Abby Phillip)

Randy Forbes thanks supporters after conceding last night&nbsp;in Virginia Beach.&nbsp;(Stephen M. Katz/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)</p>

Randy Forbes thanks supporters after conceding last night in Virginia Beach. (Stephen M. Katz/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)

— Virginia Republican Rep. J. Randy Forbes went down in a primary, becoming only the third congressional incumbent to be unseated in 2016. After redistricting, he moved into a more Republican district in Virginia Beach to try staying in Congress. But state delegate Scott W. Taylor, a 36-year-old former Navy SEAL, successfully painted Forbes as a ‘carpetbagger,’” Jenna Portnoy explains.

  • The challenger capitalized on the same hunger for an insurgent candidate that allowed Trump to heavily carry the district in the March 1 Virginia primary.
  • Forbes has been in office for 26 years, starting in the state Assembly. He is chairman of the House Armed Services’ seapower and projection forces subcommittee. And he way outraised Taylor, running negative ads, but it didn’t matter.

— In Nevada, both the Berniecrats and tea partiers got whupped.

“Candidates embraced by Sanders went down to crushing defeats,” Jon Ralston explains in the Reno Gazette Journal, including two House candidates (Lucy Flores and Jesse Sbaih). “The Sandersistas even endorsed Stephen Munford against state Sen. Kelvin Atkinson, who won 2-to-1.” As Ralston writes, “The revolution did not play in Nevada.”

In the Republican primary for the race to succeed retiring Harry Reid, 2010 GOP nominee Sharron Angle got crushed by Rep. Joe Heck, who had the strong support of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. “The only major exception to this narrative was state Senate Majority Leader Michael Roberson, who was crushed by perennial contender Danny Tarkanian in the race to replace Heck,” Ralston notes.

Libby Garvey (L), chair of the Arlington County Board, door knocks. (Photo by Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post)</p>

Libby Garvey (L), chair of the Arlington County Board, door knocks. (Photo by Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post)

— Closer to home, Arlington County Board chair Libby Garvey easily won the Democratic nomination for a second term on the County Board, rebuffing the efforts of party activists who staged a rare challenge to her reelection. “Voters rejected efforts by the Democratic establishment to punish Garvey for her support of Republican-turned-independent John Vihstadt, whose election in 2014 ended 15 years of an all-Democratic board,” Patricia Sullivan explains.


