Posts tagged with "Fox Business"

Jeff Bezos opens tuition-free preschool in Washington State

September 25, 2020

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos  announced on September 23 that the first Bezos Academy—envisioned as a leadoff site in what will be a network of free preschools—will open about 18 miles south of Seattle next month, Fox Business reports.

“The Bezos Academy opens its doors on October 19th,” Bezos wrote on Instagram. “This one in Des Moines, Washington, is the first of many free preschools that we’ll be opening for underserved children. Extra kudos to the team for figuring out how to make this happen even amidst COVID, and to Wesley Homes for stepping up with the facility.”

Wesley Homes is a nonprofit retirement community provider associated with the United Methodist Church.

The preschool will be supported by the billionaire’s Bezos Day One Fund, which he established in 2018, according to Fox Business.

“Our Montessori-inspired preschool will offer year-round programming, five days a week, for children [between the ages of three and five]. Admissions will prioritize low-income families,” reads a statement on the Day One Fund’s website.

Research contact: @FoxBusiness

Now, NYC restaurants can add a 10% ‘COVID-19 Recovery Charge’ to customers’ bills

September 18, 2020

The New York City Council has passed new legislation that could help hard-strapped  restaurants—but at a price to diners, Fox Business reports.

On September 16, the council approved a bill that, effective immediately, allows restaurants to add a COVID-19 Recovery Charge to their customers’ checks, if they choose to do so—provided that the the charge is “clearly disclosed” on the menu and bill.

The new law limits the amount of the surcharge to 10% of a customer’s total bill, according to Fox Business.

According to NBC New York, the bill only allows small restaurants to add the recovery charge to their customers’ bills. That doesn’t include “pushcarts, stands, vehicles, or large chains

Restarants in the Big Apple have been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic—starting with the statewide lockdown and restrictions on in-person dining. Even now, restaurants in the city only are allowed to serve food outdoors. (Although, starting on September 30, restaurants will be allowed to offer indoor dining, at a 25% capacity.)

“I know that we’re going to be fine, however, 25% for a lot smaller restaurants is not going to cut the bill, not when you have those looming commercial New York real estate to pay,” Tren’ness Woods-Black, the vice president of communications of Sylvia’s restaurant , told Fox Business’s Maria Bartiromo on September 14.

Previously, restaurants weren’t allowed to add an extra charge in order to make up for coronavirus losses, “even if such surcharge is clearly disclosed,” the NYC Council website said.

The COVID-19 relief charge will only last “until 90 days after full indoor dining is once again permitted,” the bill says.

Research contact: @FoxBusiness

Facebook, Twitter move to suppress Trump posts about trying to vote twice

September 7, 2020

Facebook and Twitter have moved to limit President Donald Trump’s posts encouraging Americans to vote in person, as well as by mail—saying that his messaging violates their policies, Fox Business reports.

Facebook said it would remove videos of Trump’s remarks, if the users who post them do not provide context; or if they appear to support the message. A spokesperson told Politico that the video “violates our policies prohibiting voter fraud” and that the content will be taken down “unless it is shared to correct the record.”

Voting twice constitutes a felony in every state nationwide. In the video, Fox Business reported, Trump said that voting both way would not be a problem, if there are proper safeguards in place to prevent fraud. He claimed that if the system is working properly and a person’s mail-in vote had been processed already, poll workers would be aware of this when a voter tried to cast a ballot in person.

“And if their system is as good as they say it is, then obviously they won’t be able to vote,” Trump said. “If it isn’t tabulated, they will be able to vote.”

Trump reiterated the message Thursday, September 3 in a Twitter thread, but Twitter added a  “public interest notice” on two of the tweets, limiting how widely they could be shared.

Twitter users may “quote tweet” the messages, but may not not “like,” “reply,” or “retweet” them, the company said.

“To protect people on Twitter, we err on the side of limiting the circulation of Tweets which advise people to take actions which could be illegal in the context of voting or result in the invalidation of their votes,” Twitter wrote.

“Per our policies, this Tweet will remain on the service given its relevance to ongoing public conversation,” the company said. “Engagements with the Tweet will be limited.”

Also Thursday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a slate of new policies to fight voter misinformation–including cutting off new political ads a week before Election Day and limiting forwarding on Facebook’s Messenger app.

Advertisers still will be able to run political ads in the week before the election, but Facebook will not green-light new political or issue ads in the week leading up to Election Day.

