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Reports emerged that Donald Trump will remain an executive producer of the reality TV show he started with Mark Burnett. MSNBC's Brian Williams discusses with Nicolle Wallace & Eugene Robinson.
New reports describe a power struggle between Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon, and frustration among Trump loyalists feeling “frozen out” in favor of Republicans who they think didn’t want Trump to win. POLITICO’s Alex Isenstadt and Jonathan Alter...
After attacking a local union leader, Trump scales back his Carrier boasts - while announcing his controversial choice for Labor Secretary, fast-food executive Andy Puzder. Lawrence discusses with Robert Reich and Leo Gerard.
Ilhan Omar, Minnesota state representative-elect and the first Somali-American female legislator, talks with Rachel Maddow about her harrowing experience of anti-Muslim harassment while on a trip to the White House.
Rachel Maddow reports on a past domestic physical abuse accusation against Donald Trump's labor secretary choice, Andy Puzder, and the recent recanting of those accusations by a spokesman for Puzder's former wife.
Jo Becker, investigative reporter for The New York Times, talks with Rachel Maddow about the mistake impression by the media and Americans generally that Donald Trump will somehow separate from his business for the sake of the presidency.
Rachel Maddow shares an exclusive first look at new poll findings from Public Policy Polling that show a contrast between Trump voters and the rest of Americans.
The man considered by many to be a reality show candidate will now literally be a reality show president.
The Vermont senator tells Chris Hayes that people who believed Trump's campaign promises need to pay attention to what he's doing now.
The president-elect tweeted that Chuck Jones 'has done a terrible job' after Jones said he lied about Carrier jobs.
This is from a just released Pew Poll ...A second major issue likely to be considered by the 115th Congress – possible changes to Medicare – has not resonated widely with the public. Overall, only about half of the public (51%) has heard a lot (12%) or a little (39%) about a proposal to change Medicare to a program that would give future participants a credit toward purchasing private health insurance. About as many either have heard nothing (48%) or don’t know (1%). Those who have heard about possible changes to Medicare oppose these changes by a wide margin. Among the small share of Americans who have heard a lot about the proposal, two-thirds (67%) oppose it, while just 32% favor it. Opinion is divided among the much larger group who have heard little or nothing about the proposal (41% favor, 40% oppose, 19% don’t know).This is pretty clear on a number of fronts. First, the press is largely complicit with House Republicans in keeping this story under wraps - until it's passed and thus too late. This is a massive potential policy shift that is being planned by Congressional Republicans. And with unified control of the federal government, there's little to stop them other than fear of public opinion. Second, when people learn much of anything about this, they turn pretty overwhelmingly against it. This requires more light.
Since Donald Trump's surprise election one month ago, there's been a bubbling conversation about the mammoth conflicts of interest he will have if he is running or even owning his far flung business enterprises while serving as the head of state. I've suggested that the whole notion of 'conflicts of interest' doesn't really capture what we're dealing with here, which is really a pretty open effort to leverage the presidency to expand his family business. But a couple things came together for me today which make me think we've all missed the real issue. Maybe he can't divest because he's too underwater to do so or more likely he's too dependent on current and expanding cash flow to divest or even turn the reins over to someone else.Late this afternoon we got news that Trump will remain as executive producer of The Apprentice, now starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. That is, quite simply, weird. The presidency is time consuming and complicated, even for the lazier presidents. Does Trump really need to do this? Can he do it, just in terms of hours in the day? Of course, it may simply be a title that entitles him to draw a check. But does he need the check that bad?The idea that Trump is heavily leveraged and reliant on on-going cash flow to keep his business empire from coming apart and collapsing into bankruptcy was frequently discussed during the campaign. But it's gotten pretty little attention since he was elected.Here's something else. After Trump got into that scuffle with Boeing, reporters asked about his ownership of Boeing stock. Trump replied that he'd already sold that stock. So there was no problem. But there's a bit more to it than that. According to his spokesman, Trump sold all of his stock back in June, a portfolio which his disclosures suggest was worth as much as $38 million. Trump told Matt Lauer that he sold the stock because he was confident he'd win and "would have a tremendous ... conflict of interest owning all of these different companies" while serving as President.Now, c'mon. Donald Trump sold off all his equities more than six months before he could become president because he was concerned about conflicts of interest? Please. That doesn't pass the laugh test. But consider this. During the primaries Donald Trump loaned his campaign roughly $50 million. Over the course of the spring, as it became increasingly likely he'd be the nominee, that loan became increasingly conspicuous. Donors were wary of donating big money because they didn't want him to use it to pay himself back for that loan. Many suggested that he might not actually be able to part with that money. It became a big issue and Trump refused to forgive the loans. It was only in June that Trump finally gave in and forgave the loan; this was confirmed in the June FEC disclosure that came out in late July. Who knows why Trump sold off all his stock holdings? Maybe he just had a feeling. Maybe he thought the market was too hot. Maybe he just had a spasm of prospective ethical concern. But let's be honest. The most obvious explanation is that forgiving that debt from his campaign required him - through whatever mix of contingencies - to free up more cash, either for the campaign or personal expenses or perhaps to have a certain amount of cash on hand because of terms of other debts. It does not seem plausible at all that the timing is coincidental.Since we don't have Trump's tax returns, there's just a huge amount we don't know about his businesses. What we do know is that Trump appears to wildly exaggerate the scale of his wealth and exhibit a stinginess that is very hard to square with a man of the kinds of means he claims. A heavily leveraged business, one that is indebted and dependent on cash flow to keep everything moving forward, can be kind of like a shark. It has to keep moving forward or it dies. Perhaps Trump simply doesn't feel like he can trust anyone else to keep the whole shambling enterprise afloat. More plausibly, and consistent with Trump's history over the last couple decades, Trump's business is dependent on an ever expanding number of deals not just to grow but to stay afloat at all. It is certainly plausible that if Trump simply sold off his company in toto, he'd be in debt. Maybe there wouldn't be anything left to put in a blind trust.This is all necessarily speculative because Trump has kept the details of his business empire hidden from the public. But behavior, circumstantial evidence and lots of evidence of tight reliance on cash flow to service debts of various sorts suggest that Trump may not be able to divest or separate himself from his business. Why doesn't he? Why does he court all this controversy? Because he can't.If all this is true, the peril of Trump's foreign deals is larger than we may realize. It's not just a matter of hitting the billionaire big time. It could be a matter of staying afloat at all.
