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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 276)

Jamie Lee Curtis reveals Kirk Douglas once saved her from drowning

Jamie Lee Curtis says she has Kirk Douglas to thank for saving her life as a child.

The actress, 61, took to Instagram on Friday with a touching tribute to the late Hollywood icon, who died Wednesday at the age of 103. Douglas starred in “The Vikings” in 1958 alongside her parents, Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh.

The “Knives Out” actress stressed that Douglas was an “important” person in her parents’ lives, but also shared how she may not be alive if it wasn’t for the actor.

A LOOK BACK AT KIRK DOUGLAS’ BIGGEST ROLES

“I just remembered this morning that Kirk saved my life when I rode my tricycle into the pool at a party and he dove in and brought me up from the bottom, still peddling,” Curtis wrote, captioning a throwback black-and-white photo of Douglas with her parents.

Curtis also revealed how the families dealt with similar tragedies and leaned on one another in times of grief.

“I was in school with their son, Eric who they lost in 2004. Tony lost his son, Nicholas in 1994. Families tied together in life and success and loss and struggle, past and present. Kirk is an example for us ALL,” she continued.

KIRK DOUGLAS SEEN IN FINAL FAMILY PHOTOS BEFORE HIS DEATH

Westlake Legal Group AP20036860977728 Jamie Lee Curtis reveals Kirk Douglas once saved her from drowning Melissa Roberto fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 6c6a3315-d03a-5e40-a964-51d0141b7c59

Kirk Douglas at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. Douglas died Wednesday, Feb. 5. (AP Photo/Wally Fong)

The actress summed up Douglas with three words: “COURAGE. INTEGRITY. GENEROSITY.”

Actor Michael Douglas, 75, announced his father’s death Wednesday on social media. It was not revealed how or where Kirk Douglas died, but several reports claimed he passed away at his Beverly Hills, Calif., mansion.

“It is with tremendous sadness that my brothers and I announce that Kirk Douglas left us today at the age of 103,” Michael Douglas wrote Wednesday. “To the world he was a legend, an actor from the golden age of movies who lived well into his golden years, a humanitarian whose commitment to justice and the causes he believed in set a standard for all of us to aspire to.

KIRK DOUGLAS’ BEST OSCAR MOMENTS

“But to me and my brothers Joel and Peter he was simply Dad, to Catherine, a wonderful father-in-law, to his grandchildren and great grandchild their loving grandfather, and to his wife Anne, a wonderful husband.”

Michael concluded:  “Kirk’s life was well lived, and he leaves a legacy in film that will endure for generations to come, and a history as a renowned philanthropist who worked to aid the public and bring peace to the planet. Let me end with the words I told him on his last birthday and which will always remain true. Dad — I love you so much and I am so proud to be your son.”

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Back in September, Curtis honored her own father on the ninth anniversary of his death.

“Gone but never forgotten,” she wrote under a portrait of the star as she referenced his 1957 film “Sweet Smell of Success”. “This day. ‘The cat’s in the bag and the bag’s in the river.'”

Westlake Legal Group Jamie-Lee-Curtis-Kirk-Douglas-AP-Getty Jamie Lee Curtis reveals Kirk Douglas once saved her from drowning Melissa Roberto fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 6c6a3315-d03a-5e40-a964-51d0141b7c59   Westlake Legal Group Jamie-Lee-Curtis-Kirk-Douglas-AP-Getty Jamie Lee Curtis reveals Kirk Douglas once saved her from drowning Melissa Roberto fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 6c6a3315-d03a-5e40-a964-51d0141b7c59

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SeaWorld trainers will no longer ride dolphins at theme parks

SeaWorld performers will no longer stand on and ride dolphins, a practice that has been under heavy criticism from PETA and other animal rights activists over the past year.

The surprising reform, revealed in a letter last Friday from a SeaWorld Entertainment company lawyer to the Securities and Exchange Commission, comes after an intense battle with the animal rights group, which acquired 163 shares in the company as of Dec. 10.

FIRE BREAKS OUT AT DISNEYLAND, VIDEO SHOWS

In the stunt, performers would ride two dolphins at the same time by standing with each foot on one of the animals’ beaks, or “rostrums.”

Westlake Legal Group Seaworld-Dolphin-Getty SeaWorld trainers will no longer ride dolphins at theme parks New York Post fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/seaworld-orlando fox-news/travel/general/theme-parks fox-news/lifestyle fnc/travel fnc article 5041a744-6fc7-59a0-aefa-06c73c62c77e

In the most objected-to stunt, performers would ride two dolphins at the same time by standing with each foot atop one of the animals’ beaks, or “rostrums.” (Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)

PETA has decried the stunt as standing on the dolphins’ “faces.”

CHARACTER AT DISNEY WORLD’S CAROUSEL OF PROGRESS ATTRACTION LOSES HAND MID-SHOW, GUEST SAYS

“In order to address the most pressing issue that SeaWorld faces today—the public’s continued opposition to captive-animal displays—the shareholders urge the board to stop allowing trainers to stand on dolphins’ faces and ride on their backs in exploitative and potentially harmful circus-style shows,” reads the shareholder’s proposal, made by PETA — according to the letter to the SEC.

