One of the dumbest political mistakes in the modern era

One of the dumbest political mistakes in the modern era

 Story image for Modern from Washington Post

Alex Brandon / Axios

President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey is rightly seen as a terrific legal blunder: He undercut an investigation that might have shown he never colluded with the Russians, and spawned one that could result in obstruction of justice charges.

Why it matters: Regardless of the legal outcome, it’ll go down as one of the dumbest political mistakes in the modern era. One of the president’s outside advisers calls it the gravest political mistake since Richard Nixon decided not to apologize to the American people for Watergate, and instead proceeded with the cover-up.

“The Russia investigation is now the central narrative of the Trump administration, no matter what he does,” the adviser said. “He wanted to be a disruptive force for change, and now he’s stuck in the quicksand of the swamp.”
Trump himself has suggested to friends that he understands the bind he created: By taunting Comey about tapes that the president admitted yesterday don’t exist, he hastened the chain of events that led to the appointment of special counsel Bob Mueller, who’s expected to delve into the business affairs of the president and his family.
In retrospect, if Trump had kept Comey and stopped obsessing about his investigation, his legal troubles might have blown over: No evidence of collusion has emerged. As David Brooks pointed out in one of the better columns of the month, it’s striking how little has surfaced on the collusion front, given the gush of anti-Trump leaks.
Trump would be standing here today with a perfect record on contested special elections, a strong stock market, low unemployment and momentum heading into the tax reform debate. Instead, Trump’s impulsive decision — made against the advice of several trusted advisers — has:
  1. Consumed Trump: In phone calls, staff meetings and tweets, the president rages about Mueller. This often pushes aside conversation about his legislative agenda, executive actions and planned messages.
  2. Trapped Trump: The Russia probe has now mushroomed into one that includes obstruction of justice, adding a self-created investigation that will eat up precious time for months or years to come.
  3. Tainted Trump: Polls show the vast majority voters disapprove of his handling of Comey and Russia. More importantly, Republicans inclined to believe he didn’t collude with the Russians seem quite willing to believe he might have obstructed justice after canning Comey.
  4. Stalled Trump: He was hardly cooking with grease on the legislative front pre-Comey. Now, White House officials think they will be lucky to end 2017 with any substantial bills signed into law.
  5. Tagged Trump for 2020: If he runs again, Democrats can be expected to turn the firing, probes, and attacks on the special prosecutor into centerpieces of the case against Trump.                                                           [Source”pcworld”]

Airport Dining Rooms So Fancy Business Class Is Excluded

With First Class travelers wanting to sleep and work on board, upscale meals are migrating to the terminal lounge.
June 21, 2017, 2:15 PM GMT+5:30 June 21, 2017, 9:18 PM GMT+5:30

“You’ve got to try the burger.”

That was the counsel of Kurt Stache, a veteran of airport dining and airline marketing, while briefing me on the various attributes of recent renovations his employer, American Airlines, has completed at New York’s JFK International Airport.

This particular “flagship” sirloin burger is one of the initial hits on the new menu American assembled for its first foray into restaurant-style dining at an airport lounge. The carrier opened its “Flagship First Dining” room in May in a space adjacent to its renovated lounge in Terminal 8.

The venue has the spartan sensibility one expects from some high-end eateries. The bar is up front and the tables in back, with a lovely chandelier dangling overhead. But the glass windows are rightfully allowed to dominate. The room is a sleek space overlooking the tarmac—aviation geeks will be pleased by the aircraft views.

So, anyway, I went with the burger.

It is a lovely thing to behold, not super-sized or excessively messy the way many renditions are engineered. It’s served atop a crisp tomato slice and a few shreds of arugula and then topped with a marmalade of red onion and bacon. This last bit adds a subtle sweetness to the thin layer of char that encloses juicy ground sirloin. There were French fries, I think, but I don’t really recall. The beef was so much more interesting. Cheddar cheese is a good option, but I chose to taste the burger on its own.

While the focus is on seasonal and local ingredients, it’s one of the very few items that will stay year-round, said Stache, senior vice president for marketing and loyalty at American Airlines Group Inc. I preceded the burger with samples of three appetizers: basil-infused “compressed” watermelon with a feta cheese garnish, tomato bisque with a miniature (2 inches square!) grilled cheese sandwich, and a chilled smoked duck breast. The Loch Duart salmon, a farmed variety from the northern reaches of Scotland, was fresh, tender, and poached superbly in olive oil and served atop a cauliflower risotto. Each entree is listed with a suggested wine pairing.

The dining room highlights American’s effort to maintain a distinction between first and business class, a different approach from many other airlines that have collapsed those into a single cabin. Nevertheless, the restaurant isn’t fussy or pretentious, nor did the wait staff appear to consider these menu selections precious heirlooms. Instead, these are carefully attended plates with high-quality ingredients—minus the stuffy.

