solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
[personal profile] solarbird
"Bit by bit, Trump methodically undoing Obama policies." As I said early on, their plan is to undo Obama as completely as the South undid reconstruction.

This is how to start a war with China, as McArthur learned: "Trump: US will deal with North Korea with or without China: report"

This is how to start a war with Europe, apparently: "‘We are in a trade war,’ Trump’s commerce secretary says after stern German warning." Not helping: "The U.S. economy just got hit with a disturbing piece of bad news" (though that's not Trump's fault, for once.)

I'm just going to list the Trump stories, sorry - I'm so far behind. The most important one is probably "In Trump Country, Shock at Trump Budget Cuts, but Still Loyalty," which is 100% made up of "I didn't think they'd eat _my_ face" - and yet, they're not even considering changing their minds and would vote for Trump again. Even the ones who say they would LITERALLY DIE from Trump's budget? Sticking to their guns. Insanity:

Our Dishonest President
Trump v. the Earth
Trump tells NBC to stop covering Russia story
In Trump Country, Shock at Trump Budget Cuts, but Still Loyalty
Trump tells NBC to stop covering Russia story
Flynn files new financial paperwork disclosing payments from Russian firms
Flynn made $1.3 million for lobbying, speeches, other work
Judge to Trump: No protection for speech inciting violence
Document Dump Reveals Flynn's Russian And Turkish Income Sources
FBI probing whether Trump aides helped Russian intel in early 2016

These are also Trump, but in different ways:

America’s crisis in governance
The White House Is Being Reset Even Before It Started
Trump’s Lawyers Argue President Is Too Busy for Sexual Misconduct Defamation Lawsuit

And finally, "Bill O’Reilly Thrives at Fox News, Even as Harassment Settlements Add Up."

Good luck out there.


----- 1 -----
Bit by bit, Trump methodically undoing Obama policies
Darlene Superville, Associated Press | Updated 1:17 am, Monday, April 3, 2017

http://www.seattlepi.com/news/politics/article/Bit-by-bit-Trump-methodically-undoing-Obama-11045659.php

WASHINGTON (AP) — Amid the turmoil over staff shake-ups, blocked travel bans and the Russia cloud hanging overhead, President Donald Trump is steadily plugging away at a major piece of his agenda: Undoing Obama.

From abortion to energy to climate change and personal investments, Trump is keeping his promises in methodically overturning regulations and policies adopted when Barack Obama was president.

It hasn't all been smooth sailing.

Trump recently failed to fulfill his pledge to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which continues to stand as Obama's most recognizable domestic policy achievement. Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan couldn't persuade enough fellow Republicans to back new health care legislation last month. Ryan pulled the measure just before a scheduled House vote.

Trump has had better outcomes in other areas.


----- 2 -----
‘We are in a trade war,’ Trump’s commerce secretary says after stern German warning
The Washington Post
By Max Ehrenfreund March 31 at 12:30 PM

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/03/31/we-are-in-a-trade-war-trumps-commerce-secretary-says-after-stern-german-warning/

Germany's foreign minister on Friday morning said the Trump administration is taking a “dangerous step” after the Commerce Department announced a tariff on imports of foreign steel, indicating the tax could become a new source of conflict with the powerful U.S. ally and trading partner.

The strongly worded statement from German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel further intensified trade tensions between the United States and international officials since President Trump took office. Although Trump's actions on trade so far have been modest and have in many respects preserved the status quo, the president and his advisers have hinted at more disruptive measures in the future, and Gabriel claimed that the administration was abandoning established international principles of free trade.

“The U.S. Government is apparently prepared to provide American companies with unfair competitive advantages over European and other producers, even if such action violates international trade law,” Gabriel's statement read. “I very much fail to comprehend the decision.”

Gabriel is objecting to the Trump administration's conclusions following an investigation into the pricing of certain types of steel plate from Germany, as well as from Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. The Commerce Department's findings, announced Thursday, allow the administration to begin collecting tariffs ahead of a final determination expected in May.

