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          The 'Greatest Generation' vs Pelosi's 'Delusional Generation'      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

When Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941, America's leaders took responsibility for defending the country's borders and destroying its enemies once they realized - quickly- the existential threat posed by the Axis Powers.  This fearless leadership and commitment  to protecting the American people came to define, in part,  those preserving during that period as  “The Greatest Generation.”  

In just 44 months, America and its allies planned,  built, and then rushed into battle,  fleets of new airplanes, fighter aircraft, and bombers.  And in just 44 months, fleets of ships were launched.  Nuclear weapons were, for the first time devised, created, tested and successfully deployed. 

But America's leaders today, with few exceptions, would hardly qualify for any title except, perhaps, the most delusional or most corrupt generation.

Nancy Pelosi and her political cohorts provide ample evidence of just how far our nation has fallen.  

On September 11, 2001, nineteen alien terrorists inflicted more casualties on the United States than did the entire Japanese fleet on, the day that as President Roosevelt declared, would “live in infamy.”

Those 19 hijacker-terrorists turned passenger airliners into de facto cruise missiles -  creating horrors and carnage that will be forever etched in the minds and hearts of those who lived through those attacks on our nation.

On July 27, 2018, Nancy Pelosi uttered jaw-dropping description of the terror attacks of 9/11 as the “9/11 incident.

How could anyone of sound mind and possessing a firm grip on reality, describe the worst terror attack ever committed on U.S. soil as a merely “incident?”

Pelosi then went on to chastise the Republicans for failing to support border security claiming that the Democrats were far more committed to securing our borders and following the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.

The harsh reality is that the globalist leaders of both the Democratic and Republican parties have repeatedly and steadfastly refused to secure America’s borders and indeed enforce our immigration laws effectively.  There is ample evidence that the leaders of both parties have refused to adequately address the multitude of failures and vulnerabilities of the immigration system.

The leadership of both parties is determined to ram a massive DACA amnesty down our throats even though the 9/11 Commission identified immigration fraud as the critical method of entry and embedding of terrorists.

I addressed this concern in my article, DACA Solution Must Heed 9/11 Commission Findings.

Now the Trump administration is contemplating shutting down the government, to protect America and Americans by finally getting the funds to construct a border wall.

However, first and foremost, let us not forget, that the “leaders” of the Democratic Party have led demonstrations demanding that ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) be disbanded and that interior enforcement of the immigration laws is terminated.

Let us not forget Pelosi herself has outrageously repeatedly accused ICE agents of terrorizing immigrant communities.

Just months ago, on February 28, 2018, Nancy posted the following press release on her official Congressional website. The title of her press release was, Pelosi Statement on Trump Administration ICE Raids Targeting the San Francisco Bay Area:

Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi issued this statement after the Trump Administration conducted sweeping raids across Northern California that resulted in the arrest of more than 150 men and women, at least half of whom did not have a criminal record:

“The Trump Administration’s raids were a shocking abuse of law enforcement power.  Again, the White House has reached into our communities to detain scores of hard-working, law-abiding immigrants indiscriminately.

“Fully half of those swept up in the ICE raids have no criminal record.  This raid was intended solely to terrorize innocent immigrant families and instill fear in the hearts of our communities – not to keep Americans safe.  Parents will now be torn from their children, and spouses ripped away from their loved ones.

“The Administration continues to brazenly target the cities that refuse to bow to its blatantly bigoted anti-immigrant and mass deportation agenda.  The people of the San Francisco Bay Area will continue to oppose these cowardly attacks, and we will remain open to the patriotic immigrants who are the constant reinvigoration of America.”

Worksite investigations are an element of the interior enforcement of our immigration laws, an aspect, I might add, that the 9/11 Commission directly addressed.

In point of fact, the day before a terrorist carries out a terror attack he/she is likely hiding in plain sight at work.

Consider my recent article: Congressional Hearing: Iranian Sleeper Cells Threaten U.S.

Work-site investigations are primarily conducted to liberate jobs stolen by illegal aliens that American and lawful immigrant workers desperately need so they can support themselves and their families.

Sleeper agents are so named because they maintain a shallow profile and seek to avoid calling attention to themselves.  While they may violate our immigration laws, they are fastidiously careful never to get arrested.  They quietly wait for the day they are called to action.

The official report, 9/11 and  Terrorist Travel referenced interior enforcement of our immigration laws repeatedly,  Consider this example:

Thus, abuse of the immigration system and a lack of interior immigration enforcement were unwittingly working together to support terrorist activity. It would remain mostly unknown since no agency of the United States government analyzed terrorist travel patterns until after 9/11. This lack of attention meant that critical opportunities to disrupt terrorist travel and, therefore, deadly terrorist operations were missed.
The aliens arrested during these field investigations that Pelosi railed against, were not taken into custody to “terrorize immigrant communities” but to seek the removal (deportation) of aliens who violate our nation’s borders and violate our laws.  This is also done to deter other aspiring illegal aliens, from around the world, from coming to the United States illegally or with the intention of violating the terms of their lawful admission into the United States. 

I can also tell you that when I was an INS agent, I located numerous alien fugitives during routine worksite investigations.  These aliens had committed serious crimes, including murder and rape.

In one particularly memorable case, I encountered a citizen of Belize working in a glass factory in Brooklyn, New York.  He had no ID but claimed that he had become a naturalized citizen.

The owner of the factory swore that the guy was the most trustworthy employee he had ever hired.  He told me that he even trusted him to open the factory in the morning and close it at night if he was away from the factory and he frequently had dinner at the owner’s home with his wife and kids.

Long story short, when no records were found to corroborate his claims about being a naturalized citizen, my colleagues and I took him into custody.

It turned out that he lied about his identity and circumstances.  He was indeed from Belize; however, he had never become a naturalized citizen.

He had, however, been previously deported from the U.S. after he completed his prison sentence following his conviction for manslaughter.

He had re-entered the U.S. illegally, had been located, arrested by INS agents and prosecuted for that unlawful reentry.  He subsequently escaped from a federal correctional facility and ultimately found work in that factory where we saw him.  He was a fugitive.

His boss nearly went into cardiac arrest when he learned of these extraordinary circumstances concerning his “most trusted employee!”

Meanwhile, Pelosi defamed courageous federal agents and used inflammatory language in accusing ICE agents of staging “cowardly attacks” on “law-abiding” and “patriotic immigrants.”  

It would appear she was attempting to incite violence against ICE agents.  Should any agent be attacked, perhaps they or their families should consider suing Pelosi personally for inciting hostility by abusing her authority as a leader of the United States House of Representatives.

Law enforcement officers are indeed made accountable, why shouldn’t our elected “representatives” also be made responsible?

Furthermore, contrary to Pelosi’s lies, aliens who violate our immigration laws are, by definition, not law-abiding!

The ICE agents who took the immigration law violators into custody did not do so not out of bigotry or hatred, but because of the oaths, they made when they entered on duty with the federal government to uphold the Constitution and enforce our nation’s laws.

Our immigration laws have nothing to do with race, religion or ethnicity.  

Title 8, United States Code, Section 1182 enumerates the categories of aliens excluded.  Among these classes:  aliens with dangerous communicable, diseases, convicted felons, human rights violators, war criminals, terrorists, spies, and other usual suspects.

The term patriotic has been defined, in part as “having or expressing devotion to and vigorous support for one's country.”

How on earth is an individual who violates the sovereign borders of a country in which he/she is not a citizen demonstrating patriotism?

Perhaps the issue of patriotism should be reviewed in examining the conduct of Ms. Pelosi, whose words and exhortations undermine the dangerous and vital work of America’s immigration law enforcement officers.  We should, therefore, ask if her conduct is a demonstration of patriotism or, more appropriately, of treason.

Motorists who drive erratically are likely to be pulled over by police officers to make sure that they are not operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs and also to make sure that they possess valid driver’s licenses.

Pelosi’s rhetoric and evident detachment from reality cause me to wonder if when she made that statement was suffering the effects of psychedelic drugs or had too much to drink.  

Other possibilities include that she is senile or suffers from an abject inability to discern reality from a fantasy world she has created within the realm that lies between her ears.

Or perhaps,  she knows what she must say to get campaign contributions from her globalist campaign contributors.

Drunk drivers are said to be driving under the influence (DUI).  Perhaps Ms. Pelosi is guilty of GUI (Governing Under the Influence).

I provided testimony to the 9/11 Commission.  As an INS agent, I investigated and arrested many international terrorists.  About three years ago I wrote an extensive article, The 9/11 Commission Report, and Immigration: An Assessment, Fourteen Years after the Attacks.

Pelosi and her colleagues should be required to read it along with, the 9/11 Commission Report and 9/11 and Terrorist Travel.


          US congressman charged over Aust shares      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
US congressman Christopher Collins, the biggest shareholder in listed Australia biotech firm Innate Immunotherapeutics, has been charged with insider trading. Reported by SBS 2 hours ago.
          Pentagon is moving toward establishing Trump’s Space Force      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

WASHINGTON – The Pentagon is moving toward fulfilling President Donald Trump’s request to establish a Space Force, in what would be the first new branch of the military in more than 70 years.

In a speech at the Pentagon Thursday at 11:15 a.m., Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to lay out the administration’s plan. The Pentagon is also expected to release a Congressionally-mandated report on the issue.

But the calls for a separate military branch have been met with strong reluctance in some parts of the Pentagon amid concerns that it doesn’t need the burdens of a new bureaucracy. The move could significantly reorganize the military and potentially strip the Air Force of some of its key responsibilities.

Last year, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in a memo to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, that he opposed “the creation of a new military service and additional organizational layers at a time when we are focused on reducing overhead and integrating joint warfighting functions.”

On Tuesday, however, Mattis said that military leaders “are in complete alignment with the president’s concern about protecting our assets in space to contribute to our security to our economy and we’re going to have to address it as other countries show a capability to attack those assets.”

Congressional approval would be needed to stand up an entirely new military branch. A Space Force, dedicated to space the way the Navy is to the sea, would be the first new military service since the Air Force was created in 1947. But Mattis said that creating a new combatant command for space, such as one that governs the Pentagon’s Special Operations “is certainly one thing that we can establish.”

He added that the plan for how best to implement it was still ongoing: “I don’t have all the final answers yet. We’re still putting it together.”

Defense One, a news outlet focused on the military, recently reported that the combatant command would be led by a four-star general and there would also be an agency focused on buying satellites, citing a draft copy of a report due to Congress soon.

For years, the Pentagon has been warning about how space has become a contested domain of war-just like the land, air and sea. And it has become increasingly concerned that its assets in space are vulnerable to attack.

Military leaders have said repeatedly that modern warfare depends on space. The Pentagon and intelligence community has a host of sensitive satellites that perform all sorts of vital national security tasks, such as missile warning, precision-guided munitions, military communications, intelligence. But how best to protect those assets-and deter other potential adversaries from attacking them-has touched off an intense debate in Washington.

Last year, some members of Congress proposed creating a “Space Corps” inside the Air Force, similar to how the Marine Corps is part of the Navy Department. Senior Pentagon officials opposed the measure, and the plan was shelved.

Trump’s Space Force plan would go even further, creating a new branch, with both a new member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a political appointee serving as a service secretary.

During a speech in June, Trump directed the “to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a Space Force as the sixth branch of the Armed Forces.” And he said that “we are going to have the Air Force, and we are going to have the Space Force-separate but equal.”

Military officials are concerned about the threats posed by China and Russia in particular. In 2007, China destroyed one of its dead weather satellites with a missile. Then a few years later it fired another missile, this time into the deeper orbit where the Pentagon parks its most sensitive satellites.

That made it clear to the Pentagon that space, long seen as a peaceful domain, was a place where wars could be fought and won.

“There’s not a mission today that we do in the military that doesn’t in some way depend upon space,” Air Force Sec. Heather Wilson said an event last month at The Washington Post. “But we built that architecture in space at a time when it was benign. We built the glass houses before the invention of stones. So now, we have to adjust and make sure that we can defend what we do in space and deter anyone from challenging us there.”

But the plan to create an entirely new branch of the service has rankled some in the Pentagon, who say it is unnecessary, and that the Air Force has for years looked after the nation’s interests in orbit.

Earlier this year, Gen John Hyten, the commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, said that rather than going through the difficulty of new organizational constructs, “I believe the leadership we have now can execute the missions that we need to.”

Since then, the White House has continued to press forward for a Space Force, giving the issue momentum and the weight of the executive branch.

“We have the direction from the president, and we’re underway,” Mattis said Tuesday.


          Judicial Watch: Why Did Robert Mueller Collude with Lois Lerner in IRS Scandal?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
"In September 2017, JW President Tom Fitton joined Tea Party Patriots (TPP) to speak about government accountability, upholding the rule of law, and how Judicial Watch--not Congress--exposed the IRS corruption scandal." {{embed|t=aT23a_1533763402}}
          New York Congressman Chris Collins Arrested on Insider-Trading Charges - Wall Street Journal      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
@BruceBartlett, @JohnLothian, @IvanTheK, @HamzeiAnalytics
          EFF to the FCC: Don’t Let AT&T and Verizon Get a Chokehold on Internet Access Competition      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The majority of Americans do not have a choice when it comes to high-speed Internet. People living in rural areas have poor quality and coverage when it comes to even mid-range broadband, and America is lagging behind other countries in fiber optics. There are very few things in place that help address these problems, and big ISPs are asking the FCC to end one of them. But EFF is stepping in to ask the FCC to deny AT&T's and Verizon’s petition to give them a further chokehold on Internet access choice.

On August 6, we filed a comment [pdf] opposing US Telecom’s (AT&T's and Verizon's trade association) petition for forbearance—the request that the FCC use its authority to repeal a key provision of the 1996 Telecommunications Act.

Today, thanks to this provision, a new telecom company doesn’t have to raise the huge amounts of money needed to initially build its own infrastructure. Existing incumbent telecom companies are required to share their infrastructure at established, affordable rates with new competitors. This allows them to buy space on an existing infrastructure at an affordable rate. That lowers the barrier to compete with the big, established telecom companies. And, where the new companies appear, customers finally have a choice. They can pick between, say, AT&T’s policies and those of a smaller ISP like Sonic. 

Not only does that provide much-needed ISP competition, new ISPs make money with mid-level Internet access they get through existing copper lines (the FCC decided in 2005 not to extend these sharing rules to fiber). And then they can use that capital to spend on building high-speed infrastructure and build in rural areas that need more and better coverage.

Small, local ISPs are also vital for rural areas. 39 percent of rural Americans lack access to middle-level Internet service. And where big ISPs leave a gap in the market through a lack of willingness to upgrade, new local ones can step in to fill the gap.

As we pointed out in our comments to the FCC, small ISPs account for nearly half of fiber to the home deployment in the last few years. But if big ISPs can charge huge amounts for access to copper lines or simply cut off new competition altogether, we’ll lose the ISPs working to improve American infrastructure.

The United States lags behind other countries on speed and coverage in a way that is embarrassing. 85 percent of Americans have no or only one choice (the local cable monopoly) when it comes to Internet speeds above 100 Mbps. Barely 10 percent of Americans have access to high-speed Internet through fiber optics. The European Union, meanwhile, is mostly on track [pdf] to meet goals of providing everyone with access to 30 Mbps Internet by 2020, with at least half of the EU being wired for 100 Mbps and higher. Almost everyone in South Korea has access to fiber.

America is stuck at 85 percent of people having access to 25 Mbps. 

With their forbearance petition, big ISPs are seeking to end a requirement that creates competition and spurs better and faster Internet coverage. New ISPs use the guaranteed access to copper lines to get a foothold in a market and to build capital. And then it’s these local ISPs that build high-speed infrastructure and cover rural areas. These are two things not being done by big ISPs, who would have even less incentive to do anything if these local ISPs vanish.

AT&T and Verizon know that we’ll all take bad Internet over no Internet. And that’s why EFF is asking the FCC to prevent big telecom from getting a chokehold on our Internet access.


          Statement By Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz On Indictment Of United States Congressman And Former Erie County Executive Chris Collins      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Date: 
8/8/18

Since the news broke that Congressman Chris Collins was indicted on multiple charges in federal court for securities fraud and insider trading I have thought not just about the specifics of the mat

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          Learn, discover and connect at the 2018 NSC Congress & Expo       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The 2018 National Safety Council Congress & Expo is set to take place Oct. 20-26 in Houston. This year, there’s more to discover than ever before.
          (USA-IL-Scott AFB) Business Process Management Integration Analyst      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
* Videos * Duties Help ## Duties ### Summary **About the Position:**Scott AFB is located near the city of Belleville, IL, in St Clair County, approximately 30 minutes from St Louis, MO. All branches of service are assigned to the base. Transportation includes Metro Bus and Metro Link Light Rail which runs from the St Louis metropolitan area to Scott AFB, and convenient interstate and highways. MidAmerica St. Louis and Lambert-St. Louis International Airports are nearby. St. Clair County is surrounded by several major tourist attractions. Learn more about this agency ### Responsibilities * Plan and conduct complex and comprehensive analytical studies in support of business process improvement initiatives in order to make recommendations for changes and/or improvements in operations, policies and procedures. * Evaluate design concepts and theories, and business related policies and procedures to make recommendations for solving system automation problems. * Solve transportation system automation problems to improve business process and procedures. * Utilize qualitative and quantitative methods to analyze and develop business processes. * Perform array of analysis and/or studies on transportation/distribution management. * Perform analysis on business process to ensure performance improvement. * Develop administrative procedures, programs or instructions that are in compliance with rules/regulations. * Perform measurements of current and new IT automation supporting business process. * Work with system capabilities and/or acquisition documents to assess IT systems for performance. * Report status of analysis and/or business case studies to organization. * Research and/or develop responses to special projects dealing with congressional or other interest issues. ### Travel Required Occasional travel - 10% Annual Business Travel ##### Supervisory status No ##### Promotion Potential 13 * #### Job family (Series) 0301 Miscellaneous Administration And Program * Requirements Help ## Requirements ### Conditions of Employment * Appointment may be subject to a suitability or fitness determination, as determined by a completed background investigation. * Incumbent must be able to obtain and maintain a Secret Security Clearance. ### Qualifications **Who May Apply:**Only applicants who meet one of the employment authority categories below are eligible to apply for this job. You will be asked to identify which category or categories you meet, and to provide documents which prove you meet the category or categories you selected. See Proof of Eligibility for an extensive list of document requirements for all employment authorities. * Current Department of Army Civilian Employees * Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan * Priority Placement Program (PPP), Program S (Military Spouse) registrant * Veterans Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA) of 1998 This position has been re-engineered in order to facilitate recruitment. At the GS-12 level, the incumbent will work under an organization structure that provides for training and oversight until full performance level work is met. In order to qualify, you must meet the experience requirements described below. Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community; student; social). You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience. Your resume must clearly describe your relevant experience; if qualifying based on education, your transcripts will be required as part of your application. Additional information about transcripts is in this document. **GS-12 Specialized Experience:** One year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-11 grade level in the Federal service which includes: 1) Experience solving transportation system automation problems to improve business process and procedures; 2) Experience utilizing qualitative and quantitative methods to analyze and develop business processes. This definition of specialized experience is typical of work performed at the next lower grade/level position in the federal service (GS-11). Time in Grade Requirement for the GS-12 grade level: Applicants who have held a General Schedule (GS) position within the last 52 weeks must have 52 weeks of Federal service at the next lower grade or equivalent (GS-11). **GS-13 Specialized Experience:**One year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-12 grade level in the Federal service which includes: 1) Experience evaluating design concepts and theories, and business related policies and procedures to make recommendations for solving system automation problems; (2) Experience designing statistical analysis and studies relating to business processes improvements. This definition of specialized experience is typical of work performed at the next lower grade/level position in the federal service (GS-12). Time in Grade Requirement for the GS-13 grade level: Applicants who have held a General Schedule (GS) position within the last 52 weeks must have 52 weeks of Federal service at the next lower grade or equivalent (GS-12). You will be evaluated on the basis of your level of competency in the following areas: * Oral Communication * Organizational Performance Analysis * Planning and Evaluating * Technology Awareness Some federal jobs allow you to substitute your education for the required experience in order to qualify. For this job, you must meet the qualification requirement using experience alone--no substitution of education for experience is permitted. ### Education This job does not have an education qualification requirement. ### Additional information * Male applicants born after December 31, 1959, must complete a Pre-Employment Certification Statement for Selective Service Registration. * You will be required to provide proof of U.S. Citizenship. * Two year trial/probationary period may be required. * Direct deposit of pay is required. * Multiple positions may be filled from this announcement. * Selection is subject to restrictions resulting from Department of Defense referral system for displaced employees. * If you have retired from federal service and you are interested in employment as a reemployed annuitant, see the information in the Reemployed Annuitant information sheet. * This is a Career Program (CP) 51 position. * Salary includes applicable locality pay or Local Market Supplement. * When you perform a Civilian Permanent Change of Station (PCS) with the government, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers the majority of your entitlements to be taxable. Visit https://www.gsa.gov/cdnstatic/FTR%20Bulletin%201805%20Relocation%20Allowances0.pdf for more information. * Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP). If you are a Federal employee in the competitive service and your agency has notified you in writing that you are a displaced employee eligible for ICTAP consideration, you may receive selection priority. To receive selection priority for this position, you must: (1) meet ICTAP eligibility criteria; (2) be rated well-qualified for the position with a score of 90 or above; and, (3) submit the appropriate documentation to support your ICTAP eligibility. Additional information about the program is on OPM's Career Transition Resources website * This announcement may be used to fill like vacancies for 180 days after the closing date. Read more ### How You Will Be Evaluated You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above. Once the announcement has closed, a review of your application package (resume, supporting documents, and responses to the questionnaire) will be used to determine whether you meet the qualification requirements listed on this announcement. If you are minimally qualified, your résumé and supporting documentation will be compared against your responses to the assessment questionnaire to determine your level of experience. If, after reviewing your résumé and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and/or experience, you may lose consideration for this position. Please follow all instructions carefully when applying, errors or omissions may affect your eligibility. You should list any relevant performance appraisals and incentive awards in your resume as that information may be taken into consideration during the selection process. If selected, you may be required to provide supporting documentation. Read more ### Background checks and security clearance ##### Security clearance Secret ##### Drug test required No * Required Documents Help ## Required Documents The documents you are required to submit vary based on the authority you are using to apply (i.e., applying as a veteran, applying as a current permanent Federal employee, applying as a reinstatement, etc). Please review the following links to see which documents you need to provide to prove your eligibility to apply: Applicant Merit Checklist and Proof of Eligibility. As described above, your complete application includes your resume, your responses to the online questionnaire, and documents which prove your eligibility to apply.** If you fail to provide these documents, you will be marked as having an incomplete application package and you will not be considered any further. 1. Your resume:** * Your resume may be submitted in any format and must support the specialized experience described in this announcement. * If your resume includes a photograph or other inappropriate material or content, it will not be used to make eligibility and qualification determinations and you may not be considered for this vacancy. * For qualifications determinations your resume must contain hours worked per week and the dates of employment (i.e., HRS per week and month/year to month/year or month/year to present). If your resume does not contain this information, your application may be marked as incomplete and you will not receive consideration for this position. * For additional information see: What to include in your resume. **2. Other supporting documents:** * Cover Letter, optional * Most recent Performance Appraisal, if applicable * **Proof of Eligibility to Apply:**Your application must include the documents which **prove you are eligible to apply** for the vacancy. The Proof of Eligibility document describes authorities commonly used in merit promotion recruitment and what document(s) are required to prove you meet the requirements of the authority. You must meet the requirements of at least one of the authorities listed in the **Who May Apply** section above to receive further consideration. * **Time-in-grade documentation:**If you are applying for a higher grade and your SF-50 has an effective date within the past year, it may not clearly demonstrate you meet the one year time-in-grade requirement so you will need to provide an SF-50 which clearly demonstrates you meet the time-in-grade requirements (examples of appropriate SF-50s include Promotions, Within-grade Grade/Range Increases, and SF-50s with an effective date more than one year old). NOTE: Documents submitted as part of the application package, to include supplemental documents, may be shared beyond the Human Resources Office. Some supplemental documents such as military orders and marriage certificates may contain personal information for someone other than you. You may sanitize these documents to remove another person's personal information before you submit your application. You may be asked to provide an un-sanitized version of the documents if you are selected to confirm your eligibility. * Benefits Help ## Benefits A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits. Review our benefits Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered. * How to Apply Help ## How to Apply To apply for this position, you must complete the online questionnaire and submit the documentation specified in the **Required Documents** section above. The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on 08/17/2018 to receive consideration. * To begin, click **Apply**to access the online application. You will need to be logged into your USAJOBS account to apply. If you do not have a USAJOBS account, you will need to create one before beginning the application (https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/10269442). * Follow the prompts to **select your résumé and/or other supporting documents**to be included with your application package. You will have the opportunity to upload additional documents to include in your application before it is submitted. Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process. * After acknowledging you have reviewed your application package, complete the Include Personal Information section as you deem appropriate and **click to continue with the application process**. * You will be taken to the online application which you must complete in order to apply for the position. Complete the online application, verify the required documentation is included with your application package, and submit the application. **You must re-select your resume and/or other documents from your USAJOBS account or your application will be incomplete.** * It is your responsibility to verify that your application package (resume, supporting documents, and responses to the questionnaire) is complete, accurate, and submitted by the closing date. Uploaded documents may take up to one hour to clear the virus scan. * Additional information on how to complete the online application process and submit your online application may be found on the USA Staffing Applicant Resource Center. To verify the status of your application, log into your USAJOBS account (https://my.usajobs.gov/Account/Login), all of your applications will appear on the Welcome screen. The Application Status will appear along with the date your application was last updated. For information on what each Application Status means, visit: https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/how-to/application/status/. If you are unable to apply online or need to fax a document you do not have in electronic form, view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application. **If you submit an inquiry to the e-mail address listed in the Agency Contact Information below please identify the announcement number of the position in the subject line of the e-mail. This will expedite a response to your inquiry.** Read more ### Agency contact information ### Army Applicant Help Desk ##### Phone (000)000-0000 ##### Email USARMY.APG.CHRA-NE.MBX.APPLICANTHELP@MAIL.MIL ##### Address GI-APF-W0QFAA HQ SURFACE DEPL&DISTR; CMD DO NOT MAIL St. Louis, MO 63103 US Learn more about this agency ### Next steps If you provided an email address, you will receive an email message acknowledging receipt of your application. Your application package will be used to determine your eligibility, qualifications, and quality ranking for this position. If you are determined to be ineligible or not qualified, your application will receive no further consideration. Read more * Fair & Transparent ## Fair & Transparent The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance. ### Equal Employment Opportunity Policy The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor. * Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) for federal employees & job applicants Read more ### Reasonable Accommodation Policy Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis. A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits. Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when: * An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job. * An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace. * An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events. You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis. Learn more about disability employment and reasonable accommodations or how to contact an agency. Read more #### Legal and regulatory guidance * Financial suitability * Social security number request * Privacy Act * Signature and false statements * Selective Service * New employee probationary period This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/507242600. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered. *Open & closing dates:* 08/07/2018 to 08/17/2018 *Service:* Competitive *Pay scale & grade:* GS 12 - 13 *Salary:* $74,075 to $114,510 per year *Appointment type:* Permanent *Work schedule:* Full-Time
          The History Of The Congressional Recess      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
          Indicted Rep. Collins was early loyalist to Trump      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

WASHINGTON (AP) - New York Rep. Chris Collins was one of the first House members to back Donald Trump for president in 2016 and quickly became a ubiquitous surrogate for the future president on cable television. On Wednesday, federal prosecutors announced indictments of the Buffalo-area congressman, his son and a ...

          Roskam calls Casten “shady” in new TV ad      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
* Press release… For more than a year Sean Casten’s campaign for Congress has centered on just two things, his attacks on Peter Roskam and Casten’s personal wealth, which he claims was derived from his success as a small business “entrepreneur.” But while Casten has attempted to portray himself as a successful small businessman, he has refused [...]
          Apple says iPhones aren't spying on users in letter to Congress - Mashable      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Mashable

Apple says iPhones aren't spying on users in letter to Congress
Mashable
There's more evidence debunking the conspiracy theory that your iPhone is secretly listening to you. On Tuesday, Apple responded to the House Energy and Commerce Committee's requests for information on the data Apple products collect on customers.
Apple: No, your iPhone isn't eavesdropping on youCNNMoney
Apple Tells Lawmakers iPhones Don't Spy on UsersExtremeTech
Is Apple Really Your Privacy Hero?Bloomberg
ZDNet -Quartz -Engadget -BGR
all 185 news articles »

          Apple says iPhones aren't spying on users in letter to Congress - Mashable      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Mashable

Apple says iPhones aren't spying on users in letter to Congress
Mashable
There's more evidence debunking the conspiracy theory that your iPhone is secretly listening to you. On Tuesday, Apple responded to the House Energy and Commerce Committee's requests for information on the data Apple products collect on customers.
Apple: No, your iPhone isn't eavesdropping on youCNNMoney
Apple Tells Lawmakers iPhones Don't Spy on UsersExtremeTech
Is Apple Really Your Privacy Hero?Bloomberg
ZDNet -Quartz -Engadget -BGR
all 187 news articles »

          いしのまき 海ぼたる 宮城県女川町 冬のごほうび9      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

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          New York Congressman Arrested On Insider Trading Charges      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Chris Collins.

A Republican Congressman from New York has been indicted on charges that claim he used insider information about a biotechnology company to make stock trades.

Chris Collins, who represents a district in western New York was charged - along with his son, Cameron and Cameron's fiancée's father, Step...


          NPR Reporter Kelsey Snell ~ StoryCorps: Barnie Botone ~ Jamestown Widow's Retreat       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Tuesday, August 7 – Meet Kelsey Snell, the congressional reporter for NPR. She’s in North Dakota to cover the Senate race between Heidi Heitkamp and Kevin Cramer. ~~~ Harvest Public Media’s Madelyn Beck reports on the problem of wind-blown pesticides. ~~~ For Barnie Botone, the great grandson of a famous Kiowa chief, the Civil Rights Movement and an unlikely change agent helped pave the way for a fulfilling and pioneering career. He speaks with StoryCorps facilitator Savannah Winchester in an excerpt from a recent recording in Bismarck. ~~~ The Jamestown Area Grief Support Team is here to discuss their upcoming Widow's Retreat. Joining us are team members Eileen Lisko and Diane Witzig.
          Michigan nominates Muslim woman to run unopposed for Congress, who once got thrown out of luncheon for booing Trump. There's a lesson to be learned here [Spiffy]      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Spiffy [link] [57 comments]

          Record number of women have won major party nominations for Governorships and seats in the Congress this year, a full month before primary season is officially over [Spiffy]      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Spiffy [link] [26 comments]

          8/9/2018: Pure Politics: CONGRESS PRESIDENT’S TRANSFORMATIONAL PUSH: AN ALTERNATE PLAN THAT GOES BEYOND SHORT-TERM MEASURES RG’s ‘Deep Dive’ Efforts for 2019: Agri, Jobs, Health & Education      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

New Delhi: Agriculture, jobs, public health and education will be the four key pillars of Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s campaign for the 2019 elections as the Congress looks for transformational changes in these sectors and not just quick-fix...
          Event: Behind the Scenes: Congress House      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Event Date: Aug 30, 2018; Event City: London, GB

Hugh Broughton Architects has been engaged in the careful restoration of the TUC’s London headquarters Congress House for the last 23 years. The Grade II* listed Modernist building in Fitzrovia, is just north of New Oxford Street and a few minutes’ walk from the British Museum.

Designed by David du Rieu Aberdeen, it opened in 1958 to commemorate union members who died in the world wars. The latest phase of the ongoing refurbishment is the creation of a second entrance, The Rookery, on Dyott Street, features a glass installation by artist Eva Berendes which continues the TUC’s ongoing commitment to art and architecture and visually reflects the TUC’s values and history. Earlier phases include the installation of a steel and ETFE roof canopy over the central courtyard, where the TUC’s seminal Epstein war memorial ‘Pieta’ is displayed. 

For more information, please click here

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          8/9/2018: Pure Politics: Chandy Challenge for AP Congress      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
In Kerala, Oommen Chandy is known for his addictive mass-contact programmes and stamina. Now as AICC general secretary incharge of Andhra, the Telugu Congress leaders are getting a taste of Chandy’s tireless overdrive. Chandy has by now covered the...
          8/9/2018: Pure Politics: Rajasthan Cong Plans Separate Dalit Policy      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Jaipur: Rajasthan Congress is planning to incorporate a policy stance on Dalits to help attract their votes in the upcoming Assembly polls, according to a top Congress official. The party’s strategy incorporating its policy idea on the scheduled...
          Oklahoma Congressmen Face Tense Town Halls In Home Districts      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Members of Oklahoma's Congressional delegation are back in their districts through April 21, and many are meeting with constituents for the first time since the election of President Donald Trump. Rep. Tom Cole, R-OK4, held a town hall meeting Wednesday in Chickasha. The event was slightly tense, with many of the town hall’s 70 attendees urging Cole to take stronger stances against President Trump on issues like climate change and mental health services. “I came because I wanted to hear what he [Congressman Cole] had to say and because I have a few things that concern me,” said Judith Blake, a Norman resident. Cole spent more than two-and-a-half hours at the town hall, updating constituents on events in Washington. “We [are] here to answer your question or see what we can do to help,” Cole said, encouraging those with more personal questions to talk to him after the event. Cole’s town hall took place the day after Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-OK1, drew what the Tulsa World described as a
          Oklahoma’s Congressional Delegation Reacts To Travel Ban Order      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Members of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation have largely been supportive of President Donald Trump’s executive order that temporarily bans travel of certain foreign nationals to the United States. Under the order, citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen would not be allowed to enter the United States for 90 days. Over the weekend, permanent resident visa holders were detained at airports, which led to protests across the country. The White House later said permanent resident visa holders are from those 7 countries will be allowed. The order also places a 120 day freeze on the admission of refugees, and an indefinite halt on resettling Syrian refugees in the United States. Congressman Steve Russell, R-Oklahoma City, says he supports the executive order. Russell is a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel who saw combat in Iraq. He wants to make sure exemptions will be available for military interpreters, informers, and ousted political allies in the seven countries.
          VIDEO: Lucas’ Harsh Words For Wells Fargo CEO After Fake Accounts Scandal      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Congressman Frank Lucas criticized Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf Thursday as the banking executive testified before the House Financial Services Committee. Thousands of bank employees have been fired for setting up illegal and unauthorized accounts as part of a sales incentive program. "I don't know how you correct this, but I suspect, sir, when you interact with your peers within the industry, you're going to have some challenges for a long time to come,” Lucas said. “Because the brush with which you will be painted will stroke all of them too. And I suspect that's blatantly unfair.” Oklahoma's Third District Representative said the actions by low-level tellers and staffers negatively affected thousands of lives and tainted the country's banking industry. “You've just made it really hard for those of us who want to maintain that concept of a market economy, who want to continue make sure that bankers, not some bureaucrat somewhere, are the arbitragers of capital that effectively make
          Oklahoma Congressmen On 'Wide Open' Search For House Speaker      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Members of the Oklahoma Congressional delegation have voiced their opinions regarding the race for the Speaker of the House of Representatives in the wake of Speaker Boehner’s retirement announcement and front-runner Kevin McCarthy’s decision to leave the race. U.S. Rep. Steve Russell (R-Okla.) described the speaker race as “wide open.” Russell said he approached South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy after McCarthy dropped out of the race, but Gowdy quickly said he is not interested. The Freedom Caucus, a group of about 40 conservative House members, opposed McCarthy. Russell said they have no clear plans on issues like budget negotiations, Russia’s moves in Syria or Social Security and Medicare. “We have deep divisions right now with a certain segment that are these 100 percent, all or nothing types of Congressmen in a group. But the problem with that is they can’t even agree amongst themselves on what the 100 percent is,” Russell said. “It’s easy enough to pull the pillars down. It’s
          Oklahoma's Congressional Delegation Reflects On Murrah Bombing Anniversary      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Oklahoma's longest-serving Congressman led the state's delegation on the House floor in Washington Thursday to reflect on the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing as the 20th anniversary approaches. U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas was a freshman lawmaker representing Oklahoma's now-defunct Sixth Congressional District that included downtown Oklahoma City.
          Oklahoma’s Governor, Congressional Delegation React To State Of The Union      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Most of Oklahoma’s Congressional delegation and executive leadership criticized President Obama’s annual State of the Union address Tuesday night – some even before the speech took place. Gov. Mary Fallin says Obama can achieve his goal of improving the economic conditions of the middle class by relying on the energy sector to grow the economy and raise per-capita income. Fallin spoke to Fox Business's Neil Cavuto Tuesday night about 10 minutes before the president entered the House chamber to deliver his address to a joint session of Congress. She said Obama wants to expand what she called an already-bloated government through raising the top capital gains rate, imposing fees on large financial firms, and making community college free. “Republican govenors have done the opposite. They’ve cut taxes. They’ve had fair regulations for businesses that created better business climates to invest and to grow. They’ve created energy jobs,” Fallin said. “And those are the types of things –
          Confusion Fueling Oklahoma Outcry Over EPA’s ‘Waters Of The United States’ Rule      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Oklahoma Congressman Jim Bridenstine calls it a power grab by an imperial president. U.S. Representative Frank Lucas says it would trigger an onslaught of additional red tape for famers and ranchers in Oklahoma. That kind of hyperbole is expected anytime President Barack Obama’s EPA does, well, anything. But the changes being proposed to the way bodies of water are classified are confusing. The so-called ‘Waters of the United States’ designation is the federal government’s attempt to define which bodies of water qualify for protection under the Clean Water Act. The EPA is trying to tweak that definition. And it’s got farmers like Mason Bolay worried. “My great, great grandpa made the land run in 1893 and we still farm the same farm they originally staked about 5 miles south of here,” Bolay says. as he gestures toward a dry streambed at the bottom of a hill behind his house. “We’re standing here on top of a hill, but yet, there’s a waterway not 20 feet from us that runs water when it
          Four Of Five Oklahoma Congressmen Vote To Arm Syrian Rebels      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine was the only member of Oklahoma's U.S. House delegation to vote against President Obama's request to train and arm rebels fighting Islamic State militants in Syria. Bridenstine says that if the Islamic State is deemed a threat, the United States should "eliminate it," not train and arm rebels. U.S. Reps. Tom Cole, James Lankford , Frank Lucas and Markwayne Mullin all voted in favor of the plan, which passed the House on a 273-156 vote Wednesday. Lankford said the plan is similar to recent proposals in Iraq. Watch: U.S. Rep. James Lankford explains his vote on the amendment to arm Syrian rebels, followed by his remarks on the House floor "ISIS would have already overrun Iraq if we had not trained the Iraqis and the Kurds in the years past," Lankford said. "So we need to be able to do the same thing in Syria for them to be able to defend themselves and be able to defend for what is uniquely American values as well, and for uniquely American priorities." But
          Oklahoma Incumbents Look To Avoid A 'Cantor Redux'      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Three incumbent Oklahoma congressmen are working to avoid upsets in the June 24 primary as their challengers take hope following an upset in Virginia. Republican Reps. Tom Cole , Frank Lucas and Markwayne Mullin each face challengers in the primary that comes two weeks after former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost in the Virginia primary to economics professor Dave Brat. The Oklahoma incumbents say they believe Cantor had become more focused on his House leadership position than on constituents in his district - something the Oklahomans say they've avoided. Cole faces Anna Flatt in the GOP primary; Lucas faces Robert Hubbard and Timothy Ray Murray; while Mullin is opposed by Darrel Robertson. Rep. Jim Bridenstine is unopposed in both the primary and the general election while the Fifth District seat is open. ------------------------------------------ KGOU produces journalism in the public interest, essential to an informed electorate. Help support informative, in-depth journalism
          Oklahoma Delegation Supports Three Rivers Study      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Oklahoma's entire congressional delegation has announced support for the so-called "Three Rivers Study" of the area at the confluence of the Arkansas, Mississippi, and White Rivers. The area is the starting point of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, which runs through both states. The study would investigate ongoing threats to navigation and bottomland hardwoods at the confluence of the rivers in southeastern Arkansas. Arkansas Sens. Mark Pryor and John Boozman and Reps. Rick Crawford, Tim Griffin, Steve Womack and Tom Cotton joined Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe and Reps. Jim Bridenstine, Markwayne Mullin, Frank Lucas, Tom Cole and James Lankford in a letter to the assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works in support of the study. Pryor is a Democrat, the others are Republicans. --------------------- KGOU relies on voluntary contributions from readers and listeners to further its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. To contribute to our efforts, make
          Oklahoma Congressional Delegation Not Impressed With State Of The Union      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Most of Oklahoma’s all-Republican Congressional delegation panned President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union address he delivered to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night. U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe says the President made it clear he would continue to bypass Congress, and use a “pen and phone” to get work done. Inhofe says Americans will see this play out with a Climate Action Plan the president unveiled last summer. http://youtu.be/r0T3T_5ikCw
          Congressman Lucas Draws Republican Primary Challenger      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
A Canadian County rancher and business owner says he will challenge 10-term U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas for the Republican nomination in Oklahoma's 3rd Congressional District. Robert Hubbard told The Associated Press on Monday: "We need to make some changes." The 69-year-old Republican will formally announce his candidacy Monday afternoon at the Oklahoma History Center. Hubbard received less than 4 percent of the vote in a four-way GOP primary race for governor in 2010 that included Mary Fallin and Randy Brogdon, but said his candidacy helped increase his name recognition. He's since been elected chairman of the Canadian County Republican Party. Oklahoma's 3rd Congressional District covers all of western Oklahoma , stretching from the Oklahoma Panhandle and southwestern corner of the state to the northern fringes of Oklahoma City in central Oklahoma . ---------------------------- KGOU is a community-supported news organization and relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill
          Oklahoma Congressmen Support Plan To Delay Health Act       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Oklahomas five members of the U.S. House of Representatives each voted for a resolution to temporarily fund the federal government while delaying implementation of the federal health care act. Republicans Tom Cole, Frank Lucas, James Lankford , Markwayne Mullin and Jim Bridenstine each voted for the proposal that passed the House on a 231-192 vote late Saturday. The government is on the verge of a partial shutdown Tuesday and congressional Republicans vowed Sunday to keep using an otherwise routine government funding bill to try to attack what they call Obamacare . Democrats oppose the health care delay and a provision to repeal a medical device tax that helps finance the 2010 health care overhaul. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid a Democrat says the proposal will die in his chamber. _______________________________________ KGOU produces journalism in the public interest, essential to an informed electorate. Help support informative, in-depth journalism with a donation online , or
          House OKs Scaled-down Farm Bill Sans Food Stamps       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The House has passed a scaled-down version of a massive farm bill , putting off a fight over food stamp spending and giving Republican leaders a victory after a decisive defeat on the larger bill last month. All five members of Oklahoma's Congressional delegation joined their GOP colleagues in voting for the bill. U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) is the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. He said in a statement he was pleased the bill made it through his chamber.
          Four Out Of Five Oklahoma Congressmen Agree: 'Yes' To Farm Bill      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Sixty-two Republicans voted against the five-year, half-trillion-dollar farm bill that would have cute $2 billion annual from food stamps and let states impose broad new work requirements on those who receive them. Freshman U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla. 1) was the only Oklahoma congressman to vote against the farm bill.
          8/8/2018: FRONT PAGE: Ohio Republican confident of victory      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Republicans declared victory late Tuesday in an unresolved race for a solidly red congressional district in Ohio, which exposed growing concern over the vulnerabilities in President Trump’s governing coalition. The race was the latest example of...
          8/8/2018: ECONOMY & BUSINESS: Watchdog faults GSA chief’s testimony      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The administrator of the General Services Administration, which manages the FBI headquarters project, may have misled Congress about White House involvement in the project, according to a portion of a soon-to-bepublished report from the agency’s...
          Germany: Muslim migrant plotted to explode ricin bomb packed with shrapnel, targeting “unbelievers” - Robert Spencer, Jihad Watch      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
https://www.jihadwatch.org/about-robert

ROBERT SPENCER is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is the author of eighteen books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) (Regnery Publishing) and The Truth About Muhammad (Regnery Publishing). His latest book is The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS (Bombardier Books).
Spencer has led seminars on Islam and jihad for the FBI, the United States Central Command, United States Army Command and General Staff College, the U.S. Army’s Asymmetric Warfare Group, the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), the Justice Department’s Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council and the U.S. intelligence community. He has discussed jihad, Islam, and terrorism at a workshop sponsored by the U.S. State Department and the German Foreign Ministry. He is a consultant with the Center for Security Policy.
Spencer is a weekly columnist for PJ Media and FrontPage Magazine, and has written many hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism. His articles on Islam and other topics have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Examiner, the New York Post, the Washington Times, the Dallas Morning NewsFox News OpinionNational ReviewThe FederalistThe Hill, the Detroit NewsTownHall.comReal Clear Religion, the Daily Caller, the New Criterion, the Journal of International Security Affairs, the UK’s Guardian, Canada’s National PostMiddle East QuarterlyWorldNet DailyFirst ThingsInsight in the NewsAleteia, and many other journals. For nearly ten years Spencer wrote the weekly Jihad Watch column at Human Events. He has also served as a contributing writer to the Investigative Project on Terrorism and as an Adjunct Fellow with the Free Congress Foundation.
...
https://www.jihadwatch.org/2018/08/germany-muslim-migrant-plotted-to-explode-ricin-bomb-packed-with-shrapnel-targeting-unbelievers

Germany: Muslim migrant plotted to explode ricin bomb packed with shrapnel, targeting “unbelievers”

Danke, Merkel!
“Tunisian Migrant Planned Biological Weapon Attack Against ‘Unbelievers’ in Germany,” by Victoria Friedman, Breitbart, August 4, 2018:
Tunisian migrant Sief Allah H., 29, planned a deadline ricin terror attack against “unbelievers”, according to German prosecutors.
“He wanted to explode a ricin bomb packed with shrapnel in a busy indoor place” targeting “unbelievers”, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office said, in what is believed to be Germany’s first biological weapons terror plot.
Authorities revealed further details about the Islamist plot on Friday, after the Tunisian migrant was arrested following a raid on his apartment in the Chorweiler district of the west German city of Cologne on June 12th.
The suspect was charged with possession of weapons of war, “planning a serious act of violence against the state”, and of membership with a terrorist organisation, according to Deutsche Welle
Police conducted the raid in early June and found “toxic substances” which turned out to be the highly dangerous ricin which is used in the manufacture of biological weapons.
Sief’s wife — a Muslim convert 13 years his senior identified as Yasmin H. — was also arrested in late July.
It is alleged that 42-year-old Yasmin H., a German national, had arranged a trip for her husband to Poland to buy explosive materials. Officials claim she then had allowed him to use her online accounts to order ingredients and components for the bomb, including thousands of “castor seeds [used to make ricin] and an electric coffee grinder”, in May….

