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Burger King Is Building Artificial Limbs So That Disabled People Can Eat Their Unhealthy Burgers

Over the years fast-food outlets have employed a myriad of tactics to tempt new customers. There have been the classics like McDonald’s Happy Meal toys, or Subway’s Five Dollar Footlong(R.I.P.). That’s not to mention cholesterol-filled gimmicks like the chicken-on-chicken monstrosity that was the KFC Double Down burger and Taco Bell’s answer to breakfast food, the waffle taco. But all of these pale in comparison to the latest marketing shtick courtesy of Burger King Argentina: free prosthetic hands to disabled customers.

You read that correctly. As a way to promote its new Stacker Atomic 5.0 burger last month, branches of the popular fast-food chain across Argentina *cough* handed out 1,000 prosthetic limbs to customers lacking appendages who purchased the meals. For this promotion—which formed part of an annual event nicknamed Stacker Day—Burger King sold the meals at half-price, donating all of the money from the sales to Atomic Lab, the local startup responsible for producing the 3-D-printed prosthetics.

“Stacker Day is a big event in Argentina,” Ignacio Ferioli, a member of the agency responsible for the promotion, told AdWeek. “People queue for hours to get a burger. Sales keep growing year after year. We wondered if we could do something relevant that tied back to a huge burger that’s hard to handle,” Ferioli continued. Cue the clever promotional tie-in.

Ferioli doesn’t lie. The Stacker Atomic 5.0 is so named for the five beef patties interspersed with bacon and cheese that comprise its making. So yes, “hard to handle” is definitely one way to describe the burger. Another might be “nutritional nightmare.” Call it raining on their parade, but it’s hard not to find fault in a campaign that seeks to improve the lives of people living with a lost limb (in some cases likely due to type II diabetes), while pushing a mini mountain of meat and cheese. Irony much?

In Burger King’s defense, the promotion has had a notable impact. As AdWeek reports, thanks to the sales from Stacker Day, Atomic Lab was able to double the number of prosthetic limbs it had otherwise been able to donate for free over the past three years. This just goes to show the power of good branding, and the tempting prospect of devouring a burger the size of your head.

But here’s a thought. Burger King could simply stop selling the Stacker Atomic 5.0 and instead introduce a new, more health-conscious menu item that could perpetually provide a portion of the profits from its sales to Atomic Lab. Too idealistic? “People don’t go to Burger King for healthy food”; “It would cost too much to make.” Maybe these objections are true, but what if this suggestion actually brought a whole new customer base into the fold, and in fact didn’t cost as much as one might think?

What if instead of helping out a limited number of people with disabilities, the fast-food giant used its promotional power actually to create a product that not only paid lip service to its customer’s health needs, but actually put its money where our mouths are?

For a company that has built its empire on expanding waistlines and harming public health, that concept may really be “too hard to handle.”

Robin Scher is a freelance writer from South Africa currently based in New York. He tweets infrequently @RobScherHimself.

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‘Saber Rattling’: What People in Asia Say About U.S.-North Korea Tensions

The war of words over North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile program has been as dramatic as it has been concerning.

Kim Jong Un’s regime has said the entire United States is in its sights. Not to be outdone, President Donald Trump has promised “fire and fury” in a departure from the more measured tones of previous U.S. presidents.

The increasing pattern of threat and counter-threat has led some to worry about potential miscommunication or miscalculation that could lead to armed conflict.

But the heated language has generally met with a cooler response on the streets of cities and towns across the Asia-Pacific region.

That’s despite people there potentially being in the firing line should the rhetoric escalate to military action.

South Korea

“It doesn’t impact our everyday life and things that happen on a daily basis,” said 31-year-old Paul Rader, a teacher in Seoul’s international school.

“The kind of tension around in the city among people is nonexistent here,” Rader adds. “Those of us who’ve been here for a long time, we tend to think it’s saber rattling.”

Not everyone in South Korea is so laid back, however.

Thousands took to the streets of Seoul Tuesday to protest against joint U.S. and South Korean military drills and the deployment of the THAAD missile system in the country.

Image: South Korean protesters shout slogans during an anti-U.S. rally
South Korean protesters shout slogans during an anti-U.S. rally demanding peace on the Korean Peninsula in Seoul on Tuesday. Jung Yeon-Je / AFP – Getty Images

Seoul is situated just 35 miles from the border with North Korea, well within range of its neighbor’s artillery.

