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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 7)

“It’s Going to Be Staggering, the Amount of Names”: As the Jeffrey Epstein Case Grows More Grotesque, Manhattan and DC Brace for Impact

Westlake Legal Group BY6cNdYR7qHYRtv4hDTt5nPdxbYb0fgKH81ufCRp2js “It’s Going to Be Staggering, the Amount of Names”: As the Jeffrey Epstein Case Grows More Grotesque, Manhattan and DC Brace for Impact r/politics

If they reveal Democrats, the base will drum them out of the Party.

If they reveal Republicans, not only will they not drum them out of the Party, they will get promotions to leadership, become future Presidential candidates, and become the heroes of Fox News.

If you support the GOP after this scenario, you are supporting child abuse; no excuses, no whataboutism, no more bullshit.

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Pelosi rips Trump bid to link Dems to ‘Squad,’ vows not to ‘waste our time on that’

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6060396637001_6060387640001-vs Pelosi rips Trump bid to link Dems to ‘Squad,’ vows not to ‘waste our time on that’ fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox news fnc/politics fnc article Alex Pappas 6b538ae2-f9d6-5ed5-8776-6f69e74d09ff

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pushed back hard Wednesday against President Trump’s efforts to cast New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s progressive “squad” as the face of her party, now that the fractious caucus has united to condemn the president’s racially charged tweets.

“Will all due respect, let’s not waste our time on that,” Pelosi said during a Capitol press conference when asked about the president’s efforts to tie Democrats to the progressive lawmakers.

Speaking of Trump, she said, “We are not having him set our agenda. We are setting our own agenda.”

OCASIO-CORTEZ GETS NEW 2020 CHALLENGER: A REPUBLICAN IMMIGRANT FROM JAMAICA

In recent days, the president and the Republican National Committee have made a concerted effort to tie the entire Democratic Party to freshman progressive lawmakers Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich, Ilhan Omar, D-Minn, and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass. This, after Democrats came to their defense over the president’s tweets saying they should “go back” to the countries they came from (despite all but Omar being from the United States) and then return to show everyone how to fix things.

Trump on Wednesday tweeted: “The ‘squad’ has moved the Democrat Party substantially LEFT, and they are destroying the Democrat Party.” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel drew attention to the lawmakers’ left-wing stances on issues, tweeting, “Listen to what we hear from the Squad: It’s abolish ICE, it’s calling law enforcement Nazis. It’s anti-American and anti-Semitic rhetoric.”

During the press conference, Pelosi dismissed Trump’s actions as a designed distraction.

“You have to give him credit, he’s a great distractor, that’s what this is about,” Pelosi said. “So let’s just take it to a better place: America.”

She also repeatedly cited the late Republican President Ronald Reagan in condemning Trump for his comments.

“He is denigrating all the newcomers who come to our country in complete opposition to the beautiful words of Ronald Reagan in the last speech he made to the country as president of the United States,” Pelosi said.

Last week, the four congresswomen had an ongoing public spat with Pelosi, which got heated after Ocasio-Cortez suggested that the speaker was “singling out” them because they were “women of color.” Pelosi previously dismissed their vocal opposition to the House’s approval for border funding.

Their feud, however, seemed to have evaporated on Sunday after Trump targeted them on Twitter, suggesting they should “go back” to the countries they came from despite three of the four congresswomen being born in the U.S. and all four of them being U.S. citizens.

Trump’s tweets on Tuesday were formally condemned by the Democratic-controlled House, resulting in a 240-187 vote.

But while Trump’s comments are still dominating headlines, Pelosi and the progressive lawmakers are still working through their issues.

During a sit down with “CBS This Morning” host Gayle King on Tuesday, Tlaib sent a warning message to Pelosi: “Acknowledge the fact that we are women of color, so when you do single us out, be aware of that and what you’re doing, especially because some of us are getting death threats, because some of us are being singled out because of our backgrounds, because of our experiences and so forth.”

King followed up with Ocasio-Cortez, asking if she was “interested in having a conversation” with Pelosi, which Ocasio-Cortez responded, “Absolutely.”

On Wednesday, Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said in a statement they “received a request from the Office of Rep. Ocasio-Cortez for a one-on-one meeting. We are working to … schedule this meeting.”

Pelosi, during Wednesday’s press conference, also signaled she isn’t embracing a renewed effort from Texas Rep. Al Green to launch a fresh bid to impeach Trump because of his comments about the progressive lawmakers, suggesting she wants any effort to come out of the already-established process on Capitol Hill.

“With all due respect in the world for him, we have six committees that are working on following the facts in terms of any abuse of power, obstruction of justice and the rest that the president may have engaged in,” she said. “That is the serious path that we’re on.”

