Snapchat, Politics and Millennials

By Emily Cyr, Special Report Summer Associate

With the 2016 presidential campaigns underway, candidates have a new media platform to consider: Snapchat.

While the video-messaging app that debuted in 2011 has been largely used to send pictures and videos between friends, it has now become a way to connect with presidential candidates.

Sen. Rand Paul(R-Ky) and Gov. Rick Perry are two candidates who have created Snapchat accounts so supporters can follow their campaigns and behind the scene action.

Candidates Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush have gone a step further. Both Clinton and Bush were featured on Our Story, a video stream on Snapchat that is published from a live event via audience submissions. When Clinton held her first campaign rally at Roosevelt Island on June 13th, Snapchat users anywhere could follow the event and the same happened for Jeb Bush’s announcement at Miami Dade College Kendall two days later.

A current job posting shows Snapchat looking to further expand its role in political coverage by creating a new content team of “political junkies and news aficionados” to filter Our Story events and 2016 presidential coverage. 

This could be a major source of political news for millennials; Snapchat recently released statistics stating that over 60% of people from 13-34 in the U.S with smartphones are using Snapchat and that 18-24 year olds are the largest group of users, representing 37%.

With upwards of 2 billion video views per day on Snapchat, candidates have plenty of opportunities to get their message to the young voter demographic.

Presidential Candidate Governor Jindal says the Supreme Court caved on Gay Marriage to public opinion

Presidential Candidate and Louisiana Republican Governor Bobby Jindal joined "Special Report" panelists in the center seat to answer questions about last week's Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage and health care. 

Jindal argued that presidents need to stop nominating Supreme Court Justices that interpret the law to their advantage and any future nominees should be ones that rely on a strict interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. Jindal told viewers that the "easiest way to fix this is to appoint justices who will actually read a dictionary, read the Constitution."

Jindal said it was a bad week for the rule of law especially when one of the justices stated that words no longer had meaning. But it was the gay marriage ruling that really questioned Jindal's belief in the Supreme Court system.

Jindal, who converted from Hindu to Christianity many years ago, said it's his belief is that marriage is between a man and a woman. He admitted that many others may be leaning towards a different definition of marriage but Jindal questioned those who make their decisions based on public opinion and not what's sacred to them. "The easiest thing for any politician to do... is simply read an opinion poll," Jindal exclaimed. He also noted that changing political stances might work for others but not for him saying "that's what the Court did. That's what the president has done. I'm not evolving with the polls."

Walmart apologizes following ISIS cake incident

Retail giant Walmart is apologizing following an incident at one of its stores after an employee made a cake for a customer decorated with the ISIS flag.

Chuck Netzhammer visited his local Walmart bakery in Slidell, LA and filled out an order form requesting a cake decorated with the Confederate flag. The request was denied, prompting the customer to see just how far Walmart would go.

Netzhammer returned to the store the following day and this time filled out an order form for a cake depicting the ISIS flag. He was surprised when the order was approved and the cake was made exactly as he had asked.

Netzhammer took to YouTube in a scathing video where he asks Walmart if they support ISIS and explains some of the horrors behind the terrorist group. He also accuses Walmart of alienating Southern Americans.

The video has received over 340,000 views.

A Walmart spokesman insists that the employee was not aware of what the flag represented. "Our local store made a mistake. The cake in the video should not have been made and we apologize." 

Note: Walmart (along with Sears, Amazon, Ebay and other retailers) announced they would no longer sell Confederate flag merchandise following the gruesome hate crime that left nine African Americans dead at a church in Charleston, SC and prompted a nation-wide debate over the Confederate flag.

So what do you think? Do you think the Walmart employee is to blame either because they did know what the flag was or should have known? Or was it wrong of Netzhammer to ask to have the cake made in the first place or to attack the store if in fact the employee really didn't know what it was?

And do you agree with Walmart and other retailers in their decision to no longer sell Confederate flag merchandise?

Fox News Reporting - Crossing Jordan – Escape From Terror

When America leads from behind, who meets our enemies head on?  Jordan’s King Abdullah gives Fox News Reporting unprecedented access to his life and country. Go on patrol with the Jordanian military at the front lines with ISIS and the Syrian regime.  Hear the heartrending stories of Christians and Muslims fleeing torture, massacre and chemical weapons.  And in an exclusive Fox News investigation, learn for the first time about a modern-day underground railroad delivering persecuted Christians into America.  Right now, King Abdullah is fighting two wars at once, both for religious tolerance—will he fight on alone, or will America stand up as well.
Please tune in Friday, June 26th, 10pm EDT with additional airings Saturday, June 27th, 8pm ET and Sunday, June 28th, 9pm ET

Senator Cruz: ''Under no circumstances should Republicans in Congress extend ObamaCare."

Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said Wednesday on 'Special Report' that he would not extend health care subsidies to 6 million Americans who face the very real possibility of losing their subsidies when the Supreme Court issues a ruling on King v. Burwell this month.