More than 23,000 U.S. troops are also stationed in South Korea.

While most experts agree the U.S. and its allies would likely win any war with North Korea, doing so would almost certainly cost thousands of lives and cause huge destruction.

However, South Korea’s president, Moon Jae In, said Tuesday that any “military action on the Korean peninsula can only be decided by South Korea and no one else.”

Japan

In Japan, the entirety of which is within the range of North Korea’s weapons, leading politicians have spoken of “a new level of threat” in recent weeks.

Two North Korean intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) landed off the coast of Japan last month.

Japan is also the only country to ever have nuclear weapons used upon on it, when the U.S. did so in Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II.

On the streets of Tokyo, feeling was mixed over the level of threat currently posed.

“What if North Korea misfires? There’s the possibility that a missile could fall into offshore territory or onto our land itself,” said one man who declined to give his name. “I’m a bit nervous.”

Image: Attendees hold doves, the symbol of peace
Attendees hold doves, the symbol of peace, for releasing on Tuesday in Tokyo, Japan, during a commemoration of the country’s WWII surrender. Taro Karibe / Getty Images

However, another chimed in with: “I’m a little scared but the situation doesn’t really concern me.”

American Michael Wright, who lives and works in Japan with his family. says he is unfazed by the situation and has no plans to leave.

He said: “They’ve [Japan] have been under threat for a long time so it doesn’t matter. The Chinese are flying planes in here, you know, a thousand times, the Russians are flying in, so they’ve been under this mode for a long time,” he added. “I think there is heightened awareness. But like I said, they’ve been living this way for a while now.”

Fellow U.S. citizen Karen Brady moved to Japan with her husband and one-year-old daughter. She too was unconcerned: “If the threat was for Japan, we wouldn’t have come,” she added. “I mean my concerns personally are if my daughter is having a good day at daycare and when the next earthquake’s going to be, because it kind of freaks me out.”

China

In the Chinese capital, Beijing, the threat of impending war was widely dismissed.

China is North Korea’s primary ally and not a target for the Kim Jong Un regime. But President Donald Trump has looked to Beijing to rein in North Korea and its weapons program.

“I don’t think it’s going to have an impact on my life at all,” said Xiaoxiao Zhan, a 25-year-old student at Beijing Foreign Studies University.

Businesswoman Laura Wu, 52, said she was not nervous as there was no war. Even if there was, “the war will not be in China,” she added.

Guam

The U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, however, has been the subject of more specific threats of action.

North Korea has said it was giving serious consideration to a plan to fire missiles at Guam.

On Tuesday, two radio stations on the island accidentally played an emergency civil danger warning — the same warning that would sound in the event of an impending nuclear attack.

Guam’s homeland security office later issued a statement on Facebook saying that they will work with radio stations to ensure such human error does not occur again.

On one of Guam’s many picturesque beaches Tuesday, however, one holidaying American was unconcerned about the threat of conflict.

Image: Guam Daily Life
Aug. 12, 2017, shows a woman posing for a friend beneath a sign reading ‘No drugs or nuclear weapons allowed’ at the entrance to a restaurant in the Tamuning area of Guam. Ed Jones / AFP – Getty Images

Eugene Gutierrez, a 59-year-old expat who has lived in Manila for 10 years told NBC News that he tended not to believe the “rhetoric and words” that have been prominent in news broadcasts recently.

He added that he also trusted the U.S. government to “let us know” if there “things that are threatening to us.”

Back in Seoul, Rader believes each side is aware that the cost of military action will be high meaning it’s unlikely North Korea will push the envelope too far.

“If they preemptively strike … [it’s a] huge disaster for both sides, so I don’t see what they gain from that,” he said.

“I’m personally not afraid of what they might do because they would lose everything.”

And if he’s wrong and the worst does happen?

“We don’t have a plan,” he says. “We’re gonna hop on the moped and get out of the city I guess.”

Trump supporter (Nigger Bitch) goes down in flames after suggesting people who oppose Nazis are as bad as Nazis

http://www.rawstory.com/2017/08/watch-trump-supporter-goes-down-in-flames-after-suggesting-people-who-oppose-nazis-are-as-bad-as-nazis/

 

A former vice chair of outreach for President Donald Trump found herself cornered Tuesday morning after trying to make the case that people who turned out to protest against the white nationalists in Charlottesville were every bit as bad as the neo-Nazis who took part in the march.