          8/8/2018: WEDNESDAY OPINION: Deprived of representation      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
It is a darned shame that Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) chose to deprive 700,000 people in Michigan’s 13th Congressional District of a voting House member for nearly a year, until after November’s election [“In race to replace Conyers, fury over his...
          Openly gay ex-MMA fighter may become the first Native American congresswoman      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The national spotlight turned to Kansas' 3rd Congressional District on Tuesday night as people from all over the country were watching to see if an insurgent progressive could win the Democratic nomination.

          Tapper: Swamp critters surround Trump      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
After the arrest of GOP Rep. Chris Collins, the first sitting Congressman to endorse then-candidate Donald Trump, on charges of insider trading, CNN's Jake Tapper takes a look at other Trump allies who have run afoul of the law.

          Stocks go nowhere as US-China trade war drags energy lower      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

trump china xi

Stocks were mixed Wednesday despite a recent wave of upbeat corporate earnings as a new round of tariffs between the US and China dragged energy companies lower. The dollar and Treasury yields fell. 

Here's the scoreboard:

Dow Jones industrial average25,583.55 −45.36 (-0.18%)

S&P 500: 2,861.20 +2.75 (+0.096%)

Nasdaq Composite 7,888.33 +4.66 (+0.06%)

  1. Another $16 billion worth of US exports to China — including oil products and cars — will be subject to a 25% tax. After the Trump administration followed through with a 25% tariff on an additional $16 billion of Chinese goods, Beijing retaliated in kind. The latest tariffs, which bring the running total of targeted goods to $50 billion for both China and the US, are set to take effect August 23.
  2. Washington rolled out punitive sanctions against Moscow for the poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in March. The measures came amid pressure from Congress and months after the UK issued sanctions penalizing the Kremlin for the poisoning, which took place on British soil.
  3. Saudi Arabia's central bank ordered its fund managers to dump Canadian bonds, stocks and cash. The move came after Canada's foreign ministry criticized Saudi Arabia for its arrests of prominent human-rights activists and called for their release. Saudi Arabia's state airline is also set to suspend flights to and from Toronto Pearson International beginning next week. 
  4. Earnings season rolls on. 21st Century Fox and Roku report after the bell — follow Business Insider here for live updates. 

And a look at the upcoming economic calendar:

SEE ALSO: Tesla's surging stock has cost short sellers $3 billion this month

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: An early bitcoin investor explains what most people get wrong about the cryptocurrency


          Dear @Alyssa_Milano: Perhaps Try Reducing Your Media Kool-Aid Intake      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
  What does Trump Derangement Syndrome look like? A popular actress who is convinced that the only explanation for third-party votes in a special congressional election is Russian meddling. What causes this kind of dangerous paranoid lunacy? A constant diet of one-sided partisan media. It’s likely that Ms. Milano never watches any “news” except CNN […]

          Indicted Rep. Chris Collins shows why members of Congress should not trade stocks      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

chris collins

  • Rep. Chris Collins, a prominent backer of President Donald Trump in Congress, has been indicted on allegations of insider trading, along with his son and his son's fiancée's father.
  • Collins is on the board of an Australian pharmaceutical company. The US Securities and Exchange Commission alleges that he tipped his son about a failed clinical trial and that the son and associates saved $750,000 by trading on the tip.
  • This is a really stupid thing to allegedly have done.
  • Why are members of Congress even allowed to trade stocks or sit on corporate boards? So they can pull this nonsense and get indicted? 

Every time I read a criminal complaint about insider trading, my first thought is: How did they possibly think they were going to get away with this?

Of course, when there is a criminal complaint, that often means you are well on your way to not getting away with it.

Perhaps insider traders seem like morons who should have known what was coming to them because what we see in the news are cases with charges, which are the dumbest, most obvious cases of insider trading. There may be a lot of situations where criminals are being slightly more careful and getting away with it.

Or maybe not! The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority would like you to know it has algorithms to detect this sort of thing. I certainly recommend against insider trading, careless or otherwise.

Anyway: Rep. Chris Collins, a New York Republican who gave President Donald Trump his first congressional endorsement, has been indicted on allegations of insider trading in a case with an extremely obvious, how-were-you-dumb-enough-to-try-this fact pattern.

Get a load of this

Here's what's laid out in complaints from the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York (Collins has pleaded not guilty):

  • Collins sits on the board of Innate Immunotherapeutics, an Australian biopharmaceutical company in which he is also the largest shareholder.
  • On June 22, 2017, Collins learned that Innate's main drug had failed clinical trials, a grave outcome for Innate's financial condition.
  • Literally seconds after learning this news, Collins contacted his son, Cameron, who at the time owned 2% of Innate.
  • Over the following four days, Cameron Collins and several other associates of the Collinses proceeded to liquidate their positions in Innate before the public announcement of the drug failure on June 26, after which the stock fell 92%. They saved approximately $750,000 by selling before the announcement.
  • Innate is not an especially large company. As a result, per the SEC: "The sales by Cameron Collins, his girlfriend, and her parents, including Stephen Zarsky, made up more than 53% of the stock's trading volume [on June 23] and exceeded Innate's 15-day average trading volume by more than 1,454%."

Perhaps it is sometimes possible to trade on insider information and have those trades go unnoticed amid a sea of non-insider trades. But if the nonpublic information you're trading on is likely to tank the stock price by more than 90%, and your trades are going to make up about 15 times the stock's typical daily trading volume, and your close associate sits on the company's board of directors, it is probably not best to assume your trades will get lost in the shuffle.

This leads me to a question.

Is Chris Collins an idiot?

If the purpose of the seven calls in six minutes between Collins and his son that came immediately after Collins learned about the clinical-trial failure was, as alleged, to tip his son so he and other associates of theirs could sell, why would Collins have thought he would get away with that?

Was it because the trading wasn't on his own account and he thought the SEC wouldn't be able to draw a link between him and [checks notes] his son — even though Collins was already the focus of a congressional ethics investigation related to Innate?

Was it because he thought he and his son could just talk the FBI into the idea that the sales were unrelated to the clinical-trial news? Oops, now Collins and his associates have also been indicted on allegations they lied to the FBI.

Collins' public defense against these charges has focused on a fact prosecutors do not dispute: Even as his associates were selling, he did not liquidate his own, much larger stake in Innate. That might seem like a tiny bit of prudence in a sea of recklessness — among other matters, Collins would have had to publicly disclose the dates and amounts of his sales under rules pertaining specifically to members of Congress.

But as the SEC complaint says, it's possible Collins didn't sell because he literally couldn't. Unlike his son, he had not completed paperwork to transfer his stock to the US, where one could trade it on the over-the-counter market. His stock was stuck in Australia, where trading of Innate on the Australian Securities Exchange had been halted — because of the impending announcement of the clinical-trial failure.

OpenSecrets estimated, based on disclosure forms, that Collins' net worth was nearly $70 million as of 2015. I realize $750,000 is kind of a lot of money even if you have $70 million, but is it really worth risking the destruction of your career and, you know, prison in order to help your friends save that kind of money?

I wouldn't think so. But I do have a theory: One might develop an unhealthy attitude toward law-breaking and risk if one had previous success in enriching oneself through such an attitude.

Members of Congress should not trade stocks

Last January, I wrote that members of Congress should not trade stocks. I meant that as a policy proposal — that members of Congress should be prohibited from trading stocks — but the Collins incident provides a reason to take it also as investing advice.

As the liberal-leaning group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has pointed out, at least five sitting Republican members of the House bought stock in Innate in 2017. We don't know exactly why they bought shares in an obscure Australian pharmaceutical company, though former Rep. Tom Price, who went on to become Trump's secretary of health and human services, said he did so after learning about the company from Collins.

Those members' investments have presumably performed quite poorly, as they did not have Price's luck of needing to divest themselves of Innate shares to take a Cabinet position. (There is no cause, in Wednesday's complaints or elsewhere, to believe Collins tipped any of his colleagues that Innate's stock was about to plummet in June 2017.)

Collins' links to Innate Immunotherapeutics had drawn negative attention before because of Collins' role overseeing drug companies as a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. But even favorable legislative action is not enough to make a pharmaceutical company valuable if its main drug doesn't work.

So maybe we can now say that a rule forcing members of Congress not to engage in individual stock trading wouldn't just be in the public interest — it may even be for those members' own good, helping them stay out of junky pharmaceutical stocks their colleagues give them "hot tips" about, and helping them stay out of prison.

And I can add another proposal: Members of Congress shouldn't be allowed to serve on the boards of publicly traded companies. The SEC is seeking to apply this rule to Collins specifically, on insider-trading grounds, but a blanket ban would prevent some conflicts of interest and also some embarrassing scandals like this one.

SEE ALSO: Trump's environmental policy is mainly about owning the libs, and that's better news for the environment than you might think

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: An early bitcoin investor explains what most people get wrong about the cryptocurrency


          2 Texas congressmen bought shares in drug firm at heart of Rep. Chris Collins' insider trading case      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
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          Trump backer Collins committed insider trading at the White House picnic, says DOJ      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Chris Collins, the Republican upstate New York Congressman, surrendered himself to FBI agents this morning, alongside his son and the father of his son’s fiancee.…
          U.S. to impose sanctions on Russia over nerve agent attack      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Following a 15-day congressional notification period, the sanctions will take effect on or around Aug. 22.

          Turn Your Radios On      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
This morning, Alan Chartock spoke with Democratic candidate for Congress in NY19, Antonio Delgado, on the Congressional Corner. Listen by clicking here.

COPYRIGHT 2018 CAROLE OSTERINK
          Finally, People Are Talking About Climate Change. But Is It Too Late?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
by Katie Herzog

GettyImages-854066318-2.jpg
Jodi Jacobson/Getty

Something strange is happening in America right now: People are talking about climate change.

Before The Stranger saved and then quickly crushed my body, mind, and spirit, I worked for Grist, the Seattle-based online magazine with a focus on climate change. (Apropos of nothing, Grist unceremoniously booted me and four out of five of the staff writers a few days after Donald Trump took office, but I'm not bitter. Really. The office was always freezing and it's going to get creamed when the earthquake comes.) While I was at Grist, what I noticed through writing about climate change five days a week, was that no one gave a shit. We had a dedicated audience of 6 to 10 commentors (everyone's favorite was a gay man in New York who primarily used the comment section to hit on a very cute young intern named Sam), but for the most part, people just didn't care. Nothing makes someone's eyes glaze over faster than the word's "climate change."

It's kind of wild how little people are paying attention: climate change is leading to huge increases in human suffering as parts of the world dry up and others flood, burn, and blister. The repercussions of this man-made phenomenon are genuinely terrifying, and not just for tree-huggers and nature-lovers. There's some evidence, for instance, that the conflict in Syria was in part sparked by climate change-connected drought and subsequent food shortages, which then led to the migrant crisis currently embroiling Europe... which, in turn, led to a resurgence of white nationalism and xenophobia in places like Italy, France, and the UK. Climate change touches everything, and yet, we really don't talk about it much. Broadcast news organizations ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox had a combined total of 50 minutes of climate change coverage in 2016. That's less than the Jolie-Pitt breakup. The world is burning, and we're over here freaking out about celebrity divorce.

In recent weeks, however, there's been a noticeable uptick in climate change news, inspired, I'm guessing, by the catastrophic wildfires currently burning through California. Climate change is easy to ignore until a wildfire threatens to destroy your neighborhood. Here's how Google has tracked in the term over the past 30 days.

In the midst of these disasters, NPR has been discussing climate change every day, and the networks and cable changes have at least mentioned the words. Even Jimmy Kimmel talked about it on his show Tuesday night, with a message that was designed to reach the heart of one Donald J. Trump:

But will an uptick in coverage have any affect on public policy? And is there still time to correct this collision course? According to a report released this week by a international team of climate scientists, we're reaching the "too-little-too-late" stage of ecological collapse. The paper portrays a potential future of dead forests, rapid sea level rise, and storms that make Sandy, Maria, and Katrina look minor if we don't transition to a carbon-neutral economy yesterday. It does not look good.

The media immediately jumped on the study, issuing dire headlines about the end of mankind, but the paper's author took issue with this sort of coverage. She pointed out on Twitter that people probably weren't reading the study if their takeaway from it was that it's too late. The truth, according to the researchers, is that it's not too late—at least, if we actually take action on fossil fuels now, not later. Of course, Donald Trump is the kind of man who thinks wind turbines are ugly and diesel exhaust smells like money, so under this administration and with Republicans in control of Congress, the hope of any sort of progressive action on climate change is smaller than none. Still, there's an election coming in a mere 90 days. If we're going to get leaders in office who are willing to help up save ourselves, now may very well be our last chance to do it. There's no excuse this time; each and everyone of us who is concerned about the fate of the planet—and our species—must vote.

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          Legal Analyst On GOP Congressman's Arrest: 'The Dumbest Insider Trading Crime I've Ever Seen'      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
​On Wednesday, Chris Collins, who represents New York's 27th Congressional district, was arrested in connection with an insider trading scheme tied to Australian pharmaceutical company Innate Immunotherapeutics Limited.
          That Summer, a Doc For Those Who Can't Get Enough of Grey Gardens      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Those who can't get enough of the Beales are likely to feel as if they've discovered a long-lost family photo album. by Kathy Fennessy

ThatSummer.jpg

Once upon a time, Grey Gardens was like a dark, tantalizing secret shared among friends. It's not that the filmmakers, Albert and David Maysles (Salesman, Gimme Shelter), were unknown, or that their subjects, Big and Little Edie Bouvier Beale, weren't of historical interest, but there was a certain air of disrepute to the whole affair. Unlike their other direct-cinema documentaries, Grey Gardens, which depicts lives of distressing squalor and fantastical delusion, plays more like a movie intended for drive-ins and grindhouses.

Since 1975, however, the film has become respectable—a camp classic, a black comedy, and an inspiration-generator for fashion designers. It's also joined the Library of Congress and the Criterion Collection and spawned a play, a musical, a spoof, a made-for-cable movie, and a sequel constructed by Albert after his brother's passing. Now Göran Hugo Olsson (The Black Power Mix Tape 1967-1975) has unearthed the Beales' first go-round with the star-making machinery through 16mm footage directed by Peter Beard in 1972 plus material from Jonas Mekas and Andy Warhol. It's called That Summer. In their narration, Beard and Lee Radziwill (Jackie Kennedy Onassis's sister) recall their attempt to make a film about the East Hampton of the Bouviers' youth.

Instead of a full-fledged film, however, Olsson's documentary feels more like a prologue and an epilogue rolled into one. When Beard and Radziwill abandoned the project, the Maysles took over. If there's nothing especially necessary about That Summer, those who can't get enough of the Beales are likely to feel as if they've discovered a long-lost family photo album. As the now 80-year-old Beard concludes wistfully, "They were in a dream world, and it was okay."

For information about this and other films, visit Movie Times.

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          What You Need to Know About Last Night's Primary Election Results in Washington State      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
It was a good night for Democrats in Washington State. by Heidi Groover

He quoted a Stranger article even after his party tried to refuse The Stranger entry to the election night party.
He quoted a Stranger article even after his party tried to refuse The Stranger entry to their election night event. the stranger

It was a big night for Democrats across Washington, though at least one race remains too close to call. Here are a few takeaways from Tuesday’s primary election:

WE CAN’T SAY FOR SURE WHO’LL FACE DINO ROSSI IN THE 8TH

The only thing we really know for sure about the race in Washington’s 8th District is that Republican Dino Rossi will be one of the two candidates heading into the general election in November.

Rossi pulled in 43 percent of the vote. If you add the other Republican and Republican-ish candidates, that brings his total to just shy of 48. Collectively, the Democrats pulled in 50 percent of the votes. (Side note: who were the 949 people that voted for Tom Cramer? Show yourselves in the comments.) Rossi didn’t crack 50, and that’s not bad news for the Democrats.

“I think you’ve seen the ceiling for Rossi,” says Washington State Democratic Party Chair, Tina Podlodowski. “The Dems collectively have more than 50 percent of the votes. I’m feeling pretty happy.”

That said, there are still thousands of votes left to be counted in this district, and so some of this math might change.

For now, pediatrician Kim Schrier is leading attorney Jason Rittereiser by 1,369 votes. She sounds hopeful in her statements last night, he sounds grateful and pumped to still be in the running. We’ll see how it plays out over the next few days. But in general, it seems like this toss-up race is going to stay a toss-up. RICH SMITH

HOLY FUCK, LISA BROWN

Eastern Washington is going to see one of the state’s most exciting races this fall and it could knock Cathy McMorris Rodgers—the fourth highest-ranking Republican in the U.S. House—out of office.

Democrat Lisa Brown, who previously worked as a state legislator and chancellor of Washington State University Spokane, was neck-and-neck with McMorris Rodgers in the first returns. McMorris Rodgers has about 47.5 percent of the vote. Brown has about 47 percent. They are separated by just 525 votes. The two will face off in November and the race is sure to attract national attention and money between now and then.

“Looks to me like over 50 percent of people in the district are ready for a change,” Brown told The Stranger over the phone Tuesday night. Brown said her campaign has attracted more than 1,000 volunteers and 10,000 donors. “They feel Congress has become completely dysfunctional with Congressional gridlock and dark money.” Brown says her campaign plans to focus on turning out college students this fall.

While Tuesday’s results are big for Democrats, Caleb Heimlich, chairman of the state Republican Party, tried to play them off Tuesday night. If you combine McMorris Rodgers’ support with the other, lesser known Republicans in the race, Republicans together took just over 50 percent of the vote, Heimlich said Tuesday at the party headquarters in Bellevue.

The response from Tina Podlodowski, chair of the Washington State Democrats, goes back to those college kids Brown is counting on. The 5th District includes private and public colleges that span the political spectrum, including Washington State University, Eastern Washington University, Whitworth University, Whitman College, and Gonzaga University. “That’s where Caleb Heimlich’s math didn’t add up,” Podlodowski said. “The electorate gets a lot younger in November when 60,000 college students flood in.” HEIDI GROOVER

HOLY FUCK, CAROLYN LONG

Carolyn Long’s internal polls were kinda right! The first-time Democratic candidate trails four-term incumbent Jamie Herrera Beutler by 4.5 points in the race for Washington’s 3rd Congressional District, 36.6 to 41.

The two other candidates running as Democrats—Justice Democrat Dorothy Gasque and David McDevitt—pulled in 4.6 points and 8.1 points, respectively. If you add their votes to Long’s total, she’d be sitting at 49.3 percent. If you do the same math for Beutler, she edges Long out with 49.7 percent. That’s pretty close for a race that the non-partisan Cook Political Report scored as “likely Republican,” and for a district that Trump won by 8 points.

“Forty percent is a pathetic showing for an incumbent,” says Washington State Democratic Party chair Tina Podlodowski, refusing to round up for Herrera Beutler.

“Beutler should be worried,” says Long’s spokesperson. “Long feels great and we are looking forward to the next stage of this election.”

But Washington GOP Chair Caleb Heimlich sees the race differently. “If you go back to the 2016 primaries she added 6 points to her total from her August total to her November total. So I think we’re going to be in good shape,” he said.

If Herrera Beutler starts spending her considerable pile of money on attack ads and other media, we’ll know she’s concerned. But until then one thing’s for sure: we got us a race down there in Southwest Washington. RICH SMITH

Sarah Smith at her election night party. Will she make it through the primary?
Sarah Smith at her election night party. Will she make it through the primary? The Stranger

HOLY FUCK, SARAH SMITH

But not in the same way! Sarah Smith is no Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and it showed in her numbers Tuesday night.

In the first drop of ballots, it's not even clear Sarah Smith made it through the primary to face 11-term incumbent Democrat Adam Smith. As it stands, Republican Doug Basler is in second place with about 26.6 percent of the vote. Adam Smith is out front with 50.3 and Sarah Smith trails with 23.15.

Fewer than 3,000 votes separate Sarah Smith from Basler and there are more ballots to be counted, so it's not over. "This is all completely expected by our campaign,” Smith told supporters in a video message Tuesday night. “We totally knew it was going to play out this way." But it's not the showing Sarah Smith needed to prove voters in the district are as tired of Adam Smith as she is. HEIDI GROOVER

HOLY FUCK, HOLY IS LOSING IN THE 6TH LD

Democrat Jessa Lewis appears to be winning her race against anti-gay Republican Jeff Holy to represent the Spokane area in the State Senate. That’s no thanks to SEIU 1199, who tossed Holy 500 bucks in the primary for his support of nurses getting breaks at work. Hey, union, guess what? Jessa Lewis is pro nurses-getting-breaks, too! She’s also pro-choice, pro-worker, and pro-universal healthcare. Unlike Jeff Holy! Jesus!

And Holy’s not the only Republican incumbent who’s losing. The Seattle Times reports at least 11 Republican House members are behind their Democratic challengers.

While Democrats have for the past few years held only slim majorities in Olympia, the state Democratic Party vowed this year to fight for seats long held by Republicans. In these first results from Tuesday’s primary, that strategy appears to be paying off.

The party is now “running in every race in every place,” said Washington State Democrats Chair Tina Podlodowski. “We’re also talking about two things quite a bit: jobs and healthcare… We should find a way to get universal healthcare covered—I think we have an opportunity to do that in Washington State with a serious Democratic majority.”

Several Democrats, mostly those running in safe Democratic seats, have promised to champion single payer healthcare next session.

Meanwhile, Democrats could also be competitive in several state senate races where the seats are currently held by Republicans but those Republicans won less than 50 percent of the vote. In Federal Way's 30th District, Republican Senator Mark Miloscia currently has 48.4 percent. Democrat Claire Wilson will make it through the primary to face Miloscia. In the 42nd District, including Ferndale north of Bellingham, Republican state Senator Doug Ericksen—who flirted with joining the Trump Administration—currently has 45.8 percent of the vote.

One last note here: Voters in the Tacoma area appear to be booting out incumbent state Representative David Sawyer, a Democrat who faces allegations of inappropriate behavior toward young women in Olympia. Eight women told The News Tribune, The Olympian, and the Northwest News Network that Sawyer repeatedly or inappropriately texted them or made comments about their bodies or clothing. Sawyer described his actions as friendly and denied that his behavior was inappropriate. In June, the legislature released the findings of an investigation by an outside lawyer who found Sawyer acted inappropriately and used state resources on personal business. Progressive organizations and the women who accused Sawyer of inappropriate behavior have called on him not to seek reelection. In Tuesday night’s returns, Sawyer was trailing in third place behind Democrat Melanie Morgan and Republican Terry Harder. If those results hold, he won’t make it to the general election. RICH SMITH AND HEIDI GROOVER

Joe Nguyen, who himself didnt even think hed be in first place Tuesday night.
Joe Nguyen, who himself didn't even think he'd be in first place Tuesday night. The Stranger

A CLOSE #WALEG RACE IN WEST SEATTLE

The only real legislative contest in Seattle proper this year is this open state senate seat in the 34th District, which covers West Seattle. Democrats Shannon Braddock and Joe Nguyen will make it through the primary and they are ridiculously close.

Nguyen leads by just 199 votes. That sets up a close contest for the next few months—and one that could get expensive. In the primary alone, Braddock raised about $88,900 to Nguyen’s $41,200.

Braddock is deputy chief of staff for King County Executive Dow Constantine. She is also on the board of Westside Baby, a nonprofit that serves low-income mothers. Nguyen is a Microsoft manager who is on the board of a housing nonprofit.

While the two agree broadly on progressive causes like a capital gains tax, Braddock will likely be cast as the establishment candidate. In her 2015 race for city council, she received support from the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. In an interview with the Stranger Election Control Board, she was skeptical of Seattle’s recently passed (then abandoned) head tax on large businesses. Nguyen supported the tax.

Even Nguyen seemed surprised by Tuesday’s results. “I thought we were going to get second place but what?” he said. “We are not fucking around.” HEIDI GROOVER

Read more coverage of all of Tuesday's results here.

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          Just Following Orders: Overdue Oversight and Unanswered Questions on Family Separations      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Nearly three months after the Trump administration’s family separation policy began and over one month after a public outcry led to its end, Congress finally held its first hearing on the subject on July 31. It was a necessary step, but not nearly enough.
          3rd-party hopeful brings cash to race with Utah congressman      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A candidate for a new, moderate third-party is bringing a trove of cash and a little Mormon humor to a northern Utah congressional race against a longtime Republican incumbent.Businessman Eric Eliason is facing an uphill climb
          WNY Congressman Arrested      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
   One of the upstate's most safe GOP MOCs has been arrested by the feds on charges of insider trading and lying to the FBI..
    Rep. Chris Collins was implicated in something involving Australian investors....He's already on the ballot, so let's see what happens.
https://www.wgrz.com/article/news/crime/rep-chris-collins-arrested-by-the-fbi-on-insider-trading-charges-and-lying-to-the-fbi/71-581613154
          US Slaps New Sanctions on Russia Over Ex-Russian Spy Poisoning in Britain      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The United States is imposing tough new sanctions on Russia after determining Moscow was responsible for poisoning a former Russian spy and his daughter in Britain in March. The State Department says Russia broke international law when it used a lethal nerve agent against its own nationals. A policeman found Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia slumped over on a bench and unconscious in the British city of Salisbury. It was determined that they were sickened by Novichok - a Soviet-era military-grade nerve agent. Both survived but spent weeks in the hospital. The sanctions announced Wednesday are set to take effect on August 22. They generally affect U.S. licenses for exporting sensitive national security goods to Russia, such as electronics. A senior State Department official said Wednesday that Russia could face another round of "more Draconian" sanctions within 90 days unless it provides "reliable assurances" it is no longer using chemical or biological weapons.   Despite President Donald Trump’s mantra that "no one has been tougher on Russia" than his administration, the sanctions announced Wednesday are mandatory. They were triggered by a 1991 Congressional law, the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act. The British Foreign Office says it welcomes the U.S. sanctions. "The strong international response to the use of a chemical weapon on the streets of Salisbury sends an unequivocal message to Russia that its provocative, reckless behavior will not go unchallenged," it said in a statement. Russia has not reacted so far to the sanctions. But it has denied any involvement in the Skripal poisonings. It also said it had nothing to do with the poisoning of a British couple near Salisbury in June who picked up a bottle that also contained Novichok, killing 44-year-old Dawn Sturgess. Her boyfriend, Charlie Rowley, survived. British officials have told reporters they have identified at least two suspects in the Skripal attack. Newspaper reports say the two are in Russia, and Britain is getting ready to ask for their extradition.
          Argentine Abortion Campaigners Brace for Crucial Senate Vote      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
After Ireland voted to legalize abortion in May, will Argentina, another traditionally Catholic country, do the same? The country’s senators will make the decision Wednesday, amid fiercely polarized campaigns on both sides of the hot-button issue. The bill was passed by Congress’ lower house in June by the narrowest of margins, but it is widely expected to fall short of the votes needed to pass in the Senate — 37 of the 72 senators have made it known they will say no. If the measure does fail, lawmakers must wait a year to resubmit the legislation. As the lawmakers settled in for what was expected to be a marathon session that could stretch past midnight, demonstrators on both sides rallied outside Congress. Abortion rights supporters wore green scarves while anti-abortion activists donned baby blue. A partition was set up to keep them separated. Scores of buses have brought people into Buenos Aires from other parts of Argentina, city hall said. Despite the negative projections and strong opposition from the highly influential Catholic Church in the homeland of Pope Francis, abortion rights proponents are not giving up hope. “We’re doing everything so that the initiative passes. We have faith in the street movement,” leading campaigner Julia Martino told AFP. “We believe many senators will show their support when the vote happens.” Currently, abortion is allowed in Argentina in only three cases, similar to most of Latin America: rape, a threat to the mother's life or if the fetus is disabled. If passed, the bill would legalize abortion during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy and see Argentina join Uruguay and Cuba as the only countries in Latin America to fully decriminalize abortion. It’s also legal in Mexico City. Only in the Central American trio of El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua does it remain totally banned. With the tide seemingly flowing against legalization, abortion rights groups tried to amend the bill to reduce from 14 to 12 weeks the period in which it would be permitted, but that move failed. What activists can count on, though, is huge support from citizens. Question of rights  Demonstrations were held in Buenos Aires, with other rallies taking place around the world in front of Argentine diplomatic missions. One abortion rights protester in Buenos Aires, 20-year-old Celeste Villalba, said keeping abortions illegal would not prevent them from happening. “This debate is whether it should be legal or done in secret. It’s not about being in favor of abortion or not,” she said. She said she feared that “social machismo and a patriarchal and retrograde Church” would block adoption of the bill in the Senate. Various charities estimate that 500,000 illegal, secret abortions are carried out every year in Argentina, resulting in around 100 deaths. But opponents of abortion are not lacking support and held their own demonstrations. Priests and nuns have been joined by rabbis, imams and members of other Christian churches to oppose the bill. One of them, Federico Berruete, a 35-year-old priest, joined anti-abortion demonstrators holding up slogans reading “Life starts at conception.” “There is a big display of faith, a lot of people have turned out for a more humane country. Children about to be born need to be defended,” he said. In mid-June, the lower house voted in favor by just 129 to 125 thanks in part to the nonetheless anti-abortion President Mauricio Macri’s insistence in pushing the bill through the legislature. The conservative president released a letter Wednesday welcoming the debate and saying this is about more than legalizing abortion or not. “As a society, it presents a peaceful scenario to promote and carry out change,” the president wrote. Senator Norma Durango from the Justice Party said she would work “until the last minute so that this becomes law,” warning that those who vote against the bill would be “responsible for continuing deaths.” The Catholic Church has appointed a bishop, Alberto Bochatey, to handle dialogue with Congress on the issue. Last month, Bochatey, 62, told AFP that “you cannot make a law to justify the elimination of human life,” but said the Church was against locking up those who carried out illegal abortions.
          Republicans promote fear, not tax cuts, in key elections      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans in many midterm election battlegrounds across the country are trying to maintain their congressional majorities by stoking certain voters’ anxieties about liberal Democrats and their policies. It’s a striking turn for a party that just eight months ago was hailing a sweeping tax overhaul as a generational achievement. They promised then […]
          Corona Constitution Class, Lesson 1, Historical Influences, Preamble      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Corona Constitution Class: Lesson 1

CARSTAR/AllStar Collision, 522 Railroad Street, Corona, CA
Tuesdays, 6-7 pm
 
Constitution Class Handout
Instructor: Douglas V. Gibbs
 
www.politicalpistachio.com
www.douglasvgibbs.com
www.constitutionassociation.com
 
 
 
Lesson 01
 
Historical Influences and the Preamble
 
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
 
            History
 
The formal version of the Magna Carta in England was issued on June 19, 1215. There was a minor change in the new document, when the final provision was drafted, replacing the term "any baron" with "any freeman" in stipulating to whom the provisions applied. The term would eventually include all Englishmen. The final version's applicability to all members of the English Society served as a starting point for the Constitution's Preamble, where "any freeman" was changed once again, but this time to the first three words of the American document: "We the People."
 
The English Colonists developed legal codes largely incorporating liberties guaranteed by the Magna Carta and the 1689 English Bill of Rights. Though the education levels of the colonists varied, and few could afford legal training in England, they were familiar with English common law. During one parliamentary debate in the late 18th century, Edmund Burke observed, "In no country, perhaps in the world, is law so general a study."
 
James Madison and Thomas Jefferson drew inspiration from the doctrines of the British constitution, or in what were called English liberties.
 
Unlike the Spanish Colonies, which were conquered land ruled over by the Spanish Conquistadors, and authoritarian governors, the English Colonies were granted by charter. Rather than bear the burden of empire, which, as Spain discovered, could be expensive, and taxing on a nation's armed forces, the English Crown offered the lands along the Atlantic Coast to investors, entrepreneurs, and families seeking a new start. In the northern colonies, the colonists sought religious freedom. The Pilgrims did not want to keep their membership in the Church of England. As separatists, the Pilgrims organized their worship independently, colonizing north of the Puritans at Plymouth Rock.
 
The English Colonies enjoyed autonomy that the Spanish Colonies did not. To survive in the Spanish Colonies, the colonist exhibited a warrior spirit, conquering the lands and the people who stood in the way, forcing the captured natives into slave labor and marriage for the purpose of accomplishing the tasks necessary for survival, while also being heavily dependent upon supplies from the homeland. The English Colonies were expected to survive by living off the land. They were families, indentured servants, and seekers of fortune. They were forced to be self-reliant, personally responsible, and hard working, in order to survive. The English Colonists did not attempt to conquer the natives as the Spanish did, but worked with them, making treaties with the Native Americans, because they needed the native population's help in order to survive. In the English Colonies, freedom was a necessary component of survival, and after failing under communitarianism, the colonists found that a free market system, where colonists kept more of what they worked for, and had the option to trade goods in an open market, worked best for the burgeoning society.
 
In English America, freemen adopted the best of the English system, while adapting it as necessary to the new circumstances in the colonies. The English Colonies was a place where a person could rise by merit, not by birth. The thirteen colonies was a place where men could voice their opinions and actively share in self-government. When the British Crown challenged these beliefs, turning to the colonies as a source of revenue to help alleviate the Crown's substantial debts, and the growing expense of keeping troops on American soil, the colonists questioned the government in Britain, challenging the actions of Parliament, arguing that without consent or direct representation in Parliament, the acts by the motherland were "taxation without representation," and an act of tyranny against the free Englishmen of the colonies.
 
The influence of the Magna Carta, and the demand for liberty, existed along the Atlantic Coast long before the War of Independence. As John Adams later wrote to Thomas Jefferson, "The Revolution was in the minds of the people, and this was effected, from 1760 to 1775, in the course of 15 years before a drop of blood was shed at Lexington."
 
The Americans knew their rights, and they were willing to fight for them. The seal adopted by Massachusetts on the eve of the Revolution summed up the mood. The image was of a militiaman with sword in one hand, and the Magna Carta in the other.
 
When it was time to form a new government, embodied in a written social contract we now know as the Constitution of the United States, the founders determined that like England under the Magna Carta, the government must be limited by subjecting it to the rule of law. The Constitution, once ratified by the States, became the law of the land. The document serves as a written standard where the authority emanates from the people, not from any governmental body. Pursuant to the Constitution, no man, not even the country's leader, was considered to be above the law. The rule of law based on the philosophy of the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God was the basis of constitutional thought in the United States in 1787.
 
"A government of laws, and not of men." - John Adams
 
Elder statesman Benjamin Franklin strolled across a grassy lawn from Independence Hall in Philadelphia, after the conclusion of the Federal Convention of 1787, when a woman in a bonnet approached him, asking, "Sir, what have you given us?"
 
"A republic," Dr. Franklin replied. "If you can keep it."
 
The new government in the fledgling United States was considered to be one that was doomed to fail. Europeans scoffed at the American experiment in self-government. The Old World argued that without the hand of a divinely appointed, wise, ruling monarch in place to guide society, a culture could not succeed. The Grand Experiment was a waste of time, and it would not be long before the rebellious, starving, treasonous, and petulant, English colonists came crawling back to the British Crown, begging to be readmitted to the empire.
 
In a society with no government, people have no freedom. In a society with too much government, people have no freedom.
 
Without government there is no law, and without law there are no enforcers of the law. This kind of system is called an anarchy, which is a transitional form of government. In an anarchy, there is no freedom because the citizens must constantly protect their property, and their lives.
 
With government in place, there are laws in place. When there are laws in place, it is necessary to hire enforcers of the law, such as a police force. A society with a government in place can create an environment of freedom that allows citizens the ability to leave their property and engage in activities away from their homes.
 
Tyranny through a unitary state dominates the pages of history. Tyrannical governments obtain their power through violence, and bloodshed in a complete disregard for authorities granted, justice, or the rule of law. To maintain their power, tyrants use violence and bloodshed. When tyrannies are finally toppled, the path to dislodging tyrannies normally includes violence and bloodshed.
 
Violence and death are the common results of powerful central governments with dominant rulers.
 
Dictators do not normally reveal their plans of tyranny during their rise to power, for the people would never have allowed them to become their leaders if they knew this kind of violence was in their future. Tyrannical leaders render legislative bodies irrelevant, demoting them to nothing more than a consultative assembly.
 
In history, tyranny is the rule, and liberty is the exception. Governments that protect the freedoms of the people, and respect the rights of their citizens, are a rare occurrence. Freedom requires the citizens to be informed and involved. With freedom comes responsibility.
 
An educated society begins by teaching the younger generations the principles of liberty, and to encourage them to be involved in civic activities, and local government. The founders understood we need government, but a limited government was required to secure the rights and property of the citizens. However, because of human nature, the founders realized that without making sure the people remained educated about the system they had established, a downward spiral into despotism and tyranny was inevitable.
 
The Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, and outlined the reasons why the colonies were seeking independence from Great Britain. The founding document declares that it is the right of the people to alter or abolish their government should it become destructive. It also states these truths are self-evident, and that "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
 
The document penned by Thomas Jefferson includes a list of grievances, most of which are also iterated in the U.S. Constitution. The Declaration calls for fair representation, encourages immigration, calls for a judiciary that is separated from the will of the central leadership, calls for a stop to the presence of a standing army, demands that Great Britain stop the quartering of troops in the houses of the citizens, demands fair trials, and calls for due process, free trade, fair taxation, a protection of rights, and for the Crown to hear the redress of grievances by the colonists.
 
A key aspect of the Declaration of Independence reveals itself in the final sentence of the document. The call for independence ends with the incredible statement, "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."
 
Political Spectrum
 
In the battle of Left versus Right, it is important to understand what it all means in the first place. Like-minded individuals naturally tend to gather together when a theater of opinion erupts. Congregating in such a manner, creating political parties, is a part of our human nature. Houses, or chambers, of government are no different. Members of the political assembly who support similar agendas sit together, much in the way social allies tend to hang out together at a dinner party. The classification of "left" and "right" grew out of the tendency of people to group together on one side, or the other.
 
The early definition of "left" and "right" was different than in today's American Society. Among the most commonly known split between the left and the right in a political assembly occurred in France before the French Revolution. Members of the National Assembly sat on the right or the left of the hall depending on their level of political support in regards to the ruling monarchy. Those in support of the monarchy, and the religious elements that came with the reigning government, would sit on the right. The people on the right were defined as being those holding traditional interests in line with the Church and the monarchy, believing the king ruled by divine right, and that Catholicism must continue to be the state religion, and therefore continue to be a strong influence on governance. The people who sat on the right side of the assembly believed that the Church had a vested interest in the political system, and sought to preserve that system.
 
Those who sat on the left side of the hall in France during the period preceding the French Revolution did so in support of "enlightenment," which was considered to be in the interests of rationalism and secularism. The left used secular elements to challenge the Church's long-held influence over government, fostering nationalism among its allies, and promoting hope in constructing and shaping the political community. The left desired to change government by overthrowing the Church and the aristocracy by promoting secularism and nationalism. The planners of this glorious new "Enlightened" government became the leaders of France after the French Revolution, orchestrating a Reign of Terror, which was a period of chaos during which thousands were guillotined for being politically incorrect.
 
The radicals within this new government saw the Catholic Church as the enemy while promoting its Cult of Reason. Like with the monarchy before them, however, it became clear that to control the political and social upheaval, the government in place must also become tyrannical in their own right. Under the rule of statism, France remained a nation unable to cultivate liberty, and one that remained under the iron fist of a dictatorial government. For many, this was no surprise. Some of the planners of the change of the form of government in France knew that in order to keep order they would need to "treat the people as cattle."
 
The French National Assembly established a constitutional monarchy and adopted a new constitution in 1791 that created a Legislative Assembly. The political assembly, as with any other political body, rapidly divided into factions opposing each other. The three factions that formed in the new French Legislative Assembly were the radicals (liberals), moderates (centrists) and conservatives. The radicals (liberals) sat in the left section of the assembly hall, the conservatives sat on the right, and the moderates sat in the center section. Their political identities have some similarities to political movements today in the United States, and had little in common with the pre-revolution arrangement that emphasized itself more on monarchy and religion.
 
America is much younger than the European nations, and never had a landlord class of titled nobles. In fact, the Constitution specifically prohibits such a system. The Founding Fathers desired to break away from European traditions as much as possible, even abandoning much of British Common Law when defining citizenship. To be a British Subject the rules were weak, and divided loyalties ran rampant throughout the British Empire. The United States as a nation could not tolerate divided loyalties, and placed a stronger standard of natural born citizenship upon the President in order to eliminate the opportunity for the executor of the American Form of Government to harbor divided loyalties between the United States of America, and any other nation. That way, the new American government could break completely free of any European influence, and forge itself into a Republic independent from British influence, and in fact, the authoritarian nature of Europe as a whole.
 
The political landscape of the United States of America, since there never was a class of nobles, was simple in the young nation. Either you were a Federalist, an anti-Federalist, or somewhere in between. In other words, you believed in a stronger centralized federal government, you believed that the federal role in government should be limited greatly, or you found yourself somewhere between the two political beliefs.
 
Unlike the Europeans, royalty and religion played no role in determining the nature of American political philosophies. Nearly all of the early American Politicians were deeply religious men, but the political spectrum did not separate factions along religious lines. God played a major role in the principle foundation of the nation, but the founding fathers also determined that no religion could ever take an official role in government. In other words, the establishment of any religion as the official religion of the United States was forbidden. However, the freedom to practice one's religion was not to be infringed upon. Almost all of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were either clergy, or highly involved in their church. 27 of the 56 signers had Christian seminary degrees. The founding fathers fervently prayed in Congress.
 
Benjamin Franklin is widely regarded to be among the least religious of the founding fathers. However, his speech given to Congress on June 28, 1787 asking that Congress have a prayer every morning before conducting business was overtly religious in nature. Despite modern assumptions, there was not a political battle between The Church and the secularists during the founding of the United States of America.
 
From the newer models of government in France, and America, the definition of the Political Spectrum changed, becoming more about the level of control of government over a society, rather than the presence of a monarchy, or established church. Zero percent of government intrusion on the lives of the people inhabits the far right of the current political spectrum, which is a condition known as anarchy. 100% governmental control inhabits the far left extremity of the Political Spectrum, or a totalitarian government. The American form of government, or a Constitutional Republic that operates under the rule of law, is at the center of the political spectrum.
 
Most of the current forms of government present in today's international political arena reside on the left side of the Political Spectrum, drawing their foundations from socialist principles. Socialism is authoritarian. Socialism claims to seek to overthrow the Church and aristocracy by promoting atheism and nationalism, much like the enlightened planners of the French Revolution, only replacing the government they thought to be a tyranny with a tyranny of their own. In Russia, the rise of socialism held the basic tenet of replacing the individual's commitment to God with a commitment to love and serve a collective society ruled by an elite few.
 
When one examines the communist society, which resides on the left side of the Political Spectrum, one finds that if society was ruled over by an equally powerful religious theocracy, the basic governmental elements of the ruling doctrine are the same, and just as tyrannical. Therefore, a controlling government based on religion is no different than an atheistic system of communism. Either way, the form of governance is based on a centralized control over the people, and limits on personal individualism, and freedoms.
 
Economically, leftism encourages increased government involvement with the instruments that regulate the economy. Under a leftist economic system, such as in the communist model, the government seizes control of the industries, eliminating private ownership. In the fascist model, however, the authoritarian political entity engages in corporatism, allowing the private enterprises to remain private, yet bundled together in a uniting strength under authoritarian government rule. Because fascism (from Italian fascismo, Benito Mussolini's authoritarian political movement in Italy 1922 to 1943) was created to be an adverse reaction to the apparent economic failure of Marxism, and labeled itself as the opposite of communism, fascism is often referred to as being right-wing, and ultra-conservative. If you break down the political structure of fascism, however, it becomes apparent that defining fascism as being on the right side of the political spectrum is problematic. Like socialism, fascism exalts the group above the individual (in fascist states often the nation or race is exalted above the identity of the individual). Like other leftist systems, fascism also calls for a separation of church and state, a national civilian army, and progressive taxation. One element of fascism some may argue as being right-wing is the fact that fascism seeks to eliminate labor unions for co-ops. But the co-operatives, in a fascist state, are controlled by the government, and therefore become more leftist than the system before. Though fascism, during the early twentieth century, claimed to be anti-communist, the National Socialism aspect of the ideology places fascism on the left side of the Political Spectrum.
 
Ultimately, the true definition of the Political Spectrum is dependent upon how government interacts with society. Increased government intrusion moves needle on the spectrum to the left. Increasing limitations on government intrusion moves the needle to the right. In both cases, the extreme of totalitarianism, or anarchy, are equally dangerous. Ultimately, most forms of government, despite the promise of fairness, are often only precursors to another form of government. The Founding Fathers realized this, recognizing that the only form of government that both limits the powers of the federal government, while still giving it adequate authority to protect and preserve State Sovereignty, is a Constitutional Republic. They knew that if you pursue leftism too far, an authoritarian government would rise from the movement. If government was limited too much, and the government did not have enough power to enforce law, an authoritarian government would also rise to fill the void.
 
            The Preamble
 
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
 
The Preamble is the introduction of the U.S. Constitution. The opening paragraph of the founding document holds no legal authority. The Preamble serves to establish who is granting the authority to create a new federal government, and the reasons for the decision. We The People of the United States are the grantors. In other words, the States, which were the embodiment of the people, were creating the federal government, and granting authorities to it so that it may function in a manner necessary to protect, promote, and preserve the union of States. The concept became known as federalism.
 
The Preamble is designed much like a permission form the doctor's office may present to you to sign, giving the doctor the authority to perform necessary procedures on your body in order to make you well. The form begins with your name (I, patient's name), and then limits the doctor to only the procedures necessary to make you well. The doctor, if he or she believes additional procedures may be necessary, must ask for your permission before performing the additional procedures that are not granted by your original agreement with them.
 
Like the form in the doctor's office, the Preamble begins with who is granting the authorities. "We the People of the United States" are the grantors of the authorities given to the new federal government. The people, through their States, allow the federal government to exist, and to perform the procedures expressly granted in the United States Constitution.
 
If a homeowner hires a contractor to add a room to their house, a contract is created between the homeowner, and the company hired to do the work. The contract establishes the granted authorities to the construction company regarding the room addition, listing the materials and labor necessary and proper to carry out that task. If, later, after the work begins, the homeowner observes the workers tending to the garden, and mowing the lawn, the homeowner would be angry because lawn maintenance was not among the authorities granted to the contractor hired to provide the service of adding a room to the house. In the same way, through the Constitution, the federal government has been granted a list of authorities that are necessary and proper for it to carry out the tasks vested in it. The tasks directly relate to protecting and preserving the union, while also respecting and promoting State Sovereignty. The federal government's authorities encompass only the external issues necessary to protect the union, and the sovereignty of the States. Internal issues are not granted to the federal government. Local issues are reserved to the local governments, such as the States, counties, and cities.
 
The first three words of the Preamble, "We the People," often lead people to believe that we are a democracy. Taken in context, the first part of the Preamble is not only "We the People," but "We the People of the United States." In the context of original intent, "the people of these States that are united have come together to establish this contract for the following reasons."
 
The words "United States" appear often in the U.S. Constitution. When those words appear in the text of the Constitution, they mean one of two things. Either, "United States" is a reference to the new federal government, or United States means "these states that are united." In the case of the Preamble, both definitions are used. As we notice the first time united States appears in the Declaration of Independence, "united" is not capitalized. Failing to capitalize "united" in the Declaration of Independence was a reflection of the common opinion of the people of that era. America was not a nationalistic country dominated by a powerful government, but a union of States that are sovereign, autonomous, and individual - like the people. We the People are the individual parts of their States, and the States are individual parts of the union.
Early Americans saw the United States in the plural, rather than as a singular nationalistic entity. The people were citizens of their States first, but realized that the States must be united to survive. The individual States would only be safe if they all worked together as a united country. To ensure the union was protected they proposed forming a central government through a social contract called the United States Constitution. This contract to grant limited authorities to a federal government was designed to ensure that the federal government remained limited so as to not infringe on the individual rights of the sovereign States, and the people who resided in those States.
 
A limited government is the essence of liberty.
 
The reasons listed in the Preamble for forming a new government were "In Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity." In line with classical writing standards, these reasons were listed in order of importance.
 
The most important reason for the formation of the federal government, the main purpose for the creation of the U.S. Constitution, was "in Order to form a more perfect Union." A union already existed under the Articles of Confederation. A confederation, however, is a weak form of government where nearly all of the power remains with the individual members. A confederation is an association of sovereign member states that, by treaty, or other agreement, have delegated some of their powers to a common institution in order to coordinate policies, without constituting a new state on top of the member states. The government under the Articles of Confederation was formed hastily during the Revolutionary War, and as revealed by Shays' Rebellion, proved to be too weak to protect the union not only from threats beyond our shores, but insurrection from within the country. The founders realized that they needed to form a more perfect union, one with more authorities, while still remaining fairly limited in its power and scope. The realization that the Articles of Confederation were too weak, and either needed to be fixed, or replaced, was first discussed in delegation during the Annapolis Convention in 1786. During that meeting, the attending State delegates decided to meet again in May of 1787 in a convention of all States, which became the Federal Convention of 1787.
 
Under the Articles of Confederation, the central government was as weak as a lamb. What America needed was a central government with the strength of a lion. The problem with lions, however, is that they can kill you if not restrained. So, the Founding Fathers had to figure out a way to create a lion strong enough to deal with the external issues, and conflict between the States, while restraining that lion in such a way that the people living under it were safe from its potential tyranny. The lion is the federal government, and the chains and restraints of a set standard that protects We the People from that lion is the United States Constitution.
 
In the Constitution, the authorities granted to the federal government are limited to protecting, preserving, or promoting the union. The federal government, through the express powers granted in the Constitution, was granted authorities including, but not limited to, maintaining an army and navy in order to protect the union, to collect taxes in order to pay for that military and the other necessary functions created for the purpose of preserving the union, to regulate commerce by acting as a mediator between the States so that the flow of commerce flows regularly and in good order so as to encourage a growing economy for the union, establish a uniform rule of naturalization for the purpose of ensuring the union grows through legal immigration, and to establish post offices so that the many parts of the union may remain in contact with each other. The federal government was created for the sake of the issues related to the union. The federal government was not created to manage local issues that have nothing to do with the union, and everything to do with the unique cultures and societal needs of the local communities.
 
The second reason listed in The Preamble for the creation of the federal government through the ratification of the U.S. Constitution were to "establish Justice." Note that the word "establish" is normally used in situations where whatever is being established never previously existed. The word "establish" being used in the Preamble, then, leads us to believe that there was no justice prior to the writing of the founding document. However, justice systems already existed in each of the States, through State court systems. Therefore, the U.S. Constitution was not written to establish justice in the States, but to establish justice at the federal level where a judicial system had not previously existed. The language used in the Constitution, in this case, provides us with a clue that the original intent of the Founding Fathers was for the Constitution to apply only to the federal government, unless it specifically states otherwise.
 
Though "establish Justice" is listed second in the list of reasons for creating the federal government, we must not confuse "importance" with "power." To establish justice was a very important reason for creating a federal government, but the federal court system, for fear of it becoming a powerful judicial oligarchy, was also greatly limited. During the debates of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, there was actually a consideration to not establish a federal court system. The delegates realized that tyranny easily flows through an activist judiciary. The rule of law could be easily compromised by a judicial branch not willing to abide by the original intent of the U.S. Constitution, or poisoned by political ideology. For this reason, the powers of the judicial branch are greatly limited by the Constitution. We will go into more detail regarding those limitations when we get to Article III, and the 11th Amendment.
 
The first two reasons for the writing of the U.S. Constitution, according to the Preamble, were to form a more perfect union through the formation of a federal government, and to establish justice by creating a federal judicial system. Those primary goals reveal to us that the Constitution was not written to grant powers to the States, but for the purpose of creating, yet limiting, a newly formed federal government, which was designed to serve the States by protecting them, and preserving the union they enjoyed. Before the States delegated some of their own powers to the federal government through the Constitution, all of those powers belonged to the States - a political condition known as Original Authority. The States, however, only granted "some" of their powers to the federal government, retaining most of the powers for themselves.
 
The U.S. Constitution, and all language within the document, is directed to the federal government, not to the States, unless specifically indicated otherwise. This is because the States essentially "hired" the federal government to protect and preserve the union. The contract that authorizes the federal government to exist and receive the authorities from the States is the U.S. Constitution. Therefore, it would not be reasonable to assume that the provisions of the Constitution are to be applied to the States as much as it would not be logical to believe that an agreement between you and your doctor tells you what you can and can't do regarding the procedures that are about to be performed on you. The agreement with the doctor is specifically designed to tell the doctor what procedures are allowed, just as the Constitution is specifically designed to tell the federal government what authorities it is allowed to have in order to protect, preserve, and promote the union. In that contract with the doctor there may be instructions that tell you what not to do so as to not undermine healing, such as submersing oneself in water before a wound is fully healed. The same is true in the Constitution. There is a section, Article I, Section 10, that tells the States what they are prohibited from doing. These prohibitions were necessary to ensure the States did not interfere with federal functions.
 
Since it is We The People of the United States who granted the federal government its powers, that means it is the people's responsibility, through the States, responsibility to ensure the federal government acts in a constitutional manner. The Constitution is nothing more than ink and paper if we don't fight for it.
 
The union, at the time of the writing of the Constitution, was fragile. The States, as colonies, or as individual states shortly after the American Revolution, did not always coexist in a mutually beneficial manner. The States enjoyed their own unique cultures, religions, and laws. The States clashed over territory, commerce, and a variety of other issues that often included disputed legal issues and definitions. The States were much like siblings, fighting over everything under the sun; but when it came down to brass tacks, they were united when it came to defending each other.
 
The bickering between the States created an atmosphere that placed the cohesion of the union at risk. Therefore, when it came to creating a more perfect union, it was understood by the framers that the federal government would have to "insure domestic Tranquility" and to "promote the general Welfare."
 
The federal government was expected to ensure there was tranquility between the States by acting as a mediator in disputes. Part of that task by the federal government was to also promote the general welfare of the republic. In other words, the federal government was tasked with making sure the squabbles were properly resolved, while also protecting the union, so that the welfare of the union would not be in jeopardy.
 
The term general Welfare, as it is presented in the Preamble, is capitalized in a curious manner. Welfare is capitalized, but the word "general" is not. Capitalization in the Constitution was often used for the purpose of emphasis. With that tendency as our guide, we recognize that "Welfare" was the key component when these two words were presented in the Preamble. The Founding Fathers were seeking "Welfare" with a capital "W." The founders tasked the federal government with the duty of ensuring there was Welfare in the nation in a general manner. Or, you could say that they wanted the atmosphere in general to be one of "Welfare," or "all's well," hence, the reason general is not capitalized, and Welfare is, in the Preamble.
 
Tucked between "insure domestic Tranquility" and "promote the general Welfare" is the phrase: "provide for the common defence." The placement of this phrase in The Preamble reveals that providing for the common defense was almost as important as ensuring peaceful cooperation between the States, and slightly more important than promoting the general Welfare of the republic (and a necessary part of ensuring the general Welfare).
 
The need to provide for the common defense, one may note, was not listed first in The Preamble as one of the reasons for the creation of the federal government. The Founding Fathers, though they recognized the importance of the federal government to field a military force, as realized from the failure of the government to put down insurrection during Shays' Rebellion under the Articles of Confederation, did not list the need to provide for the common defense at the beginning of the Preamble because a country that places too much importance on a military is doomed to become a police state. Defending this nation was not placed at the bottom of the list of reasons for the writing of the Constitution, either, because a nation that refuses to defend itself ultimately becomes a conquered entity that is subject to the authority of a foreign government. Despite the fear of a powerful military that could be used against the people and the States, providing for the common defense was still indeed one of the primary reasons for creating the federal government in the first place. That is why "provide for the common defence" is listed in the Preamble within the central depths of the body of the paragraph.
 
The final reason for the writing of the Constitution was to "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity." The presence of the word "Blessings" reminds us that the Founding Father's grateful spirit recognized that the result of the American Revolution, and the inspiration for the new federal government, could have only come from the favors of Divine Providence. Liberty, remember, is one of the unalienable rights listed in the Declaration of Independence that has been given to us by The Creator. In fact, that is one of the foundational beliefs of the original intent behind the creation of the federal government. Our rights are granted to us by God, not by government, for if our rights are granted to us by government, government would then be able to take those rights away. This idea of God-granted rights is based on a concept called Natural Law penned by John Locke during the 1600s. In the Declaration of Independence, it is referred to as, "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God." Natural Law is the unchanging moral principles regarded as a basis for all human conduct, which is observable law we participate in as related to our natural existence.
 
The U.S. Constitution was not solely written only to protect our natural rights, liberty, and property. Protecting our rights, liberty, and property are among the chief reasons the Constitution was written in the manner that it was, and protecting those natural rights are predictable byproducts when the Constitution is being followed by the government, but those are not the only reasons for the perceived need to compose the founding document, or for the creation of the federal government.
 
As indicated in the Preamble, the primary reason for the Constitution was "in Order to form a more perfect Union." However, the very formation of that union, and devising a governmental system to protect, preserve and promote that union, was not exclusively for the sake of the union, either. The ultimately desire was to protect the sovereignty of each component of that union - The States. The framers understood that by creating a federal government, the potential for the governmental system to become a tyranny was unleashed. Therefore, in order to protect the rights, liberty and property of the people (more specifically to "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity"), the federal government needed to be limited in its authorities by the rule of law. The law of the land in which the governmental system is limited to, in the case of the United States, is the U.S. Constitution, for the sake of protecting the individuality of the States, and We the People.
 
Terms:
 
Confederation: A confederation is an association of sovereign member states that, by treaty or other agreement, have delegated some of their powers to a common institution in order to coordinate policies, without constituting a new state on top of the member states.
 
English Bill of Rights: The Declaration of Rights in 1689, following the relatively bloodless "Glorious Revolution" of 1688, reasserting Protestant influence in England, and establishing a written declaration based on the belief that rights are granted by God, limiting the power of the king, and guaranteeing individual rights in writing. At its core, the system of government based on the English Bill of Rights, and the Magna Carta, holds as its philosophy that government is to serve the people, not the other way around.
 
Federalism: Government in which the central government's power and authority is limited by local government units, and where each unit is delegated a sphere of power and authority only it can exercise, while other powers must be shared. The term federalism comes from the Latin root foedus, which means "formal agreement or covenant." It includes the interrelationships between the states as well as between the states and the federal government.
 
Magna Carta: The "Great Charter" of English Liberties, forced from King John by the English barons at Runnymede, June 15, 1215. A fundamental constitution, or law guaranteeing rights.
 
Unalienable Rights: Incapable of being alienated, that is, sold and transferred. You can not surrender, sell or transfer unalienable rights, they are a gift from the Creator to the individual and can not under any circumstances be surrendered or taken. All individual's have unalienable rights.
 
 
 
Questions for Discussion:
 
1. How might the United States be different if the Magna Carta, or the Glorious Revolution, had never taken place?
 
2. Many of us were taught to memorize the Preamble in school, others remember it because of the School House Rock cartoon on Saturday mornings, but growing up how many times were we taught what it means?
 
3. Federalism, or the belief in a central government limited by the authorities granted to it in the Constitution, began as a wonderful idea. The members of the "Federalist Party," however, were not satisfied, and desired the federal government to have more authorities than it was granted. Why do you think this is true?
 
4. Why did the Founding Fathers only desire the federal government to be granted powers that regarded the union, and not authorities in regards to other issues?
 
4. The judicial branch was supposed to be the weakest of the three branches. Why do you think the Founding Fathers wanted to limit the judiciary to such an extent?
 
5. One of the founding principles is that our unalienable rights are given to us by the Creator. Is it a coincidence that historically most authoritarian governments that sought to take away the rights of the individual did it either by taking control of the church, or by rejecting religion/the existence of God?
 
6. At what point does a government take "provide for the common defense" too far?
 
Resources:
 
James L. Roark, Michael P. Johnson, Patricia Cline Cohen, Sarah Stage, Alan Lawson, and Susan M. Hartmann, The American Promise: A History of the United States; Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's (2009).
 
James Madison, Federalist No. 41: General View of the Powers Conferred by The Constitution, http://www.constitution.org/fed/federa41.htm
 
John L. Hancock, Liberty Inherited: The Untold Story of America's Exceptionalism; Charleston: Liberty Lane Media (2011)
 
Joseph Andrews, A Guide for Learning and Teaching The Declaration of Independence and The U.S. Constitution - Learning from the Original Texts Using Classical Learning Methods of the Founders; San Marcos: The Center for Teaching the Constitution (2010).
 
Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen, A Patriot's History of the United States; New York: Sentinel (2004).
 
Madison's Notes on the Constitutional Convention, Avalon Project, Yale University: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/subject_menus/debcont.asp
 
Philip B. Kurland and Ralph Lerner, The Founder's Constitution - Volume Two - Preamble through Article I, Section 8, Clause 4; Indianapolis: Liberty Fund (1987).
 
 
Copyright 2014 Douglas V. Gibbs

          Democrats: Silence All Opposition      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host
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The meaning of peace is the absence of opposition to socialism. -- Karl Marx
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Freedom of Speech was among the rights enumerated in the First Amendment, revealing how important to the Founding Fathers that particular Natural Right truly was (is).  The goal was to protect political and religious speech, and the liberal left in today's America is working to silence that right in the public square, and on the internet.

From safe spaces to political correctness, the younger generation has gotten to the point that they don't even know what freedom of speech is, anymore.

The younger generation is the generation that is tasked with securing liberty, or allowing it to die, during America's next era, yet they've been convinced that the liberty we have is somehow a part of an offensive and racist scheme to destroy equality.

The next generation is deeply invested in the internet, and social media, and the liberal left Democrats of the 21st Century know it.  From their point of view, the way to finish the indoctrination of the younger generation, and to ultimately silence any opposition to liberal leftism, is on the internet battlefield and in the minds of the youth. 

In the war for the minds of the younger generation, and ultimately control over America's future, people like conservative warrior Alex Jones have been shut down.  In the case of Jones, his content is being deleted on a number of social media outlets, be it Apple, Facebook, and others.

Across the Atlantic, Tommy Robinson, who uses social media to expose the Islamization of Britain, was arrested for daring to film on social media a courthouse during a Muslim rape-gang trial.  His life was in placed in mortal danger by the authorities when he was put into a prison facility filled with Muslims (71% Muslim majority).  Now that he is free, INSTAGRAM has decided to ban Tommy Robinson for daring to tell the truth.

Candidate Elizabeth Heng is a Republican Candidate in the central California 16th Congressional District.  Her parents escaped the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s, and to show the terror of communism and her parent's harrowing story, Heng made a video about the whole thing.  When she wanted to use the video for her candidate advertisement, FACEBOOK blocked it.

Black Conservative Candace Owens has been targeted, revealing that the left's targeting is not so much about targeting so-called racists and hate speech as they say, but that they are actually targeting conservatives, no matter who they are.  In short, if you disagree with them, no matter who you are, you will become a targeted individual.

Facebook wishes to double down on their assault against anyone who holds an opinion that opposes the authoritarian collectivist views of the Democrat Party, so they have gone so far as to ask Congress to change the rules in place for journalists.  This would allow Facebook to become a safe haven for journalists, and for them to be able to do things that would not be allowed by law otherwise in terms of information gathering, and using Facebook's algorithms.

Conservatives and Republicans are not the only ones seen as a danger to the leftist's agenda.  TWITTER has suspended a number of Libertarian Accounts, as well.  The fact is, if you are not 100% in agreement with the liberal left's agenda, you are an enemy and must be silenced, be it in the public square, or online.  This is why the U.S. Senate Democrats are, right now, as I am writing this, circulating plans for the federalization (government takeover ) of the internet.  The liberal left believes all opposition must be silenced at all costs.  The ends justify the means.  They say it's for the "Survival of our democracy", and that they must ban sites to ensure that salvation.  What they mean is that if they don't ban any and every website and form of speech that opposes them, the coup in place designed to takeover America would be in jeopardy - and they just can't have that.

For the sake of the Marxist Revolution in America, free Speech is the enemy and must be quelled, so FACEBOOK, APPLE, and GOOGLE are all getting out of the free speech business.

Their enemies must be silenced in the name of hate.  Anyone who stands in the way must be purged.  Alex Jones is only the beginning.  InfoWars is but one domino.  More shutdowns are on their way.

"First, we will take Eastern Europe, then the masses of Asia, then we will encircle the United States which will be the last bastion of capitalism. We will not have to attack. It will fall like an overripe fruit into our hands. " -- Vladimir Lenin, Soviet Revolutionary

"We cannot expect Americans to jump from capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving Americans small doses of socialism until they suddenly awake to find they have Communism." -- Nikita Khrushchev, Soviet Leader - 1960

While the final quote I would like to offer has actually never been proven to actually be a quote by George Orwell, but it is often attributed to him, I do believe it is appropriate as the final word in this article: "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

          GOP Congressman from New York Charged with Insider Trading      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
NEW YORK (AP) —Republican U.S. Rep. Christopher Collins of western New York state was arrested Wednesday on charges he fed inside information he...
          Kansas Democrats Pick Gay, Native American Nominee for Congress      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) —Sharice Davids shattered the mold for a congressional primary winner from ruby red Kansas on Wednesday, becoming the state's ...
          Michigan Attorney to Become 1st Muslim Woman in Congress      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
DETROIT (AP) —An attorney and former Michigan lawmaker is looking ahead to becoming the first Muslim woman elected to Congress. Former state Rep...
          【臺灣】薛瑞福籲創意思考美臺非外交關係      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
五角大廈亞太助理部長薛瑞福在華府智庫演說表示,美國自由與開放的印太戰略中,臺灣是重要貢獻者,美國應創意思考與臺灣的非外交夥伴關係。 美國國防部亞太助理部長薛瑞福今天說,美國「自由與開放的印太」戰略中,臺灣是重要貢獻者,應創意思考美國與臺灣的「非外交」夥伴關係。 華府智庫美國企業研究所(AEI)中午舉行「美國的東南亞戰略」研討會,薛瑞福(RandallSchriver)在會中除闡述國務卿蓬佩奧(MikePompeo)日前在亞洲行提出的「印太安全倡議」,另外也回答了中央社記者的提問。 對於臺灣在印太戰略中人道救援的角色,薛瑞福回答中央社記者提問表示,「自由與開放」的印太戰略中,美國認為臺灣是「自由」的重要貢獻者,包括臺灣內部展現的良善治理、民主價值、人權與宗教自由,美國都相當珍視,尤其是臺灣的非政府組織在人道援助上,有著許多良好的歷史記錄。 薛瑞福認為,在美臺「非外交」關係中,應「創意思考」與臺灣的夥伴關係,藉以推動上述雙方契合的價值觀,這符合美國利益。不過對於美國是否應加入「跨太平洋全面進展協定」(CPTPP),薛瑞福並未問答。 另外,有臺灣媒體記者提問,五角大廈將如何執行「2019財政年度國防授權法」(NDAA2019FY)有關臺灣的部分。 對此,薛瑞福則說,國防部仍在評估相關條文,行政部門清楚其中的「國會意見」(senseofcongress)是國會展示長期以來對臺灣的強烈支持。至於派美軍醫療船訪臺及美臺高層官員互訪,他表示美國將依「臺灣關係法」所建構的美臺關係行事。 美國參、眾兩院是在7月底完成國防授權法的最後版本,美國國會在國會意見中指出,美國國防部應推動美臺軍演。 一般來說,國會意見對行政部門不具強制約束力,美國總統在簽署預算案時,通常會聲明根據美國憲法,而行政與立法部門各有職責,外交與國防專屬總統職權,美國總統川普去年就針對國防授權法中關於臺灣的內容,就有類似表述。 必要時美國會對抗中國 美國國防部亞太助理部長薛瑞福今天說,中國國家主席習近平及中國共產黨「必須了解」,美國尋求與中國有「正面結果導向的軍事與安全關係」,但必要時,美國會起身對抗。 華府智庫美國企業研究所(AEI)中午舉行「美國的東南亞戰略」研討會,薛瑞福(RandallSchriver)闡述美國印太戰略中的「印太安全倡議」,將如何加強與東南亞國家合作時,也直言中國在東南亞藉由經濟槓桿展現影響力,給國際秩序及自由與開放的印太帶來的挑戰。 薛瑞福表示,美國尋求與中國有「正面結果為導向的軍事與安全關係」,更直接點名習近平和中國共產黨「必須了解」,美國會在與自身利益相符的領域尋求與中國合作,但美國也會在必要時起身對抗。 薛瑞福指出,美國在東南亞是尋求夥伴關係,不是要稱霸主宰,美軍在區域的定期出現,是區域穩定的重要資產,也是展現美國對區域盟邦的承諾是認真的。 美國總統川普上任後提出自由與開放的印太戰略,近來提出多個倡議,要加強與區域國家的經濟及安全合作。 不過,有報導指出,像是一向在外交政策採取「不結盟」的印度,決定不參加由美國、日本和澳洲發起支援亞太區域基礎設施建設的「印太倡議」,外界認為,這是印度不與中國的「一帶一路」正面衝突。 薛瑞福會中則說,美國聽到也瞭解區域國家關切,不想在美、中兩大陣營中選邊站,但他相信,中國在區域掠奪式的行為,非法的主權聲索,東南亞人民應深思,是要選擇夥伴關係,或是有國家稱霸主宰;是要保護獨立自主性,還是典當未來;是要保護主權的完整,還是看著有國家藉施壓制定國際規則,掌主控權。 至於南海,薛瑞福則指出,美國除在國際法允許範圍下,持續以行動捍衛航行及飛越自由,也會與理念相近的國家合作,他預告,未來還會有其他國家在南海挑戰中國,進入中國聲稱享有主權的12海里領海水域。 也有與會者問,中國藉由經濟槓桿,伸手到東南亞相關國家,甚至對各國內部政治產生影響力,區域國家應如何應對。對此,薛瑞福指出,美國注意到中國試圖以經濟換取區域影響力,像是中國在馬來西亞許多工程建設,就美國所知,相關情況比外界預期還糟。 他說,馬來西亞首相馬哈地預計將訪問中國,解決上述相關投資爭議,而美國則有提醒馬國,馬來西亞其實也有籌碼可運用,例如可公布過去相關馬中合作投資可能涉及貪腐情況,讓區域國家知道,中國是如何藉由經濟滲透,影響各國內部政治。
          Trump administration to impose new sanctions on Russia for attempted assassination of ex-Russian spy - USA TODAY      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

USA TODAY

Trump administration to impose new sanctions on Russia for attempted assassination of ex-Russian spy
USA TODAY
WASHINGTON – Under pressure from Congress, the Trump administration said Wednesday it would impose new sanctions on Russia for its involvement in the attempted assassination of Sergei Skripal, a former Russian spy, and his daughter Yulia Skripal.
Skripal attack: US to sanction Russia over Novichok useBBC News
US to Issue New Sanctions Against Russia Over Spy PoisoningNew York Times
US to impose sanctions on Russia over attack on SkripalsABC News
Express.co.uk -Daily Star -Vox -Xinhua
all 642 news articles »

          Tinubu alleges plan to impeach Buhari      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Sen. Ahmed Bola Tinubu, the National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), has alleged that some members of the National Assembly were planning to impeach
          Akpabio denies joining APC to escape EFCC probe      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Former Minority Leader of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, has denied that he dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to join the All Progressives Congress (APC), in order
          Osun 2018: ADC chairman calls for credible poll      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Chief Ralph  Nwosu, the National Chairman of the African Democratic Congress  (ADC), has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure a free,
          How can APC accuse Saraki of causing security concerns by ‘reconvening’ the NASS ? – PDP      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that the Presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have become confused and overburdened by guilt following the
          Largest California Wildfire Won't Be Contained Until September, Officials Say - NPR      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

NPR

Largest California Wildfire Won't Be Contained Until September, Officials Say
NPR
Officials in California are warning that it will likely be September before they are able to contain the Mendocino Complex Fire — the largest in the state's history that has already scorched an area the size of Los Angeles. Cal Fire pushed back its ...
California Wildfires Are Causing Billions in Damage. Who Will Pay?TIME
The Mendocino Complex is California's biggest fire ever, but residents know it could have been much worseLos Angeles Times
The Latest: Some allowed to return home near massive blazeFox News
CNN -Forbes -New York Times
all 1,210 news articles »

          It is the turn of Saraki to vacate his seat as President of the senate - Oshiomhole      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
It was dance galore as Adams Oshionhole, the Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), and party leader Ahmed Tinubu, joined others to formally receive defecting
          Akpabio’s entry has swallowed defections from APC, says Lawan      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Ahamad Lawan, senate majority leader, says the defection of Godswill Akpabio from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) has “swallowed” the recent
          "It would be difficult to impeach Saraki"      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Against the backdrop of several moves by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to change Principal Officers of the Senate, Senate Chairman on Public Accounts, Senator
          BREAKING: Akpabio formally defects from PDP to APC      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The minority leader of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, has officially dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC).Akpabio officially defected to
          Breaking: R-APC National Org. Secretary, Liman defects to PDP in Katsina      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
By Bashir Bello KATSINA – The Reformed All Progressive Congress, R-APC, National Organizing Secretary, Mahmud T. Liman has on Wednesday defected to the Peoples Democratic Party,
          Fundraise or 'look for a job,' Republicans warn after close election races      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
As Republican candidates backed by President Donald Trump clung to small leads in closely watched races in Ohio and Kansas on Wednesday, nervousness grew in Republican circles about their ability to continue extending millions of dollars in aid to candidates in November's Congressional elections.

          U.S. Congressman Collins, son charged with insider trading      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Christopher Collins, a Republican U.S. congressman from New York who was one of President Donald Trump's earliest supporters, was criminally charged on Wednesday with taking part in an insider trading scheme involving an Australian biotechnology company on whose board he served.

          Puerto Rico sends costlier reconstruction plan to U.S. Congress      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Puerto Rico submitted a recovery plan to the U.S. Congress on Wednesday that carries an estimated price tag of $139 billion, which is 47 percent more than the bankrupt U.S. commonwealth requested in November.

          Elizabeth Warren snubbed in 'first Native American congresswoman' media coverage      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Two Democratic candidates are each poised to become the first Native American woman elected to Congress, according to the media consensus, which has prompted the question: What about Sen. Elizabeth Warren?

Democrat Sharice Davids, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, won her House primary race Tuesday in Kansas, prompting the ...

          President Trump casts himself as deciding factor in GOP election wins      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

President Trump said he's the magic touch for struggling Republican candidates after his picks won a series of victories Tuesday.

Trump-backed candidates claimed victory in a high-stakes special congressional election in Ohio and in a trio of other primaries. And Kris Kobach, a controversial Trump ally in Kansas, leads by ...

          Prime Minister of Nepal      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The total information about Prime Minsters are below.
Damodar Pande become Prime Minister Of Nepal from 1799 to 1804. Damodar Pande was died on 1804 then Bhimsen Thapa become Prime Minister from 1805 to 1837. Bhimsen Thapa was born on 1775 and died on 1839. Then after Rana Jang Pande become PM for the first time from 1837 to 1837. Rana Jang Pande (1/2) was died on 1843. Ranga Nath Poudyal become PM from 1837 to 1838. Puskar Shah become PM from 1838 to 1839. Rana Jang Pande become PM for second time from 1839 to 1840. Rana Jang Pande (2/2) was died on 1843 Ranga Nath Poudyal become PMfrom 1840 to 1840. Fatte Jang Chautaria become PM from Nov 1840 to Jan 1843. Fatte Jang Chautaria (1/2) was born on 1805 and died on 1846 Mathabar Singh Thapa become Prime Minister from 28 Nov 1843 to 17 May 1845. Mathabar Singh Thapa was born on 1798 and died on 1845 Fatte Jang Chautaria become Prime Minister from Sep 1845 to 14 Sep 1846. Fatte Jang Chautaria (2/2) was born on 1805 and died on 1846 Jang Bahadur Kunwar(from 5 May 1848, Jang Bahadur Rana) (1/2) become PM from 15 Sep 1846 to 1 Aug 1856. Jang Bahadur Kunwar(from 5 May 1848, Jang Bahadur Rana) (1/2) was born on 1817 and died on 1877 Bam Bahadur Kunwar Rana become PM from 1 Aug 1856 to 25 May 1857. Bam Bahadur Kunwar Rana was born on 1818 and died on 1857 Krishna Bahadur Kunwar Rana (acting) become Prime Minister from 25 May 1857 to 28 June 1857. Krishna Bahadur Kunwar Rana (acting) was born on 1823 and died on 1863 Jang Bahadur Rana become PM from 28 Jun 1857 to 25 Feb 1877. Jang Bahadur Rana (2/2) was born on 1817 and died on 1877 Renaudip Singh Bahadur become PM from 27 Feb 1877 to 22 Nov 1885. Renaudip Singh Bahadur was born on 1825 and died on 1885 Bir Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana become PM from 22 Nov 1885 to 5-Mar-01. Bir Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana was born on 1852 and died on 1901 Dev Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana become Prime Minister from 5-Mar-01 to 27-Jun-01. Dev Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana was born on 1862 and died on 1914 Chandra Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana become PM from 27-Jun-01 to 26-Nov-29. Chandra Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana was born on 1863 and died on 1929 Bhim Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana become PM from 26-Nov-29 to 1-Sep-32. Bhim Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana was born on 1865 and died on 1932 Juddha Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana become PM from 1-Sep-32 to 29-Nov-45. Juddha Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana was born on 1875 and died on 1952 Padma Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana become PM from 29-Nov-45 to 30-Apr-48. Padma Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana was born on 1882 and died on 1961 Mohan Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana become PM from 30-Apr-48 to 12-Nov-51. Mohan Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana was born on 1885 and died on 1967 Matrika Prasad Koirala become Prime Minister from 16-Nov-51 to 14-Aug-52. Matrika Prasad Koirala(1/2) was born on 1912 and died on 1997 was from Nepali Congress.

After Rana regime, King Tribhuvan Bir Bikram Shah direct ruled Nepal from 14-Aug-52 to 15-Jun-53.

