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One would think that a Cabinet Secretary would come prepared to answer questions when called before a Congressional committee but I guess a consummate liar has no need for facts or preparation especially when trying to please another consummate liar. MA
March 7, 2019

On Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kristen Nielsen testified about the situation on the southern border before the House Homeland Security Committee. The committee, headed by Democrat Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, more or less berated the Secretary on the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy, which has led to 2,600 migrant children being separated from their parents, many being housed in cages, and several dying.

When questioned, Nielsen said she had no idea how many children were currently in ICE custody and denied that the “fenced-in” areas that kept migrants separated from one another were cages. She also explained she did not believe that the no tolerance policy would lead to trauma for children beyond the trauma endured while traveling from their home country to the Southern border. This suggests she either deliberately ignored the American Academy of Pediatrics’ warning that these separations would cause, for many children, irreparable psychological harm, as well as the countless protestations from academics and scientists — much less the real stories of kids dramatically regressing cognitively while in custody away from their parents.
Despite the consistent line of questioning about the harms the policy she was responsible for enacting would do for children, Nielsen focused on her talking points: that the border crisis was not manufactured, that migrant flow is a threat to national security, that parents shouldn’t be bringing their children to America, and that she did not know how many kids were in the system.
That the DHS secretary wouldn’t know how many kids are detained in a system that she controls is alarming, but no more alarming than the fact that Nielsen said she wasn’t aware that the family separation process would cause trauma to kids. Her callousness and irresponsibility are, at least, consistent.
Here’s a fact: Many children didn’t recognize their parents upon reunification because they were too distraught and other regressed back into diapers despite being potty trained. Additionally, thousands reported being sexually abused. Nielsen, in this testimony, essentially shrugged her shoulders and said that the price Americans should be willing to pay for national security. For Americans who care about kids, this is a disgusting idea.
It’s specifically troubling that the Trump administration has so little regard for kids in light of the fact that new statistics indicate that over half of new babies born in this country aren’t white. But troubling doesn’t mean surprising. If the cages were filled with white kids, rather than the kids of people who might not speak English or are fleeing violence from their home countries, the administration would act or, at the very least, familiarize themselves with the potential fallout of their policies. After all, Trump has remained focussed on murders of Americans by undocumented migrants despite the fact undocumented immigrants commit fewer crimes than citizens. Make no mistake, racism hurts kids and racists don’t care.
Nielsen doesn’t know how many kids her department has traumatized. And she doesn’t know how many kids her department will traumatize. Today, business goes on as usual.

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Each day is another day without a proper administration abetted by a neer do well Congress. TOTUS has shown his truth on a daily basis. Our GOP leader in the Congress is still waffling about how to do the job he was elected to do and TOTUS has visited Alabama (with no paper towels) and ordered FEMA  to put 100% effort in the recovery and repair. This was not the attitude in Puerto Rico which is still struggling to make corrections. The future of America is currently in the (small) hands of a Narcissistic ignoramus who has the backing of an uninformed and underinformed core of American voters and a self-serving legislature. It is plain to see that there is a news(?) outlet that opines for TOTUS and giving him their take on what he should be doing. The worst part of this is an underinformed voter who perceives TOTUS as a good leader, the rest of the country and many allies see a near-manic leader in the mode of past dictators who are no longer with us.  The tactics used by Ultras on all sides is lies, lies and more lies. The solution is informed voting.

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Apparently, FEMA’s Failure is the norm especially when the poorest and neediest are involved. MA
March 5, 20195:00 AM ET
Heard on All Things Considered
Rebecca Hersher
Robert Benincasa
If they had known, they never would have bought the house on Bayou Glen Road. Sure, it was a beautiful lot, tucked in a bend of the creek, backyard woodsy and wild, the neighbors friendly and the street quiet. A little piece of nature just 20 minutes from downtown Houston. It was exactly what John and Heather Papadopoulos — recently married, hoping to start a family — were looking for in 2007. They didn’t think much about the creek that ran along their yard, aside from appreciating the birds it attracted to the neighborhood.
Across town, the Evans family was similarly indifferent to the wooded bayous that cut through their neighborhood. Janice Perry-Evans chose the house she rented because it was conveniently located near the local high school, which made it easy for her two boys to get to class and home from football practice. Her commute to the post office wasn’t far either. Plus, at $800 per month, the rent was affordable. By 2017, the family had lived there for four years and didn’t have any plans to move.
And then, in August of that year, both homes were destroyed. Both families had to start over from nothing. But today, one family is financially stable. The other is facing bankruptcy.

