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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 126)

Melania Trump cheered and jeered by Baltimore students during speech

Melania Trump received a “mixed reception” Tuesday at a Baltimore youth event meant to raise awareness of opioid abuse, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Trump was both cheered and booed by the crowd of middle school and high school students after she was introduced by Jim Wahlberg, the brother of actor Mark Wahlberg, at the B’More Youth Summit on Opioid Awareness. The Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation partially sponsored the event.

Wahlberg tried to settle the crowd by asking: “If you have lost somebody you love or somebody who you cared about to an overdose, please stand up.”

However, the Associated Press reported the audience remained noisy throughout the first lady’s five-minute address. At one point, Mrs. Trump interrupted her remarks to say, “Hello, everyone,” before continuing.

Westlake Legal Group MelaniaTrumpjpg Melania Trump cheered and jeered by Baltimore students during speech Victor Garcia fox-news/politics/executive/first-family fox-news/person/melania-trump fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc d024b970-bdf2-5d8f-9422-a53e8c8d9528 article

First lady Melania Trump speaks at the B’More Youth Summit Tuesday at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. (Barbara Haddock Taylor/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

TRUMP SAYS BERNIE SANDERS SHOULD ALSO BE LABELED ‘RACIST’ FOR CALLING BALTIMORE A ‘THIRD WORLD COUNTRY’

“Your future will be determined by the choices you make,” the first lady told the crowd. “Using drugs will only slow you down.”

“I hope that the knowledge you gain here will help you tackle the tough decisions you may face so that you can lead healthy and drug-free lives,” Trump added.

In a statement released later Tuesday, the first lady said: “We live in a democracy and everyone is entitled to their opinion, but the fact is we have a serious crisis in our country and I remain committed to educating children on the dangers and deadly consequences of drug abuse.”

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The cool reception follows a clash earlier this year between late Maryland U.S.Rep. Elijah Cummings and President Trump, who criticized the Democrat’s district as a “rodent-infested mess” where “no human being would want to live.” Cummings replied that government officials must stop making “hateful, incendiary comments” that distract the nation from its real problems.

The president gave a speech in Baltimore in September and was met by protesters.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group MelaniaTrumpjpg Melania Trump cheered and jeered by Baltimore students during speech Victor Garcia fox-news/politics/executive/first-family fox-news/person/melania-trump fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc d024b970-bdf2-5d8f-9422-a53e8c8d9528 article   Westlake Legal Group MelaniaTrumpjpg Melania Trump cheered and jeered by Baltimore students during speech Victor Garcia fox-news/politics/executive/first-family fox-news/person/melania-trump fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc d024b970-bdf2-5d8f-9422-a53e8c8d9528 article

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

‘Dancing with the Stars’ host Erin Andrews defends reserved reaction to Hannah Brown’s win

Erin Andrews is not here for the haters.

After the “Bachelorette’s” Hannah Brown and her professional dance partner, Alan Bersten, were crowned the “Dancing with the Stars” Season 28 winners on Monday evening, the Internet had a lot to say about Andrews’ apparent reaction to the results.

According to People magazine, once it was revealed who would be getting the mirror ball trophy on the ABC reality dance competition. a camera captured Andrews standing with an expressionless face.

‘DANCING WITH THE STARS’ CROWNS ITS SEASON 28 CHAMPIONS 

“Wait … is it just me or did Erin Andrews look less than thrilled Hannah won…….. #DWTS,” one person asked on Twitter.

Echoed another social media user: “Can Erin Andrews facial expressions be any more obvious? Shouldn’t she at least appear unbiased? Not sure who she wanted to win, but at least she could pretend to be happier for the winner no matter who it is. #dwtsfinale #DWTS.”

“Disappointed in Erin Andrews’ lack of professionalism when Hannah and Alan were announced as winners. I tried not to think much of it as I was watching bc it was all so quick, but reading that others noticed it, too, confirms her lack of respect for the winners. #DWTS,” said one individual.

JAMES VAN DER BEEK ELIMINATED FROM ‘DANCING WITH THE STARS’ AFTER ANNOUNCING WIFE SUFFERED MISCARRIAGE

The myriad tweets caught Andrews’ attention, with the 41-year-old host responding to one social media user who wrote: “ooooo @ErinAndrews looked less than impressed with the outcome of #DWTS.”

Westlake Legal Group hannah-brown-alan-bersten-dwts 'Dancing with the Stars' host Erin Andrews defends reserved reaction to Hannah Brown's win Mariah Haas fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/dancing-with-the-stars fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article a660813c-3816-5042-b039-d323ffbcc17c

Hannah Brown and Alan Bersten are the winners of Season 28 of ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ (ABC)

“Give me a break,” Andrews shot back. “YOU CAN’T WIN IN THIS SITUATION. I’m standing next to the couple that just got second place. And if I had cheered, you’d be killing me for going against the Kel, Lauren, and Ally. Not that serious people!”

