Showing posts with label Smart? Politician-Trump. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Smart? Politician-Trump. Show all posts

July 5, 2017

Trump Interjects Into A Dying or Dead Child But Ignores How Many He is Killing with No Health Care







Last week, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that infant Charlie Gard should be taken off life support per the hospital’s recommendations and against his parent’s wishes, but in concordance with previous rulings. Now, for some reason, the Pope and Donald Trump are getting involved.
Born to Chris Gard and Connie Yates in 2016, Charlie Gard was already suffering from brain damage and a rare form of a mitochondrial disease which causes muscles to progressively weaken. His parents opted to keep him on life support, against the recommendation of doctors, and petitioned to bring him to the U.S. for an experimental treatment. CNN reports that an extension on Charlie’s life support ended last Tuesday, when the ruling was made official, though there was no immediate plan made for changing his care.
The Guardian reports that on Sunday evening, the Vatican released a statement about Charlie, who has caught international attention as his parents fight to continue his life, which said that the Pope thinks of Charlie’s parents with “affection and sadness” and that he “prays that their wish to accompany and treat their child until the end isn’t neglected.” This is a shifting message from a position released by the Vatican’s bioethics advisory panel last week, in which they said patients should accept the limits of medicine. 
Then on Monday, Trump weighed in, speaking in what reads as the royal “we”:
The New York Times notes that Trump is “not known to have expressed a view on the matter previously,” but if his buddy the Pope has something to say about it, so does he.
Since launching their case to get Charlie to America, Gard and Yates have raised $1.7 million to pay for the experimental treatments that they believe could help Charlie, who is blind, deaf, and unable to move or breath on his own. Even the specialist in the U.S. agrees that their treatment will not reverse the brain and cellular damage which he has already suffered, even if it has some halting affect on his syndrome. On Friday, Yates released a statement asking for privacy as they prepared to say “the final goodbye to our son Charlie.” On Monday, they posted Trump’s tweet to their Facebook page:
 @realDonaldtTump
If we can help little , as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so.

March 29, 2017

A Problem with Trump University Settlement: Plaintiff Wants Apology




 

President Donald Trump's $25 million settlement of a class-action lawsuit that alleged fraud at his now-defunct Trump University may be put on hold because a former student in Florida wants a full refund plus interest and an apology.

A federal judge in San Diego will decide Thursday whether to let Sherri Simpson opt out of the settlement and sue the president individually.

Simpson, a Fort Lauderdale bankruptcy and consumer rights attorney, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that she thinks Trump should acknowledge wrongdoing and apologize. Simpson and a partner paid $35,000 in 2010 to enroll in Trump University's "Gold Elite" program, where they were supposed to be paired with a mentor who would teach them Trump's secret real estate investment strategies.


Like other members of the lawsuit, Simpson said they got little for their money — the videos were 5 years old, the materials covered information that could be found free on the internet and her mentor didn't return calls or emails. Under terms of the settlement, Trump admitted no wrongdoing and the students will get back 80 percent of their enrollment fees — about $28,000 for Simpson and her partner.

Simpson said that's not enough, financially or morally. She doesn't want U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel to scuttle the entire settlement — she just wants the right to sue Trump individually.

"I would like an admission that he was wrong, an admission that, 'Oops, maybe I didn't handle it as well as I should have, I didn't set it up as well as I should have, that I didn't maintain it or oversee it as well as I should have,'" said Simpson, who appeared in two anti-Trump ads made by political action committees last year.

Trump's lead attorney Daniel M. Petrocelli didn't immediately return a phone message or email. But attorneys representing both the former students and the president have told the judge they oppose Simpson's request and want him to give final approval to the settlement. They say Simpson and the other former students were informed in writing that they had to opt out of the lawsuit by Nov. 16, 2015, if they wanted to pursue individual lawsuits. They say she filed a claim form on Feb. 1 to receive her share of the settlement, but then filed her objection three weeks ago.

"The 2015 notices were crystal clear," wrote Rachel L. Jensen, an attorney for the students, in a court filing. "If Simpson had any questions or concerns, she could have brought it up with counsel for the class on any one of their many calls. She did not."