Fox News’ Mike Emanuel and Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6060396637001_6060387640001-vs Pelosi rips Trump bid to link Dems to ‘Squad,’ vows not to ‘waste our time on that’ fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox news fnc/politics fnc article Alex Pappas 6b538ae2-f9d6-5ed5-8776-6f69e74d09ff   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6060396637001_6060387640001-vs Pelosi rips Trump bid to link Dems to ‘Squad,’ vows not to ‘waste our time on that’ fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox news fnc/politics fnc article Alex Pappas 6b538ae2-f9d6-5ed5-8776-6f69e74d09ff

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I used to work in US intelligence advising presidents on risk. The biggest threat to our country today is the Republican Party

Westlake Legal Group GNqtMyAbG6P92ya7unPYp-8jJizLXV8jZsuKC1oVtqM I used to work in US intelligence advising presidents on risk. The biggest threat to our country today is the Republican Party r/politics

This is not about the protection of past atrocious conduct. It’s the normalization of future atrocity on the way to martial law. Trump himself has no sense of strategy. Buthe people running the plays have a far larger budget, far longer time scale, and far more strategic approach than anything reactionaries on the internet can muster.

You can’t solve this by dropping down to the local WalMart to arm yourself.The Russian playbook says not to allow armed insurrectionists to come up against the regulars of your volunteer army. Trump’s racism is probably aimed at the NRA-TV fans. Especially the onesCambridge Analytica alumni think are most likely to side with the Russians in hunting down any resistance.

If we cannot get actual Republicans to stand up for America, then we live in a puppet state of Russia. Racism is more forgiveable than what these people are really up to.

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Dodge Challenger cop car adds muscle to the Florida Highway Patrol fleet

The Florida Highway Patrol has a challenge for would-be speeders.

Westlake Legal Group fhp-12 Dodge Challenger cop car adds muscle to the Florida Highway Patrol fleet Gary Gastelu fox-news/auto/make/dodge fox-news/auto/attributes/performance fox-news/auto/attributes/custom fox news fnc/auto fnc article 1078da69-dbcf-5051-ac40-1769b8305546

Well, a Challenger.

The agency’s Troop G in Jacksonville has added the Dodge muscle car to its fleet.

“As you can see, we take aggressive driving seriously! Please slow down, buckle up, reduce distractions. We are watching,” the FHP advised in a tweet accompanying a photo of the new car.

The model is a high performance Challenger R/T with a 375 hp 5.7-liter V8 that’s been painted in the patrol’s signature black and tan colors and equipped with hidden emergency lights that preserve its sporty profile.

Westlake Legal Group fhp-chargers Dodge Challenger cop car adds muscle to the Florida Highway Patrol fleet Gary Gastelu fox-news/auto/make/dodge fox-news/auto/attributes/performance fox-news/auto/attributes/custom fox news fnc/auto fnc article 1078da69-dbcf-5051-ac40-1769b8305546

The Charger sedan is a mainstay of the FHP fleet. (Florida Highway Patrol)

The troop left the stylish, high performance rims and tires on it, rather than swapping them for a set of the steel wheels that the Chargers in the fleet use, and added a 360-degree camera system, police radio and laptop computer.

The two-door doesn’t have a cage, but Sgt. Dylan Bryan says baddies could end up getting a ride to the station in the passenger seat, as long as they’re not potentially dangerous.

The coupe has also been submitted as the FHP’s entry in the American Association of State Troopers’ 2019 Best Looking Cruiser Contest.

Of course, there are a plenty of cars that can outrun it, including the 797 hp Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye, but that’s what backup is for.

FOLLOW FOX NEWS AUTOS ON FACEBOOK FOR MORE

Westlake Legal Group fhp-12 Dodge Challenger cop car adds muscle to the Florida Highway Patrol fleet Gary Gastelu fox-news/auto/make/dodge fox-news/auto/attributes/performance fox-news/auto/attributes/custom fox news fnc/auto fnc article 1078da69-dbcf-5051-ac40-1769b8305546   Westlake Legal Group fhp-12 Dodge Challenger cop car adds muscle to the Florida Highway Patrol fleet Gary Gastelu fox-news/auto/make/dodge fox-news/auto/attributes/performance fox-news/auto/attributes/custom fox news fnc/auto fnc article 1078da69-dbcf-5051-ac40-1769b8305546

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A Key Piece of Obamacare Finds an Unlikely Foe: House Democrats

Westlake Legal Group 17dc-healthcare-facebookJumbo A Key Piece of Obamacare Finds an Unlikely Foe: House Democrats United States Politics and Government Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2010) Organized Labor Health Insurance and Managed Care Federal Budget (US)

WASHINGTON — In the heat of the legislative fight over the Affordable Care Act, officials in the Obama administration argued that a steep tax on high-cost, generous health insurance plans would hold down soaring health care costs by persuading more Americans to use the health care system only when necessary.

Democrats swallowed hard and included the Cadillac tax in the landmark health law.

On Wednesday, that central feature of Obamacare is expected to be dealt a blow by an unlikely foe: House Democrats.

The House will vote on whether to repeal the tax, not only a key cost-containment provision in Barack Obama’s signature health law but also one of the main ways it was to pay for itself. Unions have never liked it, nor have business groups and Republicans.

