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Jonathan Bernstein: Trump is plotting to blow up the Constitution

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Jonathan Bernstein: Trump Is Plotting To Blow Up The Constitution

The must-read reporting over the weekend was Jonathan Swan’s series at Axios exploring the efforts of former President Donald Trump’s supporters and other Trump-friendly Republicans to prepare to staff a potential Trump second term.

During the presidential nomination competition in 2015-2016, Republican Party actors generally opposed Trump, in part because they considered him a risky general election candidate and in part because they were not convinced he would be reliable on matters of public policy.

When push came to shove, however, the elected officials, party professionals, interest group activists, party-aligned media figures and others who might have prevented his nomination chose not to challenge him, mainly because by the time of the Republican National Convention in July they were convinced he was willing to abide by party preferences in most policy areas. Notably, Trump had shown that he was willing to add conventional Republicans to his campaign, and the pattern continued into the presidency.

Trump’s White House was always a disorganized mess, and he had quite a number of White House staffers and executive branch choices who wouldn’t have been part of a Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio presidency. But there were plenty of conventional choices, and most of the unusual ones were Republicans on the fringes of the party, not (in most cases, at least) Trump’s personal loyalists.

Four years of a Trump presidency, however, have turned the fringes into the party mainstream, and the fringes have evolved in Trump’s direction.

Swan describes efforts already underway for staffing a second Trump administration along with criteria for selecting personnel. Trump himself is described as obsessed with the 2020 election, and what he mainly cares about is finding people who affirm his false accounts of fraud; anyone unwilling to falsely claim that Trump won the election need not apply for any position.

But as the hearings of the House Select Committee investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol of Jan. 6, 2021, have demonstrated, practically no one from the Trump campaign, nor anyone in the administration who knew anything about elections, believed Trump’s lies, which is why he wound up bringing in outsiders to make his case. That means that anyone eligible for a future Trump administration job is either a sycophant willing to pretend to believe dangerous nonsense, or a fool who believes dangerous nonsense after it’s been revealed that those who propagated it didn’t even believe it.

The second, overlapping qualification for a job appears to be true belief in the Trump agenda. In some cases, that means the narrow set of issues on which Trump seems to have impulses (someone who knows so little about public policy can’t be said to hold actual positions): against overseas alliances, against traditional allies and for foreign authoritarian governments, against immigration and immigrants, against international trade. But it also means embracing the lawlessness that Trump embodies and thus wanting to dismantle the Justice Department and undermine loyalty to the rule of law. As Swan reports, what Trump and his allies most want is to eliminate anyone who resisted Trump’s requests on the grounds that they were illegal.

The third qualification appears to favor people preparing to carry out extreme conservative policies — not things Trump cares about at all, but goals that movement conservatives such as former Sen. Jim DeMint, whom Swan reports is involved in one of the groups vetting names, have tried and failed to accomplish in Republican administrations from at least Ronald Reagan through Trump.

A lot of those policies don’t get implemented because they’re unpopular, and even very conservative presidents shy away from them; others don’t happen because they can’t pass Congress and enacting them without legislation would probably be blocked by the courts. Advocates of these policies know that Trump doesn’t pay any attention to what goes on unless it’s on TV, can be easily manipulated because he doesn’t bother to learn much, and doesn’t care if something his people try to do is said to be illegal.

It’s fine for a presidential candidate to make preparations to fight for policies he or she supports. Indeed, it’s generally a good sign if a candidate takes the possible transition and subsequent governing seriously, beginning with intense demands for staffing the White House and the executive branch. That includes recognizing that the bureaucracy can have a strong status quo bias that makes presidential initiatives hard to implement.

Unfortunately, most of what Trump and his allies appear to be preparing for is a fight against the law and the constitutional order. Trump has never understood that presidents are not dictators, and he appeared to take it personally whenever anyone in the political system resisted his preferences — not realizing that pushback from the executive branch, the judiciary and Congress was not personally directed at him, but was part of how diverse legitimate interests are represented within a democratic government. Therefore, what Trump and his allies are attempting to do is likely to end either with the kinds of fiascoes and failures that wound up with Trump impeached twice — or with his victory over the republic and the end of constitutional government.

And even if Trump does not regain the White House, his allies — those who meet one or more of the overlapping criteria — have become the mainstream of the party, with all the radicalism and lawlessness that goes with that. Personnel is policy, and it should come as no surprise that the pro-democracy faction within the party has increasingly been marginalized, if not purged. The party leaders who chose not to fight hard against Trump in 2016 have plenty to answer for.

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As losses pile up, Yankees say losing-streak will be good for them

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As Losses Pile Up, Yankees Say Losing-Streak Will Be Good For Them

The Yankees walked off the field Tuesday night to some surprisingly loud boos. The Bombers have lost 11 of their last 13 games, scored one run over their last three games and watched their once double-digit lead in the division shrink. So the boos were only surprising in how loud they were. Most fans turned their backs Tuesday night and walked out long before Frank Sinatra began to sing.

But inside the clubhouse there is a firm belief that everything is going to be all right.