Simpson argues that the written notice also said that if the students obtained money, they would be notified how to receive their share or "how to ask to be excluded from any settlement."

Of the 3,730 members of the class, attorneys said only Simpson and a man who wants triple his money back have objected. Thirteen former students opted out before the 2015 deadline, but none have sued Trump individually.


Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond Law School professor who has been following the lawsuit, thinks the judge will approve the settlement but could let Simpson pursue her own lawsuit. If she does, it would raise the question of whether Simpson's attorneys could depose a sitting president, and the case could be delayed until Trump leaves office.

The lawsuit became campaign fodder last year as supporters for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton said it showed Trump University was a scam and that Trump lied in its advertising. Trump told prospective students that he "hand-picked" the teachers and had helped devise the curriculum, which he said would be "Ivy League quality."

But in a 2012 deposition, Trump told lawyers that he had no direct role in hiring teachers or designing courses. Trump University, which opened in 2005, changed its name to "The Trump Entrepreneur Initiative" in 2010 after New York officials said it was not an accredited school. It mostly ceased operations later that year.

During the campaign, Trump blasted Curiel's rulings on the lawsuit and insinuated that the Indiana-born judge's Mexican ancestry influenced his decisions.

Trump has proposed building a wall between Mexico and the United States as a curb to illegal immigration. Curiel was appointed to the bench in 2012 by President Barack Obama.

Trump vowed never to settle the case. But less than two weeks after the election, the settlement was announced.

Trump tweeted shortly after, "The ONLY bad thing about winning the Presidency is that I did not have the time to go through a long but winning trial on Trump U. Too bad!”

By TERRY SPENCER


March 28, 2017

NY Times Review: The Cause of Clinton’s Loss Election(Not Turnout)







In the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election, many analysts suggested that Hillary Clinton lost to Donald J. Trump because of poor Democratic turnout.
Months later, it is clear that the turnout was only modestly better for Mr. Trump than expected.
To the extent Democratic turnout was weak, it was mainly among black voters. Even there, the scale of Democratic weakness has been exaggerated.
Instead, it’s clear that large numbers of white, working-class voters shifted from the Democrats to Mr. Trump. Over all, almost one in four of President Obama’s 2012 white working-class supporters defected from the Democrats in 2016, either supporting Mr. Trump or voting for a third-party candidate.
This analysis compares official voter files — data not available until months after the election — with The Upshot’s pre-election turnout projections in Florida, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. The turnout patterns evident in these states are representative of broader trends throughout the battleground states and nationwide.
The turnout was slightly and consistently more favorable for Mr. Trump across all three states. But the turnout edge was small; in one of the closest elections in American history, it might not have represented his margin of victory. 
A More Favorable Electorate for Trump
In general, white and Hispanic voters roughly matched expectations of voter share or made up a slightly larger share of the electorate than expected, while black voters made up a smaller share.

The Electorate Was About What We Expected 

Black and Democratic voters made up a somewhat smaller share of the electorate than expected. Negative numbers indicate groups that represented a smaller-than-expected share of the electorate. 

In North Carolina

BY RACEUPSHOT PREDICTIONACTUALDIFFERENCE
White70.7%71.4%0.7 pts.
Black21.4%20.7%-0.7 pts.
Hispanic1.8%2.0%0.2 pts.
Other/unknown6.1%5.9%-0.2 pts.
BY PARTY
Democrats40.3%39.3%-1.0 pts.
Republicans32.4%33.0%0.6 pts.
Other27.3%27.7%0.4 pts.

In Pennsylvania

BY RACEUPSHOT PREDICTIONACTUALDIFFERENCE
White71.9%71.8%-0.1 pts.
Black8.7%8.1%-0.6 pts.
Hispanic3.6%3.6%-
Other/unknown15.9%16.4%0.5 pts.
BY PARTY
Democrats47.9%47.4%-0.5 pts.
Republicans41.6%41.3%-0.3 pts.
Other10.6%11.3%0.7 pts.

