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Westlake Legal Group > News and News Media (Page 101)

Mom, boyfriend charged after missing 3-year-old girl found dead in Virginia river

A southwestern Virginia mother and her boyfriend were arrested Wednesday after authorities found the body of a missing 3-year-old girl in a local river.

The Wythe County Sheriff’s Office said that Kimberly Dawn Moore, 45, and Adrian Neil Puckett, also 45, have been charged with felony child neglect with reckless disregard for life and felony child endangerment in the death of Josie Burleson. The sheriff’s office added that more charges were possible and the investigation is ongoing.

Westlake Legal Group VA-Missing-Girl Mom, boyfriend charged after missing 3-year-old girl found dead in Virginia river Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/virginia fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast fox-news/us/crime/drugs fox news fnc/us fnc article 702e5935-d639-5c56-98d5-110bab21e82d

Josie Burleson was found dead Wednesday morning. (Wythe County Sheriff’s Office)

Investigators say Josie was reported missing just before 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. When questioned, Moore and Puckett told authorities that the girl was playing outside a house they were visiting near the New River Trail and wandered away. The house in question is located within 150 yards of the river.

VIRGINIA POLICE SAY MISSING BOY, 2, IS DEAD; MOM ARRESTED IN DISAPPEARANCE

The sheriff’s office said more than 100 people searched for Josie in nearby fields, along adjacent trails and in the New River, where the girl’s body was found shortly after 1 a.m.

Wythe County Sheriff Keith Dunagan told The Roanoke Times that authorities did not know how long Josie was missing before her disappearance was reported because Moore and Puckett “were on meth and they made two or three different statements, and we don’t know which one is correct.”

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The sheriff added that investigators believe Josie wandered to the edge of the river looking for a swing she had visited in the past.

“They found her footprints in the mud at the edge of the river,” Dunagan told the Times. “The current was swift there, and we believe it carried her down the river.”

Click for more from Fox 5 DC.

Westlake Legal Group VA-Missing-Girl Mom, boyfriend charged after missing 3-year-old girl found dead in Virginia river Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/virginia fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast fox-news/us/crime/drugs fox news fnc/us fnc article 702e5935-d639-5c56-98d5-110bab21e82d   Westlake Legal Group VA-Missing-Girl Mom, boyfriend charged after missing 3-year-old girl found dead in Virginia river Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/virginia fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast fox-news/us/crime/drugs fox news fnc/us fnc article 702e5935-d639-5c56-98d5-110bab21e82d

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Fed Chair Powell Signals Rate Cut as Economic Risks Loom

Westlake Legal Group 10DC-FED-wire-facebookJumbo Fed Chair Powell Signals Rate Cut as Economic Risks Loom United States Politics and Government United States Economy National Debt (US) Interest Rates Inflation (Economics) Deflation (Economics) Banking and Financial Institutions

WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve chair, Jerome H. Powell, signaled on Wednesday that the Fed could soon cut interest rates, sending stocks higher as the benchmark S&P 500 stock index briefly traded above 3,000 for the first time.

Mr. Powell, testifying before the House Financial Services Committee, highlighted ongoing risks to the United States economy from President Trump’s trade war and a global economic slowdown, suggesting a cut may be likely when the Fed meets again later this month.

That the Fed is considering a rate cut at a moment when the United States economy is strong and job market gains are solid underscores Mr. Powell and his colleagues’ concern about the future of a record economic expansion. The Fed expects unemployment to remain low and inflation to gradually increase, but Mr. Powell said that “uncertainties around trade tensions and concerns about the strength of the global economy continue to weigh on the U.S. economic outlook.”

The Fed, which has not cut rates since slashing them nearly to zero during the financial crisis, has been under pressure from Mr. Trump to lower borrowing costs. The president has called the Fed the biggest risk to the United States economy and has said repeatedly that Mr. Powell does not know what he’s doing.

“Let’s take a look at the economy and let that be the report card,” Mr. Powell said when asked about the president’s criticism, pointing to the record-long expansion and low unemployment.

Mr. Powell has insisted that the Fed will not bend to political pressure and will do what is needed to sustain the expansion. His testimony pushed markets higher as investors ignored possible economic storm clouds and cheered the increased likelihood that the Fed will soon lower borrowing costs.

Falling interest rates lift stocks for several reasons, even when they come amid mounting economic risks. They lower the returns on new investments in bonds, the main alternative to stocks for many investors. That makes stocks look more attractive to investors. A rate cut also makes it cheaper for consumers and companies to borrow, and that can buck up economic activity and help corporate profits.

The S&P 500 is up 19.4 percent in 2019, after already enjoying one of the longest bull markets on record. Since the climb began in March 2009, the index has more than quadrupled. Stocks closed higher, though the S&P had retreated to 2,993.07 by the end of trading.

