|Cache||UPDATE 10/7: I think farmers have had enough, maybe, I hope anyway...|
1. “I went to Madison feeling financially scared and emotionally depressed but hopeful,” said Paul Adams, who runs a 500-cow organic dairy near Eleva, WI."I came home feeling financially scared, emotionally depressed, unwanted, and unneeded.”Danielle Erdvick summed it up this way in the story:
But I sense a fire growing in the belly of the family farmers I meet in my work with Farmers Union. Farmers are weary. But there’s a growing flicker that’s starting to feed a change in the narrative. No more will they be spoon-fed a top-down vision for rural America. Instead, I see a drive for a farmscape where fair prices, local food systems, clean water, and land conservation are at the heart of farm policy. How can we achieve it? It’ll take actually enforcing America’s antitrust laws and holding corporations accountable when they try to monopolize an industry. It’ll mean addressing market manipulation. It’ll mean not raising our hackles, as farmers and ag groups, every time someone wants to talk about clean water or livestock siting. It’ll mean continuing to adopt regenerative practices and thinking outside the box so we’re protecting our natural resources for our children and grandchildren.__________________________________________________________________________________________________
Farmers will never stop voting for Republicans. Sadly, GOP promises of "small government" simply mean they don't really have to do anything for their constituents, and deregulation is anything that basically leaves them alone.
Tariff War is not Their Fight: It seems farmers are okay sacrificing their livelihoods for big corporate interests seeking intellectual rights and protections.
And then the last shoe dropped; Ag Sec. Sonny Perdue told us what big corporate Republican politicians were really thinking about family farmers:
Perdue told reporters that he doesn’t know if the family dairy farm can survive as the industry moves toward a factory farm model ... “In America, the big get bigger and the small go out. I don’t think in America we, for any small business, we have a guaranteed income or guaranteed profitability.”A few farmers suddenly realized what was really going on...
Jerry Volenec, a fifth-generation Wisconsin dairy farmer with 330 cows, left the Perdue event feeling discouraged about his future. “What I heard today from the secretary of agriculture is there’s no place for me. Can I get some support from my state and federal government?"Democrats, Governor Tony Evers backs Family Farms, despite never getting their vote, but after Sonny Perdue's comment, even our laid back Gov. had to say something:
"Are they struggling? Absolutely. But I think at the end of the day we need to get behind them rather than saying, ah maybe you should go larger. I, frankly, resent that the Department of Agriculture secretary from the federal government came in and kind of lambasted them."
But don't take Evers word for it, here's a comment made at the Minnesota Farmfest about CAFO's. Note: Why were visa's for dairy labor ever determined to be seasonal and not year around?:
Trump Piled on First: Remember this...
Wisconsin dairy farmers are still feeling the sting of Trump's visit to Milwaukee in July, where the president downplayed the suffocation felt by farmers here because of Trump's own tariffs.Farmer Response...:Trump: "Some of the farmers are doing well. ... We're over the hump. We're doing really well."
"If he's saying farmers are over the hump, he would be badly mistaken," said Darin Von Ruden, a third generation dairy farmer. "In order to get over the hump we need to stop losing dairy farms."From PBS's Market to Market: Trump's says farmers are happy...
Farmers are slamming Trump's $28 billion farm bailout — more than double Obama's 2009 payment to automakers — as a 'Band-Aid'.Perdue editorial doesn't repair Damage: Nope, his word salad backtrack to obscure how he really feels, is a little late. In fact, Perdue reminds farmers how this whole problem was really Trump creation:
Purdue: "President Donald Trump has made it his mission to support American agriculture and negotiate better trade deals so our productive farmers can sell their bounty around the globe."And don't forget how Scott Walker pushed oversupply in the dairy industry.
Here's what one farmer, "a great patriot," really thinks about Trump:
In Gays Mills, WI, over production and large dairy farms are locking many out of getting into farming. From WPT's Portraits from Rural Wisconsin:
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In response to the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) recently released final estimated budget deficit for FY 2019, which shows the deficit reaching $984 billion, Jason Pye, FreedomWorks Vice President of Legislative Affairs, commented:
“Democrats and Republicans must be held responsible for the outrageous deficit reported today by the CBO. Fiscal sanity has all but escaped Washington, as evidenced by this year’s cap-busting budget deal. This unsustainable situation is only going to get worse.
“In spite of record revenues, the deficit has grown to a nearly insurmountable figure under Congress’ watch — or more accurately, its lack thereof. If the federal government is to one day get its fiscal house in order, Congress needs to take a hard look at cutting spending, which means considering real reforms to mandatory spending programs, the primary drivers of the deficit.”
Congress took its first step Wednesday toward allowing state-sanctioned marijuana businesses to access banking products without fear of a federal government crackdown.
That step included support from Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, an Eastern Washington Republican who has spoken against the state’s legalization of recreational marijuana and received criticism from cannabis reformers hoping to fully legalize the drug.
“I heard from a lot of banks and credit unions about the increased amount of cash that is on our streets, and the danger that it poses for our community,” McMorris Rodgers said in an interview following her vote.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Oregon, prohibits federal regulators from penalizing or limiting financial services offered by lending institutions working with marijuana businesses that followed state laws. The bill passed 321-103with 91 Republicans voting in favor, many of them saying they supported the bill’s narrow scope that is intended to keep such businesses from relying solely on cash. That can make them targets for crime, bill supporters argued.
Many banks and credit unions have avoided working with cannabis businesses, as the drug remains illegal under federal law. Locally, Numerica Credit Union offers a limited set of financial services to growers, processors and retailers.
The U.S. Treasury Department keeps track of banks and credit unions nationwide reporting activity with marijuana businesses as part of its suspicious activity reports program. The department reported in June that there were 715 lending institutions nationwide that were conducting business with marijuana firms.
Advocates pushing for further reform of federal marijuana laws, including the potential declassification of the drug as a controlled substance, heralded Wednesday’s vote. It is the first time Congressional lawmakers have approved any legislation dealing only with marijuana, as more and more states legalize its sale to both medical patients and as a recreational drug.
“For the first time ever, a supermajority of the House voted affirmatively to recognize that the legalization and regulation of marijuana is a superior public policy to prohibition and criminalization,” Justin Strekal, political director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said in a statement.
The bill doesn’t change marijuana’s classification as illegal under federal law. It also doesn’t address the Justice Department’s apparent attempts to keep bankruptcy cases from people declaring marijuana income out of the courts.
McMorris Rodgers said her support for the legislation was due to its narrow scope. But the congresswoman noted that she’s also co-sponsored another marijuana bill introduced by Oregon Democratic Rep. Ed Blumenauer which would enable the sale of marijuana seeds and plant starts to researchers licensed by the federal government for medical study.
“I continue to have concerns about legalization of recreational marijuana, in particular,” McMorris Rodgers said. “I’m concerned about the safety around it, especially for our kids.”
The House’s approval of the bill sends the legislation to the Republican-controlled Senate, where another Western GOP lawmaker has already convened an informational hearing about a companion bill.
Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo, chairman of the Senate’s Banking Committee, held a hearing in late July on similar bipartisan legislation, but no votes were taken. At the time, Crapo said he was interested in learning more about the legislation, but also concerned about a 2013 Justice Department initiative under President Barack Obama that targeted firearm sellers, payday lenders and other businesses believed to be at risk of committing financial crimes.
“Having a conversation about whether banks should be able to provide banking services to entities engaged in federally illegal behavior brings up the issue and concern that there has been a push to choke off legal industries from the banking sector,” Crapo said at the July hearing.
Strekal and representatives of other marijuana reform organizations urged the Senate to take up the legislation in statements Wednesday. President Donald Trump has not given clear indication whether he would sign marijuana banking legislation if it were to pass both chambers of Congress, but he expressed some support for another bipartisan bill introduced in Congress that, among other changes, would give state-sanctioned marijuana businesses access to banking.
Crapo told reporters for the publication Congressional Quarterly on Wednesday that he wanted to consider a banking bill, which could be separate from the House bill, in the Senate soon.
The National Academies of Sciences just held a meeting to “explore” global pollution of the skies, (project SCoPEx) to halt global warmingCache
|The National Academies of Sciences just held a meeting to “explore” global pollution of the skies, (project SCoPEx) to halt global warming
(Natural News) The federal government is using your tax dollars to develop new ways of blocking natural sunlight from reaching the earth, the stated goal of such madness being to stop “global warming.”
Known as “SCoPEx,” the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), with funding from tech billionaire Bill Gates, is pressing ...|
|Cache||The Oct. 3 front-page article “Government exposure to risky housing debt swells,” which claimed that “the federal government has dramatically expanded its exposure to risky mortgages,” was incorre...|
The "wheels of justice turn slowly," as the old maxim goes. Less well known is how long the federal government can take to fulfill a public records request. Almost three years ago, in December 2016, Seven Days asked the federal Air National Guard for emails from Vermont Air National Guard officials about Lt. Col. John Rahill, a fighter jet pilot who crashed a small plane on a Lake Champlain island that September. Neither he nor his lone passenger was seriously hurt, and Rahill later said in an email to the Federal Aviation Administration that he'd been practicing emergency landings at the time of the wreck. He was later ordered to retake his civilian pilot's exam to keep his license. By November of that year, the National Transportation Safety Board had released its preliminary report on the crash. And by January 2017, the FAA gave Seven Days various emails and other documents as part of a different public records request. But it wasn't until July 23 — of this year — that the National Guard Bureau's Office of Information and Privacy turned over 12 emails printed on six pages. "This concludes our office's processing of your request," Jennifer Nikolaisen, chief of the office, wrote in a letter accompanying the emails. She did not explain why it took so long to comply with the request. In one email dated September 20, 2016 — one day after the crash — a lieutenant colonel in the 158th Fighter Wing of the state Air National Guard wrote a summary of what had happened. The government redacted the sender's name. "They are lucky to be alive," the person wrote of Rahill and his passenger. "...Another great wake-up call about how close we all are to being 6' under!" Among the emails is one from this reporter and another from someone who warned an unidentified recipient on the day of the incident that the crash "has picked up some media interest." Three years later, we're still interested. |
The original print version of this article was headlined "Not Exactly Air Mail"…
|Cache||WashingtonExec Senior Writer Amanda Ziadeh sits down with Alan Thomas, commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service at the General Services Administration, to talk about the latest acquisition trends and the federal government at large. |
|Cache||CA-San Dimas, Through its wholly owned subsidiaries, American States Utility Services, Inc. contracts with the federal government to provide water and wastewater services that include operating, maintaining, renewing, replacing, and constructing new systems on military installations throughout the United States. The installations where we presently operate are home to nearly 350,000 military and civilian person|
OTTAWA—Six party leaders squared off in a sometimes frenzied, sometimes humorous, sometimes confusing debate in Gatineau, Que. Monday night.
While there was plenty of substantial (and relatively honest) disagreements on policy and politics over the course of the two-hour debate, the Star catalogued a few questionable claims from all six party leaders taking part in Monday’s debate.
Here they are, in the order the leaders’ fielded questions Monday night.
Justin Trudeau, Liberal leader
The claim: Trudeau said the Liberals have brought Canada “three quarters” of the way to its emissions reduction target under the Paris Agreement, which is 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.
The facts: The latest national tally of emissions is from 2017. It says Canada emitted 716 million tonnes of greenhouse gas that year — just two per cent lower than in 2005. Moreover, the federal government projects that measures in the Liberal climate plan — including the carbon price, methane regulations and more — will reduce emissions to about 592 million tonnes by 2030. That’s only about 20 per cent below 2005 levels, or two thirds of the way to the target. The Liberals claim, however, that future technological improvement and impacts of incoming public transit expansions and more will ensure Canada closes the gap and exceeds the 2030 target.
Jagmeet Singh, NDP leader
The claim: Singh accused Trudeau’s Liberals of giving away $14 billion to big corporations so they could buy jets and limousines.
The facts: Last November, the Liberals announced in their fall economic update that they would spend $14 billion on a slew of tax measures for Canadian businesses. These measures allowed companies that invest in “clean energy” to immediately write off spending on new equipment and machinery, while other businesses could now write off capital spending more quickly. These changes were explicitly designed, the Liberals said, to boost manufacturing and clean energy production. The NDP has attacked the measures as irresponsible corporate giveaways ever since, claiming it would help big businesses buy more jets and limos.
Andrew Scheer, Conservative leader
The claim: “We’re going to pay for those (tax cuts and credits) by cutting corporate welfare and reducing Canada foreign aid budget by 25 per cent.”
The facts: Scheer has proposed cutting foreign aid and reviewing “corporate welfare” to find $3 billion in savings per year. But Conservatives have already announced spending that exceeds those savings, according to independent costing of their promises by the Parliamentary Budget Office.
Verdict: Misleading. The two cuts Scheer mentions, if fully implemented, would go some of the way to paying for their spending — but wouldn’t cover the whole bill.
Elizabeth May, Green leader
The claim: May defended her party’s “fully costed” election platform, and said it was approved as responsible by former Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page.
The facts: Initially, Page and his team at the University of Ottawa’s Institute for Fiscal Studies and Democracy gave the Greens a failing grade in all three categories of assessment: transparency, “realistic economic and fiscal assumption,” and “responsible fiscal management.” Days later, after receiving more information about their assumptions from the party, Page revised his assessment to give the party a passing grade. However, the institute still found the party failed on fiscal responsibility, because of the uncertainty surrounding the dramatic changes the party is proposing in the short term.
Verdict: Misleading without context.
Yves-François Blanchet, Bloc Québécois leader
The claim: Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet accused the Conservatives of speaking against Quebec’s secularism law, Bill 21, in English Canada but saying they would “protect” the law in Quebec.
The facts: For his part, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has consistently said — in English and French — that a Conservative government would not intervene in court challenges against the law. Scheer’s Quebec lieutenant, Alain Reyes, told reporters Sunday that electing a Conservative government would “impede Justin Trudeau from contesting Bill 21.”
Verdict: Misleading. The Conservatives’ position has been relatively clear on Bill 21 — they would not intervene.
