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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 107)

We Found Major Trump Tax Inconsistencies. New York’s Mayor Wants a Criminal Investigation. — ProPublica

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Austria’s New Anti-Immigrant Green Government Stokes Fears Of Climate ‘Nightmare’

Austria made history earlier this month when it swore in its first female-majority Cabinet. But the formation of the new government marked another, more consequential milestone: It’s the first national coalition made up of the conservative People’s Party and the progressive Greens. 

The 300-page contract binding the two parties in a unity government lays out an agenda that includes expanding a ban on Muslim headscarves and opening new deportation centers as well as an ambitious goal to become carbon neutral by 2040. 

“We deliberately combined the best of both worlds,” Sebastian Kurz, the conservative chancellor who returned to power last week, told the newspaper Bild. “It is now possible for the Greens to implement central election promises, such as … the massive fight against climate change. But we, too, can keep our key election promises … [with] a consistent line in the fight against illegal migration or a clear line in integration.”

The Greens say compromising with the center-right conservatives helped keep the country’s far-right Freedom Party from returning to power. But analysts say the party extracted few concessions from their new conservative bedfellows. And some experts fear the coalition could signal a shift in Europe’s resurgent political right ― away from climate skepticism and toward something that looks increasingly like eco-fascism, the once-fringe ideology scientists consider a “nightmare scenario” in which me-first nationalists exploit the chaos of a hotter world. 

“It’s extremely worrying,” said Betsy Hartmann, a researcher who studies the intersection of white nationalism and environmentalism. “There’s a very fine line between political feasibility and pragmatism on the part of the Green party and appeasement of right-wing, anti-immigrant interests.” 

Europe’s 13th largest economy began a rightward lurch in the mid-2010s as rising income inequality and waves of migrants fleeing war, poverty and drought in the Middle East and North Africa stoked a new nationalist fervor across the continent. In 2017, the country elected a conservative government for only the second time since World War II. Kurz, a conservative firebrand who campaigned on restricting Austria’s small but growing Muslim community, became chancellor and invited the hard-line Freedom Party to form a government. 

The 33-year-old Kurz, the world’s youngest national leader, vowed to wage war on “political Islam” and clamped down on immigrants, cutting public benefits to noncitizens and seizing refugees’ cellphones

But that coalition collapsed last May after the release of a video showing Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache attempting to trade state contracts for political donations from a woman he believed to be the wealthy niece of a Russian oligarch. The revelation scandalized Austrians and forced Kurz ― who, without a coalition partner, lost his mandate to govern ― to call an election. 

Westlake Legal Group 5e19020925000097299906be Austria’s New Anti-Immigrant Green Government Stokes Fears Of Climate ‘Nightmare’

Leonhard Foeger / Reuters Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz is the world’s youngest head of government.

Conservatives failed to win an outright majority, leading Kurz to seek a marriage of convenience with the Greens, who had never before served in a national government. 

“The Greens could have squeezed more out of Mr. Kurz,” The Economist magazine wrote this week, citing Austrian analyst Thomas Hofer. But “the coalition is less a meeting of minds than a division of fiefs.” 

A New Eco-Right

Unlike the Republican Party in the United States, which has long questioned  climate science and protected polluting industries from regulation, mainline conservatives in Europe have generally accepted the realities of global warming. Outright climate denialism was mostly limited to the far-right fringe. 

But even that fringe has started to shift on climate change. The surprising surge of Green parties in April’s European parliamentary elections prompted a degree of soul-searching among the right-wing populists. The far-right Alternative for Germany’s youth wing in Berlin urged its party leaders to abandon the “difficult-to-understand statement that mankind does not influence the climate.” 

Others sought to surf the wave of international concern over the climate crisis. French far-right leader Marine Le Pen found fresh fodder for her brand of Nazi-like blood-and-soil rhetoric, declaring that those “rooted in their home” are “ecological” while “nomadic” people “do not care about the environment because they have no homeland. In Italy, meanwhile, a gang of tree-planting Mussolini admirers linked to murders of African migrants started blitzing Facebook with posts declaring nature cleanups as new “battlefronts.”

Austria’s Kurz “is not right-wing in that traditional, nationalist sense,” said Reinhard Heinisch, a professor of political science at the University of Salzburg. However, he said, his stance on immigration certainly overlaps.  

“Kurz is an avid traditionalist, very right on cultural questions, very anti-Islamic and neoliberal economically,” Heinisch said by phone. “But fundamentally he’s interested in power, doing what is popular and maximizing what sells his party.” 

