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          A Gubernatorial Candidate’s Disturbing Ties To Linda Sarsour      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

On August 7, Michigan’s citizens will be going to their polling booths to vote in gubernatorial primaries. Attorney General Bill Schuette and Lt. Gov. Brian Calley are vying for the GOP ticket. Democratic candidates have whittled to three; former state Senate leader Gretchen Whitmer, business executive Shri Thanedar and former state health official Abdul El-Sayed.

When he first threw his hat in for contention, El-Sayed, who is Muslim and whose father is Egyptian, was a dark horse who trailed both the front runner Whitmer as well as Thanedar. However, as reported by the left-wing Intercept, at least one recent poll has him now surpassing Thanedar and within striking distance of Whitmer (other polls still have him lagging).

This should be a source of concern for centrist Democrats, those who cherish free-enterprise as well as those who value the continuation of the strong alliance between Israel and U.S. When it comes to El-Sayed, two age-old adages come to mind; “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” and “A man can be judged by the company he keeps.”

On paper, El-Sayed has an impressive resume – he’s a doctor, Rhodes Scholar, and former director of the Detroit Health Department – and appears qualified for the job. But there’s more to being a state’s top executive than impressive credentials. Looking beyond the cover, El-Sayed is a member of the regressive hard Left and has Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez squarely in his corner.  In fact, the Democratic Socialist duo has been actively campaigning on his behalf.

But it gets worse, much worse. El-Sayed also maintains close ties to the foul-mouthed racist Linda Sarsour and that says a lot about what kind of person El-Sayed is. El-Sayed is a sly fellow and has been careful to steer clear of the Arab-Israeli dispute so as not to overtly alienate an important constituency. In at least one instance, El-Sayed punted when asked an unsolicited question on the Mideast; “I’m running for governor of Michigan,” he answered.

But his association with Sarsour should raise alarm bells. Sarsour is an anti-Semite to her core and is on record making a number of disparaging comments about the “Jewish media,” Zionism and Israel. She infamously tweeted that there is “nothing creepier than Zionism,” and absurdly asserted that Zionism and feminism are incompatible. Yet Sarsour, in a number of twitter posts, ironically championed Saudi-style Sharia law, which subjugates women and imposes on them institutional second class citizenship. 

Sarsour, who touts herself to be a leading women’s rights activist, is in actuality, anything but. She infamously lashed out at two leading female critics and noted on social media that she “wish[ed]…to take their vaginas away.” One of the victims of Sarsour’s invective was herself a victim of female genital mutilation. Sarsour later scrubbed the vulgar tweet as well as others in an attempt to rehabilitate her image but her obscenities continued unabated.

Last year, Sarsour voiced support for Assata Shakur, a murderer who killed a New Jersey state trooper in a 1973 shootout. That asinine support prompted pushback and criticism from CNN’s Jake Tapper. The thinned-skinned Sarsour then bizarrely accused Tapper of being a member of the “alt-right.”

Sarsour’s unhinged demeanor showed no signs of let-up. On November 29, 2017 Sarsour blamed the “Jewish media” for fostering negative views about her. But perhaps most disconcerting is her unabashed support for the unrepentant Judeophobe, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

There was a time when any association with Farrakhan, even among Democrats, would be the death knell of any political career beyond the confines of garbage collector. In 2005 for example, a smiling Barack Obama was photographed with Farrakhan but the photo was deep-sixed and never saw the light of day until two years after the completion of his two terms. But the Democratic Party of today, with the Jeremy Corbyn-like influence of the Democratic Socialists, has been transformed into a vastly different party, one in which antisemitism has been mainstreamed. 

Aspiring Democratic politicians like El-Sayed no longer shy away from toxic bigots like Sarsour. Sadly, they embrace them. On August 7, Michigan’s Democratic primary voters will have a chance to reject this malign influence and partly reverse the Democratic Party’s noxious trajectory.      


          As Border Crossings Tick Up, Migrants Bring Children, Take More Dangerous Routes       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The number of immigrants illegally crossing the southern border plummeted when Donald Trump took office. But the number is again on the rise. In response, the president plans to deploy up to 4,000 National Guard troops. In West Texas, immigrant shelters are overflowing with recent arrivals and some migrants are trying more dangerous routes to evade capture. The intake room at Annunciation House, an immigrant shelter in downtown El Paso, is packed these days. Parents and squirming children sit with their travel bags. They are the aggravations of Donald Trump. Thirteen-year-old Leslie Morán, with a ponytail and a Minnie Mouse shirt, says she and her father, Daniel, left Honduras because there was so much crime, and she couldn't attend school anymore. "They threaten you and rob you," she says. "We came here so I'd have a new opportunity to study." Her journey north, and thousands like it, have bedeviled the Trump administration, just as they did President Obama. New figures show a mini
          the good mother      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
fooling around on amazon with my daughter - she found 3 movies to put in amazon library - and i saw 1 i wanted.

'the good mother.'

this was a wonderful movie based on amazing book by sue miller.

diane keaton should have won another oscar for this 1.  she is amazing as anna.  the basics are she and her husband divorce.  they have a daughter.  anna's raising her daughter and working.  she ends up having a boyfriend (liam neeson) and that ticks the ex-husband off. 

the daughter ends up in a custody battle - i'm providing as few spoilers as possible.

it's a really good movie.  leonard nimoy directed it.

i think 'shoot the moon' is probably diane's most amazing performance ever.  but 'the good mother' is probably close.   diane's a great comedy actor but she can deliver in a drama and has repeatedly.  she's just an all around strong actress. 

she's made some films that will stand the test of time.  those include the 1s with woody allen, the godfather movies, 'something's got to give,' 'reds,' 'shoot the moon,' 'looking for mr. goodbar,' '1st wives club' and many more.  and let's name the woody classics - 'sleeper,' 'love & death,' 'annie hall,' 'manhattan' and 'manhattan murder mystery.'

she really is something amazing.

oh, and she just co-starred in the summer's biggest comedy: 'book club.'



let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'


Tuesday, August 7, 2018.

We're going to start with something non-Iraq at all (we'll also be ending with something non-Iraq).  I know Illeana Douglas and have known her for years.  As Rebecca noted last month, I first heard of Leslie Moonves' assault of Illeana years ago.  At THIRD this week, we did "Unlike Alyssa Milano, we'll stand with Illeana Douglas."  (Ann offered "Alyssa Milano reveals she doesn't give a damn about women" last night.)

Alyssa Milano is not who she claims or self-presents as.  Rose McGowan rightly called her a lie.  Though Corey Feldman was sympathetic to her, he publicly mocked her -- rightly so -- when she claimed she never had any idea that he or Corey Haim had been molested as children.  She knew.  She claims she never knew that Brad Kern was abusive to women on the set of CHARMED -- where she was a producer.  Everyone else knew.  There were complaints.  Repeated complaints.  She took a producer's credit (and pay) and it was her job to provide a safe work environment.  She failed.  To TIME magazine and others, she has presented herself as the head of #MeToo (after stealing the phrase from African-American  woman Tarana Burke -- one of her many cultural appropriations).  Yet though she Tweets over and over daily, she's still not Tweeted about Illeana or any of the other women who spoke out in Ronan Farrow's NEW YORKER piece.


Not one Tweet.  CAA is the reason I'm not part of #MeToo.  CAA pimped out women constantly.  There's a foreign actress who appeared in several hit films and was used by CAA before and after.  They pimped her out.  She remains destroyed today.  (If she chooses to tell her story publicly, I will support her.  Currently, she's still in therapy attempting to deal with what they put her through.)  Alyssa's married to CAA's David Bugliari and Alyssa's a "CAA speaker" that you can 'book.'

Alyssa's silence backs up everything many of us have long said.  She's is not a friend to women, she is stilted actress determined to self-promote, desperate for a career.  She is not about empowering women.  She's is about co-opting anything she can.

As for CBS, Leslie is part of a long pattern there that began with William Paley and the hell he put his wife (Babe Paley through) -- one affair after another, while he stopped having sex with her early in their marriage, his refusal to allow her to raise their children or even hug them in front of him.  He was pure filth and set the tone all those years ago.  CBS has always been hostile to women.  Most networks would be thrilled to have a hit show but CBS has always only been thrilled to have a hit show if it starred men.  Whether we're talking DESIGNING WOMEN, CAGNEY & LACEY, CYBILL, THE NANNY or the now returning MURPHY BROWN, CBS repeatedly undercuts and undermines their programs with female leads, undercutting them, pushing them through one time change after another, etc., etc.  At THIRD, Ava and I have long documented the institutional sexism at CBS and we've done it for a reason.

Leslie is guilty and if I were Julie Chen, sleeping with my married boss and then lucky enough to get him to leave his wife for me, I guess I'd rush forward to defend him too.  I mean, what career would Julie have if she hadn't slept with Leslie?  None at all.  I could go on and on here.

The point is Illeana told the truth and has been telling it to a number of us over the years.  And CBS has made clear that they do not take harassment seriously by allowing Moonves to remain on the job while he is under investigation.  He should be put on administrative leave.  Anything less goes to CBS not taking the issue seriously.  He is accused of harassment and attempted rape.  These are serious charges.  If you take them seriously, you put him on administrative leave until the investigation is over.  Otherwise?  You're saying work safety and the right of women to be safe at work does not matter.

Grasp that fake ass Alyssa is not just refusing to stand up for Illeana, she's refusing to stand up for women who may encounter Leslie.  He needs to be removed during the investigation.


Meanwhile, protests continue in Iraq.

Why?  Each year, Iraq rakes in billion from oil sales.  And the World Bank estimates the current population of Iraq to be 37.2 million.

With that kind of money coming in and that small of a population, meeting the needs of the people should be easy.

But it hasn't been.  The World Bank notes, for example, "The poverty rate increased from 19.8 percent in 2012 to an estimated 22.5 percent in 2014."  How does that happen?  Government corruption.  Politicians and officials stealing the public's money.

And it leaves nothing for the people.  Hence the video below.


Another video of Iraqi children eating from the garbage.


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Live Right: The Protests Pockets of are ongoing throughout cities in the south of the country, perhaps not as large as in recent weeks, but will the same demands of electricity, potable water and employment. looks at the situation. 🇮🇶💪🏼


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The corruption has enriched many.  Nouri al-Maliki's son, for example, has some really swank living spaces in England and some really sporty cars.  That's nice for a man who's never really worked in his life.  But that's awful for the Iraqi people.

The Iraqi people are protesting to save their lives.  They are risking their lives with these ongoing protests and 14 have already died.


The excessive violence and cruelty used by the Iraqi security forces ended the lives of 14 demonstrators in 10 days of ongoing protests calling for economic and service improvements," the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights said."




They are demanding basic rights including access to electricity and potable water, including jobs.

These protests are now a month old and it's amazing how many of the Twitter 'social justice warriors' have ignored these protests.

Why do they have to protest?

Among other things because the US government destroyed Iraq with the (ongoing) war.  The US still bombs Iraq.  Monday, the US Defense Dept announced:



Strikes in Iraq
There were no reported strikes conducted in Iraq yesterday.
On Aug. 4 near Dulab, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of an engagement against ISIS targets, destroying two ISIS tunnels.
On Aug. 3 near Wadi Ashai, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of an engagement against an ISIS tactical unit.
There were no reported strikes conducted in Iraq on Aug. 2.
On Aug. 1 near Wadi Ashai, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of five engagements against ISIS targets, destroying two ISIS-held buildings and three ISIS supply caches.
On July 31 near Wadi Ashai and Wadi Zagatoon, coalition military forces conducted two strikes consisting of two engagements against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS-held building.

On 30 July 30 near Wadi Ashai, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of an engagement against ISIS targets. The strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit.

The US government turned Iraq into a land of widows and orphans.  And it compounded the problems by 'selecting' Iraq's prime ministers.  Yesterday, we went over Nouri al-Maliki and Barack Obama, then-US president, selected Hayder al-Abadi to replace him in 2014.  (After Nouri's actions led to the rise of ISIS in Iraq.)


Supporting Abadi "was the easy way for the US to try to protect the gains it has made in Iraq over the last four years without having to do the substantial groundwork that would have been required to build up a range of political alternatives"
          Inhofe, Lucas, Fallin Not Pleased With Prairie Chicken Move      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Oklahoma politicians have been quick to respond to news that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has decided to list the lesser prairie chicken as threatened. The Obama administration announced Thursday it is placing the lesser prairie chicken on a list of threatened species. The move could affect oil and gas drilling, wind farms and other activities in Oklahoma and four other central and southwestern states. “We need to know what the rules are, and what we’re going to meet, or whether we’re doing an okay job,” Oklahoma Secretary of Energy and the Environment Michael Teague told state Capitol reporters Wednesday. “There’s tremendous support right now behind the Range Wide Plan , and what folks have already done.” Gov. Mary Fallin (R-Okla.) says she sees the listing as an opportunity for the state, even though she had also asked for the animal to not be listed as threatened. “The potential impact of this listing, without the Range Wide Plan, could have resulted in damaging hits to our
          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
          Coburn Earns Praise From Obama, Oklahoma Colleagues      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
President Obama called U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) a personal friend who was willing to work in a bipartisan manner to fight wasteful spending and cut down on earmarks. In a statement released by the White House on Friday , Obama noted that he and Coburn were both elected to the Senate in 2004 and quickly became friends after their wives struck up a conversation. Obama said the people of Oklahoma have been "well-served by this 'country doctor from Muskogee' over the past nine years."
          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
          Obama Would Veto House's Farm Bill, White House Says      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
President Obama will be advised to veto a multi-year farm bill slated to be discussed in the House this week, the White House says. The administration issued a statement on the legislation Monday afternoon, criticizing it for cutting food programs for the poor. At more than 575 pages , the bipartisan bill was introduced by Reps. Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and Collin Peterson, D-Minn., the chairman and ranking member of the House Committee on Agriculture. When it was released in early May, Rep. Lucas called the bill, officially titled the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, "a responsible and balanced bill that addresses Americans' concerns about federal spending and reforms farm and nutrition policy to improve efficiency and accountability." The Obama administration doesn't agree, saying today that the "bill makes unacceptable deep cuts in SNAP, which could increase hunger among millions of Americans who are struggling to make ends meet, including families with
          Best National Government in North America: Mexico      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
At least that’s the hope of those who elected Andrés Manuel López Obrador, aka AMLO, aka Peje, on a platform of sweeping out the corruption — a platform promoted in Obrador’s book, A New Hope for Mexico. That Barack Obama … Continue reading
          DACA back in court today as Texas-led lawsuit seeks to shut the Obama-era program down      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
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          Medicaid expansion ‘cure’ is worse than the disease      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Remember when President Barack Obama touted the benefits of the Affordable Care Act: Families would save $2,500 annually on premiums, you could keep your doctor and, crucially, the ACA would bend the medical cost curve […]

The post Medicaid expansion ‘cure’ is worse than the disease appeared first on Idaho Freedom Foundation.


          China, Germany defend Iran business ties as US sanctions grip - Reuters      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Reuters

China, Germany defend Iran business ties as US sanctions grip
Reuters
BEIJING/BERLIN (Reuters) - China and Germany defended their business ties with Iran on Wednesday in the face of President Donald Trump's warning that any companies trading with the Islamic Republic would be barred from the United States.
What It Would Take for Iran to Talk to TrumpThe Atlantic
US military warns Iran over naval activity in the Strait of HormuzWashington Post
US braces for possible cyberattacks after Iran sanctionsYahoo News
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all 1,615 news articles »

          Obama endorses Polis, Primavera and more in November races      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Former President Barack Obama's lengthy list of campaign endorsements released Aug. 1 included several Colorado Democrats: Jared Polis for governor, Dianne Primavera for lieutenant governor, Phil Weiser for attorney general, and Jena Griswold for secretary of state.…
          Judge who overturned other Obama program hears DACA case      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Hearing before federal judge in Texas over fate of program shielding young immigrants from deportation focuses on the judge's previous ruling against an earlier Obama-era program.
          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.


          Régimen comunista de China censura al osito Winnie the Pooh      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Algunos memes populares comparan las imágenes de Xi Jinping y el expresidente Barack Obama con escenas de dibujos animados similares.China rechazó la solicitud de Walt Disney para exhibir en el país “Christopher Robin”, una película en la que aparece el oso Winnie the Pooh. Internautas han comparado en el pasado el aspecto de Pooh con el presidente Xi Jinping.
          As U.S. Confronts Russia, Trump's Admiration Of Putin Is Consistent      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaVWRetR4jg President-elect Donald Trump is unabashedly praising Russian President Vladimir Putin, a day after outgoing President Obama issued tough sanctions against the country in response to alleged cyberattacks intended to influence the U.S. elections. In a tweet Friday afternoon, Trump responded to Putin's decision not to expel U.S. diplomats from Russia in kind after Obama ordered 35 Russian diplomats to leave the country — admiring the Russian leader's strategic approach over President Obama, which is the theme of Trump's ongoing praise of Putin. Earlier Friday, Putin instead signaled he would wait to decide how to move forward until Trump takes office, giving him someone in the Oval Office who has been much friendlier and quite generous with his praise — a stark break from decades of U.S. foreign policy. The Russian Embassy in the U.S. also retweeted Trump's post, which he pinned to his Twitter timeline so it would remain at the top. Trump also
          In Political Season, Democrats Wonder, 'Where's Obama?'      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
"Join me on Team '18," Barack Obama wrote in a recent fundraising email from his old political group, Organizing for Action. "Every election, every ballot measure, every conversation between now and November ... it all matters." It wasn't much, but the email was one of Obama's few public, political, overtly partisan appeals as the Democratic Party approaches midterm elections that could stop President Trump's agenda and boost Democratic prospects going into 2020. To have an ex-president who remains highly popular with his party sitting on the sidelines cannot be what Democrats hoped. There are reports that Obama plans to campaign...
          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.

Become a member at JoinTheMajorityReport.com

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Read Jamie’s detailed and depressing report on drug-induced homicide prosecutions at Rolling Stone.

Get updates on the ongoing nationwide prison strike at supportprisonerresistance.noblogs.org/nationalprisonstrike2018/

Check out The Michael Brooks Show at patreon.com/tmbs,

And the new TMBS YouTube channel! for all short TMBS clips

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Check out Jamie’s podcast, The Antifada, at patreon.com/theantifada, on iTunes, or on the new Youtube channel!

Follow the Majority Report crew on Twitter:

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          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
          Washington Post Continues to Peddle Fake News Russian Conspiracies… Will Facebook Ever Flag Its Hogwash?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
You know the answer to that one Jim Hoft Russia-Insider.com August 8, 2018 The Washington Post continues to push BS conspiracy theories that Russia helped President Trump win the 2016 election. There is no proof to back up this conspiracy, that was originally pushed by the Clinton campaign and Obama administration, back in 2016. There […]
          The socialists are lying to you about the "shrinking middle class."      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

"The American middle class has been doing just fine. In 1967, 33.7 percent of all American households earned between $50,000 and $100,000; by 2014, that number (in constant 2014 dollars) had fallen to 28.5 percent of American households. That means the death of the middle class, right? Wrong. It turns out that everybody just got wealthier. In 1967, the households earning an annual income of $50,000 or less constituted 58.2 percent of all Americans; as of the end of 2014, just 46.8 percent fell into this group. And while only 8.1 percent of American households earned more than $100,000 a year in 1967, today, 24.7 percent do. That’s not a collapsing middle class. That’s a growing upper middle class."

https://www.nationalreview.com/2017/01/middle-class-income-not-stagnating/

Yes, the middle class is moving up, to upper middle class, and socialists hate that and lie to you, like Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders.

And let's not forget how many Americans are now retired--like the Bruces. Socialists want you to forget that figure. "If we compare full-time workers ages 25 to 64 in 1979 with that same subset of workers in 2013, income exceeded inflation and grew 33 percent total."

A lot of these figures are from the Obama era--they even lie to you about that!


          The Truth About the 2008 Financial Meltdown and How it Contributed to Trump’s Rise       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

What is the truth behind the 2008 Financial Collapse, why was no one prosecuted and how did Obama’s not prosecuting the “banksters” and strengthening Glass Steagal lead to Trump in the White House? Economist Bill Black joins us bring clarity to this mystery.





[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, August 8th, 2018.]
          Comment on Arkansas Highpoint And Gangster Museums by C. R. Stucki      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Why would anybody EVER think Obama was a Muslim??? Just because his dad and every single paternal ancestor was Muslim, he had a Muslim name, his mom and his stepdad were Muslim, he was educated in Muslim schools in his youth, etc. etc. What the hell, anybody can see he surely must have been Southern Baptist, right?
          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.


          She’s Back! Michelle Obama Is About To Hit The Road To Save Our Country      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Michelle Obama announced a mass voter registration effort called "When We All Vote Week of Action" was scheduled for Sept. 22-29.
          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.

          Unearthed video shows Trump questioned John McCain’s ‘war-hero’ status as early as 1999      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

NEW YORK—President Donald Trump’s beef with John McCain has been cooking for nearly two decades.

While mulling a long-shot White House bid in 1999, Trump went after McCain during a TV interview, questioning whether the Arizona senator was a “war hero” even though he spent more than five years in captivity as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

“He was captured,” Trump said after CBS anchor Dan Rather asked what he thought of the Republican senator, who had at the time just kicked off his first presidential run. “Does being captured make you a hero? I don’t know. I’m not sure.”

Trump — who received five draft deferments while McCain fought in Vietnam — had made a failed run for the Reform Party’s presidential nomination that year. The interview with Rather went viral on social media Tuesday after a reporter unearthed it.

The White House did not return a request for comment from The New York Daily News. A spokesman for McCain did not respond to e-mailed questions.

Trump’s 1999 remarks are remarkably similar to ones he made on multiple occasions during the 2016 campaign.

“I like people that weren’t captured,” Trump said of McCain during a rally in Iowa in July 2015, claiming the longtime Republican was “not a war hero.”

The comments drew bipartisan condemnation at the time, but Trump hasn’t backed down.

Even though McCain was diagnosed with brain cancer last July, Trump has repeatedly gone after the 81-year-old senator for his decisive vote last year against repealing the Obama-era Affordable Care Act. Trump delivered one such attack as recently as last week during a campaign-style rally in Florida.

The 1999 interview resurfaced hours before Trump issued a statement in honor of Purple Heart Day, which celebrates recipients of the nation’s highest military decoration — two of which have been awarded to McCain.

“This award symbolizes the timeless and noble values of patriotism, honor, and courage, which are hallmarks of our Armed Forces,” Trump said. “In every generation, the Purple Heart has been awarded to American service members in recognition of their devotion to duty and sacrifice on the battlefield.”

McCain’s daughter, Meghan McCain, has frequently called out Trump for his broadsides against her cancer-stricken father, calling the president “gross and pathetic.”

After Trump’s 1999 remarks resurfaced Tuesday, the younger McCain took a more subtle approach, tweeting out a news story titled, “What John McCain Went Through as a POW — for five and a half years, McCain was held captive by the North Vietnamese.”

———

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FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2017 file photo, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., leaves a closed-door session on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
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          Do Obamacare’s Left-Wing Critics Actually Understand It?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
People protest Trump administration policies that threaten the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid, near the Wilshire Federal Building on January 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.
A Jacobin editor defends the Republican Party against the charge of wanting to take poor people’s insurance away.
          Texas takes DACA to court, says immediate injunction against Obama-era program 'vital to restoring the rule of law'      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The state of Texas is seeking a nationwide injunction against the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA), telling a federal judge in a hearing Wednesday that the government should be immediately barred from issuing or renewing permits under the program.
          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
          Việt Nam phải ngụy trang khi sang Mỹ mua vũ khí?       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Tướng Đỗ Bá Tỵ tại Ngũ Giác Đài, 23 tháng Bảy, 2018. (DoD photo by Air Force Master Sgt. Angelita M. Lawrence)

Phải mất đến hai năm kể từ lúc Tổng thống Mỹ Barak Obama bất ngờ tuyên bố dỡ bỏ hoàn toàn lệnh cấm bán vũ khí sát thương cho Việt Nam vào tháng Năm năm 2016, Bộ Quốc phòng Việt Nam mới thỏa thuận được hợp đồng đầu tiên mua vũ khí của Mỹ, giá trị gần 100 triệu USD, dù chưa được tiết lộ là bao gồm các loại vũ khí nào và liệu có được Quốc hội Hoa Kỳ chuẩn thuận hay không.

Quốc hội Việt Nam đi mua vũ khí Mỹ?

Điều tréo ngoe là một lần nữa trong rất nhiều lần, tin tức trên được tiết lộ từ phía Mỹ, qua đài VOA, chứ không phải do chính thể Việt Nam vốn bị Tổ chức Minh bạch quốc tế (TI) xếp vào nhóm chót bảng thế giới về độ minh bạch.

Một sự thể oái oăm khác là đơn đặt hàng trên có vẻ không được giao kết bởi giới quan chức Bộ Quốc phòng Việt Nam, mà lại thông qua… Quốc hội nước này.

Trước khi tin tức trên xuất hiện trên VOA vào ngày 2/8/2018, đã có một chuyến công du đến Mỹ của Phó chủ tịch Quốc hội Việt Nam Đỗ Bá Tỵ. Khác với chuyến công du Hoa Kỳ trước đây vào năm 2013 trên cương vị Thứ trưởng Bộ quốc phòng Việt Nam, vào lần này Phó chủ tịch quốc hội Đỗ Bá Tỵ không phải thăm viếng lưỡng viện Hoa Kỳ mà đã đến thẳng Lầu Năm Góc - nơi ở đó quan chức này được đón tiếp bởi Thứ trưởng Bộ Quốc phòng Mỹ Patrick M. Shanahan vào ngày 23/7.

Tuy nhiên, chuyến công du Hoa Kỳ lần này của ông Tỵ chỉ được báo chí nhà nước Việt Nam tường thuật ngắn gọn đến mức khiến phát sinh dư luận cho rằng chẳng biết vị phó chủ tịch quốc hội này thực chất đi Mỹ để làm gì, hay chỉ là một chuyến du ngoạn như cái cách mà vào năm ngoái viên thứ trưởng Bộ quốc phòng Nguyễn Chí Vịnh đã đến Mỹ để trao trả vài lá thư thời chiến tranh Việt Nam cho cựu phi công bị bắn rơi là John McCain.

Trước đại hội 12 của đảng cầm quyền ở Việt Nam vào đầu năm 2016, Đỗ Bá Tỵ mang cấp hàng đại tướng, là Thứ trưởng Bộ Quốc phòng. Tuy nhiên vì bị xem là ‘cánh Nguyễn Tấn Dũng’ (thủ tướng Việt Nam khi đó), ông tướng quân đội Đỗ Bá Tỵ đã bị điều chuyển sang Quốc hội làm cấp phó cho bà Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân ăn mặc diêm dúa ngay sau đại hội 12.

Cuộc gặp của Đỗ Bá Tỵ với Patrick M. Shanahan trong cuộc gặp cuối tháng Bảy năm 2018 lại đề cập đến hàng loạt vấn đề thuộc khối quốc phòng, chứ không phải là nội dung của quốc hội, như an ninh trên biển, gìn giữ hòa bình, quân y và an ninh mạng, và đặc biệt là Biển Đông – một chủ đề đang rất nhanh chóng biến thành mối xung đột tay ba Mỹ - Trung - Việt.

Trong khi chuyến công du Hoa Kỳ của Đỗ Bá Tỵ vẫn còn gây nghi ngờ trong giới quan sát chính trị về vai trò của ông Tỵ không biết về thực chất là Phó chủ tịch quốc hội hay ‘Đại tướng’ thay mặt cho Bộ Quốc phòng Việt Nam, chỉ hai tuần sau đó, một quan chức Bộ Ngoại giao Mỹ bất ngờ khẳng định với VOA tiếng Việt rằng Việt Nam có các hợp đồng mua các thiết bị quân sự với Hoa Kỳ trị giá tới 94,7 triệu đôla.

Quan chức này nói thêm: “Tuy nhiên, chúng tôi lưu ý rằng Việt Nam hiện có 24 trường hợp trong chương trình Mua bán Quân sự Nước ngoài với tổng trị giá là 69,7 triệu đôla”.

