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Privacy Policy
Last Updated: August 4, 2014

Thank you for visiting this website, which is operated by an Affiliate of Cox Media Group, LLC (“CMG”). This site is one of a network of ad-supported sites operated by Affiliates of CMG each of which also operates a local newspaper, a local television station or a local radio station (each a “CMG Affiliate Site” and, collectively, the “CMG Network of Sites”). Each CMG Affiliate Site has adopted this privacy statement to the extent applicable. “Affiliate” means a company controlling, controlled by or under common control with another company.

This privacy statement is provided by the CMG Affiliate that operates this website (“we,” “us” or “our”) to explain the ways in which we collect information from you through your use of this site and any services offered through this website and any of our applications or mobile applications (collectively, the “Service”), and the ways that we and the other CMG Affiliate Sites may use that information. This privacy statement does not apply to any information you may provide to us through other means; for example, at a live event, via mail, or via telephone. Please read this privacy statement carefully so that you understand our online privacy practices. By using our Service, you agree that your use, and any dispute over our online privacy practices, is governed by this privacy statement and our visitor agreement. If you have questions regarding privacy issues, please contact us at privacy@coxinc.com.

YOUR CALIFORNIA PRIVACY RIGHTS

California law allows California residents, once a year and free of charge, to request information about certain types of personal information (if any) that a business has disclosed to third parties for their direct marketing purposes in the prior calendar year. However, under the law, we are not required to provide this information as long as we: (1) notify you of that you have the right to prevent disclosure of personal information, and (2) provide you with a cost-free means to exercise that right. As noted in this Privacy Statement, we require California residents to opt-in to activities where we would share their personal information with third parties for those third parties’ direct marketing purposes. If you are a California resident and you would like to prevent disclosure of your personal information for use in direct marketing by a third party, do not opt-in to participate in these activities. If you are a California resident, and you have opted in to one of these activities, but you later decide that you would like to prevent our disclosure of your personal information to third parties for their direct marketing purposes, please contact us.

TYPES OF INFORMATION WE COLLECT

Overview. The information we gather generally falls into one of two categories: (1) information (for example, your name and address) that you voluntarily supply when you register with our Service, initiate transactions on or through the Service (such as buying products or services through the Service), or when you participate in the features we offer through the Service (such as comments posted on a blog, discussion group, or other social networking features on the Service), and (2) information gathered on usage patterns and preferences as visitors navigate through our Service. In some cases, one of our agents or Affiliates may collect the information on our behalf. Third party Service Providers (as defined below) that provide all or some of the services available through this Service also may be gathering the same kinds of information.

Registration Information. To make use of certain features available through this Service (such as to receive email newsletters, to post a classified ad, or to participate in some social networking features) you may need to register and to provide certain information as part of the registration process. (If permitted by this Service, you may be able to bypass some of the steps within the registration process by using your user name and password associated with your account on certain specified social networking sites when you register for our Service, but you will still have to complete the registration process after entering that information.) We or our Service Providers may also ask for information from you if you buy products or services or conduct other transactions via our Service. (We may ask, for example, for your name, email address, sex, age, zip code or credit card number, and we might request information on your interest in sports, personal finance, the performing arts, and the like.) The information you supply will help us to offer you more personalized features, to tailor our Service to your interests and make them more useful to you, and also may be used in the processing of e-commerce transactions. In addition, our Service Providers may provide us with additional personal information about you that you provide to them through your separate accounts with them as described in their own privacy statements.

The more you tell us about yourself, the more value we can offer you. Supplying such information is entirely voluntary. But if you don't supply the information we request, we may be unable to provide you with services we make available to other users of our Service. For instance, we can't send you email alerting you to a new service we're offering, or breaking news that may interest you, if you don't tell us what you're interested in and give us your email address.

Contests and Other Promotions. From time to time, we may offer contests, sweepstakes or other promotions via our Service. If you enter one of these contests, sweepstakes or promotions, you'll have to provide information about yourself (such as your name, address, telephone number and email address) so that we can administer and operate the contest, sweepstakes, or promotion (including contacting you if you win, fulfilling a prize, and publishing a winners’ list). If you don't want us to collect the information requested in the registration form or to provide it to any of our Affiliates, Service Providers and co-sponsor(s) as described below, please do not enter the contest, sweepstakes or promotion.

