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Westlake Legal Group > News Releases (Page 130)

Cows don’t have fingers and can’t insult Devin Nunes on Twitter, court filing says

Westlake Legal Group Oz7ZenCHIb0n3rvr051W6TKtY_r6VaVUanS_DXdT798 Cows don’t have fingers and can’t insult Devin Nunes on Twitter, court filing says r/politics

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Michael Bloomberg Has Used His Fortune to Help Republicans, Too

Westlake Legal Group 26Bloomberg-Republicans-01-facebookJumbo Michael Bloomberg Has Used His Fortune to Help Republicans, Too Presidential Election of 2020 Bloomberg, Michael R

WASHINGTON — In 2016, Democrats thought they had found the perfect candidate to win a United States Senate seat in Pennsylvania and put them within striking distance of taking back the majority. But Katie McGinty, an environmental policy expert with degrees in chemistry and law, ran into an overwhelming obstacle: Michael R. Bloomberg’s fortune.

The former mayor of New York poured in $11.7 million to help re-elect the Republican incumbent, Senator Pat Toomey, who had led an effort, albeit unsuccessful, to expand background checks for gun purchasers, a top priority of Mr. Bloomberg’s.

Mr. Toomey won by less than two percentage points, handing a key victory to the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell: The Republicans held on to control of the chamber by two seats. At the time, it was the most expensive Senate race the country had ever seen, and Mr. Bloomberg’s money was one of the largest influxes of outside influence.

As Mr. Bloomberg begins his campaign for the White House with a promise to spend as much as it takes to defeat President Trump, his Democratic rivals are accusing him of trying to buy his way into the Oval Office. But his political spending on behalf of Republicans is also coming under attack from Democrats who say that his overlapping political goals with Republicans in Washington, and in particular with Mr. McConnell, are disqualifying.

“For many he went too far when he gave money to Pat Toomey,” said Jim Manley, a Democratic consultant and former senior aide to Harry Reid, the previous Senate leader, pointing out that Ms. McGinty also favored stricter gun regulations and that the race was so close.

“He tries to play both sides, and he ends up burning Democrats,” Mr. Manley added. “If that makes you feel good, I’m glad. But the reality is there are no free shots.”

Federal records show that political committees funded by Mr. Bloomberg have spent more than $86 million since 2012 — the bulk devoted to promoting Democrats. Yet more than $17 million went to boost Republicans. In addition, Mr. Bloomberg has personally donated another $950,000 to Republican campaigns and political action committees.

A review of Mr. Bloomberg’s giving shows that he has not only backed Republicans in competitive and pivotal races like Mr. Toomey’s, but that he has also sunk money into Republican primaries on behalf of McConnell allies. They include Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina — Mr. Bloomberg helped Mr. Graham in 2014 by giving $250,000 to a PAC supporting him — and the late Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi, who in 2014 fought off a Tea Party insurgent by just a few thousand votes and had $250,000 in support from Mr. Bloomberg.

Mr. Bloomberg, who has been a Democrat, a Republican and an independent over the last two decades, has taken by far the most unusual approach to political donations of any Democrat now running for the 2020 nomination. With huge resources, he has tended to back candidates who share his views on priorities like gun control and climate change.

In 2014, as several vulnerable Democratic senators in conservative leaning states were defeated — and Republicans took control of the Senate for the first time since 2006 — some party leaders believed Mr. Bloomberg made an inhospitable political climate even worse. He wrote a letter to some of the wealthiest contributors in the Democratic Party in New York, urging them not to donate to four Democrats who voted to block background check legislation. And his donations helped pay for ads that attacked them.

A Mayors Against Illegal Guns ad from 2013, funded by Mr. Bloomberg, pushing senators in key states, including Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.

Three of the four — Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Mark Begich of Alaska and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota — eventually lost their seats. The fourth, Max Baucus of Montana, chose not to seek re-election and became President Barack Obama’s ambassador to China.

A statement issued by Mr. Bloomberg’s campaign Tuesday said that the former mayor worked with Republicans to “get things done,” citing his efforts to push for gun reform as well as financial support for the city following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and after Superstorm Sandy.

“He doesn’t share their values,” read the statement, referring to Republicans, “and spent approximately $100 million of his own money to help flip Congress to the Democrats in 2018 and, more recently, help flip the Virginia legislature in 2019. But after he asked people to buck their party, do the right thing and be on the right side of history, committees he’s supported have sometimes reflected that.”

Mr. Bloomberg’s supporters say his backing of Republicans is the kind of act that defines his approach to politics and makes him an appealing presidential candidate: contrarian, independent and unburdened about whether he will anger key allies. And donating to both parties is a longstanding practice for many elite donors and businessmen — including Mr. Trump, before he became president — who want to have the ear of whichever party is in power.