“You’ve got some modest growth, you’ve got moderate inflation, you’ve got a decent labor market, and you’ve got valuations in the market that aren’t stretched,” said Scott Wren, senior global equity strategist at the Wells Fargo Investment Institute.

What is worrying the Fed now are looming risks to the economy. Mr. Powell told lawmakers that “uncertainties about the outlook have increased in recent months,” adding that “a number of government policy issues have yet to be resolved, including trade developments, the federal debt ceiling and Brexit,” referring to Britain’s negotiations to exit the European Union.

The federal debt ceiling may need to be raised early this fall for the government to borrow more money and avoid default.

The United States and China have agreed to restart trade negotiations, but Mr. Powell said that did not eliminate the economic risks emanating from the dispute, which has begun to hurt confidence and business spending around the globe. Mr. Trump has already placed tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods and China has retaliated against American products. A resolution is far from certain.

“We’ve agreed to begin discussions again with China — while that’s a constructive step, it doesn’t remove the uncertainty,” Mr. Powell said, adding that a strong June jobs report did not change the outlook on interest rates. “The uncertainties around global growth and trade continue to weigh on the outlook,” he said. “In addition, inflation continues to be muted.”

Investors fully expect a cut of a quarter-percentage point at the Fed’s July 30 to July 31 meeting, and bets that the move could be as big as half a percentage point climbed on Wednesday.

Mr. Powell did not explicitly say a rate cut is coming, but he pointed to mounting economic concerns and made no effort to walk back market pricing for expectations of a cut in July. He also did not rule out the possibility of a larger cut when given the chance to do so. The Fed’s pre-meeting blackout period starts July 20, so officials have just this week and next to manage expectations.

The 17-member Fed policymaking committee was split in June over whether the central bank should cut rates this year, with eight officials projecting a cut before the end of the year and nine pointing to no change or a rate increase. Minutes from the June meeting that were released on Wednesday reinforced Mr. Powell’s message. Many Fed officials thought an rate cut could be warranted “in the near term” if uncertainty persisted, the notes show.

That sentiment seems to be holding up.

James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and the lone dissenter in favor of lower rates in June, said on a call with reporters on Wednesday that he would argue for a rate cut of a quarter-percentage point at the next meeting. He has penciled in half a percentage point in cuts before the end of the year. “That would depend on how the economy developed, and especially on how inflation and inflation expectations developed,” he said.

If the Fed lowers borrowing costs this month, the move may please the president. Mr. Trump has been jawboning the Fed to cut rates for months, aiming a barrage of tweets and comments at the central bank.

Mr. Powell reiterated that he was not acting at the behest of political pressure, which has included reports that the White House has looked into demoting him from chair to a Fed governor. Asked by a lawmaker what he would do if Mr. Trump tried to fire him, Mr. Powell responded that he would not step down. “Of course I would not do that,” Mr. Powell said. “My answer would be no.”

He added that “the law clearly gives me a four-year term, and I fully intend to serve it.”

Political pressures aside, tepid price gains are making a rate cut more likely. Inflation climbed just 1.5 percent in the year through May, well below the Fed’s 2 percent target. Weak prices are a problem because they increase the risk of economy-harming deflation, and leave policymakers less room to cut rates in a downturn.

Fed officials are also increasingly alert to slow wage growth, and Mr. Powell made what might be his strongest comments yet that the labor market was not behaving the way most economists would have expected. Unemployment is at a 50-year low, but wages have yet to rise in the way they typically should if there are more jobs than available workers.

“We don’t have any basis, or any evidence, for calling this a hot labor market,” Mr. Powell said.

“To call something hot, you need to see some heat, and while we hear lots of reports of companies having a hard time finding qualified labor, nonetheless, we don’t really see wages really responding,” he said. “So I don’t really see that as a current issue.”

Moving rates lower — even just slightly — could signal that the Fed is ready to defend its 2 percent inflation goal, and show that it is prepared to act to offset fallout from the trade war and slowing foreign growth. When discussing reasons to potentially cut rates at their June meeting, several Fed officials said they saw less upward pressure on inflation from tight labor markets than they had expected. A few were concerned that inflation expectations had already sunk too low, based on the meeting minutes.

Mr. Powell will get a second chance to convey expectations about a potential rate cut on Thursday, when he testifies before the Senate Banking Committee.

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Noah Schnapp: ‘Stranger Things’ Character’s Sexuality Is ‘Up To Interpretation’

Westlake Legal Group 5d26299b2400001120935285 Noah Schnapp: ‘Stranger Things’ Character’s Sexuality Is ‘Up To Interpretation’

The third season of Netflix’s “Stranger Things” has reignited a long-standing debate among fans about whether one of its principal characters identifies as gay. 

The third episode of Season 3 features a scene in which Will Byers (played by Noah Schnapp) tries to keep his pals, each of whom has gotten involved in a budding romance, focused on a game of “Dungeons & Dragons.” After a frustrated Will storms out, his pal Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard) declares, “It’s not my fault you don’t like girls.” 