However, SeaWorld’s lawyers also thrashed PETA in the letter for its characterization of the practice of standing on the mammals’ faces as “unclear and misleading.”

“The pictures included in the Proponent’s supporting statement depict trained behaviors involving bottlenose dolphins,” the letter reads. “Second, where the Proponent refers to a bottlenose dolphin’s ‘face,’ SeaWorld assumes that it is referring to what animal care professionals refer to as a ‘rostrum.’”

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According to SeaWorld, a bottlenose dolphin’s rostrum “serves a different function to a face” and “there is no literature to suggest that standing on the rostrum is harmful in any way to the animal.”

SeaWorld also claims that it never provided “circus-style shows” and only lets trainers at one of its 12 parks stand on the bottlenose dolphins.

PETA quickly posted its victory cry on its website after “SeaWorld admitted that it’s ending the cruel practices.”

“Victory! SeaWorld has stopped treating dolphins like surfboards,” PETA wrote.

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“It’s unacceptable for smart, sensitive dolphins to be used as surfboards and launch pads in these cruel and demeaning stunts,” PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman said in a Dec. 10 letter. “The very least that SeaWorld trainers can do for the miserable animals in their custody is not stand or ride on them, and PETA is taking action to end this practice immediately.”

SeaWorld has struggled to maintain relationships with other companies, as some, including Virgin Holidays, have stopped offering tickets to SeaWorld.

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The company has continuously suffered from poor public relations — from deaths of its whales to insider trading — in the aftermath of the documentary “Blackfish,” which revealed the company’s mistreatment of its orcas.

This story was originally published by the New York Post.

Westlake Legal Group Seaworld-Dolphin-Getty SeaWorld trainers will no longer ride dolphins at theme parks New York Post fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/seaworld-orlando fox-news/travel/general/theme-parks fox-news/lifestyle fnc/travel fnc article 5041a744-6fc7-59a0-aefa-06c73c62c77e   Westlake Legal Group Seaworld-Dolphin-Getty SeaWorld trainers will no longer ride dolphins at theme parks New York Post fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/seaworld-orlando fox-news/travel/general/theme-parks fox-news/lifestyle fnc/travel fnc article 5041a744-6fc7-59a0-aefa-06c73c62c77e

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Colorado Air Force veteran’s funeral draws hundreds of strangers in snowstorm

Hundreds of people refused to let a snowstorm keep them from laying to rest a Colorado veteran who would have had no mourners.

Clyde Baldwin served in the Air Force for 20 years from 1950 to 1970 — a period that included the Korean and Vietnam wars, according to reports. He was 91.

MISSING IN AMERICA PROJECT BURIES 42 ‘UNCLAIMED’ VETERANS IN TEXAS AND FLORIDA

Westlake Legal Group Pikes-Peak-Cemetery-Support-Committee-at-Pikes-Peak-National-Cemetery Colorado Air Force veteran's funeral draws hundreds of strangers in snowstorm Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/west/colorado fox-news/us/military/veterans fox news fnc/us fnc ff92261f-adb1-53c3-b01c-188bb4805e62 article

Pikes Peak National Cemetery in Colorado Springs (Suppport Community at Pikes Peak National Cemetery)

His funeral was Friday in Colorado Springs. The large crowd answered a call from a local VFW post requesting their attendance because Baldwin’s only relative — a sister in Oklahoma  — was unable to make it, Fox 21 Colorado Springs reported.

Baldwin, a decorated staff sergeant in the Air Force, wasn’t married and had no children.

STRANGERS WHO ATTENDED AIR FORCE VETERAN’S FUNERAL ‘CAME TOGETHER AS AMERICANS,’ SAYS ORGANIZER

“Weather conditions the way they were with people parked all the way out to Drennan and having to actually walk into the cemetery, it’s impressive to see that much support from the community,” Robert Aholt told the station.

Aholt belongs to the Colorado veteran group Patriot Guard Riders.

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Baldwin’s funeral with military honors was held at Pikes Peak National Cemetery.

Westlake Legal Group Pikes-Peak-Cemetery-Support-Committee-at-Pikes-Peak-National-Cemetery Colorado Air Force veteran's funeral draws hundreds of strangers in snowstorm Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/west/colorado fox-news/us/military/veterans fox news fnc/us fnc ff92261f-adb1-53c3-b01c-188bb4805e62 article   Westlake Legal Group Pikes-Peak-Cemetery-Support-Committee-at-Pikes-Peak-National-Cemetery Colorado Air Force veteran's funeral draws hundreds of strangers in snowstorm Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/west/colorado fox-news/us/military/veterans fox news fnc/us fnc ff92261f-adb1-53c3-b01c-188bb4805e62 article

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AOC, boyfriend discuss ‘combating racism as a white person’ on Instagram

Westlake Legal Group image AOC, boyfriend discuss ‘combating racism as a white person’ on Instagram New York Post Jon Levine fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fnc/politics fnc article 83427a05-1b62-5499-8b84-cacaa0a55de6

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made a rare appearance with boyfriend Riley Roberts while taking questions from fans in an Instagram story Friday night.

