NBC News correspondent Richard Engel was the lone voice to side with “Real Time” host Bill Maher on Friday night, after the comedian reiterated his “hopes” that a U.S. economic recession would help block President Trump‘s reelection in 2020.
“Short-term pain might be better than long-term destruction of the Constitution,” Engel argued.
“Right!” Maher replied. “Thank you very much.”
“Short-term pain might be better than long-term destruction of the Constitution.”
None of the other members of Maher’s panel wanted to see the U.S. stumble.
“I’m not wishing for a recession,” Tom Nichols, author of “The Death of Expertise,” said.
“Neither am I,” Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell agreed.
But Maher — a multimillionaire whose investments include a stake in MLB’s New York Mets — tried to make the case that economic hardship for the nation might help him and other liberals realize their dream of preventing a second Trump term.
“You should wish for a recession because that would definitely get [Trump] unelected,” Maher shot back, earning him a few claps from his Los Angeles studio audience.
Another guest, former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, attempted to lower the temperature of the conversation.
Former Gov. Jerry Brown signed the proposal into law in 2018. At the time he admitted it might be killed in the courts but said, “It’s high time corporate boards include the people who constitute more than half the ‘persons’ in America,” according to The Sacramento Bee.
The law says all publicly traded corporations based in California must have at least one woman on their board of directors by the end of the year and at least two women by 2021 for a board made up of five directors and at least three on boards with six or more, The Bee reported.
But Judicial Watch argued that the law falls short.
“Requiring companies to make gender the primary qualification for board membership will inevitably lead to less qualified private sector boards,” the group said in a statement.
“Requiring companies to make gender the primary qualification for board membership will inevitably lead to less qualified private sector boards.”
“We support the underlying goal of SB 826 to create an equitable economy and inclusive California,” a spokeswoman for California’s Secretary of State Alex Padilla said Friday, according to The Mercury News of San Jose. “We will review the lawsuit and will respond in court.”
State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, who co-wrote the bill, said many companies have already voluntarily complied.
“It is disappointing that this conservative right-wing group is more invested in spending thousands of dollars on a questionable lawsuit than supporting policy that improves business’ profits and boosts our economy,” she said, according to the Mercury News.
SportsPulse: As we march towards the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, here are three fun facts about one of the United States’ biggest stars, Simone Biles. USA TODAY
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — To understand why Simone Biles is the best gymnast ever, you could watch videos of her routines in slow motion, breaking down her otherworldly skills and trying to understand the physics that make her fly so high and twist so fast.
Or you could simply watch her face after she fell trying a new skill on floor exercise — a skill so hard no other woman has done it and only a few men even try it, mind you.
“As soon as I fell on floor, I was like, ‘That’s it, I’m scratching the meet. I’m walking off the floor,’ ” Biles said.
For the rest of the night at the U.S. championships Friday, Biles looked as if she could spit nails. Her friends and fellow competitors tried to cheer her up, and she would have none of it. When she “struggled” on uneven bars — she tied for the fourth-highest score of the night — she described the routine as a “piece of (expletive).”
Not until she landed her beam dismount, a double-twisting double somersault that was another first in the sport, did she finally smile.
Biles ended the first day of the two-day meet with a 1.75-point lead, as well as the highest scores on balance beam, vault and floor. She is all but assured of her sixth national title, and extending her streak of winning every meet she’s entered since nationals in 2013.
And, yet, when Biles was asked to assess the night, it was clear that, in her eyes at least, it was largely a disappointment.
“I’m still really upset about floor,” she said. “I did end on a good note, so that makes me happy. But I’m still disappointed about floor.
“I still get really frustrated because I know how good I am and how well I can do,” Biles added, “so I just want to do the best routine for the audience and for myself out here.”
And there it is.
Three years after winning five medals at the Rio Olympics, four of which were gold, it is not the titles or the records or the accolades that drive Biles. It is her own ability, and the desire to wring as much out of it as she can.
Sure, she could stroll through meets and probably still win them in a rout. But that isn’t who she is. She knows she has been gifted a rare talent, and she wants to see just how far she can take it and, in the process, the sport.
“This is why she’s good. She’s not OK with mediocre,” said Cecile Landi, who coaches Biles along with husband Laurent. “She wants the best of her and she knows she can do better.”
Think of athletes who have transcended their sports, and every one of them is wired just a bit differently. Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Serena Williams, Michael Phelps, Tom Brady — yes, they have singular talent. Yes, they won, often at dizzying rates.
