Thursday, June 22, 2017

How Abnormal Was Comey’s Firing? Experts Weigh In


In case you missed it

President Trump’s firing of the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, was both highly unusual for a president and highly consequential, according to a panel of governance experts surveyed by The Upshot. To help put Mr. Comey’s dismissal into context, we asked the panel to rate its normality and its importance, as we did about events during President Trump’s first month and first 100 days. The consensus is that the dismissal was the most significant action so far in this presidency, and among the most abnormal. The closest event to this one in aggregate was Mr. Comey’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to influence the presidential election.

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On this day in 1944, FDR signs G.I. Bill.


And as always the Republicans work to eliminate, reduce, or destry, the benefits of government designed forthe working man.

Jon Ossoff’s Loss Should Be a Lesson to Corporate Democrats


woke up to news this morning that Jon Ossoff’s failure to flip Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District will “come as a crushing emotional blow to Democrats.” Well, not this Democrat. And not just because, as I wrote back in April, “an Ossoff victory would represent a repudiation of Trump, but not our broken politics.” Joan Walsh The 30-year-old political novice announced his campaign with the invitation to “make Trump furious”—an aim impossible to resist, if not exactly difficult to achieve, since “furious” and “smug” seem to be the Trumpster’s only working gears. And though Ossoff’s decision to run an issue-lite, centrist campaign aimed at wooing moderate Republicans and disaffected women might have been a questionable tactic, the army of fired-up Georgia women who answered his call—and who told my colleague Joan Walsh that they intend to stay involved in politics—should remind progressives that local knowledge matters. What works just fine in Manhattan might not fly in Montana, or in Cobb County, Georgia. Even in local terms though, there were problems with Ossoff, whose failure to actually live in the district he wanted to represent made it easier for the Republicans to attack him as an “outsider.” Still, he would have been a huge improvement over Karen Handel, a perennial Republican candidate whose main previous claim to fame was her effort, as vice president of the Susan G. Komen cancer charity, to defund Planned Parenthood.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The State Department warns U.S. citizens to stay away from North Korea. Why hundreds go anyway every year


orth Korea, obviously, isn’t a tourist destination for American families. The reclusive totalitarian state has an abysmal human rights record, impoverished residents and an illicit nuclear weapons program — and it has detained numerous visitors over the years. Yet hundreds of American tourists still go there legally each year, despite the risks and strong warnings by the U.S. State Department not to do so.

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A Lesson From My Hospital Bed: For-Profit Health Care Is a Merciless Sham


This piece is part of Fighting for Our Lives: The Movement for Medicare for All, a Truthout original series. I came out of it for the first time in near darkness, couldn't lift my arms, couldn't lift my legs, couldn't rise to a sitting position, and there was a breathing mask over my nose and mouth methodically forcing air down my throat. I quickly learned to inhale with its rhythm. I had no idea where or when I was. Suddenly there was a bright light in my eyes and then faces, faces, barely visible, hands touching and voices murmuring too low to comprehend. Someone fiddled with the IV in my left hand and I floated away again. I had been sick for weeks -- months, actually, if you include the pernicious insomnia -- and had finally grown tired of waiting for the thing to clear itself up. My respiration sounded like a gravel truck in low gear, I had no wind, and I was falling asleep standing up multiple times a day. You know the old joke about passing out at your keyboard and typing "qqqqqqqqqqqqq" with your face? I did that twice. I took myself to the emergency room, waited the requisite number of hours, was checked out in preliminary fashion, and was finally given an IV bag of orange fluid, basically Pedialyte for adults taken intravenously. That is the last thing I remember before waking up in that delirious near-dark last month.

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Why Lockheed May Move F-16 Production To India From Texas


At the Paris Air Show Monday, Lockheed Martin (LMT) agreed to send its Texas-based F-16 production to India in an effort to secure a major fighter deal from New Delhi. A Lockheed spokesman said if India agrees to buy F-16s, and the U.S. government is also onboard, then the company would move the F-16 line to India. Under an agreement with Tata Advanced Systems, Lockheed F-16 Block 70 fighters would be built in India instead of Fort Worth. Tata already builds airframe components for Lockheed's C-130J airlifter and the S-92 helicopter, according to the companies.

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Republicans say they will release draft of health bill amid pressure over secrecy


Senate Republican leaders said they would release draft language of their healthcare bill on Thursday as lawmakers in both parties vented frustration over the way the bill is being assembled – behind closed doors and without a single public hearing scheduled. A vote is expected next week. The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, said he expects to have a “discussion draft” of legislation that would dismantle key provisions of the Affordable Care Act ready by Thursday morning. McConnell said a finalized version of the bill would be released after the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) publishes its analysis, which is expected to occur sometime next week.