So with neither party showing much concern for the government’s rising tide of red ink, the House will move to permanently block the tax from taking effect — and balloon deficits by $168 billion over the next decade. Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the chairman of the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee, has suggested that the Senate could follow suit.

“We are re-entering an era of trillion-dollar deficits, and Congress is considering yet another massive tax cut — it appears there is no end to this madness,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. “The Cadillac tax is one of the most important tools we have to control health care cost growth in the private sector. Repealing it will drive up health care costs while adding more than $1.2 trillion to the debt over the next two decades.”

The tax is supposed to take effect in 2022, after being delayed twice. But a broad bipartisan vote in the House would increase the likelihood that it never does. Since President Trump took office, the health law has suffered repeated blows. Mr. Trump’s tax cut eliminated the financial penalty for Americans who decline to get health coverage, and a lawsuit backed by the Trump administration is seeking to declare Obamacare’s requirement that most people have insurance — and possibly the whole law — unconstitutional.

The Trump administration has instituted regulations to undermine the law, for example expanding the sale of “short-term” health insurance policies that do not have to cover pre-existing medical conditions or other health benefits deemed by the law as “essential,” such as emergency services and prescription drugs. And the White House has slashed funding to promote Obamacare sign-ups and for “navigators” who are supposed to held consumers enroll.

In seeking to get rid of the tax, the Democrats appear in one sense to be joining the slow dismantlement — or at least undermining their own argument that the embattled health law will save taxpayers more than it costs them over the long run while holding down health spending broadly.

But that appears to be less of a concern than complaints from some of the Democrats’ key supporters, who say the Cadillac tax would hurt middle-class workers. The bill’s sponsor, Representative Joe Courtney of Connecticut, titled it the “Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act” and recruited 367 co-sponsors, including 200 Democrats.

Even some liberal economists, backed by the unions, are urging repeal. The Economic Policy Institute, a liberal research group, argued ahead of the vote on Wednesday that health care costs are already decelerating, so the tax is unnecessary both to pay for the health law and to further slow down health cost increases.

“To put it simply, the tax aims to reduce patients’ utilization of health care. But the glaring problem of U.S. health costs is not excess utilization; instead it is high and rising prices for health care,” wrote Thea M. Lee, president of the institute and a former leader of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., and the economist Josh Bivens. “Smart cost containment policy should address these prices, not seek to ratchet down how much care patients seek.”

With so many supporters, Mr. Courtney secured a vote on the House’s fast-track calendar, which requires two-thirds of the House to vote for passage but also allows the bill to bypass rules that would require the cost to be offset by spending cuts or tax increases elsewhere.

The party’s support for the repeal is not new: Hillary Clinton called for repealing the tax during her 2016 presidential campaign, as did Senator Bernie Sanders.

Repealing the 40 percent excise tax on generous employer-sponsored health plans would increase projected federal deficits considerably, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, and so far there is no plan for replacing the lost revenue. Health economists, who have generally been the biggest supporters of the tax, see it as an important way to contain rising health care costs, contending that generous health benefits encourage people to get more medical care than they need.

Paul N. Van de Water, a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal research center, described the tax as “one of the A.C.A.’s most important cost-containment measures,” and said that by curbing the growth of health insurance costs, it could have the effect of allowing for more wage increases.

“Unfortunately a lot of what Congress has been doing in recent years seems to be ignoring the budgetary consequences,” he said. “The general question is, what’s the overall deficit picture? The answer is, it’s not as good as it should be and we shouldn’t be making it worse.”

But for Democrats, a key constituency is demanding repeal — organized labor. For decades, unions found it easier to bargain for richer benefits than higher wages, producing labor-sponsored health plans that now could face the tax.

On Monday, the A.F.L.-C.I.O., which represents more than 12 million workers, sent a letter to House members saying the tax was “driving employers to hollow out the health care benefits they provide, making medical care less affordable and creating serious access barriers for millions of workers.”

The letter, written by William Samuel, the union’s director of government affairs, warned that workers would face increasing out-of-pocket costs as their employers reduced benefits to avoid being subject to the tax. It also questioned the premise, used in projections of the tax’s budgetary impact, that employers would increase wages after the tax compelled them to reduce benefits.

“Even when workers are represented by union negotiators,” Mr. Samuel wrote, “losses in health care coverage do not result in commensurate higher earnings for workers.”

Senator Martin Heinrich, Democrat of New Mexico, is sponsoring a companion bill in the Senate, which already has 42 co-sponsors, including 21 from each party. Heather Meade, a spokeswoman for the Alliance to Fight the 40, a coalition of corporations, unions, local governments and others that formed in 2015 to fight the tax, said its members remained optimistic that the Senate would vote before the end of the year.

“It is probably the most bipartisan stand-alone vote that we have seen in 2019,” she said of the House vote. “So we think that will send a really strong message to the Senate. A bipartisan win that both sides can take home.”

She said the coalition has been making the case that fear of the tax has been driving employers to already make their health plans less generous, and has played a major role in the steady rise in deductibles that workers have faced in recent years.

