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Westlake Legal Group > News Releases (Page 152)

Bloomberg claims US needs immigrants to ‘improve our culture’

Westlake Legal Group Bloomberg-webvid Bloomberg claims US needs immigrants to 'improve our culture' Sam Dorman fox-news/us/immigration fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/michael-bloomberg fox news fnc/politics fnc fa0ca522-d909-5389-ae2f-057998ff7bfe article

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said this week that the U.S. needs “an awful lot more immigrants rather than less.”

Bloomberg, who formally hopped on the 2020 campaign trail earlier this week, made the comment during a stop at a Mexican restaurant in Phoenix, Ariz., adding immigrants are needed “to take all the different kinds of jobs that the country needs — improve our culture, our cuisine, our religion, our dialogue and certainly improve our economy.”

BLOOMBERG OFFICIALLY ENTERS 2020 DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY RACE

Bloomberg entered the race relatively late and observers have speculated he was nervous about the other candidates’ ability to beat Trump. Bloomberg’s own campaign manager, Kevin Sheekey, said on Monday that Trump was “winning” the 2020 election.

“It’s very tough for people who don’t live in New York or California to understand that, but that is what’s happening,” Sheekey told CNN. “Mike was doing everything he could from the sidelines and he finally decided it wasn’t enough to sit on the sidelines and he needed to do what he could to alter that dynamic.”

The billionaire Bloomberg is a perceived moderate who has run for office as a Republican and would be competing in a field of Democrats that have pushed sweeping progressive policies.

He also blasted Trump’s policies that resulted in the separation of families arriving at the border. “Ripping kids away from their parents is a disgrace,” he said.

BLOOMBERG UNIFIES 2020 DEM RIVALS IN OPPOSITION TO HIS BILLIONS

Trump won after touting a hard-line immigration policy, including the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. His immigration policies have come under continuous fire from Democrats.

Bloomberg also reiterated his Nov. 17 apology for supporting New York’s “stop-and-frisk” police strategy, a practice that he embraced as mayor and continued to defend despite claims that it had a disproportionate impact on people of color.

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He said it was a mistake but also credited it with reducing New York’s murder rate.

“How many times do you hear elected officials say, ‘I made a mistake’?” Bloomberg said. “None of us do everything perfectly. I’m sorry it happened, I can’t rewrite history. Let’s get on with it.”

Fox News’ Nick Givas and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Bloomberg-webvid Bloomberg claims US needs immigrants to 'improve our culture' Sam Dorman fox-news/us/immigration fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/michael-bloomberg fox news fnc/politics fnc fa0ca522-d909-5389-ae2f-057998ff7bfe article   Westlake Legal Group Bloomberg-webvid Bloomberg claims US needs immigrants to 'improve our culture' Sam Dorman fox-news/us/immigration fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/michael-bloomberg fox news fnc/politics fnc fa0ca522-d909-5389-ae2f-057998ff7bfe article

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Author Kristin Kimball Wants To Persuade You To Become A Farmer

Westlake Legal Group 20191127_090317-002--eac4e3ce1b16c306808648c9517e2d1bea20b9c1-s1100-c15 Author Kristin Kimball Wants To Persuade You To Become A Farmer

Kristin and Mark Kimball work 1,600 acres of farmland in northern New York. After more than a decade on the land, they say it’s the hardest life the can imagine and it’s tested their marriage, but they’re still having fun. Brian Mann/NCPR hide caption

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Brian Mann/NCPR

Westlake Legal Group  Author Kristin Kimball Wants To Persuade You To Become A Farmer

Kristin and Mark Kimball work 1,600 acres of farmland in northern New York. After more than a decade on the land, they say it’s the hardest life the can imagine and it’s tested their marriage, but they’re still having fun.

Brian Mann/NCPR

Kristin Kimball’s first book, The Dirty Life, became a surprise bestseller, telling the story of how she left a publishing career in New York City to start a farm with her husband.

“I had no idea you could be dirty in so many ways,” she told NPR.

A decade later, Kimball is back with a new book about farming and how it’s shaped her life and marriage into middle age.

“I just wish everybody had the experience of getting their hands in the dirt,” Kimball said, standing in her kitchen with a pot of homemade potato and leek soup bubbling on the stove. “Seeing what a miracle it is to pull food out of the ground and then to cook it and eat it with other people.”

Kimball is a small woman with dark shoulder length hair, now in her 40s. She and her husband Mark have emerged as national evangelists for the small farm, local food movement. Essex Farm, which sits in the foothills of New York’s Adirondack Mountains, is closer to the Canadian border than Manhattan.

“My pitch is always, can I convince you to become a farmer? Everyone I meet,” said Mark Kimball as he led the way toward the farm’s hog pen. He’s a tall, rangy guy in a big straw hat who grins with excitement when he talks about milk yields and hogs.

