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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 36)

Every car should be a little like the 2020 Toyota Corolla hybrid

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Every car should be a little like the 2020 Toyota Corolla hybrid

Value, safety and 50 mpg+ fuel economy make the first hybrid Corolla a keeper. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press Auto Critic

A day driving the 2020 Toyota Corolla hybrid raises two questions: Why on earth did it take Toyota more than 20 years to get around to making a hybrid version of its signature car? And why, in 2019, does any automaker bother building a car that’s not a hybrid?

The Corolla hybrid checks just about every box: fuel economy, value  and – with a couple of disappointing but unsurprising omissions – safety features.

It’s not remotely sporty, despite the generous torque that comes with electric power, but come on, it’s a Corolla. Don’t ask for miracles, although some would say the 57.2 mpg I got in mixed driving on highways and surface streets qualifies as one.

The Corolla hybrid is in dealerships now.

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How much?

Prices for the Corolla LE hybrid start at $23,100. That’s in the middle of the range for compact hybrids and $3,500 up from the base gasoline-powered Corolla.

The front-wheel-drive hybrid has a 1.8L gasoline engine and electric motor. A continuously variable transmission is standard. The system’s total power is 121 horsepower, the same as in Toyota’s slightly larger Prius hybrid.

The Corolla hybrid has lots of standard features, including adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, forward collision alert and automatic braking, automatic high beams, lane departure alert and assist, 8.0-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, push button start, backup camera, LED lights, automatic climate control. Unfortunately, blind spot and cross-traffic alerts, my favorite advanced safety systems, were extra-cost options missing from my car, which stickered at $23,537. All prices exclude destination charges.

The Corolla hybrid competes with small hybrids like the Honda Insight, Hyundai Ioniq, Kia Niro and Toyota Prius.

The Prius costs a bit more and has more passenger and luggage space, despite being shorter than the Corolla. Chalk one up for hatchback over sedans. But while the Prius’ styling screams “Hybrid!” the Corolla looks like just another small car. Along with its slightly lower price, that should help it appeal to different customers. Anonymity suits some people to a T.

A simple interior, complicated infotainment

The Corolla is a roomy and practical small car. My test vehicle had cloth seats with manual adjustments that were comfortable over the course of a day behind the wheel. Big windows provide good sight lines, except, of course, when the little sedan is surrounded by SUVs.

An 8.0-inch touch screen rises above the center stack in the middle of the dashboard. The display is clear, though Toyota’s touchscreen and voice recognition system are unintuitive and slower than the best competitors. Adding a “back” button wouldn’t hurt, either.

The USB port to connect smartphones is very difficult to find, a black opening in a stretch of black plastic near the front passenger’s left knee. It’s harder to reach than the more central USBs most competitors design and lacks a nearby spot to hold your phone.

Apple CarPlay is standard. Toyota hasn’t made Android Auto available yet.

That’s not a typo, it’s my fuel economy

The Corolla’s hybrid system seamlessly combines gasoline and electric power killing and restarting the engine smoothly at stoplights and when cruising at a steady speed. The gasoline engine is a bit noisy under strong acceleration, despite its modest output. Torque from the electric motor steps in to provide acceleration around town and comfortable cruising at highway speeds.

The Corolla hybrid’s nickel-metal hydride battery is hardly cutting-edge technology, but it does the job, despite being heavy and less energy-dense than the pricier lithium-ion batteries most modern hybrids use.

The steering is light and numb. I found the lane departure assist a bit fussy and turned it off. Nothing else about the Corolla’s road manners draws attention.

The numbers on the fuel economy readout do, though. I averaged 59 miles a gallon running errands for 90 minutes in heavily built-up suburbs.

On a crowded, fast-moving urban highway, the Corolla kept pace easily with 80-mph traffic. I dialed back to the speed limit for fuel economy’s sake when I got to open highway for a 150-mile run.

I scored 57.2 mpg over the whole day, without really trying.

