Humane Society CEO resigns amid sexual harassment allegations

Humane Society President and CEO Wayne Pacelle resigned Friday amid a spiraling crisis over sexual harassment allegations against him and a former top executive.

Things had gotten progressively worse for Pacelle — one of the most well-known animal rights advocates in the country — since news broke last week of an internal investigation of allegations dating back to 2005. The board of directors cut the investigation short on Thursday and cleared Pacelle of wrongdoing, but Pacelle, facing a staff revolt and fleeing donors, stepped down less than 24 hours later.

“The last few days have been very hard for our entire family of staff and supporters,” board chairman Rick Bernthal said in a statement. “We are profoundly grateful for Wayne’s unparalleled level of accomplishments and service to the cause of animal protection and welfare.”

The Humane Society’s statement did not include remarks from Pacelle, who has denied wrongdoing.

An internal memo Continue reading “Humane Society CEO resigns amid sexual harassment allegations”

Job growth accelerates in January

Job growth accelerated in January, the government reported Friday, giving President Donald Trump a boost following his State of the Union Address.

The Labor Department reported that the economy added 200,000 new jobs, up from 160,000 in December. The unemployment rate was unchanged for the fourth consecutive month at 4.1 percent.

The numbers also lend credence to Trump’s claim during his address Tuesday that wages are beginning to rise under his leadership. Wages in January rose to 2.9 percent over the previous year, compared to 2.7 percent in December, offering a sign that wage growth is beginning to pick up after months of stagnation with the economy nearing full employment.

At the same time, continued growth will put pressure on Trump’s new Federal Reserve chair, Jerome Powell, to raise interest rates — which could pose a threat to the stock market, Trump’s favorite piece of evidence for Continue reading “Job growth accelerates in January”

Female Employees Allege Culture of Sexual Harassment at Humane Society

In September 2016, three employees of the Humane Society of the United States checked into a tiny Airbnb studio in Boston for a six-day business trip. Paul Shapiro, one of the nation’s most consequential animal rights advocates over the past decade, was accompanied by two campaign workers, a young man and a young woman. After a couple of nights, the male employee left to stay somewhere else, according to the 26-year-old female, leaving her alone with Shapiro.

Over the next few days, the woman told POLITICO, Shapiro, 37, repeatedly steered the conversation toward relationships and sex. He suggested she sit next to him on a small loveseat to watch TV on his iPad, which she refused, and stripped down to his underwear in plain view while changing clothes. At one point, Shapiro leaned out of the bathroom naked, save for a bundled-up pair of boxer briefs held over his groin. Continue reading “Female Employees Allege Culture of Sexual Harassment at Humane Society”

Tax payouts deliver a wave of hope and hype

Republicans are basking in a wave of good publicity for their giant tax cut.

WalMart, the nation’s largest private employer, just bumped up its minimum wage. Cash bonuses are flowing to employees from major employers including AT&T, Comcast and big banks due to the big corporate tax cut. Automakers and giant engineering companies are promising big new U.S. investments.

The result is a giddy sense of hope for President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans who pushed through their unpopular tax-cut plan over total opposition from every Democrat in Congress.

“Great news, as a result of our TAX CUTS & JOBS ACT!,” Trump tweeted following the announcement by WalMart that it would boost its minimum wage by a buck, to $11 per hour.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin showed up in the White House briefing room Thursday to discuss how paychecks would climb next month and take a victory lap. Continue reading “Tax payouts deliver a wave of hope and hype”

Schiff: ‘We have a seriously flawed human being in the Oval Office’

The ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said Sunday virtually every member of Congress has concerns about President Donald Trump’s mental state, even if they won’t say so publicly.

"I don’t think there is anyone in Congress, frankly, of either party who does not concur at least privately with those observations and concerns," Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said on CNN’s "State of the Union." "Certainly, very few are willing to express them publicly in Congress, and I think that’s to the detriment of our institution.

"The big question for us, though," he added, "is, you know, plainly, we have a seriously flawed human being in the Oval Office."

Schiff also said the FBI’s reported investigation of the Clinton Foundation was politically motivated.

"If they are investigating Hillary Clinton, it doesn’t take a genius, let alone a stable genius, to see why," Schiff said, mocking Trump’s assessment Continue reading “Schiff: ‘We have a seriously flawed human being in the Oval Office’”

Haley: ‘There is no turnaround’ with North Korea

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said Sunday there’s been "no turnaround" in the administration’s North Korea policy, after President Donald Trump said he’d "absolutely" be willing to talk to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Trump’s comments Saturday at anews conference at Camp David appeared to change direction from a tweet in October, when he said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was "wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man."

"There is no turnaround," Ambassador Nikki Haley said on ABC’s "This Week." "What he has basically said is, yes, there could be a time where we talk to North Korea but a lot of things have to happen before that actually takes place. They have to stop testing. They have to be willing to talk about banning their nuclear weapons. Those things have to happen. What we’re trying to do is make sure Continue reading “Haley: ‘There is no turnaround’ with North Korea”

Wolff says Trump gave him White House access

Author Michael Wolff said Sunday that President Donald Trump personally granted him access to the White House for his explosive book "Fire and Fury," countering the president’s claims that he turned him away.

In an interview on NBC’s "Meet the Press," Wolff recounted how he got access to the West Wing, saying Trump personally, if reluctantly, allowed him to roam. According to Wolff, the president went as far as to praise his work in front of others. Wolff said the president’s blessing was a critical tool that got him access to White House staff.

"I remember [Trump] seemed deflated: ‘a book, who cares about a book?’" Wolff said. "I said, ‘No, no, I’d really like to do this.’ … And I said, ‘But, you know, is it, is it okay?’ ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.’ So then I went around and so it was basically me saying, ‘The president Continue reading “Wolff says Trump gave him White House access”