Appearing with host Chris Cuomo and CNN regular Symone Sanders, attorney Brunell Donald-Kyei attempted to make the case that President Donald Trump put the whole issue of not addressing racism to bed with his nationally televised speech on Monday.

Along the the way, she reiterated Trumps previous statement that violence came from “many sides.”

“My condolences as a fellow American to those who passed as well as those hurt,” Donald-Kyei began. “What I’ll say is the president has come out expressly against this violence, but also too, Miss Symone, there were people on the left who were pouring urine on journalists — all types of violence.

“I’m waiting for people to come out and condemn that as well,” she challenged. “You can’t just condemn one and not the other. you condemn it across the board.”

As Sanders attempted to reply, host Cuomo jumped into the fray.

“Hold on, ” Cuomo interjected. “Brunell, the two sides, the many sides argument. Help us understand it better from your perspective, because I just want to be clear, do you see those who went there to oppose Nazis as the same as the Nazis?”

“I believe that first of all, you had a situation where you had people marching.The people saying white supremacists were marching and they had a permit and then you have these counter protesters come in, and any time you have a situation where you’ve got groups that are on extreme sides, like I said there should be –,” she offered before Cuomo cut her off.

“See, that’s the point I don’t get,” Cumo pressed. “Are those extreme sides to you? Do you see somebody who opposes white supremacists, who want everybody on this panel to be eradicated from the United States as being equally as extreme as the white supremacists?”

“What I’m saying is that I don’t believe that in black supremacy or white supremacy or Hispanic supremacy,” Donald-Kyei deflected.   “I believe we should address any kind of hatred and extreme across the board. It shouldn’t be something that we are letting one get away with it more than any other.”

People who are ‘fat but fit’ still face higher risk of heart disease, finds study

The concept of being “fit but fat” is a myth, researchers have said.

The comments come after a new study found that even if people have healthy blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels, being overweight or obese still carries a higher risk of coronary heart disease, experts found.

Researchers, led by experts at Imperial College London and the University of Cambridge, examined data from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study of half a million people.

Over more than 12 years of follow up, 7,637 participants across eight European countries suffered coronary heart disease incidents including heart attacks.

The researchers examined participants’ body mass index (BMI) and whether they were metabolically “healthy” or “unhealthy” – people were classed as unhealthy if they had three or more of a number of metabolic markers, including; high blood pressure, high blood sugar, low levels of HDL cholesterol or an “elevated” waist circumference.

After adjusting for a number of factors, the researchers found that compared to the healthy normal weight group, those classed as unhealthy had more than double the risk of coronary heart disease whether they were normal weight, overweight or obese.

And even overweight and obese people who were deemed “healthy” by their metabolic markers carried a higher risk.

When compared to those who are of a healthy weight, being classed as healthy but overweight carries a 26 per cent increased risk of coronary heart disease and being obese carries a 28 per cent increased risk, according to the new study published in European Heart Journal.

Lead author Dr Camille Lassale said: “Our findings suggest that if a patient is overweight or obese, all efforts should be made to help them get back to a healthy weight, regardless of other factors.

“Even if their blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol appear within the normal range, excess weight is still a risk factor.

“Overall, our findings challenge the concept of the ‘healthy obese’. The research shows that those overweight individuals who appear to be otherwise healthy are still at increased risk of heart disease.”

Dr Ioanna Tzoulaki, from Imperial’s School of Public Health, added: “I think there is no longer this concept of healthy obese.

“If anything, our study shows that people with excess weight who might be classed as ‘healthy’ haven’t yet developed an unhealthy metabolic profile. That comes later in the timeline, then they have an event, such as a heart attack.”

Commenting on the study Professor Metin Avkiran, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation which part-funded the research, said: “Coronary heart disease – the cause of heart attacks and angina – is the UK’s single biggest killer. But there are steps you can take to lower your risk.

“The take-home message here is that maintaining a healthy body weight is a key step towards maintaining a healthy heart.”

Coronary heart disease occurs when the coronary arteries become narrowed by a gradual build-up of fatty material.

The main symptoms of coronary heart disease include angina, heart attacks and heart failure.