On some issues, reflecting public opinion has tempered Kurz. As opposed to much of Europe’s resurgent far-right, which is animated by nationalism, he supports the European Union, as do 40% of Austrians, according to a recent Eurobarometer poll. That’s up from 25% in 2013. The Freedom Party’s leadership lashed out at teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg for “climate hysteria” as recently as September. Kurz, meanwhile, has long appealed for international cooperation on climate change ― an issue 7 in 10 Austrian called “a very serious problem” in an April 2019 survey

Westlake Legal Group 5e1904d524000039345a58e2 Austria’s New Anti-Immigrant Green Government Stokes Fears Of Climate ‘Nightmare’

ALEX HALADA via Getty Images Supporters of the far-right Freedom Party hold campaign posters featuring their party leader Norbert Hofer during a September political event. The new government coalition has pushed back on the Freedom Party.

But on social issues, polling raises some concerns. A shocking 12% of young Austrians said they had never heard of the Holocaust in a 2018 CNN study. A 2017 Pew Research Center poll found that nearly half of Austrians said they would not accept a Muslim into their family, compared with just 15% of Americans. Those sentiments could worsen as temperatures rise, as study after study suggests that rising temperatures increase aggression and violence on both the geopolitical and individual levels.

Blossoms Of (Melting) Snow

Austria is feeling the heat on climate change. Receding snowfall in the Alps is hurting Austria’s snow-sporting industry, and higher temperatures are spreading invasive bark beetles in once lush alpine forests. But heatwaves are proving the most devastating. The hot spell that roasted Europe last June broke monthly records in mountainous Austria, where temperatures soared past 101 degrees Fahrenheit, shy of the all-time national record of 104.9 degrees. 

Marc Olefs, head of the climate research department at Vienna’s Central Institution for Meteorology and Geodynamics, called heatwaves “the climate impact with the biggest consequences on health” and the most likely to cause increased mortality rates in Austria. 

Globally, the bigger concern is how climate change will affect the billions living in poorer, hotter countries. Catastrophic weather events, which are expected to grow more intense and frequent as average temperatures climb, already have displaced an average of 24 million people per year since 2008, according to the Swiss-based Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre. That sort of mass movement within borders creates political instability that potentially breeds conflict, driving even more to seek asylum in stable, wealthy countries like Austria, which ranks among the World Bank’s richest per capita. 

There’s a very fine line between political feasibility and pragmatism on the part of the Green party and appeasement of right-wing, anti-immigrant interests. Betsy Hartmann, a researcher who studies eco-fascism

In 2018, Austria granted asylum to 20,326 applicants, nearly 6,000 of whom were initially rejected and successfully appealed the decision, according to data from the European Council on Refugees and Exiles. The country turned away 32,221, amounting to a 57% rejection rate. 

For comparison, Germany ― a far larger country, whose Christian Democratic Union government is considered an ideological bedfellow of Austria’s conservatives ― rejected just under 50% of its applicants in 2018. 

Austrians do seem to be struggling with demographic change and a desire for “only high-qualified migrants,” said Kathrin Stainer-Hämmerle, a political scientist and professor at the University of Applied Sciences in Carinthia. “But Kurz is not a far-right politician. He’s a young, modern conservative leader. He has an ideological flexibility.” 

Political malleability in an increasingly chaotic world could bend a leader rightward. As it stands, climate researchers are modeling five Socioeconomic Shared Pathways (SSPs) policymakers could take as temperatures likely blow past the 1.5 degrees Celsius average beyond which the United Nations projects catastrophic changes. The bleakest of those scenarios, called SSP3, envisions “resurgent nationalism” and policies that “shift over time to become increasingly oriented toward national and regional security issues, including barriers to trade,” according to a 2015 paper in the journal Climatic Change. Zeke Hausfather, a climate scientist at the think tank Berkeley Earth, told Earther last week that the world is currently on an “SSP3-ish” trajectory. 

That may not yet entirely apply to Austria. But in a country whose Nazi past, including with Third Reich’s reverence for the purity of nature, remains a living memory, Hartmann warned that adding the urgency of dealing with ecological collapse to Kurz’s anti-immigrant agenda represents a “dangerous slipperiness.” 

“It’s not Marine Le Pen, exactly,” she said. “But it’s going in that direction.” 

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Rachel Bovard: Congress has a role to play in regulating Google

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6119496994001_6119498827001-vs Rachel Bovard: Congress has a role to play in regulating Google Rachel Bovard fox-news/tech/technologies fox-news/tech/companies/google fox-news/politics fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 63aeb6b8-a45b-59c9-9a6d-f4034d187dc1

The Silicon Valley libertarians at Google are spending a lot of money these days to keep the government out of the company’s business. But their sudden aversion to government regulation is a newfound religion for Google: the company has been profiting for years off of a sweetheart deal with the government struck in 1996 — a government subsidy which Google no longer deserves.

Blockbuster reporting from the Wall Street Journal reveals that Google is no longer the neutral search platform they have long led consumers to believe they were.