More, please

The Corolla hybrid’s not a compelling car to drive, but that was true of the millions of gasoline-powered Corollas Toyota sold, too. The hybrid’s fuel efficiency and value demand attention, whether you’re concerned about melting ice caps or your monthly budget.

Anyway, Porsche has proved you can build hybrids that are fun to drive. There will be plenty more.

Contact Mark Phelan at 313-222-6731 or mmphelan@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @mark_phelan. Read more on autos and sign up for our autos newsletter.

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2019/09/13/review-2020-corolla-hybrid/2298248001/

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Democratic Debate: Trump the winner as Biden again proves he’s not cut out to be nominee

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6085837433001_6085833650001-vs Democratic Debate: Trump the winner as Biden again proves he’s not cut out to be nominee New York Post Michael Goodwin fox-news/opinion fnc/opinion fnc article 8c53c0f2-7a58-5175-89fb-5ee2e90dc34b

And the winner is . . . Donald Trump.

The Democrats’ third presidential debate was a long-winded, platitude-filled disaster where no single candidate could claim a clear victory. Instead, the seven men and three women took turns displaying why they are all probably unelectable.

Start with Joe Biden’s incoherence. The nominal frontrunner, the former vice president had a 40-year reputation for never shutting up. Now he can’t manage to finish a sentence without interrupting himself.

Nearly all his efforts to make a point were swamped by a sudden change of direction mid-sentence, and then another change a few words later as a random thought popped into his head and out his mouth. None of his rivals needed to interrupt him–he did it to himself.

Most of the time I had no idea what he was trying to say, let alone what he actually said. I veered between feeling sorry for him and expecting the AFLAC duck to come out on stage and shake its head in bewilderment.

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I have said all along that I don’t believe Biden will be the nominee, and last night left me more certain than ever. He’s not capable of going the distance in the primaries and then taking on Trump.

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Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6085837433001_6085833650001-vs Democratic Debate: Trump the winner as Biden again proves he’s not cut out to be nominee New York Post Michael Goodwin fox-news/opinion fnc/opinion fnc article 8c53c0f2-7a58-5175-89fb-5ee2e90dc34b   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6085837433001_6085833650001-vs Democratic Debate: Trump the winner as Biden again proves he’s not cut out to be nominee New York Post Michael Goodwin fox-news/opinion fnc/opinion fnc article 8c53c0f2-7a58-5175-89fb-5ee2e90dc34b

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Food-delivery service’s TV ad banned for being ‘likely to mislead’

An advertisement for a food-delivery service which shows an astronaut receiving his order on the moon, and an escaped convict getting pizza delivered after tunneling free from prison, has been banned on the grounds that it’s “likely to mislead.”

The ad, from Deliveroo, first aired on television in March, featuring a voiceover that suggested customers would be able to order “what you want, where you want, when you want.”

The ad, however, included on-screen text reading, “some restrictions apply, obviously.”

28 PERCENT OF DELIVERY DRIVERS ADMIT TO THIS TROUBLING ACT

Despite this, the Advertising Standards Authority of the United Kingdom (ASA) received 22 complaints — but not from astronauts or escaped convicts. Rather, the complaints came from U.K. residents “who understood that Deliveroo did not deliver to their areas” and considered the ad misleading.

Roofoods, the parent company of Deliveroo, argued that its on-screen message (“some restrictions apply, obviously”) should have made it clear that not all locations in the U.K. were covered, but the ASA ruled that the “absolute nature” of the ad’s claim “suggested delivery was unrestricted throughout the U.K.”

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“We considered the very clearly fantastical nature of the settings – for example, in space and a car chase – was likely to lead viewers to interpret the qualification to mean that the restrictions applied to places where it would be ridiculous to expect to be able to access the service, rather than that there were certain areas of the country that were excluded,” the ASA wrote.

As per the ASA, Deliveroo can no longer show the ad “in the form complained of,” although the ad appears to still be live on its YouTube channel. (It’s unclear if it has been modified from its original form.)

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A spokesperson for Deliveroo was not immediately available to comment, but the company did respond to the ruling in a statement shared with the BBC.