Prime Ministers after Rana Prime Ministers

Matrika Prasad Koirala become first Prime Minister after Ranas from 15-Jun-53 to 14-Apr-55. Matrika Prasad Koirala(2/2) was born on 1912 and died on 1997 was from Nepali Congress. After him Direct rule by King Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev took on 14-Apr-55 to 27-Jan-56. Then after Tanka Prasad Acharya become PM from 27-Jan-56 to 26-Jul-57. Tanka Prasad Acharya was born on 1912 and died on 1992 was from Nepal Praja Parishad. Kunwar Inderjit Singh become PM from 26-Jul-57 to 15-May-58. Kunwar Inderjit Singh was born on 1906 and died on 1982 was from United Democratic Party. Subarna Shamsher Rana become Prime Minister from 15-May-58 to 27-May-59. Subarna Shamsher Rana was born on 1910 and died on 1977 was from Nepali Congress.
Prime Minister of Nepal

Nepal's first elected Prime Minister

Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala was First elected PM of Nepal. He become Prime Minister from 27-May-59 to 26-Dec-60. Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala First elected PM of Nepal was born on 1914 and died on 1982 was from Nepali Congress. Tulsi Giri  become PM for first time from 26-Dec-60 to 23-Dec-63. Tulsi Giri (1/3) was born on 1926. Surya Bahadur Thapa become PM for first time from 23-Dec-63 to 26-Feb-64. Surya Bahadur Thapa(1/5) was born on 1928. Tulsi Giri become PM for second timefrom 26-Feb-64 to 26-Jan-65. Tulsi Giri (2/3) was born on 1926 Surya Bahadur Thapa become PM for second time from 26-Jan-65 to 7-Apr-69. Surya Bahadur Thapa(2/5) was born on 1928. Kirti Nidhi Bista  become PM for first time from 7-Apr-69 to 13-Apr-70. Kirti Nidhi Bista (1/3) was born on 1927.

Again King Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev ruled 13-Apr-70 to 14-Apr-71.
Again After Kirti Nidhi Bista become PM for second time from 14-Apr-71 to 16-Jul-73. Kirti Nidhi Bista (2/3) was born on 1927.
Nagendra Prasad Rijal become PM for first time from 16-Jul-73 to 1-Dec-75. Nagendra Prasad Rijal(1/2) was born on 1927 and died on 1994.
Tulsi Giri  become Prime Minister for third time from 1-Dec-75 to 12-Sep-77. Tulsi Giri (3/3) was born on 1926.
Kirti Nidhi Bista  become Prime Minister from 12-Sep-77 to 30-May-79. Kirti Nidhi Bista (3/3) was born on 1927.
Surya Bahadur Thapa become PM for third time from 30-May-79 to 12-Jul-83. Surya Bahadur Thapa(3/5) was born on 1928.
Lokendra Bahadur Chand become PM from 12-Jul-83 to 21-Mar-86. Lokendra Bahadur Chand(1/4) was born on 1940.
Nagendra Prasad Rijal become PM from 21-Mar-86 to 15-Jun-86. Nagendra Prasad Rijal(2/2) was born on 1927 and died on 1994.
Marich Man Singh Shrestha become PM from 15-Jun-86 to 6-Apr-90. Marich Man Singh Shrestha was born on 1942.
Lokendra Bahadur Chand become PM from 6-Apr-90 to 19-Apr-90. Lokendra Bahadur Chand(2/4) was born on 1940.
Krishna Prasad Bhattarai become PM from 19-Apr-90 to 26-May-91. Krishna Prasad Bhattarai(1/2) was born on 1924 and died on 2011 was from Nepali Congress
Girija Prasad Koirala  become Prime Minister from 26-May-91 to 30-Nov-94. Girija Prasad Koirala (1/4) was born on 1925 and died on 2010 was from Nepali Congress
Man Mohan Adhikari become PM from 30-Nov-94 to 12-Sep-95. Man Mohan Adhikari was born on 1920 and died on 1999 was from CPN (Unified Marxist–Leninist) Sher Bahadur Deuba  become PM from 12-Sep-95 to 12-Mar-97. Sher Bahadur Deuba (1/3) was born on 1946 was from Nepali Congress Lokendra Bahadur Chand become PM from 12-Mar-97 to 7-Oct-97. Lokendra Bahadur Chand(3/4) was born on 1940 was from Rastriya Prajatantra Party (Chand) Surya Bahadur Thapa become PM from 7-Oct-97 to 15-Apr-98. Surya Bahadur Thapa(4/5) was born on 1928 was from Rastriya Prajatantra Party Girija Prasad Koirala  become PM from 15-Apr-98 to 31-May-99. Girija Prasad Koirala (2/4) was born on 1925 and died on 2010 was from Nepali Congress Krishna Prasad Bhattarai become PM from 31-May-99 to 22-Mar-00. Krishna Prasad Bhattarai(2/2) was born on 1924 and died on 2011 was from Nepali Congress Girija Prasad Koirala become PM from 22-Mar-00 to 26-Jul-01. Girija Prasad Koirala (3/4) was born on 1925 and died on 2010 was from Nepali Congress Sher Bahadur Deuba become Prime Minister from 26-Jul-01 to 4-Oct-02. Sher Bahadur Deuba (2/3) was born on 1946 was from Nepali Congress Direct rule by KingGyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev4-Oct-02 to 11-Oct-02. Lokendra Bahadur Chand become Prime Minister from 11-Oct-02 to 5-Jun-03. Lokendra Bahadur Chand(4/4) was born on 1940 was from Rastriya Prajatantra Party
Surya Bahadur Thapa become PMfrom 5-Jun-03 to 3-Jun-04. Surya Bahadur Thapa(5/5) was born on 1928 was from Rastriya Prajatantra Party Sher Bahadur Deuba  become Prime Minister from 3-Jun-04 to 1-Feb-05. Sher Bahadur Deuba (3/3) was born on 1946 was from Nepali Congress. (Democratic) Direct rule by KingGyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev ruled from 1-Feb-05 to 25-Apr-06. Girija Prasad Koirala become Prime Minister from 25-Apr-06 to 28-May-08. Girija Prasad Koirala (4/4) was born on 1925–2010 and died on 1925–2010 was from Nepali Congress

          Bustos Schedules ‘Cheri on Shift’ at Gold Star FS in Aledo      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Western Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos will participate in a “Cheri on Shift” Thursday morning at Gold Star, a full line agronomy location which studies fertilizer, crop protection, and seed. Gold Star’s Aledo location also is home to a Grain Systems…
          #CaitlynJenner Wants To Play A Villian In A Marvel Movie! [VIDEO]      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
In an interview, #CaitlynJenner covered a wide range of topics, including what she’s been doing to keep busy and how she’s been secretly meeting with members of Congress to help fight for equality. Along with her plans, she also revealed she’d like to play a villain in a marvel movie saying: “In a Marvel movie, I want to play […]
          Which Pa. and N.J. races will make the difference in the fight for Congress?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The road to control of the U.S. House runs through the Philadelphia region. Democrats, needing to gain 23 seats to build a majority, are targeting as many as six Republican-held districts in the southeast Pennsylvania and South Jersey, and more could come into play in both states if a wave forms. We rank the most competitive contests based on a combination of importance and competitiveness.
          Episode 544: Live-ish from Lily Dale      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
"Spooky Southcoast" recorded live Saturday, July 21, 2018. Tim and special guest co-hosts Phil Paleologos, Ellen Ratner of Fox News and former U.S. Congressman Bob Ney visit Lily Dale, New York, the Spiritualist center of the world. They welcome numerous psychic mediums and members of the historic Lily Dale Assembly onto the show.
          Sharice Davids Could Become First Lesbian Native American Congresswoman      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Ms. Davids, a lawyer and former mixed martial arts fighter who won the Democratic nomination for a House seat in Kansas, campaigned on expanded health care access and gun control.
          Ukraine wants to have the army of Nazi zombies      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
What consequences will follow the introduction of Nazi and Bandera-style greetings in the Ukrainian army? Why does Ukrainian President Poroshenko want to nazify Ukraine? Petro Poroshenko ordered to draft a bill that would replace army greetings from Soviet-style "Greetings,  comrades!" to Bandera-style "Glory to Ukraine!" and "Glory to heroes!"The bill is to be approved by the Ukrainian parliament, which currently remains in recess. The parliament is to reconvene on September 4. Nevertheless, Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak said that the new greetings would be used during the military parade on Independence Day in Kiev on August 24. This suggests that Ukraine lives under the rule of certain individuals, rather than law. The aforementioned Bandera-style greeting used by Ukrainian nationalists - "Glory to Ukraine!" -originates from "Heil Hitler!"("Glory to Hitler!") and "Sieg Heil!" ("Glory to Victory!") exclamations that Nazi soldiers used during WWII.  The "Glory to Ukraine!" exclamation was officially introduced at the II Congress of the OUN* party in Krakow in April 1941.Of course, Ukrainian trolls try to find other roots for their Nazi greeting, Christian and even pre-Christian ones. Yet, Ukrainian soldiers will subconsciously associate the new army greetings with the "deeds" of Ukrainian SS divisions "Galicia" and "Nachtigall."The crimes of Ukrainian nationalists were legally proved and established at relevant litigations that also established their direct connection with Nazis. People in the whole world are familiar with the photo showing a fascist aiming his gun at a naked woman, who tries to cover her child with her body. The man in the picture, who is executing the woman and her child, wears a uniform of SS soldier, but he is not a German. He is a native of Western Ukraine. He had served in Galicia division, and had taken part in the work of punitive troops since 1943. Poroshenko consistently pursues the policy to nazify Ukraine. The main message of this policy is as follows: it was not the Soviet Army, but the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian insurgent army (Bandera supporters, UPA*) that liberated Ukraine from Nazism. How do common Ukrainians react to this?Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk said: "If shouting "Glory to Ukraine!" could bring back peace to Ukraine, if it could raise people's salaries and pensions, I would be shouting it 24/7." It appears that the Germans used to have the same feelings when Hitler came to power. We would like to hope that Ukraine does not become a prosperous country owing to a Nazi administration. Here is what another person wrote on Facebook: "If you refuse to say "Glory to heroes" in response to "Glory to Ukraine" or if you do not know how to respond to this exclamation, just pretend that you are deaf, or they'll shoot you, at least in your feet." Needless to say that the international community will not show any reaction to Ukraine's decision to change army greetings from Soviet to Nazi ones. In Germany, however, it is considered criminal to say Nazi greetings. In Poland, Ukrainian Bandera-style exclamation is punishable by imprisonment. Yet, Brussels was OK with the anti-Russian Ukrainian slogan "Moskalyaku na gilyaku!" which literally translates as "Muscovites - on guillotines!" The main principle of the European establishment today is as follows: the worse for Russia, the better. At the same time, Ukraine is striving with its fascist values to Europe. Who knows, maybe it will become a member of the European Union someday. Ukrainian nationalists also use an anti-Jewish slogan - "Yude - get'!" ("Jews out!"), but Mr. Poroshenko enjoys respect in Israel. As for the "stronghold of democracy," the United States, Washington shows strong resistance to the adoption of the anti-Nazi resolution that Russia and tens of other countries promote at the United Nations Organization. Ottawa and Kiev support Washington in this. After the Holocaust, Washington's position on the topic should look wild and unacceptable for Israel, but Israel will never say goodbye to an annual aid of three billion dollars. Psychiatrist and psychologist Alexander Fedorovich said in an interview with Pravda.Ru that Ukraine's key national idea is the idea of nationalism. "It unites a fairly large group of people who are ready for extreme actions. Nationalism in Ukraine promotes ideas of chauvinism, fascism and anti-Semitism," the expert told Pravda.Ru.The first platform, where a national ideology should be realized, is a younger generation (kindergartens and schools). The next platform is the army. "If people have to go to kill other people, they should be ideologically zombified, because they should not think about anything else," Alexander Fedorovich said in an interview with Pravda.Ru.According to the psychologist, Ukraine did not have to reinvent the wheel - the country recreated the experience of Dr. Goebbels by inciting nationalist sentiments and making people believe in the superiority of their country over other nations. "In the army, this greeting, which soldiers repeat throughout the day, becomes visceral. It requires no emotional coloring, and it zombifies people. They stop to reflect on the subject and take it for granted," Alexander Fedorovich said in an interview with Pravda.Ru. *OUN-UPA - terrorist organizations banned in RussiaLyuba LulkoPravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
          DASKAA to mark climax of USA anti-Russian hysteria      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
US Congress currently considers a new document, the essence of which is to put even more pressure on the Russian Federation. The document, inter alia, highlights the need to find the assets of Russian President Putin and declare Russia an accomplice of international terrorism.The document titled "Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act of 2018" or DASKAA, proposes reducing all existing anti-Russian sanctions to a common denominator. Also, according to the bill, Washington will create a special department to oversee the actions of the United States of America on sanctions against Russia.The senators who supported the bill want the Russian Federation to return the Crimea to Ukraine and refuse to sponsor military operations in the Donbass. Representatives of the US government also urge Moscow to stop supporting separatists of Georgia and Moldova. In addition, US authorities want Russia to stop its participation in military operations in Syria, withdraw from the alliance with pro-government forces of the country and no longer support the regime of Bashar Assad.
          Oligarchy      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
I knew that D.C. was corrupt, but I was unaware just how bad it actually is.  Elect someone new to Congress or the Senate?  They can't represent the people who elected them because they have no power.  That is in the hands of the Power Elite, and through them the staffers and the lobbyists.  And if they don't toe the line, the RNC and DNC will do everything in their power to make sure that they don't get re-elected.  We don't have a Representative Republic, we have descended to an Oligarchy.  Watch all four parts of The Swamp.  If that doesn't piss you off, nothing will.  And note that the only members of Congress that agreed to be part of this documentary series are Republican House members - no Democrats, no Senators.

Part 1:



Part 2:



Part 3:



Part 4:



Torches, pitchforks, tar and feathers anyone?
          Australian pharmaceutical company caught up in US congressman insider trading scandal      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

An indictment against Republican Chris Collins says the congressman passed on non-public tips to his son about the failure of a drug trial at an Australian pharmaceutical company, which was then traded on to help avoid more than $1 million in losses.


          Fundraise or 'look for a job,' Republicans warn after close election races      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
As Republican candidates backed by President Donald Trump clung to small leads in closely watched races in Ohio and Kansas on Wednesday, nervousness grew in Republican circles about their ability to continue extending millions of dollars in aid to candidates in November's Congressional elections.

          Ministros do STF propõem reajuste de 16% nos próprios salários      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
BRASÍLIA — Os ministros do Supremo Tribunal Federal (STF) decidiram, em sessão administrativa nesta quarta-feira, enviar para o Congresso Nacional uma proposta de orçamento para 2019 com reajuste de 16% nos próprios salários. A presidente do...
          Sales Account Representative - Cargill - Congress, SK      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Must be legally entitled to work for Cargill in Canada. Cargill is an equal opportunity employer and committed to providing accommodation to our job applicants...
From Cargill - Sat, 09 Jun 2018 02:33:34 GMT - View all Congress, SK jobs
          Palestinian-American candidate is source of West Bank pride      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The Michigan primary victory of Rashida Tlaib, who is expected to become the first Muslim woman and Palestinian-American to serve in the U.S. Congress, triggered an outpouring of joy in her ancestral village on Wednesday.
          GOP congressman from New York charged with insider trading      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Republican U.S. Rep. Christopher Collins of New York has been indicted on securities fraud charges.
          Washington state Democrats eye 3 GOP House seats      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Democrats are celebrating early returns in three congressional races in Washington state's primary election.
          Palestinian-American candidate is source of West Bank pride      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The Michigan primary victory of Rashida Tlaib, who is expected to become the first Muslim woman and Palestinian-American to serve in the U.S. Congress, triggered an outpouring of joy in her ancestral village on Wednesday.
          US House Candidate Dan Freilich Takes Aim At 'Corruption' Of Money In Politics      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Dr. Dan Freilich says he's seeking the Democratic nomination for the U.S. House to be a "tireless advocate" for campaign finance reform. He says the current election financing system is corrupt and has a corrosive impact on almost every important issue facing Congress.
          Book Review: Black Chamber      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The following review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper. You can read all of our book reviews and author interviews by clicking on the Books category link in the right side bar. Black Chamberby S. M. Stirling is part alternate history and part thriller involving spies, secret identities, and daring acts. The historical timeline deviates after Taft dies, allowing Theodore Roosevelt to win the presidency instead of Woodrow Wilson. The difference of having Roosevelt at the helm can be felt throughout the book as America considers entering World War I in 1916. It is obvious the author admires Theodore Roosevelt. “I wrote much of who Roosevelt was through the main character’s eyes. Teddy was the first President to drive an automobile, fly in an aircraft, and to go down in a submarine. Teddy was very different than Taft, who he described as a ‘walrus on legs,’ and Wilson as a ‘prissy, sissy Princeton professor,’ a dry stick who is a man dominated by theories. If the facts do not agree with the theories so much for the facts. He was really a ‘wus,’ and quite a contrast from Teddy who really knocked out a gunman with his fists, shot Grizzly Bears, and arrested bandits. His adversary, Kaiser Wilhelm, had Teddy envy. He wanted to be everything Teddy was: a real soldier, reformer, and a great popular leader. The Kaiser imitates Teddy a lot. In my “BC” universe he believed in government scientific research and the development of a spy organization.” Black Chamber is a CIA-type organization, a secret spy agency to protect America. Luz O'Malley Aróstegui, the cunning spy, is assigned to find how the Germans plan on preventing America from coming to the rescue of Allied nations. She boards a flying vessel, a zeppelin airship, destined for Amsterdam. Her mission is to go deep undercover, portraying a Mexican revolutionary. She meets with the German contact,Imperial Sword, who turns out to be a, good-looking German by the name of Baron Horst von Dückler.Finding out that the Germans are planning something nasty, Luz uses all her skills to get the information and thwart the horrific danger to America. It appears to be in the German DNA to gas people. “During my research, I found out Germany invented chemistry and poison gas, and being better than Hitler’s Nazis is a pretty low bar. The Germans started WWI and drove the brutalization and radicalization during the War. They had no conception of how to deal with a beaten opponent except grab them by the throat and squeeze until their eyes popped out. They shot hostages and deported people for slave labor. In this book, Germany developed nerve gas. A pint of it could kill hundreds of thousands of people. It is the DDT for people.” Luz is a great character that uses Sherlock Holmes traits of deduction and action type talents of James Bond. Coming from an Irish-Cuban American heritage she speaks numerous languages that allow her to infiltrate the enemy’s circle. She is tough, clever, charming, and has a thoroughly modern outlook. Stirling noted, “She is an exceptional person who did extraordinary things. Luz is an only child whose father was an Irish American engineer and her mother Cuban.Luzgoes deep undercover, portraying a Mexican revolutionary after her parents were brutally killed by radical Mexicans. She wants revenge and decides to join the Black Chamber. She enjoys riding, shooting, and climbing, skills she uses as a spy. Luz is an American nationalist, highly intelligent, adventurous, and frivolous. She is almost invincible as a spy because she is a woman, thus is underestimate.” Readers learn about the culture, setting, and values of America during that time period. For example, a scene on how Luz dresses, “There were situations where a woman could wear trousers without attracting too much attention.” Acceptability comes from Roosevelt, a Bull Moose Progressive Republican, having Congress pass the Equal Rights Amendment instead of "just" women's suffrage. Although Stirling takes author license with dates and issues of the day the way he infuses these historical events allows for a more interesting story. The secondary characters are very well-developed. Ciara is a woman that understands mechanics and technology who becomes an ally of Luz. The German Horst is a very powerful man, strong, smart, and charming. Theodore Roosevelt is more of a background character and his views and insights are understood through Luz’s thoughts. Stirling offers readers a carrot, the fabulous engaging protagonists, and a stick, the power of the plot. He employs Theodore Roosevelt’s “Big stick diplomacy,” through the many intense action-filled scenes.After reading this first in a series of “Black Chamber” novels, people will look forward to reading the next novel involving these believable and gripping characters.

          Election - Michigan Democrats elect Detroit City Council president to fill out final weeks of John Conyers's term      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Brenda Jones, who holds the second most powerful political job in Detroit, must now consider whether to give it up for a few short weeks - just 18 legislative days - in Congress.
          Election - The Latest: Detroit leader picked to finish Conyers term      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
WESTERVILLE, Ohio - The Latest on primaries in Missouri, Kansas, Michigan and Washington state and a congressional special election in Ohio :
          Election - Michigan attorney set to be first Muslim woman in Congress      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
DETROIT - Rashida Tlaib's opposition to President Donald Trump began while he was still candidate Trump and before she decided to run for Congress. The 42-year-old attorney...
          Apple calmly tells Congress iPhones aren't spying on users      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
There's more evidence debunking the conspiracy theory that your iPhone is secretly listening to you.

On Tuesday, Apple responded to the House Energy and Commerce Committee's requests for information on the data Apple products collect on customers. The letter mostly focused on location ... Reported by Mashable 2 hours ago.
          It’s Harivansh vs Hariprasad in RS battle      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Congress announced the candidature of former party general secretary, BK Hariprasad, as its candidate against NDA’s Harivansh for the election scheduled for Thursday. Congress announced its decision to field its candidate after regional parties appeared reluctant to take the field.
          NDA MPs to oppose Doklam report?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
A draft report of the standing committee on external affairs headed by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor that deals with the Doklam stand-off is likely to be opposed by NDA MPs on the panel for “revealing” sensitive information provided in the course of privileged briefings.
          Democratic Socialist Poised to Be First Palestinian-American Congresswoman      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Rashida Tlaib is likely to run unopposed following her primary victory Tuesday in Michigan's 13th District.
          GOP Congressman From New York Charged With Insider Trading      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Christopher Collins is arrested on charges that he fed inside information he gleaned from sitting on the board of a biotechnology company to his son, helping themselves and others dodge hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses when bad news came out.
          Democrats Pick Gay, Native American Nominee in Kansas Primary      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Sharice Davids, an attorney and activist, shatters the mold for a congressional primary winner from the ruby red state. She will face four-term Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder in November.
          The rise of the Red Power movement      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Brian Ward celebrates the anniversary of the formation of the American Indian Movement 50 years ago and the revitalization of resistance to U.S. settler-colonialism.

IN JULY 1968, the American Indian Movement (AIM) was founded in Minneapolis and became the organizational expression of the Red Power movement.

It was three months after Black uprisings shook cities across the country in the wake of Martin Luther King’s assassination, two months after the massive general strike in France, and a month before the brutal repression of anti-Vietnam war protests in Chicago outside the Democratic National Convention.

When we talk about the radicalization that happened in the 1960s and 1970s, we often forget about AIM and the Red Power movement, which were outgrowths of both centuries of resistance to settler-colonialism and the revolutionary fever of 1968.

On the 50th anniversary of founding, and in a time of renewed levels of Native resistance, it’s important to tell this story.


From Wounded Knee to “Termination”

On December 29, 1890, the 7th U.S. Cavalry killed at least 150 people — some estimate as many as 300 — at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, now located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

The founding board of the American Indian Movement meets in Minneapolis. Left to right: Harold Goodsky, Charles Deegan, Dennis Banks, Clyde Bellecourt, Peggy Bellcourt, Mr. & Mrs. Barber, Rita Rogers (seated), George Mitchell, Mrs. Mellessy and daughter.
The founding board of the American Indian Movement meets in Minneapolis. Left to right: Harold Goodsky, Charles Deegan, Dennis Banks, Clyde Bellecourt, Peggy Bellcourt, Mr. & Mrs. Barber, Rita Rogers (seated), George Mitchell, Mrs. Mellessy and daughter. (American Indian Movement Interpretive Center | Facebook)

Many historians and Natives saw Wounded Knee as the turning point after a long fight against relentless U.S. capitalist expansion westward. The massacre is often cited as marking the end of the Indian Wars and the start of a full assimilation policy that would last until the 1970s.

But while Wounded Knee was a historic atrocity, the passage of the Dawes Act of 1887 marked the start of disastrous policy of forced assimilation. It systematically reduced the land held by Natives in the West, and attempted to integrate them into American capitalism by undoing any notion of collective ownership and “giving” 160 acres to each head of household.

One of the law’s most important provisions was that the surplus land was made available for settlers, railroads, corporations and national parks.

This time saw the forerunner of Donald Trump’s border policy of separating immigrant children from their families. Many Native children were ripped from their homes and sent to Indian boarding schools, which aimed to rid the children of their language and culture and teach them a trade to make them useful cogs in the U.S. economy.

Eventually, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “New Deal” government was pressured to pass the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, which ended the Dawes Act and finally gave back some level of sovereignty to Indians by officially “creating” tribal government that were elected by the tribe. Tribal constitutions, however, had to be approved by the federal government and the constitutions could not contain any form of traditional governance.


The Conditions that Gave Rise to Red Power

By the 1950s, many American Indians lived either on extremely impoverished Indian reservations or within urban centers that were often referred to as Red Ghettos.

Natives had always come to cities for work, but this migration started to dramatically increase in 1953, when Congress passed House Concurrent Resolution 108, which called for the end of reservations and federal services and protections “as rapidly as possible.”

The policy of “termination,” as it was known, was aimed at total assimilation — and allowing the U.S. government to eliminate any type of land claim or treaty rights and finally end its “Indian Problem.”

Officials chose Native nations that they considered to be the most “advanced,” eliminated their reservations and federal relationship to Washington, and handed over jurisdiction to the state. The idea of nation-to-nation relationship and treaty rights would be abolished.

The Menominee Nation in northern Wisconsin was the first tribe to be terminated. It fell under the authority of the state, as though it were simply a county without any national identity. Menominee land became easier to sell and privatize so the county could maintain a tax base.

After the policy was implemented, the Menominee were devastated. If the federal government had its way, termination was going to be imposed on every other Native nation within the United States.

As part of the termination policy, one-way bus tickets were given to Natives to leave their reservations with the promise of good jobs, resulting in a influx of Natives into cities like Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Seattle, Portland and San Francisco.

From 1960 to 1970, the percentage of Natives living in urban areas nearly doubled — from 28 to 44 percent. Today, 78 percent of Natives live off reservations and 72 percent live in cities or suburban areas.

This was the Indian version of the Great Migration of African Americans from the South to the North 100 years ago, except in this case, it was official government policy.

For the U.S. government, termination turned out to be a double-edged sword. It weakened Native communities, but also brought thousands of Indians together in cities, creating a pan-Indianism that hadn’t existed at least since Tecumseh’s efforts in the early 1800s to build multination resistance to Western expansion.

In cities and on reservations, American Indians faced racial profiling from the police and were one of the most disproportionately represented groups in prison. In 1968, at the time of AIM’s founding, Indians were about 10 percent of the population of Minneapolis and 70 percent of the city’s jail population.

Many of the founders of AIM first met while they were in prison. Clyde Bellecourt and Eddie Benton Banai were Ojibwe inmates in 1962 at Minnesota Stillwater Prison and started reading about the civil rights movement and the Black Panthers.

Their first taste of organizing was an education program with 47 Native prisoners. As Bellecourt recounts in Peter Matthiessen’s In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, “I guess we had the first real Indian Studies Program in the country.”

Many Indians in urban centers also started to fight for health care rights, which were guaranteed to many Natives in treaty rights. At the time, you couldn’t find an Indian Health Services outside a reservation.


The Birth of the American Indian Movement

As more and more Indians became radicalized by termination, unemployment and police violence, many took inspiration from the Black Power movement to develop their own Red Power.

In July 1968 in Minneapolis, Eddie Benton Banai, Clyde Bellecourt, George Mitchell and Dennis Banks founded what they first called the “Concerned Indian Americans.” Quickly recognizing the acronym problem, they renamed themselves the American Indian Movement.

The group’s original aim was fighting police violence in the Native neighborhood of Franklin. In their book Like a Hurricane, Paul Chaat Smith and Robert Allen Warrior describe the group’s original activities:

One of the first projects of the new group was the AIM Patrol. AIM raised money to equip cars with two-way radios, cameras and tape recorders so they could monitor arrests by the police department. When the AIM Patrol heard police dispatched to certain bars or street corners, officers would be met by Indians in red jackets carefully observing their actions. AIM also became expert at providing attorneys for those arrested. It was a tactic similar to Black Panther campaigns to monitor police in Oakland, California and other cities.

AIM’s political program was murky at first, but it evolved and developed through action and organizing into calling for self-determination and liberation.

AIM chapters started springing up everywhere in the country. The organization was growing at a rapid rate. Despite this, however, it faced the issue of disconnect from reservation people. Founded mainly by Minneapolis Ojibwe people (whose homelands are close to Lake Superior in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan), AIM was an urban pan-Indian that didn’t have roots on reservations.

That changed dramatically in February 1972 after the murder of a Lakota man named Raymond Yellow Thunder in Gordon, Nebraska.

Gordon was a small town near the Pine Ridge Reservation. As in many reservation border towns, relations between Indian and white people were extremely strained. It wasn’t uncommon to hear people use the R-word and talk about the difference between “good” Indians and “bad” Indians.

That was the atmosphere in which Raymond Yellow Thunder was beaten to death by Melvin and Leslie Hare — who were charged only with assault and battery and released without bail. Yellow Thunder’s family in Pine Ridge sought assistance from both the tribe and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), but heard nothing.

That’s when the family turned to AIM, which brought caravan after caravan to Gordon alongside the Oglala Lakota people. AIM demanded justice for the murder of Yellow Thunder. Russell Means, who was Oglala Lakota, but grew up in the Bay Area, helped bridge the gap between AIM and the Lakota people in Pine Ridge.

This unexpected response by Indians inspired people all around the country and forced Gordon authoroies to impose higher charges and convict the Hare brothers.

Gordon was a turning point for AIM, which became a trusted organization to traditionals on Pine Ridge and around the country. AIM’s success no doubt frightened the government because it had shown the ability to bring together people who had been intentionally separated: urban and reservation Natives.

After its successful campaign in Gordon, AIM was emboldened and quickly put itself on the national map, bringing the issue of Indian liberation to the mainstream.

In November 1972, the group organized the Trail of Broken Treaties, in which more than 500 American Indians drove across the country to D.C. to discuss the treatment of Indigenous people with the BIA.

AIM developed a 20-point plan, including the restoration of Indians’ treaty-making authority (ended by Congress in 1871), abolition of the BIA (reminiscent of current calls to abolish ICE), and that all Indians should be governed by treaty relations. Activists kicked the BIA out and occupied the building for a few days on the eve of the 1972 presidential election.

AIM was also part of campaigns against racism in and around Indian Country in places like Rapid City, South Dakota. It called for better housing and continued its campaign against police brutality.


The Occupation of Wounded Knee

AIM’s most memorable action was the 71-day occupation of Wounded Knee in early 1973. As I wrote in a 2013 article about the occupation for SW:

In the 1970s, the Pine Ridge reservation, where Wounded Knee is located, was run like a Latin American dictatorship.

The U.S. government would funnel money to Dick Wilson, the tribal council president, who oversaw the reservation with an iron fist. Supporters of the radical AIM were hunted down by the Guardians of the Olgala Nation (GOON) squad, ending in numerous gun battles. The GOON squad worked closely with the FBI and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Wilson was so unpopular that reservation residents formed the Oglala Sioux Civil Rights Organization (OSCRO) to impeach him. Petitions were filed — one even had more signatures than the number of votes Wilson got in the preceding election. Blatantly showing his corruption, Wilson personally presided over the impeachment hearing and insured that it failed to remove him.

In response, residents appealed for help to AIM, which brought 300 armed Oglala Lakota and AIM activists to Wounded Knee, took over the church and trading post, blocked all the roads, took several white hostages (who in fact were there willingly) and declared it a liberated territory.

The demands were simple: get rid of Dick Wilson and have the federal government investigate treaties. But the government was worried that Wounded Knee would become an example that others would follow. A high-ranking BIA official expressed alarm over his view that Wounded Knee had “crystallized a revolutionary movement in the United States.”

Instead, the government response was with overwhelming force, as hundreds of FBI agents, federal marshals, BIA police and Dick Wilson’s GOON squad surrounded Wounded Knee.

By the end of the occupation, two American Indians, Buddy Lamont and Frank Clearwater, were killed and several others were wounded.

As the FBI escalated its attack on AIM, the occupation became harder and harder to sustain. With no electricity, and running water and supplies dwindling, the occupation pushed people to their limits. The occupation ended on May 8. The FBI came in and disarmed and arrested 120 people. However, many people had snuck out the night before, evading arrest.


Repression and Decline

AFTER THE occupation of Wounded Knee, AIM’s prominence started to diminish as the group suffered from two tactics of government repression.

First, the FBI’s COINTELPRO program infiltrated AIM and started to create a culture of paranoia and suspicion. It later emerged that Douglass Durham, the group’s security director and often Dennis Banks’ personal bodyguard, was an FBI informant.

The government shamefully framed Leonard Peltier for the murder of two FBI agents in a 1975 shootout at Pine Ridge, even as the FBI admitted that it did not know who killed the agents and was more concerned about putting Peltier behind bars.

Peltier was up for parole in 2009, but Barack Obama refused to pardon or commute his sentence. He is still serving two life sentences.

The government’s second tactic against AIM was to force those arrested at Wounded Knee to go through long drawn out court cases that the government couldn’t win but that would fatigue and bankrupt the organization. Across the country, AIM members were brought up on minor charges, but would still have to go to court and fight tooth and nail, though the cases often got thrown out. It was meant to bankrupt the organization.

The repression compounded internal divisions and debates. AIM’s leadership was male-dominated, with members like Dennis Banks and Russell Means the group’s public face.

Members like Madonna Thunderhawk and Janet McCloud saw the need for Native women to start their own organization, and formed Women of All Red Nations in 1974 to fight for American Indian women health, against mass sterilization of women and against racist mascots and culture appropriation.

Among their many achievements, AIM and the Red Power movement overturned the termination policy — including restoring the Menominee reservation — and forced the government to pass legislation that promoted self-determination.

The movement’s legacy lives strong through Indian Country, where you will now see countless hats and shirts that say “Native Pride” or “Native and proud of it.”

However, AIM’s goal of liberation is far from being met. Natives are still being targeted by the police. According to the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, Native Americans only represent 0.8 percent of the population, but are 1.9 percent of those killed by police. Indians are also disproportionately represented in prison, and treaty rights are still an important struggle.

As we see a wave of Indigenous resistance on a scale not seen since the 1970s, with the rise of Idle No More in Canada, fights against pipelines at Standing Rock and countless other locations and the #NativeLivesMatter movement, its vital for us to learn the radical history of AIM.

The best way to honor that history is to continue to resist and fight racism and discrimination while calling on the U.S. for reparations and self-determination — and to put forward a vision of socialism and Native liberation that ends the exploitation of the earth and the destruction of Indigenous land, and puts the fight against capitalism and settler-colonialism at the core of our resistance.


          Solidarity against a fascist attack in London      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

On August 4, a group of far-right thugs attacked the Bookmarks socialist bookstore in London. Approximately a dozen people — some wearing “Make Britain Great Again” hats and carrying placards reading “British Bolshevik Cult,” and one in a Donald Trump mask — ransacked the store’s displays, ripping and tearing books and magazines.

One staff member told the Independent, “Books on Islamophobia were ridiculed and thrown around. They chanted about Muslims and pedophilia, and called us traitors.” The attackers also made threats to return and “show what they can do.” They were so confident that they even filmed themselves before the attack, describing their plans for the “ambush,” as one called it.

Bookmarks is the largest socialist store in Britain and the official bookseller for the Trades Union Congress. As manager Dave Gilchrist said following the attack: “This horrific attack on a radical bookshop should send shivers down the spine of anyone who knows their history. The Nazis targeted books because they knew how important radical ideas are for challenging racism and fascism. The same is true today, and that is why we have to unite and show that we won’t be intimidated.”

In the statement below, the International Socialist Organization, publisher of Socialist Worker, expresses its solidarity with Bookmarks in the face of this fascist assault.

THE INTERNATIONAL Socialist Organization condemns the August 4 attack on the Bookmarks bookshop in London and expresses our solidarity with Bookmarks, its staff and its customers.

In a period in which far right is growing both here in the U.S. and internationally, the ability of the left to come together in solidarity to challenge the politics of hate and division is key.

The attack by a group of thugs wearing “Make Britain Great Again” hats, and one in a Trump mask, took obvious inspiration from the current U.S. president and his politics of bigotry, division and violence. As the infamous photos of Nazis burning books in the 1930s remind us, attacks on left-wing books and literature have long been a feature of the far right, which sees left-wing ideas — in particular socialist ideas — as a threat to be smashed.

Bookmarks bookshop in London
Bookmarks bookshop in London

It has been discovered that at least several of those involved in the attack are members of the far-right UK Independence Party. In response, UKIP suspended three members. This disingenuous move does nothing to stop the climate of racist scapegoating, immigrant-bashing and anti-left sentiment that UKIP’s politics are built on fostering.

The far right uses the pretense of “free speech” to spread its bigoted ideas, but as the attack on Bookmarks shows, it wants to terrorize the left into silence.

We saw that here in the U.S. one year ago in Charlottesville, Virginia, when the fascists tried to take the streets. Their car attack on anti-racist marchers injured a number of people and took the life of Heather Heyer. In recent days, the far right has again attempted to regroup and march — holding rallies in Portland, Oregon, and Berkeley, California, and planning for a “White Civil Rights Rally” in Washington, D.C., on the anniversary of Charlottesville.

Here in the U.S., we take heart from the mass protests organized in Britain and elsewhere when Trump recently visited, and from the ongoing work in defense of migrant and refugee rights, against Islamophobia and to oppose fascists and the right. Here in the U.S., we seek to build a strong united front against fascism wherever such forces attempt to march and grow.

We will not allow their hate to spread unopposed.

We stand in solidarity with Bookmarks and with all who are fighting the threat of the far right. We are inspired by the large outpouring of solidarity with the bookstore following the attack, and support of Bookmarks’ plans for its August 11 public solidarity event.


          Can socialists use the Democrats?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s stunning upset in a congressional primary election against one of the most powerful Democrats in the U.S. House has inspired discussion and debate about how this campaign fits into the project of advancing the socialist left. SocialistWorker.org is hosting a dialogue in our Readers’ Views column. This installment has a contribution from Alan Maass.

Heading In or Heading Out?

Alan Maass | I’m sure that Eric Blanc’s contribution is going to prompt more contributions to the Socialist Worker debate on the Democrats and the left, and I’ll leave readers to get to it. But I wanted to focus on a couple points in response, which I hope will add to the discussion.

First, on principles, strategies and tactics: Eric misleadingly turns Todd Chretien’s (highly qualified) speculation about the possibility of “a socialist-inspired rupture from within the Democratic Party” led by “a future DSA (or DSA-like organization)” into a supposed “acknowledgement” that there are no issues of principle at stake for “revolutionaries” in using the Democratic Party ballot line.

For revolutionary socialists in the International Socialist Organization, though, it is a principle to not support Democratic Party candidates — or at least a conclusion that is directly related to the principle of working class independence, and that is not subject to revision to make a proposed strategy viable.

The ISO has had different strategies regarding U.S. politics and elections over our 40-year history, but they flow from a position summarized in our brief “Where We Stand” statement throughout: “We do not support candidates of capitalist parties like the Democrats or the Republicans.”

This sentence wasn’t carved on a tablet and brought down from the mountain. It represents a distillation of our organization’s understanding of the Marxist principle that the working class movement must be politically independent of the ruling class; our analysis that the two main parties in U.S. politics are both capitalist parties; and the whole historical experience of the left and social movements in relation to the Democratic Party.

Having a sentence in the Where We Stand isn’t a substitute for convincing people of it or anything else, and this is far from the limit of what the ISO has to say about the Democrats, as any tired-eyed reader of SW knows.

But it is a position that is foundational to the ISO’s revolutionary socialist politics — so this isn’t just a matter of changing strategy based on different circumstances.

The short term and the long view

Why does this matter? In an article for the ISO’s internal bulletin (which I hope he’ll update for SW!), Danny Katch made the case for why it’s important to have a framework of principles that have stood the test of time, and which our changing strategies and tactics flow from. “To present our line in purely strategic terms deprives us and our audience of the larger context for understanding our position,” he wrote.

What else to read

Socialist Worker readers and contributors are debating the lessons of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s primary victory in New York. SW’s coverage of the election began with this article:

Alan Maass and Elizabeth Schulte
How far can the left go in the Democratic Party?

Further contributions include:

Dorian B., Jason Farbman and Zach Zill
What can we do with the Democrats?

Alan Maass, Jen Roesch and Paul Le Blanc
Socialists, AOC and the Democratic Party

Aaron Amaral, Samuel Farber, Charlie Post and Shane James
A “socialist movement” in the Democratic Party?

Fainan Lakha
Getting concrete about AOC and the Democrats

Lucy Herschel
The old guideposts matter on new terrain

Owen Hill
What kind of break from the Democrats?

Kyle Brown
Elections and the socialist tradition

Hadas Thier
Independence and the Democratic Party

Todd Chretien
Revolutionaries, elections and the Democrats

Chris Beck
Who will win the Democratic tug of war?

Nate Moore and Craig McQuade
Independent inside the Democrats?

Eric Blanc
Socialists, Democrats and the dirty break

Alex Macmillan
Seeing all the opportunities in elections

Alan Maass
Can socialists use the Democrats?

I think that “larger context” needs to be more a part of this discussion. A lot of what has been written seems to me to be confined to an analysis of the last two and a half years, starting from January 2016, when Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign turned out to be hugely popular.

As everyone in this debate has agreed, the Sanders campaign generated enormous enthusiasm for socialism that benefited the whole left — though naturally, the biggest beneficiaries have been those whose vision of socialism and socialist organization is closer (not to say identical) to Sanders’.

But if our analysis is limited to this window of time, it’s possible to assume a political direction and clarity of politics about the growth of socialist sentiment and organization that makes the prospects for the “dirty break” scenario promoted by Eric seem rosier than I think they are.

One of the reasons why the larger context is important is because the left has attempted to organize for its agenda and build its influence, organization and power within the Democratic Party before — and the record is overwhelmingly negative.

When I became a socialist in the 1980s, one of the first political questions I had to confront was the experience of the radicals of the Black freedom struggle — which inspired me to become a socialist — who were drawn into the Democratic Party and were transformed, rather than being the transformers.