“A little adversity never hurt nobody,” catcher Jose Trevino said. “Everybody is going to struggle. You look at (the standings) right now, we’re still a few games up and we know that, but we also know we want to kick it into gear pretty soon.”

It’s been a two-week funk that may not have cost the Yankees the American League East lead, but has cost them the best record in the AL, which they said was hugely important following a two-game series loss to the Astros. The Yankees are 2.5 games behind Houston now.

Aaron Judge hopes this is one of those trials in the season that will pay off in the end.

“You learn to respond to getting hit in the face a couple of times,” Judge said. “It’s going to be good for us. You can’t have the good without the bad, so it’s good for everyone to kind of go through this stretch and kind of look themselves in the mirror and say, ‘Hey, what do I need to do to get better so we can kind of get out of this rut?’”

Wednesday morning it looked like a little foster shakeup was what the Bombers were hoping would get them out of a rut. Aaron Boone said they were discussing roster moves Tuesday night. The team declined to give further information.

Prospect Oswaldo Cabrera announced on his Instagram late Tuesday “Vamanos,” which hinted he may be coming to the Bronx from Triple-A Scranton. Estevan Florial was also mentioned as a possible addition.

While the team declined to comment, struggling closer Clay Holmes basically admitted he was heading to the injured list with a back issue after Tuesday night’s loss. That would allow Ron Marinaccio, who had been dominant before being demoted because of a roster numbers crunch, to come back and give the bullpen a boost.

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Trump-backed Senator Lisa Murkowski and Kelly Tshibaka advance to general election in Alaska Senate race

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Trump-Backed Senator Lisa Murkowski And Kelly Tshibaka Advance To General Election In Alaska Senate Race

Senator Lisa Murkowski and Kelly Tshibaka — Republican rivals locked in one of former President Donald Trump’s grudge matches — will qualify for the general election in the Alaska Senate race, NBC News projects.

Their top spot in Tuesday’s coverage, the nonpartisan primary secures them two of four spots in a November contest that will be decided by ballot-by-choice, a system that allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference.

Patricia Chesbro, a Democrat, will also advance NBC News projects.

NBC News is not yet projecting the winner of the fourth ballot in the general election.

Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Senate candidate Kelly Tshibaka.Getty Images

Incumbent Murkowski drew Trump’s ire when she voted to convict him in his second impeachment trial, believing he instigated the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Trump endorsed Tshibaka, a former commissioner of the Alaska Department of Administration.

Trump used to call Murkowski the “Alaska disaster.” In his June 2021 endorsement — 14 months before the primary — he promoted Tshibaka as “the candidate who can beat Murkowski” and “a fighter who represents Alaskan values ​​and America first.”

Tshibaka made waves as she vowed not to back another Trump foil, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for another term as GOP leader in the Senate if elected. Murkowski, meanwhile, has proven herself to be a moderate willing to work with Democrats. She was one of only three Republicans to vote to confirm Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson in April.

The new voting format could help Murkowski. Proponents of ranked choice, which was used most notably in New York’s mayoral election last year, believe the setup benefits moderate candidates who don’t play on the fringe of either side. parties and work the hardest to please the widest group of people.

In preferential choice elections, voters identify a first choice on their ballot and then rank the other candidates in order of preference. If no candidate receives a majority of first-choice votes on the first count, the election proceeds to an instant second round. The candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and the ballots cast for that candidate are recast for the voter’s second choice. The process repeats until one candidate reaches a majority.

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Bulgaria seizes 233 pounds of heroin worth $4.9 million

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Russia Targets Journalist With War Critics Raid And Investigation

Sofia, Bulgaria — Bulgarian customs seized 106 kilograms (233 pounds) of heroin worth 4.8 million euros ($4.9 million) found in a car from neighboring Turkey, officials said on Wednesday. .

Prosecutors said the 38-year-old driver, who has dual French and Turkish nationality, has been arrested and could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of drug trafficking.

The narcotics were hidden in 209 sealed bags hidden under the car seats. They were discovered during a search on Monday.

Middle Eastern drugs are often transported by road from Afghanistan via Iran, Turkey and Bulgaria to Western Europe.

Bulgaria, a member of the European Union, has taken additional measures in recent years to combat drug trafficking.

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Teleperformance India to hire more people in Tier II and III cities, says CEO

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Teleperformance India To Hire More People In Tier Ii And Iii Cities, Says Ceo

Teleperformance, headquartered in Paris, has a market capitalization of around $20 billion and employs over 4 lakh people globally.

The world’s largest BPO plans to hire 20,000 people in India alone over the next 18 months as part of an ambitious expansion plan. In fact, the company is now under new management in India. Anish Mukker has taken the reins as the country’s new CEO.

Talk to CNBC-TV18, Mukker said India is one of their fastest growing markets.

“India is a strategic part and a choice that Teleperformance made two decades ago when the industry was in its infancy. We are now present in almost 80 countries and India is one of the fastest growing markets for the company.

He said the company plans to hire more people in Tier II and Tier III cities.