“Deliveroo designed a playful advert to show that, through our service, people are able to order food to a wide range of places, whether home or work, for a range of occasions,” the statement read. “We know some will be disappointed that their local area isn’t currently served by Deliveroo, but we are expanding rapidly across the UK.”

Westlake Legal Group DeliverooDriverIstock Food-delivery service's TV ad banned for being 'likely to mislead' Michael Bartiromo fox-news/food-drink/food/food-trends fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article a48f9418-844f-5522-87fb-2894ad558c02   Westlake Legal Group DeliverooDriverIstock Food-delivery service's TV ad banned for being 'likely to mislead' Michael Bartiromo fox-news/food-drink/food/food-trends fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article a48f9418-844f-5522-87fb-2894ad558c02

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5 Questions Answered About The 3rd Democratic Debate

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1167620826_custom-e1fbf9c52792881f4c89a006c5a2d254f404a65b-s1100-c15 5 Questions Answered About The 3rd Democratic Debate

Democratic presidential hopefuls Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Former Vice President Joe Biden shake hands as they arrive onstage. Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  5 Questions Answered About The 3rd Democratic Debate

Democratic presidential hopefuls Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Former Vice President Joe Biden shake hands as they arrive onstage.

Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

Heading into Thursday’s Democratic presidential debate, the third this campaign season, we had five political questions.

Here’s how they got answered:

1. What will the Biden-Warren dynamic be like?

There weren’t tremendous fireworks between the two. Former Vice President Joe Biden signaled that he’d be ready to go after Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and he took a couple of shots at her, especially on health care. “The senator says she’s with Bernie,” Biden said, referring to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All plan, which would replace private health insurance. “I’m with Barack.”

The health care focus was more on Sanders, which allowed Warren to skate unscathed. And that was largely the case for most of the debate. It’s safe to say if Biden and Warren continue on the current course, they won’t be able to avoid each other so easily in the near future.

2. Can Biden take the heat — again?

Well, yes. This was Biden’s best debate of this campaign. At the outset he was the crispest he has been. Biden started to slip some in the last hour, but his campaign has to hope that fewer people were watching, and the highlights had already occurred. What helped him was that the debate didn’t turn into a pile-on of Biden again because Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota decided to hug the moderate lane, seeing an opening to do so.

Remember, on health care, the July NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll found Medicare for All as a replacement to the current health care system was unpopular. As an option, however, it was far more popular. And that led to perhaps a surprising split on stage with Biden, Klobuchar and South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg on one side (against Medicare for All as a replacement) versus Sanders and Warren, and it was mostly Sanders doing the defending. After all, he “wrote the damn bill,” which he reminded the audience again.

3. Will the candidates double down on positions unpopular with general-election voters?

Not so much. Many candidates were more careful than in prior debates not to go along with positions popular with the progressive base but unpopular with the general electorate. They were also much more gushing about the tenure of former President Barack Obama. They have up to this point largely ceded the pro-Obama turf to Biden, who has been leading in the polls, a reminder of how beloved the former president is within the party.

Here were the most unpopular candidate positions in the NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll from July and what happened with them in the debate Thursday night:

–A universal basic income of $1,000 a month to stave off the effects of automation — 27% good idea, 66% bad idea

This is an idea exclusive to entrepreneur Andrew Yang. When Yang offered to hold a competition to give money to 10 contestants, there was a dismissive laugh from California Sen. Kamala Harris and a side-eyed dismissal from Buttigieg.

–Providing reparations for slavery — 27%/62%

Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke forcefully said he was in favor of reparations, but his was the only mention of it in the debate. Previously, other candidates have essentially side-stepped the issue, mostly saying they’re in favor of commissions to study the subject.

–Decriminalizing illegal border crossings — 27%/66%

This was a flashpoint between former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro and O’Rourke in a previous debate, but it did not come up Thursday night. Castro touted that he would get a comprehensive immigration overhaul bill done in his first 100 days, and Warren noted that she wanted a “path to citizenship that is fair and achievable.” That position is much more popular – 64% said it was a good idea to provide a path to citizenship for people in the U.S. illegally.