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Brown, 25, took home the win after competing against fellow amateur finalists Lauren Alaina, Ally Brooke and Kel Mitchell.

Andrews, along with co-host Tom Bergeron, announced Alaina had won fourth place and Brooke had won third place in the remaining minutes of the show. Mitchell was runner-up.

All four final contestants, in addition to season favorites Kate Flannery and Sailor Brinkley-Cook, will join the coming “Dancing with the Stars” tour.

Fox News’ Danielle Wallace contributed to this report

Westlake Legal Group Andrews-Brown_getty 'Dancing with the Stars' host Erin Andrews defends reserved reaction to Hannah Brown's win Mariah Haas fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/dancing-with-the-stars fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article a660813c-3816-5042-b039-d323ffbcc17c   Westlake Legal Group Andrews-Brown_getty 'Dancing with the Stars' host Erin Andrews defends reserved reaction to Hannah Brown's win Mariah Haas fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/dancing-with-the-stars fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article a660813c-3816-5042-b039-d323ffbcc17c

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

How Trump just upped the ante with China over trade deal: expert panel

Westlake Legal Group trump-xi-3-reuters How Trump just upped the ante with China over trade deal: expert panel Matt London fox-news/world/world-regions/hong-kong fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/topic/fox-nation-opinion fox-news/opinion fox-news/fox-nation fox news fnc/media fnc c8ba3d9f-e5d2-5223-aff5-3c368541ea15 article

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo challenged the Chinese government in a speech on Tuesday, accusing Beijing of “very significant” human rights abuses, in what amounted to a new dynamic in U.S.-China relations, according to an expert panel on Fox Nation’s “Deep Dive.”

In a news conference, Pompeo highlighted recent documents detailing how the Chinese government has detained more than a million ethnic minorities, including Uighurs and other Muslims.

“These reports are consistent with an overwhelming and growing body of evidence that the Chinese Communist Party is committing human rights violations and abuses against individuals in mass detention,” Pompeo said.

Wall Street Journal editorial page assistant editor James Freeman asked the panel if this public statement will be used as leverage to resolve the 16-month U.S.-China trade war, or as an excuse to drive the two major world economies further apart.

“The answer can be both,” said Gordon Chang, author of “The Coming Collapse of China.”

President Trump “may want a short-term deal to sort of get him through to the election,” Chang continued. “But long term, I do believe he wants to bring business back home. He talks about it all the time. He’s consistently had his theme on China that goes back well before he was running for president. And disengagement is actually occurring anyway. And it’s not just us. It’s also the Chinese because they’re pushing companies out of China.”

“And I think that’s a good thing for us, because we don’t want our companies beholden to a country that is becoming more and more Maoist, more totalitarian, as Pompeo talked about,” concluded Chang.

While acknowledging that it, “sounds callous” to discuss the impact of Pompeo’s remarks on trade, Freeman asked the panel how investors will view the developments.

“Internally Chinese didn’t particularly dislike negotiating with Trump despite the volatility, because he was remaining — very keyword — transactional, meaning he’s talking business only, not getting in our business about Hong Kong, about Taiwan, about the camps,” noted D.R. Barton, chief technical strategist for Money Map Press, which is an publication for investors.

“Now that’s taken a little bit of a change,” continued Barton, “He’s starting to put some pressure with the new Civil Rights and Democracy Bill — those are all different things that can be used for Trump as negotiating ploys.”

China summoned U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad to Beijing on Monday in response to the passage of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act in Congress last week.

The bill, passed nearly unanimously in the U.S House and Senate, is meant to protect human rights in Hong Kong amid a recent spike in violence in the five-month protest against Chinese control.  President Trump has expressed some reservations with signing the bill into law amid the high-stakes negotiations.

To watch all of “Deep Dive” go to Fox Nation and sign up today.

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Fox Nation programs are viewable on-demand and from your mobile device app, but only for Fox Nation subscribers. Go to Fox Nation to start a free trial and watch the extensive library from Tomi Lahren, Pete Hegseth, Abby Hornacek, Laura Ingraham, Ainsley Earhardt, Greg Gutfeld, Judge Andrew Napolitano and many more of your favorite Fox News personalities.

