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Gender: Female
Hometown: South Florida
Home country: United States
Member since: Fri May 26, 2017, 07:33 PM
Number of posts: 9,811

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Trump family loses bid to move marketing scam lawsuit to arbitration

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge in Manhattan rejected an effort by U.S. President Donald Trump and his adult children to send a lawsuit accusing them of exploiting their family name to promote a marketing scam into arbitration.

In a Wednesday night decision concerning the American Communications Network, U.S. District Judge Lorna Schofield accused the Trumps of acting unfairly by seeking arbitration after first obtaining “the benefits of litigating in federal court,” including the dismissal of a racketeering claim.

“This conduct is both substantively prejudicial towards Plaintiffs and seeks to use the [Federal Arbitration Act] as a vehicle to manipulate the rules of procedure to Defendants’ benefit and Plaintiffs’ harm,” Schofield wrote.

Defendants included Trump’s adult children Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka, and an affiliate of the Trump Organization.

“The court erred, and while we are disappointed, we will take an immediate appeal,” Joanna Hendon, a lawyer for the Trumps, said in an email.

In the October 2018 complaint, the Trumps were accused of misleading victims into becoming salespeople for ACN, a multi-level marketing company that charged $499 for a chance to sell videophones and other goods.

According to the plaintiffs, the Trump family conned them into thinking Donald Trump, who had yet to become president, believed their investments would pay off.

They said the real goal was for the Trumps to enrich themselves, including through the receipt of millions of dollars in secret payments from 2005 to 2015.

The Trumps have called the lawsuit politically motivated, and said Donald’s Trump’s endorsement of ACN was merely his opinion.

In rejecting arbitration, Schofield noted the plaintiffs’ claim that they had no reason to believe their agreements to arbitrate with ACN also covered the Trumps.

Roberta Kaplan, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said in an email she looked forward to pursuing the proposed class action on behalf of her clients and “thousands of others like them who were defrauded by the Trumps.”

Last July, Schofield said the plaintiffs could pursue state law claims of fraud, false advertising and unfair competition against the Trumps, despite dismissing the racketeering claim.

The case is Doe et al v Trump Corp et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 18-09936.

The Coronavirus Has Not Halted Trump's Power Grab

* Long article, contains paywall so I only posted snips...

(Atlantic Monthly) An hour or so into Monday’s daily presidential briefing on the coronavirus pandemic, Trump declared that his political opponents should “not be allowed” to win the 2020 presidential election.


Although the pestilence that has killed more than 10,000 Americans and shut down the U.S. economy is understandably dominating the headlines, the Trump administration’s efforts to erode democracy and the rule of law have not subsided. The authoritarianization of the federal government has hampered its response to the pandemic, squandering scarce resources on shoring up the president’s lies and pursuing his political interests at the public’s expense. This is the predictable result of an authoritarian logic in which the preservation of the regime takes precedence over the safety of its own citizens, because the leader is the incontestable expression of popular will.


The president and the institutional GOP are executing parallel, complementary campaigns: Trump is attempting to undermine the rule of law for personal and political gain; keeping him in office is crucial to the Republican Party’s larger goal of locking its opponents out of power by narrowing, restricting, or altering the franchise to insulate the party from a changing electorate.

The president’s goals are venal and petty; the GOP’s long-term objectives are far more ambitious. Trump is simply a convenient vehicle for the latter, a figure whose prejudice channels the Republican base’s moral instinct that those unlike them have a lesser claim on American citizenship, and that democracy would be more genuine without their influence. Americans hoping to change the direction of the country will have to battle a plague and fight for the freedom to choose their own leaders at the same time.

Senate Republicans, who might conceivably restrain Trump’s undemocratic impulses, have been muted. As long as Trump maintains his support among the GOP rank and file, the president may defy the rule of law as he likes, without meaningful protest. Checking Trump could interfere with the conservative capture of the federal judiciary, which is vitally important to the Republican Party’s plans for long-term domination.