After the latest season of “Stranger Things” debuted July 4, many fans sounded off on social media about just how to interpret that dialogue. In an interview published Tuesday, Schnapp didn’t confirm nor deny that the line was a reference to Will’s sexuality, explaining, “It’s really up to interpretation.”

“All his friends have girlfriends and they’re out dating, and he just wants to have fun with his friends,” the actor told The Wrap. “You see in Episode 3, he just wants to play D&D in the basement, and now all of his friends have girlfriends and they are dating. And it’s kind of, when you hear Mike say that line, it’s really up to the audience to interpret it.”

As to how Schnapp sees the line himself, he said, “I kind of just interpret it like he’s not ready to grow up and he doesn’t really want to move on to dating and relationships yet. He still wants to be a kid and play in the basement like he did in old times.”

The 14-year-old, whose credits include “Bridge of Spies” and “The Peanuts Movie,” previously addressed speculation over his character’s sexuality in 2016, when “Stranger Things” first emerged as a cultural phenomenon. 

“For me, Will being gay or not is besides the point,” he wrote in a since-deleted Instagram post. “‘Stranger Things’ is a show about a bunch of kids who are outsiders and find each other because they have bullied in some way or are different. Does being sensitive, or a loner, or a teenager who likes photography, or a girl with red hair and big glasses, make you gay?”

Still, he said he didn’t mind the questioning, noting, “I do know we all relate to being different.” 

Whether Schnapp’s interview will quiet debate over Will’s sexuality is anyone’s guess. It should be noted that Season 3 of “Stranger Things” did introduce an openly lesbian character in Robin (Maya Hawke)

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Annette Roque officially files to divorce Matt Lauer after 20 years of marriage

Matt Lauer’s wife, Annette Roque, has filed for divorce from the former “TODAY” co-host, Fox News has confirmed.

The 52-year-old Roque, a former Dutch model, officially called it quits on her nuptials with Lauer on Tuesday, a spokesperson for the New York State Unified Court System said.

MATT LAUER AND ANNETTE ROQUE’S DIVORCE IS NEARLY FINALIZED

“The case, which is an uncontested matrimonial, was filed on July 9th in State Supreme Court in Suffolk County, New York and is awaiting judicial review of the agreement,” the court said in a statement. “Upon a judge’s signature, it will be sent to the court clerk’s office to be entered. The process could take up to a few months.”

Westlake Legal Group Roque-Lauer-Getty Annette Roque officially files to divorce Matt Lauer after 20 years of marriage Julius Young fox-news/entertainment/media fox-news/entertainment/genres/morning-shows fox-news/entertainment/events/scandal fox-news/entertainment/events/divorce fox news fnc/entertainment fnc eab46ac2-26da-547f-a704-0ac3334dc9a8 article

EAST HAMPTON, NY – AUGUST 12: Annette Roque and Matt Lauer attend Apollo in the Hamptons 2017: hosted by Ronald O. Perelman at The Creeks on August 12, 2017 in East Hampton, New York. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Apollo)

In a statement to People magazine on Wednesday, Roque’s attorney John Teitler told the outlet, “The matter has been settled.”

Lauer and Roque share three children; son Jack, 18, daughter Romy, 15, and son Thijs, 12.

NBC’S ‘TODAY’ AWKWARDLY IGNORES MATT LAUER IN ITS 25TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION

Tuesday’s filing was not the first time Roque has sought to formalize her split from the former TV heavyweight. Court documents obtained by the National Enquirer show Roque filed to divorce Lauer in 2006, claiming he had committed “cruel and inhumane” acts against her. Roque alleged that the seemingly unassuming Lauer often criticized her parenting acumen and acted with “extreme anger and hostility” that put her mental and physical well-being at risk.

Westlake Legal Group RTR2NHV Annette Roque officially files to divorce Matt Lauer after 20 years of marriage Julius Young fox-news/entertainment/media fox-news/entertainment/genres/morning-shows fox-news/entertainment/events/scandal fox-news/entertainment/events/divorce fox news fnc/entertainment fnc eab46ac2-26da-547f-a704-0ac3334dc9a8 article

Matt Lauer’s estranged wife Annette Roque has officially filed for divorce from the disgraced NBC host. (Reuters)

Despite the myriad of allegations against Lauer, Roque withdrew her claims just three weeks after filing the paperwork.

Lauer, 61, was fired by NBC in November 2017 after multiple sexual misconduct claims were levied against him in detailed accounts published in Variety and The New York Times.

MATT LAUER AGREES TO PAY ANNETTE ROQUE UP TO $20M IN DIVORCE

Last month, Page Six reported Lauer was “bending over backward” to give Roque everything she wanted in the dissolution of their union, adding that she would receive up to $20 million in assets, including one of the former couple’s homes in the Hamptons – a horse farm in Water Mill.