After all, this is JFK.

The Flagship sirloin burger.
Photographer: Caitlin Ochs/Bloomberg

While the larger lounge accepts an array of American’s elite customers, access to the dining room is tightly controlled—only people traveling internationally or transcontinental with a first class ticket are allowed. Even those with the elite, Concierge Key frequent flyer status need one. This keeps the amenity highly exclusive—always a tantalizing allure for a certain jet set—and prevents the dining room from becoming overly crowded. Our waiter said he’d seen no more than 10-12 diners concurrently during the first three weeks of operation.

American put its first Flagship dining eatery at JFK, the airport where it has the most departures booked in first class, and will open two more by yearend at its hubs in Los Angeles and Miami. In 2018 the airline will expand this dining concept to Dallas-Fort Worth and London.

This focus on finer dining in the airport is one that premium long-haul airlines have offered for years, from Sydney to Singapore, Hong Kong to Dubai, London, and Paris. Yet a restaurant-style dining experience is relatively new to the U.S. aviation scene, where airlines have traditionally pinched pennies even for their wealthiest passengers.

United Continental Holdings Inc. opened its first “Polaris” business class lounge in December at its Chicago hub, with a la carte menu items supplementing the lounge’s buffet and designed by Chicago chef Art Smith. United plans five more of the lounges this year at its U.S. hubs, with Hong Kong, London, and Tokyo slated for 2018. United also offers a posh burger as an entree, from Chicago’s Blue Door Kitchen, served with an optional fried egg.

Since righting their financial fortunes following the bankruptcy years, U.S. airlines have invested heavily to spruce up their fleets and onboard amenities, particularly those targeting the big spenders who sit up front. Premium-cabin meals and wines have seen gradual upgrades while the carriers have also deployed upscale seats that transition into fully flat beds for improved sleep.

[Source”pcworld”]

Snapsheet rallies $12 mln Series D

Story image for Traditiona from Crain's Chicago Business

Chicago-based Snapsheet, a provider of virtual claims software for the personal and commercial insurance sector, has raised $12 million in Series D funding. Tola Capital led the round. In conjunction with the funding, Sheila Gulati of Tola Capital has been added to Snapsheet’s board of directors.

PRESS RELEASE

Chicago, IL – June 13, 2017 –
Snapsheet, the leading provider of virtual claims software for the personal and commercial insurance industry, announced the close of a $12 million series D round led by Tola Capital.

Snapsheet will apply this investment to further accelerate the development of its mobile-first, data-centric, and AI-enabled virtual claims platform and expand sales, marketing and customer engagement functions. Through its claims management technology, data-enabled workflow, and mobile applications for customers and adjustors, Snapsheet empowers auto insurance carriers to efficiently manage the claims lifecycle for all parties. They guide customers through the lifecycle of submitting and processing a claim, reducing the time required for claims adjusters to collect and submit data, thereby improving cycle times and customer satisfaction. “We have continued to build relationships with top insurance carriers, including industry leaders like USAA, Liberty Mutual and Metromile, validating our vision for a seamless, software-enabled claims lifecycle.

Our platform is reimagining the claims process and enables 90 percent of all claims to be processed virtually,” said Brad Weisberg, founder and CEO of Snapsheet. “We’re dedicated to investing in technologies like machine learning that will continue to improve workflows for the insurance industry. The funding and partnership with Tola Capital, an investor with deep roots in the enterprise software industry, will be a key enabler for us on this journey.”

With this investment, Sheila Gulati of Tola Capital will join Snapsheet’s board of directors. As an investor with a deep focus on building software platform businesses, machine learning and data platforms and serving as a former business leader with Microsoft, Gulati brings a wealth of expertise to Snapsheet.

“The traditiona insurance claims cycle has been fraught with laborious, multi-step processes that were inconvenient to insurance customers and costly for carriers and repair shops,” said Sheila Gulati, managing director at Tola Capital. “Snapsheet has created a platform that has optimized a key workflow for its customers and created a deeply valuable set of data to further drive insight and business value for the insurance industry.”

To learn more about Snapsheet, please visit www.snapsheetapp.com.

About Snapsheet Snapsheet is the pioneering provider of a virtual claims platform to personal and commercial auto insurance carriers. Based in Chicago, the company offers major auto insurance carriers Snapsheet’s mobile-first, data-enabled virtual claims platform. Insurance carriers, consumers, and repair shops experience a reimagined claims workflow that saves carriers and repair shops time and money and provides a more convenient and satisfying claims process for insurance consumers.

Snapsheet is revolutionizing the insurance claims process from estimation, to repair and payment. For more information, visit www.snapsheetapp.com/.