The steel investigation relates to a pair of executive actions on trade that Trump signed Friday afternoon, ordering a review of U.S. trade policy.


----- 3 -----
The U.S. economy just got hit with a disturbing piece of bad news
By Jeff Guo March 30 2017
The Washington Post

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/03/30/the-u-s-economy-just-got-hit-with-a-disturbing-piece-of-bad-news/

Americans actually became less productive in 2016, the first time since
2009, according to government numbers released today.

The data show that multifactor productivity — economist shorthand for
overall man and machine efficiency — dipped about 0.2 percent last
year. This means that the 1.7 growth in the economy last year was
entirely caused by companies hiring more people and buying more
machines and software, not by improvements in technology or
organization or anything else that allows companies to squeeze more out
of the resources they have.

In other words, everything has, on average, actually gotten less
efficient. Americans made more stuff in 2016 only because we had more
people working and more tools for them to use, according to Thursday’s
new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

It’s not news any modern economy wants to hear, especially as the
United States looks at a future of declining fertility and a shrinking
workforce. If the nation wants more economic growth, it will quickly
need to find ways of doing more with fewer people.


----- 4 -----
The White House Is Being Reset Even Before It Started
President Trump has already fired a national security adviser, removed a communications officer, and pushed a deputy chief of staff out—with more shakeups on the horizon.
The Atlantic | David A. Graham | Mar 31, 2017

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/03/west-wing-in-chaos/521535/

The “usually” framework has become a staple of coverage of Donald Trump. As in: Usually, you have to hire a full complement of staffers before you start pushing them out and reshuffling. But normal patterns, as is well known, do not apply to this White House.

Consider this. The president has already had to fire his national security adviser. A deputy White House chief of staff has been shipped out, and there are rumors swirling around another. The chief of staff has been the subject of rumors more or less since he started unpacking his boxes in the West Wing. A top communications official has been fired. The press secretary is widely viewed as ineffectual and endangered. And while the West Wing is not as empty as it once was—for example, President Trump finally hired a communications director in mid-February—the vast majority of essential executive-branch positions are not only unfilled but have no nominee.

Let’s survey the damage in a little more detail. The first casualty was National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who was forced to resign on February 13, after it became clear that he had lied to Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations with the Russian ambassador. Flynn has since revealed he lobbied for Turkey before taking the job, and has opened discussions about seeking immunity with several investigations.

On March 25, reports indicated that Boris Epshteyn, who was a frequent surrogate for the Trump campaign and was in charge of coordinating TV surrogates for the Trump White House, was leaving that job. The circumstances of the departure are a little unclear—he had reportedly clashed with TV bookers, but The New York Times reports his departure was mutually sought. For whatever reasons, Epshteyn was not cut out for the job.

This week, the White House announced that Deputy Chief of Staff Katie Walsh is leaving her job. She’ll head to America First Policies, an outside group that’s supposed to help drum up support for Trump’s agenda, but was universally regarded as ineffective during the health-care fight. Administration officials sought on the one hand to portray this as a perfect meeting of a need and skills, but in practice no one wants to be sent packing from a prime White House job. There were also rumors that another deputy chief, Rick Dearborn, was headed for the exits, though the White House says that’s not true.


----- 5 -----
Trump: US will deal with North Korea with or without China: report
The Hill
By Olivia Beavers - 04/02/17 03:06 PM EDT

http://thehill.com/policy/international/326925-trump-us-will-deal-with-north-korea-with-or-without-china-report

President Donald Trump said he will deal with the increasingly aggressive North Korean state with or without the help of the Chinese government.

“China has great influence over North Korea. And China will either decide to help us with North Korea, or they won’t,” Trump told the Financial Times in an exclusive Sunday interview.

“Well if China is not going to solve North Korea, we will. That is all I am telling you,”

Trump said it would be mutually beneficial for China to help stop North Korea.

“If they do, that will be very good for China, and if they don’t, it won’t be good for anyone,” he added.

Trump said he would discuss the North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile programs during his scheduled meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping later this week at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, where he hopes the two leaders can strike a deal to pressure Pyongyang.