When People Name Their Kids Hitler (LOL….)

http://www.kveller.com/when-people-name-their-kids-hitler/?_ga=2.167878441.967429541.1502536982-1190320711.1502536982

 

You may remember the parents who named their kids Adolf Hitler.

And no, I’m not talking about Hitler’s parents, I’m talking about parents who live in the U.S. right now. Isidore Heath Campbell and his then-wife Deborah named one of their children Adolf Hitler.

A few years ago, JTA reported that Campbell showed up to court regarding custody over his youngest son, Heinrich Hons, then 2, in full Nazi regalia. Campbell and his then-wife lost custody, largely stemming from an incident involving their local supermarket. The supermarket refused to print the full name of his oldest child, Adolf Hitler Campbell, on a cake for his third birthday.

While the incident wasn’t the sole cause of the children’s removal, it was the necessary clue into the fact that the children’s well-being was threatened–authorities looked into the situation and removed the children from their parents, because “there was violence in the home.”

Just this past May, however, the saga continued. Campbell officially changed his last name to Hitler. As JTA wrote, “his initials are now IHH, which he said stands for ‘I Hail Hitler.’” He also sports a swastika as a neck tattoo (this guy is obviously very serious about being anti-Semitic).

While Campbell is seeking full custody of his children, it seems unlikely he’ll receive it—he has refused to seek counseling, despite a court order.

But Campbell isn’t the only one obsessed with Hitler and naming his kids something controversial. The 2014 documentary, “Meet the Hitlers,” explores families who have Hitler (or Adolf) as a name, willingly or not. In a move similar to Campbell’s, after the events of 9/11, a Turkish couple living in Cologne, Germany, wanted to name their child after Osama Bin Laden,for instance.

While many of the families and people involved didn’t choose their names (their parents chose for them, like Ecuadorian immigrant Hitler Guiterrez, whose dad named him Hitler without realizing the cultural implications of this decision), the film interestingly explores the meaning of names–and issues like tolerance, racism, and anti-Semitism. Campbell was featured in the documentary, too.

And yet, in Lauren Collins’ recent piece for The New Yorker titled, “Notes from a Baby-Names Obsessive,” Collins points out how legals laws around naming are strange–and in some cases, racist and anti-Semitic. She wrote that “in California, amazingly, you can be Adolf Hitler Smith, but not José Smith, because of a ban on diacritics.”

So, what exactly does that mean? Well, diacritic is a noun that is a sign, such as an accent or cedilla. When written above or below a letter, shows a difference in pronunciation from the same letter when unmarked or marked in a different way.

Like a lot of things, baby naming laws are different depending on state (way to be confusing, U.S. government), meaning that the rules vary a lot. For instance, you can’t use Arabic numbers in Texas, but you can use Roman numerals. As Time said:

“In California, baby names cannot contain umlauts or accents. In South Dakota, if a mother is unmarried at the time of conception, her surname goes on the birth certificate (unless a man signs an affidavit saying he’s the father).

Roman numerals are allowed for suffixes in Texas, but not Arabic ones, so a boy could be Rick Perry III but not Rick Perry 3.

In Massachusetts, the total number of characters in first, middle and last names cannot exceed 40. New Hampshire, meanwhile, prohibits all punctuation marks except for apostrophes and dashes.”

Time went on to say that it’s not just the U.S., either, that has antiquated rules:

“These rules aren’t limited to the U.S. Spain bans “extravagant” names while Portugal outlaws those that “raise doubts about the sex of the registrant.” And in New Zealand, a judge in 2008 spared a girl of being called Tulula Does The Hula From Hawaii; in his ruling he cited other names nixed by registration officials, such as Fish and Chips, Keenan Got Lucy and Sex Fruit. A 1995 act states that “unreasonably long” names are “undesirable in the public interest” in New Zealand.”

All of this, of course, raises the question: Should parents get full autonomy when naming their children? And what does happen when someone names their child a seriously offensive name, like after someone who is a murderer, for instance? Free speech is free speech is free speech–until it isn’t. But where is the line and how do we draw it?

Marilyn Manson, obviously, uses a controversial stage name for a reason–which is meant as a subversive act. This is much different from naming a child Adolf Hitler of Osama Bin Laden.

It’s important to emphasize that Campbell’s children were taken away because of the violence inside their home, not because of their names. While it may not seem unlikely abuse would occur in a house where a parent names their kid after Hitler, what if nothing else was found? And while using a name like Hitler may be an obvious example of going too far, and abusing free speech, how does one create naming laws without being racist or anti-Semitic?

