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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 209)

Under Armour Founder Kevin Plank to Step Down as C.E.O.

Westlake Legal Group 22underarmour-sub2-facebookJumbo Under Armour Founder Kevin Plank to Step Down as C.E.O. Under Armour Inc Plank, Kevin A (1972- ) Appointments and Executive Changes

Under Armour’s founder and chief executive, Kevin Plank, is stepping down after more than 20 years at the helm of the athletic gear brand he started from his grandmother’s basement while in college.

Patrik Frisk, the company’s president and chief operating officer, will become the chief executive on Jan. 1, the company said in a statement. He will continue serving as president.

Mr. Plank, 47, described Mr. Frisk, 56, as “the right person” to serve as the company’s next C.E.O. Mr. Frisk, a retail industry veteran who previously led the footwear company the Aldo Group, joined Under Armour in 2017.

“As my partner during the most transformative chapter in our history, he has been exceptional in his ability to translate our brand’s vision into world-class execution by focusing on our long-term strategy and re-engineering our ecosystem through a strategic, operational and cultural transformation,” Mr. Plank said in a statement.

Mr. Plank has been the chief executive since starting the retailer in 1996. He will become the company’s executive chairman and brand chief.

The company, which had $5 billion in annual sales in 2018, has struggled in recent years. The stock is down about 30 percent in the past three years. Mr. Frisk will be charged with turning Under Armour around.

Last year, the company cut around 400 jobs to streamline a business suffering from slowing growth.

Under Armour is a competitor of the much larger sports brand Nike and has had major deals with Major League Baseball and athletes like basketball star Stephen Curry, N.F.L. quarterback Cam Newton and the ballerina Misty Copeland.

Mr. Plank has sought to distance himself from the Trump administration. In 2017, he was one of several C.E.O.s who resigned from a presidential business council over President Trump’s response to a violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., that left a woman dead.

Mr. Plank had come under fire earlier that year after praising Mr. Trump’s business approach as “a real asset.” Under Armour’s celebrity endorsers, including Mr. Curry and the movie star Dwayne Johnson, were quick to rebuke Mr. Plank, and he placated them by taking out a full-page newspaper ad that indicated his comments “did not accurately reflect my intent.”

Last year, The Wall Street Journal reported that the company had a culture of inappropriate behavior toward women, including visits to strip clubs often attended by Mr. Plank that were charged to corporate cards. In response to the report, Mr. Plank said: “We can and will do better.”

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Gov. Northam Announces Launch of Opportunity Virginia

Westlake Legal Group 18779386_G Gov. Northam Announces Launch of Opportunity Virginia

“As governor, one of my highest priorities is ensuring that every Virginian has access to a good job and the skills to be successful, no matter who you are or where you’re from,” said Governor Northam. “This initiative will help Virginia use the Opportunity Zone tax incentive program created by Congress almost two years ago to bring needed investment to important projects being developed across the commonwealth. We are focused on pursuing economic growth that is inclusive and equitable, not just market-driven, and this partnership will bolster our efforts to improve economic opportunity for people in communities that have traditionally been underserved.”

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How do you navigate: Google Maps or Waze?

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close How do you navigate: Google Maps or Waze?

Police are not going to love this new feature on Google Maps. Veuer’s Natasha Abellard has the story. Buzz60

It’s always been a wonder why Google has two fantastic navigation apps under one umbrella. What does Google get from people going to Waze? Shouldn’t they all just be at Google Maps? 

New features to Google Maps make this question more relevant. Forbes suggests those features mean a “death knell” to Waze.

But please enjoy both while we have them. Google has two great navigation apps, but each has distinct differences, and both are 100% free. So why not mix and match?

However, Google comes with a cost: your personal privacy. More on that below. 

How they’re different

In a nutshell, Waze is bare-bones and just the facts. Use it to find the best route anywhere, usually through some crazy side streets you’ve never been on before, with little advertising clogging up your ride. Traffic results come from crowd-sourcing. Wazers are connected to the master Waze machine, which alerts the computer to where traffic is backed up. 

Google Maps is more full-featured, with links to local restaurants, bars, coffee shops, listings of nearby events and how to get there, whether you’re driving, on foot, on a bicycle or public transportation.