"Under no circumstances should Republicans in Congress extend ObamaCare," the Republican presidential candidate said in response to George Will. "If the Supreme Court concludes that President Obama violated the law, the last thing Republicans in Congress should step up and do is codify his lawlessness and extend the subsidies."

He went to suggest lawmakers should allow states to opt out of ObamaCare, but agreed that the country "absolutely" needs health care reform and listed three specific ideas for doing just that.

"Let people purchase health insurance across state lines," Cruz suggested, saying it would create more choice for consumers. He also proposed expanding health savings accounts and said we need to "delink health insurance from employment."

"You or I lose our jobs, we don't lose our life insurance, our car insurance, or our house insurance. There's no reason we should lose our health insurance," Cruz stated. "We should be empowering patients, not putting government bureaucrats between us and our doctor." 

'Zoorassic World' takes Twitter by storm

Krauthammer: US should amp up support of Kurds in Iraq and Syria

Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer told viewers on "Special Report" that the US should amp up its support of the Kurds in Iraq and Syria as the strategy against Islamic militants founder. 
Fox obtained documents that show aides to the DIA Director Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart struck the word "quagmire" from his draft testimony about Iraq.
Krauthammer faults the Obama administration for not vigorously supporting the groups that have made headways in countering ISIS  noting the recent victory in which the Kurds captured Tal Abyad, Syria from the militants,  "Our strategy ought to be to arm, supply and support with heavy air support the Iraqi Kurds, the Syrian Kurds and there's also the front of the Free Syrian Army in southern Syria which is advancing as well."
The White House has been relying on the Iraqi government to unify sectarian factions in forming a fighting army, however, progress has been non-existent. 
"These are people we should be supporting but not the Iraqi government and its forces in the field who don't fight and who are not our friend," said Krauthammer. 

House GOP Wants to Split the Trade Bills..but can’t just yet

House Republicans are working to effort to start again on the trade bills and send the Senate a different package then was sent to the House a few weeks ago.

They are efforting splitting up the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) and underlying Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bills into two separate parts…unlike the way it was packaged when the measures came from the Senate.

Remember, they were contingent upon one another when the Senate sent them over.

So, House Republicans are banking on the fact they can pass the TPA bill…by itself…with lots of Republicans, but 28 important Demorats. Those are the same 28 Democrats who voted yes on Friday when the House approved TPA. And Republicans need them because they can’t pass the bill by themselves and only scored 193 Republican yeas on Friday.

“Once they made the commitment, they’re in,” said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

The GOP effort touched off some wild scrambling on Capitol Hill Tuesday as there was chatter about potentially trying to put the new split-bill effort on the House floor as early as Wednesday. That would have involved a late-night meeting of the House Rules Committee to set up the debate for Wednesday.

In fact, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), an opponent of TPA, quickly scheduled an emergency Democratic Caucus meeting for early Wednesday morning to remind her members what they were voting for and perhaps bring down the boom on the 28 Democratic yeas.

But Pelosi cancelled the caucus meeting as quickly as it was scheduled as word came that the House would not try to move in the next 24 hours.

Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), the biggest advocate for TPA in the House, huddled with House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) to urge the GOP to hold off on scheduling a vote until they could see what the Senate could accommodate. Kind then headed off to the Senate, to try to talk with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, to see if a split-bill approach would work in the Senate.

It’s believed that the only reason the Senate was able to approve TPA is because it was glommed together with TAA. And if the House then sends the Senate a package it can’t handle the effort is moot.

So for now, the House GOP brass is trying to move something, but it’s unclear when. And unclear what it will look like. 

We will bring you the latest on this issue as we learn more. 

Jason Riley on trade: 'failure of presidential leadership'

Jason Riley said Friday on Special Report that Friday's House vote, led by Democrats, that delivered a stinging blow to President Obama's trade agenda, the president's own fault.  

"This is a failure of presidential leadership," the columnist for The Wall Street Journal and Fox News contributor said. "This is a president who rules by executive authority, executive action. He has spent six years putting Congress at arm's length...and it came back to bite him on this trade issue."

"The politics of trade require a president to build a coalition, build a consensus from the center out. You're going to lose progressives on the left. You're going to lost protectionists on the right. But you have to use persuasion, argument," Riley said. 

Fiorina: “In a difficult time, sometimes difficult decisions are necessary to compete”

Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina told viewers Thursday on Special Report that when it comes to her record as CEO of Hewlett-Packard, “I led HP through a very difficult time.”  

“In a difficult time, sometimes difficult decisions are necessary to compete,” Fiorina added. She cited positive statistics that proved the company’s success during that time including that it doubled its size.

Fiorina also reflected on the current economy and job market challenges.

“I think what we have to realize in the 21st century is that we have to compete for every job and honestly we're shooting ourselves in the foot all the time,” she commented. “The complexity of our tax code and our regulatory structure is now destroying more businesses than we are creating in this country, which means we're destroying jobs.”



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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie jumps into the 2016 presidential race

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