  1. A federal appeals court voted to uphold net neutrality rules, affirming Washington’s ability to regulate Internet providers as a utility rather than a luxury. The ruling is a major defeat for cable and telephone providers, subjecting them to a host of new obligations and privacy requirements. (Brian Fung)
  2. The CIA released dozens of previously classified documents exposing disturbing treatment of terrorism suspects at “black site” prisons after 9/11, including one who died in Afghanistan after being doused with water and chained to a concrete floor in below-freezing temperatures. The reports were released as part of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s multi-year probe of the interrogation program. (Greg Miller, Karen DeYoung, Julie Tate)
  3. Iran is finalizing a multi-billion-dollar deal with Boeing, preparing to purchase some 100 passenger jets. The agreement will be the largest U.S. transaction with Iran since the country’s sanctions were eased in October. (Steven Mufson)
  4. U.S. officials found another antibiotic-resistant “superbug” in a second pig sample, heightening concerns about the spread of a newly-discovered strain of E. coli that surfaced in Marco for the first time. (Lena H. Sun)
  5. Police in Amarillo, Texas, fatally shot an armed man who was holding hostages inside a Walmart. Police called it a case of “workplace violence.” (Mark Berman)
  6. The 25-year-old terrorist accused of killing a French police captain and his partner live-streamed the aftermath of the attacks on Facebook. The 13-minute video “may be the first terrorist incident broadcast on the site,” Caitlin Dewey and Sarah Parnass write.
  7. The Indiana man who was headed for the West Hollywood Pride festival in a vehicle loaded with weapons, ammunition and explosive chemicals was formally charged with three felonies. He is being held on a $2 million bond and could face up to nine years in prison. (L.A. Times)
  8. Orlando authorities are still searching for the body of a 2-year-old boy who was dragged by an alligator into the water near Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. The boy was relaxing with his family on the shoreline when the alligator attacked him and dragged him into the water. His father unsuccessfully attempted to fight the animal off. (Orlando Sentinel)
  9. Just hours away in Fort Myers, authorities were called to retrieve an 11-footdead alligator that had found its way into a storm drain. (The News-Press)
  10. Prosecutors allege that a former Vanderbilt football player encouraged his teammates to have sex with an unconscious woman he had been dating, saying 22-year-old Brandon Vandenburg distributed condoms to teammates before the woman was given alcohol and raped at a Nashville dormitory. (Cindy Boren)
  11. A member of the jury that convicted Stanford swimmer Brock Turner of rape said he was “absolutely shocked and appalled” by Turner’s six-month sentence, calling it “ridiculously lenient” and blasting the judge. (Cindy Boren)
  12. Meanwhile, the judge in question was removed from hearing a sexual assault case. County prosecutors filed a motion to disqualify, saying they “lack the confidence” that Aaron Persky can fairly preside over the matter. (NBC Bay Area)
  13. And Joe Biden, who last week penned an open letter to the Stanford rape victim, continued to urge openness for the victims of sexual assault. Speaking at a summit for women’s empowerment, the vice president said that seven young women he met on a ropeline at a White House picnic Monday told him they had been raped. (Juliet Eilperin)
  14. The Senate voted to approve an expansive defense policy bill that requires young women to register for the draft. Differences must now be hashed out with the House. (AP)
  15. House Republicans are trying to prevent a Navy ship from being named after civil rights icon John Lewis. Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.) believes the naming of ships should be reserved for former presidents, war heroes and people who have served in the military, so he introduced an amendment to the defense reauthorization bill. (Kelsey Snell)
  16. The Kansas Board of Education voted to ignore Obama’s transgender directive allowing students to use the bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity, saying the state will instead leave the decisions up to individual school districts. (AP)
  17. Baltimore’s 911 system crashed for more than an hour last night, leaving police and firefighters unable to receive calls. The city blames Verizon. (Baltimore Sun)
  18. The Iraqi army wrested control of an ISIS-held village south of Mosul, retaking the territory after a three-month-long offensive. (Loveday Morris and Mustafa Salim)
  19. Premiums for health plans sold through the federal insurance exchange are projected to increase by 10 percent next year in 14 different metropolitan areas, including D.C.. The jump is perhaps the largest since the Affordable Care Act marketplaces began in 2013. (Susan Levine and Lena H. Sun)
  20. The federal government is encouraging state Medicaid programs to increase the use of long-lasting, reversible contraceptives. Officials said they “possess a number of advantages” in terms of cost, efficacy and continuation rates. (Michelle Andrews)
  21. Uber is turning to the leveraged-loan market for the first time, hoping to raise as much as $2 billion from institutional investors to expand operations around the globe. (Wall Street Journal)
  22. Charlie Sheen, who announced he was HIV-positive in 2015, has signed on to be the spokesman for a new Swedish condom company. (New York Times)
  23. A man serving a 60-year prison sentence for the brutal murder of a teenage girl has escaped from his Arkansas prison. The inmate pleaded guilty to strangling a 16-year-old and stuffing her body into a barrel. He had previously served time for a rape conviction. (Katie Mettler)

Trump introduces NASCAR great Richard Petty at his rally in the Greensboro Coliseum last night.&nbsp;(Chuck Liddy/The News &amp; Observer via AP)</p>

Trump introduces NASCAR great Richard Petty at his rally in the Greensboro Coliseum last night. (Chuck Liddy/The News & Observer via AP)


— Negative views of Trump have surged to the highest level yet, according to a freshWashington Post/ABC News national poll: A record-breaking 70 percent of Americans said they view Trump unfavorably, with a 56 percent majority saying they feel this way “strongly.” The numbers reflect a 10 point surge from last month – and currently exceed Clinton by a 15-point margin. Attitudes towards Clinton have not changed significantly over the past month: The former secretary of state nets a favorable rating of 43 percent, while 55 percent said they view her unfavorably. Some other highlights:

