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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 186)

American Consumers, Not China, Are Paying for Trump’s Tariffs

Westlake Legal Group merlin_161335704_8530112f-09e8-4cef-b203-eb6969521085-facebookJumbo American Consumers, Not China, Are Paying for Trump’s Tariffs United States Economy Trump, Donald J International Trade and World Market Federal Reserve System Customs (Tariff)

WASHINGTON — American businesses and consumers, not China, are bearing the financial brunt of President Trump’s trade war, new data shows, undermining the president’s assertion that the United States is “taxing the hell out of China.”

“U.S. tariffs continue to be almost entirely borne by U.S. firms and consumers,” Mary Amiti, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, wrote in a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper. The other authors of the paper were David E. Weinstein of Columbia University and Stephen J. Redding of Princeton.

Examining the fallout of tariffs in data through October, the authors found that Americans had continued paying for the levies — which increased substantially over the course of the year. Their paper, which is an update on previous research, found that “approximately 100 percent” of import taxes fell on American buyers.

The findings are the latest evidence that voters and American businesses are paying the cost of Mr. Trump’s penchant for using tariffs to try to rewrite the terms of trade in favor of the United States.

Manufacturing is slumping, a fact economists attribute at least partly to uncertainty stemming from the trade spats, and business investment has suffered as corporate executives wait to see how — or if — the tensions will end.

The United States and China have reached a trade truce and are expected to sign an initial deal this month, but tariffs on $360 billion worth of Chinese goods will remain in place. The levies, which are as high as 25 percent, have forced some multinational businesses to move their operations out of China, sending operations to countries like Vietnam and Mexico.

Mr. Trump and his supporters say that the United States had no choice but to resort to tough tactics to try to force China to abandon unfair economic behaviors, like infringing on American intellectual property and providing state subsidies to Chinese firms. And Mr. Trump has continued to incorrectly assert that China — not American companies and consumers — is paying the cost of the tariffs.

Tariffs may have worked as a negotiating chip to get China to the table, but recent academic research shows that leverage has come at a steep price for some American businesses and consumers.

The authors of the latest study used customs data to trace the fallout, examining import values before and after the tariffs. The research showed that the tariffs had little impact on China.

“We’re just not seeing foreigners bearing the cost, which to me is very surprising,” Professor Weinstein said in an interview.

They also found a delayed impact from the tariffs, with the decline in some imports roughly doubling on average in the second year of the levies.

That is because “it takes some time for firms to reorganize their supply chains so that they can avoid the tariffs,” the authors write.

Reaction to the tariffs has varied across business sectors, however. In the steel industry, for example, companies that export to the United States have dropped their prices — suggesting that other countries are in fact paying “close to half” of the cost of tariffs, according to the paper.

Because China is only the 10th-largest steel supplier to the United States, though, exporters in the European Union, Japan and South Korea are most likely bearing much of that cost. And as foreign prices drop, domestic steel production has barely budged, which bodes poorly for hiring in the United States steel industry, the authors note.

“The steel industry isn’t getting that much protection, as a result,” Professor Weinstein said.

In previous research, the authors found that by December 2018, import tariffs were costing United States consumers and importing businesses $3.2 billion per month in added taxes and another $1.4 billion per month in efficiency losses. They did not update those numbers in the latest study.

Their analysis joins a growing body of research examining the effects of the escalating tariffs Mr. Trump has imposed since the beginning of 2018.

A study released in late December by two economists at the Fed, Aaron Flaaen and Justin Pierce, found that any positive effects that tariffs offered American companies in terms of protection from Chinese imports were outweighed by their costs. Those costs include the higher prices companies must pay to import components from China, and the retaliatory tariffs China placed on the United States in response, the economists said.

Another study, published in October by researchers at Harvard University, the University of Chicago and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, also found that almost all of the cost of the tariffs was being passed on from businesses in China to American importers.

The October study found that the situation was not the same for the tariffs that China has placed on American goods in retaliation. The researchers found that American businesses had less success passing on the costs of those tariffs to Chinese importers, most likely because of the types of goods being sold.

Many of the products that the United States sells to China are undifferentiated commodities, like agricultural goods, but China sends many specialized consumer goods like silk embroidery, laptops and smartphones to the United States. China can easily swap Brazilian soybeans for American ones, but the types of goods that China sends to the United States are harder for American businesses to substitute, the researchers said.

Ms. Amiti’s colleagues at the New York Fed have traced the costs of tariffs in other research. Their study similarly found that import prices on goods coming from China had remained largely unchanged as tariffs rolled out, and argued that already-narrow profit margins — ones that leave no room for cutting — and a dearth of competitors could be among the factors insulating Chinese exporters.

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4 Things to Know About YouTube’s New Children Privacy Practices

Westlake Legal Group 06youtube-facebookJumbo 4 Things to Know About YouTube’s New Children Privacy Practices YouTube.com Video Recordings, Downloads and Streaming Privacy Online Advertising Google Inc Federal Trade Commission Data-Mining and Database Marketing

In September, Google agreed to pay a $170 million fine and make privacy changes as regulators said that its YouTube platform had illegally harvested children’s personal information and used it to profit by targeting them with ads. The penalty and changes were part of an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission and the attorney general of New York, which had accused YouTube of violating the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

On Monday, YouTube said it was beginning to introduce changes to address regulators’ concerns and better protect children. Here is what you need to know about those changes.

YouTube said that, starting Monday, it would begin to limit the collection and use of personal information from people who watched children’s videos, no matter the age of the viewer. Federal law prohibits online services aimed at children under 13 from collecting the personal information of those young users without parental consent.

YouTube said it had also turned off or limited some features on children’s videos tied to personal information. These include comments and live-chat features, as well as the ability to save videos to a playlist.

YouTube will no longer show ads on children’s videos that are targeted at viewers based on their web-browsing or other online activity data. Instead, the company said, it may now show ads based on the context of what people are viewing.

YouTube said viewers who watched a video made for children on its platform would now be more likely to see recommendations for other children’s videos.

In September, YouTube said it would require all video producers on its platform to designate their videos as made for children or not made for children. In November, it introduced a new setting to help producers flag children’s content, a designation that signals YouTube to limit data collection on those videos. The video service said that it was also using artificial intelligence to help identify children’s content and that it could override a video producer’s categorization if its system detected a mistake.

YouTube is one of the most popular platforms for children. Some animated videos on YouTube channels aimed at younger children — like Cocomelon Nursery Rhymes and ChuChu TV — have been viewed more than a billion times.

The platform’s new limits on data-mining send a signal to other popular sites offering children’s content that they also may be subject to the federal children’s online privacy law. Musical.ly, a wildly popular video social network now known as TikTok, also had to pay a fine last year to settle F.T.C. charges that it had illegally collected children’s personal information.

