White House worried about Republican opposition to Trump controversial Fed pick

The White House is worried about opposition from Senate Republicans to Judy Shelton, President Trump’s nominee for a spot on the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, according to people familiar with the matter.

“Her nomination is imperiled right now,” said Stephen Moore, an outside economic adviser to Trump.

“The White House is really not sure they have the 50 votes in the Senate to confirm her,” Moore told the Washington Examiner. Moore met with Trump and multiple senior White House officials on Wednesday.

Shelton is not expected to get support from any of the 47 senators who are Democrats or independents. Now, there are concerns that she does not have enough support from Republicans to garner the 51 votes necessary for confirmation.

Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the Republican whip, told reporters Tuesday that Shelton doesn’t have the votes needed for confirmation. Yet Trump’s National Economic Council director, Larry Kudlow, said Thursday at an event hosted by the Economic Club of New York that Trump remains firmly behind her nomination. Kudlow added that he thinks the White House can get the 50 Senate votes for her confirmation.

Republican Sens. Susan Collins, from Maine, and Mitt Romney from Utah said they would vote against her nomination in July. Moore said the White House is worried about other Republicans also voting against her, including Colorado’s Cory Gardner, who is up for reelection this year, and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski.

Gardner and Murkowski did not respond to requests for comment.

An individual familiar with the matter said that Kudlow has been key in keeping Shelton’s nomination afloat.

“I was told she’s toast and the White House has to find somebody else to nominate,” a former senior administration official said. “But then, later in the day, she wasn’t toast anymore. Kudlow is her biggest supporter, and he will fight for her to the death.”

Shelton has generated opposition for her pointed criticisms of the Fed and her advocacy for a return to the gold standard as a monetary system.

In the past few months, her nomination faced several challenges after multiple Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee indicated her views made her unsuitable for a seat on the Fed’s board of governors.

She has raised concerns on both sides of the aisle for her view that the Fed should have less power and independent discretion and instead have closer ties to the White House.

Nevertheless, the Senate Banking Committee narrowly approved her nomination in a 13-12 party-line vote in July. Her nomination has now moved on to the full Senate. Trump formally nominated Shelton to the post in January of this year.

Moore, who is also an Washington Examiner opinion columnist, said the new opposition to Shelton is due to Democrats putting pressure on Republicans such as Gardner and Murkowski.

“The Left is really out to get her. They don’t want any independent thinkers on the Fed who are going to challenge the way the empire does business,” Moore said.


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Senate Democrats demand White House fire controversial head of public lands agency

Senate Democrats continued their pressure campaign on the White House on Tuesday, taking to the floor to ask President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats, advocates seethe over Florida voting rights ruling Russian jets identified in Trump campaign ad calling for support for the troops Democratic Senate candidate ‘hesitant’ to get COVID-19 vaccine if approved this year MORE to immediately remove the controversial acting head of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from his post.

The speeches were focused on William Perry Pendley, the de facto head of the public lands agency who has long opposed federal ownership of them.

Though his nomination was withdrawn earlier this month after a letter of opposition from the entire Democratic caucus showed Republicans they had little wiggle room for a vote, Pendley remains in office through a series of orders being challenged in two different lawsuits.

“Let’s get one thing straight. This title has no basis in law. He’s serving as acting BLM director under temporary appointments that the Secretary [of Interior] keeps renewing in a cynical ploy to evade the Constitution, the Federal Vacancies Reform Act and the judgment of the Senate,” said Sen. Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump extends Florida offshore drilling pause, expands it to Georgia, South Carolina | Democrats probe Park Service involvement in GOP convention | Sanders attacks ‘corporate welfare’ to coal industry included in relief package Democrats probe Park Service involvement in GOP convention Overnight Energy: EPA chief outlines vision for agency under ‘Trump’s second term’ | Agency sued over decision not to regulate chemical linked to fetal brain damage MORE (D-N.M.), a vocal critic of Pendley’s.

“Mr. Pendley’s record on conservation is so bad, so antithetical to the agency he oversees the Trump administration knew he wouldn’t survive a Senate confirmation. So instead, they’ve concocted this shell game,” Udall continued.

Pendley has come under fire for a number of comments and articles. He’s compared climate change to unicorns to highlight that he doesn’t believe it exists. He’s criticized the Black Lives Matter movement. He has a long history fighting federal government oversight of public lands, penning books with the titles “War on the West: Government Tyranny on America’s Frontier” and “Warriors for the West: Fighting Bureaucrats, Radical Groups, and Liberal Judges on America’s Frontier.” 

Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetNext crisis, keep people working and give them raises Democrats tear into Trump’s ‘deep state’ tweet: His ‘lies and recklessness’ have ‘killed people’ Trump rails against the FDA over vaccine testing MORE (D-Colo.) said “asking someone like that to manage our public lands … is like asking somebody be Secretary of Education who doesn’t believe in public education,” taking a jab at Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosDeVos drops controversial rule on coronavirus aid Education secretary should be on the side of students Conservatives press for concessions in GOP coronavirus relief bill MORE.

Efforts by Democrats to get the White House to withdraw Pendley’s nomination came as environmental groups ran ads questioning the

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Controversial Bottled Blonde Pizzeria and Beer Garden to open in Washington Corridor

Controversial mini-chain Bottled Blonde Pizzeria + Beer Garden is bringing its contemporary Italian cuisine and over-the-top cocktails to the Washington Corridor.

Owned by the Arizona-based Evening Entertainment Group, Bottled Blonde Houston opens at 4901 Washington Ave. on Sept. 17 at 7 p.m., according to a Monday release.

The casual restaurant, beer garden and sports hub, 10,000 square feet, features brewery-themed and pin-up girl decor, 40 high-definition TVs and two 24-foot projector walls. Picnic-style tables are located both inside and on the 1,500-square-foot patio.

For a good cause: Houston Restaurant Weeks extends through September

The food menu includes antipasto, artisanal salumi, premium cheeses, salads, sandwiches, house-made spaghetti and meatballs and stone-fired pizza.

The bar offers 24 local and craft brews, ciders, spirits, a 100-oz. mimosa tower, plus bottle service.

After dark, Bottled Blonde transforms into a nightclub with state-of-the-art lighting and sound.

“We love Texas and can’t wait to bring our Italian-inspired cuisine and contemporary, upbeat concept to the city of Houston,” Les Corieri, who co-owns Bottled Blonde with wife Diane  Corieri, said in the release. “Houstonians are serious about their food, and even more serious about their sports, so Bottled Blonde is the perfect place to have it all. It’s exciting to serve the city our brand of fun and merriment with a carefully crafted menu and beverage program to enjoy big games and weekend brunches.”

The Bayou City marks the third outpost of Bottled Blonde, which also has locations in Dallas and Scottsdale, AZ.

The brand comes with its share of controversy.

Closings: Burger-Chan at Greenway Plaza permanently shutters

The now-defunct Chicago locale came under fire in 2017 after social media posts alleging a racist dress code with regulations such as “no gang attire” and “no baggie [sic], sagging clothing” went viral, Eater Chicago reported.

Bottled Blonde Chicago made headlines again in October 2019 when city officials reportedly revoked the business’s license due to noise and traffic concerns voiced by neighborhood residents. The location permanently closed in July 2020 after five years of operation, according to Eater Chicago.

Bottled Blonde Dallas, which opened in 2017, is also under investigation by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC), Dallas’ KDFW reported.

KDFW said the Deep Ellum spot, which originally opened as a bar, was allowed by the TABC to reopen as a restaurant in July. Since then, it has allegedly violated Gov. Greg Abbott’s orders requiring Texas restaurants to reduce capacity to 50 percent occupancy to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Bottled Blonde Houston will be open weekdays

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In response to IHC, interior ministry says Cynthia Ritchie must be stopped from making controversial statements

The response comes after the IHC expressed displeasure over the ministry’s comments at the previous hearing. — Geo.tv/Files 

ISLAMABAD: The interior ministry on Friday submitted its comments to the Islamabad High Court in Cynthia D Ritchie’s case, stating that the American blogger should be stopped from making controversial statements that go against the basic rights of citizens.

The response comes after the IHC expressed displeasure over the ministry’s comments at the previous hearing, instructing it to provide relevant records of its business visa policy.

In its response to the IHC today, the ministry stated that the American citizen’s visa had been extended twice during 2018-19 which was against the law.

It mentioned that the blogger had applied for her work visa extension two times, but she was given a business visa by the authority against the visa policy, adding that her company was not registered in Pakistan either.

The ministry, on Wednesday, had rejected Ritchie’s visa extension application and asked her to exit the country within 15 days.

IHC expresses displeasure

In Tuesday’s hearing, the additional attorney general informed the court that the American blogger had told the ministry she was not associated with any government institution.

Responding to the AAG’s comments, Chief Justice Athar Minallah noted that previously the ministry had adopted the stance that the blogger had been serving government institutions.

Justice Minallah said that the ministry had not adopted a clear stance so far in the matter.

Expressing displeasure with the representative of the interior ministry, the judge asked: “Is there any law or policy?”, questioning whether the ministry had any documents which explain the visa policy for foreigners.

The court asked whether the same treatment would be given to someone who would come tomorrow on a business visa and start giving statements against the prime minister.

The court ordered the ministry to bring details of the policy in the next hearing.

Moreover, it ordered Ritchie to stop making any controversial statements against politicians.

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