Email Newsletters. We may also offer you the opportunity to subscribe to email newsletters that we make available through the Service. If you have opted to receive a particular newsletter, you may always unsubscribe later if you decide not to receive further mailings of the newsletter from us. See "Opting In/Opting Out" below.

Cookies. To help make our sites more responsive to the needs and interests of our visitors, we keep track of the pages visited by our users by placing a cookie, a small entry in a text file, on your hard drive. Our advertisers and Service Providers may also assign their own cookies to your browser, which is a process that we don't control.

We use cookies to help us tailor our site to your needs and to deliver a better, more personalized service. For example, we may use cookies to personalize the ads you see on our Service or to avoid showing you the same ad repeatedly during a single visit. In addition, we may use cookies to track the pages on our Service, the CMG Network of Sites, or other sites visited by our users. We may also use cookies to measure site performance and/or advertising performance. We can build a better Service if we know which pages our users are visiting and how often. You can manage your browser’s cookie setting through the “options” menu on most commercially available web browsers, including options to set your browser to notify you before accepting a cookie or to disable cookies entirely. Of course, if you set your browser not to accept cookies, you may not be able to take advantage of the personalized features enjoyed by other users of our Service.

Web Beacons. Our Service may contain electronic images (called "single-pixel GIFs" or "web beacons") or other tools that allow us and our Affiliates, Service Providers, vendors and, where necessary, our advertisers to count users who have visited particular pages of this Service, the CMG Network of Sites, or other sites or applications, or to access certain cookies. We may use these tools and other technologies to recognize which the links visitors click and to track how users respond to ads we place on third-party sites or applications. These features may also be included in our email newsletters so that we can learn which messages have been opened and acted upon. In combination with cookies, these web beacons allow us (and/or our Affiliates, Service Providers, vendors, or advertisers) to track the number of users who view particular pages and to fine tune the advertising messages delivered to users of this Service and other websites and applications. We may use "clickstream" data collected using web beacons and cookies to help us tailor promotional content, including such content in email messages and on landing pages, to the perceived interests of our users. Advertising networks with which we are affiliated and third-party advertising services that we use may also use web beacons on our Service to gather similar anonymous "clickstream" information, which is used to fine tune advertising messages delivered to our visitors and visitors to other websites.

Browser Level Information and IP Addresses. Our web servers automatically collect limited information about your computer configuration or your mobile device when you use our Service, including the type of browser software you use, the operating system you're running, the resolution of your computer monitor or mobile device, the website that referred you, the type of device you’re using, and your IP address. (Your IP address is a numerical address that is used by computers and mobile devices connected to the Internet to identify your computer or mobile device so that data (such as the web pages you want to view) can be transmitted to you. We also use IP address information for systems administration and troubleshooting purposes. Your IP address alone does not tell us who you are.) We use this information to deliver our web pages to you upon request, to tailor our Service (including ads distributed through our Service) to the interests of our users, and to measure traffic within our Service.

Social Networks. When you use the social networking features on our Service, you may be asked to log in to a social network using your social network credentials (for example, your Facebook user ID). When you log in, we may collect information about you (including personal information) from that social network. In addition, when you use one of the social network sharing tools available on our Service, the social network operating the tool may collect information about you based on such use. The social network’s use of that information will be subject to its own privacy policy, which may be different from ours.

Non-Personally Identifying Information. This website uses Google Analytics to help analyze how users use the site. Google Analytics is a web analysis service provided by Google. Google utilizes the data collected to track and examine the use of our site, to prepare reports on its activities and share them with other Google services. Google may use the data collected to contextualize and personalize the ads of its own advertising network. Google Analytics features implemented on this site include Display Advertising (Demographics and Interest Reporting).  We use data from Google's Interest-based advertising or 3rd-party audience data (such as age, gender and interests) with Google Analytics only to maintain this site’s functionality, responsiveness and improve content.  CMG uses the Google Analytics Demographics and Interest Reporting feature to identify trends in the usage of its website which may be published in reports for internal use.  Google’s ability to use and share information collected by Google Analytics regarding your visits to this site is restricted by the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.  You may opt-out of Google Analytics for Display Advertising and customer Display Network ads using Ads Settings.