Theo VOA Việt Ngữ, các vụ này đã được thông báo cho Quốc hội Mỹ và đang trong các giai đoạn khác nhau để triển khai và chuyển giao cho Việt Nam. Trong khoảng thời gian từ năm 2012 tới 2017, Bộ Ngoại giao Mỹ cũng đã cho phép Việt Nam mua các mặt hàng quân sự, trong đó có các thiết bị điện tử quân sự, trị giá 25 triệu đôla thông qua chương trình Mua bán Thương mại Trực tiếp. Mua bán Quân sự Nước ngoài (FMS) và Mua bán Thương mại Trực tiếp (DCS) là hai chương trình chính để Hoa Kỳ chuyển giao các dịch vụ và thiết bị quốc phòng cho đồng minh và đối tác. Cụ thể, FMS là một chương trình chuyển giao giữa hai chính phủ. Theo đó, Bộ Ngoại giao Mỹ thông qua đơn đặt hàng, rồi đối tác trả tiền cho thiết bị và Bộ Quốc phòng Mỹ sử dụng hệ thống của mình để mua rồi chuyển cho đối tác. Trong khi đó, theo chương trình DCS, đối tác đạt thỏa thuận với một nhà sản xuất Mỹ, nhưng nhà sản xuất phải được Bộ Ngoại giao Hoa Kỳ cấp giấy phép thông qua vụ mua bán trước khi chuyển giao thiết bị…

Đến lúc này, vai trò đi Mỹ của Đỗ Bá Tỵ đã dần lộ ra: Bộ Chính trị Việt Nam muốn cho ông Tỵ ‘sắm hai vai’ - vừa lập lờ trong tư thế ‘cựu thứ trưởng quốc phòng’ để làm việc với Bộ Quốc phòng Mỹ về mua vũ khí, vừa trong vai trò một quan chức cao cấp của Quốc hội để vận động Quốc hội Hoa Kỳ mau chóng thông qua chương trình cho Việt Nam mua vũ khí của Mỹ.

Trong khi đó, đã không có bất kỳ quan chức lãnh đạo nào của Bộ Quốc phòng Việt Nam xuất hiện để ký kết với Mỹ về mua vũ khí.

Vì sao thế?

‘Đảng anh’ và ‘đảng em’

Lý do đơn giản và dễ hiểu nhất vẫn là lời truyền miệng dân gian đương đại: ‘đảng em’ Việt Nam luôn lo ngại và sợ hãi ‘đảng anh’ Trung Quốc. Bối cảnh Biển Đông đang khá nhanh lao vào không khí xung đột giữa Mỹ với Trung Quốc và đương nhiên kéo theo kẻ phải chịu số phận ‘lời nguyền địa lý’ là Việt Nam đã luôn khiến Bộ Chính trị đảng Việt Nam nhất cử nhất động đều sợ sệt Bắc Kinh.

Một trong những bằng chứng hùng hồn nhất về ý chí tăng trưởng đến mức á khẩu như thế là kể từ đầu năm 2016 khi quân đội Trung Quốc đưa tên lửa ra đảo Phú Lâm thuộc quần đảo Hoàng Sa - nơi mà từ năm 1974 đến nay chỉ còn tồn tại trên bản đồ hành chính Việt Nam như tên gọi một địa danh, Bộ Quốc phòng Việt Nam đã chẳng hề dám công bố bất kỳ thông tin nào về động tác trả đũa, dù rằng vào nửa cuối năm 2016 cơ quan rất có năng khiếu về ‘kinh tế quốc phòng’ này - như công trình sân golf Tân Sơn Nhất gây bão tố dư luận xã hội - đã được báo chí phương Tây phát hiện đã đưa tên lửa ra quần đảo Trường Sa nhằm ‘dằn mặt’ Trung Quốc.

Chỉ sau cơn khủng hoảng mang tên ‘Hải Dương 981’ vào năm 2014 và sau vụ tên lửa Trung Quốc năm 2016, đến gần đây mới hiện ra những bằng chứng cho thấy chính thể Việt Nam và quân đội bị xem là không có mấy tinh thần ‘sẵn sàng chiến đấu’ của nước này muốn gia cố lại hệ thống vũ khí và khí tài quân sự đã khá lạc hậu sau nhiều năm dùng của Liên Xô.

Một trong những bằng chứng quan tâm đến vũ khí phương Tây là sau khi được dỡ bỏ lệnh cấm mua vũ khí sát thương, Việt Nam đã âm thầm mua chịu nửa tỷ USD tín dụng quân sự của Ấn Độ và hỏa tiễn của Israel - đều là những đồng minh quân sự của Mỹ.

Thế nhưng lịch sử quá ngắn ngủi về ‘mua vũ khí Mỹ’ của Việt Nam lại không hề thuận buồm xuôi gió, đặc biệt quá kém tính trong sáng.

‘Lại quả’

Vào tháng Tám năm 2017, đài VOA dẫn lại một phát hiện độc đáo trong bài viết có tựa đề “Quan chức Việt Nam đòi Mỹ ‘lại quả’ từ các hợp đồng mua vũ khí”.

‘Lại quả’ là một từ lóng thuộc về dân làm ăn khuất tất, chạy chọt và hối lộ ở miền Bắc Việt Nam.

Theo đó, một hãng tin tình báo quốc phòng của Anh đã tiết lộ rằng các quan chức chính phủ Việt Nam yêu cầu các đối tác của Mỹ trả 25% hoa hồng cho các thương vụ mua bán vũ khí.

Thông tin của Shephard Media trích dẫn một nguồn tin quốc phòng của Mỹ cho biết các giới chức quốc phòng Việt Nam thông báo cho phái đoàn của Mỹ ở Hà Nội rằng các thương vụ mua bán vũ khí phải được “lại quả” 1/4 của tổng giá trị. Cũng theo nguồn tin này, cuộc họp đã “đột ngột dừng lại” sau khi phía Việt Nam đưa ra yêu cầu đó. Nguồn tin quốc phòng Mỹ cho Shephard Media biết thông tin này tại một Hội nghị và triển lãm phòng thủ hàng hải IMDEX được tổ chức ở Singapore tháng 5/2017…

Chưa đầy 1/% của ‘12 tỷ đô thương mại’!

Ngân sách quốc phòng của Việt Nam đã tăng từ 1,3 tỷ đôla lên đến 4,6 tỷ đôla (tăng 258%) trong vòng 10 năm, từ năm 2006 - 2015, và hiện thời chiếm khoảng 9% tổng chi ngân sách quốc gia.

Tuy nhiên, ngày càng nhiều thông tin cho biết ngân sách quốc phòng phải “giật gấu vá vai” trong những năm qua, đặc biệt trong bối cảnh ngân sách quốc gia có xu hướng cạn kiệt nhanh chóng và Việt Nam đặc biệt thiếu ngoại tệ để nhập khẩu hàng hóa và trả nợ nước ngoài.

Nói cách khác, Việt Nam đang rơi vào hố trũng hết tiền. Hết tiền cho nhiều chương trình, dự án đầu tư phát triển và cho cả quốc phòng.

Hẳn đó là nguồn cơn sâu xa vì sao những bản hợp đồng đầu tiên của Việt Nam mua vũ khí Mỹ chưa đầy 100 triệu USD - chỉ bằng chưa đầy 1/% so với giá trị các hợp đồng thương mại trên danh nghĩa mà chưa có cơ sở nào để coi là thực chất - mà Thủ tướng Phúc đã mang nụ cười cầu tài mang đến Washington tháng Năm năm 2017 để ve vuốt Tổng thống Trump.


Phạm Chí Dũng
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          Politics have no place in the judiciary      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

If the only consequence of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s 293-day delay in scheduling a consent hearing for Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Obama was that a conservative rather than a moderate Supreme Court justice would replace Justice Anthony...


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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.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)

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          Leftism by inaction at Acosta’s DOL      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
(Paul Mirengoff) I have documented the fact that Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta studiously avoids making policy and personnel decisions that might alienate leftists. Because Acosta’s predecessor, Tom Perez, made the Labor Department a central player in President Obama’s quest radically to transform America, Acosta’s unwillingness to rock the boat is a major victory for the left. The Administrative Review Board (ARB) epitomizes Acosta’s passivity. The ARB is, in effect, the Labor
          Information Technology Trainer - Genesys Works - National, WV      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Prefer Cisco Certified Academic Trainer for IT. Recognized by Forbes and President Obama as a leader in social innovation, Genesys Works began in Houston in...
From Genesys Works - Sat, 30 Jun 2018 10:26:12 GMT - View all National, WV jobs
          Best Profit | Emas Turun Namun Potensi Naik Mengintip      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Best Profit (7/8) - Komoditi emas berjuang bangkit dari kerendahan selama 17 bulan pada hari Jumat, namun pada hari Senin tertahan oleh kombinasi faktor-faktor yang negatif. 

Laporan pekerjaan bulanan AS bulan Juli menguatkan ekspektasi pasar bahwa the Fed akan berpegang pada siklus pengetatan kebijakan moneter yang bertahal dan ini membuat pergerakan naik yang berarti dari metal kuning menjadi tertahan.

Hal ini ditambah dengan minat beli terhadap “greenback”, dengan indeks dolar AS mengalami kenaikan yang lumayan diatas batas kunci 95.00, memicu aksi jual yang baru atas komoditi yang berdenominasikan dolar seperti emas.

Harga emas turun pada hari Senin kemarin dibawah tekanan jual oleh para investor dan juga dolar AS yang menguat dan eskalasi yang lain di dalam konflik perdagangan antara Cina dan Amerika Serikat.

Dolar AS naik pada hari Senin kemarin, menanjak kearah ketinggian satu tahun, dengan meningkatnya retorika perang dagang antara Amerika Serikat dan para partner dagangnya membantu kenaikan matauang Amerika Serikat. Para investor sebagian besar telah membeli dolar AS sebagai asset “safe haven” dibandingkan dengan emas pada saat pertikaian perdagangan antara Amerika Serikat dan Cina meningkat. best profit

Emas spot turun 0.2% di 1,211.16 per ons setelah naik setinggi $1,217.85 pada awal perdagangan. Emas berjangka Amerika Serikat turun 0.3% di $1,219.50 per ons.
Ole Hansen, kepala strategi komoditi Saxo Bank di Copenhagen mengatakan,”Secara keseluruhan tren bearish masih dalam kontrol dan mereka terus menambah posisi jual mereka – baik angka bersih maupun kotor mencapai rekornya.”

Para hedge funds dan money manager menambah 13.931 kontrak kepada posisi jual bersih mereka pada minggu yang berakhir pada 31 Juli, menjadi 41.087 kontrak, terbesar sejak angka rekor menjadi tersedia secara publik pada 2006. Emas telah berada pada tren turun setelah mencapai puncaknya di $1,365.23 pada tanggal 11 April. Metal kuning ini telah turun 11% dan menyentuh kerendahan selama 17 bulan pada hari Jumat minggu lalu.

Media negara Cina pada hari Senin mengecam kebijakan perdagangan Presiden Donald Trump dalam serangan pribadi yang tidak biasa. Analis OCBC Barnabas Gan mengatakan,”Dolar AS yang bertambah mahal membuat tahanan atas rally harga emas. Arah turun lebih jauh bagi emas kelihatannya masih mungkin khususnya jika dolar AS terus mengalami rally.” best profit

Sekalipun kondisi “bearish” masih mendominasi, ada potensi “bullish” yang mengintip. Amerika Serikat pada hari Selasa membawa kembali sanksi ekonomi atas Iran yang diangkat oleh pemerintahan Obama sebagai bagian dari kesepakatan perlucutan nuklir Iran yang dibatalkan oleh Presiden Trump. Kemungkinan naiknya ketegangan antara Amerika Serikat dan Iran bisa menjadi titik nyala api geopolitik berikutnya di dunia kerja, yang bisa mendorong naik harga emas dan perak. Laporan-laporan mengatakan bahwa orang-orang Iran sedang membeli dan menimbun emas karena kekuatiran akan runtuhnya ekonomi Iran.

“Support” terdekat berada pada area $1207-06, yang apabila tertembus bisa meluncur mengetes angka disekitar $1200 dan diakhiri pada $1194. Arah yang sebaliknya dibatasi oleh rintangan terdekat pada area $1128-20, yang mana jika tertembus bisa memicu aksi lindung jual dan menaikkan harga komoditi emas ke area $1224-25 dan diakhiri dengan “resistance” pada $1228. best profit

Sumber : Vibiznews

          Comment on Report: Knicks to trade or stretch Joakim Noah by paleihe      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Thanks Obama! I mean Jackson.
          Qu'est-ce que "Q", la nouvelle théorie du complot qui prend de l'ampleur ?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Tout a commencé en octobre 2017, presqu'un an après l'élection de Donald Trump à la tête des Etats-Unis. Sur le forum controversé 4chan, un dénommé "Q" ou "QAnon" a avancé la théorie selon laquelle les Obama, les Clinton, les Rotschild, plusieurs stars d'Hollywood et d'autres personnes influentes feraient partie d'un réseau criminel qui dirigerait secrètement le pays. "Q" serait un membre haut placé du gouvernement qui tient à informer les citoyens de ce qui se trame au sommet de l'état. 

Heureusement, "Q" connait le sauveur de l'Amérique, et il s'appelle... Donald Trump. Et le plan du président américain serait d'ailleurs déjà à l'oeuvre. Pour "QAnon" et ses adeptes, le milliardaire aurait, par exemple, fait exprès de se rapprocher des Russes pendant la campagne présidentielle. L'enquête qui le vise depuis serait en fait un moyen de se rapprocher en toute discrétion du procureur afin, qu'ensemble, ils fassent tomber l'organisation criminelle qui menace le pays.

Les messages cachés de Trump 

Les sympathisants de "QAnon" voient, dans l'attitude et les discours de Donald Trump, des preuves que leur théorie est juste. Par exemple, le président aurait fait référence à son plan pour sauver l'Amérique lorsqu'il a dit aux journalistes, en octobre dernier, de se méfier du "calme avant la tempête". Lors d'un discours prononcé début août, il aurait dit s'être rendu "17 fois" à Washington avant d'être élu et a fait référence aux "17 démocrates" qui enquêtent dans l'affaire des liens avec la Russie. Or, q est la... 17e lettre de l'alphabet.

Les partisans de "Q" commencent à se multiplier. "QAnon reste un mouvement marginal" regroupant "un très faible nombre de personnes", relativise Joseph Uscinski, professeur à l'Université de Miami, dans le Guardian. Mais les autorités, elles, commencent à s'inquiéter. "Cela me semble être un phénomène vraiment dangereux, surtout quand on voit que certains le lient au président et ses meetings", estime de son côté l'ancien agent du FBI Clint Watts. 


          Why Saudi Arabia is lashing out at Canada      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

In recent days, Saudi Arabia has thrown a fit over Canada's call for the release of recently-jailed activist Samar Badawi, an outspoken champion of women’s rights.

Between the lines: By the standards of the old pantomime act in which Western governments criticize Saudi Arabia’s appalling human rights record but more or less leave the energy-rich and strategically aligned kingdom alone, Canada’s statement hardly stands out. So why the furious response?


The latest...

  • Riyadh has kicked out the Canadian ambassador, recalled its own envoy, cancelled flights between the two countries, and put a freeze on new bilateral trade and investment.
  • A pro-government youth club went so far as to post (but then remove) an image that seemed to threaten Canada with a 9/11 style terrorist attack. 

The bigger picture...

First, there’s a domestic angle. Saudi Arabia’s young Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman is liberalizing parts of Saudi society as part of a broader bid to attract foreign investment and reduce his country’s dependence on oil revenues. 

  • But as part of that plan, he’s staged a power grab and crushed dissent to minimize challenges from rival princes or from conservative circles who hate what he’s up to. This, for example, explains why Prince Mohamed sees no contradiction in allowing women to drive while also arresting the women who have campaigned for allowing women to drive. 
  • By lashing out at Canada – a country big enough to matter, but small enough not to risk any serious fallout – he is sending a signal: external criticism is now just as off-limits as internal criticism. 

Second, there’s an external angle: the Trump effect. Just to be clear, the US has never – under any administration -- really put the screws to Saudi Arabia (or any other Sunni Arab allies) over human rights. But no modern US President has been as unapologetically uninterested in human rights issues as Donald Trump. 

  • At the same time, Trump has signaled he is firmly in Saudi Arabia’s corner when it comes to the Kingdom’s key foreign policy objective, which is to crush Iran. Where Obama’s embrace of the Arab Spring and the Islamic Republic raised fears in Riyadh, Trump has set the House of Saud at ease. 

What to watch: Will Trump intervene on behalf of “very weak and dishonest” Justin Trudeau? Doubtful. And while Ottawa and Riyadh will probably eventually work this all out, other authoritarians will surely take notice that on Trump’s watch there’s room to be tougher at home and pricklier abroad.

Sign up for Signal, a twice-weekly newsletter from GZERO Media, a Eurasia Group company, and follow @saosasha on Twitter.


          Report: Trump Admin Mulling Idea To Scrap Obama-Era Lightbulb Regulations      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The Trump administration is preparing to repeal an Obama-era rule effectively outlawing a wide swath of popular lightbulbs, The Washington Post reported Wednesday. The Department of Energy is ready to scrap a rule broadening the number of lightbulbs that must meet strict energy efficiency standards set to take effect in 2020, according to a document the agency published…
          Michigan Truth Squad: Bill Schuette’s record on pollution under fire      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, a Republican candidate for governor, frequently touts his conservative credentials by mentioning his opposition to environmental protections rolled out under President Barack Obama.
          California Wildfires – By Warmista Design?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Seem our dear Governor Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown vetoed a bill in 2016 that would have improved fire preparations. Coupled with Obama era rules that made fires MORE likely and stronger; it looks to me like we have "California Burning" as a deliberate act for political points. But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong... (Stolen shamelessly from Dennis Miller). Continue reading
          Comment on Obama’s Ed Secretary: We Should Have Pushed Common Core Even Harder by Katos      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Doubling down on stupidity!! Sounds just like obama
          Judicial Watch: Why Did Robert Mueller Collude with Lois Lerner in IRS Scandal?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The Obama administration was the most corrupt in US history
          Literary Loitering 89 - All Stork, No Chin      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The calamitous cultural anarchists have wandered haphazardly into town again, and this time they’ve brought a friend on their never-ending quest for snacks and a comfy place to take a nap. Kicking things off this week is our usual Game of Thrones-watch, which this time doesn’t involve Grr Martin but does involve the possibility that maps of Westeros could be used to assist in a real-world prison break.  We’re a bit confused by that as well.  After that there’s something spicy with details of Sean Spicer’s sizzling tell-all book, then it’s crime-fighting with Barack and Biden, MI6’s plans to recruit teenaged secret agents, and poisoning by books.  Rounding things off is our featured book, which this week is The Synapse Sequence by Daniel Godfrey (New Pompeii, Empire of Time). If you've enjoyed this podcast, then please follow us on Twitter @TGS_TheGeekShow or on other social media by searching for [The Geek Show](http://thegeekshow.co.uk). If you want to show your support then head over to [Patreon](https://www.patreon.com/thegeekshow) and give whatever you can. Alternatively, we have a shop up and running so head over to [The Geek Shop](http://thegeekshow.co.uk/thegeekshop/) and partake in some of our lovely wares. #LiteraryLoitering #TheGeekShow #Books #Novels #TheArts #Theatre #News #Reviews #Podcasts #CulturalAnarchy #Culture #DanielGodfrey #TheSynapseSequence #NewPompeii #EmpireOfTime #TitanBooks #SciFi #ScienceFiction #GameofThrones #BarackObama #JoeBiden #CrimeFighting #SeanSpicer #TheBriefing #Politics #ThePress #ThePresident #DonaldTrump #MI6
          LeBron's school isn't a charter, but it puts kids first—and that's all that matters      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

You’ve probably heard by now that basketball superstar LeBron James opened a school for at-risk kids in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. Called I Promise School (IPS), it’s a joint effort between the I Promise Network, the LeBron James Family Foundation, and Akron Public Schools. The newly renovated building opened its doors on July 30 to 240 students in third and fourth grade, along with forty-three staff members. Though he’s taking his talents to Los Angeles, King James himself was on hand to dedicate the new school.

Just like students who are part of the I Promise Network that serves more than 1,300 children and their families across the district, IPS students were identified based on their reading achievement data. After identifying students who were a year or two behind grade level, administrators used a lottery to randomly select which children would be offered a spot at the new school. These students will receive free uniforms, transportation within two miles, tuition to the University of Akron when they graduate, a bicycle and helmet, and a variety of other resources. Their families will have access to GED classes, job placement assistance, and a food pantry.

James is being lavished with praise from the likes of Barack and Michelle Obama and Steph Curry, and he certainly deserves it. He could have done something else, or nothing at all, to help the kids of Akron. He could have chosen to just shut up and dribble. Instead, he did something remarkable that has the potential to radically transform lives.

As with all major media stories these days, folks are crawling out of the woodwork to offer their opinions. It should come as no surprise to those who work in education policy that there’s been a lot of emphasis on the fact that IPS is a district public school. Not a private school that accepts vouchers, or a charter school (which, for the record, are also public schools), but a “traditional” public school that’s part of Akron Public Schools, the sixth largest district in the state.

It doesn’t really matter what kind of school IPS is as long as it serves kids well. But anyone who’s done their homework can see that IPS is anything but a “traditional” public school. In fact, the school’s defining characteristics are similar to the schools of choice lauded by ed reformers. Extended school day and year? Yes, just like a lot of the country’s best charter networks. A serious emphasis on teacher professional development, with one day a week reserved for development? Yes, just like some other high-performing charter networks. A curriculum anchored in science, technology, engineering, and math? Yes, just like Ohio’s independent, non-district affiliated STEM schools. (IPS is already part of Ohio’s STEM Learning Network.) Alternative schedules and working conditions for teachers? Also yes, just like plenty of charter and private schools.

And then there’s the philanthropic aspect. At ISP, the LeBron James Family Foundation funds “critical elements” of the school, including technology, additional staffing, and professional development. That’s not necessarily unique, since traditional districts receive philanthropic support all the time, but it is worth mentioning because charter schools are the ones that are typically maligned for seeking charitable funding to provide extra help for disadvantaged children.

Despite these similarities, IPS is a traditional public school, and there’s a whole horde of people who are thrilled about this technical distinction. In a recent piece for Education Week, for instance, Jonathan E. Collins says that it’s a good thing IPS isn’t a charter school because “charter schools by design don’t require the same accountability to the public that traditional public schools do.” I’m no expert on the charter laws in other states, but I do know Ohio charter law—and Collins is wrong. Charters in the Buckeye State are evaluated based on the same state report card that traditional public schools are subject to. Charter sponsors—the organizations that are tasked with overseeing charter schools—are evaluated using a rigorous evaluation system that has stiff consequences for poor oversight. As a result of this sponsor accountability system, dozens of low-performing charters have been shuttered in Ohio within the past few years. In addition, should sponsors fail to correct chronic low performance, state law subjects charters to automatic closure. Moreover, as schools of choice, charters face competitive pressures. If families don’t like the way a charter school is run, they don’t have to stay there—and the school loses funding if they leave.

Collins also argues that charters’ “student-selection process has stirred controversy for being biased.” Because of the “mechanisms that some charter schools have used in order to peel off the most promising at risk-students,” traditional districts are left with “unimaginable challenges.” Although studies have shown that the success of charters isn’t attributable to “cream-skimming,” there are still folks like Collins who argue that the only way a group of “those kids” can possibly succeed is if charter schools recruit the “good ones” and leave all the “bad ones” behind. It’s a notion that’s not just offensive to the charter teachers and kids who worked their butts off to learn and achieve, but also to the kids and teachers who are “stuck” in traditional districts.

Collins isn’t the only one who seems to be concerned for the “other kids” who are stuck and left behind. Washington Post writer Valerie Strauss shared the same concern in her piece titled “Props to LeBron James and his new Akron public school—but what about the other kids?” She takes tons of jabs at school choice, including the accusation that charter supporters “no doubt would have preferred that James opened a charter.” As a charter supporter and an Akron native, I find that accusation so ridiculous that it’s not even offensive. All the charter folks I know are thrilled that there’s another high quality option available for Akron kids. Frankly, anyone who doesn’t feel that way should re-evaluate their priorities.

But what stands out most about Strauss’s piece is her supposition that if schools just had more money, then James wouldn’t have had to open IPS at all. “The fact that this school opened only because of the good graces of a very wealthy, civic-minded athlete underscores the continuing problem with education funding in this country,” she writes. “America’s public schools should not have to depend on any wealthy individual or private entity to be sustained or improved.”

She’s not necessarily wrong. It would be great to have a never-ending supply of cash. If there’s anything we can learn from this spring’s teacher strikes, it’s that there are places in this nation where schools and teachers are severely—almost criminally—underfunded. But many states and localities have limited taxpayer resources that can be used to support public education. So here, too, is a place where we can learn a lesson from charter schools. Across the nation and in Ohio, charters accomplish phenomenal outcomes with less government funding than traditional public districts enjoy. These high-performing charter organizations put taxpayer funds to good use—something that bureaucratic, big-city districts don’t always do. It’s less about how much money there is and more about how it’s spent.

Thanks to LeBron James and his partners, the I Promise School has plenty of funding. Its founding principles and leadership seem to be focused on the right thing—using resources to do what’s best for students. At the end of the day, none of us should really care whether IPS is a district, charter, or private school. What matters is what it can do for kids. And so far, the future looks bright.


          DEMAND INVESTIGATION OF HILLARY AND THE DEEP STATE      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Serious laws were broken concerning national security and treasonous actions during OBama's administration. From the email server to Uranium One to ileagally leasing our port (Pelican deal) and more!
          [ Politics ] Open Question : Didn't Trump promise The People a system of health insurance that would be both better than and cheaper than Obamacare?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Where is it? ... All he and the GOP have done so far is pick at Obamacare in ways that have only made health insurance more expensive.
          Comment on New Back To School Normal For Flagler School Employees: How To Deal With a Mass Killer by Jason B      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Somehow I knew it wouldn't be long before someone blamed Obama, the deplorables are anything if not predictable. So what's the conman-in-chief's brilliant solution to the problem? Oh, right ...... more guns.
          Comment on New Back To School Normal For Flagler School Employees: How To Deal With a Mass Killer by Sometimesiwonderwtf      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
You cant really blame obama or trump. Kids get bullied and feel alienated and either strike back or kill themselves. Social media doesnt help, if anything, it exacerbates the problem. I was in the 8th grade when the columbine shooting occurred. I remember it well, and the conversations we had as a class about it. I remember most of my class saying" i cant believe it". I was picked on absolute s**t tons through mid and high school. Mercilessly. I could believe it. I could see how itd get that bad and you just want to hit back. Harder than all the bastards who terrorize you. The difference is i didnt kill anyone . Lots of kids go through it, still go through it. Its a miserable existence. People i was close to in those years told me " high school isnt the end all of life. You're going to graduate and move timend things will be so much better". It was hard to believe at that time, but it was the absolute truth. Took a long time to see it. In the grand scheme of our lives, high school is a drop in the bucket. I think if teenagers could be shown that, thered be alot less minors dying, by their own hand or someone elses. Food for thought.
          Comment on New Back To School Normal For Flagler School Employees: How To Deal With a Mass Killer by DoomedToRepeatAgain      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
If we are going to make this political, then blame President Van Buren in 1840. Can’t trust those Whigs....That is when the first school shootIng happened..... or even President Harrison in 1891 for not doing enough to protect the lives in Liberty, MIssissippi when a mass school shooting wounded 14. Complaining about a President/political party on FlaglerLive doesn’t change anything. If you want to make a difference, vote. Contact your Congressman or Senator... even if you can’t stand them. Write letters, call their offices. That is a start. But this goes beyond Obama , Trump or whomever the person in power that you think was great or not great in the day.
          Letter: Term limits in dire need      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

I am so tired of hearing and reading about the Russian involvement into the 2016 election! Evidently no one remembers the Obama administration sent people to campaign against Benjamin Netanyahu during his reelection in Israel. They were stationed outside polling locations, and equipped with all sorts of propaganda. There also were Black Panthers at our […]

The post Letter: Term limits in dire need appeared first on The Lima News.


          The necessary priorities      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Kate Randall (WSWS) offers a really important article:
 
For an increasing number of older Americans, life in retirement is the diametric opposite of the “golden years.” Instead of being comfortably cushioned by a pension and Social Security, a significant section of the senior population faces dwindling income, vanishing pensions, inadequate savings, mounting health care costs and rising debt. Debt collectors are visiting them at their low-paying jobs or knocking at their door.
A new study by the Consumer Bankruptcy Project finds that this “perfect storm” of adversity is translating into desperation. “When the costs of aging are offloaded onto a population that simply does not have access to adequate resources, something has to give,” the study states, “and older Americans turn to what little is left of the social safety net—bankruptcy court.”
The research documented in “The Graying of US Bankruptcy: Fallout for Life in a Risk Society,” finds that the rate of people 65 and older filing for bankruptcy is three times what it was in 1991. The same age group also accounts for a far greater share of all bankruptcy filers. The study suggests that this surge in filings by seniors is being driven by a three-decade-long shift of financial risk from the government and employers to individuals.
Seniors must wait longer for full Social Security benefits (age 70 rather than 65), defined benefit pensions have been replaced with 401(k)s, and older people are spending more out of pocket for medical care not covered by Medicare. Stagnant and declining incomes, job loss and the inability to find a decent-paying job to make ends meet are compounding the problem. Many seniors are one illness, accident or income drop away from financial ruin.

