A look back at the people and events that made news the past week. Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of This Just In…
HEROES OF THE WEEK
VILLAINS OF THE WEEK
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
“These are not the actions of a man. They are crimes of a monster. The purpose of our actions tonight is to establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread, and use of chemical weapons.”
President Donald Trump after launching what he called “precision strikes” Friday night against three chemical weapons sites in Syria. Trump announced the strikes in a televised address less than a week after what U.S. officials called a poison gas attack on civilians conducted by Syrian leader Bashar Assad’s regime.
“I wanted to share with you a little of what I just told my colleagues a few minutes ago. You realize something when you take this job. It’s a big job with a lot riding on you. And you feel it.
“But you also know that this is a job that does not last forever. You realize that you hold the office for just a small part of our history—so you better make the most of it. It’s fleeting, and that inspires you to do big things. And on that score, I think we have achieved a heck of a lot.
“You all know that I did not seek this job. I took it reluctantly, but I have given this job everything that I have. And I have no regrets whatsoever for having accepted this responsibility. This has been one of the two greatest honors of my life.
“The job provides incredible opportunities, but the truth is it’s easy for it to take over everything in your life. And you can’t just let that happen. Because there are other things in life that can be fleeting as well: namely your time as a husband and a dad, which is the other great honor of my life.
“That’s why today I’m announcing that this year will be my last one as a member of the House. To be clear, I am not resigning. I intend to serve my full term as I was elected to do. But I will be retiring in January, leaving this majority in good hands with what I believe is a very bright future.
“It’s almost hard to believe, but I have been a member of Congress for almost two decades. This is my twentieth year in Congress. My kids weren’t even born when I was first elected. Our oldest was 13 years old when I became speaker. Now all three of our kids are teenagers. One thing I have learned about teenagers is their idea of an ideal weekend is not necessarily to spend all of their time with their parents. What I realize is if I am here for one more term, my kids will only have ever known me as a weekend dad. I just can’t let that happen.
“So I will be setting new priorities in my life. But I will also be leaving incredibly proud of what we have accomplished. Some of you know my story—my dad died when I was 16, the age my daughter is. And I just don’t want to be one of those people looking back on my life thinking, ‘I should’ve spent more time with my kids.’ When I know if I spend another term, they will only know me as a weekend father.
“So I’m really proud of what we’ve been able to do. When I took this job, one of my conditions was that we aim high. That we do big things. That we fashion an agenda, that we run on that agenda, that we win an election, and that we execute that agenda. I am so proud that that is exactly what we have done and what we are doing right now.
“We’ve accomplished so much since then. Probably the two biggest achievements for me are, first: the major reform of our tax code for the first time in 36 years, which has already been a huge success for this country. And that’s something I’ve been working on my entire adult life.
“Second, something I got much more invested in being Speaker is to rebuild our nation’s military. And after tax reform, addressing our military readiness crisis, that was a top priority that we got done last month as well.
“These I see as lasting victories that will make this country more prosperous and more secure for decades to come.
“There are so many other things that we have gotten done, and of course I’m going to look back proudly on my days at the Budget Committee and the Ways and Means Committee. But I don’t want to be too sentimental here. I want to be clear: I’m not done yet. I intend to run through the tape, to finish the year.
“Some of you wonder why I can’t just do the normal politician thing—which is to run and then retire after the election. That is what I’m told is the politically shrewd thing to do. I considered that. But just as my conscience is what got me to take this job in the first place, my conscience could not handle going out that way.
“I pledged to serve the people of Wisconsin, the First District, honorably. And in order to serve the people of my district honorably, I have to serve them honestly. And for me to ask them to vote to re-elect me, knowing that I wasn’t going to stay is not being honest. I simply cannot do that. So that’s why I’m announcing this today.
“Again, I am proud of what this conference has achieved and I believe its future is bright. The economy is strong, we have given Americans greater confidence in their lives, and I have every confidence that I’ll be handing this gavel on to the next Republican Speaker of the House next year.
“So just to close, I said earlier that I didn’t want this job at first. And most of you know this—I really actually didn’t. But, I have to thank my colleagues for giving me this opportunity and this honor. I am really grateful for it.
“I also want to thank the people of southern Wisconsin for placing their trust in me as their representative for the past 20 years. I’ve tried to bring as much Wisconsin to Washington as I can in that time.
“It has been a wild ride, but it has been a journey well worth taking to be able to do my part to strengthen the American Idea. That pursuit is never ending, much work remains, but I like to think I have done my part—my little part—of history to set us on a better course.
House Speaker Paul Ryan
“Speaker Paul Ryan is a truly good man, and while he will not be seeking re-election, he will leave a legacy of achievement that nobody can question. We are with you Paul!”