Donald Trump will remain an executive producer on NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice,” even after he takes office as president. Variety reported Thursday that Trump would retain his executive producer credit on the show--renamed "The New Celebrity Apprentice"--as it enters its 15th season, even as he is replaced as its host by Arnold Schwarzenegger. The first episode of the show is slated to air on Jan. 2, and NBC has ordered eight episodes total, according to Variety. Trump’s name will appear above Schwarzenegger’s and after creator Mark Burnett’s in the credits, according to Variety. Representatives for MGM, who would be responsible for paying Trump as a producer, did not respond to Variety’s requests for comment, nor did representatives from NBC or Trump. It is unclear how the money Trump receives from the show will be handled, Variety reports: The larger issue for MGM, NBC, and the White House is the payment that Trump will receive for the series. It’s unclear what his per-episode fee is, but it is likely to be in the low five-figures, at minimum. NBC has ordered eight episodes of “The New Celebrity Apprentice.” Trump’s fees will be paid through MGM, the production entity on the show, not NBC. ...Trump is also a profit participant on the “Apprentice” franchise, which has been sold as a format in various markets around the world since it first became a hit on NBC in 2004The last episode of the show in which Trump played host aired in February 2015, five months before NBC claimed to have cut ties with Trump after he said undocumented immigrants were criminals and rapists in a speech announcing his bid for the presidency. In late November, Trump wrote on Twitter that he planned to leave his business interests “in total” as president, leaving his children to control of day-to-day operations. On Thursday, the New York Times reported that Trump wanted to keep an ownership stake in his company.Though Burnett distanced himself from Trump during the campaign, he reportedly spoke with Trump about his inauguration plans on Wednesday, and specifically about the possibility that Trump descend into Washington, D.C., in a helicopter after leaving a parade in his honor in New York City.
There's something disturbing about Tulsi Gabbard. Gabbard has something of a dissident stance within the Democratic party. She resigned from the DNC during the primaries over claims of bias against Bernie Sanders. She very conspicuously met with President-Elect Trump a couple weeks ago. She's very critical of President Obama's foreign policy which she calls a "neo-con" foreign policy. These all seem like reasonable critiques, though not all ones I'd agree with. But she just answered a question on CNN that struck me as very troubling and made me see some of her earlier comments in a different light. It was about the number generals Donald Trump is putting in senior cabinet positions. I have added emphasis to passages I think are particularly important. TAPPER: Quickly before you go, I know that some of your colleagues, democrats, have expressed concern about too many retired generals being in the trump cabinet. You have the national security adviser general Flynn and he's talked about general Mattis and general Kelly at the Pentagon and homeland security. Do you share their concerns or disagree? GABBARD: I don't share their concerns. As a veteran and as someone still serving in the Hawaii National Guard, I found it pretty offensive for people to outright discriminate against veterans. Here you have generals who have literally spent their whole lives serving our country, putting service before self, putting their lives on the line to defend democracy. Yet people are criticizing them and discriminating against them saying, just because you served as a general previously you are disqualified from serving in a high position of leadership in our government. These people, arguably, have put far more on the line and are far more deeply personally committed to upholding and protecting our democracy than their critics.I certainly don't think she was addressing me. But I think the criticisms I outlined earlier today are similar to the ones she is addressing. I have seen no one say that former generals can't serve in high level government positions. Generals routinely serve. No one is saying anything like that. So right there she's tendentiously distorting the concerns. Certainly, no one is 'discriminating' against anyone.The criticism is centered on how Trump's cabinet is dominated by recently retired generals. National Security Advisor, Defense Secretary, Homeland Security Secretary, possibly Secretary of State. That slate is unprecedented in all of our history. More might conceivably be added.The issue of civilian control of the military and wariness of military or ex-military influence over the civilian government isn't some new-fangled idea from coastal cosmopolitan elites. It's deeply rooted in the American political tradition. Indeed it was even more potent earlier in the country's history. That's why ex-generals are actually barred from serving as Secretary of Defense for seven years. Mattis needs a specific waiver. Indeed, the importance of military subordination to civilian government and the penumbra of concerns like the one we're discussing here are deeply inculcated in the US military's officer corps itself - for obvious reasons. There's no law against what Trump is doing (except kinda with the Sec Def choice). But it's an issue. It's a very legitimate criticism, whether there might be some extenuating or unique reasons for doing it in this case.The real kicker in my mind comes at the end when Gabbard says that these men are "far more deeply personally committed to upholding and protecting our democracy than their critics." The suggestion here is not about the particular individuals, who I believe are deeply committed to America and its democratic institutions. But what Gabbard is suggesting here is that as generals they are more committed than civilians. That is the kernel of an idea that has destroyed many democracies, the idea that career military officers are simply better, more patriotic, more efficient than civilians. That is a deeply dangerous idea that needs to be snuffed out whenever it raises up its head. It is completely at odds with the entire American tradition.It's something I'd expect to hear from some militarist Fox News yahoo. Not from an elected members of the House, certainly not from a Democratic member of the House.