But what separates them from everyone else, what takes them from great to GOAT, is their fierce competitiveness. A drive that burns like a blast furnace, and won’t let them settle for anything less than the best.
“I feel like I compete for perfection. So whenever I don’t do that, it really irritates me,” Biles said. “It’s not like it’s bad or I did anything bad. But to me, I just know I can do better.”
That relentlessness can sometimes be mistaken for being cocky, particularly in female athletes. But that’s a problem with your lens, not theirs.
There is nothing wrong with acknowledging greatness where it exists, especially when you do the work to honor it. Biles doesn’t coast on her talent and she doesn’t rest on her accomplishments. Her legacy already long secure, she continues to bust her butt day in and day out, testing limits that seem to stretch further and further with every year.
So when she comes up short, yeah, she’s going to be infuriated. She’s going to stew. She might even drop a curse word or two. And it has nothing to do with scores or rankings or record books.
She better than anyone knows her capabilities, and she knows she came up short.
“If she’s mad, that means she cares,” Laurent Landi said. “If she would not be mad, that would mean she doesn’t care. I’m very happy that she’s mad, actually.”
Strange as it might sound, a sub-par performance showed the best of Simone Biles.
Follow USA TODAY Sports columnist Nancy Armour on Twitter @nrarmour.
“Real Time” host Bill Maher went to bat for former Vice President Joe Biden on Friday night after a series of highly publicized gaffes by the Democratic frontrunner this week, which Maher referred to as “senior moments.”
“You know he doesn’t mean it,” Maher said about Biden. “There’s going to be some senior moments with Joe Biden. Don’t we just have to get used to that?”
Maher said Biden’s critics would likely argue that every verbal mistake is a sign that the 76-year-old Biden shouldn’t become president. But Maher said he wasn’t buying that argument.
“I really don’t think there’s a realistic link there,” Maher said. “I don’t think he’s about to push the button or he thinks he’s moving the remote and he blows up Russia. I don’t.”
He continued: “I’m just saying that we need to get used to the fact that if he’s the nominee, that there’s going to be some senior moments and we can’t lose our s— every time there’s one.”
During a fiery speech at the Iowa State Fair on Thursday, Biden told the crowd “We choose truth over facts” — an apparent allusion to the left’s allegations of deception from the Trump administration. Later on, he spoke to the Asian & Latino Coalition PAC urging everyone to “challenge” students in low-income neighborhoods.
“What we should do is, we should challenge these students in these schools. They have advanced placement programs in these schools,” Biden said. “We have this notion that somehow if you’re poor, you cannot do it. Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.”
After a very brief pause, Biden quickly continued speaking, adding: “Wealthy kids, black kids, Asian kids.”
Previously, Biden mistakenly said recent mass shootings had taken place “in Houston … and also in Michigan,” instead of El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.
One of Maher’s Friday guests — former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, D-Va. — agreed with the comedian that Biden’s slip-ups are no cause for concern in assessing his suitability for the Oval Office.
McAuliffe — a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee who also chaired campaigns for both Bill and Hillary Cliinton — said Biden’s occasional misstatements were preferable over the “10,000 lies” he claimed President Trump has made since taking office.
CLEAR LAKE, Iowa — The Democratic presidential candidates paused here for a moment of silence for the victims of the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, underscoring how the turbulent events of the past week have refocused the primary contest.
The brief lull in the primary campaign came as nearly the entire field descended on Northern Iowa on Friday night for the Wing Ding dinner, an annual event that has long served as an early testing ground for Democratic presidential aspirants.
In speech after speech, the candidates focused their fire on assailing President Trump and Republicans for their lack of action on gun control and abetting white supremacy — rather than focusing their fire on each other.
Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio recounted his recent trip to Kentucky, where he led protests of Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, for not acting on gun control legislation passed by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.
“We need gun reform in America and we need it now,” Mr. Ryan said, bringing the crowd to their feet. “People are dying on the streets of this country, getting killed by weapons that were made for battlefields not neighborhoods like Dayton, Ohio.”
Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey used his five-minute slot to deliver a somber sermon on the “moral moment” faced by the country.
“This is a week where I will not let the slaughter of our fellow citizens just disappear within the next media cycle,” he said.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., who received rapturous applause from the crowd, focused his remarks on turning the page from the Trump presidency, describing white nationalism as a “national security threat.”
“We’ve got to win not just the era but the future of this country,” Mr. Buttigieg said. “We are going to fix things in this country, we are going to do it together.”
