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Home country: USA
Current location: Southern California
Member since: Sun Mar 20, 2011, 12:05 PM
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Kellyanne Conway's husband on short list for top US lawyer job

Source: CNN

George Conway declined to comment, but one of the sources said he would accept the position should Trump tap him to be the government's top litigator. The other source said he has been interviewed by Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, Trump's attorney general-designate.
George Conway is a partner at the corporate law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, where he has worked for 28 years. He is currently a partner in the firm's litigation department, where he has honed his talents in securities, contract and antitrust litigation, according to his firm's website.
Throughout his career, he has represented high-profile clients, including the National Football League and cigarette giant Philip Morris, whom he represented in a successful defamation lawsuit against ABC News.
He was part of the team of lawyers in the 1990s who represented Paula Jones in her sexual harassment lawsuit against then-President Bill Clinton. He helped write the Supreme Court brief in the case that would establish a legal precedent for a sitting president to be sued in civil court.

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/30/politics/kellyanne-conways-husband-on-short-list-for-top-us-lawyer-job/index.html

Figures. He's part of that Mercer/Bannon cabal that have spent decades trying to destroy the Clintons. But oh the irony that Kelleyanne's hubby established the precedent that sitting presidents can be sued, since Trump will be getting sued...a lot.

Obama's Overtime Law Was Overturned, But Still Helped Thousands

Although a federal judge in late November blocked an update to the Fair Labor Standards Act that would have greatly increased the number of workers eligible for overtime pay beginning at the start of this month, there are indications that the rule still has benefitted some of the workers it was intended to help — and could continue to do so even if Donald Trump squashes it after taking office.

The new legislation would have significantly raised the salary cap under which employees workers were eligible to earn overtime pay. In response, some large companies, such as Walmart, gave raises to workers whose pay fell just under the new threshold, making them ineligible for overtime pay. Other companies reclassified salaried overtime-exempt workers as hourly employees, which would make them eligible to earn overtime for workweeks longer than 40 hours.

"There's a whole set of companies that had already communicated to their employees that they were going to change their employment status or give them raises," said Brian Kropp, HR practice leader at CEB. Because the rule was halted only about a week before it was set to take effect, many companies had already made the switch.
Those raises could have more staying power than the legislation itself. Ross Eisenbrey, vice president at the Economic Policy Institute, said it isn't clear yet whether or not the rule and the higher overtime threshold will survive after the inauguration. Donald Trump's stated opposition to corporate regulations makes him unlikely to support defending it in court, although Eisenbray said at least one organized labor group is positioning itself to continue defending it even if a Jeff Sessions-led Department of Justice declines to do so.

This ambiguity around the legislation's fate could prompt companies to take a better-safe-than-sorry approach, Eisenbray said, since it would be hugely expensive to have to pay months of overtime retroactively.


Trump Will Be Violating the Emoluments Clause of Our Constitution on Day One.

As explained in a ProPublica piece:

The meaning of the Emoluments Clause is fairly clear. And it all goes back to a diamond-encrusted snuffbox Ben Franklin got from Louis XVI.
The Emoluments Clause appears in Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution. It bars any “person holding any office of profit or trust under” the United States from accepting any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign state” “without the consent of the Congress.” The word “emolument” comes from the Latin emolumentum, meaning profit or gain. The language of the clause was lifted in its entirety from the Articles of Confederation which established the structure of the government of the United States from 1781 until the ratification of the Constitution in 1788-89. The clause was derived from a Dutch rule dating to 1751.

The clause was added to the draft Constitution at the Constitutional Convention on Aug. 23, 1787 on a motion by Charles Pinckney of South Carolina. As Gov. Edmund Randolph of Virginia explained to his state’s ratification convention in 1788, Pinckney’s motion was occasioned by Benjamin Franklin, who had been given a snuffbox, adorned with the royal portrait and encrusted with small diamonds, by Louis XVI while serving as the Continental Congress’s ambassador to France. As Randolph said,

“An accident which actually happened, operated in producing the restriction. A box was presented to our ambassador by the king of our allies. It was thought proper, in order to exclude corruption and foreign influence, to prohibit any one in office from receiving emoluments from foreign states.”

The Continental Congress in 1786 had consented, after a debate, to Franklin keeping the snuffbox, as it had earlier with a similar gift to envoy Arthur Lee. At the same time, consent also was given to diplomat John Jay receiving a horse from the King of Spain.

The clause was part of the basis for Alexander Hamilton’s defense of the Constitution, in Federalist 22, as addressing “one of the weak sides of republics”: “that they afford too easy an inlet to foreign corruption.”