The Google Analytics tool uses “cookies” which are text files placed on your computer, to collect standard internet log information and visitor behavior information in an anonymous form. The information generated by the cookie about your use of the website (including IP address) is transmitted to Google. This information is then used to evaluate visitors’ use of the website and to compile statistical reports on website activity. At any time, you may choose to opt-out of Google Analytics tracking with the Google Analytics opt-out browser add-on. 

Information You Post. Please remember that anything you post to any message boards, discussion or comment areas, or social networking services on our Service can be seen, collected, and used by anyone who has access to that board, area, or social networking service. We cannot control how your postings may be used by third parties with such access.

Statistical Information. Much of the information we collect is in the form of aggregated statistics, such as the traffic that visits various pages within our Service, and the habits and preferences of our audience. Such aggregated information does not include any information that would identify you personally. We may use such aggregated information and disclose it to any third parties as we see fit.

Mobile Applications and Location-Based Information. Our Service may have the ability to use your geographic location to deliver content, services, and advertising tailored to your location. If you choose to enable our Service to use your location information, then that information will be stored and used to deliver content, services, and advertising tailored to your location. Also, when you use a mobile device or browser to access our Service, then your device and/or your browser may automatically collect and/or transmit your device’s unique identifier, IP address, location information, device make/model, wireless provider, and related information to us and our Service Providers. We and our Service Providers may use this information to deliver content, services, and advertising tailored to your location.

 

Data Collected in Connection with Ad Serving and Targeting. We use third-party Service Providers, such as ad networks, to serve advertising to you when you use our Service or use other sites or applications. These Service Providers may use information about your activities while you navigate through and use this Service and other web sites and applications (and that the Service Providers collect through cookies) to provide you with advertisements about products and services that they think may be of interest to you. The information used by these Service Providers for these purposes generally does not identify you personally (in other words, the Service Providers are not usually using your name, address, email address, or phone number for these purposes, although they may use your IP address, your geographic location, or your device’s unique identifier). You can learn more about such data collection practices, and/or opt out of any use by our Service Providers’ of cookies to tailor advertising to your interests, by visiting aboutads.info.

CMG’s Adherence to Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising. CMG adheres to the Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising of the Digital Advertising Alliance. To learn more about the Principles and your choices when it comes to the use of online behavioral advertising data by advertisers and ad servers across the Internet, visit aboutads.info.

DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION

Why We Collect Information From You. Like any business, it's important for us to know our customers -- their needs, their likes, what they want and expect from us. Unlike most businesses, however, we deliver a valuable product to our customers without asking for anything in return. Since we make most of this Service available without charge to you, we rely heavily on advertisers to produce the income necessary to operate our Service. Advertisers are like most people: They expect something in return for the money they spend. They want to know how many people will see their ad and how often our users are looking at their ads on our Service -- in other words, how effective their ad is likely to be. So it's important that we be able to tell advertisers who our audience is. Except as expressly set forth in this privacy statement, we will not provide, sell or rent to any third party any personally identifying information that we collect from you through your use of this Service.

Advertisers. Without your permission, we will not share the personally-identifying information you provide when registering on our Service with advertisers. We may, however, take the information you provide and aggregate it with data from all the other people that use this Service and associated services. Then we will use that pool of information to inform our advertisers about our audience without identifying you personally.

Service Providers. All or portions of our Service may be provided or supported by our third-party service providers ("Service Providers"), and we may share any of the information that we collect from you through our Service (e.g., anonymous information collected through cookies on your browser, information you submit to us to enter a contest, sweepstakes or promotion offered through the Service, etc.) with such Service Providers. In the event we offer services through this Service such as chat, email newsletters, email services, online classifieds and/or similar services, such services may be made available through cooperative arrangements with providers that specialize in operating such services. In some instances, our Service Providers will have the same access to your information as we do. Their use of the information will be subject to the terms of their respective privacy policies.