That is so frightening.  And I immediately thought of several relatives and friends who are in that risk category.

There's no reason for this.  There is more than enough money for war.  There should be more than enough money to take care of the American people.

We really need to demand politicians start prioritizing our real needs -- we don't need a dime for war.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Tuesday:


Tuesday, August 7, 2018.

We're going to start with something non-Iraq at all (we'll also be ending with something non-Iraq).  I know Illeana Douglas and have known her for years.  As Rebecca noted last month, I first heard of Leslie Moonves' assault of Illeana years ago.  At THIRD this week, we did "Unlike Alyssa Milano, we'll stand with Illeana Douglas."  (Ann offered "Alyssa Milano reveals she doesn't give a damn about women" last night.)

Alyssa Milano is not who she claims or self-presents as.  Rose McGowan rightly called her a lie.  Though Corey Feldman was sympathetic to her, he publicly mocked her -- rightly so -- when she claimed she never had any idea that he or Corey Haim had been molested as children.  She knew.  She claims she never knew that Brad Kern was abusive to women on the set of CHARMED -- where she was a producer.  Everyone else knew.  There were complaints.  Repeated complaints.  She took a producer's credit (and pay) and it was her job to provide a safe work environment.  She failed.  To TIME magazine and others, she has presented herself as the head of #MeToo (after stealing the phrase from African-American  woman Tarana Burke -- one of her many cultural appropriations).  Yet though she Tweets over and over daily, she's still not Tweeted about Illeana or any of the other women who spoke out in Ronan Farrow's NEW YORKER piece.


Not one Tweet.  CAA is the reason I'm not part of #MeToo.  CAA pimped out women constantly.  There's a foreign actress who appeared in several hit films and was used by CAA before and after.  They pimped her out.  She remains destroyed today.  (If she chooses to tell her story publicly, I will support her.  Currently, she's still in therapy attempting to deal with what they put her through.)  Alyssa's married to CAA's David Bugliari and Alyssa's a "CAA speaker" that you can 'book.'

Alyssa's silence backs up everything many of us have long said.  She's is not a friend to women, she is stilted actress determined to self-promote, desperate for a career.  She is not about empowering women.  She's is about co-opting anything she can.

As for CBS, Leslie is part of a long pattern there that began with William Paley and the hell he put his wife (Babe Paley through) -- one affair after another, while he stopped having sex with her early in their marriage, his refusal to allow her to raise their children or even hug them in front of him.  He was pure filth and set the tone all those years ago.  CBS has always been hostile to women.  Most networks would be thrilled to have a hit show but CBS has always only been thrilled to have a hit show if it starred men.  Whether we're talking DESIGNING WOMEN, CAGNEY & LACEY, CYBILL, THE NANNY or the now returning MURPHY BROWN, CBS repeatedly undercuts and undermines their programs with female leads, undercutting them, pushing them through one time change after another, etc., etc.  At THIRD, Ava and I have long documented the institutional sexism at CBS and we've done it for a reason.

Leslie is guilty and if I were Julie Chen, sleeping with my married boss and then lucky enough to get him to leave his wife for me, I guess I'd rush forward to defend him too.  I mean, what career would Julie have if she hadn't slept with Leslie?  None at all.  I could go on and on here.

The point is Illeana told the truth and has been telling it to a number of us over the years.  And CBS has made clear that they do not take harassment seriously by allowing Moonves to remain on the job while he is under investigation.  He should be put on administrative leave.  Anything less goes to CBS not taking the issue seriously.  He is accused of harassment and attempted rape.  These are serious charges.  If you take them seriously, you put him on administrative leave until the investigation is over.  Otherwise?  You're saying work safety and the right of women to be safe at work does not matter.

Grasp that fake ass Alyssa is not just refusing to stand up for Illeana, she's refusing to stand up for women who may encounter Leslie.  He needs to be removed during the investigation.


Meanwhile, protests continue in Iraq.

Why?  Each year, Iraq rakes in billion from oil sales.  And the World Bank estimates the current population of Iraq to be 37.2 million.

With that kind of money coming in and that small of a population, meeting the needs of the people should be easy.

But it hasn't been.  The World Bank notes, for example, "The poverty rate increased from 19.8 percent in 2012 to an estimated 22.5 percent in 2014."  How does that happen?  Government corruption.  Politicians and officials stealing the public's money.

And it leaves nothing for the people.  Hence the video below.



Another video of Iraqi children eating from the garbage.



0:19

142 views










Live Right: The Protests

Pockets of are ongoing throughout cities in the south of the country, perhaps not as large as in recent weeks, but will the same demands of electricity, potable water and employment. looks at the situation. 🇮🇶💪🏼



28 views
0:08 / 1:29


1:21

28 views







The corruption has enriched many.  Nouri al-Maliki's son, for example, has some really swank living spaces in England and some really sporty cars.  That's nice for a man who's never really worked in his life.  But that's awful for the Iraqi people.

The Iraqi people are protesting to save their lives.  They are risking their lives with these ongoing protests and 14 have already died.




The excessive violence and cruelty used by the Iraqi security forces ended the lives of 14 demonstrators in 10 days of ongoing protests calling for economic and service improvements," the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights said."







They are demanding basic rights including access to electricity and potable water, including jobs.

These protests are now a month old and it's amazing how many of the Twitter 'social justice warriors' have ignored these protests.

Why do they have to protest?

Among other things because the US government destroyed Iraq with the (ongoing) war.  The US still bombs Iraq.  Monday, the US Defense Dept announced:




Strikes in Iraq
There were no reported strikes conducted in Iraq yesterday.
On Aug. 4 near Dulab, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of an engagement against ISIS targets, destroying two ISIS tunnels.
On Aug. 3 near Wadi Ashai, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of an engagement against an ISIS tactical unit.
There were no reported strikes conducted in Iraq on Aug. 2.
On Aug. 1 near Wadi Ashai, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of five engagements against ISIS targets, destroying two ISIS-held buildings and three ISIS supply caches.
On July 31 near Wadi Ashai and Wadi Zagatoon, coalition military forces conducted two strikes consisting of two engagements against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS-held building.


On 30 July 30 near Wadi Ashai, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of an engagement against ISIS targets. The strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit.

The US government turned Iraq into a land of widows and orphans.  And it compounded the problems by 'selecting' Iraq's prime ministers.  Yesterday, we went over Nouri al-Maliki and Barack Obama, then-US president, selected Hayder al-Abadi to replace him in 2014.  (After Nouri's actions led to the rise of ISIS in Iraq.)




Supporting Abadi "was the easy way for the US to try to protect the gains it has made in Iraq over the last four years without having to do the substantial groundwork that would have been required to build up a range of political alternatives"
          [ggersh] Matt Stoller?Verified account @matthewstoller FollowFollow @matthewstoller Mor...      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Matt Stoller?Verified account @matthewstoller

FollowFollow @matthewstoller

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Matt Stoller Retweeted Atrios

Obama didn't prevent a depression. He prevented a New Deal.

Matt Stoller added,


Atrios @Atrios
2 great myths of the Great Recession: 1) fixing it was some sort of miraculous work that only geniuses could do
2) they fixed it


Show this thread






6:30 AM - 7 Aug 2018




https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/08/links-8-8-18.html

          Texas takes DACA to court, says immediate injunction against Obama-era program 'vital to restoring the rule of law'      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The state of Texas is seeking a nationwide injunction against the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA), telling a federal judge in a hearing Wednesday that the government should be immediately barred from issuing or renewing permits under the program.
          Washington Post, NY Times Show Double-Standard When Talking Obama, Trump      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The Washington Post and the New York Times showed a stark contrast in their coverage of jobs reports in 2016 (under then-President Obama) and 2018 (under President Trump). In 2016, the media trumpeted the addition of 156,000 jobs in September 2016 as a “steady pace of hiring” and a good sign for “the American jobs […]
          Lawmakers call for transparency in insurance plans funding abortion      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Washington D.C., Aug 7, 2018 / 01:16 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- More than 100 members of Congress are asking the federal government to issue new regulations ensuring greater transparency in health insurance plans that include abortion.

“Consumers have a right to know” if they are funding abortion coverage, said Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) in an Aug. 6 statement.

“The Trump Administration now has the opportunity to take action and enforce the law to bring transparency to Obamacare’s abortion coverage and the abortion surcharge. No person should have to pay for abortion coverage they don’t want,” he said.

Smith, who co-chairs the bipartisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, was among the signatories of an Aug. 6 letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar.

The letter points to Section 1303 of the Affordable Care Act, which mandates that if a qualified health plan covers elective abortions, it must do so by collecting a payment separate from the standard premium, and depositing that payment into a separate account.

However, the signatories of the letter said that current enforcement regulations, dating back to the Obama era, are so permissive as to render the rules meaningless. The regulations allow for health insurers to collect an abortion surcharge without separately identifying it on monthly invoices or collecting it separately.

This makes the surcharge “all but invisible,” the members of Congress said, noting that a Government Accountability Office report in 2014 found that many insurers were ignoring Section 1303’s requirements.

“HHS should issue new regulations that align with the clear meaning and legislative history of Section 1303 of ACA and its requirement for a truly ‘separate payment,’ and provide ample mechanisms for enforcement,” they said.

“The new regulations should also clarify that all qualified health plans that cover elective abortion must provide notice of such coverage to consumers at the time of enrollment.”

Doing so, the signers said, will provide transparency so that consumers do not unwittingly purchase abortion coverage that they do not want.

 


          8/9/2018: ARTS: Black Eyed Peas get it as they ring the times      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Ten years ago Will.i.am released Yes We Can, an anthem of hope in support of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Then Obama was elected and Will.i.am made It’s a New Day, a joyous celebration of a victory he never thought possible: a black president...
          EPA and NHTSA Release Proposal to Revise Obama Administration Fuel Standards      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
On Aug. 2, the Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a joint notice of proposed rulemaking, the "Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Rule for Model Years 2021-2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks," which would amend certain existing Corporate Average Fuel Economy and tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions standards for passenger cars and light trucks and establish new standards.
           Juez amplía el plazo para argumentos sobre el DACA       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Un juez federal estadunidense de Texas declinó pronunciarse sobre la legalidad del programa DACA, que protege de la deportación a jóvenes migrantes, y dio hasta el lunes próximo como plazo para que las partes involucradas presenten documentos a favor o en contra.

La audiencia encabezada por el juez del Distrito Sur de Texas, Andrew Hanen, concluyó sin que el magistrado decidiera suspender a mantener el programa de Acción Diferida para los Llegados en la Infancia (DACA), que beneficia a unos 700 mil jóvenes migrantes traídos de niños por sus padres indocumentados. 

Siete estados, encabezados por Texas, interpusieron una demanda con el argumento de que el DACA es inconstitucional, por lo que exigen la eliminación del programa iniciado en 2012 por el entonces presidente Barack Obama y que protege a unos 700 mil jóvenes migrantes, conocidos como "dreamers". 

Durante la audiencia, que tuvo unas tres horas de duración, el juez Hanen escuchó los argumentos tanto de la parte demandante, encabezada por el fiscal general de Texas, Ken Paxton, como de los defensores del DACA, encabezados por el Fondo Mexicano-Estadunidense para la Defensa Legal y la Educación (Maldef). 

Este magistrado ya falló en 2015 contra el programa de Acción Diferida para Padres de Ciudadanos Estadunidenses y Residentes permanentes Legales (DAPA), una orden ejecutiva del presidente Obama que buscaba proteger a los progenitores de los "dreamers". 

Si el juez Hanen dictamina que el DACA no es válido, entraría en conflicto con otras tres resoluciones judiciales emitidas por otras cortes en Estados Unidos que se han pronunciado a favor del programa, por lo que se considera que el asunto podría terminar en la Corte Suprema de EU. 

En septiembre de 2017, la administración de Donald Trump ordenó la suspensión del DACA, la cual debía entrar en vigor el 5 de marzo pasado, sin embargo, la medida no se aplicó debido a los recursos legales que se presentaron contra la orden del presidente

En los meses transcurridos desde entonces, tres jueces federales han dictaminado que la decisión no estaba adecuadamente justificada y ordenaron que el programa se mantenga.

jamj


          Anthem's focus on Medicare over Obamacare boosts profits      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Anthem’s decision to exit some individual markets under the Affordable Care Act in favor of growing its Medicare business helped boost profits in the health insurer’s second quarter. Anthem chief executive Gail Boudreaux said the company plans to invest more in operations and acquisitions in the Medicare Advantage business, which has helped offset the loss of medical members. In the second quarter, Anthem added 254,000 Medicare members thanks in part to acquisitions the company made in south Florida, a lucrative market for Medicare Advantage plans.
          Four US cities sue over Trump 'sabotage' of Obamacare      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The Trump administration has finalized a rule to allow insurers to sell short-term health insurance plans for up to 12 months, a controversial move that has been criticized by the industry. The Affordable Care Act has been under assault by the Trump administration for more than a year. Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies are required to spend 80 to 85 percent of their premiums on health care or refund money to their customers.
          Companies that sell short-term health plans get a boost after Trump administration eases ACA rules      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Companies that sell short-term health plans got a boost after the Trump administration issued a final rule that loosened restrictions on plans that don't comply with the Affordable Care Act. The new rule allows consumers to enroll in short-term coverage for up to 36 months, instead of just 3 months allowed under the ACA rules set up under former President Barack Obama, more commonly known as Obamacare.
          ENERGY EFFICIENCY: Will it be lights out for Obama's bulb standards?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
A Department of Energy document suggesting a possible rollback of lightbulb standards has sparked outrage among promoters of energy efficiency.
          The David Pakman Show - August 8, 2018      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

--On the Show:

--Andrew Yang, author, entrepreneur, and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate running on universal basic income, Medicare for All, and human-centered capitalism joins David to discuss UBI and his platform

--Republicans spend millions on the Ohio 12th Congressional district special election and barely hold on in a race that is still officially too close to call between Republican Troy Balderson and Democrat Danny O'Connor in what is another sign that the November midterms might not be good for House Republicans

--For the first time ever, voters repeal a "right to work" law by ballot referendum, as Missouri Republicans see the law which would further repress worker and union rights rejected by voters

--Hatriot Mail is back

--The FCC and its Trump-appointed Chairman Ajit Pai admit they lied when they claimed that the comment submission form was taken down by "hackers" during the debate about repealing Net Neutrality, but Ajit Pai blames Obama

--Contrary to what Donald Trump has most recently claimed, the Trump Tower meeting with Russians to get "dirt on Hillary" Clinton was not "totally legal"

--A Marine is kicked out of the Marines for his role in the white supremacist march that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia

--Voicemail caller claims that people who watch Alex Jones are "insane"

--On the Bonus Show: Pope says death penalty always wrong, mobile phone voting experiment, Snapchat dysmorphia, much more...

--Become a Supporter: http://www.davidpakman.com/membership

--Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/davidpakmanshow

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--Leave us a message at The David Pakman Show Voicemail Line (219)-2DAVIDP


          Pompeo: Iran Needs 'Enormous Change' To Reverse Reimposed U.S. Sanctions      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the White House is ready to enforce sanctions against Iran that will be re-imposed starting Monday — an effort by the U.S. to "push back" against Tehran's "malign activity." The renewed sanctions follow President Trump's decision in May to withdraw the U.S. from the multi-nation nuclear accord with Tehran. The 2015 agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, of JCPOA, brought a suspension of U.S. sanctions in exchange for Tehran's agreement to end its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Trump has long contended that the Obama-era deal was flawed from the start and in his May announcement that the U.S. would withdraw, the president said the structure of the accord was "decaying and rotten." Speaking with reporters on Air Force One on Sunday, Pompeo described Tehran's leadership as "bad actors" and said the president's goal is to get Iran to "behave like a normal country." He said the administration is willing to look beyond the
          Leaving Costco Requires More Documentation Than Voting In Chicago...      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

If You Care About Interference In Our Elections, You'd Care About Voter ID...


@DemandVoterID

Don't Let Putin Steal Our Elections, Demand Voter ID!


          A RACIST COMMUNIST FAMINE GROWS IN SOUTH AFRICA      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa
Leftist land seizures and racist politics will lead to genocide.

"Strongman politics are ascendant," Barack Obama warned in South Africa. He spoke passionately about "the politics of fear and resentment" at the Mandela Lecture. He worried that we were entering a world, “where might makes right and politics is a hostile competition between tribes and races and religions.”

While the media used the remarks to attack Trump's meeting with Putin, Obama had shared a stage with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa who had come to power promising to seize land from white farmers. Ramaphosa was the latest in a series of ANC strongmen, including his predecessor, an alleged rapist, beginning with the Communist terrorist whose legacy Obama was commemorating.

President Ramaphosa had vowed early on to seize land from white farmers without compensation. "The expropriation of land without compensation is envisaged as one of the measures that we will use to accelerate redistribution of land to black South Africans,” he had declared. And denied that such racist Communist tactics were unconstitutional. Now he’s moving to modify South Africa’s constitution.

Initially, the ANC, which is partnered with the South African Communist Party, had claimed that seizing land would not violate the law. Now it’s actually going to change the South African constitution.

“It has become pertinently clear that our people want the constitution to be more explicit about expropriation of land without compensation,” President Ramaphosa announced.

When your only rule is mob rule by ANC thugs, it doesn’t really matter what a piece of paper says.

“We will accelerate our land redistribution programme not only to redress a grave historical injustice, but also to bring more producers into the agricultural sector and to make more land available for cultivation,” Ramaphosa claimed in his State of the Nation address.

Zimbabwe had already made great strides in improving agriculture through land seizures.

Land was stolen from the farmers who knew how to work it and handed out to politically connected thugs. Soon the former "bread basket" of Southern Africa was starving. Black groups pleaded with the white farmers to remain. Rural Zimbabwe died. Hyperinflation made the currency worthless. A trillion dollars might not be enough to buy one egg. A former food exporter was forced to rely on food aid.

"If white settlers just took the land from us without paying for it," Mugabe had declared, "we can, in a similar way, just take it from them without paying for it."

Ramaphosa’s rhetoric is an echo of one of Africa’s worst racist strongmen. Land seizures won’t bring South African land into “full use”, as he claims. It will mean productive land falling into the hands of ANC thugs who will be too corrupt, incompetent and greedy to do the hard work of working the land.

South Africa’s agricultural sector will go the way of Zimbabwe.

Cyril Ramaphosa is one of South Africa's richest men and has an estimated net worth of $550 million. How did a socialist student activist make a mint? The answer is an inevitable as it is unsurprising.

South Africa’s agricultural sector has been steadily in decline. Farms used to provide millions of jobs. Now they offer less than a million. Wheat planting has fallen to a third. Cotton to a tenth. A country that once...Read More HERE

          Kamala Harris becomes Dems' betting favorite for 2020...      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Kamala Harris becomes Dems' betting favorite for 2020...


(Second column, 2nd story, link)



          Hollywood Anoints Newsom The New Obama With Big Bucks Backing...      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Hollywood Anoints Newsom The New Obama With Big Bucks Backing...


(Second column, 3rd story, link)



          PUBLIC LANDS: FWS faces legal threat for ending ban on pesticides, GMOs      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Conservation groups plan to sue the Fish and Wildlife Service over its decision to lift an Obama-era ban on certain pesticides and genetically modified crops on national wildlife refuges.
          PEOPLE: Obama's negotiator on ozone pact to lead institute      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
President Obama's chief negotiator for a global agreement on heat-trapping hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) will take the helm of the University of Michigan's Graham Sustainability Institute in October.
          Lessons Of The North Korea 'Leap Day Deal'      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: President Trump is planning to sit down with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un sometime this spring. President Trump wants to discuss de-nuclearizing North Korea's weapons program. But not long ago, Kim signed on to a deal that would do just that. And the agreement fell apart just weeks after it was signed. NPR's Elise Hu looks back at the lessons from that diplomatic failure. ELISE HU, BYLINE: The setting for this story is Washington and Pyongyang. It's Christmas 2011. Barack Obama was president. Van Jackson was at the Pentagon. VAN JACKSON: And I was working for the secretary of defense as the country director for Korea policy. HU: Journalist Jean Lee was flying in and out of Pyongyang a lot. JEAN LEE: Because I was negotiating the opening of the AP Pyongyang bureau in North Korea. HU: And Kim Jong Il, the father of current leader Kim Jong Un, was still alive and in charge. The goal for the United States when it came to
          Comment on That nasty rightwinger, Alex Jones, is finally terminated by Bob Rossi      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
"Hillary Clinton…personally murdered and chopped up and raped” children" Did she chop them up before raping them, or after? "“Obama has been having sex with 10 dudes a day,”" Wow, how has he been finding the time to do all those campaign appearances?
          Grenzwerte für Neuwagen - Trumps krude Logik für laschere Verbrauchsobergrenzen      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Starker Verkehr auf dem Highway 101 in Los Angeles. (AFP / Mark Ralston)Sparsame Neuwagen führen zu mehr Autofahren und einem höherem Unfallrisiko - mit dieser Logik steuert die US-Regierung gegen strenge Verbrauchsobergrenzen. Doch inzwischen machen sich 14 Bundesstaaten für die Beibehaltung der unter Ex-Präsident Barack Obama eingeführten schärferen Grenzwerte stark.

Von Sebastian Hesse
www.deutschlandfunk.de, Umwelt und Verbraucher
Hören bis: 14.02.2019 10:41
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          Rolling back the car fuel economy standard will kill 60,000 jobs      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

As the barrage of dumb Trump stuff marches on (Yay crimes! Boo water!), analysis of Trump’s stupid policy moves often fails to grab the public’s attention (yay asbestos!) One of the administration’s most stupid policies of late is its decision to reverse Obama-era fuel economy standards. Don’t let the official language about the supposed lifesaving benefits fool you: rolling back these […]

The post Rolling back the car fuel economy standard will kill 60,000 jobs appeared first on Red, Green, and Blue.


          July Arrests of Migrant Families at Border Up 173 Percent over 2017      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The U.S. immigration system saw a 173 percent increase in migrant family units illegally crossing the border in July over last year. The apprehension of Family Unit Aliens (FMUA) fell slightly from June to July but remains at Obama-era levels.
          Arne Duncan: ‘President Obama’s Competitiveness Shined Through On Pickup Court’      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The Former Secretary of Education broke down the pickup basketball game of President Obama and a pair of NBA greats.
          Don Lemon attacks Melania Trump because she stood by her husband when Trump spoke up about Obama’s birth certificate      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Angry CNN Host Don Lemon Attacks at First Lady Melania Trump (VIDEO)  by Jim Hoft August 8, 2018 95 Comments President Trump took a swipe at CNN host Don Lemon this past weekend after his interview with NBA star Lebron James. In Lemon’s interview Lebron James said he would NEVER sit across from President Trump. Don Lemon […]
          Texas takes DACA to court, says immediate injunction against Obama-era program ‘vital to restoring the rule of law’      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The state of Texas is seeking a nationwide injunction against the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA), telling a federal judge in a hearing Wednesday that the government should be barred immediately from issuing or renewing permits under the program. Texas is part of a 10-state coalition that filed a still-pending lawsuit to end DACA […]
          Trump About to Deal Another Crushing Blow to Unions      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

by Tim Pearce Unions are on the verge of losing one of their staunchest allies on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) when Democrat Mike Pearce’s term runs out the end of August. The NLRB oversees organized labor and employer-employee relations. Pearce joined the board in April 2010 after former President Barack Obama appointed him during a…

The post Trump About to Deal Another Crushing Blow to Unions appeared first on The Federalist Papers.


          Connecticut Looks To Sell Its Obamacare Exchange To Other States      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Kevin Counihan, the CEO of Access Health CT , is walking through the 15th floor of a downtown Hartford office building that houses Connecticut's health insurance marketplace. He passes the legal department, the IT folks and the consultants, then stops in front of three large, wall-mounted computer screens. "These are showing in real time, activity on our website. So, for example, right now you're looking at the number of concurrent users on the site," Counihan says. "So you can see that there are 212 people in the process of applying for insurance on the site." The monitors and technology are just a part of what his agency is doing right. Connecticut is widely seen as one of the states that is succeeding with the Affordable Care Act . The state's website works well, and it has already exceeded its first-year enrollment goals. Other states have noticed. "We were approached by several states who called us and said, 'Would you have any interest in franchising your exchange to us as a
          Call Centers Got Big Deals Under Health Law, But How Big?       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Before the Affordable Care Act was even open for enrollment, Viviana Alvarado was already taking calls from people who wanted to know more. She and about 40 of her colleagues are staffing the phones for Maximus , the company Connecticut has contracted to run its call center. The government contractors running the troubled HealthCare.gov website have been under intense scrutiny in the past month, but those businesses aren't the only ones being paid to rollout Obamacare. In the states that are running their own health care exchanges, practices vary. Oregon, for instance, set up its own call centers; other states, like Connecticut, farm that business out to companies like Maximus. "It's a huge opportunity, and it remains so," says Rick Howard , an analyst at Gartner, a technology research firm. "There are millions of millions of folks coming in for insurance coverage. That represents a great opportunity for both commercial carriers and for those contractors who are servicing health care."
          Connecticut Takes Obamacare To The People      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
All across Connecticut, you can see billboards and TV ads, hear radio spots and get pamphlets about how to get insurance under the new health care law starting Oct. 1. But the state is also using less traditional, and more expensive, ways to get the word out. At state beaches this summer, outreach workers handed out tubes of sunscreen that said, "Get Covered." The state is opening up Apple-like storefronts . And outreach workers have fanned across the state to talk with people attending fairs and shows , like the America's Most Wanted rap concert featuring superstars Lil Wayne and T.I. Papilon Ferreiras, 21, was at the concert. He says he works about 35 hours a week at Taco Bell and would like health insurance. "Who wouldn't? Who wouldn't like health insurance?" he says. This is where Emanuela Cebert, an outreach worker, sees an opening. She walks up to Ferreiras, tablet computer in hand. "If I had a way for you to get more affordable health insurance or health insurance in general,
          KS primary and OH special election both too close to call      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Two closely-watched races from yesterday’s primaries and special elections are too close to call. Stephanie Ruhle breaks down what the razor-thin margins mean for the midterms and for President Trump in 2020. Weighing in: Senior Strategist and Pollster for Obama’s presidential campaign Joel Benenson and GOP Strategist Evan Siegfried.
          Comment on Are the Babies in the Empty Chair? An Open Letter to President Obama by Priests for Life leaders praise congressman for statements on abortion | TruthPR TruthPR      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
[…] related matters, Dr. King addressed the issue of gun violence and abortion in an open letter to President Obama, and Father Pavone commended Iowa Rep. Steve King for his decision to leave his […]
          Trump Administration Moves To Kill Rules For Organic Eggs      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The Trump administration has announced plans to withdraw a regulation that would have required organic egg producers to give their hens room to graze outdoors. The move was widely anticipated; the U.S. Department of Agriculture has repeatedly delayed the date on which these regulations would go into effect. But organic advocates still reacted with outrage and promised to fight the decision in court. It's an unusual situation, because in this case the demand for regulation is coming from the very organic farmers who would need to meet those new rules. But those farmers say those rules are needed to maintain a level playing field in the organic industry. Current organic rules require animals to have "access" to the outdoors. The largest egg producers, however, have built chicken houses that hold tens of thousands of hens, and the hens have access to the outdoors only through small enclosed "porches." Under the new rules, finalized at the end of the Obama administration, these porches
          California: Pinnacles National Park      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Signed into law on January 10, 2013 by President Obama, today we would be heading to the newest US N
          Has DHS Given Up on Repealing DACA?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Kevin Drum has (another) excellent post at Mother Jones: While I was catching up on some stuff I missed during my weekend dex haze, Steve Benen alerted me to the fact that a federal judge, once again, told the Department of Homeland Security that it couldn’t rescind DACA, the mini-DREAM act that President Obama put in place […]
          Comment on Arkansas Highpoint And Gangster Museums by Kick      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
C. R. Stucki 177 I believe Obama spent an entire 2 weeks in the company of his father as a child and never saw him again. His father had an African name and didn't practice Islam. Obama and his mother were both named after their fathers. Being named Barack Obama after his absent father who didn't raise him wouldn't make Obama a Muslim any more than being named Stanley Dunham made his mother a man. Fun fact about Stanley Dunham: James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok was her sixth cousin. I hope somewhere in all these comments you realized that your belief that Poor Romney being a Mormon was not likely a hindrance to his path to the presidency. Whatever factors he had to overcome paled in comparison to those of his opponent, wouldn't you say? Anyway, I would have thought that you would be someone that would be infinitely aware that you can't judge a person by their name. :)
          Ten Bombshell Revelations From Seymour Hersh's New Autobiography       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Among the more interesting revelations to surface as legendary investigative journalist Seymour Hersh continues a book tour and gives interviews discussing his newly published autobiography, Reporter: A Memoir, is that he never set out to write it at all, but was actually deeply engaged in writing a massive exposé of Dick Cheney a project he decided couldn't ultimately be published in the current climate of aggressive persecution of whistleblowers which became especially intense during the Obama years.