Fox News’ Alex Pappas has contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group trump-xi-3-reuters How Trump just upped the ante with China over trade deal: expert panel Matt London fox-news/world/world-regions/hong-kong fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/topic/fox-nation-opinion fox-news/opinion fox-news/fox-nation fox news fnc/media fnc c8ba3d9f-e5d2-5223-aff5-3c368541ea15 article   Westlake Legal Group trump-xi-3-reuters How Trump just upped the ante with China over trade deal: expert panel Matt London fox-news/world/world-regions/hong-kong fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/topic/fox-nation-opinion fox-news/opinion fox-news/fox-nation fox news fnc/media fnc c8ba3d9f-e5d2-5223-aff5-3c368541ea15 article

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

Why Virginia Democrats’ Refusal To Repeal ‘Right-To-Work’ Law Matters

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) all but ruled out repealing the state’s anti-union “right-to-work” law on Monday, dashing the hopes of a rising populist guard that is hoping to bring Virginia in line with other solidly Democratic states where organized labor flourishes.

A Northam spokesperson did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for clarification of the governor’s intentions, including whether he would veto a repeal bill if it arrives on his desk.

Regardless, Northam’s remarks that he cannot “foresee” Virginia rescinding the law, delivered alongside outgoing Republican legislative leaders at a state economic and revenue forecast meeting, discouraging unions and progressives eager to see Democrats both reembrace their historic solidarity with organized labor and enact policy with an eye toward the party’s long-term political fortunes. 

“Today is a disappointing day for the working-class families of Virginia,” said William Sproule, secretary-treasurer of the Keystone-Mountain-Lakes Regional Council of Carpenters, which represents union carpenters in Virginia.

Unions have greater difficulty organizing and maintaining power in “right-to-work” states because those states bar unions from collecting dues from workers they represent in front of management. As a result, some workers choose to “freeload,” or benefit from the union’s protection without contributing, which typically limits a union’s financial resources.

Right-to-work policy “has succeeded in its purpose: The wage levels for working people in the state of Virginia are appalling,” said Chris Townsend, the organizing director of the Amalgamated Transit Union, who has lived in Alexandria, Virginia, for the past 30 years.

Westlake Legal Group 5ddd8cd81f0000d51adef965 Why Virginia Democrats’ Refusal To Repeal ‘Right-To-Work’ Law Matters

Michael McCoy / Reuters Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D), a business-friendly Democrat who voted for President George W. Bush twice, has again disappointed the state’s labor unions and progressive activists.

There is research to support Townsend’s claim. Right-to-work states, which are almost all outside the pro-union Northeast and West Coast, have wages that are, on average, 3.1% lower than pro-union states, according to a 2015 study by the liberal Economic Policy Institute. 

That’s true not just because of the direct benefits of unionization for workers, but also because the threat of unionization prompts employers in pro-union states to offer better pay and benefits to stave off unionization.

“Allowing unions to be effective promotes the wages of not just union members, but non-union members as well,” said Jeff Hauser, a former AFL-CIO spokesman who now runs the Center for Economic and Policy Research’s Revolving Door Project.

Virginia, where elections earlier this month handed Democrats unified control of the state government, gets particularly low marks when it comes to workers’ rights. The human rights nonprofit Oxfam ranked Virginia dead last in its ranking of the “best places to work in America.” 

In addition to being a right-to-work state, Virginia bars public-sector workers ― those employed by the state, counties and municipalities ― from engaging in collective bargaining. 

In Virginia, we can not only win by being a good state for business, but we can also win by being one of the best states for workers. Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy (D)

Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy (D), a public defender representing the outermost suburbs of Northern Virginia, still hopes to pass legislation overturning the right-to-work law. She noted that Del. Lee Carter (D), a democratic socialist from Manassas, has vowed to introduce repeal legislation. 

“In Virginia, we can not only win by being a good state for business, but we can also win by being one of the best states for workers,” Carroll Foy said. “Many other states have done this.”

A spokesperson for Democratic Speaker-designate Eileen Filler-Corn did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s inquiry about whether Filler-Corn would allow such a bill to proceed out of committee for a vote on the House floor.

To those familiar with Northam, a business-friendly physician who says he voted twice for President George W. Bush, Monday’s indication that he would not rescind the state’s right-to-work law was not altogether surprising. He’d even reportedly said something similar to union officials in a private meeting before state elections earlier this month. 

But even his detractors are disappointed in Northam’s insensitivity to the political implications of allowing his state to remain inhospitable to unions. 

Republican lawmakers, by contrast, are keenly aware of the political advantages of kneecapping unions. In the past decade, in particular, Republican governors have moved rapidly to gut labor unions, knowing that they engender class consciousness at odds with GOP ideology and funnel money and resources to Democratic candidates. Here again, there is research to back up Republicans’ conduct: In presidential races, Democratic vote share by county drops 3.5 percentage points after passage of right-to-work laws, according to a National Bureau of Economic Research study published in February.