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Manatee-shaped chicken tender for sale for $5,000 on Facebook: ‘Must see to appreciate’

You don’t see a chicken tender like this every day!

It’s always a good idea to examine your food before you eat it because you never know what you’re going to find. For example, one woman apparently found a chicken tender she believes is worth five grand.

Westlake Legal Group manatee-shaped-chicken-tender-FACEBOOK Manatee-shaped chicken tender for sale for $5,000 on Facebook: 'Must see to appreciate' Michael Hollan fox-news/food-drink/food/fast-food fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article a8de3be2-f00d-5693-88e0-1745f8d4ff34

On the listing, which was filed under the “Antiques and Collectibles” category, Melinda Britt Disbrow wrote, “Must see to appreciate.” She also listed the tender as being in “new” condition. (Melinda Britt Disbrow/Facebook Marketplace)

Why?

Well, it’s apparently shaped like a manatee.

The listing was posted to the Facebook Marketplace by Melinda Britt Disbrow, who bought the tender from a Culvers near the Manatee Viewing Center at Apollo Beach, Fla.

On the listing, which is filed under the “Antiques and Collectibles” category, Disbrow wrote, “Must see to appreciate.” She also listed the tender as being in “new” condition.

20-YEAR-OLD MCDONALD’S BURGER STILL LOOKS BRAND NEW, SMELLS LIKE CARDBOARD

While some outlets are reporting that the listing is no longer active, Disbrow confirmed that it’s still live. She says that it’s been viewed over 5,800 times and she’s received over 500 messages.

While five grand might seem like a lot for a chicken tender, Disbrow is planning on putting the money to good use. According to her, if the tender sells, she’s going to donate the proceeds to an organization that supports manatee preservation, “most likely Savethemanatee.org.”

Disbrow told Fox News that the response was, “Beyond surprising! Something that was done out of fun and good humor turned into this. Grateful that I can use this strange and quirky platform for something amazing.”

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This might be the priciest chicken story of the new year, but 2019 saw some expensive chicken as well.

In early December, Popeyes submitted one of their chicken sandwiches duct-taped to a wall to the Art Basel Miami Festival.

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A spokesperson for Popeyes confirmed to Fox News that the Chicken Sandwich was included as a piece in the famous art festival. Like the infamous banana, the popular sandwich was duct-taped to a canvas.

The piece, officially named “The Sandwich,” is listed at $120,003.99 and is being described as “a mixed media work of art consisting of a toasted brioche bun, two pickles, fried chicken, mayo and duct tape over a canvas.”

Westlake Legal Group manatee-shaped-chicken-tender-FACEBOOK Manatee-shaped chicken tender for sale for $5,000 on Facebook: 'Must see to appreciate' Michael Hollan fox-news/food-drink/food/fast-food fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article a8de3be2-f00d-5693-88e0-1745f8d4ff34   Westlake Legal Group manatee-shaped-chicken-tender-FACEBOOK Manatee-shaped chicken tender for sale for $5,000 on Facebook: 'Must see to appreciate' Michael Hollan fox-news/food-drink/food/fast-food fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article a8de3be2-f00d-5693-88e0-1745f8d4ff34

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

4 Things to Know About YouTube’s New Children Privacy Practices

Westlake Legal Group 06youtube-facebookJumbo 4 Things to Know About YouTube’s New Children Privacy Practices YouTube.com Video Recordings, Downloads and Streaming Privacy Online Advertising Google Inc Federal Trade Commission Data-Mining and Database Marketing

In September, Google agreed to pay a $170 million fine and make privacy changes as regulators said that its YouTube platform had illegally harvested children’s personal information and used it to profit by targeting them with ads. The penalty and changes were part of an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission and the attorney general of New York, which had accused YouTube of violating the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

On Monday, YouTube said it was beginning to introduce changes to address regulators’ concerns and better protect children. Here is what you need to know about those changes.

YouTube said that, starting Monday, it would begin to limit the collection and use of personal information from people who watched children’s videos, no matter the age of the viewer. Federal law prohibits online services aimed at children under 13 from collecting the personal information of those young users without parental consent.

YouTube said it had also turned off or limited some features on children’s videos tied to personal information. These include comments and live-chat features, as well as the ability to save videos to a playlist.

YouTube will no longer show ads on children’s videos that are targeted at viewers based on their web-browsing or other online activity data. Instead, the company said, it may now show ads based on the context of what people are viewing.

YouTube said viewers who watched a video made for children on its platform would now be more likely to see recommendations for other children’s videos.

In September, YouTube said it would require all video producers on its platform to designate their videos as made for children or not made for children. In November, it introduced a new setting to help producers flag children’s content, a designation that signals YouTube to limit data collection on those videos. The video service said that it was also using artificial intelligence to help identify children’s content and that it could override a video producer’s categorization if its system detected a mistake.

YouTube is one of the most popular platforms for children. Some animated videos on YouTube channels aimed at younger children — like Cocomelon Nursery Rhymes and ChuChu TV — have been viewed more than a billion times.

The platform’s new limits on data-mining send a signal to other popular sites offering children’s content that they also may be subject to the federal children’s online privacy law. Musical.ly, a wildly popular video social network now known as TikTok, also had to pay a fine last year to settle F.T.C. charges that it had illegally collected children’s personal information.

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

Drowning dog tied to ‘heavy rock’ rescued from river in England, woman arrested, police say

A woman in England has been arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty after a dog was found tied to a rock and drowning in a river on Monday morning, according to police.

The Nottinghamshire Police said in a series of news releases the incident happened around 8:45 a.m. near Long Lane in the Farndon, Nottinghamshire when a woman spotted the dog named Bella struggling in the waters of the Trent River.

Officials said the Belgian Shepherd had a carrier bag that containing a “heavy rock” that was tied to her when she was found.

CANADIAN WOMAN ORDERED TO PAY EX-BOYFRIEND MASSIVE SUM FOR DEFAMING HIM ONLINE

“This was an evil and nasty thing to do to this poor dog and we are making every effort to find out who is responsible,” PC Adam Pace, from Nottinghamshire Police said in a statement. “We are lucky that the kind member of the public found and rescued her.”

Westlake Legal Group Belgian-Shepherd-2-Notts-Police Drowning dog tied to 'heavy rock' rescued from river in England, woman arrested, police say Travis Fedschun fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/crime fox news fnc/world fnc e9297214-ec11-57fc-b00d-72ec9f4d87bb article

The Belgian Shepherd named Bella was spotted by a woman after struggling to keep afloat in the Trent River in Farndon, Nottinghamshire, on Monday morning. (Nottinghamshire Police)

Photos of Bella released by police show the dog after she was taken for treatment. Police said the dog is now recovering at a local vet and is eating.

