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Trump pitches white suburban voters in blatantly political White House event – CNN

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In remarks on the South Lawn, Trump claimed Washington Democrats want to assume control of local zoning decisions and attacked a rule meant to combat segregation, a move he said would “obliterate” suburbs.
In his remarks, Trump harkened back to old arguments against integrating neighborhoods, saying the rules put a damper on property values and cause crime rates to increase.
“Your home will go down in value and crime rates will rapidly rise,” he said. “Joe Biden and his bosses from the radical left want to significantly multiply what they’re doing now and what will be the end result is you will totally destroy the beautiful suburbs. Suburbia will be no longer as we know it.”
The event at which Trump was speaking was meant as a showcase of his first term deregulatory efforts, but like several recent official events, it took on the air of a campaign production. Trump stood between two pickup trucks, a blue one weighed down with mock weights representing regulations and a red one unburdened from its weights with a large crane adorned with a “Trump Administration” banner.
Past presidents have sought to draw a distinction between official and political business, and traditionally the White House’s lawyers ensure the lines aren’t crossed. But Trump has paid those distinctions little mind and injects politics into practically every set of public remarks he delivers.
The President’s political advisers have watched with concern as polls show support for him softening among suburban women, including those without college degrees — in part because of his divisive views on race — according to people familiar with the matter.
At event meant to announce China actions, Trump rambles into political attacks
Seeking to shore up his standing in the suburbs, Trump turned to issues of fair housing and zoning on Thursday.
Part of Trump’s argument is based on an Obama-era federal fair housing law meant to combat segregation, which he has claimed is having a “devastating impact” on suburbs. Trump said in his remarks he would be discussing the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule in greater detail next week.
That mandate was enacted in 2015 as a way to bolster the 1968 Fair Housing Act, which outlawed restrictions on selling or renting homes to people based on race (and which Trump and his father were accused in a federal civil rights case of violating in 1973).
Despite the Fair Housing Act being in effect for decades, many neighborhoods still remained segregated, with communities of color less likely to have access to good schools, health care and public programs necessary to help citizens rise out of poverty. AFFH was considered essential to further level the playing field for underprivileged populations.
In its official definition of the rule, the Department of Housing and Urban Development says AFFH is designed “to take meaningful actions to overcome historic patterns of segregation, promote fair housing choice, and foster inclusive communities that are free from discrimination.”
The rule required communities that receive federal funding to submit assessments and analyses on their fair housing practices, which advocates of the rule say are necessary to hold them accountable for upholding the Fair Housing Act.
The Trump administration had already said in 2018 it was delaying implementation of the AFFH rule, part of its larger efforts to dismantle the legacy left by President Barack Obama. At the time, HUD cast the decision as part of its broader efforts to reexamine rules left over from the previous administration.
In his remarks, Trump also went after a Biden proposal to reassess zoning laws, which he said would “destroy the value of houses in communities already built.”
“People have worked the whole lives to get into a community and now they’re going to watch it go to Hell. Not going to happen. Not while I’m here,” he said.
Biden unveils economic plan to spur American manufacturingBiden unveils economic plan to spur American manufacturing
The blatant politicking extended beyond Trump’s comments on the suburbs; he also attacked Biden for his environmental proposals and over police reform.
At one point, he assailed water preservation rules, claiming they made life harder.
“Dishwashers, you didn’t have any water so the people that do the dishes, you press it and it goes again and you do it again and again,” he said. “So, we made it so dishwashers now have a lot more water.”
Later he complained about Democratic proposals that would require new homes to reduce emissions, “destroying the look of the home, the beauty of the home.”
“I’m somebody that’s built many homes, many buildings. When you take a look at this, it doesn’t look good,” he mused.
The event, while less incoherent than Trump’s appearance earlier this week in the Rose Garden, was nonetheless a political affair as he attacked Biden by name and warned that Democrats would turn the country into a “socialist nightmare.”
Earlier in the day, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany dismissed a question about whether the President’s use of the White House for political events was appropriate.
“Your real problem was the fact that the President gave a very good powerful speech from the Rose Garden,” she said.

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Pandemic decision-making requires politics and science work 'hand in glove:' expert – CBC.ca

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When it comes to effective decision-making at this point in the COVID-19 pandemic, one expert says it’s more complicated than simply following the science.

“If we look at countries around the world that have very successfully dealt with the pandemic, it was when politicians and scientific advice were working hand in glove,” said Heidi Tworek, associate professor in international history and public policy at the University of British Columbia.

“In places like Taiwan, South Korea, New Zealand, Senegal, we didn’t see that politicians completely disappeared. They were actually really crucial in helping people to understand why they were doing what they were doing, what was the meaning of the guidelines that they were following,” she told The Current‘s Matt Galloway. 

“So I think there’s lots of ways in which politicians can be very, very fruitfully involved. But the balance there is what is crucial.”

From U.S. president-elect Joe Biden to Ontario Premier Doug Ford, many political leaders have promised to take cues from the science and medical communities to guide their people to the other side of the coronavirus pandemic. But government policy and scientific evidence are not always in lockstep, and those decisions are not always easy to make.