Trump’s declaration from the podium, that his opponents “should not be allowed to win” is not just the crude bluster of a showman. Rather, it is a statement of ideological conviction shared throughout the party, from the halls of Congress to the Supreme Court, from Washington, D.C., to Madison, Wisconsin. This will not be the last time we hear it.


Kahlo and O'Keeffe -- the formative friendship between two artistic giants

(CNN) Frustrated, Frida Kahlo was finding that none of the letters she was writing felt quite right, and she tore them up, one by one. The young Mexican artist was penning a note to Georgia O'Keeffe -- an artistic rock star nearly twice her age, whom she'd befriended while living briefly in New York about a year before. "I can't write in English all I would like to tell, especially to you," reads the two-page letter Kahlo ultimately deemed worthy of sending. "I thought of you a lot and never forget your wonderful hands and the color of your eyes. I will see you soon."

That letter, sent on March 1, 1933, is currently housed at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University and is the sole document filed in the Alfred Stieglitz/Georgia O'Keeffe archive's Kahlo folder.

But "Frida in America" (2020), a new book about the Mexican painter's first trip to the United States -- from 1930 to 1933, accompanying her husband Diego Rivera on multiple mural commissions -- reveals more details about the friendship between a 24-year-old Kahlo, then barely known as a painter, and a venerated and successful 44-year-old O'Keeffe.

Imagining the unibrowed self-portraitist hobnobbing with the eccentric painter of abstracted flora is a fantastic and downright fun image. Understanding Kahlo's friendship with O'Keeffe also helps flesh out the impact these formative American years had on the budding artist, as she bounced between San Francisco, New York, and Detroit.

"It's important to understand more about this relationship between Frida and Georgia because it provides a fuller context, at least for Frida's creative development," said Celia Stahr, author of "Frida in America." "What did Frida see while she was in the United States, what did she experience?"

(Read more) https://edition.cnn.com/style/article/frida-kahlo-georgia-okeeffe-artsy/index.html?fbclid=IwAR3omWCd2Uznp4SRzJC-gFsOHTB_2bL_w7Pu1WQQPTxQzbPnyYzW-ZoFJ3c

UK PM Johnson stable overnight and in good spirits: spokesman

LONDON (Reuters) - British prime minister Boris Johnson was stable overnight in intensive care after suffering a deterioration of his COVID-19 symptoms and he remains in good spirits, his spokesman said on Tuesday.

The spokesman told reporters the prime minister, who was admitted to hospital on Sunday, was receiving standard oxygen treatment and was breathing without any other assistance. He did not require a mechanical ventilator.

“The prime minister has been stable overnight and remains in good spirits. He is receiving standard oxygen treatment and breathing without any other assistance. He has not required mechanical ventilation, or non-invasive respiratory support,” the spokesman said.


China Reports No New COVID-19 Deaths Over The Past Day

(TalkingPointsMemo) BEIJING. — China on Tuesday reported no new deaths from the coronarivus over the past 24 hours and just 32 new cases, all from people who returned from overseas.

Another 12 suspected cases — also all imported — were being kept under observation, along with an additional 30 asymptomatic cases. China now has 1,242 confirmed cases in treatment and 1,033 asymptomatic cases under isolation and monitoring.

The country that gave rise to the global pandemic has recorded 3,331 deaths and 81,740 total cases. Numbers of daily new deaths have been hovering in the single digits for weeks, hitting just one on several occasions.


*China went from one new case in November to none new in April - trump is out of his mind if he thinks that this will be all over in a flash....

Val Demings on Ari right now!

I just love her so much!

It's embarrassing that we have a president that's acting like a snake-oil salesman

trying to peddle his cure that is not even proven.

This just said by ICU Nurse and AFT Vermont President Deb Snell on Ayman Mohyeldin's news show on MSNBC. More and more medical leaders are no longer able to hold/hide in their disgust in this so-called president....