The right tries to use temporary power to build permanent power for its coalition and erode the power of the opposing coalition. Jeff Hauser, former AFL-CIO spokesman

The most glaring example of Republicans riding anti-union legislation to victory at the ballot is Wisconsin, where former Gov. Scott Walker (R) stripped public-sector unions of key bargaining rights and later made Wisconsin a right-to-work state, denuding private-sector unions in the process. 

On election night in 2016, conservative anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist gloated that Walker’s evisceration of his state’s unions had won the state for Donald Trump.

Michigan, home to the country’s unionized auto industry, underwent a quieter transition to right-to-work status in 2012. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton also narrowly lost that state to Trump in 2016.

“The right tries to use temporary power to build permanent power for its coalition and erode the power of the opposing coalition,” said Hauser, noting not just Republicans’ prioritization of attacks on unions, but also their efforts to restrict voting rights that disadvantage traditionally Democratic demographic groups.

Short of Republican-style voter disenfranchisement, Hauser recommended that Democrats “also learn to prioritize acts that expand the ongoing power of their coalition,” including by creating conditions for unions to flourish.

A perennial source of frustration for opponents of anti-union laws is that Republicans typically do not emphasize them during campaigns and then railroad them through at the first chance once in office.  

Given the opportunity to weigh in, the voting public, even in conservative states, often overturns such laws. Most recently, Missouri voters threw out a right-to-work law through a statewide ballot initiative in August 2018. 

Virginia voters have a record of similar action. In November 2016, state residents voted down a referendum that would have enshrined the state’s right-to-work status in its constitution.

Sproule of the carpenters union cited the 2016 outcome, as well as the victory of pro-union Democrats in 2019, in his statement.

“Northam has changed views on this important issue, but the Keystone-Mountain-Lakes Regional Council of Carpenters [has] not,” he said.

Of course, even if Northam, who survived public uproar in February over the revelation that he’d worn blackface as a medical student, got out of the way of a right-to-work repeal effort, some of the Democrats in the state legislature would likely need some convincing. Particularly in the state Senate, many veteran Democrats embody the tradition of bipartisan chumminess with big business that is sometimes dubbed the “Virginia Way.”

There are some signs that the tides are shifting toward a more populist iteration of the Democratic Party ― albeit slowly. The rise of a vibrant liberal grassroots movement in Virginia after Trump’s victory in 2016 ushered in a crop of “Virginia Way” skeptics to the state Capitol. These younger, more diverse and more progressive lawmakers, mostly in the House of Delegates, have had some success in reining in the state’s influential electric utility monopolies. 

But a bid by House progressives to elect one of their own as speaker fell short earlier this month. 

For Townsend, the transit union official, the mere discussion of right-to-work laws ― and public pushback against Northam ― is a harbinger of change.

“We didn’t have that for years and years,” he said. “There’s only one way to go in Virginia, which is up ― so what the hell.”

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

Bloomberg unifies 2020 Dem rivals in opposition to his billions

Westlake Legal Group 854081161001_6109316692001_6109311688001-vs Bloomberg unifies 2020 Dem rivals in opposition to his billions Paul Steinhauser fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/politics fox-news/person/michael-bloomberg fox news fnc/politics fnc article 9a3e71a6-a58e-5142-a5ac-7c3609479952

For Mike Bloomberg, the incoming fire from many of his 2020 Democratic presidential nomination rivals has been coming fast and furious.

“Michael Bloomberg is making a bet about democracy in 2020. He doesn’t need people, he only needs bags and bags of money. I think Michael Bloomberg is wrong,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren charged while campaigning in Iowa on Monday.

SANDERS: ‘I DON’T THINK BILLIONAIRES SHOULD BE ABLE TO BUY ELECTIONS

The progressive Democratic senator from Massachusetts spoke one day after the former three-term New York City mayor and multibillionaire business and media mogul declared his candidacy for president and immediately went up with TV commercials in media markets from coast to coast backed by a massive more than $30 million ad buy.

While Warren was taking aim at Bloomberg in Iowa, populist Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont told Fox News in New Hampshire that “I don’t think that’s what American democracy is supposed to be about. I don’t think billionaires should be able to buy elections.”

Other than their vocal opposition to President Trump, the large field of Democratic White House hopefuls are often at odds with each other. But Bloomberg’s entry into the nomination race appears to be unifying his rivals in opposition to his campaign.

Bloomberg has vowed to spend at least $150 million of his own money on his bid and skip the early primary and caucus voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina and instead concentrate on the delegate-rich states that hold contests on Super Tuesday and beyond.

THE LATEST FROM FOX NEWS ON THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN

Sanders and Warren – the progressive standard-bearers in the 2020 field – were far from the only candidates taking aim at Bloomberg.