----- 6 -----
Our Dishonest President
The Los Angeles Times
By The Times Editorial Board | April 2, 2017

http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-ed-our-dishonest-president/

It was no secret during the campaign that Donald Trump was a narcissist and a demagogue who used fear and dishonesty to appeal to the worst in American voters. The Times called him unprepared and unsuited for the job he was seeking, and said his election would be a “catastrophe.”

Still, nothing prepared us for the magnitude of this train wreck. Like millions of other Americans, we clung to a slim hope that the new president would turn out to be all noise and bluster, or that the people around him in the White House would act as a check on his worst instincts, or that he would be sobered and transformed by the awesome responsibilities of office.

Instead, seventy-some days in — and with about 1,400 to go before his term is completed — it is increasingly clear that those hopes were misplaced.

In a matter of weeks, President Trump has taken dozens of real-life steps that, if they are not reversed, will rip families apart, foul rivers and pollute the air, intensify the calamitous effects of climate change and profoundly weaken the system of American public education for all.

His attempt to de-insure millions of people who had finally received healthcare coverage and, along the way, enact a massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich has been put on hold for the moment. But he is proceeding with his efforts to defang the government’s regulatory agencies and bloat the Pentagon’s budget even as he supposedly retreats from the global stage.

These are immensely dangerous developments which threaten to weaken this country’s moral standing in the world, imperil the planet and reverse years of slow but steady gains by marginalized or impoverished Americans. But, chilling as they are, these radically wrongheaded policy choices are not, in fact, the most frightening aspect of the Trump presidency.

What is most worrisome about Trump is Trump himself. He is a man so unpredictable, so reckless, so petulant, so full of blind self-regard, so untethered to reality that it is impossible to know where his presidency will lead or how much damage he will do to our nation. His obsession with his own fame, wealth and success, his determination to vanquish enemies real and imagined, his craving for adulation — these traits were, of course, at the very heart of his scorched-earth outsider campaign; indeed, some of them helped get him elected. But in a real presidency in which he wields unimaginable power, they are nothing short of disastrous.


----- 7 -----
Trump v. the Earth
He said that his order puts “an end to the war on coal.” In reality, it’s a war on basic knowledge of the harm that coal can do.
By Amy Davidson | The New Yorker | 10 April 2017 issue

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/04/10/trump-v-the-earth

In late 2006, President George W. Bush’s Environmental Protection Agency argued before the Supreme Court that it did not want to regulate greenhouse gases, and that no one could make it do so. It certainly had no wish to accede to the desires of Massachusetts, which, with eleven other states, had sued the E.P.A. for failing to establish guidelines on emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and hydrofluorocarbons. The states pointed to the agency’s charter, under the Clean Air Act, which instructs it to regulate chemicals released into the air “which may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare.” They asked why the E.P.A., which had refused even to consider whether greenhouse gases fell into that category, thought that it could ignore the law.

The Court, in a landmark 5–4 decision, written by Justice John Paul Stevens and issued ten years ago this week, agreed with the states. As a result of that ruling, the E.P.A. began the formal process of looking at the science documenting the risks posed by greenhouse gases, and recognized that those emissions had contributed to a public-safety crisis affecting not just the nation but the planet. The E.P.A.’s resulting “endangerment finding,” as it is known, was issued in 2009, in time for Barack Obama’s Presidency. It became the immediate object of conservative scorn and of furious efforts in Congress and the courts to invalidate it, but it held up, and formed the basis for new standards on auto emissions and for Obama’s Clean Power Plan, issued in 2015. More than that, the finding was an assertion of the principle that politicians cannot entirely ignore either science or the rule of law.

We now have, in Donald J. Trump, a President who shows disdain for both. Trump’s lack of interest in climate change as anything other than fodder for conspiracy theories involving Chinese hoaxers reached its fullest expression last week, in a “Presidential Executive Order on Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth.” The order asks every agency of the federal government to review its rules and to purge them of measures that inconvenience the fossil-fuel and nuclear-power industries. In particular, it directs the E.P.A. to rewrite the Clean Power Plan, which had called for, among other things, the replacement of old and dirty coal-burning plants. The plan would, it was projected, result in eight hundred and seventy million fewer tons of carbon pollution released into the atmosphere, as many as thirty-six hundred fewer premature deaths in the United States between now and 2030, and ninety thousand fewer asthma attacks in children.