“It is not possible for an individual employee or a group of employees to manipulate our search results,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai told Congress. “We don’t manually intervene on any particular search result.”

GOOGLE PARENT COMPANY’S LEGAL CHIEF IS LEAVING FOLLOWING MISCONDUCT ALLEGATIONS

Except, it turns out, they do. And on quite a large scale. In fact, subjectivity underpins Google’s entire search business.

Google uses tens of thousands of individual contractors to manually shape search results based on a set of internal company criteria, as well as subjective contractor opinion. The company also uses its engineers to tweak its algorithms on behalf of business interests. Chillingly, the company intentionally modifies results around inflammatory topics like abortion and immigration in an effort to steer political discourse. This is in addition to using blacklists to block sites or terms from appearing in search results.

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Google does all of this in blatant violation of what it tells users and lawmakers — and of the terms of protection it has from the federal government.

The tech industry’s arrangement with the federal government dates back to 1990s, in the infancy of the internet, when Congress passed the Communications Decency Act. Section 230 of the law was intended to spur online discourse by giving present and future internet companies immunity for content posted by their users in order to create “forum[s] for a true diversity of political discourse.”

More from Opinion

In other words, lawmakers envisioned internet platforms as merely that — neutral platforms. Giant bulletin boards where people could post content without interference, except for, as the law described, content which companies in good faith deemed to be “obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable.” (Courts have held that “otherwise objectionable” content must be similar to obscenity, violence, or harassment.)

It’s a lucrative arrangement, unique to tech. No other outlet of ideas has the same protection. And it has contributed to turning outlets like Google from dorm room projects to the world’s most dominant billion-dollar company.

But it’s all contingent upon Google continuing to act as the neutral bulletin board. The “platform,” as it were, merely a host for ideas — not as a publisher, with editorial control and subjective determinations around content.

But based on the Journal’s reporting, as well as multiple whistleblower claims, Google is far from a neutral arbiter. Rather, they engage in significant search manipulation and editorial control, ranking results based on subjective criteria, individual bias, and non-transparent internal editorial guidelines.

Put simply, they are no longer the neutral platform the law envisioned. They are a publisher. And the law ought to treat them as such, stripping them of the Sec. 230 protection whose terms they no longer meet.

When presented with the possibility of losing their government protection, Google and their backers howl that Sec. 230 is vital to their survival; that without it, they would have to allow exploitive and abusive content to flourish, for fear or being sued.

It’s nonsense. Responsible moderation and outright search manipulation are two different and mutually exclusive behaviors, and in fact, a distinction which Sec. 230 requires.

As Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has pointed out, the ability to responsibly moderate content is not also a license to engage in political censorship. Tech companies can support or oppose whatever political causes that they want and engage in the good faith moderation the law allows. But the moment they begin to pick and choose what gets posted or amplified based on subjective determinations, the law demands they should be held accountable for the criteria with which they moderate their users. And this means losing the Sec. 230 protection.

Google is attempting to have it both ways — benefiting from government protections while claiming that any change to their sweetheart deal is unwarranted government meddling.

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It doesn’t work like that, and hopefully, lawmakers are smart enough to begin to catch on.

Sec. 230 may be a sweetheart deal for Google, but it’s turned sour for the rest of us. It’s time for Google to engage in radical transparency and real reform, or for Congress to take away the government subsidy they no longer deserve.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6119496994001_6119498827001-vs Rachel Bovard: Congress has a role to play in regulating Google Rachel Bovard fox-news/tech/technologies fox-news/tech/companies/google fox-news/politics fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 63aeb6b8-a45b-59c9-9a6d-f4034d187dc1   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6119496994001_6119498827001-vs Rachel Bovard: Congress has a role to play in regulating Google Rachel Bovard fox-news/tech/technologies fox-news/tech/companies/google fox-news/politics fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 63aeb6b8-a45b-59c9-9a6d-f4034d187dc1

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Lawrence Jones: Liberal government policies only hurting Austin homeless crisis

Westlake Legal Group LBJ-II Lawrence Jones: Liberal government policies only hurting Austin homeless crisis Julia Musto fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/austin fox-news/topic/homeless-crisis fox-news/shows/fox-friends-weekend fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 2aadb4d3-cbc7-5cc3-b0f4-7824b5546349

Liberal policies and mismanagement of funds are factors further contributing to the homelessness crisis in Austin, Texas, Fox Nation host Lawrence Jones said Saturday.

Appearing on “Fox & Friends: Weekend” with hosts Jason Chaffetz, Rachel Campos-Duffy, and Pete Hegseth, Jones said liberals who believe that the capital of the Lone Star State should be a welcoming community for all — even when it comes to the homeless population — don’t realize that “it’s a public safety crisis going on.”