Research contact: @FoxBusiness

Republicans send North Carolina voters mail-in ballot materials featuring photo of Trump’s face

August 20, 2020

A number of voters in North Carolina  recently received brochures encouraging them to fill out mail-in ballot requests—and the brochures featured a large photograph of President Donald Trump’s face, Salon reports.

“ARE YOU GOING TO LET THE DEMOCRATS SILENCE YOU?” the mailer, sent by North Carolina Trump Victory, the joint field operation of Trump’s re-election team and the Republican National Committee, asks in large block font. “ACT NOW TO STAND WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP.”

The brochure goes on to request “immediate action” to “ensure your right to securely vote Absentee.” Next to a picture of a smiling Trump, the mailer says: “Stand with President Trump. Request your absentee ballot today.”

The president and a number of his Republican allies have routinely pushed the falsehood that voting by mail invites rampant fraud—although Trump, himself, has voted by mail a number of times.

CNN’Ana Cabrera reported last Wednesday, August 12, that the Palm Beach County elections board had delivered Trump and first lady Melania Trump mail-in ballots to Mar-a-Lago (which they had then filled out and returned).

Trump vowed in an on-air interview the next day that he would block crucial U.S. Postal Service (USPS) funding, citing concerns about universal mail-in voting. “They need that money in order to have the Post Office work, so it can take all of these millions of ballots,” he told Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo on Thursday, August 13. “If they don’t get those two items, that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting. Because they’re not equipped.”

On his Twitter account, however, President Trump encouraged the use of mail-in ballots in Florida in a post on August 4, saying, “Whether you call it Vote by Mail or Absentee Voting, in Florida, the election system is Safe and Secure, Tried and True. Florida’s Voting system has been cleaned up (we defeated Democrats attempts at change), so in Florida I encourage all to request a Ballot * Vote by Mail!”

:Chandler Carranza, of Gaston County, North Carolina, told CNN that was the reason he laughed when he received the campaign mailer last Thursday.

“The irony is very thick and definitely not lost on me,” Carranza said. “Trump has been saying mail-in ballots will bring fraud to the election, but absentee ballots are legit. Which is it? It can’t be both ways. I laughed because if the campaign actually took information from other times they have reached out to me, they’d know I won’t vote for Trump despite being a registered Republican.”

Research contact: @Salon

Trump admits that he’s ‘breaking’ the Postal Service to block mail-in voting, cast doubt on election results

August 14, 2020

President Donald Trump admitted during a TV interview on August 13 that he is attempting to undermine the U.S. Postal Service by blocking funding for the agency—which is expected to deal with a high volume of mail-in ballots during this election season.

“Now they need that money in order to make the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” he said Thursday in an interview on Fox Business. “But if they don’t get [it], that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting.”

Specifically, The Huffington Post reported, during an exclusive interview with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo, the president said negotiations over the fourth economic stimulus relief package were held up, in part, due to Democrats’ demands for billions of dollars in funding toward mail-in voting.

In another exercise in blame-shifting, Trump said, “It’s their fault,”  referring to the Democrats. “They want $3.5 billion for something that’s fraudulent … for the mail-in votes, universal mail-in ballots. They want $25 billion for the post office. They need that money so it can work and they can take these millions and millions of ballots.”

Indeed, according to HuffPost, Trump has repeatedly spread conspiracy theories about mail-in voting and has suggested he’ll cast doubt on the results of the November election. States are working to increase their capacity for mail-in voting, as many Americans are expected to vote by mail this fall because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Election watchdog and voting rights groups are deeply concerned that Trump’s attacks on mail-in voting and the Postal Service will result in increased voter suppression.

At a press conference Wednesday, Trump gave similar reasons for why he would not approve emergency congressional funding for the cash-strapped and backlogged agency.

“They don’t have the money to do the universal mail-in voting. So therefore, they can’t do it, I guess, right?” Trump said. “Are they going to do it, even if they don’t have the money?”

He also claimed the election would “be the great rigged election in history” and “one of the greatest frauds in history.”

Research contact: @HuffPost

Manson family murder house sold to ‘Ghost Adventures’ star

July 26, 2019

It has been nearly 50 years since the night of August 9, 1969, when Leno LaBlanca and his wife Rosemary LaBlanca—residents of the Los Angeles suburb of Los Feliz—were stabbed to death by Charles Manson followers Charles ‘Tex’ Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Leslie Van Houton; who then scrawled the words, “Helter Skelter” in blood on the front of their refrigerator.

The house of the murder victims is finally off the market, Fox Business reports—sold, fittingly enough, to a famous ghost hunter after being marketed for nearly $2 million.