Disasters are becoming more common in America. In the early and mid-20th century, fewer than 20 percent of U.S. counties experienced a disaster each year. Today, it’s about 50 percent. According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, climate change is already driving more severe droughts, floods and wildfires in the U.S. And those disasters are expensive. The federal government spends billions of dollars annually helping communities rebuild and prevent future damage. But an NPR investigation has found that across the country, white Americans and those with more wealth often receive more federal dollars after a disaster than do minorities and those with less wealth. Federal aid isn’t necessarily allocated to those who need it most; it’s allocated according to cost-benefit calculations meant to minimize taxpayer risk.

Put another way, after a disaster, rich people get richer and poor people get poorer. And federal disaster spending appears to exacerbate that wealth inequality.

The Flood
Nowhere are the economic and racial inequities of disaster aid more apparent than in communities that have experienced one of the most costly and widespread disasters: urban flooding.
Houston is arguably ground zero for urban flooding — a sprawling city built on low and marshy flatlands exposed to hurricanes blowing in from the Gulf of Mexico. In the past decade, there have been five major floods in the city, culminating in the largest amount of rain ever recorded from a single storm: Hurricane Harvey in August 2017.
The Papadopoulos and Evans families were two of the hundreds of thousands of families who evacuated their homes during the storm.

“We were the first ones to evacuate out of our house, up the street,” remembers John Papadopoulos. In the years before the hurricane, their home had gone from a refuge to a nightmare. It flooded in 2009, in 2015 and in 2016. By 2017, they knew what to do: Put the valuables up high, and get out. They went to a neighbor’s house first, and then to a hotel.
It was a new experience for the Evans family. “When the water started coming up, we thought we were going to have to go on the roof,” says Janice Perry-Evans. “But we ended up not going on the roof. We ended up, me and the kids, packing up a little bit of stuff” in a plastic container.
“We got out and we walked in that water,” she remembers. The water was up to her armpits in places. Eventually, a dump truck carried them to a bus, and the bus dropped them at the convention center downtown.

The next morning, Perry-Evans and Papadopoulos took the same first step to start rebuilding their lives — they turned to the federal government for help. But almost immediately, their experiences diverged.
From the beginning, a lot of things went right for the Papadopoulos family. John’s employer, Microsoft, gave him as much time off as he needed and more than $10,000 to help with rent and other bills that piled up after the flood. The Papadopouloses rented a townhouse nearby and, within a few months, the federal aid they had applied for began to arrive.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency gave them $30,000; because the family owned a home that had been destroyed in the flood, the Internal Revenue Service sent checks for more than $100,000 in refunded taxes — a perk of having a relatively high income. The Small Business Administration gave the family a low-interest loan.
About a year after the storm, Papadopoulos said, his family was financially stable.
The Evans family was not.

Janice Perry-Evans had one goal after the floodwaters receded: find a place to stay. She didn’t have any savings for a hotel or a new apartment, so when a co-worker offered her a room in his house, she took it, even though it was one room for her and her three kids and it was a 45-minute drive from work and school.
Then, she started applying for help from FEMA.
The agency gave her about $2,500, enough to cover a deposit and first month’s rent in a new place, but Perry-Evans needed the money for something else. Her oldest son was hoping for a college football scholarship. He couldn’t afford to miss school or football practice that fall, and the family couldn’t afford for Perry-Evans to miss shifts as a mail carrier for the post office.