Hersh has pointed out he worries his sources risk exposure while taking on the Cheney book, which ultimately resulted in the famed reporter opting to write an in-depth account of his storied career instead — itself full of previously hidden details connected with major historical events and state secrets

In a recent wide-ranging interview with the UK Independent, Hersh is finally asked to discuss in-depth some of the controversial investigative stories he's written on Syria, Russia-US intelligence sharing, and the Osama bin Laden death narrativewhich have gotten the Pulitzer Prize winner and five-time Polk Award recipient essentially blacklisted from his regular publication, The New Yorker magazine, for which he broke stories of monumental importance for decades.

Though few would disagree that Hersh "has single-handedly broken more stories of genuine world-historical significance than any reporter alive (or dead, perhaps)" — as The Nation put it — the man who exposed shocking cover-ups like the My Lai Massacre, the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, and the truth behind the downing of Korean Air Flight 007, has lately been shunned and even attacked by the American mainstream media especially over his controversial coverage of Syria and the bin Laden raid in 2011.

But merely a few of the many hit pieces written on this front include The Washington Post's "Sy Hersh, journalism giant: Why some who worshiped him no longer do," and elsewhere "Whatever happened to Seymour Hersh?" or "Sy Hersh's Chemical Misfire" in Foreign Policy — the latter which was written, it should be noted, by a UK blogger who conducts chemical weapons "investigations" via YouTube and Google Maps (and this is not an exaggeration). 

The Post story begins by acknowledging, "But Sy Hersh now has a problem: He thinks 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue lied about the death of Osama bin Laden, and it seems nearly everyone is mad at him for saying so" — before proceeding to take a sledgehammer to Hersh's findings while painting him as some kind of conspiracy theorist (Hersh published the bin Laden story for the London Review of Books after his usual New Yorker rejected it). 

Seymour Hersh broke the story of CIA's illegal domestic operations with a front page story in the New York Times on December 22, 1974.

However, the mainstream pundits piling on against his reporting of late ignore the clearly establish historical pattern when it comes to Hersh: nearly all of the biggest stories of his career were initially met with incredulity and severe push back from both government officials and even his fellow journalists, and yet he's managed to emerge proven right and ultimately vindicated time and again. 

* * *

Here are ten bombshell revelations and fascinating new details to lately come out of both Sy Hersh's new book, Reporter, as well as interviews he's given since publication...

1) On a leaked Bush-era intelligence memo outlining the neocon plan to remake the Middle East

(Note: though previously alluded to only anecdotally by General Wesley Clark in his memoir and in a 2007 speech, the below passage from Seymour Hersh is to our knowledge the first time this highly classified memo has been quoted. Hersh's account appears to corroborate now retired Gen. Clark's assertion that days after 9/11 a classified memo outlining plans to foster regime change in "7 countries in 5 years" was being circulated among intelligence officials.)

From Reporter: A Memoir pg. 306 — A few months after the invasion of Iraq, during an interview overseas with a general who was director of a foreign intelligence service, I was provided with a copy of a Republican neocon plan for American dominance in the Middle East. The general was an American ally, but one who was very rattled by the Bush/Cheney aggression. I was told that the document leaked to me initially had been obtained by someone in the local CIA station. There was reason to be rattled: The document declared that the war to reshape the Middle East had to begin "with the assault on Iraq. The fundamental reason for this... is that the war will start making the U.S. the hegemon of the Middle East. The correlative reason is to make the region feel in its bones, as it were, the seriousness of American intent and determination." Victory in Iraq would lead to an ultimatum to Damascus, the "defanging" of Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, and Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization, and other anti-Israeli groups. America's enemies must understand that "they are fighting for their life: Pax Americana is on its way, which implies their annihilation." I and the foreign general agreed that America's neocons were a menace to civilization.

* * *

2) On early regime change plans in Syria

From Reporter: A Memoir pages 306-307 — Donald Rumsfeld was also infected with neocon fantasy. Turkey had refused to permit America's Fourth Division to join the attack of Iraq from its territory, and the division, with its twenty-five thousand men and women, did not arrive in force inside Iraq until mid-April, when the initial fighting was essentially over. I learned then that Rumsfeld had asked the American military command in Stuttgart, Germany, which had responsibility for monitoring Europe, including Syria and Lebanon, to begin drawing up an operational plan for an invasion of Syria. A young general assigned to the task refused to do so, thereby winning applause from my friends on the inside and risking his career. The plan was seen by those I knew as especially bizarre because Bashar Assad, the ruler of secular Syria, had responded to 9/11 by sharing with the CIA hundreds of his country's most sensitive intelligence files on the Muslim Brotherhood in Hamburg, where much of the planning for 9/11 was carried out... Rumsfeld eventually came to his senses and back down, I was told...

3) On the Neocon deep state which seized power after 9/11

From Reporter: A Memoir pages 305-306 — I began to comprehend that eight or nine neoconservatives who were political outsiders in the Clinton years had essentially overthrown the government of the United States — with ease. It was stunning to realize how fragile our Constitution was. The intellectual leaders of that group — Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, and Richard Perle — had not hidden their ideology and their belief in the power of the executive but depicted themselves in public with a great calmness and a self-assurance that masked their radicalism. I had spent many hours after 9/11 in conversations with Perle that, luckily for me, helped me understand what was coming. (Perle and I had been chatting about policy since the early 1980s, but he broke off relations in 1993 over an article I did for The New Yorker linking him, a fervent supporter of Israel, to a series of meetings with Saudi businessmen in an attempt to land a multibillion-dollar contract from Saudi Arabia. Perle responded by publicly threatening to sue me and characterizing me as a newspaper terrorist. He did not sue. 

Meanwhile, Cheney had emerged as a leader of the neocon pack. From 9/11 on he did all he could to undermine congressional oversight. I learned a great deal from the inside about his primacy in the White House, but once again I was limited in what I would write for fear of betraying my sources...

I came to understand that Cheney's goal was to run his most important military and intelligence operations with as little congressional knowledge, and interference, as possible. I was fascinating and important to learn what I did about Cheney's constant accumulation of power and authority as vice president, but it was impossible to even begin to verify the information without running the risk that Cheney would learn of my questioning and have a good idea from whom I was getting the information.

4) On Russian meddling in the US election

From the recent Independent interview based on his autobiography — Hersh has vociferously strong opinions on the subject and smells a rat. He states that there is “a great deal of animosity towards Russia. All of that stuff about Russia hacking the election appears to be preposterous.” He has been researching the subject but is not ready to go public… yet.

Hersh quips that the last time he heard the US defense establishment have high confidence, it was regarding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. He points out that the NSA only has moderate confidence in Russian hacking. It is a point that has been made before; there has been no national intelligence estimate in which all 17 US intelligence agencies would have to sign off. “When the intel community wants to say something they say it… High confidence effectively means that they don’t know.”

5) On the Novichok poisoning 

From the recent Independent interview — Hersh is also on the record as stating that the official version of the Skripal poisoning does not stand up to scrutiny. He tells me: “The story of novichok poisoning has not held up very well. He [Skripal] was most likely talking to British intelligence services about Russian organised crime.” The unfortunate turn of events with the contamination of other victims is suggestive, according to Hersh, of organised crime elements rather than state-sponsored actions –though this files in the face of the UK government's position.

Hersh modestly points out that these are just his opinions. Opinions or not, he is scathing on Obama – “a trimmer … articulate [but] … far from a radical … a middleman”. During his Goldsmiths talk, he remarks that liberal critics underestimate Trump at their peril.

He ends the Goldsmiths talk with an anecdote about having lunch with his sources in the wake of 9/11. He vents his anger at the agencies for not sharing information. One of his CIA sources fires back: “Sy you still don’t get it after all these years – the FBI catches bank robbers, the CIA robs banks.” It is a delicious, if cryptic aphorism.

* * *

6) On the Bush-era 'Redirection' policy of arming Sunni radicals to counter Shia Iran, which in a 2007 New Yorker article Hersh accurately predicted would set off war in Syria

From the Independent interview: [Hersh] tells me it is “amazing how many times that story has been reprinted”. I ask about his argument that US policy was designed to neutralize the Shia sphere extending from Iran to Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon and hence redraw the Sykes-Picot boundaries for the 21st century.

He goes on to say that Bush and Cheney “had it in for Iran”, although he denies the idea that Iran was heavily involved in Iraq: “They were providing intel, collecting intel … The US did many cross-border hunts to kill ops [with] much more aggression than Iran”...

He believes that the Trump administration has no memory of this approach. I’m sure though that the military-industrial complex has a longer memory...

I press him on the RAND and Stratfor reports including one authored by Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz in which they envisage deliberate ethno-sectarian partitioning of Iraq. Hersh ruefully states that: “The day after 9/11 we should have gone to Russia. We did the one thing that George Kennan warned us never to do – to expand NATO too far.”

* * *

7) On the official 9/11 narrative

From the Independent interview: We end up ruminating about 9/11, perhaps because it is another narrative ripe for deconstruction by sceptics. Polling shows that a significant proportion of the American public believes there is more to the truth. These doubts have been reinforced by the declassification of the suppressed 28 pages of the 9/11 commission report last year undermining the version that a group of terrorists acting independently managed to pull off the attacks. The implication is that they may well have been state-sponsored with the Saudis potentially involved. 

Hersh tells me: “I don’t necessarily buy the story that Bin Laden was responsible for 9/11. We really don’t have an ending to the story. I’ve known people in the [intelligence] community. We don’t know anything empirical about who did what”. He continues: “The guy was living in a cave. He really didn’t know much English. He was pretty bright and he had a lot of hatred for the US. We respond by attacking the Taliban. Eighteen years later… How’s it going guys?”

8) On the media and the morality of the powerful

From a recent The Intercept interview and book review  If Hersh were a superhero, this would be his origin story. Two hundred and seventy-four pages after the Chicago anecdote, he describes his coverage of a massive slaughter of Iraqi troops and civilians by the U.S. in 1991 after a ceasefire had ended the Persian Gulf War. America’s indifference to this massacre was, Hersh writes, “a reminder of the Vietnam War’s MGR, for Mere Gook Rule: If it’s a murdered or raped gook, there is no crime.” It was also, he adds, a reminder of something else: “I had learned a domestic version of that rule decades earlier” in Chicago.

“Reporter” demonstrates that Hersh has derived three simple lessons from that rule:

  1. The powerful prey mercilessly upon the powerless, up to and including mass murder.
  2. The powerful lie constantly about their predations.
  3. The natural instinct of the media is to let the powerful get away with it.

* * *

9) On the time President Lyndon B. Johnson expressed his displeasure to a reporter over a Vietnam piece by defecating on the ground in front of him

From Reporter: A Memoir pages 201-202 — Tom [Wicker] got into the car and the two of them sped off down a dusty dirt road. No words were spoken. After a moment or two, Johnson once again slammed on the brakes, wheeling to a halt near a stand of trees. Leaving the motor running, he climbed out, walked a few dozen feet toward the trees, stopped, pulled down his pants, and defecated, in full view. The President wiped himself with leaves and grass, pulled up his pants, climbed into the car, turned in around, and sped back to the press gathering. Once there, again the brakes were slammed on, and Tom was motioned out. All of this was done without a word being spoken.

..."I knew then," Tom told me, "that the son of a bitch was never going to end the war."

10) On Sy's "most troublesome article" for which his own family received death threats

From Reporter: A Memoir pages 263-264 — The most troublesome article I did, as someone not on the staff of the newspaper, came in June 1986 and dealt with American signals intelligence showing that General Manuel Antonio Noriega, the dictator who ran Panama, had authorized the assassination of a popular political opponent. At the time, Noriega was actively involved in supplying the Reagan administration with what was said to be intelligence on the spread of communism in Central America. Noriega also permitted American military and intelligence units to operate with impunity, in secret, from bases in Panama, and the Americans, in return, looked the other way while the general dealt openly in drugs and arms. The story was published just as Noriega was giving a speech at Harvard University and created embarrassment for him, and for Harvard, along with a very disturbing telephone threat at home, directed not at me but at my family. 

* * *


          Senators, Military Specialists Say Army Report On Dismissed Soldiers Is Troubling      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
An Army review concludes that commanders did nothing wrong when they kicked out more than 22,000 soldiers for misconduct after they came back from Iraq or Afghanistan – even though all of those troops had been diagnosed with mental health problems or brain injuries. The Army's report, ordered by Secretary Eric Fanning , seeks to reassure members of Congress that it's treating wounded soldiers fairly. But senators and military specialists say the report troubles them. "I don't think the Army understands the scope of this problem," says Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn. "And I don't think they've conveyed the seriousness to get it right." The Army's report is "unbelievable," says psychiatrist Judith Broder. "It's just bizarre." Broder was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Obama for organizing the Soldiers Project, a network of hundreds of psychotherapists and others who help troops and their families. NPR asked Fanning for an interview, but he declined and sent a statement:
          Comment on team4 by Graham      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
I'd like to open an account <a href="http://newdaypost.com/sports" rel="nofollow">best place to buy viagra online 2014</a> The report comes to light just as the Pakistani President Nawaz Sharif is on a four-day trip to Washington DC. Islamabad opposes drone strikes and has told the US many times that they kill too many innocent civilians. The matter will be brought up tomorrow when President Sharif meets the US President Barack Obama.
          Comment on Blog Entry #4 Battling Messages on Obamacare by MYSY      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Gujarat Government announced new scholarship scheme named MYSY.
          The Genocidal Elite, Part I: Who’s Afraid of Sarah Jeong? By Mytheos Holt|      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
https://amgreatness.com/2018/08/08/the-genocidal-elite-part-i Rahm Emanuel famously warned against letting a crisis go to waste. In the case of the New York Times’ hiring of Sarah Jeong, he’s right. Make no mistake: Jeong’s hiring is a crisis. It is a crisis for journalism, a crisis for elite opinion, and a crisis for America above all. Those who gloat that Jeong’s hiring is merely another step toward an awakening for most Americans to the bias of the “fake news” media (which it is), or toward liberals accepting extreme positions that are electorally untenable to appease their extremist “woke” base (which it also is), are comforting themselves with minutiae to avoid the truly unsettling larger impact of this development. Jeong’s hiring is more than a moment of indecent exposure for the New York Times. It is a moment of indecent exposure for the corporatist Left, represented by former President Barack Obama and composed of his core coalitions: coalitions that currently control most levers of cultural power in America. Since it is apparently unacceptable to refer to Sarah Jeong as racist, as Andrew Sullivan recently discovered to his woe, I’ll avoid the “r-word” and be more descriptive. Jeong is not only a repulsive, hardened bigot whose sentiments would be out of place anywhere but with Stormfront if they weren’t about white people (as was ably demonstrated by the normally infuriating Candace Owens), she is also an unapologetic advocate of ethnic cleansing and genocide. What else can one make of her tweets “#CancelWhitePeople” (cancel them how, exactly?) and “White people have stopped breeding. You’ll all go extinct soon. This was my plan all along”? The former is, at best, a coy reference to genocide. The latter is literally a celebration of ethnic cleansing. Unless whites cannot be the targets of genocide or ethnic cleansing in the Left’s warped moral universe, which would not surprise me, Joeng is a woman who has endorsed both. Granted, as far as the Left is concerned, she’s probably in great company. They still haven’t apologized for supporting Robert Mugabe, after all. Yes, All White People The fact of Jeong’s being an open would-be conspirator in genocide against whites is a gift to white supremacists everywhere. The otherwise alarmist sophistry about “white genocide” peddled in alt-right circles looks a lot more credible when an editor of the New York Times admits to wanting that very thing, and the paper stands by her.
          Can Iran Wait out Trump’s Pressure Campaign? BY Lawrence J. Haas      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
U.S. foreign policy toward Iran is approaching a "back to the future" moment, with the Trump White House resurrecting the strategy pursued by President George W. Bush (and, for a while, President Barack Obama) of pressuring Iran economically into abandoning its nuclear pursuits. The question now is whether President Trump, or if necessary a successor, will push this pressure campaign - which the Administration is supplementing with outreach to Iran's people and more security cooperation with its regional adversaries - to its conclusion. If so, the regime in Tehran, which is presiding over an increasingly troubled economy and restive populace, may reach a point where it must choose between its nuclear program and its continued rule. That's what Secretary of State Mike Pompeo predicted in May when, after Trump announced that Washington would withdraw from the global nuclear agreement with Iran, Pompeo said that new U.S. sanctions would force Tehran to make a choice: "fight to keep its economy off life support at home or squander precious wealth on fights abroad." That Washington is shifting course on a major challenge of foreign policy, with a President upending the approach of his predecessor, is hardly unprecedented. For more than half a century, U.S. policy toward the Cold War shifted from containing the Soviets to engaging in détente to seeking an end to Soviet rule. U.S. human rights policy shifted just as dramatically, with some Presidents denouncing the abuses of allies and adversaries alike and others downplaying them in the interest of realpolitik.
          Does Trump Have What It Takes to Win on Immigration? By Karin McQuillan      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/08/does_trump_have_what_it_takes_to_win_on_immigration.html President Trump has faced down the Chinese, the Russians, ISIS, and North Korea, but does he have what it takes to force Congress to fix immigration? I am beginning to think the answer is no. Congressional leadership has secured the votes, and worked the rules, to pass the president's agenda only when the members agree with his policies, such as choosing conservative justices or lowering taxes. On issues such as Obamacare and immigration, where the GOP establishment disagrees with Trump, he has failed. On Obamacare, Trump gave up in disgust after killing the individual mandate. He can't do that on immigration. Fixing immigration was a big promise. He has got to deliver. The art of negotiation requires both carrots and sticks. Trump has shown little to offer or threaten that the impervious incumbents of the GOP want or fear. He has endorsed their candidates and campaigned for them and been rewarded with no loyalty. The rewards of their lobbyists and payoffs of crony corruption have made our politicians, especially leadership, independent of voters and of the president. President Trump has Republican voters behind him on every detail of his immigration policy. Voters want a wall. They want more border patrol. They want an end to catch and release and an end to visa overstays. Voters also agree with Trump that we need to cut down legal migration. They want Muslim immigration heavily vetted and curtailed. They want an end to chain migration. But as every conservative knows to our sorrow, Republican career politicians don't care about the wishes of ordinary voters.
          Comment on Freedom of speech is under attack from the big cybertech companies by AesopFan      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Baklava on August 8, 2018 at 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm said: Dave, That is the reason why Zuckerberg cozied up with Obama and company. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1358363/Steve-Jobs-Mark-Zuckerberg-meet-President-Obama-technology-summit.html * * Old news, but a solid tell up there with "I'll have more flexibility after the election." Looks kind of like, oh, I don't know, collusion?
          #hockey - worldtablecompany      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
We thank you Winnipeg Jets for a very fun and exciting playoff run! Now relax and go golfing!! . . . . . . . #wearewinnipeg #gojetsgo #winnipegjets #hockey #hockeylove #nhl #stanleycup #manitoba #manitobah #manitobamakers #ywg #winnipeg #coffeetable #furnituremodel #furniture #prairieproud #design #woodworking #woodlove #manitobamade #manitoban #bestofmanitoba #madeinmanitoba #canada #dog #doggie #dogsofinstagram #dogstagram #puppy #doglover
          Print Column: Shouldn’t the Law Be Legal?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

MINOT, N.D. — As we approach the home stretch of the 2018 campaigns North Dakota’s Democrats are trying to make a campaign issue out of a lawsuit challenging the legality of Obamacare. Former Congressman Earl Pomeroy, not to mention his former employee U.S. House candidate Mac Schneider, have been all but accusing Republicans of wanting...

The post Print Column: Shouldn’t the Law Be Legal? appeared first on Say Anything.


          Joe Biden Wants To Share LGBTQ Stories Of Acceptance To Fight Hostile Families      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has announced that his foundation wants to share stories of acceptance by families of LGBTQ people.

Biden’s plan is to combat hostile families and communities that reject LGBTQ youth by releasing personal stories, educational information, and more.

As Biden shares in the video below:

“I’m so proud to announce that the Biden Foundation has launched a family acceptance campaign. We’ll use our resources to highlight the harms of family rejection and lift up research, best practices, and personal stories to show the importance of family acceptance.”

This is no surprise for anyone who has followed Biden’s personal and political views when it comes to LGBTQ issues.

Back in 2012, Biden supported same-sex couples even before former President Barack Obama did. In an interview with CBS News, Biden shared that he was “absolutely comfortable with” the idea of same-sex unions. He then praised the Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage in 2015 by calling it as “consequential as Brown vs. the Board” of Education.

If you want to support Biden in this new endeavor, you can consider sending your own story (of acceptance or rejection) through the campaign’s official site.

They hope to collect stories from a wide range of people, backgrounds, and perspectives in order to “help educate the broader public about the critical importance of affirming, accepting, and supporting our LGBTQ young people.”

In addition, Joe Biden says that he’s still considering running for Presidential office in 2020. Right now, he’s considered a strong potential candidate by many political analysts and news sources.

Having Joe Biden as president would certainly work in LGBTQ people’s favor (and he wouldn’t have former White House officials passing around secret recordings either).

h/t: CBS News, 


          Scrubbed from the system      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Why Medicaid enrollment has dropped by almost 60,000 people in 18 months.

Last September, a few months after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Kyla Brakebill's insurance coverage was canceled by the Arkansas Department of Human Services. Almost a year later, she remains uninsured.

Brakebill, 43, first began having headaches and dizzy spells in November 2016. After an especially intense episode, she was taken to the emergency room at Baptist Health Medical Center in North Little Rock, where a doctor ordered a series of tests. "She thought at first I might have had a stroke, because she tested that," Brakebill said in an interview. "They were going to see about an aneurysm, but that came back negative. ... After my MRI, she came in and said, 'I can tell you don't have this, this or that, but I'm worried.' " The doctor told Brakebill the scan showed "that my brain was like the brain of a 64-year-old woman."

Frightening as the news was, Brakebill thought she at least wouldn't have to worry about paying for medical care: She was on Arkansas Works, the state's Medicaid-funded insurance program for low-income adults established under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. (Arkansas Works is also sometimes called "Medicaid expansion" or "the private option.") Like most on the program, her policy was provided through a private carrier, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield. "It covered everything, and that was great," Brakebill said. The hospital helped her find a primary care doctor, who gave her a probable MS diagnosis and sent her to a neurologist, who in turn scheduled Brakebill for another round of brain scans.

Brakebill never had the scans performed. Late last summer, while taking out the trash at her house, she lost her balance on a rough patch of earth at the edge of the carport. "All of my weight went on my right big toe, and I broke my toe," she recalled. "And when that happened, my body swung around and my mouth hit the post that holds the carport up and knocked one of my front teeth out. It was horrible." A dentist prescribed antibiotics to stave off an infection, and shortly thereafter, Brakebill attempted to fill it.

"I was in Memphis for work and my mouth was hurt really bad," she said. "I get to Walgreens and I find out they won't fill my prescription because my insurance had ended." Baffled, she called Blue Cross and DHS as soon as she returned home. "After a million phone calls and finally getting to talk to someone, they said it was because I didn't send a change of address."

Brakebill had recently lost her home to a foreclosure and had moved several times. However, she had filled out a change of address form at the post office and had her mail forwarded to a P.O. box. She had no idea, she said, that DHS required beneficiaries to directly notify the agency of any physical address change. And because her insurance was provided through Blue Cross rather than directly through the state — a feature born of Arkansas's unusual privatized approach to Medicaid expansion — she wasn't used to communicating with DHS about her coverage. "I never had another conversation with DHS about insurance after that initial application," she said.

DHS requires beneficiaries to notify it of any address change within 10 days of a move, agency spokeswoman Amy Webb said. If mail sent to a beneficiary is returned to DHS and the agency hasn't received notification of an address change, it will close that person's case.

***

Over the past 18 months, Arkansas Works enrollment decreased by almost 60,000 people, DHS numbers show. Enrollment peaked near 330,000 sometime in January 2017. By July 1 of this year, it had fallen to 271,000 — a 15 percent drop.

The state is shedding beneficiaries at a faster rate than any other state that chose to expand Medicaid, according to data from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Arkansas saw a 6 percent decline in its overall Medicaid enrollment between January 2017 and May 2018. The shrinking Arkansas Works program evidently accounted for most of the drop. (The CMS data combines the expansion population and the larger, more expensive "traditional" Medicaid population, which includes children on ARKids, elderly people, disabled people and other groups.) Only three non-expansion states — Texas, Idaho and Tennessee — saw a larger percentage decrease in Medicaid overall.

Arkansas has lately come under national scrutiny for its new work requirement for some Arkansas Works enrollees, with many health researchers and advocates warning the policy could lead to thousands losing coverage. Yet little attention has been paid to the steady monthly reduction in Medicaid enrollment figures predating the work requirement, which began in June. The work rule won't trigger terminations of coverage until September at the earliest. That means the almost 60,000 people pared from Arkansas Works over the last year and a half dropped away for other reasons.

Governor Hutchinson has given two explanations. The first is a strong economy. Because Medicaid expansion is open only to those whose incomes fall below 138 percent of the federal poverty line (in 2018, that's $16,753 for an individual or $34,638 for a family of four), getting a better job often makes a beneficiary ineligible for Arkansas Works. He or she might then gain insurance through an employer — or, if that's not an option, purchase a plan on the individual marketplace with the help of a federal subsidy.

Though such coverage would likely cost more than Arkansas Works (which costs little to nothing for beneficiaries), more people moving up the income ladder would be clearly positive news.

"I would emphasize that this is not a change in services," Hutchinson said at a recent session with the press at which he touted savings in the Medicaid budget. "This is simply the result of people that are working. ... If they got a better job and they just don't bother telling us about it, and they no longer qualify, that's a good thing, because nobody's losing services. It's just that they no longer qualify and we're not wasting our taxpayers' money. If it's because their spouse got insurance and they no longer need Arkansas Works, then that's a good thing as well."

Jennifer Wagner, a senior policy analyst at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal-leaning think tank in Washington, D.C., said the picture was more complicated.

"I'm sure some portion is attributable to the improving economy," Wagner said. "The thing that we tend to see, though, is that even when people are able to find employment, often their income does not go up high enough to make them no longer eligible. And often the low-wage work they get does not include health insurance. As we know, a lot of people on Medicaid are working families — they're just not making enough [money] and they're not getting employer-sponsored insurance. So, I wouldn't assume that all drop-off is because of that."

The fact that Arkansas's 18-month decline in Medicaid enrollment outpaced most other states also suggests there's more at play than economic factors. Arkansas's unemployment rate is low, but so are those of other states that haven't seen a similarly steep dip in Medicaid rolls. And while Medicaid enrollment has fallen fairly steadily from January 2017 to June 2018, the unemployment rate over that period ticked slightly upward, from 3.7 percent to 3.8 percent. The Arkansas jobless rate in June ranked 21st in the nation, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In July, DHS released a graph breaking down the reasons behind the approximately 14,000 Arkansas Works case closures the previous month. Only 11 percent of the cases closed in June were attributed to an increase in household income. However, Wagner said that figure likely understates the percentage of people who left the program because of rising wages. Many beneficiaries who no longer need Arkansas Works may simply stop corresponding with DHS, rather than contacting the agency to explicitly request closure.


The governor's second explanation for the reduced enrollment is an improved effort at DHS to "scrub" the Medicaid rolls by removing people who are no longer eligible. That includes many situations: individuals who are making too much money, who have moved out of state, who are incarcerated, who have turned 65 (and are therefore receiving Medicare) or who are dead. But it also includes many people such as Kyla Brakebill, who lost coverage because of a problem communicating with DHS.

DHS figures suggest that changes of address and communications issues are a major reason for coverage losses. Sixty percent of cases closed in June were terminated for one of two reasons: "failed to return requested information" or "unable to locate client or moved out-of-state."

The latter category includes cases in which DHS receives any piece of returned mail, agency spokeswoman Webb said in an email. Webb said the agency couldn't distinguish between clients who moved out of state and those who moved within the state.

Wagner, who studies Medicaid policy across the country, said the DHS approach to returned mail was "a very aggressive stance for the state to take."

It's not uncommon, she said, for Medicaid recipients in all states to lose coverage at "recertification," the annual update of personal information mandated for every beneficiary. "People are often sent a letter and are required to send that back. They may also be required to send additional verification, like pay stubs," Wagner said. "No matter what, there's going to be some degree of fall-off at recertification."

