Trump takes to Twitter to support Home Depot: ‘Fight for Bernie Marcus and Home Depot!’•Scroll back up to restore default view. President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday night in support of Home Depot after social media calls to boycott the home improvement retailer.Shoppers have been taking to Twitter and other social media platforms to call for the boycott following news that co-founder Bernie Marcus plans to back Trump’s re-election bid.”A truly great, patriotic & charitable man, Bernie Marcus, the co-founder of Home Depot who, at the age of 90, is coming under attack by the Radical Left Democrats with one of their often used weapons,” Trump said in a two-part tweet.”They don’t want people to shop at those GREAT stores,” Trump continues, because Marcus contributed „to your favorite President, me!”Back to school: Don’t get sidetracked, carry coupons and focus on priceHome Depot boycott: Social media calls for boycott of Home Depot because co-founder supports Donald TrumpDonald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump · A truly great, patriotic & charitable man, Bernie Marcus, the co-founder of Home Depot who, at the age of 90, is coming under attack by the Radical Left Democrats with one of their often used weapons. They don’t want people to shop at those GREAT stores because he contributed….Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump….to your favorite President, me! These people are vicious and totally crazed, but remember, there are far more great people (“Deplorables”) in this country, than bad. Do to them what they do to you. Fight for Bernie Marcus and Home Depot!In an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Marcus said that he intends to support Trump’s re-election campaign, saying that while the president “sucks” at communication, his impact on employment and aggressive stances toward China and Iran have been positive.”These people are vicious and totally crazed, but remember, there are far more great people (“Deplorables”) in this country, than bad,” Trump tweeted. „Do to them what they do to you. Fight for Bernie Marcus and Home Depot!”In a recent statement, Home Depot said, „Bernie retired from The Home Depot more than 15 years ago and isn’t speaking on behalf of the company. In fact, as a standard practice, the company does not endorse Presidential candidates.”Though Marcus, 90, is no longer chairman of Home Depot’s board, he told the Journal-Constitution that much of his fortune is rooted in shares of the business that he continues to own. He is worth $5.9 billion, according to Forbes. Trump kept tweeting about Home Depot after the first two-part tweet.Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrumpMore and more the Radical Left is using Commerce to hurt their “Enemy.” They put out the name of a store, brand or company, and ask their so-called followers not to do business there. They don’t care who gets hurt, but also don’t understand that two can play that game!„More and more the Radical Left is using Commerce to hurt their “Enemy.” They put out the name of a store, brand or company, and ask their so-called followers not to do business there,” Trump tweeted Tuesday. „They don’t care who gets hurt, but also don’t understand that two can play that game!”Contributing: Charisse JonesFollow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTykoThis article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump takes to Twitter to support Home Depot: ‘Fight for Bernie Marcus and Home Depot!’
WASHINGTON – The top Democrats in Congress have called on Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta to resign over a past plea deal he cut as a U.S. attorney that gave a light sentence to multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein, who had allegedly engaged in sex acts with dozens of minors.
In an 11 p.m. tweet Monday, Pelosi said Acosta „must step down” because „he engaged in an unconscionable agreement” with Epstein, which was „kept secret from courageous, young victims preventing them from seeking justice. This was known by @POTUS when he appointed him to the cabinet. #AcostaResign.”
On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said he was „calling on Secretary Acosta to resign” in a speech from Senate floor.
„It is now impossible for anyone to have confidence in Secretary Acosta’s ability to lead the Department of Labor. If he refuses to resign President Trump should fire him,” Schumer said. „Instead of prosecuting a predatory and serial sex trafficker of children, Acosta chose to let him off easy.”
.@SecretaryAcosta must step down. As US Attorney, he engaged in an unconscionable agreement w/ Jeffrey Epstein kept secret from courageous, young victims preventing them from seeking justice. This was known by @POTUS when he appointed him to the cabinet. #AcostaResign
Jeffrey Epstein should have been behind bars years ago as a serial sex trafficker of children.
But unfortunately as a U.S. Attorney in Florida in 2008, @SecretaryAcosta chose to let Epstein off easy.
Acosta must resign. If he refuses, @realDonaldTrump should fire him.
Epstein, 66, who is known for his ties to powerful figures including Trump and former President Bill Clinton, was arrested Saturday on charges of sex-trafficking girls as young as 14. He pleaded not guilty in a Manhattan federal court on Monday. The indictment against him says he „sexually exploited and abused dozens of minor girls at his homes” in New York City and Palm Beach, Florida.