Critics of the tax have also emphasized that it would not just affect the wealthiest workers with the most gold-plated health plans, a point backed by a recent analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The analysis estimated that the Cadillac tax would affect 21 percent of employers that offer health benefits when it takes effect in 2022, unless employers change their health plans, rising to 37 percent in 2030. In 2022, the health plans costing more than $11,200 for an individual worker’s coverage and $30,100 for family coverage would trigger the tax, according to the analysis.

“It is likely many such employers would modify their plans to avoid the tax — for example, offering lower-cost plans, raising deductibles or otherwise shifting costs to workers to avoid the threshold,” the authors of the analysis wrote.

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European Union Probes Amazon As Scrutiny Over Tech Giants Grows

Westlake Legal Group 5d2f63792600005000044b6a European Union Probes Amazon As Scrutiny Over Tech Giants Grows

BRUSSELS (AP) — While the U.S. Congress talks about reining in big tech companies, Europe is taking action.

The European Union said Wednesday it is investigating whether Amazon uses data from independent retailers to gain an unfair advantage, a decision that could lead to changes in how the internet’s biggest marketplace works.

The move echoes similar antitrust actions against Google and Microsoft that have led to billions in fines. It also contrasts with U.S. lawmakers’ slower approach to the issue, as they start discussing how to keep in check the growing power of the tech industry’s titans.

The EU’s antitrust chief, Margrethe Vestager, said she’s taking a “very close look at Amazon’s business practices and its dual role as marketplace and retailer.”

In addition to selling its own products, Amazon allows third-party retailers to sell their goods through its site. Last year, more than half of the items sold on Amazon worldwide were from third-party sellers.

In doing so, Amazon collects data about activity on its platform that, the EU says, it might be able to use to favor its own products for sale. In particular, the EU will look at how Amazon determines which trader is selected as the default seller of an item that a customer wants to buy.

The EU opened a preliminary probe into the issue last year, and Vestager said it has shown that “Amazon appears to use competitively sensitive information – about marketplace sellers, their products and transactions on the marketplace.”

The investigation could lead to fines and eventually cause Amazon to change the way it works. Previous EU antitrust cases have resulted in such change, though it is unclear how big their ultimate impact has been in addressing the EU’s concerns. For example, Google had to tweak the display of search results, which the EU had said favored Google goods and services.

Amazon said it “will cooperate fully with the European Commission and continue working hard to support businesses of all sizes and help them grow.”

In a parallel but separate case, Germany’s competition regulator said Wednesday that Amazon was changing some of its business conditions for traders on its online marketplace worldwide after the regulator raised concerns about some terms. The case is not like the EU’s probe about data on traders, but about contractual terms such as a one-sided exemption from liability to Amazon’s benefit as well as the place of jurisdiction for disputes.

Other EU countries like Austria, Luxembourg and Italy are also independently investigating Amazon but EU spokeswoman Lucia Caudet said the national probes did not overlap with the EU investigation.

The EU’s investigations into major companies like Amazon have led the way in a global push to more tightly regulate tech giants, as many governments wonder if they are becoming too big for the good of the wider economy.

Among the key questions are not only whether the tech giants abuse their market dominance to choke off competition, potentially stifling choice for consumers and innovation, but also whether they are adequately protecting users’ data and paying their fair share of taxes in countries where they operate.

U.S. authorities have started to follow Europe’s lead in taking a closer look at the big tech companies, particularly after the scandal in which Facebook was found to have allowed data on millions of people to be used by other companies, including to try to influence the 2016 election that made Donald Trump the new U.S. president. According to published reports, U.S. regulators are poised to fine Facebook $5 billion for that scandal, but the wider debate of reining in tech companies’ powers has only just begun.

The House Judiciary Committee in the U.S. is investigating the market power of Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple. Congress is this week holding a two-day hearing on Facebook’s plan to create a digital currency, Libra, which governments in the U.S. and Europe have been skeptical about.

In Europe, one of the big questions is how to tax these companies, which do huge business across the continent but pay taxes only in the EU nation where their local headquarters are based, often a low-tax haven like Luxembourg or the Netherlands. The result is they pay a far lower tax rate than traditional businesses.

France has tried to address the problem by unilaterally proposing a 3% tax on big tech companies’ revenue in the country. The U.S. government is not happy about that and finance ministers from the Group of Seven wealthy countries are discussing the issue this week in Paris.

Ursula von der Leyen, the newly appointed EU Commission President who should take up her role in November, has said the issue will be a priority for her.

The tax issue has brought Amazon into the EU’s crosshairs before. Two years ago, officials ordered it to pay $295 million in back taxes to Luxembourg after finding that the company profited from a tax avoidance deal with the tiny European country.

Piovano reported from London. Geir Moulson in Berlin contributed to this report.