Westlake Legal Group Belgian-Shepherd-1-Notts-Police Drowning dog tied to 'heavy rock' rescued from river in England, woman arrested, police say Travis Fedschun fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/crime fox news fnc/world fnc e9297214-ec11-57fc-b00d-72ec9f4d87bb article

Bella is now recovering at a local vet after the incident. (Nottinghamshire Police)

Another photo shows the large rock that was attached to the dog.

Officials said they are working with the RSPCA and conducting microchip inquiries to see if her owner has changed since she was originally recorded in 2010.

Westlake Legal Group Belgian-Shepherd-3-Notts-Police Drowning dog tied to 'heavy rock' rescued from river in England, woman arrested, police say Travis Fedschun fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/crime fox news fnc/world fnc e9297214-ec11-57fc-b00d-72ec9f4d87bb article

The “heavy rock” that was tied to Bella that authorities found after the dog was rescued on Monday. (Nottinghamshire Police)

After making a public appeal for information, officials announced a 31-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty. The woman was not named.

MAN SHOT DEAD BY FRENCH POLICE AFTER FATAL STABBING SPREE NEAR PARIS

Even though authorities made an arrest in connection to the incident, they made an appeal to the public for any information about the circumstances of the incident, including if any other people were involved.

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“We are lucky that the kind member of the public found and rescued her,” Pace said. “Whilst the dog is still quite poorly she has been showing some encouraging signs by eating so, hopefully, she will be on the mend.”

Westlake Legal Group d70231c4-Belgian-Shepherd-4-Notts-Police Drowning dog tied to 'heavy rock' rescued from river in England, woman arrested, police say Travis Fedschun fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/crime fox news fnc/world fnc e9297214-ec11-57fc-b00d-72ec9f4d87bb article   Westlake Legal Group d70231c4-Belgian-Shepherd-4-Notts-Police Drowning dog tied to 'heavy rock' rescued from river in England, woman arrested, police say Travis Fedschun fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/crime fox news fnc/world fnc e9297214-ec11-57fc-b00d-72ec9f4d87bb article

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Japanese ‘Tuna King’ pays $1.8 million for bluefin tuna at New Year’s auction

A Japanese man who describes himself as the “Tuna King” has kicked 2020 off with an extravagant purchase.

NEW JERSEY FISHERMAN CATCHES 475-POUND SHARK AFTER ‘REAL BATTLE’

Kiyoshi Kimura, who owns Kiyomura Corp and runs the sushi chain Sushi Zanmai, shelled out $1.8 million for a giant 608-pound bluefin tuna fish at a New Year’s auction at Tokyo’s Toyosu fish market, The Japan Times reported.

Westlake Legal Group bluefin-tuna Japanese 'Tuna King' pays $1.8 million for bluefin tuna at New Year's auction fox-news/great-outdoors/fishing fox-news/food-drink/food/restaurants fox news fnc/food-drink fnc e9a9a360-072f-5e31-ae07-566de31d4ad8 article Alexandra Deabler

Kiyoshi Kimura (C), president of Kiyomura Corp., the Tokyo-based operator of sushi restaurant chain Sushizanmai, poses with a sword before slicing up a bluefin tuna the company bought for 193.2 million yen (1.8 million USD). (KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images)

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The fish he purchased was caught off the Aomori region of northern Japan.

“This is the best,” Kimura said, according to Agence France-Presse. “Yes, this is expensive, isn’t it? I want our customers to eat very tasty ones this year, too.”

Westlake Legal Group bluefin-tuna2 Japanese 'Tuna King' pays $1.8 million for bluefin tuna at New Year's auction fox-news/great-outdoors/fishing fox-news/food-drink/food/restaurants fox news fnc/food-drink fnc e9a9a360-072f-5e31-ae07-566de31d4ad8 article Alexandra Deabler

The fish he purchased was caught off the Aomori region of northern Japan. (KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images)

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The staggering price is far away from the most he’s spent on a fish, however. Last year, the magnate dropped $3 million at the New Year’s auction on a 612-pound prized Pacific bluefin tuna.

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Bluefin tuna are considered an endangered species and can live up to 40 years and reach 1,500 pounds, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

Westlake Legal Group bluefin-tuna Japanese 'Tuna King' pays $1.8 million for bluefin tuna at New Year's auction fox-news/great-outdoors/fishing fox-news/food-drink/food/restaurants fox news fnc/food-drink fnc e9a9a360-072f-5e31-ae07-566de31d4ad8 article Alexandra Deabler   Westlake Legal Group bluefin-tuna Japanese 'Tuna King' pays $1.8 million for bluefin tuna at New Year's auction fox-news/great-outdoors/fishing fox-news/food-drink/food/restaurants fox news fnc/food-drink fnc e9a9a360-072f-5e31-ae07-566de31d4ad8 article Alexandra Deabler

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Popcorn stuck in man’s tooth leads to life-threatening infection, open heart surgery

A 41-year-old British man who attempted to dislodge a piece of popcorn stuck in his teeth using various objects claims he later developed a life-threatening infection that required him to undergo open heart surgery. 

Adam Martin, a firefighter and father of three from Cornwall, England, said he noticed the piece of popcorn stuck in a back tooth after he and his wife watched a movie in September. For three days, he was unable to remove the popcorn. He claims to have used multiple objects — a pen lid, a toothpick, a piece of wire and even a metal nail — to remove the food, but was unsuccessful, and even damaged his surrounding gum when doing so.

MOM OVERCOMES ‘SEVERE MORNING SICKNESS’ DURING PREGNANCY, SEPSIS, TO BECOME A BODYBUILDER

Westlake Legal Group pesky-popcorn-f-460124 Popcorn stuck in man’s tooth leads to life-threatening infection, open heart surgery Madeline Farber fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/odd-news fox-news/health/wellness fox-news/health/medical-research/surgery fox-news/health/heart-health fox-news/health fox news fnc/health fnc article 72c5283c-58d2-54a7-ad58-d55825f5fee6

Adam Martin recovering in critical care. (SWNS)

A week later, Martin began to suffer from night sweats, fatigue, headaches— all of which he initially thought were signs of the flu but would later learn were signs of endocarditis, or an infection of the endocardium, “the lining of the interior surfaces of the chambers of the heart,” according to Healthline. The infection occurs when bacteria from the mouth, skin, intestines and other areas of the body enters the bloodstream.

By October, Martin’s symptoms had yet to subside, leading him to see his doctor, who diagnosed him with a mild heart murmur and sent him home. But when he continued to feel unwell, he went to the Royal Cornwall Hospital.

“I had a feeling [that] there was something seriously wrong. I was sleeping an awful lot and I felt terrible,” he recalled. “I had aches and pains in my legs and I just did not feel right at all. I was admitted to hospital the same day for tests. By this point, I was very worried.”