Westlake Legal Group lauer9 Annette Roque officially files to divorce Matt Lauer after 20 years of marriage Julius Young fox-news/entertainment/media fox-news/entertainment/genres/morning-shows fox-news/entertainment/events/scandal fox-news/entertainment/events/divorce fox news fnc/entertainment fnc eab46ac2-26da-547f-a704-0ac3334dc9a8 article

The disgraced NBC host owns the palatial 8,000 square-foot estate with his estranged wife, Annette Roque. (Zillow)

It is still unclear if whether the couple will offload their palatial North Haven home, Strongheart Manor – a property Lauer took off of Richard Gere’s hands for a cool $36.5 million in 2016.

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Lauer and Roque are expected to share custody of their children, the outlet reported at the time.

Westlake Legal Group Roque-Lauer-Getty Annette Roque officially files to divorce Matt Lauer after 20 years of marriage Julius Young fox-news/entertainment/media fox-news/entertainment/genres/morning-shows fox-news/entertainment/events/scandal fox-news/entertainment/events/divorce fox news fnc/entertainment fnc eab46ac2-26da-547f-a704-0ac3334dc9a8 article   Westlake Legal Group Roque-Lauer-Getty Annette Roque officially files to divorce Matt Lauer after 20 years of marriage Julius Young fox-news/entertainment/media fox-news/entertainment/genres/morning-shows fox-news/entertainment/events/scandal fox-news/entertainment/events/divorce fox news fnc/entertainment fnc eab46ac2-26da-547f-a704-0ac3334dc9a8 article

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AOC accuses Congress of using women, minorities as ‘bargaining chips’ who have been ‘auctioned off’ for decades

Westlake Legal Group AOC-AP AOC accuses Congress of using women, minorities as 'bargaining chips' who have been 'auctioned off' for decades Nick Givas fox-news/politics/regulation/media fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox news fnc/politics fnc c72cb69b-b2be-5771-a12b-b0728b757a6e article

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accused Congress of using women and minorities as chess pawns, saying the communities have been “auctioned off and negotiated off” for decades.

“When it comes to women of color in Congress, particularly the freshman, it’s that we both have encountered and represent communities that have been auctioned off and negotiated off for the last 20 years. And we’re over it,” she said during a Tuesday interview with The New Yorker Radio Hour.

Ocasio-Cortez said there is a significant amount of insincere pandering that occurs when lawmakers are in the midst of legislative discussions.

OCASIO-CORTEZ: PELOSI GIVING ME BUSY WORK, MIGHT BE TRYING TO KEEP ME OUT OF THE WAY

PELOSI SAYS SHE HAS ‘NO REGRETS’ ABOUT CALLING OUT FOUR PROGRESSIVE MEMBER: ‘NOT WHAT I DO’

“We see in these negotiations all the time— it’s like fighting for black communities or policies that help women,” she said. “They’re bargaining chips. And they’re the first chips that are reached for in any legislative negotiations.”

Ocasio-Cortez also commented on the current state of the Democratic party and encouraged her colleagues to stop fearing the word socialism. She also said she was shocked by how concentrated power has become within the nation’s capital.

“We don’t know how to talk about our own issues in ways that I think are convincing … we’re too often on the defense. We’re too often afraid of our own values and sticking up for them. And I feel like we run away from our convictions too much,” she said.

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“The rules of Congress have changed over the years to put, I think, an insane amount of power in a handful of people — within even just the House of Representatives itself. The Speaker, [party] leadership, committee chairs … over the years the rules have changed to kind of consolidate power to a very large degree.”

Westlake Legal Group AOC-AP AOC accuses Congress of using women, minorities as 'bargaining chips' who have been 'auctioned off' for decades Nick Givas fox-news/politics/regulation/media fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox news fnc/politics fnc c72cb69b-b2be-5771-a12b-b0728b757a6e article   Westlake Legal Group AOC-AP AOC accuses Congress of using women, minorities as 'bargaining chips' who have been 'auctioned off' for decades Nick Givas fox-news/politics/regulation/media fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox news fnc/politics fnc c72cb69b-b2be-5771-a12b-b0728b757a6e article

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Jim Hanson: Social media discrimination against conservatives is intolerable – This should happen after summit

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5827279464001_5827278508001-vs Jim Hanson: Social media discrimination against conservatives is intolerable – This should happen after summit Jim Hanson fox-news/politics/regulation/media fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc e78df007-484c-5dc6-abcf-30317e4021cf article

Responding to rampant viewpoint discrimination against conservative voices on social media sites, President Trump is bringing prominent conservatives to the White House Thursday to discuss what can be done to stop suppression of their views on Facebook, Twitter, Google and other platforms.