Maxime Bernier, People’s Party of Canada leader
The claim: “Canada receives more immigrants per capita than any other Western country.”
The facts: According to 2015 figures from the World Economic Forum, Canada does have a higher percentage of immigrants compared to other Western countries — but not the most. Australia (28.2 per cent) had a higher percentage than Canada (21 per cent). But in terms of absolute numbers, Canada ranks below a number of countries in the number of immigrants.
Alex Boutilier is an Ottawa-based reporter covering national politics. Follow him on Twitter: @alexboutilier
Alex Ballingall is an Ottawa-based reporter covering national politics. Follow him on Twitter: @aballinga
OTTAWA— A two-hour election debate Monday saw federal party leaders clash over ethics, climate change and the economy but saw no one immediately emerge as the clear winner, although they slung one-liners, insults and criticisms across the stage as Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s rivals sought to stake a claim to his job as prime minister.
The English debate got off to a hot and bitter start between front-runners Trudeau and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer after a question from the audience about how each leader would represent Canada’s values and interests on the international stage.
Scheer immediately attacked Trudeau as a “phoney and a fraud” as he challenged the Liberal leader’s handling of the SNC-Lavalin affair, energy projects, and his economic record. “Justin Trudeau pretends to stand up for Canada,” Scheer said. “He cannot even remember how many times he put blackface on.”
“He’s always wearing a mask,” Scheer continued, pointing to Trudeau’s claims to be an advocate of Indigenous reconciliation, feminism and the middle class.
“You’re a phoney and you’re a fraud and you do not deserve an opportunity to govern this country,” he charged.
The leaders of the progressive parties fought to stake out turf on environmental and everyday concerns of Canadians, while the conservative leaders fought over immigration, pipelines and deficits.
In a second direct challenge between the two main contenders, Scheer turned to attack Trudeau over his failure to present a platform that had been completely costed by the parliamentary budget officer, and over the SNC-Lavalin scandal. Trudeau countered that his platform was costed, and that the Conservatives haven’t presented their entire policy book. On SNC-Lavalin, he said Scheer did not realize the job of a prime minister is to fight for Canadians jobs.
New Democratic Party Leader Jagmeet Singh jumped in: “What we have here is Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Scheer arguing for who’s worse for Canada,” he said.
The debate marked the first time all six leaders shared a stage. It devolved into a confusing free-for-all at times, but also had moments of collegiality.
Scheer and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May praised Singh for handling incidents of racism in the campaign with grace and class. Singh was accosted by a man in Montreal last week who told him to cut off his turban so he would “look like a Canadian.”
Trudeau agreed Singh had handled racism with “eloquence ... but I’m the only one on the stage that said yes, the federal government may have to intervene” in a court challenge of a Quebec law that prohibits some public servants from wearing visible symbols of their religious faiths.
“Every single day of my life is challenging people who think that you can’t do things because of the way you look,” Singh shot back. “Every single day of my life I channel people who feel that as well.”
Singh said the fact he’s in the race is a challenge to Quebecers to see past his religious garb. “I am running to be prime minister of this country,” he said. “I am going to Quebec and telling people that I want to be your prime minister.”
But later, Singh told reporters that, as prime minister, he might intervene if the case went to the Supreme Court.
There were moments of levity too. In fending off criticisms on the right and left, Trudeau twice called the NDP leader “Mr. Scheer,” prompting laughter. “I’m very, very different from Mr. Scheer,” Singh replied.
When a moderator later also called him “Mr. Scheer,” Singh cracked that “a lot of people are getting me mixed up,” to laughter from the audience. “I wore a bright orange turban on purpose today.”
Singh was the easily the most personable and relaxed leader onstage, and his supporters claimed he’d “won” the night.
People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier was challenged on his social media posts, which described diversity as a cult and called environmental leader Greta Thunberg “mentally unstable.”
“We don’t want our country to be like other countries in Europe where they have a huge difficulty to integrate their immigrants,” Bernier said, prompting Trudeau to claim that Bernier says publicly what Scheer thinks privately.
Singh called Bernier out, saying, “You could have just said, ‘Hey man, I messed up’ because those are pretty horrible tweets.”
Scheer said that Bernier, a former Conservative cabinet minister, was someone who used to believe in an immigration policy that was “fair, orderly and compassionate.
“Now you are making your policy based on trying to get likes and retweets from the darkest parts of Twitter,” Scheer said.
Trudeau was the target in the English debate more than he had been in last week’s French debate. He was taken to task by Bernier, Scheer and Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet for fighting with provinces.
Scheer portrayed Trudeau’s carbon-pricing plan as a tax that would raise the price of cost of living, which Trudeau disputed.
He said he’d reversed the pattern of the previous Conservative government under Stephen Harper, whom he accused of refusing to work with the provinces.
But he acknowledged “fighting the defining issue of our time” with some provinces because Alberta Premier “Jason Kenney and (Ontario Premier) Doug Ford, and other Conservative premiers don’t want to do anything on climate change and we need a government in Ottawa that is going to fight them and fight for Canadians.”
May said the Liberal goal for cutting emissions is a “target for losing the fight against climate change,” and she repeatedly challenged Scheer for having no climate action targets.
Singh got off one of the best lines of the night as Trudeau and Scheer bickered over climate change: “Ladies and gentlemen, you do not have to choose between Mr. Delay and Mr. Deny.”
At times, the format choked discussions among the two leading contenders as a cacophony of voices drowned out the debate.
With polls showing a close race between the Liberals and Conservatives, Scheer and Trudeau took direct aim at each other when they could, with Trudeau grilling Scheer in the last half-hour over his position on abortion. Trudeau had tried to stay above the fray, adopting a measured and at times oddly low-key stance, but late in the evening exhibited more fire.
He took Scheer to task over backing Conservative candidates who have pledged to take away a woman’s right to choose. Scheer said while he was personally against abortion, the “laws of access” to abortion services have not changed in Canada in 30 years under Liberal or Conservative governments, and would not change under a government led by him.
Singh jumped in, saying, “A man has no position in a discussion on a woman’s right to choose, let me clear on that.”
Singh and Blanchet targeted May for failing to rule out working with Scheer’s Conservatives.
On Indigenous issues, Scheer was challenged for resisting the United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Rights and its requirement that development projects have the free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous people. May told Scheer the Canadian constitution requires it, and it doesn’t mean you say “we’ll consult you until you agree with us.”
The debate, organized by a group of media organizations that included the Toronto Star, CBC and CTV, is the first of two this week. A French debate is scheduled for Thursday night.
Tonda MacCharles is an Ottawa-based reporter covering federal politics. Follow her on Twitter: @tondamacc
Bruce Campion-Smith is an Ottawa-based reporter covering national politics. Follow him on Twitter: @yowflier
|Cache||Correct me if I'm wrong, unlikely, but the ruling simply said the FCC couldn't interfere with state's regulating where the federal government was not. All it takes to take away this "win" for net neutrality advocates would be to pass a federal law. And it seems to be the only "win" they got out of it, so I wouldn't say it was a wholly incorrect tweet, as alleged. And just because he says "the big court case" doesn't mean hes saying it's the end all be all. This thing has been litigated for years. He was clearly referring to the current big court case. Its ridiculous you take a man's opinion, he clearly saw it as a win overall, and just tear it down because... Trump. |
I believe that human emissions of greenhouse gases are a major cause of climate change.