People on both sides of the aisle who have worked with Mr. Bloomberg’s political operation said that he was always strategic about his alliances on Capitol Hill. He was in constant contact with Republican and Democratic leaders, who tried to keep him close and sought out his help in key races even when his contributions were working against them elsewhere.

“They didn’t ever operate completely in a silo,” said Josh Holmes, Mr. McConnell’s former chief of staff. “They were talking with Republicans; they were talking with Democrats. And they wanted to win. I probably disagree with 90 percent of what they’re doing. But they’re extremely effective.”

For example, even as he made Mr. Toomey’s re-election a priority in 2016, his money — nearly $4.3 million — simultaneously went toward defeating Senator Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire, a Republican who opposed the background check bill.

Mr. Bloomberg’s giving fits with his political background. He was a longtime Democrat when he switched his registration to run for mayor as a Republican in 2001. He left the Republican Party in 2007 and chose to be unaffiliated with either party until 2018 when he rejoined the Democratic Party.

The Toomey-McGinty race in Pennsylvania is the one that left the most bitter taste for many Democrats because they saw no path to retaking the Senate without winning that seat. Some said they found it frustrating that Mr. Bloomberg did not agree that it would be more helpful to his long term goals on gun control to have a Democrat in that seat and be one step closer to a Democratic-controlled Senate than it would be to see Mr. Toomey re-elected.

In an interview with The New York Times in 2013, Mr. Bloomberg explained his logic, saying that if Democrats could not get senators on board with something as popular with the public as background checks, they should pay a political price. “What I would suggest is that they have all of their members vote for things that the public wants,” he said. “And if they don’t do that, the voters should elect different senators who will listen to them.’’

Though it may have worked against individual Democratic candidates, Mr. Bloomberg’s tactic of punishing those who did not support gun control created a new dynamic in the Democratic Party. The National Rifle Association had long employed the same tactics, and Mr. Bloomberg and his aides believed they needed to create the same fear of retribution on their side.

Some Democrats said this was a laudable goal. “Don’t get me wrong, I do not support the idea of the Bloomberg candidacy,” said Brian Fallon, a former aide to Senator Chuck Schumer now running Demand Justice, a group that works to counter conservative influence in the federal courts. “But as someone who is now working on issue advocacy, I can sort of appreciate the approach he took to try to shame people into prioritizing an issue that was viewed for a long time as something Democrats should soft pedal for political reasons.”

By 2018, it appears, Mr. Bloomberg had decided that this strategy needed to be supplemented with broader electoral goals. He spent heavily on 24 Democratic congressional candidates in a successful effort to help deliver the House to Democrats. At the time, he defended his previous efforts to help Republicans he described as serious, “like my friend John McCain,” he wrote in an op-ed article. “But too many,” he added, “have been absolutely feckless.”

But his disillusion with the Republican Party is fairly recent. Over the years he has supported Republican candidates ranging from President George Bush in 1992 to Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts in 2012 — the beneficiary of a fund-raiser at Mr. Bloomberg’s Manhattan townhouse that year.

Mr. Brown lost to Senator Elizabeth Warren, who now appears to be on a collision course with Mr. Bloomberg in the Democratic primary. He has said her proposal to hit billionaires like him with a wealth tax is probably unconstitutional.

Still, some Democrats view Mr. Bloomberg’s past support of Republicans as a potential drag on his campaign, but not a deal breaker.

“I think he’s going to have to answer, but I would hope that Democrats would be willing to accept anybody in our party these days who is willing to evolve,” said Lachlan McIntosh, a South Carolina political operative. “The country is in desperate shape. We’ve got to beat Trump.”

Rachel Shorey and Annie Daniel contributed reporting.

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Tokyo sushi restaurant made famous in ‘Jiro Dreams of Sushi’ removed from Michelin Guide

A popular sushi restaurant has lost its status as a three-star Michelin location.

The latest edition of the prestigious Michelin Guide will not include Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo, often considered the “world’s best sushi restaurant.”

The decision, however, has nothing to do with the quality of the food or the service.

Westlake Legal Group Jiro-sushi Tokyo sushi restaurant made famous in 'Jiro Dreams of Sushi' removed from Michelin Guide Michael Hollan fox-news/food-drink/food/restaurants fox news fnc/food-drink fnc cf1e7619-4f06-5bf2-8900-5246a03d7252 article

Sukiyabashi Jiro will no longer be included in the Michelin Guide because it is not open to the public. (OSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP via Getty Images)

Sukiyabashi Jiro was removed and will no longer be included as a three-star Michelin restaurant because it does not take reservations from the public, The Guardian reported Tuesday.

The restaurant had received three stars in the Michelin Guide every year since 2007, when the first Tokyo edition of the guide was released.

