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Westlake Legal Group > News Releases (Page 103)

Why America’s 1-Percenters Are Richer Than Europe’s

Westlake Legal Group rtxarix-7ef6865e1e25607e0f3b8ce49370508f626ef3fa-s1100-c15 Why America's 1-Percenters Are Richer Than Europe's

Over the last four decades, incomes in the United States have grown much less equal. Inequality is less pronounced in Western Europe. Mike Segar/Reuters hide caption

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Mike Segar/Reuters

Westlake Legal Group  Why America's 1-Percenters Are Richer Than Europe's

Over the last four decades, incomes in the United States have grown much less equal. Inequality is less pronounced in Western Europe.

Mike Segar/Reuters

A new Gilded Age has emerged in America — a 21st century version.

The wealth of the top 1% of Americans has grown dramatically in the past four decades, squeezing both the middle class and the poor. This is in sharp contrast to Europe and Asia, where the wealth of the 1% has grown at a more constrained pace.

At the turn of the last century, European aristocrats controlled even more of their national wealth than robber barons in the U.S. But for much of the 20th century tycoon fortunes gave way to a rising middle class, and income inequality narrowed on both sides of the ocean.

Somewhere around 1970, that trend began to reverse itself and America’s superrich started getting richer much faster than their counter parts in Europe.

Since that time, the share of total income claimed by the top 1% of earners in the U.S. has more than doubled — from 8% in 1970 to 20% in 2010. In Western Europe, on the other hand, the gains for 1-percenters have been much more modest — rising from 7.5% in 1970 to about 10% in 2010, according to the World Inequality Lab at the Paris School of Economics.

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This trend toward inequality in America can no longer be dismissed as the inevitable result of globalization or technology. Other developed countries in Europe and Asia have weathered those forces without the same yawning gap between winners and losers. This suggests that policy choices — on taxes, labor relations, worker training — can help to limit inequality, or else make it worse.

The Peterson Institute for International Economics recently hosted a conference to explore the roots of unequal pay and possible responses. Some of the findings presented at the meeting were striking.

Since 1980, the share of total income going to the bottom 50% of earners has fallen much more sharply in America than Europe. Four decades ago, that share was about 20% in both places. Since then, it’s fallen sharply in the U.S. to about 13%. But in Europe it slipped only modestly, to 18%.

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That’s not an accident, says conference presenter Lucas Chancel of the World Inequality Lab. He notes that during this period, both the U.S. and Europe were exposed to globalization and changing technology. But the U.S. experienced a much sharper rise in inequality.

In this country, policymakers often look to the tax code as a tool that can either redress inequality — through higher taxes on the wealthy as Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have proposed — or contribute to it.

Some of the outsize gains enjoyed by the top 1% of earners in the U.S. stem from tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the wealthy. The top marginal tax rate in the U.S. has been cut by more than half since the 1960s.

But, Chancel notes, the tax code does not fully explain the difference in earnings for Americans and Europeans in the bottom half of the income scale. There, Europeans enjoyed higher pretax earnings than Americans, suggesting more equitable distribution of paychecks on the far side of the Atlantic.

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Rather than simply trying to make up for unequal pay through tax-code redistribution, Europe’s economy delivers more equitable paychecks from the outset. Economists call this strategy “pre-distribution.”

Chancel suggests that the Europeans accomplish this through policies and institutions that improve workers’ bargaining power — such as strong labor unions and higher minimum wages. And they push to make workers more productive, for example through broad-based access to education and health care.

Whether U.S. voters will embrace such policies is an open question. But it’s clear that rising inequality has made America exceptional — and not in a good way.

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Google’s ‘Knowledge Panels’ Are Very Bad At Labeling Terrorists And Cult Leaders

A Google search feature meant to save time and provide quick information on prominent people, places and things tends to mislabel terrorists, white nationalists and mass murderers by automatically generating bizarre snapshot biographies of them.

David Duke, for instance, is primarily known for being a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan and a raging white supremacist ― not a “former [Louisiana] representative,” as Google lists him. When people look up Stephen Paddock, the Las Vegas shooter who killed 58 people in one of the worst mass shootings in modern U.S. history, it’s probably not because he was an “American real estate investor.”

The feature is called a Knowledge Panel, and it’s what shows up as a box in the top right corner of your search page when you Google someone or something that’s famous enough. They work fairly well most of the time, featuring brief descriptions usually taken from Wikipedia on subjects ranging from the Queen of England to grilled cheese sandwiches.