Andrew Puzder, Donald Trump’s choice to lead the U.S. Department of Labor, was accused of domestic abuse by his first wife three decades ago, the Riverfront Times reported Thursday. In allegations that surfaced during the couple’s 1989 divorce and were reported on by the St. Louis publication at the time, Puzder’s ex-wife Lisa Henning charged that her husband hit her, threw her to the ground, and unplugged the phone after she called police during a 1986 altercation. Henning sought a protective order against Puzder following that incident, alleging in the court document obtained by the Riverfront Times that he “attacked me, choked me, threw me to the floor, hit me in the head, pushed his knee into my chest twisted my arm and dragged me on the floor, threw me against a wall, tried to stop my call to 911 and kicked me in the back.”In a separate instance, Henning alleged that Puzder punched her in a car as the couple drove home from dinner one night in 1985. Police were called to their home in Clayton, Missouri, following the 1986 altercation, and after a shouting match in the late 1970s that devolved into a plate-throwing fight, according to the Riverfront Times. Puzder, now 66, denied any abuse in a deposition for his divorce and in an interview with the Riverfront Times at that time, accusing the publication of trying to “smear” his reputation. “There was no physical abuse at any point in time,” he said.Puzder acknowledged having disagreements with Henning, but claimed that they were mutual and did not involve physical abuse. Referring to the 1986 altercation, Puzder said in a deposition obtained by the Riverfront Times that his wife was yelling at him and he “grabbed her by the shoulders and pushed her back.” He denied pushing her to the floor, saying he didn’t “know if her foot caught or what happened.” Puzder also denied punching Henning in the 1985 incident in the car, saying in the same deposition that he only remembered the car going up on a curb. “I think it had to do with the liquid refreshment we had with our dinner more than anything else,” he said. At the time, Puzder was an anti-abortion activist and chair of then-Gov. John Ashcroft (R)’s Task Force for Mothers and Unborn Children. He went on to become chief executive of CKE restaurants, which owns Hardee’s, Carl’s Jr., and other fast food restaurant chains. Trump officially announced his selection as labor secretary in a Thursday press release, praising Puzder for “his extensive record fighting for workers.”
A bipartisan group of 27 senators—15 Democrats and 12 Republicans—called on President-elect Donald Trump Thursday to apply pressure to Russia in light of its illegal annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea. “Almost three years after Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and military aggression in eastern Ukraine, daily ceasefire violations along the line of contact make a mockery of the Minsk Agreement and demonstrate that this conflict in the heart of Europe is far from over,” their statement read, referencing a 2014 ceasefire agreement that only briefly stopped fighting in the area. Trump has riled establishment Republicans with his attitude that the United States should be "friends" with Russia, especially in order to fight terrorism, while brushing aside Vladimir Putin's aggressive behavior and human rights abuses. Ahead of the Republican National Committee meeting in Cleveland, the Washington Post reported that Trump operatives had lobbied the RNC platform committee to remove language supportive of selling arms to Ukraine. In an interview with George Stephanopoulos in August, Trump said that Putin was "not going into Ukraine, okay?" if he was elected–though Putin already had, years earlier. The senators' statement blames Russia for waging a “disinformation war” against Ukraine and the West, failing to withdraw heavy weapons from the area and applying undue political and economic pressure to the Ukrainian government. “Quite simply, Russia has launched a military land-grab in Ukraine that is unprecedented in modern European history. These actions in Crimea and other areas of eastern Ukraine dangerously upend well-established diplomatic, legal, and security norms that the United States and its NATO allies painstakingly built over decades,” it continues. The senators urged Trump to maintain sanctions against Russia “until key provisions of the Minsk Agreement are met,” and, notably, urges providing “defensive lethal assistance” to Ukraine.