Essex Farm is a working landscape, which means a lot of mud and industrial equipment, but it’s also gorgeous. Their 1,600 acres sprawl over forest and meadows. Even late in the season there are bright purple cabbages in neat rows and a few last berries to be plucked.

“And then there’s rhubarb in here,” Kristin Kimball said. “And that’s all asparagus.”

Sun swept over a distant flock of sheep, but the wind was sharp. We could feel winter. These days, most large farms focus on one or two big cash crops. The Kimballs raise everything from beets to chickens. In this kind of community supported agriculture food is sold directly customers, with Essex Farm feeding hundreds of families.

In theory, this business model is more sustainable. It means more money in their pockets, with less going to food packaging and distribution. But Kimball said this life is still precarious, measured out season by season.

“It started off disastrously wet and cold in the spring,” she recalled. “But the summer and fall were pretty good for us and our harvests were some of our best harvests that we’ve had.”

They supplement their income with speaking fees and revenue from Kristin’s books. After 15 years at the center of the small farm renaissance, the Kimballs describe themselves as one part romantic, two part realist.

“Mark and I came into agriculture at a time when things felt very, very hopeful,” she said. “We were in this wave of young farmers starting new farms, many of us first generation. But it’s also the old story of agriculture, which is that we’re working in a business that is subject to the chaos of weather, the vicissitudes of market. So it’s rich, it’s beautiful, and it’s also really, really hard.”

Westlake Legal Group 20191028_131013-ef8cdc4a89ad9fdadb04e8595c84631d2e39e54f-s1100-c15 Author Kristin Kimball Wants To Persuade You To Become A Farmer

Essex Farm differs from many large modern farms that focus on one or two cash crops. Instead, the Kimballs raise everything from sheep to cabbages, selling their food directly to customers. They’ve become national evangelists of the small farm, local food movement. Brian Mann/NCPR hide caption

toggle caption

Brian Mann/NCPR

Westlake Legal Group  Author Kristin Kimball Wants To Persuade You To Become A Farmer

Essex Farm differs from many large modern farms that focus on one or two cash crops. Instead, the Kimballs raise everything from sheep to cabbages, selling their food directly to customers. They’ve become national evangelists of the small farm, local food movement.

Brian Mann/NCPR

This is a part of the story her new book Good Husbandry tells. It captures the feel of late autumn days in the fields, the joy of raising their two daughters on the farm. But it also records the strain of a struggling small business and the pressure that can bring to bear on a marriage. Kristin and Mark say they’ve seen a lot of farms like theirs fail since her first book came out.

“They go out of business because of burnout and divorce,” Mark said.

“I think any farm family would recognize the farm is the thing that holds you together as a family, it’s the project you work on together with passion and energy and it’s also the thing that can wear you down as a family,” Kristin agreed. “The work is unrelenting and the financial pressure can really erode the family.”

Mark looked across the kitchen table at Kristin and grinned. “When you step back a little bit, the fact that we’re still here around this table is pretty close to a miracle. It’s pretty cool.”

They’re clearly proud of the fact their farm is still in business. Survival is victory for small farms these days. They say they’re still having fun making a life together, working their land as winter sets in. Even after all these years Kirstin said she’s a little startled this turned out to be her story and her life, but also contented.

“The trade-offs,” she said, “have been a hundred percent worth it.”

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Abby Huntsman: Warren’s ‘Medicare-for-all’ plan ‘goes totally against what this country is’

Westlake Legal Group Warren-Huntsman-AP-Getty Abby Huntsman: Warren's 'Medicare-for-all' plan 'goes totally against what this country is' Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment/the-view fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article a2fa5bfd-4ac3-51a6-b767-ea90fbc97fdf

“The View” co-hosts derided Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s attempt to push “Medicare-for-all” Wednesday, indicating that the policy was the reason for her slide in recent Democratic presidential primary polls.

“This country was founded on choice, right?” co-host Abby Huntsman asserted on Wednesday. “And this, I think, goes totally against what this country is and what it always has been, and you can’t take choice away from the American people — and that’s been her problem from the beginning.”

Huntsman was referring to how the ambitious health plan would centralize coverage with the government and effectively eliminate private health insurance.

Co-host Joy Behar indicated that Warren’s plan was unrealistic politically. “I don’t think it’s plausible that she’s going to make a dent with this plan. I think you have to be practical in this country.”

WARREN IN POLLING FREE FALL AS ‘MEDICARE-FOR-ALL’ COMES UNDER FIRE

“Her plan was the Green New Deal for health care,” co-host Meghan McCain said, referring to the sweeping environmental plan proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. “It didn’t make any logical sense for how anyone’s going to pay for it.” Co-host Sunny Hostin similarly said that Warren never clearly articulated how she would pay for the plan.