What Google Maps has that Waze doesn’t is this really nasty habit from Google to track everywhere you’ve gone, even if the Google Maps app isn’t open

Oversubscribed? You probably can’t even count how all that you’ve subscribed to

What’s new with Google Maps are new Waze-like tools, like the ability for people to report crashes, speed traps and traffic slowdowns from their iPhone. This has been available on Android phones, and now it’s been opened to Apple’s iOS. 

Additionally, Google added the ability to report four new types of incidents – construction, lane closures, disabled vehicles, and objects on the road (like debris) – to alert others about these potential obstructions. 

This, indeed, makes Google Maps more like Waze. 

A year at the wheel: Waze nabs 1 million riders on anniversary of carpool experiment

Spy at home: Hey Google and Alexa, how easy is it to take control?

I spoke with the CEO of Waze recently, who told me that Waze is a separate, independent unit within Google that doesn’t need to grab users’ data like Google does. Waze makes money with location-based ads within its maps. Say, like a Chevron logo over its position on the map. 

But the trend is crystal clear. Google Maps is becoming more like Waze all the time –with the addition of all those ads and consumer tracking. 

Earlier this year, Google brought speed limits and speed trap alerts to the app and also added features like being able to add a stop to the route while driving and to view nearby gas prices.

Waze has a carpool feature to connect riders with passengers and help get cars off the road, and it lets you connect to Facebook friends from within the app. 

Apple recently overhauled its Maps app to make it more competitive with Google and Waze, but I had a poor experience on recent test drives, with directions to take a “slight right,” when a “hard right” was necessary and road directions that seemed out of the way and not on the money like Google and Waze.

Which app is best for you? I’m sticking with Waze (for as long as it remains independent) for two clear reasons. One, the directions always seem to be the most accurate and two, the app doesn’t track my whereabouts even when the app is closed, which Google Maps does.

And what does Google say about the differences between both apps? 

It sent USA TODAY the following statement: “Google Maps and Waze share certain features, but they offer different benefits. 

Waze has built a passionate community of drivers who connect with one another to save time while on the road, and has deep relationships with municipal organizations and first responders. Google Maps provides useful driving directions, and even integrates the incident reporting Waze users provide, but offers much more. We see Maps as a tool that helps people navigate, explore, and get things done with features like transit crowdedness predictions, restaurant wait times, and activity booking. 

Readers: Which app is your favorite and why? We’d love to hear from you on Twitter, where I’m @jeffersongraham

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2019/10/22/google-maps-starting-look-like-waze-which-nav-app-better/4057831002/

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A Half Million 2020 Census Jobs: Will They Be Filled In Time?

Westlake Legal Group img_9802-b4ebb77a3dcbf37f3a00428b78ec88249a0b92b3-s1100-c15 A Half Million 2020 Census Jobs: Will They Be Filled In Time?

Census Bureau partnership specialist Zakera Ahmed (left) and Jeff Behler, a regional director with the bureau, share information about the 2020 census at an elementary school in Corona, N.Y., in July. Hansi Lo Wang/NPR hide caption

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Hansi Lo Wang/NPR

Westlake Legal Group  A Half Million 2020 Census Jobs: Will They Be Filled In Time?

Census Bureau partnership specialist Zakera Ahmed (left) and Jeff Behler, a regional director with the bureau, share information about the 2020 census at an elementary school in Corona, N.Y., in July.

Hansi Lo Wang/NPR

With less than five months until the 2020 census is fully underway, the federal government is already seeing signs of potential hurdles to staffing up in time for the national head count.

The low unemployment rate and delays in processing background checks have hindered hiring this year for early rounds of census jobs, including positions at local census offices and those involved with setting up outreach partnerships with local organizations.

Next year, the bureau plans to train and hire close to a half million temporary workers to knock on doors and interview people in households who don’t fill out a census form themselves by late spring. The bureau is launching a national campaign at a news conference in Phoenix on Tuesday to recruit 2.7 million job applicants.