So, as one Republican, I propose this response: The United States should launch a New Manhattan Project for Clean Energy, a five-year project with Ten Grand Challenges that will use American research and technology to put our country and the world firmly on a path toward cleaner, cheaper energy.
Meeting these Grand Challenges would create breakthroughs in advanced nuclear reactors, natural gas, carbon capture, better batteries, greener buildings, electric vehicles, cheaper solar, fusion and advanced computing. To help achieve these Ten Grand Challenges, the federal government should double its funding for energy research and keep the United States number one in the world in advanced computing. (Read the rest of Lamar's essay)
Rod's Comment: I agree with Senator Alexander that climate change is real. I know, I know; some of you think I am nuts. Anytime I say this, it is met with derision by fellow conservatives. I am told I have drank the Kool Aid. Unfortunately, many Republicans have bought the argument that is all a hoax. I find the science and observations compelling. Not that I do not respect the doubters. The "hide the decline" exposé of a few years ago was enough to spread doubt. The repeatedly missed deadline for the end of the earth made one think the climate change warriors were just Chicken Littles. Still, on balance I think the evidence supports the theory.
I am not so sure the climate change warriors really believe climate change is real. If they did, I think they would embrace nuclear energy, natural gas, technology and a growing economy and capitalism. Unfortunately, most climate change warriors seem more motivated by hatred of modernity, science and capitalism than motivated by a desire to curtail climate change. Maybe it is unfair to say they don't believe that climate change is real; one can agree on the problem and disagree on the means to solve it.
We are not going to end climate change by turning the clock back to the middle ages. We are not going to solve climate change by embracing renewable energy. That may be a minor part of the solution but not a very significant part. Like Senator Lamar says, we need to embrace the future and create large amounts of clean, inexpensive energy. We need to encourage economic development because most of the increase in greenhouse gases is in developing countries.
Lamar says the “Green New Deal,” is basically an assault on cars, cows and combustion. It is a plan that could never work. Capitalism and American innovation are the answer; not deprivation and socialism.
For the time, Google has shared the eight notices or National Security Letters (NSLs) it received from the FBI. These eight letters, dated from 2010 to 2015, were posted online on Tuesday with the minor redactions, after the federal government lifted the restrictions normally associated with the NSLs. All these eight letters cite authority under […]
The post Google Revealed 8 Secret National Security Letters From The FBI appeared first on .
|Cache||The Social Security Administration may be the latest front in the Trump administration's crackdown on illegal immigration. The agency is reviving the controversial practice of sending "no match" letters to businesses across the country, notifying them when an employee's Social Security number doesn't match up with official records. That may sound innocuous. But these no-match letters are expected to set off alarm bells. That's what happened when they arrived in the mail back in the mid-2000s. "It was a scare tactic," said Julie Pace, an employment lawyer at the Cavanagh Law Firm in Phoenix. Back then, as now, the federal government was trying to crack down on unauthorized workers. Pace understands the need to keep accurate records. But she thinks these letters were also intended to threaten employers who might have undocumented workers on the payroll. "They were like the very old school formal government letter that scared you," she said. There are a lot of reasons someone's Social|
GAVIN PEARCE MP, MEMBER FOR BRADDON: Well g'day everyone and welcome to the northwest. Welcome to Burnie. And I trust we're all here to report on a great agricultural show, the 100th show here in the northwest coast in Burnie. I'm joined here by of course the Prime Minister, We thank the Prime Minister for taking the time out to visit Tasmania once again. Our Premier Will Hodgman, the State Agricultural Minister and indeed our Federal Agriculture Minister in Bridget McKenzie. We're also joined by Senator Richard Colbeck. Ladies and gentlemen of the press, please if today we could promote this as best we can. I think it's important for our region and for our people that have worked so hard. I'll hand over to the PM.
PRIME MINISTER: Thanks Gav, well it's great to be here for the hundredth Burnie show and as I just said as the show was opened, this is a wonderful testimony to the ongoing vibrancy of agricultural and regional and rural communities all around the country. We know that around our country at the moment there are just so many rural and regional communities that are hurting and you don't need just to be in drought to be hurting. And there are communities that have been affected by floods up there in North Queensland in large sprawling grazing districts. And you know these are the challenges that exist in the modern day competitiveness of the agricultural sector. But here in Tasmania we have a sector that is doing famously well supported by great trade agreements. That is ensuring that the produce of Tasmania is finding its way into markets like never before around the world and prices to support it. And as we walk around this Show here today and we talk to people in the community I've always been encouraged particularly here in north western, northern Tasmania by the optimism, by the vibrancy, by the confidence and that's the product of you know we're seeing the unemployment rate here fall from 9 per cent to 6.2 per cent. We're seeing jobs created. We're seeing jobs created in the agricultural sector. There are the great projects that are being pursued together with the State Government and Will Hodgman and the team whether it's battery of the nation, or the many other projects we're doing which are going to have a big impact here in north west Tasmania and in northern Tasmania.
But today we're celebrating agricultural shows. Agricultural shows are a great opportunity for communities to come together. And to celebrate their achievements and basically show what they can do. And to come together as communities to celebrate those achievements and we're announcing today the commencement of the 20 million dollar program which is going in to support agricultural shows all around the country. I'm going to ask the Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie to talk a bit more about that. But it's just another part of the way we're trying to support agricultural communities. And in those communities that are doing it really tough, they're great opportunities for them to come together and support each other. I've seen that firsthand as I've visited some of those shows in drought affected parts of the country. It is an opportunity for farmers and agricultural communities to support each other and to get alongside each other and to encourage each other. Today, the Drought Minister has announced a further 13, just over $13 million in support for on farm water infrastructure that is in addition to what we announced last Friday which is the hundred million dollars particularly around financial assistance both to households and into rural communities whether through St Vinnies or the Salvos and other programs that are putting money directly into communities but also putting money into the pockets of farming households with much more relaxed and more flexible arrangements so they can get that assistance.
The drought is the first call on the budget. It's our first priority in addressing those immediate fiscal needs but longer term it's also about investing in the necessary water infrastructure. It's not just dams, it's pipes, it's irrigation systems. It's ensuring that we're putting the plumbing in place. We can't make it rain but we can ensure that we're building for the future and we're providing the financial assistance to support those communities to be able to make their way through these very drought-affected times. So with that Bridg, come and tell us more about our investment in the Shows.
SENATOR THE HON BRIDGET MCKENZIE, MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE: Thanks PM, look it's fantastic to be on the North-West Coast of one of those turnaround states where agriculture is just going gangbusters. And it's here in Tasmania. Very, very proud to be part of a government that is seeking to bridge the gap between urban Australians and those of us who live out in the regions and work in the regions and work in agriculture. And agricultural shows are a key part of our task to do that. So we have small shows, we have large shows. This program will mean that you can apply for up to half a million dollars, to not just upgrade your grandstands and build critical infrastructure but to purchase those sort of the movable infrastructure that might make your show much more attractive to get not just the locals along but the people down the road, the people from Hobart, and the people from Melbourne to get out into the region and to see the great horse events, the fantastic cattle and sheep that we've got but also so many of our agricultural shows are the place where you can grow the largest pumpkin, if you're really good- If you've got a great vegie patch your local show is where you can get due recognition, if you make the best jelly slice in town, well it's your local agricultural show where you'll be able to put that on show and get the due recognition.
