Saturday, November 18, 2017

Pentagon Says 3,000 More U.S. Troops In Afghanistan Since August



RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty November 17, 2017 07:51 GMT

Approximately 3,000 additional American troops have now deployed to Afghanistan under President Donald Trump's revised strategy for the war-torn country, the Pentagon said on November 16. The Pentagon had previously put the number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan at about 11,000 but Trump in August authorized an increase requested by General John Nicholson, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan and head of NATO's Resolute Support Mission. "We've just completed a force flow into Afghanistan," Joint Staff Director Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie told Pentagon reporters. Nicholson has said he needs nearly 16,000 troops overall in Afghanistan, and NATO nations have pledged to help make up the difference. "The new number for Afghanistan is now approximately 14,000. Might be a little above that, might be a little below that as we flex according to the mission," McKenzie said.

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Greg Gianforte misled police after assault of Guardian journalist, report reveals



Julia Carrie Wong Friday 17 November 2017 18.07 EST

US congressman Greg Gianforte misled police after his assault of Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs in May, falsely stating that Jacobs had initiated physical contact and that the “liberal media … is trying to make a story”, according to the police incident report. The records, made public on Friday, provide new details on the violent altercation that occurred on the eve of a special election to fill Montana’s sole seat in the US House of Representatives. Jacobs had approached the then candidate at his Bozeman campaign headquarters to ask a question about the Republican healthcare bill when Gianforte threw him to the ground and punched him. The Republican was nevertheless elected the next day. Gianforte subsequently pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge and was sentenced to community service, anger management classes and a $385 fine in June. Shortly after the assault, Gianforte’s campaign spokesman, Shane Scanlon, placed the blame for the violent incident on Jacobs, releasing a statement that said the reporter “grabbed Greg’s wrist, and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground”.

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'Say Goodbye to Local Media,' as Trump FCC Opens Corporate Merger Floodgates



Published on Thursday, November 16, 2017 byCommon Dreams

In "an awful new low" that elicited warnings about "a new wave of media consolidation," the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday rolled back media ownership regulations under the guise of trying "to modernize its broadcast ownership rules & to help promote ownership diversity." "Any pretense that this vote will help journalism or increase ownership diversity is cynical and offensive," said Free Press president and CEO Craig Aaron, warning that the move will "lead to more mergers, more layoffs, and more communities that have no news outlets in place to cover important stories and hold officials accountable." In response to Thursday's move by the FCC, Aaron's group vowed to fight the decision and initiated a campaign to file suit.

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Two boys killed, mother seriously injured when sheriff's vehicle careens onto...




Dropping to a knee, Luis Hernandez lit a small white candle and placed it beside a bed of flowers near the intersection where his little brothers’ lives ended the night before. “I got the call and I didn’t believe it,” he said, wiping away tears Friday morning. “I just didn’t believe it.” Hernandez’s younger siblings, 7-year-old Jose Luis and 9-year-old Marcos, were walking home from school with their mother Thursday night when a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department sport-utility vehicle careened onto the sidewalk, slamming into all three. Jose Luis was pronounced dead at the scene, relatives said. Marcos died at a hospital a short time later.

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Trophy Hunting Fees Do Little to Help Threatened Species, Report Says



By JADA F. SMITHJUNE 13, 2016

WASHINGTON — Advocates of trophy hunting, and even the United States government, have long justified the killing of protected wildlife in Africa by saying that taxes and fees from the hunts help pay for larger conservation efforts. But a new report by the Democratic staff of the House Natural Resources Committee challenges those claims, finding little evidence that the money is being used to help threatened species, mostly because of rampant corruption in some countries and poorly managed wildlife programs. It concludes that trophy hunting may be contributing to the extinction of certain animals.