Follow AP’s technology coverage at: https://apnews.com/apf-technology

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Tiny fighting worms make one of the loudest sounds in the ocean

Tiny, feisty worms that live off the coast of Japan fight by headbutting each other — and they aren’t quiet about it. During these feuds, the worms emit one of the loudest sounds in the ocean, according to a new study.

The source of the underwater hullabaloo is a nearly transparent segmented worm called the Leocratides kimuraorum, which lives inside sponges 279 to 554 feet (85 to 169 meters) deep off the coast of Japan. [The 12 Weirdest Animal Discoveries]

These wigglies are just a tad more than an inch (29 millimeters) long and have lengthy tentacles and a big mouth (literally). These seemingly quiet creatures revealed their true nature under the spotlight in the lab. A group of researchers used an instrument called a hydrophone to record 15 pops that were emitted from three kimuraorums as they were fighting.

In a marine feud researchers dub “mouth-fighting,” the worms approached each other headfirst with their mouths open. During such encounters, the worms’ pharynx muscles expand rapidly, creating a cavitation bubble that collapses and produces a loud “pop” while the worms launch into each other.

The researchers found that these pops can reach 157 decibels in the water (which is a different measurement than decibels in the air). From right next to the water tank, the pops sounded like humans snapping their fingers, lead author Goto Ryutaro, an assitant professor at Kyoto University told Live Science. “Though they probably sound louder if you hear them in the water.”

The worms are as loud as snapping shrimps, which are one of the biggest noisemakers in the ocean, the authors wrote. What’s more, they found that these worms did not make any noise when simply disturbed, they only did so when they were fighting.

They “may use mouth-fighting to defend territory or living chambers from other worms,” the authors wrote July 8 in the journal Current Biology. “A loud pop may be a byproduct of the rapid mouth attack, but it may also aid intraspecific communication.” A loud noise could somehow determine the victor of the fight or even reveal the whereabouts of nearby worms, they wrote.

Originally published on Live Science.

Westlake Legal Group neolithic-worm Tiny fighting worms make one of the loudest sounds in the ocean Yasemin Saplakoglu Staff Writer LiveScience fox-news/science/planet-earth/oceans fnc/science fnc article 47eb9d04-aba2-51b2-92f5-3f89c818b661   Westlake Legal Group neolithic-worm Tiny fighting worms make one of the loudest sounds in the ocean Yasemin Saplakoglu Staff Writer LiveScience fox-news/science/planet-earth/oceans fnc/science fnc article 47eb9d04-aba2-51b2-92f5-3f89c818b661

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Rand Paul blocks Senate vote on 9/11 victim compensation fund

Westlake Legal Group vcl8CpoyGKXG2pNXnf6eaL_yjbPqI_T03wRUu0GZ0Ec Rand Paul blocks Senate vote on 9/11 victim compensation fund r/politics

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'I love the tweet': Eric Trump says 95% of Americans agree with his dad's message to love US or leave

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close 'I love the tweet': Eric Trump says 95% of Americans agree with his dad's message to love US or leave

President Donald Trump dug in Tuesday on his comments directed at four progressive Democratic congresswomen of color, insisting they can “go wherever they want or they can stay,” adding, “They shouldn’t hate our country.” AP, AP

WASHINGTON – Eric Trump expressed strong support on Wednesday for his father’s tweets telling minority Democratic congresswomen to “go back” to their countries of origin and fix the problems there before complaining about issues in the United States. 

“I love the tweet,” President Donald Trump’s son said during a Fox News interview. “If you don’t love our country, get out, leave.”

“If you complain about our country” you should “go experience somewhere else in the world,” he said. “I’m telling you, 95% of the country is behind him in this message. People love this nation.”

A USA TODAY/Ipsos poll found support for the president’s remarks was far lower than his son’s estimate. Sixt-eight percent of respondents found the tweets offensive, although 57% of Republicans said they agreed with the president’s message. Thirty percent said they agreed that people who criticize the U.S. are “un-American.” 

Overall, 59% called the president’s tweets “un-American.”

The president’s tweets were aimed at a group of four liberal House members known as “The Squad“: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. On Tuesday, the House passed a resolution condemning the president’s remarks as racist. 

Analysis: Tweet, outrage, double-down: Will the furor over Trump’s tweets be any different?

This is what racism looks like’: ‘Congresswomen react to Trump’s ‘go back’ tweetstorm

[embedded content]

Eric Trump called the four congresswomen “an absolute clown show” and “the most hate-filled group I’ve ever seen before.” 

“They’re letting ICE offices get stormed, and have the American flag ripped down and have the Mexican flag put up. They say anti-Semitic things every single day,” said the president’s son.

The four lawmakers have been highly critical of the Trump administration’s immigration policies, have called for the abolition of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and have referred to migrant detention centers as concentration camps, but it was unclear why Eric Trump believed they were behind recent protests at ICE facilities

More: House overwhelmingly passes resolution condemning hate after Rep. Ilhan Omar’s comments

More: Conservatives bash Ilhan Omar for reference to 9/11 as ‘something’ that ‘some people did’

He dismissed the cries of racism in response to his father’s tweets as “name-calling.” And he accused the four congresswomen of labeling all their opponents as racist as a political tactic. 