Another branch of the restaurant, which is open to the public, will still be listed as a two-star restaurant in the 2020 Michelin Guide.

SOUTH KOREAN CHEF SUES MICHELIN GUIDE FOR INCLUDING RESTAURANT IN 2020 EDITION, CALLS IT AN ‘INSULT’

The original restaurant, located in a subway station, was featured in the 2011 documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi,” which followed the owner and his two sons, who are also sushi chefs.

The popular yet exclusive restaurant only seats about 10 diners at a time.

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In a statement obtained by The Guardian, a spokesperson for the Michelin Guide said: “We recognize Sukiyabashi Jiro does not accept reservations from the general public, which makes it out of our scope. It was not true to say the restaurant lost stars but it is not subject to coverage in our guide. Michelin’s policy is to introduce restaurants where everybody can go to eat.”

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Former President Obama once ate at the restaurant during a 2014 visit to Tokyo, where he claimed that the sushi was “the best he ever had,” per The Guardian.

Westlake Legal Group Jiro-sushi Tokyo sushi restaurant made famous in 'Jiro Dreams of Sushi' removed from Michelin Guide Michael Hollan fox-news/food-drink/food/restaurants fox news fnc/food-drink fnc cf1e7619-4f06-5bf2-8900-5246a03d7252 article   Westlake Legal Group Jiro-sushi Tokyo sushi restaurant made famous in 'Jiro Dreams of Sushi' removed from Michelin Guide Michael Hollan fox-news/food-drink/food/restaurants fox news fnc/food-drink fnc cf1e7619-4f06-5bf2-8900-5246a03d7252 article

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Cruz mocks Sanders’ plea to stop MLB from eliminating minor league teams

Westlake Legal Group Sanders-Cruz_Ap-Getty Cruz mocks Sanders' plea to stop MLB from eliminating minor league teams Louis Casiano fox-news/person/ted-cruz fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/politics fnc article 3eb54071-6654-59bf-9fd2-07ecad1c29ca

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, mocked Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on Tuesday over his plea to Major League Baseball to scrap a plan to eliminate 42 minor league teams across the country.

Sanders, a Democratic presidential contender, has said the plan would “do irreparable harm” to the sport. He also noted in a letter to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred that minor league players earn as little as $1,160 per month.

In a tweet, Cruz responded to conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, who said Sanders is looking to “fight income inequality” in baseball by requiring MLB to redistribute income from big leaguers to minor league players.

NEW VIDEO SHOWS HOW HOUSTON ASTROS ALLEGEDLY USED WHISTLES TO TIP PITCHES TO BATTERS

“Ben, that’s not nearly socialist enough,” Cruz wrote. “By govt mandate, all pitchers must now pitch the average speed — we’ll just redistribute MPH from fast pitchers to the slower pitchers. And no batter will be allowed to hit more than the league average.”

Sanders has not called for the redistribution of players’ income. In a letter to Manfred, he instead urged the commissioner to abort the plan, pay minor league players a living wage and make it easier for them to join a union.

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He said the average MLB franchise generated $40 million in profit last year.

Sanders said the proposal has nothing to do with what is good for baseball, but everything to do with “greed.”

He said the plan would “throw about 1,000 ball players out of work.”

Westlake Legal Group Sanders-Cruz_Ap-Getty Cruz mocks Sanders' plea to stop MLB from eliminating minor league teams Louis Casiano fox-news/person/ted-cruz fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/politics fnc article 3eb54071-6654-59bf-9fd2-07ecad1c29ca   Westlake Legal Group Sanders-Cruz_Ap-Getty Cruz mocks Sanders' plea to stop MLB from eliminating minor league teams Louis Casiano fox-news/person/ted-cruz fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/politics fnc article 3eb54071-6654-59bf-9fd2-07ecad1c29ca

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‘Bleak’ Report on a Planet in Peril Looms Over New Climate Talks

Westlake Legal Group 26CLI-EMISSIONS1-facebookJumbo ‘Bleak’ Report on a Planet in Peril Looms Over New Climate Talks United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Greenhouse Gas Emissions Global Warming Coal Alternative and Renewable Energy

With world leaders gathering in Madrid next week for their annual bargaining session over how to avert a climate catastrophe, the latest assessment issued by the United Nations said Tuesday that greenhouse gas emissions are still rising dangerously.

“The summary findings are bleak,” said the annual assessment, which is produced by the United Nations Environment Program and is formally known as the Emissions Gap Report. Countries have failed to halt the rise of greenhouse gas emissions despite repeated warnings from scientists, with China and the United States, the two biggest polluters, further increasing their emissions last year.

The result, the authors added, is that “deeper and faster cuts are now required.”