One of America’s largest anti-immigration groups on Thursday criticized Donald Trump’s choice of fast-food CEO Andrew Puzder for U.S. Secretary of Labor, citing his support for guest worker programs and amnesty for undocumented immigrants. The nomination “raises questions and concerns about whether [Trump] will vigorously defend the interests of American workers,” Federation for American Immigration Reform President Dan Stein wrote in statement. “Puzder has served as an executive of a fast food conglomerate — an industry that has thrived on low-wage labor, illegal workers, and which has lobbied for greater access to foreign guest workers to maximize corporate profits.”Puzder is chief executive of CKE restaurants, which owns the Hardee’s, Carl’s Jr., La Salsa, and Green Burrito chains. He is an outspoken supporter of immigration reform, and has criticized the President-elect for calling for the deportation of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. “Legal immigrants are an asset to the country. We believe that deporting 11 million people is unworkable, and we hope in the end Mr. Trump comes to this same conclusion. Deportation should be pursued only when an illegal immigrant has committed a felony or become a ‘public charge,’” Puzder wrote in a July op-ed in The Wall Street Journal on July 14.FAIR’s Stein charged that Puzder may “prioritize the interests of cheap labor employers” over those of American workers.The anti-immigration group’s views are more in line with those of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), who Trump has chosen to serve as his attorney general. Sessions will have much more influence over enforcing immigration laws, as will Trump’s newly announced pick to head the Department of Homeland Security, retired Gen. John Kelly. Others on the right are similarly frustrated by Trump’s choice of Puzder to lead the Labor Department.David Frum, a conservative commentator at The Atlantic, wrote on Twitter that Puzder was “perhaps the most outspoken advocate of Bush-style immigration policy in US business community.” His selection, Frum wrote, suggested that the President-elect’s administration “is a giant prank on Trump voters” given his hardline rhetoric on immigration during the campaign.Basically the Trump administration is a giant prank on Trump voters.— David Frum (@davidfrum) December 8, 2016Read FAIR’s full statement below. (December 8, 2016, Washington, D.C.) — The following statement was issued by Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) regarding the nomination of Andrew Puzder to be U.S. Secretary of Labor:“Donald Trump was swept into office by championing the cause of American workers who have seen their jobs and wages steadily eroded by a combination of factors, including an immigration system that allows employers to exploit low-wage workers from other countries.“President-elect Trump’s choice of Andrew Puzder to run the Department of Labor raises questions and concerns about whether he will vigorously defend the interests of American workers. Puzder has served as an executive of a fast food conglomerate – an industry that has thrived on low-wage labor, illegal workers, and which has lobbied for greater access to foreign guest workers to maximize corporate profits.“Based on Puzder’s support for increased guest workers, can struggling American workers count on him to maintain tight labor markets that promote wage increases? Are his positions advocating ‘a pathway to adjusted status for those here illegally now,’ consistent with the interests of American workers who have been undermined by illegal immigration, or the Trump administration’s goal of reinstating the rule of law and putting Americans back to work?“The outgoing Secretary of Labor prioritized the interests of illegal aliens over those of American workers. The American people need to be reassured that the incoming Labor Secretary will not prioritize the interests of cheap labor employers over the interests of those same American workers.”
Democrats in the Senate are preparing to make the confirmation hearings for Donald Trump's choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, a big fight given Pruitt's skepticism of climate change."This is a four-alarm fire. We are going to do everything we can to stop his nomination," Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) said on a Thursday call organized by the League of Conservation Voters, according to CNN."This is a full-fledged environmental emergency, and we have a person who's not just a climate denier, but a professional climate denier," Schatz added, per CNN. "This is going to be a litmus test for every member of the Senate who claims not to be a denier." Pruitt is skeptical of climate change and wrote in National Review in May that the science is "far from settled." He is also one of the state attorneys general who sued the EPA over the Clean Power Plan, which aims to reduce carbon emissions from power plants.He also has ties to the energy industry. In 2014, the New York Times discovered that a 2011 letter Pruitt sent to the EPA was actually written by lawyers for an energy company in Oklahoma. The letter from Pruitt had "only a few word changes," according to the New York Times.Senate Democrats plan to pressure Republicans who do believe in climate change to oppose Pruitt's nomination."We have enough votes to prevent him from going forward if they'll stick with us," Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) said, according to CNN.Whitehouse also said that companies who believe the country should address climate change should also speak out against Pruitt's nomination."If not, we will end up with an EPA that has been corrupted by the fossil fuels industry," he said, per CNN.
Millions of people's lives and livelihoods are on the line. So it's not funny. But if there weren't such dire real world consequences, Paul Ryan's current flimflam would be straight up hilarious. Repealing Obamacare has immediate real world consequences. It will trigger providers to leave the system. It will deprive between 20 and 30 million people of the health care coverage they now have. (Here are the details of who loses their coverage, down to the state level.) Ryan has promised that no one will be worse off after Republicans replace Obamacare. But the only reason they are talking about delaying replacing Obamacare for two or three years or more is because even after talking about it for five plus years, they have no idea what to replace it with. They appear to want to go back to the pre-Obamacare status quo. But they don't think that is politically viable. Just like you can't jump off a building with no plan on where you're going to land (not if you want a good outcome), "repeal and delay" is a farce which is being gobbled up by the Washington press corps like no one's business. Sad! as Donald Trump would say. It makes zero sense except as a plan to put off the blame for the human carnage until after Ryan has bagged his tax cut. Let's repeat this again, there is zero reason to wait a day to replace Obamacare with whatever Republicans want to replace it with — no policy or legislative logic whatsoever. The only logic is kicking the can down the road, because after five years Republicans have no idea how to accomplish what Obamacare accomplishes. So they have no replacement. What they do know is that by repealing Obamacare they can lock in a huge tax cut for the wealthiest Americans. So as if you're one of those 20 or 30 million Americans about to lose their coverage. All is not lost, Ryan got his top supporters a really big tax cut in exchange for the coverage you got under Obamacare.