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“I think the weakness is that ‘Medicare-for-all’ because it’s just not that popular across the board,” Hostin said. “You know, I think many people feel everyone should have health care but if you have health care that you enjoy now, you don’t want to give that up, so that’s a sticking point for her.

“And also, she never, in my view, really explained how she was going to pay for it.”

Their comments came as national Democratic presidential primary polls showed Warren, D-Mass., sinking like a rock — a development that came amid sustained criticism over the details of her “Medicare-for-all” plan.

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Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday shows the populist liberal senator’s numbers slashed in half from 28 percent to 14 percent from the month before. After leading the pack in Quinnipiac’s October poll – which was seen as a sign of her surge in the race – Warren’s 14-point drop has her now in third place behind former Vice President Joe Biden and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Warren surged in polling earlier in the fall, apparently prompting her competitors to press her on “Medicare-for-all” during October’s Democratic debate. Warren has maintained she won’t raise taxes on the middle class and proposed a payment plan that relied on taxing the wealthy. In total, her plan would cost around $52 trillion.

Fox News’ Alex Pappas contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Warren-Huntsman-AP-Getty Abby Huntsman: Warren's 'Medicare-for-all' plan 'goes totally against what this country is' Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment/the-view fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article a2fa5bfd-4ac3-51a6-b767-ea90fbc97fdf   Westlake Legal Group Warren-Huntsman-AP-Getty Abby Huntsman: Warren's 'Medicare-for-all' plan 'goes totally against what this country is' Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment/the-view fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article a2fa5bfd-4ac3-51a6-b767-ea90fbc97fdf

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Confederate Monument Law Upheld By Alabama Supreme Court

Westlake Legal Group confederate-monument-2-2dfc494cd788304235191bb9df9cf897f6b5c17f-s1100-c15 Confederate Monument Law Upheld By Alabama Supreme Court

A man pauses to look at a now covered confederate monument in Linn Park this summer in Birmingham, Alabama. Alabama’s attorney general sued the city of Birmingham in 2017 for partially covering the inscriptions at the base of the Confederate monument. Hal Yeager/Getty Images hide caption

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Hal Yeager/Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  Confederate Monument Law Upheld By Alabama Supreme Court

A man pauses to look at a now covered confederate monument in Linn Park this summer in Birmingham, Alabama. Alabama’s attorney general sued the city of Birmingham in 2017 for partially covering the inscriptions at the base of the Confederate monument.

Hal Yeager/Getty Images

Alabama’s Supreme Court ruled unanimously Wednesday that the city of Birmingham broke state law when it ordered plywood screens be placed around the base of a confederate monument in 2017.

The 9-0 ruling by Alabama’s high court reversed a ruling by a lower court that was favorable to the city.

The Jefferson Circuit Court ruled in January that the Alabama’s law protecting historical monuments was ambiguous and that it also violated the city of Birmingham’s right to free speech.

The Alabama Supreme Court said the lower court erred when it ruled the municipality had constitutional rights to free speech. In its ruling, the high court ordered the circuit judge to “enter an order declaring that the [city’s] actions constitute a violation” and also imposed a fine of $25,000 against Birmingham.

The fine could have been much stiffer, as Alabama law calls a payment of $25,000 “for each violation.” However, in his 46-page opinion, Alabama Justice Tommy Bryan cited precedent and the “ambiguous” question about the penalty provision.

“The State contends that this part of the penalty provision is ambiguous because it does not clearly indicate whether the legislature intended “only the initial act of erecting the plywood screen [as the sole] ‘violation’ within the meaning of the Act, or whether each day the public is prevented from viewing the expressive content of the monument [should be counted as] a separate violation.

“A single fine in this amount for an intentional violation of the statute, after over two years of litigation, seems to be a minute deterrence for the same or similar future conduct.”

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said in a statement that the Supreme Court ruling was “the correct conclusion” adding:

“The Supreme Court’s ruling is a victory for the Alabama law which seeks to protect historical monuments. The City of Birmingham acted unlawfully when it erected barriers to obstruct the view of the 114-year-old Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Linn Park.”

The legal battle over the confederate monument began more than two years ago when Alabama filed a lawsuit against Birmingham. The suit claimed the city was violating the 2017 Alabama Memorial Preservation Act.

That law protects against the removal, relocation or altering of longstanding symbols of the Confederacy including the names of buildings or streets that have been in place more than 40 years.

As NPR’s Jan Stewart reported in January, when Birmingham officials ordered the enclosure be built, it came “amid a national reckoning on racial violence and Confederate symbolism [and] the city’s mayor decided the monument should be covered up. Tall plywood walls were installed around its base, obscuring inscriptions on the pedestal.”

According to court documents the east corner of the statue base reads: “In Honor of the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors.” And on another side, “The manner of their death was the crowning glory of their lives.”