President Trump said that his order puts “an end to the war on coal.” In reality, it is a declaration of war on the basic knowledge of the harm that burning coal, and other fossil fuels, can do. Indeed, it tells the government to ignore information. The Obama Administration assembled a working group to determine the “social cost” of each ton of greenhouse-gas emissions. Trump’s executive order disbands that group and tosses out its findings. Scott Pruitt, the new E.P.A. administrator—who, as attorney general of Oklahoma, had joined a lawsuit attempting to undo the endangerment finding—announced that the agency was no longer interested in even collecting data on the quantities of methane that oil and gas companies release.


----- 8 -----
In Trump Country, Shock at Trump Budget Cuts, but Still Loyalty
The New York Times | 1 April 2017
Nicholas Kristof

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/04/01/opinion/sunday/in-trump-country-shock-at-trump-budget-cuts-but-still-loyalty.html

TULSA, Okla. — Rhonda McCracken is a kindergarten teacher and a Republican who voted for President Trump. Now she’s wrestling with the consequences.

McCracken’s deep-rooted conservatism is matched by a passion to support Tulsa Domestic Violence Intervention Services, a nonprofit that helped her flee an ex- who she says beat and choked her, once until unconsciousness. She became teary as she described how staff members at the organization helped her and her son escape that relationship.

“They saved my life, and my son’s,” she said, her eyes liquid.

So she is aghast that one of Trump’s first proposals is to cut federal funds that sustain the organization. “My prayer is that Congress will step in” to protect domestic violence programs, she said.

Here in Oklahoma, I’ve been interviewing many people like McCracken — fervent Trump supporters who now find that the White House is trying to ax programs they have depended on, to pay for Trump’s border wall and for increases in military spending. And they’re upset.

...

Payton suggested that if the government wants to cut budgets, it should target “Obama phones” provided to low-income Americans. (In fact, the program predates President Barack Obama and is financed by telecom companies rather than by taxpayers.)

Yet Democrats gleeful at the prospect of winning penitent voters back should take a deep breath. These voters may be irritated, but I was struck by how loyal they remain to Trump.

I talked to many Trump voters about the impact if Trump’s budget cuts go through, and none regretted their votes in November. They all said that they might vote for Trump for re-election.

“I don’t think I re-evaluate Trump,” Moreno said, adding that he just wants the president to re-evaluate his budget proposal.

Judy Banks, a 70-year-old struggling to get by, said she voted for Trump because “he was talking about getting rid of those illegals.” But Banks now finds herself shocked that he also has his sights on funds for the Labor Department’s Senior Community Service Employment Program, which is her lifeline. It pays senior citizens a minimum wage to hold public service jobs.

“This program makes sense,” said Banks, who was placed by the program into a job as a receptionist for a senior nutrition program. Banks said she depends on the job to make ends meet, and for an excuse to get out of the house.

“If I lose this job,” she said, “I’ll sit home and die.”

Yet she said she might still vote for Trump in 2020.


----- 9 -----
Trump tells NBC to stop covering Russia story
The Hill | April 1, 2017
By Elliot Smilowitz

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/326830-trump-tells-nbc-to-stop-covering-russia-story

President Trump on Saturday called for NBC News to devote more attention to his unproven claims that President Obama spied on him and stop covering the investigations into Russia’s interference in the election.

“When will Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd and @NBCNews start talking about the Obama SURVEILLANCE SCANDAL and stop with the Fake Trump/Russia story?” Trump tweeted just before 9 a.m.

“It is the same Fake News Media that said there is ‘no path to victory for Trump’ that is now pushing the phony Russia story. A total scam!” he added shortly after.