Who thought naming a baby would be so hard? To quote Shakespeare, from his masterpiece “Romeo & Juliet,” “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet.”

So, what’s in a name? Well, a whole lot.

Virginia governor urges people to avoid far-right rally

WASHINGTON — Virginia’s governor on Friday urged people to stay away from a planned weekend rally of far right and white supremacist groups in the university town of Charlottesville.

The National Guard has been put on alert because of the risk of violence during Saturday’s “Unite the Right” rally. Counter demonstrators are also expected.

“I want to urge my fellow Virginians who may consider joining either in support or opposition to the planned rally to make alternative plans,” Governor Terry McAuliffe said in a statement.

Thousands of white nationalists, including supporters of the Ku Klux Klan white supremacist group, and anti-fascist activists are expected to turn out in Charlottesville, a sleepy town planning to remove a statue of General Robert E. Lee, who led Confederate forces in the US Civil War.

“The Charlottesville event could be a potentially historic showcase of hate, bringing together more extremists in one place than we have seen in at least a decade,” said Oren Segal, director of the Center on Extremism at the Anti-Defamation League, a group that monitors and combats anti-Semitism.

McAuliffe, a Democrat, said many of the people at the rally will “express viewpoints many people, including me, find abhorrent. As long as that expression is peaceful, that is their right.”

He said he had given security forces instructions to act quickly and decisively if violence breaks out.

Officers clash with counter protesters after the Ku Klux Klan staged a protest on July 8, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Chet Strange/Getty Images/AFP)

Units of the Virginia National Guard will be placed on stand-by, he added.

On July 8 a few dozen Ku Klux Klan marchers gathered in Charlottesville to protest plans to remove the statue of Lee. But they were outnumbered by hundreds of jeering counter protestors.

This time the extreme right hopes to have a stronger showing thanks to the presence of various leaders of the “alt-right” movement that has been emboldened by Donald Trump’s ascent to the White House.

A third of the world’s people already face deadly heat waves. It could be nearly three-quarters by 2100.

Nearly one-third of the global population suffers deadly levels of heat for at least 20 days during the year, new research suggests. And by the end of the century, thanks to climate change, this number could climb above 70 percent.

Certain parts of the world, the researchers note, will be harder hit than others. Tropical regions, where temperatures are already high for much of the year, will see many more days of deadly heat than other parts of the world. Under a business-as-usual climate scenario, they may face these conditions almost year-round by 2100.

The new study, published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change, underscores the growing threat that rising temperatures pose to public health. The research focuses specifically on heat and humidity conditions known to increase the risk of human mortality — generally speaking, that’s when temperatures climb above 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (the average human body temperature), but can also include cooler conditions with higher levels of humidity.

“We found this very unique threshold of temperature and humidity that allows us to identify why all these people die in all these cities around the world,” said lead study author Camilo Mora, a geography expert at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. “It makes a lot of sense from the human physiology side of things. The way in which the body cools down is by sweating — the evaporation of that sweat cools you down. But when it’s humid, that sweat doesn’t evaporate, so the heat that the body generates, instead of going away, it stays in your body.”

A number of deadly heat waves have made international headlines in the past few decades, the researchers point out. The Chicago heat wave of 1995, for instance, is believed to have caused more than 700 deaths in less than a week after temperatures soared above 100 degrees. A 2010 heat wave in Russia during July and August may have killed more than 10,000 people.

The researchers examined more than 900 published papers documenting cases of extreme heat and excess mortality between 1980 and 2014. Altogether, the papers identified 783 individual events in 164 cities around the world. The researchers used these studies to identify the heat and humidity thresholds that lead to increased mortality rates.

A majority of the reported cases occurred in mid-latitude cities, largely in Europe and North America. According to Elisaveta Petkova, a researcher at Columbia University’s Earth Institute who was not involved with the study, most research on climate-related mortalities has tended to focus on Western nations, and the new study highlights a relative shortage of data from other parts of the globe. However, the researchers were able to find at least some information on the climate conditions that led to heat-related deaths for locations throughout much of the world.

By looking at historical climate data, the researchers determined that about 13 percent of all the world’s land area — home to about 30 percent of the total human population — had faced these deadly conditions for 20 or more days during the year 2000. And this number is only expected to grow.