“I had to go to work, and I had to get these boys back and forth to school. So I took that [money] and I put it for a car,” she explains.
With her immediate transportation needs met, Perry-Evans went back to FEMA to see about getting more money for housing, but she says agency representatives reprimanded her for incorrectly using the money she had been given.
“Some of them were kind of rude,” she remembers. “Some of them felt sorry for me because I would be crying, [saying] ‘Hey, I have nowhere to go. I don’t have no money. You guys are not helping me like I thought.’ ”
FEMA didn’t block Perry-Evans from reapplying for housing money, but she says after the scolding she turned to other potential sources of federal aid, unsuccessfully. Her income wasn’t high enough to claim a significant tax refund. She says she was denied a low-interest loan from the Small Business Administration because her credit score was too low. A FEMA representative suggested she try to get housing money from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, but after she used her day off to go to an information session, she was informed that her income was too high to qualify.

“It was like every time I tried something, it was an obstacle in the way,” she says.
The entire time, Perry-Evans says, she never missed a shift at the post office. She even worked the week that Hurricane Harvey hit Houston. She often worked six days a week. But her paycheck just wasn’t enough to cover all her bills, and her co-worker said it was time for the family to move out of the spare room.
Six months after the flood, Perry-Evans did the only thing she felt she could: She signed a lease to rent a house that cost 50 percent more than where they used to live, for less space. The electricity didn’t always work. For more than a year after the flood, Perry-Evans was still sleeping on a cot she took from the convention center.
The Rich Get Richer; The Poor Get Poorer
Perry-Evans is not alone in her struggle. “Recovery for vulnerable families [looks] a lot different than it does for more affluent neighborhoods,” says Kathy Payton, the director of the Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corp., a neighborhood nonprofit that works a few miles from where Perry-Evans lives.

Payton grew up in Houston and has spent decades supporting the basic needs of her neighbors, many of whom live on fixed incomes or do not have a cushion of savings to fall back on after a disaster.
“We had loss of income because people lost their jobs. We had increased health issues as a result of them living in bad situations,” she says, ticking off the cascade of challenges lower-income families have contended with since the flood. Many families struggle to successfully apply for money because they do not have access to a computer, she says, or do not have all the paperwork they need, or can’t take time off from work to meet with a FEMA representative.
Payton says wealthier families are more able to comply with the rigid application requirements. “There shouldn’t be a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all template,” she says. “You’ve got to make adjustments based on the vulnerabilities and the needs of the families. And that’s not what we do.”
Those application requirements are not explicitly designed to favor some citizens over others. Under the 1988 federal disaster relief law, the requirements exist to protect taxpayers from fraudulent or improper payouts after a storm, by keeping track of who has been given money for what.
But Payton says the upshot in Houston is that the more affluent parts of the city have recovered more quickly and deeply since the flood. Private insurance accounts for some of that, but Payton also believes residents in those areas have been more successful at getting federal money.
“Those families who are more apt to be able to respond to that [funding] will do so quickly, will do so more efficiently and the funds will be available on a first come, first serve basis,” she says. Families who cannot, she says, “will be left behind again.”
A new and growing body of research backs up Payton’s observations. Studies by sociologists, as well as climate scientists, urban planners and economists, suggest that disasters, and the federal aid that follows, disproportionately benefit wealthier Americans. The same is also true along racial lines, with white communities benefiting disproportionately.

“Cities are often very unequal to begin with,” says James Elliott, a sociologist at Rice University. “They’re segregated and there are lots of income disparities, but what seems to happen after natural hazards hit is these things become exacerbated.”
“We see these same patterns of wealth inequality being exacerbated in communities that receive more FEMA aid,” explains sociologist Junia Howell of the University of Pittsburgh. Howell and Elliott have published multiple studies that find a pattern in who wins and who loses after floods and other disasters: Rich people get richer after a storm, and poor people get poorer.
“That’s particularly true along racial lines, along lines of education, as well as homeownership versus renting,” explains Howell. And rather than mitigating the inequity, federal aid exacerbates it, in part because of the biases Payton has noticed that are baked into how federal money is distributed.