Much of the 52-foot obelisk can been seen poking above the plywood enclosure. But the court’s opinion adds:

“Photographs of the monument included in the record taken before and after the placement of the plywood screen confirm that the 12-foot plywood screen around the base of the monument completely blocks the view of all inscriptions on the monument.”

Read the full opinion here.

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Ilhan Omar challenger permanently suspended from Twitter after tweets about lynching congresswoman

Westlake Legal Group QxLu8dOko-2hMbyqfKA709cm-va4IL0p_eBQT5XrS5A Ilhan Omar challenger permanently suspended from Twitter after tweets about lynching congresswoman r/politics

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Iraq protesters burn Iranian Consulate as deadly unrest continues

Anti-government protesters in Iraq burned down an IranianConsulate Wednesday, as unrest continues to grow against Iraqi lawmakers and Tehran‘s growing influence in Iraqi affairs.

The consulate building in Najaf was torched and the Iranian flag was removed and replaced with an Iraqi one. Staffers inside were not harmed and escaped through a back door.

One protester was killed and 35 were wounded when police opened fire to prevent them from entering the facility. Protesters previously attacked an Iranian consulate in Karbala earlier this month. No one was harmed in that attack.

IRAQI PROTESTORS BLOCK MAJOR PORT, HALT COMMERCIAL ACTIVITY AMID ONGOING DEMONSTRATIONS

Westlake Legal Group AP19331612992209 Iraq protesters burn Iranian Consulate as deadly unrest continues Louis Casiano fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox news fnc/world fnc d49e32ad-0bec-536c-8f03-bb1df6e4826f article

Anti-government protesters gather on Rasheed Street in Baghdad, Iraq, on Wednesday. Several protesters were killed by security forces who fired live rounds in Baghdad and southern Iraq amid ongoing violence and days of sit-ins and road closures, Iraqi officials said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

Wednesday’s events marked an escalation in demonstrations that have raged for weeks across southern Iraq over dissatisfaction with public services, government corruption and high unemployment despite the country’s oil wealth.

ROCKETS FIRED ON IRAQ BASE WITH U.S. TROOPS, NO ONE INJURED, PENTAGON SAYS

At least 350 people have been killed and thousands injured in what has become the largest grassroots movement against the government in Iraq’s history. The unrest has become the country’s biggest challenge since the defeat of the Islamic State terror group that took over vast swaths of territory several years ago.

Protesters occupying three bridges in central Baghdad — Jumhuriya, Ahrar and Sinar — in a standoff with security forces tried blocking authorities from accessing the areas.

Westlake Legal Group AP19331392838064-1 Iraq protesters burn Iranian Consulate as deadly unrest continues Louis Casiano fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox news fnc/world fnc d49e32ad-0bec-536c-8f03-bb1df6e4826f article

Anti-government protesters set fire to block streets during ongoing protests in Baghdad on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Ali Abdul Hassan)

Demonstrators across southern Iraq have burned tires and blocked access to roads leading to major oil fields in several provinces. Major roads to Umm Qasr and Khor al-Zubair ports were blocked on Wednesday, reducing trade activity by 50%, according to the port official.

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In Karbala, five people were killed when authorities fired live rounds in an attempt to disperse crowds late Tuesday. In Baghdad, three simultaneous explosions rocked the city late Tuesday, killing five people and wounding more than a dozen.

The bombings occurred near Tahrir Square, the epicenter of Iraq’s anti-government demonstrations.

Westlake Legal Group AP19331612992209 Iraq protesters burn Iranian Consulate as deadly unrest continues Louis Casiano fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox news fnc/world fnc d49e32ad-0bec-536c-8f03-bb1df6e4826f article   Westlake Legal Group AP19331612992209 Iraq protesters burn Iranian Consulate as deadly unrest continues Louis Casiano fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox news fnc/world fnc d49e32ad-0bec-536c-8f03-bb1df6e4826f article

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Katie Pavlich: Anonymous official behind book on Trump White House ‘selfish and cowardly’

Westlake Legal Group Katie-Pavlich-Fox Katie Pavlich: Anonymous official behind book on Trump White House 'selfish and cowardly' Joshua Nelson fox-news/shows/outnumbered fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article a26ef9d9-5221-5192-98cd-bfe63e51e5ab

Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich called out the anonymous White House official behind a book that is said to give a “firsthand account of President Trump and his record.”

“If you’re working for the guy and you’re publishing anonymous op-eds and writing books then you’re being very selfish and cowardly,” Pavlich said on “Outnumbered.”

“if you’re going to benefit financially from a guy that you hate, then you should do it publicly,” she added.