“I just don’t think you should be able to have billionaires with an unfair advantage in this election,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota told voters at town hall in New Hampshire on Friday.

And Sen. Cory Booker told Fox News on Friday that the eye-popping Bloomberg ad buy was “frustrating.” The New Jersey senator, like nearly the entire field of Democratic contenders, is vowing to rid big bucks from campaign politics.

“When I was a mayor, Mike was one of those mentor mayors to me. But when it comes to presidential politics, your qualifier should not be money. It should not put you at an advantage over other candidates who might have incredible service and accomplishments and the like,” Booker, who was mayor of Newark, N.J., said.

The push back against Bloomberg is similar – but magnified — to the criticisms of billionaire environmental and progressive advocate Tom Steyer, who’s spent over $50 million in media to promote his campaign since jumping into the race in July. With a vastly larger bank account than Steyer, Bloomberg’s more of a threat to the field of contenders.

While most of the top and middle tier contenders have taken aim at Bloomberg, two have remained mostly silent. The two are former Vice President Joe Biden and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg – who may potentially have the most to lose with another center-left contender in the race.

Hours after Bloomberg’s announcement, Biden merely said following a fundraising event in Rhode Island that, “I welcome him into the race.”

And Buttigieg on Monday said he’s “always glad to see another mayor running for national office.”

While Buttigieg and Biden have held back on criticizing Bloomberg, they are simpatico with Warren and Sanders and others contenders when it comes to radically changing the current campaign finance system to rid big money out of politics.

Veteran Democratic operative and strategist Julia Barnes noted that “Bloomberg is coming into an environment where voters are not interested in granting him access through money.”

“The blowback he is getting for this late entry reflects the attitude cultivated in early states – that effort, time and personal engagement is key for support. That may be different in the states he is aiming to play in for March and later but I seriously doubt it. At this point, he has been so absent from the voter’s conversations that I don’t expect TV to change that,” predicted Barnes, a top campaign aide on Sanders 2016 White House bid.

Democratic operative Michael Ceraso noted that Bloomberg’s entry gives his rivals an easy target.

“Bloomberg’s candidacy can be sliced and diced by the media and punditry but I think what his campaign means to this race is pretty simple: Bloomberg gives Democratic candidates the ability to shift media and voter scrutiny from them to him. There is a strategic value in using Bloomberg as a backdrop to corporate greed and meritocracy gone wrong,” explained Ceraso, a veteran of Sanders’ 2016 campaign who served as Buttigieg’s New Hampshire state director this year before parting ways with the campaign.

But he warned that “the problem behind this campaign strategy is that it prevents substantive debate around core policy differences between the top tier candidates and that’s not good for the party that needs to both rebuild the Obama coalition and restore trust with disengaged voters who are looking for a reason to vote.”

Fox News’ Andrew Craft, Andres del Aguila, and Madeleine Rivera contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 854081161001_6109316692001_6109311688001-vs Bloomberg unifies 2020 Dem rivals in opposition to his billions Paul Steinhauser fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/politics fox-news/person/michael-bloomberg fox news fnc/politics fnc article 9a3e71a6-a58e-5142-a5ac-7c3609479952   Westlake Legal Group 854081161001_6109316692001_6109311688001-vs Bloomberg unifies 2020 Dem rivals in opposition to his billions Paul Steinhauser fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/politics fox-news/person/michael-bloomberg fox news fnc/politics fnc article 9a3e71a6-a58e-5142-a5ac-7c3609479952

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

Why Virginia Democrats’ Refusal To Repeal ‘Right-To-Work’ Law Matters

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) all but ruled out repealing the state’s anti-union “right-to-work” law on Monday, dashing the hopes of a rising populist guard that is hoping to bring Virginia in line with other solidly Democratic states where organized labor flourishes.

A Northam spokesperson did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for clarification of the governor’s intentions, including whether he would veto a repeal bill if it arrives on his desk.

Regardless, Northam’s remarks that he cannot “foresee” Virginia rescinding the law, delivered alongside outgoing Republican legislative leaders at a state economic and revenue forecast meeting, discouraging unions and progressives eager to see Democrats both reembrace their historic solidarity with organized labor and enact policy with an eye toward the party’s long-term political fortunes. 

“Today is a disappointing day for the working-class families of Virginia,” said William Sproule, secretary-treasurer of the Keystone-Mountain-Lakes Regional Council of Carpenters, which represents union carpenters in Virginia.

Unions have greater difficulty organizing and maintaining power in “right-to-work” states because those states bar unions from collecting dues from workers they represent in front of management. As a result, some workers choose to “freeload,” or benefit from the union’s protection without contributing, which typically limits a union’s financial resources.