NPR examined one federal disaster program and found evidence of exactly that phenomenon. The program uses federal and local money to purchase homes that have flooded or been affected by other natural disasters and permanently turn the lots into green space to reduce flood risk.
The buyouts are voluntary, and the homeowner can use the money to move to a safer place. As climate change drives more extreme rain, David Maurstad of FEMA says he expects the program to grow more in the coming years.
But buyouts have disproportionately gone to whiter communities. NPR analyzed records of about 40,000 property buyouts funded by FEMA and state and local governments and found that most of them were in neighborhoods that were more than 85 percent white and non-Hispanic. For context, the nation as a whole is 62 percent white/non-Hispanic, and disasters affect communities of all demographics. (Search the database of FEMA buyouts here.)

A Tale of Two Cities
Hurricane Harvey in Houston was a cataclysmic event. But more extreme rainfall is falling all over the United States, and that means more flooding. The trend will continue in the coming years, and so will the need for disaster relief programs — and programs designed to mitigate damage. But even when those programs work as designed, NPR has found that inequality persists.
More than 1,500 miles northeast of Houston, two towns show how disaster relief efforts are determined and who wins and who loses in the calculation.
Manville, N.J., an hour outside Manhattan, has flooded repeatedly since the 1970s. On a recent tour, Superintendent of Schools Robert Beers drove over a bridge and into a neighborhood called Lost Valley, a suburban enclave of Cape Cod-style homes built in a compact grid along the Raritan River.

“This area was hit the hardest,” he says. “And as we drive through you’re going to be able to see a lot of vacant homes, and areas that were bulldozed. Some of these open, these vacant lots here, there were homes here.”
Over the past two decades, about 150 homeowners in Manville have taken disaster buyouts, and 80 more abandoned their homes. A drop in household incomes followed, and home values lagged behind nearby towns.
“After the first flood, people began thinking, ‘Is it time to get out?’ ” says Eleanor Nieliwocki, who lived in Lost Valley for more than 30 years. “After the second flood, not again. And the third flood, we’ve had it.” She finalized the sale of her house to a government buyout in 2015.
And buyouts like Nieliwocki’s matter to Beers. All those vacant lots affect how much money his schools get. Fewer homes overall mean less tax revenue to fund education. Last year, Manville’s public school system found itself battling large budget shortfalls. At the same time, Beers says, the schools faced new demands: Since 1999’s Hurricane Floyd, Manville’s Hispanic population had risen from 5 percent to 23 percent.
“Nearly 30 percent of our students speak only Spanish at home, so we need to fund additional positions to transition these children and provide them with the services they need,” Beers said last spring. (By summer, after an intense lobbying effort, Beers was able to get the state government to increase funding for Manville’s schools.)
And even though the buyouts in Manville hurt the tax base, FEMA says the strategy actually saves money in the long run. The agency says for every dollar spent on buyouts and other hazard mitigation programs, federal taxpayers save $6 in future disaster losses. The agency has allocated more than $15 billion on those strategies since 1989.

“I think our program is achieving in Manville what it’s intended to achieve,” says Maurstad, who oversees FEMA’s buyout program. He says FEMA is meeting its goals if it makes a community less risky, saves property and potentially saves lives.
And he points out that while FEMA pays 75 percent of the cost to buy out homes in disaster-prone areas, states and localities decide where they want those buyouts to occur, so demographic changes aren’t on the federal agency’s radar.
“I’m not aware that there’s been a specific study by FEMA or anyone else on the demographic distribution of [the buyout] approach,” says Maurstad. “But the approach itself is not one that would necessarily, intentionally lead to those outcomes.”

Reeling from repeated floods, Manville asked the Army Corps of Engineers to build a flood control system to protect it. In 2016, the Corps said no.
Catherine Kling, an economist at Cornell University, studies the kind of benefit-cost analysis the Corps does to decide which property is worth saving. “The whole idea of a benefit-cost analysis is actually very simple,” Kling says. “It simply seeks to answer the question: If we do this project, is the total value from this project greater than the total costs?”
That means that protecting 10 families in $1 million houses has the same value as protecting 100 families in $100,000 houses.
In Manville, the Corps counted about 500 homes and businesses in flood zones and said it could protect them for about $67 million. But for every dollar spent on the project, only 40 cents’ worth of property would be saved. Under federal guidelines, that’s not enough.
“It is completely agnostic as to who receives those benefits and those costs,” says Kling. And, she says, economists assume the people displaced and the economic activity they generate will simply move somewhere else.