The freshman Queens socialist enlisted her man to talk about the issue of “combating racism as a white person.”

AOC, OMAR, JAYAPAL SAY DNC BOSS TOM PEREZ SHOULD BE ‘HELD ACCOUNTABLE’ FOR IOWA FAILURE 

“I think it’s helpful and important to talk to other white people about racism, and I think a lot of people, they don’t want to be racist,” Roberts, 30, offered as AOC sat beside him. “They don’t think that they’re racist, but they also don’t know some of the things they believe or say are and can be racist.”

Neither offered anything in particular about what they defined as racist, or who gets to decide what is and is not racist.  Roberts suggested telling racist white friends that they were not, in fact, racist, but merely held “wrong” opinions.

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“One of the effective ways is just to talk and kind of help teach them about why some of the things they believe or say or think are wrong — not necessarily racist — but that they’re wrong and that will sort of chip away and contribute to some development in this area but not necessarily take somebody from being a racist to not being a racist in one conversation,” he said.

Click for more from The New York Post.

Westlake Legal Group image AOC, boyfriend discuss ‘combating racism as a white person’ on Instagram New York Post Jon Levine fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fnc/politics fnc article 83427a05-1b62-5499-8b84-cacaa0a55de6   Westlake Legal Group image AOC, boyfriend discuss ‘combating racism as a white person’ on Instagram New York Post Jon Levine fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fnc/politics fnc article 83427a05-1b62-5499-8b84-cacaa0a55de6

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Thailand Shooting: Soldier Kills At Least 20 In Shooting Rampage

Westlake Legal Group ap_20039552355026-d44abea47d4b11321d100a61f31404d453c59396-s1100-c15 Thailand Shooting: Soldier Kills At Least 20 In Shooting Rampage

Police and bystanders stand near the scene of a shooting at the Terminal 21 mall, in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand on Saturday. AP hide caption

toggle caption

AP

Westlake Legal Group  Thailand Shooting: Soldier Kills At Least 20 In Shooting Rampage

Police and bystanders stand near the scene of a shooting at the Terminal 21 mall, in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand on Saturday.

AP

A gunman shot and killed at least 20 people and wounded more than 21 in a Thai city while livestreaming himself on social media Saturday, multiple media outlets report.

Police say the suspect, identified as a junior soldier at a base near the city of Nakhon Ratchasima also known as Korat — more than 180 miles north east of Bangkok — shot a superior officer and others at the base, NPR’s Michael Sullivan reports. The suspect then fled the scene and resumed his shooting spree at a nearby shopping mall.

Local media showed footage of the suspect exiting a car in front of a shopping mall and firing a series of shots, as people ran for cover. Gunshots could be heard on the video, the Associated Press reports.

The newspaper Thai Rath reports the incident began at about 3:30 p.m. local time, according to the AP. Police are still searching for the gunman. Multiple reports say he’s believed to be still in the shopping mall but it’s unclear whether he’s taken hostages. More than 100 people have been evacuated from the complex, emergency worker Noppadol Sirijanya told the AP.

According to the BBC, the suspect’s mother has been brought to the shopping center to try to talk him into giving himself up.

Police have warned people to stay at home, the BBC reports.

The suspect had posted on his Facebook page earlier in the day that, “Death is inevitable for everyone.” He also posted a photo of what appeared to be a gun held in his hand, Reuters reports.

The Facebook page has been taken down, AP reports.

“We don’t know why he did this. It appears he went mad,” said defense ministry spokesman Kongcheep Tantrawanit, according to Reuters.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha is following developments and expressed condolences to the families of victims, a spokeswoman told the BBC.

The incident comes a month after another high-profile mall shooting in the central Thai city of Lopburi. A masked man with a handgun killed three people, including a 2-year-old boy, and wounded four others as he robbed a jewelry store, the AP reports.

Firearms can be obtained legally in Thailand, but mass shootings are rare events other than in the far south, where a decades-old insurgency persists, Reuters reports.

NPR’s Michael Sullivan contributed to this report.

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Trump’s 2020 Re-Election Challenges and Strategy to Win

WASHINGTON — Buoyed by his impeachment acquittal and the muddled Democratic primary race, President Trump and his campaign are turning to address his re-election bid’s greatest weaknesses with an aggressive, well-funded but uncertain effort to win back suburban voters turned off by his policies and behavior.

His campaign is aiming to regain these voters in battleground states like Pennsylvania and Michigan, after losing many of them to Democrats in the 2018 midterms. Advisers hope to expand the electoral map for November by winning moderate-leaning states like Minnesota and New Hampshire. And the White House is gearing up to help with policy issues directed at swing states, such as the new trade deal with Mexico and Canada and paid family leave for federal workers.

Trump campaign officials are also stockpiling cash to help with these efforts, with $200 million in the bank now and fund-raising continuing at a brisk pace. They have put up television ads relatively early in the race, allocating $6 million for the final three months of 2019 to highlight a booming economy and the low unemployment numbers.