These census workers, known as enumerators, are expected to play a key role in completing the constitutionally mandated head count of every person living in the U.S. That’s because the bureau expects fewer than seven in 10 household members to self-respond to the census online, by mail or over the phone, according to the results of a national survey the bureau conducted last year.

The challenge of a tight labor market

Census results guide how an estimated $880 billion a year in federal tax dollars are distributed for schools, Medicare and other public services in local communities. The numbers also determine the number of congressional seats and Electoral College votes each state gets for the next decade.

Selling the chance to “help shape your community’s future,” the Census Bureau’s new ads for 2020 census jobs are also emphasizing “good pay” and “flexible hours” to try to attract people who are already working and may be looking for a side gig next spring and summer.

Hourly rates for enumerators can range from $13.50 to $30 depending on the position’s location.

But in some parts of the country, the Government Accountability Office has found the pay rate for jobs at local census offices hasn’t been high enough to attract qualified applicants. The tight labor market has forced the bureau to raise rates this year in some areas to more competitive levels.

Delays in background checks

Delays in processing background checks for applicants who are offered a job have also thrown a wrench into the bureau’s early hiring plans.

The bureau is currently more than three months behind in bringing all 1,501 partnership specialists, who coordinate local census outreach, fully on board by the bureau’s original target date of June 30. As of Oct. 15, 1,475 partnership specialists are working, according to Michael Cook, the bureau’s spokesperson.

“Our challenge is not getting people to apply,” Albert Fontenot, the Census Bureau’s top official for the 2020 count, explained during a public meeting in February. “It’s just getting them through the system.”

Since then, the bureau increased its staff for formally vetting applicants’ history to get through the backlog.

Tim Olson, the bureau’s associate director for field operations, said he doesn’t expect the background check process to take as long for the half-million enumerators expected to be hired next year. Those positions, Olson added, only need a fingerprint check by the FBI.

“If they’re clean, they can be hired immediately,” Olson said. “That process with anybody who does not have any negative hit on their record, that happens at about two to three hours.”

Background check controversies

The bureau has run into other issues with its background check process in the past.

The Office of the Inspector General of the Commerce Department, which oversees the bureau, concluded in a 2018 report — titled “The Bureau’s Background Check Office Is Not Fully Prepared for the 2020 Census” — that “applicants who may be unqualified or unfit may nevertheless pass a background check and then be sent to the homes of U.S. residents to collect personal information for the Bureau.”

In 2016, the bureau entered into a $15 million settlement of a federal class-action lawsuit filed by black and Latinx workers who applied for 2010 census jobs. The bureau had screened for applicants who had ever been arrested, including those who were never convicted of a crime, and asked them to provide paperwork to explain their record within 30 days. That requirement, the plaintiffs’ attorneys argued, disproportionately shut out African American and Latinx applicants from census jobs.

As part of the settlement, the bureau agreed to review its process for criminal background checks for the 2020 census.

Asked if any of the recent backlogs are related to the changes made for the settlement, Cook, the bureau’s spokesperson, did not provide a direct response.

“This decade, we have worked with legal experts, law enforcement officials, and advocacy leaders to make sure our hiring process for the 2020 Census” protects “the public’s safety and trust,” as well as gives “every applicant who is fit to serve a fair opportunity to do so,” Cook said in a written statement that mirrored a bureau flyer about background checks.

In May, the bureau became embroiled in another controversy when a FOX 46 news report revealed that a local census office in Charlotte, N.C., had hired a registered child sex offender. As a result of that case, Cook said that “nothing has changed” with the bureau’s current background check process.

“We’ve put measures in place to ensure that all staff are following the established, rigorous background check procedures we have in place,” Cook added.

“Devastating” impact?

This year’s delays in processing background checks for partnership specialists have some former Census Bureau officials worried.

Arnold Jackson, who served as the chief operating officer for the 2010 census and as a consultant on the 2020 census to the Commerce Department, said he’s concerned about how the backlog may affect areas where partnership specialists are tasked to conduct outreach to help ensure all groups are counted.

Calling the program a “secret weapon,” Jackson added that it “puts the individuals who are hired face to face with key influence leaders in various communities, many of which are non-majority communities.”

If there are any delays in hiring the half-million enumerators the bureau needs next spring and summer, Jackson said the impact on the 20-20 census could be “devastating.”