Still, even if the approach is designed to avoid picking winners and losers, it ends up doing so anyway, favoring wealthier neighborhoods. “It’s also going to be [choosing] more valuable businesses,” Kling says. “More valuable real estate.”
Indeed, if there were a climate change lottery with public funding as the prize, you could say Bound Brook, N.J., just 4 miles from Manville, hit the jackpot: a sweeping, $650 million flood control project whose local portion was completed in 2016. Developers followed, investing tens of millions of dollars.
In Bound Brook, on a very different tour around town last summer, Councilman Abel Gomez detailed plans for hundreds of upscale apartments, new restaurants and an expanded Main Street. “Without flood control,” he said, “you were always the next natural disaster before you were wiped out.”
But some residents worry about how they will afford to live there once the new projects are completed. Bound Brook has one of the nation’s largest concentrations of Costa Ricans — enough that the country’s president visited in 2014 — and a history of alleged housing discrimination. The Justice Department sued the town in 2004, saying its housing policies discriminated against Latinos, and for years its housing and development practices were regulated by a consent decree. In 2017, a local government analysis found that households in the most heavily Latino neighborhoods had lower incomes and spent a greater portion of their incomes on housing than those in the majority-white area.
Some of the newer apartments are already renting for hundreds more than the town’s median rent. Francisco Morales Mora, who emigrated from Costa Rica in 1994 and owns a restaurant downtown, say that’s too much. “The people of Bound Brook are poor”. He says, “unless the new [ apartments] are cheaper, people will leave”

Robert Greco, the project’s manager for the Corps, says the flood control project in and around Bound Brook protects a highly dense area with a range of income levels. He says it isn’t intended to favor the wealthy but acknowledges that the project is changing the area.
“The Borough of Bound Brook is not wealthy,” Greco says. “But guess what, now they’re building and the economic vitality is picking up, and it’s beautiful, actually.”
Pressed on what the new, expensive development plan might mean for the Latino community, Gomez, the councilman, says, “We really, really hope that the Latino identity that’s here remains here. … Because that’s key to this. It sets us apart.”

The bigger picture around the country is that some Americans will be more vulnerable and some will be more resilient in the face of climate change. And who wins and who loses appears to mirror existing inequalities.
“Hardworking Americans who are working class are going to find their communities stressed even more than they are now,” says Andrew Light, an editor of the 2018 National Climate Assessment. “If you’re already a community at risk, you’re going to be at more risk.”
In Houston, the Papadopouloses have applied for a buyout and are likely to be offered one if they wait long enough. It may take years.
Janice Perry-Evans and her family are still in their rental but, “It is really a struggle now to stay afloat,” she says. She plans to file for bankruptcy.
And in Manville, even as the Army Corps of Engineers declined to build a flood control project, it predicted that “significant flooding can result in municipal infrastructure damage, loss of jobs, and closure of businesses,” as well as “continued potential for loss of life.”

NPR’s Meg Anderson and Barbara Van Woerkom contributed to this story.

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Anything said about this administration is merely a recap that will continue seemingly to the end of this Presidency. In spite  or because of the steady stream of lies, missteps and poor leadership the voters of America are suffering. All of the twittered pronouncements and semi leadership have done nothing but excite and exacerbate our allies and enemies. The Michael Cohen hearing served to show that the Majority party in the Senate and the members of that party in the House  have shown that they would rather be loyal to a flawed  and dangerous leader rather than serve the people who elected them. Many “Conservatives” who espoused TOTUS’s agenda while praying on Sunday have to face the music for their loyalty to a false Savior once all of the acts are out. As voters we need to put biases aside for the sake of better government, if you can’t do that then your own well being may be at stake. Remember that Faux News, Rush, Sean, Jesse  and other opinionators are  not looking out for you, their main job is to put out misinformation to push you towards the “dark” side. Avoid the trap of ” excitement news and views” by remembering that the truth is always the truth while lies fall by the wayside.