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For Now, Trump to Keep Ban on Importing Elephant Trophies



By EMILY COCHRANENOV. 17, 2017

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Friday reversed the government’s decision to start allowing hunters to import trophies of elephants that were killed in two African countries, pending a further review. His evening Twitter message reversed a decision by his own administration over Zimbabwe that was announced this week and promoted as recently as Friday afternoon by the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders. “Put big game trophy decision on hold until such time as I review all conservation facts,” Mr. Trump tweeted. “Under study for years. Will update soon with Secretary Zinke. Thank you!”

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Friday, November 17, 2017

Al Franken's Female Co-Workers Come Forward With Surprising Information (DETAILS)

Al Franken's Female Co-Workers Come Forward With Surprising Information (DETAILS)


Carissa House-Dunphy - November 17, 2017

What I do know is that Al Franken, along with his Democratic colleagues, have more consistently supported laws that empower women and make their particular political concerns central. It is almost exclusively a Democratic belief that single mothers should be able to receive financial support in order to see their children fed, housed, and receiving medical care, regardless of their ability to earn. It is Democrats who have stood behind one of the largest resources for impoverished women in access to reproductive health, Planned Parenthood. It is Democrats who are fighting for equal access to healthcare of all kinds, and for equal pay for women in the workplace, and for LGBTQ citizens of all genders to have the same rights as everyone else.

Stripping away the sexual assault allegations from Donald Trump’s and Roy Moore’s pasts makes neither of them any better political candidates on women’s rights. Trump’s promises to stand for the LGBTQ community were broken even before he started, but his ban on transgender service members in the military is a policy that will hurt trans women and their families. He called during his presidential campaign for women who have abortions to be punished legally and has consistently chosen cabinet appointees and a U.S. Supreme Court justice who is anti-choice.

Roy Moore’s xenophobic stance against Muslims serving in Congress and his stance that same-sex relationships should be illegal are not just controversial, they are harmful to wide swaths of women across the country. His core beliefs, evident in his platform, make clear that his policy decisions should he be elected to the Senate will harm women everywhere.

  

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Millionaire Senator defends Republican tax cuts for the rich since he was poor ... 50 years ago



By Mark SumnerFriday Nov 17, 2017 · 7:54 AM CST

Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown dared to point out the truth about the Republican tax plan … and Republican Senator Orrin Hatch didn’t appreciate it. Brown: I think it would be nice to, tonight before we go home, to acknowledge that this tax cut is not for the middle class, it’s for the rich. And that whole thing about higher wages? Well it’s a good selling point, but we know companies don’t just give away higher wages just because they have more money. Corporations are sitting on a lot of money, and I don’t see wages going up. Just spare us the bank shot. Spare us the sarcasm. Hatch: I’m going to just say to you that I … come from the poor people. And I’ve been here working my whole stickin’ career for people who don’t have a chance. And I really resent anybody saying that I’m just doing this for the rich. I think you guys overplay that all the time and it gets old. And frankly you ought to quit it. Brown: Mr. Chairman, the public believes … Hatch: Wait a minute, I’m not through. I get kind of sick and tired of it. It’s a nice political play, but it’s not True. Brown: Well, Mr. Chairman, with all due respect, I get kind of sick and tired of the richest people getting richer and richer … (Hatch and other Republicans cut Brown off as Hatch hammers his gavel.) Hatch: Listen, I’ve honored you by allowing you to spout off here ...

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Conservative lawmaker resigns after consensual, 'inappropriate behavior' with a man in his office

Conservative lawmaker resigns after consensual, 'inappropriate behavior' with a man in his office

By Jen Hayden
Thursday Nov 16, 2017 · 11:05 AM CST

Republican Ohio state legislator Wes Goodman describes himself on his Twitter bio as "Christian. American. Conservative. Republican." The self-described “family values” conservative with a history of anti-LGBTQ stances has resigned after admitting he engaged in sex with a man in his Ohio office. From The Columbus Dispatch:

State Rep. Wes Goodman, who consistently touted his faith and conservative values, abruptly resigned late Tuesday after being confronted with evidence of inappropriate conduct with another man inside his Riffe Center office, the second Ohio lawmaker to fall within a month.