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Democrats want more Texas communities to join suit against immigration law


As several Texas communities have signed on to a federal lawsuit challenging the state’s new immigration enforcement law, some are putting pressure on their local leaders to hurry up and join in. Lawmakers from Houston and Laredo have urged their respective city councils to join a lawsuit originally filed May 8 by officials in Maverick County and the City of El Cenizo, and the League of United Latin American Citizens. The lawsuit alleges that law, Senate Bill 4 by state Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, violates several provisions of the U.S. Constitution, including guarantees of free speech and equal protection. Since the initial complaint was filed, El Paso County and the cities of San Antonio, Austin and Dallas have also signed on to the suit, along with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Texas Organizing Project and the Workers Defense Project.

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Texas couple sent to prison during 90’s ‘Satanic panic’ child abuse hysteria exonerated after 25 years


ccording to The Intercept, a Texas couple falsely convicted of sexual crimes against children during the early 90’s “Satanic panic” have finally been exonerated. In 1992, Fran and Dan Keller were both sentenced to 48 years in prison over accusations of sexual abuse crimes related to children they babysat in their home daycare center outside of Austin. The accusations stemmed first from the testimony of one pre-schooler who claimed Dan Keller spanked her, and soon were twisted into many of the trademark accusations in the “Satanic panic” mass hysteria that gripped the nation in the 90’s, much of which occurred under the persuasion of parents, therapists and police officers.

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Karen Handel Wins Georgia Special Election, Fending Off Upstart Democrat


ATLANTA — Karen Handel, a veteran Republican officeholder, overcame a deluge of liberal money to win a special House election in Georgia on Tuesday, bridging the divide in her party between admirers of President Trump and those made uneasy by his turbulent new administration. Ms. Handel, 55, fended off Jon Ossoff, a 30-year-old Democrat and political newcomer who emerged from obscurity to raise $25 million from progressives across the country eager to express their anger at Mr. Trump. That fervor quickly elevated what would otherwise have been a sleepy local race into a high-stakes referendum on Mr. Trump and the most expensive House campaign in history.

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Trump Condo Prices Are Dropping Faster Than His Approval Ratings


Donald Trump’s business fortunes have ebbed and flowed over the decades, as he’s tried to break into gambling, airlines, television, steaks, and golf courses. But the core of his empire has always been selling real estate, and it suddenly appears that business could be struggling. Trump’s 2017 personal financial disclosure, released on Friday, shows a decline in condo and land sales from his previous two filings. Moreover, in the past six weeks his company has slashed the listing prices for several of his high-end New York City condos.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Investigators Reveal How Ex-DNC Staffer Likely Died And It Has Nothing To Do With Hillary Clinton


The legend is that Seth Rich, who was a Democratic staffer, was murdered by Clinton and the DNC because he allegedly leaked the infamous DNC emails to Wikileaks. Sure, it makes absolutely zero sense that they would try to silence someone who allegedly already said all he wanted to say, but that didn’t get past the far-right and the far-left. The murder was covered up, according to conspiracy theorists, to make it look like a botched robbery where nothing was taken. Now, it looks like Rich was murdered by a serial killer. According to Newsweek

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Trump officials to deport top Irish community leader in Boston as crackdown continues


A leading Irish figure in the Boston community has been arrested and held for deportation in a move that has shocked the Irish community in the city and prompted renewed fears that President Donald Trump’s administration is determined to deport as many undocumented as possible. John Cunningham, 38, the former chairman of the Boston Northeast GAA, was arrested at his home in the city last Friday by immigration officials. Cunningham, a native of Glencolmcille, Co. Donegal, has been living in the U.S. since 1999 and has not been back in Ireland in 16 years. He was prominently featured in an RTÉ program called “The Undocumented” in March when he discussed living as an undocumented resident.

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From Her Los Feliz Basement, Stephanie Miller Is Rallying Millions Against Trump


At precisely five minutes before the crack of ass, or stupid o'clock, as it's known in these parts — which is to say a sylvan street of houses perched regally near the entrance to Griffith Park — a Lululemon-clad whirlwind with a spinner-sinewed frame clatters downstairs two steps at a time. Uggs bumping carpet, she makes her way toward the hothouse warmth of a brightly lit, dorm room–sized basement space, a cup of coffee cantilevered in one hand against a page freshly printed with Donald Trump atrocities in the other, two polar bear–white Great Pyrenees lumbering behind her like a furry snow front.