“Not only do you have a health crisis with them leaving feces and needles everywhere, but [in] fact had a homeless person stab one of the citizens there,” he remarked. “And, you know, it’s been a rampage; there’s a lot of violence.”

REP. CHIP ROY: CALIFORNIA’S HOMELESS CRISIS COULD BE MIGRATING TO AUSTIN — HERE’S HOW TO TACKLE IT

In June 2019, city council members lifted a ban prohibiting camping, sitting, and lying in public spaces.

In response to the move, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted in frustration slamming the local government and threatening to override the new local ordinance.

“If Austin— or any other Texas city—permits camping on city streets it will be yet another local ordinance the State of Texas will override,” he tweeted. “At some point cities must start putting public safety & common sense first. There are far better solutions for the homeless & citizens.”

According to an Austin and Travis County Point In Time Survey from January 2019, there has been a five percent uptick in homelessness in Austin with 2,255 total homeless individuals currently residing there.

Jones told the “Friends: Weekend” hosts that while covering the crisis downtown, he saw people shooting up drugs and fighting each other.

“And, the police have essentially been told by the local councils to step back,” he added. “And so, [Gov. Abbott] said, ‘Look I have authority, right? I want local control…I live in Austin. This is where the capital is and I’m sending the state troopers in to clean this mess up.'”

“Unfortunately,” said Jones, “when they clean it up, the homeless people bring the stuff right back.”

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Jones said the issues lies in the “poor management of funds” because it’s not the lack of funding.

“If anyone knows anything about Austin, they have a lot of money,” he said, noting that Texas is very business-friendly.

“But, the city council refuses to invest the right money to get this done. And, they prefer to take the easy way out,” he stated. ” It’s the same for San Francisco and L.A. as well,” he said. “They don’t have money problems. They just don’t know how to manage those funds to put those homeless people in the right place.

Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group LBJ-II Lawrence Jones: Liberal government policies only hurting Austin homeless crisis Julia Musto fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/austin fox-news/topic/homeless-crisis fox-news/shows/fox-friends-weekend fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 2aadb4d3-cbc7-5cc3-b0f4-7824b5546349   Westlake Legal Group LBJ-II Lawrence Jones: Liberal government policies only hurting Austin homeless crisis Julia Musto fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/austin fox-news/topic/homeless-crisis fox-news/shows/fox-friends-weekend fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 2aadb4d3-cbc7-5cc3-b0f4-7824b5546349

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

UK man jailed for making hoax bomb scare to delay his flight

A man was sent to jail for 16 months Friday for calling in a bogus bomb threat at a London airport because he was running late and wanted to delay his flight.

Rashidul Islam, 32, was headed from his home in Cricklewood, north London, to Gatwick Airport on May 4 to catch an evening flight to Morocco to visit his fiance, authorities said.

According to authorities, Islam first ran into krush-hour traffic delays when his train to the airport unexpectedly ended earlier – at the St. Pancras stop. He jumped into a taxi in the center of London but hit further congestion.

Westlake Legal Group rashidul-islam-sentencing-pt_0 UK man jailed for making hoax bomb scare to delay his flight Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/world/crime fox-news/travel/general/airports fox news fnc/world fnc e31625e5-1a69-5aac-b4ed-e9890eaa33bb article

Rashidul Islam, 32, was sentenced to 16 months in prison for a bomb hoax at Gatwick Airport because he was running late for his flight. (Crown Prosecution Service)

PASSENGER WAITING FOR FLIGHT TAKES OVER AIRPORT SCREEN TO PLAY VIDEO GAMES

About 45 minutes before his easyJet flight was set to take off, Islam anonymously called police and said, “Someone may have a bomb on the plane. You need to delay the flight,” according to a Crown Prosecution Service spokesman.

Islam made two further phone threats minutes later, causing the crew of the 5:40 p.m. flight to Marrakesh to be evacuated and all 147 passengers to be re-checked by security.

The hoax resulted in a three-hour delay at Britain’s second-busiest airport on a holiday weekend.  It cost easyJet around $39,000, the airline said.

DELTA AIR LINES PLANE’S NOSE GEAR ‘EXITS TAXIWAY’ AT KANSAS CITY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Islam was arrested after police traced his call.

He told authorities that he had panicked about missing his flight as he would not be able to afford another ticket.

Islam was sentenced Friday to 16 months in jail after pleading guilty to communicating false information.

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“This sentence should send a message that creating a bomb scare is no trivial matter. These threats have a major impact on everyone in the airport – diverting multiple agencies from core duties such as assisting passengers, providing security or carrying out counter-terrorism checks,” prosecutor Natalie Smith said in a statement.