In Florida

BY RACEUPSHOT PREDICTIONACTUALDIFFERENCE
White66.7%66.7%-
Black13.1%12.5%-0.6 pts.
Hispanic14.2%14.8%0.6 pts.
Other/unknown6.0%6.0%-
BY PARTY
Democrats38.4%38.1%-0.3 pts.
Republicans38.8%38.7%-0.1 pts.
Other22.8%23.2%0.4 pts.

This was mainly a result of higher white and Hispanic turnout; black turnout was roughly in line with our pre-election expectations. On average, white and Hispanic turnout was 4 percent higher than we expected, while black turnout was 1 percent lower than expected.
Whether black turnout was “disappointing” or “poor” is a matter of perspective. It was consistent with our pre-election models, but it was significantly lower than it was four or eight years ago, when Mr. Obama galvanized record black turnout.
Our pre-election estimates did not anticipate that black turnout would stay at such elevated levels, since African-Americans still had a weaker track record of voting in midterm and primary elections when President Obama was not on the ballot.
Ultimately, black turnout was roughly as we expected it. It looks as if black turnout was weak mostly in comparison with the stronger turnout among white and Hispanic voters.
This was part of a broader national pattern. Mr. Trump’s turnout edge was nonexistent or reversed in states with a large Hispanic population and a small black population, like Arizona. His turnout advantage was largest in states with a large black population and few Hispanic voters, like North Carolina.
What was consistent across most states, however, was higher-than-expected white turnout.
The increase in white turnout was broad, including among young voters, Democrats, Republicans, unaffiliated voters, urban, rural, and the likeliest supporters of Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump. The greatest increases were among young and unaffiliated white voters.
For this reason alone, it’s hard to argue that turnout was responsible for the preponderance of Mr. Trump’s gains among white voters. The turnout among young and white Democratic voters was quite strong.
But the turnout was generally stronger among the likeliest white Trump supporters than among the likeliest white Clinton supporters.
Over all, the turnout among white voters with a greater than 80 percent chance of supporting Mr. Trump was 7 percent higher than expected, while the turnout was 4 percent higher among white voters with greater than an 80 percent chance of supporting Mrs. Clinton.
The stronger Republican turnout among white voters narrowed the Democratic registration edge below pre-election expectations in Florida, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

Only a Modest Effect

So how much did turnout contribute to Mr. Trump’s victory? As the party registration numbers and turnout figures by race imply, just a bit. But Mr. Trump won the election by just a bit — by only 0.7 percentage points in Pennsylvania, for example.
We estimated the presidential vote of every registered voter, based on our pre-election polls, voter file data and the results of every precinct. With these individual-level estimates of vote choice, it’s easy to assess how the election might have gone differently with a different electorate.
These estimates suggest that turnout improved Mr. Trump’s standing by a modest margin compared with pre-election expectations. If the turnout had gone exactly as we thought it would, the election would have been extremely close. But by this measure, Mrs. Clinton still would have lost both Florida and Pennsylvania — albeit very narrowly.
It’s important to note that this is just one analysis, based on one set of data. Over the coming months or years, other analysts may conclude that the effect of turnout was larger or smaller than our estimates suggest. Their conclusions could differ if, for instance, their pre-election models showed a different electorate (say, they expected another big 2012-like turnout among black voters), or if their polling data shows that the people who voted were more or less supportive of Mr. Trump compared with those who stayed home.
Even so, it would surprise me if other analysts reach a fundamentally different conclusion, based on interviews with pollsters and data analysts from both parties. In such a high-turnout election, it’s difficult for the voting electorate to be vastly different than expected.
 For comparison, consider just how much worse Mrs. Clinton would have done with the 2014 electorate. Young, nonwhite and Democratic voters did not turn out in large numbers that year, and Mrs. Clinton would have probably lost Florida and Pennsylvania by a wide margin. Her losses would have been smaller in North Carolina, perhaps because the state had such a competitive Senate race in 2014.
Based on these data, Democrats are right to blame many of their midterm election losses on weak turnout. They’re on far shakier ground if they complain about the turnout last November.
This doesn’t mean that Democrats can’t improve on turnout. If the turnout had been as good for Mrs. Clinton as it was for Mr. Trump, she would have won by our analysis. But even then, she would have only scratched by.