–Health insurance for immigrants in the U.S. illegally — 33%/62%

This was another flashpoint in an earlier debate, but not Thursday. Instead, mentioned more often were Dreamers, people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Giving them citizenship is a far more popular policy issue than health insurance for those in the country illegally. Warren and O’Rourke did argue for Dreamers’ relatives to also get citizenship, but it’s not clear whether that’s popular with voters.

–Abolishing the death penalty — 36%/58%

This didn’t come up Thursday night. Criminal justice reform, yes, something President Trump has pursued. The death penalty – no.

–Medicare for All as a replacement to the current health care system — 41%/54%

This was the major subject of the night. Nothing creates a debate within the Democratic Party quite like health care. That’s because it routinely ranks as the top issue for Democrats, and their candidates have given it quite a bit of thought over the years. If the individual mandate was the health care debate point of the 2008 campaign between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, Medicare for All is this year’s.

And, as noted earlier, Sanders and Warren were left on their own to defend it, mostly from Biden, Klobuchar and Buttigieg. By the way, Medicare for All as an option, rather than replacement, is far more popular – 70% of Americans think it’s a good idea.

–What about guns?

Klobuchar noted that everyone on the stage is in favor of an assault-style weapons ban. That is a remarkable thing considering just how controversial it is in public debate, but the latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll found a ban fairly popular overall – 57% want Congress to pass it (but only a small minority of Republicans).

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1174333697_custom-726cafa555b559de075d2d3a7d08960169742412-s1100-c15 5 Questions Answered About The 3rd Democratic Debate

Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts raise their hands during the debate. Win McNamee/Getty Images hide caption

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Win McNamee/Getty Images

4. Do Sanders and Warren maintain their nonaggression pact?

Yes. Sanders and Warren did not go after each other, but notably Sanders was under fire from Biden and others, who used his professed democratic socialism as a foil, to paint Sanders and his policies as extreme.

That allowed Warren to use Sanders as something of a heat shield. Sanders seemed irked by it all. One wonders if Warren’s numbers continue to rise and pass Sanders by whether the détente shall hold.

5. What kind of chances do candidates needing a breakout take?

If prior debates saw candidates cautious in the kinds of chances they would take, Thursday night saw lower-polling candidates take more risks and throw more Hail Marys. Yang tried his competition stunt. Klobuchar went for broke in the moderate lane.

O’Rourke, who was in full reboot mode of his candidacy, said he is in favor of reparations for African Americans as recompense for slavery, called Trump a “white supremacist” and added, “Hell yes,” when asked whether he is going to take away assault-style weapons as president.

Castro forcefully went after Biden and took a big risk, accusing him of “forgetting” what he said earlier (four different times) — something that, to many, looked and sounded like an assault on the 76-year-old Biden’s mental acuity. Castro argued after the debate that he was right on the merits, but the approach left a sour taste for many who saw it.

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker said flatly that Trump is a “racist” and called for an office in the White House to deal with the problem of white supremacy and hate crimes.

So will any of that work? For what it’s worth, Klobuchar and Booker seemed to deliver good performances, and O’Rourke made a mark, standing out more than in the first two debates.

There doesn’t, however, seem to be much evidence from Thursday night’s debate to suggest that the shape of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination was altered in any fundamental fashion.

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Shootout mile from Democratic debate; suspect dead, officer seriously wounded

Westlake Legal Group crime-scene-iStock Shootout mile from Democratic debate; suspect dead, officer seriously wounded fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Edmund DeMarche article 2fd446d7-5dfa-5ced-bd36-fc7904d598c3

A Houston police officer was seriously wounded Thursday after being shot multiple times by one of four suspects who allegedly stole a car at gunpoint and later beat up a priest.

The shooting occurred about a mile south of the Democratic presidential debate at Texas Southern University in Houston. One of the debate’s key topics was gun control.