----- 10 -----
Flynn files new financial paperwork disclosing payments from Russian firms
The Hill
By Max Greenwood - 04/01/17

http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/326866-flynn-files-new-financial-paperwork-disclosing-payments-from-russian

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn did not list payments from Russian companies on his original financial disclosure forms submitted in February.

The retired lieutenant general filed an amended financial disclosure on Friday reporting speaking payments from three Russia-linked companies, including the state-backed news outlet RT.

The new disclosure was first reported by The Daily Beast.

Flynn was paid $45,000 by RT in 2015 to speak at the group's 10th anniversary gala. The two other companies — Kaspersky Government Security Solutions, a U.S. subsidiary of Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab, and Russia-based Volga-Dnepr Airlines — paid him more than $5,000, according to the documents.

Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee had released documents last month that included the payments. Those documents showed that Flynn received $11,250 from Volga-Dnepr Airlines in August 2015 and $11,250 in October 2015 from the Kaspersky Lab subsidiary.


----- 11 -----
Flynn made $1.3 million for lobbying, speeches, other work
The Seattle Times | By STEPHEN BRAUN and CHAD DAY, Associated Press
Originally published April 1, 2017 at 1:40 pm

http://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/nation-politics/flynn-made-1-3-million-for-lobbying-speeches-other-work/

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Trump administration national security adviser Michael Flynn has disclosed that he earned more than $1.3 million for work for technology firms, political groups and government contractors as well as for speeches to Russian companies and lobbying for a firm owned by a Turkish businessman.

The new disclosures contained two filings, one made last February and a second dated Friday. The earlier disclosure omitted payments to Flynn for three speeches that he made to Russian companies, while the second filing disclosed those payments. In response to questions about the differences in the filing, Flynn’s lawyer said the first filing included the speaking fees in bulk. He noted that the initial filing was a draft and was not followed by consultations with federal ethics officials because Flynn left the administration just days after turning it in.

Flynn’s recent financial history, made available Saturday by the White House, comes amid his effort to win immunity from congressional probers in exchange for his cooperation with official inquiries into contacts between Russia and President Donald Trump’s campaign in 2016.

The disclosures detail Flynn’s business and financial activities dating back to 2014, including 2015 payments from Russia’s state-supported television network and paid speeches to two other Russian companies. The filing includes the activities of Flynn Intel Group Inc., a consulting firm that he and partners set up in 2015. The company filed as a foreign agent last month with the Justice Department, acknowledging that its lobbying work last year likely benefited the government of Turkey even as Flynn was advising Trump’s campaign.

Flynn’s ties to Russia have been scrutinized by the FBI and are under investigation by the House and Senate intelligence committees. Both committees are looking into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election and any ties between Trump associates and the Kremlin.


----- 12 -----
Judge to Trump: No protection for speech inciting violence
The Associated Press
Updated 9:41 pm, Saturday, April 1, 2017

http://www.seattlepi.com/news/crime/article/Judge-denies-Trump-s-free-speech-defense-in-11043726.php

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A federal judge has rejected President Donald Trump's free speech defense against a lawsuit accusing him of inciting violence against protesters at a campaign rally.

Trump's lawyers sought to dismiss the lawsuit by three protesters who say they were roughed up by his supporters at a March 1, 2016 rally in Louisville, Kentucky. They argued that Trump didn't intend for his supporters to use force.

Two women and a man say they were shoved and punched by audience members at Trump's command. Much of it was captured on video and widely broadcast during the campaign, showing Trump pointing at the protesters and repeating "get them out."

Judge David J. Hale in Louisville ruled Friday that the suit against Trump, his campaign and three of his supporters can proceed. Hale found ample facts supporting allegations that the protesters' injuries were a "direct and proximate result" of Trump's actions, and noted that the Supreme Court has ruled out constitutional protections for speech that incites violence.

"It is plausible that Trump's direction to 'get 'em out of here' advocated the use of force," the judge wrote. "It was an order, an instruction, a command."

Plaintiffs Kashiya Nwanguma, Molly Shah and Henry Brousseau allege that they were physically attacked by several members of the audience, including Matthew Heimbach, Alvin Bamberger and an unnamed defendant they have yet to be able to identify.