Among the goals is trying to appeal to black voters and suburban and upper-income white voters with ads such as a spot focusing on criminal justice reform that first aired during the Super Bowl and is continuing on cable channels with large female audiences, like Bravo and Lifetime.

Yet Mr. Trump’s messaging, like so much else about his approach to politics, is contradictory. For all the focus on appealing to moderates, the campaign is also engaging the president’s hard-core supporters with Facebook ads warning of the danger of undocumented “aliens” and their “invasion” of the U.S., and decrying “the impeachment hoax,” while also promoting polarizing policies like curtailing immigration.

Those inflammatory, targeted ads are ones that suburban voters may never see, a reflection of the campaign’s broad strategy: Keep his conservative base energized and chip away at his problems in the suburbs and communities of color.

The challenge facing Mr. Trump’s advisers remains the same as it has been since 2017: The president is among the most deeply divisive leaders in the nation’s history, whose conduct has helped accelerate a realignment of moderate suburban voters toward Democrats. These voters have been the cornerstone of Democrats’ electoral revival since 2016, helping them flip governorships and propelling their capture of the House.

Mr. Trump cannot win a second term without attracting more suburban voters and independents in a handful of states he carried in 2016, but he is highly averse to staying on script and delivering a consistent message aimed at moderate voters rather than his hard-core admirers, or his own need to get things off his chest. Mr. Trump’s advisers argue that the suburban voters who eschewed Republicans in the 2018 midterms will vote differently when the president’s name is on the ballot.

“Suburban women is where he has a challenge,” said Senator Kevin Cramer, Republican from North Dakota.

“I think the biggest problem that he has with suburban women is the part that so many in his base like about him,” Mr. Cramer said. “His rhetoric, his punching down at his opponents. It’s so different than anything they’ve seen.”

Scott Reed, the top political adviser to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, nodded to the fleeting nature of Trump-era politics as he assessed the electoral landscape for the president.

“Politics in Trumpville are great right now, but these days, a week feels like three months and we have a long way to go,” Mr. Reed said.

Republican National Committee officials are tracking the suburban problem. In 2016, about 100,000 Michigan residents who voted in state legislative races left the box for president empty. Many of those voters were men in the suburbs, R.N.C. officials said, and were people who didn’t believe Mr. Trump was truly a conservative, but who have come back after seeing him deliver on conservative judicial appointments and a tax-cut bill.

But suburban women remain difficult to sway, Trump advisers acknowledge. Some messages have moved the dial, if only temporarily: When Mr. Trump talks about Democrats wanting to provide government health care benefits to undocumented immigrants, for instance, Republican officials have seen an uptick of support in their own surveys of the suburbs of Pennsylvania. When Mr. Trump paints the entire Democratic field, falsely, as supporting ending private health insurance, his advisers see room for him to grow. But they admit that it’s a difficult line to walk.

The G.O.P. strategy ultimately depends on who his Democratic opponent turns out to be. And Mr. Trump faces an unknown in Michael R. Bloomberg, a billionaire former New York City mayor running a general election strategy, who is spending so much money that Mr. Trump’s advisers acknowledged that he cannot be ignored even if Mr. Bloomberg loses the Democratic nomination.

Westlake Legal Group 2020-presidential-candidates-promo-1548014688187-articleLarge-v56 Trump's 2020 Re-Election Challenges and Strategy to Win Trump, Donald J Republican Party Presidential Election of 2020 elections

Who’s Running for President in 2020?

The field of Democratic presidential candidates has been historically large. Here’s who’s in and who’s out.

With the Democrats enmeshed in the start of their primary season, Mr. Trump is beginning his own new phase: He has reasons to feel reassured about his prospects as he turns more fully to his re-election effort, and the apparatus of the White House and the Republican Party are more able to focus on winning him a second term.

Mr. Trump’s approval ratings have inched up and he’s now around where the last three incumbent presidents were at the start of their own, successful, re-elections. And the economy shows no signs of slowing.

“The White House and the campaign should focus 100 percent on the economic growth and opportunity society Trump is creating for America,” Mr. Reed said, somewhat hopefully.

But greater confidence and a freer hand can lead Mr. Trump to take risks: His phone call with the Ukrainian president on July 25, 2019, which ultimately helped lead to his impeachment in the House, came after he had seen the end of the two-year investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III. Just this past week, Mr. Trump fired from the White House two witnesses and an ambassador who testified in the House impeachment inquiry, including Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a decorated war veteran, prompting outrage from Democrats and private concern among some Republican lawmakers. On Saturday, he tweeted that Colonel Vindman had earned his dismissal.

As Mr. Trump has repeatedly shown, he can show a measure of discipline in one moment — like his teleprompter-ready speech at the State of the Union that was sprinkled with appeals to different demographic groups — and then do or say something that alienates swing voters.

His 62-minute stemwinder of retribution in the East Room of the White House the day after the acquittal was the type of ventilating performance Mr. Trump had been craving, but which some advisers acknowledge undermines the carefully-crafted efforts at broadening his appeal.