It’s important to remember that the Black Democrats had their successes, which were celebrated by the left at the time. The number of Black elected officials soared. The Democrats were forced to make room for Black leaders. Jesse Jackson’s presidential primary campaigns won millions of votes for a left-wing program, and his vision of an alternative to Reaganite America was very compelling.

But the Black officeholders became responsible for administering austerity and repression, and the limits of politics and “activism” for them and the radicals who followed them into electoral activity became the confines of the Democratic Party. The left wasn’t strengthened, but the Democrats were.

For another example of this long-term dynamic, I recommend last week’s Socialist Worker feature by Jen Roesch on the Cynthia Nixon campaign in New York, and especially her analysis of the Working Families Party (WFP), whose “inside outside” strategy has led it toward an existential crisis.

Read the article, but my one-sentence condensation of the WFP’s predicament is this: The hopes of building independent political power have remained hostage to the pressure to continue collaboration with the Democratic Party on subordinate terms.

I’m well aware of the many differences among these examples and the current situation of the DSA and its socialist candidates. I know that many participants in this debate have repeated that “the world has changed,” and so it has — but not entirely, in my opinion. It seems contrary to the socialist approach to discount any previous history.

And the lesson of these past examples is very clear: There is a built-in dynamic for the left operating inside the Democratic Party — of being drawn in, rather than pulling out.

Anyone who wants to “wager on a dirty break” has to be ready to answer the dilemma of the WFP that Jen summarized: “There will never be a time that a break doesn’t come at a considerable short-term cost” — and so the pressure to stay inside gets greater with every success.

Whose socialism?

In describing what he calls the “relatively independent thrust of the new socialist movement” growing inside the Democratic Party, Eric writes that Sanders “called on his supporters to vote for Hillary Clinton, but the DSA chose not to follow his lead.”

That’s debatable. DSA’s National Political Committee released a statement in September 2016 that endorsed a “safe state” approach: DSA should “prioritize...[b]uilding an independent ‘Dump Trump’ movement, primarily in swing states where we have the capacity to make an impact, and; [d]eveloping local multiracial coalitions and campaigns that can build independent socialist organizing capacity and challenge neoliberal, pro-corporate Democrats in November.”

Evidently, around 70 DSA members thought this statement was dubious enough to put their names to another spelling out: “The left is under no obligation to support Hillary Clinton.”

So whether to “follow Sanders’ lead” on Clinton was a disputed question. But let’s look at the more relevant question today of whether Sanders’ goal of transforming the Democratic Party has gained or lost influence.

There can’t be any debate about Sanders’ intentions, which he has expressed clearly: “I think it is not a bad idea to have somebody who says, ‘I understand that. I am an independent...I have had to run against Democrats. But I want you, as independents, to come into the Democratic primaries and transform the Democratic Party.’”

If anything, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s message since her victory has become more stridently pro-Democratic Party than Sanders’. Her speech at the Netroots conference ended with a tribute to the supposed accomplishments of the Democrats:

It’s time to realize that we are the party of King, of Roosevelt, of the ones who went to the moon, who electrified this nation, who accomplished the greatest successes and crown jewels of our society. We created Medicare. We created Social Security...[I]t’s time to own that our party was the one of the Great Society, of the New Deal, of the Civil Rights Act. That’s our party. That’s who we are, and its’ time for us to come home.

Socialists are used to liberal Democrats — that increasingly rare species — swiping credit from the working class and social movements for the most important changes in U.S. society of the past century. But this speech came from the best-known proponent of democratic socialism after Sanders.

And herein lies the problem: Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez are undeniably generating enthusiasm for socialism. But it’s a socialism that is defined on particular terms — where using the Democratic Party and attaining political office is the prime vehicle for social change.

Eric writes: “Since Bernie and Ocasio-Cortez’s quest to take back the Democrats from capital won’t succeed, their electoral efforts could very well help lead millions of people to eventually see through bitter experience the need for the formation of an independent party.”

I agree they won’t succeed, but it seems to me unlikely that many people will reach that conclusion — unless they hear a strong and steadfast voice calling for such a party over time. Unless there is an alternative to commit themselves to, people will be pulled further into the Democratic Party, whatever their disappointments.

As a counter to this, Eric quotes Jeremy Gong and Matt Stone among the many new DSA members who see socialism as a revolutionary transformation of society, and who believe the Democrats won’t be a vehicle for socialists. I respect these comrades and their success in using their platform to project a more left-wing view.

There is another test coming, though. Unless a clear alternative to Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez is expressed, their greater influence is bound to pull newly won socialists into their more narrow view of socialism. The need to challenge these ideas starts now.

As for the ISO, because of our historic position on this question, there’s no question about using our voice to advance a revolutionary socialist alternative. To judge from the Socialism 2018 conference, the reach of ISO branches around the country and even the readership of this debate, we have a wider audience than many believe.

In closing, I have to protest Eric’s use of the word “abstention” to describe the ISO’s position of not supporting a Democratic Party candidate. It implies that we are standing on the sidelines.

Say what you want about the ISO, but we are not sideline-standers. Our members stood alongside DSA and many other organizations in confronting the far right last weekend, and that’s only the most recent example of our commitment to organize a united left resistance.

A lot of the contributions to this debate have pointed out the short-term opportunities for socialists in this moment, and they are real and exciting. But Marx and Engels’ advice to socialists 170 years ago was to look beyond the present, too:

[The socialists] fight for the attainment of the immediate aims, for the enforcement of the momentary interests of the working class, but in the movement of the present they also represent and take care of the future of that movement.


          Sinclair, Tribune in talks to overcome regulatory hurdles      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

NEW YORK — The Sinclair broadcasting company says it's in talks with Tribune Media on how to overcome regulatory hurdles to its $3.9 billion deal to buy Tribune's 42 TV stations.

The deadline for either party to walk away from the deal is midnight on Wednesday.

Sinclair CEO Chris Ripley said Wednesday morning that the companies are working to find approaches that are best for the company, employees and shareholders. He made the comments as Sinclair reported quarterly financial results.

In July, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai raised concerns about the deal and ordered a hearing. Although Sinclair has proposed selling some stations to address potential antitrust concerns, Pai said Sinclair might still be able to operate the stations "in practice, even if not in name."

At the time, one potential buyer was the Cunningham Group, which has ties to Sinclair's founding family. Sinclair has said it will no longer sell two stations to Cunningham and will instead seek FCC permission to sell them to another unrelated party.

Sinclair and its proposed deal for Tribune received widespread attention after news reports in April showed dozens of Sinclair news anchors reading an identical script expressing concern about "one-sided news stories plaguing the country." At the time, President Donald Trump tweeted his support of the company. Sinclair defended the effort as a way to distinguish its news shows from unreliable stories on social media.

With 192, Sinclair is one of the nation's largest owners of TV stations. Tribune's 42 stations include KTLA in Los Angeles and WPIX in New York.

If the companies remain in talks, they will face a lengthy hearing process with the FCC. In the past, just the prospect of that has dissuaded companies from continuing with merger plans. The last deal an FCC hearing blocked was a 2002 merger of satellite TV companies DirecTV and Echostar.

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FILE - In this Oct. 12, 2004, file photo, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc.'s headquarters stands in Hunt Valley, Md. Broadcasting company Sinclair says it’s in talks with Tribune Media Co. on how to overcome regulatory hurdles to its $3.9 billion deal to buy 42 of Tribune’s TV stations. Sinclair CEO Chris Ripley said Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018, that the companies are working to find approaches that are best for the company, employees and shareholders. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark, File)
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          Ohio's Special Congressional Election Still Too Close To Call      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
          Argentina To Decide Fate Of Landmark Bill Legalizing Abortion      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91XPH_6pL_0 A deceptively simple hashtag has climbed to the top of Twitter's trending lists across Argentina: #EsHoy , or "It's Today." The phrase, imbued as it is with fervent expectation, may seem puzzling to outsiders — but inside the country, the meaning is crystal clear. "Today" is the long-awaited day that Argentine senators gather to debate deeply divisive legislation that would legalize abortion for pregnancies up to 14 weeks. Nearly two months after lawmakers in the country's lower house of Congress approved the bill by a slim margin, senators will decide whether to send the bill on to President Mauricio Macri — who, despite his personal misgivings, has said he would sign it into law. The move would significantly ease the country's abortion laws, which allow the procedure only in cases of rape and risks to the mother's health, and would make Argentina the most populous country in Latin America to legalize abortion. The bill's backers argue that
          It's Official: Record Number Of Women Nominated For House Seats In 2018       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
With Tuesday's primaries, women have hit another milestone in this record-breaking political year, setting a new record for the number of women who have secured a major party nomination for the U.S. House. Democrats and Republicans have nominated 185 women to run for the House in November, as of Wednesday morning, according to the Center for Women and Politics at Rutgers University. The figure breaks the prior record of 167 nominees set in 2016. The total could still tick upwards in the coming days, as three more women are candidates House primaries that remain too close to call after Tuesday's voting. Fourteen states have yet to hold their primaries, and one still will hold a runoff, meaning the total number of women nominees could easily jump substantially by Election Day, further shattering that 2016 record. CAWP had already determined that more women than ever have been running in congressional primaries this year. This latest development represents those women advancing closer to
          Detroit's Rashida Tlaib Poised To Become First Muslim Woman In Congress      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Updated at 2:48 p.m. ET Rashida Tlaib has some experience being first, and not just because she is the eldest of 14 children. As the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, she was the first person in her family to earn a high school diploma — then a college degree, and a law degree. She was the first Muslim woman ever elected to Michigan's Legislature, where she served in the House for the maximum term of six years. And in January, she is set to become America's first-ever Muslim congresswoman. The 42-year-old Detroit native, whose father worked at a Ford plant, clinched a Democratic primary in Michigan and won the right to run unopposed in a U.S. House race this fall. "I am at a loss for words," she tweeted overnight. "I cannot wait to serve you in Congress." Tlaib won the Democratic nomination to replace former Rep. John Conyers, the long-serving congressman and civil rights icon who resigned last year after sexual harassment allegations. The district covers portions of Detroit and the
          Dear Congress: Mutuals need relief from Fed rule      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The central bank’s dividend waiver rule has severely limited the formation of mutual holding companies.
          Ohio 12 special election: No plan for O'Connor to concede in tight race      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Democrat Danny O'Connor has no plans to concede the special election for the Ohio 12th Congressional District to Republican state Sen. Troy Balderson until all provisional and absentee ballots are counted, his campaign manager tells CNN.

          Democrats had a big night. But not winning is a big asterisk.      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The reviews are in and Tuesday was a huge night for Democrats. HUGE! They closed the gap in a special election for a congressional seat long-held by Republicans and their candidate has under 2,000 fewer votes than the Republican candidate.

          Michigan Dem: Trump's inspiring women to run for office because 'we can't stand outside of the ring anymore'      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
A Michigan Democrat poised to become the first Muslim woman in Congress says that the election of President Donald Trump could be a reason for the historic number of women running for office across the country.

          Vermont Democratic Congressional Candidates Debate      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Two Democrats are challenging incumbent Congressman Peter Welch in next week’s Vermont primary. While the three agree on many issues they, clashed on a couple topics during a forum Tuesday evening.
          Openly gay ex-MMA fighter may become first Native American congresswoman      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The national spotlight turned to Kansas' 3rd Congressional District on Tuesday night as people from all over the country were watching to see if an insurgent progressive could win the Democratic nomination.

          Grinning Cat commented on Grinning Cat's group Writing to Congress      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Grinning Cat commented on Grinning Cat's group Writing to Congress

          Grinning Cat commented on Grinning Cat's group Writing to Congress      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Grinning Cat commented on Grinning Cat's group Writing to Congress

          Planejamento apresenta ao Planalto proposta de adiar reajuste de servidores em 2019      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

77933163_BRASIL - Brasilia DF - 13-07-2018 - Fachada dos predio do Ministerio do Planejamento De.jpg

BRASÍLIA — O ministro do Planejamento, Esteves Colnago, apresentou ao presidente Michel Temer, nesta quarta-feira, uma proposta para adiar o reajuste salarial dos servidores civis de 2019 de 2020. Segundo cálculos da equipe econômica, a medida representa uma economia de R$ 6,9 bilhões para os cofres públicos no ano que vem. Ela é considerada essencial para o fechamento das contas de 2019.

No encontro com Temer, o ministro argumentou que o adiamento do reajuste dá ao governo fôlego para atender a demandas de ministérios como o da educação, que já vem protestando contra possíveis cortes no orçamento da pasta no ano que vem.

LEIA MAIS:

Vendas no Dia dos Pais vão crescer, mas não superam perdas de 2015 e 2016

Ata do Copom traz projeções mais elevadas para reajuste de preços administrados em 2019

Número de brasileiros que não trabalham nem procuram vagas bate recorde

Custo da cesta básica caiu 5,32% no Rio, segundo Dieese

Segundo interlocutores do Palácio do Planalto, foi proposto que a educação receba, no ano que vem, o equivalente ao que conseguir economizar com o adiamento do reajuste de seus respectivos servidores. Já o restante dos recursos será distribuído para as demais áreas sociais e investimentos. O detalhamento dos valores será feito na proposta de Lei Orçamentária que será encaminhada ao Congresso até o dia 31 agosto.

De acordo com auxiliares do presidente, a reunião não foi conclusiva e Temer ainda vai avaliar a proposta. O Planejamento chegou a considerar propor o adiamento do reajuste dos militares, o que elevaria a economia para R$ 11 bilhões. Mas a avaliação foi de que isso diminuiria as chances de aprovação da proposta. A ideia do Planejamento impacta a correção prevista para janeiro para a maioria dos servidores e para julho no caso do MEC.

Mesmo restringindo a medida, o governo sabe que ela enfrenta forte resistência. No ano passado, também foi proposto o adiamento do reajuste dos servidores de 2018 para 2019. No entanto, as carreiras reagiram e o ministro do Supremo Tribunal Federal (STF) Ricardo Lewandowski suspendeu a medida provisória (MP), que acabou perdendo a validade antes de ser votada pelo Congresso.


          GEORGIA HUMANITIES      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Georgia Humanities Announces Crossroads: Change in Rural America Host Sites Six communities around the state chosen to host traveling exhibition (Atlanta, GA)— Georgia Humanities is pleased to announce the selection of six communities to host Crossroads: Change in Rural America, an exhibition that examines the evolving landscape of rural America. The sites are: Blue Ridge, Cuthbert, McRae-Helena, Monticello, Summerville, and Thomaston. Between August 2019 and June 2020, Crossroads will be on view for six weeks in each community. This traveling exhibition is part of the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street program, a national/state/local partnership to bring exhibitions and programs to rural cultural organizations. Crossroads explores how rural American communities changed in the 20th century. From sea to shining sea, the vast majority of the U.S. landscape remains rural, with only 3.5% of the landmass considered urban. Yet since 1900, the percentage of Americans living in rural areas dropped from 60% to 17%. The exhibition considers that remarkable societal change and how rural Americans have responded. Designed for small-town museums, libraries, and cultural organizations, Crossroads will serve as a community meeting place for conversations about how rural America has changed. With the support and guidance of Georgia Humanities, the host communities will develop complementary exhibits, host public programs, and facilitate educational initiatives to raise understanding about local history, explore the joys and challenges of living rural, examine how change has impacted their community, and prompt discussion of goals for the future. The exhibition is part of Museum on Main Street (MoMS), a unique collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, state humanities councils across the nation, and local host institutions. To learn more about Crossroads and other Museum on Main Street exhibitions, visit www.museumonmainstreet.org. Support for MoMS has been provided by the U.S. Congress. The Georgia tour of Crossroads is presented by Georgia Humanities, the Center for Public History at the University of West Georgia, and Georgia EMC. The schedule for the Crossroads tour will be announced later this year. To get involved with Crossroads, contact Laura McCarty (ltmc@georgiahumanities.org), president of Georgia Humanities, to learn about sponsorship and programming opportunities. About Georgia Humanities Georgia Humanities is a statewide nonprofit organization that gathers, preserves, and shares our state’s distinctive stories through a range of cultural and educational programs and resources. Georgia Humanities partners with scholars and educators across the state to bring people together in learning and conversation. Founded in 1971, Georgia Humanities is the statewide affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. To learn more, please visit www.GeorgiaHumanities.org.
          Trump Supports Improving Background Checks, But Will That Mean Action?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Updated at 9:30 a.m. ET President Trump is facing calls to act in the wake of the latest mass shooting, which killed 17 people Wednesday at a high school in Florida, and the White House is not ignoring them. The president will participate in a pair of listening sessions on school safety this week, and on Monday morning the White House said he supports efforts to improve the federal background check system, something Congress has expressed broad support for without acting on after past shootings. The cyclical aftermath of the nation's mass shooting has repeated itself several times during Trump's year-old presidency, including with the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history when 59 people were killed on the Las Vegas strip last October, and when 26 people were killed at a church service in Sutherland Springs, Texas, in November. In both instances, Democrats called for a major push for gun control, and even some Republicans said modest changes to the nation's gun laws might be in
          Trump Celebrates Legislative Win After Congress Passes $1.5 Trillion Tax Cut Bill      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHs4WiaKDFc Updated on Dec. 22 on 12:02 p.m. ET Congressional Republicans delivered on their first major legislative accomplishment of the Trump era on Wednesday, when the House voted 224-201 to pass a $1.5 trillion tax package. The bill cuts individual rates for eight years and slashes the top corporate tax rate to 21 percent permanently. Trump signed the bill into law on Friday, hailing the legislation as "a bill for the middle class and a bill for jobs," adding that he was "very honored by it." In an event on the White House lawn Wednesday afternoon, the president, Vice President Pence and lawmakers celebrated and thanked each other for their work on the bill's passage. "I promised the American people a big, beautiful tax cut for Christmas. With final passage of this legislation, that is exactly what they are getting," Trump said in a written statement earlier in the day. "I would like to thank the members of Congress who supported this historic bill,
          Trump Gives Final Tax Pitch As GOP Lawmakers Reach A Deal On A Bill      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Updated at 7:29 p.m. ET In making his "closing argument" for tax legislation expected to get a vote in Congress next week, President Trump announced that the changes would take effect early next year. "We're going to make our tax system work for you again," Trump said, with several families standing near him whose stories he told in his address. "We're going to make our economy work for you again. And we are going to make the American dream, and that's the real dream, that will be the dream that you want for your children and your grandchildren once again. But we need your help to get Congress across that finish line." This came just after an announcement that House and Senate GOP lawmakers have agreed on a final tax package. The details of the agreement are still being finalized, but Republicans plan to permanently cut rates for businesses and drop taxes for individuals for eight years. Negotiators have agreed to cut the tax rate for the highest-earning individuals from 39.6 to 37
          Trump Designating North Korea As A State Sponsor Of Terrorism       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Updated at 4:12 p.m. ET The Trump administration is putting North Korea back on the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism . President Trump says the move "supports our maximum pressure campaign to isolate this murderous regime." President Trump told reporters on Monday that the Treasury Department will officially announce additional sanctions and penalties on the North Korean regime on Tuesday. President Trump says this should have happened years ago. In fact, North Korea was on the list until 2008, when the Bush administration took it off, in an ultimately failed bid to salvage a denuclearization deal. Trump's move won praise from members of Congress, who supported legislation that paved the way for North Korea's return to the blacklist. "Over the past year alone, Kim Jong Un and his regime brazenly assassinated his brother with a chemical weapon and brutally tortured Otto Warmbier, leading directly to his tragic death," writes House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman
          Senate GOP Leaders Push Off Health Care Vote Until After July 4th      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Updated 3:30 p.m. ET With their health care bill facing a perilous path, Senate Republican leaders have decided to push off a vote until after Congress returns from next week's July Fourth recess, GOP aides confirm to NPR's Susan Davis. "We're still working toward getting at least 50 people in a comfortable place," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday at a press conference on Capitol Hill. Despite the delay, McConnell confirmed that Republican senators were heading to the White House to meet with President Trump later in the afternoon to continue work on the issue. If three Republicans oppose the bill, it cannot pass. The GOP holds 52 seats, with Vice President Pence as a potential tiebreaker. The delay was announced with at least five Republicans indicating they were against bringing the bill to the floor this week. "Several of them want more time," McConnell said. "We have a number of different discussions going on, that have been going on for six weeks. They continue.
          Did James Comey Lie About Interference In The Russia Investigation?       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ceCaFCG2j8 Fired FBI Director James Comey may tell the Senate Intelligence Committee next week that President Trump suggested he ease off at least part of the FBI's Russia investigation. But a month ago, he said this to the Senate Judiciary Committee: "I'm talking about a situation where we were told to stop something for a political reason, that would be a very big deal. It's not happened in my experience." Why did Comey say he has never been asked to stop an investigation for political reasons after that conversation with Trump? Some writers on the Internet, particularly Comey critics, have a couple of simple explanations — the memos are fake or he perjured himself in front of Congress. But there's more context. Here is the full exchange from the Judiciary Committee hearing, when Comey was being questioned by Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii. HIRONO: So if the attorney general or senior officials at the Department of Justice opposes a specific
          Palestinian-American candidate is source of West Bank pride      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

BEIT OUR AL-FOQA, West Bank (AP) — The Michigan primary victory of Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian-American who is expected to become the first Muslim woman to serve in the U.S. Congress, triggered an outpouring of joy in her ancestral village on Wednesday. Relatives in Beit Our al-Foqa, where Tlaib’s mother was born, greeted the news ...

The post Palestinian-American candidate is source of West Bank pride appeared first on New Country 923.


          Results point to real contest: Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Lisa Brown nearly tied in primary      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
There’s no doubt now. The race for Congress in Eastern Washington is for real. Out of more than 120,000 votes counted, Republican U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers had a lead of a little more than 500 votes in Tuesday’s primary over Democrat Lisa Brown. The contest, between the high-ranking congressional Republican and a Democrat with years of experience in state political leadership, has drawn national interest and big spending as the parties vie for support in the first midterm election since President Donald Trump took office. Buoyed by the down-ticket performance of other Democrats, a beaming Brown took the stage...
          1899 - Homeward: Life in the Year After Prison w/ Bruce Western      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Bruce Western, Professor of Sociology at Harvard University and Visiting Professor at Columbia University, joins us to discuss his new book, 'Homeward: Life in the Year After Prison'.

On today's show: Kris Kobach says voter fraud is a nationwide issue despite weak evidence, insists no proof is ever enough for liberals. An overview of the latest election results. "Right to work" goes down in Missouri.

Bruce Western joins us to discuss his book, 'Homeward: Life in the Year After Prison.' For this book, Western followed 122 formerly incarcerated people for one year after they were released from prison to see how they re-integrated into society, with a focus on employment and family relationships. He found most had been exposed to trauma and had high rates of mental and physical health problems. The factors for "recidivism" and the role played by addiction. The effect of social policy (or lack thereof) around healthcare, housing, and economic inequality.

On the fun half: "Working Girl": feminist classic or ode to capitalist patriarchy? Why you should vote for Bernie-endorsed candidate Randy Bryce in WI. Louie Gohmert lament that Americans want entitlements more than Space Force, blames Obama for privatizing NASA. Dyana in WA shares her experience with the for-profit carceral state. Chicago police use truck full of sneakers as "bait" for teen troublemakers. Fox News contributor asks how Trump could not tell a lie in interview with Mueller. Jessie Jane Duff says America needs to suffocate Iran. John Bolton wants to put "maximum pressure" on Iranian government via sanctions. A Jamaican caller on the damage Alex Jones does to black youth. NY Congressman Chris Collins indicted on insider trading charges.

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          Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

  • I talked to someone who went to the Civil War Museum in Fort Worth. You know, that one on west 820 around Lake Worth which you've driven by a thousand times? Verdict: Pretty, pretty good. 
  • There was a shooting death in Forest Hill over the weekend where the 25 year old victim, Roderick Brunswick, listed his hometown as Bridgeport. 
  • Tell me this can't possibly be true:
  • Here's Trump's lawyer acting crazy again. (1) He got mad at that?, (2) He didn't deny worrying about Trump's tweet?, and (3) And what does "Law School" have to do with any of this? 
  • We've got another security guard killing a guy at a strip club. A few weeks back it happened at Roxy Showgirl in north Fort Worth, and last night it happened off of Regal Road and Stemmons in Dallas (it sounds like in the area of Zona Rosa Cabaret.)
  • What a crazy race last night for a Ohio Congressional seat -- a district that is 86% white and which has been strongly Republican for decades There are still 5,038 absentee ballots and 3,435 provisional ballots outstanding. 
  • In women's professional basketball, the team from Las Vegas, after 25 hours of travel due to delayed and cancelled flights, decided they were too tired to play.
  • Man, if this is real, it is shocking: That's alleged audio of embattled car salesman Bart Reagor addressing his employees with a ton of F Bombs. It definitely sounds like him, and you've got to love him bragging about having a mansion on 19th Street in Lubbock. (And he makes Alec Baldwin speaking to the salesmen in Glengarry Glen Ross look like a choir boy.)
  • We've found the dumbest school board in America. The school board for Parkland, Florida (where the mass shooting occurred) was ordered to release some documents to the press but was allowed to make certain redactions. After the documents were provided, someone on Facebook told the paper, "Hey, if you'll just copy and paste that electronic document into Microsoft Word you'll be able to see the redacted text." (Paraphrased.) It worked. Now the school board is urging the court to find the paper in contempt for publishing the text that was supposed to be redacted. Good luck with all that. 
  • The officer in the story below rejected an odd plea bargain offer of, "Admit to hurting the dog and give up you officer certification and we will dismiss the case." At this point, the only thing that will save his career is a Not Guilty verdict. And it's not the strongest of cases against him. 
  • Greg Abbott's "bail bond reform" proposal was nothing more than trying to advance his own political career by using the death of a DPS Trooper. It won't change a thing. And the head of DPS, Steve McCraw, was right by his side when he did it. 
  • I'm telling you, that Manafort trial is getting weird. The judge and the prosecutor continue to fight, and the judge even accused him of crying in court.
  • Messenger: Above The Fold (Today's paper lists the new teachers in the districts around the county, and I noticed Bridgeport has a "Drone teacher.")



          Congress Poised To Pass Sweeping Law Covering FDA And NIH       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Updated Dec. 1, 9:05 a.m.: The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to approve the 21st Century Cures Act, a sprawling bill to fund medical research and revamp how drugs and medical devices are approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The bill passed on a vote of 392-26. The Senate could vote on the bill early next week. It has garnered support from a wide variety of advocacy groups, industry lobbyists and the Obama administration . One notable dissident is Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who said her colleagues have "let Big Pharma hijack the Cures bill." Legislation to bolster medical research and revamp the way new drugs and medical devices are approved is on the fast track through a Congress that has had little success to celebrate this year. The House could vote Wednesday on a vast bill that stretches nearly a thousand pages and holds changes large and small for the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration. Analysts are still
          Want To Stop Roundup Spraying? Then Tell Congress To Do Just That      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
none
          Intent to sole source-Legal books      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Intent to Sole Source Legal Books

National Guard Bureau, United States Property and Fiscal Office for Oregon (USPFO for Oregon), intends to solicit and award a sole source contract to West Publishing Corporation (West Publishing Corporation is wholly owned by Thomson Reuters (Legal) Inc.) to purchase 1 complete set of the US Code (Annotated) volumes in hardback copy. Volumes are being purchased for the Staff Judge Advocate General Office of the Oregon National Guard located in Salem, Oregon. The most important aspect of this procurement is replacing the existing volumes in a hardback version with salient characteristics to the existing set. West Publishing Corporation is a sole provider and direct publisher of this version of the US Code (Annotated) in hardback copy form. No other company but West Publishing Corporation provides this specific set of volumes in hardback copy, or anything comparable. The package includes: United States Code Annotated (USCA) containing all the laws, as classified to the United States Code, of a general and permanent nature enacted by Congress (Titles 1-54 and the Constitution), plus their judicial constructions. It mirrors the official text of the United States Code published by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the House of Representatives. This set also features detailed indexes and coverage of relevant cases construing the text of the USC and court rules.


This sole source requirement meets the conditions of FAR 8.504-6(1)(B), only one responsible source has been identified as reasonably available to provide the supplies that will satisfy the agency requirements. Information received as a result of this notice will be considered solely for the purpose of determining whether to conduct a competitive procurement.


This synopsis is for notification purposes only and does not constitute a solicitation for bids, quotes, or proposals. The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Code is 424920 and the small business size standard is $15 million based on the U.S. Small Business Administration. This will be a firm fixed price contract. The Government does not intend to pay for any information provided under this notice. A determination by the Government not to compete this proposed contract based on this notice is solely within the discretion of the Government. This synopsis does not constitute a solicitation, however all responsible sources that believe they can meet all of the requirements may contact the USPFO for Oregon via e-mail at Deannie.l.darrow.civ@mail.mil and be considered by the government.


If no responses are received by 9:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time, August 20, 2018, a Sole Source contract will be pursued with West Publishing Corporation.


Contracting Office Address:
USPFO for Oregon
PO Box 14350
Salem, Oregon 97309


Contractor: West Publishing Corporation
PO Box 64833
St. Paul, MN 55164-0833
westlaw.bids@thomsonreuters.com


 


Set-aside code: N/A Contact: Deannie L. Darrow, Contract Specialist / AOPC, Phone 5035843435, Email deannie.l.darrow.civ@mail.mil
          Audience Surprises Hallie Jackson; Cheers As GOP Arrest Announced      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
A live MSNBC audience cheered on Wednesday when host Hallie Jackson announced that Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) had been arrested for insider trading. During her MSNBC morning show, Jackson reported to her audience in Somerville, New Jersey that a first sitting U.S. congressman to endorse an-c&idate Donald Trump had turned himself in on charges of […]
          Todd Starnes Moronically Attacks Ocasio-Cortez As Distraction To OH’s Special Election      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
With Danny O’Connor (D) coming in a very close second in Ohio’s 12th, a heavily Republican district, Fox News’ Todd Starnes out of a blue attacked Alex&ria Ocasio-Cortez as a crybaby, because Danny didn’t run as a Democratic Socialist. Alex&ria Ocasio-Cortez surprised everyone by beating her Democratic incumbent in her New York City congressional primary, […]
          We Just Elected the First Muslim Congresswoman EVER      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
If you had your doubts about this being the year of the Muslim Girl, listen to this: Rashida Tlaib is about to become the first Muslim woman ever (ever) elected to Congress. Let that sink in. A brown, Palestinian, Muslim daughter-of-immigrants is going to fill up a seat in one of the whitest, malest, most […]
          Trump loyalist charged for Aussie stock trade      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
REPUBLICAN congressman Chris Collins, one of the first US politicians to declare support for Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy, was indicted by federal prosecutors on charges of securities fraud regarding an insider-trading scheme involving an Australian biotech company.
          Ohio's Special Congressional Election Still Too Close To Call      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

          Political Rewind: Should Georgia GOP Be Worried After Close Congressional Battle in Ohio?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
On this edition of Political Rewind, a special election for Ohio’s 12 th Congressional District was “too close to call” on Tuesday night. Vying for a congressional seat that has been held by a Republican for three decades, Trump-backed Republican Troy Balderson and Democrat Danny O'Connor have put...

          Detroit's Rashida Tlaib Poised To Become First Muslim Woman In Congress      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Updated at 2:48 p.m. ET Rashida Tlaib has some experience being first, and not just because she is the eldest of 14 children. As the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, she was the first person in her family to earn a high school diploma — then a college degree, and a law degree. She was the first...

          New Fund to Support Delaware Watershed Conservation      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund will accelerate restoration and conservation of wildlife habitat across the Delaware River watershed while supporting local communities

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced the launch of the Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund (DWCF), a competitive grant and technical assistance program of $4.3 million that will provide new support for the protection, restoration and conservation of fish and wildlife habitats in the Delaware River Watershed, which provides drinking water for more than 15 million people.

Congress provided funds to the FWS in fiscal year 2018 to leverage public and private funding to support the environmental and economic health of the Delaware River Watershed for boots-on-the-ground conservation projects — as outlined in the Delaware River Basin Restoration Partnership and Program Framework.

Covering 13,539 square miles of land and water, the Delaware River Watershed is home to native brook trout, red knots, river herring, freshwater mussels, oysters and other wildlife. Headwaters and streams located in rural, forested and agricultural areas play a major role in the entire ecosystem, as do urban and suburban waterways such as those in Trenton, Philadelphia, and Wilmington. 

“We are pleased to be partnering with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to launch this conservation grant program in the Delaware River Basin that will improve the natural environment, economic health and quality of life for all citizens in the watershed,” said Wendi Weber, northeast regional director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Work supported by the DWCF will take place in a variety of landscapes and habitats across the Delaware River Watershed, from the beaches and tidal salt marshes of the Delaware Bay to the farms, cities, and towns of Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, to the cold-water rivers and streams of New York.

The DWCF will expand and further facilitate restoration and conservation efforts in the basin to:
  • Restore and conserve fish and wildlife habitat
  • Improve and maintain water quality for fish, wildlife, and people
  • Manage water volume and improve flood damage mitigation for fish and wildlife habitat
  • Improve recreational opportunities consistent with ecological needs

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          WWII Book Review: The Library of Congress World War II Companion      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The Library of Congress World War II Companion By Margaret E. Wagner, Linda Barrett Osborne, Susan Reyburn, and the Staff of the Library of Congress. Edited and with an introduction by David M. Kennedy. 1008 pp. Simon & Schuster, 2007. $45. Call this hefty tome World War II: The Director’s Cut and you’ve got the …

          Michigan attorney set to be first Muslim woman in Congress      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
04:05 PM | 08 Aug market stats DID YOU KNOW? Unleash the power of SIP - Invest in Mutual funds Sponsored ★★★★ ★ HDFC Small Cap Fund Direct- ...
          Kansas Democrat becomes first gay, Indigenous nominee for U.S. Congress      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Sharice Davids, a 38-year-old attorney and activist, won a six-candidate primary on Tuesday in a state where Republicans claim its every seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
          Republican U.S. congressman charged with insider trading      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

New York politician Christopher Collins is accused of allegedly feeding his son insider information he received sitting on the board of Innate Immunotherapeutics Limited, an Australian biotechnology company.
          "In God We Trust" Approved by Chesapeake City Council       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) - The Chesapeake City Council has decided to display the motto "In God We Trust" at City Hall. The Virginian-Pilot reports that the council approved the display in a 7-0 vote on Tuesday. The proposal was introduced by Councilwoman Suzy Kelly and was backed by the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation, a Chesapeake-based organization that plans to donate a plaque bearing the motto. The organization's founder, U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes, says the motto will help Americans "recognize that there are priorities bigger than ourselves." The Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation has been pushing courthouses, governments and first responders around the country to adopt the motto. Councilwoman Kelly says she hopes the city's school board will also consider adopting the motto.
          Steve Schmidt: This is going to be a very bad year for Republicans at the midterms      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The Deadline panel weighs in on how the extremely close race for Congress in a red-district in Ohio could be an ominous sign for Republicans in November
          Is the judge overstepping the Manafort trial?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Former U.S. attorney Barbara McQuade, Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson, former Congresswoman Donna Edwards, MSNBC national affairs analyst John Heilemann, and former GOP strategist Steve Schmidt on whether or not the judge’s actions in...
          First congressman to endorse Trump for president indicted      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Former Congresswoman Donna Edwards, MSNBC national affairs analyst John Heilemann, The Daily Beast political editor Sam Stein, and former GOP strategist Steve Schmidt on the charges of insider trading brought against Congressman Chris Collins of New York
          The Republican Party’s bad day      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
This morning in New York, a Republican Congressman was arrested. In Virginia, a special prosecutor was appointed to investigate alleged forged signatures by aides to a GOP Congressman. And finally, in an Ohio special election in a deeply red district, the
          The Big Question: What does the arrest of Congressman Collins mean for the midterms?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Republican Congressman Chris Collins, the first lawmaker to endorse Donald Trump’s campaign, has been arrested for insider trading. NBC’s Tom Winter and Chuck Todd join Katy to discuss the implications for the upcoming midterm elections.
          Washington state Democrats celebrate, eye 3 GOP House seats      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Democrats in Washington state celebrated early primary returns as they sought to capture three GOP-held congressional districts, including one occupied by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a top GOP House leader. In the 5th Congressional District in eastern Washington, McMorris Rodgers advanced Tuesday along with Democrat Lisa Brown. Brown is a former [&hellip
          House speaker boots indicted lawmaker from committee      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
WASHINGTON (AP) — Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday that he was removing an indicted congressman from the House Energy and Commerce Committee and prodded his chamber’s ethics panel to pursue “a prompt and thorough investigation” of the lawmaker. Ryan issued his statement Wednesday after federal prosecutors charged Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., with insider securities trading. [&hellip
          Republicans promote fear, not tax cuts, in key elections      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans in many midterm election battlegrounds across the country are trying to maintain their congressional majorities by stoking certain voters’ anxieties about liberal Democrats and their policies. It’s a striking turn for a party that just eight months ago was hailing a sweeping tax overhaul as a generational achievement. They promised then [&hellip
          Comissão do Congresso aprova Medida Provisória que concedeu desconto de R$ 0,30 por litro no preço do óleo diesel      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Uma comissão mista do Congresso Nacional, formada por senadores e deputados, aprovou nesta quarta-feira (8) a medida provisória que concedeu uma subvenção econômica na comercialização de óleo diesel. A subvenção é de até R$ 0,30 por litro de diesel. A subvenção tem objetivo de garantir o desconto de R$ 0,46 no litro do combustível. O incentivo será concedido […]
          Apple says the iPhone doesn't listen to your conversations      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Cupertino swears it doesn't spy on you to serve targeted ads.
Siri just watches you as you sleep
          Alyssa Milano Suspects Russian Meddling      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
On Tuesday actor Alyssa Milano took to Twitter to sound the alarm about Russian meddling in the Ohio special congressional election. With Republican Troy Balderson appearing to eek out a narrow victory over Democratic challenger Danny O’Connor in the state’s 12th congressional district, Milano says she suspects votes for the Green party spoiler were compromised.
          Missouri's Working People Overwhelmingly Reject Right to Work      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Missouri's Working People Overwhelmingly Reject Right to Work
Missouri victory
Missouri AFL-CIO

Last night was historic for working people in Missouri. Wealthy corporate interests tried to use their money to rig the system in favor of the 1%. But Missourians rejected the cynical power grab by an overwhelming 2-1 majority. Something big is happening with America’s working people—something that will bring change—and last night was just the latest evidence of this groundswell.

Missouri AFL-CIO President Mike Louis said:

Working people made our voices heard at the ballot box today and overturned “right to work.” It’s a truly historic moment. Thousands of hardworking men and women in Missouri talked to their neighbors, friends and co-workers. We owe them this victory. Together, we knocked on more than 800,000 doors, made more than 1 million phone calls and talked to working people on more than 1,000 different job sites across the state. Tonight we celebrate, but tomorrow we’re getting back to work. We’re going to take this energy and momentum and build more power for working people in Missouri.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said:

Missouri is the latest sign of a true groundswell, and working people are just getting started. The defeat of this poisonous anti-worker legislation is a victory for all workers across the country. The message sent by every single person who worked to defeat Prop. A is clear: When we see an opportunity to use our political voice to give workers a more level playing field, we will seize it with overwhelming passion and determination. Tonight is the latest act of working people changing a rigged system that for decades has been favoring corporations, the mega-wealthy and the privileged few.

The victory in Missouri follows a national wave of inspiring activism that is leading to life-changing collective bargaining agreements and electoral triumphs that remind America the path to power runs through the labor movement. From statehouses and city councils to the halls of Congress, working people are fighting back, and this November, we will elect our allies and retire our enemies. Working people across Missouri made this transformational moment possible, and we are following their lead to changing the world.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 08/08/2018 - 12:14
          VOTE      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Ohio's Danny O'Connor and Troy Balderson
The suspense in Ohio's 17th District today is palpable. The two candidates in a special congressional election won't know the results for a few weeks - the final tally is that close. It won't be until the provisional and absentee votes are counted that the results will finally be known to all. Whether or not the Democrats win this one, it's still good news for them. The 17th is a district that has been so gerrymandered to the benefit of the Republican Party in recent years, the area hadn't gone Democratic since 1982. This is a grim prologue to the November midterms for the GOP. We may very well see the "blue wave" that more than a few of the talking heads have been predicting for months. We shall see.
`
This cannot be emphasized enough. The future of this country is at stake. Does that sound just a bit extreme for your tastes? Perhaps it might be; but please, I would beg you to consider this: In 2020, after the next census, the party in power - particularly in Governors mansions all over the country - will be redrawing the election districts. If the Democrats are not the party doing most of the redistricting, look forward to another decade (at least) of America sinking into the abyss that is being manufactured by America's extreme right wing.

I really hate to be seen as a PR man for the Democratic Party, as I've said on this site too many times to count,  left that party in May of 1998 and I've never regretted my decision. It's not the party of Franklin an Eleanor Roosevelt - and hasn't been for a very long time. But while the Dems make me pull my hair out in frustration at times, the Republicans are beyond redemption. Theirs has not been the "party of Abraham Lincoln" for since 7:22 in the morning on April 15, 1865. That was the moment that old Abe breathed his last breath. Theirs is not a political party. Theirs is an organized criminal enterprise. America's very existence depends on them disappearing forever. Does that sound paranoid? I'll tell you what: keep voting Republican. Let's see what happens.

The Democratic Party needs to win this overwhelmingly in November. This is not the time to be experimenting with third parties. This is a time to get serious. It's later than you think.

