Kochs warm to Trump policies not behaviour

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first_imgINDIAN WELLS, Calif. – For the Koch brothers and their powerful donor network, the trouble with President Donald Trump isn’t what he’s doing. It’s how he’s doing it.Huddled at a private retreat in the California desert, the conservative movement’s moneyed elite worried aloud this weekend that the Republican president’s undisciplined behaviour is clouding his achievements — and making it harder for the GOP to protect its grip on Congress heading into the 2018 midterms.“President Trump is not helping get many Republicans elected,” said Tom Shepherd, a Cincinnati-based businessman who joined roughly 550 Koch donors at a private retreat in the California desert this weekend. “I think he’s doing more harm than good because he’s distracting people from the good work which is happening, which is either happening because of him or in spite of him.”The frustration with the unorthodox president comes as the Kochs begin to implement their strategy to protect Republican majorities in the House and Senate this fall.The GOP has no more powerful ally than the vast political and policy network assembled by the Midwestern industrialist icons, long demonized by the left and revered by the right for their short- and long-term efforts to reshape American politics and culture.The Koch network’s chief lieutenants renewed their vow this weekend to spend up to $400 million on politics and policy to shape November’s midterm elections nationwide.That’s more than the combined resources spent by the Republican National Committee, the National Rifle Association and the Chamber of Commerce in the 2016 election cycle.They outlined plans on Monday to spend big on political advertising now through the end of July on as many as 14 key Senate races and 15 gubernatorial elections. Their goal: Flood the airwaves with political messaging early to help shape voters’ opinions long before the election season’s final months.“We need to be on offence starting now,” said Emily Seidel, CEO of the Kochs’ political arm, Americans for Prosperity.She said the network has already decided to play in Senate contests in Wisconsin, Indiana, Missouri and Florida — all seats held by vulnerable Democrats. They expect to be active in many more. And on governor’s races, they’re targeting Nevada, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Florida to start.The investment includes $20 million to help sell the recently adopted tax overhaul to a skeptical American public through a series of public rallies, phone banking and paid advertising.Despite the extraordinary investment, the men and women who filled the luxury resort outside Palm Springs for a three-day retreat that ended Monday acknowledged a difficult road ahead.Some blamed history more than the regular distractions from Trump. The party in the White House traditionally struggles in the first midterm election of a new presidency.“It’s a challenge regardless of the president,” said Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity.But the donors who pledged at least $100,000 this year to the Koch network — there were an estimated 550 on hand this weekend — were less cautious when asked about the president’s leadershipMany opposed his candidacy before the 2016 election. The Kochs refused to endorse Trump, fearing that his style and policies might undermine conservative priorities.“I didn’t support him,” said Frank Baxter, a retired investment banker from California who served as the ambassador to Uruguay under former President George W. Bush. “The results are kind of changing my mind.”Like others, he praised the tax overhaul, Trump’s judicial appointments and regulatory cuts. He added, “I still don’t like what he says or does.”Gary Lynch, whose Iowa livestock business employs roughly 700 people, said he and his business have benefited from the Republican tax overhaul. He said, however, that Trump’s behaviour “doesn’t help” his party promote the benefits of the plan.“He hasn’t got it down yet,” Lynch said of the president, noting that he doesn’t mind Trump’s style personally.Another former Trump critic, North Carolina-based donor Art Pope, said he’s warming to the president as well.“The policies of this administration have really benefited the American people,” Pope said. He’s still worried about the political climate heading into the midterms: “It’s going to be a tough election.”Democrats need to pick up at least 24 seats nationwide this fall to claim the House majority for the last two years of Trump’s first term. Recent Democratic wins in Alabama and Virginia, backed by Trump’s low approval ratings, suggest the GOP is in trouble.When asked about his party’s 2018 prospects, Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., among a handful of elected officials who attended the Koch conference, acknowledged that the House majority is at risk.“I can make the case for losing 18 seats and no more. I can make the case for 28 seats,” he said. “It’s a long ways off. It depends what we do between now and November.”As the White House and Republicans nationwide work to highlight the strong U.S. economy, Trump intensified a weekend feud with the rapper Jay-Z on Twitter.The musician said over the weekend the president’s recent vulgar comments about African countries and Haiti were “disappointing” and “hurtful.”Trump punched back on Twitter, urging his followers to inform Jay-Z that “because of my policies,” unemployment among black Americans is at the “LOWEST RATE EVER RECORDED!”Back at the Koch retreat, prominent Trump donor Doug Deason said he enjoyed the president’s social media habits, which allow him to speak directly to the American people.“I don’t think it helps. I don’t think it hurts,” Deason said.He noted that the Koch network would “spend a lot of money” to ensure the benefits of the tax overhaul aren’t overshadowed by any distractions.“Who gives a crap about Jay-Z?” Deason asked. “I don’t.”last_img