  • Trump has lost ground among nearly every demographic, with negative views jumping by double digits among liberals, conservatives, and among both Republican women and Democratic men. His standing has also worsened against independents and white Americans without a four-year college degree.
  • Trump reached record unfavorable ratings among Hispanics: 9 in 10 Hispanic voters said they view him unfavorably, with 76 percent saying they view him in a “strongly unfavorable” light. (Clinton, meanwhile, nets 64 percent favorable ratings from this group vs. a 34 percent unfavorable).
  • Party unity remains distant for both Republicans and Democrats: 25 percent of Democrats continue to view Clinton unfavorably, while 34 percent said they feel that way about Trump.

— Clinton has opened a double-digit lead over Trump in the Bloomberg Politics poll:She leads Trump 49 percent to 37 percent, and 55 percent of voters nationally say they would “never” vote for him.

  • So much for a “pivot”: A majority of likely voters — 64 percent — said they expect Trump will “keep saying things that upset Republicans,” while only 30 percent said they believe he will tone down his rhetoric.
  • Women remain staunchly opposed to his candidacy, with 63 percent saying they would “never” vote for Trump. 
  • Trump is seen as best equipped to handle terrorist threats, however, leading Clinton 50 percent to 45 percent on the question of “who would better combat threats here and abroad?”
  • “Clinton has a number of advantages in this poll, in addition to her lead,” writes pollster J. Ann Selzer. “Her supporters are more enthusiastic than Trump’s and more voters overall see her becoming a more appealing candidate than say that for Trump.”

— After the Orlando massacre, Americans oppose Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim immigrants by a 2-to-1 factor, according to a CBS News poll. Only 31 percent of voters said they approve of the proposal, while 62 percent said they disapproved.

  • Americans gave Obama net positive ratings on his response so far to the Orlando attack (44 percent favorable vs. 34 percent unfavorable), while 51 percent disapproved of Trump’s response.
  • A majority of voters (57 percent) classified the massacre as both an act of terrorism and a hate crime, though they are divided on whether U.S. intelligence agencies could have prevented it: 42 percent said they believe agencies could have prevented the attack, while 42 percent said no.
  •  Support for gun laws has risen slightly in the aftermath of the attack, with 57 percent of Americans saying they believe gun laws should be stricter. There continues to be stark differences by political party, however. While 79 percent of Democrats want gun laws to be more strict, only 36 percent of Republicans think so.

— Meanwhile, Obama’s approval ratings continued to rise: 51 percent of voters said they approved of the president’s job performance, according to a Fox News survey, compared to 48 percent last month.

Hillary Clinton&nbsp;hugs Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz in Minneapolis last summer.&nbsp;(AP Photo/Jim Mone)</p>

Hillary Clinton hugs Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz in Minneapolis last summer. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

— Russian government hackers penetrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee and gained access to the entire database of opposition research on Trump. Ellen Nakashima scoops: The intruders so thoroughly compromised the DNC’s system that they also were able to read all email and chat traffic, said DNC officials and the security experts. The intrusions are an example of Russia’s interest in the U.S. political system and its desire to understand the policies, strengths and weaknesses of a potential future president — much as American spies gather similar information on foreign candidates and leaders. The depth of the penetration reflects the skill and determination of the United States’ top cyber adversary as Russia goes after strategic targets, from the White House and State Department to political campaign organizations.” Here’s what we know:

  • The intrusion into the DNC was one of several targeting American political organizations: The Clinton and Trump networks were also targeted by Russian spies, as were the computers of some GOP political action committees, U.S. officials said. But details on those cases are not available.
  • The Russians were expelled over the past weekend in a major cleanup campaign. DNC officials also said no financial, donor or personal information appears to have been accessed or taken, suggesting that the breach was traditional espionage, not the work of criminal hackers.
  • Clinton called the intrusion “troubling” in an interview with Telemundo. The former Secretary of State also said, “So far as we know, my campaign has not been hacked into,” and added that cybersecurity is an issue that she “will be absolutely focused on” if she becomes president. “Because whether it’s Russia, or China, Iran or North Korea more and more countries are using hacking to steal our information, to use it to their advantage,” she said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow&nbsp;on June 1. (Kirill Kudryavtesv/AFP/Getty Images)</p>

Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on June 1. (Kirill Kudryavtesv/AFP/Getty Images)

— Escalation in Europe: NATO defense ministers agreed to send 4,000 “combat-ready” troops to Poland and the Baltic States, moving to deter an increasingly hostile Vladimir Putin. The Russian military began intensive drills to bolster its military readiness this week. (Thomas Gibbons-Neff)


Christian Natal, left, and Cristian Michaels embrace in front of a memorial for the Orlando shooting victims on the front lawn of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. (Amanda Voisard/For the Washington Post)</p>

Christian Natal, left, and Cristian Michaels embrace in front of a memorial for the Orlando shooting victims on the front lawn of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. (Amanda Voisard/For the Washington Post)

— The 30-year-old wife of the Orlando gunman is facing intense scrutiny as the FBI investigates whether she had advance knowledge of the massacre. From Adam Goldman, Mark Berman and Matt Zapotosky: Federal authorities say Noor Z. Salman accompanied her husband Omar Mateen on “at least one” trip to the club before the attack, for what one law enforcement official described as “reconnaissance.” The FBI has not arrested Salman, as agents gather as much evidence as possible to determine whether she provided her husband with assistance as he prepared for the assault at the club or had any inkling of his plan.

The heightened focus on Mateen’s wife comes as investigators continue to seek a concrete motive. President Obama said the gunman “was an angry, disturbed, unstable young man who became radicalized,” adding that the investigation has not turned up any suggestions that he was directed by a foreign terrorist organization.

  • Accounts from survivors have only fueled the uncertainty: One survivor, 20-year-old Patience Carter, recalled Mateen saying he carried out the attack because he wanted “Americans to stop bombing his country,” during the same 911 call in which he pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. (Katie Zezima, Matt Zapotosky, Adam Goldman and Mark Berman)
  • At one point, he asked whether there were any black people in the room. When one man said yes, the shooter said, “‘You know I don’t have a problem with black people,’” Carter recalled during a news conference. She said he added: “This is about my country. You guys suffered enough.”
  • Authorities are also exploring whether anti-gay bigotry played a role. Several witnesses recalled they had previously seen Mateen at the club, as well as on a dating app for gay men.

— The FBI is coming under more scrutiny for their handling of the gunman. Mateen is the third person who has carried out a terrorist attack after having been under scrutiny by the bureau in recent years, Jerry Markon and Adam Goldman note. The Pulse massacre followed the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and last year’s shooting at a Texas exhibition of cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad. Each case varied widely, but was united by a common thread: The FBI had looked at one of the accused assailants, including an intensive 10-month probe of Omar Mateen. The cases have left federal investigators to wonder whether their long-held fear of a series of “lone wolf” attacks on U.S. soil is coming to fruition.

— Lawmakers are mulling whether the FBI should have a second terror watch list to keep track of former terror suspects such as Mateen, who was on the current watch list but dropped from it in 2014 after officials decided he wasn’t an immediate threat. That way, officials could be notified if a former suspect wants to purchase a gun,Karoun Demirjian reports.

— The gunman also reportedly placed a call to an Orlando TV station as he was carrying out the attack. From Michael E. Miller: News 13 producer Matthew Gentili was staffing the phones less than two miles away during the attack. “I’m the shooter. It’s me,” the man said. “I am the shooter.” The caller then said he had carried out the Pulse attack for the Islamic State and began speaking quickly in Arabic. “At the time, I didn’t know what he was saying,” Gentili said. “He was speaking so fast. But it was … he was speaking fluently. Whatever language he was speaking, he knew it.” Gentili said he asked for caller’s location, which the man said was “none of my [expletive] business.” He said the phone went silent for a while. “I asked him: ‘Is there anything else you want to say?’” The man said no and hung up. FBI agents would not confirm whether it was the gunman on the phone with the producer, but the TV station’s managing editor matched the incoming phone number to Mateen. The timing and content of the phone call also appear to make sense, taking place right after Mateen ended his second conversation with 911.