Acosta has stood by his decision to offer Epstein a deal, and on Tuesday he tweeted that he was „pleased” that prosecutors in New York are „moving forward with a case based on new evidence.”
With the evidence available more than a decade ago, federal prosecutors insisted that Epstein go to jail, register as a sex offender and put the world on notice that he was a sexual predator.
Trump told reporters that he thought Acosta has been „an excellent secretary of labor” and that he „feels badly” about the criticism he is facing. He also said he’ll look „very carefully” at the plea deal, which he said was „a long time ago” and was a decision made „by a lot of people” in addition to Acosta.
Bill Clinton spokesman: Former president ‘knows nothing’ about ‘terrible crimes’ alleged against Epstein
In November, the Miami Herald published an in-depth look at the 2007 deal that showed that Acosta – then the top federal prosecutor in Miami – was directly involved in negotiating a deal with Epstein’s lawyers in which the wealthy and influential hedge fund manager agreed to plead guilty to two state felony prostitution charges, pay restitution to his victims, register as a sex offender and serve 13 months in county jail.
But Epstein, who had faced a possible life sentence if convicted on the federal charges, was able to serve much of that sentence from his Palm Beach office as part of a work-release program.
Jeffrey Epstein charges: Here’s what we know
Who is Jeffrey Epstein?: The multimillionaire charged with sex trafficking young girls
Epstein’s alleged co-conspirators were granted immunity and the federal non-prosecution agreement was sealed, which meant it was hidden even from the girls Epstein was accused of abusing when they were teenagers, the Herald revealed.
Federal prosecutors identified three dozen accusers, according to the Herald, but the newspaper said it found 80 girls who were abused between the ages of 13 and 16.
In response to those reports, Democratic lawmakers last year called for a Justice Department investigation into Acosta’s role in Epstein’s plea agreement. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., who called Epstein a „monster,” joined that call, and in February the Justice Department launched an investigation into potential „professional misconduct” in Epstein’s plea deal. That same month U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth Marra ruled that Acosta and his team had violated the Crime Victims Rights Act by concealing the plea agreement from Epstein’s victims.
On Tuesday, Schumer called for the results of the Justice Department’s investigation into the deal to be made public and for Senate hearings into the matter. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who heads the Senate Judiciary Committee, told reporters he was open to such hearings.
„If this plea deal doesn’t withstand scrutiny, then it would be the job of the Judiciary Committee to find out how it got off the rails,” he said, according to The Hill.
„My understanding is that’s a very complicated case,” then-White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in response to the ruling. „But that they made the best possible decision and deal they could have gotten at that time.”
Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., asked Acosta about The Washington Post’s report at his confirmation hearing in 2017 and why Epstein was never indicted on federal charges despite an 82-page memo detailing federal prosecutors’ findings and a 53-page indictment they compiled.
Acosta defended the deal he cut with Epstein’s lawyers, saying that there was a „broadly held” view among the prosecutors in his office that „based on the evidence,” a „plea that guarantees someone goes to jail” is „a good thing,’’
Acosta went on to be confirmed by a vote of 60-38.
When confronted again about the plea deal during a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing in April, Acosta said he understood the „frustration” around the agreement but argued that if he had not struck the deal, Epstein „was going to get off” with no jail time.
„It was the work of our office that resulted in him going to jail. It was the work of our office that resulted in his register and put the world on notice that he’s a sex offender,” he said.
Presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., joined in the call for Acosta’s resignation on Tuesday.
„Since when do underage girl sex ring traffickers get to go to their office every day while they serve their time?” Klobuchar, a former prosecutor, said in a tweet criticizing the 2007 plea deal. „The victims should have had a say. That’s what the law says.
„I didn’t vote for former Florida U.S. Attorney Acosta to begin with, and he should step down,” she said.
Since when do underage girl sex ring traffickers get to go to their office every day while they serve their time? The victims should have had a say. That’s what the law says. I didn’t vote for former Florida U.S. Attorney Acosta to begin with and he should step down.
Other 2020 Democratic candidates quickly followed suit.
„Alex Acosta should resign as Labor Secretary. We need leaders committed to fighting for justice for survivors of abuse, not protecting predators,” tweeted California Sen. Kamala Harris, who is also a former prosecutor.