But when it comes to more controversial or infamous people, the Knowledge Panels begin to break down and choose misleading or simply strange titles. Since robots essentially write them, they miss what makes certain people notable.

“Knowledge Panels … reflect information from sources and databases across the web (including Wikidata, Wikipedia’s knowledge base), so there may be inconsistencies in how individuals are described or how information is structured in those sources,” a Google spokesperson told HuffPost.

The panels function similar to Google features that show short blocks of text for common searches like “how to cook a turkey,” keeping users on Google’s page rather than having them click through to another site. But because they are automatically generated, there appears to be a lack of quality control. 

The descriptions are often inconsistent, at times labeling people who might fall under the same category in wildly different ways. The Aurora movie theater gunman James Holmes is named as a “mass murderer,” while white supremacist killer Dylann Roof has no title under his name. 

Westlake Legal Group 5de92e852500004e48d2f4b9 Google’s ‘Knowledge Panels’ Are Very Bad At Labeling Terrorists And Cult Leaders

HuffPost US Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock is listed as a “American real estate investor.”

The knowledge panels run into trouble with extremists who have any semblance of a legitimate profession, even if it’s being a propagandist for hateful ideologies. White nationalist Greg Johnson — who runs an openly bigoted publishing house for pseudo-intellectual racist screeds, writes books such as “The White Nationalist Manifesto,” and was recently arrested in Norway for his extremism — is listed as “American writer.” White nationalist Richard Spencer, meanwhile, is an “American publisher.”

Prominent white supremacists and far-right media influencers are also commonly vaguely labeled as “writer” or “commentator.” Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is listed as an “American radio host,” which is technically accurate but chooses to focus on the medium over the message.

The issue extends to violent extremists as well, where Google’s panels seem to exclude ideology or crimes in favor of featuring their unrelated job. Far-right extremist Baruch Goldstein, who killed 29 Palestinians in a mosque in Hebron, has the title of “American-Israeli physician.” 

Google’s official name for the one-line descriptions is a “subtitle,” and the company does have a process for receiving feedback about inaccuracies, although it’s vulnerable to the same problems of automation. If Google’s systems get enough negative feedback about a subtitle, it gets removed and replaced by a new automatically generated subtitle. But Google can’t write custom subtitles; it’s at the mercy of its own automated systems.

Westlake Legal Group 5de92d4f250000c641d2f4b7 Google’s ‘Knowledge Panels’ Are Very Bad At Labeling Terrorists And Cult Leaders

HuffPost US A knowledge panel of President Kennedy’s killer lists him as “armed force officer.”

Meanwhile, many of Google’s Knowledge Panels simply have no title for prominent people at all and instead only have the more accurate and descriptive blurbs of text below the title. Islamist terrorists often lack labels, including al Qaeda leaders Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri. Former ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi is an exception, and gets the confusing label “military commander.” 

Cults are another weak spot, with Jim Jones named simply as a “religious leader” as opposed to something that might directly indicate that e organized the mass murder and suicide of more than 900 people. Shoko Asahara — who commanded followers to launch a deadly sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system in 1995 — gets the title of “founder,” as if his apocalyptic doomsday cult was a successful tech start-up.

Google’s algorithm tends to do better with infamous politicians, especially heads of state: Syrian dictator Bashar Assad isn’t listed as an ophthalmologist and Adolf Hitler isn’t an aspiring artist. But the preference towards political office also creates problems for people better known for things, like labeling Duke a former Louisiana state representative as opposed to the former head of the KKK. (“Predator” star and former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura is still somehow just an “American actor.”)

Google’s questionable descriptions don’t appear specific to any region: Former Liberian warlord Joshua Milton Blahyi is a “Liberian priest” because he became a preacher after admitting responsibility for over 20,000 deaths. They also defy any historical period — John Wilkes Booth may have assassinated Abraham Lincoln, but to Google he remains an “American actor” at heart.

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Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Milk Bar team up to create Cinnamilk beverage mix

No longer do you have to indulge in that pesky fun of actually eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch to get to the part everyone wants — the grainy leftover slightly-cinnamon-flavored milk.

WASHINGTON FAMILY STUNNED BY OLIVE GARDEN WAITER SINGING ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY’

Fan-favorite dessert company Milk Bar has teamed up with the beloved General Mills cereal to create Cinnamilk, a “limited-edition do-it-yourself beverage mix” that allows consumers to create their own post-cereal milk concoction by pouring in what appears to be ground-up Cinnamon Toast Crunch into a glass of milk and stirring.

Each bottle retails for $7 and has eight servings. For comparison, a 19.3 oz. box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch retails online for about half that and has around 18 servings.