Like any new disease, the science around COVID-19 is constantly evolving, said Tworek, and not all scientists are going to agree on the best course of action.

“And so there have to be decisions made depending on what those disagreements are,” she said.

Striking a balance

Stephen Meek, a former U.K. civil servant, said there is always an inevitable degree of tension between what doctors advise in a health crisis, and what politicians decide to do.

That’s why it’s important that politicians have access to the best evidence and advice possible, he said.

“But fundamentally, what politics is and what politicians have to do, is try to strike the right balance on the base of that evidence,” explained Meek, who is also director of the Institute for Policy and Engagement at the University of Nottingham. 

“And that may mean not doing exactly what the pure medical advice on dealing with the pandemic would say.”

He added that political leaders will more easily maintain public trust if they can clearly articulate the medical evidence that experts have provided, and the reasonings behind their policy decisions — whether it follows medical advice to the letter, or not.

Meek cited the different pandemic responses in England and Scotland as an example of this in action.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has earned public support for being forthright about how she makes political decisions on the COVID-19 health crisis, says Stephen Meek of the University of Nottingham. (Jane Barlow-Pool/Getty Images)

While British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had long said he was making pandemic-related decisions based on science, he has since split from that course, which has earned him criticism.

Meanwhile, Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has garnered much stronger public support, said Meek.

“[Sturgeon] has fronted up every day and talked about how she’s taking decisions on the basis of evidence, rather than as we’ve had with Boris Johnson sometimes saying, ‘I’m doing what the scientists say,’ [and] sometimes saying other stuff,” he said.

Dr. Jim Talbot agrees that maintaining public trust is key in fighting this health crisis. 

The only currency you have in public health is trust.– Dr. Jim Talbot, former chief medical officer of health

But that also means giving medical officers of health the ability to speak candidly to the public on health issues, he said.

“In Flint, Mich., where the civil authorities decided they didn’t want to warn people about the lead in the drinking water … people were very angry — rightfully so — that they could have done something to prevent the risk to their kids and to babies if they’d known,” said Talbot , a former chief medical officer for Alberta and Nunavut.

“But they weren’t informed.”

Talbot said that public trust is key for authorities to be able to make decisions and get things done.

“The only currency you have in public health is trust,” he said. “And if you squander that trust, you have nothing. It doesn’t matter your position or funding or anything else. Trust is our only currency.”


Written by Kirsten Fenn. Produced by Lindsay Rempel and Alex Zabjek.

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Indian movie superstar Rajinikanth to launch political party – Prince George Citizen

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NEW DELHI — Indian movie superstar Rajinikanth said Thursday he plans to launch his own political party in southern India in January, ending years of speculation by millions of his fans on his political future.

He said in a tweet that he will make an announcement on Dec. 31, apparently in relation to legislative elections in Tamil Nadu state expected around June next year. He started taking an active part in politics in 2017.

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Rajinikanth, 69, is one of India’s most popular stars with more than 175 films since 1975, mostly in the Tamil and Telugu languages.

“In the upcoming Assembly elections, the emergence of spiritual politics will happen for sure. A wonder will happen,” he tweeted. An announcement on matters connected to the party’s launch will be made Dec. 31, he said.

His political prospects appear bright following a vacuum created by the deaths of Jayaram Jayalalithaa, an actor-turned politician with the governing party in the state, and Muthuvel Karunanidhi, the leader of the opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party.

Cinema has always influenced Tamil politics by turning actors into popular politicians.

C.N. Annadurai and M. Karunanidhi were scriptwriters who went on to become chief ministers. M.G. Ramachandran, a top actor-turned-politician, also had a strong following.

Born Shivaji Rao Gaekwad, Rajinikanth worked as a bus conductor for three years before joining an acting school. He started in small roles as a villain in Tamil cinema and worked his way up, landing roles in Bollywood, the Hindi-language film industry based in Mumbai.

Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan also tried his hand in politics as a member of India’s Parliament, representing the Congress party in support of his friend, then-Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, in the 1980s. He resigned after three years following allegations that he accepted bribes in the purchase of artillery guns. His name was later cleared in the scandal.

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Indian movie superstar Rajinikanth to launch political party – EverythingGP

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His political prospects appear bright following a vacuum created by the deaths of Jayaram Jayalalithaa, an actor-turned politician with the governing party in the state, and Muthuvel Karunanidhi, the leader of the opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party.

Cinema has always influenced Tamil politics by turning actors into popular politicians.

C.N. Annadurai and M. Karunanidhi were scriptwriters who went on to become chief ministers. M.G. Ramachandran, a top actor-turned-politician, also had a strong following.

Born Shivaji Rao Gaekwad, Rajinikanth worked as a bus conductor for three years before joining an acting school. He started in small roles as a villain in Tamil cinema and worked his way up, landing roles in Bollywood, the Hindi-language film industry based in Mumbai.

Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan also tried his hand in politics as a member of India’s Parliament, representing the Congress party in support of his friend, then-Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, in the 1980s. He resigned after three years following allegations that he accepted bribes in the purchase of artillery guns. His name was later cleared in the scandal.

Ashok Sharma, The Associated Press

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