The tech giants, who weren’t invited to what the president is calling a social media summit, deny they are discriminating against conservatives – but their denials fail to stand up under scrutiny.

I will be among those attending the summit to discuss ways to give conservatives fair access to sites where millions of people get much of their news and information. We aren’t seeking to keep those on the left off social media – but we’re tired of seeing our point of view suppressed.

BIG TECH IS DESTROYING AMERICA’S PRESS INDUSTRY, WARN LAWMAKERS AND JOURNALISTS

This is a tough issue. We cherish the freedom of speech and of the press guaranteed in the First Amendment to the Constitution and don’t want to empower government to control the flow of information to the American people.

We believe in the private sector, and – unlike the socialists playing an ever-growing role in the Democratic Party – don’t want to empower Big Government to take over the role of the free enterprise system.

At the same time, we’re tired of enormously powerful companies with leftist agendas manipulating social media to shine a bright spotlight on views to their liking, while shoving posts from conservatives into dark corners of the web where they get little exposure.

At the same time, we’re tired of enormously powerful companies with leftist agendas manipulating social media to shine a bright spotlight on views to their liking, while shoving posts from conservatives into dark corners of the web where they get little exposure.

All views deserve a fair chance to be seen and heard in the Internet’s vast marketplace of ideas – but right now that isn’t happening for conservatives.

It would be irresponsible for us to rule out using the power of government to compel the social media giants to give all points of view fair exposure if the companies stubbornly refuse to do so.

This would be akin to one nation taking the military option off the table as it entered a negotiation with a hostile foreign power. It’s a horrible idea. For any negotiation to have any chance of success, the other side must believe you will use your biggest weapon if it becomes necessary.

Ideally, government investigations and even interventions will serve as the iron fist in the velvet glove to induce the tech giants to act reasonably, now that all other attempts to convince them have failed. But we must decide two things: What do we want these multibillion-dollar companies to do? And, what are the available options to make them do it?

What we want is an examination of how the social media giants decide what people see.

It is easy to deal with the banning of people from social media sites through arbitrary and partisan enforcement of the “rules” that govern behavior on these platforms. It is far harder to deal with how the tech companies create artificial intelligence (AI) to enforce those rules and pick what gets onto your screen.

As The Washington Post reported last year, when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress:  “Zuckerberg referred to AI technology more than 30 times during ten hours of questioning from congressional lawmakers Tuesday and Wednesday, saying that it would one day be smart, sophisticated and eagle-eyed enough to fight against a vast variety of platform-spoiling misbehavior, including fake news, hate speech, discriminatory ads and terrorist propaganda.”

Sounds good. But then the same Post article, by Drew Harwell, pointed out: “But Facebook’s AI technology can’t do any of those things well yet, and it’s unclear when, if ever, it will be able to.”

The problem is that AI is only as smart as those who design it. It must be trained to recognize patterns and make decisions – leaving it highly vulnerable to the biases of those who build and instruct it.

Since the overwhelming majority of these designers are liberal and activist, this leads to AI that simply automates the process of enforcing politically correct progressive orthodoxy.

The simplest way to understand this is to do a Google search. I want to know what the facts are about the nuclear threat posed by Iran, so I ask: “Is Iran a nuclear threat?” Here is the result I got – with one of the top news stories coming from is from Al-Jazeera.

If you’re not familiar with Al-Jazeera, it’s a propaganda outlet owned and operated by Qatar, a steadfast ally and enabler of the rabidly anti-American Iranian government. The article is an apologia for Iran’s ongoing quest to become a nuclear power. Out of the more than 40 million results Google found for this question, how on Earth did such a biased and untrustworthy source filter to near the top?

The answer is that the Al-Jazeera article supports and agrees with the worldview of those at Google who write algorithms and decide which media outlets are the best sources. While the article’s headline is a close match in wording to my question, that should not have outweighed the complete unsuitability of Al-Jazeera as an accurate, reliable and trustworthy source of information.

This problem is endemic to the AI used by all the major tech platforms. The viewpoints of those who design the AI has infected the ability of the AI to deliver unbiased information.

We cannot regain a free information space without visibility into this process and quality-control oversight to ensure that the methods for determining what the platforms show us don’t simply elevate liberal content.

How do we make the tech companies do that? We threaten them. We’ve been asking nicely and holding hearings and publicly exposing their bias for long enough.

Our federal government has an interest in ensuring that all Americans have access to the accurate and unbiased information we need to make decisions. There are several agencies that have legitimate responsibilities to give us this access.

The Federal Trade Commission is charged with enforcing antitrust laws, which forbid the unfair domination of vital goods and services by a small group of providers. There is no question of the tech firms’ overwhelming dominance of our information space. Investigating what they do and how they do it is absolutely appropriate.

The Federal Communications Commission is charged with regulating interstate and international communications. It should investigate the shadow banning of Republican candidates and leaders by Twitter, along with the platform’s suppression of conservative voices via the manipulation of algorithms and AI, which I wrote about almost a year ago.

