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Former Ambassador Nikki Haley declared ex-President Donald Trump politically dead in a new interview, saying he can’t possibly run for federal office again.

Haley offered the comments in an interview for a Politico Magazine profile by Tim Alberta, and she did so by way of proposing that the natural consequences of Trump’s actions should be a sufficient substitute for impeachment, or any other form of accountability:

“He’s not going to run for federal office again,” Haley said.

“I don’t think he’s going to be in the picture,” she said, matter-of-factly. “I don’t think he can. He’s fallen so far.”

This was the most certainty I’d heard from any Republican in the aftermath of January 6. And Haley wasn’t done.

“We need to acknowledge he let us down,” she said. “He went down a path he shouldn’t have, and we shouldn’t have followed him, and we shouldn’t have listened to him. And we can’t let that ever happen again.”

Elsewhere in the interview, however, Haley defended and stood by her past support for Trump, saying “he may have been brash. He may have been blunt. But he was someone who cared about the country. … I still stand by that. I don’t think we should ever apologize for the policies that we fought for and the things that we did during his four years.”

Haley has previously straddled the line between mildly condemning Trump and defending him from impeachment, calling his actions “not great” while arguing to “give the man a break.”

Her posture in the Politico interview is part of an ever-sharpening continuum of that premise.

While not exactly a profile in courage, Haley’s remarks can be fairly seen as an indication that the political fear that many see as keeping Republicans from opposing Trump may be eroding, if not quite fast enough to affect the outcome of his impeachment trial. We’ll find out about that in short order.

Biden administration

Trump Policy That Weakened Wild Bird Protections Is Revoked





The Biden administration on Monday reversed a policy imposed under former President Donald Trump that drastically weakened the government’s power to enforce a century-old law that protects most U.S. bird species.

Trump ended criminal prosecutions against companies responsible for bird deaths that could have been prevented.

FILE - In this Dec. 13, 2019, file photo, thousands of snow geese take flight over a farm field at their winter grounds, in the Skagit Valley near Conway, Wash. The Biden administration on Monday, March 8, 2021, reversed a policy imposed under former President Donald Trump that drastically weakened the government's power to enforce a century-old law that protects most U.S. bird species. Trump ended criminal prosecutions against companies responsible for bird deaths that could have been prevented.
Thousands of snow geese take flight over a farm field at their winter grounds, in the Skagit Valley near Conway, Wash.

The move halted enforcement practices under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in place for decades — resulting most notably in a $100 million settlement by energy company BP after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill killed about 100,000 birds.

A federal judge in New York in August struck down the Trump administration’s legal rationale for changing how the bird treaty was enforced.

But the administration did not abandon its policy, rejecting concerns that many more birds would dieand remaining adamant that the law had been wielded inappropriately to penalize accidental bird deaths.

Interior spokesman Tyler Cherry said the Trump policy “overturned decades of bipartisan and international consensus and allowed industry to kill birds with impunity.”

Cherry said in a statement that the agency plans to come up with new standards “that can protect migratory birds and provide certainty to industry.”

Details on the new standards were not immediately made public, but advocacy groups on behalf of the tens of millions of bird watchers in the U.S. said Monday that they want a permitting system to more closely regulate the hundreds of millions of birds that die annually in collisions with wind turbines, after landing in oil pits and from other industrial causes.

While industries have taken steps to deal with bird deaths, such as putting nets over oil pits and marking transmission equipment to prevent collisions, some individual companies don’t handle the problem adequately and there is no uniform approach.

“There really had been a lot of collaboration and a fair amount of consensus about what best management practices looked like for most major industries,” said Sarah Greenberger, a senior vice president with the Audubon Society, a bird advocacy group. “There was a lot of common ground, which is why the moves from the last administration were so unnecessary.”

Industry groups supported the Trump policy, but since President Joe Biden took office they have expressed willingness to work with the Democrat. The American Petroleum Institute on Monday called for “policies that support environmental protection while providing regulatory certainty,” while the Edison Electric Institute pledged cooperation as regulators develop new standards.

The migratory bird policy was among dozens of Trump-era environmental actions Biden ordered reconsidered on his first day in office. Former federal officials, environmental groups and Democrats in Congress said many of the Trump rules were meant to benefit private industry at the expense of conservation.

More than 1,000 North American bird species are covered by the treaty — from fast-flying peregrine falcon to tiny songbirds and more than 20 owl species. Non-native species and some game birds, like wild turkeys, are not on the list.

Besides the BP case, hundreds of enforcement cases — targeting utilities, oil companies and wind energy developers — resulted in criminal fines and civil penalties totaling $5.8 million between 2010 and 2018.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials have said relatively few of the cases end in criminal prosecutions because most companies are willing to take measures to address hazards that their operations may pose to birds.

Industry and other human activities — from oil pits and wind turbines, to vehicle strikes and glass building collisions — kill an estimated 460 million to 1.4 billion birds annually, out of an overall 7.2 billion birds in North America, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and recent studies. Researchers have said cats in the U.S. kill the most birds — more than 2 billion a year.

Virginia’s Democratic governor blamed the Trump administration decision to end enforcement of the migratory bird law for the 2019 destruction of a nesting ground for 25,000 shorebirds to make way for a road and tunnel.

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Mexican-Made Golden Trump Statue Turns Heads At CPAC





A golden statue of former President Donald Trump that caused a stir at the annual US gathering of conservatives was made in Mexico,  a country he frequently ‘demonized.’

The statue is large, complete with a golden head and Trump’s trademark suit jacket with a white shirt and red tie. 

Video and pictures of the tribute being wheeled through the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, went viral on Friday.

The conference is seen as a vital gathering of the Republican right, and this year has become a symbol of Trump’s continued grip on the party, despite losing the 2020 presidential election. 

The artist behind the massive statue, Tommy Zegan, has revealed that it was ironically made in Mexico, a country that has been the target of Trump’s policies over the years. 

“It was made in Mexico,” Zegan told Politico’s Playbook newsletter. 

Zegan spent over six months crafting the 200lb fiberglass statue with the help of three men in Rosarito, where he then transported it to Tampa, Florida, where it was painted in chrome, then hauled it from there to CPAC.

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Donald Trump

‘It was sabotage’: McConnell ally tells CNN that Trump destroyed GOP’s Senate majority




The feud between former President Donald Trump and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) shows no signs of slowing down, and a McConnell ally on Thursday said the former president was to blame for costing Republicans the Senate.

Scott Jennings, a CNN political commentator who has also worked on McConnell’s Senate campaigns, told the network that it’s clear that Trump was to blame for his party’s losses in the two Georgia Senate runoff elections.

“It’s pretty clear what happened: a whole bunch of Trump people didn’t turn out because, shockingly, they were listening to Donald Trump when he told them their votes didn’t count anymore,” Jennings said. “It was a sabotage and it was obvious to anybody who has even a little bit of political professional expertise.”

Jennings went on to say that the Republican Party cannot win if it simply becomes a Donald Trump personality cult.

“It’s pretty clear that Donald Trump overall was a net drag on the Republicans because we don’t control anything now,” he said. “He lost the White House, and that was before January the 6th. And so what I think the party has to do is find a way to hold the coalition together.”

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