“Many people are evaluating the president based on his conduct and behavior in office rather than the state of the economy,” said Whit Ayres, a longtime Republican pollster. “It’s his conduct and behavior in office that have kept a foot on his job approval rating. Any other president would be in the upper 50s or even low 60s with this economy.”

Most of the president’s aides concede that his base of supporters is not enough to re-elect him, and that he must attract the voters who were repelled by his behavior and voted against Republicans in the 2018 midterms — particularly upscale whites, suburban women and self-described independent voters who polls repeatedly show think the president is racist, or has a troubling temperament, or both.

To that end, the president’s campaign aired a Super Bowl ad featuring Alice Johnson, a black woman convicted on charges related to drug trafficking whose sentence the president commuted. The president also awarded an “Opportunity Zone” scholarship to a young African-American girl during his State of the Union address, and tailored other moments during the speech to appeal to members of the military.

Trump advisers are focused not just on the three states that elected Mr. Trump in 2016 — Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — but also the forever battleground of Florida, and battleground states with competitive Senate races that could help the Democratic nominee in Georgia, Arizona and North Carolina.

The campaign also sees opportunities for pickups in New Hampshire and especially in Minnesota, states that have voted for Democrats in recent presidential races but where the margins were close in 2016. But while the campaign manager Brad Parscale has insisted New Mexico is within reach, other Trump advisers say there’s been little movement, in part because of the president’s disinterest in taking the day trips he favors to the western part of the country.

In an interview, Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the R.N.C., said they have the resources to appeal to multiple groups of voters. “That gives us an advantage to focus on the rural vote that we need to turn out, but then also go after places where we’ve lost voters to bring them back in,” she said. And Tim Murtaugh, a campaign spokesman, said they had always planned to woo various demographics, “regardless of what Democrats in Congress were trying to do to him.”

The administration is pulling out the policy stops. Vice President Mike Pence has recently made stops and bus tours in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, highlighting Trump administration efforts like the “school choice” initiative to help low-income students enter private schools.

On Thursday, Mr. Trump tweeted that he was looking to move away from a proposal pushed by his former energy secretary, Rick Perry: storing nuclear waste in Nevada’s Yucca Mountain, an effort his two top political advisers, Bill Stepien and Justin Clark, opposed for years. And officials are expected to hold events in the Midwest highlighting provisions aimed at helping domestic automakers that were included in the U.S.M.C.A. trade deal.

“We’ve been chopping wood for a while, and it feels like everyone else is seeing what we’ve been seeing for a long time,” said Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law who is overseeing his campaign. “Everyone else has been distracted, but it’s not like we invented these policies for the State of the Union.”

What’s unclear, and what could prove decisive, is whether the country is exhausted by Mr. Trump and is ready for a so-called return to normalcy, or if voters have grown inured to his eruptions and have effectively priced in his behavior.

A key factor will be the candidate the Democrats eventually nominate. Interviews with more than a dozen Republican strategists, lawmakers and state chairs reveal a consensus that Senator Bernie Sanders would be the easiest Democrat for them to beat because they believe his avowed socialism would help them reclaim suburbanites and better frame the election as a choice.

“It’s easy to call him a socialist because he admits it,” said Tim Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor. “At least Warren tries to deny it.”

Mr. Sanders’s aides, of course, see it very differently and believe that they would tear up Mr. Trump’s 2016 electoral map by reclaiming working-class white voters in states like Michigan and Wisconsin, something some Trump advisers agree with. And Trump advisers have been caught by surprise by the success of Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind.

“We don’t have a Democratic opponent yet,” said Mr. Cramer. “It’s always harder to run against the unnamed opponent. Once you have the opponent, you get to draw the distinctions.”

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Thailand Shooting: Soldier Suspected In Rampage That Killed At Least 20

Westlake Legal Group ap_20039552355026-91e290191610badc3444b6406606ce02c7c5d81e-s1100-c15 Thailand Shooting: Soldier Suspected In Rampage That Killed At Least 20

Police and bystanders stand near the scene of a shooting at the Terminal 21 mall, in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand on Saturday. AP hide caption

toggle caption

AP

Westlake Legal Group  Thailand Shooting: Soldier Suspected In Rampage That Killed At Least 20

Police and bystanders stand near the scene of a shooting at the Terminal 21 mall, in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand on Saturday.

AP

A gunman killed at least 20 people and wounded more than 21 in a Thai city while livestreaming himself on social media Saturday, multiple media outlets report.

The suspect has been identified as a junior soldier at a base near the city of Nakhon Ratchasima, which is also known as Korat and is more than 180 miles northeast of Bangkok.

Police say the gunman shot a superior officer and others at the base, NPR’s Michael Sullivan reports. The gunman then fled the scene and resumed his shooting spree at a nearby shopping mall.

Local media showed footage of the suspect exiting a car in front of a shopping mall and firing a series of shots, as people ran for cover. Gunshots could be heard on the video, The Associated Press reports.