The Trump-Obama Vote

If turnout played only a modest role in Mr. Trump’s victory, then the big driver of his gains was persuasion: He flipped millions of white working-class Obama supporters to his side.
The voter file data makes it impossible to avoid this conclusion. It’s not just that the electorate looks far too Democratic. In many cases, turnout cannot explain Mrs. Clinton’s losses.
Take Schuylkill County, Pa., the county where Mr. Trump made his biggest gains in Pennsylvania. He won, 69 percent to 26 percent, compared with Mitt Romney’s 56-42 victory. Mrs. Clinton’s vote tally fell by 7,776 compared with Mr. Obama’s 2012 result, even though the overall turnout was up.
Did 8,000 of Mr. Obama’s supporters stay home? No. There were 5,995 registered voters who voted in 2012, remain registered in Schuylkill County, and stayed home in 2016.
And there’s no way these 2016 drop-off voters were all Obama supporters. There were 2,680 registered Democrats, 2,629 registered Republicans and 686 who were unaffiliated or registered with a different party. This is a place where registered Democrats often vote Republican in presidential elections, so Mr. Obama’s standing among these voters was most likely even lower.
Were they mostly supporters of Bernie Sanders? Unlikely: He was popular among the young, but 67 percent of the 2016 drop-off voters were over age 45, and 35 percent were over age 65. Just 5 percent voted in the Democratic primary in 2016, and 7 percent voted in the Republican primary.
Is it possible that the registered Democrats who turned out were Trump supporters, and that the Democrats who stayed home were likelier to be supporters of Mrs. Clinton? Perhaps, but our polling suggests the opposite. In our pre-election Upshot/Siena polls, voters were likelier than nonvoters to support their party’s nominee.
Survey data, along with countless journalistic accounts, also suggest that voters switched in huge numbers.
Throughout the campaign, polls of registered voters — which are not subject to changes in turnout — showed Mrs. Clinton faring much worse than Mr. Obama among white working-class voters.
The postelection survey data tells a similar story: Mrs. Clinton won Mr. Obama’s white-working class supporters by a margin of only 78 percent to 18 percent against Mr. Trump, according to the Cooperative Congressional Election Study.
In the Midwestern battleground states and Pennsylvania, Mrs. Clinton had an advantage of 76 percent to 20 percent among white working-class Obama voters.
The survey data isn’t perfect. It relies on voters’ accurate recall of their 2012 vote, and that type of recall is often biased toward the winner. Indeed, the C.C.E.S. found that Mr. Obama had 54 percent of support among 2012 voters, compared with his actual 51 percent finish.
But the data all points in the same direction: Shifts in turnout were not the dominant factor in Mr. Trump’s success among white working-class voters.
Nate Cohn
New York Times

March 18, 2017

Bracing for A Scorched Land as Trump Takes the Money Away from the Arts for More Nukes







National Public Radio could lose federal funding under proposed Trump budget © AFP Share on Twitter (opens new window) Share on Facebook (opens new window) Share on LinkedIn (opens new window) 20 Save MARCH 16, 2017 by: Shannon Bond in New York President Donald Trump’s proposal to eliminate federal funding for public media and the arts has public broadcasters, local radio and television stations, and arts groups bracing to fight for their lives.

 Sample the FT’s top stories for a week You select the topic, we deliver the news. Select topic Enter email addressInvalid email Sign up By signing up you confirm that you have read and agree to the terms and conditions, cookie policy and privacy policy. The prospective cuts would bring on “the collapse of the public media system itself”, warned Patricia Harrison, president of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which funnels federal dollars to nearly 1,500 TV and radio stations across the country as well as NPR and PBS, the non-profit broadcasters. 

 Salman Rushdie, Jasper Johns and Rosanne Cash added their names to a PEN America petition to protect funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, which support artists, writers, musicians, academics, museums, libraries and non-profit organisations. “Eliminating these vital agencies would lessen America’s stature as a haven for free thinkers and a global leader in humanity’s shared quest for knowledge,” the petition states. Federal support for media and culture has long been a target of conservatives, and these organizations have faced defunding threats before. 