Two Malibu property owners fined $5.1 million for blocking access to public beach

A beachgoer walks along Carbon Beach in Malibu, also known as "Billionaires' Beach." The Malibu Beach Inn is seen in the left background. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)A gate on the Lent property blocks public access to the beach in Malibu. (californiacoastline.org)

Commissioners described the Lent case as “very egregious” and a “flagrant violation” of state law because the couple had long refused a commission request to remove an unauthorized gate, fence, stairway and deck that blocked an easement required by a coastal development permit issued to a previous owner. The fine was far more than the $950,000 recommended by the agency’s staff.In one of those decisions, the commission had battled for nine years with Dr. Warren M. Lent and his wife, Henny, before unanimously approving Thursday’s cease-and-desist order for the couple and fining them about $4.2 million for diverting a public easement to private use at an expensive oceanfront rental they own at Las Flores Beach.

Commissioners described the Lent case as “very egregious” and a “flagrant violation” of state law because the couple had long refused a commission request to remove an unauthorized gate, fence, stairway and deck that blocked an easement required by a coastal development permit issued to a previous owner. The fine was far more than the $950,000 recommended by the agency’s staff.

Commission officials said the couple made money at the public’s expense by, in effect, converting the easement to private use. For years, the couple rented the house out to vacationers for about $1,000 a night and advertised on real estate websites that the “romantic, gorgeous” property has access to a private beach.


Man Motivated by Pizzagate Conspiracy Theory Arrested in D.C. Gunfire

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A man fired a rifle on Sunday inside a Washington pizza restaurant that has been subjected to harassment based on false stories tying it to child abuse, the police said. No one was hurt, and the man was arrested.

The man, Edgar M. Welch, 28, of Salisbury, N.C., told the police that he had come to the restaurant, Comet Ping Pong, in northwest Washington, to “self-investigate” what is being called Pizzagate, an online conspiracy theory asserting, with no evidence, that the restaurant is somehow tied to a child abuse ring. He entered the restaurant shortly before 3 p.m. with a rifle and fired it at least once inside, the police said.
The misinformation campaign about Comet began when the email account of John D. Podesta, an aide to Hillary Clinton, was hacked and his emails were published by WikiLeaks during the presidential campaign. Days before the election, users on the online message board 4chan noticed that one of Mr. Podesta’s leaked emails contained communications with James Alefantis, Comet’s owner, discussing a fund-raiser for Mrs. Clinton.
Sabrina Ousmaal, owner of a French restaurant called Terasol, which is across the street from Comet, said that other businesses in the area had also been targeted by threats and that the response from the authorities so far had been insufficient.


Trump's Carrier deal doesn't look so good if you read past the headlines

Kudos to Donald Trump on the PR win of his deal to keep somewhat less than half the jobs Carrier had planned to move to Mexico in the United States. The headlines are great for him, few people will ever know much more than the initial headlines, and … hey, around 1,000 jobs saved is around 1,000 jobs saved. Or maybe the number is only 800. It still sounds really good, and for the workers who will keep their jobs, it is really good. If, however, you are interested in more than PR wins and losses, there are some big questions about the deal.

First, let’s be clear that around 1,300 jobs are still being moved to Mexico. Second, the workers who are not losing their jobs and their union are still waiting to hear if they’re going to be pushed to accept pay cuts. Third, the jobs that are being kept in the U.S. are in part a result of major tax incentives—basically, Indiana is paying Carrier to employ people in Indiana rather than in Mexico, and Mike Pence is the governor of Indiana, so he could have done that part all along.
So Carrier keeps fewer than half the jobs in the United States and gets massive tax incentives, the good will of the president-elect, and possibly a little help down the line with regulations the company finds inconvenient. There are also reports that Carrier’s parent company, a major federal contractor, was concerned about losing its federal contracts. Note, by the way, that when President Obama signed an executive order just saying that violations of existing labor laws would be taken into account when awarding federal contracts, business groups and Republicans were outraged.
If these nice headlines for Trump were bought at the cost of more companies either getting big money from the government or cutting American jobs, how long will this continue to look like a win?


Trump's big infrastructure plan? It's a trap.

As the White House official responsible for overseeing implementation of President Obama’s massive infrastructure initiative, the 2009 Recovery Act, I’ve got a simple message for Democrats who are embracing President-elect Donald Trump’s infrastructure plan: Don’t do it. It’s a trap. Backing Trump’s plan is a mistake in policy and political judgment they will regret, as did their Democratic predecessors who voted for Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts in 1981 and George W. Bush’s cuts in 2001.