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At least one member of Congress gets it.MA

Kadia Tubman
Reporter

Yahoo News•March 3, 2019
Rep. Amash: ‘The president doesn’t get to just declare an emergency’
out in the wilderness on this one? Rep. Justin Amash, the Michigan Republican who broke with President Trump to vote to overturn his declaration of a national emergency at the southern border, said some of his colleagues are failing to uphold their duties to the Constitution.
Asked on CNN’s “State of the Union” if he thinks that “Republicans who are supporting this national emergency are abdicating their responsibilities to the Constitution,” Amash responded “I think so, yes.”
He added: “I don’t think that they are all intending to do that.”
Days after the vote, Amash explained his views when he tweeted, “If you think my job is to support the president one hundred percent, then you don’t understand what it means to be a representative in Congress. My job is to support the Constitution one hundred percent and to represent all the people of my district by protecting their rights.”
“The president is violating our constitutional system,” said Amash on Sunday. He didn’t directly address whether he believes the border situation amounts to a crisis, but said Trump shouldn’t be making that call unilaterally.
“There’s a fair debate that there are big problems on the border — some people would call it a crisis — but that has to go through Congress,” said Amash. “The president doesn’t get to decide that he can override Congress simply because Congress doesn’t do what he wants.”
“If there were an emergency in the sense that the president is describing, there would be a lot more consensus,” continued Amash. “When a house is on fire, nobody’s debating whether they should go in to save people or whether they should put out the fire. Everyone understands that’s an emergency.”
He added: “The fact that there’s a debate going on here, there’s not a consensus, indicates that it’s not an emergency in the sense that the president is describing, and he can’t just go around Congress.”

Amash, a fifth-term representative from Grand Rapids, Mich., was one of 13 House Republicans in opposition to the national emergency, a resolution that now goes to the Senate, where the vote is expected to be close. If it does pass, Trump can veto the resolution, and an override is considered unlikely.
Amash had another breakout moment this week when he questioned Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen at the House Oversight Committee hearing, where he, unlike most of the other Republicans on the panel, didn’t use his time to attack the credibility of Cohen, a disbarred lawyer felon who had lied to Congress in earlier testimony.
As Amash put it, instead of “just yelling at him or trying to grandstand or make political statements,” he asked a question that stumped Cohen: “What is the truth that you know President Trump fears the most?”
“That’s a tough question, sir,” said Cohen. “I don’t have an answer for that one.”
Reflecting on his questioning, Amash told “State of the Union” host Jake Tapper that Cohen “deserves the opportunity to be believed.”
Cohen’s testimony has kicked off renewed speculation about possible impeachment motions against Trump, but the head of the House Judiciary Committee said it was too soon to start the process.
“Impeachment is a long way down the road,” Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” “We don’t have the facts yet, but we’re going to initiate proper investigations.”
Tapper asked Amash about a possible challenge to Trump in 2020 on the Libertarian Party line. Amash said he hasn’t ruled it out.
“That’s not on my radar right now, but I think it is important that we have someone in there who’s representing a vision for America that is different from what these two parties are presenting.”
“Everything has become, do you like President Trump or do you not like President Trump?” continued Amash. “We need to return to basic American principles… and try to move forward together rather than fighting each other all of the time.”

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Eddy Lampert is attempting to continue capitalizing on the sears name after destroying lives, neighborhoods and perhaps entire towns with his uninformed running of the Sears /Kmart chains. The companies alone were having difficulty but with the right management there was a possibility of redemption but E .Lampert has one focus and that recouping losses and building wealth at any cost. MA.

BUSINESS NEWS
MARCH 6, 2019 / 6:48 PM / UPDATED 10 HOURS AGO
Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Sears is back into court, less than one month after emerging from bankruptcy protection.
The retailer was sued on Wednesday by Stanley Black & Decker Inc, which accused it of breach of contract and trademark infringement over its new line of professional-grade mechanics tools under the Craftsman Ultimate Collection brand.