The newspaper Thai Rath reports the incident began at about 3:30 p.m. local time, according to the AP. Police are still searching for the suspect. Multiple reports say he’s believed to still be in the shopping mall, but it’s unclear whether he has taken hostages. More than 100 people have been evacuated from the complex, emergency worker Noppadol Sirijanya told the AP.

According to the BBC, the suspect’s mother has been brought to the shopping center to try to talk him into giving himself up.

Police have warned people to stay at home, the BBC reports.

The suspect had posted on his Facebook page earlier in the day: “Death is inevitable for everyone.” He also posted a photo of what appeared to be a gun held in his hand, Reuters reports.

The Facebook page has been taken down, AP reports.

“We don’t know why he did this. It appears he went mad,” said defense ministry spokesman Kongcheep Tantrawanit, according to Reuters.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha is following developments and expressed condolences to the families of victims, a spokeswoman told the BBC.

The incident comes a month after another high-profile mall shooting in the central Thai city of Lopburi. A masked man with a handgun killed three people, including a 2-year-old boy, and wounded four others as he robbed a jewelry store, the AP reports.

Firearms can be obtained legally in Thailand, but mass shootings are rare events other than in the far south, where a decades-old insurgency persists, Reuters reports.

NPR’s Michael Sullivan contributed to this report.

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Rep. Steve Scalise: 2020 Dems fumble while Trump closes out ‘great week’

Westlake Legal Group SCALISE Rep. Steve Scalise: 2020 Dems fumble while Trump closes out 'great week' Julia Musto fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/iowa fox-news/us/terror/counter-terrorism fox-news/us/terror fox-news/us/economy/jobs fox-news/us/economy fox-news/shows/fox-friends-weekend fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/executive/health-care fox-news/politics/elections/republicans fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/steve-scalise fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/news-events/state-of-the-union fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 62e783ae-28b7-541b-a256-4caa80ce9cfd

While President Trump enjoyed a “great week,” Democrats seeking to replace him stumbled in Iowa and on the debate stage, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise said Saturday.

Appearing on “Fox & Friends: Weekend,” Scalise said Trump “dominated” in terms of delivering on his promises.

“Great week for the president,” the Louisiana Republican said.

On Tuesday, Trump gave the annual State of the Union address. On Wednesday, the president was acquitted in the Senate impeachment trial. On Thursday ,the White House confirmed the killing of terror leader Qassim al-Rimi in Yemen. On Friday, the Labor Department reported the economy added 225,000 jobs in January.

‘MORNING JOE’ ON 2020 OPTICS: AMERICANS SEE ‘STRONG ECONOMY,’ SAY ‘SO WHAT?’ TO TRUMP’S CONDUCT

Scalise went to the Iowa caucuses on Monday supporting the president’s team and said that while Trump showed “excited” voters what he was able to do for them, 2020 Democrats showed what they couldn’t do, thanks in part to botched caucus tallies.

“The Democrats showed on the other side they can’t even learn to count, let alone manage the economy or take over your health care,” he said. “So I think that was a great contrast.”

The congressman also told host Pete Hegseth that the president hit his third State of the Union speech “out of the ballpark,” while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was literally “becoming unhinged,” ripping up her copy of the address.

Scalise noted that the jobs report had the “best [economic numbers] in generations.”

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He criticized Democrats running for president for opposing the missile strike that killed an Iranian general linked to terror attacks on the grounds that he posed no imminent threat.

“I mean, what are you doing when you can’t kill a terrorist who not only killed hundreds of men and women in uniform, but was in Iraq later that day plotting to kill more Americans? And, they wouldn’t do that,” Scalise said.

Westlake Legal Group SCALISE Rep. Steve Scalise: 2020 Dems fumble while Trump closes out 'great week' Julia Musto fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/iowa fox-news/us/terror/counter-terrorism fox-news/us/terror fox-news/us/economy/jobs fox-news/us/economy fox-news/shows/fox-friends-weekend fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/executive/health-care fox-news/politics/elections/republicans fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/steve-scalise fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/news-events/state-of-the-union fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 62e783ae-28b7-541b-a256-4caa80ce9cfd   Westlake Legal Group SCALISE Rep. Steve Scalise: 2020 Dems fumble while Trump closes out 'great week' Julia Musto fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/iowa fox-news/us/terror/counter-terrorism fox-news/us/terror fox-news/us/economy/jobs fox-news/us/economy fox-news/shows/fox-friends-weekend fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/executive/health-care fox-news/politics/elections/republicans fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/steve-scalise fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/news-events/state-of-the-union fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 62e783ae-28b7-541b-a256-4caa80ce9cfd

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Wobbly After Iowa, Biden Confronts a Perilous Moment

Westlake Legal Group 08biden-nh1-facebookJumbo Wobbly After Iowa, Biden Confronts a Perilous Moment Presidential Election of 2020 New Hampshire Biden, Joseph R Jr

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s fourth-place finish in Iowa and his wobbly standing here in New Hampshire are now testing the central premise of his candidacy — that he is the strongest Democrat to defeat President Trump — and forcing his team to scramble to prove that claim before voters move on to other candidates.