So by backing our agricultural shows across the country, we're backing vibrant sustainable regions and regional communities who are proud of who they are, proud of where they come from, and very proud of what they do. We will stand with our regional communities particularly in this tough time of drought. And their agricultural show is often one event in the season where they can get off farm, meet with the community, have a look at what everyone else is doing, celebrate what they do and enjoy each other's company and get together. So I'm very proud to be part of a government that's backing agricultural shows right across the country.
ROB WILSON, CHAIR AGRICULTURAL SHOWS AUSTRALIA: Good afternoon everyone, I'm Rob Wilson I chair Agricultural Shows of Australia which is the peak body for that all the 580 shows that operate every year in Australia. And we were talking about, the Minister and the Prime Minister talking about communities, and that's true. They are the lifeblood of communities everywhere. We use around 30,000 volunteers that run shows every year and we provide actually an economic impact to the community of close to a billion dollars now. And it is the resilience of farmers that has seen the resilience of agricultural shows not only here in Burnie but nearby, Campbelltown has had its 150th year, every year there's a handful of shows that are now reaching their hundred years but also there's new societies popping up around the country as well. And that's a testimony to the communities and the people and the $20 million which will go for not only the infrastructure but as the minister said for other sustainable activities reflecting the community, looking at education, looking at technology, looking at digital platforms that we can use now to keep that resilience going. And we now hope for another hundred and fifty years, ag societies will be viable right around Australia.
THE HON WILL HODGMAN MP, PREMIER OF TASMANIA: I'm delighted to be here today at the Burnie show with so many of my parliamentary colleagues and so many members of this community. The Burnie show 2019 is like so much of what Tasmania is about now. Bigger, better, stronger, more people involved. It's the place to be and we're delighted to see such a great community effort to restore life into a show that like many across our state has had difficult periods. As a state government we've invested more into supporting our regional shows because they are the lifeblood of communities right across the state and we'll continue to do so. And similarly the announcement by the Commonwealth Government today it shows once again that we're working in sync to deliver positive things for our communities while other political parties worry about things that don't matter to Tasmanians we are very much working together to keep our economy strong, to invest in services that Tasmanians need to keep this state powering ahead as it is and with more opportunities than ever before. So I want to thank again the Prime Minister for being back in Tasmania and to just highlight the strong collaboration we have whether it be supporting our agricultural sector which is grown by about 10 per cent in the last year alone and that's largely driven through the policies of not only the Commonwealth government and mine but also through the strength and resilience of a more confident farming community. In fact the most confident in the country. So, wonderful to have so many people with us today in what is the turnaround state in the nation.
PRIME MINISTER: Very true. Now questions on this matter and then we can go to questions on other matters and we'll excuse some of our guests.
JOURNALIST: Quick one for Rob?
PREMIER: You do Rob, and then we'll, we won't run away.
JOURNALIST: Nationally, how tough have times been for some of these regional shows?
WILSON: It varies around the country and some shows that have had some difficulty and perhaps go into, take a year off, but more often than not they're back again they get a strong committee around them. We have a very very strong next gen group right around Australia. Every state now has next gen groups and we have our rural ambassador programs and our younger judges and paraders and we're educating and encouraging young people to come up, and they're now taking roles on committees. We've got very young people now, president of show societies and taking an active role along with our volunteers, the people who do a sterling job in all the shows that have been there for a very long time. So it's now a good mix of the experience but certainly the next gen becoming involved. So sure in some areas it's tough but the show mostly goes on.
PRIME MINISTER: Any other questions on the matter of the announcement today? This is the first time I've done a press conference to the sounds of country music. I might make it a normal practice.
JOURNALIST: On native animals, how, are there better ways to protect native animals in the wake of the attack on the wombat in South Australia?
PRIME MINISTER: Well that is something that is predominantly the domain of the State Government in terms of those types of, Will might want to comment on that. And obviously the Commonwealth has a range of legislation which relates to the native species and so on. And so. We'll continue to support those types of initiatives. But is there anything you want to add to that Will?
PRIME MINISTER: Could we ask some questions of you first Prime Minister? What's your response to charges laid against CommInsure?
PRIME MINISTER: Well as we are moving on to other areas I don't want to sort of detain Rob [inaudible].
That's obviously a very serious issue and it's a product of the process doing its job and where financial institutions do the wrong thing, well that's the reason we have prosecutors, that's the reason why we have regulators and that's the sort of thing they should be doing and they should be pursuing those and that should find its way through the normal process through the courts.
JOURNALIST: Could you define negative globalism for us Prime Minister?
PRIME MINISTER: Well any time frankly that global organisations think that they have a greater mandate over a country than the country themselves. I mean I answer to no higher authority than the people of Australia. I don't answer to international institutions or global organisations, and our interests and our policies will be set in Australia by Australians and by the will of the Australian people. Australia has an exemplary record when it comes to our international participation in constructive programs, everything from peacekeeping, to aid support, to our engagement in multilateral forums. That's all positive. But Australia's interests will determine our involvement and we won't be copping from any global organisation or institution any instructions or directions that are at odds with our national interest and with any presumption that somehow some global agenda is bigger than Australia.
JOURNALIST: Could you give us an example where an unaccountable internationalist bureaucracy has sought to coerce Australia or to impose a mandate?
PRIME MINISTER: Australia's policies, whether it's on border protection or anywhere else have been set by Australians, in our interests. And there's plenty of commentary about what Australia should and shouldn't do on these and other issues. I'm just simply making the point that under my Government, our policies will be accountable to Australians first and only.
JOURNALIST: There must be threats for you to make a point?
PRIME MINISTER: Well I have observed now over many years as a Minister and as a Prime Minister that growing global agendas need to frankly recognise at the end of the day that it's nation states who are sovereign. And it's nation states that will set their rules, their policies, and they'll do that- particularly in democracies like Australia which is subject to the ballot box and the rule of law. So I don't have an issue, I'm engaged in many multilateral institutions but the ones I find most constructive are the ones that represent respect the sovereignty of each individual state and we've taken issues to an election, we've taking policies to an election. Well they're the policies I'll implement I won't be pushed into other policies by global institutions.
JOURNALIST: Could you give us an example though?
PRIME MINISTER: I think I've covered the issue.
JOURNALIST: You've had members of your party talk about moving more federal public service jobs to regional areas. But the numbers in Tasmania have actually been declining. Was this just an empty promise on regional jobs?
