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Austin’s city manager apologizes for tone deaf ‘training’ to deal with women being elected to city council

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Marc Ott, the city manager of Austin, Texas has apologized for offering an employee communications training that employed a slew of gender-based stereotypes to instruct attendees on how to deal with the newly majority-female city council, the Huffington Post reports.

“I have to acknowledge that this particular training should have received proper vetting. I must take responsibility for that not having occurred,” Ott states to reporters.

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The controversial training – which prompted feminists on Twitter to explode on Wednesday in a seething if wittily worded rage – took place on March 27.

Jonathan Allen, former city manager of Lauderdale Lakes, Florida, was first to take the floor during the two-hour training session, the Austin American Statesman reports.

Facing a crowd of several dozen people, Allen tells Austin civil servants that it would be a “serious error” in “professional development” to communicate with women the same way one would with men. “Men and women don’t process things the same way,” Allen explains.

For example, Allen urges the city’s rank and file to present their new lady bosses with fewer charts and numbers. In Allen’s experience, women legislators tell him, “Mr. Manager, I don’t want to hear about the financial argument, I want to hear about how this impacts the overall community. How it impacts the families, the youth, and the children.”

So, Allen reasons a policy proposal “might make good financial sense, but if I want to get it through, and get the necessary votes, I have to present it a totally different way” based on the gender of the audience.

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For example, Allen says that he could make a great financial case for a $6 million racetrack, but that a woman-dominated council — unlike a male-dominated one — cares less about “cost benefit analysis” and is more interested in the proposed track’s proximity to schools.

The Austin American Statesman further reports that a second speaker — Dr. Miya Burt-Stewart — followed Allen and proceeded to share her own insights into how to brief women on policy when you’re used to briefing men. “Men have egos, women have wish lists,” Burt-Stewart informs the crowd.

Below, a sampling of feminist Twitter’s reaction to the Austin’s controversial employee training:

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And the video that started it all, via the Austin American Statesman.


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‘Rather than leading — he lies’: MSNBC panel says Trump is a ‘danger to the country’ because he can’t be trusted

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MSNBC commentators, former assistant US Attorney Maya Wiley and Rick Wilson, explained that President Donald Trump's most significant barrier is making it past his own lies to save America from the coronavirus.

"There's a case tonight being tested in Walton County, Florida. The heart of Trump country," said Wilson, referring to the panhandle county east of Pensacola. "That's not going to be something you can just walk away from if it turns out to be a real case. We're seeing these things popping up all over. The safe bet was always to say, 'This could be bad. We'll do everything we can to stop it.' But he can't stop himself from self-aggrandizing and lying about things. And it's actually -- setting aside my normal criticism of Trump -- this is a danger to the country that he is not a trustworthy person for the American people. Even people who like him now he BS's them all the time. Now, if he says it's not a problem and people are being hospitalized, it is a problem."

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Trump ‘just wants this problem to go away’: President desperate to get coronavirus ‘off his plate’

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President Donald Trump is desperate for the coronavirus problem to go away, and he doesn't exactly care how it happens.

According to New York Times reporter Annie Karni, sources are telling her that the biggest concern Trump has is more about the markets than the deaths of Americans from the virus.

"First, let's establish, this is a president who tried to change science with a Sharpie when it came to hurricane path prediction," said MSNBC host Brian Williams. "That picture lasts forever."

"Even his allies on Fox and his allies outside the White House were kind of channeling to that proverbial audience of one that this was a great opportunity to look presidential and to tell the facts," said Karni. The Donald Trump we saw out there in the briefing room was very casual, kind of left the facts to the other people that accompanied him out there. But he clearly publicly and privately just wants this problem to go away. He wants to downplay it. He thinks -- he has called people who are talking about fears about it alarmist. He doesn't want to be alarmist, and he's kind of holding on to any comment that makes it sound like this will naturally be a problem that is removed from his plate. That's what we saw publicly, and that's what he's been saying privately as well."

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Seth Meyers: You know Trump isn’t the chief law enforcement officer because he couldn’t pass the physical

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"Late Night" host Seth Meyers warned that the United States is sliding into authoritarianism under President Donald Trump.

Sounding the alarm Wednesday evening, Meyers cited reports that Trump was making lists of disloyal people, purging them from their jobs, hiring unqualified cronies in top posts, and claiming he has the right to interfere in criminal cases.

While speaking to the press last week, Trump even announced that he's allowed to be involved in all criminal cases because he's the chief law enforcement officer of the United States. It's actually a title used for the attorney general.

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