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Tony Becca: The franchise system and West Indies cricket

first_imgFranchise cricket matches are supposed to be a way of pulling in the crowds and making money out of cricket, or, according to West Indies Board president, Dave Cameron, and the English technical director of West Indies cricket, Richard Pybus, it is one of the ways to develop West Indies cricket. Both ways can be right, but in West Indies cricket, both are wrong, and definitely so. As Mark Nicholas of BBC fame wrote recently, “Franchises spread West Indies cricket so thin that the franchises are a terrible sop. It is as if a fancy name will change anything.” Like everything else in life, it takes money and good sense to make money. Either that, or one must have some very good friends, or one has to be lucky, very lucky. On top of that, franchise cricket, a form of cricket in which players are bought and sold, does not, or should not, include sovereign nations. West Indies cricket is losing ground. In fact, it has lost ground for some years and is now trying desperately to find its way back. West Indies cricket is really falling apart, and the West Indies Cricket Board, in a desperate attempt to halt the slide, to improve the skill of its cricketers, and to make some money has gone the franchise route. Apart from money to make it work, however, franchise cricket, needs proper planning, a good atmosphere, and it needs competitiveness. The Professional Cricket League consists of six teams, not Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Guyana, the Leeward Islands, and the Windward Islands as usual, but the Jamaica Scorpions, Barbados Pride, Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, Guyana Jaguars, the Leeward Islands Hurricanes, and the Windward Islands Volcanoes. Probably the biggest point about this version of the franchise system, however, is this: for a franchise system to be a real one, it should be free of certain restrictions. For a start, a franchise like the Jamaica franchise should be free to buy players from anywhere and from any country in order to strengthen their team. It should not be restricted to West Indian countries, and it should not be a forced situation. Even if a country has the money to accommodate a player or two – or any number for that matter – a country should not be expected to contract a player unless it needs to do so. If a country’s players are better than others in the market, why contract one? It may be too early to see the folly of the franchise system. However, right now, after Jamaica’s embarrassment in losing seven wickets for 20 runs in one session, despite the presence of a foreign player, although they came back to win, and after the Leeward Islands declaration at 24 for seven in the first session and losing the match inside two days, it certainly is cause for concern. The other concern, based on the lack of support for the competition and for the West Indies team, is this: where will the money come from to keep this system one going? The franchise system is not working out. Based on the crowds, it is not working in terms of money, and based on the action, it is not working in terms development, and certainly not when teams find it difficult to bat out one session. Players from other territories Free of certain restrictions This year, the territories were ordered to accept players from the other territories. The names sound impressive, like those of the American franchises. The difference, although it may be really too early to tell, is the appeal of the American franchises, the money they make daily, the quality of the players, and the competitive nature of the tournament. This season, the board, which is the source of funding for each team, has made it compulsory. Each team must have two or three overseas players in its squad of players and each franchise must have a manager, a marketing man, a coach, a physiotherapist, a trainer, a doctor, and an accountant. The plan is that the board will provide each franchise with money, some US$45,000, to run the franchise each year, and the territories are to select a squad of 15 players, including two or three overseas (West Indies) players for the tournament to be played as return matches and run from November to March. With some US$27,000 going to the salaries of the players, only approximately US$18,000 is left to pay all other expenses. The first question which must be asked is this: what will happen to the respective boards during all this? Will they simply mark time from day to day doing almost nothing, or will they serve the board as well as the franchises in a move to save the franchise some money? If this is so, if one man serves a territorial board and also serves a franchise, is it a move which could spell trouble in the long run? Another question is this: what is a franchise? Is it a group granted authorisation to carry out special commercial activities, is it an individual within a group that is granted such authorisation, or is it that one leads to the other? Is it that the West Indies Cricket Board is the franchise, or is it that Jamaica, for example, is the franchise? Is the WICB the franchise owner, and is Jamaica one of its members? Is Jamaica expected to finance itself, and expected to share any profits, or losses with the board? Is it that the West Indies Cricket Board is expected to finance Jamaica as the Jamaica franchise, or is Jamaica expected to develop young cricketers, to produce cricketers, through its own resources for the West Indies-Jamaica franchise? Will the franchise team, its players and its management team, replace, for example, the Jamaica Cricket Association as guardians of Jamaica’s cricket, in the school, the clubs and parishes, etc? West Indies cricket is weak, some of the regional teams and many of the clubs are very weak, and the franchise system is seen, in some quarters, as the way to improve standards and to balance things. Once upon a time, when a team was weak, people, like coaches, worked to improve the players’ skill. After this, however, people will simply shop around for a replacement, from anywhere, and according to the board, or so it seems, even from weaker teams. This, as sure as the night follows the day, will eventually lead to a situation where the stronger the bank account, the stronger will be the team, unless, of course, the governments of the West Indian territories step in and protect the sovereignty of their country.last_img