PRIME MINISTER: Well what I think is great is the unemployment rate here in Braddon has fallen from 9 per cent to 6.2 per cent. I'm interested in jobs, in north western Tasmania, in northern Tasmania, and right across Tasmania. I want to see jobs, see I disagree with the Labor Party. I don't think the way to create jobs is just to employ more public servants. I think the way to create jobs is to have a successful agricultural sector, a successful forestry sector, a successful mining sector. But the Labor Party seems to want to apologise for all of those industries, not us. We support all of those industries proudly. These are Australian jobs that are being created here in Tasmania by these great private sector efforts. You know, you want to create jobs. You've got to have a vibrant private economy. And that's always been the focus of our attention.
JOURNALIST: [inaudible] accountable internationalist bureaucracies?
PRIME MINISTER: I think we covered that one off.
JOURNALIST: Lachlan's question was about moving public service jobs to Tasmania, not creating them?
PRIME MINISTER: And we'll continue to look at those opportunities, we have a Minister for decentralisation and he's taken on that job since the election. He will bring forward proposals to cabinet where he thinks it's in the best interests of the running of those organisations and where we can spread those benefits we will.
JOURNALIST: [inaudible] Major General Day’s report on the drought public?
PRIME MINISTER: I couldn't hear the start of the question?
JOURNALIST: Will you make a Major General Day's report public?
PRIME MINISTER: We'll be responding formally to that report quite soon. And it has obviously played a key role in informing a lot of the drought response that we've already made. I mean Major General Day reported to Cabinet some time ago as did the drought envoy, as well, prior to the last election and so all of that information, all of that considerable work that was done has been feeding into the constant drought response that we've been making. I mean that's the nature of responding to this drought. There's just not one report and one response and that's it, set and forget. That's not the way you deal with this. And in some areas this drought has been going on for seven years. And so you need a constant, a constant response and that needs to be continually informed. That's why the Treasurer has been out in drought affected areas just this week. That's why I was out there last week. That's why all of my ministers are out there and listening to the issues that are on the ground and responding. $100 million last week, $13.2 million today. We will continue to respond for as long as the drought circumstances demand it.
JOURNALIST: Have you read the drought coordinator's report?
PRIME MINISTER: Of course I have.
JOURNALIST: How come the Treasurer hasn't?
PRIME MINISTER: It's going through Cabinet and he was certainly there when the drought coordinator reported to Cabinet. It's going through a Cabinet process as we speak and he's part of that Cabinet process.
JOURNALIST: At tomorrow's state liberal Council, they're going to put up a motion that the federal government call on China to respect the rule of law, democracy, and civil liberties of Hong Kong. Do you think it's up to the state to try and direct foreign policy?
PRIME MINISTER: Well I think the motion is an expression, I think, of the concern of Australians and Tasmanians in particular about the events that we're seeing unfold in Hong Kong. The Australian Government and I, and the Foreign Minister have similarly expressed our concern about those events. But our response has been one to counsel restraint and respect for the one country, two systems arrangement, and for that to be honoured, and we'll continue to follow that path as a Commonwealth Government. I mean, in the Liberal Party members put up motions, the parliamentary parties are the ones that set policies. That's what's different between us and the Labor Party, in the Labor Party they're bound by these things and in the Liberal party that's not how our party runs, it was never set up that way. But it is an important sentiment to acknowledge, that there are real concerns about this. And I think those concerns are felt right across the country, but how we manage them and how we respond to them, we do carefully and we do constructively.
JOURNALIST: On Alexander Downer, what do you say to US Republicans including supporters of Donald Trump who say that Alexander Downer is part of an international conspiracy?
PRIME MINISTER: Well I think it's laughable. And the Ambassador has communicated that in the United States already, so I'd refer you to his comments and I endorse them.
JOURNALIST: There's another motion in the Liberal conference calling for Tony Abbott to be appointed the ambassador to the Holy See would you support that?
PRIME MINISTER: We'll make those judgements. But I can tell you that Mr Abbott has no interest in serving in that role. So that would mean that the recommendation would be quite moot.
JOURNALIST: The Burnie Show is a far cry from the UN, how do you rank the two?
PRIME MINISTER: Well I'd rather be at the Burnie Show. Every day of the week. And I'd rather be in Australia every day of the week too.
QUESTION: Scott, can I ask an ordinary question, to do with this drought, and I have followed it. There was one farmer, on the news probably last year some time. And he had dug three pits and stored feed in those pits, so for three years he managed to keep himself going. Now is his expertise on that being looked at, asked about to help other farmers because, with a lot of the feed being brought in, yes that's all very well because it's given out when it's eaten, but if it's stored it means every farmer will have that possibility of storage?
PRIME MINISTER: Yeah, now thank you for the question. This was one of the key issues that came up in the national drought summit we held about this time last year. And that's why one of our immediate responses after last year's drought summit was to increase the incentives that we had and through the tax system to encourage the development of those silage capabilities and capacities. You're absolutely right. While you've got to deal in response to the drought to the immediate needs which are basically financial, then the issues going down the track, opportunities to develop on farm water infrastructure, broader water infrastructure and not just dams and pipelines, and other forms of irrigation infrastructure but it's also silage.
QUESTION: Is that farmer being involved?
PRIME MINISTER: I can only assume there's been some input, I couldn't- not knowing specifically the chap.
QUESTION: Well there should be because he's been there and he's doing it.
PRIME MINISTER: This is where we're getting our information from. I get them from farmers.
QUESTION: Just look him up, because he's the only one who's done it.
PRIME MINISTER: Well there are a lot of farmers who invested in silage. It's not true to say there's only been one. There's been many of them and many of them have been taking up that incentive that we put in place a year ago to plan for future, because the one thing that I'm always impressed with by our farming community particularly those impacted by drought Is they’re planning for when it rains. They have not resigned themselves to any other circumstance of it not raining, and they have hope for the future and it's important that we continue to give them that hope. Now many farmers during the course of the drought will make decisions about whether they choose to stay on the land or not. And that's a difficult, and it's a hard decision for them to make. And we have to support them in that decision. That's why last week one of the things we announced was further financial assistance for farmers who were looking to change their skills base and get trained in different areas and to enable them to earn more off-farm income to support them to stay on the land. So we have a very comprehensive and deep and wide drought response. It was born out of the national drought summit about this time last year. That is our drought strategy which we continue to implement. But it is an ever receding finishing post. We never stop. We will keep responding and we will keep listening. Thank you very much for your question.
JOURNALIST: On private health insurance. The private health care lobby is pushing for tax breaks for employers to pay for the private health insurance for workers. Would the government consider that type of plan?