In Arkansas, though, any returned mail — not just at recertification — automatically triggers a closure. That creates more opportunities for a beneficiary to lose coverage. Mary Franklin, director of DHS' Division of County Operations, wrote in an email that "if the information is not returned by the deadline, the case is closed. Many of these closures are automated, and there is an extra 5 days built in to our automated process to make sure that any information that is received has been logged into the system."

Wagner said, "I don't know that other states would necessarily take action to close a case just because of returned mail.That's concerning, especially because this population often moves a lot ... staying with friends or family or things like that. So that's kind of a lot to expect — for it to be constantly updated." The state could take more proactive steps to find a beneficiary, Wagner added, such as cross-checking with the postal service's National Change of Address system. Franklin said DHS does not check that database before closing a case.

"Federal regulations do require Medicaid recipients to report changes that affect eligibility," Wagner acknowledged, "and I'm sure Arkansas could make an argument that they don't know if someone has moved out of state if they didn't report an address change. But that is an aggressive stance, and I wonder how frequently mailings are going out over the year."

In fact, DHS has been sending out frequent mailings to many Arkansas Works recipients to inform them of the new work requirement. Webb said DHS didn't have information on how many Arkansas Works closures occurred at annual recertification and could not provide a breakdown of the reasons for closures during previous months.

***

Many Arkansas Works beneficiaries who lose coverage quickly regain it. Brakebill did not, seemingly due to a combination of bad timing and bad information.

She said she thought she had to wait until November to reapply for coverage. That's likely because of widespread public confusion about the difference between Arkansas Works (which can be applied for at any point during the year) and the individual insurance marketplace (which can typically only be accessed during a brief open enrollment period at the end of the year). People whose income is above 138 percent of poverty can get coverage on the marketplace subsidized by the federal government.

It's not clear which group Brakebill should have been in at that point in time, because her income fluctuated significantly from month to month. (In January 2017, she started working as a marketing manager for a home improvement company that sets up booths at public events. She earns a few hundred dollars each week in base pay and — depending on the season — an additional amount in commissions.) It may be that Brakebill could have simply re-enrolled in Arkansas Works last fall. It's also possible her annual income had exceeded the threshold for a single-person household, in which case she should have transitioned onto the marketplace. Assuming this was so, however, she shouldn't have had to wait for open enrollment: The individual marketplace allows for a 60-day "special enrollment" period after a person loses coverage from a different source.

When Brakebill finally went online to buy insurance at the end of the year, she said, she hit another snag: The marketplace website asked her for employer information she didn't have. That was right before open enrollment ended on Dec. 15. In 2018, based on the income information she provided a reporter, it appears Brakebill makes slightly too much to qualify for Arkansas Works — but she can't sign up for insurance on the marketplace until 2018 open enrollment begins again this November.

In the meantime, she's in limbo. "Just to know that I can't go in and see a doctor — it worries me," Brakebill said. Her multiple sclerosis symptoms come and go, but on bad days she finds it hard to function. "Like this week, my MS is pretty bad. Yesterday, I did everything backwards. Like my job, everything. ... So if I'm talking in circles, that's what's wrong with me. Sometimes I have a really great conversation, and sometimes I can't even speak."

In addition to MS, she suffers from high blood pressure and polycystic ovary syndrome, a hormonal disorder that causes weight gain and facial hair growth and has been linked to diabetes. Both conditions are controllable with drugs, but she does not have prescriptions for either. She'd like to find a better job, she said, but she feels constrained by her medical problems.

"I'm in my 40s, but I can't have a breast exam or a colonoscopy or anything like that. I can't go for my yearly pap smear," she said. "Until I get the insurance to do all that again, I guess I'll just try to live until I don't live anymore."

The governor has praised DHS for taking steps to scrub the Medicaid rolls more aggressively and pushed back against the idea that the agency's rules may be stricter than necessary.

"That's called responsible management," he said at the recent press conference. "I don't think very many in Arkansas would want our taxpayer dollars paying for insurance for those that may be living out of state, may have moved, may have income that exceeds the limits. And if they are not giving us the information to verify that, then that's the responsible thing to do for the taxpayers."

Hutchinson suggested Arkansas Works enrollment in January 2017 was inflated with many thousands of people who weren't actually eligible. He pointed out the Medicaid expansion was originally predicted to serve about 250,000 people when Arkansas policymakers first considered implementing the program in 2013.

"I think you're seeing numbers now that are where they should be, based on the economy that we have and based on the management we have," he said.

The governor prefers to emphasize a different figure: the zero percent growth rate in Medicaid expenditures in the fiscal year that ended in June. Combined state and federal spending on Arkansas Medicaid (both Arkansas Works and traditional) was $7.105 billion in FY 2018, or $22 million less than the previous year. Because health care costs typically grow year over year, however, flat growth is effectively a reduction when compared to projected expenses.

Some of the savings resulted from "transformation" efforts by DHS to impose discipline on especially high-cost Medicaid program areas. But the majority of the savings (around 55 percent) was attributable to the decline in enrollment.

In any case, holding Medicaid costs flat is a major achievement for a conservative governor, and the reduced costs will help pay for tax cuts on high-income earners that Hutchinson and Republican legislators intend to pass in 2019. It also helps the governor defend his decision to continue the Arkansas Works program, which some hardline conservatives want to see defunded entirely.

***

The question is whether Brakebill is an outlier or part of a trend. Is Arkansas Works enrollment shrinking mostly because people have moved up the income ladder and found coverage elsewhere? Or has DHS' zealous approach to rules enforcement resulted in a growing number of low-income Arkansans going without insurance or experiencing periodic lapses in coverage?

Arkansas cut its uninsured rate in half in the three years after it first expanded Medicaid in 2013 — one of the largest percentage reductions in the country. If many of the 60,000 people scrubbed from the Arkansas Works rolls since last January are now uninsured, that metric may rebound. But the U.S. Census Bureau has yet to publish information on state-level uninsured rates in 2017.

Anecdotally, many Arkansas health care advocates say the address change issue hasn't been on their radar. Kevin De Liban, a lawyer for Legal Aid of Arkansas, is familiar with fighting DHS over Medicaid. (He represents a group of disabled beneficiaries engaged in a long-running lawsuit against the agency.) De Liban said Legal Aid has fielded calls from a handful of Arkansas Works beneficiaries who complained of losing coverage due to returned mail or an alleged failure to send in information, but the group hasn't heard back from those individuals.

Still, he was critical of the agency's strict rules for correspondence. "DHS sends them a letter and gives them 10 days to respond," he said. "It gets to them Day 8 ... and many times the client provides it timely, or close to timely, and DHS does not process it quickly enough."

Lainey Morrow is a grassroots advocate who founded a popular Facebook group, "Medicaid Saves Lives," to help beneficiaries and their families navigate the system. (It had over 3,600 members as of Aug. 6.) Morrow said she hadn't heard many complaints of lost coverage explicitly due to an address change. But, she pointed out that people who are terminated for such a reason would never receive a letter explaining why they were cut off.

"I don't think people know why, if that is why," Morrow said, "They may in some roundabout manner find out: They go to a provider, and the provider says their Medicaid number is inactive, and then they start trying to track it down." She's also heard of many people who lost coverage but were unsure of the reason why because they didn't understand the letter they received from DHS.

Many who unexpectedly lose their insurance simply begin the process of re-enrollment. But even when a beneficiary regains her insurance, temporary coverage gaps can cause hardships: prescriptions unfilled, bills left unpaid, appointments missed and hours spent on the phone.

Brittany Keeland, 22, is a single mother of two and the legal guardian of her 16-year-old sister. Her four-person household contains three different categories of Medicaid: Keeland is on Arkansas Works; her children, ages 1 and 2, are on ARKids; and Keeland's sister has disability Medicaid for a severe, exceedingly rare genetically based skin condition called lamellar ichthyosis.

In late July, Keeland received a notice from DHS that said her insurance, and her children's, would soon be terminated due to a failure to report additional income. In a recent interview, Keeland said DHS was mistaken. She didn't have any new income. She was continuing to work as a home health aide at the same company where she'd worked for the past three years. The misunderstanding arose because Keeland's pay stubs contained a different corporate name than the one she listed as her employer. (The company that directly employs her, she explained, is owned by a parent company that cuts her checks.) Someone at DHS saw the difference in names and assumed Keeland was missing information.

Ironically, the mistake occurred only after Keeland notified the agency of an address change. In March, Keeland moved her family from Crawford County to an apartment in Fort Smith. She updated her address and other personal information with DHS, enclosing her recent pay stubs with the mailing. All was well for several months, but then, in July, she received a notice that she needed to get a letter from her employer and that it had to be turned in by July 27 to maintain coverage for her family.

Keeland gritted her teeth, gathered the paperwork and submitted it to DHS on July 26. She called on Monday, July 30, to make sure everything had been processed.

"I asked if my stuff was going to be shut off, and they're like, 'Yeah, because you didn't turn in all your paperwork,' " she said. "I told them that I turned everything in ... so y'all did something with it, and we kind of got in an argument."

"Well, Tuesday or so, I got a letter in the mail saying all of our stuff was canceled due to lack of turning information in. And then Wednesday they called me and said they'd found my paperwork, that it was put in a different program and they're sorry they lost it and everything, and I asked them about my benefits being shut off." Keeland said she was told she'd have to wait on an action from her caseworker to resolve the issue.

"I still don't know if it's going to be on or not," Keeland said when she spoke to a reporter on Saturday. "I got a letter in the mail saying it was pending, so I don't know." As of this week, she was still unsure. In a text message Monday, she wrote, "I tried calling today sat on hold forever so I just hung up." She's also concerned her food stamps will be cut off.

Last fall, Keeland said, she temporarily lost insurance coverage due to another DHS paperwork issue. Though her insurance was reinstated, doctors' bills piled up in the interim. If her Medicaid is shut off again, she worries she'll accumulate more debt. "That's mainly what's on my credit, is medical bills I don't have money to pay ... and they get turned over to collection agencies," she said.

Keeland's family needs insurance. Her sister has appointments at Arkansas Children's Hospital twice a month for her skin condition. Her daughter, who is developmentally delayed and has multiple food allergies, also regularly visits Children's, she said. Her son has hearing problems, and both children see therapists. Keeland herself has prescriptions, too. "And then, regular doctors appointments and stuff. We use it almost every other day, it seems like, for at least one of us," she said.

Wagner, the policy analyst, said states can take steps to minimize disruptions in Medicaid coverage. "How many documents the client is required to send in can make a difference. If the state is using their data sources well, they shouldn't have to ask for a lot of pay stubs and other things," she said.

"There's a lot that the state can do at the recertification point to make it go better," she continued. For example, rather than putting the burden on beneficiaries, the state can use its own data sources to determine if a person appears to continue to be eligible. "They just send them a notice saying, 'We're going to renew you based on this information. If any of it's incorrect, contact us.' "

Instead, most of Arkansas's efforts seem to run in the opposite direction. While DHS doesn't check the National Change of Address database, it does check state wage data to look for unreported income and scans for the receipt of public benefits in other states. Also, a subset of Arkansas Works beneficiaries are now subject to the new work requirement, which adds another layer of bureaucracy to an already complex set of requirements. Unlike with many of the aforementioned situations, not complying with the work rule may eventually result in a beneficiary actually being locked out of coverage for a period of time. In June, about 10,000 people were required to submit additional information to DHS proving they were working or qualified for an exemption. Of those, about 7,000 did not.

Many of those who lost Arkansas Works coverage in the past year and a half surely did so because they failed to follow one rule or another. But some human error is a part of any program. One point of frustrations for beneficiaries is that while DHS seems to give so little leeway to their oversights and mistakes, the state's own oversights and mistakes must be accepted as a part of life.

Like many on Arkansas Works, Keeland is fed up with jumping through hoops. "I don't know what's going on up there and half the time they don't either," she said. "Whenever you ask to talk to your caseworker, they give you a voicemail and then they never call you back. Or you say, 'Hey, I'm working [but] I'm free at this time.' And then they call you while you're at work and then you miss it and it's your fault."

"They act as if we have no life outside their office," she said.

This reporting is made possible in part by a yearlong fellowship sponsored by the Association of Health Care Journalists and supported by The Commonwealth Fund. It is published here courtesy of the Arkansas Nonprofit News Network, an independent, nonpartisan project dedicated to producing journalism that matters to Arkansans. Find out more at arknews.org.


          The real Q plot?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Could "they" be right that President Trump and special counsel Robert S. Mueller III are not really at war but are secret collaborators who have a grand plot that will end with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in striped prison suits and Trump as the national savior?

Could "they" be right that President Trump and special counsel Robert S. Mueller III are not really at war but are secret collaborators who have a grand plot that will end with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in striped prison suits and Trump as the national savior?

Might that explain Trump's shocking reversal over the weekend when he again made liars of himself, his lawyers and his press secretary by changing his story and admitting that the meeting at Trump Tower of his son, son-in-law and his top campaign officials with Russian agents in June 2016 was to get "dirt" on Clinton from the Russians to use in the campaign? The dirt — campaign plans stolen from the digital troves of the Democratic Party — was dumped on the world through Wikileaks a few days later. Trump seems to be getting in sync with Mueller, who has been collecting evidence on the famous gathering with four Russians with links to the Kremlin. Why would he be doing it if he and Mueller don't have something clever up their sleeves?

"They" are the conspiracists on social media known as QAnon who claim to be high federal agents with the top-secret Q security clearance. They posit that all the lies and stupid snafus of the president actually are cover for the genius president's grand plan to upend the political status quo and send the real crooks and traitors — Clinton, Barack Obama and perhaps others — to prison for life, if not to a Rosenberg fate. The theory has millions of followers on social media, who follow Trump's seemingly brainless utterings and QAnon follow-ups for clues to the grand scheme. You noticed them in the cheering throngs at his rallies wearing Q T-shirts and waving Q signs.

You must admit that the basic facts render the Mueller investigation and Trump's obsession with it a little suspicious. All the men who seem to be Trump's tormentors in the Russian investigation are actually dedicated Republicans, although the president keeps screaming about the "17" Democrats who are out to get him. Mueller is a lifelong Republican. So is James Comey, the FBI director and former high Bush administration official whom Trump fired. So is Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whom Trump keeps savaging in hopes he will resign. So is Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general whom Trump appointed and then castigated and who was part of Kenneth Starr's team of Republican prosecutors who investigated Bill and Hillary Clinton for seven years. So is, or was, Andrew McCabe, briefly the acting FBI director after Comey's firing. So is Christopher A. Wray, the former Bush official whom Trump appointed FBI director and who directs the FBI team assigned to the Mueller investigation. So is the avid politico Brett Kavanaugh, who twice worked on Starr's team, first to try to prosecute the Clintons for the suicide of their friend Vince Foster and then President Clinton for his dalliance with Monica Lewinsky. Kavanaugh will be confirmed as a Supreme Court justice this fall in time to cast a decisive vote to protect Trump if it's needed.

The FBI has always, at least in modern times, been sort of a Republican police force, directed by partisan Republicans. Remember that the FBI chief who directed the FBI probes of the Clintons for Kenneth Starr and other special prosecutors for eight years was Louis Freeh, the Reagan and Bush acolyte who Clinton wanted to fire but never did.

But there may be a more rational explanation than the Q conspiracy for Trump's about-face on the Russian meeting and his need to reach an accommodation with Mueller.

Aside from the matter of colluding with Russians to interfere in an election — a criminal violation of the federal code in spite of Trump's and his lawyers' assertions that collusion is legal — Mueller is confronted with overwhelming circumstantial evidence from Trump's mouth, tweets and executive actions that he tried to obstruct justice in the investigation of the Russian interference. Bill Clinton was charged with obstruction by Starr and the Republican House of Representatives for not admitting to his family and the country that he had oral sex with Monica Lewinsky and thus encouraging her to lie.

Mueller, one can surmise, dreads still another constitutional crisis like those that followed the Nixon and Clinton impeachment efforts, the latter of which proved to be enormously unpopular with the American people. There will be numerous convictions and guilty pleas by Trump campaign and perhaps family members, but Mueller needs to avoid charging the president himself with trying to stop or influence the Russian investigation. He needs to be able to conclude that there is not enough evidence that Trump purposely obstructed the probe. To do so, he needs to hear it from Trump's own lips.

Trump courtier Rudy Giuliani sent a letter to Mueller this week begging him to agree in advance not to ask Trump those questions if Trump sits down with him. Even while trying to assert his naïeveté, Trump could get caught in provable perjury for which, like Kenneth Starr, Mueller would have to prosecute him.

That is the mating dance.


          Obama adviser didn't threaten Woodward, says White House - The Hill      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
"In a recent column in The Washington Post, Woodward argued that Obama moved the goalposts in the sequester fight by insisting in the current talks that the sequester be replaced only with spending cuts — an assertion that drew White House fir
          A Federal Court Slaps Down President Obama's Aggressive Abuse Of Executive Power - Forbes      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Can the President make “recess appointments,” which do not require Senate confirmation, when the Senate is not in recess?  No President in American history had ever tried to do that before.  But President Obama trie
          President Barack Obama Is Time's Person of the Year, By Default - Forbes      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Barack Obama survived a presidential election against a weak opponent despite an underwhelming legislative record and his own failure to define the choice in positive terms. In 2012, that’s good enough to earn you a Person of the Year nod from
          Analysis: Obama could risk going over 'cliff' - Yahoo! News      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
WASHINGTON (AP) — It may be just a bluff or a bargaining ploy, but the White House is signaling that President Barack Obama is willing to let the country go over the "fiscal cliff," a hard-line negotiating strategy aimed at winning concessions
          Graham: Susan Rice "disconnected to reality," doesn't "deserve" promotion - CBS News      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
As speculation builds over President Obama's choice for a Secretary of State to replace Hillary Clinton, some top Senate Republicans are threatening to block top candidate Susan Rice from the post, claiming her statements about the violence in Benghazi,
          Steve Forbes: US Heading for Recession With 2nd Obama Term      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The United States is headed for a recession during President Barack Obama’s second term, renowned financial guru Steve Forbes predicted Wednesday."We won’t get a depression, thankfully. This is still a very resilient economy, but we wi
          American Voters Choose Obama To Lead Us - Down The Road To Ruin - Forbes      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Despite a good look at the bankruptcy of entitlement democracy playing out across the euro zone, Americans have gone to the polls demanding to join the death spiral. Offered a clear choice, the promise of free stuff vanquished our abandoned  he
          Rasmussen: Despite Obama's Win, 48% Disapprove of Job Performance      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows that newly re-elected President Barack Obama’s approval rating stands at 52 percent, matching his share of the popular vote.“As we have been reporting all yea
          Bill Clinton: Military Now 'Less Racist, Less Sexist, Less Homophobic' Thanks to Obama - YouTube      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
BILL CLINTON IS AN IDIOT.
          Obama VS. Romney: Military endorsements | Michael Berry      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Michael Berry's blog postings.
          WATCH: New Pro-GOP Ads in PA Compare President Obama to a Bad Boyfriend | PhillyNow | A blog about Philadelphia news, politics and culture by Philadelphia Weekly      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
This morning, PoliticsPA pointed out a series of ads set to run in Pennsylvania and four other states as part of a $7.4 million anti-Obama ad buy. The ads, coming from “pro-GOP” nonprofit Independent Women’s Voice, are desi
          Texans rebuilding their lives while Obama and Hollywood partied      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Let's remind everyone how Obama handled Hurricane Ike in 2008; a category 4 Hurricane and storm surge.
          The Hope And The Change - Official Movie Trailer - YouTube      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign was a cathartic moment in American history that promised the electorate “Hope” and “Change.”  Citizens United Productions’ latest film, The Hope
          Obama's Inflated Jobs Claim - Yahoo! News      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
In a new TV ad, President Obama makes an inflated claim to have added 5.2 million new jobs. The total added during his time in office is actually about 325,000.
          CBS News affiliate calls 2012 presidential race for Barack Obama weeks ahead of election | The Daily Caller      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The 2012 presidential election is still more than two weeks away, but on Friday a CBS News affiliate in Arizona called the race for President Barack Obama. For 17 seconds, Phoenix, Arizona CBS News affiliate KPHO ran a lower third graphic that showed t
          Comment on Who’s Fish Is It? by the unit      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
As for confusing laws, can't count absentee ballots or provisional ones in Oiho (Obama spelling) for 11 days. Wonder who in charge there? One's on car trunk OK though. :)
          CSVN lạm dụng lệnh truy nã quốc tế      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Cánh dù lộng gió (Danlambao) - Ở các nước ngoại quốc khi ra lệnh truy nã một người nào đó thì người ấy phải có những yếu tố tội phạm rõ rệt, phạm tội nghiêm trọng như cướp của, giết người, hiếp dâm, lạm dụng tình dục trẻ em... Ở Việt Nam thì CSVN đụng chút là ra lệnh truy nã dù chưa đủ yếu tố tội phạm. Mỗi khi đương sự sợ quá lánh mặt là đã phát lệnh truy nã toàn quốc.

Muốn truy nã một tội phạm ngoài nước thì phải có đầy đủ những điều kiện ký kết với Interpol quốc tế và kẻ bị truy nã đã phạm tội có liên can đến khủng bố, lấy cắp hồ sơ mật về quốc phòng, buôn bán ma tuý có đường dây. Khi đã có đủ hồ sơ chứng cứ phạm tội thì sẽ gởi hồ sơ, thông tin cá nhân, hình ảnh của người bị đề nghị truy nã cho Interpol có cơ sở phát lệnh truy nã quốc tế đối với tội phạm đó. 

Hơn nữa nước muốn đề nghị truy nã quốc tế phải có ký kết hiệp ước dẫn độ với nước mà tội phạm đang có mặt để làm việc và thoả thuận giữa 2 nước về việc dẫn độ một cách an toàn và đúng theo công ước quốc tế và luật pháp của cả 2 nước. 

Các bước để thực hiện chuyển giao người phạm tội giữa quốc gia yêu cầu và quốc gia được yêu cầu được tiến hành theo trình tự và nội dung mà các bên đã thỏa thuận trong hiệp định dẫn độ, hiệp ước tương trợ tư pháp về hình sự được ký kết song phương hay đa phương, hoặc giữa các quốc gia là thành viên của tổ chức Interpol. Đối với trường hợp người bị dẫn độ mang quốc tịch của một quốc gia chưa ký kết hiệp định tương trợ tư pháp, việc thực hiện các thủ tục dẫn độ được tiến hành trên cơ sở tôn trọng luật pháp của quốc gia nơi người bị dẫn độ đang sinh sống, thông qua ủy thác tư pháp. 

Với chế độ CSVN hiện nay thì chẳng cần hiệp ước hay công ước quốc tế nào hết, thích dẫn độ là cho đám phản gián sang nước ngoài, chụp thuốc mê, bắt cóc quăng lên xe, lợi dụng mối giao hảo quốc tế để "mượn" máy bay của chính phủ nước đó và chở thẳng về VN như vụ Trịnh Xuân Thanh là bằng chứng. 

Trọng lú vì tư thù cá nhân phe phái đã cố gắng bằng mọi giá phải tóm cổ TXT cho bằng được mang về nước trị tội rồi hô hoán lên là TXT tự về đầu thú. Sau khi toà án Đức đưa ra những chứng cứ không thể chối cãi được thì Trọng lú và Tô lâm mới cúi đầu chịu phép mà ca bài: "Anh cho em xin", xuống nước năn nỉ chính phủ Đức nhẹ tay và hứa sẽ xin lỗi và thả TXT ra. 

Chế độ này là chế độ "mềm nắn, rắn buông", nếu người dân sợ sệt thì hù doạ khủng bố, đánh đập, thậm chí có thể giết chết trong tù treo cổ lên để hù doạ người dân, nếu thấy người dân cứng cựa thì xuống nước trì hoãn kiếm cách sơ hở để vồ nguội như vụ Đồng Tâm. 

Một điều nực cười là công an cộng sản cũng phát lệnh truy nã công dân có quốc tịch Mỹ như Lisa Pham và ông Đào Minh Quân về tội khủng bố, trong khi 2 người này ngồi bên một nước tự do, chưa quay về VN làm chuyện gì thì CSVN lấy cái gì mà ra lệnh truy nã. Phải chăng chỉ là phát lệnh trong nước rồi huênh hoang bịp những người dân không hiểu biết chút gì về luật pháp quốc tế mà thôi. 

Hơn thế nữa theo luật của Mỹ là mỗi công dân sống trong đất nước Hoa Kỳ đều có quyền tự do, kể cả tụ tập trước toà Bạch Ốc để chửi Tổng Thống Mỹ Obama hay TT Trump mà không bị xem là vi phạm luật pháp, trừ khi doạ ám sát mới bị FBI đến sờ gáy mà thôi. 

Không lẽ truy nã Lisa Pham và ông Đào Minh Quân vì tội mạo phạm lãnh tụ của CSVN ư? Cái này thì quá ư ấu trĩ với các nước phương Tây. Ở các nước tự do, không ai có quyền ngăn cản người khác nói lên chính kiến của mình. Chỉ có những nước cộng sản độc tài mới cướp đi cái quyền nói lên sự thật của người dân. 

CSVN vẫn dùng chiêu phát lệnh truy nã không có hiệu lực với ngoại quốc để hù doạ người dân trong nước liệu hồn, dù có chạy qua các nước khác thì công an cũng ra lệnh truy nã bắt về. Thế mà cũng có vô số người dân tin như thế và không dám hó hé cho an phận. 

Nói chung, sự hiểu biết của một số người dân Việt Nam về luật lệ quốc tế vẫn còn thiếu, không nhận thức được đúng sai để CSVN lừa bịp, hù doạ gần một thế kỷ nay. Nhiều người vì bị tuyên truyền, nhồi sọ vẫn chưa mở mắt ra nổi và tiếp tục tin vào sự lãnh đạo của cái đảng xảo trá bịp bợm này. 

09.08.2018


          9.08.18 06:27 Ambrose  >  Росторгов 29.06.10 21:18      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
A company car <a href=" [link] ">viagra after ejaculation</a> Gov. Rick Scott blames Obama for not spending enough money to repair and shore up the dike. South Florida Democrats blame Scott and the Republican Legislature for crippling water management budget cuts. Coastal politicians blame the political influence of Big Sugar for dirty water being dumped their way.
          9.08.18 05:57 Jonathon  >  re 26.09.08 20:49      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Canada>Canada <a href=" [link] ">prescription drugsviagra</a> Will July 24, 2013 be a decisive start on meeting the economic challenges of our time — or Obama’s umpteenth repositioning to make Republicans look obstinate? Only the President can answer that question.
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When do you want me to start? <a href=" [link] ">is viagra available over the counter in the usa</a> Less than 6 months ago the CBO reiterated their conclusions that repealing Obamacare would INCREASE the defict by $109B over the next 10 years in a letter to Congressman Ryan. House Republicans cannot claim ignorance of this fact. By linking budget and debt ceiling negotiations to the repeal or delay of an item that is actually fiscally positive, they have crossed the line into being blackmailers and extortionists. The facts are simple… there is no sound fiscal argument for repealing the ACA and the MAJORITY of Americans want to see it enacted – if they didn’t the man who promised to repeal it his first day in office (Romney) would be in office instead of Obama. Conservatives need to get the H out of the way and stop extorting America.
          Comment on Obama's iPod Playlist for The Queen by cc dumps      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
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          Alfredo M. Cepero: IN PATRIA, CON AMO Y SIN HONOR      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

 Tomado de http://www.lanuevanacion.com

SIN PATRIA, CON AMO Y SIN HONOR

*************
Una sencilla operación aritmética muestra que los esclavos escapados de la plantación no se han liberado del yugo y siguen financiando el 44 por ciento de las necesidades del régimen para seguir esclavizando al pueblo de Cuba
*************

Por Alfredo M. Cepero
Director de www.lanuevanacion.com
Sígame en: http://twitter.com/@AlfredoCepero
8 de agosto de 2018.

En lo que parecería una eternidad, una banda de forajidos se apoderó por la fuerza de una república de hombres libres y la transformó por el engaño en una plantación de esclavos. Esa fue la República de Cuba, nacida de una gesta heroica que se prolongó por más de 30 años, regada con la sangre de millares de sus hijos y desarrollada con el sudor y el trabajo de tres generaciones de cubanos. No era una república perfecta pero cualquiera que haya vivido un poco sabe que no existe perfección bajo los cielos.

Sin embargo, quienes tuvimos el privilegio de vivir y disfrutar de la Cuba previa a la tiranía castrista jamás imaginamos que lo peor estaba por venir. En estos casi 60 años de esclavitud, una proporción considerable de los cubanos ha roto todos los moldes del deshonor y de la desvergüenza. Se ha dado el espectáculo insólito y alucinante de los esclavos financiando el yugo con el que los oprimen sus amos.