On top of this, Congress should examine whether social media platforms deserve continued protection under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., has introduced legislation to remove that protection, because the tech firms now make editorial decisions about what content to approve and promote, rather than simply serving as an unbiased platform.

Look at it this way: If I make a phone call, the phone company has no control over what I say and simply transmits my voice to whoever I am calling. But giant tech companies do not simply blindly transmit information from one point to another. They make important decisions about what gets transmitted and how much visibility to give the information they bring to their audience.

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The Federal Election Commission is charged with monitoring the political campaign process. Since Republican candidates and policies are unfairly marginalized by the tech firms, the FEC should investigate whether this constitutes an in-kind contribution to the opposing candidates and party.

All these actions would be a good start. There are many avenues of investigation that can be pursued and should be if the tech firms refuse to change their ways. We don’t want to launch these actions, but we cannot shrink from using the power of government, because failure to reclaim a free exchange of ideas is more dangerous to this republic than any of our foreign enemies.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY JIM HANSON

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5827279464001_5827278508001-vs Jim Hanson: Social media discrimination against conservatives is intolerable – This should happen after summit Jim Hanson fox-news/politics/regulation/media fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc e78df007-484c-5dc6-abcf-30317e4021cf article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5827279464001_5827278508001-vs Jim Hanson: Social media discrimination against conservatives is intolerable – This should happen after summit Jim Hanson fox-news/politics/regulation/media fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc e78df007-484c-5dc6-abcf-30317e4021cf article

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Pelosi admonishes tweeting attacks on fellow Dems: Don’t ‘expect us to think that that is just ok’

Westlake Legal Group AP19178555270900 Pelosi admonishes tweeting attacks on fellow Dems: Don't 'expect us to think that that is just ok' Sam Dorman fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox news fnc/politics fnc c14aea4b-3caf-56b0-a70c-36a269ace599 article

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., reportedly had a frank talk with the Democratic caucus on Wednesday and admonished members who considered using social media to criticize others in the party.

“You got a complaint?  You come and talk to me about it.  But do not tweet about our members and expect us to think that that is just ok,” Pelosi said, according to a source in the room.

Her comments came amid division regarding her party’s decision to approve a massive, Republican-backed funding package to improve conditions at the border.

According to Politico, a Pelosi spokesman said the comments weren’t directed at anyone in particular but Democrats suspected she was referring to Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis. who called the Problem Solvers Caucus — a group of moderate Democrats — the “Child Abuse Caucus.”

PELOSI SAYS SHE HAS ‘NO REGRETS’ ABOUT CALLING OUT FOUR PROGRESSIVE MEMBERS: ‘NOT WHAT I DO’

“Since when did the Problem Solvers Caucus become the Child Abuse Caucus?” he tweeted just before the House voted on the funding measure.

Pelosi, during Wednesday’s meeting,  reportedly called for members to maintain “civility” and described the caucus as a “family.”

“So we’re a family and we have our moments and we’re like a kaleidoscope – sometimes all of us on this side of the room are in agreement vis a vis them to the back of the room or to the front of the room,” she reportedly said.

INGRAHAM: PELOSI HAS NO ONE TO BLAME BUT HERSELF FOR AOC BEEF

“But we’re all a resource to each other and we must never undermine the strength of anyone in our caucus.”

Pelosi’s comments followed days of press coverage surrounding her own very public disagreement with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. and other freshman Democrats.

Like Pocan, Ocasio-Cortez complained on Twitter about the Problem Solvers Caucus, bemoaning their refusal to include accountability measures on funding for immigration enforcement.

“And to think this week the GOP & Dem ‘Problem Solvers Caucus’ fought to eliminate ALL accountability amendments from funding,” she said. “They just wrote a multi-billion dollar blank check for misconduct.”

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Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest woman to serve in Congress, regularly used social media to advance her message — as did her fellow freshmen Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.

Those three, along with Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., wrongly focused on that medium, Pelosi suggested in an interview published on Saturday. “All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world,” Pelosi reportedly said, noting that they continued lacking actual votes in the House.

Westlake Legal Group AP19178555270900 Pelosi admonishes tweeting attacks on fellow Dems: Don't 'expect us to think that that is just ok' Sam Dorman fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox news fnc/politics fnc c14aea4b-3caf-56b0-a70c-36a269ace599 article   Westlake Legal Group AP19178555270900 Pelosi admonishes tweeting attacks on fellow Dems: Don't 'expect us to think that that is just ok' Sam Dorman fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox news fnc/politics fnc c14aea4b-3caf-56b0-a70c-36a269ace599 article

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Women’s soccer put equal pay on the agenda. Now what?

On top of winning the World Cup, the U.S. women’s soccer team did something else truly amazing this month: They got the whole country talking about economics ― specifically, equal pay for women. 