PRIME MINISTER: Well we're very keen to ensure that we arrest, particularly amongst younger people, the take up of private health insurance having fallen in recent times. I wouldn't say those falls are dramatic, but they have receded and that is a concern. That's why in the past our side of politics when we've been in government have been the ones that put in place the incentives for people to hold private health insurance. When Labor was in power they were stripping those away because they couldn't fund their Budget and they just attacked private health insurance. And I didn't think that was a very far sighted view. So we will seek to ensure that the right incentives are in place. We'll be considering all the options that are available as we proceed in to next year's budget and to ensure that we can maintain a great private health insurance system in this country. I think it's one of the great features of our health system that it is a hybrid of both the public and the private systems. We don't rely all on one, like they do in the United States essentially in the private sphere, or all on the public sphere, as we see in the UK and places like that. Australia's health system is quite unique. It is very effective. And it is the envy of the world pretty much in the way it is structured. That doesn't mean it's perfect, it doesn't mean there's not more we have to do as Will and I often discuss, and premiers discuss all the time, at leader-level about what we have to do in health, but we want to make sure that our hybrid private public system remains vibrant and so we will always listen to suggestions but we've got to make those decisions consistent with the budget rules and your priorities. But that's why you have a strong economy by the way. If you don't have a strong economy you don't have a strong budget. If you don't have a strong budget you can't invest in hospitals and schools or in rural agricultural shows. And that's why having a strong economy, driven by vibrant industries like agriculture is so critical to the services that Australians rely on, so it's been great great to see you. I'm going to go enjoy the show. Cheers.
|Cache||WASHINGTON, D.C. - The federal government wrote one of the six amicus curiae briefs filed in support of the state of Georgia in the U.S. Supreme Court on Aug. 30, urging the high court to find that annotations accompanying written versions of state laws are not exempt from copyright protection under the government edicts doctrine because they were written by a private company, not the government (Georgia, et al. v. Public.Resource.Org Inc., No. 18-1150, U.S. Sup.).|
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wants to make community and technical college free and federal college loan programs more generous as he charts a policy course that shifts leftward but not as far as some of his rivals.
The former vice president’s $750 billion higher education plan represents a major expansion of the federal government’s role in educating Americans beyond high school. But Biden’s pitch Tuesday is not as sweeping as proposals from his more progressive 2020 rivals Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, both of whom offer plans exceeding the $1 trillion mark.
The competing approaches reflect Democrats’ efforts to address spiking tuition costs in the United States and the $1.5 trillion-plus in student debt held by about 45 million Americans. The party’s education policy divide is similar to the gap that separates Biden from the two progressive senators on health care, with the former vice president proposing to expand the federal government’s role in the existing health insurance market, while Warren and Sanders propose a single-payer insurance system that would see the federal government essentially replace private insurance altogether.
Jill Biden, the candidate’s wife and a longtime community college professor, explained her husband’s approach.
“My students inspire me,” she said in a conference call with reporters, “and they ask for one thing in return: opportunity.”
The crux of Biden’s higher education plan is a federal-state partnership to cover community college tuition and technical training. Biden calls for the federal government to cover 75 percent of the tuition costs, with states covering the rest. That’s a similar financing concept to the Medicaid insurance program for the poor and the disabled, with states required to cover some costs to qualify for federal money to cover the majority of the program.
Biden proposes that the federal government cover 95 percent of the community college tuition cost at Native Americans’ tribal campuses.
Sanders and Warren propose universal, free access to all undergraduate public colleges and universities.
On student debt, Biden’s more limited approach calls for doubling the Pell Grant program for low-income Americans and cutting in half the income percentage caps on student loan repayments. Borrowers now must pay up to 10 percent of their discretionary income. Biden calls for capping payments at 5 percent of discretionary income, while also delaying payments for anyone making less than $25,000, with the borrower accruing no additional interest.
Biden’s plan would forgive any remaining debt after 20 years of payments and would allow borrowers to get out of their debts as part of personal bankruptcy.
Sanders, conversely, proposes eliminating all student loan debt, while Warren calls for broad debt relief based on income. Warren’s idea would cancel $50,000 in debt for each person with household income under $100,000, with additional proportional relief for those making up to $250,000 annually.
Biden and Warren have another noticeable split on for-profit colleges, which have come under scrutiny because their graduates have a much higher default rate on loans as they struggle to find quality jobs. Biden proposes tighter regulations on those colleges to stop them “from profiteering off of students.” Warren calls for banning such businesses from getting federal money altogether.
All three Democratic hopefuls point to proposed tax increases to pay for their spending. Sanders would tax Wall Street transactions. Warren points to her “wealth tax,” 2 cents on every dollar of a household’s net worth beyond $50 million. Biden calls for eliminating certain breaks in inheritance taxes and capping itemized deductions for the wealthiest Americans.
|Cache||ID Submits 'One-Strike' Medicaid Work Requirement for Feds' Approval BOISE, Idaho — The public comment period is open on Idaho's application to the federal government to add work reporting requirements to its expanded Medicaid program.
State lawmakers passed a bill this year requiring that recipients age 19-59 work at least 20 hours a week to maintain Medicaid eligibility. But the waiver must first be approved by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. ...(Read More)|
|Cache||FLINT, Mich. (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder is asking the federal government to expand Medicaid coverage to people under 21 and pregnant women who have been exposed to Flint's lead-contaminated water. In a statement released Sunday, Snyder says about 15,000 more Flint residents would benefit if the government approves the request. The governor says the state would help by lining up doctors and behavioral health specialists and providing other services. For 18 months, Flint used the Flint River for drinking water. A lack of corrosion control in the water caused lead to leach from old plumbing throughout the city. Meanwhile, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy plans to visit Flint on Tuesday. He's expected to meet residents, speak at Mount Carmel Baptist Church and take questions from the public.|
|Cache||President Buhari proposed aggregate expenditure of N10.33 trillion for the Federal Government in 2020|
The post UPDATED: Buhari presents Nigeria’s 2020 budget appeared first on Premium Times Nigeria. Reported by Premium Times Nigeria 2 hours ago.
Gov. Dave Umahi of Ebonyi has advised the Federal Government to intensify its diversification of the economy, if Nigeria must survive the looming zero oil economy. Umahi gave the advice on Tuesday, while delivering the University of Nigeria, Nsukka’s 59th Founder’s Lecture, entitled ‘Preparing Ebonyi state for tomorrow’s zero oil economy.’ He said that in […]
The post Umahi says diversification of economy anti-dote to zero oil economy appeared first on NEWSVERGE.
Slog PM: Three-Alarm Fire in Ballard; Fancy Anti-Sawant Sign in D3; Ballard P-Patch Wants Some of That Sweet, Sweet Soda Tax MoneyCache
by Chase Burns
A friend of Stranger reporter Eli Sanders spotted this sign while walking through District 3: For more reporting on Council Member Sawant and her opponent, Egan Orion, read Lester Black and Rich Smith here and here.
McConnell bucks Trump: Today, Trump announced he would pull US troops from northern Syria. The announcement, sponsored by Trump's "unmatched wisdom," brought chaos to Washington.
Republicans and Democrats sorta united in their criticism against Trump: McConnell said the move would cause "a precipitous withdrawal of US forces from Syria [that] would only benefit Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime." He continued: "Major new conflict between Turkey and our partners in Syria would seriously risk damaging Turkey's ties to the United States and causing greater isolation for Turkey on the world stage." TRUMP, BABY, WHY ARE YOU DAMAGING ALL YOUR RELATIONSHIPS? (Is it because Putin's got that pee-pee tape?)
Warren is going off about Facebook and Trump: In related news, Washington state is going after Facebook again for failing to disclose details about the local political ads it sells in the state.
The Impossible Burger is the "Lizzo of the plant-based food market": Impossible Burger, meet the Impossible Comparison.