Westlake Legal Group pesky-popcorn-f-460130 Popcorn stuck in man’s tooth leads to life-threatening infection, open heart surgery Madeline Farber fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/odd-news fox-news/health/wellness fox-news/health/medical-research/surgery fox-news/health/heart-health fox-news/health fox news fnc/health fnc article 72c5283c-58d2-54a7-ad58-d55825f5fee6

Adam Martin with two of his three children while in the hospital. (SWNS)

Martin added: “I felt quite ill and I knew I was not right at all.”

Scans of the dad’s chest showed his heart was damaged due to the infection. He was then transferred to a different hospital, where he reportedly underwent a seven-hour open heart surgery to repair his mitral valve and replace his aortic valve.

“My heart was not properly working anymore. It was essentially wrecked. The infection had eaten the valves away,” he claimed.

Westlake Legal Group pesky-popcorn-f-460133 Popcorn stuck in man’s tooth leads to life-threatening infection, open heart surgery Madeline Farber fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/odd-news fox-news/health/wellness fox-news/health/medical-research/surgery fox-news/health/heart-health fox-news/health fox news fnc/health fnc article 72c5283c-58d2-54a7-ad58-d55825f5fee6

Firefighter Adam Martin, 41, ended up needing open heart surgery after he got a potentially fatal blood infection– from a piece of popcorn stuck in his teeth. (SWNS)

“If I had gone to the dentist in the first place then none of this would have happened. At one point it was touch and go. It was the worst experience of my life,” he continued. “I wasn’t far off death’s door and I am extremely lucky. The popcorn stuck in my teeth is the only possible cause I can think of. I am never eating popcorn again that’s for sure.

“It’s crazy to think all this happened because of that. It was something so trivial.”

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Westlake Legal Group pesky-popcorn-f-460132 Popcorn stuck in man’s tooth leads to life-threatening infection, open heart surgery Madeline Farber fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/odd-news fox-news/health/wellness fox-news/health/medical-research/surgery fox-news/health/heart-health fox-news/health fox news fnc/health fnc article 72c5283c-58d2-54a7-ad58-d55825f5fee6

Adam Martin doing his job as a firefighter. (SWNS)

Martin’s wife, 38-year-old Helen, told the news agency that her husband’s infection could have easily been treated with antibiotics if it had been caught sooner.

“Any sign of a toothache, bleeding gums, an abscess —  get it checked out,” she advised. “Your gums are a bacterial highway to your heart.”

Westlake Legal Group pesky-popcorn-f-460124 Popcorn stuck in man’s tooth leads to life-threatening infection, open heart surgery Madeline Farber fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/odd-news fox-news/health/wellness fox-news/health/medical-research/surgery fox-news/health/heart-health fox-news/health fox news fnc/health fnc article 72c5283c-58d2-54a7-ad58-d55825f5fee6   Westlake Legal Group pesky-popcorn-f-460124 Popcorn stuck in man’s tooth leads to life-threatening infection, open heart surgery Madeline Farber fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/odd-news fox-news/health/wellness fox-news/health/medical-research/surgery fox-news/health/heart-health fox-news/health fox news fnc/health fnc article 72c5283c-58d2-54a7-ad58-d55825f5fee6

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Bolton Is Willing to Testify in Trump’s Impeachment Trial

Westlake Legal Group 06dc-impeach-sub-facebookJumbo Bolton Is Willing to Testify in Trump’s Impeachment Trial Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate McConnell, Mitch House of Representatives Bolton, John R

WASHINGTON — John R. Bolton, the former White House national security adviser, said on Monday that he was willing to testify at President Trump’s impeachment trial if subpoenaed.

“I have concluded that, if the Senate issues a subpoena for my testimony, I am prepared to testify,” Mr. Bolton said in a statement on his website.

The development is a dramatic turn that could alter the dynamic of the impeachment proceeding, which has been stalled over Democrats’ insistence on hearing from critical witnesses Mr. Trump blocked from testifying in the House inquiry into his pressure campaign on Ukraine. Mr. Bolton is a potentially vital witness, with crucial knowledge of the president’s actions and conversations regarding Ukraine that could fill in key blanks in the narrative of the impeachment case.

Democrats quickly seized on his public declaration, arguing that it strengthened their case that the Senate must hear from Mr. Bolton and other senior officials as part of Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial.

It is unclear how the White House will respond to Mr. Bolton, but his statement strongly suggested that he would be willing to testify regardless of whether Mr. Trump sought to prevent him, even in the absence of a legal ruling compelling him to do so.

“It now falls to the Senate to fulfill its constitutional obligation to try impeachments, and it does not appear possible that a final judicial resolution of the still-unanswered constitutional questions can be obtained before the Senate acts,” Mr. Bolton wrote. “Accordingly, since my testimony is once again at issue, I have had to resolve the serious competing issues as best I could, based on careful consideration and study.”

Mr. Bolton’s willingness to tell the Senate what he knows could change the political calculus around a trial for Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, who has steadfastly refused to commit to calling witnesses. Now that the former national security adviser has essentially told senators that he has information relevant to their proceeding that he is willing to share, Mr. McConnell, the majority leader, may face new pressure from some moderate Republicans, such as Senator Susan M. Collins, of Maine, Senator Lisa S. Murkowski of Alaska, and Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, to allow him to testify.

“Given that Mr. Bolton’s lawyers have stated he has new relevant information to share, if any Senate Republican opposes issuing subpoenas to the four witnesses and documents we have requested, they would make absolutely clear they are participating in a cover-up,” Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the minority leader, said in a statement.

A spokesman for Mr. McConnell declined to comment Monday afternoon shortly after the announcement.

The two parties have been at an impasse over the issue of witnesses for weeks now, and the dispute has delayed the start of Mr. Trump’s trial. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, has declined to send the Senate the charges against Mr. Trump, which would trigger the start of the trial, saying that she first wants assurances that Mr. McConnell will run a fair process.

Democrats insist the trial must include testimony from Mr. Bolton and others, as well as new documentary evidence. But Mr. McConnell argues the Senate should not even consider admitting new information in the trial until after it hears opening arguments from the prosecution and the defense. The matter is all but certain to come to a vote at some point.

Under Senate rules, it takes only 51 senators to call a witness or request new evidence, meaning Mr. McConnell’s ability to call the shots are limited.

“The President & Sen. McConnell have run out of excuses,” Ms. Pelosi tweeted on Monday. “They must allow key witnesses to testify, and produce the documents Trump has blocked, so Americans can see the facts for themselves. The Senate cannot be complicit in the President’s cover-up.