Using model simulations, the researchers investigated what might happen under several potential future climate scenarios. They found that even with substantial efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, nearly 50 percent of the world’s population will experience 20 or more days of deadly heat by the year 2100. Under a business-as-usual scenario, that percentage climbs to nearly 74 percent.

“We’ve run out of good choices for the future,” Mora said. “Right now, when it comes to heat waves, our choices are between bad and terrible.”

It’s difficult to say how many more deaths will occur as a result of the extreme heat; that depends on how human societies deal with the problem. Communities could try to lessen the risks by increasing the use of air conditioning or putting better heat warning systems in place, the researchers note. According to Petkova, successful heat adaptation strategies rely strongly on the public’s awareness of the danger and its access to shelter, cooling devices or other tools they can use to protect themselves.

In fact, Mora said, the literature suggests that the number deaths caused by heat waves may already be decreasing, perhaps because of better adaptation efforts. But adapting to extreme heat doesn’t prevent the heat waves from occurring in the first place, meaning that more vulnerable members of society — the elderly, the frail or those who don’t have access to air conditioning — still face the risk of heat-related death. And changes in the population structure will likely play an important role in future heat-related mortality, Petkova said, as rapidly aging populations in some countries may be particularly susceptible to heat waves.

So while an increase in deadly heat waves may be inevitable, the research underscores the importance of working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and minimize the future impact of climate change as much as possible, Mora said. And he added that even less vulnerable communities — those with higher incomes and greater access to air conditioning, for instance — shouldn’t get too comfortable. Even in those places, severe heat waves can pose serious risks for the world and its inhabitants.

For one thing, an increase in the use of air conditioning could place a heavy strain on the electrical grid, Mora said. And extreme heat may force people to spend more and more of their time indoors.

“We will become prisoners in our homes,” Mora said.

Alabama Replaces Work Requirements on Food Stamps… Stats Show Massive Amount of People Leaving Program

Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Hand him an EBT card with an endless food stamp program, and he’ll never work again.

That may not be the most memorable proverb, but it explains what many conservatives have suspected for decades.

Now, the state of Alabama has confirmed it: People become dependent on government handouts when there’s no incentive to keep a job.

According to Alabama Media Group, 13 counties in the southern state recently reinstated work requirements for their government food programs, and the results were staggering. Food stamp usage dropped by 85 percent.

Before this year, those counties waived the work requirements as a response to high unemployment. Now that the economy is improving, the requirements were put back in place — and the number of adults receiving taxpayer-funded food stamps fell from 5,538 to only 831.

“Based on the trend, the number of (able-bodied adults without dependents) recipients for SNAP benefits is expected to continue to decline statewide and in the formerly 13 exempted counties,” stated John Hardy, a representative from the Alabama Department of Human Resources.

“Able bodied” is the key term. Contrary to liberal fear mongering, the work requirement only applies to adults between the ages of 18 and 50 who do not have dependents, and are physically able to seek employment.

In other words, a disabled mother is still able to receive benefits, but a single person who is fully capable of working but chooses not to due to laziness will now have some explaining to do.

Employment or participation in an approved career training program both fulfill the new state requirements.

Food stamp users throughout the United States cost taxpayers around $71 billion annually.

Enrollment in government assistance programs skyrocketed under Barack Obama’s eight years in office, but President Donald Trump has pledged to reduce the number of able bodied workers who are defrauding the system.

Here are the top cities where U-Haul says people are packing up and moving

Houston, Texas

Howard Kingsnorth | Getty Images
Houston, Texas

It’s moving season, and new data shows which U.S. cities are top destinations for people looking to start anew.

Residents flocked to Houston and Chicago, according to moving company U-Haul, which took the top two spots on its 2016 ranking. The 50 cities ranked by U-Haul spanned every region across the U.S., including warmer climes in the South, the coastal pillars Manhattan and Los Angeles, and tourist hotspots like Las Vegas and Orlando.

Houston “is growing by leaps and bounds,” the report said, citing the city’s booming jobs market and active construction that’s reshaping its skyline. The Texas city is also a beneficiary of the shale boom, which is thriving as the U.S. churns out oil and gas at historical levels.

U-Haul’s migration report is based on the number of truck rentals bound for each city, noting that it doesn’t effectively track do-it-yourself moves. Each top-ranked city’s noted similar draws: business growth, affordable housing, and lively social and cultural scenes.