„I opposed Secretary Acosta’s nomination, and voted against his confirmation. The last few days have only highlighted how ethically compromised and unfit to serve he is. Acosta must resign – now,” tweeted Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
I opposed Secretary Acosta’s nomination, and voted against his confirmation. The last few days have only highlighted how ethically compromised and unfit to serve he is. Acosta must resign—now. https://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/editorials/article232432722.html …
Alex Acosta made an ethically compromised decision 10 years ago. Today, he should resign | Editorial
Acosta gave sexual predator sweetheart deal. Now that the US attorney in Manhattan is aggressively pursuing Epstein for sex trafficking, evidence shows Acosta had no sympathy for the young girls who…
„Acosta should step down,” said New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.
Acosta should step down. https://twitter.com/MiamiHerald/status/1148533039326224386 …
Alex Acosta made an ethically compromised decision 10 years ago. Today, he should resign. From the Miami Herald Editorial Board: https://hrld.us/2NDiZ5w
„Acosta must resign,” tweeted former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke.
„I think he should be asked to resign because of his role in the process with Epstein,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell.
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock said Acosta had „broken the public trust” and needed to resign.
Former Vice President Joe Biden also called on Acosta to resign, writing on Twitter that „The abuse of a child is one of the most heinous, despicable abuses of power imaginable.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Pelosi and Schumer: Trump Labor Secretary Acosta must resign over plea deal for Jeffrey Epstein
WASHINGTON — Nobody in Washington seems to like the Affordable Care Act. Republicans, who opposed it unanimously when it passed in 2009 and 2010, want to repeal it altogether, claiming it gives too much power to the federal government. Democrats argue the law doesn’t go far enough: Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., wants to replace the ACA with Medicare for All, which would get rid of private insurance entirely.
The thing is, nobody outside Washington wants a dramatic reworking of a health law that provides coverage to 20 million Americans who previously didn’t have health insurance, while also making a tentative start on lowering the costs of medical care. Voters may believe, to borrow a phrase from Winston Churchill, that President Barack Obama’s signature health law, like democracy itself, is the worst health care policy except for everything else that has been tried.
Recent history has shown as much. When the GOP tried to repeal and replace the ACA in the spring and summer of 2017, its various plans proved unpopular. Meanwhile, the progressive alternative proposed by Sanders and championed by many of his colleagues — a health care system run entirely by the federal government — also does not enjoy broad support, at least not once people find out it means they have to give up their private plans and potentially pay higher taxes.
“The problem is that many voters are not focused on such lofty goals” as Medicare for All, the Washington Post recently reported. “They want something simpler — to pay less for their own health care.” That’s exactly what a Kaiser Family Foundation poll conducted in April found, with nearly three-quarters of respondents saying they wanted Congress to fix the ACA, not scrap it in favor of a system shaped by political ideology.
Enter Lauren Underwood, a 32-year-old Democratic congresswoman from suburban Chicago, who won in a heavily Republican district by promising to use her experience as a nurse and health policy expert to fix Obama’s much-maligned health law. Now, in an old-fashioned development rare for a Congress riven by ideology, she is trying to make good on her promise by introducing a plan that would both allow more people to buy health insurance through the federal government and make that insurance significantly more affordable.
Underwood’s plan — introduced in March and known as the Health Care Affordability Act — would offer a potentially crucial boost to ACA enrollment by blasting away the dreaded “subsidy cliff,” which mandates that no family of four making more than $100,400 can qualify for any tax credits whatever to help pay for insurance. The plan would also cap the premiums people pay on their health insurance at 8.5 percent of income. Some people now could be paying three times that much, making insurance technically attainable but practically unaffordable.
Her staff says her plan would reduce premiums for 20 million people, including 9 million who currently do qualify for tax credits but have chosen not to buy insurance.
Health care experts praise Underwood’s vision, even while acknowledging that it will take more than sound policy to sell that vision to a hostile Senate controlled by Republicans. “This is it,” says Charles Gaba, a health care policy analyst who blogs at ACAsignups.net. “As far as I am concerned, it’s one of the most important parts of improving the Affordable Care Act, period,” he says of Underwood’s bill.
Gaba explains that “the single biggest shortcoming of the ACA” is that subsidies for people who wish to purchase health care through the marketplace “cut off too low” and “are simply not generous enough” for those who do make the cutoff.
Andy Slavitt, who was a top health care official in the Obama administration, agrees. “Very sound. Most important of the bills,” he says, referencing the several measures Democrats have introduced to shore up the ACA in the face of a seemingly unrelenting onslaught by the Trump administration.