“As dear friends of Paul and Janna for more than 20 years, Tonette and I simply say ‘thank you’ to them and their family. On behalf of the more than five and a half million people of Wisconsin, we thank them for their deep dedication and service to our state and our country. While Paul leaves behind a far-reaching, reform-minded legacy and a long list of achievements in Congress, I believe this is just the beginning for him.”
WI Governor Scott Walker
“He is answering a higher calling, and that is to his family. The wear and tear of his position is something that none of us can actually relate to and we respect him for making a tough decision, leaving a pinnacle of power to do what a dad needs to do.”
Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C.
“Before I was elected to the Senate I served with Paul Ryan in the House and have spent many years working with him on behalf of the people of Wisconsin. We know each other well and while we have different views on policy, I consider him a friend and have a lot of respect for him as a person and a public servant. This was a difficult decision to make, and I wish Paul and his family all the best in the future.”
US Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
A TOTAL WITCH HUNT!!! Attorney–client privilege is dead!
President Trump took to Twitter Tuesday to express his anger over the FBI’s raid of the office of his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen
“Clients should be able to rely on confidentiality when they disclose their most intimate secrets in an effort to secure their legal rights. A highly publicized raid on the president’s lawyer will surely shake the confidence of many clients in promises of confidentiality by their lawyers. They will not necessarily understand the nuances of the confidentiality rules and their exceptions. They will see a lawyer’s office being raided and all his files seized.
“I have been widely attacked for defending the constitutional rights of a president I voted against. In our hyperpartisan age, everyone is expected to choose a side, either for or against Trump. But the essence of civil liberties is that they must be equally applicable to all. The silence among most civil libertarians regarding the recent raid shows that we are losing that valuable neutrality.
“So, stay tuned to this unfolding drama, but remember that prosecutorial tactics used today against President Trump may tomorrow be used against Democrats — and even against you.”
Alan M. Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School
“Here’s what everyone’s been trying to tell you today — and I say it gently — your user agreement sucks. The purpose of a user agreement is to cover Facebook’s rear end, not inform users of their rights.
“I’m going to suggest you go home and rewrite it, and tell your $1,200 dollar and hour lawyer…you want it written in English not Swahili, so the average American user can understand.”
Republican Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana confronted Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about the transparency of the social media company’s policies during a joint hearing of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees on Tuesday
“What the Zuck, Facebook? Amen to my sisters Diamond and Silk for speaking truth to power and calling out Facebook for suppressing their posts and positions. For quite a while folks have cautioned me to not rock the Facebook boat – but screw it. Facebook has controlled my reach to friends and foes for far too long. My small team and I been having the same issues as Diamond and Silk and other independent conservatives. Our message of support for common sense Make America Great Again policies is being suppressed and censored as self-proclaimed ‘movers and shakers’ operate to influence in fine Orwellian form.”
“We’re not making propaganda. Here is this amazing, incredible, traumatic event, which I think has had a massive impact, and still does, and effects the world we’re in now–20th century American history. Everybody gave [Kennedy] a pass.”
Jason Clarke, the actor who plays Sen. Ted Kennedy in the film Chappaquiddick
“Melania is a huge influence. She actually sits in on meetings. She will summarize what others say and then come up with her own strategy, and I quote Reince Priebus and others on the record who say her judgment is impeccable. She has great political sense. She will also give Trump articles, including negative ones, that she thinks he should read. She will disagree with him openly.”
Ronald Kessler, author of The Trump White House: Changing the Rules of the Game
A possessed person “said, ‘I am the prince of this world, I am Satan’, and the hairs on my arms went up. When you listen to a satanic growl, once you listen to the devil’s voice, you can recognize it.”
Father César Truqui, a Mexican priest based in Switzerland, who has been performing exorcisms for 10 years
“Here’s the thing about my dad. He had this funniness that was just completely, insanely natural. When he was dying, he was making us laugh in hysterics. He was literally dying, but he did something or said something that caused my stepmother and me to go into fits of laughter, which is why I ran out. I thought to myself, ‘I don’t want to be standing there in front of this man, my dearly beloved father, who’s dying, and laughing.’
“I was telling this story to Howard Storm, who’s a director, and he said, ‘You should have stayed and laughed out loud. That’s what comedians live for.’ He was right; I should have just stood there and blasted out laughing.”
Don Knotts’ daughter Karen who is currently in the process of writing a memoir and is now performing a show about her childhood titled “Tied Up In Knotts!”
OUTRAGE OF THE WEEK
MOST UNDER-REPORTED STORY OF THE WEEK
MOST OVER-HYPED STORY OF THE WEEK
Paul Ryan and President Trump’s working relationship
STRANGEST, MOST UNUSUAL STORY OF THE WEEK