Chief Art Acevedo asked for prayers for the unidentified 29-year-old officer, who he said was in guarded condition. He said one of the suspects was shot and killed in the exchange of fire, two other men were in custody and police were searching for the fourth.

Acevedo said the chaotic evening of violence began about 9:56 p.m. Thursday with the carjacking, but the vehicle soon ran out of gas and the suspects fled.

Police believe the men then assaulted a priest and stole his cell phone. The firefight took place about 15 minutes later. At least one officer, potentially two, exchanged gunfire with the armed suspect. He was shot and killed, Fox 26 reported.

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The wounded police officer is a five-year veteran on the force. KHOU11 reported that he was shot three times and the bullets hit him just below the vest. He was awake and talking while he was rushed to Memorial Hermann Hospital.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group crime-scene-iStock Shootout mile from Democratic debate; suspect dead, officer seriously wounded fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Edmund DeMarche article 2fd446d7-5dfa-5ced-bd36-fc7904d598c3   Westlake Legal Group crime-scene-iStock Shootout mile from Democratic debate; suspect dead, officer seriously wounded fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Edmund DeMarche article 2fd446d7-5dfa-5ced-bd36-fc7904d598c3

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Cory Booker sides with Julián Castro on Biden attack: You do ‘wonder’ when Biden speaks…

Westlake Legal Group 73cca370-AP19160728038906 Cory Booker sides with Julián Castro on Biden attack: You do 'wonder' when Biden speaks... Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/julian-castro fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/cory-booker fox-news/media fox news fnc/politics fnc c1c6db1d-85c3-5e93-a614-bdc1ecce7926 article

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., expressed solidarity with former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro for his controversial attack against former Vice President and 2020 frontrunner Joe Biden.

“I think we are at a tough point right now, because there’s a lot of people concerned about Joe Biden’s ability to carry the ball all the way across the end line without fumbling,” Booker said when asked about Castro’s remarks following the debate. “And I think that Castro had really legitimate concerns about can he be someone in a long grueling campaign… and has every right to call out.”

“Do you think that Biden did a better job tonight?” CNN anchor Erin Burnett asked. “Do you think that he showed that he could take the ball over the line?”

“I think there were a lot of moments where a number of us were looking on the stage when he tends to go on sometimes,” Booker responded. “At one point, he was talking about communities like mine listening to record players. I don’t remember the last time I saw a record player… But there are definitely moments where you listen to Joe Biden and you just wonder…”

BIDEN MOCKED FOR ENCOURAGING KIDS TO LISTEN TO ‘THE RECORD PLAYER’ AT DEBATE

“Senator, are you saying that he’s just too old to be president?” CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash reacted.

“No, I’m definitely not saying that because I’ve listened to Joe Biden over the years and often felt like there were times that he is going on or meandering in his speech,” Booker said. “I want someone that can excite and energize and call us to a campaign like we saw back in ’08, in ’12 where we saw record turnouts and somebody that can speak to the fullness of the Democratic Party. If I believed Joe Biden was that person, I wouldn’t be sitting here.”

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During a fiery exchange, Castro took a shot at Biden’s memory, accusing him of contradicting himself about whether Americans would have to buy into a public health care option under his plan or if they would be automatically enrolled.

“I can’t believe that you said two minutes ago that they had to buy in, and now you’re saying they don’t have to buy in,” Castro said. “You’re forgetting that!”

Westlake Legal Group 73cca370-AP19160728038906 Cory Booker sides with Julián Castro on Biden attack: You do 'wonder' when Biden speaks... Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/julian-castro fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/cory-booker fox-news/media fox news fnc/politics fnc c1c6db1d-85c3-5e93-a614-bdc1ecce7926 article   Westlake Legal Group 73cca370-AP19160728038906 Cory Booker sides with Julián Castro on Biden attack: You do 'wonder' when Biden speaks... Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/julian-castro fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/cory-booker fox-news/media fox news fnc/politics fnc c1c6db1d-85c3-5e93-a614-bdc1ecce7926 article

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Billionaire Carl Icahn moving business from NY to Florida for lower taxes: report

Westlake Legal Group 021114_yw_ichan_640 Billionaire Carl Icahn moving business from NY to Florida for lower taxes: report fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/economy/taxes fox news fnc/us fnc Edmund DeMarche article 758abde6-1e50-57b0-95e1-c880bfa93819

Carl Icahn, the legendary investor, has told employees that he is moving his company from New York to Miami and a report said his decision to move is based on the Big Apple’s higher taxes.