Westlake Legal Group Cinnamon-Toast-Cruch-Milk-Bar-Cinnamilk-Image Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Milk Bar team up to create Cinnamilk beverage mix fox-news/food-drink/food/snack-foods fox-news/food-drink/drinks fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article Alexandra Deabler a803227e-2a03-517b-9c96-20a49a682ad6

“Our fans have been obsessed with Cinnamilk for a long time,” said Mindy Murray, senior marketing communications manager for Cinnamon Toast Crunch. (Milk Bar)

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The “new indulgent” Cinnamilk is only one of three new dessert creations dreamed up by the pair. Milk Bar is also launching a Cinnamon Toast Crunch Milk Bar Pie, featuring a Cinnamon Toast Crunch graham crust, and a cinnamon Toast Crunch Marshmallow Cookie.

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“Our fans have been obsessed with Cinnamilk for a long time,” said Mindy Murray, senior marketing communications manager for Cinnamon Toast Crunch in a press release. “By partnering with Milk Bar, we’re elevating Cinnamilk beyond the cereal bowl, delivering three new indulgent treats. Each of the dessert items puts a unique spin on the iconic cinna-sugar flavor combination, offering fresh ways to savor our cereal this holiday season.”

Westlake Legal Group Cinnamilk_v2 Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Milk Bar team up to create Cinnamilk beverage mix fox-news/food-drink/food/snack-foods fox-news/food-drink/drinks fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article Alexandra Deabler a803227e-2a03-517b-9c96-20a49a682ad6

Though the Cinnamilk, which is sold in a bottle with the capacity for eight servings, is only one of three new dessert creations dreamed up by the pair. (Milk Bar)

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However, those who want to “savor” the new flavors will have to either visit one of Milk Bar’s select locations – which includes several locations in New York, as well as Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles – or order from the Milk Bar store website starting Dec. 5, as the limited-time confections won’t be making it to grocery stores.

Westlake Legal Group Cinnamon-Toast-Cruch-Milk-Bar-Cinnamilk-Image Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Milk Bar team up to create Cinnamilk beverage mix fox-news/food-drink/food/snack-foods fox-news/food-drink/drinks fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article Alexandra Deabler a803227e-2a03-517b-9c96-20a49a682ad6   Westlake Legal Group Cinnamon-Toast-Cruch-Milk-Bar-Cinnamilk-Image Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Milk Bar team up to create Cinnamilk beverage mix fox-news/food-drink/food/snack-foods fox-news/food-drink/drinks fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article Alexandra Deabler a803227e-2a03-517b-9c96-20a49a682ad6

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John Kerry endorses Biden for president, says Trump has ‘broken apart’ country

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6093296694001_6093295871001-vs John Kerry endorses Biden for president, says Trump has 'broken apart' country fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox news fnc/politics fnc fcec28cc-5c25-5398-baf8-f65fa9d9db6f article Andrew O'Reilly

Former Secretary of State John Kerry announced on Thursday that he is endorsing former Vice President Joe Biden in his 2020 White House bid.

Kerry, who was the Democratic presidential nominee in 2004, losing to President George W. Bush, said in a tweet that he was endorsing Biden because the former vice president can “put back together the country and the world that Donald Trump has broken apart.”

“I’m not endorsing Joe because I’ve known him for so long, “Kerry tweeted. “But because I know him so well: he’ll be ready on day one to put back together the country and the world that Donald Trump has broken apart.”

OBAMA REPORTEDLY TOLD BIDEN HE DIDN’T HAVE TO RUN IN 2020

Kerry, who worked with Biden during their time in the Senate and in the Obama administration, is arguably the most high-profile Democrat to lend an endorsement to the former vice president. The nod comes as Biden has regained the lead in a number of national polls.

The former secretary of state will join Biden in Iowa on Friday as part of a week-long bus tour of the early voting state. Kerry will also accompany Biden to New Hampshire, and said he plans to campaign for him in the coming weeks and months. Despite holding a sizeable lead in the national polls, Biden trails far behind South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg in the polls in both Iowa and New Hampshire.

While the Kerry’s endorsement of Biden made headlines, Buttigieg on Thursday picked up the endorsement of a number of former Obama administration staffers, including from the former president’s body man, or personal assistant, Reggie Love.

“A lot of what is said about Pete echoes what critics said about presidential candidate Barack Obama – too young, too different, maybe another time – but I believe there is never a better time to fight for change than right now,” said Love, who served as Obama’s special assistant and aide from 2007 to 2011, in a statement.