MIRANDA DEVINE CALLS OUT ANONYMOUS OFFICIAL BEHIND BOOK ON TRUMP WHITE HOUSE

The book, titled “A Warning,” came a year after the senior official laid out their initial scathing attack on the administration in The New York Times.

The book was released Nov. 19 and is said to pick up where the controversial op-ed left off.

Former Pentagon aide Guy Snodgrass claimed this week he isn’t the anonymous administration official who wrote “A Warning” after initially declining to confirm or deny speculation during an evasive appearance on Fox News.

“I’m not the writer,” Snodgrass said Tuesday on CNN. “I went on to a different television show yesterday, they asked me that question, I kind of batted it away. To put it to rest, no, I’m not the author of ‘A Warning.”

Snodgrass appeared on Fox News on Monday following widespread speculation that he penned the controversial anti-Trump book. He dodged the question when grilled by Trace Gallagher.

EX-MATTIS AIDE GUY SNODGRASS SUDDENLY CLAIMS HE ISN’T ANONYMOUS AUTHOR OF ANTI-TRUMP BOOK: ‘I’M NOT THE WRITER’

“If I was gonna make an announcement like that, I’d do it right, I’d come into the studio with you,” Snodgrass, who was appearing via satellite, told Gallagher Monday on “Fox News Reporting.”

The anonymous official stated in the Times op-ed that he or she was “part of the resistance” to undermine Trump and had published a book out the belief it contains information “essential for the public to consider as they decide whether to keep Donald Trump in office beyond 2020.”

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The author wrote that “many reasonable people voted for Trump” because they felt the alternative was worse, they love America and wanted to shake up the establishment.

Fox News’ Brian Flood contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Katie-Pavlich-Fox Katie Pavlich: Anonymous official behind book on Trump White House 'selfish and cowardly' Joshua Nelson fox-news/shows/outnumbered fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article a26ef9d9-5221-5192-98cd-bfe63e51e5ab   Westlake Legal Group Katie-Pavlich-Fox Katie Pavlich: Anonymous official behind book on Trump White House 'selfish and cowardly' Joshua Nelson fox-news/shows/outnumbered fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article a26ef9d9-5221-5192-98cd-bfe63e51e5ab

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White House adviser Navarro blasts Pelosi, Schiff for leading ‘Seinfeld impeachment’

Westlake Legal Group Schiff-Pelosi-Navarro-Reuters-AP-Getty White House adviser Navarro blasts Pelosi, Schiff for leading 'Seinfeld impeachment' Sam Dorman fox-news/world/trade fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 0744e3d5-a4d2-5827-a8c5-0900bf12786e

Peter Navarro, an economist and trade adviser for the White House, ridiculed House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry Tuesday by likening it to “Seinfeld.”

“We’ve got the Seinfeld impeachment — it’s about nothing,” he told Fox News’ Sandra Smith on “America’s Newsroom.” The hit NBC sitcom became known for its comical focus on minor events or details and consequent lack of an overriding story arc.

Navarro also discussed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), a trade deal forged by the Trump administration after renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

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Navarro indicated that Democrats were keeping the U.S. from a great opportunity because of the distraction of impeachment politics in Congress.

NETFLIX TO STREAM ‘SEINFELD’ STARTING IN 2021

“Here’s the thing: You can either spend all your time in Congress investigating or legislating. And so far, the Pelosi-Schiff Congress has just burned days and days and days away,” he said.

He was referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., two of the leading Democrats pushing the inquiry into whether Trump committed impeachable conduct during his July 25 call with Ukraine.

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Pelosi said on Monday that her caucus had come “within range” of reaching a satisfactory trade agreement after months of negotiating with the White House.

“Now, we need to see our progress in writing from the [Office of the U.S.] Trade Representative for final review,” she said, according to CNBC.

Westlake Legal Group Schiff-Pelosi-Navarro-Reuters-AP-Getty White House adviser Navarro blasts Pelosi, Schiff for leading 'Seinfeld impeachment' Sam Dorman fox-news/world/trade fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 0744e3d5-a4d2-5827-a8c5-0900bf12786e   Westlake Legal Group Schiff-Pelosi-Navarro-Reuters-AP-Getty White House adviser Navarro blasts Pelosi, Schiff for leading 'Seinfeld impeachment' Sam Dorman fox-news/world/trade fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 0744e3d5-a4d2-5827-a8c5-0900bf12786e

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William Ruckelshaus, Who Quit in ‘Saturday Night Massacre,’ Dies at 87

Westlake Legal Group merlin_165114225_38423609-c2be-465b-9d1a-317da39a961e-facebookJumbo William Ruckelshaus, Who Quit in ‘Saturday Night Massacre,’ Dies at 87 Watergate Affair United States Politics and Government Ruckelshaus, William D Nixon, Richard Milhous impeachment Deaths (Obituaries)

William D. Ruckelshaus, who resigned as deputy attorney general rather than carry out President Richard M. Nixon’s illegal order to fire the independent special Watergate prosecutor in the constitutional crisis of 1973 known as the “Saturday Night Massacre,” died on Wednesday at his home in Seattle. He was 87.