A must-pass spending bill hit a snag Thursday as some Senate Democrats are banding together against the legislation unless a year-long protection for miners health care benefits is included. How exactly they plan to ensure the miner's get the benefits is still unclear. The continuing resolution to fund the federal government until the end of April was expected to easily pass the House of Representatives Thursday as members were anxious to skip town and get back home for the holidays, but the bill faces an uncertain future in the Senate. The hold-up is over health care benefits for retired miners. The benefits help more than 20,000 coal miners and their widows. The current continuing resolution includes just a four-month extension of those benefits, and Democrats want to see more. According to Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Democrats left a caucus meeting Thursday afternoon in agreement that they would stand against any spending bill that did not include an extension of the benefits for at least a year. "These mine workers are going to be worried going into Christmas that their health care ends on December 31st. We do four more months and they worry again in the first quarter of the year. That's not the way to live. None of us would want to live that way. Nobody wants to live that way," Brown said. Democrats would not say if they planned to vote against cloture, the procedural vote that requires 60 votes for senators to get onto a bill. If Democrats did vote against cloture it could lead to a government shutdown."We haven't made a final decision on that," Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) told reporters on the question of if Democrats would vote against cloture on the CR. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) told the Washington Post, “I want to shut her down. I mean this is ridiculous. We need an extension to the CR until people come to their senses. You can’t throw 16,000 people out.”Democrats also want to see a stronger "buy America" provision that requires that the U.S. government only funds projects that use American-made steel. The provision had been included, but was scrapped by House Republican leaders despite the fact that it's been a popular refrain from President-elect Donald Trump. Complicating efforts is the fact that the House may try to skip town Thursday afternoon after their vote on the spending bill. If the bill is going to be changed later by the Senate, it may require the House to come back altogether or may require the use of a procedural maneuver to pass the bill by unanimous consent in their absence. If Democrats really are as united as Brown says, it will be impossible for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to pass the continuing resolution without making changes. That could put the government on the verge of a shutdown. Brown indicated that Republican leaders might be interested in making a deal. "I just talked to John Cornyn on the floor about it. He seems kind of open to the one year," Brown said. Some of the GOP's own members have reservations about the current CR because of the miner's health insurance benefits. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) said he was undecided on the bill. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) said that she planned to vote against the CR if the health care benefits weren't extended past the four-month mark. "I'm not satisfied with the four months. I'm gonna vote against the CR because of that, but whether we are running out of time and we have to live to fight another day in March or April, I think it's appearing as though that's what's going to happen," Capito said.
We are in the final three weeks of our 2016 Prime membership drive. We have 1815 signups to go. Today I wanted to let you know about a new feature we're introducing today. Many of you know friends or relatives who read TPM and who might like Prime as a gift for the holiday season. That's now possible. To be clear, these are separate from "credit subscriptions" which users can buy for readers who lack the financial means to join. These are straight-up holiday season gifts you can give to a spouse or parent or child or anyone you wish. If you'd like to buy some friend or loved one a gift, click right here.If you'd like to apply to get a credit subscription—in essence a free subscription for people of limited financial means (full time students, seniors on fixed incomes, any kind of financial hardship), you can go to the page that has a sign-up form for just this purpose. You can also purchase one or more credit subscriptions for others. You can do each right here. Of course what we'd like more than anything else is for you to join us as a Prime member. If you've been thinking about or just putting it off, please take a moment and sign up right now. It's easy and cheap and it's a huge part of building a better, stronger TPM. Just click right here.
Meet Trump's pick for Labor secretary, CEO of the company that owns Carl's Jr.: I like our ads. I like beautiful women eating burgers in bikinis. I think it's very American. I used to hear, brands take on the personality of the CEO. And I rarely thought that was true, but I think this one, in this case, it kind of did take on my personality.More on Andy Puzder.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Thursday would not say how quickly he would like Congressional Republicans to replace Obamacare after they repeal the health care law."We’ll get to that next year," Ryan told reporters when asked how long the transition away from Obamacare would be. "We just had a meeting with all our authorizers this morning about working on this with the Senate and the transition team. Those talks are ongoing." Republicans in the Senate are considering waiting three years after repealing Obamacare to fully replace it. But the incoming leader of the House Freedom Caucus, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), has come out against that plan and said that he would prefer replacing the law within two years. Meadows argued that waiting three years would put an unfair burden on the next Congress after the 2018 elections.When asked about concern from members about waiting for three years during a press briefing, Ryan would not offer his preference."We’re going to have these kinds of conversations. I don’t have an opinion on exactly what that timeline will be," he said. "There’s a lot of moving parts, and we have a lot of dialogue that we have to have with just our friends in the Senate and with the White House on the transition. So it’s just premature to suggest that we know how exactly long this transition is."The speaker did emphasize that he believes any Obamacare replacement plan will need some sort of transition."There needs to be a reasonable transition so that people don’t have the rug pulled out from under them," he said at the press briefing Thursday. "And that is obviously something we intend on doing."
President-elect Trump is expected to name fast-food CEO Andy Puzder as his nominee for Labor secretary, according to anonymously sourced reports from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and others. Puzder is chief executive of CKE restaurants, the parent company of the Hardee's, Carl's Jr., La Salsa, and Green Burrito chains. He is an outspoken critic of "Fight for 15", a nationwide movement to increase the minimum wage to $15. He said on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show in April that such a move would hurt Fortune 500 retailers and the low-skill workers they employ.“So you actually go from a situation where you’ve got a business that can survive and that has economic strength, to a business that you really can’t run, you really can’t hire people, and you can’t offset these costs of this magnitude with pricing, even if there was meaningful inflation, which we don’t have,” he said of a hypothetical wage increase to $15. He’s similarly critical of raising the federal minimum wage to $9, according to the Wall Street Journal. In March, Puzder mused in an interview with Business Insider about the possibility of replacing the same low-skill workers in a fully automated restaurant. “They're always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there's never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race discrimination case,” he said of the robots who might run his restaurants in the future.Puzder also places blame for the so-called “restaurant recession," which posits that low and middle class people have spent less money at restaurants due to higher health care premiums, on the Affordable Care Act.Asked by Entrepreneur magazine in 2015 about a hallmark of one of his restaurants, Carl’s Jr., which frequently runs ads featuring models and celebrities like Charlotte McKinney eating burgers while wearing bikinis, Puzder was unapologetic. "I like our ads. I like beautiful women eating burgers in bikinis. I think it's very American," he said. "I used to hear, brands take on the personality of the CEO. And I rarely thought that was true, but I think this one, in this case, it kind of did take on my personality."