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Buttigieg also nabbed the endorsement of Linda Douglass, the former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, Austan Goolsbee, and the former communications director for the White House Office of Health Reform.

Obama himself has yet to endorse a candidate for the 2020 Democratic nomination, but Biden told Politico earlier this week that he was not worried about getting the backing of his former boss.

“[E]veryone knows I’m close with him,” he said. “I don’t need an Obama endorsement.”

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6093296694001_6093295871001-vs John Kerry endorses Biden for president, says Trump has 'broken apart' country fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox news fnc/politics fnc fcec28cc-5c25-5398-baf8-f65fa9d9db6f article Andrew O'Reilly   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6093296694001_6093295871001-vs John Kerry endorses Biden for president, says Trump has 'broken apart' country fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox news fnc/politics fnc fcec28cc-5c25-5398-baf8-f65fa9d9db6f article Andrew O'Reilly

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Trump Again Asks Supreme Court to Bar Release of His Financial Records

Westlake Legal Group 05dc-scotus-facebookJumbo Trump Again Asks Supreme Court to Bar Release of His Financial Records washington dc Trump, Donald J Trump Tax Returns Supreme Court (US) subpoenas Mazars USA

WASHINGTON — President Trump asked the Supreme Court on Thursday to hear a second case concerning a subpoena to his accounting firm for his financial records. The new petition, objecting to a subpoena from a House committee, follows a petition filed last month about a similar subpoena from Manhattan prosecutors.

Both cases are moving fast, and the court could announce as soon as Dec. 13 whether the justices will hear them. If the court agrees to weigh in, it will probably issue a decision by June, in the midst of the final months of the presidential campaign.

A Supreme Court ruling in either or both cases would almost certainly produce a major statement on presidential immunity from criminal and congressional investigations.

In both cases, Mr. Trump sued to stop his accounting firm, Mazars USA, from complying with subpoenas for records. Federal appeals courts ruled against Mr. Trump in both cases.

The new petition stressed the novelty and importance of the second dispute.

“This is a case of firsts,” Mr. Trump’s petition said. “It is the first time that Congress has subpoenaed personal records of a sitting president. It is the first time that Congress has issued a subpoena, under the guise of its legislative powers, to investigate the president for illegal conduct. And, it is the first time a court has upheld any congressional subpoena for any sitting president’s records of any kind.”

The Supreme Court has granted reviews in earlier cases, the petition said, when “the president has been subjected to novel legal process and seeks review.” In two earlier cases involving Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Bill Clinton, United States v. Nixon in 1974 and Clinton v. Jones in 1997, the court granted review but handed both presidents unanimous losses.

The new case concerns a subpoena that the House Oversight and Reform Committee issued in April after it learned that Mr. Trump’s ethics disclosure forms did not list a debt for hush-money payments made in the run-up to the 2016 election. Mr. Trump and his company reimbursed the president’s former lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, for payments to the pornographic film actress Stormy Daniels, who said she had an affair with Mr. Trump. The president has denied the relationship. (Mr. Cohen is serving a three-year sentence in prison related to the case.)

Mr. Cohen also told the committee that Mr. Trump had inflated and deflated descriptions of his assets on financial statements to obtain loans and reduce his taxes.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers argued that the subpoena was improper because the committee lacked a legitimate legislative purpose for seeking the information. In October, a divided three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected that argument.

“Having considered the weighty interests at stake in this case, we conclude that the subpoena issued by the committee to Mazars is valid and enforceable,” Judge David S. Tatel, wrote for the majority, joined by Judge Patricia A. Millett.

In dissent, Judge Neomi J. Rao, wrote that “allegations of illegal conduct against the president cannot be investigated by Congress except through impeachment.”

The full District of Columbia Circuit refused to rehear the panel’s ruling.

The committee’s case may have been strengthened in the interim by the House’s vote to conduct a formal impeachment inquiry, as congressional authority to seek information in that context is quite broad.

Lawyers for the committee have argued that its investigation was driven by its legislative and oversight responsibilities. They added that the “rapidly advancing impeachment inquiry also makes it particularly important that Congress not be deprived of the information sought by the subpoena.”

The case from New York concerns a subpoena from the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., a Democrat, for eight years of Mr. Trump’s personal and business tax returns in connection with the hush-money payments.

A unanimous three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in New York, ruled against Mr. Trump. The court, in a focused ruling, said state prosecutors may require third parties to turn over a sitting president’s financial records for use in a grand jury investigation.