Westlake Legal Group rashidul-islam-sentencing-pt_0 UK man jailed for making hoax bomb scare to delay his flight Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/world/crime fox-news/travel/general/airports fox news fnc/world fnc e31625e5-1a69-5aac-b4ed-e9890eaa33bb article   Westlake Legal Group rashidul-islam-sentencing-pt_0 UK man jailed for making hoax bomb scare to delay his flight Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/world/crime fox-news/travel/general/airports fox news fnc/world fnc e31625e5-1a69-5aac-b4ed-e9890eaa33bb article

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

We need a President who will help all Americans — not just the rich

Westlake Legal Group _V8K5CGmZc8dADV9JbbIMjUTrsoHUQWP2jpUG1e-XFo We need a President who will help all Americans -- not just the rich r/politics

We need to bring back the fireside chat; there is a massive education and indoctrination problem in the United States.

It also doesn’t help that me writing this now is probably being monitored, and potentially shadow banned on this sub by the mods, when I bring up insightful information or peaceful passive resistive change that is needed in this country, so I hope you can read this.

Well, here goes. Sanders is identical to FDR in MOP in their leadership and vision. I believe FDR’s fireside chat needs to come back, and help inform and educate citizens of how this country works and doesn’t work.

Ideally, with the backing of AOC and Sanders popularity with people and celebrities, we should push to have a kind of Now You Know type segment to educate, deprogram, and inform the public of what needs to fixed and how broken parts the federal government are on weekly basis.

I can see a Seth Rogan explaining how crazy Citizens United is one week, and then maybe a Taylor Swift or Robert Reich talking about women’s suffrage, or the US economy in the next week. I truly believe a program like this and under a Sanders presidency would have a tremendous and positive effect on the country as a whole so we can rebuild and move on together.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Does The China Trade Deal Move The World Away From Free Trade?

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1175991140-9219ef00cf3da1429f079105dec313e2c8cd0674-s1100-c15 Does The China Trade Deal Move The World Away From Free Trade?

Containers are stacked at the port in Qingdao, in China’s eastern Shandong province. A new trade deal dictates that China buy more from the U.S., but that has other trading partners worried. STR/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption

STR/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  Does The China Trade Deal Move The World Away From Free Trade?

Containers are stacked at the port in Qingdao, in China’s eastern Shandong province. A new trade deal dictates that China buy more from the U.S., but that has other trading partners worried.

STR/AFP via Getty Images

The “Phase 1” trade deal with China that President Trump signed this week is unlike any previous free trade agreement. From Trump’s point of view, that’s the whole point.

“We are righting the wrongs of the past,” Trump said Wednesday during a White House signing ceremony, “and delivering a future of economic justice and security for American workers, farmers and families.”

But by requiring China to buy specific amounts of goods from the U.S., the deal is raising concerns that it moves away from a free-market arrangement to a more managed style of trade.

Like earlier agreements, the 96-page deal does call for lowering some trade barriers in China. It opens a door for U.S. financial services, for example, and clears the way for China to buy more American beef, dairy products, and pet food.

But the agreement leaves many other trade barriers in place, including stiff tariffs on two-thirds of everything the U.S. buys from China. According to Oxford Economics, the average tariff on Chinese imports is now 19.3% — up from just 3% before the trade war began.

“It’s kind of a hidden tax,” said Angela Carr, whose Turbie Twist company imports popular hair towels from China. “Sometimes people, because it’s called a tariff, I think are led to believe that perhaps China is paying for this, when in fact the cost is going to be carried by either the consumers, the retailers or the small businesses or all three.”

The deal also aims to narrow the U.S. trade deficit with China by requiring that Beijing boost its purchases of U.S. goods and services by more than 50% over the next two years.

“What’s to me very important, number one, they’re going to be spending much more than $200 billion,” Trump said. The agreement sets specific targets for China to purchase a long list of farm goods, manufactured products, energy and services.

“The only way for China to reach its commitments is to resort to Soviet-style managed trade,” wrote Gary Hufbauer, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, in a blog post.

Hufbauer called the purchase requirements a “worrisome and radical change,” after decades in which both Republican and Democratic administrations called on China to act more like a market economy, allowing competition to drive purchasing decisions.

“It is a big reversal of how the U.S. has tried to do business for the last 40 or 50 years,” Hufbauer said in an interview.

China sharply reduced its purchases of American farm goods during the trade war. The Phase 1 deal seeks to more than make up for that, boosting agricultural sales by $32 billion over the next two years, compared to 2017 levels.

Farmers enjoyed their best sales ever to China in 2012. But Darci Vetter, who was the chief agricultural trade negotiator for the U.S. during the Obama administration, said she never tried to set a numerical target.