As if to underscore the gap between reality and diplomacy, the international climate negotiations, scheduled to begin next week, are not even designed to ramp up pledges by world leaders to cut their countries’ emissions. That deadline is still a year away.

Rather, this year’s meetings are intended to hammer out the last remaining rules on how to implement the 2015 Paris climate accord, in which every country pledged to rein in greenhouse gases, with each setting its own targets and timetables.

“Madrid is an opportunity to get on course to get the speed and trajectory right,” said Rachel Kyte, a former United Nations climate diplomat who is now dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts University. “What the Emissions Gap Report does is take away any remaining plausible deniability that the current trajectory is not good enough.”

The world’s 20 richest countries, responsible for more than three-fourths of worldwide emissions, must take the biggest, swiftest steps to move away from fossil fuels, the report emphasized. The richest country of all, the United States, however, has formally begun to pull out of the Paris accord.

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Global greenhouse gas emissions have grown by 1.5 percent every year over the last decade, according to the annual assessment. The opposite must happen if the world is to avoid the worst effects of climate change, including more intense droughts, stronger storms and widespread hunger by midcentury. To stay within relatively safe limits, emissions must decline sharply, by 7.6 percent every year, between 2020 and 2030, the report warned.

Separately, the World Meteorological Organization reported on Monday that emissions of three major greenhouse gases — carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide — have all swelled in the atmosphere since the mid-18th century.

“We are sleepwalking toward a climate catastrophe and need to wake up and take urgent action,” said Alden Meyer, director of policy and strategy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, on a phone call with reporters Tuesday after the publication of the report.

Even if every country fulfills its current pledges under the Paris Agreement — and many, including the United States, Brazil and Australia, are currently not on track to do so — the Emissions Gap Report found average temperatures are on track to rise by 3.2 degrees Celsius from the baseline average temperature at the start of the industrial age.

According to scientific models, that kind of temperature rise sharply increases the likelihood of extreme weather events, the accelerated melting of glaciers and swelling seas — all endangering the lives of billions of people.

The Paris Agreement resolved to hold the increase in global temperatures well below 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit; last year, a United Nations-backed panel of scientists said the safer limit was to keep it to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

There are many ways to reduce emissions: quitting the combustion of fossil fuels, especially coal, the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel; switching to renewable energy like solar and wind power; moving away from gas- and diesel-guzzling cars; and halting deforestation.

In fact, many countries are headed in the wrong direction. A separate analysis made public this month looked at how much coal, oil and natural gas the world’s nations have said they expect to produce and sell through 2030. If all those fossil fuels were ultimately extracted and burned, the report found, countries would collectively miss their climate pledges, as well as the global 2 degree Celsius target, by an even larger margin than previously thought.

A number of countries around the world, including Canada and Norway, have made plans to reduce emissions at home while expanding fossil-fuel production for sale abroad, that report noted.

“At a global level, it doesn’t add up,” said Michael Lazarus, a lead author of the report and director of the Stockholm Environment Institute’s United States Center. To date, he noted, discussions on whether and how to curb the production of fossil fuels have been almost entirely absent from international climate talks.

The International Energy Agency recently singled out the proliferation of sport utility vehicles, noting that the surge of S.U.V.s, which consume more gasoline than conventional cars, could wipe out much of the oil savings from a nascent electric-car boom.

“For 10 years, the Emissions Gap Report has been sounding the alarm — and for 10 years, the world has only increased its emissions,” the United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres, said in a statement. “There has never been a more important time to listen to the science. Failure to heed these warnings and take drastic action to reverse emissions means we will continue to witness deadly and catastrophic heat waves, storms and pollution.”

The pressure on world leaders to pivot away from fossil fuels and rebuild the engine of the global economy comes at a time when the appetite for international cooperation is extremely low, nationalist sentiments are on the rise, and several world leaders have deep ties to the industries that are the biggest sources of planet-warming emissions.

If there’s any good news in the report, it’s that the current trajectory is not as dire as it was before countries around the world started taking steps to cut their emissions. The 2015 Emissions Gap Report said that, without any climate policies at all, the world was likely to face around 4 degrees Celsius of warming.

Coal use is declining sharply, especially in the United States and Western Europe, according to an analysis by Carbon Brief. Renewable energy is expanding fast, though not nearly as fast as necessary. City and state governments around the world, including in the United States, are rolling out stricter rules on tailpipe pollution from cars.

Young people are protesting by the millions in rich and poor countries alike. Even in the United States, with its persistent denialist movement, how to deal with climate change is a resonant issue in the presidential campaign.

Brad Plumer contributed reporting.

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Melania Trump cheered and jeered by Baltimore students during speech

Melania Trump received a “mixed reception” Tuesday at a Baltimore youth event meant to raise awareness of opioid abuse, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Trump was both cheered and booed by the crowd of middle school and high school students after she was introduced by Jim Wahlberg, the brother of actor Mark Wahlberg, at the B’More Youth Summit on Opioid Awareness. The Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation partially sponsored the event.