Mr. Trump has fought hard to shield his tax returns from scrutiny, for reasons that have been the subject of much speculation. In a footnote to the Second Circuit’s decision, Chief Judge Robert A. Katzmann said that Mr. Trump’s break with his predecessors’ practice was significant.

“We note that the past six presidents, dating back to President Carter, all voluntarily released their tax returns to the public,” Judge Katzmann wrote. “While we do not place dispositive weight on this fact, it reinforces our conclusion that the disclosure of personal financial information, standing alone, is unlikely to impair the president in performing the duties of his office.”

Mr. Trump’s lawyers, in a petition seeking review of the Second Circuit’s decision, said he was immune from criminal investigation while in office.

The Supreme Court is dominated by five Republican appointees, two of them named by Mr. Trump. But earlier Supreme Court cases in which presidents sought to avoid providing evidence did not break along partisan lines.

The court was unanimous in ruling against Mr. Nixon and Mr. Clinton in such cases, with Nixon and Clinton appointees voting against the presidents who had placed them on the court. The Nixon case led to his resignation in the face of mounting calls for his impeachment. The Clinton case led to Mr. Clinton’s impeachment, though he survived a Senate vote on his removal.

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Pelosi Denies ‘Hate’ for Trump, Who Accuses Her of Having a ‘Nervous Fit’

Westlake Legal Group 05dc-pelositrump-facebookJumbo Pelosi Denies ‘Hate’ for Trump, Who Accuses Her of Having a ‘Nervous Fit’ United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Pelosi, Nancy

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi lashed out in anger on Tuesday at a reporter who asked whether she hated President Trump, prompting Mr. Trump to accuse her of having “a nervous fit.”

The flash of anger from Ms. Pelosi — “Don’t mess with me,” she told the reporter — came as she was leaving a news conference in which she had just finished discussing her decision to move forward with articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump.

“Do you hate the president?” James Rosen, a reporter for a conservative television network, asked loudly as Ms. Pelosi made her way off the stage in a television studio near the Capitol.

Ms. Pelosi whipped around to face Mr. Rosen, wagging her finger at him and saying, “Don’t accuse me,” as he explained that he was asking her to respond to Republicans’ claims that Democrats were pursuing Mr. Trump’s impeachment out of personal animus against him.

“This is about the Constitution of the United States and the facts that lead to the president’s violation of his oath of office,” the speaker said sharply after returning to the lectern to speak into a microphone and face the still-rolling cameras. “As a Catholic, I resent your using the word ‘hate’ in a sentence that addresses me. I don’t hate anyone.”

“I was raised in a way that is a heart full of love, and always pray for the president,” she continued. “And I still pray for the president. I pray for the president all the time. So don’t mess with me when it comes to words like that.”

Less than an hour later, Mr. Trump tweeted his response, saying he did not believe that she prays for him and insisting that she “hates” what he claimed as his accomplishments.

It was the latest bitter back and forth between the president and Ms. Pelosi, who have clashed repeatedly during the last three years, providing glimpses of a fractured relationship between two powerful Washington players that mirrors the nation’s deep political divisions.

Last month, during a contentious meeting about Syria policy at the White House, a photographer captured the moment Ms. Pelosi stood up from the table in the Cabinet Room, pointing sternly as she spoke to a scowling Mr. Trump.

The president tweeted the photo, remarking: “Nervous Nancy’s unhinged meltdown!”

But Ms. Pelosi’s staff quickly posted it on her social media accounts, regarding it as a powerful image of the speaker standing up to a petulant president. She later said it showed the moment she demanded to know whether the president’s decision to remove troops from Syria was a favor to President Vladimir Putin of Russia.

Another confrontation took place during a televised Oval Office meeting at the end of last year, when Ms. Pelosi fired back at Mr. Trump’s suggestion that, despite the Democratic victories in the 2018 midterm elections, she lacked political clout in the standoff over spending and a looming government shutdown.

“Mr. President,” she said, “please don’t characterize the strength that I bring to this meeting as the leader of the House Democrats, who just won a big victory.”

A photo of Ms. Pelosi leaving the White House after that meeting — in sunglasses and a rust-colored coat — quickly went viral. She was also captured on television clapping sardonically at the president during his State of the Union address earlier this year.

Mr. Trump has regularly attacked the speaker on Twitter.

Along with calling her “Nervous Nancy” after the Syria meeting in October, Mr. Trump also tweeted: “Nancy Pelosi needs help fast! There is either something wrong with her ‘upstairs,’ or she just plain doesn’t like our great Country. She had a total meltdown in the White House today. It was very sad to watch. Pray for her, she is a very sick person!”