Sears did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The complaint was filed in Manhattan federal court.
Craftsman had been an iconic Sears brand before Stanley paid about $900 million for it in March 2017, while giving Sears what it called a “limited” license to sell some Craftsman products.
But according to the complaint, Sears breached the license agreement by launching its new tool line and touting its stores as “the real home of the broadest assortment of Craftsman.”
Stanley said the tagline falsely implies that other Craftsman products are “somehow illegitimate.”
It also said Sears’ actions threaten to confuse shoppers and irreparably harm Stanley’s own Craftsman brand and trademarks, as well as its goodwill and customer relationships.

Sears emerged from Chapter 11 in February after longtime Chairman Edward Lampert, who oversaw its years-long descent into bankruptcy, won court approval for a $5.2 billion takeover, which included the Craftsman licensing rights.
The reorganized company was expected to have about 425 Sears and Kmart stores, down from roughly 3,500 when those companies merged in 2005. Sears brands also include DieHard and Kenmore.
The case is Stanley Black & Decker Inc v Transform Holdco LLC, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 19-02081.
Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Richard Chang
Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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For the past 10 to 15 years the Bipartisan flavor of the U.S. Congress has changed to a bitter  political fight. This is all due to long serving members of Congress who have aspired to leadership to further their own agendas. With the election of TOTUS these members have pandered to his whims to try to keep control of Government. This was never the intent of the founders and is not the sentiment of most American voters. As voters we have allowed it  to happen through complacency. We (or many of us) have unfortunately drank the “kool Aid” of bigotry and extensive lies about everything from immigration to “taxes” . The ignorance disseminated from the White House, Fax news and other sources of extreme news has become pervasive across the country.  For many who do not remember or never knew WWII began in the 30’s with Adolph Hitler, Benito Mussolini and Josef Stalin all of whom had high flying propaganda machines that selected vulnerable people and institutions as objects of their venom. Folks, believe it or not we have the same process going on now. It is within our ability as voters to change this by gaining knowledge of the facts through any means possible and accepting information that is correct even if it sounds different than what you believe (the possibility of you being wrong is there). The point is to be open to changing with the correct information being given to you. All of this being said we just have to take what our elected officials (and the aspiring ones) say with a grain of salt or the entire box if required. Educate yourselves with books and information from several sources to get a decent assessment of what is really happening in this country.

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The current in powered members of Congress have learned to cry foul since the minority party has gained control of the House. During The Obama administration Bitch McConnell publicly and unabashedly stated that this President will get nothing passed. Now this same Congress is crying foul when the “other side” is crusading against the poor and possibly illegal actions of TOTUS. The GOP has abdicated their duties to America as “representatives” of their respective constituencies. The elected leader of the Senate appears to be afraid to confront this President in the face of poor judgement on his (TOTUS) Foreign policy, Trade policy and in general his leadership. Essentially the Congress has made the Country a subsidiary of Trump Industries. Voters have one goal and that is to educate themselves in what is true and what is false. One has to remember that what sounds true and is false is influenced by one’s own biases with no regard to how someone else’s biases affects their lives. An example of how Congress has failed us all is The ACA: Congress exempted themselves and their staff from the penalty of not having insurance, they exempted themselves from the loss income during a shutdown. Is this representing you? Now the “Tax Reform” which removed deductions that served as a backup for many is pushing more towards and into poverty. This “Tax Reform” is a boon for Congress and people who make salaries in the 6 digit range and above. In order to get it right requires an informed electorate which requires reading and investigation not depending on talking heads who are seeking to push agendas that are false.

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Trump, Cohen and the paradox of believing proven liars
David Knowles 16 hours ago