“What U.S. farmers and ranchers told me they wanted was really the opportunity to form long-term relationships with partners in China and to do so on a market basis,” Vetter said. “Trade is relationships. And we’re not looking for selling a lot of products to China for the next two years. We’re looking for a relationship that will endure.”

Some observers are skeptical that China will actually buy as much from the U.S. as the agreement calls for. At the White House signing ceremony, Vice Premier Liu He said his country’s purchases would increase naturally as a result of economic growth.

“As the living standard of the Chinese people rises, we will import fine-quality agricultural products from countries across the world,” Liu said through an interpreter. He stressed that imports would be “based on the market demand in China.”

If market demand is soft, China might have to scale back purchases from other countries in order to meet its pledge to buy more from the United States.

“Those countries will be very unhappy,” Hufbauer said, “that China is essentially diverting its purchases which were based somewhat on market principles, to prefer U.S. exports.”

Trump has no qualms about the prospect of displacing China’s other trading partners, including U.S. allies such as Canada or the European Union.

“At long last, Americans have a government that puts them first,” Trump said.

The EU warned this week that Europeans could bring a complaint to the World Trade Organization if the “Phase 1” deal puts them at an unfair disadvantage.

Trump’s top trade negotiator, Robert Lighthizer, said the China deal doesn’t violate WTO rules or compromise any other country’s trading rights.

Like the president, Lighthizer prefers to negotiate with other countries one-on-one, rather than working through the international trading system that the U.S. helped to create.

“If you’re the biggest economy in the world, you’re far better off with bilateral agreements. You’ve got more leverage,” Lighthizer said. “If you’re Switzerland, you’re better off working through a group and trying to get a coalition. If you’re the United States, you don’t need to.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

We need a President who will help all Americans — not just the rich

Westlake Legal Group _V8K5CGmZc8dADV9JbbIMjUTrsoHUQWP2jpUG1e-XFo We need a President who will help all Americans -- not just the rich r/politics

We need to bring back the fireside chat; there is a massive education and indoctrination problem in the United States.

It also doesn’t help that me writing this now is probably being monitored, and potentially shadow banned on this sub by the mods, when I bring up insightful information or peaceful passive resistive change that is needed in this country, so I hope you can read this.

Well, here goes. Sanders is identical to FDR in MOP in their leadership and vision. I believe FDR’s fireside chat needs to come back, and help inform and educate citizens of how this country works and doesn’t work.

Ideally, with the backing of AOC and Sanders popularity with people and celebrities, we should push to have a kind of Now You Know type segment to educate, deprogram, and inform the public of what needs to fixed and how broken parts the federal government are on weekly basis.

I can see a Seth Rogan explaining how crazy Citizens United is one week, and then maybe a Taylor Swift or Robert Reich talking about women’s suffrage, or the US economy in the next week. I truly believe a program like this and under a Sanders presidency would have a tremendous and positive effect on the country as a whole so we can rebuild and move on together.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Lara Trump denies mocking Joe Biden’s stutter: ‘Yet another example of … egregious reporting’

Westlake Legal Group laratrump Lara Trump denies mocking Joe Biden's stutter: 'Yet another example of ... egregious reporting' fox-news/politics/elections/campaigning/trump-2020-campaign fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/media fox news fnc/politics fnc Brie Stimson article 04bd5368-a8bb-5183-bb24-ab7f3de50a76

Lara Trump, President Trump’s daughter-in-law and a Trump 2020 campaign adviser, fired back at a tabloid report Friday that claimed she mocked former Vice President Joe Biden’s stutter while at a campaign event in Iowa.

“Yet another example of the egregious reporting we see every day in the mainstream media,” the 37-year-old, who is married to the president’s son Eric, tweeted, linking to the Daily Mail’s story. “Anyone who takes 10 seconds to watch what I actually said can clearly see that I never mention a stutter — didn’t even know he had one — but they can’t help themselves.”

LARA TRUMP LASHES OUT AFTER CNN ACCUSES HER OF ‘LYING’ ABOUT RALLY CROWD’S ‘SEND HER BACK!’ CHANT

While at a Women for Trump event Friday, she told the audience she feels “kind of sad for Joe Biden.”

“I’m supposed to want him to fail at every turn, but every time he comes on stage or they turn to him, I’m like, ‘Joe, can you get it out? Let’s get the words out, Joe!’” she said. “You Kind of feel bad for him. The problem is that’s their front-runner, guys!”

After Vox reporter Aaron Rupar posted a video of the moment, also tweeting that she was “mocking” Biden’s stutter, Tim Murtaugh, communications director for the president’s reelection campaign, defended her.

“Not what Lara said and Rupar knows it,” he tweeted. “Biden was a terrible candidate the first 2 times he ran for president & he’s no better this time. He doesn’t know what state he’s in half the time & thinks Thatcher is still British PM. Nothing to do w/speech impediment. Just bad candidate.”