I've never asked this before, but please share this little piece with as many people as possible. I think it's the most important thing I've ever posted on this site.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY



          8/9/2018: TIMES CITY: AAP’s hug challenge to Rahul      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party has virtually thrown a ‘hug challenge’ at Congress president Rahul Gandhi in the backdrop of a face-off between the ruling National Democratic Alliance and the Opposition over the Rajya Sabha deputy chairman’s election on...
          How to Improve the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

On June 28, California enacted the Consumer Privacy Act (A.B. 375), a well-intentioned but flawed new law that seeks to protect the data privacy of technology users and others by imposing new rules on companies that gather, use, and share personal data. There's a lot to like about the Act, but there is substantial room for improvement. Most significantly:

  • The Act allows businesses to charge a higher price to users who exercise their privacy rights.
  • The Act does not provide users the power to bring violators to court, with the exception of a narrow set of businesses if there are data breaches.
  • For data collection, the Act does not require user consent.
  • For data sale, while the Act does require user consent, adults have only opt-out rights, and not more-protective opt-in rights.
  • The Act’s right-to-know should be more granular, extending not just to general categories of sources and recipients of personal data, but also to the specific sources and recipients. Also, the right-to-know should be tailored to avoid news gathering.

The law goes into effect in January 2020, which means privacy advocates have 18 months to strengthen it—and to stave off regulated companies' attempts to weaken it.

Background to the Act

For many years, a growing number of technology users have objected to the myriad ways that companies harvest and monetize their personal data, and users have called on companies and legislators to do a better job at protecting their data privacy. EFF has long supported data privacy protections as well.

In March 2018, the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke. The public learned that private data was harvested from more than 50 million Facebook users, without their knowledge and consent, and that the Trump presidential campaign used this private data to target political advertisements. Demand for better data privacy rules increased significantly.

In May 2018, supporters of a California ballot initiative on data privacy filed more than 600,000 signatures in support of presenting the initiative to voters, nearly twice the number of signatures required to do so. But ballot initiatives are an imperfect way to make public policy on a complex subject like data privacy. Before enactment, it can be difficult for stakeholders to help improve an initiative’s content. And after enactment, an initiative can be difficult to amend.

California legislators hoped to do better, but now they faced a deadline. June 28 was the last day the initiative’s sponsor could remove it from the ballot, and the sponsor told the legislature that he would do so only if they passed data privacy legislation first. Legislators rushed to meet this deadline, but that rush meant privacy advocates didn’t have much chance to weigh in before it was passed.

The Basics of the CCPA

The CCPA creates four basic rights for California consumers: 

  • A right to know what personal information a business has about them, and where (by category) that personal information came from or was sent. See Sections 100, 110, 115. See also Section 140(c) (defining “business”), and Section 140(o) (defining “personal information”).
  • A right to delete personal information that a business collected from them. See Section 105. While the right-to-know extends to all information a business collected about a consumer, the right-to-delete extends to just the information a business collected from them.
  • A right to opt-out of sale of personal information about them. See Section 120. See also Section 140(t) (defining “sale”).
  • A right to receive equal service and pricing from a business, even if they exercise their privacy rights under the Act, but with significant exceptions. See Section 125.

The Act also creates a limited right for consumers to sue businesses for data security breaches, based on California’s existing data breach notification law. See Section 150. Most of the Act’s enforcement punch, however, rests with the California Attorney General (AG), who can file civil actions against violations of the Act. See Section 155. The AG is also responsible for promulgating regulations to flesh out or update the CCPA framework. See Section 185.

As we explained above, the CCPA was put together quickly, and with many important terms undefined or not clearly defined. As a result, these rights in some cases look better than they really are. Fortunately, the new CCPA is generally understood to be a work in progress. Legislators, privacy advocates, and regulated companies will all be seeking substantive revisions before the law goes into effect. The rest of this post focuses on EFF's suggestions.

Opt-in Consent to Collection

Many online services gather personal data from technology users, without their knowledge or consent, both when users visit their websites, and, by means of tracking tools, when users visit other websites. Many online services monetize this personal data by using it to sell targeted advertising. New legislation could require these online services to obtain the users’ opt-in consent to collect personal data, particularly where that collection is not necessary to provide the service.

The CCPA does not require online services to obtain opt-in consent before collecting personal data from users. Nor does it provide users an opportunity to opt-out of collection. The law does require notice, at or before the point of collection, of the categories of collected data, and the purposes of collection. See Section 100(b). But when it comes to users’ autonomy to make their own decisions about the privacy of their data, while notice is a start, consent is much better. The legislature should amend the Act to require it.

Some limits are in order. For example, opt-in consent might not be required for a service to perform actions the user themselves have requested (though clear notice should be required). Also, any new regulations should explore ways to avoid the “consent fatigue” that can be caused by a high volume of opt-in consent requests.

“Right to Know” About Data Gathering and Sharing

Technology users should have an affirmative “right to know” what personal data companies have gathered about them, where the companies got it, and with whom the companies shared it, subject to some limits to ensure that the right to know does not impinge on other rights.

The CCPA creates a right to know, empowering “consumers” to obtain the following information from “businesses”:

  • The categories of personal information collected. See Sections 100(a), 110a)(1), 110(c)(1), 115(a)(1).
  • The categories of sources of the personal information. See Sections 110(a)(2), 110(c)(2).
  • The purposes for collecting the personal information. See Sections 110(a)(3), 110(c)(3).
  • The categories of third parties with whom businesses shares personal information. See Sections 110(a)(4).
  • The categories of personal information sold. See Sections 115(a)(2), 115(c)(1).

The Act defines a “consumer” as any natural person who resides in California. See Section 140(g). The Act defines a “business” as a for-profit legal entity with: (i) annual gross revenue of $25 million; (ii) annual receipt or disclosure of the personal information of 50,000 consumers, households, or devices; or (iii) receipt of 50% or more of its annual revenue from selling personal information. See Section 140(c).

The Act’s right-to-know would be more effective if it was more granular. It allows people to learn just the “categories” of sources and recipients of their personal data. People should be able to learn the specific sources and recipients.

Moreover, the Act’s right-to-know should be tailored to avoid impacting news gathering, which is protected by the First Amendment, when undertaken by professional reporters and lay members of the public alike. For example, if a newspaper tracked visitors to its online edition, the visitors’ right-to-know could cover that tracked information, but should not also extend to a reporters’ investigative file.

Data Portability

Users generally should have a legal right to data portability, that is, to obtain a copy of the data they provided to an online service. People might use this data in myriad ways, including self-publishing their own content, better understanding their service provider, or taking their data to a rival service.

The CCPA advances data portability. Consumers may obtain from businesses the “specific pieces” of personal information collected about them. See Sections 100(a), 110(c)(5). Moreover, the Act provides that if “provided electronically, the information shall be in a portable and, to the extent technically feasible, in a readily useable format that allows the consumer to transmit their information to another entity.” See Section 100(d).

It will be important to ensure that “technical infeasibility” does not become an exception that swallows the rule.

Also, it may be appropriate to address scenarios where multiple users’ data is entangled. For example, suppose Alice posts a photo of herself on social media, under a privacy setting that allows only certain people to see the photo, and Bob (one of those people) posts a comment on the photo. If Bob seeks to obtain a copy of the data he provided to that social media, he should get his comment, but not automatically Alice’s photo.

Consent to Data Sharing

As discussed above, EFF supports properly tailored legislation that requires companies to get opt-in consent before collecting a user’s personal data. Opt-in consent should also be required before a company shares that data with a third party. The more broadly that personal data is disseminated, the greater the risk of theft by malicious hackers, misuse by company employees, and expanded uses by company managers. Technology users should have the power to control their personal data by deciding when it may be transferred from one entity to another.

The CCPA addresses sale of personal data. It defines “sale” to include any data transfer “for monetary or other valuable consideration.” See Section 140(t). Adults have a right to opt-out of sales. See Sections 120(a), 120(c). To facilitate such opt-outs, businesses must provide a “do not sell my personal information” link on their homepages. See Section 135(a)(1). Minors have a right to be free from sales absent their opt-in consent. See Sections 120(c), 120(d). Also, if a third party buys a user’s personal data from a company that acquired it from the user, the third party cannot re-sell that personal data, unless they notify the user and give them an opportunity to opt-out. See Section 115(d).

However, the Act’s provisions on consent to data sharing are incomplete. First, all users—adults as well as minors—should be free from data sales and re-sales without their opt-in consent. While opt-out consent is good, opt-in consent is a better way to promote user autonomy to make their own decisions about their data privacy.

Second, the opt-in consent rules should apply to data transfers that do not yield (in the Act’s words) “valuable consideration.” For example, a company may find it to be in its business interests to give user data away for free. The user should be able to say “no” to such a transfer. Under the current Act, they cannot do so. By contrast, the original ballot initiative defined “sale” to include sharing data with other businesses for free.

Notably, the Act empowers the California Attorney General to issue regulations to ensure that the Act’s various notices and information are provided “in a manner that may be easily understood by the average consumer.” See Section 185(a)(6). We hope these regulations will address the risk of “consent fatigue” that can result from opt-in requests.

Deletion

The CCPA provides that a consumer may compel a business to “delete” personal information that the business collected from the consumer. See Section 105(a).

The Act provides several exceptions. Two bear emphasis. First, a business need not delete a consumer’s personal information if the business needs it to “exercise free speech, ensure the right of another consumer to exercise his or her right of free speech, or exercise another right provided for by law.” See Section 105(d)(4). Second, a business may keep personal information “to enable solely internal uses that are reasonably aligned with the expectations of the consumer based on the consumer’s relationship with the business.” See Section 105(d)(7).  Confusingly, another exception uses similar language, and it’s unclear how these interact. See Section 105(d)(9) (“Otherwise use the consumer’s personal information, internally, in a lawful manner that is compatible with the context in which the consumer provided the information”).

Deletion is a particularly tricky aspect of data privacy, given the potential countervailing First Amendment rights at issue. For example, suppose that Alice and Bob use the same social media service, that Alice posts a photo of herself, that Bob re-posts it with a caption criticizing what Alice is doing in the photo, and that Alice becomes embarrassed by the photo. A statute empowering Alice to compel the service to delete all copies of the photo might intrude on Bob’s First Amendment interest in continuing to re-post the photo. EFF is working with privacy and speech advocates to find ways to make sure the CCPA ultimately strikes the right balance.

But EFF will strongly oppose any provision empowering users to compel third-party services (including search engines) to de-list public information about them. Laws outside the United States that do this are often called the “right to be forgotten.” EFF opposes such laws, because they violate the rights to free speech and to gather information. Many of us may be embarrassed by accurate published reports about us. But it does not follow that we should be able to force other people to forget these reports. Technology users should be free to seek out and locate information they find relevant.

Non-discrimination

The CCPA provides that if a user exercises one of the foregoing statutory data privacy rights (i.e., denial of consent to sell, right to know, data portability, or deletion), then a business may not discriminate against the user by denying service, charging a higher price, or providing lower quality. See Section 125(a)(1). This is a critical provision. Without it, businesses could effectively gut the law by discriminating against users that exercise their rights.

Unfortunately, the Act contains a broad exemption that threatens to swallow the non-discrimination rule. Specifically, a business may offer “incentives” to a user to collect and sell their data, including “payments.” See Section 125(b)(1). For example, if a service costs money, and a user of this service refuses to consent to collection and sale of their data, then the service may charge them more than it charges users that do consent. This will discourage users from exercising their privacy rights. Also, it will lead to unequal classes of privacy “haves” and “have nots,” depending upon the income of the user. EFF urges the California legislature to repeal this exemption from the non-discrimination rule.

This problem is not solved by the Act’s forbidding financial incentives that are “unjust, unreasonable, coercive, or usurious.” See Section 125(b)(4). This will not stop companies from charging more from users who exercise their privacy rights.

The Act also allows price and quality differences that are “reasonably related” or “directly related” to “the value provided to the consumer by the consumer’s data.” See Sections 125(a)(2), 125(b)(1). These exemptions from the non-discrimination rule are unclear and potentially far-reaching, and need clarification and limitation.

Empowering Users to Enforce the Law

One of the most powerful ways to ensure enforcement of a privacy law is to empower users to take violators to court. This is often called a “private cause of action.” Government agencies may fail to enforce privacy laws, for any number of reasons, including lack of resources, competing priorities, or regulatory capture. When a business violates the statutory privacy rights of a user, the user should have the power to decide for themselves whether to enforce the law. Many privacy statutes allow this, including federal laws on wiretaps, stored electronic communications, video rentals, driver’s licenses, and cable subscriptions.

Unfortunately, the private right of action in the CCPA is woefully inadequate. It may only be brought to remedy certain data breaches. See Section 150(a)(1). The Act does not empower users to sue businesses that sell their data without consent, that refuse to comply with right-to-know requests, and that refuse to comply with data portability requests. EFF urges the California legislature to expand the Act’s private cause of action to cover violations of these privacy rights, too.

The Act empowers the California Attorney General to bring suit against a business that violates any provision of the Act. See Section 155(a). As just explained, this is not enough.

Waivers

Too often, users effectively lose their new rights when they “agree” to fine print in unilateral form contracts with large businesses that have far greater bargaining power. Users may unwittingly waive their privacy rights, or find themselves stuck with mandatory arbitration of their privacy rights (as opposed to their day in an independent court).

So we are very pleased that the CCPA expressly provides that contract provisions are void if they purport to waive or limit a user’s privacy rights and enforcement remedies under the Act. See Section 192. This is an important provision that could be a model for other states as well.

Rule Making

The CCPA empowers the California Attorney General to adopt regulations, after it solicits broad public participation. See Section 185. These regulations will address, among other things, new categories of “personal information,” new categories of “unique identifiers” of users, new exceptions to comply with state and federal law, and the clarity of notices.

EFF will participate in this regulatory process, to help ensure that new regulations strengthen data privacy without undue burden, particularly for nonprofits and open-source projects.

Next Steps

The CCPA is just a start. Between now and the Act’s effective date in January 2020, much work remains to be done. The Act itself makes important findings about the high stakes:

The proliferation of personal information has limited Californians’ ability to properly protect and safeguard their privacy. It is almost impossible to apply for a job, raise a child, drive a car, or make an appointment without sharing personal information. . . . Many businesses collect personal information from California consumers. They may know where a consumer lives and how many children a consumer has, how fast a consumer drives, a consumer’s personality, sleep habits, biometric and health information, financial information, precise geolocation information, and social networks, to name a few categories. . . . People desire privacy and more control over their information.

EFF looks forward to advocating for improvements to the Act in the months and years to come.


          8/9/2018: TIMES NATION: It’s Harivansh vs Hariprasad in RS battle      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

TIMES New Delhi: Even as BJD threw its weight behind BJP-led NDA in the election for the deputy chairperson of Rajya Sabha giving the ruling coalition a clear edge, Congress refused to leave the arena and fielded its candidate to force a contest for...
          8/9/2018: | POLITICS POLICY: In Delhi HC, Rahul opposes reopening of tax assessment      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday challenged in the Delhi high court the reopening of his 2011-12 assessment by the tax department for not disclosing that he was a director in Young Indian company, an accused in the National...
          8/9/2018: TIMES GLOBAL: Palestinian-American to become first Muslim Congresswoman in US      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Rashida Tlaib, the eldest of 14 siblings, was born in Detroit after her parents emigrated from Palestine. Tlaib began her political career only in 2004 POWER MEET: PepsiCo’s outgoing CEO Indra Nooyi (C) and MasterCard’s chief executive Ajay Banga were...
          8/9/2018: TIMES GLOBAL: Record number of women seeking seats in US Congress      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Washington: A record number of women are running for the US Congress in November, a surge that follows a year marked by the #MeToo movement. After another round of primary voting in several states on Tuesday, more than 180 women, at least, will vie...
          U.S. Military Aid To Egypt Gives A 'Green Light' To Repression, Say Rights Advocates      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The Trump administration's recent decision to release $195 million in military aid to Egypt has left rights experts stunned and deeply worried. A year ago, then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson suspended that sum because Egypt's human rights record didn't meet the standards imposed by Congress. Since that time, the space for civic freedoms in Egypt has shrunk, researchers say. Egypt's security forces have continued to lock up groups labeled dissidents or terrorists, and courts have handed down mass death sentences in cases widely criticized as politically motivated. The U.S. aid reversal comes in support of a regime that researchers say is even more authoritarian than ousted ruler Hosni Mubarak. "This sends all of the wrong signals to the Egyptian generals that the rhetoric about human rights is merely lip service," says Mohamed Soltan, a U.S. citizen who spent almost two years as a political prisoner in Egypt until he was released in 2015. "It is a green light to carry on with the
          80% dos parlamentares do RN querem reeleger-se em 2018      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Nas eleições 2018, os potiguares vão eleger 34 parlamentares, seus legítimos representantes na Assembleia Legislativa e no Congresso Nacional. Das candidaturas homologadas em convenções partidárias, 27 são de reeleição, o que corresponde a 80% das postulações. Dentre os demais, quatro são mandatários buscando novas posições. A conta é simples. O Rio Grande do Norte conta […]
          8/9/2018: TIMES SPORT: It’s Harivansh vs Hariprasad for RS dy chair      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Even as BJD threw its weight behind BJP-led NDA in the election for the deputy chairperson of Rajya Sabha giving the ruling coalition a clear edge, Congress refused to leave the arena and fielded its candidate to force a contest for the constitutional...
          Coffee Break – Show 4      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
[player] This week Andrew & Greg are joined Howard Marks whose abundance of commentary leads to a surfeit of opinions on the lack of anything happening at Mobile World Congress. Show Notes MWC – Wearable computing on the rise? Netflix and Comcast: Is this the first Network Neutrality domino to fall? Frontier customer complaints drop […]
          STF aprova reajuste de 19% no salário de ministros e efeito cascata pode atingir grande parte do funcionalismo      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Por 6 votos a 4, a maioria dos ministros do Supremo Tribunal Federal (STF) decidiu, há pouco, enviar ao Congresso Nacional proposta de aumento dos salários dos ministros da Corte , para 2019. O salário atualmente é de R$ 33,7 … Continua
          U.S. Military Aid To Egypt Gives A 'Green Light' To Repression, Say Rights Advocates      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The Trump administration's recent decision to release $195 million in military aid to Egypt has left rights experts stunned and deeply worried. A year ago, then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson suspended that sum because Egypt's human rights record didn't meet the standards imposed by Congress. Since that time, the space for civic freedoms in Egypt has shrunk, researchers say. Egypt's security forces have continued to lock up groups labeled dissidents or terrorists, and courts have handed down mass death sentences in cases widely criticized as politically motivated. The U.S. aid reversal comes in support of a regime that researchers say is even more authoritarian than ousted ruler Hosni Mubarak. "This sends all of the wrong signals to the Egyptian generals that the rhetoric about human rights is merely lip service," says Mohamed Soltan, a U.S. citizen who spent almost two years as a political prisoner in Egypt until he was released in 2015. "It is a green light to carry on with the
          Ohio's Special Congressional Election Still Too Close To Call      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
          Argentina To Decide Fate Of Landmark Bill Legalizing Abortion      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91XPH_6pL_0 A deceptively simple hashtag has climbed to the top of Twitter's trending lists across Argentina: #EsHoy , or "It's Today." The phrase, imbued as it is with fervent expectation, may seem puzzling to outsiders — but inside the country, the meaning is crystal clear. "Today" is the long-awaited day that Argentine senators gather to debate deeply divisive legislation that would legalize abortion for pregnancies up to 14 weeks. Nearly two months after lawmakers in the country's lower house of Congress approved the bill by a slim margin, senators will decide whether to send the bill on to President Mauricio Macri — who, despite his personal misgivings, has said he would sign it into law. The move would significantly ease the country's abortion laws, which allow the procedure only in cases of rape and risks to the mother's health, and would make Argentina the most populous country in Latin America to legalize abortion. The bill's backers argue that
          It's Official: Record Number Of Women Nominated For House Seats In 2018       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
With Tuesday's primaries, women have hit another milestone in this record-breaking political year, setting a new record for the number of women who have secured a major party nomination for the U.S. House. Democrats and Republicans have nominated 185 women to run for the House in November, as of Wednesday morning, according to the Center for Women and Politics at Rutgers University. The figure breaks the prior record of 167 nominees set in 2016. The total could still tick upwards in the coming days, as three more women are candidates House primaries that remain too close to call after Tuesday's voting. Fourteen states have yet to hold their primaries, and one still will hold a runoff, meaning the total number of women nominees could easily jump substantially by Election Day, further shattering that 2016 record. CAWP had already determined that more women than ever have been running in congressional primaries this year. This latest development represents those women advancing closer to
          Detroit's Rashida Tlaib Poised To Become First Muslim Woman In Congress      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Updated at 2:48 p.m. ET Rashida Tlaib has some experience being first, and not just because she is the eldest of 14 children. As the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, she was the first person in her family to earn a high school diploma — then a college degree, and a law degree. She was the first Muslim woman ever elected to Michigan's Legislature, where she served in the House for the maximum term of six years. And in January, she is set to become America's first-ever Muslim congresswoman. The 42-year-old Detroit native, whose father worked at a Ford plant, clinched a Democratic primary in Michigan and won the right to run unopposed in a U.S. House race this fall. "I am at a loss for words," she tweeted overnight. "I cannot wait to serve you in Congress." Tlaib won the Democratic nomination to replace former Rep. John Conyers, the long-serving congressman and civil rights icon who resigned last year after sexual harassment allegations. The district covers portions of Detroit and the
          Ohio Special Election: 4 Lessons Both Parties Are Learning For The Midterms      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQi2flVVzFU After spending millions of dollars in a special election in Ohio, Republicans pushed the boulder up the hill just enough to eke out a very small lead, and possibly hold on, in what unexpectedly became a competitive race. "While we won tonight, this remains a very tough political environment, and moving forward, we cannot expect to win tough races when our candidate is being outraised," warned Corry Bliss, the executive director of the Congressional Leadership Fund, a PAC trying to help Republicans hold the House. "Any Republican running for Congress getting vastly outraised by an opponent needs to start raising more money." Why the alarm bells – even after Republican Troy Balderson declared victory over Democrat Danny O'Connor in the 12th Congressional District special election? In part, it's because this district is not indicative of the kinds of places that will determine control of the House in November. It's far more conservative. To
          John Kiriakou, When Twitter Decides Who Speaks (or Not)      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

John Kiriakou

ensorship has become such a normal part of daily American life that most people either don’t pay attention to it or don’t care. But it’s taken on a life of its own, and it’s beginning to spin out of control. We must take back our constitutional right to freedom of speech and our civil liberties. 

     Many Americans laughed this week when Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube suspended the accounts of Alex Jones and InfoWars. Jones is well-known for his bombastic, conspiracy-laden, often offensive views on just about everything from the Sandy Hook massacre (no children were killed; they were all “crisis actors”) to the United Nations (it’s a hostile foreign power that maintains a secret army and will launch a war to install a one-world government) to so-called “chemtrails” and space aliens. (In the interest of transparency, I have appeared three times on InfoWars’ The Real News with David Knight. David is a mainstream Libertarian and a great supporter of whistleblowers.)
But the decision to ban Jones was not funny at all. You don’t have to agree with a single thing the man says to believe that he has the same fundamental right to freedom of speech that you and I have. When news of the ban broke on August 6, I was surprised at how few of my friends objected to it. Indeed, many gloated over it. I felt exactly the opposite. I was infuriated. And the next day, on August 7, Twitter permanently banned my friend Peter Van Buren from the site.
Van Buren is a renowned State Department whistleblower and 24-year Foreign Service veteran who also led a Provincial Reconstruction Team in Iraq. He has written extensively about waste, fraud, and abuse at the State Department, and he published a well-received memoir in 2012 entitled, “We Meant Well: How I Helped to Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People.” As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton tried mightily to fire Van Buren for that memoir, even though the State Department’s publications review staff approved its release. She tried to confiscate his pension. Only after a lawsuit on his behalf by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Government Accountability Project was he allowed to retire and to keep his pension.
Twitter, however, doesn’t have to answer to anybody. It’s a private company and it can do what it wants. Last week, Van Buren got involved in an acrimonious exchange about government lying with mainstream journalist Jonathan Katz, a freelancer who writes primarily for The New York Times, Politico, and Slate. Katz apparently reported Van Buren to Twitter, which quickly banned him for life, saying he had “harassed, intimidated, or used fear to silence” Katz. No such thing ever took place. Because of the permanent nature of the ban, every one of Van Buren’s tweets from the past seven years has been deleted.
Twitter’s action turns out to not have been limited to Alex Jones and a buddy of mine. The company went on yesterday to suspend the accounts of Scott Horton, a prominent radio host, director of Antiwar.com, and great friend of whistleblowers; and Dan McAdams, a highly-respected former congressional staff member and executive director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. I know both of these men well and I would stake my reputation on their decency, honesty, and integrity. Twitter suspended them because they came to Van Buren’s aid.
There’s an even worse result from Twitter’s actions. InfoWars this week had promoted a petitionasking President Trump to pardon Julian Assange. In just 48 hours, the petition was signed by nearly 40,000 people. It was all but killed when removed from Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
There’s a very serious issue at play here. Put aside your feelings about Alex Jones, about crisis actors, and about chemtrails. This is an issue of free speech. It’s an issue of corporate censorship. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and other tech mega-companies are telling us that they get to decide what we see and don’t see. They get to decide what we say and don’t say.
I won’t live like that. Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), a group of retired intelligence officers, diplomats, military officers, and FBI agents, is writing a letter to Twitter’s leadership to protest these heavy-handed, anti-democratic actions. I’m proud to be a member of VIPS and I think that our collective voice will be heard. But VIPS can’t do it alone. Twitter and the others must be called to account. I, for one, don’t want to live like a North Korean, an Iranian, or even an Israeli or a Brit, where my government or a company tells me what to think or to say. I will boycott Twitter and speak out against it everywhere until it remedies these egregious attacks on civil liberties.





John Kiriakou is a former CIA counterterrorism officer and a former senior investigator with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. John became the sixth whistleblower indicted by the Obama administration under the Espionage Act - a law designed to punish spies. He served 23 months in prison as a result of his attempts to oppose the Bush administration's torture program.

          New Defense Bill Strengthens the Military’s Flood & Energy Readiness and Saves Taxpayer Dollars—All While Addressing Climate Change      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (NDAA) builds to the future and reflects the reality of climate change, therefore providing a useful roadmap for Congress as they consider different infrastructure proposals.
          Ministros do STF aprovam aumento do próprio salário      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Agência Brasil -


Por 6 votos a 4, a maioria dos ministros do Supremo Tribunal Federal (STF) decidiu, há pouco, enviar ao Congresso Nacional proposta de aumento dos salários dos ministros da Corte , para 2019.

O salário atualmente é de R$ 33,7 mil e o percentual de reajuste, de 16%.
Caso o reajuste seja aprovado no Orçamento da União, que será votado pelo Congresso, o salário dos ministros poderia chegar a R$ 39 mil, valor que provocaria efeito cascata nos salários do funcionalismo – o subsídio dos ministros é o valor máximo para pagamento de salários no serviço público.


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          Liberação de saques do PIS/Pasep começa nesta quarta-feira para todas as idades      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Agência Brasil -


Os pagamentos do Fundo PIS/Pasep voltam a ser realizados aos cotistas a partir desta quarta-feira (8). No total, cerca de 23,8 milhões de pessoas de todas as idades, que trabalharam com carteira assinada entre 1971 e 1988, têm direito a acessar os recursos até 28 de setembro, quando se encerra a janela do novo cronograma permitido pela legislação.
Após essa data, o benefício volta a ser concedido exclusivamente ao público habitual, formado por cotistas maiores de 60 anos, aposentados, pessoas em situação de invalidez (inclusive seus dependentes) ou acometidas por enfermidades específicas, participantes do Programa de Benefício de Prestação Continuada (BPC) e herdeiros de cotistas falecidos. O benefício tem potencial para injetar R$ 35,7 bilhões na economia do país, considerando o rendimento de 8,97% do último exercício anual do Fundo. 
Os cotistas que tiverem conta corrente na Caixa Econômica Federal (PIS) ou no Banco do Brasil (Pasep) e que estiverem com o cadastro do Fundo atualizado receberão o depósito automaticamente, sem necessidade de se dirigir às agências. De acordo com o cronograma vigente, Caixa e Banco do Brasil começarão a efetuar os depósitos automáticos a partir de amanhã. Devido à compensação noturna, os correntistas desses bancos poderão verificar os valores em suas contas no dia seguinte (9). Somente esse público soma cerca de 6,3 milhões de pessoas e garante a injeção direta de R$ 5,5 bilhões na economia.

Saque nas agências
A partir do dia 14 deste mês, o saque estará liberado para todos os cotistas, bastando que se dirijam às agências bancárias da Caixa (trabalhadores que atuaram na iniciativa privada) ou do Banco do Brasil (trabalhadores que atuaram no serviço público). São cerca de 17,5 milhões de pessoas que poderão sacar entre 14 de agosto e 28 de setembro. Para isso, basta levar ao banco um documento de identificação ou o número de registro do PIS/Pasep, consultando na hora o valor que tem direito de sacar.
Os dois bancos – Caixa e BB –  também oferecem essas consultas por meio de suas páginas na internet. "É importante frisar que, dos 23,8 milhões de cotistas com direito ao benefício, cerca de 15 milhões têm são pessoas com menos de 60 anos, as quais, a partir de 29 de setembro, não terão mais direito de resgatar os recursos, de acordo com a Lei 13.677/2018. Daí a importância de todos os trabalhadores que atuaram naqueles anos buscarem informação sobre os seus saldos disponíveis", informou o Ministério do Planejamento, em nota. 
Desde o início do processo de flexibilização dos saques do fundo PIS/Pasep, em 2017, até junho de 2018, cerca de 4,8 milhões de cotistas já realizaram seus saques, totalizando R$ 6,6 bilhões pagos aos beneficiários.

Quem tem direito
Têm direito ao saque servidores públicos e pessoas que trabalharam com carteira assinada de 1971, quando o PIS/Pasep foi criado, até 1988. Quem contribuiu após 4 de outubro de 1988 não tem direito ao saque. Isso ocorre porque a Constituição, promulgada naquele ano, passou a destinar as contribuições do PIS/Pasep das empresas ao Fundo de Amparo ao Trabalhador (FAT), que paga o seguro-desemprego e o abono salarial, e ao Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (BNDES).
Desde a criação do PIS/Pasep, em 1971, o saque total só podia ser feito quando o trabalhador completasse 70 anos, se aposentasse, tivesse doença grave ou invalidez ou fosse herdeiro de titular da conta. No segundo semestre do ano passado, o governo já tinha enviado ao Congresso duas medidas provisórias (MPs) reduzindo a 60 anos a idade para saque, sem alterar as demais hipóteses de acesso aos recursos. O Projeto de Lei de Conversão 8/2018, decorrente da MP 813/2017, que permitiu os saques, foi aprovado pelo Senado no dia 28 de maio e sancionado pelos presidente Michel Temer em junho, quando a flexibilização do saque passou a valer na prática.


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          Comment on Bummer: Businesses Are Refusing To Hire Illegal Alien DACA Kids by formwiz      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
<i>he acknowledged that he couldn’t “just bypass Congress and change the (immigration) law myself. … That’s not how a democracy works.”</i>
          Comment on If All You See… by Jeffery      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Chris Collins (R-NY) is in FBI custody for insider trading. Collins, his son Cameron and Cameron's future father-in-law are being arraigned. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/new-york-gop-rep-chris-collins-arrested-over-insider-trading-charges/ar-BBLENIL?OCID=ansmsnnews11 Collins was a board member of Innate Immunotherapeutics and received notification June 22 of a failed clinical trial before the public release of the information on June 27. He called his son Cameron to tip him off, who in turn tipped off in father-in-law to be. Collins' family was also heavily invested and got out at the same time, saving close to a $1 million. The indictment likely means they have what they need. From the board of directors: <blockquote>Based on an analysis of the top-line data, on 27 June 2017 we reported that MIS416 did not show clinically meaningful or statistically significant differences in measures of neuromuscular function or patient reported outcomes. I would also like to thank Chris Collins and all shareholders who supported our staffs’ dedication during the year. I regret we have not provided you with a better outcome and also a better outcome for the wider multiple sclerosis community. </blockquote> In Jan 2017 the stock peaked at $15.90 a share and is now at $0.31, turning a $100,000 investment into $1950. No wonder they wanted to bail. Imagine how the people who bought stock not knowing the company was failing felt. That's one way to drain the swamp. 5 other GOP Congressman have been implicated but not charged. Former Sec of HHS, Tom Price, also had invested in Innate, allegedly on tips from Collins.
          Progressive Democratic candidate was a badass MMA fighter (Video)      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Sharice Davids, an openly gay ex-MMA fighter, could make history as the first Native America Congresswoman Her fighting career may be over, but Sharice Davids is in the biggest battle of her life. On Wednesday morning,  won the primary of Kansas’ 3rd Congressional District, giving her a realistic shot at becoming the first Native American woman in […]

Progressive Democratic candidate was a badass MMA fighter (Video) - FanSided - FanSided - Sports News, Entertainment, Lifestyle & Technology - 300+ Sites


          Congress leader says NRC will never be allowed in West Bengal, warns its propagators 'not to play with fire'      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
  1. Congress leader says NRC will never be allowed in West Bengal, warns its propagators 'not to play with fire'  Firstpost
  2. West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee must also maintain NRC: Prafulla Mahanta  India TV
  3. Full coverage

          Pentagon to create new command for fighting in space, but resists Trump's proposed 'space force'      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The Pentagon plans to create a new military command responsible for war fighting in space, but opposition in Congress could block a more ambitious “space force,” a new military service that President Trump has endorsed repeatedly in tweets and campaign rallies.

The outcome of the bureaucratic reshuffling...


          Trump's legal team responds to Mueller interview request      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

WASHINGTON — Lawyers for President Donald Trump said Wednesday they have responded to the latest interview proposal from special counsel Robert Mueller, part of a months-long negotiation process over whether and how investigators can question the president on possible obstruction of justice in the Russia investigation.

The two sides have gone back and forth over the scope and conditions of an interview as Mueller looks to understand whether the president acted with a criminal intent to stymie the investigation into possible coordination between his campaign and Russia.

Mueller's team has put forward dozens of potential questions for the president, including about his firing of FBI Director James Comey last year and his public antagonism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who recused himself from the Russia investigation against the president's wishes.

Though he's publicly railed against the Russia investigation, including earlier this week, Trump has said he's willing to be questioned. His lawyers have been far more hesitant and have challenged the right of investigators to interview Trump about actions they say he is authorized under the Constitution to take, such as firing an FBI director.

Speaking on his radio show Wednesday, Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow again expressed reservations about an interview with Mueller, saying it would set a "bad precedent to allow just unfettered questioning on that process."

"The decisions that are made here are all about the Constitution of the United States," Sekulow said.

Trump's lawyers did not detail the terms of any counteroffer they may have made and they also did not suggest that they were close to agreeing to an interview, suggesting the possibility of additional negotiations.

Sekulow said he expected Mueller's team to take time to evaluate the written response.

"These are not two paragraphs," Sekulow said. "These are well-thought-out legal positions that, as I've said multiple times, have implications not just for this president but for any presidency."

Rudy Giuliani, another lawyer for the president, said millions of pages of documents have been provided to Mueller along with testimony from dozens of witnesses.

"We're re-stating what we have been saying for months: It is time for the Office of Special Counsel to conclude its inquiry without further delay."

It is not clear what would happen if Trump's lawyers definitively reject Mueller's interview request. Mueller's team raised the prospect in March that it could subpoena the president, though this would unquestionably prompt a court fight.

The Supreme Court ruled in 1974 that President Richard Nixon could be forced to turn over recordings that had been subpoenaed.

"Ultimately this decision is the president's to make," Sekulow said on his radio show during a conversation with Guiliani. "We're going to give advice, but the president is going to make this decision."

The negotiations unfold as Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, stands trial in federal court in Virginia on financial crime charges. Manafort is one of four former Trump aides to be charged in the Mueller investigation.

___

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FILE - In this May 29, 2018, file photo, Rudy Giuliani, an attorney for President Donald Trump, waves to people during White House Sports and Fitness Day on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. Giuliani, says special counsel Robert Mueller should finish the Russia investigation “without further delay” as the president’s legal team responded to the latest interview request. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

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FILE - In this Oct. 23, 2015, file photo, Jay Sekulow speaks at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators want to interview the President Donald Trump on whether he sought to obstruct justice by firing FBI Director James Comey and other actions. But Trump’s lawyers have tried to narrow the scope, in part by arguing that prosecutors can’t ask Trump about actions he’s taken while in office. Sekulow said in a statement that the attorneys have responded in writing to the latest offer but would not elaborate.(AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)
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AP

          Ohio, Kansas elections too close to call; Trump claims win      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

WESTERVILLE, Ohio — Two high-stakes elections that tested President Donald Trump's clout and cost both parties millions of dollars were too close to call on Wednesday. Trump claimed victory in one nevertheless and proclaimed himself '5 for 5' for Tuesday's Election Day.

In battleground Ohio, the president took credit for Republican Troy Balderson's performance, calling it "a great victory," though the congressional contest could be headed to a recount. Democrats could also celebrate their strong showing in the district that has gone Republican for decades.

"We're not stopping now," Democrat Danny O'Connor told cheering supporters Tuesday night. Whoever is eventually declared the winner in the special election will take office immediately but only until the end of the year. The two men will face off again in November for the full 2019-2020 term.

But Trump declared unconditional victory, tweeting Wednesday, "As long as I campaign and/or support Senate and House candidates (within reason), they will win!"

He claimed to have helped five GOP candidates win, including Bill Schuette for Michigan governor, John James for Michigan Senate and Josh Hawley for Missouri Senate. "5 for 5!" Trump tweeted.

Though, as in Ohio, the Kansas primary for governor was too close to call.

With election officials halting the vote count Wednesday morning, Secretary of State Kris Kobach led incumbent Gov. Jeff Colyer by fewer than 200 votes. It could be several days before all absentee votes are counted.

The day's races in five states, like many before them, tested the persistence of Trump's fiery supporters and the momentum of the Democratic Party's anti-Trump resistance.

The results were helping determine the political landscape — and Trump's standing within his own party — as the GOP defends its House and Senate majorities this fall.

If Balderson holds on in Ohio, Republicans will have won eight of nine special House elections since 2016, most in Republican-leaning districts.

In Kansas, Republicans were fighting among themselves in an unusual battle for governor in which the president sided with the incumbent's challenger.

A new state law allows ballots postmarked as of Tuesday to be counted, so long as they arrive within three days of Election Day.

Kobach received a late endorsement from Trump. Colyer received the endorsement of the National Rifle Association and had the backing of Kansas political legend Bob Dole.

Should the polarizing Kobach win the primary, some Republican operatives fear he could lose the governorship to Democrats this fall. The race could become further disrupted if Kansas City-area businessman Greg Orman makes it onto the November ballot. He submitted petitions Monday with more than 10,000 signatures for what could become the most serious independent run for Kansas governor in decades.

Trump made his preference clear for Kobach.

"He is a fantastic guy who loves his State and our Country - he will be a GREAT Governor and has my full & total Endorsement! Strong on Crime, Border & Military," the president tweeted on the eve of the election.

In Kansas' 3rd Congressional District, Sharice Davids became the state's first Native American and gay nominee for Congress.

The 38-year-old attorney and activist prevailed in a close six-candidate Democratic primary and will face four-term Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder.

Davids edged labor lawyer Brent Welder, who received the endorsements and a June campaign visit from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and New York House candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Democrats are targeting the district, which includes the state's metropolitan Kansas City area. Hillary Clinton narrowly won it in the 2016 presidential race.

In Ohio, the script for the special election was somewhat familiar this year: An experienced Trump loyalist, Balderson, was fighting a strong challenge from O'Connor, a fresh-faced Democrat in the state's 12th congressional District, a Columbus-area suburban area held by the Republican Party for more than three decades. As voters were going to the polls, Trump said Balderson would make a "great congressman."

The winner takes the seat previously held by Pat Tiberi, a nine-term incumbent who resigned to take a job with an Ohio business group.

There were at least 3,367 provisional ballots left to be reviewed. That's enough for O'Connor to potentially pick up enough to force a recount.

The Associated Press does not declare winners in races subject to an automatic recount.

In a special election season that featured nearly a dozen congressional contests, Democrats claimed just a handful of wins, but they may have cause for optimism this fall. In virtually every special election test dating back to the spring of 2017, Democratic candidates performed significantly better than their party had in those same places two years earlier.

Trump won Ohio's 12th Congressional District, for example, by more than 11 points in 2016; on Tuesday night, Balderson and O'Connor were separated by less than 1 point.

There are 79 House races this fall considered more competitive than the Ohio district — at least looking at Trump's 2016 performance — according to data compiled by the Democrats' national campaign committee.

Despite the deadlocked race, the details of the Ohio returns suggest considerably higher Democratic enthusiasm less than 100 days before the midterms.

O'Connor's total of nearly 100,000 votes far exceeded what the Republican Tiberi's Democratic opponent got in 2014. Balderson's total — just more than 101,500 votes — was barely two-thirds of Tiberi's 2014 mark of about 150,000.

"Over the next three months, I'm going to do everything I can to keep America great again, so that when we come back here in November — get ready, we gotta come back here in November — I have earned your vote for a second time," Balderson told supporters.

It's unclear how much Trump's support helped or hurt Balderson. Described by campaign operatives as a "Whole Foods" district, the largely suburban region features a more affluent and educated voter base than the typical Trump stronghold.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a leading voice in the GOP's shrinking anti-Trump wing, once represented the district in Congress.

At times, the race centered on Trump's tax cuts as much as the candidates.

O'Connor and his Democratic allies railed against the tax plan, casting it as a giveaway for the rich that exacerbates federal deficits and threatens Medicare and Social Security. Balderson and his Republican allies have backed away from the tax plan in recent weeks, training their fire instead on top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi.