Just like staffing for a political campaign or a military surge, getting census workers ready for the count has a lot to do with timing.

“They’re only in play for a limited amount of time — sometimes six months, sometimes a year,” Jackson said. “If you miss that window, the cost of the recovery goes through the roof.”

It could also have a lasting cost on the census results. Some households may not be included in the official population count unless they receive a personal visit by a census worker. According to Census Bureau research on self-response rates to last year’s test run of the 2020 census, those households are likely to be disproportionately from communities of color.

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WeWork, Rejected by Wall Street, Accepts Lifeline From SoftBank

Westlake Legal Group 22wework-sub-facebookJumbo WeWork, Rejected by Wall Street, Accepts Lifeline From SoftBank WeWork Companies Inc SOFTBANK Corporation Co-Working

WeWork has agreed to be taken over by its largest outside investor, SoftBank, two people with knowledge of the matter said, in a deal that ends weeks of uncertainty for the troubled shared office space company.

SoftBank had invested about $10.5 billion in WeWork; it will now have to pour billions more into the company, cut costs and stabilize the business.

The sale marks a humbling moment for WeWork. It values the company at just under $8 billion, compared to the $47 billion that SoftBank reckoned it was worth in January, people with knowledge of the bid said on Monday.

Not long ago, WeWork had been seeking to sell shares to stock investors to keep funding its growth. But that initial public offering was scrapped last month after Wall Street investors balked at its huge losses and unusual corporate governance structure.

In addition to the takeover offer from SoftBank, WeWork’s board had also been considering a $5 billion debt financing offer from JPMorgan Chase.

The SoftBank deal will mean a huge payout for Adam Neumann, WeWork’s co-founder who stepped down as chief executive last month. Under Mr. Neumann, the company grew at a breakneck pace, drawing ardent backers like SoftBank’s chief executive, Masayoshi Son, and making Mr. Neumann wealthy.

But prospective investors for the company’s initial offering were skeptical of his leadership, and existing WeWork backers — including SoftBank — pushed for his ouster.

Yet Mr. Neumann will receive roughly $1.7 billion in consideration as part of the SoftBank deal, according to the people with knowledge of the offer. The Japanese technology giant will buy roughly $1 billion worth of WeWork shares from him, and give him about $500 million worth of financing to repay a credit line he had taken out from JPMorgan. Mr. Neumann also will receive a $185 million consulting fee.

In exchange, he will back the SoftBank deal and step down from WeWork’s board.

The Wall Street Journal previously reported the terms of the deal.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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Sen. Hawley calls out NBA and Apple for becoming part of the ‘Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda arm’

Westlake Legal Group Josh-Hawley-lebron Sen. Hawley calls out NBA and Apple for becoming part of the 'Chinese Communist Party's propaganda arm' Nick Givas fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/tech/companies/apple fox-news/sports/nba fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/politics/elections/senate fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc b5deb192-bc93-570d-951d-ab782c4e7341 article

The NBA and Apple are bowing to China and becoming part of its communist propaganda machine to increase their bottom line, said Sen. Josh Hawley on “Fox & Friends” Tuesday.

“This is how Beijing plays ball. They tighten the screws,” he said. “Now they want to censor Americans. The thing about the NBA is… they’re trying to tell Americans what we can and cannot say. My word to the NBA is, don’t become part of the Chinese Communist party’s propaganda arm.

“Have a little Independence. Stand up for yourself,” Hawley, R-Mo., continued.

“Same message to Apple… I see Tim Cook now is going to join the board of a Chinese state-run university. I hope he’s going to be teaching on human rights in Tiananmen Square. It’s time for some of these multinational corporations to get a little backbone.”

Hawley discussed the protests in Hong Kong and praised President Trump for keeping up the pressure on the Chinese government to prevent a domino effect that could lead to Beijing seizing power and territory throughout the eastern part of the world.

TED CRUZ BLASTS LEBRON FOR HONG KONG COMMENTS: ‘KISSING UP’ TO CHINESE COMMUNISTS ‘NOT A GOOD LOOK FOR NBA’

“We’ve got to stand up and keep the pressure up. President Trump, having the trade pressure on China has actually helped Hong Kong. It’s actually helped keep Beijing in check,” he said earlier in the interview.