Cuba es un país paralizado por el terror de estado y quebrado por un sistema político obsoleto que ha fracasado en todas las latitudes en que ha sido impuesto para beneficio de minorías gansteriles y explotadoras. Ante la inercia de campesinos que se han cansado de que les roben su trabajo, los animales que nos servían de alimento, al igual que las viandas y los vegetales, han desaparecido del campo cubano y han sido sustituidos por la planta inservible y destructiva del marabú. Hoy el régimen tiene que importar el 80 por ciento de los comestibles con que mal se alimentan sus esclavos.

Pasemos revista a unas cuantas cifras para entender mejor la dimensión de la iniquidad de esos malos cubanos. Porque cubanos serán por nacimiento pero su conducta los revela como traidores a la patria de nuestros fundadores y de los millares que han ofrendado sus vidas por la libertad en este noche larga y lúgubre de la tiranía castrista. Quiero antes dejar bien claro dos factores que considero de importancia: no reclamo amplios conocimientos de economía ni confío en las estadísticas sobre Cuba porque la mayoría de ellas han sido proporcionadas por el régimen castro comunista.

Aclarados los puntos empecemos con el turismo. En el 2016, Cuba recibió más de 3 millones de turistas procedentes principalmente de Canadá, Estados Unidos, Alemania, Italia, Francia y España. Una mayoría de 1,200,000 procedentes de Canadá y, sorpresa de las sorpresas, el segundo lugar fue ocupado por 500,000 visitas de cubanos residentes en el exterior. No tengo información para cuantificar los dólares con que contribuyeron a sus antiguos amos estos "turistas" cubanos pero no puede caber duda de que fueron varios cientos de millones de dólares. En el 2017, gracias a la complicidad de Barack Obama, las visitas a Cuba se dispararon a 4.7 millones de turistas y el ingreso superó los 3,000 millones de dólares.

Donde sí he encontrado información, aunque nunca exacta, es en el renglón de las remesas familiares de cubanos en el exterior a sus familiares dentro de la Isla. Según el Departamento de Estado de los Estados Unidos esas remesas ascienden a 2,000 millones de dólares anuales, pero otras fuentes de información dignas de crédito las calculan hasta en 4,000 millones. Para el régimen castro comunista esos ingresos son no sólo en moneda dura sino en moneda limpia. Un ingreso similar en turismo o en cualquier otro reglón implica gastos en que debe incurrir el gobierno para generar un ingreso neto inferior al ingreso bruto.

Para mayor ilustración, cuando sumamos los ingresos por conceptos de remesas de cubanos desde el exterior (4000 millones), turismo (3,000 millones), ayuda de Venezuela (1,200millones) y exportaciones por conceptos de azúcar, tabaco, licores, níquel y crustáceos( 900 millones) los ingresos totales de la tiranía ascienden a un aproximado de 9,000 millones de dólares. Una sencilla operación aritmética muestra que los esclavos escapados de la plantación no se han liberado del yugo y siguen financiando el 44 por ciento de las necesidades del régimen para seguir esclavizando al pueblo de Cuba.

Pero, como decía el brillante periodista norteamericano, Paul Harvey, veamos la otra cara de la historia. Esa cara está representada por los millares de patriotas, presos y mártires cubanos de todos los tiempos. Una minoría dentro de nuestros más de 11 millones de habitantes. Pero, desde tiempos inmemoriales, las minorías no han esperado por las mayorías para cambiar y determinar el curso de la historia humana.

En nuestro caso, el 12 de enero de 1869 los hijos de la heroica Bayamo dieron fuego a su ciudad y prefirieron reducirla a cenizas antes de que se convirtiera en trofeo de foránea avaricia. Con ese gesto hicieron realidad la lapidaria frase de Perucho Figueredo en nuestro himno nacional donde proclama: "En cadenas vivir es vivir/en afrentas y oprobios sumidos".

Al mismo tiempo, a la hora de amar y servir a la patria nuestras mujeres han estado a la vanguardia. Una acaudalada dama villaclareña, Marta Abreu de Estévez, costeó en 1896 la expedición del general cienfueguero Rafael Cabrera desde Carolina del Sur hasta Las Tunas. Este general dejó escrito su testimonio de admiración por la filántropa: “Mientras haya patriotas como Marta Abreu, Cuba no podrá ser esclava”. Andando el tiempo, en 1960, una acaudala dama habanera, Chea Pedroso de García Beltrán, declinó una invitación a invertir en la industria azucarera de la Florida diciendo: "Yo no puedo invertir en una industria que le hará en el futuro la competencia a Cuba cuando restauremos en ella la libertad y la democracia."

También hemos tenido mujeres de origen humilde pero inmensamente ricas en patriotismo y en coraje. En 1868, Mariana Grajales era la matrona que había traído al mundo a once hombres y dos mujeres. Los hombres, Antonio y José los más notorios, se fueron todos a morir por la patria y las mujeres cubrieron la retaguardia. De ella dijo José Martí: ¿Qué había en esa mujer, que epopeya y misterio había en esa humilde mujer, qué santidad y unción hubo en su seno de madre, qué decoro y grandeza hubo en su sencilla vida?

A principios de este siglo XXI, otra matrona de voluntad de acero se enfrentaba a la tiranía castro comunista en el pueblo matancero de Pedro Betancourt. Gloria Amaya mandaba a sus hijos a la inmolación en defensa de la libertad de Cuba. A sus 78 años, era la única madre en el mundo con la dolorosa distinción de tener encarcelados al mismo tiempo a tres hijos Miguel, Ariel y Guido Sigler como presos de conciencia. En su honor escribí un poema que en parte dice: "Se nos ha ido la más alta/del Batallón de Vergüenza que son nuestras Damas Blancas/La heredera indiscutida/de matronas legendarias como Leonor y Mariana".

Otros momentos de oscuridad en nuestras luchas por la libertad han sido iluminados por fechas en que hombres excepcionales no se dejaron embargar por el desaliento. El 15 de marzo de 1878, el General Antonio Maceo se rebeló contra la paz precaria del Pacto del Zanjón y le dijo al General español Arsenio Martínez Campos que no envainaría su machete mientras Cuba no fuera libre. Y el 17 de abril de 1970, el Coronel Vicente Méndez, acompañado solamente por 12 comandos, desembarcó por Punta Silencio (Baracoa) para retar a un ejército de millares de soldados que no tomaban presos ni daban cuartel. Ellos cayeron en el empeño pero Cuba sigue erguida a pesar del tiempo.

Cierro este trabajo con la esperanza de que todavía haya muchos que imiten la hidalguía y el patriotismo de quienes dieron la mayor prueba de amor a Cuba ofrendando sus vidas por nuestra libertad. Pero, moleste a quien le moleste, condeno con energía y desprecio la cobardía y la frivolidad de quienes financian y legitiman con su conducta a los tiranos que nos han robado la patria. Martí dijo que quería morir "sin patria pero sin amo". Estos sujetos son muertos vivos que no tienen patria ni tienen honor. Lo único que tienen es un amo escogido por ellos mismos. El amo que, por robarles, les ha robado hasta el más mínimo vestigio de humanidad.

8-8-18
 
 El Coronel Vicente Méndez y sus hombres  listos para abordar la lancha que los llevaría al lugar del desembarco y de ahí al martirologio producto de una espía Castrista infiltrada en Alpha 66  que posteriormente retornó a Cuba y escribió dos libros orientada por la Seguridad del Estado. Uno de  esos libros fue Testimonio de una emigrada. Fotos y comentario añadidos por el bloguista de Bracutey Cubano.


          At Dayton Immigration Speech, Reform Is The Elephant In The Room      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
A representative of the White House addressed advocates in Dayton Thursday about their efforts to make immigrants welcome, but immigration reform was the elephant in the room. The tone of the event, called Welcoming Economies , was positive and focused on immigrants who start businesses. Felicia Escobar, a policy assistant to the president, presented a White House report on better integrating newcomers. But one audience member, a young woman from Toledo, asked about the high rate of deportations under President Obama, and Escobar’s tone changed. “We really are operating within the confines of a broken law,” she said. She says she’s disappointed Congress hasn’t passed sweeping reforms pushed by President Obama earlier in his presidency, and indicated that the Obama administration’s hands are tied in terms of deportation. A recent executive order that would have expanded deportation relief to a larger number of children and adults remains held up in court. The question-asker, Linda Amrou
          Obama Immigration Assistant To Speak At Dayton Conference      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Representatives from more than a dozen rust belt cities are gathering in Dayton Thursday to talk about immigration and economic development. The “Welcoming Economies” conference will include a keynote speech by Felicia Escobar , Special Assistant to the President for Immigration Policy. Global Detroit is one of the organizations sponsoring the event—the group has pushed for more immigrant-friendly policies in the city for several years. Raquel Andersen, the group’s VP of External Affairs, says groups providing services for immigrants have a lot to consider. For example, she works on homeownership and spoke with a client, a woman from Iraq, who was confused by the idea of a mortgage. “There are no mortgages in Iraq, you save for four years, you live with your family, and you buy a house outright,” Andersen says. “So it’s about really finding out what each community needs and how we might best describe all of these new concepts.” Organizations and cities at the Welcoming Economies
          "You Must Be A Racist!"      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
If you don’t agree with “Mad Max(ine) Waters, you MUST be a racist. She can’t figure out any reason why you would POSSIBLY not agree with her hair-brained ideas if you weren’t. That’s her schtick. If somebody disagrees with her, just call them a racist.Then shewon’t have to argue with them on hersilly ideas. Shecan win every argument without being right. So the fact that she’sblack was a “gift from God.” It means shenever hasto argue on the issues. Allthe black politicians use that scam—most of them, anyway.I wish I could say she learned that from Obama, who benefited also from being black, even though he is as much white as he is black. But I really think HE learned that from HER. In any case, she’s been doing it a lot longer than he has. Both are phonies, who used their “blackness” as a WEAPON on their opponents. The people in her district (she doesn’t really live there) must really be STUPID, since they keep re-electing her. Or they just want to get rid of her so they keep sending her to DC. (Just common sense)

          Obama being pushed to allow 9/11 families to sue Saudis      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
A classified portion of the 9/11 report known as the '28 pages' contains details that may connect some members of the Saudi royal family to Al Quaeda and the Septemeber 11 terror attacks. Some victims' families want to sue the Saudi government. CBS' Chip Reid explains from the White House.
          Assessor Econômico de Obama admite que os mais pobres são os mais beneficiados pelo governo Trump      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
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          How Yara Shahidi Plans to Balance College and Two TV Shows      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Just like her TV character Zoey Johnson, Yara Shahidi is heading off to college.

In just a matter of weeks, the 18-year-old activist and actress, who stars in ABC's Black-ish and its Freeform spinoff Grown-ish, will start classes at Harvard University. Shortly after she arrives at school, Shahidi is set to start production on the second season of Grown-ish, but she doesn't seem too worried about her upcoming schedule. In her The Hollywood Reporter cover story, published Wednesday, Shahidi shared her thoughts on education and how she doesn't have to choose between her career and college.

During her chat with THR, Shahidi explained that one of her college application essays discussed "this idea that people perpetuate that you have to choose between education and entertainment."

Yara Shahidi Reveals Weird Guilty Pleasures, Drugstore Beauty and More

And while it sounds like she has a busy schedule ahead of her, Shahidi told THR she wants to try to get as much of the college experience she can.

"I want to have as much of a college experience as possible," she shared with the outlet. "That's why I decided to apply in the first place."

THR also noted that Shahidi, who got a letter of recommendation from Michelle Obama, will be able to stay up to date with her coursework online. School has always been a very import part of Shahidi's life, as she explained to the outlet, "I'm that annoying person in class where if we were reading a book, I'd not only read that book, I'd read one similar, written in the same era, to find the commonalities. So, if we were reading about the French Revolution 
in AP Euro, I'd be like, 'OK, let me read Candide and Voltaire's [other works].'"

For Shahidi, being a TV star hasn't been a long-term goal. "I've always had so many other interests," she told THR. "And I knew being in almost every scene of a show that could go multiple seasons would require a level of investment that I've never needed to make before."

But Shahidi, who has become a role model to many, has no regrets about her decision. Outside of the acting world, Shahidi has started her own voting initiative called Eighteen x 18. "My passion really stemmed from having gone through the 2016 election, where myself and many of my peers were unable to vote," she shared. "A lot of them went with their parents to the polls, but there was that feeling of being lost. Like, 'What can we do to contribute to our sociopolitical landscape?'"

She later shared, "The thing people don't fully understand about my generation is just how multifaceted we are. Oftentimes, people like to oversimplify what [we] believe in or do, whether that's, 'Oh, you're on your phones all the time,' or, 'Oh, you're very self-centered,' but what I've seen from my peers is that we're socially engaged and curious about the world." 

To read more from Shahidi's interview, head on over to THR.

How Yara Shahidi Plans to Balance College and Two TV Shows originally appeared on Eonline.com
          On tariffs, Trump’s reckless ignorance can no longer go unchallenged      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

(This is the second essay in a series challenging Trump’s tariffs)

Presidents make decisions of global importance that affect millions of lives. As a result, they are expected to know something of the substance of their preferred policies, or at least be reasonably well-informed by their advisors. On trade issues, Trump is the opposite of this. He is misinformed on a level unprecedented for a President on any topic, let alone one that affects over 20% of the US economy and about which he is enormously far from the expert consensus. Imagine if President Obama, when negotiating the Iran deal in 2015, continually referred to Iran as Iraq or argued that the deal was necessary to prevent Iranian conventional weapon build-up even though the treaty dealt with nuclear proliferation. This is the level of ignorance that Trump displays, in tweets and speeches, on an almost daily basis on trade issues.

First, Trump continually argues that revenue from the tariffs he has imposed will play an important role in paying down the national debt. On Sunday, he tweeted, “Because of Tariffs we will be able to start paying down large amounts of the $21 Trillion in debt that has been accumulated.”  This is a truly astounding claim. Trump has so far imposed tariffs on $85 billion of foreign imports at an average rate of 25%, meaning that the tariffs will provide $21 billion in additional revenue, or 0.1% of the country’s $15.7 trillion publically-held debt. When you subtract the $12 billion in aid to tariff-hit farmers, Trump’s tariffs this year will be able to pay off only 0.06% of the national debt. For context, this revenue is equivalent to 1/200th of the revenue lost as a result of his tax cut bill.

Second, Trump constantly argues that other countries are taking advantage of the US and our “uniquely” open trade laws, implying that other countries provide much more unfair protection to their economies than the US does. Another brazen mistruth. According to the World Bank, the European Union imposes an average tariff of 1.96% compared to one of 1.69% in the US, hardly a significant difference. Further, both Canada and Australia, countries targeted by Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs, impose average tariffs lower than the US average. But even this doesn’t do Trump’s lie justice. Tariffs play only a small part in trade disputes among advanced economies today, with non-tariff barriers such as subsidies and buy-local provisions also serving to protect domestic economies. According to the Heritage Foundation, hardly an anti-Trump group, the EU and Canada both have higher (less protectionist) “trade freedom” scores than the US, when taking both tariffs and non-tariff barriers into account.

Third, Trump likes to argue that the US trade deficit means that the country is “losing” money to other countries, tweeting last month that “we are the “piggy bank” that’s being robbed” and “lost $817 billion on trade last year”. This is perhaps the most basic of trade economics mistakes and one that is taught to every Econ 101 college class. The trade deficit has little to do with competitiveness or tariff levels, but instead reflects the level of saving and investment in a country. Investment levels in the US are higher than national savings, forcing us to borrow investment funding from abroad which, in turn, is financed through foreign imports. In effect, we are running a trade deficit in return for higher levels of domestic investment. As a result, while our multilateral trade deficit is almost 2.9% of GDP, our capital account surplus (the level of investment coming into the US minus the level going out) is definitionally also 2.9% of GDP, with no “loss” of wealth by either the US or other countries.

It is clear that Trump has no clue what he is talking about when he loudly proclaims that his trade wars will pay off the national debt or that the US is losing a lump sum of wealth each year through trade deficits. But this ignorance is more sinister and worrying than commonly understood. Trump’s trade wars are not only hurting American workers and consumers, but also are corroding the American-led international order. America’s democratic allies, especially in Europe, are finding it politically destructive to support the President on anything given his abysmal standing amongst their home voters. As a result, Trump has no political capital to accomplish any of America’s foreign policy goals, from a new Iran deal to negotiating revised trade agreements. History shows us that long sustained fights over tariffs can lead to a collapse in international diplomacy and greater conflict between nations (take the Smoot-Hawley tariffs in 1930 for instance), and Trump will continue to push the US down this road as long as he chooses to live in a make-believe world on trade.

The first essay in this series argued that Congress must take action to rescind Trump’s tariffs because they are illegal. Even further, Congress must step in because Trump has shown himself to fundamentally misunderstand the issues at stake. This is not an honest error, that can be fixed by surrounding the President with better people. Trump has many advisors who care deeply about free trade, such as former National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn (who likely lost his job due to trade disagreements with the President) and current NEC Chairman Larry Kudlow. They have explained the nuances of trade deals to Trump many times and shown him that his tweet tirades about tariffs are patently untrue. And yet Trump doesn’t care. He would rather live in his own make-believe world, and create real policy from these fake beliefs, than actually care about the many genuine economic issues facing Americans. A President that cannot be bothered to learn any semblance of the truth cannot be trusted to act in the best interests of Americans, on trade and much else. When they re-enter session this fall, Congress has an obligation to put pressure on the President to rescind these tariffs that are both illegal and wreaking havoc on the world America created.  


          A Path Out Of Prison For Low-Level, Nonviolent Drug Offenders      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Thousands of nonviolent drug offenders serving time in federal prison could be eligible to apply for early release under new clemency guidelines announced Wednesday by the Justice Department. Details of the initiative, which would give President Obama more options under which he could grant clemency to drug offenders serving long prison sentences, were announced by Deputy Attorney General James Cole. Cole listed six factors the Justice Department will use to "prioritize clemency applications" as part of the administration's effort to address long mandatory minimum sentences meted out after the crack-fueled crime wave of the 1980s. Those mandatory minimums were revised under the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act, designed to reduce the disparity between sentencing rules for crack and powder cocaine. Inmates seeking clemency, he said, must meet the following criteria: They are currently serving a federal prison sentence that is longer than current mandatory sentences for the same offense. They
          Obama Seeks Wider Authority To Release Drug Offenders       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Attorney General Eric Holder announced Monday that the Obama administration is formulating new rules that would give it, and the president, far more latitude to pardon or reduce the sentences of thousands of drug offenders serving long federal prison sentences. The move comes amid a broad national reconsideration of mandatory minimum sentences approved by Congress in 1986, when America's big cities were in the grip of a crack cocaine-fueled crime wave. "The White House has indicated it wants to consider additional clemency applications, to restore a degree of justice, fairness, and proportionality for deserving individuals who do not pose a threat to public safety," Holder said in an online video statement released midday Monday. "The Justice Department is committed to recommending as many qualified applicants as possible for reduced sentences," he said. In anticipation of a massive influx of applications from federal prisoners seeking clemency or a reduction in their drug-related
          Backlash Over State Party's Progressive Agenda May Hobble Udall      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Colorado Democrat Mark Udall's bid for a second term has become the most unexpectedly competitive U.S. Senate race in the nation this year — and for unexpected reasons. Yes, Udall, 63, like other vulnerable Democrats, is already being pummeled by big-money conservative groups for his support of President Obama's health care legislation. And, yes, even with a last name that carries historic weight in the American West, the low-key senator has been hobbled by incumbency at a time of historic dissatisfaction with Congress, and with party leader Obama's approval rating well south of 50 percent. Udall's fortunes, however, appear much more lashed to a pair of developments back home: -- Recent and at-times virulent voter backlash against the political agenda — from stricter gun laws to civil unions — pursued by progressives who, with Democrat John Hickenlooper already in the governor's office, took full control of the state Legislature two years ago. -- The emergence of a strong Republican
          GOP congressman from New York charged with insider trading      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
NEW YORK – Republican U.S. Rep. Christopher Collins of New York was arrested Wednesday on charges he fed inside information he gleaned from sitting on the board of a biotechnology corporation to his son, helping family and friends dodge hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses when one of the company’s drugs failed in a medical trial.

Collins, a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump who was among the first sitting members of Congress to endorse his candidacy for the White House, pleaded not guilty to an indictment unsealed at a court in Manhattan. The indictment charges Collins, his son and the father of the son’s fiancee with conspiracy, securities fraud, wire fraud and making false statements to the FBI.

Speaking to reporters in Buffalo hours after his release on bail, Collins, 68, professed his innocence and said he would remain on the ballot for re-election this fall.

“I believe I acted properly and within the law at all times,” he said. “I will mount a vigorous defense in court to clear my name. I look forward to being fully vindicated and exonerated.”

Prosecutors said the charges stem from Collins’ decision to share with his son insider information about Innate Immunotherapeutics Ltd., a biotechnology company headquartered in Sydney, Australia, with offices in Auckland, New Zealand. Collins was the company’s largest shareholder, with nearly 17 percent of its shares, and sat on its board.

According to the indictment, Collins was attending the Congressional Picnic at the White House on June 22, 2017, when he received an email from the company’s chief executive saying that a trial of a drug the company developed to treat multiple sclerosis was a clinical failure.

Collins responded to the email saying: “Wow. Makes no sense. How are these results even possible???” the indictment said.

It said he then called his son, Cameron Collins, and, after several missed calls, they spoke for more than six minutes.

The next morning, according to the indictment, Cameron Collins began selling his shares, unloading enough over a two-day period to avoid $570,900 in losses before a public announcement of the drug trial results. After the announcement, the company’s stock price plunged 92 percent.

Prosecutors said the son passed the information to a third defendant, Stephen Zarsky. Their combined trades avoided more than $768,000 in losses, authorities said. They said Zarsky traded on it and tipped off at least three others.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman, a Republican, said Collins was supposed to keep the trial results secret.

“Instead, he decided to commit a crime,” he said. “Representative Collins, who, by virtue of his office, helps write the laws of this country, acted as if the law did not apply to him.”

Collins, a conservative first elected in 2012 to represent parts of western New York between Buffalo and Rochester, has vehemently denied wrongdoing. When the House Ethics Committee began investigating the stock trades a year ago, his spokeswoman called it a “partisan witch hunt.”

All three defendants pleaded not guilty and were freed on $500,000 bail.

In his Buffalo news conference, Collins acknowledged being disappointed that Innate’s drug trials didn’t go well.

“We firmly believed we were on the verge of a medical breakthrough,” he said.

But he said that even after learning of the setback, “I held on to my shares rather than sell them” as the law required.

He said the decision not to sell cost him millions of dollars.

“That’s OK,” he said. “That’s the risk I took.”

Collins has remained a vocal Trump supporter, most recently calling for an end to special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into possible campaign collusion and blaming Barack Obama’s administration for failing to push back on Russia.

On Wednesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican, said he was removing Collins from the House Energy and Commerce Committee, calling insider trading “a clear violation of the public trust.”

In a written statement Wednesday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the charges against Collins “show the rampant culture of corruption and self-enrichment among Republicans in Washington today.”

Collins ran unopposed in the Republican primary and holds what’s largely considered a safe Republican seat in a state that went to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016. He’s being challenged in November by Democrat Nate McMurray.

McMurray said Collins has brought shame to the region, but he stopped short of saying he should resign.

“That’s his decision to make. I’ll leave it up to him, but I know what I would do if I was in his place,” said McMurray, the town supervisor in the Buffalo suburb of Grand Island.

The advocacy group Public Citizen filed a request for an investigation of Collins’ stock dealings with the Office of Congressional Ethics and the Securities and Exchange Commission in January 2017.

Tom Price, who was Trump’s first secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, also came under scrutiny for his purchases of Innate stock while he was a Republican member of Congress from Georgia.

Democrats made an issue of Price’s purchase at his Senate confirmation hearings in early 2017, after the Wall Street Journal reported that company officials had said Price was allowed to buy the stocks at a low price. Price, who bought about 400,000 shares of the stock, said he’d learned of the firm through Collins but said the price he received was available to any investor.

Price resigned as health secretary last September under criticism for taking pricey charter flights at taxpayers’ expense.


          No Break From Politics On Obamacare Deadline Day      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The sign-up period for 2014 individual insurance coverage required under President Obama's Affordable Care Act expires Monday, much as it began. There were HealthCare.gov website snafus, White House pleas for enrollees, and the need for "navigators" to help those enrollees work their way through the often-balky federal insurance exchange site. (Which was temporarily out of service twice by midafternoon Monday.) Now, though, the political bickering is focused on the administration's estimate that it will exceed its first-year goal of enrolling 6 million people in health care exchanges, and on whether the law has hit its target: the nation's uninsured. "We know that there are going to be more people in this country, in the millions, who have insurance than would have had it before," White House spokesman Jay Carney said during his regular briefing with reporters Monday afternoon. "It will be very hard for Republicans and other critics to make the argument that a better world would be a
          The Angle: The Clinton Impeachment Edition      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Slow Burn: Season 2 is here! Leon Neyfakh explains why he’s diving into the Clinton impeachment scandal in the latest installment of the podcast. Listen and subscribe here.

Asbestos: Is the Trump administration really bringing back the dangerous carcinogen? Henry Grabar does some fact-checking.

Health-ish: The wellness-industrial complex—with its various supplements, detoxes, and crystals—is having a moment right now, and doctors and health care professionals aren’t holding back with their criticisms. But Rachelle Hampton points out that the medical establishment’s condescension isn’t helping the people who turned away from real doctors in the first place.

The good bots: Earlier this year, in response to revelations about Russian meddling, Twitter announced it would start cracking down on bots. Rob Dozier talks to some bot-makers about how the policy is taking the fun out of the social platform.

For fun: A mystery novel that stars Barack Obama and Joe Biden as hard-boiled super detectives? “It sounds, on its face, like a deadly dose of #resistance wish fulfillment,” but it’s better than you think, writes Andrew Kahn.

And thankfully, Trump rarely shows up,

Chau


          'Best thing ever': Issa Rae talks about 'Insecure' fans Barack and Michelle Obama      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
"Insecure" star and creator Issa Rae sits down with TODAY's Hoda Kotb to discuss receiving her very first Emmy nomination for the show and what it's like knowing Barack and Michelle Obama are huge fans. "(It's) weird, yes, but also the best thing ever," Rae said.
          Stricter Fuel Standards May Cause More Auto Accidents      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Stricter Fuel Standards May Cause More Auto Accidents I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer. Cars getting better gas mileage is more of a curse rather than a blessing, according to the Trump Administration. They argue that better gas mileage would result in more people on the road, therefore, they would be exposed to higher levels of risk. This argument is meant to justify freezing Obama-era toughening of fuel standards. Transportation experts debate these claims, which were contained in a proposal draft prepared by the administration this summer. Additionally, draft excerpts obtained by the Associated Press reveal the administration’s plan to dispute California’s long-running authority to enact its own, stricter fuel and pollution standards. Revisions for the mileage requirements from 2021 – 2026 are still a work in progress, according to the administration, and changes might be made prior to the proposal’s public release. It’s…
          It's Official: A Record Number of Women Are Running for Governor and Congress      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
When Haley Stevens walked up to the well-kept house in Canton on the Monday before the Michigan primary, the dogs started to bark. "Oh, golly, it's dog alley!" she said, then approached the man getting out of his car to ask for his vote. He went to get his wife, and Patty Domin came out to say she would be definitely voting for Stevens, a former manufacturing executive who was the Chief of Staff for President Barack Obama's Auto Task Force. "First of all, she came to my house," says Domin.
          Comment on Obama Judge Rules School Girls Must Accept Boys In Their Locker Rooms by Joel      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Fail, on part of the Judge, who now isn't so honorable.
          Comment on Obama Judge Rules School Girls Must Accept Boys In Their Locker Rooms by Joel      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Why is it so hard to use the restroom that corresponds with your gender aka sex, at birth? It's not rocket science, but some people are making it harder than that. Vagina = female Penis: male
          Comment on Obama’s Ed Secretary: We Should Have Pushed Common Core Even Harder by Kane      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
they have controlled education for centuries and look where it has led too .Look what natural abilities, instincts, psychic levels of communication and intuitions and spiritual knowledge we have been robbed off and sold primitive methods and devices of communication whereby they can supervise monitor and record everything for their totalitarian control over human resources as their assets in their nanny state privatized corporate controlled balance sheets.
          Democrats' Base Is Energized But They Still Need A Message      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: OK, so Democrats who are running for office in 2018 believe they have the wind at their backs. Their political base is energized, and they hope to turn that energy into winning campaigns for the House and the Senate. Many general election campaigns officially kick off tonight after the winners are clear in primary races in these states - Ohio, Indiana, North Carolina, West Virginia. But Democrats face one big question - do they stand for anything besides their opposition to President Trump? Here's NPR's Mara Liasson. MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: This year, Democrats don't need much of a message to motivate their base. Donald Trump has done that for them. What Democrats do need, says Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report, is a message to move beyond their base. AMY WALTER: The next challenge then for Democrats is, how do they talk to independent voters or voters who may have supported Barack Obama in the past, voted for Donald Trump
          Rawanda      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
tiny hayder

That is Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Tiny Hayder's Plea" from Tuesday night.