Contest Co-Sponsors. If you enter any contest, sweepstakes or other promotion that we make available through this Service, we may share the information you submit to us with the co-sponsor(s) of the contest, sweepstakes, or promotion. We will identify any co-sponsor(s) in the official rules for the promotion.

Our Affiliates. We may share any of the information that we collect from you (including anonymous information and personally identifying information that you may provide) with the other CMG Affiliate Sites within the CMG Network of Sites so that we and they can provide you with products and services that may be of interest to you.

Sites to Which We Link. Our Service includes links to plenty of other websites, and provides access to products and services offered by third parties, whose privacy policies we don't control. When you access another site or purchase products or services or conduct other transactions through their sites, use of any information you provide is governed by the privacy statement of the operator of the site you're visiting or the provider of such products or services.

Other Disclosures. We reserve the right to release information about users of our Service when release is necessary or appropriate to comply with law, to enforce this privacy statement or our visitor agreement, or to protect the rights, property or safety of users of our Service, the public, our customers, or our company and its employees, agents, partners and Affiliates. As our business grows, we may buy or sell various assets. In the unlikely event that we merge with another entity or otherwise transfer substantially all of our assets to another entity (including, without limitation, to one of our Affiliates as part of an internal reorganization), information collected from this Service would be among the transferred assets.

SHOPPING

When you purchase products and/or services through our Service, we may ask you to provide us with certain information, including your contact details (such as your name, address, telephone and email), and your billing information (such as your credit card number and the date that your card expires). We may also ask you to provide additional information such as unique identifiers (such as your date of birth), and registration information (login name and password).

We will use the information you provide us to process your transaction and to contact you regarding your purchase if necessary. We will share this information with our Service Providers to the extent necessary to facilitate your purchase (for purposes such as customer service, verification, fulfillment and billing purposes). We will not sell or rent your personal billing information to any third party. We may share non-financial information with our Service Providers in accordance with this privacy statement.

OPTING IN/OPTING OUT

In certain places on this Service (for example, when registering as a user of this Service, managing your account, shopping, or participating in activities like promotional contests), we may ask you to consent to the sharing of your information with third parties with which we have business relationships. If you provide such consent (for example, by checking a box or by some other means), we will make your information available to such third parties as described in the consent form so that they, we, or both may contact you directly regarding special offers, promotions, products or services that may be of interest to you.

If you register with this Service, you will have the opportunity to review or update the information you have provided us at any time. You also have the option of deleting all information except for your email address. If you would like to completely deactivate your account, please contact us. Please note, however, that if you deactivate your account, you will not receive any newsletters from us and you will not be able to participate in any of our sweepstakes or contests. Also, even if you deactivate your account, you still need to go through a separate process to unsubscribe from any SMS alerts you previously signed up to receive. You can unsubscribe from these alerts by using the “STOP” function within those messages. You agree that, subject to applicable law, we may use your information to contact you for customer service, to inform you of important changes or additions to our Service or the services offered over our Service and to send you administrative notices or any communications relevant to your use of our Service.

If you have subscribed to one of our email newsletters, you will always have the opportunity to unsubscribe from future mailings (for example, by clicking on an unsubscribe link in an email newsletter or by modifying your account settings on our Service).

If you have submitted your information on a page provided in conjunction with one of our Service Providers, the information you submit may be jointly maintained by us and the Service Provider. If you decide to opt out of our Service, you may also need to contact the Service Provider separately to request the Service Provider to remove your information from its database.

DATA SECURITY

All information gathered through our Service is stored within database(s) operated by us or by a Service Provider on our behalf. We and/or our Service Providers secure the personally identifying information you provide on computer servers in a controlled, secure environment, protected from unauthorized access, use or disclosure. For e-commerce transactions where you provide sensitive financial data (e.g., credit card information) to us via this Service, we transmit your billing information using encryption. Encryption scrambles your credit card number and personal information. However, no security system is impenetrable. We cannot guarantee the security of our database, nor can we guarantee that information you supply won't be intercepted while being transmitted to us over the Internet.