Wahlberg tried to settle the crowd by asking: “If you have lost somebody you love or somebody who you cared about to an overdose, please stand up.”

However, the Associated Press reported the audience remained noisy throughout the first lady’s five-minute address. At one point, Mrs. Trump interrupted her remarks to say, “Hello, everyone,” before continuing.

Westlake Legal Group MelaniaTrumpjpg Melania Trump cheered and jeered by Baltimore students during speech Victor Garcia fox-news/politics/executive/first-family fox-news/person/melania-trump fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc d024b970-bdf2-5d8f-9422-a53e8c8d9528 article

First lady Melania Trump speaks at the B’More Youth Summit Tuesday at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. (Barbara Haddock Taylor/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

TRUMP SAYS BERNIE SANDERS SHOULD ALSO BE LABELED ‘RACIST’ FOR CALLING BALTIMORE A ‘THIRD WORLD COUNTRY’

“Your future will be determined by the choices you make,” the first lady told the crowd. “Using drugs will only slow you down.”

“I hope that the knowledge you gain here will help you tackle the tough decisions you may face so that you can lead healthy and drug-free lives,” Trump added.

In a statement released later Tuesday, the first lady said: “We live in a democracy and everyone is entitled to their opinion, but the fact is we have a serious crisis in our country and I remain committed to educating children on the dangers and deadly consequences of drug abuse.”

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The cool reception follows a clash earlier this year between late Maryland U.S.Rep. Elijah Cummings and President Trump, who criticized the Democrat’s district as a “rodent-infested mess” where “no human being would want to live.” Cummings replied that government officials must stop making “hateful, incendiary comments” that distract the nation from its real problems.

The president gave a speech in Baltimore in September and was met by protesters.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group MelaniaTrumpjpg Melania Trump cheered and jeered by Baltimore students during speech Victor Garcia fox-news/politics/executive/first-family fox-news/person/melania-trump fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc d024b970-bdf2-5d8f-9422-a53e8c8d9528 article   Westlake Legal Group MelaniaTrumpjpg Melania Trump cheered and jeered by Baltimore students during speech Victor Garcia fox-news/politics/executive/first-family fox-news/person/melania-trump fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc d024b970-bdf2-5d8f-9422-a53e8c8d9528 article

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Melania Trump cheered and jeered by Baltimore students during speech

Melania Trump received a “mixed reception” Tuesday at a Baltimore youth event meant to raise awareness of opioid abuse, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Trump was both cheered and booed by the crowd of middle school and high school students after she was introduced by Jim Wahlberg, the brother of actor Mark Wahlberg, at the B’More Youth Summit on Opioid Awareness. The Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation partially sponsored the event.

Wahlberg tried to settle the crowd by asking: “If you have lost somebody you love or somebody who you cared about to an overdose, please stand up.”

However, the Associated Press reported the audience remained noisy throughout the first lady’s five-minute address. At one point, Mrs. Trump interrupted her remarks to say, “Hello, everyone,” before continuing.

Westlake Legal Group MelaniaTrumpjpg Melania Trump cheered and jeered by Baltimore students during speech Victor Garcia fox-news/politics/executive/first-family fox-news/person/melania-trump fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc d024b970-bdf2-5d8f-9422-a53e8c8d9528 article

First lady Melania Trump speaks at the B’More Youth Summit Tuesday at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. (Barbara Haddock Taylor/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

TRUMP SAYS BERNIE SANDERS SHOULD ALSO BE LABELED ‘RACIST’ FOR CALLING BALTIMORE A ‘THIRD WORLD COUNTRY’

“Your future will be determined by the choices you make,” the first lady told the crowd. “Using drugs will only slow you down.”

“I hope that the knowledge you gain here will help you tackle the tough decisions you may face so that you can lead healthy and drug-free lives,” Trump added.

In a statement released later Tuesday, the first lady said: “We live in a democracy and everyone is entitled to their opinion, but the fact is we have a serious crisis in our country and I remain committed to educating children on the dangers and deadly consequences of drug abuse.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The cool reception follows a clash earlier this year between late Maryland U.S.Rep. Elijah Cummings and President Trump, who criticized the Democrat’s district as a “rodent-infested mess” where “no human being would want to live.” Cummings replied that government officials must stop making “hateful, incendiary comments” that distract the nation from its real problems.