Zak Bagans, the host and star of the Travel Channel series, Ghost Adventures – made an offer that the owners couldn’t refuse.

The two-bedroom, 1.5 bathroom home was constructed in 1922. The sale of the house is expected to close by September—and Bagans has not said whether he will live there or use it for another ghost-hunting episode of the show, which currently is in its 16th season.

However, Bagans, a collector of things with a dark history attached to them, told TMZ that the home is “the holy grail.”

Research contact: @GhostAdventures

Democratic opposition research already is dogging Howard Schultz

February 4, 2019

Since Howard Schultz announced his presidential aspirations on 60 Minutes in late January, Democrats have gone into panic mode—fearing that the former Starbucks CEO will filch votes from their column in the 2020 election.

According to a February 1 report by The Daily Beast, American Bridge, a progressive super PAC that focuses on opposition research, already has compiled its first “oppo” hit against Schultz, who would run as an Independent candidate.

Indeed, the news outlet says, the PAC pitched its reporters on a story about Schultz’s charitable foundation—suggesting that “he uses it to minimize his personal tax bill even as the foundation spends lavishly on executive compensation and overhead.”

The group’s oppo pitch against Schultz piggybacks off of reporting by Fox Business that found Schultz gave less than one percent of his fortune to Schultz Family Foundation during the last fiscal year for which its tax filings are available.

Bridge dug into the foundation’s expenditures and found that it “used its tax-free funding to spend lavishly while Howard Schultz receives tax deductions,” according to a research document the group shared with The Daily Beast. It focused on $400,000 in furniture expenses during fiscal year 2016, and its executive director’s $21,000-per-month salary.

The foundation’s latest annual financial filing discloses that Schultz and his wife, Sherri Kersch Schultz, donated $18 million in the year ending June 2017. The foundation gave out about $7.6 million in grants in that time, and spent just under $2.2 million on operating and administrative expenses, including compensation.

“The country is sick and tired of egomaniacs who think tax policy should be made by and for the rich. Apparently, Howard Schultz didn’t get that memo,” Bridge spokesperson Andrew Bates said in an emailed statement to the news outlet. “The only person who would benefit from a Schultz candidacy is Donald Trump.”

What’s more, The Daily Beast notes, Bridge isn’t the only prominent Democratic super PAC eyeing an offensive against Schultz. Priorities USA Action, a group founded by Bill Burton, one of Schultz’s top consultants, has also threatened to go after him if he declares a presidential candidacy.

We would consider him a target,” the group’s Executive Director Patrick McHugh said last week. “We would do everything we can to ensure that his candidacy is unsuccessful.”

Schultz has said that he will take a few months before deciding whether or not to formally enter the race. But already he’s taken steps that have given off the impression that this is more than just a vanity project—and could constitute a political threat to a Democratic candidate.

Research contact: Lachlan.Markay@thedailybeast.com

Republicans strongly support citizenship question on 2020 Census

April 5, 2018

On March 26 Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced that he would reinstate a question on legal U.S. citizenship that has not appeared since 1950 on the 2020 Census questionnaire.

The change in policy was greeted by great consternation on the part of Democrats—but was lauded by Republicans. Indeed , a poll of 1,000 U.S. adults released on March 30 by the Republican-leaning Rasmussen Reports organization found that 89% agree that it’s at least “somewhat important” for the government to get as accurate account of U.S. citizens as possible—including 69% who believe that it’s “very important.” Only 25% disagree.

Democrats counter that fewer people will respond to a survey that includes a citizenship question—and that America will collect less population data as a result. Test surveys conducted by the Census Bureau in late 2017 found that some immigrants were afraid to provide information to U.S. Census workers because of fears about being deported.

The Census data is highly important because it is used to determine representation in the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as federal spending allocations and electoral votes by state.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra was the first to file a suit contesting what he called “a bad idea” on March 26, according to ABC News.

The next day, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said he would lead a coalition of 18 states, six major cities and the U.S. Conference of Mayors in filing a lawsuit against the Trump administration for inclusion of the question.

At a press conference announcing the suit, Schneiderman commented, “This is a blatant effort to undermine the Census. Someone from the Trump administration knocking on your door asking about your citizenship status would provoke real fear.”

Schneiderman said the decision to add the question “directly targets” states with large immigrant populations, according to a same-day report by The Guardian.

In an interview with Fox Business, Ross asserted that the question was added at the request of the Department of Justice to protect minorities. “The Justice Department feels they need it so that they can enforce section two of the voting rights act, which protects minority voters,” said Ross.

Research contactinfo@rasmussenreports.com