A NOTE ABOUT CHILDREN'S PRIVACY

This Service is not directed at children under the age of 13, and we won't knowingly allow anyone under age 13 to register with our Service or to provide any other personally identifying information. If you’re under 13, please do not provide us with any personally identifying information about yourself (such as your name, your email address or your phone number). If we become aware that we have collected any personally identifying information from a user under the age of 13, we will remove such information from our records as soon as possible.

CHANGES TO THIS PRIVACY STATEMENT

We may change the terms of this privacy statement or introduce new terms and conditions from time to time, in which case we will post an updated version of this privacy statement on this Service and will update the “Last Updated” date above to reflect the date the changes take effect. By continuing to use this Service after we post any such changes, you accept this privacy statement, as modified.

  • A single blood test may be able to detect your risk of dying within five to 10 years. That’s according to new research published this week in the journal Nature Communications, for which scientists in the Netherlands examined blood sample data on 44,168 Europeans ages 18 to 109 from 12 cohorts. More than 5,500 participants died during follow-up studies. When looking through the data, lead researcher Eline Slagboom and her team identified 14 biomarkers in the blood independently associated with “all-cause mortality.” These biomarkers, which are “involved in various processes, such as lipoprotein and fatty acid metabolism, glycolysis, fluid balance, and inflammation,” ultimately help determine one’s score (or risk) of dying within five to 10 years. “Such a score,” study authors wrote, “could potentially be used in clinical practice to guide treatment strategies, for example when deciding whether an elderly person is too fragile for an invasive operation.” But how well can those 14 biomarkers actually predict risk of death? To find out, the scientists also compared their data with a 1997 cohort in Finland. According to data on more than 7,600 Finnish individuals (1,213 of whom had died during follow-up), the 14 biomarkers initially examined predicted patient deaths within five to 10 years with approximately 83% accuracy, according to the study. This suggests the biomarkers “clearly improve risk prediction of five and 10-year mortality as compared to conventional risk factors across all ages,” study authors wrote. Conventional risk factors, such as systolic blood pressure and total cholesterol, typically have a mortality prediction accuracy of 78% to 79%. Still, further research is certainly needed before a blood test based on the 14 biomarkers is used in clinical settings. Because the data used in the study comes from a variety of cohorts, future efforts should focus on creating a biomarker score based on individual-level data. Read the full study at nature.com.
  • A federal judge has placed the man at the center of the John Grisham book 'The Innocent Man' on the path to potential freedom. Karl Fontenot’s story was also made into a Netflix documentary series. U.S. District Judge James Payne, of Muskogee, ruled there is reasonable doubt that Fontenot should have been convicted in 1988 in the kidnapping and killing of Ada convenience store clerk Denice Haraway in 1984.  Judge Payne's opinion discusses alleged misconduct by police, investigators and prosecutors. Fontenot and co-defendant Tommy Ward were convicted in Haraway's murder in part due to a recording of them talking about dreams they had about her murder.
  • On a day of big losses on the stock markets sparked first by China levying new tariffs on imports from America, President Donald Trump wasted no time Friday afternoon in announcing higher import duties against the Chinese, plunging the two countries even deeper into an economic standoff which could have negative worldwide ramifications. 'China should not have put new Tariffs on 75 BILLION DOLLARS of United States product,' the President tweeted about an hour after the close on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones dropped over 600 points. 'Starting on October 1st, the 250 BILLION DOLLARS of goods and products from China, currently being taxed at 25%, will be taxed at 30%,' the President wrote.  'Additionally, the remaining 300 BILLION DOLLARS of goods and products from China, that was being taxed from September 1st at 10%, will now be taxed at 15%,' he added. The President also called on American companies to take their manufacturing businesses out of China, arguing that the United States was the victim of an 'unfair Trading Relationship.' 'Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA,' Mr. Trump tweeted. The White House did not provide any explanation as to how the President would have the power to force U.S. companies to abandon their manufacturing operations in China. Economic experts and businesses were worried by the days events. “(T)his is a major risk as it's the economy - households and businesses - that are in play,” said Gregory Daco of Oxford Economics. “The administration's approach clearly isn't working, and the answer isn't more taxes on American businesses and consumers,” said the National Retail Federation. “Where does this end?'  “These added tariffs will ratchet up consumer prices, stall business investment, escalate uncertainty and cost American jobs,” said the pro-free trade group Tariffs Hurt the Heartland. “In just the past three years, U.S. soybean exports to China have fallen nearly 80 percent, and once these tariffs kick in, things are likely to get worse,” said Roger Johnson, the head of the National Farmers Union.  The standoff with China was a far cry from President Trump's prediction in March of 2018, when he wrote on Twitter that trade wars are 'easy to win.' As for Democrats - even though many of them would like to see the United States be more forceful with China - their answer is not retaliatory tariffs and a trade war. “Our economy is showing signs of weakening due to the president’s trade war, and these back-and-forth tariffs will only make things worse,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). “The facts are clear: President Trump's destabilizing and reckless trade war is undermining growth,” said Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA). “Your tariffs are hurting our country badly,” said Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA). “There's nothing funny about tanking people's retirement accounts with a failed trade war,” said Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA).
  • The Trump campaign has a message for its female supporters: It’s time to come out of hiding. “There’s a lot of people that are fearful of expressing their support, and I want you ladies to know it’s OK to have felt that way, but we need to move past that or the Democrats win,” said Tana Goertz, a Trump campaign adviser, at an Iowa “Women for Trump” event on Thursday. The Iowa event, held in the back room of a barbecue joint in a Des Moines suburb, was one of more than a dozen in battleground states nationwide as part of a push to make the president’s case on the economy and train volunteers. The move is a recognition of the president’s persistent deficit with women — an issue that has the potential to sink his chances for reelection. Over the course of his presidency and across public opinion polls, women have been consistently less supportive of President Donald Trump than men have. Suburban women in particular rejected Republicans in the 2018 midterm by margins that set off alarms for the party and the president. Trump himself called into a gathering of hundreds in Tampa, Florida, and insisted, to cheers: “We’re doing great with women, despite the fake news.”
  • With the United States set to slap a new 10 percent tariff on billions of dollars in Chinese goods coming into the U.S. on September 1, the Chinese government officially retaliated on Friday, announcing its own new tariffs on American products, and denouncing President Donald Trump's get-tough actions on trade. 'The US measures have led to the continuous escalation of Sino-US economic and trade frictions, which have greatly harmed the interests of China, the United States and other countries,' the Chinese Minstry of Finance announced. The documents released by China today apply to over 5,000 categories of items imported from the United States, covering everything from diapers to pipes and cigarette holders, to a range of agricultural products like barley, wheat, oats, corn, sorghum, soybeans, peanuts, cotton, covering about $75 billion in U.S. goods. Much like a 122 page list of targeted items put out by the United States earlier this month, China issued over 100 pages of products which would face new import duties. The reaction from Congress and business groups was negative. 'This trade war is not holding China accountable,' said Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA). 'It's hurting farmers and small business owners all over the country who are just trying to earn a living.' “The fact of the matter is that nobody wins a trade war, and the continued tit-for-tat escalation between the U.S. and China is putting significant strain on the U.S. economy, raising costs, undermining investment, and roiling markets,” the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in a statement. As for President Trump, he has not wavered in his public statements about taking on china, tariff for tariff, as one of his Friday tweets caused some shock on  the markets. “Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China,” the President wrote. “Here’s the thing: Somebody had to take on what China was doing to the United States economically,” the President told reporters this week. “We’re winning big. I took it on. And it should have been done by previous Presidents,” he added. And on Twitter Friday morning, the President expressed no concerns about the Chinese response. Asked by reporters earlier this week about the trade war with China, Mr. Trump said he was the only President who had decided to actually confront Beijing. “I am the chosen one,” the President said, as he looked skyward.