His death was confirmed by his daughter Mary Ruckelshaus.

A lawyer and political troubleshooter, Mr. Ruckelshaus twice headed the United States Environmental Protection Agency, as its founding administrator from 1970 to 1973 under Nixon, and from 1983 to 1985 under President Ronald Reagan. He won praise for laying the new agency’s foundations, and later for salvaging an E.P.A. that had strayed from its mission and lost the confidence of the public and Congress.

Mr. Ruckelshaus was a champion of America’s natural resources in his home state of Indiana; in Washington State, where he lived; and while serving on presidential commissions and conservation groups. But he also worked for big business, was not an environmentalist of the Greenpeace and Sierra Club stripe, and in 50 years of public and private service was hailed and vilified by partisans on both sides as he tried to balance economic and ecological interests.

For many Americans, however, the deeds of Mr. Ruckelshaus’s varied career were all but eclipsed by his role in the events of a single night in the autumn of 1973, as the political dirty tricks and cover-up conspiracies of the Watergate scandal closed in on his boss, the beleaguered President Nixon.

The scandal had already forced some of Nixon’s closest associates to resign and face criminal charges, and Mr. Ruckelshaus, with his E.P.A. successes and reputation for integrity, was named acting head of the F.B.I. in April 1973, replacing L. Patrick Gray III, who had allowed Nixon aides to examine Watergate files and had even destroyed evidence in the case.

Mr. Ruckelshaus was soon named the top deputy to Attorney General Elliot L. Richardson. And on a night of high drama, as the nation held its breath and constitutional government appeared to hang in the balance, Nixon ordered his top three Justice Department officials, one after another, to fire the Watergate prosecutor, Archibald Cox, rather than comply with his subpoena for nine incriminating Oval Office tape recordings.

Mr. Cox’s complete independence had been guaranteed by Nixon and the attorney general during the prosecutor’s Senate confirmation hearings the previous May. He could be removed only for “cause” — some gross malfeasance in office. But none was even alleged. Nixon’s order to summarily dismiss Mr. Cox thus raised a most profound question: Was the president above the law?

Mr. Richardson and Mr. Ruckelshaus refused to fire Mr. Cox and resigned even as orders for their own dismissals were being issued by the White House. But Robert H. Bork, the United States solicitor general and the acting attorney general after the dismissal of his two superiors, carried out the presidential order, not only firing Mr. Cox but also abolishing the office of the special Watergate prosecutor.

The dismissals, all on Saturday, Oct. 20, labeled the “Saturday Night Massacre” by news media, set off a firestorm of protest across the country. Some 300,000 telegrams inundated Congress and the White House, mostly calling for Nixon’s resignation. The outcry was so ferocious that the White House said within days that it had decided to surrender the tape recordings after all.

Less than a month later, a federal judge ruled that Mr. Cox’s dismissal had been illegal and ordered him reinstated, but Mr. Cox indicated that he did not want the job back. After a protracted legal struggle, scores of tapes were eventually turned over to Mr. Cox’s successor, Leon Jaworski, and Mr. Nixon, facing certain impeachment in the House and conviction in the Senate, resigned in August 1974.

Vice President Gerald R. Ford assumed the presidency, Mr. Cox returned to teaching at Harvard, Mr. Richardson was named Mr. Ford’s commerce secretary in 1976, and Mr. Bork became a federal judge whose nomination to the Supreme Court by President Reagan in 1987 was defeated in the Senate. Mr. Ruckelshaus, who joined a Washington law firm and soon moved to Seattle, said he had no regrets.

“I thought what the president was doing was fundamentally wrong,” he told The New York Times years later. “I was convinced that Cox had only been doing what he had the authority to do; what was really of concern to the president and the White House was that he was too close. He hadn’t engaged in any extraordinary improprieties, quite the contrary.”

William Doyle Ruckelshaus was born on July 24, 1932, in Indianapolis, the second of three children of John K. and Marion (Doyle) Ruckelshaus. His father was a lawyer and Republican Party official who drowned at 60 in a fishing accident in Michigan. Mr. Ruckelshaus remembered him as deeply religious and called him “far and away the biggest influence” on his life.

“He not only was religious in the sense of being a regular churchgoer; he went to church every morning for the last 25 years of his life and took communion,” Mr. Ruckelshaus said in an interview for an E.P.A. publication. “But he lived it.”

William went to Roman Catholic parochial schools in Indianapolis and, midway through high school, transferred to Portsmouth Abbey, a school run by Benedictine monks in Portsmouth, R.I. After two years in the Army, he attended Princeton University and graduated with honors in 1957, then earned a law degree from Harvard in 1960.