----- 13 -----
Document Dump Reveals Flynn's Russian And Turkish Income Sources
By STEPHEN BRAUN, CHAD DAY Published April 1, 2017, 3:31 PM EDT
Talking Points Memo

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/flynn-russia-trump-turkey

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Trump administration national security adviser Michael Flynn has disclosed that he earned more than $1.3 million for work for political groups and government contractors, as well as for speeches to Russian companies and lobbying for a firm owned by a Turkish businessman.

Flynn's recent financial history, made available Saturday by the White House, comes amid Flynn's effort to win immunity from congressional probers in exchange for his cooperation with official inquiries into contacts between Russia and President Donald Trump's election campaign in 2016.

The new disclosures show that Flynn declared more than $827,000 from his work for the Flynn Intel Group, a consulting firm that he and partners set up in 2015. The company filed as a foreign agent last month with the Justice Department, acknowledging that its lobbying work last year likely benefited the government of Turkey even as Flynn was advising Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

The disclosures detail Flynn's financial activities dating back to 2014, including Flynn's 2015 work for Russia's state-supported television network and speeches to two other Russian companies. Flynn has been interviewed by the FBI, which has been investigating allegations of contacts last year between Trump campaign officials and Russian officials and surrogates.

The White House released two filings for Flynn on Saturday. One was filed while he was still in the administration. The other was filed Friday, more than a month after Trump fired Flynn as national security adviser. Trump has said he asked Flynn to step down because he misled the vice president about a conversation he had with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. during the transition.


----- 14 -----
America’s crisis in governance
By Robert Reich | The San Francisco Chronicle
March 28, 2017 Updated: March 31, 2017

http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/reich/article/America-s-crisis-in-governance-11034346.php

America is in a crisis of governance. No adult is in charge.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, in his news conference following the demise of his bill to replace Obamacare, blamed Republicans who had failed to grasp that the GOP was now a “governing party.”

“We were a 10-year opposition party, where being against things was easy to do,” said Ryan. “You just had to be against it. Now, in three months’ time, we tried to go to a governing party where we actually had to get 216 people to agree with each other on how we do things.”

Ryan said it was “the growing pains of government.”

Rubbish.

Apparently Ryan doesn’t grasp that he put forward a terrible bill to begin with. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, it would have resulted in 24 million Americans losing health coverage over the next decade, would hardly make a dent in the federal debt, and would transfer more than $600 billion to the wealthiest members of American society.

The so-called Freedom Caucus of House Republicans, who refused to go along with the bill, wanted it to be even worse. Essentially, their goal (and that of their fat-cat patrons) was to repeal the Affordable Care Act without replacing it at all.

Ryan is correct about one thing. Congress is in the hands of Republicans who for years have only said “no.” They have become expert at stopping whatever a president wants to do, but they don’t have a clue how to initiate policy.


----- 15 -----
FBI probing whether Trump aides helped Russian intel in early 2016
By Jeff Pegues CBS News March 31, 2017

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/fbi-probing-whether-trump-aides-helped-russian-intel-in-early-2016/?ftag=CNM-00-10aab8a&linkId=36077589

CBS News has learned that U.S. investigators are looking into whether Trump campaign representatives had a role in helping Russian intelligence as it carried out cyberattacks on the Democratic National Committee and other political targets in March 2016.

This new information suggests that the FBI is going back further than originally reported to determine the extent of possible coordination. Sources say investigators are probing whether an individual or individuals connected to the campaign intentionally or unwittingly helped the Russians breach Democratic Party targets.

In March 2016, both Mr. Trump and Hillary Clinton had emerged as their parties’ most likely nominees.

According to a declassified intelligence assessment, it was in March when Russian hackers “began cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election.” In May, U.S. officials say the Russians had stolen “large volumes of data from the DNC.”