Got Major Anxiety Right Now? Here Are 6 Cheap Mental Health Resources

(HuffPost) If you're dealing with coronavirus stress, try one of these affordable methods for help or therapy.


Thankfully, there are some affordable mental health resources. We rounded up a few options, which range from helping you address low-level anxiety to support you should use when you’re in a crisis. Take a look at them below, and know there’s no shame in getting some outside help:

Crisis Text Line
Mental health counselors are just a quick text away thanks to the Crisis Text Line, which is a free national text messaging service. Just text “home” to 741-741 to get started. And know that you’re not the only one who is struggling with coronavirus fears lately: Approximately 77% of Crisis Text Line texters said they have stress or anxiety related to coronavirus, according to data sent to HuffPost from the organization.

Teletherapy or other digital services
Online therapy services like BetterHelp and Talkspace may offer more affordable options than your insurance provider or other in-person therapists. Plans can start anywhere from $40 to $60 a week, depending on the company. Some even offer financial aid or other payment options. (Talkspace is also offering free online therapy for frontline medical workers during this crisis.)

Real, a new mental health platform, is offering free online help this month in response to coronavirus concerns. The company will provide a selection of services for users ― including group sessions, virtual events and one-on-one sessions ― which will be led by trained mental health professionals.

Social media support groups and accounts
Like the meditation apps, social media shouldn’t be your only form of help; there’s no substitute for talking to a mental health professional. That said, there are some great support options where you can connect with others who are going through the same thing. They’re a great reminder that you’re not alone.

Talkspace has a series of groups on Facebook where people can come discuss coronavirus anxiety, some of which are moderated by a licensed professional.

I also like following mental health-related Instagram accounts, which break up the doom in my feed and offer some excellent advice. Some of my favorites include the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, The Wellful and Sad Girls Club.

And More:

Oceans can be restored to former glory within 30 years, say scientists!

(The Guardian - via msn) The glory of the world’s oceans could be restored within a generation, according to a major new scientific review. It reports rebounding sea life, from humpback whales off Australia to elephant seals in the US and green turtles in Japan.

Through rampant overfishing, pollution and coastal destruction, humanity has inflicted severe damage on the oceans and its inhabitants for centuries. But conservation successes, while still isolated, demonstrate the remarkable resilience of the seas.

The scientists say there is now the knowledge to create an ocean renaissance for wildlife by 2050 and with it bolster the services that the world’s people rely on, from food to coastal protection to climate stability. The measures needed, including protecting large swathes of ocean, sustainable fishing and pollution controls, would cost billions of dollars a year, the scientists say, but would bring benefits 10 times as high.

However, the escalating climate crisis must also be tackled to protect the oceans from acidification, loss of oxygen and the devastation of coral reefs. The good news, the scientists say, is a growing awareness of the ability of oceans and coastal habitats such as mangroves and salt marshes to rapidly soak up carbon dioxide and bolster shorelines against rising sea levels.

“We have a narrow window of opportunity to deliver a healthy ocean to our grandchildren, and we have the knowledge and tools to do so,” said Prof Carlos Duarte, of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia, who led the review.

(Read More)

Kelly Loeffler sold at least $18 million more in stocks before the coronavirus crash than previously

(Vox) Sen. Kelly Loeffler sold at least $18 million more in stocks before the coronavirus crash than previously reported.
Loeffler is one of many lawmakers under fire for suspicious stock-trading activity following a coronavirus intel briefing.

Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) benefited from stock trades worth millions of dollars shortly before the general public was alerted to the severity of the Covid-19 crisis, selling off shares in industries that have been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic and buying shares of companies that have benefited, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) report published late Tuesday.

Loeffler, who sits on the Senate Health Committee, first began selling stocks on January 24 — the same day that committee held a private all-members session on Covid-19 — and continued making trades in late February and early March.

According to her latest financial disclosure, which the senator provided to the AJC, her largest transaction involved the sale of $18.7 million in Intercontinental Exchange stock in three separate deals dated February 26 and March 11.

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