About Tola Capital Tola Capital is a venture capital firm that focuses on the opportunity to invest in the next wave of enterprise software companies. The firm provides both capital and hands-on engagement to support the growth of its portfolio companies. Tola Capital targets software companies with essential products for enterprise customers, a solid existing customer base, a strong competitive position, and great talent and culture. Tola Capital invests globally and across multiple stages.

[Source”pcworld”]

North Texas lawmakers will introduce two bathroom bills in special session

The Texas bathroom bill has been arguably the most controversial bill introduced during Texas' 2017 Legislative Session, drawing reaction from protesters, politicians, business leaders and celebrities.  Keep going to see what you need to know about previous versions of the proposed law.  Photo: Sara D. Davis, Stringer / 2016 Getty Images

AUSTIN — After a brief respite, the bathroom wars are heating up again.

Rep. Ron Simmons, R-Carrollton, is expected to introduce two bills in the upcoming special session of the Texas Legislature that would regulate which public bathrooms transgender Texans, including schoolchildren, can use.

WHAT THEY SAID: GOP Board of Ed members sound off on special session

The first bill, which will closely resemble his bill that failed during the regular session, will be a broad attempt to prohibit cities, counties and public school districts from enforcing non-discrimination ordinances involving multi-occupancy restrooms or locker rooms.

It is expected to allow exceptions for people already protected under state and federal anti-discrimination laws, which do not include sexual orientation or gender identity.

Simmons’ bill would effectively invalidate local nondiscrimination ordinances that allow transgender people to use public restrooms that match their gender identity, as well as school district policies that make accommodations for transgender students.

The path for Texas to enact its version of a North Carolina-style bathroom bill is poised to get far tougher as the Republican-controlled state House closes in on a key midnight Thursday deadline to approve legislation.

Media: WochIt Media

That proposal, House Bill 2899, had 79 co-sponsors, all Republicans, before lawmakers left Austin in late May. A bill needs to win a simple majority, or 76 votes, on the House floor to pass.

BACKLASH: Paxton leads 35-state coalition over internet speed advertisements

A second proposal Simmons plans to introduce would apply only to public school districts.

Simmons’s intentions were first reported by The Dallas Morning News, and he did not respond to the Houston Chronicle’s request for comment.

This month, Gov. Greg Abbott announced a special session to begin July 18, calling lawmakers back to Austin for at least one month to tackle 20 items he said were not addressed to his satisfaction during the 140-day regular legislative session, which ended in May. Reauthorizing the Texas Medical Board and a handful of other agencies, which could close if lawmakers do not approve their continuation, topped Abbott’s list.

He also listed “privacy” as one of the topics, saying that “at a minimum” he wants a bill that applies to the use of bathrooms and locker rooms in public schools. In the regular session, Abbott praised Simmons’ bill

[Source”pcworld”]

Out of Africa: Furniture and accessories gallery

Patrizia Moroso's celebrated m'Afrique collection was launched in 2009, and new pieces have been added over time. Kiwis ...

Patrizia Moroso’s celebrated m’Afrique collection was launched in 2009, and new pieces have been added over time. Kiwis looking for a splash of bright colour and imaginative design can find m’Afrique items at Matisse.

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In 2009, celebrated Italian furniture manufacturer Moroso launched the m’Afrique collection – a group of outdoor furniture designed by some of the biggest names in contemporary design, using sustainably sourced materials, hand-made in African communities.

Patrizia Moroso is the creative director of her family’s eponymous company and one of the most influential names in contemporary furniture.

Moroso’s husband, Senegalese artist and designer Abdou Salam Gaye, was

[Source”pcworld”]

U.S. home appliances shipments fall 1.4 percent year-on-year in May: AHAM

A row of refrigerators are on sale in a store selling home appliances and electronics in New York, February 18, 2010.    REUTERS/Natalie Behring

Deliveries of the six biggest categories of white goods (AHAM 6) in the United States fell 1.4 percent year-on-year in May, data from industry body Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) showed late on Tuesday.

Shipments in the country, a major market for companies such as Swedish home appliances maker Electrolux (ELUXb.ST), were up 3.4 percent in the year through May.

[Source”pcworld”]

Stand-alone Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered could go on sale next week

all of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered, the remake of the 2007 classic that came bundled with last year’s Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, may be getting a stand-alone version. A call to Target puts the the current street date for the unannounced title at June 27.

The story began yesterday over on Charlie Intel. It received a tip in the form of pictures showing a shrink-wrapped version of Modern Warfare Remastered for PlayStation 4 as well as an image of a Target shelf tag listing the price as $39.99. Later that day, a reader sent in a picture of the Target computer system listing the game’s street date as June 20.