If he did appear under oath in the Senate, Mr. Bolton would be the closest adviser to the president to answer questions about what Mr. Trump said behind closed doors as he pressured the Ukranians to investigate his political rivals as he was withholding nearly $400 million in military aid from the country.

The Democratic-led House impeached Mr. Trump last month on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, charging him with a corrupt scheme to solicit help from Ukraine in the 2020 election, and concealing his actions from Congress.

Mr. Trump has repeatedly sought to block his most senior aides, as well as former advisers who have left the White House, from speaking to Congress, and has gone to court to stop several of them from cooperating.

Mr. Bolton declined to say on Monday precisely what he would be willing to tell Congress. But his lawyer, Charles J. Cooper, told the House’s top lawyer in November that Mr. Bolton knew about “many relevant meetings and conversations” connected to the Ukraine matter that had not been shared with House impeachment investigators. And former White House officials and people close to Mr. Bolton have indicated that his testimony would likely be damning to Mr. Trump and put additional pressure on moderate Republicans to consider convicting him.

That could place Mr. Trump at greater risk in the Senate, where a two-thirds vote — 67 senators — is needed to remove a president. Democrats, the minority party, effectively control 47 seats.

Although Mr. Bolton never spoke with House investigators, his aides provided them with a portrait of how he viewed Mr. Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. The aides said that Mr. Bolton was deeply concerned about how Mr. Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, pressured the Ukranians to investigate Democrats. A top former deputy testified under oath that Mr. Bolton told White House colleagues that Mr. Giuliani was a “hand grenade who’s going to blow everybody up.”

Others described a campaign by Mr. Bolton to marshal the administration’s top national security officials to convince Mr. Trump in August and September to release his hold on the military assistance for Ukraine. At one point, Mr. Bolton met privately with the president to press his case that it was in the United States’ best interest to unfreeze the funds, though the precise substance of the discussion is not publicly known.

Late last year, the chances of Mr. Bolton testifying looked bleak. In October, the House subpoenaed Mr. Bolton’s deputy, Charles Kupperman, but the White House tried to block him from testifying. Mr. Kupperman is also represented by Mr. Cooper, who filed a lawsuit asking a federal judge to decide on what Mr. Kupperman should do. The House withdrew the subpoena, as leading Democrats argued it was not worth awaiting the outcome of a lengthy — potentially yearslong — legal proceeding before moving to impeach Mr. Trump.

The judge ruled late last month that the issue was moot, leaving the question of whether the president’s closest advisers had to testify unresolved.

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Ocasio-Cortez on a Biden presidency: ‘Oh God’

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On the roster: Ocasio-Cortez on a Biden presidency: ‘Oh God’ – Labor-backed PAC lands early shot on McSally – House looks to curb Trump’s war powers against Iran – Bolton says he will testify if called – Rambo ruffles feathers

OCASIO-CORTEZ ON A BIDEN PRESIDENCY: ‘OH GOD’
Politico: “Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview published Monday that Democrats nationwide can cultivate ‘too big of a tent,’ asserting that she and her party’s 2020 frontrunner, former Vice President Joe Biden, would be in different political parties in any other nation. Asked for a profile by New York Magazine about what role she might play as a member of Congress should Biden capture the White House, the freshman House Democrat from New York responded with a groan. ‘Oh God,’ she said. ‘In any other country, Joe Biden and I would not be in the same party, but in America, we are.’”

Biden scores backing from key swing-district House Dems – Philadelphia Inquirer: “Joe Biden, who uses his middle-class Scranton roots to cast himself as the Democratic candidate who can win back areas that President Donald Trump won in 2016, now has the backing of two Pennsylvania members of Congress from battleground districts. U.S. Reps. Chrissy Houlahan, of Chester County, and Conor Lamb, of Pittsburgh’s suburbs, are endorsing Biden along with Rep. Elaine Luria, from Virginia Beach, Va. All three represent districts traditionally held by Republicans in key swing 2020 states, feeding Biden’s narrative that he is a consensus candidate in the critical month leading to the primaries. Biden campaigned for Houlahan, Lamb and Luria in their bids for Congress in 2018. He also has the support of Pennsylvania Reps. Dwight Evans and Brendan Boyle and Sen. Bob Casey.”

Castro endorses Warren – Fox News: “Four days after he ended his bid for the White House, Julian Castro endorsed Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts for the Democratic presidential nomination. ‘Elizabeth and I share a vision of America where everyone counts. An America where people⁠—not the wealthy or well-connected⁠—are put first. I’m proud to join her in the fight for big, structural change,’ the former San Antonio, Texas mayor and Housing secretary during former President Barack Obama’s second term wrote on Twitter Monday. Though Castro – who was the only Latino candidate in the large field of Democratic White House hopefuls – tangled a couple of times with former Vice President Joe Biden, he always seemed to have warm relations with Warren.”

Poll: Dems prefer experience to outsider status – Monmouth University: “A majority of voters who self-identify as Democrats and Democratic leaners are likely to be ideology-first voters, with 30% classified as prioritizing progressive issue positions, 21% moderate positions, and just 2% conservative positions. However, a sizable number of Democratic voters (28%) prioritize political experience over any ideological position, while just 2% prioritize being a political outsider as their top candidate value. Another 17% of Democrats are mixed in their candidate quality priorities.”

Dems confront prospect of a long slog to Milwaukee – Politico: “Democrats are now beginning to confront a very real scenario where the nomination – and the winnowing – will not be decided in states where campaigns have been plowing ground for more than a year, but in places and calendar dates so deep into primary season that until recently they’ve received almost no attention at all. The Iowa field is bunched together with little daylight between a handful of well-funded candidates. Each of the four early voting states continues to present the prospect of a different winner. And, at the end of that gauntlet on Super Tuesday, a free-spending billionaire – Michael Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor – is waiting to challenge whichever candidate or candidates emerge.”

Bloomy has more than 800 staffers, surpasses $100 million in spending – NBC News: “Michael Bloomberg is wasting no time building out his campaign’s ground game, with 500 organizers and staff in more than 30 states, including all 14 of the delegate-rich Super Tuesday states, his campaign told NBC News. The ramp-up — both in staff and in spending on TV ads — has been quick. Just six weeks after he announced his candidacy, the former mayor of New York now boasts more than 800 staffers on his payroll and over $100 million spent on advertising. The roughly 300 staffers working in the campaign’s New York headquarters are set to move into a new building in Times Square to accommodate their burgeoning ranks, aides said.”

Judge Judy’s all in – Fox Business: “Judge Judy Sheindlin of the long-running television show ‘Judge Judy’ made good on her endorsement of Michael Bloomberg for president by starring in his latest campaign ad. ‘I like to say you can judge someone’s character by what they’ve done,’ Sheindlin says. ‘Mike Bloomberg has done amazing things and will be a truly great president.’ ‘No one comes close to Mike Bloomberg’s executive achievement, government experience and impactful philanthropy. His steady leadership will unite our country and bring us through these very challenging times,’ she said. Sheindlin wrote a USA Today op-ed endorsing Bloomberg in October about a month before he entered the 2020 race.”