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JUST IN: ‘Fox News’ Makes Horrific North Korea Preemptive Strike Announcement (DETAILS)


You would think that upon hearing that threat Trump and people with similar mindsets would stop egging North Korea on, but evidently that is not the case. Fox News host Eric Bolling suggested that it might be time for a “preemptive strike” against North Korea. Upon saying stating that, Bolling received some pushback from the co-hosts. He went on to ask his fellow panelists on The Specialists if they would be “willing to risk Los Angeles” if there was to be a nuclear missile strike from North Korea. Bolling stated:

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Convicted scammer creates federal PACs from prison


Angelo Pesce is serving a 10-year prison sentence in Illinois for “theft by deception.” While behind bars, he’s barred from voting. But that hasn’t stopped Pesce from apparently creating “Impeach the Assole” — a crudely named federal political action committee formed last week to raise political campaign cash — and another dubbed “Angelo Pesce Defends Pedophiles.” No federal law prevents Pesce from forming a PAC or soliciting money for it. And he doesn’t have to tell unsuspecting donors he’s an inmate at Taylorville Correctional Center, having scammed a woman out of nearly $100,000.

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Bishop Doyle Condemns SB-4


June 16, 2017 Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ: As you know all too well, there has been much controversy and fear in the community generated by the "anti­ sanctuary" law (Senate Bill 4) that will take effect September 1, 2017. As your bishop, I signed a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott on May 17, 2017, along with 200 other Texas religious leaders, condemning the law as "anti-immigrant" and contrary to the biblical principles for which we stand as Christians. The law is contrary to the moral imperative that we love our neighbor, welcome the immigrant, and care for the most vulnerable among us. This law represents an anti-immigrant agenda that is born out of fear and promoted out of a sense of privilege, jeopardizing justice for everyone. SB-4 is the harshest anti-immigrant bill passed by a state legislature in recent years. The law will force state, local, and campus police to serve as immigration enforcement officers and mandate that they hold immigrants in custody for Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE), no matter the equities of the situation. This law takes away the right of local police to set their own public safety priorities and commitments to protect immigrants who are victims or witnesses of crime.

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Caitlyn Jenner on congressional baseball tragedy: 'Liberals can't even shoot straight'


Asked during a discussion at the College Republican National Committee's convention to comment on the violent attack on a GOP baseball practice earlier in the week, Caitlyn Jenner quipped, "Liberals can't even shoot straight." Video of Jenner's remarks, which were delivered at a dinner closed to press on Friday, was posted to Facebook Live by a College Republican group in Virginia.

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JUST IN: Private Prison Money Funnel Dumping Directly To Trump Super-PAC Uncovered


The largest private prison company in the United States is facing a lawsuit that claims they illegally funded Donald Trump’s super-PAC during the 2016 presidential race. According to campaign disclosures, during August and November of 2016 the country’s largest private prison company, GEO Group donated $225,000 via a subsidiary to a Trump super-PAC. The name of the super-PAC is Rebuilding America Now and was endorsed by Mike Pence who said that donations to the group would be “one of the best ways to stop Hillary Clinton and help elect Donald Trump as our next president.” Now it’s known that President Trump reversed Barack Obama’s policy from 2016 that would have done away with private prisons, saying earlier this year that he planned to continue allowing them. The stock prices for the private prison companies blew up immediately. The reason a lawsuit is being brought against GEO Group to find out whether it influenced the Trump administration’s policy reversal by donating such a large sum of money to the former reality star during the 2016 United States presidential election.

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A Trump PAC fakes appeal from Obama to lure blacks to vote Republican in crucial Ga. race


In the eighth chapter of his 1995 memoir, “Dreams From My Father,” Barack Obama describes a barbershop haircut he got in Chicago in the 1980s, just days after he moved to the city for his new job as a community organizer. Obama’s barber, named Smitty, speaks in the passage of the racial and political tension in Chicago before the city elected Harold Washington as its first black mayor in 1983, and the neglect African Americans felt from the Democratic Party at the time. In the paperback version of the book, Obama directly quotes Smitty’s words. In the audio version, Obama reads them aloud. Now, a pro-Trump super PAC is using that passage from the first black president’s book to lure black voters away from Democrats with a misleading attack ad targeting Georgia’s 6th Congressional District’s special election.

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