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Melania Trump Called ‘Racist Birther’; Didn’t Think Of Sasha, Malia Obama’s Privacy

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Do Democrats Really Want an All-White Field in 2020? Cory Booker Hopes Not.

DES MOINES — Senator Cory Booker came to Iowa on Thursday with a question, one that voters, activists and disgruntled members of the Democratic National Committee are also asking in the wake of Senator Kamala Harris’s sudden departure from the 2020 race.

In a year that began with the inauguration of the most diverse class of House Democrats in history, and quickly built to the most diverse field of presidential candidates in history, do Democrats want an all-white slate of top-tier candidates to be the face of their party in 2020?

“What message is that sending that we heralded the most diverse field in our history and now we’re seeing people like her dropping out of this campaign?” Mr. Booker asked a crowd here Thursday morning. He added that Ms. Harris left the race “not because Iowa voters had the voice. Voters did not determine her destiny.”

With Ms. Harris out and Mr. Booker, the former housing secretary Julián Castro, Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and the businessman Andrew Yang yet to qualify for the December debate, the Democratic primary is facing a reckoning over diversity, fairness and representation in the primary process. Two weeks before the December debate, which is likely to feature an entirely white roster, the criticism has centered on the qualification rules, which are tied to numbers of individual donors and poll results.

Mr. Booker, who represents New Jersey, focused on these issues in his speech here, and has been addressing them with renewed frequency all week.

Both he and Mr. Castro have seen an increase in fund-raising in the days since Ms. Harris left the race. The Booker campaign said that Wednesday was its biggest online fund-raising day of the race, with 11,000 new donors. Mr. Castro had his best fund-raising day in four months on Tuesday, pulling in roughly $200,000 in online donations.

Still, given the polling requirements, it is extremely unlikely that either man will make the December debate stage. Inside Democratic circles, there is a growing sense of unease that those rules, set by Tom Perez, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, have disproportionally impacted candidates of color.

“We have a system designed by our own Democratic National Committee that is not in any way intended to elevate the most qualified candidate but designed to elect the person with the most money or most access to it,” said Representative Marcia L. Fudge of Ohio, who was a supporter of Ms. Harris. “That’s why you’re going to see an all-white debate stage.”

Underpinning Democrats’ apprehension in the wake of Ms. Harris’s exit is the growing schism in the party between those who prefer a moderate status quo candidate and an activist energy for a new order that features diverse leadership. Yet the current standard bearers for both factions are white candidates.

Some Democrats fear that an all-white debate stage later this month, or worse, an all-white final tier of candidates battling it out through months of primary contests, could undercut the party’s much-touted image as a bastion of diversity in the Trump era.

Westlake Legal Group 2020-presidential-candidates-promo-1548014688187-articleLarge-v50 Do Democrats Really Want an All-White Field in 2020? Cory Booker Hopes Not. United States Politics and Government Race and Ethnicity Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Election of 2020 DES MOINES, Iowa Democratic Party democratic national committee Debates (Political) Castro, Julian Booker, Cory A

Who’s Running for President in 2020?

Who’s in, who’s out and who’s still thinking.

For a Democratic electorate wrought with anxiety about defeating President Trump in November, the possibility of fracturing support among key minority voting groups who powered the gains in 2018 looms as an existential threat — though some prominent Democrats note that the candidates of color in the 2020 field have so far failed to cultivate significant support from black and Latino voters.

On Thursday, Mr. Booker focused mostly on the threat he believes the party faces if the demographics of its candidates do not reflect its voters.

“This is not about one candidate,” Mr. Booker said in his speech Thursday. “It is about the diverse coalition that is necessary to beat Donald Trump.”

Mr. Castro has been similarly critical this week.

“By not having anyone of color onstage, the party loses a lot,” he told reporters after a fund-raiser in Los Angeles on Tuesday. “The party also loses partly the ability to inspire and excite constituencies that we need to win in November 2020 against Donald Trump. And, you know, the D.N.C. ought to do some soul searching on these thresholds. ”

The grievances about who will or won’t qualify for upcoming debate stages center on the result rather than the process that led to it. Mr. Perez announced the summer debate qualification thresholds in February. Party officials informed the campaigns weeks later that debate qualification thresholds would rise as the campaign progressed.

“Our process has resulted in more women and candidates of color participating in our primary debates than billionaires,” said Xochitl Hinojosa, a committee spokeswoman. “No one who has failed to reach 4 percent at this point in the race has ever gone on to be the nominee. Our debate criteria reflects this.”