O'Connor's campaign spent $2.25 million on advertising compared to Balderson's $507,000, according to campaign tallies of ad spending. But the Republican campaign arm and its allied super PAC picked up the slack, spending more than $4 million between them.

In Michigan , former state Rep. Rashida Tlaib is poised to become the first Muslim woman in Congress. She won the Democratic nomination to run unopposed in November.

The field was set in two Senate contests.

In Missouri, Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill claimed her party's nomination, while state Attorney General Josh Hawley will represent the GOP.

And in Michigan, Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow will take on military veteran and business executive John James, who won the GOP nomination. James would join Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina as the chamber's only black Republicans.

Trump tweeted that James is "a potential Republican star."

___

Peoples reported from Washington. Associated Press writers John Hanna in Topeka, Kansas, and Angie Wang in Westerville, Ohio, contributed.

___

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Troy Balderson, Republican candidate for Ohio's 12th Congressional District, greets a crowd of supporters during an election night party Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018, in Newark, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

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Kansas Republican gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach greets supporters during his primary election watch party on Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018, at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Topeka, Kan. (Chris Neal/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP)

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Danny O'Connor, the Franklin County recorder, shakes hands with supporters during an election night watch party at the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018, in Westerville, Ohio. O'Connor ran against Republican Troy Balderson in a special election race for Ohio's 12th District after the retirement of Pat Tiberi who served as the U.S. Representative from 2001-2018 in the reliably Republican district. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

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FILE - In this May 30, 2018, file photo, Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer, right, answers a question from reporters as Lt. Gov. Tracey Mann, left, listens during a news conference in Topeka, Kan. Colyer and immigration hardliner Kris Kobach were virtually tied atop a seven-candidate field with nearly two-thirds of the precincts counted in the primary, late Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/John Hanna, File)

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Voters cast their ballots among an array of electronic voting machines in a polling station at the Noor Islamic Cultural Center, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018, in Dublin, Ohio. Two-term state Sen. Troy Balderson, is fighting off a strong challenge from Democrat Danny O'Connor, a 31-year-old county official, in a congressional district held by the Republican Party for more than three decades. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

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Michigan U.S. Senate candidate John James gives a thumbs up after casting his ballot on Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018 at Orchard United Methodist Church in Farmington Hills, Mich. (Max Ortiz/Detroit News via AP)

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Abdul El-Sayed, Democratic candidate for Michigan governor, visits his Detroit field office to thank all of the volunteers for their hard work on the campaign Tuesday, Aug.7, 2018, in Detroit. (ClarenceTabb Jr./Detroit News via AP)
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AP

          Senate Democrats file Freedom of Information Act request to force release of key Kavanaugh documents      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

We are now at the point where U.S. senators are having to file their own Freedom of Information Act requests to try to get records that the Trump Administration is refusing to let them see and their Republican colleagues are refusing to press for:

x

In subsequent tweets Sen. Blumenthal notes that this is both a "last resort" and "unprecedented." It's also unsurprising, at this point: The Kavanaugh nomination has raised a host of issues relating to his "new" opinion that Republican presidents cannot be criminally investigated to his useful rulings for Donald Trump's own business.

Brett Kavanaugh, now nominated to the Supreme Court by a president whose key campaign members are under investigation for possible conspiracy with a Russian espionage effort against the United States, was elevated from a partisan position investigating Republican conspiracy theories under Ken Starr to a lawyer and staff secretary within the George W. Bush White House. He participated during White House efforts to claim legal justification for the torture of war prisoners; Trump-allied Republicans have been attempting to block the release of those key records by, among other tactics, putting Kavanaugh's own then-deputy in charge of determining which to produce and which not to.


          Under pressure from Congress, Trump administration hits Russia with sanctions for nerve agent attack      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The Trump administration said Wednesday it would impose new sanctions on Russia after the State Department determined it violated international law by poisoning an ex-spy living in Britain in March.

The official determination from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo came after the GOP chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Ed Royce, chastised the Trump administration a couple weeks ago for dragging its feet on a decision about the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, a former Russian military officer, and his daughter Yulia. Both nearly died after they were exposed to the deadly nerve agent Novichok.

“Your compliance with the Chemical and Biological Weapons and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 is critical to showing Putin that we are serious about challenging his deadly acts," Royce wrote Donald Trump on July 26, giving him a deadline of August 9 for issuing a final determination, which automatically triggers sanctions. Pompeo complied just under the wire. 

The sanctions include two waves, with the initial round limiting financing and certain exports, such as those pertaining to national security items like electronic devices and components. Some sanctions already existed on national security-related exports, but they had still been allowed on a case-by-case basis. NBC News writes:

A second, more painful round kicks in three months later unless Russia provides "reliable assurances" it won't use chemical weapons in the future and agrees to "on-site inspections" by the U.N. — conditions unlikely to be met. The second round of sanctions could include downgrading diplomatic relations, suspending state airline Aeroflot's ability to fly to the U.S, and cutting off nearly all exports and imports.

Administration officials has been scrambling to combat the perception that Trump is under the thumb of Russian President Vladimir Putin following Trump's subservience to him during their joint press conference in Helsinki several weeks ago. They will surely tout this as an instance of Trump being "tough" on Russia. 

Just remember that it took the threat of actual oversight from a House Committee before they finally made a determination, which came after the statutory deadline had already came and gone. They were supposed to make that determination within 60 days of the original request from Congress, which came on March 15.

  


          Palestinian family celebrates Tlaib's victory in Congressional race      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Sharing smiles and hugs, the extended family of Rashida Tlaib, who is set to become the first Muslim woman to join the U.S. Congress, celebrated her election victory on Wednesday in the courtyard of their West Bank house.

          New York Congressman Chris Collins Is Charged With Insider Trading - New York Times      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

New York Times

New York Congressman Chris Collins Is Charged With Insider Trading
New York Times
Representative Chris Collins was at the Congressional Picnic on the South Lawn of the White House last summer when he received an unexpected email from the head of a drug company in which he was heavily invested. The company's only product — an ...
Along with Rep. Chris Collins, here are other lawmakers indicted while in officeUSA TODAY
New York Republican Rep. Chris Collins indicted on insider trading chargesCNN
Statement from Jonathan Barr and Jonathan New, Baker Hostetler | Congressman Chris CollinsCongressman Chris Collins
SEC.gov
all 1,561 news articles »

          Indicted congressman talked others into buying pharma stock, pushed law to help it: report      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Rep. Christopher Collins bought millions of dollars in stocks in an Australian drug company — and convinced five other GOP lawmakers to invest — all while pushing legislation aimed at helping the company succeed, according to a report. Collins, a congressman representing New York’s 27th District — which includes parts of Buffalo and Rochester —...
          Fundraise or 'look for a job,' Republicans warn after close election races      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
As Republican candidates backed by President Donald Trump clung to small leads in closely watched races in Ohio and Kansas on Wednesday, nervousness grew in Republican circles about their ability to continue extending millions of dollars in aid to candidates in November's Congressional elections.

          Puerto Rico sends costlier reconstruction plan to U.S. Congress      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Puerto Rico submitted a recovery plan to the U.S. Congress on Wednesday that carries an estimated price tag of $139 billion, which is 47 percent more than the bankrupt U.S. commonwealth requested in November.

          GOP congressman from New York charged with insider trading      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Republican U.S. Rep. Christopher Collins of New York was arrested Wednesday on charges he fed inside information that he gleaned from sitting on the board of a biotechnology company to his son, helping others dodge hundreds of ...
          Former MMA Fighter Changes the Democratic Narrative in Kansas      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Sharice Davids, a Democrat running for Congress in Kansas, talk
The national buzz in the Third District was about progressive darling Brent Welder. But Sharice Davids, a Native American woman, flipped the script.
          GOP Congressman Arrested on Insider Trading Charges      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Rep. Chris Collins
Rep. Chris Collins passed inside info to his son, who dumped stock in a pharmaceutical company just before its stock price plummeted 92 percent.
          GOP congressman from New York charged with insider trading      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

NEW YORK (AP) — Republican U.S. Rep. Christopher Collins of western New York state was arrested Wednesday on charges he fed inside information he gleaned from sitting on the board of a biotechnology company to his son, helping family and friends dodge hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses when bad news came out. Collins, […]
          Ballot Board to Move on Ohio Redistricting Plan      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The wording of a fall ballot issue revamping the way Ohio draws legislative and congressional districts is nearing final approval by a state panel. The Ohio Ballot Board scheduled a Wednesday meeting to certify language for the proposed constitutional amendment. It would strip elected officials of map-drawing powers and give them to a 12-person citizen commission. A coalition of voter advocacy groups called Voters First is spearheading the effort. Backers say the current setup lets the ruling party draw district lines to its favor. Opponents, including the Ohio Republican Party and Secretary of State Jon Husted, argue proposed changes are convoluted and untested. The state bar association objects on grounds that a new role given to a panel of judges could present participating jurists with a conflict of interest.
          The Latest: 8,000-plus votes outstanding in Ohio election      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The Latest: 8,000-plus votes outstanding in Ohio electionWESTERVILLE, Ohio (AP) — The Latest on primaries in Missouri, Kansas, Michigan and Washington state and a congressional special election in Ohio (all times local):



          The key election takeaways: a Democratic surge and big wins for women      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The key election takeaways: a Democratic surge and big wins for womenA Democratic win in Tuesday’s special election in Ohio’s traditionally Republican 12th congressional district would have provided yet another ill omen for GOP prospects of holding on to their House majority in the November midterms. A loss would have been devastating for Republicans, who had been forced to invest heavily to keep their candidate, Troy Balderson, afloat. Balderson saw visits from both Donald Trump and Mike Pence in the final days of his campaign, and benefited from an investment of over $3m from the Paul Ryan-affiliated Super Pac the Congressional Leadership Fund.



          Pentagon to create new command for fighting in space, but resists Trump's proposed 'space force'      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The Pentagon plans to create a new military command responsible for war fighting in space, but opposition in Congress could block a more ambitious “space force,” a new military service that President Trump has endorsed repeatedly in tweets and campaign rallies.

The outcome of the bureaucratic reshuffling...


          Ohio's Special Congressional Election Still Too Close To Call      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
A special congressional election in Ohio remains too close to call. But since some Republicans think it should have been a "slam-dunk," there's plenty of anxiety over what it means for the GOP this fall.
          Việt Nam chưa mua vũ khí ‘khủng’ của Mỹ?       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Một chiếc P-3C Orion của Mỹ. Tin cho hay, Việt Nam "quan tâm" tới máy bay trinh sát săn ngầm này.

Một nhà nghiên cứu kỳ cựu nhận định rằng Việt Nam có thể không mua ngay các loại vũ khí “khủng” của Mỹ, ít ngày sau khi quan chức ngoại giao Hoa Kỳ xác nhận với VOA tiếng Việt rằng Hà Nội có các hợp đồng mua các thiết bị quân sự với quốc gia cựu thù trị giá tới gần 100 triệu đôla.

Từ Australia, Giáo sư Carl Thayer mới nói rằng ông “không ngạc nhiên khi thấy Việt Nam gia tăng việc mua các công nghệ và thiết bị liên quan tới quốc phòng từ Mỹ”, nhất là sau khi Hoa Kỳ dỡ hoàn toàn bỏ lệnh cấm vận vũ khí sát thương đối với Việt Nam năm 2016.

“Kể từ khi Tổng thống Barack Obama dỡ bỏ lệnh cấm vận vũ khí đối với Việt Nam, có khả năng rất lớn là Việt Nam sẽ tăng cường mua một số công nghệ liên quan tới quốc phòng hoặc thậm chí là cả vũ khí. Việc mua bán như vậy, dù theo chương trình Mua bán Quân sự Nước ngoài (FMS) hoặc Mua bán Thương mại Trực tiếp (DCS), cũng rất phức tạp. Các quan chức Mỹ đã dành thời gian để giải thích cho Việt Nam cách thức tiến hành”, ông Thayer nói.

FMS và DCS là hai hình thức chính để Hoa Kỳ chuyển giao các dịch vụ và thiết bị quốc phòng cho đồng minh và đối tác.

Một quan chức Mỹ giấu tên trước đó tiết lộ độc quyền với VOA tiếng Việt rằng Việt Nam đặt mua thiết bị trị giá 69,7 triệu đôla theo chương trình Mua bán Quân sự Nước ngoài và 25 triệu đôla thông qua chương trình Mua bán Thương mại Trực tiếp.

Tổng thống Barack Obama trong chuyến thăm Việt Nam năm 2016.

Giáo sư Carl Thayer cho VOA Việt Ngữ biết rằng một hội thảo xúc tiến công nghiệp quốc phòng Việt Nam – Hoa Kỳ “đang được lên kế hoạch cho năm nay”, sau hai lần trước năm 2015 và 2016.

Ông đánh giá rằng, hiện nay, “lĩnh vực ưu tiên đối với Việt Nam là các thiết bị nhằm cải thiện khả năng bảo vệ an ninh hàng hải”.

“Nhiều khả năng Việt Nam sẽ mua công nghệ quân sự liên quan tới liên lạc, thiết bị cảm biến, radar và thiết bị bay không người lái, thay vì các loại vũ khí ‘khủng’”, chuyên gia về Việt Nam nói.

Hoa Kỳ trong thời gian qua đã trao cho Việt Nam chủ yếu là tàu bè để phục vụ cho công tác tuần tra biển đảo, trong bối cảnh Trung Quốc tăng cường quân sự hóa Biển Đông.

Máy bay chiến đấu Trung Quốc trên một đảo nhân tạo ở Biển Đông.
Hồi đáp thông tin về việc Việt Nam đặt mua thiết bị quân sự trị giá hàng chục triệu đôla của Mỹ, phát ngôn viên Bộ Ngoại giao Lê Thị Thu Hằng nói rằng việc hợp tác quốc phòng với các nước là để “bảo vệ độc lập, chủ quyền, thống nhất, toàn vẹn lãnh thổ của tổ quốc, hòa bình của đất nước và đóng góp vào hòa bình, ổn định trong khu vực và trên thế giới”.

Theo tiết lộ của quan chức ngoại giao Mỹ giấu tên, trong số các thiết bị Hà Nội muốn mua từ Hoa Kỳ có thiết bị điện tử quân sự, công nghệ vệ tinh, thiết bị đo tầm bắn hay hệ thống điều khiển hỏa lực.

Hồi đầu năm nay, trang defensenews.com dẫn lời một quan chức giấu tên tại Bộ Ngoại giao Mỹ nói rằng Hà Nội đã đặt mua máy bay trinh sát không người lái Boeing-Insitu ScanEagle.

Khi đó, VOA Việt Ngữ có đặt câu hỏi đề nghị hãng Boeing xác nhận thông tin này, nhưng tới nay vẫn không nhận được hồi đáp.

Tổng thống Trump đã chào bán "máy bay, tên lửa" khi tới Hà Nội cuối năm ngoái.

Trong chuyến thăm Việt Nam cuối năm 2017, đương kim Tổng thống Mỹ Donald Trump đã chào bán cả “máy bay, tên lửa” khi gặp quan chức chủ nhà.

Vài tháng trước đó, sau cuộc gặp với Thủ tướng Việt Nam Nguyễn Xuân Phúc ở Nhà Trắng, hai bên đã ra thông cáo chung “hoan nghênh việc công bố các thỏa thuận thương mại mới với tổng trị giá 8 tỉ đôla”.

“Một nhà phân tích đã sáng tạo ra cụm từ ‘ngoại giao mua sắm’”, ông Thayer nói. Khi được hỏi rằng liệu cách tiếp cận mà nhiều người cho là mang tính giao dịch của ông Trump có hiệu quả với Hà Nội hay không, giáo sư nghiên cứu về Việt Nam nói:

“Xét về một khía cạnh nào đó, đúng, cách tiếp cận theo kiểu giao dịch của ông Trump hiệu quả. Tuy nhiên, trong trường hợp Việt Nam, mua thiết bị quân sự và vũ khí từ Mỹ còn là một vấn đề nhạy cảm vì yếu tố giá thành, các vấn đề tích hợp công nghệ và vấn đề di sản của Việt Nam dựa vào vũ khí của Liên Xô/Nga”.

Một chiếc chiến đấu cơ F-16 của Mỹ.

Theo một bài phân tích về quan hệ thương mại và kinh tế Việt – Mỹ, dẫn nhiều cơ quan báo chí khác nhau, Congressional Research Service, một cơ quan nghiên cứu của Quốc hội Mỹ, viết rằng Tổng thống Trump "muốn chứng kiến việc Mỹ bán vũ khí cho Việt Nam là một cách thức quan trọng để giảm bớt thâm hụt thương mại giữa hai nước”, và “chính quyền của ông Trump đã nhiều lần cho thấy mối quan tâm gia tăng việc bán vũ khí cho Việt Nam” cũng như “coi đó là một ưu tiên cho Bộ Quốc phòng, Bộ Ngoại giao và Đại sứ quán Mỹ ở Hà Nội”.

Bài viết nói rằng “Việt Nam được cho là quan tâm tới việc mua máy bay chiến đấu F-16, máy bay trinh sát săn ngầm P-3C Orion và các thiết bị theo dõi và trinh sát biển”.

Cơ quan nghiên cứu phục vụ cho các nhà lập pháp cũng như các ủy ban của Quốc hội Mỹ viết rằng “trong một số trường hợp, Quốc hội có thể đóng một vai trò quan trọng trong việc thông qua và bác bỏ các vụ mua bán vũ khí như vậy”.

Cơ quan thuộc Thư viện Quốc hội Mỹ viết rằng “hợp đồng bán vũ khí tiềm năng cho Việt Nam cũng đã gây ra tranh cãi ở Quốc hội [Mỹ]” vì “một số người phản đối do vấn đề nhân quyền ở Việt Nam”.


Viễn Đông
VOA
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The decision triggers new sanctions expected to come into effect on or around August 22 following a 15-day Congressional notification period.
          [Ilya Somin] Yet Another Federal Court Rejects Claims that Exposing Taxis to Competition from Uber and Lyft is a Taking      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

This is the latest in a series of federal court decision rejecting such arguments. The right to operate a taxi business does not create a "property" right in suppressing competition.

Over the last decade, traditional taxi cab company profits have taken a hit because of competition from ride-sharing services, such as Uber and Lyft. Some cab companies have tried to fight back by filing cases arguing that local governments that allow Uber and Lyft to compete with taxis have somehow violated the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment, which requires the government to pay "just compensation" when it takes "private property." On Monday, the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued the latest in a long line of federal court decisions rejecting such claims. Nick Sibilla of the Institute for Justice has an excellent summary of the ruling and its significance, in Forbes:

In a resounding win for innovation and economic liberty, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled on Monday that taxi owners in Miami-Dade County have "no right to block competition" from ride-hailing firms like Lyft and Uber. By rejecting the notion that incumbent businesses are "entitled to…a competition-free marketplace," the 11th Circuit's decision should set an important precedent not just for the gig economy, but for reformers looking to crack open $400,000 on the secondary market....

But when Uber and Lyft entered the scene, they dramatically expanded the supply of available rides....

The rise of ride-hailing was facilitated by a drastic change in the regulatory environment. At first, county code enforcement officers conducted several undercover sting operations, ticketing drivers and even impounding their cars. But in 2016, Miami-Dade County approved an ordinance that legalized ride-hailing....

Facing greater competition, the value for a taxi medallion has since plunged by 90%, and now fetches $35,000 at auction. With a once lucrative business model now imploding, three taxi companies, Checker Cab, B&S Taxi and Miadeco, took the county to court and demanded a bailout. Echoing legal arguments that failed in Boston, Chicago, Georgia, and Philadelphia, the medallion owners argued that by legalizing Uber and Lyft, Miami-Dade County had "significantly devalued" their medallions....

In their view, deregulation was an unconstitutional "taking" that violated their Fifth Amendment rights.....

Writing for the majority, Judge Stanley Marcus meticulously dismissed their claim. Although the owners have an "intangible property interest" in their medallions, "the medallions conveyed only a property interest in providing taxicab services in Miami-Dade County—not in barring competitors," Judge Marcus explained. "Even the most cursory examination of the code reveals that the county did not give the medallion holders the right to enjoin competition," he added, while "the code furnished no basis for the medallion holders' assertion that they were entitled to, or could reasonably rely on a competition-free marketplace."

An earlier ruling on the same issue by Judge Richard Posner of the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (which Judge Marcus cited in his opinion), provides a particularly good summary of why exposing businesses to competition does not qualify as a taking:

[T]he City [of Chicago] is not confiscating any taxi medallions; it is merely exposing the taxicab companies to new competition —competition from Uber and the other TNPs [Transportation Network Providers].

"Property" does not include a right to be free from competition. A license to operate a coffee shop doesn't authorize the licensee to enjoin a tea shop from opening. When property consists of a license to operate in a market in a particular way, it does not carry with it a right to be free from competition in that market... Indeed when new technologies, or new business methods, appear, a common result is the decline or even disappearance of the old. Were the old deemed to have a constitutional right to preclude the entry of the new into the markets of the old, economic progress might grind to a halt. Instead of taxis we might have horse and buggies; instead of the telephone, the telegraph; instead of computers, slide rules.....

Taxi medallions authorize the owners to own and operate taxis, not to exclude competing transportation services. The plaintiffs in this case cannot exclude competition from buses or trains or bicycles or liveries or chartered sightseeing vehicles or jitney buses or walking; indeed they cannot exclude competition from taxicab newcomers, for the City has reserved the right... to issue additional taxi medallions. Why then should the plaintiffs be allowed to exclude competition from Uber?

Judge Marcus and other judges who have ruled on such cases appropriately relied on the fact that city medallion laws did not include any guarantees against competition. As a legal matter, they only give holders the right to operate a taxi business themselves, not the right to suppress competitors. In my view, however, there would be no violation of the Takings Clause even if the medallion laws did include a legal right to block competition, which was then repealed by later legislation. I explained why in this post discussing an earlier taxi/takings case:

[E]ven if the laws conferring medallions did explicitly guarantee the holders protection against competition, that still would not be enough for courts to require compensation under the Takings Clause. The Clause does not require government to compensate businesses for any and all policies that reduce their profits. Compensation is only necessary if the government takes "private property." A state-created legal right to exclude competitors from a market is not private property. It goes beyond giving the holder control over his or her own property, and instead allows them to restrict the use of others' property (in this case, cars). Such a right is not private property as that concept is usually understood in Anglo-American law, and certainly would not have been considered such by the framers and ratifiers of the Fifth Amendment.

One could point to the example of intellectual property as a property right protected by the Takings Clause, despite the fact that it is in large part a legal right to constrain competition. But, as my George Mason University colleague Adam Mossoff argues in an important article, the Founders may have considered patent and copyright to be "natural" property rights, not merely government-created monopolies. If Mossoff is right, intellectual property is readily distinguishable from government-created cartels in conventional markets, including taxi medallion systems. If not, perhaps courts should rethink the status of intellectual property under the Takings Clause (though Congress would, of course, remain free to provide compensation to aggrieved intellectual property owners by statute).

In addition to rejecting the taxi companies' takings claim, Judge Marcus' opinion also ruled against their contention that deregulation of ride-sharing services violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because ride-sharing firms ended up less heavily regulated than traditional taxis. He does an excellent job of refuting this very weak argument. Similar arguments have also been rejected by other courts that have ruled on this issue.


          A Special Message to the Washington State GOP, and a Special Thank You to Seattle Journalists      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Dino Rossi: You owe me an Italian dinner. by Rich Smith

The face of a real winner.
Washington GOP Chair Caleb Heimlich isn't mad about the primaries. This is just his resting Republican face. RS

Last night the Washington State GOP kicked me out of the election party they were hosting for Dino Rossi and Susan Hutchison. As my closest friends will tell you, my modesty is legendary and the very essence of my being shrinks from the spotlight. I would never dream of directing the reader’s attention away from the story at hand and toward me, a mere vessel through which language passes, a floating eye with a tape recorder, a roving cloud in trouser shorts. This is especially true for a story as important as the results of the Washington State primaries, which saw signs of a blue wave sweeping across the state’s legislative and congressional districts. I mean, really, when was the last time I ever made any story about me and my own views, my own work, my own life? When was the last time ANY writer at The Stranger did anything even remotely like that?

And yet in Crosscut, Seattle’s own mascot Knute Burger said that the GOP booting me from their party was “the biggest news of election night from Dino-land.” Plus, The Seattle Times saw fit to include a high res photo of me in their digital live coverage of the primaries.


And so—in this case and only in this case—I feel the need to step out from the shadows and tell my story, to make my voice heard, if only as a way to publicly invoice Republican Dino Rossi for quoting me in his acceptance speech only two hours after kicking me out of his fucking party. Dino Rossi: You owe me an Italian dinner.

Last week some Republican flack told The Stranger that the GOP's election party was going to start at 8:00 p.m. in an office building in Bellevue. Having covered millions of these parties before, we were not exactly fooled by this intern's ruse. Later on, we learned the party actually started at 7:00 p.m.

Anyhow, I walked into the building along with two Crosscut reporters, who also happened to arrive a few minutes early. Stranger writers are tasked to write two posts at the site of the event—one post before the election results drop and one post after the election results drop—so we like to get to venues as early as we can. The paper has a long history of writing 1,000 words about the surprisingly good/bad/patriotic food, 1,000 words about what people are wearing, and then 500 words about the election results. All of this is done, of course, in the spirit of Democracy, freedom, and conservation—we hate letting a plate of lemon bars go to waste.

In the lobby, a young communications flack named Kyle Fischer greeted us at a little welcoming podium. All smiles. But when we introduced ourselves and our respective outlets, Fischer told me the party was a “closed event” and that The Stranger hadn’t filled out an RSVP. I asked why The Stranger was being barred from entry when other outlets were not. He gave me the RSVP line again. I talked in circles for a little while. The Crosscut reporters stood up for me, saying they didn’t think it was fair that I was being denied entry and directing Fischer to answer my questions when I asked them.

When Fischer left briefly to attend to another matter, I saw a woman walk in, confess she hadn’t signed an RSVP, and then ask if she could come in anyway. Another Republican volunteer told her she could just write her name on one of the empty name tags piled next to a stack of pens.

Every other news outlet—The Seattle Times, Crosscut, King 5, KOMO, etc.—was welcomed and given mostly unnamed press tags. Tags for Natalie Brand (KING 5), Amy Radil (KUOW), and Jim Brunner (Seattle Times) were pre-printed, but anonymous “press” lanyards lay piled on the welcoming table. This was not about a fucking RSVP.

When Fischer returned we had some more strenuously polite conversation, during which he told me he was “just doing his job” by escorting me outside. He banished me to the steps outside the “private property” and said I could stay there unless someone came out to push me farther back. With the door open I repeatedly asked why The Stranger wasn’t being let in when every other outlet was, and Fischer specifically pointed to our negative coverage of Republicans and of the candidates they planned to celebrate tonight.

The SECB was relegated to the stairs outside of the GOPs event.
The SECB was relegated to the stairs outside of the GOP's event.

Reporters from local outlets overheard all of this go down and immediately took to Twitter. One of the reporters said he hadn't seen anything happen like this in his 25 years of reporting. In the middle of a busy and consequential election night they all had to cover, in the middle of arranging meetings and conducting interviews, reporters from newspapers and TV and digital mags all found the time to show solidarity for one of their colleagues. In a political moment when the President of the United States is referring to the press as "the enemy of the people," this show of support moved me deeply.

After pressure from other members of the press, Kyle walked outside with a press lanyard for me. He said I could come in so long as I played nice, which only reinforces the idea that the whole reason they were barring The Stranger from entry wasn't just because of some RSVP bullshit, but because we've been critical of their party and its policies.

Does the chair of the Washington State's Republican Party agree with the President that the press is the enemy of the people? He says he doesn't. "I think The Stranger has demonstrated that it is the enemy of the Republican party, the enemy of our candidates... I don't think they report the facts... I don't think The Stranger has been fair in their treatment of Republicans," Heimlich said. HAVE YOU READ WHAT WE'VE WRITTEN ABOUT DEMOCRATS, CALEB? ALSO, IF WE WE DON'T "REPORT THE FACTS," THEN WHY DID YOUR BOY ROSSI UNIRONICALLY QUOTE FROM MY REPORTING TO SUPPORT HIS POINT?

Anyhow, as you can see from my reporting last night, I got in and reported the facts as I always try to do. I have and will always add commentary—so long as I work at The Stranger, and so long as I have time—in the service of informing our readers without boring them to tears. I was let in at the mercy of the Republicans, it's true, but only under pressure from other journalists. So, thank you Seattle journalists. Your support meant a lot.

As for you, Washington Republicans? PLEASE CONSIDER THIS POST MY RSVP TO ALL FUTURE ELECTION NIGHT EVENTS.

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Candidata não tem oponentes em seu distrito para as eleições de novembro, nas quais 182 mulheres concorrerão ao Congresso
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Tuesday’s primaries continued what may be the most important trend in this year’s elections. We’re not talking about the victories by Donald Trump acolytes in Republican primaries or the overperformance of Democratic congressional candidates in special elections. Rather, it’s the success of women...


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Former Michigan state lawmaker Rashida Tlaib has won the Democratic nomination to run unopposed for a seat in the US House of Representatives, setting her up to become the first Muslim woman elected to Congress. [...]

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Oxford Study Finds Conservatives Are ‘Right To Be Skeptical’ of Scientists

An initial note:  The leading author in the paper mentioned below is Nathan Cofnas, not Confas.  It is of course an unusual name so confusion is understood. It is a Lithuanian Jewish name.

I have read the original academic journal article and rather admire the way Nathan has minimized his upsetting of applecarts.  Most social psychological research is utter bilge but Nathan quotes a lot of it with a straight face. He establishes his point about biased scientists even while not criticizing a lot of biased science.

So his paper is a very scholarly and thorough discussion of three areas where the positions of the scientific establishment are unreasonably liberal. And he doesn't even mention global warming!  Conservatives have long been acutely aware of the liberal bias in academe but Cofnas gives detailed chapter and verse coverage of how that affects scientific findings.

I myself worked for ten years in a sociology department of a highly rated Australian university and rapidly became aware that all of the other teaching staff were Marxists of one stripe or another -- so it was clear from that that conservative ideas would not get fair consideration, if they were considered at all.

Cofnas mentions the difficulty that conservatives have in getting results of their research published in the academic journals.  I experienced that and had to go to great lengths to overcome it.  I overcame it by doing much higher quality work than Leftist authors were presenting  -- which was not actually that hard.

By that I am referring to the virtually universal practice among psychologists of carrying out their research using either white rats or available groups of freshman students.  Such studies are no more than childish games.  To arrive at any sort of generalizable conclusion, you have to base your research on  a representative sample of the population you wish to discuss. Normal psychological research, however, does nor use representative samples of anything.  They do not even attempt to use representative samples of freshman students!  Yet such totally useless research results are routinely presented as if they were generalizable to all humanity!  That is just about as far away from real science as you can get.  It's about as authoritative as medieval theology.

So I used that to my advantage.  I did my research using real random samples of specifiable populations. I went out and doorknocked, for instance -- something that would give almost any leftist academic the horrors. So when my papers came up for evaluation, editors and referees would have looked absurd  even to themselves if they rejected the only bit of generalizable research that they had ever seen.  Even then, however, if I questioned liberal dogma too sharply or sweepingly, my papers were rejected.  Like Cofnas I had to stick to a careful consideration of just a few detailed points.

So conservatives do well to be skeptical of conclusions from liberal social scientists. Their conclusions are not only biased, they are in general just rubbish by normal scientific standards, and blatant rubbish at that.

Wisely, Cofnas did not extend his critique to global warming. But that allegedly "scientific" theory was obviously wrong from its first formulation in the 80s.  The theory is that the worldwide expansion of industrialization after WWII led to a great increase in atmospheric CO2 and that that rise in turn caused a rise in the global temperature.

And they were half right.  CO2 levels did shoot up steadily in that timeframe.  But here is the catch:  Temperature levels did not.  They plateaued. Over a 30 year period from 1945 to 1975 there was no rise in the global temperature.  Temperatures just bobbed up and down around a static average.  Temperatures at the end of the period were essentially the same as at the beginning.  It would be hard to think of a clearer disproof of the temperature effects of CO2.  When Warmists are confronted by that fact they mumble something about "special factors".  Special factors that exactly  cancelled out rising CO2 effects for 30 years?


Conservatives have long been skeptical of certain scientific claims, especially in regard to the science behind man-made global warming.

However, a study by the University of Oxford suggests that there may be a reason for that. In fact, they go as far as to say that conservatives have a “right” to be skeptical of scientists.

The study “Does activism in the Social Sciences Explain Conservatives’ Distrust of Scientists?” was led by Professor of Biology for the University of Oxford Nathan Confas and was first published online back in 2017. However, the study was brought to light again when it was republished this month in the recent issue of the American Sociologist.

While conservatives’ distrust in scientists has increasingly decreased every year since 1974, there has been little understanding as to why.

The research hits the well-repeated claim that conservatives often dismiss scientific claims because they contradict their religious beliefs. There are some who believe that conservatives throw out these scientific claims because, as Confas and his team note, it “threatens their worldview.”

However, Confas told Campus Reform that this was a “misguided approach.” Additionally, he said that “liberals and conservatives are equally likely to discredit science if it conflicts with their world-view.”

Confas proposed that the reason so many conservatives are skeptical is that there is an increase of liberalism within the scientific community.

He cited a recent study to prove his point. The study surveyed 479 sociology professors, and only 4 percent identified as conservative or libertarian. Compare this with the 86 percent who identify themselves as liberal or left-radical.

Additionally, Confas suggests that goal of sociology “involves reorganizing society to fight inequality, oppression, poverty, hierarchy, and the like. Its ideological orientation arose out of … civil rights, feminism, Marxism, and other progressive movements.”

But it’s not just the area of sociology where this bias is creeping in. UNT professor George Yancy published a piece titled, “Yes Academic Bias is a Problem and We Need to Address It.”

“Given the reality that academics are much more politically progressive and irreligious than the general population, one should be concerned about the potential of liberal and secular bias,” he wrote. “Those like myself are also concerned about academic bias simply because such bias can lead to bad science.”

It’s this “bias” that leads to “bad science” that is concerning to Confas. He told Campus Reform, “Taking the easy route isn’t something that I or my coauthors are tempted to do. We want to do our part to help correct the science.”

He added, “Conservatives are right to be skeptical. Take any politicized issue that is connected to some disagreement about scientific fact. I do not believe there is a single case in the last couple decades where a major scientific organization took a position that went against the platform of the Democratic Party.”

SOURCE

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Flashback: Trump Stops Motorcade After Seeing Firefighters in Full Turnouts

President Donald Trump has made respect for the men and women who serve our communities a top priority for his administration. Whether it’s police or firefighters, he’s been conspicuously generous with his praise.

That translates into plenty of speeches and tweets, but also real-world displays like this one from Bethpage, New York.

According to BizPac Review, the incident took place in May as the president was leaving a forum on illegal immigration. (Long Island has seen a wave of violence from the MS-13 gang. The president spent part of the meeting paying tribute to families who had lost loved ones to the violence.)

That’s not what got everyone talking, however. What has created a buzz was a bunch of firemen standing to salute the president in their full turnouts — fire helmets, jackets, boots, the whole nine yards.

And, as it turned out, the president was more than willing to salute them by stopping his motorcade. The video shows several vehicles go by as the firemen are saluting. Then, as the presidential limo came by, it stopped.

A few individuals emerged from the limo, after which the very familiar figure of President Trump could be seen getting out.

Cheers greeted the president as he walked over to the group. He eventually signalled the men to come over and the two sides greeted each other warmly.

“Thank you, thank you,” Trump said as he shook the hands of the firemen.

“That’s awesome!” one of the firefighters could be heard saying. And, indeed, you can’t say they didn’t get the experience of a lifetime.

YouTube users seemed to agree. “Best president ever!” one wrote.  “President Trump…..a man for the people. He loves America and he loves her people,” another wrote.

Keep in mind that full firefighter turnout gear isn’t exactly a) light or b) cool. May isn’t the coolest month in New York, either. For these guys to be out in the street with their full gear on says a lot about how they feel about the president.

Then again, the president has said a lot about how he feels about them. Just this past weekend, Trump told an Ohio rally audience that his administration is “standing up for the heroes who protect our country.”

If these firemen are any indication, that relationship is definitely reciprocal.

SOURCE

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Elizabeth Warren under fire after ripping U.S. criminal-justice system at Netroots Nation

She's just solid evil

Republican Senate hopeful Beth Lindstrom called Monday on Sen. Elizabeth Warren to apologize for denouncing the U.S. criminal-justice system as “racist … front to back.”

“Sen. Warren needs to apologize to every police officer, judge, corrections department employee, probation worker and the many other honest and decent people in our criminal justice system who have been smeared by her alienating and careless rhetoric,” Ms. Lindstrom said in a statement.

She referred to Ms. Warren’s comments Friday at Netroots Nation, an annual left-wing gathering, where the Democratic senator appeared as part of a session at Dillard University in New Orleans.

“Let’s just start with the hard truth about our criminal justice system,” Ms. Warren said. “It’s racist. It is. And when I say our system, I mean all the way. I mean front to back. We’re talking about the front end on what you declare to be illegal; on how you enforce it, on who gets arrested.”

Those taking umbrage at the Democratic senator’s blast included the right-leaning Boston Herald editorial board, which asked, “Is there any hard-working American who Elizabeth Warren has not condemned?”

“The United States is a terrible place. At least that appeared to be the theme of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s ominous chat at a historically black college on Friday,” said the Herald op-ed headlined, “Liz Warren keeps playing blame game.”

Ms. Lindstrom, one of three Republicans seeking the party’s nomination in the Sept. 4 primary, accused Ms. Warren of smearing those who work in the justice system to boost her chances for a possible presidential run in 2020.

“Words like this are polarizing and divisive: completely used for personal political gain for 2020, without regard for how they sound to the many good people in Massachusetts and around the country who are punishing criminals, keeping us safe and administering justice,” Ms. Lindstrom said.

Others pointed out that until recently, the Justice Department was headed by Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who succeeded Eric Holder during the Obama administration. Both are black.

SOURCE

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A compromise that might be needed for immigration reform

Rejection of House Republicans’ “compromise” immigration bill on June 27 by a lopsided 121-301 margin may be exactly what is needed to end the decades long immigration reform gridlock, if more-moderate House conservatives learn the right lesson from the bill’s failure.

The compromise bill was intended to attract support from these more moderate Republicans after a more restrictionist bill proposed by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), was defeated 193-231 the previous week. Neither of the bills received a single Democratic vote.

In truth the votes, rather than serious attempts to fix immigration policy, were just political theater in advance of this Fall’s midterm elections. Everyone involved knew that neither bill would attract the necessary Democratic support needed to pass the Senate.

Because Goodlatte’s bill, which would have created legal protection for fewer immigrants who were brought to the United States as children and more severely restricted future legal immigration, received greater support, there is danger that Republicans will believe that more restrictive immigration bills may have more of a chance of passing in the future.

Although President Trump ultimately supported the compromise bill, he had previously tweeted that “Republicans should stop wasting their time on Immigration until after we elect more Senators and Congressmen/women in November” and that “We can pass great legislation after the Red Wave!”

That’s exactly the wrong lesson. Republicans are so deeply divided on this issue that even if they gain seats in both houses of Congress, immigration reform would still require bipartisan support to become law. To get bipartisan support they’ll have to forgo the votes of those members of Congress who want to decrease legal immigration. Both recent proposals alienated Democrats with changes that would have decreased future legal immigration through existing family reunification visas.

Though you might not know it from the angry rhetoric, U.S. public opinion has been becoming more favorable, not less, on immigration in recent years. According the Gallup Poll that asks “Should Immigration Be Kept at Its Present Level, Increased, or Decreased?” 39 percent of respondents said immigration should be kept at current levels. While 29 percent said immigration levels should decrease, that number was down from 38 percent two years ago. Similarly, the 28 percent that said immigration should increase was up from 21 percent two years ago. Opinions have trended in these directions for decades and two years of President Trump’s rhetoric hasn’t changed this. As the opinions of voters continue their trend in this direction, politicians will ultimately follow.

Any immigration reform bill that stands a chance of becoming law, with the current Congress or in the foreseeable future, will need to be less restrictive than the ones the Republicans just proposed. That’s a good thing, not just for immigrants, but for native born Americans as well.

Economists who study immigration do not find the negative consequences that many people imagine. Immigration raises the income, on average, of the native born. Immigrants create about as many jobs as they take and they don’t depress wages of the vast majority of Americans.

Passable immigration reform today would likely trade funding for a border wall for a legal pathway to citizenship for immigrants brought to the United States illegally when they were children. Law and order Republicans could claim that they were securing the border and they could defend themselves against charges of “amnesty.” Since this reform only applies to people brought here as children, they could point out that when children break most other laws in the United States they are held to a lesser standard than adults and that this is no different.

Democrats would be wise to sign on to such deal too. Net migration from Mexico has been negative since the Great Recession. So, while symbolic, the wall would do little to change immigration numbers.

Such a reform would still leave 11 to 12 million immigrants, most of whom contribute to our overall prosperity, in the United States illegally. But no politically viable proposal is possible for them at the moment. Hopefully, if voters’ opinions continue to move in the direction they have been moving, even this may be possible in the future.

SOURCE 

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

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          Vizcarra lança um referendo – para quê?- Por Mariana Álvarez Orellana      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Por Mariana Álvarez Orellana* O presidente peruano Martín Vizcarra surpreendeu o mundo político em sua mensagem ao país durante a comemoração das festas pátrias. Em cerimônia no Congresso peruano, diante da hegemônica bancada fujimorista, o mandatário...

[Esto es un resumen. Visita la Web para la nota completa y más!]