At a parade in their honor in New York on Wednesday, crowds chanted for equal pay. And the wage gap ― the difference between what men and women earn ― became the subject of conversation on sports radio and in places typically unbothered by the gender inequality.

The question now is: What’s next?

Right now in the U.S., women are paid on average 80 cents for every dollar a man earns, and the pay gap is even worse for women of color. The women’s team wage gap is even more shocking ― they’re making just 38 cents on the dollar compared to the men’s team, according to the discrimination suit the women filed in March.

For Megan Rapinoe and her teammates, the path to equal pay is a huge battle, but its parameters are clear. They know they’re not being paid as much as their male counterparts. And their fight is taking place in court, with the added lever of public pressure. (It was only seconds after they won their final match in France that the crowd started chanting “equal pay.”)

To help fix the problem, the team will likely renegotiate its contract.

For women in the U.S. more broadly, the path to closing the pay gap is winding and exponentially more complicated. There is also a contract that needs updating, but it’s essentially the entire social contract: From public policy, to business practices to the way couples negotiate family life, the whole fabric needs a rethink.

“Do everything,” said Kate Bahn, an economist and the director of labor market policy at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, a think tank. “There’s no silver bullet.”

Women are paid less for a few reasons ― there’s sexism and pay discrimination like the soccer team faces, to be sure, but there are also structural biases. They do a disproportionate amount of child care and other kinds of caregiving work ― raising children, caring for elderly parents. That cuts into their ability to get the kinds of jobs that pay more.

Bahn, like many other economists and advocates for equal pay, points to essentially three ways to get to equal pay: Public policies that help women stay at work and fight discrimination, workplace change and cultural shifts. 

Policy

First, there’s paid leave. It’s simple. Women who get paid time off after they have children can keep their jobs and move up their career ladder, according to many studies and anecdotal evidence from companies.

The trick here is to keep things equal. Men should receive the same time off as women ― and they should be encouraged to take advantage of it. Otherwise men will still be able to work more and women will lose out to their male counterparts in hiring and promotion.

Then when the baby comes, the bills pile on. Access to affordable child care is critical to keeping women, mothers, in the workforce. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has made child care a cornerstone policy proposal in her campaign to grab the Democratic nomination for president.

“We certainly hear from a lot of pregnant women and mothers who are scared about being pushed out [of jobs] and needing to work,” said Sarah Brafman, a staff attorney at the advocacy group A Better Balance. “Let’s say a woman gets pregnant. If she needs an accommodation and she gets pushed off the job, then she loses out on income. So then she’s pregnant and taking the financial hit. If she gives birth and [has] no leave, again she’s out of the workforce and not able to work.” 

These are big problems considering that women make up around 40% of the primary or sole breadwinners in families with children, she points out. “You look at enormous child care costs. Families have to make a difficult choice and all of those contribute to the gender pay gap,” Brafman said.

Another problem ― the majority of the lowest paid workers in the country are women, making up more than half of minimum wage workers. Simply raising the wage floor would help close the pay gap.

All these policies are even more crucial for single mothers.

On their face, these family-friendly policies aren’t about the pay gap, but there are other laws that do tackle equal pay head-on.

There are efforts underway to make it illegal to pay men more for work that is comparable to work done by women ― for example, hotel housekeepers (mostly women) shouldn’t be paid less than hotel janitors (mostly men). New York state on Wednesday passed a provision like this.

Westlake Legal Group 5d264be23b00003900dac0a9 Women’s soccer put equal pay on the agenda. Now what?

Demetrius Freeman for HuffPost

There’s another big policy push around pay transparency. One big hurdle for women is simply finding out how their pay compares to men’s. The women’s soccer team, for example, can fight for higher wages because it knows how much its male counterparts earn.

Nineteen states now have laws that ban employers from retaliating against workers who reveal their salaries. A few years ago, employees at Google openly shared salary information in a widely circulated spreadsheet. The information led to raises for some.

Ten states and Puerto Rico now have laws banning employers from asking what a job applicant is currently earning ― and two more states have legislation on the way ― thus making it harder for pay inequities to continue. This was another facet of the pay equity law passed in New York this week.

Discrimination Laws 

It took a federal law ― Title IX ― to get more women playing sports in high school and college. Arguably without that law, the women’s soccer team wouldn’t be the success it is today.

Other federal and state laws also prohibit gender pay discrimination, but it is still a problem, especially for women of color, said Bahn, whose research focuses on the issue.

“When you’re at the intersection of multiple identities you get more discrimination,” she said.

There’s a need, then, to make pay discrimination laws more intersectional, she added, so workers can sue claiming pay discrimination based on race and gender combined.

The Workplace

The highest paying jobs in the country require long hours and a lot of flexibility on the part of workers ― think lawyers and bankers and doctors and managers who are expected to devote most of their time to the job and are compensated highly in exchange for those hours. Women, mothers in particular, lose out on that work. 