The party fund-raiser, held at Clear Lake’s iconic Surf Ballroom, where Buddy Holly played his final rock show before dying in a plane crash in a nearby cornfield, has become an essential stop for Democratic activists and candidates to size up the field.
Barack Obama spoke here in 2007 before his presidential campaign caught fire. And last year, when Michael Avenatti, the celebrity lawyer, was weighing a presidential bid, he wowed the crowd and presaged the 2020 campaign by urging Democrats to fight as dirty as Mr. Trump does.
(Mr. Avenatti abandoned his presidential hopes in December. Four months later he was charged in a scheme to extort Nike, the shoe manufacturer.)
This year, Mr. Buttigieg, Senator Elizabeth Warren and J.D. Scholten, who is beginning a second campaign against Representative Steve King of Iowa, won the strongest reception from the audience.
Jerry Dietz, a 79-year-old farmer, said he arrived at the event backing Senator Amy Klobuchar but left most impressed by Mr. Buttigieg, though he worried the country wasn’t ready to elect the first gay president.
“I have relatives who wouldn’t vote for him,” he said.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind. received rapturous applause from the crowd, describing white nationalism as a “national security threat.”CreditJordan Gale for The New York Times
For many Democrats, the back-to-back mass shootings last weekend offered another reminder of their most deeply-held desire: Ousting Mr. Trump.
Many in the Democratic primary field have heightened their denunciations of Mr. Trump, labeling him a racist and a white supremacist.
As he left the White House for a vacation at his New Jersey golf club on Friday night, Mr. Trump called for lawmakers to pass “meaningful” background checks, a sign that the president finds himself under new political pressure.
Even so, there were no major signals on Friday from the N.R.A., the White House or Capitol Hill that action on the politically fraught issue was closer to compromise or resolution.
Setting himself apart from his rivals, former Representative Beto O’Rourke stayed home in El Paso to attend memorials and visit with shooting victims in his mourning hometown.
“I’m here to make sure that at this moment we do not allow ourselves to be defined by this act of terror,” he said, by way of a video message, “but instead by the way this community overcomes this attack.”
Outside, young boosters for a half-dozen campaigns chanted and screamed at each other. Someone played “Come on Eileen” for no discernible reason. And former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. slow jogged outside to greet his supporters.
The speeches at the Wing Ding dinner surpassed the two-hour mark, with 22 candidates each delivering their pitch in back-to-back-to-back five-minute increments to a sweaty room of Democratic activists. Several opened their comments with cracks about the size of the field, a reality that’s begun to worry party officials and voters.
Of course, as Mr. Holly once crooned, everyday the caucuses are “a-getting closer” and the race is “a-getting faster.” The Iowa blitz this weekend signifies the unofficial start of the fall campaign season, a time when the field is likely to narrow as candidates fail to qualify for debates and start hemorrhaging campaign cash.
A new survey in the state shows Ms. Warren gaining ground and Senator Bernie Sanders sliding. Mr. Sanders’s near win in the caucuses three years ago is what fueled his insurgent campaign against Hillary Clinton.
Taffy Brodesser-Akner contributed reporting from Clear Lake.
Robert Becker served as Sanders’ Iowa caucus director in 2016 and would likely have worked on his 2020 campaign, Politico reported. Instead, he was ousted from Sanders’ team earlier this year after a much younger staffer who worked underneath him alleged he forcibly kissed her on the last night of the Democratic National Convention and put his tongue in her mouth, according to Politico.
The woman also claimed Becker said he had always wanted to have sex with her and made other lewd references, which Politico reported others corroborated.
Robert Becker, who was the Iowa state director for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential bid, has been accused of forcibly kissing a younger female subordinate during the campaign. (Getty Images)
But Williamson said she was willing to look past the allegations against Becker.
“I believe in forgiveness. I believe in redemption. I believe in people rising up after they’ve fallen down,” Williamson said. “I had not read anything or heard anything that made me feel this was a man who never deserved to work again.”
“I believe in forgiveness. I believe in redemption. I believe in people rising up after they’ve fallen down. I had not read anything or heard anything that made me feel this was a man who never deserved to work again.”
— Marianne Williamson, Democrat running for president
Becker “categorically” denies the accusations and said he remembered the night was filled with “hugs and kisses,” Politico reported.
The Sanders campaign in 2016 was rocked by numerous complaints of sexual harassment by members of the staff. In January, Sanders wrote an apology said his campaign staffers’ standards for personal conduct should have been higher.