The president gave a speech in Baltimore in September and was met by protesters.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group MelaniaTrumpjpg Melania Trump cheered and jeered by Baltimore students during speech Victor Garcia fox-news/politics/executive/first-family fox-news/person/melania-trump fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc d024b970-bdf2-5d8f-9422-a53e8c8d9528 article   Westlake Legal Group MelaniaTrumpjpg Melania Trump cheered and jeered by Baltimore students during speech Victor Garcia fox-news/politics/executive/first-family fox-news/person/melania-trump fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc d024b970-bdf2-5d8f-9422-a53e8c8d9528 article

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‘Dancing with the Stars’ host Erin Andrews defends reserved reaction to Hannah Brown’s win

Erin Andrews is not here for the haters.

After the “Bachelorette’s” Hannah Brown and her professional dance partner, Alan Bersten, were crowned the “Dancing with the Stars” Season 28 winners on Monday evening, the Internet had a lot to say about Andrews’ apparent reaction to the results.

According to People magazine, once it was revealed who would be getting the mirror ball trophy on the ABC reality dance competition. a camera captured Andrews standing with an expressionless face.

‘DANCING WITH THE STARS’ CROWNS ITS SEASON 28 CHAMPIONS 

“Wait … is it just me or did Erin Andrews look less than thrilled Hannah won…….. #DWTS,” one person asked on Twitter.

Echoed another social media user: “Can Erin Andrews facial expressions be any more obvious? Shouldn’t she at least appear unbiased? Not sure who she wanted to win, but at least she could pretend to be happier for the winner no matter who it is. #dwtsfinale #DWTS.”

“Disappointed in Erin Andrews’ lack of professionalism when Hannah and Alan were announced as winners. I tried not to think much of it as I was watching bc it was all so quick, but reading that others noticed it, too, confirms her lack of respect for the winners. #DWTS,” said one individual.

JAMES VAN DER BEEK ELIMINATED FROM ‘DANCING WITH THE STARS’ AFTER ANNOUNCING WIFE SUFFERED MISCARRIAGE

The myriad tweets caught Andrews’ attention, with the 41-year-old host responding to one social media user who wrote: “ooooo @ErinAndrews looked less than impressed with the outcome of #DWTS.”

Westlake Legal Group hannah-brown-alan-bersten-dwts 'Dancing with the Stars' host Erin Andrews defends reserved reaction to Hannah Brown's win Mariah Haas fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/dancing-with-the-stars fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article a660813c-3816-5042-b039-d323ffbcc17c

Hannah Brown and Alan Bersten are the winners of Season 28 of ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ (ABC)

“Give me a break,” Andrews shot back. “YOU CAN’T WIN IN THIS SITUATION. I’m standing next to the couple that just got second place. And if I had cheered, you’d be killing me for going against the Kel, Lauren, and Ally. Not that serious people!”

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Brown, 25, took home the win after competing against fellow amateur finalists Lauren Alaina, Ally Brooke and Kel Mitchell.

Andrews, along with co-host Tom Bergeron, announced Alaina had won fourth place and Brooke had won third place in the remaining minutes of the show. Mitchell was runner-up.

All four final contestants, in addition to season favorites Kate Flannery and Sailor Brinkley-Cook, will join the coming “Dancing with the Stars” tour.

Fox News’ Danielle Wallace contributed to this report

Westlake Legal Group Andrews-Brown_getty 'Dancing with the Stars' host Erin Andrews defends reserved reaction to Hannah Brown's win Mariah Haas fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/dancing-with-the-stars fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article a660813c-3816-5042-b039-d323ffbcc17c   Westlake Legal Group Andrews-Brown_getty 'Dancing with the Stars' host Erin Andrews defends reserved reaction to Hannah Brown's win Mariah Haas fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/dancing-with-the-stars fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article a660813c-3816-5042-b039-d323ffbcc17c

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How Trump just upped the ante with China over trade deal: expert panel

Westlake Legal Group trump-xi-3-reuters How Trump just upped the ante with China over trade deal: expert panel Matt London fox-news/world/world-regions/hong-kong fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/topic/fox-nation-opinion fox-news/opinion fox-news/fox-nation fox news fnc/media fnc c8ba3d9f-e5d2-5223-aff5-3c368541ea15 article

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo challenged the Chinese government in a speech on Tuesday, accusing Beijing of “very significant” human rights abuses, in what amounted to a new dynamic in U.S.-China relations, according to an expert panel on Fox Nation’s “Deep Dive.”

In a news conference, Pompeo highlighted recent documents detailing how the Chinese government has detained more than a million ethnic minorities, including Uighurs and other Muslims.

“These reports are consistent with an overwhelming and growing body of evidence that the Chinese Communist Party is committing human rights violations and abuses against individuals in mass detention,” Pompeo said.

Wall Street Journal editorial page assistant editor James Freeman asked the panel if this public statement will be used as leverage to resolve the 16-month U.S.-China trade war, or as an excuse to drive the two major world economies further apart.