Ann Garrison has an important article at BLACK AGENDA RADIO:

I’m not one to pray, but if I were, I’d pray that Rwanda won’t suffer another ethnic bloodbath. I’ve met so many gracious, intelligent, and talented Rwandans of both ethnicities that I hate to imagine it. However, if there is another bloodbath, the blood will all be on US officials’ hands. Rwanda has been a longstanding US ally and military partner ever since it helped Kagame seize power in the war of 1990 to 1994. US officials, including President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, UN Ambassador Samantha Power, and UN Ambassador/National Security Advisor Susan Rice, have all helped Kagame and his cronies perpetuate the myth of ethnic reconciliation when nothing could be further from the truth. The classified diplomatic cable reached the State Department in August 2008. The next year Bill Clinton gave Kagame one of his Global Citizenship Awards and described him as “one of the greatest leaders in the world today.”
All former presidents have security clearance to review classified documents, but Rwanda has been one of Bill Clinton’s personal projects ever since Kagame seized power, and he no doubt knew the score long before 2008.
Kagame is the biggest crook of them all and the desire to turn him into a hero is really disgusting.  I remember being hugely disappointed in Laura Flanders for promoting the lies in the film HOTEL RAWANDA.  It was shocking.




Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"


Wednesday, August 8, 2018.

War, it brings big bucks to corporations.






In other stupidity . . .


People forget that the rate of tragic deaths in Iraq under Saddam was way higher than post war. They also forget that the biggest participation free elections ever in the country took place in 2007.
 
 



People forget?

People forget about national elections in Iraq in 2007?

Maybe because they didn't take place.  Parliamentary elections were at the end of 2005.  Provincial (or governorate) elections took place in January 2005.  Is he talking about either of those?  Iraq didn't have elections in 2007.

Guess he forgot that.

He also seems to have forgotten that Saddam Hussein has been labeled a War Criminal and that the Americans, the British, the Australians, et al, didn't go in promising 'we'll make it a little better,' they went in promising freedom.

He seems to forget a great deal -- and to remember even less.

On elections, let's go first to the KRG where parliamentary elections are supposed to take place in September.  This has been the plan.  But the US government isn't pleased so they once again insert Brett McGurk into the process.  He's been promising and more to try to stop these elections.

Remember in the spring of 2012?  Nouri al-Maliki refused to honor his promises in The Erbil Agreement (the 2010 agreement that the US negotiated to give Nouri a second term after the Iraqi voters said no).  He refused to form a power-sharing government (among other things).  As a result, the politicians spoke out.  Then they began a Constitutional effort to oust him.  This was Kurd Massoud Barzani, Shi'ite Ayad Allawi, Sunni Osama al-Nujaifi . . ..  It even included Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr.

Moqtada repeatedly said that they would drop the effort if Nouri would implement his side of the contract (The Erbil Agreement).  Nouri refused.  So they went forward.  The Constitution required that after the appropriate number of signatures were collected, the petition was turned over to the President of Iraq who had the purely ceremonial act of introducing it into Parliament.  The president was Jalal Talabani.  Under pressure from the US and offered bribes, Jalal refused to introduce the petition.  He then announced he needed emergency surgery and had to leave immediately for Germany.  (He had elective knee surgery.  Karma would bite him in his fat ass as the year closed out and he actually had a stroke and had to be taken to Germany.)

Where there's a dollar tossed, there's a Talabani.

Brett McGurk may not know much but he knows his way around a whore or two.

Which is how he got the Qubad Talabani to insist that the vote must be postponed.

Baxtiyar Goran (KURDISTAN 24) reports:


Qubad Talabani has no right to speak on behalf of all the political parties in the Kurdistan Region regarding the date of the upcoming parliamentary elections, a spokesperson for the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) said on Monday.
KDP spokesperson Mahmood Mohammed said in a statement that the party is against postponing the parliamentary elections, scheduled for Sep. 30, and that Talabani should not speak on behalf of other political parties.
Talabani, a senior member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and Deputy Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), said all political parties are for postponing the elections.
Speaking at the opening of Sulaimani Airport’s new terminal on Monday, he claimed nobody had the courage to discuss postponing the elections publicly.
Talabani was assigned as head of the PUK electoral list for the upcoming parliamentary elections after the removal of Arsalan Baiz.
“[Talabani] should not have spoken on behalf of all the parties because every party has its own position that it is going to convey through its own institutions,” the KDP spokesperson said in the statement.


Maybe the PUK wouldn't do so poorly in the elections if one of the Talabanis had a spine?

As it is, they've destroyed the party.

And they lied to the entire country.

In 2012,  Iraqi President Jalal Talabani suffered a stroke.   The incident took place late on December 17, 2012 (see the December 18th snapshot) and resulted in Jalal being admitted to Baghdad's Medical Center Hospital.    Thursday, December 20, 2012, he was moved to Germany.  He remained there for a year and a half.  He was incapacitated.  But the Talabani family lied to everyone so that, as the Iraqi Constitution requires, Jalal wouldn't be removed from office.

They lied to the country.  They deceived the Iraqi people.  They propped him up and posed him for pictures -- leading Arabic media to mock it as WEEKEND AT BERNIE'S -- but they couldn't offer video because he couldn't speak.

He never spoke in public again.  Not even when he returned to Iraq 18 months after his stroke.

And yet a Talabani thinks they have a place to speak for the government today?

Iraq needed a president.  Yes, it's a ceremonial post.  But Iraq was in a very difficult position and it needed a president.  It's president was in a German sick bed and unable to speak or move.  Had the Iraqi people known that, they would have followed the Constitution and stripped him of his post.

This huge lie will not vanish.

Nor will the fact that Qubad is married to an American woman who, up until the marriage, worked for the US State Dept (far more controversial in Iraq is the fact that Sherri Kraham is Jewish).  Qubad already had the mark against him that he grew up in Europe, not the KRG, then he goes off and marries a foreigner and he's seen as even less representative of the Kurds.

Naturally, that's the one Brett would go after.


Will the KRG postpone their elections?  Hopefully not.  And the US government has done nothing for them.  It even attacked them for the non-binding referendum they held last September.



Hayder al-Abadi was a wee little man 
And a wee little man was he
He climbed up on the empire's coat tails
Cause his soul he wanted to sell 



Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Tiny Hayder's Plea" went up last night.

US puppet Hayder is in trouble -- as Tamer El-Ghobashy and Mustafa Salim's (WASHINGTON POST) reporting has made clear.

Then-US President Barack Obama installed him as prime minister in 2014.  He came into office with a lot of promises -- including that he'd end corruption.  Four years later, he's got nothing to show for it.

He announced last December that he'd defeated ISIS but ISIS has refused to play along with that claim.




May 12th, Iraq held national elections.  Ahead of the elections, there had been big hopes -- these hopes included a large turnout.   Ali Jawad (ANADOLU AGENCY) noted, "A total of 24 million Iraqis are eligible to cast their ballots to elect members of parliament, who will in turn elect the Iraqi president and prime minister."  RUDAW added, "Around 7,000 candidates have registered to stand in the May 12 poll, with 329 parliamentary seats up for grabs."  AFP explained that the nearly 7,000 candidates includes 2014 women.  THE SIASAT DAILY added, of the nearly 7,000 candidates, "According to the electoral commission, only 20 percent of the candidates are newcomers." Ali Abdul-Hassan and Sinan Salaheddin (AP) reported, "Iraqi women account for 57 percent of Iraq’s population of over 37 million, according to the U.N. Development Program, and despite government efforts to address gender inequality, the situation for Iraqi women has declined steadily since 2003.  According to the UNDP, one in every 10 Iraqi households is headed by a widow. In recent years, Iraqi women suffered further economic, social and political marginalization due to decades of wars, conflict, violence and sanctions." 


The other big hope?  For the US government, the biggest hope was that Hayder al-Abadi's bloc would come in first so that he would have a second term as prime minister.  It was not to be.  Mustapha Karkouti (GULF NEWS) identifies the key issues as follows, "Like in previous elections, the main concerns of ordinary Iraqis continue to be the lack of security and the rampant corruption."

As we noted the day of the election:

Corruption is a key issue and it was not a topic explored by candidates outside of Moqtada al-Sadr's coalition.  Empty lip service was offered.  Hayder al-Abadi, current prime minister, had been offering empty lip service for four years.  He did nothing.  Iraqis were supposed to think that, for example, Hayder's focus on ISIS in Mosul mattered.  All life was supposed to stop because of Mosul?  All expectations were to be ignored because of Mosul?

Arabic social media today and yesterday was full of comments about the lack of improvement in services.  It noted how the elections had not mattered before and, yes, how in 2010 the US government overturned the elections because they didn't like the outcome. 



So it was probably only surprising to the US government and their press hacks that Hayder wouldn't come in first.  But that was after the votes were counted.  On the day of the election, the big news was how so few were turning out to vote.  NPR reported, "With more than 90 percent of the votes in, Iraq's election commission announced voter turnout of 44.5 percent. The figure is down sharply from 60 percent of eligible voters who cast their ballots in the last elections in 2014." AP pointed out the obvious, "No election since 2003 saw turnout below 60 percent."  AFP broke it down even more clearly "More than half of the nearly 24.5 million voters did not show up at the ballot box in the parliamentary election, the highest abstention rate since the first multiparty elections in 2005 [. . .]."

Repeatedly in the months ahead of the election, the western press assured us Hayder would win re-election, he would lead, he was a shoe-in, he was . . .

A loser.

He didn't come in first.  He didn't come in second.  He came in third.

The sitting prime minister came in third.

That's a huge rejection.

And protests have been taking place since the start of last month because Iraqis are tired of the corruption, tired of the lack of jobs, tired of not having electricity or potable water.

Hayder's tried some for-show measures to end the protests.  They've not been successful.  He's tried using the military to intimidate and attack the protesters (and at least 14 protesters have been killed).

Hayder is a failure.

The US government wants their puppet to stay in place.  The Iraqi people do not want that.

In 2010, the US government went around the Iraqi people to give Nouri al-Maliki a second term.  Will they do that this year with Hayder?  It's really important to grasp that it is Nouri's second term that allowed the Islamic State to take hold in Iraq.

In other violence, Belkis Wille (Human Rights Watch) notes:


The horrific case of an Iraqi woman apparently murdered at home should prompt Iraq’s new parliament, once formed, to finally pass a draft domestic violence law which has been pending since 2015.
According to Iraqi media and BBC Arabic, one day last week a bridegroom returned his bride to her parents the day after their wedding, complaining that she was not a virgin. Media reports claim that upon hearing the accusation, a family member beat her to death. Media reports say that police have arrested a male relative.
While the man will likely now face trial for murder, it is possible that he may benefit from a reduced sentence under a provision in Iraq’s penal code allowing for shorter sentences for violent acts – including murder – for so-called “honorable motives.” But there is no “honor” in such brutal and needless killing. Moreover, the murdered bride would be just one of hundreds of women and children who suffer violence at the hands of their families in Iraq each year.
If passed, Iraq’s new domestic violence law would oblige the government to protect domestic violence survivors, including with restraining orders and penalties for breaching them, and the creation of a cross-ministerial committee to combat domestic violence. It would also require the government to provide shelters so women at risk of violence have a safe place to go if they are forced to flee their home.
The draft law is not perfect. It contains several flaws, including a preference for families to address violence through “reconciliation committees” rather than prosecution, and could be improved. Iraqi authorities should also set clear penalties for the crime of domestic violence, and close the loophole that lets abusers receive reduced punishments for so-called “honor” crimes, both not addressed in the draft law.

If improved, this draft law is the best chance Iraq’s new parliament has to tackle the scourge of violence in the home, fulfill its international legal obligations on domestic violence, and save the lives of countless Iraqi women and children.



Lastly, in the US, Peter Van Buren has been banned from Twitter for the crime of free speech.



Peter Van Buren: Twitter Suspends Me Forever
 
 
Scott Horton, Peter Van Buren, and Dan McAdams have been suspended from Twitter. If you go to their accounts, you will see their old tweets, but they are prohibited from making new tweets. They were reported by for criticizing his posts. Please complain to Twitter.
 
 
Dear please immediately restore the account of Peter Van Buren . He hasn't done anything wrong and hasn't broken any of Twitter's rules or Terms of Service.
 
 

The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley, BLACK AGENDA REPORT and PACIFICA EVENING NEWS -- updated:





  •           Rumors abound: Ridiculous Obama-era light bulb rules may be tossed in the rubbish      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
    The Trump administration is preparing to repeal an Obama-era rule effectively outlawing a wide swath of popular light bulbs, The Washington Post reported Wednesday. The Department of Energy is ready to scrap a rule broadening the number of lightbulbs that must meet strict energy efficiency standards set to take effect in 2020, according to a document the agency published on its website. The document was later removed from the site, WaPo noted. Former President Barack Obama's DOE expanded the class of bulbs covered by a 2007 lightbulb ban to include bug lights, three-way bulbs, "rough service lamps," and some decorative bulbs, such as globe-shaped bulbs. Obama's decision came in January 2017 and roped in bulbs that had previously been exempt from the ban.
              The real Q plot?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
    Could "they" be right that President Trump and special counsel Robert S. Mueller III are not really at war but are secret collaborators who have a grand plot that will end with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in striped prison suits and Trump as the national savior?

    Could "they" be right that President Trump and special counsel Robert S. Mueller III are not really at war but are secret collaborators who have a grand plot that will end with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in striped prison suits and Trump as the national savior?

    Might that explain Trump's shocking reversal over the weekend when he again made liars of himself, his lawyers and his press secretary by changing his story and admitting that the meeting at Trump Tower of his son, son-in-law and his top campaign officials with Russian agents in June 2016 was to get "dirt" on Clinton from the Russians to use in the campaign? The dirt — campaign plans stolen from the digital troves of the Democratic Party — was dumped on the world through Wikileaks a few days later. Trump seems to be getting in sync with Mueller, who has been collecting evidence on the famous gathering with four Russians with links to the Kremlin. Why would he be doing it if he and Mueller don't have something clever up their sleeves?

    "They" are the conspiracists on social media known as QAnon who claim to be high federal agents with the top-secret Q security clearance. They posit that all the lies and stupid snafus of the president actually are cover for the genius president's grand plan to upend the political status quo and send the real crooks and traitors — Clinton, Barack Obama and perhaps others — to prison for life, if not to a Rosenberg fate. The theory has millions of followers on social media, who follow Trump's seemingly brainless utterings and QAnon follow-ups for clues to the grand scheme. You noticed them in the cheering throngs at his rallies wearing Q T-shirts and waving Q signs.

    You must admit that the basic facts render the Mueller investigation and Trump's obsession with it a little suspicious. All the men who seem to be Trump's tormentors in the Russian investigation are actually dedicated Republicans, although the president keeps screaming about the "17" Democrats who are out to get him. Mueller is a lifelong Republican. So is James Comey, the FBI director and former high Bush administration official whom Trump fired. So is Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whom Trump keeps savaging in hopes he will resign. So is Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general whom Trump appointed and then castigated and who was part of Kenneth Starr's team of Republican prosecutors who investigated Bill and Hillary Clinton for seven years. So is, or was, Andrew McCabe, briefly the acting FBI director after Comey's firing. So is Christopher A. Wray, the former Bush official whom Trump appointed FBI director and who directs the FBI team assigned to the Mueller investigation. So is the avid politico Brett Kavanaugh, who twice worked on Starr's team, first to try to prosecute the Clintons for the suicide of their friend Vince Foster and then President Clinton for his dalliance with Monica Lewinsky. Kavanaugh will be confirmed as a Supreme Court justice this fall in time to cast a decisive vote to protect Trump if it's needed.

    The FBI has always, at least in modern times, been sort of a Republican police force, directed by partisan Republicans. Remember that the FBI chief who directed the FBI probes of the Clintons for Kenneth Starr and other special prosecutors for eight years was Louis Freeh, the Reagan and Bush acolyte who Clinton wanted to fire but never did.

    But there may be a more rational explanation than the Q conspiracy for Trump's about-face on the Russian meeting and his need to reach an accommodation with Mueller.

    Aside from the matter of colluding with Russians to interfere in an election — a criminal violation of the federal code in spite of Trump's and his lawyers' assertions that collusion is legal — Mueller is confronted with overwhelming circumstantial evidence from Trump's mouth, tweets and executive actions that he tried to obstruct justice in the investigation of the Russian interference. Bill Clinton was charged with obstruction by Starr and the Republican House of Representatives for not admitting to his family and the country that he had oral sex with Monica Lewinsky and thus encouraging her to lie.

    Mueller, one can surmise, dreads still another constitutional crisis like those that followed the Nixon and Clinton impeachment efforts, the latter of which proved to be enormously unpopular with the American people. There will be numerous convictions and guilty pleas by Trump campaign and perhaps family members, but Mueller needs to avoid charging the president himself with trying to stop or influence the Russian investigation. He needs to be able to conclude that there is not enough evidence that Trump purposely obstructed the probe. To do so, he needs to hear it from Trump's own lips.

    Trump courtier Rudy Giuliani sent a letter to Mueller this week begging him to agree in advance not to ask Trump those questions if Trump sits down with him. Even while trying to assert his naïeveté, Trump could get caught in provable perjury for which, like Kenneth Starr, Mueller would have to prosecute him.

    That is the mating dance.


              AKCIÓÓÓ Stadler Form Jack digitális ultrahangos párásító f - Jelenlegi ára: 40 000 Ft      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
    Stadler Form Jack digitális ultrahangos párásító fehér 1db részletes leírása
    Termék leírása: Ultrahangos párásító technológia, csúcsteljesítményű vízlágyító patron, kapcsolható előmelegítő rendszer, ISC TM ionos ezüstkocka, illatanyag kibocsátás, beépített higrosztát, elektronikus vezérlés, érintő kijelző, változtatható teljesítmény, a készülék üzem közben is utántölthető, antibakteriális tartály, éjszakai üzemmód (a LED elsötétíthető, vagy lekapcsolható), fényjelzéses vízállásmutató, háromszoros vízminőség védelem (mikrobaölő), LEC TM technológia, ajánlott szobaméret: max. 65 m / 160 m3, teljesítmény: 40W (az előmelegítés 125W), zajszint: 26 dB, kimenet max. 480g / h, tank kapacitás 5 liter, méretek: 230 x 316 x 165 mm, érintő kijelző, súly: 3, 2 kg.
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    AKCIÓÓÓ Stadler Form Jack digitális ultrahangos párásító f
    Jelenlegi ára: 40 000 Ft
    Az aukció vége: 2018-08-21 17:49
              After Sanctions, Iran's Economy Is Nearing a Crisis - Bloomberg      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

    Bloomberg

    After Sanctions, Iran's Economy Is Nearing a Crisis
    Bloomberg
    In the runup to the Aug. 7 resumption of U.S. sanctions against Iran, the country's beleaguered president, Hassan Rouhani, got stern directives from a few corners of the Islamic Republic. Iran's Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, urged him to deal with ...
    Why can't Iran's mullahs dupe Trump?Washington Post
    US general criticizes leader of Iran's Quds ForceCNN
    China, Germany defend Iran business ties as US sanctions gripReuters
    The Atlantic -Business Insider -The Hill -Breitbart News
    all 1,788 news articles »

              China, Germany defend Iran business ties as US sanctions grip - Reuters      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

    Reuters

    China, Germany defend Iran business ties as US sanctions grip
    Reuters
    BEIJING/BERLIN (Reuters) - China and Germany defended their business ties with Iran on Wednesday in the face of President Donald Trump's warning that any companies trading with the Islamic Republic would be barred from the United States.
    Why can't Iran's mullahs dupe Trump?Washington Post
    US general criticizes leader of Iran's Quds ForceCNN
    What It Would Take for Iran to Talk to TrumpThe Atlantic
    Business Insider -The Hill -Brookings Institution (blog) -Military Times
    all 1,788 news articles »

              How One State Convinced Its 'Young Invincibles' To Get Health Insurance      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
    Buying insurance doesn't always feel like it makes economic sense, especially for young healthy people. So why are they still willing to pay? Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: When President Obama was pitching the Affordable Care Act, one of his sells was that in some cases you could get health coverage for what you spend on your cell phone bill. The difference, of course, is that most people actually use their cell phones every day. Some people don't use health insurance at all in a given year, especially the young and healthy. So, why did so many of them sign up in the end? David Kestenbaum with our Planet Money team got some answers by turning to a state that has some experience with getting young people onboard. DAVID KESTENBAUM, BYLINE: In 2007, Massachusetts was rolling out what in many ways was the inspiration for the Affordable Care Act. It was called the Health Connector. And it was a chance for all those uninsured people to finally get coverage.
              Does Raising The Minimum Wage Kill Jobs?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
    President Obama has called for increasing the minimum wage, saying it will help some of the poorest Americans. Opponents argue that a higher minimum wage will lead employers to cut jobs. Figuring out the effect of raising the minimum wage is tough. Ideally you'd like to compare one universe where the minimum was raised against an alternate universe where it remained fixed. Economist David Card found the next best thing. In 1992, New Jersey was about to raise its minimum wage. Right next door, there was a parallel universe: Pennsylvania, which was not raising its minimum wage. Card and a colleague decided to study what had happened to jobs at fast-food restaurants in both states. They surveyed restaurants and found that the number of jobs actually went up in New Jersey, which increased its minimum wage, compared to the number of jobs in Pennsylvania, which didn't. Card theorized that employers were making less money. The prices of hamburgers had gone up. But as far as he could tell,
              Chloë Grace Moretz on the importance of the midterm elections and why 'queer stories should stand together'       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

    The horrors of conversion therapy for members of the LGBTQ community are put on full display in "The Miseducation of Cameron Post." The new film stars Chloë Grace Moretz as the titular character, a high school teen who’s forced to enter a Christian treatment center to "cure" her attraction for other girls.

    Directed by Desiree Akhavan, the flick earned the grand jury prize at this year's Sundance film festival. Despite the accolades, "Miseducation" struggled to find a distributor, which wasn't the case for 2018's other conversion therapy movie, "Boy Erased."  Moretz called out the double standard in an interview with the L.A. Times, saying, "Queer movies should be told through a queer lens and created by queer people," noting how Akhavan is a "bisexual woman of diversity" while "Boy Erased" was told through a "straight male gaze."

    We caught up with Moretz to chat about the toll conversion therapy takes on people, diversity in Hollywood and why LGBTQ supporters need to head to the voting booths this fall.

    Chloë Grace Moretz talks 'The Miseducation of Cameron Post'

    Chloe Grace Moretz Miseducation of Cameron Post

    After meeting with real survivors, what surprised you the most about conversion therapy?

    For me, I really wanted to adequately depict the conversion therapy scenes in which I was actually going through the psychotherapy and the manipulation. That was a big thing to me, in getting down to the realities of, especially in the film, the iceberg idea and how that was depicted and whether or not that was real. Finding out that it was, it wasn't always called an iceberg, but that idea of appropriating the gender construct and weaponizing that and using it to manipulate kids to try and find the reasons for their, as they call it, SSA, which is same-sex attraction. That was something I really wanted to figure out.

    One of the first questions I asked each survivor was whether or not they really tried. When they showed up, did they immediately go and understand and realize that this is completely hypocritical, or were they just as committed? Unanimously, the answer from everyone was that they were first and foremost very much so committed and they tried their hardest. It wasn't until years into it, usually around five or six years per person, that they realized that, first of all, the people in power have absolutely no bearing reality, no real reliable education to be able to use the psychotherapy in the way they're doing it.

    It's interesting to see in the film how language is co-opted to get into these kids' heads.

    What's hard is that they use simple ideals of therapy in general. The construct isn't the problem, it's the content and what they're trying to do, get across and manipulate. They just steal the construct and the therapy 101 of it all, which is what these camps do. It's an insidious form of manipulation. Not all the camps are shock therapy and reversion and these aggressive forms. It does take a lot more of an insidious and quiet and silent approach to opening the door within yourself of self doubt. Through that, they let it, like a cancer, run its course throughout yourself as you start to begin to hate who you were born as.

    LGBTQ community has made a lot of strides in recent years, but are you worried that all this progress will be lost under the Trump administration?

    The reality of, at least conversion therapy specifically, 700,000 people are currently affected and have gone through conversion therapy. 57,000 is the baseline number of young, underage people who'll be put through conversion therapy within the next five years. That's just the reality. Only 14 states have made it illegal and in those 14 states, the only legislation that's passed is to protect minors, which doesn't revoke the licenses of these therapists. All they do is switch the names around a little bit and they hide the fact that they're actual conversion and reversion therapy camps or weekend retreats, which they usually go by.

    As wonderful were the leaps and bounds of the Obama administration, I think we've seen since as the Trump administration has come into effect, we've seen laws and legislation that were passed, I mean some of which 50 years ago have started being advocated for, are now on the table to potentially be revoked. I think reality is harrowing and incredibly motivating in a sense that, one of the problems with the Democratic Party is complacency and those who haven't gone out to vote, even though they've been incredibly unhappy with the political standing in America. I think in these midterms we'll really see whether the Democrats will come out and advocate for what's right. I do think that because of the massive juxtaposition in this country and this lack of gray area, it's really polarized people to make decisions. I think you'll see a lot of young people who might not have been registered to vote, who might've felt it as pertinent to get out there and cast their ballot, I think you're going to see them turning out. I hope you're going to see them turning out because what we've seen is, even if they don't, the Republicans do and they are going to cast their vote either way.

    You made headlines recently for calling out Hollywood over its support for another conversion therapy film, while "Miseducation" struggled to find distribution despite winning the grand jury prize at Sundance. What's missing from the conversation around diversity?

    I think it's the perspectives. The reason I chose to do this movie was because I trused Desi. Desi being a bisexual, Iranian woman, I knew that she understood adversity. I knew that she would be able to depict this story in a light that felt different. I do think that queer stories in general do need to be told and that we do need to stand together. Queer stories should stand together and we should not conquer and divide.

    But, I so wholly stand behind this project and I stand behind Desi because of her diversity and it's really latent throughout our script and our story. We have a cast of many colors, enthnicities and backgrounds. One thing that really strikes me is that Mathew Shurka, who's a survivor and a consultant on our movie says is that the one thing about conversion therapy is that it does not discriminate. What is shocking about it is that it's people from every socio-economic background, from different races, religions and, ultimately, it is fear-mongering, which crosses a lot of different lines. We really wanted to make that come across in our movie. I think this is a story that needs to be told, but I'm just happy that it's through Desi's lens for our film.

    "The Miseducation of Cameron Post" opens in theaters Aug. 10.


              2016 Has Been A Mixed Bag For LGBT Politics      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
    At just about every Hillary Clinton campaign event this year, and much of last, you could find lots of rainbows and posters with the letters "LGBT" on them in the crowd. The average Hillary Clinton event has a healthy amount of gay, lesbian and transgender Clinton supporters in attendance. This past Thursday at a rally co-headlined by Clinton and first lady Michelle Obama, Charlotte resident Matt Hirschy wore a rainbow-print "H" sticker and a wedding ring. Before the rally, he was still celebrating the achievements of last year, namely the Supreme Court's Obergefell v. Hodges decision, which made same-sex marriage legal throughout the country. "If you would have asked me growing up that my parents would accept me for being gay or that I'd be able to get married, I'd probably laugh," Hirschy says. "Well, I probably wouldn't do anything, I'd run away scared because I wasn't out yet, but I'd probably be very skeptical of it." Hirschy, a Hillary Clinton supporter, says that in spite of the
              For Much Of Black America, Election 2016 Has Been Rough      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
    Kalena Boller remembers exactly where she was during Barack Obama's first presidential inauguration: at work. "I was the only Black person in the entire pre-production room." Boller is an Atlanta-based TV producer and on Jan. 20, 2009, she says her white coworkers treated her extremely well when they all gathered to watch Obama take the oath of office. "When I walked in, it was almost like they rolled out the red carpet for Kalena," she said. "They said, 'come sit.' They let me sit in the front. I have an Afro! So I was blocking people's view. And I started crying, and a tissue box rolled up. I felt like royalty! It was weird, but you know what? I said, 'Let me have this.'" From then to now, it's been emotional-political whiplash. When asked to compare her joy that day to her experience watching the 2016 presidential campaign unfold, Boller said, solemnly, "I often times just want to go home, get under my bed, and just stay there. But I can't." Boller's experience this year is hardly
              President Obama: African-American History Museum Is 'Central To The American Story'      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
    Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: A century after it was envisioned, a decade after Congress authorized it, the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture is open to the public. The dedication of the museum was yesterday. Celebrities and musicians were on hand, and the keynote address came from President Barack Obama. Here's NPR's Sam Sanders. SAM SANDERS, BYLINE: The tens of thousands of people that came to the National Mall Saturday morning were greeted with music. (SOUNDBITE OF MARCHING BAND PLAYING) SANDERS: There was the Howard University marching band and Patti LaBelle. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) PATTI LABELLE: (Singing) It's been too hard living, but I'm afraid to die. SANDERS: And that was just a taste of all the performances. It was all for the opening of the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, an opening that was literally over 100 years in the making. Reverend Calvin Butts III was the first
              After Sanctions, Iran's Economy Is Nearing a Crisis - Bloomberg      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

    Bloomberg

    After Sanctions, Iran's Economy Is Nearing a Crisis
    Bloomberg
    In the runup to the Aug. 7 resumption of U.S. sanctions against Iran, the country's beleaguered president, Hassan Rouhani, got stern directives from a few corners of the Islamic Republic. Iran's Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, urged him to deal with ...
    Why can't Iran's mullahs dupe Trump?Washington Post
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              Malia Obama Seen Smoking a Cigarette on a PDA-Filled Date with Her Boyfriend      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
    Ah, young love?
              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), 110(a)(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.