“The allegations speak to unacceptable behavior that must not be tolerated in any campaign or any workplace,” Sanders wrote in a statement.
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Organizers of a planned Straight Pride rally received some bad news from city officials in Modesto, Calif., on Friday. They will not be permitted to hold their event in a city park as planned on Aug. 24.
However, the city has offered to allow the group to rally in a space near the city’s convention center – provided the organizers file a permit application by Tuesday, the Modesto Bee reported.
The latest development follows a contentious City Council meeting on Wednesday evening, at which critics contended the organizers didn’t wish to celebrate heterosexuality, as the event name suggests, but to instead communicate an anti-gay agenda.
Co-organizer Mylinda Mason of the National Straight Pride Coalition, however, insisted there was no hidden intent.
“Everyone is trying to sensationalize this event and it’s going to be much like a church service,” Mason told FOX 40. “I know everybody likes to go and celebrate sodomy but we actually want to celebrate heterosexuality.
“Everyone is trying to sensationalize this event and it’s going to be much like a church service. I know everybody likes to go and celebrate sodomy but we actually want to celebrate heterosexuality.”
— Mylinda Mason, co-organizer of proposed Straight Pride event
“They’re looking to amp it up into something that it’s not,” Mason said of the critics. “It’s really going to be much more like on the purview of a church service, really. It really is just celebrating our beautiful country.”
But Mason’s 28-year-old son, Matthew Mason, who is openly gay, was among those opposing the plan for a Straight Pride event.
“This isn’t ‘straight pride,’ this is ‘hate pride,’” the son told FOX 40. “This is the woman who raised me, actively working against my rights as a human being, who I am as a person.”
In a Thursday interview, National Straight Pride Coalition organizer Don Grundmann told USA Today that his organization’s First Amendment rights should be respected.
He accused the Modesto City Council of “working overtime” to block his event.
“We’re saying that it’s OK to be a man. It’s OK to be a woman,” the organizer of a planned Straight Pride rally says. (iStock)
“We’re being viciously smeared and lied about that we’re racists,” he told the paper. (At the public meeting a night earlier, Grundmann drew laughter from his critics when he misspoke and described his organization as “a totally peaceful racist group,” the Bee reported.)
“We’re saying that it’s OK to be a man. It’s OK to be a woman. It’s OK to have a natural family, a man, woman and children.”
— Don Grundmann, co-organizer of proposed Straight Pride event
“Our culture is under attack on multiple fronts, such as just being men. There’s so-called toxic masculinity. There’s actually college courses being taught that men are an inherent problem, there’s something wrong with them,” he said. “We’re saying that it’s OK to be a man. It’s OK to be a woman. It’s OK to have a natural family, a man, woman and children.”
Fox News and its board members may be staying quiet about the recent controversies surrounding Tucker Carlson, but the advertisements airing during his show tell an interesting story.
After Carlson told his “Tucker Carlson Tonight” viewers that white supremacy is “actually not a real problem in America” and that the suggestion it is a problem is “a hoax” spread by the mainstream media, his commercial breaks on Thursday and Friday have featured as few as 13 and 11 paid ads, respectively. As of last year, he had about 36 paid ads per show.
In the last year, the types and volume of advertisements on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” have drastically shifted. Dozens of advertisers abandoned Carlson’s prime-time show beginning in December 2018, when he told America that immigrants were making the country “dirtier.” More advertisers left in March when Media Matters discovered Carlson’s racist and white supremacist rhetoric on a radio show between 2006 and 2011.
While Carlson previously had a wide variety of paid advertisers invested in him specifically, his commercial breaks over the last year have increasingly included “house ads” for Fox News, Fox Nation, Fox television and Fox Sports programming.
The Hollywood Reporter analyzed Carlson’s advertisers after the radio show comments were uncovered and found that in the nine programs that aired after it, “ads for Fox programming have made up 34.8 percent of the show’s advertising spots in that period, compared to just 3.7 percent in the period leading up to his December comment about immigration.”
As of the end of March, Carlson’s ad load per show fell from about 36 to about 18, and it’s remained pretty stagnant since then. A typical show features anywhere from 18 to 21 ads.
However, that number has decreased again in the last two weeks.
The sudden uptick in Fox house ads comes on the heels of Carlson announcing he would be taking some time off for a vacation until Aug. 19.
Despite the planned vacation, advertisers have been releasing statements that they are cutting ties ― marking the third mass exodus of brands in less than a year.