“We’re not just going to watch Hong Kong get steamrolled,” Hawley added. “Because next it will be Taiwan and then it will be the region. And we know what China wants to ultimately do, is shut us out of the region and take away all of our jobs and our ability to trade.”

More from Media

He also said Americans should now know what China is capable of after seeing their violent and oppressive crackdown in Hong Kong, where the senator traveled last week.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

“The government there in Hong Kong, which is not elected by the way… essentially installed by Beijing, continues to suspend the right to protest,” he said earlier in the interview. “They won’t grant protest permits. They’re using violent tactics — brutal tactics to disperse the protesters. They won’t submit to a right to vote. Hong Kong is becoming a police state and that’s bad news for us.

“We know what China’s capable of. They’ve been ripping us off… for years,” Hawley added.

Westlake Legal Group Josh-Hawley-lebron Sen. Hawley calls out NBA and Apple for becoming part of the 'Chinese Communist Party's propaganda arm' Nick Givas fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/tech/companies/apple fox-news/sports/nba fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/politics/elections/senate fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc b5deb192-bc93-570d-951d-ab782c4e7341 article   Westlake Legal Group Josh-Hawley-lebron Sen. Hawley calls out NBA and Apple for becoming part of the 'Chinese Communist Party's propaganda arm' Nick Givas fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/tech/companies/apple fox-news/sports/nba fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/politics/elections/senate fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc b5deb192-bc93-570d-951d-ab782c4e7341 article

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Trump Likens Impeachment Inquiry To ‘A Lynching’ In Twitter Outburst

Westlake Legal Group 5daef7522100008821ad3891 Trump Likens Impeachment Inquiry To ‘A Lynching’ In Twitter Outburst

President Donald Trump on Tuesday compared the ongoing impeachment inquiry to “a lynching,” while suggesting that Democrats are carrying out the investigation “without due process or fairness or any legal rights.”

“All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here – a lynching. But we will WIN!” he tweeted. 

Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) rebuked Trump’s use of the word on CNN, saying, “I’m a product of the South. I know the history of that word. That is a word that we ought to be very, very careful about using.”

He added that he hopes this president is an “anomaly.”

“You know, I’ve studied presidential history quite a bit, and I don’t know if we’ve ever seen anything quite like this,” he said.

Presidential hopeful Julián Castro was also quick to bash Trump’s use of the word “lynching” on Twitter, calling it “beyond shameful” that the president had used it to describe “being held accountable for your actions.”

Trump’s outburst came one day after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) released a “fact sheet” that outlined how the president had “betrayed his oath of office, betrayed our national security and betrayed the integrity of our elections for his own personal political gain” in his dealings with the Ukrainian government.

Her document included mention of Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which he asked Zelensky to “do us a favor” by digging up dirt on his presidential opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son Hunter Biden.

During a Cabinet meeting on Monday, Trump called Pelosi’s probe a “phony investigation” and blasted what he called a “phony emoluments clause” of the Constitution. That clause prohibits federal officeholders from receiving gifts or payments from foreign governments so as not to influence the president.

Trump’s criticism of that clause follows the reversal of his decision to host next year’s G-7 summit gathering of world leaders at his private Florida golf club after he received bipartisan backlash and scrutiny.

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Trump Calls Impeachment Inquiry a ‘Lynching’

Westlake Legal Group 22TRUMP-facebookJumbo Trump Calls Impeachment Inquiry a ‘Lynching’ Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Republican Party impeachment

President Trump on Tuesday called the impeachment inquiry into him a “lynching,” using a term associated with the murders of blacks to describe a process set up by the Constitution for Congress.

In an early morning tweet, he added that the impeachment inquiry is “without due process or fairness or any legal rights,” and he encouraged Republicans to remember this in the future.

Mr. Trump’s Twitter outburst comes as pressure builds with the stream of testimony from current and former administration officials about his efforts to use the power of the White House for personal gain.

The president regularly uses his Twitter feed to make hyperbolic declarations, but he has not used the term “lynching” in a tweet since 2015, during the Republican primary campaign. The president’s word choice drew immediate criticism.