Yang’s gang divided on how to spend newfound riches – Politico: “Andrew Yang has more money than his campaign knows what to do with. He still can’t quite get accustomed to his surprising fundraising haul — Yang collected $16.5 million in the fourth quarter — or how to allocate it in the run-up to the Iowa and New Hampshire contests. … The reality is that his newfound campaign riches are creating internal tension about whether to beef up the Iowa operation or bet it all in New Hampshire. Yang’s strong focus has always been on New Hampshire, the first-in-the-nation primary state where he has spent more time than any of the top-tier candidates. The campaign sees it as ripe ground for him… Suddenly though, with money to play in Iowa as well, there is a vigorous debate about where to spend the cash and Yang’s other precious commodity — his time.”

Deval Patrick tries to convince voters ‘it’s not too late’ – WMUR: “Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick’s campaign said Monday it launched a six-figure television and digital ad buy in the four early voting states of New Hampshire, Iowa, Nevada and South Carolina. It is the first major ad buy for Patrick, who joined the presidential race in November. The campaign said it is making a ‘significant investment’ in New Hampshire and South Carolina. … Titled ‘Not Too Late,’ the 30-second spot was shot in Boston and Patrick’s hometown on the south side of Chicago. The ad features his wife, Diane, who reflects on her battle with cancer and discusses their decision to get into the race. ‘Some people say it’s too late for me to run for president. But growing up on the south side of Chicago, people told me then what I could and couldn’t do. I’ve been an underdog my whole life, and I’ve never let that stop me,’ says Patrick in the ad.”

Chaffee, who ran as a Dem in 2016, now running as a Libertarian – WPRI: “Former [Rhode Island] Gov. Lincoln Chafee is taking steps to make a second run for president, this time under a different party banner. Chafee filed paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission on Sunday creating a Lincoln Chafee for President campaign committee based in Teton Village, Wyoming, where he and his wife now make their home. A related website indicates he plans to run for the Libertarian Party nomination, as he has previously suggested he might do.”

THE RULEBOOK: PATERNITY TEST 
“Calculating upon the aversion of the people to monarchy, [writers against the Constitution] have endeavored to enlist all their jealousies and apprehensions in opposition to the intended President of the United States; not merely as the embryo, but as the full-grown progeny, of that detested parent.” – Alexander HamiltonFederalist No. 67

TIME OUT: HUBBLE BIRTHDAY TO YOU
Space.com: “Astronomers kicked off 2020 by welcoming the 30th anniversary year of NASA’s venerable Hubble Space Telescope [in Honolulu] at their largest annual gathering. During the first full day of the 235th American Astronomical Society conference (Jan. 5), a team of scientists affiliated with the instrument shared their highlights from the mission. Over the course of its decade in flight, the Hubble Space Telescope has produced not just scientific results, but also a host of iconic images of the universe around us. … And as scientists emphasized throughout the presentation, many of Hubble’s impacts couldn’t have been predicted when the instrument launched. … Scientists are well aware that things could have gone very differently for Hubble. … But Hubble was special: It had been designed so that astronauts flying the space shuttle could repair it. In 1993, the first such mission launched and fixed Hubble’s infamous mirror issue…”

Flag on the play? – Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions.

SCOREBOARD
DEMOCRATIC 2020 POWER RANKING
Biden: 26.2 points (no change from last wk.)
Sanders: 18.6 points (no change from last wk.)
Warren: 16.2 points (no change from last wk.)
Buttigieg: 9.4 points (no change from last wk.)
Bloomberg: 5.2 points (no change from last wk.)
[Averages include: NBC News/WSJ, CNN, Quinnipiac University, USA Today/Suffolk University and NPR/PBS/Marist.]

TRUMP JOB PERFORMANCE 
Average approval: 43.8 percent
Average disapproval: 51.4 percent
Net Score: -7.6 percent
Change from one week ago: no change
[Average includes: NBC/WSJ: 44% approve – 54% disapprove; CNBC: 40% approve – 49% disapprove; CNN: 44% approve – 52% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 43% approve – 52% disapprove; USA Today/Suffolk University: 48% approve – 50% disapprove.]

WANT MORE HALFTIME REPORT? 
You can join Chris and Brianna every day on Fox Nation. Go behind-the-scenes of your favorite political note as they go through the must-read headlines of the day right from their office – with plenty of personality. Click here to sign up and watch!

LABOR-BACKED PAC LANDS EARLY SHOT ON MCSALLY
Roll Call: “A new super PAC is targeting GOP Sen. Martha McSally in an early sign that the competitive Arizona Senate race could attract plenty of outside spending. The group, named ‘Middle Class Fighting to Restore Arizona’s Unity and Decency,’ or ‘McFraud,’ is launching a five-figure TV and digital ad buy with a 30-second spot accusing McSally of changing her positions on immigration issues and highlighting an Arizona Republic editorial that labeled her as ‘disingenuous.’ … ‘Arizonans rejected flip-flopper Martha McSally’s brand of anti-worker politics in 2018 and we are confident they will again in 2020,’ said Frank Hawk, vice president of the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, one of the groups funding the super PAC.”

Markey falling behind Kennedy in fund race – Boston Globe: “Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III [D-Mass.] raised more than $2.4 million over the last three months of 2019, outpacing incumbent Senator Edward J. Markey by about $1 million, according to preliminary numbers shared with the Globe by the Senate candidates’ campaigns. Markey’s campaign said he raised more than $1.4 million in the final quarter of 2019, a total that represents the Malden Democrat’s best quarterly haul to date and a 30 percent increase from the prior three-month period. Yet the top-line numbers indicate Markey — at least so far — hasn’t been able to match Kennedy, his chief Democratic challenger, when it comes to the crucial competition for cash.”

Former Rep. Scott Taylor switches races, will again seek House seat – Roll Call: “Former Rep. Scott Taylor, who lost Virginia’s 2nd District in the 2018 midterms, is now running for his old House seat, dropping his challenge to Democratic Sen. Mark Warner. ‘We’re going to take the seat back,’ Taylor said on local television station WAVY Monday morning. The Republican former Navy SEAL is hoping to take on freshman Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria, who defeated him by 2 points in 2018. President Donald Trump carried the Norfolk-area district by more than 3 points in 2016.”