House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, R-Clarksville, met Tuesday afternoon with the Cardington Republican soon after the speaker became aware of an incident from weeks ago in the lawmaker’s office that, sources said, involved a male in a consensual situation.

  

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Robert's favorite comment at the linked source follows;


Butch1 Nov 17 · 01:07:58 PM
Now he’ll need to go home and speak with the “little lady” about it. Let’s see how “forgiving” her “Christian values” are.

These “family values” hypocrites deserve every bit of derision that should get. He will NOT be welcomed into the gay community after being in a position of power to consistently fight against the LGBTQ community whenever any legislation would appear. This kind of hypocrite is worse than those straights who hate gays. When you hate yourself to the point that you want to harm others who are OUT and healthy about themselves and you cannot stand that and you have ruined a straight woman’s life by marrying her and hiding behind your marriage only to protect your own self, then you deserve to be outed.

Why would any idiot have inappropriate relations in their office where someone could walk in on them unless the wanted to get caught on some level?


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As a polygamist community crumbles, 'sister wives' are forced from homes



by Stephen Dark in Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Arizona, with photography by Tolga Katas

In an isolated, rural community in a far southern corner of Utah, oversized houses stand testament to a fundamentalist Mormon sect whose followers believe that plural marriage, as they call polygamy, can lead to eternal salvation. Amid a dramatic landscape of copper-red mountains and achingly blue skies, women wear modest, ankle-skimming dresses and keep their hair long so they can anoint and wash their men’s feet with their locks in the afterlife. A dozen “sister wives” might be married to a single man, and they all raise their children by him together. Their life in the hardscrabble region, where unpaved roads predominate, has always been half a century behind the rest of the US.

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House tax plan would mean higher borrowing costs for hospitals, schools, affordable housing



James Rufus Koren

ospitals, university buildings and affordable housing projects could become markedly more expensive to develop if the tax plan approved Thursday by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives becomes law. The plan calls for eliminating a tax break on a type of bond financing used to build those and other projects, prompting worries by hospitals, colleges and housing groups that they could be forced to cut services, raise prices or cancel projects. They’re hoping the Senate tax plan, which does not eliminate the tax break, comes out on top.

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Man accidentally shoots himself and his wife at a church, shortly after a discussion on shootings



By Marwa Eltagouri November 17 at 7:00 AM

About 20 elderly people sat down for an early Thanksgiving meal Thursday at a church in East Tennessee, unaware that the pleasant afternoon would take a grim turn. During their meal, they decided to discuss gun safety in light of recent mass shootings — an idea that came to them after a neighboring county’s sheriff’s department chose to hold similar seminars at its local churches, said Tellico Plains Police Chief Russ Parks.

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By makoeyes987 Thursday Nov 16, 2017 · 5:22 PM CST

I’m writing this to put this out there on the record somewhere so maybe people here and on the left will take note and not fall for the same trap that happened last year in 2016. This isn’t about believing or not believing victims of sexual assault. This isn’t about if Al Franken should have or shouldn’t have done the photo or skit. This is about a coordinated campaign from the right to run interference for Roy Moore by discrediting/smearing as many Dems as possible so to obfuscate very real accusations of sexual assault.

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'Proof of Citizenship' Voting Laws May Surge Under Trump

'Proof of Citizenship' Voting Laws May Surge Under Trump


November 16, 2017 By Rebecca Beitsch

Emboldened both by President Donald Trump’s claim that millions of noncitizens voted in 2016 and by his creation of a panel to investigate the alleged fraud, lawmakers in several states want to require people registering to vote to provide proof of their citizenship – even though federal registration forms don’t require it.

This year at least four states – Kansas, Maryland, Texas and Virginia – considered proof of citizenship measures, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. That means residents must provide documentation such as a passport or birth certificate when registering to vote.