Ronald Reagan intended to eliminate the NEA in 1981 but ultimately scrapped his plan. Newt Gingrich, then Speaker of the House, tried to abolish both the NEA and NEH in the mid-1990s but settled for a compromise with Bill Clinton for steep cuts to their budgets. Related article Trump’s budget slashes EPA and state department spending The scale of what Mr Trump aims to do, as part of a sweeping re-evaluation of spending across the federal government, is different, said Suzanne Nossel, executive director of PEN America, the writers association. “In the past it’s been caught up in the culture wars. It was a debate about what was art and what art deserved taxpayer dollars,” she said.  

“This is much more of a scorched earth strategy . . . So many functions of the state are in jeopardy now and arts and humanities are one of them,” she added. PEN and other advocates argue that the US already spends very little on arts and culture compared to other countries. In 2016, the NEA and the NEH each received $148m and the CPB received $445m from the government — adding up to less than one-tenth of one per cent of the annual federal budget. In the UK, the BBC is funded by £3.7bn in annual television licensing fees. Countries such as China, Russia and Qatar have recently expanded state-backed media outlets China Central Television, RT and Al Jazeera in a bid to extend their influence through soft power.

 As Mr Trump’s budget plans were unveiled on Thursday, US public media and arts organisations were ready with data and lobbying plans to push back. “The cost of public broadcasting is small, only $1.35 per citizen per year, and the benefits are tangible: increasing school readiness for kids ages 2-8, support for teachers and homeschoolers, life-long learning, public safety communications and civil discourse,” chided Paula Kerger, president of PBS, the public TV broadcaster. 

 PEN America is opening its first office in Washington to support its lobbying efforts, which will focus on working with local organisations around the country to urge their representatives to protect their federal funding. Advocates argue that public support is most critical for the community theatres, local library programmes and rural broadcasters that the NEA, NEH and CPB support. “The idea in the past that these were elite institutions in service of other elite institutions is not the case this time around,” Ms Nossel said. Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017


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February 6, 2017

On Obama Care Trump Voters Will Do the Heavy Lifting




                                                                       


Donald Trump's most ardent supporters are likely to be hit the hardest if he makes good on his promise to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and embark on trade wars with China and Mexico. 
"I think you're going to get a disproportionate impact on people who supported Donald Trump but maybe don't realize that his policies may end up hurting them instead of helping them," said Michael O. Moore, a professor of economics and international affairs at George Washington University. 
 How Immigration Went from Being Hotly Debated to Accepted in One Pennsylvania Town 1:59

Half of Republicans Have Obamacare 

According to Gallup data, the number of Americans without health insurance was just under 11 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, down from roughly 17 percent three years earlier. 
Odds are, a large number of those newly insured were Trump voters: An analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 6.3 million of the 11.5 million Americans who used the ACA marketplace to buy their insurance last year live in Republican Congressional districts. 
Policy analysts say that a rollback of the ACA would hurt older and rural Americans — two populations that favored Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in the presidential election. 
One ACA rule that would likely disappear under a Congressional repeal put limits on how much more insurers could charge older customers, said Josh Bivens, director of research at the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute. Rolling back those caps would mean that older Americans trying to buy health insurance would pay more, especially in areas where there was little competition in the insurance market, as is the case in many rural states. 
"For older voters who aren't in great health and don't live in states that are densely populated, I think they're going to be really hammered," Bivens said. 
The Americans who have the most to lose from a repeal are low-income families living in the 32 states that expanded Medicaid to cover more than just the very poor, Bivens said, but even the comfortably middle class — an income bracket that broke for Trump by a narrow margin in the election — could see their costs rise. 
According to CNN's post-election exit poll, Trump edged out Clinton by three percentage points among Americans who earn between $50,000 and $99,999. The Affordable Care Act's premium subsidies are available to households with incomes of up to $97,200 for a family of four (to rise to $98,400 next year). 
Likewise, Trump's early trade agenda could hit a surprising number of American pocketbooks. 

