FROM Bruce Baltin
Are Hotels in Downtown LA Getting Taxpayer Money for Free? The LA Times reports that two building inspectors have been arrested and a federal grand jury has issued subpoenas seeking personnel records of at least 11 current and former employees. David Zahniser co-wrote the story. He also wrote a Times' story about tax breaks for massive hotels in booming downtown Los Angeles. J.W. Marriot, which opened last year, is reportedly doing well enough to produce some much-needed city revenue in a cash-strapped city. But the Anshutz Entertainment Group, AEG, will be able to keep some $270 million in taxes through 2035. Combined with two other such deals, the city could end up giving away $640 million in the next 30 years. The Mayor and City Council approved the subsidies after analysis by PKF Consulting , which calls them "incentives" and says they're common where they will stimulate new business.
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.