— Jeh Johnson said gun control is a “matter of homeland security”: “I am not anxious to plunge into yet another difficult, contentious issue like the ones I already have,” the secretary of Homeland Security said on “CBS This Morning.” “I do believe, however, that meaningful, responsible gun control is now part and parcel of homeland security … It’s something that I think the American public and the Congress has to face and has to address.”


— A Tennessee state lawmaker announced plans to give away assault rifles at an upcoming political fundraiser, handing out AR-15s as door prizes. (Peter Holley)

— A Baptist preacher in Sacramento is facing scorn after telling his congregation that Christians “shouldn’t be mourning the death of 50 sodomites” following the Orlando massacre. “I think that helps society,” he said. “The tragedy is that more of them didn’t die. The tragedy is — I’m kind of upset that he didn’t finish the job!” (Lindsey Bever)

— “After brutal attack, prevailing view is there are ‘not any gays’ in Afghanistan,” by Tim Craig in Kabul: “If there is anywhere in Afghanistan where one might look for signs that the country is becoming more accepting of gay men and lesbians, the fine arts department at Kabul University would seem like a good place to start. Paintings and sculptures line the hallways, and Kabul’s creative class uses Internet-connected smartphones to keep up with homework … But when asked about his views on homosexuality, cinema student Mirwais Osmani cringed while saying there are ‘not any gays’ in Afghanistan.’ In many Islamic countries, as in the rest of the world, younger residents in urbanized areas are gradually showing more acceptance toward homosexuality. Afghanistan, however, will probably remain decades behind that trend … ‘If he entered a gay club, he should have killed 2,000 of them,’ said Shakir Wahid, 25 …  Mateen ‘has done the right thing,’ added Kochai Sangar, a 19-year-old tailor. ‘It’s a kind of jihad. How is it possible for men to be with men?’”

Paul Ryan speaks to reports yesterday.&nbsp;(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)</p>

Paul Ryan speaks to reports yesterday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

— Top Republicans sharply condemned Trump’s reaction to Orlando, decrying his anti-Muslim rhetoric and his questioning of Obama’s allegiances as divisive and out of step with America’s values. Sean Sullivan and Mike DeBonis say there is “a new wave of alarm within the GOP over whether the mogul’s promised pivot to the general election would ever materialize.”

  • Paul Ryan: “I do not think a Muslim ban is in our country’s interest. I do not think it is reflective of our principles, not just as a party but as a country.” Ryan called for “a security test, not a religious test” for immigrants. (Trump will meet with the House Republican Conference on July 7 in D.C.)
  • Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), said to be under consideration as Trump’s VP, expressed serious unease: “Traditionally, it is a time when people rally around our country, and it’s obviously not what’s occurred, and it’s very disappointing.”
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he has “run out of adjectives” to describe Trump: “I don’t think he has the judgment or the temperament, the experience to deal with what we are facing.”
  • Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters he was “not going to be commenting on the presidential candidates” during his weekly news conference.
  • Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), asked about Trump, said only, “You know … hmmm,” before turning to walk away. (NBC)

— Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan pretended to be ignorant and unaware of Trump’s comments in the wake of Orlando. “I don’t know what his position is,” Hogan claimed yesterday. “I don’t care about Donald Trump. I don’t listen to Donald Trump.” The first-term governor has repeatedly refused to support Trump, but he also declined to answer one way or the other about whether he thinks his party’s nominee is fit to be president. (Ovetta Wiggins)

— A visibly angry Obama dismissed Trump’s demand that he use the term “radical Islam”: “Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away … that is political distraction,” Obama said. “What exactly would using this label accomplish? What exactly would it change? Would it make ISIL less committed to trying to kill Americans? Would it bring in more allies? Is there a military strategy that is served by this? The answer is: none of the above.”