First, Trump’s plan is not really an infrastructure plan. It’s a tax-cut plan for utility-industry and construction-sector investors, and a massive corporate welfare plan for contractors. The Trump plan doesn’t directly fund new roads, bridges, water systems or airports, as did Hillary Clinton’s 2016 infrastructure proposal. Instead, Trump’s plan provides tax breaks to private-sector investors who back profitable construction projects. These projects (such as electrical grid modernization or energy pipeline expansion) might already be planned or even underway. There’s no requirement that the tax breaks be used for incremental or otherwise expanded construction efforts; they could all go just to fatten the pockets of investors in previously planned projects.

Moreover, as others have noted, desperately needed infrastructure projects that are not attractive to private investors — municipal water-system overhauls, repairs of existing roads, replacement of bridges that do not charge tolls — get no help from Trump’s plan. And contractors? Well, they get a “10 percent pretax profit margin,” according to the plan. Combined with Trump’s sweeping business tax break, this would represent a stunning $85 billion after-tax profit for contractors — underwritten by the taxpayers.

Second, as a result of the above, Trump’s plan isn’t really a jobs plan, either. Because the plan subsidizes investors, not projects; because it funds tax breaks, not bridges; because there’s no requirement that the projects be otherwise unfunded, there is simply no guarantee that the plan will produce any net new hiring. Investors may simply shift capital from unsubsidized projects to subsidized ones and pocket the tax breaks on projects they would have funded anyway. Contractors have no obligation to hire new workers, or expand workers’ hours, to collect their $85 billion. To their credit, the plan’s authors don’t call it a jobs plan; ironically, it is Democrats looking to align with Trump who have given it that name. They should not fool themselves.


The Democrats Are Screwing Up the Resistance to Donald Trump

The Democrats Are Screwing Up the Resistance to Donald Trump -

How Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren misread the election.

By Jamelle Bouie


At first glance, this seems well and good: a firm commitment to winning victories where they are available, tied to an absolute line against policies targeting immigrants, Muslims, or any other group. But there’s a problem here, and it’s found in the cast given to Trump’s campaign and Trump’s voters. Both Warren and Sanders describe Trump’s effort as a populist campaign with an almost incidental use of racial prejudice. In this version, most Trump voters simply wanted a stronger, fairer economy. The attacks on immigrants, Muslims, and black Americans were regrettable, but not a part of the appeal.

Warren and Sanders are wrong, and in a way that signals a significant misreading of the landscape on the part of the most influential Democrats. The simple truth is that Trump’s use of explicit racism—his deliberate attempt to incite Americans against different groups of nonwhites—was integral to his campaign.
It was part and parcel of his “populism” and told a larger story: that either at home or abroad, foreigners and their “globalist” allies were cheating the American worker, defined as a white working-class man with a factory job. To claw back the dominion he once enjoyed—to “make America great again”—Trump promised protectionism and “law and order.” He promised to deport immigrants, register Muslims, and build new infrastructure. This wasn’t “populism”; it was white populism. Writes historian Nell Irvin Painter for the New York Times: “This time the white men in charge will not simply happen to be white; they will be governing as white, as taking America back, back to before multiculturalism.”

It seems reasonable for Warren and Sanders to make a distinction between Trump as blue-collar populist and Trump as racist demagogue. But that distinction doesn’t exist. Supporting a Trump-branded infrastructure initiative as a discrete piece of policy where two sides can find common ground only bolsters a white-nationalist politics, even if you oppose the rest of Trump’s agenda. It legitimizes and gives fuel to white tribalism as a political strategy. It shows that there are tangible gains for embracing Trump-style demagoguery. Likewise, it seems reasonable to want to recast support for Trump as an expression of populism. But Trump’s is a racial populism—backed almost entirely by white Americans, across class lines—that revolves around demands to reinforce existing racial and status hierarchies. That’s what it means to “make America great again.” It has nothing to offer to working-class blacks who need safety from unfair police violence just as much as they need higher wages, or working-class Latinos who need to protect their families from draconian immigration laws as much as they need a chance to unionize.

To gesture at individual voters and say they aren’t racists—the usual rejoinder to this argument—is to miss the point. White voters backed Trump as a bloc. They ignored his bigotry and elevated his call for a new nationalism, centered on white Americans. Whatever their actual intentions—whether they were partisan Republicans, hardcore Trumpists, or simply disgusted with Hillary Clinton—they voted for white nationalism, full stop.


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