It’s a striking departure from Mr. Biden’s self-assured posture throughout the campaign. He has said he is “the clear front-runner in the party.” His allies still cite his strength in general election polls constantly, and have even featured them in his television commercials. He has spent months targeting Mr. Trump rather than driving a sustained message at his rival Democrats, and his attempts to do so at Friday night’s debate, while aggressive, did not appear to hurt other candidates.

Now, as he prepares for New Hampshire’s primary on Tuesday, Mr. Biden’s campaign is confronting its greatest moment of peril to date, marked by worrisome polls, jittery donors and tensions within the staff.

“If your whole theory of the case is that I’m the electable one and I can win, and then you lose in the first state and possibly the second state, it sort of blows your entire message,” said Patti Solis Doyle, who served as Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager in 2008.

Another weak showing, some Democrats warn, could accelerate a flight of wealthy backers to his two most formidable moderate rivals: Pete Buttigieg and Michael R. Bloomberg. It could also jeopardize the former vice president’s strength in the later-voting, more diverse states he is counting on.

In a sign that he knows his campaign is in trouble, Mr. Biden shook up his leadership team at the end of the week, turning over effective control of the campaign to a longtime adviser, Anita Dunn (his current campaign manager, Greg Schultz, was spotted at a Democratic dinner in Washington instead of at Friday’s debate). News of the shake-up leaked quickly and, in an illustration of the growing angst inside his campaign, a number of aides privately indicated how happy they were about the change, while others sought to downplay it.

But no amount of staff reshuffling may address Mr. Biden’s more fundamental challenge: The setup of the primary calendar means that Mr. Biden is faltering before he has even had a chance to compete in states where he has broader support, like Nevada and South Carolina later in the month.

And without a turnaround, he will not have the money to compete on Super Tuesday on March 3, when 14 states, including California and Texas, go to the polls.

Of the top-four finishers in Iowa, Mr. Biden entered 2020 with the smallest amount of cash on hand — less than $9 million — and his January fund-raising total is expected to be less than half of the $25 million haul that Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont announced on Thursday. Mr. Biden has been vastly outspent on television ads in New Hampshire, and this past week he shifted some ad spending to Nevada from a state with a later contest, South Carolina.

Being forced out by money woes would be a humbling scenario for a former vice president making his third attempt at the White House, who entered the race with widespread name recognition, deep relationships across the party and the reflected glow of having served in the Obama White House.

“The best way to prove electability is to do well in contests, and this was always a risk for him because he has hung his hat so strongly on the idea that he was the most electable candidate,” said Dan Pfeiffer, who served as a top aide to Barack Obama. Referencing the New Hampshire contest, he said, “The test for Biden is less about where he places and more about whether he shows strength as a candidate coming out of it.”

Troubled by Mr. Biden’s poor showing in Iowa, a number of his top supporters have been urging his campaign to make changes: Have the former vice president do more news media interviews. Spend more time engaged in retail politics. “Let Joe be Joe.”

“He has to get out there more, so people see him and talk to him,” said Mr. Biden’s national campaign co-chairman, Representative Cedric L. Richmond of Louisiana, when asked what Mr. Biden needed to be doing differently. “When he does that, he wins people over.”

Last Wednesday Mr. Biden appeared at a CNN town hall event, and impressed many observers by speaking movingly about helping people who struggle with stuttering — as he once did. Afterward, a prominent New Hampshire Democrat cornered him.

That was great, State Senator Lou D’Allesandro recalled telling him, impressed by the connection with the audience. Do more of that.

“He’s got to get into full-court press mode,” said Mr. D’Allesandro, a Biden supporter. “He’s got to be, every day, like he was at the CNN town hall meeting. If you want to be president, that’s what you’ve got to do.”

Yet Mr. Biden proceeded to go home to Delaware to prepare for Friday night’s debate, taking two days off the New Hampshire trail at one of the most uncertain, high-risk moments of his campaign before returning for the debate and a busy final weekend push.

Asked if he believed Mr. Biden was making that “full-court press,” Mr. D’Allesandro replied: “I hope so. I’m trying to convince them that’s what they should do.’’

While Mr. Biden was out of state, his chief rival for moderate votes in New Hampshire, Mr. Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., held an event with veterans and drew substantial media coverage.

Several attendees fit the profile Mr. Biden is targeting: older, moderate, affiliated with labor and skeptical of far-reaching proposals like “Medicare for all.” It was a sign of the fierce competition Mr. Biden faces for the centrist voters his allies had hoped he would own — and at least at Mr. Buttigieg’s event, a number of attendees who said they had been torn between the two candidates indicated that they were prepared to settle on the young former mayor.

“I think that’s a factor,” said Steve Shurtleff, the New Hampshire House speaker, who has endorsed Mr. Biden. “I thought it would be an easy decision, where I’d supported Joe Biden in the past, but I really gave a lot of thought to it. I decided to support the vice president, but I was very impressed with Mayor Pete.”