— Clinton, in Pittsburgh, cast the businessman as someone given to “conspiracy theories” and “bizarre rants.” (Greg Jaffe, Anne Gearan and David Nakamura)

— Ben Carson defended Trump’s Muslim ban by essentially acknowledging that it will never happen: “His point is, let’s stop the silliness,” the retired neurosurgeon said on Fox. “Let’s get very, very serious about this. And obviously what one person thinks is not going to carry the day. There is going to be a lot of negotiation, a lot of rational thought processing is going to go into it.” (Washington Examiner)

— Trump, for his part, doubled down during a campaign event last night in Greensboro, N.CJenna Johnson and Jose A. DelReal report: He said he believes “lifetime immigrants from the Middle East” and “Muslim countries” are to blame for domestic terrorism and warned that more attacks like the Orlando massacre will happen. He also accused Obama of disliking him more than the Orlando attacker. “I watched President Obama today, and he was more angry at me than he was at the shooter, and many people said that,” Trump said. “That’s the kind of anger he should have for the shooter and these killers that shouldn’t be here. … Once again we’ve seen that political correctness is deadly.”

— The Post’s Johnson was denied a press credential in Greensboro but she was able to enter the rally with the general public and watch Trump’s remarks from the stands.

— Trump gave an interview to the New York Times’s Jim Rutenberg about his new refusal to credential The Post to cover his events: “I’m from a different world, other than politics,” he said. “In my world, when people don’t treat you fairly … ” He didn’t finish the sentence, but he didn’t have to: You cut them off. “I don’t want good stories,” he said, “I want fair stories.” More: “The New York Times was not much better, Mr. Trump said, citing a recent article about his relationship with women over the years. He rebutted the article after it was published and his lawyer demanded, unsuccessfully, that the paper retract it. When I noted that Mr. Trump had not removed The Times’s credentials, Mr. Trump said, ‘You’re marginal, you’re marginal,’ apparently meaning we, too, were close to losing credentials to cover him. He added, ‘It’s always possible, anything’s possible.’”

— Trump met with several Republican governors earlier in the day: Joined by Chris Christie, he sat down with Oklahoma’s Mary Fallin, Mississippi’s Phil Bryant, Arkansas’s Asa Hutchinson, Tennessee’s Gov. Bill Haslam, and Arizona’s Doug Ducey.

— Speaking of Christie: Defense lawyers in the Bridgegate prosecutions accused the New Jersey governor of continuing to hide information about his role in the bridge closures, alleging that his cell phone, text messages, and emails from the 2013 incident are all missing or destroyed. “President Nixon’s tapes were not immune from a subpoena,” defendants alleged in a court brief. “Neither is Governor Christie’s phone.” (WNYC)

— Newt Gingrich suggested creating a new House “Un-American Activities Committee,” telling Fox News that the U.S. ought to investigate possible “Islamic supremacists” the same way it did Nazi sympathizers in the late 1930s. The defunct committee eventually sprawled into a machine to blacklist those with purported communist ties, including Hollywood actors, writers, and academics. In 1959, Harry Truman infamously called it “the most un-American thing in the country today.” (TPM)

— Two North Texas cities have rejected requests to host Trump events, with both Grand Prairie and Irvine declining to help when the campaign reached out. “It’s very unusual that the Republican candidate for president in this deep red state would be having trouble finding a venue for his rallies,” said SMU Political science professor Cal Jillson. Aside from a rally, the Trump campaign has already scheduled a fundraiser. (CBS DFW)

— Former Cruz campaign manager Jeff Roe said Trump’s allergy to campaign analytics could be fatal. “There’s a trove of information that’s done in and around politics,” he told Politico’s Glenn Thrush. “It’s worth, in its worst day, two and a half points, and in its best day, five and a half points.” Roe also said the senator could completely withhold an endorsement of Trump, citing The Donald’s decision to go “very personal” on Cruz’s family.