Icahn, 83, whose net worth is about $20.4 billion, is set to move his home and business from the city due to the taxes, sources told Bloomberg. The report said that it is not uncommon for billionaires to settle in the state which is one of seven without a personal income tax. The report pointed to New York’s 8.82 percent rate.

President Trump’s 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts put a limit on federal deduction for state and local taxes, the report said.

The New York Post, which first reported on the upcoming move, reported that Icahn invited staffers to join him in Miami and offered a $50,000 “relocation benefit.” The paper reported that employees who want to stay in New York will be let go without severance. He has about 50 employees.  Half reportedly took the offer.

“After spending my entire career in New York, while I certainly do not wish to retire, I’ve decided that at this point in my life I’d like to enjoy a warmer climate and a more casual pace year-round,” he wrote to employees, according to the Post.

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Icahn served as a Trump adviser on corporate regulatory reform.

Westlake Legal Group 021114_yw_ichan_640 Billionaire Carl Icahn moving business from NY to Florida for lower taxes: report fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/economy/taxes fox news fnc/us fnc Edmund DeMarche article 758abde6-1e50-57b0-95e1-c880bfa93819   Westlake Legal Group 021114_yw_ichan_640 Billionaire Carl Icahn moving business from NY to Florida for lower taxes: report fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/economy/taxes fox news fnc/us fnc Edmund DeMarche article 758abde6-1e50-57b0-95e1-c880bfa93819

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Rob Smith: Dems pander for black votes – but only one candidate delivers for my community

Westlake Legal Group Sanders-Biden-AP Rob Smith: Dems pander for black votes – but only one candidate delivers for my community Rob Smith fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc d06d22f0-c14d-5ef2-849c-97fdbcac84bd article

The 10 Democratic presidential contenders debating Thursday night made condescending efforts to win black votes, with former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas saying he would support reparations for descendants of slaves, and other candidates acting as if the only issues of concern to African-Americans are racism and criminal justice reform.                                                                                                           

As a black American who proudly served in the U.S. Army and graduated from college, I know that members of my community are hardworking and ambitious – just like Americans of other races and ethnicities. But the Democratic candidates seemed unable to see black Americans as anything other than perpetual victims who need to be rescued.

Not surprisingly, the candidates vying to challenge President Trump in the 2020 election demonized him every chance they got. They ignored the fact that the president has signed into law the most comprehensive criminal justice reform bill in a generation – a long-sought goal in the black community.

DOUG SCHOEN: AT THIRD DEM DEBATE, ONE BIG WINNER AND TWO SURPRISE LOSERS

Former Vice President Joe Biden tried to one-up the president on the issue of cutting the prison population. “Nobody should be in jail for a non-violent crime,” Biden said in a surprising line. “When we were in the White House, we released 36,000 people from the federal prison system.”

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Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey pledged to create a White House office to battle white supremacy – yet another example of how the Democrats are wedded to the idea of making government bigger and bigger, raising taxes higher and higher, and spending more and more tax dollars as a way of solving every problem.

In contrast, President Trump understands the value of letting us all keep more of our own money to take care of our families and build better lives. He understands that the more money we’re forced to turn over to Uncle Sam, the more dependent we all become on the government programs that the Democrats are always seeking to expand.

Black voters – like all voters – want and deserve independence, not dependence on government.

On the economic front, the Democratic would-be presidents ignored the record low unemployment rate black Americans are enjoying in America’s booming economy, which is thriving thanks to the tax cuts and abolition of unneeded regulations by the Trump administration.

The strong, vibrant economy President Trump has created is good for all Americans – and is a dramatic contrast to the failed Big Government, high-tax policies the Democrats trotted out.