HOUSE LOOKS TO CURB TRUMP’S WAR POWERS AGAINST IRAN
Fox News: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced overnight that she plans on taking measures to potentially curb President Trump’s ability to conduct military operations against Iran. Pelosi and other Democrats have been critical of Trump’s decision to conduct an airstrike in Iraq that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force, claiming he did not properly notify Congress in advance and warning about the risk of escalation in the region. Trump has also threatened additional action if Iran retaliates for Soleimani’s death. ‘This week, the House will introduce and vote on a War Powers Resolution to limit the President’s military actions regarding Iran,’ Pelosi wrote in a letter to fellow Democrats, referring to a similar Senate resolution to be introduced by Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va. ‘It reasserts Congress’s long-established oversight responsibilities by mandating that if no further Congressional action is taken, the Administration’s military hostilities with regard to Iran cease within 30 days.’”

Report: Trump team couldn’t stop Iraq vote to expel U.S. forces – Axios: “The Trump administration tried, unsuccessfully, to persuade top Iraqi officials to kill a parliamentary effort to force the U.S. military out of Iraq, according to two U.S. officials and an Iraqi government official familiar with the situation. The Iraqi parliament passed a resolution [Sunday] calling on the Iraqi government to expel U.S. troops from Iraq, after the U.S killed Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani and a leader of an Iraqi militia with a drone strike near Baghdad airport. This resolution could ultimately lead to the U.S. military being forced out of Iraq. But the outcome remains uncertain, and the prime minister who needs to sign it recently resigned.”

BOLTON SAYS HE WILL TESTIFY IF CALLED
NYT: “John R. Bolton, the former White House national security adviser, said on Monday that he was willing to testify at President Trump’s impeachment trial if he was subpoenaed. ‘I have concluded that, if the Senate issues a subpoena for my testimony, I am prepared to testify,’ Mr. Bolton said in a statement on his website. The development is a dramatic turn in the impeachment proceeding, which has been stalled over Democrats’ insistence on hearing from critical witnesses Mr. Trump blocked from testifying in the House inquiry into his pressure campaign on Ukraine.”

Graham wants to go nuclear on Senate trial – WaPo: “Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey O. Graham suggested Sunday that Republicans should try to change Senate rules governing impeachment if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi continues to withhold the charges against President Trump — an unlikely 11th-hour bid to begin a trial within days without the actual documents. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was unequivocal in a Senate floor speech on Friday that ‘we can’t hold a trial without the articles; the Senate’s own rules don’t provide for that.’ But Graham (R-S.C.), a close ally of Trump, floated the idea of a unilateral GOP move, saying he would work with McConnell to allow the Senate to proceed without the two charges against Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.”

PLAY-BY-PLAY
Kelly Loeffler
 to be sworn in as Georgia’s newest senator today – AJC

Amy Kennedy, wife of former Rep. Patrick, looks to challenge turncoat Rep. Jeff Van Drew in New Jersey – WaPo

AUDIBLE: HOT TAKE
“You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg.” – Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais to the evening’s prospective winners referring to the Swedish girl who started boycotting school at age 15 to fight global warming.

FROM THE BLEACHERS
“Here’s the main difference between partisan Democrats and partisan Republicans in this day and time: had president Obama ordered and executed the drone strike on Gen. Soleimani, Republicans, for the most part, would have thanked and praised him for the bold action. Today’s Dems have nearly unanimously condemned Pres. Trump’s action in carrying his presidential duties.” – Lou Banas, Brea, Calif.

[Ed. note: I’m not sure I follow you, Mr. Banas. If Trump did something Republicans disagreed with – like when he withdrew protections from Kurdish fighters – Republicans went ape and pressured Trump to at least partly reverse his policy. In this case, hawkish Republicans agree with Trump’s decision in the region and strongly support him. Had Obama, who, like his predecessor George W. Bush, reportedly decided against killing the Iranian leader, decided to carry out such a strike Democrats would have gone bananas. I also imagine that the libertarian wing of the GOP, which has shriveled under Trump, would have felt much more emboldened to rip the commander in chief.]      

“I have to say that I don’t always agree with everything you say but I deeply respect that you are working hard to do an honest job of commenting on all aspects of the political situation today. We could use more of your style of multi-faceted commentary and less of the mono-faceted commentary that dominates the media and still less of the growing chorus of half-faceted commentary.” – George Fuller, St. Louis

[Ed. note: I don’t agree with anyone all the time. Grover Cleveland, my pick for the most underappreciated president of the 19th Century, is said to have loved pickled herring. Nobody’s perfect! Thank you for counting our facets. We will endeavor to keep our faces where they ought to be.]

Share your color commentary: Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.

RAMBO RUFFLES FEATHERS
AP: “When someone in a Florida neighborhood heard chilling cries and the words ‘Let me out!’ they dialed 911. Little did they know the cries were that of a 40-year-old parrot named Rambo. After the call, four Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputies pulled up and questioned a man who appeared to be repairing a car in his driveway. The Palm Beach Post reports that when the deputies explained their concerns, the man smiled, then told deputies he’d introduce them to the perpetrator. When he returned with the parrot, the deputies burst out laughing. The man told officers that he taught Rambo to scream ‘Let me out!’ when he was a kid and Rambo lived in a cage. PBSO officials could not be reached for more details. The agency did tweet a link to a video Saturday, saying, ‘Our deputies in Lake Worth Beach came to the help of someone screaming for help. Hilarity ensued.’

AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“If public prayer has any purpose, it is the bringing together of individuals in common devotion.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in The New Republic on April 9, 1984.

Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6118066545001_6118069043001-vs Ocasio-Cortez on a Biden presidency: ‘Oh God’ fox-news/columns/fox-news-halftime-report fox news fnc/politics fnc Chris Stirewalt article 3ec5c868-c0d9-52ec-98e1-e89799beb1c8   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6118066545001_6118069043001-vs Ocasio-Cortez on a Biden presidency: ‘Oh God’ fox-news/columns/fox-news-halftime-report fox news fnc/politics fnc Chris Stirewalt article 3ec5c868-c0d9-52ec-98e1-e89799beb1c8

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From Dixie Chicks To Rihanna: Our Music Predictions For 2020

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1174365963_wide-2f25e699d6fe68ed66f4afb6344f8d0a7671d9fd-s1100-c15 From Dixie Chicks To Rihanna: Our Music Predictions For 2020

Rihanna performs with Pharrell Williams at her fifth annual Diamond Ball on Sept. 12, 2019. This January marks four years since her last full-length release. Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images hide caption

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Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  From Dixie Chicks To Rihanna: Our Music Predictions For 2020

Rihanna performs with Pharrell Williams at her fifth annual Diamond Ball on Sept. 12, 2019. This January marks four years since her last full-length release.

Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

The last decade of music saw major artists break many of the rules about how to release an album. Beyoncé and Drake popularized the “surprise release” — putting out albums with little to no roll-out at all. So in the era of surprise digital drops, and at the beginning of a new year of music, how do you make predictions about what’s coming?