Washington Insider

  • On a day of big losses on the stock markets sparked first by China levying new tariffs on imports from America, President Donald Trump wasted no time Friday afternoon in announcing higher import duties against the Chinese, plunging the two countries even deeper into an economic standoff which could have negative worldwide ramifications. 'China should not have put new Tariffs on 75 BILLION DOLLARS of United States product,' the President tweeted about an hour after the close on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones dropped over 600 points. 'Starting on October 1st, the 250 BILLION DOLLARS of goods and products from China, currently being taxed at 25%, will be taxed at 30%,' the President wrote.  'Additionally, the remaining 300 BILLION DOLLARS of goods and products from China, that was being taxed from September 1st at 10%, will now be taxed at 15%,' he added. The President also called on American companies to take their manufacturing businesses out of China, arguing that the United States was the victim of an 'unfair Trading Relationship.' 'Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA,' Mr. Trump tweeted. The White House did not provide any explanation as to how the President would have the power to force U.S. companies to abandon their manufacturing operations in China. Economic experts and businesses were worried by the days events. “(T)his is a major risk as it's the economy - households and businesses - that are in play,” said Gregory Daco of Oxford Economics. “The administration's approach clearly isn't working, and the answer isn't more taxes on American businesses and consumers,” said the National Retail Federation. “Where does this end?'  “These added tariffs will ratchet up consumer prices, stall business investment, escalate uncertainty and cost American jobs,” said the pro-free trade group Tariffs Hurt the Heartland. “In just the past three years, U.S. soybean exports to China have fallen nearly 80 percent, and once these tariffs kick in, things are likely to get worse,” said Roger Johnson, the head of the National Farmers Union.  The standoff with China was a far cry from President Trump's prediction in March of 2018, when he wrote on Twitter that trade wars are 'easy to win.' As for Democrats - even though many of them would like to see the United States be more forceful with China - their answer is not retaliatory tariffs and a trade war. “Our economy is showing signs of weakening due to the president’s trade war, and these back-and-forth tariffs will only make things worse,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). “The facts are clear: President Trump's destabilizing and reckless trade war is undermining growth,” said Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA). “Your tariffs are hurting our country badly,” said Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA). “There's nothing funny about tanking people's retirement accounts with a failed trade war,” said Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA).
  • With the United States set to slap a new 10 percent tariff on billions of dollars in Chinese goods coming into the U.S. on September 1, the Chinese government officially retaliated on Friday, announcing its own new tariffs on American products, and denouncing President Donald Trump's get-tough actions on trade. 'The US measures have led to the continuous escalation of Sino-US economic and trade frictions, which have greatly harmed the interests of China, the United States and other countries,' the Chinese Minstry of Finance announced. The documents released by China today apply to over 5,000 categories of items imported from the United States, covering everything from diapers to pipes and cigarette holders, to a range of agricultural products like barley, wheat, oats, corn, sorghum, soybeans, peanuts, cotton, covering about $75 billion in U.S. goods. Much like a 122 page list of targeted items put out by the United States earlier this month, China issued over 100 pages of products which would face new import duties. The reaction from Congress and business groups was negative. 'This trade war is not holding China accountable,' said Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA). 'It's hurting farmers and small business owners all over the country who are just trying to earn a living.' “The fact of the matter is that nobody wins a trade war, and the continued tit-for-tat escalation between the U.S. and China is putting significant strain on the U.S. economy, raising costs, undermining investment, and roiling markets,” the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in a statement. As for President Trump, he has not wavered in his public statements about taking on china, tariff for tariff, as one of his Friday tweets caused some shock on  the markets. “Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China,” the President wrote. “Here’s the thing: Somebody had to take on what China was doing to the United States economically,” the President told reporters this week. “We’re winning big. I took it on. And it should have been done by previous Presidents,” he added. And on Twitter Friday morning, the President expressed no concerns about the Chinese response. Asked by reporters earlier this week about the trade war with China, Mr. Trump said he was the only President who had decided to actually confront Beijing. “I am the chosen one,” the President said, as he looked skyward.