              Comment on I'm Losing It: Busting Out of My Button Downs by linming0303      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
    iphone 8 hülle chmerzhaft 20 Monaten der Obama-Administration und die demokratische Führung im Kongress erweitert ,<a href="http://www.emebuy.com/iPhone-case-c-500991940c/" rel="nofollow">iphone 8 hülle</a>,die Reichweite der Bundesregierung über jede Grenze und die Grenze der Gründerväter hatten, America,<a href="http://www.emebuy.com/Apple-accessories-c-500271370c/" rel="nofollow">Iphone zubehör</a>,n Exceptionalism versichern eingeführt. Die Regierung hat ein Großteil der Automobilindustrie, der ,<a href="http://www.emebuy.com/Mobile-phone-case-c-500244520c/" rel="nofollow">hülle huawei p9</a>,Finanzindustrie, die Versicherungswirtschaft übernommen, und die Studiengebühren Finanzierung Industrie und gibt Sweetheart-Angebote an die Gewerkschaften, finanzielle Wahlunterstützung für sich selbst zu versichern. Die linke haben die loco Weed des Sozialismus schnupperte und laufen Amok, um die sehr grundlegenden Prinzipien zu stürzen, die uns eine kapitalistische, demokratische Republik gemacht haben, die ihresgleichen sucht. Fordern Sie sie heraus und was mit Ihnen in Verbindun deksel Huawei p9 �?trenger vi å direkte disse energi strømmer i riktig retning.grunnleggende prinsipper for moderne F,<a href="http://www.butikkbuy.com/Mobile-phone-case-c-500244520c/" rel="nofollow">deksel Huawei p9</a>,eng Shui: Positive tanker tiltrekker seg gunstige Qi, negative tanker tiltrekker seg negative og ska,<a href="http://www.butikkbuy.com/iPhone-case-c-500991940c/" rel="nofollow">deksel iphone se</a>,delige Qi. En negativ tilstand bekymringer har en negativ innvirkning på enhver situasjon.hver del a,<a href="http://www.butikkbuy.com/Apple-accessories-c-500271370c/" rel="nofollow">Iphone tilbehør</a>,v creation er levende og full av energi, ånd og sjel. Vi trenger å jobbe for å koble med begynnelsen av alle ting. Vi er hele tiden påvirkes av mange faktorer, så du trenger ikke å søke for en ideell løsning til et problem. Velge og bruke forskjellige mulige løsninger fra de som er tilgjengelige. Intuisjon hjelper alltid. Etter alle, feng shui er en intuitiv forståelse av en person's place og retning i universet. Iphone tillbehör den och genomsnittliga alkoholintag var högre i de alkoholrelaterade sociala problem jämfört med de,<a href="http://www.shoppabuy.com/Apple-accessories-c-500271370c/" rel="nofollow">Iphone tillbehör</a>,m som visade ingen alkoholrelaterade sociala problem."från en harm reduction-perspektiv, lärande str,<a href="http://www.shoppabuy.com/Apple-screen-film-c-500462170c/" rel="nofollow">skärmskydd iphone 6 teknikmagasinet</a>,ategier till måttlig kan vara ett positivt första steg i att välja att avstå från att dricka helt oc,<a href="http://www.shoppabuy.com/iPhone-case-c-500991940c/" rel="nofollow">iphone fodral 8</a>,h hållet. Från en self-stärkande förhållningssätt, individer är fria att väga de positiva och negativa i sina alkoholvanor och fatta ett beslut att helt avstå eller måttlig. Någon förbättring av alkoholvanor bör erkännas som ett positivt steg i återhämtning.Kraus L Baumeister, SE, Pabst A, Orth B. Sammanslutningen av genomsnittlig daglig alkoholkonsumtion, omåttlig alkoholkonsumtion och alkoholrelaterade sociala problem: resultat från tyska epidemiologiska undersökni
              Frontline S36E16 Documenting Hate-Charlottesville HDTV x264-W4F      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
    Season 36, Episode 16 – “Documenting Hate-Charlottesville” The inside story of what happened to immigrant children separated from their parents at the border. The film explores the impact of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, and how both Trump and Obama dealt with minors at the border. Links: HOMEPAGE – TVGuide Frontline.S36E16.Documenting.Hate-Charlottesville.HDTV.x264-W4F MKV | AAC VBR | 365MB NFO […]
              Comment on Tens Of Thousands of Ghost Gun Files Downloaded Despite Judge’s Order by The Revelator      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
    @TionicoNo, I did not miss anything. Allow me to show you while quoting you directly."That bit is crystal clear, and sets firm limits, not on jusridiction, but y=upon authority to take up, hear, and rule on a given matter when States or people like the presdient are named parties."Please note, the stated quote above. The Supreme court as I have acknowledged and agreed with previously is the only court the constitution acknowledges to take up, hear, and rule on a given matter. What you are wrongly trying to do is conflate putting a stay/injunction pending a request to the Supreme court to hear a case as the same as issuing a ruling. On that, you are absolutely wrong. Article three Section one gave Congress the power to instill authority upon circuit judges to have this power. This has been pointed out repeatedly, and you have repeatedly tried to ignore this so you could treat a "Stay" as being the same as a ruling. To quote you once again, "No way round it, and nothing else anywhere in the Constitution can scoot out from underneath that", and that includes Article three Section two. Again, you are factually and constitutionally wrong.I love that you are ignoring the question put forward to you.. First, it shows you do not have the balls to step up and be a man. to honestly address a legitimate question because it destroys your argument. Because you are trying to argue a point for a personal reason and not actual support of the Constitution as it is written, you are demonstrating a practiced ignorance of the rest of the constitution so you can continue to try and repeat the same IGNORANT POINT OVER AND OVER AGAIN. This is a lie of omission on your part.What you fail to realize is that as I sit here I am laughing my head off. Every time you ignore the evidence presented to you, the Entire Constitution just so you can try and repeat the same thing over and over again when it has already been disproven as being applicable during current given circumstances, the only thing you are displaying is that you have stuffed your head so far up your rectum that you may need medical assistance to extract it. You are displaying your lie and double standard to everyone here. Let me use your own quote from above to demonstrate this to you yet again.As you have stated, The supreme court has sole responsibility to hear and rule on a case between states and individuals of another state. However, this also means that you yourself acknowledge that unless that Circuit Judge takes authority, hears a case, and then attempts to rule on that case as to whether or not it is constitutional, NO CONSTITUTIONAL VIOLATION HAS OCCURRED. Article three, Section two does not reserve the authority of granting a pause pending Supreme court jurisprudence. Of course you could reply that such authority is implied by that section of Article three, if you had not already stated that you are arguing the enforcement and proponency of the EXACT WORDING OF THE CONSTITUTION. To argue that point now, you will have to cite another article under the constitution for the exact wording, otherwise you are once again demonstrating hypocrisy. Again, if it wasn't your own words that disprove and delegitimize your argument it wouldn't be half as laughable as it is.I truly do feel sorry for you. You could be someone whose voice would be of benefit for reinstituting the Constitution. Instead your argument is no different than that of individuals like Barrack Obama and David Hogg. Each will cite a section of the constitution that they feel justifies them, while ignoring the rest. Each does so because of their personal reasons and desires, attempting to use the constitution as justification. It is no different than Gun control proponents who ignore the exact wording of the Second Amendment in favor of one section containing the word "Militia", which they then twist to self justify their argument. Congratulations! You are now no different than them.The only reason you are now refusing to answer the question I asked you is because is as I stated. You cant answer yes. You cant Answer no. So now you are doing everything to avoid answering it, and as stated that shows you know you messed up. Thank you for showing everyone here at ammoland that you lack the integrity to step up and acknowledge your own double standard.*Clap*__________*Clap*__________*Clap*
              Comment on Smart Guns Are A Dumb Idea by Georgiaoutlaw      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
    The dumbest thing besides Obama’s policies is this new smart gun idea what tha heck got in the originators mind that’s so stupid why would any body ever need a smart gun that’s so DUMB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
              Scrubbed from the system      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
    Why Medicaid enrollment has dropped by almost 60,000 people in 18 months.

    Last September, a few months after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Kyla Brakebill's insurance coverage was canceled by the Arkansas Department of Human Services. Almost a year later, she remains uninsured.

    Brakebill, 43, first began having headaches and dizzy spells in November 2016. After an especially intense episode, she was taken to the emergency room at Baptist Health Medical Center in North Little Rock, where a doctor ordered a series of tests. "She thought at first I might have had a stroke, because she tested that," Brakebill said in an interview. "They were going to see about an aneurysm, but that came back negative. ... After my MRI, she came in and said, 'I can tell you don't have this, this or that, but I'm worried.' " The doctor told Brakebill the scan showed "that my brain was like the brain of a 64-year-old woman."

    Frightening as the news was, Brakebill thought she at least wouldn't have to worry about paying for medical care: She was on Arkansas Works, the state's Medicaid-funded insurance program for low-income adults established under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. (Arkansas Works is also sometimes called "Medicaid expansion" or "the private option.") Like most on the program, her policy was provided through a private carrier, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield. "It covered everything, and that was great," Brakebill said. The hospital helped her find a primary care doctor, who gave her a probable MS diagnosis and sent her to a neurologist, who in turn scheduled Brakebill for another round of brain scans.

    Brakebill never had the scans performed. Late last summer, while taking out the trash at her house, she lost her balance on a rough patch of earth at the edge of the carport. "All of my weight went on my right big toe, and I broke my toe," she recalled. "And when that happened, my body swung around and my mouth hit the post that holds the carport up and knocked one of my front teeth out. It was horrible." A dentist prescribed antibiotics to stave off an infection, and shortly thereafter, Brakebill attempted to fill it.

    "I was in Memphis for work and my mouth was hurt really bad," she said. "I get to Walgreens and I find out they won't fill my prescription because my insurance had ended." Baffled, she called Blue Cross and DHS as soon as she returned home. "After a million phone calls and finally getting to talk to someone, they said it was because I didn't send a change of address."

    Brakebill had recently lost her home to a foreclosure and had moved several times. However, she had filled out a change of address form at the post office and had her mail forwarded to a P.O. box. She had no idea, she said, that DHS required beneficiaries to directly notify the agency of any physical address change. And because her insurance was provided through Blue Cross rather than directly through the state — a feature born of Arkansas's unusual privatized approach to Medicaid expansion — she wasn't used to communicating with DHS about her coverage. "I never had another conversation with DHS about insurance after that initial application," she said.

    DHS requires beneficiaries to notify it of any address change within 10 days of a move, agency spokeswoman Amy Webb said. If mail sent to a beneficiary is returned to DHS and the agency hasn't received notification of an address change, it will close that person's case.

    ***

    Over the past 18 months, Arkansas Works enrollment decreased by almost 60,000 people, DHS numbers show. Enrollment peaked near 330,000 sometime in January 2017. By July 1 of this year, it had fallen to 271,000 — a 15 percent drop.

    The state is shedding beneficiaries at a faster rate than any other state that chose to expand Medicaid, according to data from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Arkansas saw a 6 percent decline in its overall Medicaid enrollment between January 2017 and May 2018. The shrinking Arkansas Works program evidently accounted for most of the drop. (The CMS data combines the expansion population and the larger, more expensive "traditional" Medicaid population, which includes children on ARKids, elderly people, disabled people and other groups.) Only three non-expansion states — Texas, Idaho and Tennessee — saw a larger percentage decrease in Medicaid overall.

    Arkansas has lately come under national scrutiny for its new work requirement for some Arkansas Works enrollees, with many health researchers and advocates warning the policy could lead to thousands losing coverage. Yet little attention has been paid to the steady monthly reduction in Medicaid enrollment figures predating the work requirement, which began in June. The work rule won't trigger terminations of coverage until September at the earliest. That means the almost 60,000 people pared from Arkansas Works over the last year and a half dropped away for other reasons.

    Governor Hutchinson has given two explanations. The first is a strong economy. Because Medicaid expansion is open only to those whose incomes fall below 138 percent of the federal poverty line (in 2018, that's $16,753 for an individual or $34,638 for a family of four), getting a better job often makes a beneficiary ineligible for Arkansas Works. He or she might then gain insurance through an employer — or, if that's not an option, purchase a plan on the individual marketplace with the help of a federal subsidy.

    Though such coverage would likely cost more than Arkansas Works (which costs little to nothing for beneficiaries), more people moving up the income ladder would be clearly positive news.

    "I would emphasize that this is not a change in services," Hutchinson said at a recent session with the press at which he touted savings in the Medicaid budget. "This is simply the result of people that are working. ... If they got a better job and they just don't bother telling us about it, and they no longer qualify, that's a good thing, because nobody's losing services. It's just that they no longer qualify and we're not wasting our taxpayers' money. If it's because their spouse got insurance and they no longer need Arkansas Works, then that's a good thing as well."

    Jennifer Wagner, a senior policy analyst at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal-leaning think tank in Washington, D.C., said the picture was more complicated.

    "I'm sure some portion is attributable to the improving economy," Wagner said. "The thing that we tend to see, though, is that even when people are able to find employment, often their income does not go up high enough to make them no longer eligible. And often the low-wage work they get does not include health insurance. As we know, a lot of people on Medicaid are working families — they're just not making enough [money] and they're not getting employer-sponsored insurance. So, I wouldn't assume that all drop-off is because of that."

    The fact that Arkansas's 18-month decline in Medicaid enrollment outpaced most other states also suggests there's more at play than economic factors. Arkansas's unemployment rate is low, but so are those of other states that haven't seen a similarly steep dip in Medicaid rolls. And while Medicaid enrollment has fallen fairly steadily from January 2017 to June 2018, the unemployment rate over that period ticked slightly upward, from 3.7 percent to 3.8 percent. The Arkansas jobless rate in June ranked 21st in the nation, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    In July, DHS released a graph breaking down the reasons behind the approximately 14,000 Arkansas Works case closures the previous month. Only 11 percent of the cases closed in June were attributed to an increase in household income. However, Wagner said that figure likely understates the percentage of people who left the program because of rising wages. Many beneficiaries who no longer need Arkansas Works may simply stop corresponding with DHS, rather than contacting the agency to explicitly request closure.


    The governor's second explanation for the reduced enrollment is an improved effort at DHS to "scrub" the Medicaid rolls by removing people who are no longer eligible. That includes many situations: individuals who are making too much money, who have moved out of state, who are incarcerated, who have turned 65 (and are therefore receiving Medicare) or who are dead. But it also includes many people such as Kyla Brakebill, who lost coverage because of a problem communicating with DHS.

    DHS figures suggest that changes of address and communications issues are a major reason for coverage losses. Sixty percent of cases closed in June were terminated for one of two reasons: "failed to return requested information" or "unable to locate client or moved out-of-state."

    The latter category includes cases in which DHS receives any piece of returned mail, agency spokeswoman Webb said in an email. Webb said the agency couldn't distinguish between clients who moved out of state and those who moved within the state.

    Wagner, who studies Medicaid policy across the country, said the DHS approach to returned mail was "a very aggressive stance for the state to take."

    It's not uncommon, she said, for Medicaid recipients in all states to lose coverage at "recertification," the annual update of personal information mandated for every beneficiary. "People are often sent a letter and are required to send that back. They may also be required to send additional verification, like pay stubs," Wagner said. "No matter what, there's going to be some degree of fall-off at recertification."

    In Arkansas, though, any returned mail — not just at recertification — automatically triggers a closure. That creates more opportunities for a beneficiary to lose coverage. Mary Franklin, director of DHS' Division of County Operations, wrote in an email that "if the information is not returned by the deadline, the case is closed. Many of these closures are automated, and there is an extra 5 days built in to our automated process to make sure that any information that is received has been logged into the system."

    Wagner said, "I don't know that other states would necessarily take action to close a case just because of returned mail.That's concerning, especially because this population often moves a lot ... staying with friends or family or things like that. So that's kind of a lot to expect — for it to be constantly updated." The state could take more proactive steps to find a beneficiary, Wagner added, such as cross-checking with the postal service's National Change of Address system. Franklin said DHS does not check that database before closing a case.

    "Federal regulations do require Medicaid recipients to report changes that affect eligibility," Wagner acknowledged, "and I'm sure Arkansas could make an argument that they don't know if someone has moved out of state if they didn't report an address change. But that is an aggressive stance, and I wonder how frequently mailings are going out over the year."

    In fact, DHS has been sending out frequent mailings to many Arkansas Works recipients to inform them of the new work requirement. Webb said DHS didn't have information on how many Arkansas Works closures occurred at annual recertification and could not provide a breakdown of the reasons for closures during previous months.

    ***

    Many Arkansas Works beneficiaries who lose coverage quickly regain it. Brakebill did not, seemingly due to a combination of bad timing and bad information.

    She said she thought she had to wait until November to reapply for coverage. That's likely because of widespread public confusion about the difference between Arkansas Works (which can be applied for at any point during the year) and the individual insurance marketplace (which can typically only be accessed during a brief open enrollment period at the end of the year). People whose income is above 138 percent of poverty can get coverage on the marketplace subsidized by the federal government.

    It's not clear which group Brakebill should have been in at that point in time, because her income fluctuated significantly from month to month. (In January 2017, she started working as a marketing manager for a home improvement company that sets up booths at public events. She earns a few hundred dollars each week in base pay and — depending on the season — an additional amount in commissions.) It may be that Brakebill could have simply re-enrolled in Arkansas Works last fall. It's also possible her annual income had exceeded the threshold for a single-person household, in which case she should have transitioned onto the marketplace. Assuming this was so, however, she shouldn't have had to wait for open enrollment: The individual marketplace allows for a 60-day "special enrollment" period after a person loses coverage from a different source.

    When Brakebill finally went online to buy insurance at the end of the year, she said, she hit another snag: The marketplace website asked her for employer information she didn't have. That was right before open enrollment ended on Dec. 15. In 2018, based on the income information she provided a reporter, it appears Brakebill makes slightly too much to qualify for Arkansas Works — but she can't sign up for insurance on the marketplace until 2018 open enrollment begins again this November.

    In the meantime, she's in limbo. "Just to know that I can't go in and see a doctor — it worries me," Brakebill said. Her multiple sclerosis symptoms come and go, but on bad days she finds it hard to function. "Like this week, my MS is pretty bad. Yesterday, I did everything backwards. Like my job, everything. ... So if I'm talking in circles, that's what's wrong with me. Sometimes I have a really great conversation, and sometimes I can't even speak."

    In addition to MS, she suffers from high blood pressure and polycystic ovary syndrome, a hormonal disorder that causes weight gain and facial hair growth and has been linked to diabetes. Both conditions are controllable with drugs, but she does not have prescriptions for either. She'd like to find a better job, she said, but she feels constrained by her medical problems.

    "I'm in my 40s, but I can't have a breast exam or a colonoscopy or anything like that. I can't go for my yearly pap smear," she said. "Until I get the insurance to do all that again, I guess I'll just try to live until I don't live anymore."

    The governor has praised DHS for taking steps to scrub the Medicaid rolls more aggressively and pushed back against the idea that the agency's rules may be stricter than necessary.

    "That's called responsible management," he said at the recent press conference. "I don't think very many in Arkansas would want our taxpayer dollars paying for insurance for those that may be living out of state, may have moved, may have income that exceeds the limits. And if they are not giving us the information to verify that, then that's the responsible thing to do for the taxpayers."

    Hutchinson suggested Arkansas Works enrollment in January 2017 was inflated with many thousands of people who weren't actually eligible. He pointed out the Medicaid expansion was originally predicted to serve about 250,000 people when Arkansas policymakers first considered implementing the program in 2013.

    "I think you're seeing numbers now that are where they should be, based on the economy that we have and based on the management we have," he said.

    The governor prefers to emphasize a different figure: the zero percent growth rate in Medicaid expenditures in the fiscal year that ended in June. Combined state and federal spending on Arkansas Medicaid (both Arkansas Works and traditional) was $7.105 billion in FY 2018, or $22 million less than the previous year. Because health care costs typically grow year over year, however, flat growth is effectively a reduction when compared to projected expenses.

    Some of the savings resulted from "transformation" efforts by DHS to impose discipline on especially high-cost Medicaid program areas. But the majority of the savings (around 55 percent) was attributable to the decline in enrollment.

    In any case, holding Medicaid costs flat is a major achievement for a conservative governor, and the reduced costs will help pay for tax cuts on high-income earners that Hutchinson and Republican legislators intend to pass in 2019. It also helps the governor defend his decision to continue the Arkansas Works program, which some hardline conservatives want to see defunded entirely.

    ***

    The question is whether Brakebill is an outlier or part of a trend. Is Arkansas Works enrollment shrinking mostly because people have moved up the income ladder and found coverage elsewhere? Or has DHS' zealous approach to rules enforcement resulted in a growing number of low-income Arkansans going without insurance or experiencing periodic lapses in coverage?

    Arkansas cut its uninsured rate in half in the three years after it first expanded Medicaid in 2013 — one of the largest percentage reductions in the country. If many of the 60,000 people scrubbed from the Arkansas Works rolls since last January are now uninsured, that metric may rebound. But the U.S. Census Bureau has yet to publish information on state-level uninsured rates in 2017.

    Anecdotally, many Arkansas health care advocates say the address change issue hasn't been on their radar. Kevin De Liban, a lawyer for Legal Aid of Arkansas, is familiar with fighting DHS over Medicaid. (He represents a group of disabled beneficiaries engaged in a long-running lawsuit against the agency.) De Liban said Legal Aid has fielded calls from a handful of Arkansas Works beneficiaries who complained of losing coverage due to returned mail or an alleged failure to send in information, but the group hasn't heard back from those individuals.

    Still, he was critical of the agency's strict rules for correspondence. "DHS sends them a letter and gives them 10 days to respond," he said. "It gets to them Day 8 ... and many times the client provides it timely, or close to timely, and DHS does not process it quickly enough."

    Lainey Morrow is a grassroots advocate who founded a popular Facebook group, "Medicaid Saves Lives," to help beneficiaries and their families navigate the system. (It had over 3,600 members as of Aug. 6.) Morrow said she hadn't heard many complaints of lost coverage explicitly due to an address change. But, she pointed out that people who are terminated for such a reason would never receive a letter explaining why they were cut off.

    "I don't think people know why, if that is why," Morrow said, "They may in some roundabout manner find out: They go to a provider, and the provider says their Medicaid number is inactive, and then they start trying to track it down." She's also heard of many people who lost coverage but were unsure of the reason why because they didn't understand the letter they received from DHS.

    Many who unexpectedly lose their insurance simply begin the process of re-enrollment. But even when a beneficiary regains her insurance, temporary coverage gaps can cause hardships: prescriptions unfilled, bills left unpaid, appointments missed and hours spent on the phone.

    Brittany Keeland, 22, is a single mother of two and the legal guardian of her 16-year-old sister. Her four-person household contains three different categories of Medicaid: Keeland is on Arkansas Works; her children, ages 1 and 2, are on ARKids; and Keeland's sister has disability Medicaid for a severe, exceedingly rare genetically based skin condition called lamellar ichthyosis.

    In late July, Keeland received a notice from DHS that said her insurance, and her children's, would soon be terminated due to a failure to report additional income. In a recent interview, Keeland said DHS was mistaken. She didn't have any new income. She was continuing to work as a home health aide at the same company where she'd worked for the past three years. The misunderstanding arose because Keeland's pay stubs contained a different corporate name than the one she listed as her employer. (The company that directly employs her, she explained, is owned by a parent company that cuts her checks.) Someone at DHS saw the difference in names and assumed Keeland was missing information.

    Ironically, the mistake occurred only after Keeland notified the agency of an address change. In March, Keeland moved her family from Crawford County to an apartment in Fort Smith. She updated her address and other personal information with DHS, enclosing her recent pay stubs with the mailing. All was well for several months, but then, in July, she received a notice that she needed to get a letter from her employer and that it had to be turned in by July 27 to maintain coverage for her family.

    Keeland gritted her teeth, gathered the paperwork and submitted it to DHS on July 26. She called on Monday, July 30, to make sure everything had been processed.

    "I asked if my stuff was going to be shut off, and they're like, 'Yeah, because you didn't turn in all your paperwork,' " she said. "I told them that I turned everything in ... so y'all did something with it, and we kind of got in an argument."

    "Well, Tuesday or so, I got a letter in the mail saying all of our stuff was canceled due to lack of turning information in. And then Wednesday they called me and said they'd found my paperwork, that it was put in a different program and they're sorry they lost it and everything, and I asked them about my benefits being shut off." Keeland said she was told she'd have to wait on an action from her caseworker to resolve the issue.

    "I still don't know if it's going to be on or not," Keeland said when she spoke to a reporter on Saturday. "I got a letter in the mail saying it was pending, so I don't know." As of this week, she was still unsure. In a text message Monday, she wrote, "I tried calling today sat on hold forever so I just hung up." She's also concerned her food stamps will be cut off.

    Last fall, Keeland said, she temporarily lost insurance coverage due to another DHS paperwork issue. Though her insurance was reinstated, doctors' bills piled up in the interim. If her Medicaid is shut off again, she worries she'll accumulate more debt. "That's mainly what's on my credit, is medical bills I don't have money to pay ... and they get turned over to collection agencies," she said.

    Keeland's family needs insurance. Her sister has appointments at Arkansas Children's Hospital twice a month for her skin condition. Her daughter, who is developmentally delayed and has multiple food allergies, also regularly visits Children's, she said. Her son has hearing problems, and both children see therapists. Keeland herself has prescriptions, too. "And then, regular doctors appointments and stuff. We use it almost every other day, it seems like, for at least one of us," she said.

    Wagner, the policy analyst, said states can take steps to minimize disruptions in Medicaid coverage. "How many documents the client is required to send in can make a difference. If the state is using their data sources well, they shouldn't have to ask for a lot of pay stubs and other things," she said.

    "There's a lot that the state can do at the recertification point to make it go better," she continued. For example, rather than putting the burden on beneficiaries, the state can use its own data sources to determine if a person appears to continue to be eligible. "They just send them a notice saying, 'We're going to renew you based on this information. If any of it's incorrect, contact us.' "

    Instead, most of Arkansas's efforts seem to run in the opposite direction. While DHS doesn't check the National Change of Address database, it does check state wage data to look for unreported income and scans for the receipt of public benefits in other states. Also, a subset of Arkansas Works beneficiaries are now subject to the new work requirement, which adds another layer of bureaucracy to an already complex set of requirements. Unlike with many of the aforementioned situations, not complying with the work rule may eventually result in a beneficiary actually being locked out of coverage for a period of time. In June, about 10,000 people were required to submit additional information to DHS proving they were working or qualified for an exemption. Of those, about 7,000 did not.

    Many of those who lost Arkansas Works coverage in the past year and a half surely did so because they failed to follow one rule or another. But some human error is a part of any program. One point of frustrations for beneficiaries is that while DHS seems to give so little leeway to their oversights and mistakes, the state's own oversights and mistakes must be accepted as a part of life.

    Like many on Arkansas Works, Keeland is fed up with jumping through hoops. "I don't know what's going on up there and half the time they don't either," she said. "Whenever you ask to talk to your caseworker, they give you a voicemail and then they never call you back. Or you say, 'Hey, I'm working [but] I'm free at this time.' And then they call you while you're at work and then you miss it and it's your fault."

    "They act as if we have no life outside their office," she said.

    This reporting is made possible in part by a yearlong fellowship sponsored by the Association of Health Care Journalists and supported by The Commonwealth Fund. It is published here courtesy of the Arkansas Nonprofit News Network, an independent, nonpartisan project dedicated to producing journalism that matters to Arkansans. Find out more at arknews.org.


              Tampa Crime Files: Liberal shoots man over different political views.      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
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