NPR’s Audie Cornish spoke to NPR Music’s Ann Powers and Rodney Carmichael about some of the artists that are definitely dropping albums in 2020, including Drive-By Truckers and Dixie Chicks, as well a few releases that are less certain — including pending projects from Rihanna and Kendrick Lamar. Listen in the audio player or read on for an edited transcript of their conversation.

AUDIE CORNISH: I want to make you make predictions — is that unwise to do in the era of the surprise digital drop?

ANN POWERS: Depends on what you mean by predictions. We have a general idea about major artists who are putting out new music in the new year — what we often don’t know is the exact date. Like so many things in this world, we feel it coming, we just don’t know when it’s going to hit.

Rodney, what are some of the breadcrumbs a music critic follows?

RODNEY CARMICHAEL: On the hip-hop side, it’s almost impossible to keep up with what these cats are going to do from one minute to the next. Every now and then, someone like Drake does an interview and he kind of let’s you know what’s happening. That’s what happened at the end of 2019, so we got a sense of what he’s working on.

Drake released a single, it’s called “War.” The sound feels a little darker; you said he’s testing the waters. What’s going on?

Carmichael: This is Drake in his full-on rap mode. There’s no hook on this song; this is not for the club; this is not for the memes. I think, you know, he feels like he has a little something to prove. He was, by most accounts, the artist of the decade — especially on the rap side, but maybe even as a pop artist. I think he wants to hold onto that in the coming decade.

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Ann, I want to talk to you about Jason Isbell, who you said is threatening new music. How did you pick up that breadcrumb?

Powers: At the end of 2019, Isbell’s on the road with his band The 400 Unit and here they go: they’re offering new music, they say they’ve been in the studio. Suddenly, we have a new Jason Isbell record in 2020 — or so we think. There’s no date yet, but I think it’s going to happen.

One thing I know for sure is that the band Jason Isbell got his start in, the Drive-By Truckers, has a new album coming out. It’s called The Unraveling. It’s kind of a follow-up to their career high, American Band, which came out in 2016. It follows through on this great Southern rock band’s combination of the personal and the political, and I can’t wait for people to hear it.

So that is a release we’re pretty sure about, and Rodney, you have one as well. Tell me about Ghetto Sage.

Carmichael: Ghetto Sage is basically the name of a supergroup that comprises Noname, Saba and Smino. These are three artists that are well-known to hip-hop fans who like deeper listens, so to speak. Noname and Saba are both out of Chicago, Smino is out of St. Louis. Individually, they’ve all been kind of rising, doing their solo thing over the last few years. Over the last couple of years, I’d say, they’ve started to collaborate and work on songs together and tease this project.

Ghetto Sage as an actual project, as an album, is still one of those things being teased. I’m not sure how much we can definitely bet on it coming out this year. They did drop a song called “Häagen Dazs” at the end of 2019.

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Ann, you’ve got your eye on a big comeback album by, of all people, the Dixie Chicks. Have they really been gone? What do you know about this project?

Powers: They really have been gone from the recording studio from quite a long while — almost 14 years. What they went through 14 years ago really shaped country music, and not necessarily in good ways.

Essentially, Natalie Maines on stage once insulted President George W. Bush and that led to an enormous backlash for the group, right? And, in a way, they were sort of blacklisted.

Powers: Some pundits think that what happened to the Dixie Chicks caused country music to become more conservative in the 21st century, possibly affected the status of women in the genre. But one thing is absolutely sure and that is that the Dixie Chicks are heroes to a whole generation of country listeners and artists. I saw a Dixie Chicks tour a couple years ago, and I cannot tell you how thrilled and excited that audience — mostly women — was to see that band.

Before I leave Dixie Chicks and their heyday, we should mention that there are some other, more familiar names that are going to be coming back: Green Day, poster guys for pop-punk, and Alanis Morissette, the original angry woman of the ’90s.

Powers: Both Green Day and Alanis Morissette have found new lives on Broadway — Green Day with its musical, American Idiot, and Alanis Morissette with her show, Jagged Little Pill, which is taking The Great White Way by storm, right now. It’s interesting how those artists remain relevant today. Green Day is so influential and Alanis, in the ’90s , she was considered by some to be kind of a watered down, pop version of feminism. But now she’s a titan.

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Thinking back to that period, she was the very essence of a breakthrough. Rodney, I know you have some artists you are hoping to breakthrough this year. Can you tell us who you’re watching?

Carmichael: One cat that I’m definitely checking for is named D Smoke. He actually is the winner of a competition show on Netflix that had its first season in 2019, called Rhythm + Flow. Now this was a hip-hop competition show, kind of like your American Idols and whatnot. Unlike a lot of these competitions shows, it seemed like they were really invested in trying to pick some good talent versus just the marketing of the show itself.

D Smoke was really amazing. He’s a cat out of South Central [Los Angeles] — Inglewood, to be specific. He kind of puts you in the mind of a Kendrick Lamar, a little bit, and I say that only because they are from the same city but also because they’re very deep artists.

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Ann Powers, for you, a breakthrough you’re keeping your eye out for?

Powers: Breakthroughs don’t always have to come for brand new artists. An artist I love who’s releasing her third album this year is Brandy Clark. She and producer Jay Joyce have come together to make an album called Your Life Is A Record, which sounds like an instant classic. It sounds vintage, it evokes classic ’60s country albums, but it also sounds completely contemporary. It does not feel like it’s in a shiny retro package.

Rodney, you had a list of projects from people that are big names who show no sign of turning out new music. You call them “the Hail Mary joints we need.” Who’s on that list?

Carmichael: This is my list for people I would love to see come out and people we can really expect to do something in 2020. One being Kendrick Lamar — he hasn’t released anything on the solo tip since his Pulitzer-winning album, DAMN., in 2017. This is his longest break, I believe. Kendrick is another one who likes to surprise us, so let’s look for Kendrick.

Rihanna. I mean, we’ve been waiting on this reggae —

Leave this woman alone! She’s running a business.

Powers: Do not leave her alone. We need her!

Carmichael: She is living her life; she’s doing her thing; she’s ruling the world. I would love to hear a soundtrack to her ruling the world. Maybe we can get this Rihanna album in 2020.

Ann, for you: Hail Mary joint?

Powers: Kesha. Come on, girl. She’s coming. She’s going to give us the anthems we need. I know it’s going to happen. And Lady Gaga. Come on, Lady Gaga.

Let’s just end the segment with begging.

Powers: Seriously, what else can you do? Give us a new album.

NPR’s Dave Blanchard and Sarah Handel produced and edited the audio of this interview. Cyrena Touros adapted it for the Web.

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