“Our business in India is significant in financial services, retail, consumer industry, travel and healthcare. We are present in about 20 cities and in most Tier I and Tier II cities, we are already there. So, the company’s effort for the next 18 months is to add additional Tier II staff and experiment with a few Tier III cities as well. We may not build infrastructure in Tier III cities to begin with, but we will allow our employees to work from anywhere.

Watch the video to learn more.

First post: August 17, 2022, 9:16 PM STI

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Save up to 53% on new and used Samsung devices at Woot

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Save Up To 53% On New And Used Samsung Devices At Woot

Samsung offers a surprisingly wide range of popular devices, including smartwatches, tablets, phones, and computers. Some of its high-quality products often come at a high price, which is why it’s important to take advantage of sales whenever you can.

Until August 31, Woot is offering deals on both new and refurbished samsung devices while stocks last. Some items have already started selling, so if you see something you’re interested in, we recommend buying sooner rather than later.

If you’re looking for a smartwatch to simplify your day, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is available new with a 48% discount, bringing the price up from $330 up to just $170. It’s equipped with unlocked LTE connectivity so you can call, text and stream without your phone (although you have to buy LTE service) and it has a 44mm always-on AMOLED display. It has many health tracking features, including tracking your workouts, sleep, and oxygen levels. However, the battery life is somewhat short compared to other smartwatches on the market, lasting only a day or two per charge. It should also be noted that his successor the Galaxy Watch 5 just announced.

There are some great tablets included in this sale. Save $40 on a new Samsung Galaxy Tab A7. The tablet has an 8.7-inch screen and 32 GB of storage. Or take a bigger one Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus. It has a 12.4-inch screen, 128GB of storage, and comes with an S Pen — all for $540, a $160 discount. And if you need more storage, the 256GB version is just $600, saving you $200 off the list price. Both tablets feature Dolby Atmos for superior sound quality and are great options for streaming.

Refurbished options include a $650 Samsung Book Pro with a 15.6-inch AMOLED display, 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage, which is enough for all your computing needs, and an unlocked Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G smartphone for $280 – it’s a few years old now, but it has a 6.5-inch Infinity-O display and 128GB of storage.

All products come with a warranty from either Samsung or Woot, depending on the item, so you’ll be covered if something goes wrong. See each product page for more information and purchase the all sale selection Samsung devices at Woot.

Read more: The most exciting Samsung gadgets we want in 2022 and beyond

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Target takes a hit after heavy discounts to clear inventory

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Target Takes A Hit After Heavy Discounts To Clear Inventory

By ANNE D’INNOCENZIO

NEW YORK (AP) — Target reported solid sales for the fiscal second quarter but its profit plunged nearly 90% after it was forced to slash prices to clear unwanted inventories of clothing, home goods and electronics.

In early June, Target warned that it was canceling orders from suppliers and aggressively cutting prices because of a pronounced spending shift by Americans as the pandemic eased.

Shares fell nearly 4%, or $7.15 to $173.04, on Wednesday.

Retailers were blindsided by the lightening-fast switch from spending on goods for the home, like TVs and small kitchen appliances, to dinners out, movies and travel. Adding to that shift is surging inflation. In the first quarter, Target’s profits tumbled 52% compared to the year-ago period.

Target reported second-quarter net income of $183 million, or 39 cents per share, for the three month period ended July 30. That’s far short of the per-share profit if 79 cents that Wall Street had expected, according to a survey by FactSet.

It was also down from the $1.82 billion the company earned last year in the same period.

Revenue rose 3.5% to $26.04 billion. Analysts were expecting $26.03 billion, according to FactSet.

Store comparable sales increased 1.3% on top of 8.7% growth last year. Online sales rose 9% following growth of 9.9% last year.

“While these inventory actions put significant pressure on our near-term profitability, we’re confident this was the right long-term decision in support of our guests, our team and our business,” CEO Brian Cornell said.

Target executives told reporters during a media call that if Target weren’t aggressive about marking down the inventory, it would have taken at least several quarters to get rid of the unwanted merchandise.

The company is planning cautiously for the remainder of the year, Cornell said, including the critical holiday season. That will put a greater focus on stocking groceries and things like cosmetics.

Target said it’s carefully “listening to the wants, needs, hopes and concerns,” of customers, said Christina Hennington, Target’s chief growth officer and executive vice president.

“They still have spending power, but they’re increasingly feeling the impact of inflation, and while the recent reduction in prices at the gas pump have been encouraging, guest confidence in their personal finances continues to wane,” Hennington said on a company conference call Wednesday.

As a result of inflation, customers are looking more at Target’s private label brands, which are less expensive, waiting for discounts and consolidating trips to save on gas, the company said.

Target is sticking to its prior guidance for full year revenue growth in the low-to mid-single digit percentage range. It also expects operating margin rate in a range around 6% in the back half of the year, a big jump from 1.2% for latest quarter.

Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, reported Tuesday that its sales and profits for the second quarter rose. It said that higher-income shoppers were flocking to the discounter to save money on groceries, while low-income shoppers were feeling squeezed by higher inflation and were switching from deli meats to hot dogs and canned tuna.

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