  • Before the leaders of the G7 nations had even boarded their flights for the meeting in Biarritz, France, President Donald Trump was already stirring the political pot associated with the meeting of western allies, making it clear he wants to see Russia return to the group, after being exiled in 2014 over the seizure of the Crimea from Ukraine. 'We spend a lot of time talking about Russia at those meetings,' the President told reporters this week. 'And they're not there. I think it would be a good thing if Russia were there so we can speak directly.' Russia was a member of what was then known as the 'Group of Eight' - but Moscow was booted out in 2014 after Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine. 'President Obama thought it wasn't a good thing to have Russia in,' Mr. Trump said to reporters. 'But I think it's much more appropriate to have Russia in.' But there seems to be little chance of that happening in the current political environment in Europe, especially with Russian backed forces fighting in Ukraine. During a meeting with Vladimir Putin earlier this week, French President Emmanuel Macron made clear his opposition to such a move proposed by President Trump, arguing that Russia must first address Crimea - and the ongoing proxy war pushed by Russian backed forces inside Ukraine - before any such change is made. 'In effect, the resolution of this conflict is a magic wand that will open the door for Russia to return to the G7 club,' Macron said . With the two leaders seated before reporters, Macron labeled the Ukraine situation an 'irritant' in Russian relations with the West. 'It is obvious that the return to the G8 format and normal relations with the EU requires the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis,' Macron added. Last year, the 2018 meeting of world leaders from the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom, ended in odd fashion, when President Trump suddenly left the meeting early, refusing to endorse a joint communique by the leaders. In order to avoid a dispute along those lines in 2019, Macron has decided there will not be a joint communique issued by the G-7. It will be the first time since the meetings began in the 1970's that the group will not issue a statement of joint goals. White House officials previewing the President's trip said much of his focus at the G-7 will be on free, fair and reciprocal trade, as he has often criticized Canada and the European Union of unfair trade barriers to U.S. exports.
  • Back in their home districts on an extended summer break, the drip-drip sound Democrats hear is not coming from the watering the plants, but rather from the halls of the Congress, where more and more Democratic members of the House are publicly announcing their support for impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. A flurry of announcements were made on Thursday, as a series of Democrats said they would back an impeachment inquiry by the House Judiciary Committee, bringing the total number to 135 - more than a majority of Democrats in the House. 'I cannot ignore the call to defend our institutions, to safeguard our democratic norms, and to stand up for our democracy,' said Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) on Thursday afternoon. A few hours earlier, Rep. William Keating of Massachusetts told his Bay State constituents that the Mueller Report left too many unanswered questions about the President, accusing the White House of stonewalling legitimate Congressional oversight. 'No person in America is above the law, including the President of the United States,' said Rep. Lauren Underwood, a freshman Democrat from Illinois. 'I support moving forward with an impeachment inquiry, which will continue to uncover the facts for the American people and hold this president accountable,' said Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), the fourth ranking Democrat in the House.  'This is not a position I’ve reached lightly,' Lujan said earlier this week. When Democrats left town four weeks ago for their six week summer break, the number of lawmakers endorsing the start of an impeachment idea was nowhere near 100. But it's been creeping up on almost a daily basis - and more lawmakers seem likely to join in the weeks ahead.
  • Unlikely to qualify for the next debate among Democratic candidates for the White House, Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington State told supporters in an email on Wednesday night that he was dropping his bid for the Democratic Party's nomination for President, further thinning the field with just over five months until the first vote is cast. 'I want to share a tough decision with you,' Inslee said to supporters, as he cited his top priority of climate change. 'But I've concluded that my role in that effort will not be as a candidate to be the next president of the United States,' Inslee added. Earlier in the week, Inslee touted that his campaign had hit 130,000 donors - one of the qualifying requirements for the next Democratic debate in Houston. But Inslee had no chance to register at 2 percent or higher in four different polls, leaving him on the sidelines - and off the debate stage. 'As a result, I don't believe we can compete for the attention and exposure needed to have a reasonable shot at the nomination,' Inslee said. Inslee had tried hard to be the loudest voice in the party on climate change, bringing it up in both debates, and doing numerous events on the subject. But the former Congressman, and current Governor, was never able to break out of the lower tier of Democratic candidates. “I want to once again thank everyone who helped in this effort. We have so much to be proud of,” Inslee wrote to his backers.  “Make no mistake, we also have a lot more work to do.” On MSNBC Wednesday night, Inslee said it was clear this was the right choice. “I'm not going to be carrying the ball,” Inslee said in an interview.  “I'm not going to be the President, so I'm withdrawing tonight.”