In a recent New York Times article, affluent couples explained how this works: The wife ratchets back her career potential, taking a lower paying job that enables her to be home when the kids need her. The husband, then, works a grueling white collar job that rakes in the cash.

The upshot is, the man makes more money than his wife.

“Couple inequality is gender inequality,” said Claudia Goldin, an economics professor at Harvard who has studied the pay gap for decades. “Couples are in this situation where they say we can have equity at home but it’s going to cost us something.” In many cases, that cost could be thousands of dollars, she said.

Goldin said this jobs issue ― and not discrimination ― is the main driver of the pay gap. She points out that the difference between what men and women earn isn’t very large when they first enter the job market but widens over time as women take on more caregiving roles.

Public policies like those outlined above could help, but Goldin also notes that a lot of countries do have these policies ― and they still have pay gaps. In Sweden for example ― a country with enviable paid leave laws ― women are still paid about 12% less than men.

One way this changes is if workers themselves demand change, she said. Workplaces could change the very structure of such jobs to enable more equity. She points to pediatricians who have figured out a way to job-share ― making their “on call” time more manageable.

Culture

At the bottom of all this structural inequality is something that’s deceptively simple: sexism.

Women’s work is undervalued, said Bahn. “The more women who go into a profession, the more the pay drops.”

The classic example here is the job of secretary ― a role once held by men. When women started doing these jobs, the pay fell precipitously.

“That’s what we see in women’s sports,” she added. “People still look at it and say it’s a women’s team and it’s less valuable.”

As the whole country celebrates the women’s team’s victory, that’s an argument that’s becoming more and more impossible to make.

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DC mayor says city’s security fund bankrupt in letter to Trump, blames July 4th parade: report

Westlake Legal Group trump-bowser_getty DC mayor says city's security fund bankrupt in letter to Trump, blames July 4th parade: report Nick Givas fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/washington-dc fox-news/politics/regulation/media fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc ee0199c9-9cc0-57b8-b7e9-a48ddd2c3955 article

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser wrote a scathing letter to President Trump on Tuesday, asking the federal government to fully reimburse the city for his Fourth of July military celebration.

in the letter, obtained by WTOP, Bowser said the additional $1.7 million cost of the festivities has interfered with her ability to keep the city safe and provide the necessary security measures to prevent a potential disaster.

She waited until the end of the letter to cite Trump’s “Salute to America” parade and wrote that she is also concerned about funding for the next presidential inauguration in 2021.

“Considering this accruing deficit, our projections indicate that the EPSF (Emergency Planning and Security Fund) will be depleted following your additional July 4th holiday activities and subsequent first amendment demonstrations,” she wrote.

‘MORNING JOE’ GUEST HITS TRUMP FOR PLANNING ‘OBSCENE’ FOURTH OF JULY MILITARY PARADE

TRUMP SINGS PRAISES OF AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM IN ELABORATE JULY 4 SALUTE

“The accrued amount for the July 4th holiday totals approximately $1.7 million. It is critical that the EPSF is fully reimbursed for these funds to ensure the District can uphold proper security and support during the remainder of the fiscal year without incurring a deficit for federal activities.”

Bowser also stated general concerns about the fiscal budget for 2021 and said the emergency security fund for the city will be insolvent before the end of 2019. She claimed the fund is $6 million in the red and also blamed increased security for political officials, the 2017 presidential inauguration and the funeral for former President George H.W. Bush for the shortfall.

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Fox News reached out to the White House and the mayor’s office for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-1e768a2cf935489bb257e1ca1929230d DC mayor says city's security fund bankrupt in letter to Trump, blames July 4th parade: report Nick Givas fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/washington-dc fox-news/politics/regulation/media fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc ee0199c9-9cc0-57b8-b7e9-a48ddd2c3955 article   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-1e768a2cf935489bb257e1ca1929230d DC mayor says city's security fund bankrupt in letter to Trump, blames July 4th parade: report Nick Givas fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/washington-dc fox-news/politics/regulation/media fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc ee0199c9-9cc0-57b8-b7e9-a48ddd2c3955 article

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Attorneys General Shocked At Court’s Decision To Allow Donald Trump To ‘Brazenly’ Profit From Presidency

This is how you fight corruption, unless you’re (not you literally) “OK” with “business as usual” establishment politics.

Nothing will change without a major shift of how the majority of our citizens are not being represented.

I can’t help but think Trump will let the Mueller Report be his playbook in 2020, and what will be our plan “B” then? Do we prep now, or just allow the status quo to keep oppressing people till it’s too late?

At some point people need to really look at our political system and know it’s rigged on all sides (except for the common working person), it’s that the symptom of Trump is the reason we are finally seeing the cause of how our politicians have been playing us as fools for at least a century.

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