“You think this impeachment is a LYNCHING? What the hell is wrong with you,” Representative Bobby L. Rush, Democrat of Illinois and a former Black Panther leader, said in a Twitter post.

“I know the history of that word,” Representative James E. Clyburn, Democrat of South Carolina and the House majority whip, said on CNN Tuesday. “That is a word that we ought to be very, very careful about.”

Kevin M. Kruse, a history professor at Princeton University, pointed to a similar use of the word “lynching” during the Nixon era.

Michael D. Shear contributed reporting.

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Trump slammed by lawmakers after he called impeachment inquiry a ‘lynching’

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Trump slammed by lawmakers after he called impeachment inquiry a 'lynching'

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has called President Donald Trump’s public call for China to investigate Joe Biden and his son “stupid.” Buzz60

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump compared the impeachment inquiry against him to “a lynching” on Tuesday, drawing condemnation for comparing a congressional process to vigilante murders aimed mostly at black Americans.

“All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here – a lynching. But we will WIN!” Trump tweeted.

African-American lawmakers took particular offense at the post.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” tweeted Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill. “Do you know how many people who look like me have been lynched, since the inception of this country, by people who look like you. Delete this tweet.”

Trump has attacked House Democrats’ ongoing impeachment probe as political. But Tuesday was the first time he used the term “lynching.”

In general, a lynching is the hanging of an accused person without benefit of a trial – a fate often visited on black Americans in the pre-civil rights era.

The NAACP reports that, between 1882 and 1968, there were 4,743 lynchings in the United States, and, of these, “3,446 were black.”

In the decades following the Civil War, said the NAACP history, “lynchings were becoming a popular way of resolving some of the anger that whites had in relation to the free blacks.”

Impeachment inquiry: Diplomat who called Trump Ukraine policy ‘crazy’ to testify in impeachment probe

Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., who had the tweet read to him during an interview on CNN said: “That is one word no president ought to apply to himself. You know, I’ve studied presidential history quite a bit, and I don’t know if we’ve ever seen anything quite like this.”

Historian Kevin Kruse wrote on Twitter that “comparing impeachment proceedings to a lynching is even more insulting when you’ve cozied up to the very forces of white supremacy that historically have used lynching as a tool to terrorize racial minorities.”

House Democrats are investigating Trump for impeachment over a whistleblower complaint that accused Trump of asking a foreign country – Ukraine – to investigate one of his domestic political opponents, former Vice President Joe Biden.

As part of a series of familiar-looking tweets decrying the investigation as political, Trump also made a threat against future Democratic presidents.

“So some day, if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights,” Trump said.

The tweet came a day after Trump complained that Republicans have not been aggressive enough in defending him.

“Republicans have to get tougher and fight,” Trump said during a Cabinet meeting Monday. “We have some that are great fighters, but they have to get tougher and fight because the Democrats are trying to hurt the Republican Party for the (2020) election.”

Impeachment inquiry: Week 5 questions

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Stop fearmongering about ‘Medicare for All.’ Most families would pay less for better care. The case for Medicare for All is simple. It would cover everyone, period. Done right, it would lower costs. And it would ease paperwork and confusion.

Westlake Legal Group akpslbTHU0pK4HsdOMbY9rH18skQvrQX3cn-3K4LIWw Stop fearmongering about 'Medicare for All.' Most families would pay less for better care. The case for Medicare for All is simple. It would cover everyone, period. Done right, it would lower costs. And it would ease paperwork and confusion. r/politics

This is what I don’t understand. Even if foreign taxes are higher than ours, they don’t have to pay premiums, deductibles, or anything like that. When I looked a while ago, it was a net savings for me when comparing the health insurance I had against the tax burden of other countries.

And it’s just always there, income or not.

“I don’t want to pay for everyone else!” You already do. You’re paying for everyone at your company.

“But my choice!” Your company probably uses a single company with 2 or 3 plans that are super expensive and if you don’t pick any of them, you’re going bankrupt from medical bills. What choice are you talking about? You’re going to represent yourself? The cost is prohibitive. You have no bargaining power compared to a giant company.

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