But he said it was “not going to work when you have the greatest economy that’s ever existed in the U.S.” 

“People are doing awesome. America is doing awesome,” he said. 

“Fox & Friends” host Brian Kilmeade pointed out that the president had lost support among independents. 

“You know how phony all of these polls are,” Eric Trump replied, before claiming that his father’s poll numbers “have never been better.” 

“His polls right now were better than Obama at the exact same time, His polls right now were better than Bush at the exact same time. He’s killing it in the polls,” he said. 

Trump did not specify which polls he was referring to, but President Barack Obama’s RealClearPolitics average approval rating was actually slightly higher than Trump’s at this point in his first term, hovering around 46% compared to Trump’s 44.6%. And President George W. Bush’s average approval rating was much higher in mid-July of his third year in office at about 57%.

Contributing: Susan Page

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Harris rides the wave in California

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6059004818001_6059014976001-vs Harris rides the wave in California fox-news/columns/fox-news-halftime-report fox news fnc/politics fnc Chris Stirewalt article 63be21a0-4f0d-554f-aa0f-619e34703016

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On the roster: Harris rides the wave in California – Time Out: Now we know beans  Dem fundraising juggernaut raked in $246 million – House wreckers – Cruel, unusual

HARRIS RIDES THE WAVE IN CALIFORNIA 
Quinnipiac University: “Native daughter Kamala Harris comes from behind to win the support of 23 percent of California Democrats and voters leaning Democratic, with 21 percent for former Vice President Joe Biden, leaving the Democratic primary too close to call, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll released today. Also in the running are Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders with 18 percent and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts with 16 percent. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has 3 percent and entrepreneur Andrew Yang has 2 percent. There are four Democratic contenders with 1 percent and 15 candidates scoring less than 1 percent. … Looking today at candidates’ qualities, California Democrats say: 26 percent that Biden would be the best leader, with 18 percent for Harris, 17 percent for Sanders and 14 percent for Warren; 28 percent that Warren has the best policy ideas, with 20 percent for Sanders, 11 percent for Biden and 9 percent for Harris…”

Bullock makes the cut for second round of debates – Politico: “The field is set for the second round of Democratic primary debates — and a number of candidates will go onstage knowing it could be their last. Twenty candidates have qualified for two nights of debates in Detroit on July 30-31, according to a POLITICO analysis — including Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, who missed the first debates in June but vaulted onto the stage after Rep. Eric Swalwell’s campaign ended… POLITICO projects these 20 candidates will appear in the Detroit debates: Michael Bennet, Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Bullock, Pete Buttigieg, Julián CastroBill de BlasioJohn DelaneyTulsi GabbardKirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, John HickenlooperJay InsleeAmy KlobucharBeto O’RourkeTim Ryan, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang.”

Biden campaign paid for coaching after tanking first debate – WashEx: “The day after Joe Biden tanked in the first round of Democratic presidential debates, his campaign hired a prominent speech coach for the 36-year senator and 8-year vice president. Records from the Biden’s second-quarter Federal Election Commission filing show his campaign paid Washington, D.C.-based Sheehan Associates $5,300 for ‘strategic consulting’ on June 28. The night before Biden was put on the defensive in the first round of Democratic debates by California Sen. Kamala Harris… Michael Sheehan, the principal of the firm, has coached both Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, as well as numerous vice presidents, first ladies, members of Congress, and governors.”

Steyer defends wealth – The Guardian: “Tom Steyer entered the Democratic primary with a singular advantage: the largest fortune of any 2020 candidate. It could also be his biggest liability. Reflecting on the ethics of a billionaire candidate at a time when growing inequality is a key election issue, the former hedge fund manager and Democratic party mega-donor offered up an unusual defense: Queen Bey. ‘Should we put a limit on what Beyoncé makes? I don’t see why,’ Steyer told the Guardian by phone. ‘I don’t think in the United States of America, we should put a ceiling on how far people can go.’ Steyer transitioned to a critique of communism and the argument that ‘at the heart of every great fortune is a crime…’”

AARP warns 2020 presidential candidates about ignoring older voters – Fox Business: “While a lot of emphasis is focused on attracting young voters during election cycles – 2020 candidates might want to turn more attention toward an older demographic: Baby Boomers. Americans age 65 and over are expected to make up about 23 percent of the electorate in 2020, according to research from The Pew Research Center. That is their largest share since at least 1970. And while Generation Z will make up one-in-ten eligible voters, researchers noted that – based on historical trends – older Americans are more likely to turn out to vote, which means that older generations could end up accounting for a larger share of actual voters than their share of the electorate. AARP chief advocacy and engagement officer Nancy LeaMond told FOX Business it would be unwise for candidates to ignore older Americans – and their top concerns.”