When Harry Reid was growing up, he got a job working at a service station. He wanted to buy his mom teeth. She'd been hit with a softball in the face as a young woman, and her oral health hadn't been the same for decades. He saved up his money and called it one of his life's greatest accomplishments. On the floor of the U.S. Senate Thursday it was one of dozens of stories Harry Reid—the onetime majority leader and now minority leader—shared as he said goodbye to an institution he's irrevocably helped shape over the last three decades. It's such a trope in Washington these days that it barely needs to be said, but Reid, 77, grew up in the dusty town of Searchlight, Nevada, where he hitchhiked to school and took up baseball—a passion that he still has. His mom took odd jobs washing and ironing to make ends meet. His father was a hard rock miner who committed suicide when Reid was 32. All of it—the sweet, the bitter, the exhilarating—shaped him and Reid didn't gloss over any of the details Thursday."I became Harry Reid, the guy from Searchlight," said Reid, who did not seek re-election this year. It was Reid's upbringing that influenced his progressive politics and made him a fierce defender of social programs like the Affordable Care Act, which Republicans are looking to repeal in January when Reid will no longer be in office."It would have been wonderful if we had had something like that around to help my family when we were growing up," Reid said, noting that his mother once had been falsely diagnosed with tuberculosis and even then didn't see a doctor. Reid chronicled his upbringing as well as the dozens of pieces of legislation that defined his career, like the Taxpayers Bill of Rights and Congressional Review Act, which actually gave Congress more ability to stop Presidents from passing burdensome regulations. "It was great when we had Republican presidents, not so great when we had Democratic presidents, but it was fair," Reid said.He spoke candidly about his quest to diversify the Senate and federal courts, his efforts to built veterans hospitals in Southern Nevada and his life-long pursuit to study and understand suicide. "Just like I had trouble coming to grips with my home in Searchlight, I had trouble coming to grips with the fact that my dad killed himself," Reid said.Core to his farewell Thursday was his wife Landra and his five children who sat in the gallery watching the speech. In recent years, Reid has taken on the role of progressive defender from the Senate floor, playing an outsized role in criticizing Republican presidential candidates like Mitt Romney and Donald Trump. His other top target has been Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), with whom he has shared an acrimonious relationship. On Thursday, Reid tried to set the record straight on that. "It was over with. We're friends. We were there each doing our thing, to effect our cause. That's what we do here. McConnell and Reid don't need to be hugging out here every day," Reid said. "That isn't want we do. We're advocates for our cause. I do the very best I can. He does the best he can. And he laid that out just fine a few minutes ago so this is not a love session for Reid and McConnell. Although I want everyone to know here Mitch McConnell is my friend." Reid's speech ran more than an hour as he recounted his favorite members with who he served, including Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), and his staff. He estimated he'd had 3,000 people work for him in his career. But the speech ended just like many of Reid's phone calls and conversations do, abruptly. "I wish everyone the best," he said. "I'm sorry I talked so long."
Michigan’s GOP-led House of Representatives approved a stringent voter ID proposal on Wednesday night that Democrats warn could disproportionately affect properly registered minority and low-income voters, the Detroit News reported. Under the proposed legislation, Michigan voters who show up to the polls without photo ID can cast provisional ballots but must bring ID to their local clerk’s office within 10 days of an election for the vote to be counted.This is a significant change from current state law, which allows registered voters to vote on Election Day without IDs as long as they sign an affidavit affirming their identity under threat of perjury. The Detroit News reported that some 18,388 state residents took advantage of that option in the Nov. 8 election, many of them in heavily Democratic Wayne County, where majority-black Detroit is the county seat.Donald Trump’s margin of victory over Hillary Clinton in the Great Lake State was 10,704 votes. GOP lawmakers promoting the proposal argue that they’re trying to weed out voter fraud, but a spokesman for the Republican Secretary of State Ruth Johnson told the Detroit News that the office is “not aware of fraud related to the affidavit.” The consensus among voting experts is that voter fraud in general is exceedingly rare.Democrats who oppose the measure say it presents another barrier to voting access for Michigan residents, particularly lower-income and minority voters.The measure, which passed 57-50, mostly along party lines, now heads to the GOP-controlled Senate.
The Texas agricultural commissioner defended his practice of posting untrue stories on his Facebook page, where he has more than 320,000 followers, by saying he was “not a news organization.” Responding to a Texas Tribune analysis published Saturday that found a pattern of plainly false stories on Miller’s public social media presence, Sid Miller called into the Austin-based KUT News on Wednesday to discuss the story.“I’m not a news organization,” Miller told reporter Nathan Bernier. “Y’all are holding me to the same standards as you would a news organization, and it’s just Facebook.”On his Facebook page, according to the Tribune article, Miller has warned that terrorists are preparing "for their jihad against the state and our nation” in a compound outside Houston. Another post claimed President Obama had held up a T-shirt printed with a likeness of the Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara during a trip to Cuba.He said much of what he posted on Facebook was “satire, or comedy” and that his Facebook page wasn’t a reliable source for “factual news.”“I shouldn’t be held to that standard,” he said. “It’s like Fox News: I report, you decide if it’s true or not.”After the interview was published online, Miller, who actively supported President-elect Donald Trump, posted a link to it on his Facebook page, writing: "I've got news for the Texas Tribune and their liberal elite media friends--I have never been politically correct and I am not about to start now, and I am glad that we will soon have a President in the White House who feels the same way!"Listen below via KUT:
Members of the House progressive caucus on Thursday railed against President-elect Donald Trump's cabinet picks. Caucus co-chair Keith Ellison (D-MN), who is also running for chairman of the Democratic National Committee, described the Trump nominees as "representing a very disturbing trend.""With only a few exceptions, the individuals that President-elect Trump has appointed is the greatest collection of stooges and cronies and misfits we have ever seen in a presidential administration," Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) said at a press conference hosted by a handful of the caucus' members. Among the Trump selections so far they took issue with were Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) at Health and Human Services secretary; Steve Mnuchin at Treasury; Betsy DeVos at Education; Ben Carson at Housing and Urban Development Secretary; and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) at the Justice Department."The Attorney General nominee may be a nice fellow, but one's records and deeds [are] evidence of how you will govern," Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) said.As members of the House, the Progressive Caucus members won't play a direct role in Trump's nominees' confirmation process, which goes through the Senate."I count on the Senate to object these individuals," Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) said.Democrats' ability to block Trump's selections is limited due to Minority Leader Harry Reid's (D-NV) move in 2013 to change the filibuster rules when his party controlled the Senate so that certain executive branch nominees only required a majority vote."We need help from the media, folks. We need the media to stop taking the bait," Huffman said.There is one cabinet-related matter House progressives have the chance to weigh in on. Congress must approve of a special waiver for retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, Trump's pick for Defense secretary, because he was on active duty so recently. A provision expediting the waiver process was slipped into a must-pass spending resolution the House was set to vote on Thursday.Corrected: This story has been corrected to reflect that Rep. Keith Ellison represents Minnesota, not Michigan.