Leah D. Daughtry, a longtime Democratic National Committee member who sits on the party’s rules committee, said she’s had a number of conversations in recent days with other members about how to change the system to include more candidates of color. No one has come up with a workable solution.

“I don’t know how you fix it now without upsetting the apple cart,” she said. “But it’s a problem. It’s a real problem.”

Some prominent Democrats say the party cannot be blamed for the failure of candidates of color to make the stage, placing responsibility on their inability to build momentum for their efforts — particularly among black and Latino voters.

A growing number of voters, especially younger black voters, have rejected the notion that mere representation equals the kind of change the Democratic base is hungry for. Polls have consistently shown the former vice president Joseph R. Biden Jr. leading among African-American voters, while Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is widely popular among Latinos.

“When people make the case that the standards and requirements should be lowered so that candidates of color can make the debate, as a Latina, I find that insulting,” said Maria Cardona, a former D.N.C. official. “The reason why the candidates right now are the ones at the top of the polls are because these are the candidates who are getting the majority of support from, guess who, voters of color.”

Some party officials see the discussion about minority representation in the debates as inherently self-serving. Ms. Harris had qualified for the December debate but chose instead to drop out, they said.

“The D.N.C. announced their rules months ago. And I think anyone who decided to run understood that the party had rules,” said Donna Brazile, the former interim head of the committee. “I don’t know how you can blame the party for that.”

That is not how Mr. Booker and Mr. Castro see it.

Indeed, within hours of Ms. Harris’s announcement on Tuesday that she was suspending her campaign, Mr. Booker went on MSNBC, saying he was “a little angry, I have to say.”

“The way this is shaping up, especially with the rules of the D.N.C., it is preferencing millionaires and billionaires and a lot of other things that do not ever translate into viability in Iowa,” Mr. Booker said on Tuesday night.

Following Ms. Harris’s exit, prominent Democrats joined the growing chorus of support for Mr. Booker and Mr. Castro, not in outright endorsements of their candidacy, but for the need to continue to hear from a diverse set of candidates in the debates.

“Many good candidates have qualified,” Andrew Gillum, the former Democratic candidate for governor in Florida and a rising star in Democratic politics, wrote on Twitter. “But our diversity is our strength & our debates must reflect that fully.”

Mr. Gillum included links to donate to both Mr. Castro and Mr. Booker’s campaigns. Several other high profile Democrats made similar pleas on social media, leading to some surge of small-dollar support for both candidates.

Ms. Harris’s decision to drop out ignited long-simmering complaints about the primary process. But for months, some candidates and activists have been critical of a system that, they said, is heavily tilted toward predominantly white populations and was stifling the party’s historically diverse field of candidates.

A frustrated Mr. Castro, after missing the polling threshold for the November debate, decried the outsize roles of Iowa and New Hampshire, with their primarily white electorate.

Mr. Booker, who is set to barnstorm Iowa for the next four days, instead praised the state on Tuesday as the one who selected Barack Obama and set the path for the first black president.

It’s a note that has become central to Mr. Booker’s push to make the debate stage, and win the Democratic nomination.

In Des Moines, he directed these future Iowa caucusgoers to ignore the outside forces shaping the primary field.

“I want you to know that we are a nation right now that has an election to decide,” Mr. Booker said. “And Iowa, do not let anybody else decide it for you.”

He continued: “When you hear people say it’s the most important election of our lifetimes, turn around and tell them: ‘Act like it.’”

Reid J. Epstein contributed reporting from Washington.

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Cat meowing with ‘thick Southern accent’ goes viral on Instagram

Well, hello to you, too.

Gambino, a ginger cat, is quickly gaining fame on social media for his unusual meow — which many claim sounds like he’s saying “Well, hi,” in a “thick Southern accent.”

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In a video shared on Instagram, Gambino is seen running past another black-and-white cat, Tom, and hiding behind the refrigerator. As Gambino’s owner follows him, the orange-and-white tabby surprises with a unique meow before grooming himself.

The video has been viewed over 400,000 times on Instagram alone, but has reportedly gathered nearly 1.3 million views across various social media platforms.

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Many of those users confirmed on Instagram that they distinctly heard the Southern-sounding greeting.

“Well, hi!” one person commented, seemingly responding to Gambino’s meow.

“Omg so cute. Well hi to you,” another wrote.

“Oh what manners you have,” another commented with a heart emoji.

