Top 5 Live-WURD Thursday October 22
1. Biden: I’m not running for president in 2016
Ending months of will-he-won’t-he speculation, Vice President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that he is not running for president in 2016, saying the process of grieving for his son Beau had sidelined him for too long.
“Unfortunately, I believe we’re out of time, the time necessary to mount a winning campaign for the nomination,” Biden declared in a hastily announced and emotional statement in the Rose Garden of the White House. The vice president spoke with his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, and President Obama standing at his side.
The announcement capped months of speculation about whether he still had time to build the kind of fundraising and get-out-the-vote structure required for successful modern campaigns. Public opinion polls never showed him leading the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, and veteran party strategists privately doubted he could seriously challenge her for the affections of party activists.
The announcement came one day before Clinton is to testify before the Republican-run House of Representatives committee looking into the deadly Benghazi attacks of 2012.
2. Kane vows to publicly release porn emails
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane has told the state’s highest court she will publicly release what she described as crude, offensive or sexually explicit emails that Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin sent or received between 2008 and 2012.
In a letter to the Supreme Court, Kane’s office said Wednesday that she will make the messages public, in part to highlight her belief that the state’s Judicial Conduct Board failed to properly vet the justice’s emails when it reviewed them last year.
Spokesman Chuck Ardo said the office would make the emails public Thursday morning.
In her letter to the justices, Kane said some of Eakin’s emails contained nudity. One made fun of a naked obese woman with the caption: “How to tell when your house is infected with swine flu.” Another made light of college drinking, and yet another made a crude joke about an adult sex toy.
“Make no mistake,” Kane wrote, “these emails are not just offensive to women, but to all Pennsylvanians, especially parents.”
3. Five things the Benghazi committee wants to know
Hillary Clinton’s appearance today before the Select Committee on Benghazi is certain to provide political drama as Republican lawmakers grill the former secretary of state and Democratic presidential front-runner over her handling of the September 11, 2012, Benghazi attacks. But the committee is also hoping to get answers to some key questions surrounding the violence that left four Americans dead.
- Why did the United States remain in Benghazi despite the escalation of violence and even as other consulates were closed?
- Why wasn’t Clinton aware of requests for additional security in Benghazi?
- What was Clinton’s involvement in discussions about a military response?
- Why did the State Department keep the Benghazi facility as a “temporary mission”?
- Could security improvements have been made before the attacks?
The Accountability Review Board recommendations, 24 of which were unclassified, called for the State Department to better defend U.S. posts abroad, especially high risk posts like Benghazi. The proposals included increasing the number of Marine guards at diplomatic missions. State Department officials say all but three recommendations are on their way to being implemented.
4. House Freedom Caucus says it supports Ryan for speaker
The hardline House Freedom Caucus said Wednesday it is supporting Rep. Paul Ryan for speaker of the House, all but guaranteeing he’ll get the job if he wants it, and potentially heralding a new start for a deeply divided House GOP.
The group of around three dozen conservatives, who have caused fits for the GOP leadership, stressed that their support for Ryan was not an official endorsement because they couldn’t muster the 80 percent agreement such an announcement would require. Yet members of the group made clear that their intent was to unite behind Ryan and give him the consensus he has said he needs to seek the speakership.
“A super majority of the House Freedom Caucus has voted to support Paul Ryan’s bid to become the next speaker of the House,” the group said in
a statement. “Paul is a policy entrepreneur who has developed conservative reforms dealing with a wide variety of subjects, and he has promised to be an ideas-focused Speaker who will advance limited government principles and devolve power to the membership.”
5. NYPD: Suspect arrested in fatal cop shooting
A suspect has been arrested in the Tuesday night shooting death of a plainclothes New York City police officer, New York City police confirmed by telephone Wednesday night. Randolph Holder, 33, who was assigned to the NYPD’s housing unit, died Tuesday night after being shot in the head during a gun battle in East Harlem, officials said. Holder was taken to Harlem Hospital Center in critical condition and died Tuesday at 10:22 p.m. ET.
Earlier Wednesday, police named Tyrone Howard, 30, as the suspect. Howard previously was wanted in the Sept. 1 shooting of a gang member and has a lengthy criminal history, city officials said at a news conference.
“He has shown no propensity, with the number of arrests over (a) period of time, for changing his ways,” William Bratton, New York police commissioner, said. “His whole life has been about an escalation of crime.”
On Tuesday night at about 8:30 p.m., Holder was responding to reports of gunfire at a housing project. He and another officer, also in plainclothes, were pursuing a suspect near a pedestrian overpass when the exchange of gunfire took place, Bratton said.
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Solomon Jones is an Essence bestselling author and award-winning columnist. He is the creator and editor of Solomonjones.com and morning host on 900 am WURD radio. Click here to learn more about Solomon