Polygon called several Targets in the Chicagoland area for more information. Several employees confirmed that they had a listing for a product that matched the SKU given to Charlie Intel. They could confirm that it was a video game, and that the street date was June 27. However, all other information on the product listing was redacted. One employee said this is common practice internally at Target for new titles entering the computer system prior to their street date.

Polygon has reached out to Activision for more information.

Last year’s Infinite Warfare didn’t achieve the kind of success at retail that Activision had hoped for. Fan reaction to the game, which took the series to outer space in the far future, was extremely negative when the first trailer was released on YouTube. Later, Activision admitted that the game “underperformed” and that the setting “just didn’t resonate” with players.

Modern Warfare Remastered has seen continued support from Activision, including new character models and new weapons.

The next Call of Duty title is called Call of Duty: WWII and will tell the story of the U.S. Army’s 1st Infantry Division. We had hands-on the game’s multiplayer mode at this year’s E3. The title is expected to be released on November 3 for PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One.

[Source”pcworld”]

Starting a food business? 3 things to look for when choosing appliances

When you are looking for a business partner, the qualities that you want to see include trustworthiness, reliability, and efficiency.

Likewise, your choice of equipment is fundamental to the success of your business, especially in the food industry. Because it functions 24/7, it needs to come from a trustworthy brand that delivers reliable equipment.

Let us break down to you the important qualities of the equipment you need for your food business:

1. DURABILITY. For a thriving food business, durability is an essential quality in any kind of appliance. Equipment failure could result in a major setback in your business — if your freezer fails to function for one day, imagine how much profit you could lose. Your equipment should therefore be easy to maintain, and built to last.

2. ENERGY EFFICIENCY. Your equipment will most likely need to run continuously. Aside from being smart about the way you use energy, an appliance’s energy consumption factor contributes largely to energy efficiency. To maximize your investment, look for appliances that combine energy efficiency and outstanding performance.

3. REPUTATION. Food business owners are likely to stick to one brand when it comes to their equipment. Consequentially, this is how a brand establishes its name in the market. If a brand has earned a favorable reputation in the market, it means entrepreneurs trust the company and are positive about purchasing its products.

Fujidenzo Home & Commercial Appliances combines durability, performance and energy efficiency to meet the high demands of a thriving food business or a fast-paced living.

Packed with a 5-year warranty on compressor and a 1-year warranty on service and parts that is valid for commercial and home use, Fujidenzo offers refrigerators, washers, cooking ranges, range hoods, and air-conditioners.

Fujidenzo understands that in order to get your business running smoothly, it is important to have a reliable partner; this is why it has over 100 service centers nationwide, making parts more accessible, and a dedicated service Facebook page: Service Excellence Helpdesk.

Fujidenzo Home & Commercial Appliances is available in all leading appliance centers nationwide and has a wide network of service, parts and showrooms located in Quezon City, Cebu, Bacolod, and Davao.

[Source”timesofindia”]

QUIZ: Test your general knowledge on traditional Arab dress

Once it comes to traditional dress across the world, the Middle East is considered unique and colorful.

Although the Arab world is a complex reality where local traditions and western fashions mix, there remains to be a strong sense of tradition in the region’s garments.

Not only do these traditional garments vary across Arab countries, they also represent a fundamental element in understanding the cultural identity and spirit of each Arab nation.

This quiz highlights some of the many interesting traditional clothes that exist.

[Source”timesofindia”]

Stand-alone Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered could go on sale next week

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered, the remake of the 2007 classic that came bundled with last year’s Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, may be getting a stand-alone version. A call to Target puts the the current street date for the unannounced title at June 27.

The story began yesterday over on Charlie Intel. It received a tip in the form of pictures showing a shrink-wrapped version of Modern Warfare Remastered for PlayStation 4 as well as an image of a Target shelf tag listing the price as $39.99. Later that day, a reader sent in a picture of the Target computer system listing the game’s street date as June 20.

Polygon called several Targets in the Chicagoland area for more information. Several employees confirmed that they had a listing for a product that matched the SKU given to Charlie Intel. They could confirm that it was a video game, and that the street date was June 27. However, all other information on the product listing was redacted. One employee said this is common practice internally at Target for new titles entering the computer system prior to their street date.

Polygon has reached out to Activision for more information.

Last year’s Infinite Warfare didn’t achieve the kind of success at retail that Activision had hoped for. Fan reaction to the game, which took the series to outer space in the far future, was extremely negative when the first trailer was released on YouTube. Later, Activision admitted that the game “underperformed” and that the setting “just didn’t resonate” with players.

Modern Warfare Remastered has seen continued support from Activision, including new character models and new weapons.

The next Call of Duty title is called Call of Duty: WWII and will tell the story of the U.S. Army’s 1st Infantry Division. We had hands-on the game’s multiplayer mode at this year’s E3. The title is expected to be released on November 3 for PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One.

 [Source”timesofindia”]