Underwood’s sole focus is affordability, a major complaint of both Democrats and Republicans. Her bill — a single page in length, compared with the 974 pages of the ACA — would allow even individuals and families with incomes about 400 percent of the federal poverty level, where all current subsidies end, to qualify for subsidies when purchasing health care through the government marketplaces. At the same time, the sliding scale of premium payments would encounter a hard ceiling at 8.5 percent of income, which would have the effect of making insurance far more affordable than it currently is.
„This is an important fix that we can pass now,” Underwood said in a recent conversation with Yahoo News. Her staff says they do not yet know how much the bill would cost because it has not yet been “scored” by the Congressional Budget Office. Gaba, the health care analyst, says the cost could be $15 billion per year, a fraction of 1 percent of a $4 trillion budget. If the estimate of 20 million beneficiaries of the expanded benefits is correct, that translates to an outlay of $750 per person per year. Slavitt believes a corporate tax rate increase of 2 or 3 percent would fully pay for the more generous subsidies.
Underwood, a smart politician, knows that policy is only as good as the politics that see it through. Along with several other ACA fixes, Underwood’s bill has been put before House Ways and Means, the influential committee helmed by Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass. If, and how quickly, the bill moves through the committee will be the first indication of its prospects.
“The committee has not yet decided which ACA-related bills it’s going to be taking up, but Chairman Neal has talked to Rep. Underwood about her legislation,” a Democratic staffer on the committee told Yahoo News. “At this point, we’re still evaluating bills and determining how to move forward.”
Underwood’s bill does have the support of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Though she has been cool to proposals put forth by other first-termers — most notably the sweeping Green New Deal environmental plan introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. — Pelosi has touted Underwood’s solution. An aide to Democratic leadership in the House who asked not to be named praised Underwood’s bill as “hugely consequential.” (He also praised Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J., for his proposal to help states create their own health insurance marketplaces instead of relying on the federal one.)
Another booster of the bill is House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., who “supports efforts to expand tax credits to make health coverage more affordable and commends Rep. Underwood’s focus on this issue,” according to Mariel Saez, a spokesperson for Hoyer’s office.
Endorsed by two of the chamber’s most powerful Democrats, the bill will be difficult for Neal to ignore. The challenge, of course, will not be in the House, with fellow Democrats. It will be in the Senate, with Republicans who fell just a vote short of repealing the ACA and are unlikely to sign on to a Democratic fix.
Persuading GOP members “has not been my focus,” Underwood acknowledges. But she also hopes that when the time comes, they will at least hear out her pitch.
A trained nurse with degrees from the University of Michigan and Johns Hopkins, Underwood joined the Obama administration in 2014 to work on the ACA. Three years later, she decided to seek office herself. The seat she ran for was held at the time by Republican Randy Hultgren, who had voted to repeal and replace the ACA. Before that, it had been the two-decade domain of Dennis Hastert, a Republican House speaker who resigned in scandal in 2007.
Underwood, who is African-American, explicitly promised to preserve the health law, and won by 15,000 votes in an overwhelmingly white district that the Chicago Tribune called “a reliable Republican bulwark.” In other words, Underwood has already persuaded Republican voters. Can she also persuade Republican legislators?
Her best weapon is a wonkish, almost apolitical approach rooted in policy analysis — one free of the confrontationally progressive rhetoric some of her colleagues have embraced. That rhetoric can yield retweets, but as the recent fight over funding for the border emergency showed, it can also hamper legislative accomplishments by repelling moderate Democrats, not to mention just about all Republicans.
Underwood has not signed on to the Medicare for All plan introduced by Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., and, in general, studiously avoids talking about that controversial approach. But Underwood’s bill could pave a path toward that goal. “Lauren Underwood Builds A Bad-Ass Healthcare Bridge To Medicare For All,” ran a headline in Wonkette, the left-leaning progressive news site.
Republicans have shown no interest in improving the ACA, which they generally consider a step toward socialized medicine.
“In the Senate, it’s not gonna go anywhere,” believes health care analyst Gaba. The Senate majority “is not going to allow anything that improves the Affordable Care Act to pass this cycle,” he says. The bill would run through Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., who heads the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
Though a critic of the ACA, Alexander has also drafted plans to fix it. Could he be persuaded to take up Underwood’s plan? Unlikely, but not impossible, not in this day and age. Far more improbable is the support of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., whose hatred of Obama’s signature accomplishment has the depth of religious conviction.
“It’s still good policy,” Gaba says. “And they should still push it.”