Black voters – like all voters – want and deserve independence, not dependence on government.

And while history has proven beyond doubt that the socialist policies embraced by Sen. Bernie Sanders and some of the other far-left candidates (though they deny they are socialists) have proven to be an abysmal failure around the world, the Democrats nevertheless held firm to their almost religious faith that government – rather than individual initiative – can solve all our problems.

Right off the bat, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota made a strong impression as a centrist candidate who was not on the far-far left fringe of the Democratic Party that Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth (“I have a plan”) Warren occupy.

During the health care portion of the debate, Kobuchar’s “he wrote it, but I read it” critique of Sanders and his pie-in-the-sky absurdly expensive “Medicare-for-all” legislation was a masterful moment.

Klobuchar spent most of the night drawing a strong distinction between her and the others on the stage and establishing herself as a serious alternative for voters who just aren’t gelling with the radical left extremist wing of the Democratic Party.

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Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Joaquin Castro wasn’t afraid to hit below the belt, mounting a devastating critique of former Vice President Joe Biden. At one point, Castro asked Biden: “Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago?” That was a clear shot at the 76-year-old Biden on the age issue.

If that wasn’t enough, Castro claimed he was “fulfilling the legacy of Barack Obama” more than Biden, embracing the nation’s only black president, who remains popular with most black voters. Biden has staked his claim for black support on his close working relationship with Obama when he served as Obama’s vice president for eight years.

It was disappointing that handouts and fear were all the Democrats could offer to black voters – and other voters as well.

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Here’s the question facing all voters in November 2020 – whoever the Democrats will nominate: Do we want a president who gives us the freedom to achieve the American Dream – as President Trump is doing so successfully – or do we want a bloated government bureaucracy to take a giant chunk of our paychecks and then “take care” of us in a patronizing, inefficient and ineffective way.

Thankfully, the racist and discriminatory policies that held down black Americans for hundreds of years are long gone. We can – and are – succeeding under the policies spearheaded by President Trump, who despite false Democratic attacks is proving to be the leader best able to deliver for Americans of all colors.

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Westlake Legal Group Sanders-Biden-AP Rob Smith: Dems pander for black votes – but only one candidate delivers for my community Rob Smith fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc d06d22f0-c14d-5ef2-849c-97fdbcac84bd article   Westlake Legal Group Sanders-Biden-AP Rob Smith: Dems pander for black votes – but only one candidate delivers for my community Rob Smith fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc d06d22f0-c14d-5ef2-849c-97fdbcac84bd article

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‘You’re a child,’ Texas state lawmaker tells Beto O’Rourke after Dem calls his Twitter message ‘a death threat’

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke responded late Thursday to what he claimed was a “death threat” from a Texas state lawmaker.

Briscoe Cain, a member of the Texas House of Representatives, had posted a Twitter message during Thursday’s Democratic debate in Houston, after O’Rourke said he planned to take away high-powered weapons from civilians if elected president.

“Hell yes, we’re gonna take your AR-15,” O’Rourke, a former congressman from El Paso, Texas, tweeted during the debate.

O’ROURKE’S DEBATE-STAGE VOW: ‘HELL YES, WE’RE GOING TO TAKE YOUR AR-15’

“My AR is ready for you Robert Francis,” Cain responded, using O’Rourke’s birth name.

Westlake Legal Group texas-state-rep ‘You’re a child,’ Texas state lawmaker tells Beto O’Rourke after Dem calls his Twitter message ‘a death threat’ fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox news fnc/politics fnc Dom Calicchio article 34c6725b-6311-5339-b8b6-037fc1889fbc

Texas state Rep. Briscoe Cain. (Facebook/Briscoe Cain)

At that point, O’Rourke made it clear he didn’t interpret Cain’s tweet to be a joke.

“This is a death threat, Representative,” O’Rourke wrote. “Clearly, you shouldn’t own an AR-15—and neither should anyone else.”

Cain replied: “You’re a child Robert Francis.”