Right-to-work policy “has succeeded in its purpose: The wage levels for working people in the state of Virginia are appalling,” said Chris Townsend, the organizing director of the Amalgamated Transit Union, who has lived in Alexandria, Virginia, for the past 30 years.

Westlake Legal Group 5ddd8cd81f0000d51adef965 Why Virginia Democrats’ Refusal To Repeal ‘Right-To-Work’ Law Matters

Michael McCoy / Reuters Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D), a business-friendly Democrat who voted for President George W. Bush twice, has again disappointed the state’s labor unions and progressive activists.

There is research to support Townsend’s claim. Right-to-work states, which are almost all outside the pro-union Northeast and West Coast, have wages that are, on average, 3.1% lower than pro-union states, according to a 2015 study by the liberal Economic Policy Institute. 

That’s true not just because of the direct benefits of unionization for workers, but also because the threat of unionization prompts employers in pro-union states to offer better pay and benefits to stave off unionization.

“Allowing unions to be effective promotes the wages of not just union members, but non-union members as well,” said Jeff Hauser, a former AFL-CIO spokesman who now runs the Center for Economic and Policy Research’s Revolving Door Project.

Virginia, where elections earlier this month handed Democrats unified control of the state government, gets particularly low marks when it comes to workers’ rights. The human rights nonprofit Oxfam ranked Virginia dead last in its ranking of the “best places to work in America.” 

In addition to being a right-to-work state, Virginia bars public-sector workers ― those employed by the state, counties and municipalities ― from engaging in collective bargaining. 

In Virginia, we can not only win by being a good state for business, but we can also win by being one of the best states for workers. Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy (D)

Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy (D), a public defender representing the outermost suburbs of Northern Virginia, still hopes to pass legislation overturning the right-to-work law. She noted that Del. Lee Carter (D), a democratic socialist from Manassas, has vowed to introduce repeal legislation. 

“In Virginia, we can not only win by being a good state for business, but we can also win by being one of the best states for workers,” Carroll Foy said. “Many other states have done this.”

A spokesperson for Democratic Speaker-designate Eileen Filler-Corn did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s inquiry about whether Filler-Corn would allow such a bill to proceed out of committee for a vote on the House floor.

To those familiar with Northam, a business-friendly physician who says he voted twice for President George W. Bush, Monday’s indication that he would not rescind the state’s right-to-work law was not altogether surprising. He’d even reportedly said something similar to union officials in a private meeting before state elections earlier this month. 

But even his detractors are disappointed in Northam’s insensitivity to the political implications of allowing his state to remain inhospitable to unions. 

Republican lawmakers, by contrast, are keenly aware of the political advantages of kneecapping unions. In the past decade, in particular, Republican governors have moved rapidly to gut labor unions, knowing that they engender class consciousness at odds with GOP ideology and funnel money and resources to Democratic candidates. Here again, there is research to back up Republicans’ conduct: In presidential races, Democratic vote share by county drops 3.5 percentage points after passage of right-to-work laws, according to a National Bureau of Economic Research study published in February.

The right tries to use temporary power to build permanent power for its coalition and erode the power of the opposing coalition. Jeff Hauser, former AFL-CIO spokesman

The most glaring example of Republicans riding anti-union legislation to victory at the ballot is Wisconsin, where former Gov. Scott Walker (R) stripped public-sector unions of key bargaining rights and later made Wisconsin a right-to-work state, denuding private-sector unions in the process. 

On election night in 2016, conservative anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist gloated that Walker’s evisceration of his state’s unions had won the state for Donald Trump.

Michigan, home to the country’s unionized auto industry, underwent a quieter transition to right-to-work status in 2012. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton also narrowly lost that state to Trump in 2016.

“The right tries to use temporary power to build permanent power for its coalition and erode the power of the opposing coalition,” said Hauser, noting not just Republicans’ prioritization of attacks on unions, but also their efforts to restrict voting rights that disadvantage traditionally Democratic demographic groups.

Short of Republican-style voter disenfranchisement, Hauser recommended that Democrats “also learn to prioritize acts that expand the ongoing power of their coalition,” including by creating conditions for unions to flourish.

A perennial source of frustration for opponents of anti-union laws is that Republicans typically do not emphasize them during campaigns and then railroad them through at the first chance once in office.  

Given the opportunity to weigh in, the voting public, even in conservative states, often overturns such laws. Most recently, Missouri voters threw out a right-to-work law through a statewide ballot initiative in August 2018. 

Virginia voters have a record of similar action. In November 2016, state residents voted down a referendum that would have enshrined the state’s right-to-work status in its constitution.