A federal judge has denied a defense request for a mistrial in Dylann Roof's trial in the Charleston church shooting. Judge Richard Gergel said Thursday that a survivor's testimony about Roof belonging "in the pit of hell" was not a statement on what his sentence should be. The judge told attorneys he interpreted Felicia Sanders testimony as "a religious comment."The judge instructed jurors that any decision on guilt or a sentence is up to the jury — not the attorneys or witnesses in the case.Roof is on trial for hate crimes and other counts in the June 2015 shootings of nine black parishioners at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. The defense, in a motion Thursday, asked for a mistrial saying that Sanders' testimony suggested a sentence. Sanders also called Roof evil during her testimony.Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Yesterday we learned that Donald Trump is having members of his presidential transition sign non-disclosure agreements. During the campaign he said that presidential appointees and nominees should, too, because he doesn't like the idea of members of a government being critical after they leave the government. The key is that the transition, unlike the campaign, is a government entity. It has a government budget, access to government services, government offices, government emails etc. I am not sure of its technical standing or whether there is much relevant case law. But it is definitely not a private entity like a campaign. Reporters should be asking now whether President-elect Trump is or is planning to have members of his government sign non-disclosure agreements — something Trump is notorious for in his private business. There are a couple issues to keep in mind with this. There are probably a number of reasons why such contracts would either violate federal law or be unenforceable. (Lawyers with relevant government experience, please chime in.) That doesn't mean Trump wouldn't try to do it. I suspect he will. The key issue is who the agreement is with — the federal government or Trump personally. Given who Trump is and what his aim would be, it's likely that such an agreement would be with him personally. That doesn't fit with how these contracts work because none of the people in question work for Trump. They work for the U.S. government. That applies to White House employees just as much as Senate confirmable employees. The information they have is similarly U.S. government information. They have very few employee rights vis-à-vis the president, which is it should be. They are political appointees who can be fired at will. They're not civil servants. But that power doesn't extend to what they can say after they leave office. It also doesn't extend to what they can say while they are in office, other than the President's ability to fire them whenever he wants. There are certain aspects of executive privilege which have been deemed to outlast a president's time in office. But that is about certain concrete information and information of a privileged nature. It doesn't cover opinions or just general things a government employee observed. In theory, the government, or someone acting on its behalf could require NDAs from employees. (There are already rules in place about classified information, some personnel information.) That seems like bad policy and perhaps unconstitutional. But I guess it could happen. The key point is that no president personally owns his presidency. The administration is not made up of personal employees. The information isn't owned by him. I suspect that is a distinction he either doesn't understand or doesn't accept. This will require close observation and scrutiny.
A Labor Department investigation found preliminary evidence of gender discrimination at Microsoft. The post Labor Department Finds Evidence Microsoft Discriminated Against Female Employees appeared first on ThinkProgress.
In less than a decade Brazil went from miraculous growth to a historic collapse. The post Looking At Brazil’s Economic Fall From The Top appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Fact is he has nothing to gloat about. The post Scott Walker Is ‘Proud’ Of Gutting University Of Wisconsin Budgets appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Context clues. The post Trump Campaign Circulates Misleading Video Claiming Clinton Promised To Raise Taxes On Middle Class appeared first on ThinkProgress.
While the list does not include any women, it does include five Steves. The post Donald Trump Announces Economic Policy Team: 13 Men appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Analysts had expected 180,000 jobs to be added. The post Economy Shrugs Off Signs Of Trouble With Strong Job Growth In July appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Racial and gender diversity in retail has jumped significantly since 2014. The post Apple Store Employees Are Diverse, But Their Silicon Valley Co-Workers Lag Behind appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Many states haven't passed a single law or program that would make life easier for parents. The post The States That Do Nothing To Help Working Parents appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Gov. Brownback might finally be facing a revolt from Kansas Republicans. The post The Brownbacklash Is Finally Here: Kansas Primary Voters Send Conservatives Packing appeared first on ThinkProgress.
This Columbia University student, who was disciplined for sexual assault, is arguing that he is the victim of "anti-male bias." The post Student Suspended For Sexual Assault Complaint Argues The College Practiced ‘Anti-Male Bias’ appeared first on ThinkProgress.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) endorsed his party’s racist presidential nominee. Now that nominee has publicly humiliated Ryan by refusing to endorse the speaker back. Sad! The post Why Trump Can Bully Paul Ryan And Get Away With It, In One Chart appeared first on ThinkProgress.