Such weapons have become a topic of debate nationally after recent mass shootings – but particularly in Texas, where 22 people were fatally shot at a Walmart store in O’Rourke’s home city of El Paso on Aug. 3 and eight people were fatally shot by a suspect’s shooting spree in the Midland-Odessa area on Aug. 31.

O’Rourke, 46, served in Congress from January 2013 until earlier this year. He launched his 2020 presidential bid after generating national name recognition during a high-profile but failed U.S. Senate run against incumbent Ted Cruz, a Republican.

O’Rourke has argued for a mandatory buyback of assault weapons, among other gun control measures.

Cain, 34, is a Republican from Baytown who represents Texas’ 128th District, covering part of Harris County.

The website VoteSmart.org shows that Cain’s pro-Second Amendment votes this year have included support for allowing handguns at places of worship; allowing the storage and transportation of firearms in school parking areas; and authorizing law enforcement officers to carry weapons on school property.

Westlake Legal Group AP-Beto-ORourke ‘You’re a child,’ Texas state lawmaker tells Beto O’Rourke after Dem calls his Twitter message ‘a death threat’ fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox news fnc/politics fnc Dom Calicchio article 34c6725b-6311-5339-b8b6-037fc1889fbc

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke speaks during a candidates forum at the 110th NAACP National Convention in Detroit, July 24, 2019. (Associated Press)

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In March, Cain drew attention to a class assignment at a Texas school that he argued was trying to promote a teacher’s anti-Trump agenda.

In February, Cain was among a group of state lawmakers who proposed using state money to help build a U.S.-Mexico border wall amid stalled federal efforts.

Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this story.

Westlake Legal Group AP-Beto-ORourke ‘You’re a child,’ Texas state lawmaker tells Beto O’Rourke after Dem calls his Twitter message ‘a death threat’ fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox news fnc/politics fnc Dom Calicchio article 34c6725b-6311-5339-b8b6-037fc1889fbc   Westlake Legal Group AP-Beto-ORourke ‘You’re a child,’ Texas state lawmaker tells Beto O’Rourke after Dem calls his Twitter message ‘a death threat’ fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox news fnc/politics fnc Dom Calicchio article 34c6725b-6311-5339-b8b6-037fc1889fbc

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Kamala Harris slams ABC following debate: ‘Not one question about abortion or reproductive rights’

Westlake Legal Group Kamala-Harris Kamala Harris slams ABC following debate: 'Not one question about abortion or reproductive rights' Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/kamala-harris fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 1effaae0-6a26-5046-a80f-3acfd0c3adf4

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif, blasted ABC following the third Democratic debate on Thursday night for failing to ask any questions about abortion and reproductive rights.

“The #DemDebate was three hours long and not one question about abortion or reproductive rights,” Harris tweeted minutes after the debate ended.

ABC did not immediately respond to Fox News for comment.

KAMALA HARRIS COMPARES TRUMP TO ‘WIZARD OF OZ’ ON TRADE: ‘A REALLY SMALL DUDE

Harris wasn’t the only one critical of ABC. Her colleague, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., went after the network for partnering with “health care industry” advertisers while defending his signature Medicare-for-all legislation.

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“We need a health care system that guarantees health care to all people as every other major country does, not a system that provides $100 billion a year in profit for the drug companies and the insurance companies,” Sanders said. “And to tell you how absurd the system is, tonight on ABC, the health care industry will be advertising, telling you how bad Medicare-for-all is, because they want to protect their profits. That is absurd.”

ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos moved on to the next candidate as Sanders’ line earned some applause.

Westlake Legal Group Kamala-Harris Kamala Harris slams ABC following debate: 'Not one question about abortion or reproductive rights' Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/kamala-harris fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 1effaae0-6a26-5046-a80f-3acfd0c3adf4   Westlake Legal Group Kamala-Harris Kamala Harris slams ABC following debate: 'Not one question about abortion or reproductive rights' Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/kamala-harris fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 1effaae0-6a26-5046-a80f-3acfd0c3adf4

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