— Conservative donor John Kingston is bankrolling a ballot-access project for a still-theoretical third-party candidate, pressing ahead with efforts to get on the ballot in dozens of states. The effort, called Better for America, does not yet have a candidate – but Kingston believes he or she will come once the prove ballot access is possible. The idea is “to do a proof of concept for everybody,” Kingston said. “It exists, there is a pathway, there is a road that you can be going down.” Members of the group said the project gives a shot at getting on the ballot almost everywhere, even with deadlines to do so having passed for Texas and North Carolina. (New York Times)

Hillary Clinton arrives to speak at a rally at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Circuit Center in Pittsburgh yesterday.&nbsp;(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)</p>

Hillary Clinton arrives to speak at a rally at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Circuit Center in Pittsburgh yesterday. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)


— A federal judge ordered the deposition of former State Department staffer Bryan Pagliano to go forward and allowed it to be VIDEOTAPED, siding with the plaintiff in the case (conservative advocacy group Judicial Watch). Pagliano’s remarks will be temporarily sealed “consistent with other interviews” in the case. (Spencer S. Hsu and Ann E. Marimow)

— Bill Clinton said the work and structure of the Clinton Foundation will change if Hillary is elected, saying the philanthropy will carefully avoid any potential conflicts of interest. “There’ll clearly be some changes in what the Clinton Foundation does and how we do it, and we’ll just have to cross that bridge when we come to it,” Bill Clinton toldBloomberg’s David Westin in Atlanta, though he did not detail the prospective changes. Hillary Clinton said in an interview on MSNBC in March that the answer would be “complete transparency” about donations.

— New York Times, “Hillary Supporters Can Now ‘Go Public’,” by Jessica Bennett:“They have names like ‘Wise Women for Clinton,’  ‘Bros 4 Hillary — #GiveEmHill’ … Some are small, with just a couple of hundred members, while others number into the thousands. All of them began as a ‘secret’ — or, as secret as one can be with an invite-only Facebook group. The groups are ‘safe spaces,’ members say: a way to discuss policy and celebrate good news without having to defend; a place to bring up doubts about their candidate — What’s the deal with the emails? What about her changing stance on gay marriage? — and work through them together with a nuance not typically afforded on the internet.’ In some, members strategize about how to respond to criticisms. Others function like support groups. Should any members decide to ‘come out’ — that is, post publicly on their Facebook feed outside the group — they could do so knowing that they had an army of defenders, ready with ‘likes,’ emoji and articles to back them up. ‘It’s like a secret society,’ said Ashley Kreamer. ‘A secret society of Hillary Clinton supporters.'”


— “Lawmakers charge that Park Service chief oversees culture of sexual harassment,” by Lisa Rein: “National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis was confronted Tuesday by angry lawmakers in both parties for looking the other way at what they called a culture of sexual harassment in his agency. And his critics at a tense House hearing unusual for its united front questioned whether Jarvis was even equipped to address this and other misconduct because of a recent ethics transgression of his own. In the latest case in a string of embarrassing episodes disclosed by the Park Service’s watchdog, the chief park ranger at Canaveral National Seashore in central Florida was found to have sexually harassed women on his staff in three substantiated cases in less than two years. But Jarvis acknowledged that despite a report released this week, the ranger, Edwin Correa, is still working at the park, although his commission has been removed.” “How many sexual harassments does it take to fire a federal worker?” Rep. Jason Chaffetz bellowed at Jarvis. “Your leadership is lacking. You’re failing the system.”


— ZIGNAL VISUAL: Social media has moved beyond Bernie. It is really striking how quickly people on social media seem to have moved on now that the Democratic contest is over. Via our analytics partners at Zignal Labs, here is the Twitter share of voice chart for the month before the California primary:

And here is the chart for the week since California:

From our colleague, who was inside Trump’s rally:

The gaffe of the day comes from Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas):

Is Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) holding out hope for another candidate?

Ivanka Trump wished her dad a happy 70th birthday:

The Dalai Lama visited Capitol Hill:

Democratic women attended the White House’s summit on women:

Lawmakers and staff enjoyed the White House summer picnic:


“Missouri County Defies President’s Order To Fly Flag At Half-Mast,” from ThinkProgress:“Following this weekend’s shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, President Obama ordered that, ‘as a mark of respect for the victims,’ the U.S. flag be flown at half-staff … Officials in Cole County, Missouri decided this didn’t apply to them.” “Lowering it too much takes away from the honor,” said one Republican commissioner. “I feel for these victims and for their families, but I don’t feel this was a time for the flag to be lowered.” Commissioner Kris Scheperle (R) issued a similar statement. “I want to honor those who have served our country,” he said, “but we can’t lower it for every event like this that occurs.”