  

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A Tax-Cut Bill to Make Scrooge McDuck Proud



By THE EDITORIAL BOARDNOV. 16, 2017

The Republican tax proposals were bad from the get-go. But they have become steadily worse as they have been turned into bills, which seem so cartoonishly evil they could have been dreamed up by Mr. Burns from “The Simpsons.” Consider the latest changes to the Senate tax-cut bill being championed by the majority leader, Mitch McConnell, and his merry band. It lavishes generous permanent tax breaks on corporations, while modest tax cuts for the middle class would vanish into thin air after 2025. Millionaires would enjoy average tax cuts of $5,580 in 2027, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation, at which point families earning less than $75,000 a year would pay more taxes.

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KIM JONG UN MAY HAVE CAUSED A PARASITIC WORM EPIDEMIC IN NORTH KOREA BY MAKING FARMERS SPREAD HUMAN FAECES ON THEIR CROPS



BY CALLUM PATON ON 11/17/17 AT 6:54 AM

The prevalence of parasitic worms causing health problems in North Korea may be the result of a personal intervention by Kim Jong Un, who urged farmers to spread human excrement on their fields to fertilize crops. The hermit nation’s leader issued an instruction to farmers in 2014 telling them to use human faeces with animal waste and organic compost on their fields. With a lack of livestock to provide animal fertilizer, agriculturists poured the human excrement, also known as “night soil”, on their fields.

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Kushner got emails about WikiLeaks, Russia in 2016, lawmakers say



By KYLE CHENEY 11/16/2017 02:23 PM EST Updated 11/16/2017 05:16 PM EST

Jared Kushner received emails in September 2016 about WikiLeaks and about a “Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite” and forwarded them to another campaign official, according to a letter to his attorney from the bipartisan leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said Kushner failed to turn over the relevant documents when they asked for them last month. “We appreciate your voluntary cooperation with the Committee’s investigation, but the production appears to have been incomplete,” the pair wrote in a letter dated Thursday to Kushner’s attorney, Abbe Lowell.

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Keystone Pipeline Leaks 210,000 Gallons of Oil in South Dakota



By MITCH SMITH and JULIE BOSMANNOV. 16, 2017

About 5,000 barrels of oil, or about 210,000 gallons, gushed out of the Keystone Pipeline on Thursday in South Dakota, blackening a grassy field in the remote northeast part of the state and sending cleanup crews and emergency workers scrambling to the site.

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Ohio execution called off after officials fail to find a vein for lethal injection



Guardian staff and Associated Press Wednesday 15 November 2017 14.19 EST

Ohio called off the execution of a condemned killer with multiple health problems on Wednesday, because members of the state’s execution team were unable to find a vein to insert an IV that would administer the lethal drugs. It was only the third time in US history that an execution has been called off after the process had begun. The execution team first worked on both of Alva Campbell’s arms for about 30 minutes on Wednesday while he was on a gurney in the state’s death chamber and then tried to find a vein in his right leg below the knee. Members of the execution team used a device with a red flashing light that appeared to be a way of locating veins while also periodically comforting Campbell, patting him on the arm and shoulder.

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Tax Bill Thrown Into Uncertainty as First G.O.P. Senator Comes Out Against It



By ALAN RAPPEPORT and THOMAS KAPLANNOV. 15, 2017

WASHINGTON — Uncertainty gripped the Senate on Wednesday over efforts to pass a sweeping $1.5 trillion tax cut after a Wisconsin Republican became the first senator in his party to declare that he could not vote for the tax bill as written, and other senators expressed serious misgivings over the cost and effect on the middle class. The House is set on Thursday to pass its own version of the tax bill, which would cut taxes by more than $1.4 trillion over 10 years and broadly rewrite the business tax code. But as with the health care debate earlier this year, the Senate emerged as the inconstant ally in President Trump’s pursuit of a major legislative accomplishment in his first year.

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