----- 16 -----
Trump’s Lawyers Argue President Is Too Busy for Sexual Misconduct Defamation Lawsuit
By Graham Lanktree On 3/29/17 | Newsweek

http://www.newsweek.com/trumps-lawyers-argue-president-too-busy-apprentice-defamation-case-575800

President Donald Trump’s lawyers argued in New York’s top court Monday that Trump’s busy schedule prevents him from facing a defamation lawsuit.

The suit was brought three days before Trump’s inauguration in January by a female contestant on The Apprentice who—along with nearly a dozen other women—accused Trump of sexual misconduct during the 2016 election campaign.

Summer Zervos, who appeared on season five of Trump’s ‘The Apprentice’ in 2006, filed the suit against Trump on January 17. She accused him of defamation for saying her charge that he touched her inappropriately was “fabricated and made-up.”

Zervos accused Trump of making non-consensual sexual advances in October 2016, but she says the incident took place in 2007 when she claims she was invited to meet with Trump at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles to talk about a business proposal.

"I assumed we were going to a restaurant in the hotel. Instead, I was taken to a bungalow," Zervos said. Trump “came to me and started kissing me open-mouthed as he was pulling me toward him,” she explained. “He then grabbed my shoulder and began kissing me again very aggressively and placed his hand on my breast." Zervos said she gave Trump an opportunity to retract his accusation that she lied about the encounter, but decided to sue when he didn’t.


----- 17 -----
Bill O’Reilly Thrives at Fox News, Even as Harassment Settlements Add Up
About $13 million has been paid out over the years to address complaints from women about Mr. O’Reilly’s behavior. He denies the claims have merit.
By EMILY STEEL and MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT APRIL 1, 2017
The New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/01/business/media/bill-oreilly-sexual-harassment-fox-news.html

For nearly two decades, Bill O’Reilly has been Fox News’s top asset, building the No. 1 program in cable news for a network that has pulled in billions of dollars in revenues for its parent company, 21st Century Fox.

Behind the scenes, the company has repeatedly stood by Mr. O’Reilly as he faced a series of allegations of sexual harassment or other inappropriate behavior.

An investigation by The New York Times has found a total of five women who have received payouts from either Mr. O’Reilly or the company in exchange for agreeing to not pursue litigation or speak about their accusations against him. The agreements totaled about $13 million.

Two settlements came after the network’s former chairman, Roger Ailes, was dismissed last summer in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal, when the company said it did not tolerate behavior that “disrespects women or contributes to an uncomfortable work environment.”

The women who made allegations against Mr. O’Reilly either worked for him or appeared on his show. They have complained about a wide range of behavior, including verbal abuse, lewd comments, unwanted advances and phone calls in which it sounded as if Mr. O’Reilly was masturbating, according to documents and interviews.


----- 18 -----
Republicans’ views of blacks’ intelligence, work ethic lag behind Democrats at a record clip
By Aaron Blake | March 31 2017 | The Washington Post

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/03/31/the-gap-between-republicans-and-democrats-views-of-african-americans-just-hit-a-new-high/

Over the last two decades, there has never been a bigger divide between
white Republicans and Democrats when it comes to views of the
intelligence and work ethic of African Americans, according to the new
General Social Survey.

The GSS is a wide-ranging study of cultural and political attitudes
done annually by the National Opinion Research Center at the University
of Chicago. The bevy of data is all available here.

Because the survey is so extensive, it can drill down on issues that
don't feature in regular national polls. Among them are racial
attitudes and views of how the races are different from one another.

And something happened in the newly released 2016 data: The partisan
gaps among whites were as wide or wider than we've seen since the
survey first started asking most of these questions in the 1990s. It's
not that white Republicans' views of African Americans have dimmed so
much as that they haven't kept pace with those of white Democrats. But
in some cases, the GOP has moved in the other direction.

The biggest yawning gap between Democrats and Republicans is on the
issue of motivation and will power. The GSS asks whether African
Americans are worse off economically “because most just don't have the
motivation or will power to pull themselves up out of poverty?”

A majority — 55 percent — of white Republicans agreed with this
statement, compared to 26 percent of white Democrats. That's the
biggest gap since the question was first asked in 1977 — though the gap
was similar (60-32) in 2010.
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June 2017

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