Biden has been public about his life-long struggle with stuttering. He sometimes stumbles over his words and discussed the problem at the December debate.

While talking about the campaign trail on the debate stage, Biden imitated a child he met with a stutter saying to him, “I can’t talk.”

Former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders later wrote in a since-deleted tweet, “I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I hhhave absolutely no idea what Biden is talking about,” referring to the debate moment. She followed it with another tweet, clarifying she was not mocking people with speech impediments.

Biden responded, “I’ve worked my whole life to overcome a stutter. And it’s my great honor to mentor kids who have experienced the same. It’s called empathy. Look it up.”

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Sanders replied, “I actually didn’t know that about you and that is commendable. I apologize and should have made my point respectfully.”

Westlake Legal Group laratrump Lara Trump denies mocking Joe Biden's stutter: 'Yet another example of ... egregious reporting' fox-news/politics/elections/campaigning/trump-2020-campaign fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/media fox news fnc/politics fnc Brie Stimson article 04bd5368-a8bb-5183-bb24-ab7f3de50a76   Westlake Legal Group laratrump Lara Trump denies mocking Joe Biden's stutter: 'Yet another example of ... egregious reporting' fox-news/politics/elections/campaigning/trump-2020-campaign fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/media fox news fnc/politics fnc Brie Stimson article 04bd5368-a8bb-5183-bb24-ab7f3de50a76

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Bernie Sanders Called The Democratic Party ‘Intellectually Bankrupt’ In 1985 Letter

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) once told a fellow left-wing activist that the Democratic Party was too “intellectually bankrupt” to allow the progressive movement to flourish within it.

In a 1985 letter newly obtained by HuffPost in which Sanders debated running for governor, he wrote: “Whether I run for governor or not is really not important. What would be a tragedy, however, is for people with a radical vision to fall into the pathetic camp of the intellectually bankrupt Democratic Party.”

Times have changed.

Sanders, who has served as an independent in Congress — first in the House and now in the Senate — since 1991, is now among the leading Democratic candidates for president, second behind former Vice President Joe Biden in national polls, and tied for first in Iowa. He’s raised more money than any other candidate in the Democratic primary, with more individual contributions. His platform — which includes “Medicare for All,” tuition-free college, and wealth redistribution through aggressive taxes on the richest Americans — defines the party’s progressive wing.

He has taken the Democratic Party’s loyalty pledge and repeatedly promised to support whoever becomes the party nominee to defeat President Donald Trump. But that hasn’t been enough for many of his critics in the party’s establishment, who are likely to point to the letter as evidence he doesn’t play nice with the party.

At the start of his career in politics, Sanders viewed the Democratic Party as hopeless. By 1985, he had already made several failed bids for elected office in Vermont as a member of the progressive Liberty Union party. He finally succeeded in 1981, becoming mayor of Burlington, the state’s largest city, and toppling a five-term Democratic mayor.

“At the beginning, the Democrats were very angry with him,” Jane Sanders, Sanders’ wife, said in an interview with HuffPost. Burlington’s Board of Aldermen — a part-time, 13-seat city council — resisted Sanders’ efforts. “They wouldn’t let him appoint any of the mayoral appointments. They stopped him from hiring the city attorney, city clerk, city treasure … [The Democrats] were outright enemies in the beginning.”

Sanders never won full control of city government, but he organized enough voters to elect some allies onto the board and win veto power. He soon became popular enough to win reelection by a 20-point margin.

The Sept. 5, 1985 letter ― which has not previously been reported on ― came as Sanders was considering a run for governor, and left-wing activists in the state and around the country were debating whether he should mount an independent bid or launch a primary challenge to the state’s Democratic governor, Madeleine Kunin.

Westlake Legal Group 5e21f24e24000033006c4457 Bernie Sanders Called The Democratic Party ‘Intellectually Bankrupt’ In 1985 Letter

Obtained by HuffPost A Sept. 5, 1985, letter from then-Burlington, Vermont, Mayor Bernie Sanders to Marty Jezer, a progressive activist.

Sanders’ three-paragraph missive was addressed to Marty Jezer, an author and progressive activist in the state. Then-Mayor Sanders was writing in response to an August letter from Jezer in which he apologized that a memo he wrote to Sanders had leaked to the press. While the exact contents of the memo are unclear, Jezer’s letter indicates that it encouraged Sanders to run for Congress instead of challenging Kunin.

“1986 is the wrong time for such a race,” Jezer, who died in 2005, wrote. “I hope you will listen to the voices of the committed activists around the state. We sink or swim with this together.”

Sanders ultimately reached a different conclusion: He ran against Kunin as an independent. But the decision was not without dissent. An editorial from the socialist magazine In These Times criticized Sanders for dividing the left.