THE RULEBOOK: BEAT THE BOSS TO BE THE BOSS   
“The steady operations of war against a regular and disciplined army can only be successfully conducted by a force of the same kind. Considerations of economy, not less than of stability and vigor, confirm this position.” – Alexander HamiltonFederalist No. 25

TIME OUT: NOW WE KNOW BEANS 
Smithsonian: “Of all the great debates … few have been more polarizing than chocolate versus vanilla. Those of us aligned with chocolate—the product of ground, roasted cacao beans—find it warm, comforting, ambrosial, and generally dismiss all things unchocolate as ‘vanilla,’ meaning bland and boring. Those who prefer vanilla, a climbing orchid that bears long podlike fruit, praise its aromatic sweetness and note that it enhances the flavor of chocolate, which unembellished would be dull and kind of flat—in short, vanilla. The one aspect of the chocolate-and-vanilla divide that has seldom been disputed is the question of provenance. But over the last year two new studies have radically rejiggered the origin stories of both. On the chocolate front, the earliest chemical evidence of cacao use has been pushed about 1,400 years further into the past and about 2,000 miles south. For vanilla’s part, researchers now believe that the beans were not only used by humans more than two millennia earlier than previously thought, but an entire ocean away.”

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SCOREBOARD
Trump job performance
Average approval
: 44.2 percent
Average disapproval: 51.2 percent
Net Score: -7 points
Change from one week ago: up 0.4 points 
[Average includes: NBC News/WSJ: 45% approve – 52% disapprove; ABC News/WaPo: 47% approve – 50% disapprove; CNN: 45% approve – 51% disapprove; Gallup: 41% approve – 54% disapprove; IBD: 43% approve – 49% disapprove.]

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DEM FUNDRAISING JUGGERNAUT RAKED IN $246 MILLION 
Politico: “Democratic campaigns and organizations are riding high off support from small donors. ActBlue, the online fundraising platform used by most Democratic candidates and outside groups, announced that 3.3 million donors contributed $420 million through the platform in the first six months of the year. ActBlue’s first filing of the year with the Federal Election Commission, which covers the same time period, is due at the end of the month. The group said $246 million came through ActBlue during the second quarter of 2019. Nearly 8,700 campaigns, committees and organizations use the platform, and 1.1 million donors gave via ActBlue in the final 10 days of the second quarter alone. The numbers demonstrate the incredible growth of online fundraising in recent years, especially among Democrats. The party broke fundraising records in 2017 in response to President Donald Trump‘s inauguration…”

Kraushaar: Fundraising takeaways – National Journal: “Democrats have good reason to cheer their congressional candidates’ second-quarter fundraising figures. … But Republicans also picked up their fundraising levels from last year’s midterms. Five GOP senators facing competitive reelections raised more than $2 million in the quarter. Two highly touted House GOP recruits hit the half-million-dollar mark, an impressive tally for first-time challengers. On the leadership front, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise both outraised Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Here are five other clues the numbers can give us into the trajectory of the 2020 congressional campaigns: 1. Several Democratic Senate recruits still have to prove their strength. … 2. Targeted House Democrats continue to bring in big bucks. … 3. Texas Republicans pick up the pace. … 4. Stage set for Mike Pompeo in Kansas. … 5. Scandal-plagued Republicans in desperate territory.”

Bwhahahah – NY Post: “The Big Apple showered Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg — the mayor of tiny South Bend, Indiana — with $2.35 million in donations during the past three months, Buttigieg’s campaign revealed Tuesday. The haul is more than twice the $1.1 million that Mayor Bill de Blasio raised in total — nationwide — since launching his own White House bid in May. Buttigieg also humiliated de Blasio in his own back yard by collecting contributions from 14,000 city residents, more than twice de Blasio’s total 6,700 donors. … Buttigieg’s local supporters include such quintessential Gothamites as longtime Vogue editor Anna Wintour, media tycoon Barry Diller and financier Bill Ackman, who each made maximum contributions of $2,800, with Ackman doubling down for both the primary and general elections.”

HOUSE WRECKERS 
Roll Call: “A day after Rep. Emanuel Cleaver abandoned his post presiding over House proceedings in frustration over bickering between Republicans and Democrats, the Missouri Democrat urged lawmakers and the American people to ignore President Donald Trump’s online antics as he ‘tweets away his presidency.’ ‘We can’t continue to react to this,’ Cleaver said Wednesday on CNN’s ‘New Day’ about the chaos that ensued as Democrats tried to hold a vote to condemn racist tweets the president posted over the weekend attacking four minority female congresswomen. … On Tuesday, the House eventually voted, 240-187, to approve a nonbinding resolution that that ‘strongly’ condemned Trump’s ‘racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.’ In the end, four Republicans — Susan W. Brooks of Indiana, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Will Hurd of Texas and Fred Upton of Michigan — and independent Justin Amash of Michigan … voted with all 235 Democrats in favor of the resolution.”

