so long farewell
July 17, 2019

Outgoing U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May gave a "valedictory" speech on Wednesday, as she and the country prepare to move on without one another. Eyes seemed to remain dry, however. Perhaps unsurprisingly, left-leaning media and politicians were largely unimpressed with the conservative's swan song.

May spoke about her concerns that absolutist politics have come to play too great a role globally and domestically. "An inability to combine principles with pragmatism and make a compromise when required seems to have driven our political discourse down the wrong path," she said during the farewell speech.

That sounded nice and the analysis is true, The Guardian wrote in an editorial, which while critical of May, did attest to the "solidity of her character." But the paper argues that ultimately the entire speech was "unoriginal" and "blunted by a characteristic lack of candor." The editorial added that it is "sad" but unsurprising that even now May "lacks the introspective capacity to draw and share valuable insights from her experience in office."

Labour Party MP David Lammy was even less forgiving in his critique.

Meanwhile, The Independent decided to "read between the lines" and provided some suggestions for what May really meant by some of her more careful word choices throughout the speech. The conclusion, per the paper? "We are all doomed." Tim O'Donnell

June 2, 2019

Kevin Hassett, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, is leaving the White House "shortly," President Trump announced on Twitter Sunday night.

Hassett has "done such a great job for me," Trump said, and is "a true friend." A conservative economist, Hassett has led the Council of Economic Advisers since September 2017, and helped Trump's senior advisers Jared Kushner and Stephen Miller come up with a proposal that would make it easier for immigrants with certain skills to enter the country, rather than giving priority to people with relatives already in the U.S.

Hassett's departure comes at a time when the United States is dealing with an escalating trade war with China and Trump is threatening new tariffs on Mexican goods. Trump is headed to Europe and said he will announce Hassett's "very talented" replacement once he returns to the U.S. Catherine Garcia

March 4, 2019

Former acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker no longer works at the Department of Justice.

A Justice Department spokeswoman said Monday Whitaker left his position on Saturday. Last month, William Barr was sworn in as attorney general, and Whitaker moved on to a new role as a senior counselor. Before becoming acting attorney general, Whitaker served as chief of staff to former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

It's unclear what's next for Whitaker, but people close to him told NBC News he will stay in Washington, D.C., because there are "many opportunities here." Catherine Garcia

December 31, 2018

Defense Secretary James Mattis has a way with words.

Just two weeks after submitting a scathing resignation letter after disagreeing with President Trump's withdrawal of troops from Syria, Mattis issued another, shorter letter on the last day of his tenure. In the Monday letter, he challenged former President Abraham Lincoln's message to Ulysses S. Grant just before the end of the Civil War. Mattis quoted Lincoln's orders, and similarly told defense employees to stay "undistracted" from their "mission" of protecting the Constitution.

Mattis was originally slated to leave the administration in February. But Trump announced last week Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan would be taking over Jan. 1, speeding up his departure. The change reportedly came after Trump read Mattis' harsh resignation letter — a few days after Mattis originally submitted it. Kathryn Krawczyk

August 9, 2018

Another day, another quiet departure from the White House.

Helen Aguirre Ferré has left her job as President Trump's director of media affairs for Hispanic and African-American news outlets, Strategic Communications Director Mercedes Schlapp confirmed to Univision late Wednesday. Ferré handled Spanish-speaking media for the Trump administration, a job that's now left to Schlapp.

Aguirre Ferré wasn't expected to leave Trump's team, seeing as she "went beyond her duties to secure her permanency in that office," a former colleague told Univision. In June, she loudly defended Trump's zero tolerance immigration policy — at a Latino Leaders Summit, no less. But as a former critic of Trump and his treatment of women, it also surprised coworkers that she joined this White House in the first place. Aguirre Ferré campaigned for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) in 2016, but switched to Trump's side after he secured the Republican nomination.

Carlos Díaz-Rosillo, another prominent Hispanic White House staffer, also left his spot as deputy assistant to the president a little more than a month ago. These two successive departures raise questions about the administration's commitment to Spanish speakers, Univision says. The White House website has no Spanish content 18 months into Trump's presidency, unlike the past two administrations.

Aguirre Ferré hasn't hinted at where she's headed next, but rumors swirl that she'll join the National Endowment for the Arts, Univision says. Kathryn Krawczyk

March 30, 2017

Crayola's new 24-pack won't include the color Dandelion, the crayon-making company announced Thursday. The golden-yellow crayon, an iconic color in Crayola's classic pack, was introduced to the box in 1990.

Crayola is giving it a day before it announces which crayon color will step up as Dandelion's replacement. The big reveal will happen on Friday — which happens to be National Crayon Day — at an event in New York City's Time Square that will be livestreamed on Facebook.

Devastating as Dandelion's departure may be, CNBC reported this isn't the first time a crayon has left the box. Crayola replaced eight colors in 1990, and swapped out four more colors in 2003.

Catch Dandelion's farewell announcement below. Becca Stanek

March 21, 2017

If, like President Trump, you watch Fox News to hear the latest theories set forward by retired judge Andrew Napolitano, prepare to be disappointed — the senior judicial analyst won't be on the network any time soon.

Napolitano will be off Fox News indefinitely, the Los Angeles Times reports, after he shared on network programs and the baseless claim that the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), Britain's foreign surveillance agency, "most likely" gave former President Barack Obama transcripts of President Trump's recorded calls (the agency called this "utterly ridiculous"). While Trump has claimed without evidence that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower before the election, FBI Director James Comey testified Monday that there is "no information to support" this.

Napolitano's theory was cited last week by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer when he was asked why Trump won't stop claiming that Trump Tower was wiretapped, and by Trump himself during a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. After Napolitano said on one program that Fox News spoke to people in the intelligence community "who believe that surveillance did occur, that it was done by British intelligence," the network's Shepard Smith backtracked, saying Fox News did not know of any evidence proving this. When asked by the Times for comment, Fox News and Napolitano, who has not been on air since Thursday, did not respond. Catherine Garcia

January 2, 2017

President Obama is wrapping up his presidency with a farewell speech in his hometown of Chicago next week, the White House announced Monday. The speech, slated for Jan. 10 at convention center McCormick Place, will give the outgoing president a "chance to say thank you for this amazing journey, to celebrate the ways you've changed this country for the better these past eight years, and to offer some thoughts on where we all go from here," Obama wrote in an email to supporters.

Obama noted that he'll be heeding a "precedent" set by George Washington in 1796 by "penning a farewell address to the American people." Though Obama said he is "just beginning to write [his remarks]," he is already certain he will discuss some of the "core questions" about American values. "Since 2009, we've faced our fair share of challenges, and come through them stronger," Obama wrote in the email. "That's because we have never let go of a belief that has guided us ever since our founding — our conviction that, together, we can change this country for the better."

President-elect Donald Trump will take office on Jan. 20, ten days after Obama's farewell speech. Becca Stanek

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