Sproule of the carpenters union cited the 2016 outcome, as well as the victory of pro-union Democrats in 2019, in his statement.

“Northam has changed views on this important issue, but the Keystone-Mountain-Lakes Regional Council of Carpenters [has] not,” he said.

Of course, even if Northam, who survived public uproar in February over the revelation that he’d worn blackface as a medical student, got out of the way of a right-to-work repeal effort, some of the Democrats in the state legislature would likely need some convincing. Particularly in the state Senate, many veteran Democrats embody the tradition of bipartisan chumminess with big business that is sometimes dubbed the “Virginia Way.”

There are some signs that the tides are shifting toward a more populist iteration of the Democratic Party ― albeit slowly. The rise of a vibrant liberal grassroots movement in Virginia after Trump’s victory in 2016 ushered in a crop of “Virginia Way” skeptics to the state Capitol. These younger, more diverse and more progressive lawmakers, mostly in the House of Delegates, have had some success in reining in the state’s influential electric utility monopolies. 

But a bid by House progressives to elect one of their own as speaker fell short earlier this month. 

For Townsend, the transit union official, the mere discussion of right-to-work laws ― and public pushback against Northam ― is a harbinger of change.

“We didn’t have that for years and years,” he said. “There’s only one way to go in Virginia, which is up ― so what the hell.”

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CNN analyst: Impeachment polling is a ‘warning sign’ for Democrats

Westlake Legal Group Pelosi-Schiff-Bade-AP-WAPO CNN analyst: Impeachment polling is a 'warning sign' for Democrats Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/polls fox news fnc/media fnc e7506c07-ef86-59df-8c80-fc2cf28339fe article

Recent polling could be a warning sign to House Democrats that they failed to convince the public that President Trump should be impeached when they held hearings on the matter last week, Washington Post reporter Rachael Bade said on Tuesday.

“I do think that this polling, is sort of a warning sign for them. I mean, if they’re not able to move public sentiment at all with those five hearings with … a dozen State Department or [National Security Council] officials coming forward and testifying against the president,” Bade told CNN. “I mean, that’s a problem for them. I mean, this should be a high point for them in terms of making the case to the voters.”

CNN’s John King reported on polling that showed 40 percent of Americans believed Democrats were abusing their constitutional powers.

HOUSE DEM SEES NO ‘VALUE’ IN IMPEACHMENT, AS POLLS SHOW FAILING SUPPORT AMONG INDEPENDENTS

Polling has shown that both independents and Democrats have started to lose interest in impeachment.

Meanwhile, 50 percent of independents questioned in an NPR/PBS/Marist poll conducted Nov. 11-15 did not support impeaching and removing Trump from office, with just 42 percent backing such a move.

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That’s a noticeable dip in support compared with the previous NPR/PBS/Marist poll – conducted the first week in October – when support stood at 45 percent.

In addition, a Gallup poll conducted the first two weeks of November indicated that 45 percent of independent voters supported impeaching and removing the president – with 53 percent opposing the move. That’s a switch from October when the previous Gallup survey put the split at 53-44 percent.

Fox News’ Gregg Re contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Pelosi-Schiff-Bade-AP-WAPO CNN analyst: Impeachment polling is a 'warning sign' for Democrats Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/polls fox news fnc/media fnc e7506c07-ef86-59df-8c80-fc2cf28339fe article   Westlake Legal Group Pelosi-Schiff-Bade-AP-WAPO CNN analyst: Impeachment polling is a 'warning sign' for Democrats Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/polls fox news fnc/media fnc e7506c07-ef86-59df-8c80-fc2cf28339fe article

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Last Living Mount Rushmore Carver Dies At 98

Westlake Legal Group ap_19081671420341_custom-094df883504d2b342833250349f081ee444e110a-s1100-c15 Last Living Mount Rushmore Carver Dies At 98

Nearly 400 men and women worked for more than 14 years to carve the images of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln into Mount Rushmore in Keystone, S.D. David Zalubowski/AP hide caption

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Westlake Legal Group  Last Living Mount Rushmore Carver Dies At 98

Nearly 400 men and women worked for more than 14 years to carve the images of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln into Mount Rushmore in Keystone, S.D.

David Zalubowski/AP

The man believed to be the last living carver of Mount Rushmore has died.

Donald “Nick” Clifford was one of nearly 400 men and women who worked on the iconic American monument. He died on Saturday at a hospice in Rapid City at the age of 98, his wife told NPR.

Clifford, who celebrated his last birthday in July, was immensely proud of his work on the mountainside as a teenager.

“I feel like Mount Rushmore was the greatest thing with which I was ever involved,” he told the Rapid City Journal. “It tells a story that will never go away — the story of how America was made and the men who helped make it what it is today.”