“In choosing to create a three-way race, Sanders is dividing the left and making more likely the defeat of an incumbent liberal woman governor by a more conservative Republican,” In These Times wrote. (At the time, Kunin was one of only two female governors in the country.)

The editorial prompted Sanders to reply: “I believe that the real changes that are needed in this country … are not going to be brought about by working within the Democratic Party or the Republican Party.”

Kunin eventually won reelection with 47% of the vote. Republican Peter Smith finished second, earning 38% of the vote, while Sanders finished third with just 14%.

The Vermont senator’s critiques of the Democratic Party are well documented, as CNN reported last July. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, he was adamant that a progressive movement could not be built within the party and was highly critical of the moderate “New Democrats” who argued that the party’s progressivism in the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s had alienated voters.

“I think that nationally, the party has on issue after issue sold out so many times that if you go before the people and say, ‘Hey, I’m a Democrat,’ you don’t usually generate a lot of enthusiasm,” Sanders said in 1991 about the idea of a progressive trying to work within the party.

Commenting on civil rights activist Jesse Jackson’s Democratic presidential runs in the 1980s, Sanders said he did not agree with Jackson’s decision to work “within the Democratic Party.” (Sanders endorsed Jackson’s candidacy.) His skepticism of the party continued in subsequent decades. In 2011, he said Democrats could be called “Republican-lite” for considering cuts to Social Security and Medicare in order to lessen the deficit. And his first presidential campaign in 2016 didn’t shy away from blasting the party apparatus.

Sanders’ willingness to criticize the Democratic Party speaks to the progressive bona fides highlighted by his supporters. His campaign often relies on decades-old videos of Sanders warning against the Iraq war, multinational trade deals and the climate crisis using the same rhetoric he still uses today.

But the senator’s view of the party — and the role of progressive politics within it — has evolved. He’s since refined his critiques to focus on the “corporate wing of the Democratic Party,” which is comprised of the same centrists, including organizations like Third Way, that pushed the party to the right during the 1980s and ’90s.

Jane Sanders, who did not recall the exact circumstances of her husband’s letter to Jezer, said this shift came about when he was elected to the House as an independent. He knew that if Democrats didn’t let him into their caucus, he wouldn’t be assigned to any committees and would be left out of the process altogether.

“He believed that the two-party system was bankrupt, but as he was put in a position by the people of Vermont to effect real change, he had to consider, how do you effect real change?” Jane Sanders said. “His concern isn’t party politics.”

By 2015, when he launched his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sanders had fully changed his mind about the ability for progressive politics to flourish within the party. 

“The decision that I made, as the longest-serving independent in the history of the United States Congress, I said, ‘If we are going to win this race, we have to do it within the Democratic primary process,’” Sanders said in a 2016 interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd. He decided to not run as an independent because he didn’t want to be a “spoiler” in the presidential race.

“Bernie fights when he has to fight,” Jane Sanders said. “Bernie’s interest is getting things he wants done, done. He found that he had to fight effectively against the Democratic Party at the beginning as mayor. But over time, by organizing, he learned he can change the Democratic Party.”

Sanders’ relationship with the party has notably softened since that first presidential run. He served on the Senate Democrats’ leadership team and his 2016 campaign managed to push the Democratic National Committee to change rules around “superdelegates,” lessening the power of party insiders in the nominating process.

That hasn’t been enough for many of his critics, who accuse him of only half-heartedly campaigning for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016 after dragging out the primary, and question whether he would be willing to support down-ballot Democratic candidates who don’t share his progressive ideology. 

Jane Sanders said she hadn’t spoken with her husband about how he would engage in party politics should he be elected president. But she was explicit about how he approaches it currently.

“If you organize, the people will elect new people,” Jane Sanders said, citing those like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who famously ousted a top-ranking House Democrat in the 2018 midterm elections. “You will see Bernie supporting and raising money for the best of the Democrats. You will not see him doing that for others.”

But former Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, a Democrat who has endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 nominating contest, said he was skeptical that Sanders could keep the party together during an election against Trump.

“The notion that [Sanders] would lead the national Democratic Party would be repugnant to both Democrats and to Bernie Sanders, because he’s not a Democrat,” Shumlin told HuffPost in a phone interview. “He’d be the first one to tell you that.”

That the party’s policy debates have only now caught up to him was Sanders’ opening pitch to voters when he announced in early 2019 that he would run for president again.

“Over the last two years — and before — you and I and millions of Americans have stood up and fought for justice in every part of our society, and we’ve had some successes,” Sanders said when launching his 2020 bid.

As one of the top contenders going into the Iowa caucuses in early February, Sanders now clearly believes that he can bring about a progressive revolution within the Democratic Party — one that he’s worked to change.

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