“New kids’ books praise Clinton, mock Trump,” from theWashington Examiner: Parents interested in having their children learn about the presidential race will find several kid’s books about Clinton, but so far just one for Trump, and all of them lean against Trump. “Two children’s picture books about Clinton were released in January, for example, and both focus on the historical nature of her candidacy. She will be the first woman to win a major political party’s presidential nomination, and the book talks about her life as a woman in politics. On the other hand, a picture rhyming book on Trump will publish in July and it depicts him as a disruptive, orange, kidney-shaped blob with a yellow mass atop its head. The blob also does not have a brain.”


On the campaign trail: Here’s the rundown:

  • Clinton: Hampton, Va.
  • Trump: Atlanta, Ga.

At the White House: Obama meets with the Dalai Lama. Vice President Biden holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman of Ukraine, meets with members of the White House Task Force on Cancer, and speaks at the  Sandy Hook Promise Annual Promise Champions Gala.

On Capitol Hill: The Senate meets at 9:30 a.m. and later votes on the motion to proceed to H.R.2578, Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill. The House meets at noon for legislative business.


“I have many Muslim friends.” — Trump, at his North Carolina rally last night


— A few cloudy days ahead before moving into sunnier weekend terrain, according to The Capital Weather Gang: “We’re mostly cloudy this morning with a shower possible, then turning partly sunny this afternoon. Highs reach the upper 70s to mid-80s with a light wind from the southeast. Meanwhile the humidity is more noticeable, trending up toward the moderate range.”

— The Nationals lost to the Cubs 4-3:

Chicago Cubs left fielder Albert Almora Jr. flexes toward his dugout after delivering the decisive hit in the ninth inning in a 4-3 win over the Nationals last night. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)</p>

Chicago Cubs left fielder Albert Almora Jr. flexes toward his dugout after delivering the decisive hit in the ninth inning in a 4-3 win over the Nationals last night. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

— A 33-year-old Virginia lawyer was convicted of taking a law firm partner and his wife hostage in their upscale McLean home and slashing both of their throats as part of a revenge plot. Prosecutors said the couple only survived the “pure depravity” of the 2014 attack because of sheer will to live, and the wife’s ability to reach a panic button inside the home after the bloody, hours-long ordeal. (Justin Jouvenal)

— The National Aquarium announced that it will retire its eight dolphins, moving the animals to a seaside sanctuary in Florida or the Caribbean. (Dana Hedgpeth)

— D.C. police said they have arrested “at least 27 people” for operating illegal dirt bikes since beginning a crackdown in early April, and have seized more than 30 off-road vehicles. Police have long since tried to combat the all-terrain vehicles, saying they pose a “dangerous public menace” to the area. (Peter Hermann)

— One person died and 15 were sent to a hospital after a tour bus crashed on the George Washington Parkway during rush hour, hitting a car and rolling sideways.Three remain in critical condition. (Justin Wm. Moyer and Victoria St. Martin)

— A Baltimore City Police detective testified that the police van transporting Freddie Gray “did not appear” to make any sudden stops or turns while Gray was being transported, according to surveillance footage. His remarks come in the trial of Baltimore Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., one of six officers charged in Gray’s death. (Derek Hawkins and Lynh Bui)


This young kid delivered his graduation speech in the style of the presidential candidates, including Trump:

Presidential Graduation Speech

In Orlando, Anderson Cooper pressed Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi hard on whether she is a true champion for the gay community. It got awkward (starting just after the one-minute mark):

Florida Attorney General: I’m championing human beings

A survivor described being in the bathroom with the Orlando gunman:

Survivor describes being trapped in the bathroom with the Orlando gunman

Michelle Obama spoke with Oprah Winfrey at the White House women’s summit:

First Lady Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey Hold a Conversation on the Next Generation of Women

Watch a day in the life of the man jokingly called the ‘World’s Best Father’:

A day in the life of the ‘World’s Best Father’

Listen to a storm chaser described his experiences along with some awesome footage:

One storm chaser shares his images and experiences

Thousands of cicada bugs invaded this Ohio city:

Thousands of cicada bugs invade Ohio city