Aldin Ayo unfazed by player exodus at UST

first_imgFor the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Ayo, a champion coach in the NCAA with Letran and UAAP with La Salle before transferring to UST, isn’t worried at all despite the latest departure of Jordan Sta. Ana, who was a key cog for the Growling Tigers last year in the UAAP.“Not really because we have new players filling in especially the rookies who are going to fit in with the program and system,” Ayo told INQUIRER.net when asked how big of a loss Sta. Ana is to the team.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownApart from Sta. Ana, Regie Boy Basibas, Justin Arana, Oliver de Guzman, Christian Garcia, Carlo Escalambre, MR Romero, Joco Macasaet and Ben Kwawukumey had also left the team.Ayo believes UST is better off having new players who fit his system. LATEST STORIES Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate fallscenter_img Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:00Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST05:02SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina View comments “It’s better for us to have a new set of players and we’ll try to make all of them fit into what we’re trying to do here,” he said.“We don’t remove players but it’s the players themselves who wanted to leave,” he added.Ayo said the players who left are just not up to the challenge of being a student-athlete at UST.“They leave because they can’t do what they’re supposed to do even if what we’re asking them to do is very simple. Go to class and attend practice,” said Ayo.“The players who left are those who couldn’t do it especially the academic part. They sensed that they’re going to have problems in their academics that’s why they opted to leave.”ADVERTISEMENT The player exodus from University of Santo Tomas doesn’t faze Aldin Ayo.ADVERTISEMENT Dads Ronaldo and Messi still seek World Cup title In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew MOST READlast_img

Brownlee: Ginebra needs to ‘come out and fight’ after Game 3 blowout

first_imgIn fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ “You got to give a lot of credit to San Miguel, they came out and played tough, and they were really focused,” said Brownlee who carried Ginebra on his back in Game 3. “They were very sharp, they came out shooting the ball well, they were executing and they were defending.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next That staggering setback to San Miguel tied the PBA record for largest blowout in a championship game, a feat that stood for two decades since Alaska trumped the Beermen 99-61 in Game 6 of the 1998 Philippine Cup finals.Brownlee, who finished with 32 points and 11 rebounds, though, is still counting on his team’s fighting spirit.“Hopefully we can bounce back after this game and we’ll be better,” said Brownlee, who couldn’t help but praise what the Beermen did in Game 3.San Miguel was intoxicating in the third game shooting at a 51.5 percent clip, 52-of-101, while also smothering Ginebra on defense.The Beermen limited the Gin Kings to 35-of-74 from the field and stole the ball 15 times.ADVERTISEMENT Gov’t in no rush to rescue animals in Taal After their strong opening win, the Gin Kings haven’t looked like conquerors in their past two games losing to the Beermen by an average of 31.5 points.It was only in the first game that Ginebra looked like a title contender when it beat the Beermen 127-99, and Justin Brownlee hopes his team could once again channel that fighting spirit by Game 4.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’READ: PBA Finals: San Miguel clobbers Ginebra by 38 points for 2-1 lead“You only have to come out and fight, that’s the only thing you can do,” said Brownlee after Ginebra’s 132-94 loss in Game 3 Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum. LATEST STORIES Barangay Ginebra may just be trailing by 2-1 in the best-of-seven PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals against defending champion San Miguel, things are not looking good for the crowd favorite.ADVERTISEMENT Ceres, Home United battle to draw in first leg ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Peza offers relief to ecozone firms MOST READ After winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:11SEA GAMES 2019: PH’s Nesthy Petecio boxing featherweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)02:10SEA Games 2019: Didal collects 2nd skateboard gold02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award View commentslast_img

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