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Westlake Legal Group iStock-1136170632 Cat meowing with 'thick Southern accent' goes viral on Instagram fox-news/lifestyle/pets fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article Alexandra Deabler 5db84bf0-cdba-5134-bd68-e78ab593f42d

Those on Instagram commented on the short clip, confirming that they heard the southern greeting. (iStock)

“Gambino was a Southern [sic] in a previous life,” someone else wrote.

“I showed this video to my class of 2nd/3rd graders and they love it. We’ve been walking around all morning saying “Well, hi!” in our best cat voice,” another shared.

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Gambino, who is seen wearing a pet track on his collar, was a stray until December 2014, when his new and current owners first brought him into their home, according to a Facebook post.

Westlake Legal Group iStock-1136170632 Cat meowing with 'thick Southern accent' goes viral on Instagram fox-news/lifestyle/pets fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article Alexandra Deabler 5db84bf0-cdba-5134-bd68-e78ab593f42d   Westlake Legal Group iStock-1136170632 Cat meowing with 'thick Southern accent' goes viral on Instagram fox-news/lifestyle/pets fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article Alexandra Deabler 5db84bf0-cdba-5134-bd68-e78ab593f42d

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Pelosi Denies ‘Hate’ for Trump, Who Accuses Her of Having a ‘Nervous Fit’

Westlake Legal Group 05dc-pelositrump-facebookJumbo Pelosi Denies ‘Hate’ for Trump, Who Accuses Her of Having a ‘Nervous Fit’ United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Pelosi, Nancy

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi lashed out in anger on Tuesday at a reporter who asked whether she hated President Trump, prompting Mr. Trump to accuse her of having “a nervous fit.”

The flash of anger from Ms. Pelosi — “Don’t mess with me,” she told the reporter — came as she was leaving a news conference in which she had just finished discussing her decision to move forward with articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump.

“Do you hate the president?” James Rosen, a reporter for a conservative television network, asked loudly as Ms. Pelosi made her way off the stage in a television studio near the Capitol.

Ms. Pelosi whipped around to face Mr. Rosen, wagging her finger at him and saying, “Don’t accuse me,” as he explained that he was asking her to respond to Republicans’ claims that Democrats were pursuing Mr. Trump’s impeachment out of personal animus against him.

“This is about the Constitution of the United States and the facts that lead to the president’s violation of his oath of office,” the speaker said sharply after returning to the lectern to speak into a microphone and face the still-rolling cameras. “As a Catholic, I resent your using the word ‘hate’ in a sentence that addresses me. I don’t hate anyone.”

“I was raised in a way that is a heart full of love, and always pray for the president,” she continued. “And I still pray for the president. I pray for the president all the time. So don’t mess with me when it comes to words like that.”

Less than an hour later, Mr. Trump tweeted his response, saying he did not believe that she prays for him and insisting that she “hates” what he claimed as his accomplishments.

It was the latest bitter back and forth between the president and Ms. Pelosi, who have clashed repeatedly during the last three years, providing glimpses of a fractured relationship between two powerful Washington players that mirrors the nation’s deep political divisions.

Last month, during a contentious meeting about Syria policy at the White House, a photographer captured the moment Ms. Pelosi stood up from the table in the Cabinet Room, pointing sternly as she spoke to a scowling Mr. Trump.

The president tweeted the photo, remarking: “Nervous Nancy’s unhinged meltdown!”

But Ms. Pelosi’s staff quickly posted it on her social media accounts, regarding it as a powerful image of the speaker standing up to a petulant president. She later said it showed the moment she demanded to know whether the president’s decision to remove troops from Syria was a favor to President Vladimir Putin of Russia.

Another confrontation took place during a televised Oval Office meeting at the end of last year, when Ms. Pelosi fired back at Mr. Trump’s suggestion that, despite the Democratic victories in the 2018 midterm elections, she lacked political clout in the standoff over spending and a looming government shutdown.

“Mr. President,” she said, “please don’t characterize the strength that I bring to this meeting as the leader of the House Democrats, who just won a big victory.”

A photo of Ms. Pelosi leaving the White House after that meeting — in sunglasses and a rust-colored coat — quickly went viral. She was also captured on television clapping sardonically at the president during his State of the Union address earlier this year.

Mr. Trump has regularly attacked the speaker on Twitter.

Along with calling her “Nervous Nancy” after the Syria meeting in October, Mr. Trump also tweeted: “Nancy Pelosi needs help fast! There is either something wrong with her ‘upstairs,’ or she just plain doesn’t like our great Country. She had a total meltdown in the White House today. It was very sad to watch. Pray for her, she is a very sick person!”

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