He questioned Mr. Buttigieg’s experience but added, “I’m sure a lot of people are looking at the vice president and Mayor Buttigieg and making that decision.”

Mr. Biden’s campaign has been adamant that when they discuss electability, they are focused on the general election against Mr. Trump, arguing that the former vice president has the unique ability to both assemble a diverse coalition and to compete in the industrial Midwest. Mr. Buttigieg, Mr. Biden himself has suggested, struggles with voters of color, a bedrock of the Democratic Party; he did not register with black voters in a recent Quinnipiac University poll.

“Joe Biden is a fighter,” said Andrew Bates, a spokesman for Mr. Biden’s campaign. “And he’s going to fight for every last delegate throughout this contest as millions of Democratic voters weigh in on who can actually go toe-to-toe with Donald Trump, win in key battleground states, take the Senate and turn progressive plans into reality.”

Mr. Biden is also supported by a super PAC, and his campaign said that Friday was his best debate day for online fund-raising, but did not announce a number.

How Mr. Biden fares against his Democratic rivals in a nominating contest in a single state — especially in the heavily white states of Iowa and New Hampshire — is not necessarily predictive of how he would do in later contests, or against Mr. Trump in battleground states in a general election. But his loss in Iowa was not a narrow one. Of the 31 counties in Iowa that voted for Mr. Obama in the 2008 and 2012 elections only to flip to Mr. Trump in 2016, Mr. Biden won only one.

Mr. Biden currently has a commanding lead in South Carolina with older African-American voters, a crucial part of the electorate there. But as Tom Steyer demonstrated with his repeated appeals at Friday’s debate, others in the race are aggressively seeking to make inroads with Mr. Biden’s base, a task that could become easier if Mr. Biden finishes down the pack in the first three states.

“I still believe it’s Biden’s race to lose,” said former Gov. Jim Hodges of South Carolina, who has endorsed Mr. Biden. “Nothing in Iowa changed my mind on that. Very little in New Hampshire can change my mind. Now you know, if he performs poorly in New Hampshire and Nevada, that’s not good, but I don’t anticipate that’s the case.”

Campaigning in New Hampshire on Wednesday, Mr. Biden seemed to understand it was time to make his argument more aggressively, and he took explicit aim at the two top finishers in Iowa, Mr. Buttigieg and Mr. Sanders.

At an event in Somersworth where teleprompters had been set up, Mr. Biden argued that putting Mr. Sanders at the top of the ticket would expose down-ballot Democratic candidates to being labeled “socialist,” given Mr. Sanders’s description of himself as a democratic socialist. And he highlighted Mr. Buttigieg’s relative lack of experience, in addition to faulting him for not appropriately crediting the accomplishments of what Mr. Biden likes to call the “Obama-Biden administration.”

It was exactly the kind of feisty performance some of his supporters had hoped to see.

“Voters have to know the difference,” Mr. Richmond said.

Jim Demers, a New Hampshire lobbyist who was an early supporter of Mr. Obama’s, said Mr. Biden was right to be more assertive in contrasting himself with Mr. Sanders and Mr. Buttigieg. Mr. Demers supports Mr. Biden after originally backing Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey.

“People here want to see Joe Biden up for the fight,” he said, “so they’re looking for that fire that they know he has.”

Jonathan Martin contributed reporting from Manchester, and Stephanie Saul from Columbia, S.C.

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Pete Buttigieg Funded by Russian-Linked Oligarch Who Supports Trump and McConnell

Westlake Legal Group S6v-hz8jnr8XLk1VqvSx4T2fNmu2rn9cZ1ps4_UCLoQ Pete Buttigieg Funded by Russian-Linked Oligarch Who Supports Trump and McConnell r/politics

If you don’t know who LEN BLAVATNIK is you should check out his Wikipedia. He literally made donations to an anti-trump group and the Trump inaugural committee in the same year. He also donated to both Obama and Romney in 2012. Also has given financial support to Shumer, Harris, and other major dems. Context is helpful here.

EDIT: I’m replying to my original comment because I don’t have time to reply to everyone on the thread, but I’m happy to see the engagement.

In order to understand what this guy is about you have to understand how kleptocrats operate. For the most part he does not care about US politics all that much. What he cares about is presenting himself in a positive light in the West. Hence why he gives money to bitter political rivals, random think tanks, etc. He does not do this to create division in the US. Yes he is Russian by birth, but he could care less about geopolitical feuds. Blavatnik has no real allegiance to any particular country. He even demands that journalists mention his U.K. and US citizenship whenever he’s covered in the news. When you’re a kleptocrat of this magnitude you focus on staying out of the spotlight, using your dark money to buy yourself a positive public image, and remain ambiguous.

Has a politician/organization ever denied a donation from Blavatnik? Yes, December 2018, the Hudson Institute accepted a donation from him — and then returned the donation, following an outcry from anti-kleptocracy voices. Other than that single case I’m not aware of any other denials.

The US has become a safe haven for kleptocrats seeking to offload cash through political donations. Tell your politicians to send the money back. They all seem to be taking the donations no matter what affiliation. Because politicians think they’re untouchable.

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