Major factors for a big move might include a better job, retirement, more family or a new home, the report said. Below are the top 10 cities, including their rank from 2015.=

Top cities included Charlotte, NC at number 10, which moved up 4 spots from its prior ranking; and Kansas City, Philadelphia and Brooklyn, NY — all of which remained stable at the number 9, 8 and 7 positions, respectively.

Getty Images

Often viewed as an American “underdog,” the City of Brotherly Love is on the upswing, with more businesses creating jobs and new residents attracted to the cultural and food offerings. Further north, Brooklyn — quickly becoming one of the most expensive places in the U.S. to live — offers a “homier” environment than Manhattan, and all the offerings most residents need.

Separately, Orlando, FL dipped a notch, from number 4 to 3. The city boasts a diverse population and variety of public and private capital investments that are driving job growth.

Below is the complete ranking of each city:

U-Haul Top 50 U.S. Destination Cities for 2016

(2015 ranking in parentheses)

  1. HOUSTON, TX (1)
  2. CHICAGO, IL (2)
  3. SAN ANTONIO, TX (5)
  4. ORLANDO, FL (3)
  5. AUSTIN, TX (4)
  6. LAS VEGAS, NV (6)
  7. BROOKLYN, NY (7)
  8. PHILADELPHIA, PA (8)
  9. KANSAS CITY, MO (9)
  10. CHARLOTTE, NC (14)
  11. COLUMBUS, OH (15)
  12. PHOENIX, AZ (10)
  13. SAN DIEGO, CA (13)
  14. JACKSONVILLE, FL (12)
  15. TAMPA, FL (16)
  16. SACRAMENTO, CA (11)
  17. DALLAS, TX (17)
  18. TUCSON, AZ (20)
  19. INDIANAPOLIS, IN (18)
  20. ATLANTA, GA (23)
  21. ST. LOUIS, MO (21)
  22. LOS ANGELES, CA (22)
  23. BRONX, NY (19)
  24. FORT WORTH, TX (24)
  25. MIAMI, FL (25)
  26. PORTLAND, OR (29)
  27. SAN FRANCISCO, CA (30)
  28. COLORADO SPRINGS, CO (31)
  29. NASHVILLE, TN (33)
  30. WASHINGTON, D.C. (26)
  31. DENVER, CO (40)
  32. BALTIMORE, MD (27)
  33. CINCINNATI, OH (32)
  34. PLANO, TX (34)
  35. RICHMOND, VA (42)
  36. KNOXVILLE, TN (35)
  37. OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (44)
  38. RALEIGH, NC (38)
  39. SAN JOSE, CA (43)
  40. MANHATTAN, NY (37)
  41. RENO, NV (36)
  42. LOUISVILLE, KY (39)
  43. MADISON, WI (45)
  44. SEATTLE, WA (41)
  45. TACOMA, WA (47)
  46. COLUMBIA, SC (28)
  47. ALEXANDRIA, VA (NR)
  48. MEMPHIS, TN (NR)
  49. BAKERSFIELD, CA (50)
  50. DURHAM, NC (NR)

‘People are in meltdown mode’: Inside the Republican donor class panic about Trump

WASHINGTON — Pangs of fear and frustration are rippling through the Republican donor and operative classes as Donald Trump’s self-inflicted wounds threaten to fully derail the GOP legislative agenda and tarnish the party’s brand headed into the midterms.

At a Miami donor retreat and at a high-powered Washington dinner, on Capitol Hill and at political firms across the country, Republican donors and operatives this week watched the barrage of bad headlines about Trump with a mixture of awe, angst and anger, worrying about the political implications for their Republican majorities — and about the legal implications for the president.

“If you’re not concerned, you’re not paying attention,” said Austin Barbour, a Mississippi-based GOP strategist and veteran fundraiser, who is primarily worried that the Republican agenda on Capitol Hill is being hamstrung amid a constant series of controversies involving the White House.

“President Trump was elected because people believed in what he was saying, that he was going to turn the country around, bring more and better jobs to the country, fix the issues with immigration. … They’ve got to deliver on that, they’ve got to be able to work with Congress to get things done.”

Interviews with Republicans in and close to the donor community revealed growing worries that Congress has been knocked off track by the problems engulfing Trump — and that it will be enormously challenging to get back on track as the contours of 2018 congressional races begin to take shape.