In 1960 he married Ellen Urban, who died of complications of giving birth to twin girls in 1961. In 1962 he married Jill Elizabeth Strickland, who survives him along with their children, Jennifer and William Ruckelshaus and Robin Kellogg; his twin daughters, Catherine and Mary Ruckelshaus; a sister, Marion Ruckelshaus Bitzer; and 12 grandchildren.

As a deputy attorney general in Indiana in the early 1960s, Mr. Ruckelshaus helped write the state’s first air pollution control laws. A leader of the Young Republican organization, he won a seat in the Indiana House of Representatives in 1966 and became the first freshman legislator to be elected majority leader. In 1968 he lost a United States Senate race to the Democratic incumbent, Birch Bayh.

But he caught the eye of Attorney General John N. Mitchell and was brought to Washington in 1969 as an assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s civil division. He displayed exceptional finesse cooling anti-Vietnam War protests, civil rights confrontations and unrest on college campuses.

Nixon was impressed. In 1970 he appointed Mr. Ruckelshaus to lead the new E.P.A. He proceeded to consolidate 15 federal agencies with environmental duties into an organization with 8,800 employees and a $2.5 billion budget (about $15.6 billion in today’s money), hired new leaders, defined priorities, proposed laws and organized a national enforcement structure. He also ordered cities to curtail sewage discharges into rivers; demanded more air-pollution controls; accused paper and steel companies of water-quality violations; and banned the domestic use of DDT.

Environmental advocates were generally pleased, although Mr. Ruckelshaus was not a consistent ally. He permitted states to write business-friendly air quality plans and allowed increased emissions in areas where the air was relatively clean, a stand that federal courts later called a violation of the Clean Air Act of 1970.

By 1973, Mr. Ruckelshaus was needed back at the Justice Department. After his interim appointment at the F.B.I., he pursued charges that Vice President Spiro T. Agnew had taken kickbacks from contractors while governor of Maryland. The case led to Mr. Agnew’s no-contest plea on a tax-evasion charge and his resignation on Oct. 10, 1973.

After his own resignation in the Saturday Night Massacre 10 days later, Mr. Ruckelshaus returned to private law practice. He moved to Seattle in 1976 and became a senior vice president of Weyerhaeuser, one of the nation’s largest lumber companies. He explored a run for the presidency in 1980 but did not return to public life until 1983, when President Reagan asked him to take over the troubled E.P.A.

After 22 months under Anne Gorsuch Burford, who had resigned in a scandal over mismanagement of a $1.6 billion program to clean up hazardous waste sites, the agency was demoralized and its programs riddled with corruption. Its budget had been heavily cut, and critics said it had openly favored polluters and abandoned its mission to protect the nation’s air, water and land resources.

Mr. Ruckelshaus stabilized the agency, restored professional management and subdued the scandals. But he was unable to rebuild the budget, and many E.P.A. initiatives were mired in court or stifled by Congress or business interests supported by the administration. After Reagan’s second term began, Mr. Ruckelshaus resigned, returned to Seattle, joined a law firm and set up an environmental consulting business.

From 1988 to 1995, Mr. Ruckelshaus was chief executive of Browning-Ferris Industries, one of the nation’s largest waste-removal firms, whose rapid expansion had led to civil and criminal complaints and fines in the disposal of toxic substances. Mr. Ruckelshaus took the company out of hazardous wastes and built up its recycling operations. The company also expanded into New York City, where Mr. Ruckelshaus helped investigators infiltrate a Mafia-dominated carting conspiracy, leading prosecutors to obtain indictments.

President George W. Bush named Mr. Ruckelshaus to the United States Commission on Ocean Policy, which produced a 2004 report, “An Ocean Blueprint for the 21st Century.” In 2008, Mr. Ruckelshaus was named to the Washington State Puget Sound Partnership.

Late in life, Mr. Ruckelshaus brought his Watergate experience to bear on another president under investigation. This time it was President Donald J. Trump, who at the time was furious over the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election.

“Not only was that Saturday night the beginning of the end of the Nixon presidency,” Mr. Ruckelshaus wrote in The Washington Post in August 2018, referring to the “massacre,” “but it also accelerated the growing wave of political cynicism and distrust in our government we are still living with today. One manifestation of that legacy: a president who will never admit he uttered a falsehood and a Congress too often pursuing only a partisan version of the truth.”

Daniel E. Slotnik contributed reporting.

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Watergate figure William Ruckelshaus dead at 87

William Doyle Ruckelshaus, who famously quit his job in the U.S. Justice Department rather than carry out President Richard Nixon’s order to fire the special prosecutor investigating the Watergate scandal, has died. He was 87.

