Christie Cites Family in Taking Himself Out of Consideration for Chief of Staff

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie took himself out of the running on Friday to be the next chief of staff for President Donald Trump.

Though it was not formally offered, Christie politely declined the potential position, saying it was not the right time for him or his family to undertake such a serious assignment.

“It’s an honor to have the president consider me as he looks to choose a new White House chief of staff,” Christie said in a statement provided to The New York Times.

“However, I’ve told the president that now is not the right time for me or my family to undertake this serious assignment. As a result, I have asked him to no longer keep me in any of his considerations for this post.”

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is planning on leaving the position in a few weeks.

Trump has since been working to find a replacement. Christie became the latest potential replacement to decline consideration for the important job.

Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general, has been chief of staff since July 2017.

He had held onto his job for a while after replacing Reince Priebus in the position.

Christie has known the president for decades and was a close ally of his early on.

But as head of his transition team, he was dismissed — and was never offered an expected job in the administration.

“People close to him said the only [job] he had been interested in was attorney general,” The Times reported.

Trump is facing increased pressure to find a new chief of staff; some of the people who seemed to be potential picks have already taken themselves out of the running.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who had become a leading candidate for White House chief of staff post, withdraws from consideration https://t.co/3WQkYISPOB

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Source:: LifeZette

Leftist Critics Use Eastwood’s New Movie as Excuse to Attack Trump, Conservatives

Some leftist critics are not too happy with Clint Eastwood’s latest movie, “The Mule.”

The film, in theaters today, marks Eastwood’s first time in front of the camera in six years; it’s earned mostly positive reviews from critics so far.

Some people, however, are simply using the movie as an excuse to attack President Donald Trump and other conservatives.

“The Mule” is based on the true story of Leo Sharp, a man who ran drugs for a Mexican cartel well into his 80s.

Before being arrested, he had no criminal record and was known only as a celebrated horticulturalist.

Eastwood’s latest movie is a lot like his other recent works — it’s straightforward and to the point, and it has a lot of questions to ask about family, commitment and individual moral lines.

On top of being one of the most legendary living filmmakers, however, Eastwood is also one of Hollywood’s few outspoken right-leaning thinkers.

He’s never toed the politically correct line and he speaks his mind when he wants to — much to the displeasure of leftists looking to bubble-wrap art and make entertainment essentially one big, woke safe space for people who don’t understand personal expression.

Eastwood’s politics mean the temptation to attack him is too great for some leftist critics to resist.

Eastwood’s character in “The Mule” is a man of questionable character. He disappoints his family and friends and often puts himself above others. He’s also of another generation — and he speaks that way.

Some critics don’t like this.

“There’s a word for people like Earl Stone [Eastwood’s character], and that’s ‘problematic.’ Most white Americans have a relative like Earl, who’s old enough to remember a time when good old boys ran the country and everyone else was their inferior,” wrote Variety’s Peter Debruge in a review of the film.

“You sort of tense up …read more

Source:: LifeZette

Merry Christmas from Norway! See Princess Mette-Marit in the Royal Family’s Festive New Portrait

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas for the Norwegian royals!

King Harald and Queen Sonja are front and center in a new family portrait released for the holiday season. The traditional snaps, which also feature the King’s heir Crown Prince Haakon with his family – wife Princess Mette-Marit and their two children, Princess Ingrid Alexandra, 14, and Prince Sverre Magnus, 13 – were taken at the Royal Palace in Oslo on Friday in front of a decked-out Christmas tree.

Prince Haakon and Princess Mette-Marit also took the opportunity to pose for a more intimate photo with their kids. Haakon rests his arm on Prince Sverre Magnus’s shoulder, and both the father and son look dapper in suits and ties. Princess Ingrid Alexandra opted for a dark turtleneck and skirt with tights, while her mother sported a cozy white sweater and flowing black skirt.

Queen Sonja also opted for a white – but added a pop of color with her bright red heels!

RELATED: A Christmas Note from the Queen: See the Royals’ Holiday Cards

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The cheerful photo comes just months after Crown Princess Mette-Marit, 45, announced that she has been diagnosed with chronic pulmonary fibrosis, which occurs when lung tissue becomes scarred and causes reduced oxygen supply in the blood. There is currently no way to reverse or slow down the damage to the lungs.

“For a number of years, I have had health challenges on a regular basis, and now we know more about what these are in,” Mette-Marit said in a statement. “The condition means that the working capacity will vary. The Crown Prince and I choose to inform about this now, partly because in future …read more

Source:: People.com – Royal News

Does Meghan Markle Touch Her Belly Because it Has a Positive Effect on Baby? Experts Weigh in

Ever since Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced that they are expecting their first child in the spring, the royal mom-to-be can’t keep her hands off her baby bump.

In the weeks following the exciting news as the couple toured Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand, Meghan was spotted constantly cradling her belly – even when a bump was barely visible. She lovingly placed her hands on her stomach during a visit on Bondi Beach in Sydney and cupped her bump during a stroll with Harry on Australia’s Fraser Island. The Duchess of Sussex even assumed the position while posing for a candid photo taken by her royal husband in New Zealand.

During Meghan’s surprise appearance at the British Fashion Awards this week, she highlighted her growing bump further by cupping it with both hands – one on top of her belly and the other beneath – leading some fans to wonder why.

“I think it shows that she really cares for her baby, and that’s terrific,” Mary Jane Minkin, an obstetrician gynecologist who teaches at Yale University and is part of PEOPLE’s Health Squad, tells PEOPLE.

However, the notion that “bump cradling” is medically beneficial to the child — leading to speculation that Meghan is holding her belly for that reason — is not evidence-based.

“There really isn’t a lot of data showing that touching the belly really calms the baby,” Dr. Minkin says.

RELATED: Meghan Markle’s Not the Only Bump-Cradler! See All the Royals Who Embraced Their Baby Bellies

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Georgia Rose, a midwife who had her own practice for over two decades and also taught at her alma mater, Columbia University, tells PEOPLE …read more

Source:: People.com – Royal News