“The answer can be both,” said Gordon Chang, author of “The Coming Collapse of China.”

President Trump “may want a short-term deal to sort of get him through to the election,” Chang continued. “But long term, I do believe he wants to bring business back home. He talks about it all the time. He’s consistently had his theme on China that goes back well before he was running for president. And disengagement is actually occurring anyway. And it’s not just us. It’s also the Chinese because they’re pushing companies out of China.”

“And I think that’s a good thing for us, because we don’t want our companies beholden to a country that is becoming more and more Maoist, more totalitarian, as Pompeo talked about,” concluded Chang.

While acknowledging that it, “sounds callous” to discuss the impact of Pompeo’s remarks on trade, Freeman asked the panel how investors will view the developments.

“Internally Chinese didn’t particularly dislike negotiating with Trump despite the volatility, because he was remaining — very keyword — transactional, meaning he’s talking business only, not getting in our business about Hong Kong, about Taiwan, about the camps,” noted D.R. Barton, chief technical strategist for Money Map Press, which is an publication for investors.

“Now that’s taken a little bit of a change,” continued Barton, “He’s starting to put some pressure with the new Civil Rights and Democracy Bill — those are all different things that can be used for Trump as negotiating ploys.”

China summoned U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad to Beijing on Monday in response to the passage of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act in Congress last week.

The bill, passed nearly unanimously in the U.S House and Senate, is meant to protect human rights in Hong Kong amid a recent spike in violence in the five-month protest against Chinese control.  President Trump has expressed some reservations with signing the bill into law amid the high-stakes negotiations.

To watch all of “Deep Dive” go to Fox Nation and sign up today.

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Fox News’ Alex Pappas has contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group trump-xi-3-reuters How Trump just upped the ante with China over trade deal: expert panel Matt London fox-news/world/world-regions/hong-kong fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/topic/fox-nation-opinion fox-news/opinion fox-news/fox-nation fox news fnc/media fnc c8ba3d9f-e5d2-5223-aff5-3c368541ea15 article   Westlake Legal Group trump-xi-3-reuters How Trump just upped the ante with China over trade deal: expert panel Matt London fox-news/world/world-regions/hong-kong fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/topic/fox-nation-opinion fox-news/opinion fox-news/fox-nation fox news fnc/media fnc c8ba3d9f-e5d2-5223-aff5-3c368541ea15 article

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Why Virginia Democrats’ Refusal To Repeal ‘Right-To-Work’ Law Matters

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) all but ruled out repealing the state’s anti-union “right-to-work” law on Monday, dashing the hopes of a rising populist guard that is hoping to bring Virginia in line with other solidly Democratic states where organized labor flourishes.

A Northam spokesperson did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for clarification of the governor’s intentions, including whether he would veto a repeal bill if it arrives on his desk.

Regardless, Northam’s remarks that he cannot “foresee” Virginia rescinding the law, delivered alongside outgoing Republican legislative leaders at a state economic and revenue forecast meeting, discouraging unions and progressives eager to see Democrats both reembrace their historic solidarity with organized labor and enact policy with an eye toward the party’s long-term political fortunes. 

“Today is a disappointing day for the working-class families of Virginia,” said William Sproule, secretary-treasurer of the Keystone-Mountain-Lakes Regional Council of Carpenters, which represents union carpenters in Virginia.

Unions have greater difficulty organizing and maintaining power in “right-to-work” states because those states bar unions from collecting dues from workers they represent in front of management. As a result, some workers choose to “freeload,” or benefit from the union’s protection without contributing, which typically limits a union’s financial resources.

Right-to-work policy “has succeeded in its purpose: The wage levels for working people in the state of Virginia are appalling,” said Chris Townsend, the organizing director of the Amalgamated Transit Union, who has lived in Alexandria, Virginia, for the past 30 years.

Westlake Legal Group 5ddd8cd81f0000d51adef965 Why Virginia Democrats’ Refusal To Repeal ‘Right-To-Work’ Law Matters

Michael McCoy / Reuters Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D), a business-friendly Democrat who voted for President George W. Bush twice, has again disappointed the state’s labor unions and progressive activists.

There is research to support Townsend’s claim. Right-to-work states, which are almost all outside the pro-union Northeast and West Coast, have wages that are, on average, 3.1% lower than pro-union states, according to a 2015 study by the liberal Economic Policy Institute. 

That’s true not just because of the direct benefits of unionization for workers, but also because the threat of unionization prompts employers in pro-union states to offer better pay and benefits to stave off unionization.

“Allowing unions to be effective promotes the wages of not just union members, but non-union members as well,” said Jeff Hauser, a former AFL-CIO spokesman who now runs the Center for Economic and Policy Research’s Revolving Door Project.