Ruckelshaus served as the first administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which confirmed his death in a statement Wednesday.

The lifelong Republican also served as acting director of the FBI. But his moment of fame came in 1973, when he was a deputy attorney general and joined his boss, Attorney General Elliot Richardson, in resigning rather than carrying out Nixon’s unlawful order to fire Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox.

After Richardson and Ruckelshaus resigned, Solicitor General Robert Bork carried out the firing in what became known as the “Saturday Night Massacre” — prompting protests and outrage around the country.

Westlake Legal Group Ruckelshaus Watergate figure William Ruckelshaus dead at 87 Seattle fox-news/politics/justice-department fnc/politics fnc Associated Press article 3a1ca062-4d99-5517-ae85-58855d2c7135

Then-acting FBI director William Doyle Ruckelshaus pauses during a news conference in May 1973. (AP Photo/Charles Gorry)

“He was incorruptible,” longtime friend and Seattle philanthropist Martha Kongsgaard said Wednesday of Ruckelshaus. “It was very disappointing for him to see this happening again in our country, and maybe on a larger scale. Deep decency in the face of corruption is needed now more than ever.”

Ruckelshaus’ civic service and business career spanned decades and U.S. coasts, marked by two stints at the EPA under Nixon and Ronald Reagan, a lost bid for U.S. Senate in 1968 and top positions at Weyerhaeuser Co. and Browning Ferris Industries.

Ruckelshaus spent much of his life focused on air and water pollution and other environmental issues. As a young Indiana state attorney general, he sought court orders to prevent industries and cities from polluting waters, and in his later years, he was the Pacific Northwest’s most high-profile advocate for cleaning up Puget Sound in Washington state.

As the first EPA administrator from 1970 to 1973, he won praise for pushing automakers to tighten controls on air pollution. Shortly after taking over the agency, he ordered the mayors of Detroit, Atlanta and Cleveland to stop polluting waters and took actions against U.S. Steel and dozens of other water polluters.

Reagan asked him back to the EPA in 1983 to help restore public trust to the scandal-plagued agency. His wife, Jill, likened his return to a “self-inflicted Heimlich maneuver,” but Ruckelshaus said he accepted the job because he thought he could right the ship, help staff refocus on their work and reestablish the EPA’s credibility.

Several thousand EPA employees greeted his return with thunderous applause. One sign read, “How do you spell relief? Ruckelshaus.”

Westlake Legal Group Ruckelshaus2 Watergate figure William Ruckelshaus dead at 87 Seattle fox-news/politics/justice-department fnc/politics fnc Associated Press article 3a1ca062-4d99-5517-ae85-58855d2c7135

William Ruckelshaus, the first administrator of the EPA, poses for photos at his office in Seattle in 2009. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Reflecting on his long career of public service and private enterprise in 2001, Ruckelshaus ranked his time at the EPA as one of the most fulfilling and challenging.

“At EPA, you worked for a cause that is beyond self-interest and larger than the goals people normally pursue,” he said in an EPA oral history interview. “You’re not there for the money, you’re there for something beyond yourself.”

Ruckelshaus was born in 1932 in Indianapolis to a line of politically active lawyers. His grandfather had been the Indiana chairman of the Republican Party in 1900, and his father was the platform committee chairman at five Republican Conventions.

He told The Los Angeles Times in 1971 that his personal interest in nature and conservation was rooted in his childhood when his father took him fishing in northern Michigan.

Between his stints at the EPA, Ruckelshaus moved his family and five children to the Seattle area where he had spent two years out of high school as an army drill sergeant at the Fort Lewis. He graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Law School.

He met his wife on a blind date set up by her Sunday school teacher. It took place at his aunt and uncle’s house in Indianapolis, where they both grew up.

In the Northwest, Ruckelshaus led federal efforts to recover Chinook salmon and steered an ambitious state initiative to clean up and restore Puget Sound, where salmon and orcas are in danger.

His focus on a collaborative science-based process helped set the course for the Puget Sound Partnership, the state agency charged with cleaning up the inland waters by 2020.

His daughter, Mary Ruckelshaus, served as the agency’s chief scientist at the same time her father led the leadership council that oversaw it.

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Denis Hayes, who coordinated the first Earth Day in 1970, once called Ruckelshaus “a Republican environmental hero,” and Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire described him as “big as the great outdoors.”

Ruckelshaus served on the boards of directors of several major corporations. He was senior vice president for law and corporate affairs at the Weyerhaeuser Co., before returning to the EPA for his second term. At the time, some environmentalists criticized his close ties to some of the industries that the EPA regulated.

He was CEO of Browning-Ferris Industries Inc. from 1988 to 1995 and served as chairman from 1995 to 1999. He was also a strategic director of Madrona Venture Group in Seattle, an early backer of companies such as Amazon.

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