The 60-foot bust memorial was the vision of sculptor Gutzon Borglum and took 14 years to complete. From 1927 to 1941 men and women worked to blast and carve the faces of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln into the South Dakota mountain.

“The work was hard, the hours long, the pay low, and periods of employment uncertain,” the National Park Service explains, adding that despite the dangerous conditions there were no fatalities during the carving work.

Clifford worked there from 1938 to 1940, earning 55 cents an hour.

According to Carolyn, Clifford’s wife of 45 years, he had spent much of his young life waiting to work at the site. “You couldn’t work there until you were 17 years old, so Nick went to work at the Etta mine when he was 15. But as soon as he turned 17, he went to work on Mount Rushmore,” she said.

He was just 6 years old when work began on the bust of Washington, so by the time Clifford started as a driller, only Lincoln and Roosevelt remained to be sculpted.

“I knew how to run a jackhammer and that was the main requirement,” Clifford wrote in his book, Mount Rushmore Q&A.

“When I started drilling Lincoln, Borglum [Gutzon Borglum’s son and right hand man] told me where to drill and how to do it,” he said.

After working on the famous faces, Clifford joined the 8th Air Force, fighting in World War II. He eventually returned to live in Keystone in the 1970s. But it wasn’t until his later years that he became known as something of a local celebrity.

While the men who worked on the mountainside eventually drifted apart, pursuing other work, growing their families and realizing new dreams, Carolyn said many often returned to Keystone. When that happened and Clifford ran into old friends, “they would always, eventually, get to talking about the old days,” his wife said.

“But, you know, that of course stopped happening,” she added.

In an interview with KOTA TV on his 98th birthday, Clifford lamented the loss of his old colleagues. “They’re all gone now. I’m the last one,” he said.

Since 2004, Clifford and his wife could be found selling copies of his self-published book at the memorial’s gift shop.

“He could be shy at times but he loved doing that. He loved visiting with people and answering their questions,” his wife said.

Clifford was working at the gift shop the morning of Nov. 8 when he told his wife he was feeling unwell. She took him to the emergency room and he spent the last few weeks of his life in and out of the hospital.

“He wasn’t sick and he didn’t have a disease, but at that age, when you don’t get out of bed and move around, you become weak,” she said.

Clifford is survived by three children from a previous marriage, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.

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‘Moscow Mitch’ McConnell wrapping paper sold by Kentucky Democrats

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Black bear sneaks up on guests at park, strokes woman’s hair

Westlake Legal Group black-bear Black bear sneaks up on guests at park, strokes woman's hair Michael Hollan fox-news/world/world-regions/location-mexico fox news fnc/great-outdoors fnc article 3363edf5-fd54-5106-a60a-dadd09cf4f36

Well, that’s worth the price of admission.

Guests at a park in Mexico were treated to a once-in-a-lifetime experience when they encountered a bear.

But while getting surprised by a bear is commonly a pretty terrifying experience, this one just wanted to … wait, fix someone’s hair?

A black bear approached guests at the Chipinque Ecological Park in Mexico, the Herald Publicist reports. The animal was apparently looking for food at some nearby trash cans when it sneaked up on some visitors.

Footage of the incident shows the large animal walk up behind the guests, stand up on its hind legs and then start brushing a woman’s hair. The animal then calmly sits back down, much to the guests’ surprise.

WISCONSIN HUNTER WHO SHOT OTHER HUNTER DURING DEER SEASON’S OPENING WEEKEND HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED

In October, a tourist was filmed getting dangerously close to a black bear in Tennessee.

On Oct. 14, Kelly Price Helms shared an “insane” 33-second clip to Facebook, featuring a group of people photographing a black bear from just a few feet away, while the wild animal ate grass near the side of a road between Cades Cove and Townsend, as per WBIR. The visitors seemed to be blissfully unaware of the dangerous situation they were in.

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“Witnessed this the other day while visiting the Smoky Mountains. Insane!” Helms captioned the now-viral video, which has since been shared nearly 5,000 times to date.

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“Please note that my family and I were safe in our car and unable to move along due to these people jumping out of their vehicles,” she added.

Fox News’ Janine Puhak contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group black-bear Black bear sneaks up on guests at park, strokes woman's hair Michael Hollan fox-news/world/world-regions/location-mexico fox news fnc/great-outdoors fnc article 3363edf5-fd54-5106-a60a-dadd09cf4f36   Westlake Legal Group black-bear Black bear sneaks up on guests at park, strokes woman's hair Michael Hollan fox-news/world/world-regions/location-mexico fox news fnc/great-outdoors fnc article 3363edf5-fd54-5106-a60a-dadd09cf4f36

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