Smaller Cities Hit Harder by Trade War 

By abandoning the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the new administration slammed the door on potentially lucrative Asian markets like Vietnam, said Daniel Ikenson, director of trade policy studies at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank. 
"They've been somewhat difficult for U.S. exporters to penetrate, so those barriers to trade would have gone away or would've been reduced considerably," he said. 
A recent Brookings Institution study shows that, by the numbers, a handful of big cities like New York and Los Angeles do the heavy lifting when it comes to U.S. exports. But when you look at how important exports are to a city's economy, a different picture emerges, one that shows smaller cities — many in red-state territory — with the most to lose from the isolationist policies Trump has embraced. 
"As a share of a local economy, the most export-intensive places in the country are smaller — they tend to be in the Midwest in places like Indiana and Michigan, or the South," said Joseph Parilla, a fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program of the Brookings Institution. 
Parilla pointed to vice president Mike Pence's hometown of Columbus, Indiana, as one such example. "Half of its economy is devoted to exports… compared to about 10 percent of the nation's economy," he said. 
David Brown, deputy director for the economic program at the Third Way, said rural areas that depend on agriculture are especially likely to struggle. 
"Agriculture — it's not the biggest part of the American economy, but in some parts of America, it's virtually the whole economy," he said. "U.S. farmers had a lot to gain from the TPP… and they've gained a lot from NAFTA," he said. 

Lower-Income Families Will Pay the Higher Prices 

In addition to keeping American companies from growing exports, trade policy experts say the import tariffs Trump has threatened to impose on Mexico and other trading partners would wind up costing all consumers. 
"When you look at what Trump wants to do by restricting imports, your mind first goes to consumers. If you put a 20 percent tariff on goods coming from Mexico, it's a complete fallacy that this will be felt only in Mexico," Brown said. "These are products from cars to tomatoes — everyone's going to feel that effect," he said.  
Brown and other trade experts point out that the brunt of this will be borne by lower-income families, since poorer people spend a greater percentage of their income on goods than their wealthier peers. And rural Americans, living in places with less population density and less retail competition as a result, are more likely to notice those increasing prices. 
"I don't think many of the supposed jobs that are going to be created are going to be in those rural areas, so they're not going to get the benefits, but they're going to get the cost," Moore said. 
"One of the tricky things about tariffs is the benefits to seem to be concentrated and the costs are spread across the country," he said. People will be reminded of that." 

MARTHA C. WHITE

November 16, 2016

Intelligence Committee Expert and Trump Supporter Feels Kicked Out




Former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers left President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team, days after Trump’s surprise victory and a shakeup at the top of the team’s organizational chart.
Rogers’ abrupt departure came at the request of team officials, said two people familiar with the matter. The Michigan Republican, who’d also worked for the FBI, had been tapped to help guide the new administration on national security issues.
Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers
 
Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg
“These past six months, it has been an honor to serve as National Security Senior Advisor to the Trump transition team,” Rogers said in a statement after his departure was reported.

‘Friend’ Pence

“Our work will provide a strong foundation for the new transition team leadership as they move into the post-election phase, which naturally is incorporating the campaign team in New York who drove President-elect Trump to an incredible victory last Tuesday,” Rogers said.
“My team and I are pleased to hand off our work to my friend and former colleague, Vice President-elect Mike Pence, Executive Director Rick Dearborn, the Trump family, and the stellar new leadership team,” he said, adding he looks forward to advising the administration as needed.
Trump made Pence chairman of the transition team on Friday, demoting New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to be one of six vice chairmen. Rogers joined the team before Trump’s election, when Christie was still leading it.
Pence and Rogers entered the U.S. House the same year, and they are said to be close.

Steep Task

After his upset of Democrat Hillary Clinton, Trump now faces the steep task of filling thousands of administration jobs when he’s inaugurated in January.
Kellyanne Conway, who managed his campaign, said additional appointments could be announced this week, including Trump’s choice for Treasury secretary.
Former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner Steven Mnuchin, who was the campaign’s national finance chairman, has been recommended by Trump’s team to lead the Treasury Department, according to two people familiar with the process.

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