These retired gardeners aren't fucking around: The Ballard P-Patch is so popular that it has a two-year waiting list. Now, the garden is threatened by potential redevelopment and must raise funds to stay on the property: up to $2 million, reports the Seattle Times. They've raised approximately $49,000, which isn't close to $2 million. But the people are not afraid. They think they can get some of that $3 million the soda tax raised to save their P-Patch. (Unlikely.) I especially liked this passage from the Times report:
Three-alarm fire in Ballard: A major fire broke out in the heart of Ballard on the corner of Northwest Market Street and 24th Ave this afternoon, with firefighters coming from around the city to battle the blaze for over three hours. A total of ~150 firefighters fought the fire, getting it under control by about 3:30 p.m. Several businesses—La Isla, Pho Big Bowl, Supercuts, Kitchen N Things, and Octo Designs & Jewelers—were severely impacted by the fire. "All five businesses were expected to be a total loss," a Seattle Fire Department spokesperson originally told the Seattle Times, although now it looks like Pho Big Bowl may be somewhat saved. Crews are expected to stay at the site overnight to make sure the fire doesn't start up again. The Times has more coverage of the fire here.
One of The Stranger's Tech-Savvy/At-Risk Youth lives near the fire and sent us an update: "All the hydrants in use have stirred gunk up in the water main; this is what's coming out of my faucet right now." A pic:
Ew: Sorry, Grant!
Trump must reveal his tax returns: A federal judge has rejected Trump's attempt to prevent Manhattan state prosecutors from reviewing his tax returns. His returns are still protected, however, for now. "His lawyers quickly appealed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan, which agreed to temporarily delay enforcement of the subpoena while it considers arguments in the case," writes the New York Times.
Rainbow crosswalks are hitting the nation: But the federal government is asking cities to get rid of them, suggesting they're unsafe. A letter sent by the Federal Highway Administration reads that the gay-ass crosswalks diminish "the contrast between the white lines and the pavement, potentially decreasing the effectiveness of the crosswalk markings and the safety of pedestrian traffic.” But urbanists are saying this is bullshit. (Mr. Pence, I think you have bigger things to worry about right now??)
Landlords are worried they may have to pay the price now that WeWork is crashing: Two London landlords told the Financial Times they're creating backup plans for when the company goes down in smoke. (Too soon?) "It would not be prudent for us to do anything [new] with them until we see how the new management will operate," said one landlord. Meanwhile, we over here in Stranger World Headquarters are patiently eating popcorn and waiting to see what will happen with the half-empty mega WeWork office being built next door to us.
This gender reveal video is really funny: My gender is also an intangible black balloon. (Black Balloon, by the way, is the name of a movie that stars Toni Collette.)
|Cache||[Daily Trust] The Nigeria Labour Congress has urged the Federal Government to conclude the negotiations for the consequential salary adjustment of the N30, 000 new national minimum wage so that all workers would have a reason to smile at the end of this month.|
|Cache||[Premium Times] The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has urged the Federal Government to take concrete steps towards reversing the ugly trend of kidnappings and banditry in the country.|
The handful of people who pay close attention to politics in Newfoundland and Labrador are probably scratching the barely-healed-over scabs on their head in the latest round of bewilderment.
Tory leader Ches Crosbie announced last week he had named a philosophy professor at Memorial University to head up a task force of people he didn’t name - because he hasn’t figured out who they are - to develop a strategy to combat climate change. Philosophers are widely known for their skills at developing effective public policy, by the way.
Anyway, Crosbie announced his latest policy brainstorm the week of a global protest for action against climate change so Ches’ finally honed political nerves were probably jangling hard enough to make him spit out a hasty announcement.
If that wasn’t obviously funny enough, the punch line to this own-goal of a joke was delivered, appropriately enough, by Crosbie himself.
You see Ches has spent his time as leader of the local blue team viciously fighting *against*a measure that would help fight climate change. Not only that, but Crosbie started out his tirade against the fight against climate change by encouraging the Premier to join with Doug Ford in the philosophical fight against those people Ches has now decided to cuddle up with.
Not once. Not twice. But 13 times.
Doesn’t count all the other times Crosbie slammed the fight against climate change in interviews, speeches, and visits to coffee shops during the recent provincial election campaign.
But you see the disconnect there, right?
Ches wasn’t the only politician who left people scratching heads recently.
The politicians running the Innu Nation made one of the most serious accusations they could against any person. They said that Perry Trimper - a cabinet minister at the time - was a racist. They released an audio tape of Trimper talking to someone about a request by an official of the Innu Nation organization that the government pay for translation services for Innu people dealing with the government.
Trimper hasn’t been very popular among the Sheshatshiu Innu but you’d think that something as serious as being a racist might have prompted a bit of publicity before now. Maybe even a call to the Premier.
But this was a message left for a guy who about driving licences. The government provides translation for other services, like health care, but driving licences was important enough for the Innu Nation to attack Trimper directly with arguably one of the most if not the most serious charge they could make short of something criminal.
But if they were waiting for something big enough and they thought the tape did it, they still didn’t actually say what they were upset about besides the accusation that Trimper was a racist. Once Trimper resigned from cabinet, they stopped short of looking for his resignation. So being a racist was a disqualification from cabinet but not the House of Assembly.
And when the Premier walked out of a meeting last Monday with the Innu Grand Chief, he waved a piece of paper that committed government to set up a committee and to move a little faster on some
issues related to the Innu land claim.
Except that aside from the fact it doesn’t appear Innu leaders had a purpose in going after Trimper beyond going after Trimper, they had a chance to get just about anything they wanted.
So they settled for a committee and a promise to do something that wasn’t really defined.
Now a committee is what government does when it wants to make it look like something is going on when it isn’t. Setting up a committee is literally the very least thing government can do short of doing nothing at all.
And a pledge to move a file a little faster on something as complex as land claims is almost laughable. Innu leaders may be rightly frustrated with the delay in negotiating their claim. The federal government accepted the Innu claim for negotiation in 1978. The Innu Nation signed a framework agreement for land claims talks in 1996 and by 2011, there was an agreement-in-principle among the federal and provincial governments and the Innu Nation.
So, that might be frustrating. Yeah.
But they didn’t get a pledge for an immediate resumption of talks, a target date for the next round of meetings or anything of the sorts.
They didn’t even get a commitment to have the government pay Dominick Riche for translating driving tests for Innu people looking for a driving licence.
The Innu leadership called Perry Trimper a racist, every reporter in sight and all their editors substituted assumptions and trite comparisons for facts, Trimper went out the door of cabinet as the new Newfoundland and Labrador synonym for George Wallace, and all the Innu leadership got in exchange was a committee and a weak-assed promise.
And if, as SRBP suggested a couple of weeks ago, the whole thing was really about land claims and the NunatuKavut Community Council, Dwight Ball didn’t promise to do anything of any consequence about the Innu land claim in exchange for destroying Perry Trimper.
You see the disconnect there.
If you don’t, just read this post again until you start to see it.
And whatever you do, stop scratching your head and let it heal because, God knows, the disconnects don’t stop in Newfoundland and Labrador politics and the cut on your head is just gonna get infected.