          Britain welcomes new US sanctions on Russia over Salisbury attack      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The decision triggers new sanctions expected to come into effect on or around August 22 following a 15-day Congressional notification period.
          Senator claims Russian operatives have ‘penetrated’ Florida election system      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
While Republicans in Congress continue blocking further efforts to bolster election security, Russian operatives may have already set their sights on their latest target. On Wednesday, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) told the Tampa Bay Times that Russian operatives had penetrated a number of Florida’s county-level election systems. Said Nelson, Russian operatives “have already penetrated certain counties […]
          Argentina braces for historic abortion vote      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Argentina’s Senate is debating a historic bill on Wednesday that would decriminalize abortion for the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. In June, Argentina’s lower legislative house, the Chamber of Deputies, voted through the measure, but reproductive advocates are worried the more conservative Senate will not approve it. Supporters and opponents of the proposal protested outside Congress Wednesday, […]
          A less than encouraging win for the GOP      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
(Paul Mirengoff) As John noted last night, Republican Troy Balderson appears to have defeated Democrat Danny O’Connor in the special election in Ohio’s 12th congressional district. The result isn’t official because there are a large number of provisional and absentee ballots to consider, but it looks very good for Balderson. If one views this election as an indicator of Republican prospects this Fall, however, the result looks less good. The Washington Post’s
          Up close with Ilhan Omar      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
(Scott Johnson) Ilhan Omar is the endorsed DFL candidate running in next Tuesday’s contested DFL primary to succeed the former Nation of Islam hustler Keith Ellison in Congress. In the primary Omar faces former Minnesota House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher and state senator Patricia Torres Ray. Today the Star Tribune endorses Kelliher and ranks Torres second of the three. Omar comes in third. Attentive readers will note that this is how I
          Paul McCartney Attends Capitol Records Event in Hollywood      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Capitol Music Group hosted its fifth annual Capitol Congress today at Hollywood’s Arclight Theater. The day-long confab brings together employees from across Universal Music Group as well as some of the company’s top executives, chief among them: UMG chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge, who delivered introductory remarks this morning. The event has traditionally featured several […]

          An Israeli-Palestinian Battle With Roots In Lingerie      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
In recent years the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been playing out on a battleground that's barely a couple square inches in size. It's the labels of consumer goods produced in areas under Israeli occupation. Last year the European Union, for example, instructed member countries to not allow imports of products from Jewish settlements in the West Bank to be labeled as, "Made in Israel." The European Union, like the U.S. considers the settlements illegal. Instead, certain products have to be specifically marked as coming from settlements in the West Bank. This infuriated Israel. Members of the U.S. Congress denounced the move and considered legislation to counter it. In its fine print, labeling touches some of the most sensitive issues of the conflict. It's about who has sovereignty over land. And to understand where the labeling issue started we turn back 30 years, to an experimental Palestinian lingerie factory launched in the 1980s. Then, as now, Israeli farmers and factories
          Recent Fraudulent Signature Case Isn’t Virginia’s First      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Roanoke’s prosecutor will be investigating allegations of fraudulent voter petitions in Virginia Beach, a case that puts Republican Congressman Scott Taylor’s reelection campaign in the crossfire. But, fraudulent signatures are nothing new in Virginia politics. Michael Pope reports.
          Britain welcomes new US sanctions on Russia over Salisbury attack      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The decision triggers new sanctions expected to come into effect on or around August 22 following a 15-day Congressional notification period.
          Um espelho do Brasil      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Está na hora de dizer coisas possivelmente incômodas sobre Jair Bolsonaro, escreve J. R. Guzzo em sua coluna (Fatos):


A dois meses da eleição para escolher o próximo presidente da República, está na hora de dizer com franqueza algumas coisas possivelmente incômodas a respeito do deputado Jair Bolsonaro, o candidato mais discutido desta e talvez de qualquer outra eleição presidencial brasileira. Não há lembrança de nenhuma figura parecida com ele. Nunca alguém foi tão odiado pelos adversários como Bolsonaro. Nunca um candidato a qualquer coisa neste país encontrou tanta oposição nos meios de comunicação quanto ele. Nunca houve tanto esforço para implodir uma candidatura quanto o que está sendo feito contra a sua. Ninguém, antes dele, foi descrito com tanta indignação como uma ameaça à democracia, à população brasileira e à própria ideia de uma vida civilizada no Brasil. Mas em algum ponto, ao longo dessa caminhada, perdeu-se o contato com certas realidades que não irão embora só porque não se fala delas. Seria bom lembrar um pouco quais são. A primeira é que o deputado Bolsonaro não é uma ameaça, definitivamente, para os milhões de brasileiros que vão votar nele – ao contrário, acham que o homem é uma solução, e têm o direito de achar isso. É útil lembrar, também, que ninguém é obrigado a votar “certo”. A lei diz apenas que você pode votar em quem quiser, e não estabelece controles de qualidade para o seu voto; não é pecado votar em Bolsonaro, nem um ato de virtude votar nos outros candidatos, ou vice-versa. Enfim, é preciso ter em mente que Bolsonaro só chegará à Presidência da República se a maioria absoluta dos brasileiros decidir que o presidente deve ser ele.

Eis aí, mais uma vez, a questão que jamais se cala: a democracia é uma coisa perigosa. Não serve, positivamente, para quem não está disposto a conviver com a ideia de que eleições são decididas por maiorias, e maiorias frequentemente são estúpidas. Quer dizer: podem, o tempo todo, tomar a decisão de votar justo naquele que você acha o pior candidato. Não gosta disso? Então você está com um real problema. A massa do Brasil é essa aí que existe hoje; pode ser altamente insatisfatória, mas é a única disponível. Não é sua função, além do mais, fazer o trabalho de Deus Pai; não lhe cabe separar o bem do mal. É muito simples: não é a maioria dos votos que decide o que é a verdade. Maiorias servem para eleger governantes, não para estabelecer a virtude, ou para definir quem tem razão, ou para tornar as pessoas felizes. A eleição de outubro, muito simplesmente, vai mostrar qual é o Brasil que existe na vida real – se Bolsonaro ganhar, é porque o Brasil de hoje é mais parecido com ele do que com os seus adversários. Isso não transforma os eleitores do deputado em seres humanos piores ou melhores. Quer dizer apenas, caso acabe vencendo, que são mais numerosos.

Tudo isso, naturalmente, serve para qualquer outro dos candidatos com possibilidades reais de suceder ao presidente Michel Temer. Mas um eventual sucesso de Bolsonaro, ou mesmo uma simples votação em massa no seu nome, é algo que não está sendo visto apenas como um dos azares comuns de uma disputa eleitoral. Pela descrição feita até agora por quase todos os formadores de opinião, comentaristas políticos e personalidades de primeiro plano na vida pública brasileira, isso seria uma desgraça histórica – a negação, segundo asseguram, das liberdades, direitos e garantias que funda mentam os regimes democráticos, e um convite à autodestruição do país. Será realmente assim, ou algo parecido? Para saber com certeza é preciso, antes de mais nada, que Bolsonaro seja mesmo eleito presidente da República, coisa bem mais fácil de discutir do que acontecer na vida real – sabe lá Deus quanta água vai rolar até 7 de outubro, dia marcado para o primeiro turno, e dali para a frente. Uma coisa é certa. Bolsonaro pode ser o pior candidato de todos os que se apresentaram para suceder a Michel Temer. Pode até ser o pior da história. Mas a solução para o eleitor que acha isso está aberta o tempo todo: basta não votar nele.

O que seguramente não deu certo, até agora, foi o esforço para apresentar Bolsonaro como uma espécie de filme-catástrofe – ou melhor, só deu certo para ele. A simpatia pelo candidato na mídia foi e continua sendo zero. Pior que isso, na verdade: a irritação que Bolsonaro provoca nos jornalistas é algo provavelmente sem precedentes na história da imprensa brasileira. Sua situação não melhora fora da mídia. Politicamente ele continua isolado. Em quase dois anos como candidato à Presidência, conseguiu o apoio de um único partido entre os 35 que estão aí; é tudo o que tem para disputar a Presidência. Já sofreu mais de trinta pedidos de cassação de seu mandato na Câmara dos Deputados. Tem menos de dez miseráveis segundos de tempo na propaganda obrigatória da televisão. Em matéria de dinheiro para campanha, então, é mais pobre que um caça-ratos desempregado. Antes de receber o primeiro voto já se discute seriamente a hipótese de ser pedido o seu impeachment como presidente; da mesma forma, condenam-se as suas possíveis intenções de fechar o Congresso Nacional e criar uma ditadura no Brasil depois de eleito. Mas apesar de todos esses contratempos, Bolsonaro foi crescendo até chegar onde está. O que houve?

Houve, pelo jeito, que os meios de comunicação, os partidos e quem mais influi na política estão falando uma coisa e grande parte dos brasileiros está pensando outra. Ou seja, quanto mais batem em Bolsonaro, mais aumenta o número de eleitores que querem votar nele – porque muita gente acha certo, justamente, aquilo que os críticos apontam como seus piores pecados. Onde vaiam, o público aplaude. É duvidoso, na verdade, que o eleitor esteja muito incomodado com a falta de preparo de Bolsonaro, um dos pontos mais bombardeados de sua candidatura. Num país que já foi presidido por Dilma Rousseff fica difícil, francamente, imaginar alguém que consiga ser pior – e, de mais a mais, qual é o preparo da candidata (e já ex-candidata) Manuela D’Ávila, por exemplo, e outros que valem o mesmo que ela? Também não parece, até o momento, que o eleitorado esteja sentindo a necessidade de saber, já, quem vai ser o ministro da Economia de Bolsonaro, se também não sabe os ministros da Economia de nenhum outro candidato. É mais ou menos a mesma coisa com o programa de governo. O programa de Bolsonaro, por tudo que foi possível saber até agora, é uma perfeita escuridão. Acontece que a maioria dos demais candidatos propõe a mesma charada. A ideia mais ambiciosa que apareceu até agora foi acabar com o serviço de proteção ao crédito.

O problema são as outras coisas. A artilharia verdadeiramente pesada cai em cima de Bolsonaro quando ele diz que é contra as cotas para negros, que os quilombolas vivem na vadiagem ou que o território das reservas indígenas deveria ser reduzido. O candidato desperta escândalo quando é acusado de homofobia, por negar que os homossexuais sofram mais violência do que a média dos brasileiros – ou por declarar-se contra a exposição, nas escolas, das ideias segundo as quais pertencer ao gênero feminino ou masculino não é uma realidade fisiológica, mas uma questão de livre escolha por parte dos alunos. Deixa os adversários indignados ao dizer que Lula e o PT são inimigos do Brasil. É especialmente ofensivo, aos olhos de seus juízes, quando aplaude o regime militar e a repressão aos grupos armados que agiam para derrubar o governo. Em sua visão, as duas partes estavam em guerra – e na guerra é preciso matar o inimigo. O candidato se faz detestar, também, quando apoia o agronegócio e faz pouco dos “agrotóxicos”. É acusado de ser um delinquente social quando se declara contra o MST, a “reforma agrária”, ou a invasão de imóveis nas cidades – ou contra a legalização de drogas, o desarmamento da policia e os “programas sociais” como bolsa-família, bolsa-pesca e por aí afora. Atrai ataques exasperados quando nega que o crime seja um problema social; acha que é falta de policia, direitos excessivos para os criminosos e impunidade geral.

O nó complicado que se formou em volta da candidatura de Jair Bolsonaro está justamente aí – os brasileiros que pretendem votar nele estão convencidos de que as posições descritas acima, que tanto estupor causam em se us críticos, são o máximo em matéria de boa política. O que a mídia apresenta como denúncia os seus eleitores tomam como elogio. Os argumentos utilizados contra ele se transformam, para milhões de eleitores, em argumentos a favor. A questão, no fim das contas, talvez não seja exatamente o candidato Bolsonaro. A questão é o tamanho desse Brasil que vê nele o seu herói, defensor e espelho. É o que a eleição para presidente vai mostrar.

          O vento sabe a resposta      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Ciro e seu vice, a fazendeira Kátia Abreu.
Ciro namorou o Centrão, mas pôs na vice uma esquerdista que, até há pouco, era ruralista e conservadora das que não comem tomate porque é vermelho. Coluna de Carlos Brickmann, publicada hoje em diversos jornais do país (via Augusto Nunes):


Tudo muito simples: o PT lançou Lula, sabendo que não pode ser candidato, e pôs Haddad de vice, mas para ser candidato a presidente. O PCdoB retirou a candidatura de Manuela d’Ávila à presidência e nada lhe deu em troca, mas ela sabe que será a vice de Haddad que é o vice de Lula.

Ciro namorou o Centrão, mas pôs na vice uma esquerdista que, até há pouco, era ruralista e conservadora das que não comem tomate porque é vermelho. Boulos é candidato do PSOL, mas apoia Lula que não pode ser candidato, mas finge que é. Alckmin afirma que sabe poupar, e é verdade: sobrou-lhe o suficiente para conquistar o apoio do melhor bloco que o dinheiro pode comprar. Alckmin corre um risco: escolheu uma vice melhor do que ele. Ana Amélia é, de verdade, tudo aquilo que Alckmin diz que é.

E temos um caso curiosíssimo: pelo MDB, maior partido do país, com apoio do presidente da República, há Henrique Meirelles, o candidato que é sem nunca ter sido. Meirelles tem dinheiro, pode pagar sua campanha, e isso é suficiente para explicar como chegou a candidato. Mas Meirelles não tem sorte: o presidente que o apoia é menos popular até do que Dilma, os caciques do maior partido do país foram cada um para seu lado, cuidar de seus superiores interesses, e a economia, que corria nos trilhos, desandou de tanto que foi ordenhada para alimentar um Congresso faminto, que queria devorar um presidente. Meirelles tem hoje só seu carisma ─ e é zero.

Hoje quem paga…

Há, no total, 16 candidatos à Presidência, já descontado Lula, que finge que é mas não é, e acrescido Haddad, que é candidato a vice, mas vai mesmo é sair no comando da chapa. Desses, três têm chances: Bolsonaro, o líder nas pesquisas (mas que tem pouquíssimo tempo de TV), Alckmin, que montou uma grande coligação e fica com quase metade do tempo total de TV, e Haddad, por ser o candidato de Lula. Os outros estão é brincando de candidatos. Eles podem: dinheiro é o que não falta. O nosso dinheiro.

…somos nós

Quanto? Há a ponte aérea Curitiba-Brasília que todos os esquerdistas percorreram antes de decidir independentemente seu caminho, há a grande festa da convenção, com passagem, hotéis e refeições para os participantes, e com boa bebida. Há as viagens para discutir quem é que cada partido vai apoiar ─ tudo por conta do Fundo Eleitoral e do Fundo Partidário. Ou seja, de novo vão mergulhar nos nossos fundos.

Começando!

Amanhã, quinta, o primeiro debate entre os candidatos à Presidência. Como sempre, a pioneira é a Rede Bandeirantes de Televisão. Lula quis participar, mas o TRF-4, Tribunal Regional Federal de Porto Alegre, ignorou o pedido. A TV não é obrigada a convidar o vice para debater na ausência do titular. Se Haddad participar, fica claro que o vice não é vice.

Mais tarde, mais tarde

Lula sabe que não pode ser candidato, tanto que escolheu Haddad para substituí-lo. Por que tanto luta para adiar a declaração de inelegibilidade? Talvez por cálculo: em 15 de setembro, foto e nome do candidato entram nas urnas (a eleição é em 7 de outubro). Se Lula não tiver sido impugnado, seu nome e foto aparecerão na urna na hora da votação, mesmo com outro candidato em seu lugar. Gente menos informada pensará que vota nele, quando estará votando nesse outro candidato, embora indicado por ele.

Dilmo

É melhor calar, e deixar no ar a possibilidade de que o achem tolo, do que falar e acabar com a dúvida. O general Mourão, vice de Bolsonaro, na primeira declaração como candidato, afirmou que os brasileiros herdaram a indolência dos índios e a malandragem dos negros. Em seguida, garantiu que não é preconceituoso. Talvez não seja; talvez apenas ignore o sentido exato das palavras. Eventualmente, pode pensar que, como Mourão, seja um Moro grande. Não é: Mourão é apenas um poste para firmar a cerca.

Proteção

A presença de Mourão na chapa, dizendo o que diz, certamente reduzirá as críticas a declarações estranhas de Bolsonaro, como a de que os militares não tomaram o poder em 1964, Vladimir Herzog pode ter cometido suicídio, ou que a ditadura não hostilizou a imprensa. Ignorar a censura ao Jornal da Tarde, a O Estado de S.Paulo e a O São Paulo, jornal da Arquidiocese de São Paulo, esquecer-se do fechamento do Correio da Manhã e da Rede Excelsior, omitir que o regime militar deu apoio a novos meios de comunicação que lhe fossem incondicionalmente fiéis é demais.

O veto à meningite

Este colunista conviveu com a censura prévia. E assistiu à censura da epidemia de meningite, para que ninguém culpasse o Governo. Só que era proibido divulgar também as precauções para evitar o contágio.

          A política como pornochanchada      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Campanha eleitoral parece tema de roteiro de filme das produções da Boca do Lixo, ironiza José Nêumanne, via Estadão:


A República brasileira começou numa parada militar que se tornou um golpe. Quando o desfile acabou defronte ao Arsenal da Marinha, o médico republicano jacobino José Lopes da Silva Trovão foi instado pelo povo, que se recolhera a um botequim, a pagar um trago. A conta somou 40 mil réis e o paladino só tinha 11 mil réis. Resultado: o taverneiro arcou com todo o prejuízo da celebração. A piada pronta, contada no clássico A Formação das Almas: O Imaginário da República Brasileira, do acadêmico José Murilo de Carvalho, revela como ela teve início num porre com pendura.

Até hoje, às vésperas da parada cívica das eleições gerais de outubro (a um mês de completar seu 129.º aniversário), o prejuízo continua sendo arcado pelo empreendedor disponível para financiar a embriaguez geral. Os 40 mil réis bancados pelo taverneiro em novembro de 1889 chegaram ao astronômico déficit público nominal, isto é, a diferença entre receitas e despesas (incluindo os juros da dívida pública), que alcançou a expressiva quantia de R$ 562,8 bilhões. Enquanto o déficit primário (receitas menos despesas, excluindo os juros) na última virada do ano foi de R$ 155,8 bilhões. Em janeiro, esperava-se que o príncipe escolhido pelo povo mataria esse sapo imenso com uma paulada certeira.

O último fim de semana, porém, jogou por terra as ilusões de que um presidente legitimado pelo voto daria um jeito nas contas públicas agônicas. E usaria toda a força obtida nas urnas para avançar na guerra popular contra a corrupção endêmica que mata o País de inanição moral, tuberculose cívica e tumores malignos de despudor. A campanha presidencial está nas ruas e nenhum pretendente ao trono imperial da República cínica gastou um grama de sua saliva para apresentar um plano racional para reduzir a máquina pública devoradora de recursos, pôr fim a privilégios herdados das priscas eras imperiais e impor um garrote de lei e ordem para conter a sangria da guerra civil da violência urbana e rural. O povo esperançoso está é órfão.

O pior é que, em nome desta Nação esfolada, os políticos encarregados de legislar e executar e os juízes aptos a julgar promovem um espetáculo grotesco que não pode ser instalado num picadeiro de circo mambembe por lhe faltarem caráter e pudor, mas sobrar profissionalismo. As comédias do teatro de revista, produzidas por Walter Pinto, e que regalavam o caudilho Vargas, que adorava piadas a respeito dele próprio, são lembranças do pundonor de um passado distante. As aventuras mirabolantes de João Acácio Pereira da Costa, O Bandido da Luz Vermelha, registradas no filme de Rogério Sganzerla, são matéria de contos infantis edificantes, se comparadas com os atuais escândalos de gatunagem.

O ex-sindicalista Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva chefiou a quadrilha que esvaziou os cofres da República pela qual Lopes Trovão lutou e bebeu, conforme os procuradores que o acusaram, o juiz, os desembargadores e ministros que o condenaram e as evidências dos fatos históricos. À frente de um Partido dito dos Trabalhadores (PT), esse cavalheiro cumpre pena de 12 anos e 1 mês por corrupção e lavagem de dinheiro numa tal “sala de estado maior” da Superintendência da Polícia Federal em Curitiba. Ao título de presidente mais amado da História ele adicionou o de presidiário mais celebrado e disputado do inferno prisional, onde, aliás, não vive.

Numa das inúmeras tentativas de garantir um mínimo de limpeza ao exercício de cargos públicos, a Constituição de 1988, que ele próprio assinou, criou a inovação das leis de iniciativa popular. A mais célebre de todas – a Lei da Ficha Limpa – chegou ao Congresso, que a aprovou e foi sancionada por sua mão direita, proibindo desde então candidatura de qualquer cidadão condenado em segunda instância, que é o caso dele. No entanto, sua mão esquerda a rasga, exigindo o absurdo de autorizar o signatário da norma legal a nela escarrar.

A República – que, como Almir Pazzianotto Pinto lembrou, em artigo nesta página, O puxadinho da Constituição, garantiu “pensão vitalícia a D. Pedro II” e autorizou “a compra da casa onde faleceu Benjamin Constant, destinada à residência da viúva” – patrocina hoje a farsa da egolatria de um condenado por furto amplificado. Que outro nome pode ser dado à convenção do PT em que o aplaudido ator Sérgio Mamberti leu um texto do presidiário, que surgiu em imagem e som na exibição de um vídeo?

Esse espetáculo, aliás, foi precedido por outro show, em que dois ídolos da música brasileira e da resistência à ditadura militar, Chico Buarque e Gilberto Gil, usaram uma canção, Cálice, com inspiração bíblica e símbolo da luta contra a censura, para tratar um político preso como se preso político fora. E precedeu o mais espetacular passa-moleque da tradição de engodos desta República dos desfiles: o lançamento do ex-prefeito de São Paulo Fernando Haddad para substituir na chapa o poderoso chefão preso, como vice, que terá a vice do vice, Manuela d’Ávila. Arre!

Tudo pode parecer uma pornochanchada da Boca do Lixo, mas é muito pior. Trata-se de uma tragédia permitida pela democracia de facilidades, fundada por um truque em que a classe política usurpou a casa de leis para inventar a farsa do Congresso constituinte, como se cada voto em 1986 valesse por dois. E pior: para nada.

Pois a candidatura duplamente fora da lei de um apenado e ficha-suja não sobrevive apenas pela fé no torneiro mecânico do ABC que virou o beato Luiz Conselheiro da imensa Canudos em que o Brasil se está tornando. Mas também pelo oportunismo rastaquera de quem o usa para se dar bem na “vida pública”. E de alguns figurões do Judiciário, como o presidente do Tribunal Superior Eleitoral, Luiz Fux, que inventou a condenação prévia sem efeito algum no despacho em que arquivou o processo que a pediu. Pensando bem, a comparação é injusta para os filmes da Boca do Lixo, que ao menos não furtavam seu público fiel.

          Akpabio Walking Against The Tide And The Will Of His People - Secondus      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

......says he deserves pity

The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Uche Secondus has said that it's  unfortunate that Senate minority leader Senator Godswill Apkabio chose to walk against the tide to endanger his fine political career.

Prince Secondus said that he finds it very strange that anybody would go into a sinking ship at a time every other person is finding their way out of it.

A statement from the National Chairman's media office signed by the media adviser, Ike Abonyi said that whatever caused Akpabio's action must have been for self preservation and not borne out of any rational strategic political decision.

The National Chairman said that Senator Akpabio's decision does not enjoy the blessing of the people of Akwa Ibom whose mandate he enjoyed for eight years as state governor and nearly four years now as a senator.

" I cannot fathom any reason why on earth  Senator Akpabio should work against the tide, moving at opposite direction to a place every reasonable persons are escaping from.

"He deserves our pity because whatever would make somebody to chose bad for good is clearly one that he should be prayed for for salvation especially given the fact that wolves are waiting for his arrival to devour him.

"How on earth can anybody who has his eyes wide open be seen walking into danger knowingly.

Prince Secondus lashed out at the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, for arm twisting and intimidating people into their drowning boat ostensibly to ruin and disintegrate the person involved.

He called on the people of Akwa Ibom to be wise and know when to turn their back from a leader directing them to danger.

" I urge you to remain focused and continue to give support to your hard working governor His Excellency Emmanuel Udom as he remains unrelenting in the delivering of democracy to the people.

The National Chairman said that Nigerians have long turned their back on the APC after it became manifest that it has nothing good to offer.

He said that the mission to save our democracy and rescue our country is already on track and no amount of coercion and threat will change what God has already endorsed.

Finally, Prince Secondus declared that the PDP rescue train has since left the station and picking democrats along for the 2019 final destination as he urged remaining democrats still in APC to make haste and join the winning team in a rebranded and repositioned political platform.

          Akwa Ibom Now An APC State – Akpabio      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

SENATOR Godswill Akpabio says Akwa Ibom State now belongs to the All Progressive Congress, (APC).

Mr Akpabio stated this on Wednesday when he officially defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC.

“I want you to know that from today Akwa Ibom is now an APC state,” the lawmaker who is a former governor of the state said.

He said his defection to the APC is for the interest of the state.

“I am in APC to link the state to the centre,” Akpabio added.

The former governor who recently resigned from his seat as the Senate Minority Leader is a first timer at the upper legislative chamber.

Akpabio defected with his supporters who included lawmakers of the state assembly, some of the recently sacked commissioners of the state and various chieftains of the PDP in the state.

The occasion took place at the Ikot Ekpene Township stadium where mammoth crowd gathered to witness the event.

Present to witness his defection were the National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole; the secretary to the government of the federation, Boss Mustapha; national leader of the APC, Bola Tinubu among others.
          APC Accuses Saraki Of Masterminding NASS Siege      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

BUKOLA Saraki, Senate President, has been accused of master-minding Tuesday’s siege laid at the National Assembly.

The accusation is coming from the All Progressive Congress (APC). Mr Saraki had recently dumped the APC for the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP).

State Security Service (SSS) operatives prevented lawmakers from accessing the parliament for several hours on Tuesday morning.

Following widespread media attention and outrage from Nigerians, as well as attempts by furious lawmakers to break into the premises, the security agents ultimately allowed access to the National Assembly. But the access was only granted to serving lawmakers. All other members of staff at the National Assembly, as well as journalists and other independent observers were denied entry.

The siege lasted until late afternoon when SSS operatives stood down after receiving reports that Acting President Yemi Osinbajo did not authorise the deployment and had fired the director-general of the secret police, Lawal Daura, as a consequence.

Since his defection, there have been several calls to Saraki urging him to relinquish his seat at the Nigerian Senate or face impeachment.

The ruling party who had earlier condemned the seige laid at the parliament have now backtracked, accusing Saraki of plotting the drama at the legislative arm of government yesterday.

In a statement titled: “How Security Operatives Stopped Saraki’s Plan to Foment Violence over Impeachment,” the APC said the Senate President it has “uncovered the sinister plot hatched by the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki to foment violence in the legislative chamber all in a bid to stop his impeachment.”

The party’s new position dispatched Wednesday morning was signed by the acting spokesman of the party, Yekini Nabena.

Mr Nabena said the party’s intelligence report uncovered and noted the following:

“We are now aware that the timely intervention of the security operatives forestalled the planned violence which could have led to possible deaths, injuries and destruction of property in the National Assembly on Tuesday.



“Why did the Senate President mobilise thugs to the National Assembly who almost lynched Hon. E.J. Agbonayinma, the only APC federal lawmaker present but for the timely intervention of security operatives.

“Why did the Senate President reconvene the National Assembly? Ostensibly as a pre-emptive move to frustrate federal lawmakers move to impeach him.

“Is it not curious that only Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) federal lawmakers were present in their numbers-some as early as 7am, while the majority APC federal lawmakers were elsewhere holding a caucus meeting on the state of the nation.

“We call on security agencies and relevant bodies to as a matter of urgency probe these findings and take all necessary and legitimate action to stop these illegalities which pose a direct and ominous threat to our democracy.

“As espoused in our earlier statement, whilst our contention with the leadership of the National Assembly as currently constituted is a matter of public record, we still believe that the legislature as an independent arm of government must be allowed free reign for vibrant contestation of ideas and values amongst its members within the context of their constitutional mandate and for the benefit of the Nigerian people.

“Finally, we reiterate our call for the Senate President to resign from the position immediately as he no longer has the moral and legitimate ground to occupy that position as a member of the minority PDP. Going by the popular axiom, the majority will have their way, but the minority will have their say.”
          Oshiomhole Told Buhari He’ll Remove Saraki In 10 Days – Timi Frank      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Timi Frank, the immediate past Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has said that the party’s National Chairman Comrade Adams Oshiomohle, deceived President Muhammadu Buhari to depart for London after promising him (Buhari) that he (Oshiomhole) will remove the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, within 10 days.

Frank was reacting to yesterday’s invasion of the National Assembly by men of the Department for State Service, DSS.

The former APC chieftain berated Oshiomhole for denying allegedly having anything to do with blockage of the National Assembly and the attempt to impeach Saraki.

Part of Frank’s statement said, “Why is Oshiomhole lying when every Nigerian knows that he is the one out to foist a new leadership on the Senate at all cost even when he knows that the APC lawmakers lack the two-third constitutionally stipulated number of Senators to legally remove Saraki and Ekweremadu?

“Nigerians must not be deceived, Oshiomhole is a dictator. He does not like anything democratic. He only mouths democracy when he has something to gain but when his interest is at stake like it is right now, he is usually forced to show the dictatorial stuff he is made of.

“Besides, having deceived President Buhari to leave for London and give him 10 days to remove Saraki, he is now quick to wash his hands off the dirty plot now that he seems to have failed to deliver on his evil promises
.

“Thankfully, a friend just sent me a Whatsapp photo of Buhari purportedly watching Oshiomhole’s instigated malfeasance at the National Assembly gate. If that photograph is true, I want Buhari to know that he has been deceived by Oshiomhole. Nigerians want the rule of law and due process to be followed in order to deepen our democracy not crude tactics now being employed by Oshiomhole.

“Besides, any resort to self-help will never fly with Nigerians because they know the price those who fought for democracy in the country had had to pay to bring us to where we are today.

“Once again I call on Nigerians and members of the international community who are now rightly horrified by this coup against democracy in Nigeria to hold Oshiomhole responsible for any breakdown of law and order capable of truncating democracy in the country,” he stated.

Frank also urged Nigerians not to accord the statement credited to the Acting President, Yemi Osibanjo purportedly condemning the invasion of the National Assembly with any modicum of believability.

“They are acting a script. They want to frustrate the National Assembly and by extension destroy democracy for selfish reasons,” he said.





          Akpabio’s Loyalists In Akwa Ibom Reject Him And His Move To The APC      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Shock, anger and disbelief are still in the air in Akwa Ibom following Senator Godswill Akpabio’s defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC) which is set to be formalized on Thursday.

[b]Meanwhile, key stakeholders in the state have reportedly abandoned Senator Akpabio as he moves to the APC.

The former Senate Minority Leader was until his decampment and the drama surrounding it, the political leader of Akwa Ibom State, an active participant since 1999 and a Godfather to several political enthusiasts in his state.

His surprising move to APC has created a political reshuffle in Akwa Ibom state by draining his primary cult following and stripping him of his leadership status as state leaders, stakeholders and his former loyalists believe he has betrayed them and bowed to external pressure from the Presidency.

Akpabio’s defection has altered the political balance of Akwa Ibom but surely not to his favor. His predecessor and current political enemy, former Akwa Ibom Governor Victor Obong Attah currently holds the APC state structure in Akwa Ibom, a structure that was cemented when Udoma Bob Ekarika, Ubong Attah’s son in law was sworn in as the State Party Chairman in May 2018[/b].

The former gubernatorial flag bearer of the party Umana Okon Umana who served as former Finance Commissioner under Ubong Attah and as Secretary to the State Government to Akpabio for 6 years was his most widely speculated successor before Akpabio sacked him and Brought the present Governor(Udom Emmanuel) to replace him as SSG. Umana and Akpabio fell out and Umana contested for the office under the APC and currently has a strong alliance with Victor Ubong Attah.

Another enemy Akpabio faces is Nsima Ekere whom Akpabio picked to become his deputy Governor in 2011 before the duo fell out. With only 17 months and two days in office, Mr. Ekere has had the shortest tenure as deputy governor in Nigeria’s history.

Nsima still went ahead to purchase the PDP nomination in 2014 and contest the primaries which he lost to Emmanuel Udom, the chosen one of Akpabio. Nsima struck a Truce with Umana Umana in 2015.

Political analysts wonder if Godswill Akpabio, a man who loves to lead, will superintend over Victor Ubong Attah, Nsima Ekere, Umana Umana and Udoma Bob Ekarila as leader?

To prove that his defection to the APC was not welcome by the State Chapter, only two commissioners from Governor Udom’s cabinet met him at the airport on his arrival into Uyo as other commissioners continue meetings with the State Governor to keep the oil rich state on track.

One of the two commissioners who decamped with him is his own brother Ibanga Akpabio, Commissioner for Labour and Power who Emmanuel Udom appointed to appease his former power hungry boss.

Most of the few decampees are from Akpabio’s Ikot Ekpene federal constituency consisting of three Local Governments. Another from his senatorial zone is Honorable Emmanuel Ekon who is embroiled in personal battles and has lost grip of PDP stakeholders in his constituency.

There have also been concerns that for a man who built a political career by making enemies instead of friends in his home state, the impact of Akpabio’s defection will be rarely felt.

          Press Statement On The Freezing Of The Accounts Of Akwa Ibom State Government      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

PRESS RELEASE!!!

RE: THE ILLEGAL FROZEN OF ACCOUNT OF AKWA IBOM STATE GOVERNMENT

Our attention has been drawn to an illegal freeze of the account of the government of Akwa Ibom state by agent of the federal government.

We greet this development as a brazen affront on the people and government of Akwa Ibom state and a slap to Nigeria's democracy.

It is unfortunate that Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, a man who claim to be a Senior lawyer will authorise such unconstitutional action in order to bully Governor Udom Emmanuel and the people of Akwa Ibom state into submitting to the servitude of All Progressive Congress.

We interpret this action as a deliberate ploy to unconstitutionally starve Akwa Ibom state of resources to aid ongoing development across the state. We interpret this as a ploy to sabotage the efforts of Governor Udom Emmanuel and his government in order to demoralise him and the administration.

We therefore call on Nigerians to join hands in solidarity with the people of Akwa Ibom state to condemn this illegality and demand for immediate lifting of the frozen order.

Furthermore, we appeal to the National Assembly and the international community to step in and save Nigeria's democracy from being overrun by dictators in suits and agbada.

We hereby declare our unalloyed solidarity to the government and people of Akwa Ibom state in this trying times.

Signed
Comrade David Akpan
National Secretary,
PDP National Defenders

          Results Of House Special Election In Ohio Are Still Up In The Air      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: Voters in several states went to the polls yesterday, and the results are in - sort of. Two big races are still undecided this morning, the GOP primary in Kansas where Trump supporter Kris Kobach is running an insurgent campaign against the state's governor, Jeff Colyer. And the special election in Ohio's 12th Congressional District is still up in the air. But even if the Republican, Troy Balderson, edges out the Democrat, Danny O'Connor, in that race, Democrats will feel pretty good because this is a solidly red district. What, if anything, could this portend for the November midterms, where the control of the House and possibly the Senate is up for grabs? Jesse Hunt is the press secretary for the National Republican Congressional Committee. He is in our studios this morning. Jesse, thanks for coming in. JESSE HUNT: Thanks for having me. MARTIN: So Troy Balderson leads but by less than 1 percentage point in this Ohio race.
          Ohio Special Election Results Confirm Almost Certain Blue Wave This November      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Yesterday, the special election in Ohio Congressional District 12 provided yet more evidence that a blue wave is coming this fall.   In results from last night, it appears that Republican Troy Balderson will narrowly defeat Democrat Danny O'Connor.  The final result depends on absentee and provisional ballots, but Balderson will likely win by a few hundred votes when all ballots are tallied.

Ohio District 12 is a heavy Republican district which has been held by the GOP since 1980.  Republican Pat Tiberi won the district by nearly 37 points in 2016.  Tiberi ran far ahead of Donald Trump who won the district by 10 points.  Then in 2018, Balderson wins it for the GOP again, but this
time with less than a 1% margin. 

Over at Fox News, a political analyst (I use that term charitably) declares the result of the Balderson-O'Connor contest to be a sign there will be no blue wave this fall and the positive impact of Donald Trump's last minute visit had on Balderson's victory.  Of course, that's crap political analysis.  Ohio District 12 was competitive in the special election for one reason and one reason only:  Donald J. Trump.

Supposedly Balderson was cringing about Trump's last minute visit to the district, which no doubt ginned up the Democratic opposition to his candidacy much more than it motivated Trump Republicans.  Fortunately for Balderson, he also had the endorsement of a politician in Ohio who. unlike Trump, is actually popular with general election voters, Republican Ohio Governor John Kasich who also used to represent the district in Congress.  On election night, Balderson thanked Trump, but neglected to mention Kasich's support which no doubt was much more helpful in securing the narrow victory.  Not smart since Balderson will need Kasich's support to win in the remtach set for November.

Taking a closer look at the county-by-county vote in Ohio 12 is noteworthy.  The Franklin County portion of the district, the northern suburbs of Columbus, Ohio, went heavily for the Democrat in contrast to recent history.  Delaware County, the wealthy suburban county immediately north of Franklin County, used to vote heavily for Republicans and gave Tiberia 72% of the vote in 2016.  In the special election though, Balderson only received 54%of the vote in Franklin County

In politic prognostication, the margin of election victories matter.  When heavily Republican districts are barely being won by the GOP, that means there are a whole slew of closer districts which will not not survive the blue wave that only a fool does not see is coming.
          Even if they’re a negotiating tool, Trump’s tariffs are harming America      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The sooner either President Trump realizes this or Congress wakes up and ends the trade war, the better.
          Roger Clyne, hometown metal and a classic psychedelic rock band to ease you back to school days      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Hang poolside with Arizona's favorite rock star ... psychedelic heavy metal rockers Vanilla Fudge are bringing three of the four original members to the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., for a show ...
          Senator Akpabio officially joins APC, dumps PDP      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Former Minority Leader of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has officially decamped from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC). Akpabio was welcomed to the ruling party on Wednesday at a rally organised for him by the Akwa Ibom State chapter of the APC. Among Senators in attendance were: Abdullahi Yahaya, […]
          Six Kano lawmakers loyal to Kwankwaso dump APC for PDP      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Six members of Kano State House of Assembly on Wednesday announced their defection from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The legislators announced their defection in a letter they sent to the House. Speaker Kabiru Rurum, who read out the letter, said the six lawmakers explained that their defection […]
          Saraki to APC: You didn’t make me Senate President, I was elected by senators      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki Wednesday declared that his occupation of the office of the presidency of the Senate was not ceded to him by the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, but through an election by senators. He made the declaration while briefing newsmen across the world over the siege to the National Assembly by […]
          Against the Electoral College (people, not cows), by Scott Sumner      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Ross Douthat recently made this comment on the politics of trade wars:

If you expect this to lead to good policymaking, you haven’t been paying attention to how this White House operates. But the fact that Trump has this particular incentive to focus on free trade’s Midwestern losers is not itself a bad thing. One of the strongest arguments for the countermajoritarian element in the Electoral College is that it provides a point of leverage for regional populations that have suffered particularly at the hands of an overreaching bipartisan consensus. And the bipartisan consensus on trade with China really is ripe for an updating, since the domestic costs have been higher and geopolitical benefits more meager than the expert class predicted 20 years ago.

I disagree with several of these claims:

1. While the domestic costs of China trade have been greater than anticipated, the same can be said for the domestic benefits.  The net benefits from China trade are probably larger than most economists would have estimated 20 years ago.  For 230 years the US economy has been based on Schumpeterian creative destruction, to a greater extent than most other countries.  We should celebrate that fact.

2. The ability of the Electoral College to empower regional interests against the interests of America as a whole is a flaw in our system of government.  In well-functioning countries, the government is able to adopt policies that boost the general welfare, even if certain specific groups suffer from increased competition.  This is what differentiates a country like Denmark from a place like Greece.  Throughout modern American history, the president (of either party) was more supportive of free trade than the Congress, precisely because he represented something closer to the national interest.  The recent election was unusual, as the candidate with 2.9 million fewer total votes won due to the disproportionate influence of working class voters in rust belt states.  That’s a flaw in our system, (and would still be a flaw if Clinton had beat Trump despite having fewer votes.)

3.  I would add that the Electoral College also leads to a sense that one’s vote doesn’t matter, in about 80% of the country.  I know that I felt that way when I voted in Massachusetts.  If we had the sort of electoral system you see in other countries, where the president is the person who receives the most votes, then voters in both deep red and deep blue states would have been more motivated to go to the polls.  Their votes would have mattered.

4.  It’s still early in the Trump administration.  The only other president in the past 100 years to be put in office due to the Electoral College overruling the majority vote was Bush in 2000.  That administration is generally viewed as a failed presidency, especially in the foreign policy area where presidents have the greatest influence.  Thus there is little empirical evidence for the superiority of the Electoral College (although admittedly there is also little evidence the other way.)  Still, it’s an odd system that would never be adopted today if it weren’t written into the Constitution.  The burden of proof is on its supporters.  The default option should be majority vote, which best represents the “wisdom of crowds”.  That’s how other countries select presidents.

Some people point to the importance of land, not people.  They argue that 500,000 people in Wyoming should have more political influence than 500,000 people in the Bronx, because they occupy more land.  Under one-man one-vote, states like New York would have more influence that Wyoming.  In my view that’s a feature of one-man one-vote, not a bug.  Each voter should have equal influence, not each acre of land.  After all, nearly 45% of the continental US is used for either livestock grazing, farmland producing feedstock for US cows, or land producing food for foreign livestock.  Should we give more weight to the political views of cows?