Virginia, where elections earlier this month handed Democrats unified control of the state government, gets particularly low marks when it comes to workers’ rights. The human rights nonprofit Oxfam ranked Virginia dead last in its ranking of the “best places to work in America.” 

In addition to being a right-to-work state, Virginia bars public-sector workers ― those employed by the state, counties and municipalities ― from engaging in collective bargaining. 

In Virginia, we can not only win by being a good state for business, but we can also win by being one of the best states for workers. Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy (D)

Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy (D), a public defender representing the outermost suburbs of Northern Virginia, still hopes to pass legislation overturning the right-to-work law. She noted that Del. Lee Carter (D), a democratic socialist from Manassas, has vowed to introduce repeal legislation. 

“In Virginia, we can not only win by being a good state for business, but we can also win by being one of the best states for workers,” Carroll Foy said. “Many other states have done this.”

A spokesperson for Democratic Speaker-designate Eileen Filler-Corn did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s inquiry about whether Filler-Corn would allow such a bill to proceed out of committee for a vote on the House floor.

To those familiar with Northam, a business-friendly physician who says he voted twice for President George W. Bush, Monday’s indication that he would not rescind the state’s right-to-work law was not altogether surprising. He’d even reportedly said something similar to union officials in a private meeting before state elections earlier this month. 

But even his detractors are disappointed in Northam’s insensitivity to the political implications of allowing his state to remain inhospitable to unions. 

Republican lawmakers, by contrast, are keenly aware of the political advantages of kneecapping unions. In the past decade, in particular, Republican governors have moved rapidly to gut labor unions, knowing that they engender class consciousness at odds with GOP ideology and funnel money and resources to Democratic candidates. Here again, there is research to back up Republicans’ conduct: In presidential races, Democratic vote share by county drops 3.5 percentage points after passage of right-to-work laws, according to a National Bureau of Economic Research study published in February.

The right tries to use temporary power to build permanent power for its coalition and erode the power of the opposing coalition. Jeff Hauser, former AFL-CIO spokesman

The most glaring example of Republicans riding anti-union legislation to victory at the ballot is Wisconsin, where former Gov. Scott Walker (R) stripped public-sector unions of key bargaining rights and later made Wisconsin a right-to-work state, denuding private-sector unions in the process. 

On election night in 2016, conservative anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist gloated that Walker’s evisceration of his state’s unions had won the state for Donald Trump.

Michigan, home to the country’s unionized auto industry, underwent a quieter transition to right-to-work status in 2012. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton also narrowly lost that state to Trump in 2016.

“The right tries to use temporary power to build permanent power for its coalition and erode the power of the opposing coalition,” said Hauser, noting not just Republicans’ prioritization of attacks on unions, but also their efforts to restrict voting rights that disadvantage traditionally Democratic demographic groups.

Short of Republican-style voter disenfranchisement, Hauser recommended that Democrats “also learn to prioritize acts that expand the ongoing power of their coalition,” including by creating conditions for unions to flourish.

A perennial source of frustration for opponents of anti-union laws is that Republicans typically do not emphasize them during campaigns and then railroad them through at the first chance once in office.  

Given the opportunity to weigh in, the voting public, even in conservative states, often overturns such laws. Most recently, Missouri voters threw out a right-to-work law through a statewide ballot initiative in August 2018. 

Virginia voters have a record of similar action. In November 2016, state residents voted down a referendum that would have enshrined the state’s right-to-work status in its constitution.

Sproule of the carpenters union cited the 2016 outcome, as well as the victory of pro-union Democrats in 2019, in his statement.

“Northam has changed views on this important issue, but the Keystone-Mountain-Lakes Regional Council of Carpenters [has] not,” he said.

Of course, even if Northam, who survived public uproar in February over the revelation that he’d worn blackface as a medical student, got out of the way of a right-to-work repeal effort, some of the Democrats in the state legislature would likely need some convincing. Particularly in the state Senate, many veteran Democrats embody the tradition of bipartisan chumminess with big business that is sometimes dubbed the “Virginia Way.”

There are some signs that the tides are shifting toward a more populist iteration of the Democratic Party ― albeit slowly. The rise of a vibrant liberal grassroots movement in Virginia after Trump’s victory in 2016 ushered in a crop of “Virginia Way” skeptics to the state Capitol. These younger, more diverse and more progressive lawmakers, mostly in the House of Delegates, have had some success in reining in the state’s influential electric utility monopolies. 

But a bid by House progressives to elect one of their own as speaker fell short earlier this month. 

For Townsend, the transit union official, the mere discussion of right-to-work laws ― and public pushback against Northam ― is a harbinger of change.

“We didn’t have that for years and years,” he said. “There’s only one way to go in Virginia, which is up ― so what the hell.”

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