The 360 is a feature designed to show you diverse perspectives on the day’s top stories.
What’s happening: As the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team celebrated winning their second-straight World Cup with a 2-0 victory over the Netherlands, many members of the crowd in the arena in Lyon, France, began chanting „Equal pay. Equal pay. Equal pay.”
The chant was inspired by a long and public campaign by U.S. team members to be paid the same rate as their male counterparts. The team filed a class-action lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation in March. At times, members of the men’s team earned more for losing than the women earn for winning.
While the pay disparity from the USSF is significant, there’s an even bigger chasm when it comes to bonuses for performance in the World Cup, which are doled out by soccer’s international governing body FIFA. The U.S. women were awarded a $4 million bonus for winning this year’s tournament. France was given $38 million for winning the men’s competition last year.
Why there’s debate: The pay gap between the teams has raised allegations of sexism, especially given how much more successful the women have been on the field. This was their fourth World Cup win. The men have never advanced past the quarterfinals and failed to even qualify for the 2018 tournament. There is also evidence that the women generate as much or more revenue for the USSF than the men do.
Those on the other side of the argument say men are paid more because the men’s game is broadly more popular. While the U.S. teams may be comparable, they say, there is still a massive gap between the interest level and revenue generated between men’s and women’s soccer globally.
What’s next: The women’s game is growing in popularity — the total global audience for the World Cup topped 1 billion — giving the players more leverage to demand pay equity. In response, FIFA’s president has proposed doubling the prize money for the Women’s World Cup and expanding the tournament to 32 teams. Mediation to settle the U.S. women’s lawsuit against the USSF is expected to start sometime soon now that the World Cup is over. Meanwhile, a bill was introduced in the Senate that would halt funding for the 2026 men’s World Cup, which the U.S. will co-host with Canada and Mexico, until the women are awarded equal pay.
The women have to play at an elite level to make as much as men do being mediocre.
„Are the women players paid less? Sometimes. When the female players have appeared to make about the same or more money, they’ve had to turn in consistently outstanding performances on the world stage.” — Meg Kelly, Washington Post
Men’s soccer generates more money, so the players should get more pay.
„The men still pull the World Cup money wagon…The pay disparity is justified.” — Mike Ozanian, Forbes
The women’s game is less popular because it’s been held back by sexism.
„Even though the men’s team has bought in more revenue historically, the men and women haven’t been competing on a level playing field, as the saying goes. One of the reasons that women’s sports have received less attention and brought in less money is the long history of discrimination.” — David Leonhardt, New York Times
The women should get equal pay for equal work.
„So what’s the issue? Fairness and respect. Women and men should be paid the same for equal work. Women’s sports are not a pale imitation of men’s sports. They have value on their own — and so do the women who play them.” — Editorial, Syracuse.com
The U.S. women have advocated for themselves with their words and their play
„But this team and Rapinoe are legends now … because they demanded to be heard on the issues they cared about and then went out and kicked everybody’s ass to boot. They will be more beloved, and richer, and more successful, having spoken out than if they hadn’t.” — Will Leitch, New York magazine
The women have the right to ask for more money than the men.
„For almost 30 years now, the U.S. women have been the best in the world, the team every other country aspires to have. And for more than 20 of those years, the Americans have been fighting their own federation for equal treatment. Not treatment befitting their rank in soccer and how it compares with the men’s team, mind you. Or treatment that reflects their drawing power. Just plain and simple equality. As in, we do the same job, we should get the same money.” — Nancy Armour, USA Today
Men earn more because their sports are more exciting.
„People don’t want to hear this, but the women’s teams are simply not nearly as good as all-male teams. They can be exciting, and rooting for them is equally patriotic, but the market has spoken quite loudly on this topic … as have the rare high-level competitions between men and women.” — Brad Polumbo, Washington Examiner
Claims that the women’s game is less profitable are unproven.
„And, while [the] men’s World Cup is much more established and commercially successful than its women’s counterpart at this point in time, the truth is, since FIFA bundles so many of the lucrative broadcast rights and sponsorship agreements for the two events together in one neat package, it’s very hard to tell how much, exactly, the women’s event is capable of bringing in on its own.” — Lindsay Gibbs, ThinkProgress
The women are more successful, they should get more money than the men.
„The superb athletes of the U.S. women’s national soccer team, once again winners of the World Cup, shouldn’t be paid as much as their counterparts on the men’s team. The women should be paid more. A lot more.” — Eugene Robinson, Washington Post