Throughout Michael Cohen’s testimony this week before the House Oversight Committee, Republicans repeated what would seem to be a simple rule of human nature: Never trust a person who has been proven to be a liar.
“I want everyone in this room to think about this, the first announced witness for the 116th Congress is a guy who is going to prison in two months for lying to Congress,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said in his opening remarks.
But as more Republicans on the committee followed Jordan’s lead, that strategy quickly hit a wall.
“You’re a pathological liar. You don’t know truth from falsehood,” Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz, scolded Cohen, who then swiftly turned the tables on his interrogators.
“Sir, I’m sorry, are you referring to me or the president?” Cohen asked with a boyish grin.
Therein lies a paradox for the Republican Party. They distrust the fixer who lied to protect the president, but trust the president who himself has been shown to have difficulties telling the truth.
By the Washington Post’s count, as of Feb. 17, Trump has made 8,718 “false or misleading claims” while in office. One of the more glaring untruths was revealed by the New York Times on Thursday, showing that Trump had apparently misled the paper when asked directly whether he had intervened in any way to secure a top-level security clearance for his son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner.
“I was never involved in the security,” Trump told the paper just weeks ago when asked about his involvement.
That claim was laid bare after the Times learned about two contemporaneous memos written last May. One written by Trump’s former chief of staff, retired Gen. John Kelly, and the other by former White House counsel Don McGahn, detailed how Trump had personally ordered that Kushner be granted the security clearance despite objections by the CIA and others in government.
Whether it be Trump’s changing explanation for a meeting between members of his presidential campaign — including Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and his son, Don Jr. — and a Russian lawyer, or his insistence to reporters on Air Force One that he never knew that Cohen had paid hush money to Daniels (checks presented this week by his former lawyer for the repayment of a debt undercut that notion), the president’s own claims would seem to merit more than a touch of skepticism.
But trust, it turns out, is a partisan sport. And the Democrats were caught in their own truth dilemma this week by choosing to believe that Cohen, who begins a three-year prison term in May, in part for lying to Congress, was finally coming clean when speaking ill of Trump.
“I believe he told the truth,” committee chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., told reporters at the conclusion of Cohen’s marathon grilling.
1While asking liars to tell the truth carries self-evident risks, in the matter of Robert Mueller’s investigation of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, it would seem to be the only option. Mind you, for a skilled prosecutor, the truth is out there, and in this case, it involves talking to a whole lot of liars to find it.
Manafort, for instance, was convicted of eight felonies, including multiple counts of tax and bank fraud. In addition, Robert Mueller laid out his case that Manafort breached his cooperation deal by lying about his interactions with Konstantin Kilimnik, a Ukrainian-Russian political consultant.
Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign adviser, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about searching in the 2016 presidential election for Russian “dirt” on Hillary Clinton that could aid Trump.
Roger Stone, a longtime Trump adviser, has been indicted by Mueller’s office on one count of obstruction, one count of witness tampering and five counts of making false statements.
That Trump has surrounded himself with this cast of characters may help explain why the president spends so much time decrying “fake news.” If no one can be trusted to tell the truth, after all, then why bother worrying about the coverage of Cohen’s testimony, the Mueller investigation or whether Trump intervened on behalf of his son-in-law obtaining a security clearance?
Though this week’s events on Capitol Hill confirmed that we may never solve what philosophers call the liar paradox, we can at least be sure that if it applies to one liar, it should apply to all.

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With the Cohen hearings ongoing and the many revelations therein we see that the current administration aka “The Trump Method” of doing business has been a long standing micro management of  daily operations. It seems that the standard for working for the Trump organization, White House  and dealing with this administration is to be willing to lie at any cost, misrepresent at any time and generally dislike the taste of truth. This has been evident for many years and now has enmeshed a major part of our politics to the highest levels of the Government. We have now Justices who are biased not impartial as they are supposed to be, a Congress filled with so called Conservatives using the guise of religion in some cases to back up their appeal to their constituents and possibly feather their nests for the time when they leave office. Voters must remember that ALL politicians lie from the beginning or will begin to lie. The cure for lying is learning the truth and not taking what is said as true and honest. Each person running for office no matter what party affiliation they espouse has the potential for lying and will if they haven’t already. The press and other media for the most part tells the truth whenever they can but the real information comes from sources that will and can back track their issuances when required while others continue with the same flawed information as truth because they can and it brings followers. Of course this is how Dictators arise and prosper as we have seen in several countries while their people suffer the consequences as show in nearby South America. It is incumbent on each individual to always seek the truth and not accept anything that appears false without personal investigation. No one person or Group has the total answer no matter how they try to persuade. All truth resides within each of us.

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