“If you look at the coalition that ultimately got Trump over the top, he had his base — he probably still has his base — but he had to convince mainstream establishment Republicans, many in the high finance world of politics, to come along with him,” said former Rep. David Jolly, a Florida Republican who is considering another run but is waiting, in part, to see what the environment looks like for the GOP.

“After Jeb (Bush) got out, others got out, you saw the establishment finance Republicans, many of them holding their nose, recognize that they want a Republican in the White House. That’s the group that may be eroding right now,” Jolly said.

The Republican president is grappling with reports that he shared classified information with Russian officials, and that he encouraged then-FBI Director James Comey to end a probe into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. That report, which first surfaced in The New York Times and which the White House denies, comes a week after Trump fired Comey, who was leading an investigation into possible ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Asked which of those developments tripping up Trump was most troubling, one major GOP donor and fundraiser replied, “It’s hard to choose.”

The source, who described the GOP donor community as “shell-shocked” and more inclined to focus on the House and Senate right now, ultimately pointed to the reports of pressuring Comey. If true, it “meets a broad definition of obstruction of justice,” the donor said, adding that it’s likely that Democrats would “go forward, at some point,” with impeachment proceedings.

“That’s certainly going to bog down any legislative agenda,” the Republican added.

At a gathering of the Republican Governors Association at a Trump resort in the Miami area this week, donors were also anxious, consumed by the feeling that “it’s going to be impossible to get anything done,” said one Republican operative in attendance.

“They’re flipping out like everybody else, of course they are,” said the operative, going on to add, “People are in meltdown mode.”

An RGA member who attended the gathering wouldn’t go that far, but did acknowledge some feelings of “frustration.”

“They’d like to see things move forward faster,” the RGA member said. “There is a frustration … that none of the undersecretaries have been appointed. I think we’ve got to start moving on policy, but at the end of it, people are still cautiously optimistic and hopeful things will still be moving ahead.”

The White House did not respond to a request for comment, though Trump received back-up from House Speaker Paul Ryan, who said Wednesday morning that he does still have confidence in the president.

At a dinner at the luxe Willard hotel in downtown Washington this week, however, there was a recognition among attendees that it has been difficult to move forward amid swirling Trump-related controversies. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who spoke at the event hosted by the International Republican Institute, said that the current dynamics are at “a point where it’s of Watergate size and scale … the shoes continue to drop, and every couple days there’s a new aspect.”

For many Republicans — for now — that continual shoe-dropping, and its ability to knock D.C. off course, is the more immediate problem. Republicans control all of Washington, ratcheting up the pressure to have a record to run on in 2018.

“At this time, as we speak today, I’m more concerned with, this is getting their legislative agenda off track,” Barbour said. “And listen, they’ve got a year to get stuff done before the elections in 2018, and I know members of Congress and President Trump, these guys want to get this stuff done. But they’re just so off message. They’ve got to find a way to get back to focusing on what people care about, what people elected him to do. If not, they’re in real trouble.”

Meanwhile, lawmakers and donors are also growing increasingly concerned with the substance of the developments besieging Trump. Some Republicans have called for a special prosecutor or independent commission as it relates to Russian involvement in the 2016 election. And Republicans have joined Democrats in stressing the need for Comey to testify.

Taken together, some Republicans have privately begun to doubt whether Trump will serve a full term (Trump has already filed for re-election in 2020).

“I’m finding it hard to find people who say, ‘No, this isn’t that bad,'” said one Republican operative with close ties to the donor and lobbying worlds. “It’s gradients of bad, (from) ‘we were wrong before, he’ll survive,’ to ‘this is the beginning of the end.’ I’m not finding anyone who says this isn’t a problem. Is this the beginning of a problem that knocks him out? … What’s the over-under on him making it four years? That’s the conversation.”

One Republican bundler who has worked closely with the Republican National Committee in the past was incensed, saying that Trump had actually done the very things that conservatives had fretted Hillary Clinton might hypothetically do — intentionally or not — when it came to sharing classified information with adversaries.

“These are not minor and insignificant issues,” the source said. “We pilloried the Democratic nominee for creating the conditions where that possibly could happen. He did it! He admits to it! I don’t know how you overcome that, when that was the cornerstone of folks not voting for her. So here we are, and I guess shame on us.”