The Trump family's reactions place the blame for the harassment squarely on the victim's shoulders. The post Trump Family Has Very Predictable And Unhelpful Advice On Sexual Harassment appeared first on ThinkProgress.
The state will be the first in the country to ban employers from asking prospective hires for their salary histories. The post Massachusetts Becomes First State Ever To Ban Employers From Asking For Salary Histories appeared first on ThinkProgress.
New data shows the effort to pass paid sick leave laws is working. The post The Paid Sick Days Movement Is Already Paying Off. Here’s the Proof. appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Teachers can help students with ADHD if they set aside stereotypes. The post 6 Common Assumptions About ADHD That Aren’t Helping Students appeared first on ThinkProgress.
The economy would benefit in particular from some unique policy platforms Clinton has proposed. The post Analysts Say Clinton Proposals Would Strengthen The Economy appeared first on ThinkProgress.
A Kentucky politician is unhappy with her daughter's school after she noticed it bans cornrows and dreadlocks. The post A Kentucky Politician Called Out Her Daughter’s School For Banning Cornrows And Dreadlocks appeared first on ThinkProgress.
The country's consumer watchdog issued brand new regulations to crack down on debt collectors. The post Debt Collectors’ Harassment Tactics Are Put On Notice For First Time In 40 Years appeared first on ThinkProgress.
"There is a widespread alienation and disinterest in politics." The post Democrats Grapple With The Economic Anxiety Fueling Trump’s Campaign appeared first on ThinkProgress.
The move could help begin to address the school-to-prison pipeline. The post New York City Is About To Take A Step Toward Ending The School-To-Prison Pipeline appeared first on ThinkProgress.
A police review chief called the footage "shocking and disturbing.” The post Chicago Officials Release Footage Showing Police Misconduct That Led To Unarmed Black Teen’s Death appeared first on ThinkProgress.
It's been two years says Ezell Ford was shot and killed by LAPD officers. Now they're suing. The post LAPD Officers Claim They’re Being Discriminated Against For Shooting An Unarmed Black Man appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Immigrants can sympathize with her plight. The post Melania Trump, An All-American Immigrant appeared first on ThinkProgress.
New York is one of several states that have introduced this kind of legislation. The post New York’s Blue Lives Matter Bill Would Make Cops a Protected Class appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Justice Stephen Breyer has a weird definition of the word "courtesy." The post The Inexplicable ‘Courtesy’ That Could Elect Donald Trump appeared first on ThinkProgress.
“I follow the law.” The post Melania Trump May Have Worked In The United States Illegally appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Michael Barrett is sick and tired of providing a constitutional right on a shoe-string budget. The post Missouri’s Top Public Defender Sends Fiery Letter To Governor, Assigns Him A Case appeared first on ThinkProgress.
A temporary loss, but still a loss for equality. The post BREAKING: Supreme Court Permits School To Continue Anti-Trans Bathroom Policy appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Obama has commuted more prisoners than the last nine presidents combined. The post Obama Has Now Commuted More Sentences Than The Past 9 Presidents Combined appeared first on ThinkProgress.
It would be an enormous stimulus package for election lawyers and a confusing morass for actual voters. The post If Trump Drops Out, The Result Will Be A Horrible Legal Quagmire appeared first on ThinkProgress.
World Leaders Just Released A Document To Help Refugees And Migrants. It Falls Short Of Commitments.Wednesday August 3rd, 2016 03:40:51 PM Esther Yu-Hsi Lee
The draft agreement will be used next month when world leaders come together to discuss refugees and migrants. The post World Leaders Just Released A Document To Help Refugees And Migrants. It Falls Short Of Commitments. appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Media attention of police shootings may wane, but kids never forget. The post Kids Are Collateral Damage When Police Decide To Shoot appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Lee Baca ran the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department for 16 brutal years. Now retired and slipping into dementia, he's hoping a jury might let him off the hook. The post Sheriff Who Oversaw ‘Savage Gang’ Of Deputies Hopes Alzheimers Will Save Him From Prison appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Lawmakers like the ones behind the North Carolina law will continue to engage in voter suppression until a higher power steps in to prevent them. Here's how that could happen. The post This Is How The Supreme Court Could Stop Future Voter Suppression Laws appeared first on ThinkProgress.
"It's not the job of the Border Patrol agents to be the judge and jury here." The post Immigration Agents Don’t Follow The Law When It Comes To Asylum Seekers appeared first on ThinkProgress.
As Bill Bratton exits the NYPD's top job for a second time, the oppressive legacy of his first tenure seems likely to outlast him. The post Under Pressure From Protesters, NYPD Chief Resigns appeared first on ThinkProgress.
An arrest warrant for traffic violations turned deadly. The post Police Fatally Shoot Woman Holding 5-Year-Old Boy In Her Lap appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Less than 40 percent of on-duty law enforcement fatalities are caused by an attack. Most are accidents. The post New Report On Police Deaths Comes With Grim Revelations appeared first on ThinkProgress.
While recent events have fueled the "war on cops" rhetoric, data shows that the number of police deaths has been declining. The post How Dangerous Is It To Be A Cop? Here’s What The Data Says. appeared first on ThinkProgress.
The last two weeks were an orgy of good news for voting rights advocates. The post The Republican Party’s War On Voting Begins To Crumble Into Sand appeared first on ThinkProgress.
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