Trump’s tweets drive wedge between campaign and critical voters – WashEx: “President Trump’s incendiary claims that his Democratic critics in Congress are un-American are driving a deep wedge between his 2020 campaign and critical elements of the coalition he needs to secure a second term. Suburban women and college-educated whites sidelined doubts about Trump and provided support crucial to his victory over Hillary Clinton. But many, fed up with the president’s antics and rhetoric, defected to the Democratic Party in midterm elections two years later. Senior Republican strategists are warning that Trump’s divisive attacks on the four female minority congressional Democrats could permanently exile these key voting blocs, costing the president reelection. ‘Republicans want this election to be about the economy and judges. If it’s about Trump’s tweets and temperament, it’s likely that Democrats will have an enthusiasm advantage,’ said Alex Conant, a GOP operative who has advised presidential candidates.”

Squad goals: Trump’s attacks foreshadow 2020 – NYT: “With three days of attacks on four liberal, minority first-term congresswomen, President Trump and the Republicans have sent the clearest signal yet that their approach to 2020 will be a racially divisive reprise of the strategy that helped Mr. Trump narrowly capture the White House in 2016. It is the kind of fight that the president relishes. He has told aides, in fact, that he is pleased with the Democratic reaction to his attacks, boasting that he is ‘marrying’ the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Party to the four congresswomen known as ‘the squad.’ His efforts to stoke similar cultural and racial resentments during the 2018 midterm elections with fears of marauding immigrant caravans backfired as his party lost control of the House. But he is undeterred heading into his re-election campaign, betting that he can cast the entire Democratic Party as radical and un-American.

PLAY-BY-PLAY
R.I.P. John Paul Stevens – NYT

Ocasio-Cortez gets new 2020 challenger: a Republican immigrant from Jamaica – Fox News

AUDIBLE: GOT IT?
“You got to be against Yucca Mountain and you gotta say Nevada right.” – Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., giving advice to presidential candidates who visit her state per the WSJ.

FROM THE BLEACHERS
“The Democrats in Congress missed a great opportunity to chastise the president, bring Republicans to their side, and take a giant leap for civil discourse. Trump’s remarks deserved condemnation; they were not the occasionally-well-intentioned ‘love it or leave it’ phrase. Some congressmen’s misrepresentation of facts deserved to be challenged, but Mr. Trump went beyond that to claim they hated our country. While such I-know-your-heart attacks are common, they are still wrong. But the resolution hid the president’s misbehavior by making the dubious claim of racism – this was easily dismissed as partisan trash. What a disappointment to read the excellent phrases about our immigrants love for our United States in the first part of the resolution to see the effort destroyed in its accusations. Thank you for your civil discourse!” – Tom Parks, Rogers, Ark.

[Ed. note: But your premise assumes, Mr. Parks, that the aim was persuasion. That was pure base boosting alloyed by just a pinch of sticking to the other side. That whole fracas – allegations or dispatriotism, racism, corruption and worse – is how we let politicians behave these days.]

“You said [in Monday’s Halftime Report that] Trump attacked persons elected to the branch superior to his. That is incorrect. Legislative, executive, and judicial branches are co-equal, no? I realize Congress is upstream of the president in the sense that it passes the laws he is responsible for enforcing, but still, ‘co-equal’ is the term I’ve always heard used to describe the relative standing of the three branches. I might be wrong, though, and if I am, I would be grateful for instruction. Think you do a great job.” – Thaddeus Perry, Fishers, Ind.

[Ed. note: Great question, Mr. Perry! Certainly there are those who agree with the concept of “co-equal branches,” but that’s not how the Constitution reads. The charter goes in order: Legislative, executive and judicial. Congress is given the most significant powers – especially the power to declare war and to tax – and while Congress has the power to remove officials from the other branches, the other branches can do nothing similar to Congress. Certainly, the judicial branch is the weakest. It relies on the legislative branch for its money and the executive branch to enforce its edicts. America has been slouching toward excessive executive power since at least the Wilson administration because it’s just easier. Americans have gotten to be extraordinarily lazy guardians of their own liberty and the pitiful decrepitude of Congress is probably the greatest evidence.]

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CRUEL, UNUSUAL 
AP: “Officials in West Palm Beach are hoping a continuous loop of children’s songs played throughout the night will keep homeless people from sleeping on the patio of a city-owned rental banquet facility. West Palm Beach parks and recreation director Leah Rockwell tells the Palm Beach Post they’re trying to discourage people from sleeping outside the glass-walled Waterfront Lake Pavilion, which she says rakes in some $240,000 annually from events. The loop of ‘Baby Shark’ and ‘Raining Tacos’ is a temporary fix to keep homeless people off the patio. Rockwell says the city wants to formalize hours for the facility, which should make trespassing laws easier to enforce. Illaya Champion tells the Post ‘it’s wrong’ to chase people away with music. He says he’ll still sleep there, but ‘it’s on and on, the same songs.’”

AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“A broad national consensus is developing that health care is indeed a right. This is historically new. And it carries immense implications for the future. It suggests that we may be heading inexorably to a government-run, single-payer system.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in the Washington Post on March 30, 2017.

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

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